The express train to Brighton from London's Victoria Station takes about 50 minutes. Brighton is close to Gatwick Airport and makes a great base for visiting southern England.
Hotel Pelirocco 10 Regency Square; 44-1273/327-055, fax 44-1273/733-845; doubles from $115. Quirky themed rooms. The hotel is so popular with Londoners that it can be hard to get into on weekends.
Nineteen 19 Broad St.; 44-1273/675-529, fax 44-1273/675-531; doubles from $136. Minimalist décor and close to Palace Pier. Some of the beds are perched on lighted glass bricks. Why?This is Brighton, silly.
Blanch House 17 Atlingworth St.; 44-1273/603-504, fax 44-1273/689-813; doubles from $130. An inn with an ultra-stylish restaurant. Choose your room—Rose, Renaissance, Indian, Moroccan, Boogie Nights.
Grand Hotel Kings Rd.; 44-1273/321-188, fax 44-1273/224-321; doubles from $315. One of Brighton's most expensive hotels, with a great cocktail bar.
English's 29—31 East St.; 44-1273/327-980; dinner for two $85. Back when it was known as Cheeseman's Oyster Bar, the owners made Edward VII extinguish his cigar before entering. Charming furnishings and good seafood.
The Gingerman 21A Norfolk Square; 44-1273/326-688; dinner for two $60. Highly praised eclectic cuisine by local chef Ben McKellar.
Saucy British Restaurant 8 Church Rd.; 44-1273/324-080; dinner for two $72. Updated British fare with attitude.
One Paston Place 1 Paston Place; 44-1273/606-933; dinner for two $115. This haute cuisine establishment is one of Brighton's best restaurants. Book in advance.
Terre à Terre 71 East St.; 44-1273/729-051; dinner for two $100. Fine vegetarian selections. Can only grow in popularity as pyres of burning animals scare carnivores away from these shores.
Mock Turtle Tea-Shop 4 Pool Valley; 44-1273/327-380; tea for two $9. Tucked away on a side street near the Palace Pier, this is the place for tea and freshly baked cakes.
BARS AND CLUBS
Brighton's nightlife is complex enough to require special elucidation. I recommend The Cheeky Guide to Brighton (Cheekyguides) to steer you round it.
For a drink . . .
Regency Tavern 32 Russell Square; 44-1273/325-652. A charming and idiosyncratic pub with a friendly crowd of straight and gay regulars.
Riki Tik 18A Bond St.; 44-1273/683-844. Have a cocktail or three before hitting the clubs; happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m.
The Geese 16 Southover St.; 44-1273/607-755. Go there on Tuesday, the pub's Irish music night.
For a dance . . .
The Honeyclub 214 Kings Rd. Arches; 44-1273/202-807. Open every night. On weekends, you need to dress up to get past Lady Laverne, the fearsome drag queen—door person.
Zap Club 188—192 Kings Rd. Arches; 44-1273/202-407. One of the clubs that earned Brighton its reputation for nightlife. Friday's Pussycat Club is devoted to uplifting house music.
Vavavoom! Currently on hiatus while Stella takes her dancers to the world burlesque festival in New Orleans. But check the local press in case they make a return appearance soon.
Choccywoccydoodah 27 Middle St.; 44-1273/381-999. Wedding cakes, handmade truffles, and chocolates shaped like everything from ladybugs to soccer balls.
Jump the Gun 36 Gardner St.; 44-1273/626-777. Pins of the Who, three-button suits, and all your mod needs.
Pussy 3A Kensington Gardens; 44-1273/604-861. Clothes and accessories by the latest British designers.
Royal Pavilion 44-1273/290-900; open daily 10:30—4:30 October—May, 10:30—5 June—Sept.
Palace Pier 44-1273/609-361; open daily 9 a.m.—2 a.m. in summer, 10 a.m.—midnight in winter. Now officially known as Brighton Pier. You haven't really visited Brighton until you've eaten some cotton candy, gone on a ride, and had your handwriting analyzed.