🌞 A Weekend In Brighton 🌞
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
For a very long time now, I've wanted to go to Brighton. The allure of a quintessential seaside town with bright lights and ice cream for days was real, and the desire to venture here only increased once I watched Channel 4's Sugar Rush (I mean, obviously). For my 22nd birthday I made it my mission to go, and these were my highlights:
KOOKS CAFÉ - North Laine
This café had a really great energy, a fantastic menu, and lovely staff. Weaving my way through busy streets in a desperate search of brunch (yes I'm being pretentious on purpose!), I found this place which I think had some form of specialism for Espresso Martini’s, considering everyone had one...
I ordered the 'avocado smash, feta, mint, chilli, poached egg, sourdough', and it was staaaahning! After my recent trip to Turkey, I also got some honey to put on top of it, which was the perfect touch. I also had an oat milk mocha and a 'REFRESHER' mocktail made with elderflower, lemon juice, cranberry, and lemonade, and WOW do they know how to make their drinks!
Ju-Ju - Gloucester Road
This shop is incredible. Located on Gloucester Road, Ju-Ju has been running since 1994 and stocks quirky, independent labels for people who are essentially bored of 'the same high street stuff'. I had some birthday money to spend (which hasn’t been the case for quite some time!) so when I saw some amazing dinosaur dungarees in the shop window, I was pulled right in!
I ended up buying the dinosaur pinafore from Run & Fly as I am incredibly partial to a pinafore, and the compliments have essentially been endless. A big tick from me for independent shops - and a huge bonus point for the incredible exterior!
Tinto Taperia - New Road
On my first night, my boyfriend and I found Spanish restaurant Tinto Taperia which only *just* had space. We were flown right back to our time in Spain with Mahou beer and delectable tapas dishes, which were really impressive. I had a fungi feast with mushroom croquettes and garlic mushrooms, and left the restaurant feeling very content.
Lucy & Yak - Gloucester Road
As soon as my eyes rested on Lucy & Yak’s pop up shop, I knew my money would drain out of my bank account faster than you can say 'dungarees'. I’d always loved the look of their clothes but thought I wasn’t ‘edgy’ enough to pull them off. I was wrong - as soon as I tried on my dungarees I fell completely in love. The sales assistant was so nice and encouraging and I felt a whole new surge of confidence in clothing I knew was vibrant, different, and ethical. On the train home I just had to order an extra pair of trousers, which are equally as awesome.
Make sure you check them out at https://lucyandyak.com/ - their mini pini dresses are next in my basket!
Mercure Hotel - Kings Road
I stayed for two nights in Brighton’s Mercure Hotel (courtesy of my very generous boyfriend) which had a stunning Art Deco interior and location right on the seafront. It was a 15 minute walk from the Lanes, and I had a really comfortable stay.
Jolliffes Coffee Shop - Kensington Gardens
This coffee shop sat in Kensington Gardens was the perfect afternoon perching place. It was here that I sat down to take my breath, relaxed with a tasty oat milk mocha, and browsed through the Brighton Fringe guide. My boyfriend and I didn't realise Fringe was on, so we poured over the pages to find something cool and finally settled on Shitfaced Showtime’s ‘Oliver With A Twist’.
Being such a theatre geek, I felt insanely lucky to be in Brighton at the same time as Fringe! Not only is it the largest fringe festival in England, it’s one of the biggest Fringe festivals in the world. There were so many shows on offer that we really wanted to see, such as Tom & Ollie: Spain, and Siblings: Acting Out, and Siblings: The Third, but our choice landed on Oliver With A Twist.
First of all, the setting of Victoria Gardens is beautiful - everything is hosted in an outdoor space and the atmosphere is friendly, electric, and fun. There’s food, drink, music, and so much to see and do.
Shitfaced Showtime: Oliver with a Twist was hosted by Magnificent Bastard Productions, "a rather splendid bunch of actors, performers, writers, producers, artists and - importantly - friends. [...] Unlike other troupes of thespian types we Magnificent Bastards differ in our utter contempt for restraint, orthodoxy, tedium, moderation and sobriety." The aim of their game is to host a show while one of the cast members is absolutely trashed. For safety reasons, they rotate the selected cast member and never ask the same actor to be drunk twice in a week, so it seems to work well. The show was well-thought out, funny, and completely different - at least, I don't think I've seen a version of Oliver Twist with the title character being completely wrecked...
Montezuma's Chocolate - Duke Street
I was gutted when I heard that Choccywoccydoodah had shut down - my Year 9 Geography teacher had told me to visit, and this was the first opportunity I’d had. Luckily, I did stumble across Montezuma’s Chocolate, which is ridiculously delicious. The colours in the shop popped, the imagination of the products boundless, and the taste of the chocolate reminded me of the kind you get in Belgium - in other words, really, really good. I bought some vegan dark chocolate and orange truffles, and some ‘tiny tasty turtles’ to share with my boyfriend. Both were seriously delicious!
Of course we had to visit Brighton Pier! This was one of the first things to drag me to the city in the first place. It was really cool to walk where Channel 4 had filmed Sugar Rush and see the same rides and trampolines the actors went on, and it was so interesting to see how different it was from the Lanes. Gone were the vegan cafes and edgy, indie clothes shops, and in were the rides, the seagulls, and the candy floss and doughnut stalls. It was great to visit, but definitely a bit too loud and sticky for me.