12 Days of #Blogmas- Day 6- Christmas Shopping in Brighton

Christmas shopping. You either love it or hate it. And your either organised or leave it to the last minute. Me, well I love it (I mean a valid excuse to shop!) but I do tend to leave it to the last minute.
So with the days ticking down to the big day I took a trip to the lovely seaside city of Brighton.

For those less skilled in geography, Brighton is approx 55 miles south of London, on the south coast of England. To me Brighton is my sort of city. It’s not too big (I don’t like the busyness of cities like London), has a great variety of shops, from the High Street to smaller and independent stores down the Laines.
It also has a beach (alas it’s not a sandy beach, just lots and lots of stones) and a pier. The best combination of amenities.

So with this in mind, myself and my Husband Dan took a 50 minute train journey along the coast to do a bit of Christmas shopping. Now we were lucky with the trains, as the day previous and the following day were strikes happening. These have become more and more frequent throughout the year and we were lucky the one day the trains were running (and to time I may add) was my day off. So without any hold ups we got to Brighton approaching 11am.

The train was quite full at this point and Dan and myself had whiled away the journey discussing Youtube and the social media platforms we used to use. Sure this made for thrilling conversation to our fellow train passengers (not!).

After getting off the train, we headed down Queens Road which leads towards the seafront and to the city centre. I love that despite being in a city, you get glimpse of the sea. Great for someone like me who doesn’t like overcrowded and overly built up places.

I normally head straight to Churchill Square which is a shopping mall. I remember when Churchill Square was just a parade of shops, not an actual shopping mall. My best friend and me would often visit Brighton on days off from school and I can recall work being done behind the shops but we didn’t know what.
Then one day we turned up (this was in 1998) and noticed a who shopping mall had opened up behind. For someone who loves retail therapy I was so excited. Lots and lots of new shops!
A few have come and gone since, but there is currently a great selection. Including Bershka, Pull and Bear and my fav Tiger.

Christmas in Pull and Bear

In side the mall was this huge Christmas tree. Heaven know’s how they installed this, but it looked cool! 

After a shop around Churchill Square (with Dan patiently waiting for me outside the shops- good hubby) we headed outside the mall. 

Brighton boasts two H&M’s within stones throw of each other. The main one outside the mall is a flagship store and always has lot’s of great finds. Still this wasn’t a shopping trip solely for me. This is the season to give, so I had a good browse for some presents for my loved ones.

This shop is Bert’s and I really like this shop. It’s not particularly big but it has various home ware pieces and accessorizes. It makes me think of a shop you would expect to see in New York, can’t explain why but it does.

When I was about 10 years old, my mum had a boyfriend who lived and rented in various different places in Brighton and I would often stay with my mum with him in one of these places. I loved it as Brighton was such as cool and fun place for a 10 year old (and still is).

He was renting one house which was the street straight up the from Macdonalds. Literally a matter of meters away. 

I remember going for a MacD’s breakfast one morning as it was just there. Such a treat to get something I normally didn’t have as it was on the door step.

The house was great too. High ceilings and three floors. Imagine it would fetch a few bob now!

Anyway I digress…

We then headed down towards the Laines and I paid a visit into one of my fav shops down there called Sass and Belle. They make really cute, fun and playful home decorations. From trinkets, to cushions, to pots and bunting. And it’s quite affordable too.

I loved their window display with all the Christmas presents. I do love a good window display.

The Laines

A happy display in Sass and Belle

Another one of my fav shops down the Laines is Oliver Bonas. I love their simple but chic designs. A little bit on the pricer side, but you do get some classic pieces. I didn’t end up buying anything from there but it is always on my list of places to visit in Brighton.

As Dan and myself where in this location we decided to take a break from the shops (more for Dan’s sake than mine!) and headed towards the Pavilion. This is such a pretty building. And I had recently seen they had installed a temporary ice rink outside it.
We did want to get our skates on and give it a go, but you have to book your tickets in advance, you couldn’t just turn up and pay.
So instead we sat along side it and watched the skaters go by. It was nice to stop for a moment and enjoy the novelty of an ice rink there and the backdrop of the Pavilion.

My OOTD- Faux leather jacket from Warehouse | Pink cowl neck jumper and denim skirt both from Primark | Black lace up ankle boots from H&M | Red fringed back pack from Topshop

Bizarrely when we headed around the front of the Pavilion we were stopped by a group of about five 30 something men. They seemed friendly enough and I tend to stop if someone needs assistance, so we let them explain what they were after.

One man explained they were doing an Apprentice style task and had to make a fancy box of chocolates. He had an iPad and said he needed a photo of us, before asking us ‘Do we eat chocolate?’ ‘Yes’ Dan replied. ‘Why do you eat chocolate?’ he then asked ‘Because I can’ Dan replied (this is a typical response from Dan as he has Aspergers) and finally we were asked rather randomly ‘Do you have a hamster?’ to which Dan replied ‘Not any more’. (He did have when he was a child).

Then they politely and jovially bid us farewell.

Still not any clearer on what that was all about, but I can only think it was a business team building exercise. Who knows!

After this we headed back towards to the shopping mall as I wanted to pop into a couple of shops again, now that I had looked around. Dan again patiently waited outside.

As it was getting dark now it was great to see all the Christmas lights lit up. As you can see they look pretty cool.

Once I returned from the shops, Dan and myself then headed back towards the train station. We were lucky as there was a train approaching back towards Chichester just as we arrived at the station. As we were getting on at the first stop we managed to get some seats (at that time of day I was imagining standing).

The train wasn’t delayed or held up despite the recent strikes and after approx 50 minutes we arrived back in Chichester.

After a short walk I was home and ready to chill.

And that was my day in Brighton. If you’ve visited Brighton I would love to know what you like about it, And if you haven’t but would like to, what would you like to see or do?

Thanks for reading 🙂

Lot’s of love,

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