A Weekend In Brighton

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I’ve always loved Brighton. Growing up just along the coast, it was a place we visited frequently, often as a treat, to go shopping or to go and see a band play. I’ve visited less in recent years but was keen to take Enrico and show him around. So last month we spent a long weekend in Brighton, and I’m happy to report that it still stands as one of my favourite UK cities.

 

A seagull flies past Brighton Pier on a sunny day

 

It doesn’t really matter what time of year you visit Brighton, aside from a bit of relaxing on the beach, which is generally a summer-only activity, it’s a great all-weather city. Here is our perfect Brighton itinerary.

 

A Weekend In Brighton

 

Brighton – Day 1 – Friday (Evening)

After checking into our hotel, we headed out into the city to explore. Brighton is buzzing most nights of the week, but especially so at the weekend. There are lots of brilliant bars and eateries and in particular an excellent selection of vegetarian restaurants in Brighton, including Terre e Terre and Food For Friends. There is also a vegan pizzeria, which I was recommended, but am yet to try, though I’ve heard it’s really good!

 

Pubs and restaurants in Brighton's Lanes

 

Dinner – Curry Leaf Cafe

I love Indian food and Curry Leaf Lane did not disappoint. It has an interesting selection of dishes as well as craft beers and unusual gin and tonics. There are three in Brighton and we visited the one on Ship Street in the lanes. I recommend the Curry Leaf Tandoor Platter. Yum!

 

The Curry Leaf Tandoor Platter

 

Drinks – The Walrus

After dinner, we headed across the street to The Walrus. This is a really good pub – we ended up going there twice as we liked it so much. It’s deceptively large with a good range of beers and wine, and fabulous pub grub, as well as a music venue downstairs and a roof garden above.

 

Sleep – Snooze

Snooze is a cool little B&B with quirky rooms and friendly hosts. The location is perfect for exploring the funky neighbourhood of Kemptown and it’s a 20 walk to the city centre. Doubles start from £115 on Fridays and Saturdays, and from £65 on weekdays.

 

Zebra print bedsheets and red walls at Snooze Brighton

 

Brighton – Day 2 – Saturday

We were up (reasonably) early, excited to explore Brighton. A room at Snooze includes a generous breakfast, but if you’re staying in a Brighton hotel that doesn’t, then I recommend Café Coho for brekkie. There are two – one in the lanes and one near the station.

 

Poached eggs and avocado served on a pitta at Cafe Coho

 

British Airways i360

As the weather was good, we headed straight for the i360. This observation tower on the seafront was completed in 2016 by the same team behind the London Eye, offering 360-degree views of Brighton. Plan your visit around the weather forecast, and if the skies are clear make sure you do it first because you’ll see far more than on a cloudy day (on a clear day you can even see the Isle of Wight!). It takes around 25 minutes to reach the top (138m) and back again, and you can enjoy an ‘in flight’ drink at the bar while you take in the best views of Brighton.

 

Looking up at the British Airways i360 tower from below The bar at the top of the British Airways i360

 

Lunch – Riddle and Finns

If you like seafood then you’ll love Riddle and Finns. They have an excellent menu focused on locally sourced seasonal fish and have a superb wine list that includes Sussex vino. If you happen to be there during the week, then they do a great value 2 course set menu for £15.95.

 

Sea bass cooked with swiss chard and boiled potatoes at Riddle and Finns Fish soup at Riddle and Finns

 

The Lanes

After lunch, it was time to explore the lanes. I love shopping in Brighton, it has so many interesting independent shops. The lanes have an incredible selection of jewellery shops, I could literally spend hours looking in the windows full of stunning antiques and unusual designs. (Guys this is a great place to buy an engagement ring!)

 

Bunting raised over the lanes in Brighton

 

In North Laine, you’ll find antique shops, vintage shops, boutiques and stores selling everything from records to Native American jewellery. There are also plenty of cafes and pubs for a refuel along the way. You can also find great antique and vintage shops in Kemptown.

 

The pink painted Brighton Flea Market in Kemptown

 

Dinner – Plateau

Plateau is a lovely wine bar in the lanes that specialises in natural wines and sustainable produce. Even if you don’t have dinner there, I highly recommend popping in for a vino and some delicious homemade bread.

