48 hours in Brighton
Just an hour from London on the train Brighton is one of those places that as soon as I get there I think, why the hell do I not do this more often. Summer when the sun is shining is the time to see it as it’s best. Over the past 10 years, what was once a bohemian seaside town is now lively and vibrant and caters for all.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Artists Residence on the sea front. Other than the controversial British Airways tower bang smack in the middle of view we have the best core of the town. I love being places that are still steeped in history. The cute town houses have been converted into Bed and Breakfasts. The location was perfect as it was 10 mins walk from everywhere and 20 mins walk to Hove. Plus watching the British Airways i360 go up and down was very entertaining. The views were gorgeous and the breakfast there were 10 out of 10. Not really a light bite, but I had the Pork on Toast, pig three ways (braised pig cheek, nduja sausage and cracking with a fried Cacklebean egg and hot sauce; smack your lips tasty and an incredibly unique breakfast dish I had never seen before. Well worth a try!
What to do?
There is tons to do, from just enjoying the promenade with all its quirky shops and fish and chip shops to wandering into The Lanes where you can shop all things vintage. Then there is the Royal Pavilion (I love me a palace I do. I think largely because I was meant to be a real life princess). At the bottom of The Lanes is the Royal Brighton Pavilion, a former Royal residence that was originally built for King George IV. Entrance into the palace is £12/15 for adults and £31.50 for a family of four but if you just want to admire the external architecture then it’s completely freer to go up and have a wonder outside.
As the Pavilion is situated at the end of The Lanes, you can take a detour through the tiny, cute antique and vintage shops as you make your way back to the sea front. For dinner options the world is your oyster. We chose to eat at The Set which offers a great selection of British sharing plates. The mackerel was melt in your mouth fantastic. There is a great cocktail bar next door that you can shimmy on over to after you have finished eating. Be sure to call ahead and book a table if you are dining on a weekend as this place gets seriously busy.
The next morning we wandered back along the sea front to head over to The Grand Hotel. We had booked ourselves in for some spa treatments. Whether or not you are staying at The Grand, it is a must see in Brighton. Treat yourself to an exquisite cocktail (or three) or an afternoon tea. The decor and service is something from another time and you are sure to be spoilt rotten plus this hotel is giving me major interiors inspo. Treatments, a (55 min) massage will set you back £75 with a cocktail at around £9 so this is a little splurge but worth every penny.
After all that relaxation of course we needed refuelling, we headed out for an early dinner. We opted for sushi at Sushi Garden just 15 mins from The Grand Hotel. This was an authentic sushi experience and very reasonably priced. Dinner for two with wine and approx 10 dishes cost us £45 per head.
Then on our last morning in Brighton we did what all great tourists do...lie in then find the biggest breakfast we could, then hit the shops. We ended up at Billie's Cafe, not to be mistaken for the well know restaurant Bill's. I opted for Rancheros and my friend had the corned beef hash. Be warned this place is tiny and there will be a queue outside and a long wait for your food, but my golly is it worth the wait. This place has made its way into my top three greasy spoons of all time.
Billie’s Cafe: Pre fried carb overload
So that huge brunch needed walking off but it was sale time at the shops so that did not last very long at all. So instead we headed back towards the seafront by the i360 and found the perfect spot for some rose - The Flour Bakery. This is a newly opened branch and the customers and waiters made it a great spot to get in some last minute chatter before catching the train back to London in the afternoon. Whoever said Brighton was all bohemia and veganism was completely wrong. There are plenty of Luxtremist spots for you to indulge in. Enjoy Brighton!