Brighton Regency Routemaster, Meet Nicky Hedley

We chat with Nicky Hedley from the Brighton Regency Routemaster, recipient of the prestigious Best Afternoon Tea award at the BRAVO Awards.

Nicky who owns the Brighton Regency Routemaster, shares insights into her career journey thus far and highlights her top must-visit restaurants in Hove, offering a glimpse into the vibrant culinary scene of the area.

You won the BRAVO Best Afternoon Tea in 2023. How did this feel and what impact did winning have on your business?

Winning Best Afternoon Tea in Brighton was such a wonderful achievement for us and made us feel like our hard work had been recognised. Especially as there are so many wonderful places to have afternoon tea in Brighton!

I think it’s really raised the profile of the business and gave the whole team a happy boost of confidence.

Do you have any top tips for getting behind the BRAVO Awards from a venue’s perspective?

I think just keeping up your motivation and finding new ways to reach voters for the full 6 weeks – it’s hard when you’re also running the day to day operations but definitely worth it!

Describe the Brighton Regency Routemaster to someone who hasn’t been before?

Iconic experiences on board a British icon!

We offer delicious and unique dining experiences on board our beautiful vintage Routemaster bus. The afternoon tea tour, our signature experience, has won multiple awards and also been listed in The Times as one of the top 23 places for afternoon tea in the UK, a huge honour. We offer a range of options for private events and parties and can create bespoke experiences for weddings, birthdays and corporate groups too.

Tell us about your career?

I worked in event management for 12 years prior to starting the company running conferences, incentives and all kinds of events in venues and locations all around the world. Working with so many different types of suppliers and businesses in different countries is a great way to see what people enjoy the most and also the things that can be frustrating when you’re booking experiences.

I find this experience really helped us decide to place emphasis on good communication, organisation and customer service.

What’s new and what’s next for the Brighton Regency Routemaster?

We launched our Drag Brunch experience last year (Drag Bus) which has been really popular and also a number of Children’s activity tours (The Brighton Express) for Easter, Halloween and Christmas with delicious themed grazing boxes, pumpkin picking and visits from Santa and the Easter Bunny! We’ve also expanded our drinks and catering offering for private hire bookings and weddings offering two course lunches and delicious canapes! We’ll be launching our Corporate Brochure in 2024, with experiences focussed on event or business groups, and are looking at adding charcuterie bouquets to our catering offer, we’re always trying to think of things that are a bit unique or special.

Favourite places to dine in Brighton or Hove?

My goodness we are SO spoilt for choice with restaurants in Brighton and Hove – there are so many incredible places, I live in Hove so a lot of my favourite restaurants are over that way. I love having breakfast at Baked.

Colin at Baked Interview, Hove cafe for breakfasts and brunches. Exterior shot

Wild Flor and Nostos are probably my favourites for dinner or sitting outside with a pizza and a glass of wine at Fatto a Mano in the summer : )

Wild Flor Restaurant

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