Brighton Lite’s Definitive-ish Guide to Christmas Shopping for 2011

By A. Smythee

bratislava christmas market
Photo used courtesey of Creative Commons by -12°C’s

Ahhh…It’s the most wonderful time of the year when Brighton Lite toasts chestnuts over the open fire, supping on mulled wine or spiced cider, maybe humming carols when wrapping up home-made delights crafted tenderly for our loved ones. Wait, that was the scene on the bumper pack of Christmas cards we hastily threw into our shopping basket on our way to our second bar job.

2011’s Austerity Britain ™ sees Brighton Lite face the stress and financial burden of Christmas shopping whilst juggling work, families, work, friends, work and all sorts of other commitments (work).

But it doesn’t have to be that way; even in these times it might be possible to actually enjoy Christmas shopping and still get the perfect presents for those you care about most.

Brighton-Lite has put together a short guide to Christmas shopping in Brighton to help make the whole experience a little more enjoyable, starting with the key areas to visit.

Churchill Square and Western Road Brighton Lite feels this locale is subject to an unfair comparison to the independent areas of town. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

The shops in this area are a must, especially at this time of year so don’t be put off. As well as the expected chain stores Churchill Square has festive stalls offering food and gifts to cheer you up again and, of course, the city centre is decorated with twinkling lights to keep you in the mood.

Further down Western Road, sees a glut of shops that may contain the perfect gift for the foodie in your life. Robert Dyas provides cheaper, brand name kitchen items.

Directly opposite is Bert’s Homestores, independent, posher, more expensive but lovely.

Don’t forget Recipease, a Jamie Oliver vehicle, where you can not only buy tasty treats but also learn how to make them too.

It maybe the shopping equivalent of battleships but Argos Extra generally has the stock that’s sold out elsewhere.

Finally, Poundland really is the best in town (they have the edge on the 99p stores in Brighton Lite’s estimation; you get what you pay for).

North Laine

In Brighton Lite’s opinion, the very best of Brighton is topped and tailed by Queens Road and London road and hugged by Trafalgar Street and Church Street.

Here you’ll find around 300 shops, 37 cafes, 22 pubs, 4 theatres, 2 museums. You will find retro clothes, furnishings, oriental and Balinese furniture and cutting edge interior design.

There’s unique jewellery to shops specialising in kites, musical instruments, beads and organic health foods.

North Laine will finally end your quest to find a shop dedicated to vegetarian shoes too.

See our earlier post for more details.

Jubilee Square

The area outside the award winning library will host Christmas fairs entertainment throughout the festive season.

The Lanes

Put a bit of sparkle into your Christmas by visiting some of the jewellers in the historic winding alleyways of The Lanes.

The former fishing village is famous for its boutique jewellery stores. It is now also home to an array of shops selling toys and antiques.

Although at the higher end of the market, The Lanes are an enjoyable area to visit with lovely architecture and, importantly, many pubs, bars and eateries.

There are some interesting events taking place around the city offering an enjoyable day out as well as excellent gift buying opportunities.

Artist Open Houses (AOH) gives people a unique opportunity to view artists’ work in their homes or studios and enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies.

It is a fantastic opportunity to pick up some exclusive gifts from the artists themselves. Events will be held on 26 and 27 November, 3 and 4 December and 10 and 11 December.

The Christmas Vintage Craft Fair offers vintage gifts and delicious home-made food from talented local traders at Komedia on 4 December.

At Brighton Christmas Teddy Bear Fair you can pick up a furry friend for your loved ones.

From classic Steiff bears to fabric to make your own you’ll find it all at Brighton Racecourse on 11 December.

Once the shopping is done and dusted Brighton is the perfect place to relax, visit one of the many bars, cafes, pubs or restaurants across the city.

The Royal Pavilion hosts a custom built ice-skating rink after the success of last year, you can just watch whilst eating mince pies and drinking wine or seize the moment and take to the rink. Brighton Lite reckons you’ll soon be dancing on ice.

Brighton hosts a cornucopia of events and activities all over the city this Christmas.
Brighton Lite urges you to get into the spirit of the season and pay Brighton a visit this December; it’s good for what ails you.


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