London by the Sea or Bracing Brighton

Annie Mole takes time out of London & her Tube Blog to take a look at London-by-the Sea a.k.a Brighton.Where can you find somewhere, that feels like a mixture of Covent Garden & Shoreditch, yet also has a beach?  Brighton that's where.  It's only just over an hour from London & is a relatively easy daily commute into The Big Smoke.

It's always been a seaside tourist attraction for Londoners and is now fast becoming a magnet for Hen and Stag parties (although don't let that put you off - you won't see hundreds of women wearing L plates or guys on the pull ). However, if you're planning a Hen or Stag and don't want to go abroad, you'll find that the shops & restaurants in Brighton ready to help out.

The cute, crafty "Covent Garden-like" shops in the famous Brighton Lanes (or is it Laines?), can't resist providing gifts for Girls and Guys who wanna have fun.  However, because this is Brighton, there's a kind of self referential ironic nod to the gifts there.  You'll find cards which marry The Grapes of Wrath, with having a hangover, rather than T Shirts saying "Lads on the Lash".  It's educational too, as  can also try your hand at  life drawing or learn the art of chocolate making too.Don't miss getting lost in the Brighton Lanes, it's a warren of alleyways bursting with indie shops and boutiques.  You'll be amazed at what you can find there.  There's over 350 shops, bars and restaurants giving you a choice of more vintage clothing, books, posters, antiques and plants that you can shake a stick at.Brighton prides itself on being cosmopolitan, so you'll find a vast variety of types of food to eat (although fish n chips are still a staple diet on the sea front).  There almost as many coffee shops as London, but fortunately a number of independent coffee shops where you can spend hours in large comfy sofas. There's also some fantastic places for Sunday roasts, if you've had a heavy night on the Brighton tiles.