For a very long time now, I’ve wanted to go to Brighton.
The allure of a quintessential seaside town infamous for its bright lights, quirky ways, and English charm was real. Channel 4’s Sugar Rush definitely had something to do with it, and the wanderlust has been at the back of my mind for years.
So, for my 22nd birthday, I made it my mission to go. Here are my highlights, and the places I recommend you visit if you go!
This café, first of all, has a really great atmosphere. Their menu is fantastic, and the staff are lovely. After weaving my way through Brighton’s busy streets in a desperate search of brunch (yes I’m being pretentious on purpose!), I found this place. I think it had some kind of specialism for Espresso Martini’s, considering everyone had one…
I ordered the ‘avocado smash, feta, mint, chilli, poached egg, sourdough.’ It was stunning! After my recent trip to Turkey, I discovered the delicious combo of feta and honey, so asked if I could drizzle some on. It was the perfect touch.
I also had an oat milk mocha and a ‘refresher’ mocktail made with elderflower, lemon juice, cranberry, and lemonade. All I can say is WOW, they know how to make their drinks!
This shop is incredible. Located on Gloucester Road, Ju-Ju has been running since 1994. They stock quirky, independent labels for people who are essentially bored of ‘the same high street stuff’.
I had some birthday money to spend (which hasn’t been the case for quite some time!), so when I saw the incredible dinosaur print in the shop window, my purchase was inevitable.
Run & Fly’s dinosaur pinafore ended up in my arms. I’m incredibly partial to a pinafore, and the compliments have been endless.
JuJu gets a big tick from me for being an independent shop. It also gets a huge bonus point for its incredible exterior!
On my first night, my boyfriend and I found Spanish restaurant Tinto Taperia which only *just* had space.
We were flown right back to our time in Spain. With Mahou beer and delectable tapas dishes, we were really impressed by their offering. I had a fungi feast with mushroom croquettes and garlic mushrooms, and left the restaurant feeling very content.
As soon as my eyes rested on Lucy & Yak’s pop up shop, I knew my money would drain out of my bank account faster than you can say ‘dungarees’.
I’d always loved the look of their clothes, but thought I wasn’t ‘edgy’ enough to pull them off. I was wrong. As soon as I tried on my dungarees, I completely fell in love.
The sales assistant was so nice and encouraging and I felt a whole new surge of confidence when wearing my vibrant and unique dungas. Even better, they’re ethical, too!
On the train home, I ended up ordering an extra pair of trousers, which are equally as awesome. Make sure you check Lucy & Yak out at https://lucyandyak.com/ – their mini pini dresses are next in my basket!
Courtesy of my very generous boyfriend, we stayed in Brighton’s Mercure Hotel for two nights. It had a stunning Art Deco interior and is located right on the seafront.
It was a 15-minute walk from the Lanes, and I had a really comfortable stay.
This coffee shop sat in Kensington Gardens was the perfect afternoon perching place. We desperately needed one after so much walking!
It was here that we browsed through the Brighton Fringe guide. Drinking a tasty oat milk mocha, we had a look through the guide and settled our evening plan: to watch Shitfaced Showtime’s ‘Oliver With A Twist’.
Being such a theatre geek, I couldn’t believe my luck of being in Brighton at the same time as Fringe!
Not only is it the largest fringe festival in England, it’s one of the biggest Fringe festivals in the world. There were so many shows on offer that we really wanted to see, such as Tom & Ollie: Spain, Siblings: Acting Out, and Siblings: The Third, but our choice landed on Oliver With A Twist.
The setting of Victoria Gardens was beautiful. Everything is hosted in an outdoor space and the atmosphere is friendly, electric, and fun. There’s food, drink, music, and so much to see and do.
Shitfaced Showtime: Oliver with a Twist was hosted by Magnificent Bastard Productions, “a rather splendid bunch of actors, performers, writers, producers, artists and – importantly – friends […] Unlike other troupes of thespian types we Magnificent Bastards differ in our utter contempt for restraint, orthodoxy, tedium, moderation and sobriety.”
The aim of their game is to host a show while one of the cast members’ is drunk. For safety reasons, the selected cast member is rotated, and never asked to be drunk twice in a week, so it seems to work well.
The show was well-thought-out, funny, and completely different. At least, I don’t think I’ve seen a version of Oliver Twist with the title character being completely wrecked before…
When I heard that Choccywoccydoodah had shut down, I was gutted. My Year 9 Geography teacher had told me to visit, and this was the first opportunity I’d had.
Luckily, I did stumble across Montezuma’s Chocolate. The shop’s colours popped and their product concepts had boundless imagination.
The chocolate reminded me of the kind you get in Belgium. In other words, really bloody good. I bought some vegan dark chocolate and orange truffles, and some ‘tiny tasty turtles’ to share with my boyfriend. Both were exceptional!
Of course we had to visit Brighton Pier! This was one of the first things to drag me to the city in the first place.
It was really cool to walk where Channel 4 had filmed Sugar Rush. We saw the same rides and trampolines the actors went on, and it was so interesting to see the contrast from the Lanes. Gone were the vegan cafes and edgy, indie clothes shops, and in were the rides, the seagulls, and the candy floss and doughnut stalls.
It was great to visit, but definitely a bit too loud and sticky for me.