A weekend break in Brighton has long been synonymous with hen parties and fish and chips on the beach. But in the last few years the bohemian tide has begun to shift, the town's restaurants have started to button up a bit and the rise in digital nomads has seen new-gen hybrid hotels and spaces come to the shore like Selina, a hostel meets hotel with co-working desks, and the recently opened Brighton Beach House from Soho House.
I'm here for the weekend to discover it all, along with a stay in what might be one of the most unusual Airbnbs in Brighton. Spending the night in a gothic chapel could sound like the stuff of dark romance or spooky Halloween nightmares, depending on your penchant for historic and mysterious homes. Either way, I'm here for the adventure.
Set the scene
Hidden down a quiet mews off one of Brighton's busies streets, a large heavy door opens onto a grand wooden staircase, polished and worn with age. Despite the fact the walls and the door are painted in the deepest darkest charcoal grey, the space surprisingly doesn't feel dark. Light beams down from a window out of view, giving a sense of church-like serenity. Feeling like Alice entering wonderland, I venture up the steps to discover a large Mexican-style red neon cross by Andy Doig Neon’s on the first floor. Above, a whimsical cascade of hundreds of crystal glasses pour down through the stair well, forming an impressive chandelier.