When it comes to beaches I am a lover of clear seas, skin licking sun, cocktails in coconuts and a good book on a desert Island. However, the British sea side offers quite a different, but no less fun, experience. Last weekend a friend and I took a road trip to Brighton to see Paolo Nutini and as soon as we arrived I remembered how much I love it here.
Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I’ve been living in Bournemouth for the past three years because of University. As lovely as Bournemouth beach is in the summer, it never grasped me like the Brighton coast has. Brighton is a great mix of the hipster London culture, with independent shops and art, the high-end side of London with expensive clothes stores and also the beautiful historic buildings like those in Oxford Circus right on the coast. Oh, and not forgetting the touch of India with the astonishing architecture of the Brighton Pavillion, and the historic skeleton of the old Brighton pier which was destroyed by a fire in 2003.
Admittedly Brighton is not the most comfiest beach, being a pebble one, but the energetic atmosphere makes it much more enjoyable than other coastal areas I’ve been to. Our plan for the weekend was to get to Brighton by midday, check in to our room at a lovely couples house using Airbnb (more on this is another post) and see the sites – especially as my friend had never been before! But, Britain being Britain, our two hour journey turned into a four hour one with congestion, road works, accidents, and people just happily dawdling in the fast lane (WHY?!! WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS!). Unfortunately, by the time we got in to Brighton it was a quick clothes change and dash to our dinner reservation before seeing Paolo Nutini at 6pm at the Brighton Centre.
The Best Food Ever
I was very fortunate to eat at a pretty fancy schmancy restaurant during my stay in Brighton. My friend happened to work with the brother of the chef at a restaurant in Brighton called 24 St Georges, so we made reservations there. Now, being a girl who is quite happy to have a Boots Meal Deal for dinner, this was something out of my comfort zone and student bank balance, but my friend was kind enough to pay for me (hey, I paid for the gig tickets) and we were given a free starter and one free drink! I’m going up in the world people.
Now the food was pricy yes, but oh my goodness it was the best darn food I have ever eaten and I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Brighton – although make sure you book ahead, we aren’t the only ones who love it. For starters we were given home made bread and quails eggs- yes quails eggs – well, it was more like a posh scotch egg, with a mushroom and bread casing but dannng was it good! It literally melted in my mouth, cliche but true, and we loved it so much they bought out two more for us. The main course was a Sea Bream. Now, I’m not really a sea food lover – other than sushi, I love sushi – but I was told by a friend that I needed to try having fish cooked properly, so when I saw a boneless sea bream on the menu with lobster – something else I’ve wanted to try, especially after the disappointing lobster soup at the Northern Lights in Iceland – and this meal definitely made up for it. The fish was so delicious and meaty, and the meal was actually really healthy, which I counter acted with desert… after tasting the main we couldn’t not see wait to see what desert was like. I had salted chocolate, with a macaroon (my first!), pistachio ice cream and some fine good caramel (I think) cream. It was – I’m just going to say it – orgasmic. That’s the only way to describe it. My friend had a similar experience with his cinnamon creme brûlée, which even I loved and I’ve never been a fan of creme brûlée. My free drink was a desert wine, recommended by the waiter who I wish I asked his name for because he was so funny and lovely! Concluding line: GO TO THIS RESTAURANT!
After that amazing food we had some time to walk on the beach front to the Brighton Centre in the surprisingly warm English weather. The beach has great views and was really alive, with street performers, fair ground rides and people just generally enjoying the first warm weekend in a while – it’s been raining ALOT here! After seeing Paolo Nutini, who was incredible (more on that later), the streets were even more busy with the nightlife crowd. Hen do-ers and Stage do-ere were everywhere as well as students and groups of friends stumbling in a high heels, which wasn’t a surprise as a lot of people tend to go to Brighton for the weekend just to experience the nightlife and variety of clubs. But, after standing for about 4 hours in high ankle boots (a gig faux pas) we decided to just grab a drink then head home. Well, that was until we got to the pier and we’re amazed that the typical donuts (you know the smell) found at a British sea side were still open at 11pm! So we decided to buy a pack of four and sit on the beach, watching the light of the pier shine on to the water and try and see how far we could throw stones, like a couple of cool kids.
The next day after a wonderful sleep in the private bedroom we had, we got up early and headed to the Brighton coast before heading home. I took some pictures below showing the beautiful sites of Brighton, but you’ll have to visit to experience it’s chilled out atmosphere.