Katie Dailey, Shopping and Style Editor at TIME OUT London tells us why we should visit Brighton, the classic (but also eclectic) English seaside town and the setting for our Spring Summer 2012 campaign shoot.
Brighton, the free spirited San Francisco of the British coast, has always provided a bolt hole for the creative, the vegetarian, and the strange. Its brand of bawdy postcard fun- from its arcade jammed pier to its seafront ice-creameries- was founded on the notion of harmless laughs. And there’s still no finer place to find them.
Stay in the world’s first knitted bedroom
Local crafty type Kate Jenkins (aka Kate Cardigan) has knitted every last inch of the Do Knit Disturb suite in the Hotel Pelirocco, tucked right by the beach front. Bedside lamp, in-room telephone, seagull, curtains and even morning fry up come clacked together on Jenkins’s needles.
From £59 a night, www.hotelpelirocco.co.uk
Swim in the historic lido…
Before it’s bulldozed into penthouses. The grand old art deco building of the Saltdean Lido gives it the appearance of a handsome steam liner. Second only to the bone-chilling briny, this 1930s pool is the best place to take a swim in the area. Dip your toe in while you can, as residents are currently fighting the owner’s plans to develop it into flats.
Swim for £4, www.saltdean.info
Take a drink for the people
The Robin Hood pub was set up by local millionaire Martin Webb in 2004. It is unique in the UK in that every penny of profit goes straight to local charities- meaning each time you lift your glass, you’re doing a little bit for the people of Brighton.
Get your rocks on
You really can’t go to Brighton without coming back with at least one tooth cracking stick of rock. But why settle for an off the peg candy stripe when you can go bespoke? Sandee’s, Brighton’s major rock maker, will manufacture you your own personalised batch- with any words you like.
250 sticks of personalised rock, £199, www.letteredrock.co.uk
Have a rhubarb and custard flavoured ice cream
Just off the beach front, Scoop and Crumb home make retro ice creams in nostalgic flavours like Rhubarb & Custard and Apple Crumble. They also dabble in special dairy editions like Oreo and Ginger, and towering knickerbockers in old fashion glasses. The sorbet striped parlour is co-owned by a Swede, meaning there’s also a lunch menu of gravadlax and rye. But we recommend loosening your belt and sticking to the ‘bockers.
From £4 for a knickerbocker, www.scoopandcrumb.com
Make friends with old Vera
The world’s first electric railway continues to trundle along Brighton’s seafront, linking the Pier at one end to Black Rock, for the Marina. Really only a brief walk, but it makes for a lovely trip. True locomotion nerds can join VERA- the friendly Volk’s Electric Railways Association, who have charged themselves with protecting the vintage railcars and its rickety old tracks.
£1.10 one way (60p for children) www.volkselectricrailway.co.uk
Observe a gerbil’s dinner party
It’s a museum, but not as you might know it. Edward Booth dedicated his life to collecting (and meticulously stuffing) birds, and his Natural History Museum houses his collection as well as many others- from woolly rhino fossils to mounted chaffinches in flight. The NHM specialises in Victoriana taxidermy, meaning brilliantly peculiar set ups in glass boxes- think stuffed gerbils captured mid-flow at a dinner party. The ‘exotic’ room is a particular draw- a kind of Brighton man’s Deyrolle, with a huge collection of butterflies. Allow a day.
Free entry, www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk
Get the cogs turning
Mechanical Memories recalls the simple charms of the gaming of yesteryear. It’s an old fashioned arcade on the boardwalk, stuffed with jangly old slot machines from the 1900s, horse racing games, one armed bandits- and evening some brilliantly chintzy old fortune telling and wish granting machines. Just don’t wish to be big.
Free entry, www.mechanicalmemoriesmuseum.co.uk