If I’m honest? Most of our weekend in Brighton was simply spent wandering, sitting, eating and drinking. But, y’know what? It’s fine. Because those really are some of the things that Brighton does best…
We arrived at Brighton Station in under an hour from London Victoria. And thankfully, our home for the night, Brighton’s Ibis Hotel was about 100 steps away. Perfect! We checked in (half an hour early) to our cosy and clean room, then headed out to get exploring.
Thankfully, the food here is also awesome, and the menu of Seven Deadly Sandwiches or Saintly Salads is a really nice theming touch. My ‘Sloth’ seeded baguette featured warm bacon, peppered tomato, avocado, rocket and pesto and it was DEVILISHLY good.
Seriously, if you want a quick, tasty and affordable lunch in Brighton, you HAVE to try Hell’s Kitchen.
Next up, we checked into our hotel – Ibis had kindly put us up for the night, and we took in our comfortable and cosy room before heading out and about to make the most of the weekend…
Brighton’s streets and alleyways are packed with fascinating street art, and we spent a bit of time just strolling around the Lanes and the surrounding streets seeing what we could find on the city’s walls. Turns out, the answer is a lot of awesome art. A particular fave? The sassy feminist WonderWoman mural on Trafalgar Lane.
As we were on a bit of a no-spend type weekend, we didn’t pay to go into the Royal Pavillion, instead opting to take a little walk around the park and around the building. Last time I visited Brighton, I spent the afternoon just sitting in the gardens, and it’s a perfect spot for a picnic and appreciating the gorgeous surroundings. Unless you’re as petrified of Brighton’s ENORMOUS seagulls like I am.
For our early evening entertainment, we headed down to the beach to Brighton’s Big Screen, for the full-on VIP experience with Ibis Sweetbed. As I’ve done a full post on it, I won’t go into detail – let’s just say, eating a cheeseboard in bed with a pint while watching your favourite film is actually living the dream.
After meeting one of my friends for a drink (and then Haydy and Mike!), Saturday night became a bit of a Brighton pub crawl, ending up dancing to eighties music until the small hours at The Haunt. Because, when in Brighton, right?
Waking up late, we had a bit of a lie-in to sort our hungover heads out, then tucked into an Ibis buffet breakfast. They put on a brilliant spread, and lots of sausages and bacon rashers were consumed.
Getting out into the fresh air definitely helped blow out the cobwebs from the night before, and we spent a good while just pottering the Lanes, looking at the quirky stores and boutiques. The unmissable Snooper’s Paradise was an absolute treasure trove, and I also just had to check out The Duck House – yep, a whole store dedicated to rubber ducks!
If you go to Brighton and don’t take a stroll along the pier, did you really even go to Brighton? I braved the enormous swooping seagulls (hiya, bird fear) as we took a wander along the boards. In the arcades, we lived out childhood holiday entertainment by pouring coins into the 2p machines, squealing when one dropped.
We stopped halfway along at the Victoria bar, for a Diet Coke (because, still hungover as hell) and checked out the most fun and quirky ceiling you’ll find in the city. Not so much the ceiling itself, but the odds and ends of bric-a-brac hanging from it makes this place super interesting.
(I also really wanted to go on the Ghost Train, but begrudged spending £9 for the two of us to go on it. When did fairground attractions get so pricey?!)
By this point, all the walking had worked up our appetites, and what else to eat by the seaside than some classic fish and chips. We ducked into Seasiders Café, just next to the pier, for two hearty portions of crispy cod and the ultimate chippy chips. Absolutely drowned in salt and vinegar and served in a paper tray, of course!
As we made our way along the beachfront path, we discovered all kinds of cute little shops selling crafts, souvenirs and local wares. To the other side of us, children played, adults relaxed in deckchairs and the waves lapped on the stony beach. It was pretty much as wonderful as it sounds.
A little further along, we discovered a couple of ‘penny arcades’, where you could actually buy old-style pennies to pop into them and play the games.
Another thing you have to eat by the seaside? Ice cream, duh. To round off our Brighton weekend, before heading back to the train station, we popped in to Gelato Gusto. We’d walked past the day before and earmarked it as the perfect spot for an ice cream, and we were totally right. Two scoops in a pot – my Chocolate Gelato ice cream was rich and satisfying, and the Coconut Sorbetto was creamy yet light. I also had a mouthful of the Mars Bar ice cream which REALLY DID taste just like a Mars Bar!
A weekend Brighton gives you a real insight into what’s undoubtedly one of the coolest cities in the UK. While a lot of seaside towns have a cheap’n’cheesy air about them, Brighton manages to mix classic seaside vibes with a fun, vibrant, young edge. From boutique shops to fish and chops on the beach, to funky bars and a ridiculously good nightlife scene, it really is a place to enjoy life.
Breathing in the sea air and pottering round the streets aimlessly is exactly what I needed as a break away from the hectic London life, and if I’m being honest? I could really see myself living there one day. Until then, though, I’m just going to have to go back and visit more often…
*Our hotel, train travel and the Big Screen experience was provided by Ibis – all other expenses and itinerary choices our own!
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