Saucy and scandalous? It's so Brighton

Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:49am EST
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By David Holmes

BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) - Briefly it was a hit on YouTube: a clip of chubby comedian Matt Whistler sliding down a snowy city street on a tray, naked and cheered on by his neighbors.

Very Brighton, thought many residents of this seaside resort which revels in its reputation for the saucy and scandalous.

It's an image that lures thousands of visitors every year, along with a combination of nightlife, boutique hotels and quirky pubs that travel guide Lonely Planet recognized in naming it among the world's top 10 beach cities.

Boasting distinctive attractions such as the candy floss and fish 'n' chip-festooned Brighton Pier, the city is an hour's train ride south of London and enjoys one of the sunniest climates in Britain. As well as the pebbly beach there are bars from bohemian to upper crust and eating-out options aplenty.

Thirsty visitors in search of a taste of old Brighton can head for the Colonnade Bar, which revels in its theatrical links being sited next door to the heritage-listed Theatre Royal.

Hungry? For seafood fans English's on the edge of the Lanes, a huddle of former fishermen's cottages now housing jewelry shops and fashion boutiques, is a good choice. Its velvet banquets and suggestive murals recall the city's reputation as the home of what the British call the "Dirty Weekend" - a tryst by an unmarried couple.

Brighton, also famed for its gay and lesbian scene, organizes the largest Pride event in Britain and hosts its own "Gay Village" around St. James's Street near the city center.

Architecture buffs have plenty to admire in one of the finest collections of Georgian buildings outside London, its sweeping stucco-fronted crescents having lured actors such as Laurence Olivier as residents.   Continued...

A woman carrying an umbrella walks through The Lanes shopping area in Brighton, southern England, in this January 8, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Luke Macgregor/Files