So this week I went to Brighton for the first time in ages. I was with my very good friend who had travelled 500 miles to be down here on the south coast and because of that we were being proper tourists! And Brighton as a tourist is a whole lot more fun than as a semi-resident (I say semi as I live about 25 miles away from Brighton really!). Here are my highlights of the day:
- Brighton Wheel. In actual fact we didn’t go on the wheel but it was the first thing I spotted as we walked down the hill and took me by surprise! Turns out most others I’ve spoken too, “Ooh, there’s a new big wheel in Brighton!” Yeah they already knew. But that’ll be first on my list for another tourist visit, maybe when the weather’s warmer.
- The Royal Pavilion. I’ve gone passed this LOADS in all my trips to Brighton but never actually gone in. We found the entrance (not as easy as it should have been – our fault not theirs!) and duly paid for our tickets. I’m not a great fan of the handheld audio guides we were provided with; I’m generally more tempted to be a little sarcastic about some of the commentary. But I got over the compulsion and actually learned quite a bit about our history! Some of the rooms inside literally made me go “Wow”. But probably the most fascinating was a small exhibition on the role of the Pavilion during WW1 as a hospital for the Indian Military. We did a little giggle over the use of the words ‘limbless’ and ‘legless’. In particular there was a photo with the caption: Sports Day for the Legless Men. We may have laughed quite a lot as we left the room!
- Brighton Pier. Controversially re-named from the old ‘Palace Pier’, man, was it breezy! We did make it to the end though, it’s also really long – 524m or 1,719ft and was practically empty. Still, the walk back was on the more sheltered side and it was good to feel the sun just warming our backs.
- The Lanes. We wandered through the back cobbled streets window shopping. Lots of sparkly things in windows and plenty of colourful frippery inside the shops. I did manage to refrain from spending out on random stuff I don’t really need but like the look of!
- Lunch at ASK. Plenty of bread, wine, and pasta. Lovely staff, vibrant surroundings, and half price due to a Taste Card! We spent 2hrs over lunch, it was fab.
- Chocolate shops. We wanted to find ChoccyWoccy Do-Dah’s chocolate shop. If you have never heard of them, firstly where have you been?? And then, google them! Show-stopping chocolate cake decorations; and all sorts of other chocolate bits and pieces. On the way to finding this one though we came across Montezuma’s Chocolaterie and were warmly welcomed by a very nice young man who was giving away samples of my absolute all-time-favourite chocolate: Bean Machine. If you’re in Brighton and in search of chocolate this is the shop to visit – lots of different gift ideas and very friendly service from the original Montezuma’s shop on Duke Street. When we did find the other, we were left with not such a warm glow. Montezuma’s all the way!
It was a cold day, and down on the seafront it really was blowing a gale, but I can really recommend showing a friend from far away all the local sights, and Brighton definitely rocks!