Brighton is wonderful, aside from London it is my favourite place in England. A quirky place with a very open mindset and a haven of independent businesses, it also has a classic British seaside complete with a funfair on the pier. I have spent hours getting lost in the treasure trove of shops and filled up my stomach many times in the many restaurants and cafes that fill the streets.
It is a town filled with colour and good vibes, so when ibis invited me for a weekend in Brighton to help banish Blue Monday I could not wait.
Where to stay
If you are looking for somewhere affordable without compromising on quality then the ibis hotel is for you, it is a very short walk away from the train station but also within walking distance of the sea front and the lanes.
All rooms benefit from free Wifi and a late check out time of 12 pm – perfect if you a planning a night out or just in need of lay in.
Then in the morning you can also treat yourself to an unlimited cooked breakfast buffet – including unlimited hash browns. I also found the staff all really welcoming and friendly, genuinely seeming interested and wanting to go out of their way, which may seem like an obvious thing to have in a hotel, but you would be surprised how often enthusiasm is not present in some places I have stayed.
What to do
Shop independent in The Lanes
As I already mentioned the The Brighton Lanes are filled with many independent shops as well as many coffee shops and lunch stops. You could easily spend a few hours in this part of the town so try to ensure you allocate a fair amount of time for here.
Find your smile in a laughter workshop
Brighton is known for being quirky and cheerful, so when I was there I took part in a laughter workshop. A laughter workshop is quite literally an hour of laughing and being silly, you start by practising a fake laugh and by the end of it you will literally be on the floor belly laughing over nothing. It was an odd experience but a positive one, and one I recommend taking in as part of a group of friends. Go in open minded and let go of all your stresses of the week.
Go on a street art hunt
I am a big street art fan, so I love going on a hunt for bright coloured walls and Brighton has no shortage of them. From the more light hearted Adventure Time murals to those with a bit more meaning like the Save Lolita wall, the walls of Brighton tell many stories.
Spend your spare change on the pier
No trip to the seaside would be complete with out a trip to the arcades, so be sure to head down to the pier and waste some spare change. The pier also has quite a few fun fayre rides, but they are quite expensive – if you are going to go on any go for the Crazy Mouse.
Take in a show at Proud Cabaret
If you are looking for some evening entertainment book yourself a table at Proud Cabaret for an evening of entertainment and burlesque dancing. Alongside the show you will also be treated to a three-course meal (set menu) and a cocktail, alongside a great atmosphere and good company. Again, this is not something I would have booked to do myself, but now I would completely recommend it for a fun night out that is a bit different.
If you are Harry Potter enthusiast like myself, you will want to head to Oliver’s, a small purple shop located on the edge of the lanes which inside looks like Olivander’s Wand Shop. Alongside the wands is all the Harry Potter merchandise you could ever ask for, it is a wonderful shop that took me right back to the Wizarding World but it is also very popular so it can be a bit of a squeeze inside.
Where to eat
Brighton Burger – 11A Market Street, Brighton
No surprise what this restaurant sells and with that it is does not disappoint, in fact I am not sure I have seen a TripAdvisor rating this good for a long time.
64 Degrees – 53 Meeting House Ln, Brighton
If you are looking for something a bit more up market then 64 Degrees will be the one for you. Based on the concept of ‘social dining’ you are given the opportunity to get to know your chef while your dishes are created.
Infinity Food Cafe– 50 Gardner St, North Laine
If you are Vegan you will be spoilt for choice during your weekend in Brighton, the city is a hub of organic and vegan cafes and restaurants. Personally, I recommend Infinity food for a wholesome healthy fresh meal.
What is your favourite thing to do in Brighton?
I was invited to Brighton by ibis Hotels as part of a press trip but as always all opinions are my own.