24 hours: Brighton
I will always have a soft spot for Brighton. It's a place I haven't been to nearly enough, but it a welcome break from London for seeing old friends who live there and exploring the vibrant scene of food and shops. Spending the day there is both tricky yet worthwhile if you cram in as much as possible.
The best way to start the morning at one of the many fun cafes. Marwood coffee is great not just for the delicious coffee and cake selection but for its eclectic interior. Naked mannequins, 80's film junk and toy memorabilia pretty much engulf the walls where you can spend hours guessing where they're all from.
Exploring the lanes is always a must when in Brighton. Beautiful shops with brands and individual boutique sellers means you'll often find the perfect gift for someone you weren't even looking for. A favourite of mine is Workshop for interior plant goals alongside gorgeous retro sunglasses brands.
A visit to Brighton is, of course, incomplete with a visit to the Pier. Forget spending loads of money and get a few pounds of pennies for hours of fun on the penny machines. You may only get a pencil with the hard earned ticket but the excitement is enough to make any adult feel proud. Even if the rides are shut, just walking around them feels like a step back in time with the Helter Skelter and vintage rollercoasters.
Lunch is best spent at The Plant Room. It caters to vegetarians and vegans alike so the rich coffee has milk options for those who need it. The food is also something to remember well with soups and sandwiches that aren't your usual cheese and tomato. In the other half of the shop is some homeware, the best being its unique office signs sure to make anyone who has worked in one relate.
It's also worth a walk around the Royal Pavilions. The bizarre Indian buildings, built in 1787 for George, Prince of Wales, just emphasize the eccentricity of Brighton. Surrounded by greenery and gardens, it is a beautiful place to explore, as well as visiting the shops which have some great prints and gifts that are perfect to take away.
End the day on some of the most delicious Mexican food at Carlitto Burrito. The interior is Mexico meets junk yard with crazy lights, printed cushions and prints (we spotted a hilarious Trump parody) and of course the food. Expect very strong margaritas which are two for £10 on Sassy Sundays as well as halloumi burritos and nachos with all the dips.
If you're from London, the 50-minute journey out to Brighton is completely worth the day trip. Even if you aren't, spending some time by the sea with a place that exudes character and charm with locals and tourists alike, is a mini break that everyone needs to go on once in their life at least.