Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Vintage Delights of Brighton

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside..."

It's not often that I get the chance to visit Brighton, but when my friend invited me to this lovely seaside town for the day recently,  I couldn't resist.
With my lovely red case carefully loaded with an extra pair of vintage shoes and a roll of homemade sandwiches, I was ready.

I reached Brighton at lunchtime, having taken the train from London Bridge and we started our tour, beginning with The Laines and To Be Worn Again. I had heard a lot about this shop, and so spent about an hour selecting items from the rails and trying them on. Jonathan Logan, Kay Windsor, Lana Lobell...I was in my element!

I did like the Lana Lobell dress I tried on but it had suffered slightly with sun-damage. It was a pity really because the dress itself was quite unusual. Lilac with a lace bodice and ruffles. Having researched this label, this wasn't their strangest attribute:

Next we moved along to some of Brighton's best known vintage shops, where a gorgeous polka dot dress awaited. Made of handkerchief silk, I felt just like a character from a 1950s film! Falling in love with the print, I paid a deposit and we moved on to Snoopers Paradise. For those who don't know, this is Brighton's equivalent of a flea market. You can find ANYTHING here!
I managed to find a gorgeous Horrockses dress and bolero in powder blue with a white geometric pattern, but alas, it didn't fit. I even  tried on an Irish "Ascot Model" dress which was stunning, but far too long. The colour was a little strange as well. Dairy yellow, I would call it.

 Here's a similar dress:

  After snooping around Snooper's we began to make our way to the tea shop on the other side of the Laines. We were walking past a small and obscure vintage shop when I spotted a dress in the window. I recognised the style and immediately knew what it was. A California Cottons!

To anyone that knows me well, this is my equivalent of winning the vintage lottery. My eyes lit up and I dashed inside, desperate to prove that it was a California! I was soon greeted by the emergence of a familiar white label with the sombrero and tried it on. As with most of the California dresses, it fitted perfectly.
Don't ask why this is, I honestly don't know, but it cost my bank balance quite a considerable amount. (Sssh!)
 Isn't she a beauty?!

With the dress purchased, I resumed my tour of Brighton and we took the opportunity to have tea in a lovely traditional tea room, known as Blackbirds Tea Rooms. This adorable little place looks as though it was opened in the 1940s, and nobody changed the decor. I can only assume that it was like the much loved Lyons tea houses of yesteryear. The service was quick and efficient and the staff were very friendly. I had ham, tomato chutney and cheese sandwiches, which were absolutely delicious, and a full steaming teapot of English Breakfast tea. Perfect!

We had to hurry as we were also going to see the new film Populaire at Brighton's Komedia cinema. It was the best way to round off such a lovely day at this seaside attraction!



  1. This sounds like a perfect day to me! I haven't been in Brighton for a long time. When I was there, years ago, I haven't had a liking for vintage clothes, so I did not enjoy Brighton's "vintage delights". Seems I have to plan on visiting this beautiful town soon again! Thanks for an entertaining post! :) By the way, I love the California Cotton dress!

    ~ Sesame


  2. Just found your blog - think I might have seen you at The Festival of Vintage in Epsom last year maybe?! Anyway you have great style! I too love Brighton and am planning a visit this Bank Holiday Monday.

    I also just sold a California Cottons dress to a vintage shop in Bournemouth as part of a clear out of some of the vintage dresses I no longer wear!



    1. @Mid Century Girl

      You're quite right, we did meet at Epsom, you had a lovely 1940s dress on with a netted cap. What size was the California Cottons and what shop did you sell it to? I'm a collector you see? :) If I can make it to Brighton on the B.H would you like to meet up?


    2. Yes that was me! Wish they'd done another Festival this year in Surrey as its a bit far for me to travel to York!

      Right this dress - it went to Clobber Vintage. I couldn't find a photo but its actually most similar to this one -


      Except that its plain pale blue. It fit me well so I guess it was about bust 31-32" and waist 23" length 38" ish. It's funny because I bought it on eBay about 5/6 years ago but I did see another exact same one in Clobber Vintage some years ago! I sold it to them on 6th July along with some other dresses, so give them a call, they might still have it!

      It would be really cool to meet up but I'm celebrating a bit of an anniversary with my boyfriend in Brighton so the BH is probably not the best day to chat vintage! Where do you live because another time would be cool - I'm on Facebook (Shauna Marissa Wakefield) or via midcenturygirl@gmail.com