 

Homemade bread served with oil and balsamic at Plateau

 

Brighton – Day 3 – Sunday

After another delicious breakfast at Snooze, it was time for our final day in Brighton. Flour Pot Bakery is another excellent choice for breakfast if your hotel doesn’t include it.

 

Full English breakfast at Snooze Quirky decor with a big tea sign and bottles at Snooze

 

The Royal Pavilion

We made our way back into the centre to the pavilion. The Royal Pavilion is one of Brighton’s top tourist attractions, and you certainly can’t miss the striking building in the middle of the city. It looks more like an Indian palace than something you’d find in a British seaside town! Even if you don’t go inside, then make sure you take a walk around the gardens and admire the architecture from the outside. However, if you can, I definitely recommend going in. It was actually my first time in our recent Brighton getaway, and the décor is incredible. You also get given an overview into the history of the property, which has been used at different times as a palace, hospital and a civic building.

 

Hayley walking by the pond in front of Brighton Pavilion Flowers blooming in the gardens of Brighton Pavilion

 

Brighton Palace Pier

Next stop was the iconic Brighton Pier. This is a must-do Brighton attraction, and something quintessentially British. Whether you lose a few hours on the 2p machines, ride the rollercoaster or just relax in the deck chairs, it’s worth allocating some time in your Brighton weekend to the Palace Pier.

 

Hayley standing in front of Brighton Palace Pier A merry go round on Brighton Palace Pier

 

Lunch – Fish & Chips on Brighton Palace Pier

A trip to the British seaside isn’t complete without a hearty meal of fish and chips (unless you’re vegan or veggie of course). There is hot competition for the best fish and chips in Brighton, with Melrose Restaurant, Regency Restaurant and Bardsley’s all offering delicious options. But you really can’t beat fish and chips on Brighton Pier for the classic seaside experience. Palm Court has both a restaurant and kiosk about halfway down.

 

A big plate of fish and chips on Brighton Pier

 

Our final destination before heading home was Blaker Street. Not so much of a Brighton tourist attraction, but certainly an Instagrammable spot! A street full of colourful houses with views of the sea.

 

Hayley standing in front of the colourful houses on Blaker Street Colourful houses on Blaker Street

 

Other things to do in Brighton

If you have more than a weekend in Brighton there are plenty of other activities!

 

Brighton Beach Sauna

Did you know Brighton has a beach sauna? That’s right, you can relax in the heat at Beach Box, a wood-fired sauna located right on the pebbles! Best combined with a cooling swim in the sea afterwards!

 

Crazy Golf

​Brighton has no less than three Crazy Golf courses along the seafront! Perfect for unleashing your competitive side!

 

A crazy golf course on Brighton Beach

 

Beach Volleyball

If you’re feeling energetic head down to Yellowave Beach Sports Venue, where you can hire a court or take a beach volleyball class, which run throughout the year – even when it’s raining!

 

Beach Volleyball Courts on Brighton Beach

 

Ride Volks Electric Railway

Head down to Brighton seafront for a trip on Volks Electric Railway. It is the oldest operating electric railway in the world. Completed in 1883! It takes you from Palace Pier all the way for Black Rock, where you can visit Brighton Marina.

 

Other Great Brighton Bars & Restaurants

  • La Choza – Mexican street food
  • Easy Tiger – Indian tapas
  • Ten Green Bottles – Wine bar and shop
  • The Pond – Bao buns and craft beer in North Laine
  • The Mesmerist – Live music and cocktails in the Lanes
  • Red Roaster – Daytime cocktails
  • Plotting Parlour – Cocktails

 

Hayley enjoying Brighton Palace Pier

 

How to get to Brighton

If you’re driving to Brighton, make sure you check that your hotel has parking, as parking is expensive and hard to come by in the city. If you can, I recommend taking the train, as once you’re there, there is little need for a car. From London, you can take the train from London Bridge, London Victoria or London Blackfriars, which all take around 1 hour.

 

Hayley standing on the pebbles of Brighton Beach

 

Thank you to Visit Brighton for hosting A Lovely Planet.
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