I don’t know what it is about Brighton.
In fact, I do know: it’s everything about Brighton.
For 3 years, it was my home from home. Now 3 years on, it still never ceases to amaze me.
When I go back now, I’m only there minutes before I just hear all those familiar sounds and smell those familiar fragrances. The salty sea breeze whisks me back to mornings in my uni years, where I would just sit on Brighton beach, earphones in and a juice in hand, watching the world go by, with the apricity of the sun on my face.
The standing silhouette of the West Pier was the background setting for late night walks and talks by the sea with friends. The waves that crashed against it proved to be a chilly (and sometimes regrettable) dip in the sea, even during the Summer heatwaves that I experienced during my time there!
You needn’t look far in Brighton before you’re mixed into a euphoric atmosphere filled with happiness, music and laughter. The pubs of Brighton are where some of my favourite memories with my friends have been made, the warm glow of the lights outside the Mash Tun pub welcoming us in for a pint (or several) at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, the Fred Perry fish shop is the final 2am stop at the end of the night before you begin that long walk back home, not forgetting to stop and glance for a moment at the Pavilion lit up by the Old Steine.
The colourful characters of buildings that make up the North Laine streets are adorned with vintage treasures and friendly faces. It’s love for the independent and the eccentric is what made me fall in love with it all those years ago and today, I love it even more. From the Pelicano Coffee shop, to the infamous Dirty Harry’s, every building in those streets has its own personality and style, a true reflection of the city’s celebration of diversity and inclusion.
Whilst the hustle and bustle of the tightly squeezed streets may seem a deterrent at first, I always feel at ease in this particular city. In fact, the people of Brighton always have that warmth to them, it’s a place where everyone is welcome.
Over the years, I’ve learned my way around the winding and often confusing alleyways. But sometimes getting lost in those streets has made me discover some of Brighton’s best finds, from local coffee shops, such as the Café Coho, where I would regularly meet my sister for weekend brunches, to the local magazine shop by the station, where I could browse through myriads of independent reads on fashion, lifestyle and travel.
Whilst I may no longer live there, I’m always the first to jump at the chance of a return to this unique seaside city.
Brighton, you will forever have my heart, my home away from home.