With holidaying abroad looking unlikely this year, you’re probably looking at exploring a little closer to home and making the most of those UK staycation hotspots.
Brighton holds a special place in our hearts and between us, we’ve accrued a few holy grail hang-outs from bakeries (priorities) to coffee shops, restaurants, boozers and beyond.
As staycations and Spring getaways go, you can do a lot worse than Brighton. She’s a total babe. You’ve got the beach, the countryside, the buzz of the city and the cottagecore beauty spots all in one place.
To save you the faff of muddling through your Insta saves and hitting up everyone you know within a 5 mile radius of BN1 fishing for their recommendations, we’ve planned a dreamy itinerary for you, so you don’t have to. You’ll be pleased to know there’s not a tub of pickled cockles or a stick of rock in sight.
Start your day with a coffee & pastry
If you’re anything like us, a city break is always food and coffee oriented so while, ‘but first coffee’ might be the new live, laugh, love, it’s undeniably accurate.
Grab a next-level pastry from Julien Plumart (the best of all the land, trust us, we’ve eaten enough of ‘em) and a coffee from Pelicano en route to the seafront. That should set you up for the day nicely.
Indulge in a spot of flower therapy
Flower heads, you’ll be very looked after in Brighton. There are so many talented floral creatives in our home-town but for fresh blooms, Kate Langdale has our heart. She’s been in the business for 35 years and has a special eye for romantic, wild arrangements with a nod to vintage charm. Her hand-tied bouquets are summin’ special.
For everlasting dried florals, look no further than Phohm – give Phoebe Mulrooney some pampas grass and a masterpiece she shall make.
Tuck into small plates at The Flint House
Dine at any of the Gingerman Group restaurants and you know you’ll be in good hands. The Flint House is the newest addition to the Gingerman collection, located in the heart of the famous Brighton lanes and, as luck would have it, just next door to our favourite organic ice cream shop.
Order a minimum of 2-3 plates each (any less is a culinary offence) and a glass of Ridgeview Bloomsbury to wash it down. If you can bagsy a seat on the rooftop terrace on a sunny day, then you’d be a fool not to make it a bottle. We pray they bring back the courgette flower, for your sake.
Get an artisan ice cream to go from Brass Monkey or Boho Gelato
Brass Monkey isn’t just any old ice cream parlour. The menu changes regularly but you can guarantee they’ll always have a unique flavour that will leave your taste buds shook. The honey and lavender is a non-negotiable if we’re to remain friends.
Boho Gelato simply needs to introduction, one of Zoe’s absolute favourites for weird and wonderful flavours. Crack into carrot cake, pistachio or gin and tonic if you’re feeling fancy!
Make room for doughnuts at The Flour Pot Bakery
If you’re arriving in Brighton on a Friday, make it your business to sniff out a Flour Pot Bakery before they sell out of their legendary doughnuts. No one masters the doughnut to filling ratio quite like these guys.
Pick up some new mags
Serving the best selection of niche titles and beautifully designed independent magazines, Magazine Brighton is a must-shop for every print enthusiast. Discover new titles or pick up the latest issue of your faithful favourites to take home with you.
Go thrifting and hit the photobooth in the lanes
No trip to B Town is complete without navigating the turnstile at Snoopers Paradise. Step back in time, browse the eccentric bric-a-brac and don’t miss the vintage attic upstairs for all your prairie dress wishes. Once you’re done hunting for treasure, help yourself to props and hop in the olde worlde photo booth for a black and white memento.
Recline at the beach
Depending on what time of year you visit, you might be lucky enough to catch the darling starlings making moves over the pier. Their winged wizardry will first make you gasp, then cry, then grin before weeping again. It’s pure poetry to watch.
Get your pictures at the West Pier and the bandstand then mosey on down to the colourful beach hut lined Hove Lawns for a slightly quieter pew on the pebbles.
📍 Hove Lawns Kingsway, Hove BN3 2FR
Try Baby Bao at The Pond
Brightonians know this is the good place. The independent pub serves knock out Taiwanese steamed buns and small plates. Choose from pork belly classic bao, fried chicken, tofu, smoked mushroom, roasted cod, banana blossom and grilled shrimp. Or just order one of each – no ducks given. Just so you know, resisting the skin-on house fries will be heavily frowned upon in these parts.
Get your head down at Artist Residence
Staying the night? Get some sound sleep at Artist Residence, located just off the seafront on Regency Square. Beautiful interiors, ocean views, banging grub and dangerously drinkable cocktails, it’s the ideal spot to work on your eat, sleep, repeat routine. Plus, the sea breeze will sort your hangover right out.
Have an easy Sunday morning at Café Marmalade
This cosy spot tucked away in a charming old dairy in Kemptown is a little further out but worth it for the breakfast. From childhood classics – hello dippy eggs & soldiers – to brunch dishes with a twist and 10/10 coffee, it’s the perfect spot to while away the weekend come rain or shine. In fact, it’s even cosier on a drizzly day when the windows steam up and you’re just sat there like a mysterious up and coming novelist with your coffee, your book and ya eggs. Pure Bliss.
Hike up Devil’s Dyke
Get up and at ‘em with a spot of countryside ambling. Devil’s Dyke is a legendary beauty spot just a short Uber from the city but a world away from the hustle and bustle. Pack a picnic or stop in at the dog-friendly watering hole at the top of the hill for all the country pub classics or a hearty Sunday roast.
NB: Just avoid the various car parks en route to the top because your eyes will not be bale to un-see what goes on up there in the late / early hours. We found out the hard way.
📍 Devil’s Dyke Rd, Brighton BN1 8YJ
Stop and shop at some of Brighton’s most-loved independent stores
Independent shops and small businesses = Brighton’s bread and butter, and as curated stores go Our Daily Edit and Workshop Living are the cat’s pyjamas.
Prepare to want to redecorate your humble abode because the Workshop Living vibe is chef’s kiss. Their curated selection of considered homeware and lifestyle goods, alongside their slow living approach to consumption is a breath of fresh air. When you’re done emptying their shelves, head round the corner to Our Daily Edit to shop the crème de la crème of contemporary labels and lifestyle brands including Ganni, Meadows and Girls of Dust.