INTRODUCING MY ACCESSIBLE GUIDE TO BRIGHTON: WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE BRUNCH
If you are visiting us in Brighton for a day trip with a disabled person, it’s likely you might not be too sure of where to go! Brighton isn’t always the most accessible of places so I think it’s good to have a handful of places to know I can go to on poorly days! So… here’s the start of your local disabled gal pals guide to being disabled in Brighton!
Since moving to Brighton as a disabled student I have struggled to find others like me. I’ve met an amazing bunch of people who strive to accommodate my needs - now I have become more reliant on my wheelchair, I have realised more and more how inaccessible Brighton can feel. Many of my able- bodied friends ask me which accessible places I like to go to in Brighton. Calling round restaurants, cafes, shops etc is such a faff & and it made me realise- that there should be a guide! When googling it nothing really comes up!
Isolation of disabled people is already so real and disabled students are so much more likely to be included in freshers plans if there are multiple choices of places they can go to alongside their peers. I’ve decided to do a little series of blog posts aimed at students particularly moving to Brighton- but ofcourse for anyone really!
Throughout my posts I’ll talk about ‘faff factor’ and ‘cringe rating’! Us disabled people like to feel like our able bodied counterparts- we don’t want ‘special entrances’ round the back of the shop, down an alleyway past the crates & the smokers and the drunk guy on the phone to his ex. We just want to go into a restaurant and sit have a meal with our friends just like anybody else!
I’m starting this post with a thought. I’m not sure people really understand what accessible means... I said it! Accessibility Ofcourse is a spectrum and my posts will refer mainly to wheelchair accessibility. When deciding if a place is wheelchair accessible or not- whether or not they have a disabled toilet is important! I was enjoying what I felt was the best wheelchair accessible brunch (called in advance, visited many times before, hadn’t used the loo there) when I asked to use the loo only to be told there was no disabled loo. I am lucky as an ambulatory wheelchair user, with my needs, I do not need a disabled toilet, but many disabled people do. Being told after my meal was not acceptable.
So many amazing cafes in Brighton consider themselves to be ‘fully wheelchair accessible’ as they are step- free or have a ramp- however many of these places don’t have a disabled or ground floor toilet! (Let me know if you’d like me to do a ‘favourite step free cafe’ post including these cafes too- I just felt like I couldn’t include them in this post- as they all seemed to respond with yes we are ‘fully accessible’ only for me to later find out they don’t have a disabled toilet.
Now onto the good bit (bear in mind I’m a veggie/ fake vegan- no dairy or egg but I eat cheese!)
A NEW FOUND LOVE: Laughing Dog
LOCATION: 31, The Octagon, Mariners Quay, Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5WA
ACCESSIBILITY: Level access, toilet on ground floor- although it is not a designated disabled toilet, it was definitely wide enough for my wheelchair to fit through the door frame and get to the toilet. Menus on the wall as well on your phone. Really spacious with lots of breeze and sunny spots too.
FOOD: YUMMMMMM!!! Honestly so so good. Such fresh ingredients and it came so quickly too. Really amazing veggie options.
Faff factor/ cringe rating: no cringe here- I felt just like any other customer. Could have been a potential for a cringe if I hadn’t had my carer to help direct me through the toilet door frame as it wasn’t really really wide, but it was wide enough. Perhaps some grab rails in the toilet could be great but other than that couldn’t fault them. Would be a lovely place to stop after a little stroll with the family looking at the boats in the marina.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish I had discovered this place years ago! It’s a little hidden gem with a beautiful outdoor space right alongside the fountain. Laughing dog have a beautiful cafe dog and a little shop full of plants. It really is a lovely place to study.
This is such a peaceful place for local elderly & disabled residents too and has super friendly staff.
BEST VEGAN BREAKFAST?: Moksha
4-5 York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
ACCESSIBILITY: Step free access, wide singular door frame with steady incline. Room for ‘a run up’ both sides. Disabled toilet is very spacious, although could be difficult to navigate if you are partially sighted.
