Fear, exhaustion, love and mournfulness: these are just a few of the twists and turns I experienced on the emotional rollercoaster that my weekend in Brighton proved to be. Fear, because I watched a strange girl playing music on a handsaw; exhaustion, because I danced for almost four hours solid to possibly the greatest mash-up of blues, swing and jazz; love, because I met and tangoed with Brighton's very own Prince Charming; and finally, mournfulness, because inside this bizarre vintage sub-culture, I had discovered some of the best alternative things to do in Brighton... and then I had to go home. If this sounds like fun to you, then here's how to do it:
Photography by Lottie Gross 2013
Browse antiques & curios
Everyone knows The Lanes in Brighton are the top spot for shopping, and this alternative itinerary will not deny you the pleasure. But make sure you head to Snooper’s Paradise and the above cooperative Snooper’s Attic, on North Laine, for a myriad of antiques and beautifully handcrafted vintage accessories. Beware though; you could spend hours in this shop so limit your time (and budget), then move on to the Brighton branch of Beyond Retro for – you’ve guessed it – all things retro. For something a little more special try Hope & Harlequin on Sydney Street, who specialise in bespoke re-creation of event dresses and vintage wedding originals.
Get a new hair-do
A night out in Brighton needs preparation, and what better place to get ready than at the Parlour Rooms on Dyke Road. This quaint little tea room has more than meets the eye: beneath all the scrumptious tea and cake lies a wonderful little vintage salon where 1950s up-dos are the fashion and ruby red lipstick is an obligation. And, if you can fit it in, there’s also a craft workshop where you can make your own accessories, and a lingerie rack full of saucy handmade delicates – this, combined with copious amounts of English tea and a vintage makeover is an afternoon well spent!