I fall in love with Brighton a little more each time I visit and this time was no exception.
We were there for a wedding (spoiler: it was magical; I sobbed like a hormonal new mother) and decided to make our first trip to the coast / first hotel trip / first wedding with the little one a bit more of a treat that we might have done Pre D.
Forty winks and a meal to blush about
We booked ourselves into Artist Residence, which has been on my wishlist for years, given how impossibly cool it looks from afar. Just a stone's throw from the beach and an easy walk to the wedding location, we decided to go for it. Set up in 2008, the hotel's style was inspired by the Brighton art scene. The founder Justin Salisbury advertised for artists to decorate rooms in return for board. Hundreds of artists descended to decorate the walls, floors and ceilings with stunning murals and I can vouch for the ones I saw; they really are stunning. Naturally, the name Artist Residence was created by this and the vibe is echoed throughout.
The decor throughout is a perfectly curated selection of salvaged materials, with expectedly slick finishing touches. The bar looked phenomenal, as did the cocktail menu - when I next go post-breastfeeding, that will be my first pit stop. In the room, the salvaged feel took on new heights of life goals. The travel cot was sorted so easily and our bed was seriously comfortable, I practically dozed off the moment I sunk into it. The minibar was painfully well curated - almost made me tempted to stay put for the first night, but we had plans downstairs at The Set...
Disclaimer: I should have called ahead to state I had an allergy. A garlic allergy with a set menu makes for a tricky one, so we had a brilliant selection of tapas instead. Given that I've had this issue dining out since I've been dining out, I'm used to a limited selection and what was available was brilliant, but the fact I didn't call ahead was clearly a huge nuisance for the team. This was made clear to us the moment we sat down and I was reminded of it until we finished our meal. Noted.
Back in the hotel room, our first night was pretty great, given the little lady is not yet settling for a full night's sleep. The second night was a stinker though. Our neighbour seemed to had the sort of heavy night that makes snoring become something of an Olympic sport... A lovely experience between the non-stop baby feeds. Luckily, The Mister had earplugs and the armchair in the room was wonderful to sink into, not to mention the delectable minibar snacks there to comfort me in my deep sleep deprivation - chocolate covered honeycomb really does soothe the soul.
While breakfast was not included, I'm pretty confident it was the best porridge I've ever had. So good I had it both mornings. The Mister went for a Full English, followed by a palate-cleansing grapefruit, both of which received firmly positive reviews.
All in all, it was a wonderful stay. The hotel didn't quite match up to our expectations unfortunately, but then they were almost impossibly high given how the hotel is presented on social media. I would be inclined to have a hunt around next time, but I definitely wouldn't say no to another stay.
Handbags and Gladrags
Some of the shops in Brighton are my absolute favourites. Our Daily Edit has to be at the top of the list, it always has a limitless number of pieces I would happily drool over all day (and The Mister too - he ended up investing in a brilliant pair of Filippa K trousers, very envious) and Tribeca is another I struggled to prise myself away from, this time more than ever, I lost count of the times I imagined pieces in my wardrobe - both well worth a look.
I had been thinking about my outfit for the wedding for months before we set off. Given that I needed to be feeding the little lady at any given moment, I went for a polka-dot wrap dress from Ganni's new collection - an instant new favourite. A little revealing, but I felt pretty good in it - no small feat, given I still have a fair few flat tyres going on post-pregnancy. The little lady clearly loved the polka-dots, which made it even more special. (Expect to see this pop up on my Instagram in the near future)
A spoonful of sugar... Or two
I think the highlights for me (bar the wedding, of course) were the impromptu culinary pit stops. We began at The Flour Pot Bakery, an idyllic little stop. The sandwich slabs were unbelievable and the flourless brownie was naughty enough for Nigella to be impressed. Not to mention how lovely the people were in there, along with the other customers - a lovely reflection of Brighton.
Red Roaster, at the bottom of St James’s Street in Kemptown, was a botanical breath of fresh air, serving a delicious lettuce-wrapped grilled chicken burger and a needed 'Alkaline Ganster' - so good I forgot to get a photo. The pastries looked phenomenal as well - I will be making a point to try them on my next visit.
All in all, this was an utterly magical weekend, one I can't wait to recreate in the very near future, with a little more sleep and a few more pastries on the beach, but just as many smiles.