The Best of Brighton  May 17, 2019 00:00

Brighton has been Kiki Voltaire home for the past 13 years and as we love this time of the year in Brighton, we thought it was time to write a blog with our favourite places around Brighton.

If you are planning a visit to Brighton this summer you can indulge in some culture, great shopping in the lanes, sea swimming (if you are brave) and a steady stream of great independent restaurants and cafes. Here are some recommendations!

Things to do:

A visit to the Brighton Royal Pavilion, an exotic palace built by King George IV and its Garden is well worth it.  

For an adrenaline kick and some fun head to the Pier, you can hire bikes nearby if you want to explore the seafront on bikes. Then head to the promenade by the beach, some of it has been restored, some is still work in progress. As you get near the i360, which is fun to go up to, there is a piazza with a seafront sculpture constructed out of the old West Pier pillars and a plaque commemorating its designer, Eugenius Birch. The West Pier only offers the remains of its metal structure but is still beautiful and remains the city’s most photographed landmark. For the best photos of Brighton and the Sussex South Downs, head to Brighton Photography Gallery on the row of shops near the i360. 

If you carry on walking or cycling by the sea, you will head toward Hove Lawns where you can exercise, play ball games, hire one of the City bikes or go onto the beach as there are several areas where the lifeguards will keep an eye on you and your family. 

Off the Beaten Track:

Cycle to Ovingdean beach via the undercliff walk

Try the Sauna Beach Box on the Madeira drive.

Take the Breezer 77 bus to The Devils Dyke for a walk on the Southdown way.  

Head to Stanmer Park (Bus 25 or 78) for a forest walk or to make your way to the South Downs.

In town, visit:  

Brighton Victorian Sewers – An exceptional feat of underground engineering 

Fabrica Gallery – A contemporary art gallery in a Regency Church in the South lanes.  

Or celebrate Quadraphenia 40th anniversary by visiting Quadrophenia Alley – Off East Street Quadrophenia concert is on 24th August at the Concorde


Where to start! Brighton offers a great choice of the usual high street chains but where you want to head to is the Lanes where you will find an excellent choice of small independent shops.  

If you are coming by train, pass under the bridge to Trafalgar Street on your way to Sydney Street and the North Lanes. On your way, at No37, Sirene is lovely women’s shop, further down at No23,  Magazine Brighton, is selling independent and inspiring magazines (not the type you will find in WH Smith).  

Take a right onto Sydney street and then get lost or try visiting some of our favourites:

Fold is shop selling clothes made my independent makers using beautiful textile. Dirty Harry for vintage clothing, Pen to Paper for beautiful pens and quality note books. If you go to Gloucester Road, Tidy Street has a great range of boho clothes and presents, Dowse, is great for ceramics and gifts.  Head to Kensington Gardens, stop at Resident Music if you are looking for a vinyl or CD. We love Junior Edition for kids clothes and presents, and Abode for home interior and gifts. At the end of the street you will see Food Infinity, a worker co-operartive and great vegetarian shop which is an institution in Brighton! On Gardner Street you can pop into the Photomatic shop for some fun photos, if it’s raining the Komedia Picture House Cinema will offer a great shelter with comfy seats for a few hours, alternatively stop in any of the local cafes if you feel hungry or for an ice cream head to Gelato Gusto for an artisan ice cream. On Bond Street, we love TriBeCa for Women’s fashion and Lavender Room for boho women’s fashion and gifts. You can cross North Street, which I would ignore, and join the South Lanes, stopping as you wish and making your way to the seaside.  

Restaurants and Bars: 

You could start your day with breakfast at Silo, a sustainable restaurant on Upper Gardner Street near the North Lanes (closing shortly though). For lunch there are many cafes to tempt you with or try Fatto Mano on the corner of Kensington Garden where kids eat free! If you make it to the seafront, we like Lucky Beach, right by the beach, for its burgers and great healthy drinks but it can be hit or miss on a busy day!

For dinner there is an amazing choice, but you will need to book well in advance, especially at the weekend.  

Our favourites are: Cin Cin Brighton or Hove, for amazing Italian cooking and pasta with an open kitchen! The Gingerman in the centre of town, 64 Degrees serving innovative small plate dinner cooked by award winning chef Michael Bremner. The Set Restaurant is part of the Artist Residence on Regency Square and has an open kitchen with a choice of seasonal modern British food. Terre A Terre, is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant on East Street. Riddle and Finn (The Oyster bar In the lanes) for local fish and seafood. Bincho Yakitori, a great Japanese restaurant with an open kitchen, cooking their food on a charcoal BBQ and modelled on Izakaya (boozy Japanese taverns) is one of our favourite and offers exceptionally tasty food for a reasonable budget. It is also vegan friendly but this is true of most Brighton's restaurants. All those places are popular and need to be booked well in advance.

If you still have energy for drinks, our favourite cocktail bars are The Plotting Parlour near the Pier, The Fix (previously named The Cocktail Shack) on Regency Square. L’Atelier du Vin has moved to near St Peter’s church but we haven't tried it yet!

And have fun! Brighton is full of fun, friendly and creative individuals who will happily converse with you.