Nowhere exudes British seaside charm quite like Brighton. A magnet to everyone from families craving a day on the beach to groups of friends desperate to sample the city’s legendary creativity, Brighton is one of the UK’s most popular coastal destinations. But with so much on offer, how do you decide where to visit? We spent a day catching up with resident Alexis Foreman – graphic designer and editor of Style Memos – to discuss hidden gems (including Magazine Brighton, Coffee@33 and zero-waste restaurant Silo), where to go to avoid the tourists and what she is wearing this spring and why.
Hi Alexis! The first place we’re visiting today is Magazine Brighton. What do you love most about this store?
Martin the owner! He is such a lovely man. He's created a lovely environment to browse my favourites and discover new publications I've never heard of. And of course I love that it's right on my doorstep!
Which titles do you always look out for there?
The Gentlewoman, Violet, Love Want and Tank. Also love a bit of Cereal magazine. And every now and then I like to get a Monocle. My boys love the football magazine EightByEight.
What makes it stand out from other magazine and book shops?
The atmosphere is a big part of what makes it different I think. It's so welcoming and relaxed; not at all pretentious. And its well-curated range of publications caters for all kinds of interests, not just the fashion and creative niche.
Our second stop is Coffee@33. How often do you come here and do you have a regular order?
Pretty much every day. And yes! A large latte with half a sugar.
What is your ultimate treat?
The Pecan Bourbon slice which me and my husband James sometimes share. I always fight him for the larger portion! I also love the Portuguese tarts; they're the best I've ever had.
How long have you been coming here and why do you favour it above other cafes?
I adore Taris and Ami, the owners. They have become good friends, as have their staff and many of the other loyal customers. One friend (the amazing illustrator David Downton) jokes that it's like an episode of Cheers when we all congregate there in the mornings.
The last pit stop is Silo. How important is their zero-waste concept to you?
Witnessing Doug's (head chef and owner) innovative vision for re-educating the attitude towards food wastage has been inspiring, because it's not something I'd previously considered. It's really interesting and commendable and something I'd like to get my head around as a concept at home.
What is your favourite dish?
I've had so many great dishes in Silo. The menu changes frequently so it's difficult to pinpoint one in particular, but the Eccles cake they do in the bakery is a constant and I can't get enough of them!
What is your favourite time of the day to come to Silo?
Lunchtime. It's always buzzing with people and I love to meet friends or my mum in there for a catch-up.
Any other hidden gems?
Loads! For food and drink try The Cocktail Shack, Riddle & Finns, 64Degrees, La Choza, The Basketmakers Arms and Workshop Living, Snooper’s Paradise and Igigi for shopping.
What do you love most about Brighton?
The quality of life and the abundance of happy, friendly people. I don't meet a lot of actual Brightonians; just lots of people who have decided to move here because they love it. Perhaps that's why it feels so positive?
Where do you go to relax?
Stay at home! When the sun is out we love relaxing in our garden. It's a great sun trap and because we live in the North Laine we can still feel the buzz of what's happening out in the streets: the street music, the smell of the food from the cafe behind our house. It's great.
And to avoid the tourists?
In the summer the tourists flock to the really obvious parts of the beach close to the centre of town so we walk that extra distance towards the Hove end and it's much quieter and more civilised.
What do you love most about Finery’s new collection?
Lots of things! But I particularly love the leather pieces. They’re spot on and in great colours.
What attracts you to an item?
Ooh... can be a number of things but I think often it's simplicity and quality.
Can you talk us through the items you wore in our shoot?
The striped Baythorne shirt and Sayer trousers are so fun! Especially styled together. I love that the outfit makes a brave statement but is so comfortable.The Fakenham jumpsuit is just such a beaut. I love the wrap-around detail. It’s so flattering. I have to admit I'm not a fan of my arms so I layered it over the Darnley T-shirt, which is one of my wardrobe staples.I’m completely in love with the Ballingdon coat. It’s such a great shape and beautiful shade of blue and it looks fab cinched at the waist or worn open.
The Cicely top makes for a nice alternative to my go-to white shirt option. It's a pretty shape with lovely puffed sleeves but has a raw hem, which gives it a bit of an edge. I put it with some vintage Levi's to dress it down and styled with the Kibworth loafers, which are so cool. A nice twist on the classic style we've seen over the past few seasons and the silvery white leather makes me feel like a dapper Italian!
Photography by Dunja Opalko