I’ve now been living in Brighton for two years and my London friends have come to visit quite a few times. They’ve seen the sights, they’ve been to my favourite cafes, we’ve been to the seafront and beyond. So when one of my best friends called me impromptu to say she was coming down to see me – I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show her a few of the unusual hidden gems that I love in the city. Plus for these 3 hours, I would child-free which unleashes endless possibilities at not having to navigate those narrow, cobbly streets with my buggy.
So here’s how our little afternoon together went . . .
But first, coffee
You don’t have to be a particularly close friend of mine to know I love coffee. The little independent cafes in Brighton are some of my favourites and as I had a few hours without the toddler, I thought it would be fitting head over to Kemptown. I don’t how other Brightonians with toddlers feel about this, but Kemptown is somewhere I don’t set a foot in now I have kids. It’s where pre-baby Bridie would have spent her time – the cafes are gorgeous but narrow and it’s a little too far away from the seafront that I need within arms reach in case Emma has a meltdown.
We went to The Compass Point Eatery because it holds lovely memories for me. When I found out Emma was breech, my other half and I went to the hospital to talk about our options and we went to this coffee shop afterwards. I suppose it was the first time it was real that we were going to become parents! So I went there again with my friend and had a lovely coffee to start the day. It really is a gorgeous, peaceful place to come and spend a couple of hours.
When you go to the seaside, have fish and chips
It’s cliche, but let’s roll with it! My all time favourite place to bring friends and family for fish and chips is The Regency, just opposite the West Pier. It is one of the oldest fish and chip restaurants and has been around since the 1930’s. I love it because the restaurant itself is art deco and the waiters are always so lovely and guaranteed to get you a table somehow. It was so busy when we walked in, but they worked their magic yet again.
The food is always impeccable and I find the fish and chips not too greasy at all – but they also serve lobster thermidor and seafood as well as pasta too. Because of the amazing location by the West Pier and how fantastic the food is, it’s the perfect lunch out – we had a brilliant time catching up over a glass of wine. Plus if you are visiting in the evening, one of my favourite pubs The Regency Tavern is only round the corner.
Let’s hunt down street art
One thing my friend and I have in common is our love for Instagram. She loves street art too and I wanted to show her Jew Street as I heard there was a street art wall over there to check out. It’s one of those places that is just round the corner from quite a few places I go often, such as the Jubilee Library and Brighton Dome, and had never noticed it. There is so much in Brighton that goes by unnoticed until you go specifically to have a look.
It was such a lovely afternoon and I loved having a look at something I’ve been wanting to check out for a while. I am starting to notice here and there that Brighton’s street art is really growing and I love that. I even found an awesome street art Instagram account the other day and thought I would try and see where some of these places are; most are in hidden locations!
Shopping in the Laines
I am pretty sure every time my friend comes to Brighton, we mooch around the Laines shopping, with the exception of Emma’s first birthday party! But this time we found a couple of amazing shops and some really cool stuff there. The first was Sass & Belle – I’m a big fan of their shops but sometimes find it a bit kitschy for me. But they had some big pillows with ‘always be awesome’ on as well as little lunchboxes and postcards that I loved too. Hopefully I can feature some these things soon. The second shop is a huge favourite of mine, called This Is Not A Butchers. I have so much love for this place, it is filled with little useless but funny things that you can give a friend for birthdays. I can spend ages in there and was relieved to discover that she loved it too.
And just like that, my few hours (which actually were a bit more than just a few – sorry boys at home!) were up and we headed back to the train station. But how lovely to have time to properly catch up with one of my closest friends. It feels like these opportunities are too few and far between these days!
What do you get up to when you catch up with old friends?