When you've lived in Brighton for almost thirty beautiful years, you tend to take a lot for granted. The deafening sound of seagulls fighting each other outside your bedroom window after a hard day of savage hot dog theft, the loud crashing of foaming waves against unsuspecting tourists' faces as they paddle just that bit too deep, and the fact that in Summer, you can tan one whole side of your body on the number 25 bus; not only does it take approximately two years to get along Lewes Road, but you will inevitably be squashed against a window by a snoring person to cook you very slowly.
Having just moved to Polegate (a small town with a Post Office, a newsagents, about three pubs and a train station, just outside Eastbourne), I decided to have a long afternoon wandering around what I still and will always class as my home town and soak up what I will soon be missing.
I decided, instead of simply trudging around the parts of Brighton I now find etched on the back of both hands, I would visit places which I have rarely been or haven't found to be pieces of my every day life. It is far too easy for people in Brighton to find somewhere or something they like and therefore get used to. I think there are too many new independent and small chains opening around town to choose just one place to go for lunch, or to buy your T-shirts.
As I left the office, I realised that one place I hadn't been in a very long time, was also one of my favourite places in the world. So I slowly headed up Kensington Gardens, meandered through herds of language students, past GAK and veered onto Upper Gardner Street. The North Laine Antiques and Flea Market is the absolute best place to go for basically anything.
Whether it be a unique present for a friend, if you have an hour to kill in the best way possible or simply just for a few laughs, this is your place. As you walk down the uneven, crumbling concrete ramp, your eyes are immediately drawn to the jam packed glass cabinets which are sat floor to ceiling, down the right hand side of the path. They are filled with weird and wonderful objects of all shapes, sizes and degrees of cleanliness. It's probably worth telling you now, before we go too much further into the Flea Market, that some things in here should definitely carry a minimum viewing age. Such as this stunning framed painting, pictured here. For which, I am sure you will agree, there are no words.
I am consistently blown away by the extremely large number of vases in an establishment such as this. It makes you think, doesn't it. If there are this many vases just in this one Flea Market; how many are there in the world?? I don't think I want to know. The same goes for small, damaged paper weights, old, dirty mugs, rusty pin badges with petrol brands printed on them, broken, leather-bound books and ripped, stained satin nighties. No thank you very much. Saying that, these wrong, wrong things make up only about 8% of the contents of this place and the rest is potential gold. I could talk for days on end about this amazing flea market, but instead, I'll lead you out once more, onto the cobbled streets of Brighton. As you make your way back up onto road level, your senses sigh as the dust vacates your nostrils and the sunlight twangs at your retinas.
Onwards, my friends. (Part two - coming soon!)
Whilst you wait eagerly for part two of my tour of the Brighton North Laine, why not take a moment to browse some of the beautiful silver jewellery available to buy from our North Laine stall or from our shiny new website, you never know what wonders of your own you might find.. View All Collections.