For a while now we have wanted to visit Brighton and I’m so glad we finally got around to doing it. As we knew that a trip to Brighton was on the horizon for 2018, at the beginning of the year we started to compile a list of things to do in Brighton; places to eat, activities to partake in etc. I planned for us to go away for Jasmine’s 21st Birthday present / our 2 year anniversary and we were so lucky to be able to cross so many things off our list (most of which were food related, of course)
I scoured airBnB for a nice place to stay and fell upon one of the floating pontoons situated on Brighton Marina, overlooking all the boats. If you’re not familiar with these apartments (I wasn’t), they’re a long row of very compact apartments running through the middle of the marina. Ours had one bedroom upstairs and a living and kitchen area downstairs. It was perfect for our stay, it had everything we needed and was close enough to bars, restaurants and public transport into the centre of Brighton. Although I had originally planned to stay in the centre of Brighton I just couldn’t let this little apartment go, it was beautiful. One thing actually, that I could not find with ANY hotel room, was this apartments absolute highlight… that being of course the gorgeous view from our balcony, overlooking all the boats parked within the marina.
If you follow my blog then you will know that we are students, therefore we have become very skilled in finding the cheapest deal, whatever the occasion 😂 as we live near to Manchester, travelling to Brighton was a very long way and train tickets can become pricey. For that reason, we booked 2 coaches…. I would NOT recommend this, if you don’t mind paying more then take the train 🙈 or equally just drive down, which I think we might do next time. I just don’t enjoy long coach journeys and all in all, we were travelling for around 8 hours each way. It was manageable with pre-downloaded podcasts, music, films and books, however not a journey I would willingly do again! I’d much prefer the comfort of a car.
As our journey was so long and we had to get 2 coaches we decided to split up our trip and spend half a day in London before continuing on to Brighton for the final 3 days. Here’s a breakdown of what we got up to at each point in our journey. I will leave links wherever possible to places we went, restaurants we ate at and what we bought whilst in London and Brighton.
After enduring 6 hours on the coach we arrived in London at around 11am, a coffee from the bus station was our first point of call before anything else! Then we started to explore. We visited Buckingham Palace because are you even a real tourist if you don’t call there? It was packed and so very hot, there wasn’t even any water left in the giant water feature outside of the palace – that is how hot it was. After the caffeine kicked in we set off again and passed the London eye before finding somewhere for dinner.
We stopped for a drink and some food at All Bar One which was a very good find. The food was amazing with so much variety on the menu, including vegan and vegetarian options. I’m pescatarian and I was spoilt for choice! I went for the Supergreen Noodle Laksa and I added a Salmon Fillet on there as well, it was the perfect way to recover from our long coach journey and prepare for the next 2 hours of travelling.
I have to say I also really admired their branding on the drinks menu 🙈
After lunch we set off exploring again and visited the household cavalry followed by Trafalgar Square. I’m sure its very common for London to be heaving with tourists with displays happening and all sorts of things going on, however I am not very familiar with London so we were very pleased to come across some sort of military march which was going on, it felt very patriotic. If you recognise what this march was actually for and what it was all about then please do let me know in the comments, I’d be really appreciative.
The rest of the afternoon was then spent walking around a lovely park by a lake. We tried to sit down out of the sun and ended up being bombarded with geese, one in particular got a little too close for comfort 😂 we sat their for a while out of the sun until it was time to catch our next coach to Brighton.
Brighton – we finally made it!
We arrived in Brighton after what felt like a full day of travelling and it was THE BEST feeling. We were dropped off literally on the sea front and decided to walk all the way down to the marina to collect our apartment keys, a walk which we later decided was much longer than we originally thought, especially with our suitcases, but it was a lovely walk none the less and the vibes in Brighton at that time of the evening were so welcoming and relaxed. I think I fell in love with the place right there and then. I wish I’d got a picture of the sea front and the amount of people who were still out on the beach and even in the sea at 9pm!!
