Ever since an 18th century doctor heralded sea water as a curative remedy, Brighton has drawn in the crowds, seducing waterfront revellers and boho-creatives alike. Cheryl Caira checks out the eclectic venues and chic hideaways ever-elevating the holiday resort’s star quality
Blessed with a prime outlook over Brighton’s elegant Regency Square, the Artist Residence is a quirky-cool treat. The original of what now makes up four boutique hotels around the country, owner Justin Salisbury invited local artists to decorate the former guesthouse’s rooms, resulting in a unique feel to where you lay your head.
The ‘Bigger Balcony Sea View’ room on the first floor has the dreamiest views. You can sit on said balcony and take in the striking contrast of the West Pier and the spaceship-like BA i360 viewing pod. The decor is luxe teamed with industrial, shabby-chic, with splashes of bright artwork and a palm tree theme. There’s a super king size bed, a Scottish Biggest Blanket Company throw if you’re staying in the colder months, a copper bath lined with Organic Bramley products and a tempting mini bar not too far away.
Downstairs, The Fix does a good job of recreating a sundowner beach bar, with cheery beats and a short but spot on cocktail menu. You can also nip next door to The Set restaurant for breakfast or brunch. There’s a twist to the classics, with dishes like poached egg on sourdough with avocado, chilli, feta and sriracha mayo and porridge with pecans and turmeric-soaked apricots. Doubles from £95, artistresidencebrighton.co.uk
Sand, seafood and stop-offs
- Explore the refurbished Victorian West Pier arches, where you’ll find pop-ups, clothes and homeware stores, artists’ studios, and Murmur, a top seafood restaurant.
- Find a characterful corner in one of Brighton & Hove’s oldest pubs, The Lion & Lobster, spread over three floors with a handy hidden terrace.
- Located on Ship Street, London export The Ivy in the Lanes is the dining hotspot to be seen in, with comfy booths and effervescent botanical walls.
- Wander along the seafront to Hove, pass the brightly painted beach huts, then head to family-run Marrocco’s for legendary gelato.
The Chilli Pickle
A festive, pinky-yellowy affair with café-style seating and multi-coloured stars hanging aloft, The Chilli Pickle’s dishes are as bold as its interiors. Opened in 2008 in Brighton city centre by husband and wife duo Alun and Dawn Sperring, the restaurant brings something a little different to Indian fare. While definitely authentic, the menu is also inventive with its approach to classic dishes, inspired by the restaurateurs’ annual trips to India’s diverse regions.
The influence of the country’s myriad of cuisine is reflected in the menu, which combines local, seasonal ingredients with the inventive and unexpected. Knowledgeable, friendly staff advise on which street snacks, curries and tandoori grills to plump for. Amongst samosas and pakora starters there’s the option of a venison kebab with horseradish chutney, and a brilliantly-reimagined crab bhaji dish accompanied by a gazpacho-style butternut squash shorba.
There’s a mix and match of spices and textures with every forkful. The seabass curry is a flurry of delicious flavour: perfectly cooked with a heady mix of ginger, lemongrass, chilli & curry leaf. For a tandoori selection, the sigri chilli pickle mixed grill offers up juicily cooked meats with smoked aubergine, a sweet-creamy makhani gravy revelation and coriander cumin naan to make sure you truly sample it all. thechillipickle.com