I have to admit that as much as I dream about Paris and New York, I am also pretty much head over heels with Brighton. Brighton when the sun is shining is one of the most perfect places on earth. Now this might seem like a massive sweeping statement but I defy anyone not to come to Brighton on a wonderfully sunny day and not leave with a big smile on your face and a warm feeling in your belly. I have lived in Brighton for three years now and I have to admit, I am a more than a little bit in love with it. Even when its raining or I’m feeling a little bit blue, there is always somewhere I can go and lose myself for a couple of hours. As such with all cities, it can be somewhat daunting if you don’t know where to go or what to do. SO. I am going to give you a little insight into my favourite Brighton haunts. Sit back, make yourself a cuppa and read through (as Julie Andrews would say..) my favourite things.
1. The Mock Turtle Tearoom.
This Tearoom, situated a stones throw from the beach on Pool Valley is the most darling tearoom in Brighton. With an interior resembling your Granny’s living room, cakes that are actually the size of your head (I’m not kidding – their homemade doughnuts are MASSIVE), mismatched china and every kind of tea under the sun. This place really is quite marvellous. The staff are lovely and friendly and it has a really relaxed atmosphere, perfect to relax your weary feet after a days shopping. I would definitely recommend their cream tea. As cream teas go, I do believe this is one of the best I have ever had..and believe me I have done the leg work on this one.
2. The North Laines.
The North Laines really are my favourite place in Brighton. The whole area is filled with beautiful shops, beautiful restaurants and more noticeably beautiful people. You can’t walk for about two minutes without seeing a girl (or guy) that looks ridiculously cool or effortlessly chic and that you are immediately envious of. There are loads of lovely vintage shops, including the famous Snoopers Paradise - A haven of trinkets, old records, retro furniture, vintage clothes and my personal favourite, collections of old cameras. With other vintage clothes shops such as To Be Worn Again, Dirty Harry, Hope & Harlequin and Beyond Retro dotted around you really can wile away the hours just by rummaging through rail after rail of these sweet threads. A tip from me to you would be a quick trip to the sweet shop just opposite Snoopers – bag yourself as much pic ‘n’ mix that is humanly possible (for quite cheap as well I might add) and wander round all these shops whilst munching through the sugary goodness. It really is perfection.
Popkraft is without doubt my favourite night out in Brighton. It's the kind of night that someone like me can only dream of. A night of crafting and dancing? I was immediately sold. The monthly night (soon to be every two weeks) is held in the Brighton Ballroom, a small yet beautiful boutique club in Kemp town and is hosted by the wonder that is Boogaloo Stu and his fabulous sidekicks Size Zero Albino and Dolly Rocket. The night is basically a fun filled fest of puppetmaking-cakedecorating-pornbadgewearing-gagadancing shenanigans. Now, I know what you’re all thinking…THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. Although I am by no means done. As well as all these shenanigans you can watch (and sometimes join in with) the amazing risque cabaret performed by Boogaloo Stu himself along with weekly guests, dance the night away to eighties classics and chart topping hits, drown yourselves in cocktail after cocktail or you can treat yourself to a (free) fabulous up-do in their hair-hopper salon. Think beehives, backcombing and fifties quiffs. It really is as good as it sounds and you too can go be part of it. Details of the next one can be found here.
4.Brighton Pier and Beach.
Now, it would be pretty much illegal to come to the seaside and not spend a substantial amount of time on the pier or on the beach. The pier really is like a step back in time. With carousels and pretty lights and jazz tunes crooning out over the sound system, it really is like being in a forties film. That is until you reach the end and have to struggle with the crowds of tourists and annoying kids of course, but that goes without saying. If you have time I would suggest taking a walk from the Palace Pier down to the West Pier (which famously burned down many years ago but the remains still stand and represent some amazing architecture). On this little amble you will discover cute little art galleries, bands playing live music, delicious ice creams, loads of kids doing tricks on their bmx’s and skateboards, people that are far too fit for their own good playing beach volleyball and even bars that resemble pirate ships. Yes. That’s right. The Fortune of War is a beachfront bar that is a pirate ship inside and yes, they do serve rum. Ahoy!
5. Music makes me lose control.
There are so so many great music venues in Brighton, that literally cover everyones tastes. You’ll find it very difficult to walk into a pub any night of the week and find that there isn’t a live band on and I would literally be here all day if I was to list all of my favourite venues to you. However it might be worth mentioning that all this week is Brighton Live. A free festival of around 150 bands playing in over 20 venues across town.
With bands including Get cape wear cape fly, Jumping Ships, Blondes in Tokyo, Crooked Mountain Crooked Sea and Iris And The Wolves you should definitely check it out. Oh and did I mention it was all free? Yes free! My favourite kind of price. You can find out more about it here: http://www.brightonlive.net/
6. The Roast.
Now as we all know there really is nothing better on a Sunday lunchtime then wandering/crawling into town to stuff yourself silly with roasty goodness to fuel your hangover from the night before. My favourite roast in town has to be in a pub called the Hop Poles. Found on Middle Street, it hosts amazing food, a great interior and even has a cute little beer garden out the back. Now what is so great about this pub compared to the many other pubs in Brighton I hear you ask? WELL. My answer to that is pure and simply, Pork Tower. Yes, that’s right, their pork is literally like a tower of yum. The plate is jam packed with fresh vegetables, crisp roast potatoes, juicy pork and a big slab of cracking – all piled up together to make the mouth-watering pork tower. (I should probably mention that this is my made up name for their roast. I wouldn’t advise rocking up to the bar and asking for a pork tower. You might get some strange looks from the barman).
So from one vintage wearing, music loving, roast eating tea drinker to another (I know you’re all out there), I hope if you do venture down Brighton way then you do at least one of the above things. I guarantee you will have a perfect perfect day. In other news, it also seems that even the Vogue glitterati are migrating down South for a bit of Brighton love. This months cover shot and feature was captured right here on Brighton beach. You can see a few snippets of it here: http://www.vogue.co.uk/video/voguetv/player.aspx/exclusives/video,9877/
Now, as much as I am in love with Brighton, I am also ridiculously in love with this dress. Found in Beyond Retro a few months back, I have yet to wear it. But as I was rummaging through my wardrobe this morning I thought it's Thursday, it's a little bit gloomy out there and dammit I want to wear a nice frock. So I did.