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Alice Harold

A Guide to Christmas Shopping in Brighton

19 December 2016 | London Calling

AHH! It’s a week until Christmas and you haven’t bought any presents yet. What are you going to do?!! Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. Now read our handy how-to for gift buying in Brighton. Easy peasy.

Beyond Retro
 
You know they like clothes – but they are so picky! Why not try Beyond Retro? This stylish retailer expands the humble vintage store to a grand scale. Supplying their four stores across the UK (and four across Sweden – so Scandi cool), they sift through literally hundreds of thousands of second-hand clothes for those few prized gems. These special items are then spruced up and crafted out before being shipped right to the shop floor. You can’t find more range anywhere, with every style, colour and fabric imaginable – and if you are worried about being overwhelmed in store, scour their online archive before you visit!
 

Photo Credit: Beyond Retro Brighton
 
Find Beyond Retro Brighton at 42 Vine Street, BN1 4AG. See online for more information and their extensive clothes range.
 
Lewes & Brighton Flea Market
 
“Hmm, on second thoughts maybe a piece of furniture might be a better option.” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. A short train or car journey north takes you to the cosy village of Lewes and their copious Flea Market. This is no ordinary jumble of bric-a-brac. The Lewes Flea Market houses some of the finest chic antiques on the south coast. Wandering through their stunning converted chapel site, you’ll find French Pine Benches, 1950’s smokers cabinets – oh, and vintage Italian racing bikes! There’s always something unique and treasured here, and if you can’t make it to Lewes there’s a smaller Brighton site on St. James’ Street.
 

Lewes Flea Market. Photo Credit: the spotlight kid
 
Lewes Flea Market is located at 14a Market Street, Lewes, BN7 2NB. The Brighton store is found at 31a Upper St. James’ Street, BN2 1JN. Information about both and their stock can be found on their website.
 
La Cave a Fromage
 
What were you thinking?! They’re a foody – find them some prized nosh. Look no further than La Cave a Fromage. This cultured cheeserie hosts some of the finest bries, comté and camemberts around – and there’s even some pretty wiffy Stilton. This is paradise for the delicatessen devotees among you with wall upon wall of belly-aching produce. And it’s not just cheese: there’s an up-market selection of crackers, chutneys and wine. Why not buy an extra-special present and book a night at their in-store restaurant with all the fondue two could chew.
 
La Cave a Fromage is at 34-5 Western Road, BN3 1AF.
 
Montezumas
 
All that cheese would go down extra-specially well with something sweet to follow it up. Saunter on down to Duke Street for finger-licking chocolate too scrumptious not to buy. Montezuma’s are Brighton’s homegrown chocolatiers with their first store set up in the city 16 years ago. They now have six shops across the UK but all their bars are manufactured in their factory right here in West Sussex. Whether you like your cocoa sugar-saturated or dark and sophisticated, Montezuma’s shelves will stock something for you – and maybe you should pick something up for your gift recipient as well! If you want to experiment, why not try their 100% cocoa range: it’s the extra-strong quadruple espresso of chocolate.
 

Photo Credit: Ryan

Montezuma’s resides at 15 Dukes Street, BN1 1AH.
 
City Books
 
Still a little unsure what to get? A book is always a safe choice – and there’s no better place to scout out a good paperback (or hardback) than City Books. This literary emporium is Brighton’s largest independent bookstore – and its most widely stocked. Sections include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cooking, art, history, travel – pause for breath – fashion, biographies, business, and children’s books. There’s almost nothing you cannot find in City Books. Join their list of venerable perusers (including Grayson Perry, Ranulph Fiennes and Jamie Oliver) and pick up a Penguin classic, or something more adventurous!
 
Find City Books online or at 23 Western Road, BN3 1AF.
 
Brighton Christmas Market
 
Oh drat it, this is all too complicated. You just want a Christmas present! Right then, go to the Brighton’s home of Christmas – the Brighton Christmas Market. This Yuletide ensemble pitches down on Jubilee Square every year with 24 stalls primed to end your gift-buying woes. This year’s highlights include Terracotta Ceramica, with fine Tunisian pottery; South American Amigos, with hats, scarves and ponchos of alpaca yarn; and Gustav’s Waffle House, in case you need a little sugar kick to help you round. Get a gift for every relative, friend and loved one in just one trip. Alright it’s lazy, but with presents this good, they’ll never know!
 
For the Christmas Market’s location and all the stores on offer, see their website.
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