UK staycations: The Artist Residence Brighton

If you're still feeling uncertain about travelling now that lockdown has been lifted, or are worried you'll get stuck abroad due to overnight travel bans, then a UK staycation, especially one near the beach, is just the ticket to still feel like you're still on holiday.

The location:

The Artist Residence Brighton, is, as the name suggests, in Brighton, but what you aren't able to tell at first glance, is that it's really, really well located within the bustling seaside town. It is a stone's throw away from the main shopping centre and the lanes, and is less than 5-minutes' walk from the gorgeous pebble beach, opposite the iconic West Pier and i360 viewing tower.

The vibe: 

If you love art, you've come the right place. This townhouse hotel on Brighton seafront is the original Artist Residence (it now has sisters in London, Oxfordshire, Penzance and soon-to-be Bristol) and started off as an old B&B. It was given a new lease of life when founder Justin Salisbury offered local artists free board in exchange for re-decorating the hotel back in 2008. The result? A creative, bohemian and downright eccentric boutique hotel which displays some glorious art while still managing to remain homely and cosy. You could be visiting the home of an eccentric art-collector aunt, put it that way.

Notable artwork includes limited edition prints by David Shrigley, Dave White and David Spiller, as well as an original canvas by Gommie and bespoke neon signage by Brighton artist, Andy Doig.

The rooms:

The art and quirkiness extends to the bedrooms, some of which feature artist murals by Charlie Anderson, Ben Eine, Pure Evil, Maria Rivans, Jessica Albarn, Joe Webb and local artist Fox Fisher. All rooms feature mod cons (flat screen TV, Nespresso coffee machine, mini fridge, organic bathroom products by Bramley etc), as well as the plush furnishings that will make you feel right at home, from the leather chesterfield armchairs to the four poster beds, warm wooden floors and vintage radios.

Each room has its own unique personality, but it's well worth booking a seaview room, and if you're feeling very fancy, do book the Bigger Sea View rooms or the Sea View Loft, as they all have standalone bathtubs in the bedroom.

Food & drink:

As with each Artist Residence, you’ll find the Clubhouse downstairs, which is designed to be a little hub for the community, serving wholesome food & drink (perfect for sharing small plates during the day and an extended menu for dinner), as well as some pretty tasty cocktails in the evening. We love the lived-in vibes of the exposed brick and salvaged railway mirrors, combined with neon signage by local artist Andy Doig and plush sofas in tropical House of Hackney velvet. There is also a bar and outdoor terrace that is perfect for summer.

And if you're around during the week, every Monday - Wednesday, The Set restaurant pops up in the dining space, headed up by renowned chef Dan Kenny and serving just 10 each evening. The inventive dining experience focuses on ingredient-led cooking fuelled with fat and umami, and working with British micro-seasonal ingredients, heritage slow grown vegetables, sustainable seafood and native rare breed meats.

How to book: Book online on the Artist Residence Brighton website. Rooms from £95 only. A la carte breakfast available from around £15pp.

Covid-19 safety measures:

If you're concerned about safety measures in these troubling times, don't be. You check in online and drop the keys off at checkout to avoid face to face contact. There is antibacterial gel at the entrance, guest are asked to keep masks on in communal places where possible, and each room is deep cleaned in-between guests, so make sure you check in and out at your allotted times to give them time to clean.

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