Brighton is renowned for its avid love for good pubs and energetic clubs, so where is good to go in a sea of over 900 opportunities?
Brighton has many different forms of entertainment from comedy clubs to theaters and fine restaurants, and it is true to say that many of its bars and clubs have an indispensable role in Brighton’s character.
It is hard to imagine that there are over 900 drinking establishments in this small city, but it’s true and over the past 6 years I have been slowly but surely working my way through them, finding some favorites along the way.
Going back to the year 1800, there was one inn for every 30 houses. The inns were used as markets, staging trials, and auctions. Eventually, the best inns would turn into hotels and the less successful inns would become public houses where the hardworking people of Brighton would come after work.
These public houses were divided into beer houses and gin palaces. These are two very different styles of drinking establishments. Beer houses served cheap beer and there were no tables or chairs for the customer to sit down at. Gin palaces were well decorated larger buildings with brass and glass fittings, and the environment was designed for customer pleasure as the drinkers were seen as ‘better customers’. Move on 100 years and even Brighton’s poor districts had pubs in them.
After World War I the pubs tried to become up market in an attempt to attract more women. At that time many pubs plummeted as dance halls and cinemas entertained the people of Brighton. By 1950 the influx of breweries meant many local pubs closed. These days Brighton is built up out of a mix of ‘local pubs’ which usually have an older clientele, and ‘hip’ bars and clubs which tend to entice the Londoners and a younger audience from Brighton and the surrounding area. Nonetheless, every establishment maintains a unique character and allure.
Things have changed a lot for Brighton in terms of the entertainment on offer, but the fact remains that it is still an epicenter of entertainment and a hotspot for people looking to have fun from all over the world.
Similar to the days of beer houses and gin palaces, Brighton today has a massive variety of bars for different crowds.
Living in Brighton for 6 years now, I have spent time advising travelers, families on weekend retreats and couples on romantic escapes, all wanting to know where to go in Brighton.
Here are my top 3 places to go drinking in Brighton.
This club first opened in 2009 and has since got better and better every time I have come back. You will find a younger crowd here with loads of local University students. Life has become a hangout for Reggae lovers, Drum ‘n’ Bass fanatics and House and Techno heads. Life club in Brighton is worth a visit if you want to meet some of the local younger crowd and to party the night away with a drink and party to quality music.
As a Rockabilly, Blues, and Rock ‘n’ Roll fan myself, I love spending the weekend at the Mesmerist bar in Brighton’s famous Laines. It is a modern gin palace with burlesque shows, trendy fashion, and true to its name, a mesmerizing selection of some of Brighton’s most weird and wonderful people enjoying every minute of it. You won’t find another bar quite like it anywhere.
The Hope is located on one of Brighton’s main routes from station to sea, so it catches everyone from students to commuters, and anyone looking for a nice evening drink to finish the day off. This venue offers loads of interesting drinks and delicious meals, and makes for a great place to take your date or meet new people. You will also find some of the finest acts from Brighton performing here as well as stars like Adele, The White Stripes, and The Strokes. Regular open-mic nights are one of the pulls of this pub’s upstairs venue, luring in budding musicians from near and far. I often spend a couple of hours at the Hope before making my way to the seafront to go to a club.
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