A couple months ago, I told Tom that he “needs to be more romantic.” I believe I said, “Whisk me away.” I know, I’m a demanding broad. But I’m a firm believer that you need to continue ‘dating’ regardless of how long you’ve been together. And that means planning fun things to do together and sharing new experiences.
Last week he told me that he would be taking me to an unknown location. Ever since this happened, I’ve become a ruiner of surprises and I told my flatmate that I was pretty sure we were going to Brighton. I told my colleagues I was being abducted and one of them thought Tom was going to propose (He didn’t, FYI. And no, I’m not disappointed). I was right, but it didn’t make me any less excited to go!
Luckily, it was a warm and sunny day in the town affectionately called London-by-Sea and Tom had a nice little day planned, filled with things that make me happy. Unfortunately, in the excitement of the whisking I forgot my camera and my Crapberry died, so no photos. 🙁
In any case, here was how it all went down:
In our rush to get out of the house we were short on liquid fuel (a.k.a coffee) so we stopped at the first ‘Not Costa’ coffee shop we saw. It turned out to be Milk No Sugar on Trafalgar Street. From what I’ve heard, Brighton has a great coffee culture so I had high expectations.
I ordered a latté and Tom asked for a flat white (which in my opinion is just a snobby way of saying “I didn’t learn about coffee drinking from Starbucks.” Like me… ha!) The latté art was pretty haphazard, but the barista said “Sorry about the art, but I’m sure it tastes good.” I had my doubts, but it was a really smooth blend and great coffee!
Saturday Shopping Spree
Since it was Saturday, stores and vendors had their wares set up outside and I had a great time looking at all the quirky shops and antique items. On the corner of Sydney Street a table had vintage Vogue magazines and postcards which you may know I now enjoy flicking through just in case something like this happens again!
You Ain’t in Brighton Unless…
You eat fish and chips! I’ve been craving battered and deep fried sea creatures for some time now and I thought it was only fitting that I get some in Brighton. You know, near the sea and what not?
Tom did lots of research and found Bardsley’s on Baker Street which is meant to the best fish and chips shop in town. They didn’t disappoint. We took our juicy, fresh fried cod and chips, mushy peas and curry sauce to the park near The Levels where they were hosting a Skater competition and playing reggae.
Word to the wise: Unless you plan on not eating again for the rest of the day, go for the small fish and chips. It will be more than enough.
And We’ll Never Be Royals
Sufficiently caffeinated and overstuffed, we made our way down to the Royal Pavilion. Apparently George IV had this palace built after a trip to India and you can see the influences on the outside. In a fun change of pace, the inside has a bit more of Asian design with red and gold colours and dragon statues and embellishments. In all honesty, I thought the place would be bigger than it actually was so I was a little bit disappointed.
I’m Really Just a Kid at Heart
I definitely wasn’t disappointed about Brighton Pier – I thought that was going to be smaller than it was…shows how much I know!
As soon as I saw it, I said “Holy crap, that’s huge!” <insert ‘That’s what she said’ joke here>. The Victorian architecture made a nice contrast to the kitschy arcade games and the carousel on the beach and I was really, really enthusiastic. Seriously, prior to that moment, I never would have thought you could fit bumper cars (Dodge’ems if you’re Brit), a merry-go-round, a full arcade and casino, restaurants and a rollercoaster on a pier.
I got really over eager and played Guitar Hero and arcade games over and over. Tom and I had a rematch of our Air Hockey game we played in Niagara Falls a couple years ago – I won 7-2. It was like the Brazil-Germany match, just point after point after point… ha!
We walked along the pebble-laden beach and the sun was setting over the burned-down West Pier. Believe me, I regretted not having a camera too. To commemorate the day, we did take one of those silly photo booth pictures which I will never reveal publicly!
Time for a Night Cap
Surprise, surprise. We did start feeling a little peckish and stopped in at Jamie’s Italian on Black Lion Street for Arancini margherita and a fresh salad – mushy peas don’t count as 1 of your 5 a day you know! I’m actually obsessed with arancini (breadcrumb covered risotto balls) and when you eat them you will be too.
Afterwards, we headed over to the Saint James pub in Kemp Town, where they have dozens of rums from around the world – including Martinican rum! As a nod to our time spent in Martinique together, he drank Clément Shrubb – an orange-infused rum – while I had a Sean Paul. What is that? It’s a White Russian with rum instead of vodka, so a White Jamaican! Get it? Ha, so clever!
On the way to train station, we stumbled upon the Brighton Digital Festival and their laser light synth show going on – very cool.
— Alyssa James (@aaljames) September 6, 2014
Overall, I loved Brighton and I definitely want to go back because we didn’t have enough time! Regardless, we got just about everything done that the place has been dedicated to since the time of George IV: fun, food, and letting go!
I really loved the Brighton vibe and I kind of want to move here. Have you been to Brighton before? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
All photos are Creative Commons licensed as of publication.