Brighton is one of those special cities that lives in the shadow of the metropolis, London.  For hundreds of years, Londoners have flocked to the seaside location at all times of the year in search of sunshine, seafood and scandal.  Yes, I suppose we should mention Brighton has a reputation as a place where people “pop off” for romantic encounters (a la “a dirty weekend).  During my 12 years living in London, I was fortunate enough to take part in all three of these activities.

Because Brighton is situated at the south shore of England, it features some of the most favorable weather on the island nation.  In summer months, Brighton is hustling and bustling, a shopper’s paradise and fun and frivolous place to explore its Victorian-era lanes lined with cute boutiques and cool little cafes.   During the winter, grey skies contrast beautifully with many of the multicolored houses.  In this respect, Brighton is like a twin-sister to San Francisco, complete will steep roads and lovely seaside views depending on where you are situated.

One of the highlights of Brighton is its historic Pier.  One step on the boardwalk and you’ll instantly be whisked back to a bygone time.  At least you won’t have to be shrouded in full head-to-toe 1800s regalia!  While visiting, don’t miss the chance to try traditional English treats such as “candy floss” (cotton candy) and “rock” (a hard stick-shaped boiled sugar confection).   Seafood cocktail, fish and chips and freshly made hot donuts are other Brighton Pier staples.

After sampling some of these goodies, we imagine you’ll be ready for an ice-cold lager from one of the many pubs in town!  You’re in luck.  Brighton also just happens to be a college town, and because of this, offers ample nightlife options despite being considerably smaller than London.  At any night of the week, expect to find some sort of dance club, rock pub or cabaret.  Many artists and ex-Londoners who come to escape the big bad city do so to see bands perform here in smaller venues. 

Like many other artists, our good friend, musician Lorraine Bowen, escaped to Brighton five years ago with her boyfriend, a painter.  They’ve never looked back, probably because Brighton basically has everything you’d need from a big city, including high-end shops and restaurants, yet it remains eternally friendly and charming.  If you’re seeking the perfect English seaside getaway, Brighton’s the place.