2. It doesn’t have to be a Vespa.
But a lot of people will be turning up on the bikes this year. The city is inundated with mods every August, and May 2014 marks 50 years since they butted heads with rockers on Brighton’s beach, inspiring the film Quadrophenia.
3. When you get there, check into Hotel Pelirocco.
The fabled pile boasts a range of themed rooms, in which the often bizarre décor ranges from sixties ‘Modrophenia’ to rockabilly. Others are based on Dolly Parton or Star Wars, and the Play Room – with round bed, mirrored ceiling and a pole dancing area – is particularly popular.
4. Then head straight out to the Bedford Tavern.
It’s 200 years old, boasts open fires and exposed beams, and is a magnet for local denizens.
5. Move on to The Cricketers.
Another boozer steeped in history, this one dates back to the 16th century, has reputedly hosted Jack The Ripper, and gets a namecheck in Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock.
6. Then squeeze one more in at The Hand in Hand.
A popular pub with a great range of ales, The Hand in Hand is pretty small but brews its own Kemptown beer.
7. Hit the clubs.
Komedia and Concorde 2 are good for bands while Audio is worth a look for beats. Keep an eye on the marauding stags and hens that flood the city at weekends and head in the other direction.
9. Talk a walk along the front on your way home.
11. Start Saturday with a coffee.
12. This might be the time to go see the pier.
13. The Palace of Fun is pretty self-explanatory.
The Cashino is a bit more of a misnomer.
15. But make sure you bring a big enough bag for all the great prizes.
16. Now’s the time to nip back to your hotel to move your stuff.
Might as well try somewhere different - like the Snooze Brighton guesthouse. Other new hotels in Brighton include Fab Guest House and Vine Street Studios.
17. Head to North Laine’s labyrinthine streets for some shopping.
Whether you’re after vintage clothes (Hope & Harlequin), something to read (Rainbow Books) or just random tchotchkes (the various stalls in Snooper’s Paradise), the area’s 400 shops probably have it covered.
18. Grab a veggie lunch.
Various options abound, but local institution Wai Kika Moo Kau, whose bizarre punning title betrays their philosophy, offers a vegan all day breakfast among other ethical eats.
19. You could probably squeeze in a bit more shopping now.
Sadly the legendary Rounders Records had to pull down the shutters a while back but vinyl lovers are still well served by the likes of Borderline, Cult Hero and Endless.
20. It’s probably time to start thinking about glamming up for the evening. The Parlour Rooms is a good bet.
They’re a sort of tea shop / dressing up box / cocktail bar / make-up salon hybrid and will get you looking – and feeling - the part.
21. Gentlemen might prefer to freshen up at Cutter & Grinder.
This “grooming saloon” offers wet shaves, beard trims and haircuts in a room littered with 1920s fittings reclaimed from Chicago.
22. Let festivities commence. Eating first.
It would be rude not to stop by the city’s most exciting new restaurant, 64 Degrees. Lauded by The Guardian, it specialises in small plates and does that weird listy thing on the menu but offers meals that more than make up for it.
23. For entertainment, you’ve got a lot of options.
24. May is a good time to visit Brighton, if you’re into live music.
The Great Escape festival is on and the city is flooded with bands.
25. Sunday morning. Coffee part two.
Ground in Kemptown is another good shout.
26. Explore the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery while surfing that caffeine rush.
The city institution just ran a great exhibition called Subversive Design and always has something worth seeing.
27. Then go see some dead things at the Booth Museum of Natural History.
Named after everyone’s favourite Victorian gun-toting ornithologist, the Booth Museum of Natural History is only open from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays but is worth a peek. It’s “all about birds, butterflies, fossils, bones and skeletons”, and aren’t we all?
28. Sit down to a Sunday roast.
29. Then learn something new.
30. Or try a tea dance
The Ragroof theatre, who specialise in site-specific events, run a regular Sunday session, during which you can straighten out your left feet to the sounds of the 20’s and 30’s.
31. Or you could just lounge on the beach.
There’s a nudist beach if that’s your thing. Though maybe not at this time of year (bit chilly).
32. Finally head down to The Basement.
The contemporary performance venue is marking its 10th birthday this autumn and is currently running a thoughtful programme called Sick! and focussing on death and disease in all its permutations.