Field Guide to Brighton
Ahh Brighton, one of my favourite UK cities. When I posted a couple of tips on my Stories last week following my visit, many of you requested a blog post with more detail - so here it is. I'm by no means an expert, I've never lived there and only tend to visit for a weekend a couple of times a year. My best friend has lived down there for the past three years, so I try to visit as often as possible, and during those visits I've fallen a little bit in love.
I've always had romantic dreams of living beside the sea, strolling on the beach on blustery days and seizing the opportunity to wade into the water for a swim on warm summer days. I've recently rambled on about my love of the sea and visiting Brighton always makes my feet itchy. It's not the place for me to settle down (too expensive, too many tourists, too far from home), but it does remind me how much I love being on the coast.
During my visits over the past few years, I've discovered several spots that have become regular haunts whenever I'm in town. I find it near impossible to visit without wandering around the lanes, my bank card burning a hole in my pocket. I always take a suitcase, knowing full well I'll return home with several new purchases for my wardrobe and my home, and probably a couple of plants tucked under my arm. My number one tip for anyone planning a trip to Brighton would be to spend time on the beach, whatever the weather. Wrap up warm and walk down the coast, pack a picnic and spend the day swimming, or take a bottle of wine and a blanket down to the beach at night to watch the sunset. Rather than walking directly down from the station to the beach and being consumed by the hordes of tourists that descend on busy days, try wandering further along the shoreline to find much quieter spots.
My other recommendations are below, split into three sections: where to shop for plants (Brighton is a haven for those who love house plants and fresh flowers), where to eat (there's dozens of places I could recommend but these are my current favourites for healthy clean eating), and where to spend your hard-earned money on beautiful things. If you'd like any further tips, please don't hesitate to ask and I'll try my best to help or to redirect you to an actual Brighton resident.
This little shop on Western Road is a little treasure trove. From the front it appears to be your standard florists, but peek inside and you'll discover some of the most beautiful, colourful and unusual flowers in the city. If you venture further inside, there's a back room filled with beautiful gift ideas and more plants.
Situated up a steep staircase above Waiste Vintage in the north lanes, Spiderplant is one of those shops that plant lovers probably travel miles to visit. It's only tiny, but the one room is crammed full of everything from trailing plants to a statement white-tipped monstera and an eclectic collection of unusual pots.
At the top of the north lanes, on Sydney Street, Gunns is a delightful little traditional florists. Their fresh bouquets are an absolute bargain (the lavender and dahlias below set us back around £5 for both) and they also carry a small selection of plants, succulents and cacti. If you're looking for a bright bunch of flowers to brighten up your flat, this is the place to head.
Opposite Gunns you'll find my all-time favourite vintage shop, Wolf & Gypsy. I don't think I've ever ventured inside without making at least one purchase and leaving something behind that I've regretted. Some of my favourite vintage garments come from this expertly curated store. Alongside clothing they also stock a small range of beautiful ceramics, stationary and accessories.
Down on Western Road, this simple store is great for selecting beautiful and useful items for your home or for gifts for loved ones. Their selection of products is carefully curated, featuring a variety of kitchenware, homeware and furniture from around the world all with a simple, slow living theme. There's also a delightful cafe upstairs.
Located just around the corner from its namesake, Tidy Street General Store finds inspiration in stylish American stores, stocking an impressive selection of clothing, beauty products, homeware and accessories. They sell everything from on-trend basket bags to Italian ceramics and stylishly simple clothing - all of which I wanted to take home with me but was a bit pricey for my budget. That Rachel Comey jumpsuit (pictured below) is still on my mind.
Could I write a guide to Brighton without mentioning this iconic homeware store in the south lanes? Workshop's reputation may be hyped but this really is a lovely, minimal space to look around. It's worth noting that they now stock a small selection of menswear upstairs and the homeware offering seems rather reduced from the first time I visited.
EAT / DRINK
This delicious Gardner Street spot is perfect for sunny days as they set tables out on the street, where diners can soak up both the sun and the atmosphere. Their menu is all vegan and filled with plenty of delicious and inventive dishes full of healthy, fresh ingredients. I highly recommend their sweet potatoes loaded with dahl!
Located at the bottom of Western Road, Bo has two personalities. By day it specialises in raw cake, fresh smoothies + juices and delicious plant-based food. By night it's a popular tapas bar serving a variety of tantalising dishes alongside a menu of organic wine. The space itself is gorgeous and welcoming, full of greenery and rock salt candles.
... And there you have it: my favourite spots in Brighton. If you have any recommendations for my next trip to my favourite seaside city, I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
All photos my own