How To Have A Cheap Weekend In Brighton If You Can't Afford To Leave The UK
The Debrief: Brighton is actually the new French Riviera (says us)
Brighton’s popularity as naughty but nice sinner’s delight is well deserved.
Sadly, this does mean it's a mecca for the stag and hen do set who - attracted by the cornucopia of opportunities presented by an English city open-minded enough to actually vote in a Green Party MP - spend their entire time in Yates’ Wine Lodge.
Obviously these are the places you want to avoid like the plague, so here’s the guide for a weekend in Brighton for those who want to eat well, shop cheap, dance long and see hide nor hair of a wobbly, freakishly pink penis on a stick.
For quick vegetarian and vegan eats under a tenner, Iydea is utopia incarnate. It’s a counter service vibe, with the menu changing daily and dishes like chilli bean enchiladas and carrot and sweet potato korma providing you with everything you’ll need for days and nights on your toes.
If you just haven’t got the time to sit down, Bagelman is a local institution and will furnish you with cheapo rings of doughy deliciousness.
If it’s the morning after the night before, forsake the greasy caffs lining the seafront and get yourself to Foodilic on Western Road. With £6.50 Full English breakfasts next to granola, yoghurt and fruit or kedgeree, ye shall not go un-sated. There’s loads of vege/vegan stuff there too, and lunchtime salads that would make Yummily Ella what’s-her-face-from-that-blog swoon.
Brighton has loads of great shops, but unless you’re in the business of blowing your gin stash before sundown, you’ll want to stick away from The Lanes. There’s loads of shops peddling vintage threads, like Dirty Harry or Beyond Retro in The North Laine, and if you want a veritable deluge of second hand gear, then multi-level Snoopers Paradise in Kensington Gardens will do you nicely.
If you’re up (or perhaps still up) Sunday morning, drag your drowsy ass to the marina for the car boot fair that goes down between 7am and 12pm. Stuff there will be minus the North Laine tax, and is a mecca for those with haggling on their mind.
Drinking and Dancing
Brighton has more pubs per person than any other UK city, so you’ll not be short of places to wet that whistle. For more of a boozer/beer vibe, a trot up to The Wick Inn is in order. With retro environs, plenty of cosy booths and its own Prohibiton-themed speakeasy bar upstairs, it’s a perfect pub to drink away the hours in the company of pretty sozzled pretty people.
Further into town, the Scandinavian-themed Northern Lights fulfills the kooky, Instagram-friendly criteria, and basically all the vodka you’ve ever seen. If it’s chilly - it’s Brighton, it will be - they give you blankets for outside. Nice touch.
Pretty much across the street is the vast Mesmerist, which becomes a wobbling mass of boobs and beards jiving to reliably retro, rock and roll flecked soundtrack. If something more alternative is your jam, try out Green Door Store which has everything from Blondie vs Talking Heads nights (YES PLEASE) to afrobeat.
Brighton is teeming with Travelodges and guesthouses. However, we’re gonna say sack them off and get yourself a room at the Seadragon Backpacker’s Hostel. Just out of town (and literally two minutes from The Wick Inn), it’s a modern hostel that’ll be more welcoming and cheaper than any chain ever would .
AVOID AVOID AVOID
Basically, don’t ever go anywhere near the bottom third of West Street. Not even as a shortcut. If you can see the Odeon you’ve gone wayyyyyyy too far, sunshine.
Ditto the seafront anywhere near the pier. In fact, and this might be a bit controversial, we’d go as far to say as sack off the pier completely.
Regarding the seafront, walk five minutes or so to the right from Marine Parade, towards Hove. The masses will not follow you. Those guys dressed up in mini skirts and antlers, with their mates around them banging their chests and shouting about boarding something called a ‘banter bus’? Trust us. They will thin out quicker than the hair on their heads.
Find a place called The Tempest or Fortune Of War. They’re next to each other. Buy booze by the bottle. Drink it outside, fast or slow as you desire. Maybe even play a game of beach volleyball. Make your 8pm Sunday train with seconds to spare. Go back home and tell everyone you are moving to Brighton.
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