Saturday, 26 October 2019

How To Spend A Day In Brighton

As you may have heard over on Instagram my holiday was cancelled (ahem Thomas Cook) so I had a week off and no plans. I have been wanting to take a trip Brighton for what feels like a lifetime and the shock on peoples face when I say I've never been before in my whole 24 years was a sign I needed to go. Following the success of my last installment of 'how to spend a day in' I was keen to give somewhere new a go.

 Based in East Sussex only an hour or so outside of London it really is a worthwhile trip. With such diverse people and quirky shopping areas, I knew Brighton would be the perfect day trip to try next. Doing research before hand it was clear to see the culture ingrained in everything from music to the arts scene and the impact of LGBT community in their 'capital'. Although going out the country was no longer an option for me this quick respite from crazy city life in London was exactly what I needed.

Luckily you can get the train for as little as £12.50 return which keeps this journey pocket friendly from London, although it is worth noting this price includes a railcard on a weekday. Despite the forecast of rain on week we hit the jackpot in terms of weather for October follows the journey as it was off to such a good start we made our way to probably the most iconic site seeing spot, Brighton Pier. At the astonishing measurement of 1,722ft long the victorian pier can take up much more time than you think. With a range of hot food and drink concessions, fairground attractions, two arcades, plus Brighton’s biggest indoor soft play area - ‘Palace Play’ you really have enough to fill your day. Although the sea breeze was refreshing and the stroll up and down the pier provided some warmth it was more a trip we made for the great views rather than the 50+ arcade and gaming machines. Completed in May 1899 the historical value of this is enough to make it the top of everyone’s tourist destination list and by far the most popular spot rain or shine. With covered seating areas and an indoor cafe/restaurant you always have a plan B if it all starts to go a bit south, reassuring to know you don’t have to cross it completely off your list. 

When walking from the train station we walked along some of broadwalk which in total is 8 miles of coastline. You are also able to get a view of both sides from the pier and you can clearly see how far it stretches as you look back towards the city. You can also see the remains of the west pier which once stood not far away, interesting looking back and seeing how that once looked too. As you walk along the pier there are lots of interesting facts and it highlights lots of the surrounding sites for you so worth keeping your eyes peeled if you are interested in that kind of thing. 

If you are looking for a high view point some of Brighton’s best views are apparently from the British Airway i360. At 450ft it’s hard to miss along the coastline and although we didn’t go up this time, it’s easy to see how you can get such incredible images as it towers over the rest of the city. Plus it can be enjoyed and admired with a glass of bubbly in hand at the Nyetimber Sky Bar inside, which is certainly something that I would do if you have time, think how beautiful it would be at sunset!
With all the walking and exploring we were ready for brunch as the above took up the majority of our morning.  We headed towards North Laine and The Lanes which is famous for the number of boutiques and independent stores on the hunt of a good stop to recharge. I had heard such good things about Lost in the Lanes so when we stumbled across it I was keen for us to go in. Having opened its doors in August 2017 and serving wholesome food since, there was so much choice of veggie, gluten free and vegan food all important for me. The decor is very simplistic but has such a homely, warm feel because of the colour palette. The grey-ish walls, brown leather seating or wooden chairs with industrial tables and golden quotes adorning the walls it was the perfect place to recharge. I opted for the 

‘Lost breakfast’ which contains smashed avocado, two eggs, hash brown, buttered greens, roasted tomato, field mushroom, sourdough toast (which they kindly switched to GF for me). My mum and sister actually went for exactly the same and we all said how yummy it was and the portion was generous enough to act as both a breakfast and lunch. If you were looking for a sweet treat too they also have lots of cakes, brownies and other goodies to choose from at the front. The staff were kind, friendly and happy to help with anything you needed from a coffee top up to directions so would certainly add this cafe to your places to eat. 

Heading back out to the lanes, with a full stomach and smile on our faces we could relax a bit more strolling in and out of stores to see all the interesting and unique displays. In particular we found ourselves loving the home decor and furniture stores with my sister and friend both buying and moving into new property recently it was a hub of inspiration and a few purchases of irresistible one off pieces. England at home and Papillon living were two I can remember of the top of my head that made a memorable impression. If fashion is more your thing, vintage in particular most people rave about Waist which we did have a rummage through the rails. Brighton has lots to offer in the lanes so it’s really worth just having a look around and doing whatever catches your eye - worth setting a time limit though as you could easily spend all day here, especially if other are like me and would happily spend all day shopping if you could. If you come across Photomatic you can get something to remember the trip from as little as £4. Established in 2015 it’s known for its high quality photo booth pictures, my friend and I went for a more simple paired back shot but you can have a colour option and use the props they have if you want to jazz things up.

By this point you may be ready for snack so we actually made our way towards Chockywockydodah only to discover it’s now closed forever *sobs*. Don’t make the same mistake and try Flour pot which is a bakery that doesn’t do much in that much in the chocolate department but certainly offers something delicious for your sweet or savoury fix. 
Although we only appreciated the Royal Pavilion from the outside, it’s a good place to tour inside of the weather isn’t on your side. Recently restored to its original state including the pieces made for the palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) this is the best time to look inside. It won’t be long until they will be making their way back to Buckingham Palace to Queenie so make the most of it while you can. If you are wanting to keep costs down then the surrounding gardens are beautiful and it’s honestly hard to believe the architecture is right here in the UK. Right next door is also the Art Museum + Gallery which hosts both permanent galleries and a continuing programme of temporary exhibitions that feature everything from fashion and style, 20th century art/design to fine art. Again requires a small fee to enter unless you are a local resident but another indoor activity to add to your list. Plus having these two situated so close means you can tick two sites off with only a few steps. 

Back to my favourite subject, food, dinner was next on our list as we waited for the off peak train home which is after 7:30. As a group of 3 vegetarians and 1 flexitarian it seemed only right to try Food for friends. It opened in Brighton in 1981 which basically makes this a landmark as the oldest local veggie restaurant (one of the first of its time). It remains independent and local to Brighton only so you can only taste the organic food and drink here which automatically made it top of our list. They believe that good tasting vegetarian and vegan food lies in seasoning and flavours which truly comes through in their style of cooking. It’s rare to be so spoilt for choice on a menu, even now so we ordered something different and ended up sharing a lot of the plates between us so we could try more. We ordered the mirin marinated crispy tofu from nibbles section,  crispy thai cauliflower and tarka dahl from small plates, scotch egg with gochujang mayo from sides and FFF Portobello main all to come at once and share. Best vegetarian/vegan food any of us have had - my mum is still raving about the cauliflower.

As the time pasted it was time to head back home, on the train we actually passed Preston Manor and Park which is another place I came across in my research, I’ve saved it for my next trip but thought I would include it nonetheless for some variety and options. I think it’s good to always have more planned just in case or back up plans if something is closed or doesn’t take as much time as you think or mostly in England’s case, it rains. Overall it was such a good day and I would definitely recommend visiting if you haven’t already, with it being so close I’m already planned my next trip - maybe in spring or summer when I could enjoy one of the many ice cream parlours. 

Please feel free to add any additions in the comments or would to hear about your experiences in Brighton,


No comments

Post a comment

© Áine Tagon | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Crafted by pipdig