The C&TH Guide to Moving to Brighton
Why move to Brighton? Read our guide, including locals' tips and the reasons they moved...
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Thinking of moving? Here’s why you should consider moving to Brighton…
Why? It’s Good Time Central with a pier, a prom, a dome and a Regency heritage to die for – plus Britain’s only Green MP. There are 22 Good Food Guide entries, a trendy modern marina and the new (racy to some) i360 Tower. What’s not to like?
Where? You’re spoilt for choice. Regency squares are to be found in posh Hove, while the mix of café society, gay bars and night life in Kemp Town make it a hipster paradise. Near the pier you can find classic ‘Brighton look’ five-storey houses with Italianate frontages.
Who? Newly separated Zoë Ball and Fat Boy Slim live a few doors apart on the Western Esplanade near neighbours Adele and David Walliams (not together). Watch the seafront on Sunday mornings for local resident Chris Eubank senior, driving his customised US truck.
When? The Veteran Car run from London takes place each November, while Brighton Pride – tens of thousands attend – is an August regular. Throughout the summer the beach hosts parties, festivals, discos and more weddings
than you can imagine.
How Much? The average home is £390,000 but multiply by ten for a house overlooking the sea. Inland at the family-friendly Queens Park conservation area, this six-bed terraced house is £1.65m from Fine & Country.
Local’s Guide to Brighton: Michael Bremner, founder of 64 Degrees
‘There’s always something different going on in Brighton.’
Why do you live in Brighton?
I live in the Brighton side of Hove. My partner and I moved there for my two little girls, because of the great selection of schools nearby. I could walk to work as well, which is always great because parking in Brighton is a nightmare.
Why did you move there?
I trained in the North East of Scotland, near Aberdeen on the coast which was nice because it’s beachy, freezing, but beachy. I’ve always loved that, so when I moved to London for three years I then needed to be closer to the beach, so moved to Brighton, before going travelling. I just like the environment of being near the sea, I feel more comfortable.
As a local business owner, why is Brighton a great location?
I’ve worked in Brighton for 12 years now, on and off. In that time, so much has changed. There were hardly any restaurants, and now the opportunities and small environment means I know a lot of the chefs in town and everyone’s really friendly with each other. It is a tourist destination, with so much going on, but it’s also a very nice calm place to be. There’s not a lot of crime or violence – it’s just a very nice place to live. Anything goes in Brighton.
What are the best things about living in Brighton?
There’s a lot of stuff to do with kids and for all ages. It definitely suits me well. I came up with 64 degrees during my time in Brighton. Normally, the weather is great in Brighton too, it has its own microclimate. But even when it’s stormy, it’s so beautiful in Brighton. The location is great too, not far from London, and half an hour from Gatwick for flights. But the food scene as well is pretty incredible at the moment, and it’s only going to get better, with Matt Gillan opening a restaurant – it’s an exciting time for Brighton. Not to mention the great schools, parks for kids, the nightlife – there’s just a lot happening.
Has living in Brighton met or exceeded your expectations? How?
It’s exceeded my expectations, as I never want to leave Brighton. When I moved here I moved for a job, and I ended up staying. My kids absolutely adore it too and they are always made to feel very welcome everywhere we go.
If you weren’t living there, where would you be?
I would like to say abroad, maybe Australia. I’ve just been there and I absolutely loved it. If I didn’t have my kids, I would probably move there without thinking about it.
What’s going on in town?
The new restaurants I’ve mentioned already, and I’m actually working on a new restaurant myself, but it’s still at the very early stages. There’s just so much going on constantly, and everything’s going in such a fantastic direction, and getting recognition for all angles I think. And in terms of the food world, we have number 16 in the top 100 restaurants in the UK which is great news.
Where do locals eat?
Obviously aside from 64 degrees, The Little Fish Market which is an incredible restaurant for something special. There’s only one guy in the kitchen and one in the front of house. Then for a relaxed meal, the best curry in Brighton is the oxtail madras at The Chilli Pickle. Cin Cin is getting a lot of buzz too – it’s a great small plate Italian.
