Hello, my dears! I hope you are well? Me, I’m enjoying the sun and warm weather as much as I can. We may not be in the Mediterranean, but it is so lovely that at least summer is making an appearance! I don’t know how long it will last, but fingers crossed! Right?
Nice weather here in the UK is so precious, so whenever it’s good we tend to make the most of it. Visiting the seaside is a must I think, and we are fortunate that London has excellent connections to the South. Brighton, Southampton and Portsmouth are all within a stone’s throw, so why not? This is why last week, after booking well in advance to be fair, I traveled with some friends to Brighton. My first impression? It was beautiful! It is no accident that Brighton is considered the happiest place to live in the UK! With that seaside, I would be convinced to leave there indefinitely! Coming from a city in-between a forest and the seaside, I found that this is the one thing that I truly miss. Whenever I was feeling down or moody, I would take a walk along the seaside, and I’d feel better. That endless blue, the waves and the peacefulness are what I associate with the sea and what are missing from London.
So, after arriving in Brighton and taking a short walk, we finally reached our destination! The Royal Pavillion! A gorgeous building, whose construction started in 1787 and finished in 1823, resembling Chinese and Indian buildings but, as we later learned, it was only an interpretation of what India and China looked like through a Western’s eyes. The Royal Pavillion is the only palace not owned by the Crown or the state; instead it belongs to the city of Brighton, who do an excellent job of restoring it to its former glory. It was very interesting to also learn among its residents are the Prince Regent and Queen Victoria. You can even go to the second floor where you can find their bedrooms, which were not as opulent as I imagined.
After our visit there, we walked along the seaside to reach our place to eat, Marina’s House, in Hove. The food was tasty and plenty (or I got that impression, as I was feeling very hungry…). More like a cafe than a proper restaurant, or what I know of a restaurant in big, stuffy London, I would definitely recommend it. I think their lasagna dish is well-advertised, so please try it and let me know! Be aware though that Marina’s House is in Hove, so if you don’t feel like walking, like we did, an Uber is a good idea. If you don’t mind walking, the beachfront is amazing and spacious enough that you will not feel agoraphobic.
I could probably talk to you for hours about the beachfront. Boasting some 8km of beach, the people of Brighton and Hove are sure very lucky to see that every day! For us tourists though, there’s the British Airways i360, an observation tower that offers maybe the best views in the area, many pubs and bars alongside the seafront and the Brighton Palace Pier. It is one of the most recognizable buildings of Brighton and one of its oldest amusement parks. With a huge history behind it, the Palace Pier is definitely worth a visit, if only for the views and its chippy shops.
With that, our daily trip to Brighton was over and we had to catch the train to St. Pancras. What I got from Brighton? Obviously the sea! I fell in love with it and I can’t wait to be back! I am not sure about swimming though, as all these pebbles on the beach are somewhat discouraging for me. The other thing I discovered is that Brighton has many music shops, so they are something I want to explore more in the future. With just 90 minutes away from London, anything is possible!
We traveled to Brighton with Thameslink from St. Pancras, but you can travel from London Victoria and Waterloo to Brighton as well.
Looking for a coffee and cake in Hove? Look no further than Marina’s House!
Don’t forget to visit Brighton Palace Pier, even for just the sake of it!