If you read my latest post, you’ll know I’ve launched a new Brighton neighbourhood guide series on the Ellie & Co blog. In the third instalment, we’re exploring Brunswick in Hove.
Brunswick Town is a beautiful neighbourhood just over the border in Hove close to the seafront, filled with Regency-era architecture, independent cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. Today, it stretches east to west roughly from the Paris House pub on Western Road and the Lion and Lobster pub on Sillwood Street and this classic cafe, over to Grand Avenue by Hove Lawns with its colourful beach huts.
Brunswick, Hove: A NEIGHBOURHOOD GUIDE
It’s home to several seafront squares, including Brunswick Square facing the sea, one of the first upper-class housing developments to have been built in the seaside city – the first was in Kemptown – also the setting for the annual Brunswick Festival. Let’s explore…
Things to do in Brunswick Town, Hove
Hidden Hove Walk
Get your bearings on my self-guided hidden snoop around Brunswick Town, part of a series of hidden Brighton walks I designed during lockdown. It starts up on Western Road near The Real Patisserie for treats. Grab a buttery croissant and a coffee and you’re ready. It’s easy to spend a lazy morning or afternoon wandering and weaving up and down any of the streets in between.
Cycle along the seafront
Navigating the city on two wheels is a fun and cheap adventure. On Brunswick Street East is a shop called G Whizz Cycles – great name – with a range of second-hand bikes for rent at good prices. Saddle up, and you’re only minutes from the seafront with its cycle path stretching from Hove Lagoon to Brighton Marina.
Alternatively, this interactive Brighton cycling map lets you plan your journey in the city, from off-road adventure to a child-friendly route, and add facilities en route.
Discover a Regency time capsule
The Brunswick area is home to several seafront squares, including Brunswick Square, originally lined with single-family homes, most now converted into flats except Number 13. This is known as The Regency Town House, which the owner is slowly restoring using traditional techniques and is open for tours and events. See here.
Where to eat in Hove
The Little Fish Market
Hidden on a Hove backstreet is my favourite romantic Brighton restaurant for a splurgy dinner. It serves exceptional five-course creative tasting menus to no more than 20 diners in its cosy dining room.
The service is impeccable and even though the dishes are written on a blackboard, every one is still a fun surprise, and a taste explosion. If you’re feeling fancy, you can pay extra to have a different wine with each course. Find The Little Fish Market at 10 Upper Market Street, Hove BN3 1AS
Brighton’s secret Thai restaurant is hidden at the back of a Thai supermarket.The dining room feels like you’re someone’s Thailand home complete with pictures of the Thai king and gold trinkets everywhere!
The service is fast and no-nonsense and for about £20-£25, two people can tuck into a king-size feast of two main dishes and two sides leaving you with full tummies. It’s also a BYO so don’t forget to stock up on wine or beer before you arrive. Find Unithai at 10 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2FL
This no-frills traditional English café is one of the few left in Brighton. It serves cheap, honest English food in unpretentious surroundings. Think fry-ups in every combination imaginable, bubble and squeak, pie and mash, fish and chips, tea in mugs, sandwiches and rolls, toast, omelettes – that kind of thing. Find Belchers at 9 Montpelier Road, Brighton BN1 2LQ
Where to drink in Hove
There are a couple of French bars in town, but this is the most eclectic. There’s a dark wood bar, a checkerboard floor and black-and-white photos of French greats decorating the walls. Order a carafe of red, a meat or cheese board and settle in for some gipsy jazz and people-watching. Find The Paris House at 21 Western Road, Hove BN3 1AF
Lion and Lobster
Spread across four floors, a wander around this side-street pub is an adventure in itself. There are two Regency dining rooms, two bars, each one full of nooks, booths and crannies perfect for cosying up in winter, and two outside terraces.
The décor is traditional pub meets vintage shop: there’s lots of rich mahogany panelling and furniture, dark red carpets, framed old maps and historical pictures on walls, and candles in bottles on tables. Find the Lion and Lobster at 24 Sillwood Street, Brighton BN1 2PS
No two visits here are the same because it’s filled with antique and flea market finds that you can buy. Order a nice pot of tea – there are 100s to choose from in glass jars on the counter – a coffee, a hearty breakfast of pancakes, perhaps?
Or maybe a toasted bagel for lunch, settle in and let your eyes wander around all the curios. It’s the perfect environment for relaxing and letting go, coming up with your next idea for life… Jazz music and a little chatter from the locals at the bar fill the air… Find Café Salvage at 84 Western Road, Hove BN3 1JB
Where to shop in Hove
Old-fashioned dark-wood cabinets filled with tempting trays of handmade chocolates line two walls of Brighton’s nostalgic time-capsule sweet shop carpeted in red and set in a Hove townhouse with a sophisticated window display and a striped canopy.
The shop dates back to the 1960s and supplies fancy London food emporium, Fortum and Mason with chocolates. Who knew! Favourites? The violet and rose creams, and the brandy-soaked cherries available at Christmas. Find Audrey’s Chocolates at 28 Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JJ
This unpretentious local favourite opened in the mid-1980s. It’s unique for its extensive selection of local interest books, two of which – Secret Brighton and Secret Sussex – you may have heard of, ahem. It’s renowned for its schedule of literary evenings with well-known guest speakers, such as Brighton local Nick Cave and others like Jo Brand, Ranulph Fiennes and Caitlin Moran to name a few. Find City Books at 23 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1AF
Where to stay in Hove
Most Brighton hotels are in the centre of town but there’s one I recommend most that’s close by. The Artist Residence is the perfect small boutique hotel with a stylish bohemian cosy atmosphere. Decor-wise, there’s lots of exposed brickwork, original wooden floors, vintage bits, kilim cushions and rugs, local art, and lots of comfy slouchy armchairs. There are plenty of luxuries, too, like amazing rainfall showers and roll-top baths.
Alternatively, if you’d rather rent an apartment, you’ll find my secret Brighton holiday apartment waiting for you along a beautiful historic mews street a short walk from the seafront, shops and cafes.
Brunswick in Hove is a small neighbourhood and easy to walk around, so pack some comfy shoes. It’s minutes from the seafront, and a 30-minute walk to Brighton station, and central Brighton.
I also put together a useful map of Brunswick Town’s independent shopping and nearby addresses of note, here.
If you want more inspiration, my secret guidebooks will get you excited.