Ruffians Recommends - Best Spots in Brighton
Team Ruffians were out in force recently at the ‘Modern Barber Awards’ to cheer on one of our finest - Sirak Kidebe - as he won the ‘Best Apprentice’ award in balmy weather down on the coast.
The atmosphere was buzzing as the drinks flowed only meters from Brighton’s famous seafront. And, even as we reached for the aftersun and rehydration salts the morning after, we realised why so many people flock to this Bohemian city to let their hair down.
Brighton welcomes 9.5 million day visitors a year, meaning it’s far more than just the customary stag and hen do’s that are drawn to the pebbles. As a result, we’ve put together a quick list of our favourite places to visit to make the most of your time here.
Where to Have Dinner
Though it only opened its doors just over a year ago, Burnt Orange has won many admirers. It even got a glowing review from The Guardian’s Jay Rayner, and who are we to argue with the big man?
It dishes out delicious small plates which focus on fresh ingredients and wood fired cooking. The cocktails aren’t too shabby either.
It feels grown up and refined without being stuffy. Staff are attentive but relaxed, and always happy to offer their advice and recommendations.
It may not be the one for a spontaneous trip though, as it tends to be booked up weeks in advance. If you do manage to nab a table though, be sure to have the skillet-baked potatoes, you’ll thank us later.
The latest offering from The Gingerman Group, who have two further renowned restaurants in the city as well as another in the South Downs.
In a sleek new building in a contemporary enclave of Brighton’s famous Lanes, Flint House offer a generous menu consisting of tasty and fresh small plates catering for every diner.
Additionally, there is a large rooftop terrace which is the perfect spot to enjoy a bottle of wine or some cocktails.
Where to Have Coffee
A Brighton success story, Pelicano now have three shops across the city, all of which offer a pared back, industrial backdrop of exposed brick, concrete and stripped wood.
They roast their own coffee and always have an interesting and ever-changing selection on offer both to enjoy in-house or take home with you.
We must also shout out their brownies, top shelf confectionary.
Bond Street Coffee
Situated in the heart of the famous North Laine, Bond Street has been churning out some of Brighton’s best caffeinated beverages for some time now.
The deep, narrow shop offers a relaxed and cosy vibe with a cool mismatch of vintage furniture including bus seats.
Owned by Horsham Coffee Roaster, there’s a plethora of different beans on offer as well as a selection of baked goods and snacks.
Where to Have Drinks
A charming, intimate wine bar in the South Laines which is a must visit. It’s tag line is “wine, beats and bites”, which just so happen to be three of our favourite things.
Try and bag a table beneath the striking stained glass windows to make the most of the people watching opportunities, whilst sampling a glass of natural wine or five from their curated offering.
Plateau also has an excellent food offering which champions local produce as well as a cocktail list. But they had us at the wine and beats.
Bison Beer started life as a Brighton bottle shop but, such was its popularity, it now has a stand alone pub within its offering as well as a beach bar.
Unsurprisingly, the order of the day is beer, and boy do these guys know beer. Their own brews can be found on tap - from their popular ‘See Side APA’ to more the more unusual ‘Honeycomb Milshake IPA’.
There’s also a huge selection of cans and bottles if that doesn’t sound like your thing. Oh, and pizza too.
Where to Shop
Swanky homewares mecca Workshop has recently joined forces with WOLFOX coffee to open a stunning store-meets-coffee shop.
Expect to see a part - Skandi, part - Japanese inspired space which manages to be both minimal and calming with neutral walls and light wood floors.
There are all kinds of interesting goods to peruse here, from stylish ceramics to high end toiletries to kitchen accessories to independent fragrances. It’s a great place to pick up a gift that you won’t find elsewhere.
Pegg & Sons
A Brighton institution, Pegg & Sons has been dressing the City’s great and good for over twenty years.
The owner set out with the mission of selling only garms that he himself would wear. Luckily, it turns out others share his good taste.
It offers a wide selection of premium menswear from the likes of British stalwarts Universal Works and YMC to cutting edge labels such as Needles, Kapital and Acronym. There’s something for every discerning, well dressed fella.
Mange Tout is a small French bistro with an excellent brunch and lunch offering close to the station.
The newly re-vamped Volks Railway is the oldest operating electric railway in the World. It only runs up and down one half of the seafront but is great for kids.
Black Dove is a little bit of a bop from the centre in Kemp Town, but well worth it for great cocktails and dark, intimate surroundings.
Great bao buns are cooked up by Baby Bao in the kitchen of boozer The Pond.
Sustainable and very cool clothing brand Story Mfg. have recently opened their first standalone retail space above their workshop on Gloucester Road.
Kill hours looking at weird and wonderful bric a brac, collectables and antiques in Snooper’s Paradise.
Beach Box Spa has a selection of horse box saunas on the beach below Kemp Town Village. Running between them and the sea is truly invigorating.
Lastly, if you have the time, walk half an hour or so away from town in a westerly direction to Hove seafront if you want a bit more space around you.