Brighton and Hove became a city in 2000 as a new millennium was dawning, which seems appropriate for a city that many people adopt as their home as they start a fresh chapter in their lives.
Brighton attracts a wide range of residents, from rock stars to London commuters who want to breathe fresh air at the weekends to students who come for university and find an excuse to stay forever. Brighton is loved for its cosmopolitan, tolerant and creative vibe, and for its diverse range of social and cultural activities.
The people who live in Brighton are as varied and numerous as the pebbles on the beach, from high-living professionals to penniless writers and artists breathing in the creative atmosphere.
But despite the buzz, dating in Brighton is not always easy: it’s hard for professional singles to find the time for dating, and the artists looking for cheap dates are often priced out of the market. Plus, whoever you are, it just isn't viable in terms of time or money to visit every one of the city’s famous bars and clubs, hoping to find love in Brighton.
While plenty of Brighton singles have well-meaning friends who occasionally try to fix them up with a date, dinner-party invitations are not always the answer, and a more practical solution has to be found.
Brighton has spent a long time cultivating its image as a new media ‘Silicon Beach’. Many live and work in the city, keeping in touch with friends and family elsewhere via email or online chat. So, in this switched-on city, we really are just a small click away from taking our online socialising to the next step – online dating.
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There is always something going on, and great dating ideas are not hard to come by. Choosing what to do on your first date is probably the hardest decision, particularly if you’re new to the city or you haven’t been dating for a while. You’ll be faced with a bewildering array of possibilities, but relax – here are a few tips to get you started:
Keep it simple and low key. But be creative and put some thought into it. Don’t assume that it has to be an evening date. If you are self-employed, a shift worker at the County, or have childcare responsibilities, then a first date during the day might work better for you.
Coffee date: Brighton can boast about its roast, so consider a first date at a cafe. The Red Roaster and Ground in Kemptown are both easy-going coffee shops serving great coffee, as is the Small Batch Coffee Co in Hove. And a relaxed atmosphere is essential on a first date.
Walking-and-talking date: In addition to fresh air and exercise, this one has the benefit of being free. The seafront is an obvious choice for blowing away the cobwebs and starting afresh with a first date.
Bus date: In any other city this might sound weird, but in Brighton it works. Brighton is on the edge of the UK’s newest national park, and a short bus ride can take you from the seafront and city centre into the park, giving you the opportunity to get to know each other on the way. The eco-friendly option is a return on the Big Lemon to Stanmer Park. Or if you’re sure of the weather, hop on the open-top 77 up to Devil’s Dyke and back. It’s always helpful to have a discreet time limit on a first date – that way, you are left wanting more and feel encouraged to meet up again soon.
Once you are back into the swing of things and you have got to know each other a little better, you’ll be ready to try some new dating ideas:
Comedy date: Every couple needs to be able to laugh together, so a night of comedy is a great way to have fun and strengthen your relationship. Head for the Komedia.
Cinema date: What could be nicer than lazy Sunday afternoon together at the Duke of York’s, with coffee and cake and big comfy seats?
Musical date: Take your pick – from grunge and garage at Concorde II to the Brighton Symphony Orchestra at the Dome, you’ll find the right soundtrack for your dating adventure.
Sporty date: We've waited years for it, and even those Brighton singles who aren't great football fans might enjoy a trip to the new Falmer stadium to see one of the Seagulls’ matches. It’s a beautiful building and you only have to go once. Or else buy a season ticket.
Dining date: Hotel du Vin? Terre a Terre? Planet India? Among the old favourites it seems like there’s somewhere new every day.
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