Waking up in the floating pontoon was such a great experience. The place was filled with lovely decor including cute little quotes and sayings on the walls. We were out bright and early for our first full day in Brighton and breakfast was our first point of call, we caught an uber from the marina into the centre of Brighton and searched out Love Fit Café, one of the café’s which we had planned to visit on our list. Jasmine had a latte and I had a toffee protein shake, both were delicious of course! We then ventured down the road, for the bulk of our breakfast, and found Wafflemeister which actually wasn’t on our list but it was a very lucky find. The menu was gorgeous and I went for smoked salmon pancakes, to go with my growing obsession for salmon, in particularly smoked salmon. The staff were so welcoming and happy to accommodate my unusual request of adding a fried egg to my order….. I still think it was a normal thing to ask for, but I digress 😂
We then had a mooch around the city centre and did a little shopping before going down to the beach to read our new books. There is a short addition to this blog post at the end listing which shops we visited and what I bought, for those of you who are interested in clothes and books, it can act as a mini haul section, however I will include any of my favourite finds in a favourites post at some point in the near future. What I will say though, is that the Waterstones shop in Brighton is incredible and if you haven’t been before then you really need to. I think it was about 4 or 5 stories high (correct me if I’m wrong ⬇️) and I could have honestly spent hours in there! I headed straight for the self development section and somehow managed to force myself to settle for just two books. Also on our travels through the shops, we came across a small henna tattoo stand. Now I do like the idea of getting a tattoo on my hip/thigh, however I’m so indecisive that it will take me so long to decide on a design (it took me long enough to decide on a henna one). I’m well aware that once a real tattoo is there then it’s there for life and I think for that reason I have to be 100% happy with the design before I could even go ahead with getting one. I eventually decided on a dandelion flower being blown in the wind which isn’t something I’d go for permanently but I enjoyed having it there for a few days whilst we were on our little holiday.
Before heading down to the beach, we stopped off for a drink at a hotel on the seafront, it was definitely what we needed after nearly a full day of shopping in the blazing heat! We then found our spot on the beach and spent some time just relaxing and reading our new books, something I wish I could do so much more often. As we had planned to go out on our first night we started to head back to our floating pontoon to get ready before tea, although we did this while making a detour to Boho Gelato! We couldn’t be in Brighton and not try some Boho Gelato ice cream on the first day… we only had a few days to taste as many of the flavours as humanly possible – I went for a scoop of carrot cake and another of the cherry and white chocolate flavour, they were both amazing but the carrot cake however was just spot on! I’d go back today for Boho Gelato alone 😍 I hope they open up a few parlours in the north. On our route home we made the calculated decision to buy a 3 day bus pass to get us around Brighton and Hove without it costing an arm and a leg getting taxi rides everywhere, I’m so glad we did this! (Pro money saving students 🙌😂)
We started our night at Jamie’s Italian restaurant for a few drinks and a lovely meal before finding Club Revenge. I say finding because it was a little tricky in the dark, however after detouring to Bar Revenge for a few cocktails we finally asked for some proper directions. As we weren’t in Brighton over the weekend we weren’t expecting a busy night out, especially on a Tuesday night. WE WERE WRONG! Brighton is clearly up for a good night any day of the week and I think we made the write decision with our choice of nightclubs 🌈 ❤️
We started day 3 off with a trip into Hove and had a look around a few little shops before making our way to Gail’s Bakery, another one for ticking off our list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bakery like it, the vibe was so fresh and the selection of food and drinks were incredible. After a very hard decision I went for a passion fruit lemonade which was in the cutest milk bottle style bottle, a smoked salmon roll and an almond croissant. We took it all down to the beach and set up base for an hour or so to chill. After breakfast we attempted to head into the centre of Brighton whilst walking along the beach half in the water, my bare feet could not cope with the stoney beach which was such a shame, so we reverted to the pavement along the beach front. I think my favourite part of that walk, apart from the fact we were by the sea, was the stunning beach huts in all their different and bright colours. I think they just sum up Brighton, so cheerful, colourful and upbeat!
By this point I’d soaked up so much sun again, I was ready for getting in the shade. So instead of waiting on the beach until lunch time, we grabbed some lunch on our way back to the marina. This meant stopping off at a few different places 🙈 we had to get through our checklist and a few days in Brighton just wasn’t enough. First stop was DumDum Donutterie for some of their famous donuts!! We were so spoilt for choice we ended up buying 3 donuts and 3 cronuts…… they were devine. The cronuts we went for were Cronutella, Yum Yum and The Zebra. Then the donuts we chose were The Galaxy, Strawberry Cheesecake and Salted Caramel with Lotus biscuit. I loved them all, however if I had to choose, I think I’d have to say that the Cronutella was my favourite of the cronuts because I believe you can never go wrong with Nutella 😂 and my favourite donut would have to be the salted caramel and lotus biscuit, by a long stretch! Our next stop off on our quest for lunch was 42Juice, a must do from our checklist. We went for two juices, one with berries, the other with beetroot, both were very refreshing to go with our lunches. We did also buy a ginger shot which is meant to be really good for you, however I’ve heard that the taste is a little crazy as I’m sure you can imagine from a ginger drink. I had a little taste just to try it and it was exactly how I imagined and for that reason I regretfully say that I let Jasmine take one for the team by consuming the lot in one go 😂 it was then a quick stop off at Pret for our lunch before catching the bus back to the marina.
