If you fancy a change of scenery from the usual London haunts then it’s never been easier to take a train from East Croydon to Brighton and find yourself in the UK’s quirkiest and friendliest city, ready to enjoy the nightlife. But when you get there, surely you wouldn’t be content with stumbling into the nearest Wetherspoons? You’re looking for something a little more special, are you not?
Allow us to introduce you to a few of Brighton’s weirdest and most wonderful bars.
The Black Dove – It might be one of the most popular drinking dens in the city, but few people know about the downstairs lounge area, which boasts a much quieter and more refined décor inspired by a sunken galleon (including hidden treasures) as well as a private bar.
Twisted Lemon – Wedged between two buildings in the popular Lanes district, this is a small but special gem that serves up decadent cocktails that taste more like elaborate desserts than alcoholic beverages.
BYOC – A £30 entrance fee here will grant you access to three floors of vintage furnishings, cinema rooms, snooker rooms and even a working pipe organ. If you don’t mind forking out for the cover charge there are truly few bars on earth quite like this one.
The Lion and Lobster – For a quiet drink with friends, the Lion and Lobster is tough to beat. The décor is tasteful and the candlelit tables lend it a distinctly romantic atmosphere. The restaurant upstairs is top-notch too!
The Wick/Mesmerist – As with the Black Dove, this Hove boozer is a popular haunt that hides a fascinating secret. Located upstairs is a bar modelled on the prohibition era of 1920’s America, with a selection of speakeasy cocktails that fit the theme and a décor that hits the spot too. Over at the Lanes, meanwhile, the similarly popular Mesmerist also boasts its very own secret speakeasy that can even be privately hired for parties.
Grand Central – Again, perhaps one of Brighton’s most famous pubs, but many visitors neglect the secret bar tucked away above. The Nightingale Room is a gin-lovers paradise that also offers exclusive cabaret and a reliably quirky and effusive clientele.
The Regency Tavern – If you like pink then this is almost certainly the bar for you. The theme here is high camp and high glamour so if you want a quiet night out, this might be one to avoid. If, however, you love your show tunes and your mirror-balls, you might just have found your new spiritual home.
The Yellow Book – A steampunk bar with its very own band that dress as if they’ve stepped off the set of a movie, this is perhaps the most eccentric bar in Brighton. Feel free to pop in if you enjoy wearing top hats and speculative science fiction.