Brighton has been a seaside holiday favourite since families flocked to its pebbly beaches on a newly opened railway in the mid-19th century.
And the hotspot is now awash with relics from the Victorian era.
But for fans of Netflix show Bridgerton there's a hint of Regency splendour in the south coast Sussex town…
The sumptuous Royal Pavilion is top of the list of places to go.
Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, the wonderful property, which is open to the public, showcases Regency grandeur with flourishes of design finishes borrowed from India and China.
And a new exhibition of handmade Regency-style clothing influenced by the era will delight Bridgerton buffs.
Running until 11 September 2022 it’s billed as a “collection of imagined garments reflecting the fashion, style and history of the Regency period” and will include “ball gowns, walking dresses, parasols and bags”.
Check out the details by clicking here.
As for more must-see-and-do highlights, keep reading. We've listed the number one place to stay and how to live like a Queen.
1. The Regency Townhouse
At 13 Brunswick Square, in the heart of the Georgian estate of Brunswick Town, this grade 1 listed terraced home oozes the grandeur of the era.
It’s currently being developed as a museum and heritage centre with a focus on the architecture and social history of the times – the perfect way to get an insight into the wonderful world that Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown writes about in her scandalous diaries!
While the property is being lovingly restored you’ll need to book for a guided tour, visit on one of the open days, or when there’s an event or exhibition being staged.
For more info click here.
2. Go veggie at Terre à Terre
We dined here on our first night – it’s one of Brighton’s first sustainable vegetarian restaurants. It had a really fun atmosphere and the food was exquisite, with great cocktails.
Book a table by clicking here.
3. Have a go at Attar-making
After checking out the tourist magnets, including the pier and sea-life aquarium, we took part in an attar-making workshop.
Nancy Meiland has just opened her first perfumery in Brighton and it’s a real gem. Her masterclass runs for just over an hour and in that time you get to hear how perfume is made, before trying out various different smells and notes for yourself.
There are three elements to perfume, the base, middle and top notes – and Nancy helps you select the ones that work for you. Then you can start experimenting.
Nancy Meiland Parfums’ attar-making workshop costs £125pp. Click here for more information.
4. Eat Thai at the Giggling Squid
The following evening we tried this popular hotspot. The higgledy-piggledy nature of the Thai restaurant makes it feel very cosy and the incredible curries should not be missed.
Book a table by clicking here.
5. Enjoy a pampering
A spot of pampering at The Treatment Rooms is a must. We opted for a full body massage.
The therapist really took the time to listen to my needs and health concerns, and I felt like the treatment was really personalised. Pure bliss.
Massages at The Treatment Rooms start from £49. Book on 01273 818444 or click here.
6. Go on a food tour of the town
The Brighton Food Tour was the absolute highlight of our trip. We met our guide outside the Brighton Open Market where we tried Smorl’s wonderful houmous.
We then sipped hot chocolate from Rainbow Organic Chocolates, enjoyed insanely good Indian tasters from Curry Leaf Cafe, sampled cheese and wine at Barney’s Deli and scoffed one of the best sausage rolls ever from Brighton Sausage Co.
Book a tour costing £55pp, by clicking here.
7. Stay at The Mercure Brighton
This is exactly what you’d picture when thinking of a Grade II-listed seafront hotel. Its grand Regency frontage, stunning interior with chandeliers and vintage mirrors, and beautiful ballroom give a glimpse of its illustrious past.
The rooms are fully kitted out with modern bathrooms, digital TVs, tea and coffee facilities, and extremely comfy King-sized beds – perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring. Try to book a room with a seaview – waking up to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach below is sublime.
There’s a lovely bar for pre-dinner drinks and a large restaurant serving food throughout the day. The buffet breakfast is excellent. Ideally located for exploring the town, it’s just a 10-minute walk from The Lanes and only five from the 1,722ft pier, which is as long as 64 double-decker buses!
Rooms at the Brighton Seafront Mercure Hotel start at £80 per night. Visit mercurebrighton.co.uk.
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