September 7, 2016

The Creative Mini Guide | Brighton


The beach, the sea, the sun and literally a Snooper’s Paradise – it’s about time that I shared my favourite haunts in the idyllic town of Brighton. One day I will move there and from then on I’ll never have any money again, but my Instagram will be pretty bloody top notch and my home will be on absolute bloomin’ point.

Let’s remember that the people of Brighton are probably one of the most creative communities in the UK so you can’t really go wrong when it comes to supporting any of the local stores or restaurants – just steer clear of the high street, which although necessary, does spoil the unique atmosphere a tad. That being said there is also a lot to discover in the hidden streets and it’s really easy to miss some of the wonderful independent shops so here are my favourite spots for the print fanatics, the coffee lovers and the street art spotters.

For the graphic design lovers:

Unlimited Shop


Without a doubt Unlimited Shop is my absolute go-to place in Brighton and you’ve probably seen them featured on the blog before. Although a favourite for YouTube sensation Zoella, I still feel like this place is a hidden gem and I take great delight in bringing people along to meet the lovely Sara and introduce them to her beautifully curated selection of prints, homewares, and accessories.

Sara has a knack for discovering talent and over the years she’s provided the likes of Tom Pigeon, Steven Wilson, Supermundane and Kitty McCall with a platform in Brighton, sometimes even quite literally on the Unlimited Shop outer walls – just like the painted Gary Stranger mural currently used to say, this one is GOOD.

10 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1US

The Family Store


Again I’ve mentioned The Family Store in a profile on the blog but that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of a mention again and again. Looking for super cheap pins and patches? This is your place. From Life Club to Stay Home Club and smaller artists like Pippa Toole, these guys have a talent for getting the best graphic artists in stock and a pin for my collection is always a little treat on any visit to Brighton. Hato Press and Printed Pages also grace the shelves along with a range of vinyls with good looking covers for your flicking pleasure. It’s a family you NEED to be part of.

33 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL 

Tidy Print


Having only been open for about six weeks now, Tidy Print have already opened with a bang (and a fair amount of booze) at the top of the Kensington Gardens. As a shop combined with a printing studio, visitors can actually book onto screen printing workshops every Tuesday and Saturday, learning the skills from co-owner Daniel Tomlinson and taking home their own prints.

The shop itself has an amazing hand-built interior and currently, there seems to be a focus on botanical and naturalistic prints from talented artists such as Marcelina Amelia which quite frankly works for me. Pop in to welcome Dan and Jade on their new venture, look at their own prints and perhaps try out a workshop while you’re there!

101 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AP

For the homeware gatherers:



Little ol’ Workshop has recently stolen my heart. While I’m all about the graphic pattern on prints, it’s all about simplicity for me when it comes to homeware. White, greys, Metallics and greenery – Workshop has it all – hell they do. It’s all about the minimal approach here and while you all know I won’t be consumed by the entire trend just yet (remember EJP minimalism?), it’s certainly hard when Haeckels, SoH Melbourne and Fig+Yarrow are all calling out for a spot in your home. Owner Jason is completely lovely and he’ll totally understand your reasoning for the ‘Thank you for being my Instagram Husband’ card purchase – tried and tested, believe me.

13A Prince Albert Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE 


With rows and rows of the more functional homeware, Utility is a bit of a kitchenware paradise and as they describe it full of “no nonsense” design. I adore the gorgeous enamel pieces designed in-house as well as the old school letterpress prints that can add a little bit of a distinctive style to your home. Let’s also not forget all of those super useful things you didn’t think you needed but you definitely do now.

28A North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YB

For the adventure seekers:

Mike Stout at Skinned Alive Tattoo


I’m not encouraging you to get a tattoo without thinking about it (it certainly took me a whole lotta years) but if you are in the market for one I can whole heartedly recommend Mike Stout of Skinned Alive. And where better to have a tattoo than Brighton when you can make a day of it, better than your local high street studio eh? As well as being an amazing illustrator, Mike is also a pretty nice guy so you are sure of comfort, chit chat and a kickass tattoo at the end of it all. Let me know what you think of my first addition above unless you hate it, in which case, keep it to yourself.

24 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1RB

For the caffeine addicts:



While seafood might seem like the only option and while I am an advocate for experiencing the local delicacies, Brighton is also known for its sweet coffee shop scene. Silo is a little more than that as it’s the first restaurant in the UK to have a zero waste policy, although I can’t imagine anyone leaving any grub behind. If you were to get a little full, all of the waste goes straight into an aerobic digester which generates compost used in the local community. Keep with the ethos and try the Plant Menu for delicious dishes that will genuinely surprise you.

39 Upper Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 4AN

The Lanes Coffee House


A sucker for gold letter foiling, I was drawn into this little coffee corner at The Lanes Coffee House by the typography alone. Once in you’ll find a simple yet colourful interior and the friendly staff to match. The coffee was strong and the avocado on toast (with a rocket and balsamic dressing) was delicious and suitably bigger than most brunch offerings. Sit outside for some serious people watching and soak up the seaside sun.

59D Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1HE

For the knowledge hunters:

PS Books

You know when you walk into somewhere and know you’re onto something special? Well PS Books is that. Although I’m a book collector, I’m actually not one for walking into the likes of Waterstones as I find it all a bit overwhelming and while PS Books still does feature shelves of the paper stuff, it mainly covers the music, design and photography sectors which as you well know is only a good thing in my eyes. Better yet, these books are cheap. Cheaper than your fish and chips in fact. I can guarantee that you’ll probably find something for your mum, your sister as well as your boyfriend’s twice removed uncle in book form.

33 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL 

So what do you think? I’m by no means a Brighton expert but these are some of the hotspots I’ve picked up over my fairly frequent visits. I’m super open to hearing about more great shops so please please please tell me all if you know any, especially in the outer areas!


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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