It’s been a couple of weeks since our stay in Brighton, so I thought I would round up all my recommendations into one post for you all. Brighton has been on my ‘to visit’ list for as long as I can remember, so when I had a few days off in October, I thought it would be the perfect place for an autumn getaway.
The one thing I found with booking so close to when we were planning on visiting is that the hotel prices were sky high, which meant we settled on an Air BnB just outside of the city.
We were there for four days and three nights and visited quite a few different places during our time, but I would have loved to have had more time to explore as there was so much to do and see. Brighton is often referred to as ‘London by the sea’ and it was easy to see why after only spending a handful of days there because of the bustle of the place.
As I mentioned, we settled on an Air BnB I found about 20 minutes walk from the centre of Brighton, which suited us perfectly. Kemp Town reminded me of the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and had a lot of trendy bars and restaurants; I think it also had the biggest student population in the city, meaning there was always something going on.
The apartment was easy to find and had on-street parking, which was a dream in a city full of permit-only roads. It was nestled in a residential part of the city, two roads back from the sea. It was in a gorgeous converted townhouse on the 5th floor so the views were pretty good. We both commented on how spacious it was, and the host even left us tea, coffee, bread, milk and eggs, which was lovely.
The walk into town was either via the main high street in Kemp Town, which was full of bars, cafes and independent shops, or walking along the coastline, which was lovely and peaceful.
Brighton was a mix of old cobbled streets (known as the lanes), sandwiched between modern buildings, white-washed townhouses and a seaside. I loved the fact you could wander down any street and discover something new and end the day watching the sunset on the pebbled beach.
This was a place that was on my list to visit after one of my favourite bloggers, The Anna Edit, went there with her husband for a roast dinner. We decided to go on Saturday morning after we had had breakfast, and it took us about 15-minutes from where we were staying.
Although we found it quite hard to park with it being a Saturday morning, I’m definitely glad we persevered because the town was lovely and worth a visit: It was full of independent shops, cute coffee shops and there was also a castle which we had a wander up to.
Although Brighton is technically called Brighton and Hove, the two are separate towns, albeit next door to each other. Hove was slightly further away from us than Brighton, so we decided to get the bus there from Kemp Town, which took about 40 minutes because of the amount of traffic.
Of the two, Hove was my favourite because it was less busy, but had the same amount of shops, restaurants and bars and the beach was just as lovely. Also, if you’re looking for the famous pastel-coloured beach huts, head that way!
Curry Leaf Cafe
I’d heard of this restaurant before as I follow quite a few bloggers who live in Brighton, but it was actually someone I used to go to school with who now lives there, who recommended it on Instagram. There was one about five minutes from us in Kemp Town, but it was actually the one in the lanes in the city centre that we visited.
I was worried that we wouldn’t get a table because we hadn’t booked and it was a Friday night, but luckily we were there quite early and they seated us within 10 minutes. The cuisine is Indian street food with a modern twist and is delicious. We shared the poppadum starter, chicken malai tikka and the chicken kori gassi curry with rice and a naan and we were stuffed.
The food was definitely some of the best Indian food I have ever had, and the staff were amazing; I would highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area, and I would go back in a heartbeat if I was to visit Brighton again.
Wood Box Pizza
We stumbled on this place when we were walking home one afternoon to get changed only about 10 minutes from our apartment: It was also recommended to us by our Air BnB host, and it looked so amazing that I convinced Jordan to go back two hours later.
I’m a big fan of wood-fired pizzas and the fact that you can see your food being made in front of you. Although Wood Box wasn’t huge, the restaurant was really cosy and smelt amazing because of their good quality ingredients. We shared the Nduja and the Black Forest Ham.
This was another restaurant that we stumbled upon by chance, but after a quick google search, we found out that it was voted one of the best Japanese restaurants in Brighton, and I can hands down see why.
I love Japanese food; I’d even go as far as saying it’s one of my favourite cuisines, and our meal at Shogun was definitely up there with one of the best I’ve had. We shared Gyoza, Char Siu BBQ Pork Ramen and a Chicken Katsu Curry and had a Japanese beer.
The Cocktail Shack At Artist Residence
This is a place I wanted to go to as soon as I found out we were going to Brighton as I’ve seen a few bloggers doing photo shoots and filming at the hotel. The bar is next door and is done out with neon lights with a tiki vibe with a view of the sea.
When we went in, we were lucky to get a table by the window because it was really busy in there. All of the cocktails were plays on celebrity’s names: I went for the Rhubarbara Streisand and Peaches Goldof.
There was also a secret bar downstairs behind a bookcase, but there was a private event on so we couldn’t go in, but it looked cool from the outside.
