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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for September, 2009

Spotlight On:Kemptown

It’s easy to think you’ve seen Kemptown. You’ve paid gay tribute at Cardome and gotten a drink at the Amsterdam. For the uninitated Cardome is where you can get really explicit pins and gay themed cards. Downstairs is X-rated cards and Banksy prints.

FYI: The Amsterdam is a popular club on the waterfront. To many Kemptown IS  the waterfront. All the major gay clubs are on the water or the surrounding blocks pretty much.

Nice and Naughty is an adult store worth a look on the main drag. This store has loads of stock for girls and lads. Check out the W4W video selection, which is particularly good. Also, this is a good shop to buy latex items. flats 006

I’ve had a really good Thai curry at Sawadee. You’ll feel  right at home here.

Kemptown continues just when you think it doesn’t. You’ll think the action dies down by New Steine. It pauses and then revs up again. Like a disco track.

If you continue down St James Street to Upper St James St, you’ll find more cafe’s, bars and shops.

Kemptown Village specialises in vintage clothing and furniture. One of my favourite shops is Paros Antiques, which is run by my friend Peter who always has a story to tell and has an interesting collection of artwork and kitsch items. Stop in and see Peter to hear all about Josephine Baker, his time on the scene and hollywood screen queen annecdotes. flats 010

The Tea Cosy is a very gay, very British treat. Have a traditional tea here and sing the national anthem. If you mess up your table manners, prepare to be thrown out!  We take queens very seriously in Kemptown.

On the same block as Paros is a huge Indoor antiques market which sells really old photos for 3 pounds a piece and has lovely art work upstairs.

Another interesting shop in this area is Malarkey. This store sells all little bits and some retro designs with glamour girls on it. Think ironic Cath Kidston type little presents.

I’ve also spent some time at Pardon My French, sells upper end vintage fashion that kind that is more Natalie Portman than charity shop.

A new store in the area is Mdtea which sells vintage furniture and tea. There was this insane mannequin downstairs which looked like a member of the village people. I thought he was real for a minute.

Kemptown Books is a small shop over 2 floors with nice independent bookshop vibe, you know a place that smells like books.

Kemptown is really the gay heart of the city and sort of a little more sophisticated counter cultural nook further down St James. Check it out!

Dressing Up In Brighton, Love

I’m so envious of drag performers. Some might call me a “faux queen” which is essentially a queen with a “box”. If you ever wanted to come to Brighton and play with gender and make-up there is no better place to do it.

First of all, let me tell you about the amazing Lacie’s boutique in Hove. This shop sells shoes of every size, beautiful feminine lingere and breast enhancement things.

The shop is owned and operated by a trannsexual lady who is very stylish and really nice.

I’m a bio female and I would wear some of the shoes and pretty bits in here.

Check out Lacies.

Gourmet Taste

If you are wondering where to get your gourmet groove on in Brighton, check out my blog post that details gourmet food shops and speciality restaurants. Consider buying some bakery bread and cheese and sitting on the beach during your stay!

Cheap Eats

Cheap eats are hard to come by sometimes. Candy floss is a cheap eat but not very nutritious. If you are looking to save money whilst in Brighton, read on for my guide to tasty cheap eats

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Piccolo in The Lanes is truly cheap and truly good. Whether you opt for a 3 pound lunch or a 6.50 two course dinner this restaurant will rock your taste buds. I love the minestrone soup here so much. The portions are generous and service and atmosphere belies the price.If you are looking to save money in Brighton, go to Piccolo. Don’t hesitate because even if you are on a diet, you can get a gorgeous salad.  A+

I think Pompoko  in North Laines is not a bad choice either. The food is not extradordinary but the price tag works. For taste if you aren’t particularly calorie conscious try a Japanese curry, which is good. A lot of local kids who attend Brighton University come here, which is never a bad sign. The environment is very casual which is good if you aren’t really dressed for a restaurant and have just been on the beach. This place is usually quite busy but after you order you’ll have your food in ten minutes tops.  B

0809 032Red Veg is a good alternative to a Subway sandwich or fast food meal. The price is good, the “burgers” are nicely grilled and the atmosphere is better than the nearby classic Grubbs. Everything at Red Veg is vegetarian. B+

Bombay Aloo is a small chain (two restaurants) of Indian buffets that are clean and really good value for money. The service staff is constantly checking the buffet and removing food that has been out too long and cleaning the area. This restaurant is all vegetarian but meat-eaters will be swayed. The Brighton Central branch is better than the Kemptown branch in terms of decor but you’ll consider this a good choice.  Check out the lunch special on weekdays for an even better deal.  A

Pablo’s is hit or miss Italian. I’ve been here and had a nice salad and a pasta dish and I’ve had my date exclaim that the pizza was raw. You have a good meal here but you wouldn’t want to risk it. The staff were not that helpful during the raw pizza weird cheese taste incident. I used to really like this place but I wonder now if it has changed chiefs. C-

Hitting The Shops

Spending money on lovely things in Brighton is easy. No matter what your particular taste is you’ll find something new to wear. Check out my guide to Brighton shopping.

The True Pavilion

The Pavilion really is that cool. It isn’t a hyped up thing. Go head and spend the money. If you spend money on any attraction other than if you have insistant kids dying to go to Sea Life, spend the money here.

Brighton’s Little Bro

Brighton is really the city the of Brighton AND Hove. Nobody really talks about Hove. However, if the crowds of Brighton are ruining your beach experience or you fancy a lower key evening, head over to Hove. And don’t forget Hove Park.

Seven Sister’s National Park

You haven’t really seen the South Downs until you’ve visited Seven Sister’s National Park. If you are looking for real woods that you can’t get lost in easily you are in luck. You might even see a badger! Read more here.