I love escaping London to explore. It doesn’t happen very often but it’s always a good reminder that there’s more to life than this crazy city. We went to Brighton a few weeks ago for a blogging collaboration with ibis Hotels. Grabbing the opportunity of an overnight stay, we took the following day off work and explored.
Instagram is the best for recommendations. I don’t know Brighton at all so we took all the suggestions and set off on our adventure. But you know, lots of walking needs to be fuelled by a great breakfast. Our first stop was Cafe Coho, practically next to the hotel and as you’d expect, ever so hipster-ish with exposed brick walls and industrial vibe.
Decor aside, they serve probably the best breakfast in the world. Or rather, if you’re vegan and gluten-free, it’s insane. Replacing bread with a slice of toasted sweet potato and piled high with beetroot, falafel, avocado, sun-blushed tomato, houmous, chia seeds and micro herbs. It may sound like I’m being ridiculously smug, but believe me when I say it’s super easy to eat a lot of vegan junk food. This is a rare attempt from me to be healthy and it just worked as an amazing breakfast.
Tummies full, we set off down Queen Street before cutting down a side street into the area known as North Laine. All the recommendations that came to us had been for The Lanes which we did move on to, but it was North Laine that became my absolute favourite part of Brighton. So many independent boutiques and cafes that I wish I had the appetite of 100 people. Not to mention all the colourful street art. If feels these days that quirky London is disappearing into a sea of homogeneity with a Pret on every corner and glass buildings all around. To find somewhere that still feels individual and quirky is a treat.
One of my favourite finds is Eden Perfumes. It’s the most incredible perfumery who can replicate, almost exactly, your favourite designer fragrance. The difference? They’re entirely vegan. So not only not tested on animals, but using no animal-derived products in manufacture either. And the scents are just amazing. I picked up one which is a match for Cacharel’s ‘Amor Amor’ which I love and it cost only £12.
From homewares and stationery to artisan ice cream and fashion, we could have popped into every shop. This is worth a visit to Brighton for me. I grew up in little seaside towns and so the seafront and main high streets in the city hold no interest particularly. It’s these independents which make the difference.
We criss-crossed the commercial shops to make our way into The Lanes and it’s easy to see why this is such a popular tourist destination. It reminds me of the narrow quaint streets in York. Full of jewellery shops, cafes and the eponymous Choccywoccydoodah. My favourite shop and one I’ll return to again and again is Workshop Living. Simple, modern, stylish living. Channelling Scandi vibes with a gorgeous tranquil space. Stockists of the amazing SOH Melbourne candles which we could smell from outside and loved so much one came home.
As the day wore on our train back to London beckoned. We had enough time for a late lunch pitstop and headed back North behind the station to award-winning Coggings & Co. Specialising in burgers made with local Sussex meat, the restaurant is so light and stylish and lunch was delicious. Aside from the meat burgers, they do offer a vegetarian burger which can be adapted to be vegan (spiced falafel) and it’s that good.
Just over an hour away, Brighton is now on my list of favourite places to visit. With Christmas shopping right around the corner, I’ll be making a beeline for the shops here.