Last month we took an overnight trip away to one of my favourite towns: that seaside favourite of Brighton. I have loved Brighton for years; I first remember visiting with my family one hot summer’s day many years ago, but since then it has mainly been a haunt of mine and Anna’s. We have spent many hours wandering The Lanes and seafront and pier, and I can attest to the fact that Brighton is always windy and always cold. I have never been to Brighton and NOT been freezing cold in recent memory!
On this occasion we stayed in a cosy little attic room at the top of Drake’s Hotel on the seafront. We were told on checking in that we could climb out of our window onto a little balcony created by the roof below us, which I did pretty much as soon as the attendant closed the door! I scrambled out onto our little balcony a lot during the trip – the child in me loves a good adventure!
The view was unreal – I have always loved watching the water, whether it be the river or the sea, and we were spoilt with our unparalleled view of the ocean. The wind whipped around us but the sun shone, and we soon headed out to explore the town.
The Snowdogs were in residence when we visited Brighton. Unfortunately we weren’t there long enough to track them all down, but we gave it a good shot on our way around the town…
As the afternoon began to draw in and dusk began to fall, we headed for the pier. It was an impressive sight as we strolled along the beach – the clouds were gathering overhead and the sea was raging, as a storm brewed right before our eyes. I have never seen the sea like that on all my visits, so wildly beautiful and untameable and honestly a little bit terrifying.
The pier was so dark as we trode the familiar boards that we couldn’t see through the gaps in the wood to the turbulent sea below. And at the end of the pier a truly eerie sight awaited us.
Slightly later than intended we hiked out into the narrow, hilly streets of The Lanes in search of Mexican food. Luckily, La Choza was still open when we arrived. If you’ve never been there, you genuinely couldn’t miss it – it was like a psychedelic shrine! The restaurant is small (you will sit in very close proximity with your neighbours), and the walls are painted in an array of bright, jewel-tone colours. The shelves all around us were crammed with a variety of colourful nicknacks, from skulls to antlers to figurines. There was even a frieze of a glittery Last Supper on one of the walls!
The food was as immense as the colour scheme. Having started with nachos I then had a divine chorizo burrito, which was utterly delicious! I was so full by the end of it, but I battled on because it was just too nice to leave. I did roll back down the hill to the seafront and our hotel though!
The following morning we opened the curtains to this tranquil view, which couldn’t have been more different from what we witnessed the night before. The sea was a milky, minty green, and it was so peaceful and calm that I took about a billion photos from the balcony while we were getting ready!
We strolled along the seafront, taking in a view of the dramatic, skeletal remains of the West Pier. It has never been replaced since burning down in 2003, though there have been talks of doing so. I personally quite like its apocalyptic quality, though this could have just been the mood I was in following on from the weather the night before!
We ate at a tiny café on the corner a steep hike up from the seafront. Serving decent portions of a variety of breakfasts at a reasonable price, it gave us some much needed refuelling ready to tackle the hills ahead. Brighton is not the one for easy walking. I have never worn heels to Brighton and I do not intend to start any time soon – I like my ankles unbroken…
We wandered on through Montpellier…
…Down to The Lanes. I love a good piece of graffiti, and we were spoilt for choice in Brighton! I particularly loved this pub wall……And this eclectic mix!
We stopped for coffee and then wandered on. I loved the fact that we had such a leisurely, relaxed day, with nothing much to do beyond wander, eat, drink, and chat. We visited Snooper’s Paradise (such a mishmash of creepy things, very much in the apocalyptic horror movie vein we were running on that visit!)
Reading back it sounds a bit like I’ve painted Brighton in some sort of dire light, what with all the horror film references! I actually really enjoyed seeing it in that way though – it put a brand new spin on a town I have visited so often that I thought it couldn’t surprise me anymore. Brighton will always be one of my favourite places, and one of my favourite seaside towns, and I cannot wait to visit it again. I just hope it will be warmer next time!