The Gin Tub
This was easily my favourite place we visited on our trip because it was one of the coolest bar experiences ever. The bar itself is actually in Hove about a 10-minute walk from the train station or a 15-minute walk from Brighton.
We were seated by one of the waiters on a booth that had a vintage telephone on it. He told us that to order a drink, you had to dial zero, and it would be brought to us. I had an Edinburgh rhubarb gin with ginger beer and a raspberry flavoured one with mint and elderflower – both were amazing.
Another one of my favourites that we visited was Twisted Lemon, based in The Lanes. It was very easy to miss as you walk through a side gate and the bar is at the back.
It was really quirky, bright and yellow inside, and although it was busy with it being a Saturday evening, we were served straight away.
We didn’t visit Marmalade until our last morning in Brighton, which was a shame because it was my favourite brunch spot. It was less than five minutes form where we were staying, and had a rustic vibe to it with tiles and bare walls, and the menu handwritten on a piece of wallpaper.
It was a really cool place to go for brunch, and the cakes, sandwiches and pasties that were on display looked incredible. I went for a sausage and egg sandwich with a wake me up smoothie, which had banana, granola, yoghurt, milk and honey in.
The Breakfast Club
I’d been to the London branch of this a few years ago, but the Brighton one was definitely my favourite. We had to queue for about 20 minutes to get a table, but it was worth it for the overall feel of the restaurant.
If you’ve never visited, most of the locations are in London. It is done out like an American diner. with bright leather sofas, green ceilings and yellow brick outside. We both went for pancakes, which had banana, vanilla cream, salted caramel and chocolate sauce. It’s safe to say that I was in a sugar coma for most of the day.
We went to Six for more of a lunch than a breakfast, but we both ended up getting avocado on sourdough toast, because lol, basic. I went for the avocado royale which came with halloumi and cherry tomatoes – any breakfast with cheese gets a thumbs up from me.
They also did a selection of smoothies, which I wasn’t going to order until I saw the table next to us get one. I went for the ‘temptation’ one, which was banana, raw cacao, cacao nibs, walnuts, dates and almond milk. They also did an option for bottomless drinks, which I’d be doing next time for sure.
The restaurant is right in the middle of Brighton and Hove, so can be walked to from either of the towns. The day we visited was really sunny and warm and we ended up sitting on a table outside.
Coffee & Cake
Flour Pot Bakery
This place was an Instagrammers dream – whitewashed walls, pretty tiles and wooden tables amidst perfect pastries and coffees. I loved this place because it was so cute and cosy inside, but didn’t feel squished at all.
We stopped here on our walk around Hove, but they also have locations in The Lanes, Seven Dials and a couple more dotted about the Brighton area, all of which look just as adorable. They also sold fresh bread and pastries that were baked on site to takeaway which meant it smelt amazing too.
This place was one that we walked past on our first walk into Brighton and I commented on how cool it looked inside. The door into it was a full-length glass door (which I struggled to open…) and inside it was done out in black and white tiles with pops of green everywhere from plants.
We only stopped here to get our caffeine kick on the way into town, but the cakes looked amazing too. It was slightly more expensive than the other places we visited, but worth a visit if you’re in the Kemp Town area.
Trading Post was on a road that was no entry, meaning that all of the tables that were outside were full of people enjoying the autumn sunshine, including us. We went to Trading Post after a morning shopping, and needing a little pick me up.
I went for a tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake, and Jordan went for a beer, which did make me extremely jealous when he came back with it. This is a good choice if you’re around The Lanes or the shopping centre area.
I thought I would mention this one, although we didn’t get a chance to visit it, because it was such a cute little cafe in the middle of The Lanes. From the outside it was painted pastel green and white and looked like the inside of a lollipop.
The cakes looked unreal – tiers of sponge and buttercream with crazy toppings – perfect for any sweettooths out there, like me! They also have a bakery in Hove if you’re over that way.
La Mucca Nera
Technically not coffee and cake, but worth a mention. If you were following me on Instagram (here if you’re interested) you’ll know that the first thing we did once we arrived in Brighton was to go for an ice cream.
We found a gelateria on the walk into town, and couldn’t resist: I went for cherry and Nutella and it was so smooth and creamy – some of the best gelato I have had outside of Italy.
And there you have it, all of my recommendations for a short stay in Brighton. I would 100% go back for another visit and hopefully for longer next time, preferably when its warm enough to go in the sea – it was so peaceful and calm being by the beach, and I enjoyed walking through different villages every day, seeing how different they all were from each other.
Have you been to Brighton? Where would you recommend?