Brighton is my running away place. I live in south east London so it only takes an hour to get there and it's where I run away to when I've had enough of London, when I'm sad and when the only thing I want to do is sit on the beach and watch the sea. And lose a fiver in the penny falls. Brighton is my getting away from everything place and it makes me happy, especially as I now get to hang out with Domestic Slut Carrie when I go and visit.
I've already told you about a couple of places you can stay in Brighton - you want something arty? Head to Sea Spray. Something outrageous? Pelirocco is for you. But what if you want something a bit more classic? The mock Tudor Hotel du Vin will do it.
It should be noted immediately just how good the service is in this hotel. From everyone - the barman putting up with our indecisive cocktail choosing (and making a mean martini to boot), the people on reception who rushed to the shop past midnight because I'd forgotten my toothbrush, the sommelier who explained every glass of wine to us and didn't rolls his eyes when my friend drank white wine with her lamb. Yep, they've got the friendly staff thing down to a fine art.
The hotel itself? Snazzy, without being over the top. I like the designer touchers - the clocks on the wall in reception, the nice details in the bar (and comfy sofas). But I wish they'd done more with my room. The bathroom was gorgeous (if small) and I'll always be a sucker for a freestanding bath, but the rest of the room was actually pretty plain. Not that I spent much time awake in the room - I drank too much tasty red wine with dinner and was shortly off to the land of nod on the snuggliest pillows ever.
I had a brilliant time in the hotel, the staff really make it special, and it's a gorgeous building. They also served me up one of the best steaks I've ever had and I'd come back just for that. The location is ideal - just down the road from the Laines and two minutes from the beach. My penny falls addiction was properly sated. For now at least.
This review has been updated slightly - wifi at the Hotel du Vin is now free. Fabulous.
Hotel du Vin Brighton is on Ship Street. At the moment a double room is around £145 a night. If you don't opt for fish 'n' chips on the windy pier, make sure you have the steak in the bistro. I was a guest at Hotel du Vin but this hasn't affected my review in any way.