Where should you go for a drink?
For a great beer, The Brighton Beer Dispensary is my favourite. There are also loads of nice cocktail bars in Brighton.
Best walks in Brighton?
A great walk is from the Brighton Pier to Hove, along the beach promenade. There’s another fantastic walk, where you walk out from the Marina towards Ovingdean. There are lots of lovely rock pools and things to see along the coast. It’s great for cycling too. Then obviously, you have the South Downs to explore as well.
That’s quite a tough one… I like the view from up the top of the South Downs, but there’s the new British Airways i360, which I think has a great view.
What’s on in Brighton for 2017
Artists Residence: Justin and Charlie (real name Charlotte) Salisbury met as students, and when Justin’s mum – who had bought a run-down Brighton guesthouse – was seriously injured in an accident before she had renovated it, 20-year-old Justin stepped in. Having no idea how to tackle the redecoration, he filled the listed town house with artists and gave them a free hand. The first Artist Residence was born. With invaluable advice from Channel Five’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, and Justin and Charlie’s own dogged commitment, they have turned it into a successful, buzzy hotel and have now opened two more Artist Residences in Penzance and Pimlico. This one has sea views and 23 retro-style bedrooms, from tiny crash pads to a huge suite, with bespoke or vintage furniture, hand-picked artwork, entertaining murals and excellent beds. There’s the sparky Cocktail Shack for drinks, easy-going Set Café for snacks and Set Restaurant for Dan Kenny and Semone Bonner’s stunning seasonal tasting menus. Doubles from £105.
The foodie scene in Brighton is ever expanding and developing. Just this year, new restaurant openings include one from 64 degrees founder Michael Bremner and Matt Gillan.
As zero waste is emerging as a food trend for 2017 (with Dan Barber’s pop up at Selfridge’s wastED London), Silo is Britain’s first 100 per cent zero-waste restaurant, and it is based in Brighton.
It’s also worth trying the four-course seasonal British tasting menu at The Set in town.
Learn how to make your own neon artwork with Andy Doig at The Neon School in Brighton. or hunt around for some antique and vintage treasures at Snoopers Paradise in the North Laine.
Jane Austen by the Sea, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
As the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death is celebrated around the country this year, we turn to Brighton for an exhibition exploring Jane Austen’s relationship with coastal towns and life in Brighton during her time. Forming part of Royal Pavilion & Museums’ 2017 Regency Season, Jane Austen by the Sea will look at the seaside context of Austen’s plots and paint a picture of the leading resort of Brighton in the early 1800s, when it was a fashionable ‘watering place’ featured in novels like Pride and Prejudice. 17 June 2017 – 8 January 2018.
Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation, Brighton
Head to the Spotlight Gallery in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for the historic story of experimental film-making in Brighton and Hove dating back to 1896. Exploring the success and significance of filmmaking nationally and internationally, with highlights including ground-breaking cameras made in the city; a film by key avant-garde director Jeff Keen (1923-2012), and work by Ben Rivers. Until 4 June.
Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
This display showcases rarely-seen views of the Royal Pavilion Estate dating back to the 1760s, as well as cutting-edge digital reconstructions of how it might have looked. Illustrations from the earliest printed books about the estate will sit beside unrealised designs, early municipal maps and 20th century plans and images, sourced almost exclusively from the city’s archives and collections. 14 March – 3 September 2017.
Constable and Brighton, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
John Constable and his family stayed in Brighton 1824-1828, when Constable repeatedly walked along the coast and up into the Downs. Constable and Brighton will follow Constable’s walking and painting sequences, illustrating the sketches and paintings he produced as he explored the Brighton landscape. The exhibition will explore the impact and influence of the work he made here, and bring the sketches, drawings and paintings he created in the town back to Brighton for the first time. 8 April – 8 October 2017.