Friday, 18 September 2015

beautiful brighton

















A few weeks ago, Ali and I got the chance to escape to Brighton for the day; the kiddos spent the day with their Grandparents, while we passed the time eating as much as humanly possible, pottering round the lanes and pondering over home accessories. (It was heavenly, but we actually left at 3pm so we could get home in time for dinner with the littlies!)

It had been raining all week, but that morning the sky was deep blue and cloudless, and the sun had reappeared; the perfect weather for pottering. We ate far too much (a huge breakfast at Breakfast Club, followed by pre-lunch gelato and then actual lunch in the Flour Pot Bakery), and wandered around our favourite shops, only stopping to watch a man dressed as Rolfe from the Muppets playing a piano and waving at us (I videod it for the kiddos, they thought it was hilarious).

We go to Brighton quite a lot, so I thought I'd include some of my favourite places to go in this post; some of them are old regulars, and a couple are new recommendations that we've been saving up.

To Eat
Whether we're going for a day or a week, I always look forward to finding new places to eat - although I'm not a vegetarian, I always opt for veggie food when we're out because I find I enjoy it more. Brighton is ridiculously good for food; there are a gazillion different places to eat, and when you're wandering through the lanes you could probably do each course in a different place (if you could be bothered!)

The Breakfast Club: 16-17 Market Street, BN1 1HH
We arrived in Brighton really early, around 9am, and hadn't had breakfast yet, so when we stumbled across The Breakfast Club it was a really happy coincidence. If you've never been there before, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they literally only sell breakfast foods, but they're actually named after the eighties film of the same name, and have an amazing retro interior to match. One of a few restaurants (there are others in Hoxton, Angel, Soho and Spitalfields), the menu is lengthy (dedicted carnivores, vegetarians and vegans are all well catered for), the food is plentiful, the seats are comfortable and the staff are friendly. We'll definitely be going back!

Bills: The Depot, 100 North Road, BN1 1YE
Whenever we go to Bills, I always have the same thing; the halloumi and hummous in a sesame seed bun, served with skin on fries. That thing is so consistantly good that it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The menu is really extensive, and I noticed last time that kale and quinoa have popped up in a couple of dishes, so they're obviously getting into their superfoods - what I love most though, is that Bills is not only somewhere to relax and eat, it's also an amazing grocery store packed full of fruit and veg, sweet treats, jams, chutneys, teas and coffees and other organic delights. I challenge you to go home without succumbing to the chocolate section.

The Flour Pot Bakery: 40 Sydney Street, BN1 4EP
This was another new visit, but definitely one we'll be returning to; Cat from the beautifully inspiring Triple Triangle blog had mentioned it, and said that the decor was lovely, which was enough for me. She was right, as well; vast white walls and reclaimed wood tables, cushions in shades of grey, and shelves heaving with artisan loaves, delicate cupcakes and golden pastries all made for a very happy lunchtime indeed.

Gelato Gusto: 2 Gardner Street, BN1 1UP
If I'm honest, I'm still not entirely sure when or why ice-cream morphed into gelato, but at the same time, I couldn't care less because it tastes like heaven in a pot. We wandered past Gelato Gusto at that awkward time between breakfast and lunch, and I was drawn in as much by the beautiful scandi-white floorboards and exposed brickwork as I was the gelato itself. I went with chocolate (yum) and Ali went for banoffee (double yum), and the guy across the room from us had waffles, followed by a sundae roughly the size of my head. They also offer a range of juices, teas, coffees and hot chocolate, and at the weekend you can sit outside and sun yourself while you eat.

To Buy

Bluebird Tea Company: 41 Gardner Street, Brighton
Award winning tea mixologists Krisi and Mike expertly blend everything from herbs and flowers to fruit, chocolate and even cake sprinkles to create a huge range of loose leaf and bagged teas. (We came home with rhubarb and custard, and it is immensely good!) They also have a zero-waste policy, and make all local deliveries by bicycle, hurrah!

Utility: 28A North Road, BN1 1YB
Perfectly named, Utility is a whole shop full of no-nonsense household goods; Falcon enamelware jostles for space on high shelves with mid-century style exercise books, while dish brushes of every kind sit alongside traditional soaps, linen tea towels and robust oven mitts. Storage lovers are also well catered for with a huge range of jars, pots and tins, and I was overjoyed to find a pair of embroidery scissors shaped like a stork!

Workshop Living: 13A Prince Albert Street, BN1 1HE
One for real homeware lovers, Workshop Living is probably my favourite shop in Brighton. From the beautiful ceramics and enamelware to the handmade chopping boards, wooden utensils and household tools, everything is exquisitely simple and understated. We came home with some gorgeous-smelling olive soap and soap dish, and a pair of herb scissors (because more scissors are obviously what I need!).

Magazine Brighton: 22 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4EQ
I'm a sucker for magazines, but living in the arse end of nowhere (the most exotic thing our town centre sells is Oh Comely) means that I have to have everything shipped from London - so I was pretty overjoyed to find that Brighton had a shop dedicated to independent titles. I saw Cereal, Kinfolk, Open House, Uppercase, Milk Design, Smith Journal, Frankie and Flow - all my favourites in one happy place.

Beyond Retro: 42 Vine Street, BN1 4AG
The Brighton branch of my favourite vintage store is absolutely huge, and you'll need a good couple of hours to go through everything; my favourite is the huge bag section, and obviously, the knitwear!

Infinity Foods: 25 North Road, BN1 1YA
If you're into whole foods, healthy living and an organic approach to life, Infinity Foods is one place you definitely need to visit. They stock everything from local produce and vegetarian and vegan food, to handmade bread, bath and body care and earth-friendly cleaning products - even if I never buy anything, I always go in for a good look around.

If you've got any other great places to eat or shop, do let me know - I'm always looking for new discoveries!
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