Easter at the seaside! Rain, clouds, chilly winds, and hanging at the arcade on the pier! The photo above was actually taken last time I went – the weather didn’t even allow for a decent shot this time.
Still I love Brighton – always have since my first trip there age 10. Then it was all about playing games on the pier, running on the beach, and eating candy floss. Well to be honest – it is mostly about that now! However, I have since found so much more to love here, and I find new spots every time I go.
A vintage lover’s dream – Brighton is chock full of retro boutiques, and lovely shops selling vintage inspired pieces. But there are some traps to avoid as well.
This trip I found a new gem I hadn’t been to before. The Brighton Flea Market is on Upper St James’ street over in an area called Kemptown. I LOVED it, two floors of individual sellers’ stalls overflowing with treats and goodies from times gone by. I got a fabulous vintage enamel teapot, which is absolutely huge and I have been looking for one every since I saw an example in the Pre Fab museum in Catford. The teapot dates to the 1940’s and at some point has been painted with W.I. on it, no doubt it was used for copious cups of tea at local meetings. I also got three Enid Blyton Adventure books, a real throw back to my childhood.
Another gem is Pretty Eccentric – basically this feels like someone took all the things I love and put them into one perfectly formed shop. The merchandise is new, not vintage, but everything is inspired by the ’20s, ’30s and 40’s, including delectable lace dresses, beautiful little hats and headpieces, and decadent jewels. I totally splurged and bought a stunning green lace 30’s style dress.
Check out their collections here:
www.prettyeccentric.co.uk (I bought the Jasmine dress!)
I have spent many happy hours in Snoopers Paradise in the North Laine. It was hard to walk away this time without a mid-century table, but I managed it. I ventured upstairs this trip and found a wonderful spread of vintage, and re-made pieces by local artists and makers. Loved the tin lamps!
IMO – best breakfast in Brighton – The New Cafe on the seafront. Try the hash and eggs, or the smashed avocado on sourdough – seriously.
So where to skip? Well – I might upset some people here, but I don’t love Beyond Retro these days. I have found a few gems in the past, but I find their stock at the moment to be much too focused on the 1980’s which just isn’t my thing having lived through it the first time. Also the prices seem to have risen substantially in the last few years, and I just don’t see the value there. Especially when everything I found that was pre-1970 was stained in some way. Disappointing.
Also – I read some reviews saying the lounge at the Hilton Metropole was very good – well yes, if you like your £12 cocktail accompanied by terrible service, and Ultimate Fighting on the bar television. Not really my scene.
Ok – over to you – who else can share a Brighton gem? Where do you go when you hit the seaside?