The Marie Claire team do like to be beside the seaside
We stayed at... The Hilton Brighton Metropole, a Grade I-listed seafront hotel. Designed in 1890 by Natural History Museum architect Alfred Waterhouse, it was once the largest building outside London. Now it has over 300 rooms, an indoor pool, Clarins spa and bar with sun terrace. Rooms cost from £135 with breakfast.
Our top five things to do...
1. Mess about on the beach and pier, then ride the 1883 Volks electric railway.
2. Tour the Chinoiserie-kitsch Royal Pavilion.
3. Eat fish and chips at Bardsley's (23 Baker Street), established in 1926.
4. Party - but avoid the stag-and-hen mayhem in Kemp Town. Start with cocktails at Above Audio, dine at Sam's of Brighton, then hit the art deco Hanbury Club.
5. Clear your head on an open-top bus to Devil's Dyke for a walk on the beautiful South Downs. For more information, click here.
Brighton is full of great buys, with 300 shops in the North Laine area. Head to Sarah Arnett (52 Ship Street) for stunning print dresses, Pussy Home Boutique (3a Kensington Gardens) for quirky gifts, and Abode (32 Kensington Gardens) for designer homeware. Stop for lunch at Bill's (100 North Road), a buzzing deli/cafe.