FOOD: They have so much veggie and vegan choice, including vegan tofu scramble and vegan benedict.
HASH BROWN RATING: Not your traditional hash brown however they are really good. I often crave their specific hash browns. 8.5./10 incredibly tasty- more of an onion bhaji style hashbrown as far as hash browns go than a traditional one. But very yum.
CRINGE RATING: Again no cringe getting in the door as I Didn't have to faff with any collapsible ramps etc, slight cringe trying to squeeze through tables to get to the toilet, the disabled toilet is behind a big glass wall divider and there were prams/pushchairs stored in the way of the narrow corridor to the toilet door which was a bit of a pain. The toilet itself was great- very spacious disabled toilet with seat riser, grab rails, pull cord etc. (Yup I untied it after this photo)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Moksha has such amazing food & it makes me so happy that they’re wheelchair accessible. Lots of places in Brighton like to use the ‘we are an old building so we aren’t accessible we don’t need a ramp’ AKA don’t want to include disabled people as customers. Moksha however have level access and are fully accessible throughout. (I untied that red cord when I left lol)
An All time favourite: Alcampo Lounge
LOCATION: London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF
ACCESSIBILITY: Best Accessibility for me by far, I feel like I have so much room so roll around or stretch my legs if needed, there’s a wide range of sofas, chairs with/ without arms and stools. It’s quite dark but can be fairly noisy, so I know some autistic friends struggle with the sensory side of things.
FOOD: Very Nice not out of this world incredible but very nice such a good range of stuff Their drinks and desserts are yum. Great value for money. They have everything from breakfast right through till evening. I spend hours in there with my laptop as there’s great wifi too. Also have a lovely tapas menu
HASH BROWN RATING: yesss yes yes yes 10/10
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is honestly one of my favourite places to go to in Brighton! I spend hours sat in here doing uni work or writing blog posts. Probably the most accessible restaurant in Brighton!
A Hidden Gem: Lost in the lanes
LOCATION: 10 Nile Street, Brighton, BN11HW
ACCESSIBILITY: Surprisingly great! Step Free, slight dipped drain outside to bear in mind as well as currently scaffolding, smooth wooden flooring throughout with low lighting. A choice of comfortable high sofa style seating as well as chairs. Disabled toilet includes Braille assistance button.
FOOD: The food here feels like a fancy brunch! They also do really nice cocktails too if you’re feeling more of a later boozy brunch vibe.
FAFF RATING: Faff free! For a very small cafe with limited seating their accessibility is incredibly well throughout. If you’ve got little wheels you could get stuck in the dip outside?!
HASH BROWN RATING: they don’t do your traditional hashbrowns but their crispy potatoes are amazing! The kimchi special ones were WOW! 7/10
I was gutted to see their red pull cord was so short however, there didn’t seem to be a way to untie it. It was just simply very short and un reachable which could be really dangerous!
Beautiful & Calming: Wolfox Avenue
LOCATION: 56 St James’ St, Kemptown, Brighton, BN21QG
ACCESSIBILITY: Very Wide Double Door Entrance, completely flat, no Bright Lights, cushioned chairs, shiny smooth wooden flooring.
FOOD: Lovely range of smoothies and flavoured coffees! Really flavoursome healthy brunches.
HASHBROWN RATING: They sell a hash which looked amazing! I didn’t see hash browns on the menu. This was more of a healthy breakfast than a greaat fry up!
FINAL THOUGHTS: The wolfox Avenue is a real treat- it’s so calm & well decorate & would be a lovely work space too.
Overall comments: There seems to be lots of range of brunches available- I must admit I’m still on the hunt for the perfect hash brown in an accessible cafe!
I noticed within the toilets, there seems to be a common red cord problem! Red Cords can be essential to helping disabled people get to safety in an emergency.
Follow @wheelsnoheels Gem’s hashtag on Instagram #letitdangle learn more about Gem’s campaign here:
Look out for Part 2 touching more on Hove coming soon as well as some other exciting guides!
What else would you like to see me cover?
Let me know in the comments !