If you’re after the perfect romantic break in the, UK you’re spoilt for choice. Between the sophistication of the Cotswolds, the beauty of The Lake District and the excitement of London there’s something to suit everyone. One place that offers pretty much everything required by a romantic break is Brighton. This is more than just a silly sea side city with a loud pier and a few too many students. It’s a place that welcomes everyone and makes even the most fleeting guest feel truly welcome.
As with any place, the guidebooks can only tell you so much. For example if your idea of a good night out is a loud club with a good supply of cheap drinks the guidebooks might tell you to head to West Street but if you want something with a little more sophistication than a strip of chain clubs full of young people who can’t quite handle their alcohol then you need to do some real research.
Start you day with a trip to the Royal Pavilion and wonder round this Eastern inspired palace which King George IV commissioned over 130 years ago when he was still prince regent. A previously royal residence might not sound like the most exciting day out but this is no ordinary palace. The Prince Regent had decedent tastes and despite never actually venturing out to India and China he loved the idea of the Far East. The outside of the building is peppered with large domes like you’d expect on an Indian palace and the first half of the decor inside uses rich colours with plenty of gold details. The walls are decorated with Asian inspired motifs and as you enter the banquet room your eyes will automatically be drawn to the huge chandeliers which would have been a little on the over the top side even back in the 18th century. The gardens around the Pavilion are also worth walking round and on a sunny summers day they really do show you what Brighton is all about.
Whilst most men might not jump for joy at the idea of shopping, no trip to Brighton is complete without a trip round The Laines. These tiny cobbled streets offer dozens of antique and jewellery shops and what better way to remember your romantic break than treating your other half to a stunning necklace or bracelet that you’d never find in a high street shop. If you start to feel a little claustrophobic in these narrow streets (someone parts are too narrow for two grownups to pass side by side) then head on over to the North Lanes where you’ll a collection of bohemian shops, tiny boutiques and alternative shops. From musicians to shoe lovers everyone will find something in this bazaar collection of shops they love but you might want to take a map along as it’s not hard to get turned around and find yourself completely lost. Don’t be scared to ask for directions or recommendations if there’s something in particular you’re after, this isn’t London and the locals are usually very friendly.
By now you’ve probably had a busy day and whilst The Lanes offer plenty of places to pick up a snack it’s time for some dinner. If you want something generic then head on over to The Marina where you’ll find a section of the usual chain restaurants but there are plenty of independent restaurants throughout the city. Trip Advisor is the best place to find something you’re really going to love but since you’re in a city by the sea fish really does seem like the obvious choice. Almost opposite the West Pier you’ll find The Melrose and whilst it might look like the restaurant the eighties forgot the food and service is second to none. With an extensive fresh fish menu boasting everything from king prawns, lobster and oysters to steak and cod you’re spoilt for choice. The best part about this restaurant overlooking the sea is the prices are incredibly reasonable and you’ll leave completely full.
The Perfect Date Night In Brighton
London might have the West End, South Bank and more restaurants than you could ever actually eat in but just 50 miles south is the enchanting city of Brighton. With plenty to see and do it’s the perfect city for a perfect date.
Whilst guidebooks might tell you the basics, only a true Brightonian can tell you the best places to go, the places that don’t look that great from the outside but are amazing inside or the places hidden away up narrow stair cases with subtle little signs barley visible from the street.
Let’s start the evening with some pre dinner cocktails and although you can’t swing a cat in Brighton without hitting a plethora of bars, Valentinos is perfect for a date. Bar Valentino is hidden away on New Road next door to the Theatre Royal and right on top of a Mexican restaurant. Given the amount of bars and restaurants along here with all their outdoor seating you might walk straight past it the first time. Once you’ve found its little unassuming door and you’ve gone upstairs take a few minutes to really look through their cocktail menu and if you can, grab a cosy seat and enjoy.
Once you’ve enjoyed your drink take a walk along the sea front and once you’re opposite the West Pier look for The Melrose, an amazing fish restaurant. From the outside, The Melrose might look a little questionable with its shabby exterior and outdoors seating but don’t forget, this building has spent years getting battered by the sea just over the road so don’t let that put you off. Once you’re inside you’ll be greeted by their incredibly friendly and professional staff and given a menu that would make any fish lover torn. If fish isn’t your thing they also have plenty of steaks on their menu too. The food is always cooked perfectly and the price is incredibly reasonable.
Once you’ve finished your meal take a romantic walk back along the sea front, head over to the pier and try your hand at some of the quaint carnival games. If you’re not too full from dinner pick up some desert in the form of some candy floss or fresh doughnuts – these are the foods that were designed to be eaten by the beach after all. Depending on how your dinner is sitting have a go on a few of the rides at the end of the pier, there’s nothing like a turn through a cheesy ghost train to get the heart rate pumping and enjoy a snuggle. As you exit the pier spent twenty minutes and a few pounds to take a turn round the Brighton wheel. You can see the whole city from the top and it looks lovely when it’s all lit up. The perfect way to let your heart rate and stomach recover from those turbulent rides.
Now it’s time for your after dinner entertainment and whilst you could head on over to West Street and visit one of the many generic clubs often frequented by the young and slightly less sophisticated members of society there are far more interesting things to see and do. Take a taxi and head up Kemp Town (or walk if you don’t mind the twenty minutes uphill stroll) and visit the Proud Ballroom and enjoy an evening of burlesque and cabaret. This isn’t advisable for the overly prudish or easily offended but if you enjoy an evening of 20’s style entertainment, real looking women (who of course always stop short of being indecent) and lots of feather bowers you’ll love the Proud Ballroom. Check ahead as they run different theme rights and sometimes sell out but this is a great way to end a night out in Brighton.