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Travel Stories and Guides by Table Magazine

A collection of travel stories and guides by Table Magazine and contributors from around the world.

City Walk | Brighton

When Emma Lavelle got in touch with us about writing a guide for Brighton we couldn't think of a better time to share it than in August. Best scene in the sun, this beach town just forty minutes south of London is full of inspiring independent shops, delicious restaurants and surrounded by the beautiful coastline. Join Emma as she takes you through the North and South Laines of one of England's most famous seaside towns. you'll visit some of our favourite cafes, magazine shops, restaurants and secret spots.

Brighton is a place close to my heart. My best friend lives there, giving me reason to visit as often as possible, despite the six hour journey spread across three separate trains. There’s just something about being beside the sea that soothes my soul; I always return feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, my brain overflowing with inspiration. Perhaps that is down to the fusion of a British seaside town with a hub of creativity, perhaps it’s simply down to watching the waves lap the shore. 

I always visit at the end of July, and my recent trip coincided with both the hottest day of the year and the wettest day of the summer. The first two days were spent basking on the beach, floating in the surprisingly warm sea and treating ourselves to ice-cream from local institution, Marroccos. A little tip for day-trippers looking to escape the crowds that congregate beside the pier – walk towards Hove and you’ll find much calmer, more sparsely populated beaches.

Faced with a blustery Saturday and drenched Sunday, we hit the Laines. Brighton is a mecca of independent shops and cafes, most of the most interesting of which can be found in the maze of the North Laines. My advice would be to simple wander up and down each Lane, popping into the shops that catch your eye and occasionally stopping for coffee. Here are the destinations that I never miss, most of which are located in the North Laines but a couple are a little farther afield.

Stop 1 | I gigi General Store

It’s impossible for me to visit Brighton without popping into Igigi General Store. The light and airy space is filled with natural homewares, bespoke furniture and linen garments, all of which I wish I could have taken home with me. They also offer an interior design service and occasionally host supper clubs in their upstairs space. 

stop 2 | Fold

Fold stock a capsule collection of directional clothing by a variety of brands that use natural fabrics and traditional manufacturing methods, but it is their own small range of garments that really caught my eye. Produced in the U.K, their range of jumpsuits, shirt dresses and trousers are ideal for anyone seeking a relaxed wardrobe. It’s also worth popping in to peruse their selection of French natural beauty products. 

stop 3 | Wolf & Gypsy

‘Vintage for grown-ups’ should be Wolf & Gypsy’s tag-line. Their store may be small, but it’s expertly curated. A far cry from floral tea dresses, expect to find directional vintage gems that will effortlessly fit into a contemporary wardrobe. They also stock a small range of accessories and ceramics if you’re searching for a gift.

Stop 4 | Larder

Cheap and cheerful vegan food dominates the menu at Larder. If you’re craving fresh, wholesome ingredients, this is the place to enjoy a slow lunch. Sit outside and watch the constant stream of people passing by as you enjoy a colourful plate of delicious food that you won’t feel guilty about. Choose from Buddha bowls, freshly made dips or their famous jacket potatoes smothered in delicious toppings. They also serve an impressive selection of vegan cake and drinks. 

stop 5 | Vine Street Vintage

Spread over three small floors, this antique shop is my favourite in Brighton (a high accolade, thanks to the abundance of such stores). I often find myself wondering if I could transport a beautifully upholstered Mid-Century chair on the Underground on my way home, but there are plenty of vases, lamps and accessories if you’re in the market for something smaller.  

stop 6 | Gunns Florist

Again, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to florists in Brighton but I always end up making a purchase from Gunns on Sydney Street. Stop by to browse their plants and succulents or to create a bouquet from their colourful array of unusual and wild flowers. If nothing else, pick up a bunch of lavender to take home. 

stop 7 | V and H Café

Located in Hove, this unassuming café is my favourite brunch spot in Brighton. As a vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs, I find it hard to track down a decent breakfast and V and H’s full vegan breakfast is one of my all-time favourites. There’s something for everyone here, so you’ll also find meat and veggie options on the menu if that’s more your taste. 

Stop 8 | Magazine

The rise of independent print publications doesn’t show any sign of stopping. You won’t find any big-name glossies in Magazine, but this indie magazine store is always full of people rifling through the pages of established independents and obscure niche journals. Expect to see the likes of Cereal and Kinfolk along magazines dedicated to cycling, coffee and design. 

Stop 9 | Flour Pot Bakery

The Flour Pot Bakery may now have several sites located across Brighton and Hove, but its original location in the Laines is an essential stop on any shopping trip. The perfect place to grab a coffee and a cake – not forgetting a loaf of sourdough to take home – this artisan bakery have a real passion for their craft. 

Stop 10 | Spider Plant

Nestled above Waiste Vintage, Spider Plant is an essential destination for anyone who loves to introduce greenery into their home. Specialising in both popular and more unusual house plants, expect to find everything from hanging, trailing plants to towering trees. They also stock a selection of pots and can even give first-aid to plants that you already own. 

Words & Photography by Emma Lavelle

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