It was my best friend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to treat her to a little ‘day of fun’ outside of hectic London.
We caught a lunchtime train out of St Pancras (half the price of getting the Southern train from Victoria) and a short while later, we were breathing in the fresh sea air and off in search of a sangria on the beach…
Lucking out with a day of sunshine, a gorgeous afternoon of wandering, eating and drinking followed. If you’ve never been to Brighton, you must pop down for the day or a little staycation. Having lived here for three years at uni, I was reminded again of the incredibly infectious happy vibe, where all of the locals seem high spirited (we actually caught a group of mates just dancing along to Bob Marley’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy on the beach!), there’s a slower pace than there is in London and there’s an abundance of shops, pubs, boutique stores, restaurants, the classic fun of exploring the Pier and having fish and chips on the beach…the list is endless.
Laura and I found ourselves wandering between Brighton seafront and Hove’s main street (Western Road), winding back into the South Laines before heading for dinner.
Along the way we stumbled across the Food and Drink festival and as Guernsey girls, of course couldn’t resist a stop at the Visit Guernsey stand where we were able to chat to our fellow islanders and taste samples of the best local drink produce – espresso vodka and damson gin. I can’t describe how good this stuff is so you just need to trust me; sadly you will have to make a little visit over to Guernsey to buy some as it doesn’t yet appear to be stocked online, but what an excuse to visit, right?!
There really are too many places to choose from, but here are some of my personal picks I’d recommend highly if you’re down for a little trip to the seaside:
Riddle and Finns – local institution serving champers, oysters and the best seafood in town. Located in the Laines and now on the seafront too.
Food For Friends – THE most delicious vegetarian restaurant, with a seriously affordable tasting menu of 3 courses for £22 and the best Rose and Lychee cocktails in town
Hotel Du Vin – pre or post-dinner drink
Igigi General Stores on Western Road – furniture store / perfect brunch spot in the prettiest upstairs cafe
Le Pub on Western Road – Little Parisian themed pub with authentic french nibbles, vin rouge and afternoon jazz on the weekend from 4pm
Travel to Brighton via Southern Railway or Thameslink Railway(far better option but slightly longer train time). Let me know if you’ve been or are paying this gorgeous slice of the UK’s south coast a visit any time soon!