Indie Retail Month, South Lanes

The penultimate week is upon us and we've made it almost all the way back to the sea! The South Lanes have a myriad of brilliant retailers, both indie and chains,but of course in the spirit of Indie Retail Month, I'll be focusing on just the best independent ones for this countdown.

Choccywoccydoodah

With its own TV show (and now a shop in London... but it still counts right?) Choccywoccydoodah is something of a Brighton institution. A peak at the window display shows you all you really need to see. The window displays change with the seasons, but usually feature a scantily clad lady and a mythical creature or two - as well as oodles of glitter. Totally extravagant cake and chocolate creations fill this shop space, with deep red damask walls and velvet Chesterfield seating as the backdrop.

If you're not feeling flush enough to fork out for a cake masterpiece of your own, then treat yourself to a slice in the cafe upstairs. As well as having an 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' setting, the cake and drinks are pretty great - even the biggest chocoholics would struggle to eat a whole piece.

The Lane's Armoury

Just across the road is a tiny little Aladdin's cave of history. The Lane's Armoury is absolutely full to the brim with military paraphernalia. Whilst a lot of people (myself included) would be quick to dismiss this as probably not their thing, I urge you to take a look.

The history of the family business goes as far back as the reign of King George! Their collection includes anything military, dating from as far back as the pre-christian era, right up to the current day. Bronze age daggers, suits of armour and even cannons can be found in this old fisherman's cottage. Certainly somewhere to let your imagination get carried away with you.

A Superb 17th -18th Century Swivel Cannon on Carriage

A Superb 17th -18th Century Swivel Cannon on Carriage

Marwoods

Two time winner of the 'Most Brighton' award, I felt I'd be cheating you if I didn't include this quirky coffeehouse. Whilst they serve all of the usual coffee shop goodies, including truly incredible cakes (it seems lately I write about little else!), they also have beer on tap and a great, simple cocktail menu.

The walls are adorned with weird and wonderful memorabilia, you really could find something new every time you visited. The garden is a great little spot in the summer - and a rare commodity in the South Lanes. They also have lots of unusual nights on in the upstairs of the building, including monthly life drawing classes. Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse is a must visit.

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Workshop Living

Paired back design is something that hasn't featured heavily on the South Lanes part of the countdown so far, but Workshop Living get it just right. With a simple, slightly industrial style, the owners here carefully choose and curate all of the beautiful items.

If you're looking for a housewarming present then this is absolutely the place to go. Everything is beautiful and most importantly functional. If you can't get down to Brighton then it's really worth trawling through their instagram. A gorgeous collection of architecture and design that really shows the thought process behind each piece for sale.

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Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

I ummed and ahh-ed about including Sticky Mikes, mostly because I would be mortified if anyone found me there in the early hours of a Sunday morning (which does happen on occasion...) However, a good, independent live music venue is a hard thing to stumble upon, so it would be wrong of me to disqualify them. 

As well as live bands and a brilliant setting, they also serve pizza from one of my favourites PizzaFace, any excuse to fit them in! The ground floor space is a bar, with a great music selection and the downstairs is home to live music and club nights. Bands, beer and pizza, what more could you ask for?

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar