Brighton Festival

Roll up, roll up! For the merry month of May Brighton explodes into a carnival of culture with the Brighton Festival, Fringe Festival, Great Escape and Artist Open Houses all marking the beginning of what will hopefully be a long summer of fun, sun and entertainment.

For the high-brow culture vultures, the vaudeville aficionados and devoted bacchants, the Brighton Festival provides a wealth of opportunity for socialising, dining and drinking; as the whole city ups the ante on its party pace.

Open on Victoria Gardens, the Warren is close to the action for all things Brighton Festival. As well as host to great alternative Fringe events including talks, theatre and cabaret the Warren is also open for those just looking to soak up some festival vibes with pop-up bars and food kiosks. With everyone kicking back and soaking it in, the Warren can get a little bawdy, but is always good natured and family friendly, at least until bed-time.

The Spiegeltent, like the Warren, gives you a dose of festival vibes, regardless of whether you have come to take in some world-class cabaret and local talent. Space + Thyme, whose food graces many a Brighton pub kitchen, will be serving up food as sensational and locally sourced as the acts themselves. The Artbar Cockatoo Cocktail Emporium will be warmly greeted by Spiegeltent veterans and newcomers alike; look for the vintage Morris Ambulance decked with giant revolving birdcage!

Start your evening with some quality pre-theatre dining. Many establishments in Brighton offer an express or early evening meal to keep you fortified and pleasantly watered, ready for the main event; here’s our pick of the best. If you’ve blown your budget on some must have tickets there’s no need to ruin the show with a grumbling belly, check out this year’s BRAVO Eat Well For Less winners, for pocket-friendly, quality meals. For matinee meals, our Lunchtime guide is full of satisfying fillers.

As crowds spill out of theatres and tents there is a general air of wanting more! We have prepared an excellent selection of cocktail bars for you to sample, with mixology flare to rival any acrobat and as fruity a punch as the most sensational of cabarets. For the latest word on the street on where to get your cocktail fix, check out the BRAVO Best Cocktail top twenty winners too.

Cocktails not your thing? Then head to one of Brighton’s amazing pubs or bars to dissect your evening’s viewing over a pint. During the Brighton festival, many bars turn additional space into makeshift theatres for aspiring comedians, musicians and performers, so who knows where your night might lead you. Beyond last orders, there’s still a lot of living to be done with our Brighton nightlife guide.

For those coming to the city specifically to take in the Brighton Festival, the Lanes and North Laine can be as intriguingly complex as the plot to a good murder mystery play. Avoid spots where the cook killed lunch and the waiter most definitely didn’t do it with our insider guides to both.

There are show stoppers and then there are show stoppers. If you’re looking to really make a night of it, be it to impress or celebrate, then the meal before or after can make or break. With our BRAVO Best Restaurant 2019 winners, your only worry might be the meal stealing centre stage (but that’s not really too much of a worry). For Nationally recognised restaurants, those with Michelin and AA awards check these superstars out too.