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


Discover Kemptown, Brighton: Independent shops, Lunch and Booze

There's so much to discover in Kemptown, Brighton that I thought it a good idea to share my suggestions in a series of posts. This Friday, it's time to share some great independent shops for a browse, as well as some spots to stop off for food and booze. Once you've taken a look at this post, some other great lunch spots to choose from appear in last Friday's post, under the heading Coffee and Cake.

Inside of glass door with opening hours on it, Marmalade Kemptown

Kemptown Hidden Gems for Shopping

As well as providing a selection of antique, vintage and charity shops, there are other shops worth taking a look at when in Kemptown. Head up to St George's Road for this selection:

Kemptown Bookshop: Under new ownership, this bookshop has been impressing visitors with free talks by writers, a cosy upstairs café, intriguing events, such as the very early-morning (5am) writers gathering and of course a carefully curated collection of books, prints and cards too. Upstairs the counter that is used to display cake is decorated with book spines that were donated by local published authors.

Address: Kemptown Bookshop, 91 St George's Rd, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1EE
Opening Hours: 9am – 5:30pm

Kerfuffle Card Shop: Forget standard card selections, discover instead an assortment of cards from independent artists, small print runs, and unusual cards, including one with a message from a certain former world leader on it. To give you a clue, it’s a strong message, very strong. With good words. The place is packed full of cards and there's a second room through a doorway with even more options to explore.

Address: Kerfuffle, 14 St George's Rd, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1EB
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm

Bell and Fox: This is a wonderful shop for the females in your life, with good quality candles perfect for gifting, necklaces, bags and stylish clothes, that are either sourced locally or have really great ethical credentials. Every item in Sarah's shop has earned its place through careful consideration. More significantly, all the leatherware, from the beautiful metallic handbags and purses to belts and leather decorations are designed by the owner of the shop. Also, worth a mention is the bespoke printing service that Bell and Fox offer that I took advantage of last year for some really special Christmas presents. In cahoots with my niece, her handwriting was printed onto a t-shirt and some Christmas Baubles and the results looked brilliant.

Address: Bell and Fox, 19 St George's Rd, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1EB
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 3pm

Close up of grey t-shirt from Bell and Fox, Brighton with bespoke gold print

Kemptown Lunch and Booze

For a midday break, please also take a look at the Coffee and Cake options in my previous post, because they are all good lunch places. However, there are some more places to add to the list:

The Kemp pub: Formerly known as the Polar East, The Kemp underwent a transformation quite a while ago from boisterous to more refined and now provides a delightful Sunday lunch. There's a seating area out the back and plenty of sofas. Prices start at £16, and you can indulge in a mouthwatering Beef striploin for £20.

Address: The Kemp, 8 St George's Rd, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1EB
Opening Hours: 12 – 11 pm

Bison Beer Beach Bar: If you'd rather a burger and booze, the recently opened Bison Beer on the beach offers craft beers and a rooftop terrace with uninterrupted sea views. Order a slamburger and fries for a tenner on Fridays from 12pm to 3pm and sit indoors if it's raining or blowing a gale.

Address: Bison Beer Beach Bar at Sea Lanes, 300 Madeira Dr, Brighton BN2 1BX
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm

The Hand in Hand: This bold yellow pub and microbrewery, located right beside the flea market, is a quirky and atmospheric spot. It's quite small inside, so customers tend to spill out onto the street. While you queue for a tipple be sure to look up and ponder the interesting pictures on the ceiling.

Address: 33 Upper St James's Street, Kemptown, BN2 1JN

Black Dove: Serving late night beers and cocktails, this bar offers dark and gothic chic on the ground and lower ground floors as well as a good number of street tables. It's a popular choice and has a real buzz about it. Their signature-ish cocktail (maybe not officially) is the Crimson. This cocktail is so delicious it's difficult to take your time over it. It contains Chambord and is topped with a fresh raspberry, and as for the rest of the ingredients you'd be best to check when you maker your order.

Address: 74 St James's St, Kemptown, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN2 1PA
Opening Hours: 2pm – 12 pm

Come back next Friday, when I share some fun Outdoor Activities in Kemptown, not to be missed.

What hidden gems 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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