Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Jun 2015
35-49 year old female
Londoner, explorer, coffee addict, art lover and foodie. I love to travel to new and interesting places and was lucky enough to spend part of my childhood in India. I have recently become a mother, so my experience of my own area and the places I visit has changed somewhat. I am determined to instil in my daughter an appreciation for her surroundings both at home and abroad.
Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods
Other Nature & Parks, Parks
Flea & Street Markets
Bars & Clubs
Other Nature & Parks, State Parks, Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, National Parks
I lived in Kemptown, affectionately known as 'Camp-Town', when I was at University and always visit when I'm back on the South Coast. There are many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, including eateries, antique shops and boutique hotels. The mix of students and large gay community makes Kemptown a vibrant and interesting destination, and it has all the charms of the city - without the generic big brands of the centre - and embraces the essence of Brightonian spirit. Plus the Regency buildings, gardens and proximity to the sea make it a delight to potter about in.
This is a retro gem inspired by American coffee bars of the 50's and 60's. The walls are covered in memorabilia and there is plenty to pique your interest whilst you sink a coke-float or chow down on a burger. The jukebox is free, so line up your favourite hits and shimmy to some rock and roll! The food is hearty and the portions are large.
Set in a deconsecrated Regency church, Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery and venue. Artists are commissioned to respond to the space itself - that's what makes it special. Every installation I have seen has been an entirely different experience: from sound-scapes to sculpture and everything in between. It feels like a world class venue that has yet to be fully discovered.
When I visit Brighton with a group of friends, we always head to Metrodeco: what a modern tea salon should be. The interior is elegant and the ambiance makes breakfast, lunch or brunch - my favourite meal of the day - feel like an event. A great place for special occasions like a birthday or hen party or to while away an afternoon spoiling yourself.
Walk up to Hove Lagoon, a great place to stroll and admire the water, should you fancy a moment of tranquility away from Brighton's main beach. It's a brilliant playground, where water-sport lessons are available, but if you're like me and you aren't sporty, it's just as fun to watch and enjoy being beside the water.
The Open Market is easy to miss. It's just off the London Road, and once you notice the brightly-coloured entrance sign I urge you to go inside. An eclectic mix of shops with a covered market in the centre awaits you. Recently renovated, it is an excellent example of what a market should be: fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, vintage clothes and bric-a-brac. If I was local I would visit every weekend: There are often events and themed market days, so it's a little different at every visit.
The Speigle Tent, which comes to Brighton's Fringe Festival every year in the Old Steine Pleasure Gardens, is unmissable. Though the season is short, it is jam-packed with fun for everyone: family and child-friendly events such as baby discos, as well as more adult themed shows like burlesque/boylesque, modern dance, comedy, theatre and music. The venue itself is a spectacle to behold: a mirrored, highly-decorated circus tent. I only wish it was permanent.
The best of both worlds: Igigi is a cafe upstairs and a shop below. Igigi General Stores is immaculate and classy, a mix of vintage and modern pieces of furniture and interior design in a natural colour palette that would fit into any home. I went in for soap and came out with much more! The cafe never disappoints and is frequented by locals. The food is fresh and delectable. It's tough to choose what to have, as every time I see someone else's meal I get food envy.
Entering this miniature pub is like stepping into a friend's sitting room. The walls and ceiling are covered in newspaper articles and all the interior decor and objets d'art are original to say the least. As the name suggests, the welcome is warm and the publican has packed a lot in to a tiny space - there is even a piano in the corner, to play should the mood take you. The beer selection is good and the drinks are expertly mixed. It is not a tourist pub, so if you want a taste of insider Brighton, check it out. The clientele are a mix of locals, the odd student, and those who are lucky enough to have stumbled upon it by accident.
The Emporium Theatre is a pearl, and I implore you to seek it out. As well as hosting pantomimes with a twist for children, this place has a variety of activities for all ages: You can sign up for life drawing classes, watch an avant-garde cabaret or simply soak up the ambience in the cafe/foyer. There is always something happening: a poet or musician performing in the corner or an exhibition going on around you. A charming addition to Brighton's established theatre-land. And Alan Rickman is a patron!
Five miles from the city centre, you will find Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill, a National Trust venture. The ancient bluebell woods are full of wildlife and flora. There are a number of established walking routes including my favourite, which takes you on a circuit to Devil's Dyke. It's just far enough to ensure you can have a guilt-free slice of cake. No matter what time of year you visit, Newtimber Hill offers different natural wonders: wildflowers, butterflies and even orchids. The working farm has regular free open days, where the donkey wheel was a highlight. Seeing ancient techniques brought to life is eye opening, and the place is a favourite with children.