Is it too early to mention Christmas?! Well, even if it is, Brighton is always a fabulous place to go shopping. It is peppered with a plethora of beautiful, quirky, imaginative, practical and inspiring independent shops, cafés and boutiques, and particularly in the North Laine, we’re spoilt for choice, so I thought I’d offer some inside tips to help you have a fantastic day, starting with a strong coffee of course…
1. Cafe Coho, 53 Ship Street
Conveniently located on Ship Street in the Lanes, this is the perfect place to kick off a day’s shopping. It’s outside seating gets mid morning sunshine and they offer blankets if it’s a chilly one. I love the stripped-back brick interior, they make amazing coffee and their croissants are delicious. There is also a Cafe Coho near Brighton Station if you’re getting the train.
2. Edited, 3 Gardner Street
You’ll probably have been drawn in by their vibrant window display anyway, but Edited is a must-see! They have a varied and eclectic selection of homeware and soft furnishings including colourful candles, throws with vibrant geometric designs, and train ticket cushion covers over three floors of this beautifully merchandised shop. The staff are always friendly and enthusiastic too!
3. Present in the Laine, 34 Gardner Street
One of the North Laine’s newer additions, Present in the Laine has a focus on bright colours and hand-picked gifts. Stylish accessories, baby gifts, homeware and handbags are on offer in this vibrant new shop.
4. Posh Totty Designs, 31 Sydney Street
A Brighton success story established by Alice Rivers Cripps a decade ago, her original shop in Bond Street Cottages is well worth a visit, but Posh Totty Designs have just opened their flagship store on Sydney Street in the North Laine, where they make and sell their own distinctive brand of beautiful personalised jewellery. They specialise in stunning keepsakes, hand stamped and made to order with your personal message, favourite quote or child’s names in a range of stylish, contemporary and classic designs.
5. Temptation, 56 Gardner Street, Brighton
Need a coffee break? This is a stylish and cosy cafe (with a license, if you fancy something stronger) with a delectable selection of lunchtime plates, salads, sandwiches and delicious home made cakes if you fancy jumping straight to the sweet stuff.
6. Little Beach Boutique, 74 North Road
Well, I couldn’t recommend a visit to Brighton without a visit to my shop could I, and what better time to visit than straight after a lovely lunch?! Opened in May 2014, Little Beach Boutique is new to the North Laine and offers a hand-picked range of handmade gifts, many of which are made in Brighton and the UK. I make all the glass pieces in my workshop here and you can pop in to see how it is done, as well as browse a unique range of accessories, keepsakes, homeware, clothing and wall art, including our best-selling “fabulous” felt animal slippers.
7. Utility, 28a North Road
Just across the road from Little Beach Boutique is Utility, stocking a fantastic range of “no-nonsense” household goods made by independent manufacturers, including tableware, glassware, stationary and storage ideas. Always playing excellent music, this is a must for your trip to Brighton.
8. Snoopers Paradise, 7 Kensington Gardens
No shopping trip to Brighton is complete without a good rummage around Snoopers Paradise. Purveyors of all things vintage, as well as an art space, workshop and boutique market, it is a haven for a curious shopper!
9. Pretty Eccentric, 10 Bond Street
Incredibly glamorous vintage inspired dresses and accessories designed by owner Michelle Scott, your Christmas party outfit is sorted for the year! Influenced by the styles of the 1920s to 1950s, they have a stunning range of dresses and separates, as well as jewellery to add sparkle and fascinators to make a statement.
10. 64 Degrees, 53 Meeting House Lane
Round the day off with some amazing food! My favourite place to eat in Brighton, tucked away in the South Lanes, it feels like you have been let into a secret at sixty four degrees. Compact in size, with a focus on incredible food, impeccable service and the theatre of the dining experience, you can choose to sit at the bar and watch the magic unfurl. It’s not to be missed!
So, there it is, my top ten pick of Brighton’s independent shops and cafés. I hope you have enough time to get around them all. If not, come back another time! Check them out online before your visit: http://www.littlebeachboutique.com http://www.cafecoho.co.uk http://www.edited.co.uk http://www.poshtottdesigns.com http://www.utilitygreatbritain.co.uk http://www.64degrees.co.uk http://www.brightontemptation.com http://www.snoopersattic.co.uk http://www.prettyeccentric.co.uk http://www.presentinthelaine,com Bye for now Suzanne x