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A fun-packed itinerary for a weekend in Brighton

Brighton is one of the most cultural cities in Europe. An eclectic and vibrant city on the south coast of England in East Sussex, Brighton is just 47 miles south of London and easily accessible by rail (60 minutes from London and 30 minutes from Gatwick Airport).

Brighton is a place where anything goes; a place to be yourself and unleash your creativity. From street art, to galleries, historic homes, theatres and world-renowed concert venues, you’ll find yourself immersed in the unique seaside culture in Brighton that’s like nowhere else in the world.

Cute and quirky, Brighton may look like a typical British seaside resort, but under the surface you’ll discover vintage shopping, fantastic nightlife, mouth-watering cuisine and Bohemia in abundance.

Here’s some of my favourite places that are not to be missed as you start planning your cultural visit to the colourful city dubbed ‘London-by-the-Sea’.

Joanna White
May 11, 2022

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Friday afternoon in Brighton

Arrive in Brighton and have lunch at JB’s American Diner, a unique Brighton eccentricity that people travel from all over the world to visit. If you decide to pre-book, ask for a booth to add to the Americana experience. Personally, I always go for the Buffalo Chicken Wings, but there are plenty of veggie and vegan options too.

After lunch, enjoy panoramic views of Brighton, and even France and the Isle of Wight on a clear day, from the British Airways i360 on the seafront. I’ve been up a few times and I love spotting the art murals on top of the buildings. If you are going for a special occasion, be sure to include the glass of champagne in your ticket. Cost from £16.50 per adult.

Friday evening in Brighton

If you’re by the British seaside, then you have to try the fresh local seafood. Regularly recognised as Brighton’s best seafood restaurant, The Salt Room specialises in cooking over coal. The modern dining hot spot offers a seasonal a la carte menu using sustainable and local produce.

There are also sharing platters ‘cooked over fire’ including the Surfboard – grilled and steamed shellfish aioli with herb fries – as well as daily fish market specials. Popular dishes include barbecued Sussex monkfish, The Salt Room Fish Stew and the pan fried hake. Boasting unparalleled views of Brighton seafront, the i360 and the historic West Pier, it is an ideal location to soak up the sun to the sound of the waves, whilst satisfying your taste buds.

Saturday morning in Brighton

Grab a coffee and light bite at Lost in the Lanes, an Antipodean inspired adventure offering exclusive coffees and freshly made food in elegant surroundings, before heading to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.

Located in the Royal Pavilion garden at the heart of Brighton’s cultural quarter, the exhibitions are dedicated to showcasing Brighton’s art scene and fascinating history. Its innovative galleries features interactive displays and unique collections include Finding Fabergé, Queer on the Pier and Ancient Egypt. My favourite part of the museum is Fashion and Style which includes items from George IV’s era, Internationalism which explores cross-cultural influence on fashion, alternative styles of clothing and Queer Looks, a display dedicated to the creativity of Brighton’s pioneering LGBTQ fashionistas.

Built in 1823, The Royal Pavilion was the seaside pleasure palace of King George IV and it’s an iconic Brighton landmark. Instantly recongonisable by its Indian and Chinese style Regency grandeur, you can tour the bedrooms, banqueting hall and the magnificent Music Room where the Italian composer Rossini once performed. You can visit both the Royal Pavillion and the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery on a combined ticket that costs £27.

Whilst you near the Royal Pavillion, make sure you stop by to admire Brighton Dome. Once the stables for Prince Regent’s horses it is now a state-of-the-art concert venue where ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with Waterloo and where some of the all time greats like Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Beyoncé have played.

Saturday lunchtime in Brighton

Brighton has a reputation not only for colourful characters but for an internationally renowned street art scene. You will find original street art dotted all around the city, such as the famous Prince Albert pub dedicated to musical legends.

Here you’ll find the most famous mural in Brighton, Banksy’s provocative ‘Kissing Policemen’, a pioneering piece encompassing the very soul of the city. After a lunch at one of the many cool eateries found in the Lanes, stroll at your leisure to spot them.

Saturday afternoon in Brighton

Meet the makers of female owned and run Brighton Gin and enjoy a 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the craft gin distillery. On the tour you will learn how Brighton Gin started on a kitchen table by the seaside and the processes and botanicals they use to create Brighton’s favourite tipple today.

The distillery tour is a hands on experience of Brighton Gin’s production process, and you can wax your own bottle top, design and apply your own label and take home your own customised Brighton Gin 50ml miniature. The tour costs £30 per person.

Saturday evening in Brighton

The Mesmerist is a lounge bar in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes that spans three floors and offers a choice of individually styled rooms and a lush roof garden to enjoy a quality food offering or an expertly mixed cocktail or two.

This Brighton institution is stylish and sophisticated without being pretentious, so you’ll feel right at home. It is not just the décor that brings The Mesmerist to life, they also host some of the best events ranging from themed nights and parties.

Sunday morning in Brighton

Enjoy breakfast surrounded at Artist Residence, a local hangout on Brighton seafront. The light and airy cafe has unique pieces of art displayed around and breakfast is served from 8am.

After breakfast, head to Hidden Gallery in the North Laine shopping area. The gallery is an independently owned business which focuses on original work and editions by some of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as contemporary artists. Here you will view Picasso etchings, a Banksy screenprint and much more. Photo credit: Michael Walter at Troika Photography.

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Joanna White
May 11, 2022

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