Whether it’s the familiar crunch of beach pebbles underfoot, the scent of vinegar-splashed fish or the roar of a Pride parade, it’s hard to mistake Brighton’s impossibly British character. Its reputation as the UK’s bright, brash, rainbow-striped seaside destination has been thriving for decades. Writer Brian Behan once referred to the town as “tolerance by the sea” – and it’s true that the city seems to epitomise England’s cheekier, more outlandish side.

Locals adore their home and work hard to keep its independent spirit alive. You can mine for second-hand gold, curiosities and antiques along its knotted backstreets, or browse light-flooded shops selling Scandi homeware, local art, utility clothing, high-fashion labels and handmade jewellery in its idiosyncratic neighbourhoods. While its kaleidoscopic creative scene has long rivalled London, it’s only in the fast few years that Brighton’s culinary offerings have only cranked up several notches. Not long ago the choice was between battered cod or roast dinners and little else, but the city now offers a host of critically acclaimed restaurants. There’s good coffee at every turn, artisanal bakeries, tasting menus, converted warehouses serving seasonal plates and natural wine, street eats and, unsurprisingly, some of the best seafood in the country. Young, ambitious chefs are making use of the abundant produce in the surrounding countryside and sea.

Brighton may be going from strength to stylish strength; but its unmistakable personality burns brighter than ever, and the residents wouldn’t have it any other way.


Harbour Hotel

Recently named as the country’s “number one seaside hotel”, this breezy, whitewashed offering on the seafront is just a pebble’s throw from the iconic Lanes and the pier. Its bright, laid-back Jetty restaurant serves seasonal dishes constructed from sustainable ingredients, which you can tuck into alongside panoramic sea views. The bedrooms are anchored by cloud-like bed with Egyptian cotton sheets, while many include stand-alone baths overlooking the seafront. If you can manage to drag yourself out of the room, you’ll find the dimly lit, essential oil-scented HarSpa downstairs, where you can choose from a range of treatments to pep you up before your natural wine bar crawl begins.

  • 01273 323 221
  • Go to Website
  • Brighton Harbour Hotel
    64 King’s Road
    BN1 1NA

Artist Residence

Back in 2006, Justin Salisbury left university to take over the family B&B, and with no budget to revamp the place, he had to come up with a plan. IOnspired by Brighton’s flourishing art scene, he invited hundreds of local artists to decorate the 23-bedroom townhouse in exchange for board. The result, 11 years and several more successful hotels around the country later, is Artist Residence. Every inch of this warm, family-run seafront hotel bursts with colour, from the candy-pink front door and tiled bathroom floors to the bustling dining room, giant canvasses, neon-lit cocktail bar and colourful ping-pong room. Each hand-painted bedroom is finished with unique furnishings, from copper roll-top baths to velvet armchairs and brick walls, with soft jazz piping from vintage radios and views of the seafront.

Artist Residence

Harbour Hotel

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