Firstly, I highly recommend a trip to Brighton for anyone. It is my favourite city in the UK, mostly for its relaxed, laidback feel. This chilled out vibe is largely due to its location right beside the sea. It is therefore a real advantage to get a good hotel right by the beach when visiting Brighton; but this can be hard to get at a good price. The West Beach Hotel overlooks the sea and the beach as well as Brighton's famous promenade. The rooms are really clean and spacious. We stayed in a twin room with views of the sea, it was very reasonably priced compared to everything else we saw. The beds were comfortable and we had an en-suite bathroom that was a good size, and clean more importantly. The hotel is not only located along the seafront but is also just close enough to the city centre so that it is walking distance but not crazy noisy at night time. I found the staff really friendly with directions and stuff too.
La Fourchette is a charming, very French cafe on the Church Rd in Hove, just off the seafront and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the promenade. It is comfortable and authentic, with leather chairs plus more formal seating. It serves the most delicious patisserie this side of Paris, beautiful, individual cakes which are simply a delight to behold as well as eat. Large selection of teas and coffees plus 'citron presse'. A nice alternative to the traditional Sussex cream tea
This delightful corner café is off the beaten track, just off the seafront in Kemp Town. It's possibly named after Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges of Upstairs Downstairs and indeed it has a little 'upstairs' perch complete with vintage decor. The foodie treats greet you as you walk in. Wonderful French macaroons, delicious cakes of all types, tarts, lots for choc-lovers and gluten free slices, all presented beautifully and in full view. Tea is served in pretty china, lots of choice. The interior is welcoming, friendly, little corners to sit and while away time in, they never rush you. Our favourite is a mirrored, kitsch, three sided, silk-cushioned, Fifties-inspired alcove. They open the big long windows at the front in the summer for an alfresco feel, a gem!
Oh and there are lovely fresh savoury offerings too, all home-made and yummy.
237 Eastern Rd, Brighton, BN8 4TD
Google map: bit.ly/KrfH9Y
Brighton City Walks run two great walks guided by local film enthusiast Julian Clapp. One is the 'Brighton Rock' which explores the haunts and familiar sites from the 1930's Graham Greene classic. The other is 'Lost cinemas of Brighton' celebrating the city's great cinematic history, wandering amongst old (some derelict) but still surviving buildings in the centre, many Grade 2 listed, a few that have been converted to restaurants and bingo halls, and the local favourite art house Duke of Yorks, still thriving and showing films after it's 100 year anniversary.
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