The well-loved seaside location of Brighton is a popular choice for city dwellers looking a slower pace of life while not compromising on creativity, good food and fun. Freelance copywriter Shelley Welti shares just a few of her top spots for a day trip or longer to this colourful coastal city.
As Dorothy knows only too well, there’s no place like home and for me – a biased Brightonian of just five years, there’s really nowhere quite like this bohemian city. Full of creatives, inspiring small businesses and an anything goes vibe, along with historical buildings, an award-winning beach and dreamy sunsets; Brighton really is a must to tick off your to-do list.
Whether you’ve never visited before or have strolled around The Lanes hundreds of times, there’s always something new and exciting to experience. Here are just a few of my must-sees.
Workshop - Located just off the twisty-turny, meandering Lanes is Workshop – a beautiful lifestyle store stocking home and fashion products that are both simple and useful. This airy and light store brings together gorgeous goods, created with care and craftsmanship from across the world and offers a peaceful, respite from the busy, bustling city streets, thanks to its relaxed ambience and well-designed – yet useful products. It’s really easy to while away a good half an hour in here – you’ve been warned!
Redroaster/ Pike & Pine - Located just a stone’s throw from the pebbly shore in boho Kemptown, this Brighton gem is a beautiful botanical café (Redroaster) by day and stunning restaurant (Pike & Pine) serving seasonal, contemporary dishes by night. With marble topped tables, gorgeous gold accessories and foliage a-plenty, it’s the perfect place to stop for one of their hand-roasted coffees or to tuck into a spot of breakfast, brunch or lunch (or all three!) All food is prepared by a team led by Matt Gillan (holder of a Michelin Star and winner of the BBC’s Great British Menu). Oh, and for something a little fancier than fish and chips, head back in the evening for luxurious, yet relaxed fine dining and to die for cocktails.
Spiderplant Shop - Hidden away in Waiste Vintage (a divine vintage clothes boutique in North Laine), lies Spiderplant Shop – a tiny botanical haven, adorned with houseplants of all shapes and sizes. It’s not just the bright white-washed room full of nature’s green goodies that qualifies its ‘Instagrammable-ness’, there’s also quirky illustrations by local illustrator Jessica Sharville, leading the way up the stairs to this plant emporium. Phones at the ready folks!
Dowse - Mixing together prints, jewellery and homeware – some made in-house and others carefully sourced from various talented designers, Dowse is a true, independent boutique with a passion for art and thoughtful gifting at its heart. With an ethos of supporting and showcasing makers and their work, there’s always something new to lust after; from stylish planners to woven blankets, Danish-made ceramics to geometric prints, created by the small Dowse team. I don’t think I’ve ever left this store empty-handed – I bet you won’t either!
Silo - Nestled in the quirky North Laine, Silo is a unique industrial, zero waste restaurant. Renowned for their ethical waste reduction philosophy (they work with farmers directly, use re-usable delivery vessels and choose local ingredients), Silo’s aesthetic reflects this re-use vibe – with tables made from industrial floor tiles, work benches crafted from filing cabinet frames and jam jars for glasses. There’s even a working compost machine set inside the restaurant. Of course, it’s not just about their look and ethos – Silo wows with it's food too, with delicious brunches and dinners inspired by modern and ancient primitive diets; just choose from plant, fish or meat menus.
Peach Blossom - In a city that’s known for its fun, party atmosphere (especially during Pride weekend in August!), it’s important that Brighton has a party shop to enhance the celebratory feeling all year. And Peach Blossom, with its brightly coloured balloons and fun décor – including everything from cups to napkins, garlands to piñatas – is the perfect place to pick up supplies for parties and all year round home décor. I dare you not to take a snap in front of their party-perfect photo wall… and then want to recreate it in your home!
Homage - Escape the hubbub of the city centre and venture just ten minutes up Dyke Road to Seven Dials – a tranquil area of Brighton, with a village-like feel. As well as independent coffee shops and cafes (as well as breath-taking views across the higgledy-piggledy roof tops and the sea), you’ll also find Homage. This hidden treasure is a must-visit for fans of sleek, chic and sophisticated Scandi-style homeware with carefully curated shelves featuring wall hangings, seagrass baskets and ceramic planters. *Swoon*.
Utility - Speaking of homeware, Utility is a household store that delights the city’s vintage-lovers who enjoy well-made, practical products. Describing themselves as ‘a no-nonsense household goods store’ a trip around Utility is like taking a step back into yesteryear. From hardware to ceramics, brushes to crockery, dusters to hospital towels and so much more, this retro mecca is a must for traditionally, timeless British home essentials.
Magazine Brighton - For me, there’s nothing I love more than curling up with an indie magazine and loosing myself for an hour or so. Magazine Brighton allows us paper-lovers to indulge with its huge range of titles spanning fashion, lifestyle, crafts, design, feminism and photography to name just a few. Be warned: it’s easy to lose track of time, as you peruse and pick out your next read!
The Flour Pot Bakery
With a black and white tiled floor, copper fixtures and wooden tables, shelves and blocks; The Flour Pot Bakery on Sydney Street is one of the city’s most aesthetically pleasing places to stop for a sarnie and a cuppa. The bakery sells its own fresh bread and pastries and the counter of freshly made filled baguettes, ciabatta rolls and flatbread pizzas are always a little too tempting to refuse. If you visit on a sunny day, grab a table outside and enjoy watching the world go by. You can also eye up vintage bargains from many of the retro boutiques that neighbour The Flour Pot Bakery.
Artist Residence - A 24-bedroom townhouse hotel with two restaurants and two cool cocktail bars, no stay in Brighton is complete without cosying up at Artist Residence. This beautiful boutique hotel, which is located in the historic Regency Square, has sea views overlooking the iconic West Pier and the British Airways i360, an observation tower. Opt for one of their curated ‘Artist House’ rooms (with free-standing bath) or choose a tucked-away ‘Below Deck’ room situated in the basement. Each room features eclectic (and deeply dreamy) décor, powerful rainfall showers and comfy beds – all you could want to end a perfect day sightseeing in Brighton.
Thanks Shelley for showing us round your home town! We have always loved Brighton, but now we love it a little bit more! Shelley is the co-founder and editor of Brighton Style Magazine; an online lifestyle magazine celebrating the inspiring people and businesses who call Brighton home. Thanks also to our designer Lucy Davidson and India Hobson / Trouva who contributed some of the images for this post.