Alaina Vieru My style is admittedly old-school. Vintage, Art Deco, retro - call it what you will. But I couldn't help but love the funky, modern myhotel in Brighton.
I'm not the only one - myhotel opened in the North Laine area of Brighton just over two years ago yet already ranks as one of the top three hotels in Brighton according to the review site TripAdvisor. The restaurants, cafes and cocktail bar in the hotel are also hugely popular with locals.
But while the hotel might be very modern and futuristic, it adheres to the very old principles of good service, good food, and well-designed, clean rooms.
"It's like something out of Barbarella!" exclaimed my boyfriend when we entered our room, referring to the tongue-in-cheek sexy sci-fi film starring Jane Fonda from the '60s. "Do you think the bed rotates?" In the middle of the white room with mod orange fixtures was a white bed, and no, it did not rotate Austin Powers-style.
Perhaps this is why myhotel is so successful - it's very luxurious and very 'design-y' but not too cool for school. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It's welcoming and it's fun. Which is just what you want, not only when you go to Brighton, but when you go for a weekend away.
Before your stay, you're also asked to fill out a form of various options/extras you can choose from - hence the name "myhotel". There's everything from newspaper to pillow type and even a Hangover Kit.
As a blurb from the myhotel website says, "cheeky weekends are simply a must to keep your mind, body and spirit happy." This is the ethos of the hotel. Along with the stylish white interiors, there are plenty of bright colours and spiritual touches to give a luxe, bohemian feel. The quotes from legendary musicians dotted about the hotel gives the effect of some rock star who decamps to Morocco then swills some exotic cocktails before having chakra-cleansing massage (the hotel also has a spa).
The founder of the myhotel boutique chain (the other ones are in London's Chelsea and Bloomsbury) describes it as a place where "Freddie Mercury might have met the Maharishi". Like I said, it's fun.
Eating and drinking
The hotel is home to three places to eat and drink. First, there's Cup & Bottle - an espresso bar by day (known as Cup) and bar by night (known as Bottle), which serves beer, wine and food late into the night and often to the sound of a DJ. The second is the main restaurant in myhotel, TABLE. Both establishments are run by the esteemed food provider Company of Cooks.
We loved the decor of TABLE - reminiscent of some casual, hip New York eatery with its wooden floors, white plastic Eames chairs, chrome and black. Service was friendly and helpful. When they ran out of the fish of the day the suggested an off-menu alternative dish with another fish they had. Prices are very reasonable, with the most expensive main being £14.
The menu relies heavily on local foods (lots of fish) along with seasonal but doesn't bang on about it. There are plenty of British favourites like fish and chips, braised lamb and steak along with some more imaginative dishes like confit belly of free range pork, champ cake, cranberry and mustard seed relish.
Boyfriend went for deep fried local calamari with spiced mayonnaise for the starter while I tried the free range chicken, ham hock and chorizo terrine. The calamari tasted super fresh and was crispy, while the various meaty flavours of my terrine melted in my mouth. We both went for whole grilled sea bass with purple sprouting broccoli and olive dressing, which was perfectly cooked. Desserts looked heavenly, but sadly we were too full.
TABLE also serves delicious breakfasts (the full English with local Sussex sausage and free-range egg is a bargain at £7), along with brunch and lunch.
The cocktail bar in myhotel, merkaba, is all smooth lines and dark, sexy mood lighting. Cocktails are not only well-made, but well-priced starting at £6.50. They do a huge range of classic cocktails along with some funky house cocktails. We loved the Cheeky One with Wyborowa lemon vodka, Triple Sec, fresh lemon and orange juice, cloudy apple juice, mint mango puree and elderflower cordial.
Who goes there
Luxe lovers and design fans stay in the hotel, while the bars and restaurants cater to Brighton's smart set.
What to wear
The crowd here is definitely well-dressed. We didn't feel out of place when we checked in wearing jeans, but definitely wear some statement jewellery, a hot frock and heels come evening.
What to do
myhotel is located near to Brighton's North Laine, perfect for wandering or getting your shopping fix - I loved the pretty vintage inspired dresses at Get Cutie (33 Kensington Gardens) while the boyfriend loved the bespoke suit shop Gresham Blake (20 Bond Street). Jeremy Hoye (22a Ship Street) does beautiful jewellery, while The Lanes Health & Beauty is perfect for pampering.
For nights out, visit one of the Lanes music shops to find out about club nights or head to the cool area of Kemp Town.
We travelled from London Victoria to Brighton with Southern Railway. For train times and to book the best fares for tickets visit southernrailway.com, call 08451 27 29 20 or visit any staffed station. myhotel is a five minute walk from the station. myhotel Brighton, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1GE. Rooms at myhotel start from £89 per night, for two sharing (room only). Check the myhotel website for various special offers and packages. To book, ring 01273 900 300 or visit myhotels.com/my-hotel-brighton/.
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