Often dubbed ‘London by the sea’, Brighton is England’s much loved hedonistic seaside city. Nestled on a South Coast shingle beach and backed by amusement arcades and Regency-era buildings, Brighton has always been a place that’s plays by its own rules, and that’s what I’ve always admired about it. I also love how many beautiful and unique Brighton boutique hotels there are in the city, so when eviivo and Snooze – voted England’s funkiest bed and breakfast – invited us to stay, there was really only going to be one answer…
Brighton is an easy day trip from London only taking an hour by train or a little more by car (traffic and train delays permitting of course) and Snooze guesthouse is located in Kemptown, one of the city’s “villages” which possessives a distinctive flavour of its own. Historically known as the artists’ district, it’s a charmingly lively but somehow still relaxed area with an eclectic mix of envy-inducing bow fronted Georgian town houses, interior design shops, artisan food stores, gay bars, and beautiful Regency crescents.
Snooze itself is equally eclectic. Occupying one of those much envied Georgian town houses, its elegant pure white exterior belies the visual feast that awaits inside. For starters, the reception/breakfast room is a pure of explosion of colourful kitsch – vintage movie and music memorabilia is crisscrossed with bright pop art, retro furniture and even a graffiti style mural on the ceiling.
My suite was a spacious loft room with a raised bed adorned in leopard skin print and surrounded brown beige walls accented with bright pop art. From the cute Love Heart sweets and Brighton rock left out on the bedside table to the monochrome mosaic bathroom, each detail was perfectly thought out, all with an unmistakable sixties/seventies vibe – sleeping there felt like being on the set of Boogie Nights or Velvet Goldmine!
The other rooms were equally as unique and splashes of colour awaited me at every which way turn – old lockers converted in wardrobes and retro advertisements and art embellished the bright funky walls. All rooms are individually decorated, are frequently redesigned to offer visitors a new and fresh experience each time they stay, and all seemingly take inspiration from cult films and vintage popular culture – Boogie Nights, Mad Men, Goodfellas, Quadrophenia the list goes on. I even spotted a room that reminded me of Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth’s front room circa the 1980’s. Genius.
The next morning I filled up on tasty veggie breakfast and fresh tea served in purposely mismatched crockery (retro of course!) and then ventured out to explore the rest of the city. I’ve visited Brighton many times now and it’s a place I know I’ll never tire of. Their obvious love of the outlandish, the carnivalesque pier, the warren of alleys and stone paved streets flanked by independent boutiques and cool eateries, and the bracing salty air always offers a welcoming feel of familiarity.
After a slow meander through the narrow bohemian backstreets of the North and South Laines and a quiet moment in one of the city’s vintage tea rooms I headed to the pier. Brighton’s kitschy main pier is a true assault on the all the senses, with air filled with the aroma of burnt sugar from candy floss machines, the shrill sounds of shrieking seagulls and the sight of the candy striped helterskelter and rickety roller coasters balanced precariously on the iron girders of the sturdy Victorian structure.
The evening ended with a stroll along the pebbled shore edged by impressively turquoise waves, eventually arriving at the derelict burnt-out West pier just as the sun was setting. I watched the nightly dusk ritual of the gentle babble of starlings before they nestled in to roost on the remains of the striking and hauntingly beautiful structure. Brighton always seems to soothe the soul…
The eviivo suite was designed to allow small, independent hosts and hoteliers to keep control of their business while allowing them to tell their own unique story as well as selling their own rooms online. Set up to allow owners to manage all their bookings in one place it was created to make overbookings, payment issues and time-stealing admin tasks a thing of the past. They also hold an annual awards ceremony to recognise properties who excel in all areas.