Quirky boutique hotel in Brighton
Depending on what one‘s looking for, Brighton can be an ideal weekend away. It‘s not exactly idyllic, it isn‘t the paragon of sophistication, it‘s not even necessarily that relaxing, but it can definitely be damn good fun, with an abundance of boisterous bars, impeccable pubs and world-class restaurants. If you‘re looking for a stay that captures the youthful zest of the city and all of its faded glory, than we really can‘t recommend anything better than the Artist Residence in Brighton, a boutique hotel with views of the Atlantic and an unalloyed sense of joie de vivre.
We arrived at the 23-room Artist Residence on a warm, clear, early summer day. After parking our car a minute‘s walk away from the hotel on Regency Square, we ascended the stairway to the entrance and were immediately struck by the quirky creativity on display in the foyer. On a long banquet-style table a knitting class was taking place, with a variety of young hipster types so engrossed in the activity that they were oblivious to guests‘ comings and goings. The room was outfitted with vintage floorboards, retro mismatched particolored seating, exposed brick and various Pop Art paintings, yet retained the regal air of the Georgian edifice.
The reception team was friendly and competent; we were led down to a basement suite which was a bit dark and moody but eminently cool. It was segregated into three separate rooms. The main compartment let in natural light through ocean facing windows. There was a large, comfortable couch sat in its centre, a television on a stand crafted from unfinished wood, a dormant brickwork fireplace, exposed filament bulbs and artwork in the abstract expressionist school. In the bathroom, there was a small sink, a swooping, beautiful white clawfoot bathtub which regrettably wasn‘t put to use during our visit, and a classy white-tiled rain shower. The bedroom was segregated from the others with a sliding door outfitted with opaque glass tile. The room featured more dark wooden cabinets and cupboards, hanging industrial style lights and an extremely comfortable bed that seemed to have been handmade.
The Artist Residence is ideally located on a quiet square only minutes away from the action of the town centre and is perfectly situated for forays into town. After a couple of research trips, we‘d recommend Riddle & Finn‘s for shellfish, Bardsley‘s for traditional Brighton fish and chips (the proprietor Roy Bardsley is quite a character - ask for something off menu), BBQ Shack and The Troll‘s Pantry for burgers. The Laines is great for quirky shopping, and there are fantastic pubs and bars interspersed throughout the city. However, the one that struck our fancy with the most pluck was the bar at the Artist Residence, which had a nice buzz on a Saturday evening and was serving delicious rum-based cocktails at a price that undercuts even the most reasonable London speakeasy. After a few we were sufficiently wound down to return to the aforementioned comfort of bed, where we slept pacifically.
Following a somewhat frenetic night of revelry, breakfast was a very relaxed affair in the airy lobby with a back area which opens up onto a small porch. After a cup of locally sourced coffee we enjoyed some American-style pancakes and a handsome Full English breakfast, the perfect fodder for putting a hangover at bay, enough so to make the one hour commute back to London a pleasant enough endeavour.