Following the SatNav, we descended upon Brighton under the night’s sky. It was hilly. Something I wasn’t expecting as all I knew of Brighton was the infamous Pier – which obviously is at sea level. We met my boyfriend – Aaron’s – parents at an Air BnB in FiveWays; a village just a mile away from the seafront. Arriving late, we decided to have a night cap at local pub and then head for bed- we need to be refreshed for the following morning, prepared for a busy day.
We were in Brighton to support Aaron’s sister, Lowri on her inaugural trip to Brighton as a Fashion student. I empathised with her nervousness and stress about moving into halls. It’s such a daunting experience. New people, new surrounding, new city – it can reduce the calmest of people to a bag of nerves.
Alas, the day had finally come! Saturday morning, we departed from Lowri and her parents, and Aaron and me explored Brighton.The clashing of the urban structures and traditional old-english architecture seemed to co-incide harmoniously. The central skate parks and graffiti pasted on most walls artfully stressed the time-honoured buildings of The Lanes, whilst the Seafront seemed to be the hub for activity in the City of Brighton and Hove.
As we continued to walk further into town, we explored the Royal Pavilion. Originally a seaside escape for King George IV, The Royal Pavilion is a 200 year old feat of engineering that draws upon Eastern influences for its baroque design. It truly is beautiful, like nothing I’ve ever seen in the UK before. Its stone curves and intricate details echo the skyline of St. Petersburg.
Wandering from the Pavilion to the seafront, we visited the ‘world-famous’ Brighton Pier. I expected it to be a quintessential old land-mark with traditional vendors and music. Instead, Calvin Harris blared from the booming sound system that framed the boastful, tacky arcade. Advancing further down the Pier, we reached a quieter part of the promenade and gazed into the horizon. The sea was calm and blue – something rare for the British seaside! Revellers water-ski’d across the waves, jettying out and slapping the water hard.As the seagulls screamed above us, we decided to make our way back into town.
Walking into the congested centre, our mission was to find the Lanes. Signs directing us to the Lanes seemed to be of little help. Whether it was down to our poor orientation or poor signage, we took a break from exploring and stopped at a Sourdough bakery. It was delicious! Crispy bacon and frothy scrambled eggs rested on the butter soaked sour bread. This was the tastiest brunch I had ever had. Re-energized, we continued our pursuit of the Lanes.
From a narrow crack , we spotted bunting hanging from opposite buildings. We had found the Lanes! Following the colourful flags, we squeezed our way into the Lanes. It was so busy! Most of the shops seemed to sell jewellery. From second-hand to upscale, the Lanes was a trinket emporium. Exploring the Lanes, we had reached the other side of town. Here, main high street brands and trendy independent shops lined the streets. Copious amounts of vintage clothes and hip coffee shops assaulted our senses with their colours and smells.We stopped for tea and cake at a small cafe called the ‘Little Bird‘. In this small bistro, cake adorned the windows. It was a choice between blueberry and lavender loaf or pineapple, banana and chocolate cake. The latter won. I ordered an earl grey and ginger tea for both me and Aaron, and we sat outside the cafe in the street. As we sat outside the cafe, many tourists were stopping to admire the window of cakes behind us.
It was later in the day and we were getting tired. We reconvened with Aaron’s parents and Lowri to check the moving-in progress. Everything was going well, and we decided to walk back to the Air BnB to rest.
That night, we decided to stay in. We had left the house early and had an exhausting day exploring – we were knackered! Watching the first show of Strictly, we enjoyed a night of drinking prosecco and eating pizza. Re-eneregized and refreshed, Sunday morning required us to check-out by 11am. We wandered into town and met Lowri. Lowri had completed her first night of Freshers’ and seemed in good spirits, which relaxed everyone.
Making our way towards the seafront, we walked the esplanade in the fresh chill of the morning air. Urban culture seemed to collate with nature. Skate-board ramps, al-fresco dining and tourist attractions mounted the edge of the beach, allowing the waterfront to not only be a place of natural wonder, but a vibrant hub of activity.Throughout our time in Brighton, we kept seeing statues of dogs dotted around the city. Part of a charity campaign, the ‘snow dogs‘ promote Martlets Hospice; a philanthropic organisation that offers end-of-life care for the people of Brighton. There are 45 dogs in total, and they are designed by local artists of the area. These dogs were a real highlight of our time in the city. Every time we spotted another dog, it would inject a moment of excitement to our day.
It was Sunday, so obviously we had to have a roast dinner! I ordered roast pork with crackling and apple sauce. It was delicious. Bohemia was very impressive too. Its baroque decor seemed seedy in the daylight, but it was possible to appreciate how effective the interior would be at night.Following the meal, we had a final walkabout Brighton. From nic-nac shops to homeware showrooms, we finished our tour of Brighton at a small coffee shop. We ate a delicious salted caramel brownie as the coffee aroma filled the place.
Bidding farewell to Lowri, we got on the road. Completely satisfied with our city escape to Brighton, our four hour journey was the anti-climax of our weekend. I’m sure Aaron and
me will be back in Brighton soon enough, not only to see his sister, but also to experience more of this wonderful city.
Below you’ll find some more photos of my trip to Brighton. Check it out!