While residents of other cities lament the homogenisation of their central shopping districts, Brightonians have good reason to feel smug. There are few cities in Britain which have so many interesting, independent boutiques and speciality shops. Before I moved in Brighton, I often used to come here just to bliss out in retail heaven for a day or two. Many out-of-towners do.
Strong on vintage clothing, hard-to-find music, retro homewares, artisan-made chocolates and other treats, Brighton is equally good for high street fashion and jokey gifts. The city’s residential districts also have a reassuring sprinkling of fine delis, traditional butchers and greengrocers. You just need to know where to go. To find out more, take a look at my guides:
Once you’ve nosed around some of the best boutiques, I’ll let you in on a little secret. For much of Brighton’s most eclectic and creative shopping, you should look beyond the shops themselves and instead keep your eyes and ears open for art, craft and food fairs, farmers’ markets, pop-up shops and open houses. To get started, check out some of these: Brighton Farm Market (73 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD; +44 1273 696010; www.brightonfarmmarket.co.uk), Artists Open Houses (all over the city in May and December; www.aoh.org.uk), Brighton Art Fair (September; Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UG; www.brightonartfair.co.uk) and Made Design and Craft Fair (November; Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UG; www.made10.co.uk). Trust Brighton to be different.