Brighton had always been on my radar to visit but I had never quite got around to doing so (with a good 5 or so hour car journey involved), but one day we just decided to pick a weekend, crossed our fingers for good weather and booked a trusty Airbnb.
We booked a car parking space* in advance after hearing it was really hard to find parking around central Brighton. From there we had about a 10 minute walk to our apartment, and in that 10 minutes I fell head over heels for Brighton. With its beautiful houses, sea air, chirping seagulls (Midlands girl here, I don’t get to hear them too often!), and a bohemian feel – I couldn’t wait to explore!
Our apartment was just beautiful, with a host who was very concerned about her plants – lucky for her we are plant fanatics so she had no worries there! Arriving on a Thursday evening, we walked the 5 minute walk to the seaside to watch the sun set, then back at the apartment ordered ourselves a takeaway and settled in for the night ready for a full day of discovery the next day!
We woke bright and early and headed to the area I had been most excited to visit… The Lanes and North Laine. Bustling with independent shops and cafes, we didn’t know where to begin!
Following the twists and turns of the Lanes, and passing a delightful Bill Murray piece on the wall, we grabbed a coffee and smashed avo on toast (of course) in Café Coho.
Across from the café, we went into England at Home and welcomed my first purchase of the day, a large cactus vase (nope, not the most practical to carry…!). Full of quirky homewares, gifts and books – there is a little bit of something for everyone!
The next shop I recommend popping into is Workshop. Not only an Instagrammable dream, but filled with so much gorgeous scandi-inspired homewares and beautiful candles. Airy, light and a really relaxed vibe, it is a beautiful shop to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the Lanes.
With a similar kind of vibe, Utility is filled with nostalgic timeless kitchen ware, such as traditional enamel crokery, brushes, dusters, you name it, with the quality of yesteryear.
Unlimited is an independent shop and art gallery, with beautiful pastel pink walls adorned with a large selection of colourful prints and greenery.
The Duck House is a bit of a touristy store but a must see. With hundreds of different character rubber ducks, from heavy metal duck, to ninja duck and Harry Potter – its so much fun to see all the ducks lined up!
I had seen Spiderplant via Instagram located in North Laine, a little botanical haven above a vintage store (Waiste Vintage). Following the beautiful illustrations along the stairway (by illustrator Jessica Sharville), we were led into this little plant emporium. Though we did find the plants fairly pricey compared to the prices at home, they have a large array of houseplants in all shapes and sizes and it is definitely worth a visit!
Dave’s Comics is a graphic novel bookshop with a great array of comics to peruse, and a David Lynch Tee that I had to pick up for my brother!
If you have read my Japan posts, you will know by now I am a Studio Ghibli fanatic, and so you can imagine my excitement when we stumbled upon Retro Card where they have a large array of Ghibli Prints and T shirts (both of which I indulged in!).
We visited Diplocks Yard, a shop full of vintage bric-a-brac and furniture before heading to the mecca of thrift that is Snoopers Paradise.
Passing through the turnstiles into the vintage emporium – it was like being a kid in a candy store. With a treasure trove of beautiful vintage homewares, memorabilia and bizarre trinkets, records, clothes and 70s furniture, Snoopers has pretty much everything you might be looking for on your thrifty travels. We came out with an Indonesian elephant table (yes really), a little wicker table, and for myself, a vintage shirt.
This is the part where we actually trekked back to the apartment to deposit our bags, tables, vases, and various other items to then return to the endless shops (maybe thats where we should have called it a day with the shopping…!).
Slightly further out away from The Lanes is Dowse, boasting an array of work by artists and designers with everything from prints, travel guides and homewares. We were particularly excited to find work by Studio Arhoj, a favourite ceramic studio of ours based in Denmark.
To give our wallets a break, we went to see the Royal Pavilion, a bizarrely exotic palace in the centre of Brighton with beautiful gardens surrounding it.
After a pit stop back at our apartment to freshen up, we headed to The Chilli Pickle, a quirky brightly painted Indian restaurant offering something slightly different to your usual curry house.
We walked back along the seaside and made a brief stop at Brighton Pier which reminded me of my childhood with its arcades and 2p machines!
After a truly wonderful (and expensive…) first day in Brighton, we climbed the steps to our mezzanine for some shut eye!
The next day we went in search of some of Brighton’s street art.
We grabbed a coffee at Silo after trawling the Upper Gardner Street Market. With the velvet green sofa of my dreams, we sat back and shared a piece of cake over a coffee and discussed the rest of the day’s plans.
There are so many shops to name in Brighton, including the Tidy Street General Store which will meet all your basket bag needs! But the best way to approach Brighton’s vast selection is just to walk and explore! We came across numerous residential streets too with ice cream coloured facades that reminded us of living in Bristol.
We stumbled upon La Choza, a wonderfully decorated restaurant that we couldn’t pass by without trying its Mexican food! With a Day of the Dead façade and such vibrant colour – it’s a feast for the eyes too! Two burritos and subsequent food babies later, we carried on down the road.
We then headed to Brighton beach to sit, read and relax in the sun before getting ourselves a very seaside dinner of Fish and Chips next to the water.
The next morning we woke for an early morning seaside stroll before packing all of our Brighton bought goods and made our way back to the car, with heavier bags and lighter wallets than when we arrived!
*We booked a car space through JustPark