By secret shops, I mean local independents that don’t get enough attention either because they’re not located on a main shopping street, or are set off-the-beaten path in a residential neighbourhood. They also might be hidden up side street, or along an alleyway. These are gems only people in the know realise are there. In any case, you’ll have to make an effort to seek them out, but if you follow along with my blog, I have a hunch this is the kind of activity you enjoy anyway. Follow me…
Finding Brighton’s Hidden Shops
In Hand, Preston Park
This artists’ studio-come shop is located in the pretty area of Fiveways near the blustery open fields of Preston Park. It’s owned by local artist, Amy Isles Freeman, who paints murals, hand-turned wooden bowls, illustrations and preloved denim clothing. Everyone is welcome to walk in and have a browse. Once you’re done, discover Brighton’s mysterious hidden waterfall, before lunch at this charming café, Rust, featured here.
Find In Hand hidden at 8 Grantham Road, Brighton BN1 6EE
Another in Fiveways is this hidden wholefood shop within a hidden artists’ studio and gallery. It’s set in the corner of a residential street so far out of the way, it’s highly unlikely you’d discover it unless you live in or are visiting the street or someone’s told you about it. The shop is run by volunteers and stocks all kinds of organic fruit and veg and whole food staples like lentils, pasta, rice, and other things. Here you’ll also find, Bendito Maiz, a secret vegan Mexican street food stand.
Find Hollingdean Wholefoods hidden at Coachwerks Studio, 19a Hollingdean Terrace, Brighton BN1 7HB
Tucked away from the crowds on London Road, near Preston Circus, is this unique artists’ studio and shop, started by print-maker Sarah Young and her partner, Jon. It hosts five resident artists in its studio spaces, whose work you can browse in ‘The Hand Made Shop’ at the front. It’s the prefect place for escaping the busyness on London Road. I challenge you to resist the dreamy ceramics by Silvia K.
Find Atelier 51 at Providence Place, Brighton
Hope and Harlequin
From your stroll along the seafront or running errands around central Brighton, head to Ship Street and take a detour up Ship Street Gardens, one of Brighton’s oldest streets, with old cobbles underfoot and bowing flint walls where yo’ull find Brighton’s hidden vintage shop. Hope and Harlequin is a treasure trove of beautiful vintage clothes, specialising in elegant dresses and gowns, as well as bridal wear dating from the 1920s.
The Feminist Bookshop
Located in the ‘Notting Hill of Brighton’, on a beautiful street that runs parallel to the main shopping drag on Western Road, near my favourite museum, is this concept bookshop that opened in 2019 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The idea for it was born a couple of years ago when the bookshop’s founder, Ruth, started running a feminist bookclub in living rooms around Brighton and Hove. Initially, she was just looking to make some new friends and share a love of books about feminism, but the amazing community that grew out of it inspired her to take it to the next level – and convert her living room into a feminist bookshop! Inside you’ll also find a vegan café.
Find The Feminist Bookshop hidden on Upper North Street, Brighton
Between Two Thorns
Just along from The Feminist Bookshop is this cute and unassuming little florist, with a pretty shopfront. It started out as a market stall in Brighton selling hand-tied bouquets, but turned into this hidden shops specialising in house plants, particularly unique and unusual varieties. They also host hundreds of workshops, such as on how to make a terrarium in a bottle and a wreath out of succulents.
Find Between Two Thorns hidden at 67 Upper North Street, Brighton BN1 3FL
Treasure and Trash
Could there be a more enticing shopfront as this one with its faded burgundy paintwork, the gold swirly writing, and mish-mash of vintage furniture haphazardly on display in the window. It’s equally enchanting inside this tiniest vintage furniture shop which is crammed full of vintage gems from sideboards, to chairs, to lamps to picture frames. Definitely one to discover on my hidden walk around Seven Dials, not before grabbing a coffee at Puck around the corner.
Find Treasure and Trash hidden at 84c Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD
Kate Langdale Florist
Kate Langdale has been making showstopping flowery bunches and creations for the people of Brighton from this enchanting miniature shop next to Treasure and Trash for the past 35 years. With its perfect pastel pink façade reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie, it’s seriously hard to walk past. Without a snoop inside. Over the years, she’s become my go-to florist, and does dreamy bouquets for any occasion and price range. Another place to discover it on my hidden walk around Seven Dials.
Find Kate Langdale Florist hidden at 84c Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD
G Whizz Bikes
This Aladdin’s cave of bikes is hidden up one of my favourite backstreets and set in a beautiful old mews building. It’s only small, but is crammed full of bikes, with new models as well as a huge selection of second-hand bikes. They also fix and service bikes.
Find G Whizz Bikes hidden at 6A Brunswick Street East, Hove BN3 1AU
You Juice Garage
Just along from G Whizz Cycles is this haven for organic fresh cold-pressed juice, and vegan food, perfect for a health boost and an escape from the seafront crowds. They’re open for breakfast and the menu changes weekly. The sourdough toast is delicious: miso marinated aubergine, sweet potato, rocket, cashew cheeze served with mixed leaf and almond and sun-dried tomato pesto. As well as food and drinks, they also sell one, three, five or seven-day juice cleanse plans, and pop up at various local markets.
Find the You Juice Garage Cafe hidden at 48A Brunswick Street East, Hove BN3 1AU
Oliver’s Clock Shop
Whenever I set eyes on this mysterious shop with its beautiful dark facade, gold signage and decorated in foliage, I can’t help thinking it’s been plucked from the Harry Potter film set. Not many people have heard of it and there’s also little information about it online, but what I do know is that it stocks a range of antique clocks, including some that look out of a fairytale which fill the window. It’s also the place to go if you’ve a clock that needs fixing.
Find Oliver’s Clock Shop hidden at 15 Cross Street, Hove BN3
Audrey’s Chocolates is a delightful nostalgic sweet shop with an original 1960s interior, tucked up a side street in Hove. It’s one of those unique local gem shops which remains true to its traditional roots, and flourishes despite rising city rents, and its off-the-beaten-track location – you have to make an effort to get here from the centre of Brighton.
Find Audrey’s Chocolates hidden at Holland Road, Hove