– Written by Victoria Philpott
Brighton is one of the most popular places in England to celebrate your last nights of freedom. Hen and stag parties are drawn to the varied and vibrant Brighton Hove nightlife combined with the childish fun of the famous Brighton Pier and the hangover cure potential of the pebbled beach and refreshing sea.
You could go to Brighton and simply enjoy the simple offerings of the seaside town — lazing on the beach, screaming on the pier rides, admiring the Brighton Pavilion and getting your mouth round some Brighton rock.
Or, you could go the extra mile and really make the weekend one to remember by making a pop video with your mates, playing It’s a Knockout or learning the real way to make cocktails, rather than just pouring vodka and orange juice in a glass and hoping for a Screwdriver.
We know, you’ve always fancied yourself as a rock/pop star, and believe that you could have been the next Madonna/John Lennon. Well, now’s your chance to prove it, MTV stylee. A weekend spent making a pop video with your mates in Brighton is one well spent. Think of a song and fashion style beforehand and the production team will sort your make-up, choreography, filming and editing. As well as some bubbly to loosen you up. You’ll get the DVD three weeks later to screen on loop at your wedding. From €80pp.
Get your chortle on at the Komedia Club before moving downstairs to get your groove on. The best place in Brighton to catch stand-up comedy, at Komedia you can enjoy 3 or 4 acts while enjoying the varied drinks and food menu. Past comics include Holly Wlash, Linus Lee, Tom Roche, Doc Brown, Chris Ramsey, Owen O’Neill & MC Stephen Grant. Book as a group and you’ll get a discount. Tickets from €4 to €25 depending on the day and the bill.
It’s a Knockout
Remember the old TV show? Now’s your chance to make a fool of yourself by starring in It’s a Knockout with your mates — all in the name of entertaining the bride or groom. With inflatables, pedestals, sumo suits, gladiator jousts and bungee runs you’ll soon get to know the hen or stag’s other mates. Other rounds include slippery snake where you run through hurdles with jugs of water and see how much you have left, and human table football where two teams face each other surrounded by the 40ft x 23ft inflatable. Prices from €125pp.
Add ‘mixologist’ to your CV with a few hours learning from the best at a cocktail making class in Brighton. The delicious concoctions are sure to give you some turbo energy for the night and enrich your life with some vital knowledge. You’ll get a demonstration on the art of mixology and then get to design and mix your own cocktails to enjoy. Prices from €32pp.
Where to eat
There are over 400 café bars and restaurants in Brighton, but if you’re looking for some after-hours munchies there’s only one place to go, Buddies. The 24-hour fully-licensed restaurant is opposite Brighton’s promenade and offers a panoramic view of the beach. They serve an excellent-value all-day breakfast at a good price (see left!), and the menu also has some good stomach-lining food like fish and chips, burgers and mixed grills. The strict doormen ensure it doesn’t get out of hand as the crowds roll in from the nearby clubs. 46-48 Kings Road, Brighton
If you’re looking for somewhere a little more elegant – try Jamie’s Italian. Serving all the best Italian dishes with recipes from the big man Jamie Oliver himself, you can get a Grilled Angus Sirloin steak for €19 or Wild truffle tagliatelle for less than €12. Beers are €4.12 and a bottle of wine €17. 11 Black Lion Street, Brighton
For cheap and cheerful rates you can’t beat Smart Sea View Brighton, a new hostel just off the Brighton beach. They have private rooms, 18-bed dormitories and everything in between, some with spectacular views of the beach. There’s a relaxed bar and games room on-site to start your night and a 24-hour internet café with free wi-fi.
Dorms from €11.25 pppn and privates from €33.78 pppn.
If you and your mates fancy a glamorous apartment as a base for your wild weekend adventures, check out Avalon Apartments. Seconds from the Lanes, the Churchill Square Shopping Centre, the train station and the seafront, the beautifully serviced apartments are great for groups of up to 6 people.
There’s underground parking, a spacious living area and a fully-equipped kitchen. There’s also a huge TV, sky, wi-fi and a dual aspect balcony from which to enjoy your superbly mixed cosmopolitan.
Apartment from €45.15 pppn.