B&B and Beyond: Fab Guest, Brighton

Refinement rules in Kemp Town, says Tracey Davies, as she checks into a haven of antiques and designer wallpapers

Ever since royal party boy the Prince Regent held court in the Royal Pavilion during the 18th century, Brighton has been portrayed as a town purpose-built for fun. Centuries later, the city teems with pleasure-seeking hordes that descend to potter around its Regency Lanes, gawp at the opulent Pavilion, play the slots on the pier, or indulge in the lively nightlife and eclectic arts, music and food scenes.

Brighton's accommodation is no less diverse, encompassing anything from bland hotel chains flogging sea-view doubles to backstreet guest- houses proffering circular beds and dancing poles. Happily, the past decade has seen an influx of more stylish offerings, where the driftwood trappings of seaside chic dominate.

And now things have got even more refined. Hidden behind a powder-grey Georgian exterior on a quiet Kemp Town street lies an immaculate, design-led B&B with a style that rolls straight from the pages of Wallpaper*. The pared-back hipster chic of Shoreditch has arrived at the shore in the form of Fab Guest.

The Bed

Fab's 14 rooms are staggered over five floors. While they err on the small side, they are extremely well-designed and comfortable. Those on the fourth floor will have you eye-balling seagulls across Kemp Town's chimneys, while the lower rooms overlook a pretty courtyard garden.

All in the detail: One of the bedrooms All in the detail: One of the bedrooms The main suite, the Fab Room (which is not quite finished) will have floor-to-ceiling windows with oblique sea views and an in-room bath. The rest have modern wet rooms, each with an opaque window inlaid with coloured LED lights operated via an iPhone app for hours of fun. Bare-bulb lighting by Nud zig-zags across the ceilings and antique pieces feature throughout. Freebies include Wi-Fi, bottled water and a welcome goody box filled with fruit, nuts and a variety of chocolatey delights from Tunnock's.

Like many guesthouses in Brighton, Fab's origins are Georgian – wrought-iron balconies and an original staircase that curls up through the house are two original features.

The Pavilion-grey hallways are embellished with uplifting messages such as "Every Day Beautiful" and "Work Hard and be Nice to People" by graphic artist, Anthony Burrill, while the guest lounge, decorated in bespoke wallpaper featuring Brighton Pier, is dominated by an 8ft orange Anglepoise lamp. Temptingly, every item in the house, from the antique French school chairs, to the Perly glass water bottles, is available to buy.

The Breakfast

There's no kitchen on-site, so breakfast is supplied by Metrodeco, the tea shop next door. The feast is hand-delivered to your door on vintage crockery. I was woken up with a fresh bagel topped by a wave of cream cheese and folds of tea-smoked salmon, a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice and Greek yoghurt. Coffee would have been nice, but instead I had to stagger down three floors to help myself to a Nespresso.

The Host

Fab Guest is the first foray into life as a seaside landlady for property developer, Laetitia Beatty. She bought the house in 2012. She then spent a year working with interior designer and curator, Niki Best, whose art, events and fashion background has given her an immaculate eye for detail. The best discovery is the flip-down wooden pew in the lounge, which was originally liberated from a Welsh church. A huge convex mirror on the second floor was lifted from a stricken ship and acquired by Brighton interiors expert, Alex Macarthur.

The Weekend

Kemp Town's central beachfront location and booming boutique hotel scene means it's a magnet for the weekend DFL (Down From London) crowd who come to potter about its antique shops, vintage emporiums and flea markets brimming with one-off finds.

Try William Morris Antiques (01273 607778; williammorrisantiques.com) or the Brighton Flea Market (01273 624006; flea-markets.co.uk). Fab Guest has a prime spot on one of the quieter streets, moments from Kemp Town's hub of bars, shops and restaurants but close enough to the seafront for the windows to be flecked with salt-spray.

Brighton railway station is a 20-minute walk away or a five-minute taxi ride (£6).

Brighton seafront Brighton seafront The Pitstop

Kick back in the snug with a spot-on Amaretto sour at the Black Dove bar on St James's Street (01273 671119; blackdovebrighton.com) or join Brighton's foodies as they flock to 24 St George's (01273 626060; 24stgeorges.co.uk) where Sussex produce dominates the exquisite fine-dining menu.

The Essentials

Fab Guest, 9 Charlotte Street, Kemp Town, Brighton BN2 1AG (01273 625 505; fabguest.co.uk). Doubles start at £90; breakfast is £10pp.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible