Cool Brighton Nightlife By Brighton Girl Problems.
Brighton has come a long way in recent years, and I wouldn’t blame you for feeling like you’re out and about in London for the evening if you do a night out right; there’s constantly a trendy new cocktail bar opening, an event happening or a festival on, and that’s one of the reasons Brighton is such a great place to live when you live for a night out.
Whether you’re 21 and free as a bird wanting to hit the tiles, or married with a newborn and looking to let your hair down on your first baby-free night out, there really is something for everyone. I don’t think we have quite reached our potential in Brighton; there are so many empty venues in perfect locations that could be filled by brands wanting to do something ‘different’, in a city that would happily welcome it. We constantly seek out ‘cool’ places to visit, that we can go back to time and time again, that look great on an Instagram feed and that we can recommend to our family and friends.
There is so much out there to do in the evening in Brighton, however I think a lot of us are looking in the wrong places. The city is rife with hen and stag do’s, and rightly so, as it’s a great city to party in for the weekend. However I feel many are mistaken, when arriving at Brighton Station and walking straight towards the sea, you’re met with the obvious hustle and bustle of West Street, and the outpouring of clubs and 20-somethings. Great for two nights of carefree drinking and dancing, but if you want to revisit with your loved ones, where do you go? Where does a bunch of girlfriends go for cocktails with a twist? Where do you go for a date night with a difference?
When you’re a born-and-bred Brightonian, you can do a bit of digging and you can find some gems that make for a cool, unique, and memorable night out. We are lucky enough in Brighton to be blessed with the flamboyant and glamorous Lady Boys of Bangkok each year, which makes for a brilliant night out. Something for the more open minded of us, the tents congregate at the Old Steine, meaning you’ve got a never ending choice of nearby restaurants, bars and pubs to turn it into a night out; dinner before and drinks after will not be difficult when you’re slap bang in the centre and surrounded by so many incredible choices.
Now is an apt a time as ever to talk about my favourite night out of the year (and day out); Gay Pride. Although I love nothing more than the parades and street parties during the day, as the sun sets in Brighton on the most colourful day of the year, it’s filled with happy, dancing people and hundreds of venues open until the early hours to fuel the celebrations. As Pride fast approaches us, friends from all over are currently embroiled in Whatsapp group chats, trying to organise their plans. My advice for a great night? Stay around St James’s street and the Kemp Town area; it’s slightly (and I mean, EVER SO slightly!) less busy later on, and full of brilliant places to head to drink and dance until the sun comes up.
For something a bit different, head to the South Lanes, and pay a visit to BYOC. For £25 at the door, and whatever spirit you want to bring with you, they’ll mix you up a unique range of cocktails with your bottle, and let you simply sample and enjoy. I absolutely love this idea because you’re able to tell someone who knows exactly what they’re doing, exactly what you like. You can simply sit, chill out and relax with your friends, partner, or whoever it is you’re going along with, whilst the staff at BYOC mix you up a bunch of cocktails based on the spirit you’ve brought along.
I think this would be a great place to come on a Hen/Stag do, as it’s very interactive; you feel like you’re a part of the creation side of things, as well as the sampling too! So much more interesting than your bog-standard cocktail bar, plus after you’ve paid your door fee, you end up saving money, rather than paying £10 a cocktail all night, which is the general price in Brighton. As well as all this, you can discover some seriously great new cocktails. I tend to be boring with cocktails and stick to the ones I know and love, because I don’t want to part with a steep amount of money, only for my taste buds to be left unimpressed at my choice. The only time I ever seem to get creative with my cocktail ordering as at an all inclusive hotel, and it’s a habit that needs to die!
If you’re still wanting something a bit ‘different’ to your typical dinner-and-drinks night out, why not try a Bar Crawl? You don’t have to be getting married to do one. On The Rocks Bar Crawl offers a guided service around Brighton’s coolest bars and clubs in the city centre, where 5 shots and free fast track entry, alongside discounted drinks deals will be included in the cost of your ticket. I’ve been on bar crawls before, but they were usually in places like Kavos when I was 18 years old, and they were a very different type of bar crawl to these. A touch of class is still involved, alongside venues that are actually worth visiting.
Not all nights out have to involve drinking…or at least, not surround drinking. Handmade Mysteries Clue Room Game located on Black Lion Street makes for a very interesting evening. The team game for 2 to 6 people is located in a secret room in the Black Lion Pub and is on every night from Wednesday to Sunday. It’s called a ‘twisted escape room’ and involves an hour of clue solving, with some comedic value too. I think nights like these end up being the best, because they’re so different, and with the right people, they can be absolutely hilarious. Why not try something a bit different, even if it’s out of your comfort zone? There’s only so many cocktail bars you can visit in one city before feeling like you’ve seen them all!
Unfortunately until Brighton opens up it’s very own Ice Bar (someone jump on that idea ASAP, please!) it’s down to you to find things to do that are a little bit ‘different’. Proud Cabaret Brighton will take you back decades, in the most positive way. A retro supper club, alongside a burlesque, cabaret and music venue, this is sure to be a fun and unique night out, in a couple or with a group of friends.
They have an offer of a 2 course dinner and show for just £25 per person which I think is a really great deal; sometimes you can reach a bit of a rut in your ‘night out’ life, and feel like you’re visiting the same pubs and bars, eating at the same restaurants and doing the same things. Even when you’re going to alternate venues, a lot of them are very similar, in menu, drinks and entertainment offerings, so it’s refreshing to have something that takes you back in time, whilst not breaking the bank either.
Lastly, I want to talk about a completely different kind of ‘night out’, but the best kind all the same. The Harbour Hotel recently opened up along the Sea Front; a gorgeous cosmopolitan chain opening in locations by the sea. It’s home to The Jetty restaurant, which boasts a menu of beautiful seafood, and most importantly, The Harbour Spa at the bottom of the hotel.
My girlfriends and I visited the spa for the evening a few weeks ago, wanting an evening together in Brighton, and wanting to try something new. Hot tubs located in a wine cellar, robes and slippers provided, dimly lit rooms that are house to the swimming pools, and the ability to drink prosecco in the spa and then head upstairs to The Jetty for dinner afterwards, it made it one of my favourite ‘nights out’ in Brighton to date…though some may argue it to be a ‘night in’, anything that involves relaxing in warm bubbles whilst drinking cold bubbles in a wine cellar gets my vote. I’ve been to many a spa, and this was my favourite one to date; snuggled onto the corner of West Street, you wouldn’t expect to find such a relaxing and lovely venue, with such a touch of class. The spa is open until 10pm, so you can chill out until late, and then head for further drinks at the bar, or to your room if you’re staying over. £25 for unlimited access to the spa for however long you want is impressive for a completely new venue in a city such as Brighton. And, I can promise you it’s worth the spend.
So, what are your favourite Brighton spots for a ‘cool’ night out, that’s a bit different? Do you want to try something new? I hope you’ve enjoyed my recommendations, and that it’s given you some inspiration to change up your regular date nights, or cocktail dates with friends. There’s nothing wrong with routine, and we all have our favourite spots, but when you live in a city that has so much to offer, it’s worth trialling something unique, just in case you fall in love with it and find a new favourite.