Close to Home: Brighton

At the time I wrote my last post, we were in the throes of what could only be considered a heat wave by British standards.  So, I decided to take a very slow Friday afternoon off from work and head to Brighton to cool off.

A quick 40 minute train ride from Clapham Junction, and I arrived at the beach town haven that is Brighton.  A couple of people warned me before leaving that it is known for the rocky beach and outward dodginess in the center of town, but I didn’t find that to deter from Brighton’s charm.  I strolled to the beach through The Alleys, cute little side streets crammed with colourful and eclectic shops, cafes and bars.  While slightly distracted by a rail outside a clothing shop selling dungarees (American friends, read: overalls) for £2.50, I didn’t dawdle at the shops but high tailed it to the main event: Brighton pier and beach.

The pier is charming and paints a pretty picture protruding out to sea.  I walked the length and then back to the beach to find myself a spot to soak up the sun.  The area of the beach frontage is also crowded with fish stalls, galleries and bars.  I’m convinced you could never get bored on a week’s holiday in Brighton.

After a couple of hours in the sun and after dipping my toes in the frigid sea, I went back up to town for a bit of a nibble.  My first course was house made ice cream at Scoop & Crumb.  I chose banoffee pie flavour (my favourite dessert out of the UK).  The texture was more like ice milk, surprisingly light.

Next up I went for a main course of local, sustainable mussels marinere at Fishy Fishy.  Paired with a crisp glass of wine, it was the perfect late lunch.

For dessert, I couldn’t help but patronize Gelato Gusto as a quick stop on my walk back up to the train station. I selected the Salted Caramel, which was a complete departure from my earlier ice cream.  Rich, thick and creamy, it was delicious but I’m glad I only had a small scoop!

What struck me most about my whirlwind day trip to Brighton was how European it felt. It’s a real oasis away from the bustle of London and I can’t wait to go back!

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2013.
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