Despite the great adventure that was our first night, I think this second night was actually my favourite…. After a chilled afternoon on the balcony we got ready and headed out. This time we walked into Brighton and made a stop off at the very impressive graffiti walls by the seafront near the marina parking. I thought my outfit was rather fitting for all the bright contrasting colours within the graffiti art…. so I couldn’t not have a picture taken by the walls! We were so lucky to have beautiful weather the entire time we were down their so the walk that night was perfect. We ticked another thing off our list when we reached the crazy jungle rumble adventure golf and went for a game which I’ll admit was a little crazy, I waltzed past the sign reading ‘danger of soaking’ taking absolutely no notice of it (clearly I was totally engrossed in the game..) and got squirted by a censored statue! I’m so glad it was a warm evening 🙈 and I made an excellent come back when I won the game, taking Jasmine by surprise, who was almost certain she had it in the bag. We continued on our walk and finally made it to the pier, which I think is the best pier I’ve been to, however rather terrifying as I’m not the best when it comes to rollercoasters and there they had them built on the very edge of the pier looking down at the huge drop over the edge and into the sea…. They weren’t the most inviting rides I’ve been on so I’m afraid I stuck with the ghost train and the dodgems, they were thrill seeking enough for one night 😆😂 The rest of our evening then consisted of sitting by the pier at sunset with a classic fish and chip tea, just how it should be when they’re on holiday by the sea (I did not intend for that to rhyme 🤷♀️) later we searched for a nearby cocktail bar and luckily somehow managed to stumble across an excellent one called Brighton Rocks, it had the cutest little beer garden and the most welcoming barman. Jasmine went for a Summer Spritz and I went for a trusty old Strawberry Daiquiri.
I was so gutted for this day to come however we had until around 4:30pm before we had to begin out long coach journey home, so we planned to make the most of it (as much as we could despite having to pull our suitcases along everywhere we went). Before saying goodbye to our beautiful floating pontoon apartment, I’m not going to lie we did finish off the DumDum donuts for breakfast along with some strawberries, because isn’t that the perfect combination for your first meal of the day..? So after fuelling up for the day (on sugar 🙄) we headed out for the last time and went straight back to the pier, this time to make a start on the arcade games inside… no matter how old you get I don’t think you can ever not enjoy the arcades! We cleared out the remainder of our change 🙈 and cashed in our ticket winnings… coming away with actually quite a pretty Brighton Pier fridge magnet. That was ideal as we love to collect little fridge magnets from our random adventures and due to spending our money in the arcades like big kids, we really did need to win that fridge magnet!! 😝 It was then a day of chilling on the beach, collecting a few stones for momentous, before sitting down for our last lunch on the beach. We found a lovely beach restaurant called The Tempest Inn, it was pretty much built into the rock with such a cool vibe going on inside, it was literally like walking through a cave maze when it came to finding the toilets! We both went for a typical burger each (mine being vegetarian of course) a side of sweet potato fries, because I love a bit of sweet potato, and we went a little out there with this order going for a pot of cockles which I haven’t had since a child in Cornwall. I must admit they weren’t as vinegary as I’d remembered, but an interesting taste none the less. Upon leaving we discovered a photo booth inside the restaurant which was such a perfect way to finish off our trip, I love photo booth style pictures and I now have them pinned up by my desk to always remind me ❤️ Sadly the time had now come for us to head back to the bus station, however not without one last stop off at a Boho Gelato ice cream parlour where we tried the birthday cake flavour and the vanilla chocolate brownie. Both were delicious.. surprise surprise, but Birthday cake was absolutely by favourite so its going on my list of top faves along with the carrot cake flavour.
Stay tuned for a Brighton Favourites post…..
Now… As promised – my little shopping haul
• Mustard front tied crop top
• Striped red and white front tied crop top
• Small spiral bobbles
• Grey canvas shoes
• Army Green maxi skirt
•The organised mind by Daniel Levitin
•What they don’t teach you at Harvard business School by Mark H. McCormack