I went back down south recently for a couple of days to catch up with people and go places I don’t often get to go anymore. I’ve lived up in the north a good while now, and more and more friends are moving away from places I used to know and have less reason to visit.
Brighton is one of those places. For people outside the UK, Brighton is known for being a bit bohemian and having a big LGBT population/being a day trip spot for Londoners.
As a queer teenager I loved Brighton and wanted to move there. Once I went to pride and spent the night clubbing then sat on the beach all night with friends watching the sun come up around a bonfire and I was in love with the place. It was so creative and vibrant and I loved visiting. But going back it somehow seems very unchanged, almost like it’s stuck in a late 90’s - early 2000s world of “Don’t worry be happy” smiley face posters, “No one knows I’m a lesbian” t-shirts and neon fluffy bags. It just seems a bit worn around the edges.
I loved Brighton’s creativity, but going there now I was shocked to find the handmade shops stocking mostly work from people I know in Yorkshire (!), Donna Wilson (who is rad, but everywhere nowadays! And good on her!) and pseudo-handmade shabby chic things. I walked around enjoying the place on a nostalgic level, but lamenting the lack of locally made work, which is what I love to see in cities.
I went to Snoopers Paradise, a fantastic sprawling second hand shop full of absolutely anything you could want. I’ve spent so many hours in that shop, but now being a northern expat, northern second hand shops are so cheap in comparison!
I went upstairs and found where Brighton’s local creatives are hiding, Snoopers Attic! If you’ve been to Wilderness or Secret Garden Party and enjoyed it you’ll feel right at home. (I definitely was! I spent last year decorating SGP and felt like I was back there!) It has that wonderfully faux-folksy, outdoorsy festival vibe of a Pinterest garden party board. That may sound like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not! It’s wonderful! It’s beautifully decorated and stocked by local highly talented designers. There’s sustainable clothing, collars, taxidermy, terrariums, jewellery, all sorts! All handmade, all in Brighton, and not things I’d seen before! And it all works so well together. Even the stairs up to it are beautifully decorated with dried flowers, bunting, the people who decorated this know what their doing.
I would recommend if going to Brighton you go their first, and explore the rest later! And if you’re going to a festival this year, get your outfit here!
More of this kind of thing please =]
There were a few other good crafty things in Brighton, but more on that soon!