Brighton - Darren Coleshill
Image by Darren Coleshill

Things to Love about Brighton this Winter

Personally, I am a summer girl through and through. I love the early mornings and enjoying a morning cuppa in the garden as much as I love the long evenings of eating fish and chips as I watch the sunset, and not letting the seagulls have any. But winter is just around the corner now and Brighton still has so much to offer, allowing me (and you) to romanticise the dark evenings and rainy days. In order to embrace the cosy instead of dreading the cold, I’ve composed this list of things to do to inspire us to get out and have something to look forward to every day for the next couple of months. 

The Pavilion Ice Rink 

From 29th October right through to January, one of Brighton’s most picturesque attractions will transform into a winter wonderland for another year. The Royal Pavilion has a pop-up ice skating rink each year and looks especially dreamy in the evenings as a chilly hue of purple is projected onto the palace. Also, there is a festive bar hosting a menu of warming treats including mulled wine and dinner too. It is the perfect activity for families, couples or groups of friends; there are penguins available to hire for the little ones, and student discount tickets too. Nothing epitomises a Brighton winter more than The Pavilion ice rink. 

Christmas Markets 

My favourite thing about this time of year is when the food vans start smelling like roasted chestnuts and there seems to be cookie or candy cane decorations around every corner. The wooden huts that inhabit the central strip between St Peter’s Church and Valley Gardens not only provide delicious food (think German bratwurst) but also have retail market stalls and live entertainment to keep you occupied throughout the afternoon and into the night. The outdoor event is all free entry, and is guaranteed to add a very jolly spirit to your typical Sunday stroll. Open Friday 25th November to Sunday 18th December. 

Jazz Nights

Nothing seems cosier to me than being tucked up in the corner of a pub with a pint, listening to jazz playing overhead. Running bi-weekly at The Joker pub in Preston circus is ‘Jazz Lounge’ where you can expect cocktails and candlelit tables. Or The Paris House, the French-themed café and bar on the border between Brighton and Hove, whose quirky customers are always getting involved in the music. While their November live music timetable has not been confirmed yet, October saw “The Monday Boys Jazz Session”. I’ve walked past before on a random Monday afternoon and people were stopping on the street to smile at the dancing and jiving couples inside. Also in that area, The Bees Mouth hosts regular classy jazz nights.

Komedia and Karaoke

Escape the rain and sit inside a comfortable theatre to laugh away with your loved ones. In the heart of The North Laine, Komedia is a venue which everyone in Brighton has probably heard of, even if they’ve never personally visited. If comedy isn’t your thing, you can also catch cabaret or children’s theatre as well as live music. It’s a vibrant space, bursting with creativity, and is especially diverse in the culture it provides. For a full list of what’s on this winter, go to online. Don’t fancy watching a show and would rather be the centre of attention instead? That is exactly what karaoke at Lucky Voice is for. You can hire your own private room for as little as £6 out of peak times. Note that pricing may be different over the Christmas period so get it cheap while you can! 

Sunday Roast 

There is nothing more comforting than a proper Sunday roast at this time of year. While I am a firm believer in saving the turkey for Christmas day, make your weekends extra festive with pigs in blankets and mince pies for an evening treat. Cooking a roast at the weekend is the best way to socialise inside with your friends or family, especially if you all chime in and cook together. If you don’t fancy cooking at this time of year (reasonably so) there are also plenty of traditional pubs across Brighton which serve great roast dinners. The Master Marina at Brighton Marina is a personal favourite of mine. Think low beamed ceilings and an open fire to accompany your feast of beef and crispy potatoes with vegetables bathing in herbed butter. BRAVO voted Haus on the Hill as the number one Sunday roast in Brighton & Hove, so get yourself to Southover Street and see what the fuss is all about. Half a roast chicken with lemon and thyme or butternut squash wellington sounds divine to me. 

The Duke of York Picturehouse

What better way to spend a rainy day than getting down to the cinema and cosying up with a big box of popcorn? It beats an evening of Netflix as the comfort of a good movie is combined with the pride of actually making it out of the house, plus you get the added luxury of surround sound. The Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Preston Circus is one of the oldest cinemas in the world yet shows the newest movies in Hollywood to keep you up to date with all the greatest contemporary screenwriting. The Duke of York is a Grade II listed building – truly a masterpiece of cultural history and providing the perfect ambiance and class for cinema. Every Monday, ticket prices for film showings are discounted too! 

Simply walk around our special little city! 

Brighton is a unique and magical place, and winter truly is a time for that magic to shine. While summer in Brighton is full of colourful beach days and park picnics, the winters are spent dipping in and out of coffee shops and wandering around The Lanes to the romantic haze of light coming out of restaurant windows. Make the most of what Brighton has to offer and try a new activity this November or December.

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