Quiet? In Kemp Town?
You’d be surprised. Step a road away from St James Street and, the odd pub aside, it’s almost like living in the country. Margaret Street has the twin attractions of being both sufficiently close to, and far away from, the vibrant energy of Kemp Town.
So the pubs are odd?
Not in the least, it has probably the widest variety of boozers in the city. There are plenty of predominantly gay bars, although straights certainly aren’t ostracised. Everyone else from old men to younger types are pretty well served around here. There’s always good drinking to be had at the Oak and the Tin Drum for instance.
And where can I soak up all this booze?
Well, if you’re in the Tin Drum already, that’s pretty good. Kemp Spices on St George’s Road is a great Indian, Bona Foodie is great for grub on the go and this being Kemp Town you can get all manner of dirty kebabs and burgers at 5am should the fancy take you.
What’s the general vibe of the area?
Over the years it’s seen a regeneration that properly befits its proximity to the sea and the city centre. Regular people watchers will recognise its characters who make up the area’s unique personality (hello to the bloke with the green beard who sits outside the coffee shop every day) – you don’t get that anywhere else in Brighton.
I’m straight. Can I live here?
Don’t be ridiculous. It’s true that the gay community has adopted Kemp Town as its spiritual home, and there are many shops and bars to cater for their needs. But think of the area as universal tolerance exemplified rather than any kind of gay ghetto, there’s certainly no sense of overbearing sexuality here. Pretty much anything goes, which is how everywhere should be really.
OK. So what are the downsides?
Parking can be a pain – even with a residents’ permit you’re still chasing spaces every time you come home. But then, you’re so near to everything Brighton has to offer you won’t really need one. There are a few annoying street drinkers, but the police seem to have started cracking down on them. Other than that, it’s all upside.
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