You never really need an excuse for a cheeky weekend away in Brighton but with the added appeal of the new British Airways i360, a visit to Sussex’s buzziest city is a must
Like most Londoners, I’ve had an enduring love affair with Brighton since I was a child and have dreamed of living there many times. For now, however, London is still my home so if you’re a big Brighton fan like me, you won’t need many excuses to head down to this fantastic seaside city.
Like London, Brighton constantly changes so there’s always something new to see, do and eat. And the joy is, whether you’re a foodie, keen clubber, walker, arts fan, or just in need of 48 hours of chilling out, there’s something here for everyone.
Determined to make the most of our weekend break, we headed straight to the very swanky Blanch House, Brighton’s five-star boutique hotel in trendy Kemptown. Here guests are treated to a luxurious stay in this roomy Georgian house, complete with its own mini cocktail bar.
Our lovely room at the front of the hotel boasted a huge bed, a lush velvet sofa and a chandelier I wanted to take straight home. I knew at once that this the perfect base for a memorable Brighton weekend. Not only is it a stone’s throw from the sea, the pier and town centre, but nothing’s too much trouble for the very friendly staff.
On previous trips we’d visited the Pavilion, Lanes and Aquarium, so this time I was determined to visit as many different Brighton places as I could. First stop on our agenda was a trip on the spanking new British Airways i360.
First stop was a trip on the spanking new British Airways i360 offering views of Sussex from all sides, from the Regency delights of Brighton to the nearby landscape of the South Downs
Standing proudly opposite the ruins of the West Pier, this sky-scraping steel pole with a 360-degree, doughnut-shaped viewing platform offers visitors views of Sussex from all sides, from the Regency delights of Brighton to the nearby landscape of the South Downs. You can even push the boat out and have a private party here. An adult ticket costs £13.50 and it’s essential to book in advance.
Coming down to earth, we headed straight to Brighton’s leading wellness centre The Treatment Rooms for a heavenly back, neck and shoulder massage. The practitioners here really know their stuff and put many of London’s similar businesses to shame.
After all that fun, a quick pop back to Blanch House for a pre-dinner cocktail and freshen up was needed before we headed off to our first stop on our foodie weekend. London restaurant critic Jay Rayner recently gave the seafront restaurant The Salt Room a glowing review so it pays to book a table at this popular spot. Situated slap-bang opposite the beach, here diners are offered some of the best fish dishes on the south coast.
Take a tip from the locals and go for the impressive fruits de la mer and you won’t be disappointed. Everything on the menu is super fresh and the skilled chefs offer new takes on old favourites like cod and sea bass. Don’t forget to leave room too for a fab retro Knickerbocker Glory.
While many people choose to stay out all night in buzzy Brighton, we wanted to get some sleep before we hit the city again on Sunday. Forgoing the pleasures of the Lanes, we took a long walk along the seafront to the far end of Hove, home to The Ginger Pig, one the best local pubs I’ve ever visited.
Big and breezy and beautifully decorated, here you can eat a great Sunday lunch or something more contemporary like squid and chips. The place was packed out which is testament to its popularity and it was lovely to visit a destination that’s not aimed just at tourists.
After a huge Sunday lunch, clever souls will of course skip dinner, but not us! We were determined to pack in as many great Brighton foodie experiences as we could and fortified by a lovely post lunch nap, we headed back into town for a late supper at Food For Friends, Brighton’s famous award-winning vegetarian restaurant in the South Lanes. A piquant stir fry and creamy mushroom risotto gave us the perfect finish to our fantastic south coast weekend.
London of course will always be bigger and bolder than Brighton but for a lifestyle you can’t beat, Brighton wins hands down. A spring weekend in Brighton? Any excuse will do….