My career as a travel writer for national newspapers, magazines and big-name guidebook companies takes me all over the world – trekking in the Congo Basin one month, café-hopping in Sydney the next – but there’s something about Brighton that keeps pulling me home. It’s now been my base for over ten years.
There's more about me on my website: www.emmagregg.com
The things I like best about Brighton – apart from its fantastic location, of course – are its quirkiness and its sense of fun. It’s easily the UK’s most colourful coastal city.
Where I always grab a coffee: My favourite rainy-day café is Redroaster on St James Street in Kemptown – the owners are fanatical about quality coffee, and it shows. When the sun’s out, you can’t beat The Meeting Place in Hove, a down-to-earth spot right next to the sparkling sea.
My favourite stroll: I adore Brighton’s open spaces and big skies. Best of all are the seafront promenade – glorious at any time of year – and the gigantic pebble beach.
Shopaholics beware: There’s always something new in the North Laine, the grid of streets southeast of the station. With rows of one-of-a-kind boutiques, vintage stores, gift shops and organic food suppliers, it’s the heart of bohemian Brighton, and thoroughly addictive.
The perfect pint: In a city that’s positively stuffed with good pubs, The Basketmakers Arms on Gloucester Road is one of the best – cosy, characterful and central, with great beer on tap.
The place to be seen: The Brighton Ballroom (formerly The Hanbury) on St George’s Road in Kemptown has reinvented itself as a wonderfully eccentric little music, cabaret and dance venue. It hosts everything from indie bands to 1930s-style jazz nights and saucy burlesque parties.
The most breathtaking view: On the sunniest, calmest days of summer, it’s great to head down to the beach for a swim. Strike out, turn around, and you see the Regency seafront stretched out like a ribbon. It has to be one of the most beautiful views in Britain.
Don’t leave without… treating yourself to a pile of luscious fish and chips on Brighton Pier.
My expert information
For many visitors to Brighton, the city’s easy-going, up-for-it atmosphere makes a big impression right from the start. There’s something fantastically invigorating about all that sea air. With a hectic programme of events and the best shops, cafés, pubs and clubs on the south coast, there's plenty to keep you entertained. Friendly and high-spirited, this is above all a place to relax and have fun.
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