My Top 10 Kemptown Indie Retailers

Independent Retailer Month

The whole month of July is Independent Retailer Month. An initiative set up to try and save the UK high streets from becoming the same grey homogenised retail parks that are popping up across the country. Independent Retailer Month was inspired by the incredible statistic that for every pound spent with a local, independent business, between 50 and 70p is circulated back into the local economy. Compare this to the 5p that trickles back in when we shop out of town or online and its clear to see that this cause is a worthy one!

Laine is lucky enough to be amongst hundreds of other independent retailers around Brighton - one of the things that makes our city so special. Over the course of this month I'll be broadening my blogging horizons beyond the world of knitwear and into my favourite independent retailers around Brighton. Starting with the most local possible, here's a rundown of my favourite places around Kemptown to spend my time (and money!)

Food Glorious Food

Anyone local to Brighton will agree that The Real Patisserie is hard to beat, but just down the road is one of my favourite hidden gems, in between Boots and egg n spoon, does the most wonderfully chewy loaf of bread and vegan sausage rolls!

Of course I couldn't forget to mention Laine's nearly neighbour Seed n Sprout, a brilliant health food shop that always seems to have the things that are difficult to find anywhere else and a selection of amazing alcoholic ice lollies for this weather.

Cute Coffee Shops

I'll hold my hands up and admit, I'm not a coffee drinker. However it seems almost everyone else in Brighton is and I'll never say no to a cup of tea - so I quite often end up accompanying them. Kemptown is truly spoiled for coffee shops, so I'll keep it extra local. Ground have a special place in my heart for their completely compostable takeaway cups and their incredible Anzac biscuits - oats, coconut and orange (and completely vegan!)

Just the other side of Laine is Nescot, sat on the corner its a great spot for people watching and you can look out on the funny patch of community garden that's so tiny and in such a strange location, but always beautifully looked after. Full marks for their tea selection too!

Kemptown Pubs

The Hand in Hand is a truly tiny little pub, on Upper Saint James' Street. One of my favourite tucked away spots, if you're a real ale drinker then this is your pub. A little further towards town is The Black Dove, the best place for cocktails and another brilliant spot for people watching. If it's a sunny beer garden that you're after then The Saint George's Inn has got to be top of the list, it's best experienced on a Sunday afternoon with one of their incredible roasts.

Retail Therapy

The Kemptown Bookshop is something of an institution, it's great to have an independent bookshop on the doorstep, but even greater to have such a highly regarded one. Stocking tens of thousands of books, they also have a small section of gifts and stationery, which I seem to find myself collecting.

A little further down the road on Upper Saint James' street is The Brighton Flea Market. A treasure trove of antiques, collectables, artefacts, artworks and just plain unusual things, a potter around here is one of my favourite ways of whiling away an hour or so. 

And My Wildcard?

Just across the road from Laine is Saint George's News, Food & Wine. An unassuming corner shop that I spend a great deal of my day gazing longingly at, on the counter are the best homemade samosas you will ever taste. (They do lots of other things too, but the samosas really are the most important!)

That brings us to the end of the list, with hopefully a couple of new spots for you to spend your pennies. Us Brightonians are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to being able to support independent retailers - let us know your favourites!