I’ve done my time in Brighton & Hove. Speaking as someone who grew up here and has been at university here too, I’ve walked its hilly roads, had many laughs and a drink on the beach and sat in my many coffee shops and restaurants. Many pubs and clubs too have a special place in my heart. I spent my childhood looking at the students glide through the North Lanes, and I romanticised student life. I couldn’t wait to become one so I could frequent all the independent coffee shops, vintage stores, and dive bars that Brighton is so famous for. So where to begin then? As someone who lives, breathes and loves Brighton with all their heart, how can I possibly choose my favourite spots and haunts? I think I’ve narrowed it down, and I hope you enjoy these places just as much as I do.

Words by Ali Arief

I think I best start with my favourite spot on campus. A bit on the nose and not just my favourite, Falmer Bar and Room 76 has served me well since I became a Fresher a few years ago. The staff are always lovely, pints are cheap, and the vibe is authentic and homely. The food is also marvellous, with the ‘Return of the Mac’ Macaroni Cheese being my favourite dish they serve. I have spent many nights there after a long stint at the library, and it is an absolute go-to for any Fresher.

Another spot close to home is Stanmer Park, located just outside of campus. An expansive forest with rolling green hills, it is truly a scenic beauty. Between lectures and seminars, I am rather fond of grabbing a coffee from Falmer Bar and going on a walk into Stanmer Park, and now we are transitioning into the Autumn months, the park is a perfect spot for cosy autumnal walks with a good cup of coffee and good songs to play on your headphones.

Now if you want a true hidden gem, I cannot recommend going to St Vincent’s charity shop in Hove enough. You can take any bus into Hove, and it is about a fifteen-minute drive from Brighton central. Located on the outskirts of Portland Road, this charity shop has become my staple for buying clothes. A vibrant store which sells designer clothes, handbags, and shoes on the cheap, I can spend hours in there browsing. If you ever catch yourself going into Hove, do yourself a favour and take a gander into this magical place. 

If you’re looking to go out for the night-time and you fancy somewhere a bit different, I highly recommend The Yellow Book on London Road. With a steampunk and arty vibe, this bar is themed for any lovers of a neo-Victorian nostalgia. The Yellow Book has a wide selection of drinks at affordable prices, and their cocktail selection is as equally fabulous. I have spent many cosy nights in The Yellow Book, drinking a large glass of white wine and hearing the rain pour down onto the roof of their smoking area. It truly is a beautiful little bar. 

Brighton & Hove have some amazing places to explore. Just grab a mate, get on a bus and try something new!

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