Brighton: A Local's Guide
Boasting a population of approximately 300,000, Brighton is a metropolitan city which brings together all manner of communities including students from two different universities – The University of Brighton and The University of Sussex, the LGBTQ community and array of people moving to the city from all over the country to absorb the liberal atmosphere and all the city has to offer. I personally moved to Brighton for the latter of those reasons and found huge amounts of hidden gems along the way and wanted to share them with you, starting with places to eat:
Things to do
In Brighton, there are so many things to do, from shopping, to the i360, to the plethora of amazing restaurants right the way through to the (what I would call) proper tourist attractions such as Brighton Pier. Just because it is a tourist attraction doesn’t mean the locals don’t like to go on the penny machines or a ride here and there from time to time! So, here is my basic overview of the best parts of Brighton:
Purezza is a vegan pizzeria in the heart of the LGBT district, Kemptown. Located on St. James Street, Purezza is a small restaurant which seats roughly 50 people serving purely vegan food and drinks. Although not a vegan myself, I recommend this eatery to both vegans and meat eaters alike. From the moment you walk in, you are welcomed with a smile and you are made aware of the fact that it is a “plant based” restaurant. I went in for the first time well aware of this fact. The choice of pizzas is relatively small, however, the array of ingredients used to make them and top them more than makes up for this. Using ingredients such as pine nuts, pesto, meat substitutes and roasted vegetables, what comes out to you makes for a real feast on the eyes. A restaurant I would most definitely recommend. At roughly £35-£40 for a meal for two, the cost isn’t that much different to that of a takeaway.
The World’s End is a pub on Brighton’s London Road, about 500 metres away from the train station. So, it is off the beat and track of where the typical hen and stag parties tend to congregate. So, slightly more on the alternative circuit. The reasons I bring this one up as a place to visit is it has something that little bit different. It brings something to the table that other pubs in the area, or anywhere else I have ever been for that matter, don’t. It has a games room upstairs. Not just any games room. It is a fluorescent lit car racing room! Those who are familiar with Scalextrix from their childhood will be particularly fond of this idea, as it is a GIANT Scalextrix track in the middle of a room, with up to eight players (if I recall) playing head to head. You even get made a little souvenir cartoon player card. This is extremely popular with the locals. However, if you go as a visitor, the card is a lovely little keepsake.
If you have a sweet tooth, then Cloud 9 is DEFINITELY the place to go. Serving cake by the slice (also with vegan options again) cupcakes, milkshakes and ice cream, the choices are vast. From read velvet through to Oreo or rainbow cake, with the rainbow cake being a personal favourite, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. There is more than one Cloud 9 café in Brighton. One is located on London Road and one in the beautiful South Laines on Brighton Place. The one pitfall is that both cafes are tiny and you’re inevitably hard pressed for somewhere to sit if you’re looking for a break from exploring what the city offers tourists due to its popularity from tourists and locals alike.
I for one, LOVE the North Laines. There really is something for everyone. A couple of personal favourites of mine are Snooper’s Paradise and To Be Worn Again. Both are second hand type shops. The former looks like a flea-market from the outside and sells everything from clothes to old school game consoles. They even have independent sellers selling their own hand made jewellery outside. You could spend hours in there. It looks a little dark and dingy when you walk in. However, if you can get over that and enjoy looking at the weird and wonderful that you’ve never seen before or hunting for a bargain, then Snooper’s is definitely the place or you.
To Be Worn Again is a retro clothes shop. Selling both new and second hand vintage clothes from designer and independent brands, I’ve never failed to find something amazing. It another shop you have to rattle through the hangers in. However, I’m someone who enjoys that. When you walk through the North Laines, you can’t miss it with it’s red floral, sixties themed shop front. If you love your old school Dunlop Green Flash or vintage one offs, To Be Worn again really is the place you need to go.
So, I have given you two places to shop, two places to eat and one of the best places to drink. I hope this given you a whistle stop guide. This isn’t an exhaustive list of places to go in Brighton, as, being the metropolitan city it is, it has so much more to offer. I wanted to give you my personal favourites. So – Enjoy!