Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Discover Kemptown, Brighton: Coffee, Cake and Antique hunting

Nestled between the iconic Brighton Pier and the bustling Marina, Kemptown is a hidden gem with a stunning seafront, and a vibrant mix of independent shops, cafes and outdoor activities to enjoy. With its historic Georgian and Victorian architecture, antique dealers and great coffee, Kemptown offers the perfect setting for a memorable winter weekend getaway. In this insider's guide, I'll lead you through the best shops to explore, and local independent cafes to make the most of your time in Kemptown during the winter months.

Interior of a cafe with antique wooden tables and chairs

Kemptown Coffee and Cake

It's no exaggeration to say that you could spend days hopping from one café to another. To get you started, here's a selection of some must-visit coffee spots from different parts of Kemptown:

St. James' Street - Twin Pines Coffee House: This cool establishment offers a variety of specialty drinks worth trying, such as their exquisite cortado. Descend the spiral staircase to find yourself cocooned in a vintage-chic, ambient setting.

Address: Twin Pines, 11 Saint James’s Street, Brighton BN2 1RE
Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm

Lewes Crescent - Marmalade: This charming café, recently refurbished, is a brunch haven. Try their warm and hearty porridge on a rainy day, and you won't want to leave.

Address: Marmalade, 237 Eastern Rd, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 5JJ
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm

St. Georges Road - Egg and Spoon: If you're lucky, you might spot a celebrity in here. They value their privacy, so I won't drop any names, but spotting them always turns me into a massive fan girl.

Address: Egg and Spoon, 107-108 Saint George's Road, Brighton, and Hove BN2 1EA
Opening Hours: 8am – 3pm

St. Georges Road - Open Bakery: Formerly the Real Patisserie, the Open Bakery still sells the same selection of French breads and pastries. All of it is divine, but if you want to try just one item, then don't leave town without trying the almond croissant. I'm going to leave that there. Thank me later.

Address: Open Bakery, 34 St. George's Road, Kemp Town, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1ED
Opening Hours: 7am - 5.30pm

Madeira Drive - FIKA Beach: For a hot drink to enjoy on the beach, don't miss this Swedish-style coffee shop on Madeira Drive. It's in the new Sea Lanes complex that I'll come back to in a later post.

Address: FIKA Beach, 300 Madeira Dr, Brighton BN2 1BX
Opening Hours: 7am – 5pm

Kemptown Antiquing and Browsing

Kemptown is full of treasures waiting to be uncovered in the many charity and antique shops that occupy St James' Street and St Georges' Road. In the past I've found a vintage evening dress from a London couture house, old books, limited edition prints, and beautiful cut glass. Start the charity shop trail at MIND charity shop on St. James' Street and work your way up the high street.

Continue your treasure hunt by crossing over at Lower Rock Gardens and follow the trail to the Brighton Flea Market. It's an absolute must-visit, with small stalls on two floors offering antique and vintage household items, clothes, books, and interesting chairs. Share your own discoveries on the blog, as I'd love to hear your stories.

Brighton Flea Market 31a Upper St James's St, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1JN
Opening Hours: 10am – 5:30pm

Continue your vintage and antique hunting by crossing the road and heading towards St Georges' Road. Here, you'll even find an antiques café, where you can enjoy the decor while sipping on a well earned cuppa. Expect to see some adorable dogs as it's a pet-friendly place.

Cafe Rust 115 St George's Rd, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1EA
Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm

Further along, you'll come across the much-loved Marie Curie charity shop. Based on its long-standing presence and many a satisfied customer, it's worth a visit. On the other side of the Co-op, another emporium is open for business, with wonderful French pieces in the window that I tend to look at wistfully. Inside, you'll also find a good collection of second-hand clothing to browse through.

Come back next Friday for some Hidden Gems, Lunch and Booze and some Outdoor Activities not to miss in Kemptown.

For now, I hope these suggestions help you have a Kemptown adventure, in the part of Brighton known for its antiques, coffee and cake by the sea.

What favourite spots have I missed? Let me know your favourite discoveries and what made your trip unforgettable.

Please note: the opening times are just a guide to normal working hours for each business listed, click on the links provided for up to date information
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