Days Out – Bright On! by Paloma Lacy

Brighton has long been known as the Londoners’ get away – and with good reason, because come rain or shine, there’s plenty to see and do.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, but does that ring true on a cool and wet February weekend?

Brighton is less than an hour from the capital by train, so near enough to feel as if you’re escaping the big smoke, while being blessed with a completely different vibe – one that perhaps used to be called arty or alternative.

Brighton is a city navigable on foot, which is just as well, as parking is a nightmare, and even if poor weather hits, buses are plentiful and taxis still relatively cheap by London standards.

So how should you best fill a weekend by the sea? By starting down by the sea. Obvious, right? Walking the stretch from the famous Palace Pier, past the derelict and iconic West Pier, and on to Hove, is a great way to acclimatise and see the marked difference between the twin city of Brighton & Hove.

Cross over to the other side of the street and make your way back into town past the ‘grand dame’ landmark hotels and perhaps pop into the Hilton Metropole or the Grand itself for afternoon tea on the terrace and watch the world go by.

Famous for its shopping district, the Laines, Brighton continues to throw up new surprises for even the most regular visitor, from fashion boutiques, to art galleries and row upon row of quaint
jewellery shops.

Five things to do in Brighton before you leave: visit the Palace Pier and see it for all its tacky and nostalgic beauty; scale the heights of the BA Brighton Wheel for an unparalleled bird’s eye view of the city; drop by the Brighton Pavilion to discover how the city really made it on to the national map; check out the huge craft beer scene through the many home-grown breweries, like North Laines Brewery. If you’ve energy after all that, it’s time to hit the clubs.

If you’re down for a couple of days, you’ll want somewhere to rest your head. Hotel du Vin offers more than just a great room for romantic couples but some surprisingly good deals on Sunday nights.

Settle in on a Sunday when you spend £75 in the bistro and get your room from just £25. Enjoy an easy Sunday within an effortless setting before savouring a delicious dinner with an outstanding bottle of a well-chosen wine. Then slip upstairs and end the day in a luxurious, cosy room, all set to begin the week ahead.

Located in the Laines conservation area, a stone’s throw from the seafront, it’s the perfect location to make the most of the great shopping, bars and restaurants the city has to offer.

The hotel itself has the popular Bistro – a French style brasserie with a wine list as long as your arm. Pub du Vin is just next door, offering more casual dining in a gastro pub atmosphere.

If you fancy heading out for a bite to eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice of places from every cuisine.

The hotel has 49 bedrooms inside a collection of eccentric gothic revival and mock Tudor buildings erected, rather appropriately by a wine merchant on the site of an old coaching inn.

A beautiful building, with wonderful carved staircase, complete with gargoyles, and the original double-height hall is now home to the wine bar and Laroche tasting room.

Even standard rooms are chic, stylish and modern but beyond everything so comfortable that you’ll need to force yourself to leave. The downstairs bar is always busy so book a table and taste some of the best cocktails in town.

To book, call 0871 943 0345 and for further information, please visit:  www.hotelduvin.com/brighton

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