Our local lad in the know, Andy Hill, divulges his recommended haunts across Brighton's vibrant Kemptown.

Stretching from Palace Pier to the marina (well, technically Lidl car park), Kemptown is a flamboyant jumble of boozers, trendy eateries and vintage boutiques. Though punctuated by imposing Georgian architecture and grandiose stucco crescents, the area retains a vibrant counter-culture vibe.

As the throbbing heart of Brighton’s gay scene – nicknamed Camp Town for good reason – locals love its glitz and glamour. Don't wait till the annual Pride parade for an excuse to hit the bars on St James’s Street. Proud Cabaret’s idiosyncratic home on the corner of Paston Place is a huge draw for parties, most of whom remain blissfully unaware they’re revelling in ultimate hedonism within a renovated Jewish mausoleum. 


PIZZAFACE serve a defiantly hipster slice of Brighton cool, with craft beers, low lighting and a pitch-perfect soundtrack.

BLOCK is where too-cool-for-school kids congregate and munch on tasty, locally sourced nosh from Brighton's only charcoal and wood burning oven. When you're full, take a pew in their award winning garden and sup on some top quality vino. 

GINGER DOG’s plush seating and upmarket pub setting make it a fitting space to scoff exquisitely-cooked British classics like wood pigeon and pork cheek.

RESTAURANT AT DRAKES keep it old-school with fawning service, tablecloths, top-drawer cooking and wine pairings. Treat yourself to a taste of the good life.

PLOTTING PARLOUR do award-winning cocktails over two shiny 1920’s-inspired floors. The table-service ensures your date can keep your attention on one another. 

THE THOMAS KEMP is a classic cozy local with Chesterfield sofas, plentiful local ales on tap and regular live music. Plus they make a killer steak sarnie.

BUSBY AND WILDS, named after the architectural duo who laid out much of Brighton, is a top-drawer gastropub with an international slant to the beer menu.

HAND IN HAND is, proudly, an old-school boozer with adorably ramshackle decor, hilarious staff and...a brewery out back?!

ST JAMES TAVERN is for a Kemptown pissup, which wouldn’t be worth a damn without a few jars  of rum and a plate of Thai from this cracking hostelry,. This is ground-zero for Brighton’s bizarre Tuaca shot fetish.


CAFE MARMALADE serve generously-filled sandwiches, home-made quiche, posh cakes and great coffee in a wholesome cafe setting. Parfait. 

METRODECO is the last word in jazz-age sophistication. Slip on some flapper garms from their dress-up rack, and take afternoon tea with cocktails on the side.

GROUND is simply the best for artisan coffee, focusing its attention beyond the drinks to details such as sourcing brilliant power-outlets, super WiFi, and recruiting ridiculously appealing and animated staff.


VOLK'S ELECTRIC RAILWAY is the oldest operating electric train in the world, as it meanders along a quiet stretch of beach. This attraction is best enjoyed with a belly full of lager and an ice cream cone in hand.

THE BRIGHTON ZIP is the longest zip wire on the South coast, definitely worth a go if you're feeling adventurous. For the daredevils among you there's also a 24m freefall drop zone. Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?

Published -10th December 2016