I went to Brighton once for an insurance software conference… I got very drunk at a club under the seafront and had to staff an exhibition the next day and talk to people thinking that I smelt very badly of vodka. I do remember seeing the pavilion on the way back to the motorway.
So there wasn’t much to beat from that experience when we headed down to celebrate the wonderful wedding of Hannah (of Make Do and Push) and Nick.
We were really lucky to be given the use of a flat in Kemptown which was just perfectly placed for everything. We could see the pier from our windows and buses zoomed past in most directions – which was useful as we didn’t come in our car.
Chiplet was really good all the way down from Yorkshire, on various trains and by the time we got there and dropped our bags off he was pretty ravenous! So we headed out to meet Jen (of Kyna Boutique) and her husband and youngest for some supper. After a wander on the pier which was dazzling, loud and exciting, we went to a little place I had spotted on the way in. The Fish Bowl actually struck me as more of a drinking establishment when we walked in, despite its proclamation that it was a family place. We ordered off their rather quirky menu, which involving choosing your fish (or halloumi) then the flavour of batter (ranging from original to garlic and herb, through to indian masala) then you could choose 2 sides to go with it. It was certainly an original concept and we really enjoyed the meal.
We got all dressed up to head to a village north of Brighton and had a wonderful time at Hannah and Nick’s wedding (you can see more about her wedding on her own blog – don’t want to steal any thunder and her pictures are MUCH better than mine) and were well and truly exhausted and ready to relax.
On the Sunday,we met up with lovely Caroline (from Imagination Adventures) for a walk along the pier with her family – Chiplet and her little boy had a blast climbing on all the ride ons!
My brother cycled down from London to meet us and we had a lovely afternoon on the beach – I even took a dip in the ocean – which went some way to curing my slight hangover. Chiplet found the pebbly beach strange underfoot and walked like a slightly strange chimpanzee for the first ten minutes that he was on the beach! We then headed to The Barefoot Bar at Yellowave Beach Sports for a sun downer drink and some pretty epic nachos to put us on until tea time. Chiplet loved the sandpit and the playground next door was full of exciting equipment and even a water play area.
Other highlights of the week included our trip on the last day of the season for the Volks Electric Railway. Its a short trip along the beach front, stopping at a halfway station. Chiplet loved it and we were lucky enough that it was pretty quiet. Our destination from the railway was the Marina which we found a little soulless to be honest, but we did have a few rounds of the free pingpong tables and then a Nandos – Chiplet’s first one… I had forgotten quite how expensive a Nandos works out to be :(.
We also decided to take a trip to Eastbourne on the bus on one of the days. The bus trip was really interesting, taking in some of the most beautiful coastline in the country (according to the tourism brochures) and on the way back, taking in some of the busiest school traffic I had seen in a while! I actually fell a little bit in love with Eastbourne to be honest – mostly down to the pier. Sadly it was burned quite badly earlier this year, but even with the central arcade gone and the works happening to fix it, I still found it very charming. We spent some time looking for somewhere to have fish and chips – making the assumption that the place at the end of the pier would be expensive and poor – but ending up there, we were proved wrong on both counts… delicious, a choice of fish AND around £10 for fish and chips twice with bread and butter.
We would definitely consider coming back and spending a week on the south coast again and I bet we could do a whole heap of different things next time – not least of all heading west past the pier to see the traditional and iconic beach huts… yes we totally missed that! I love this time of the year actually at the seaside, windswept and chilly and wild oceans, then warming up with fish and chips and getting some fudge for the way home…. We must get up to the Yorkshire coast before Christmas and blow those cobwebs away!