Posted by: lucylastic | May 27, 2008

It’s raining, it’s pouring – but not in Brighton!

I didn’t know quite what to expect from my weekend in Brighton – but overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Best surprise of all was the weather – which, despite a very dodgy forecast turned out to be lovely all day Saturday, some rain overnight, and a scorcher of a day on Sunday! So much so, that I have returned with a very nice glow and the smugness that greets my colleagues complaints of yet another rainy bank holiday with a touch of superiority. I feel justified in this, as it is usually me who manages to be whereever the storm is – back in the 1989 high winds that wracked more ruin on an already devastated (from 1987) Berkshire, a tree collapsed in the nursery car park where my son was inside, crushing one car completely and damaging several others – mine included. We all counted ourselves very lucky to have been inside – collecting our precious babies, rather than outside, strapping them into baby seats as we would indeed have been just a few minutes later.


So, what does Brighton have to offer? First and foremost – some of the cleanest Ladies’ loos I have ever experienced – a joy and pleasure indeed – whether in the big pubs along the front, the smaller restaurants or the public facilities on the Pier, every single one was clean, fragrant and well stocked with paper, hand towels and soap – I can’t think of anywhere I have ever been where this was the case – and it’s amazing what a difference it makes – well done Brighton!!!!! On the entertainment front, it’s a traditional English sea-side town – faded Victorian splendour, quite a lot of renovation work as the town and it’s inhabitants wake up to the jewels that are just sitting, rotting away on their doorsteps. A Pier that offers over-priced everything – £8 a go on the roller-coaster, (I would have had a go if it had been a fiver, but £8, you’re having a laugh surely), overpriced fish & chips, overpriced beer, overpriced slot machines – some of them taking £1 a go – it’s no joke if you’ve got a gang of children with you, (fortunately, we left ours at home). Am I just mean, or is £2.50 for 2 scoops of ice cream rather a lot of money? And times 6 if you are parents and 4 kids – it’s outrageous I think.  (Oops – Grumpy Old Woman alert I think)!   
Brighton has a quirky collection of shops and eating outlets in an area known as ‘the Lanes’ – vegan cake, vegetarian shoes, tattoos, punk hair styling – you’ll find it all here It’s a great place to sit and watch the worl go by – whether from a cocktail bar, (our choice) or a vegetarian smoothie cafe – with tropical garden, (a disappointing collection of plants in planters and a picture of a banana on the wall), which we passed over. Brighton is also well known as being a big ‘gay town’, there was huge interest in Eurovision – with many pubs running themed parties and special events to make the most of Eurovision mania – we caught the last hour and the universal feeling seemed to be ‘it’s time for the UK to get out’ with the voting descendind beyond the farcical to the realms of the completely ridiculous! 
Sunday saw an opportunity to take in beach life – not many people in the sea, which I imagine was way too cold, a few hardy souls on jet skis and trying to water-ski and a few on sail boards and dinghies – but so relaxing to just sit and watch the sun sparkling on the water – a sight I miss greatly from my time living in Spain. Sunday night was the final night of the Brighton Festival – so we headed to the Marina – newly built and chock full of people to watch the grand finale firework display. Live music featured throughout our visit – everything from a Samba band – Estrongo – to high energy rock and roll aghead of the fireworks. I am not a lover of pushing and shoving crowds, nor is my lovely husband – so we eventually gave up on the Marina itself in favour of a quieter backwater – where we had almost as good a view and a seat, (yes I know, it’s an age thing – though the wooden Marina platform was making ominous creaking and groaning sounds under the weight of a crowd several deep and several hundred feet long). We were definitely better off with a nice beer in hand and a warm pub to escape back into after the firworks were over and the temperature started to drop.
All in all, a lovely time – capped off by a very nce lunch at Loch Fyne Seafood in Midhurst on the way home – I also recommend the cross-country route that avoids the motorways completely – we managed a very respectable 2 and a 1/2 hours.







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