For a while now, Richard and I have been talking about spending a couple days down in Brighton. It’s so close by, which makes it perfect for a quick little weekend, or even a day trip by train! And of course, ever since watching the original A&E Pride and Prejudice as a kid, I’ve wanted to go. Just like Lydia!
A little bit of sea bathing would set me up too, Mrs. Bennet. 😉
But other than seeing the ocean (I miss that), I wanted to go because Brighton is a smaller, younger feeling city. It’s got the sort of hippie-meets-hipster vibe that you find in places like Seattle or Portland, with lots of small businesses. Most of them are centered around a few small streets, called the Lanes. They can be quite busy and a bit touristy at times, but still lots of fun. In a weird way it reminded me of Coombs, if Coombs was a proper city with a university et al.
Richard had been wanting to take me there because it’s where he went to University! He mostly wanted to show me where he used to live, and have a pint in an old pub down the lane, but it was closed when we tried to go. Darn.
Now, I mentioned that you could take the train down and do Brighton in a day, but when we tried to book our tickets a few days before, they were so expensive!! We did the math, and it would be only £20 more to drive down and get a hotel room for the night than the train! Of course we decided to choose that option, as it would give us more time to explore Brighton.
isn’t that brick wall and tufted headboard gorgeous?
Not only would this option give us more time in Brighton, it would also give me the option to stay at the Artist Residence!! I first heard about this chain of boutique hotels when we were traveling around the UK in December. We were looking for a cool place to stay in Cornwall, but unfortunately, they were fully booked for new year’s. Ever since then, I have been looking for a reason to stay at one of their locations in Cornwall, London, or Brighton (with more opening soon).
the lovely sea view from our room
Let me tell you, this hotel didn’t disappoint! We were staying in one of their smallest rooms (they have large ones with four post beds and free standing copper tubs in the room – serious) and yet it still felt luxurious. Our wee room was packed with charm, as well as tea, biscuits, and some really lovely smelling bath products. Not only that, but the cutest little radio, which was playing some retro Sinatra style music when we checked in.
After getting settled in our room, we decided to make the most of our day shopping the lanes. From little shops that specialize in kitchen trinkets, to antique stores, and curated clothing shops – Brighton has it all. My favourite shop that we went in was actually not on the lanes, but close by our hotel. I Gigi had some great ceramics and other items sourced from around the world, with everything sort of muted and handmade looking. I went home with a plant pot, small footed bowl, and a necklace from their sister clothing store (just down the road). They even have a little cafe above the store, which had some lovely looking treats!
i gigi’s beautiful ceramics and gorgeous staircase
Speaking of lovely treats, while exploring the lanes, we stopped in the first cute looking coffee shop we came across. Turns out it was the Flour Pot, which I had heard about through a colleague. Their location was very cute, and the focaccia sandwich I had was amazing! The other place that we tried was No 32 Duke Street for dinner. I was a little underwhelmed by my food, but the decor was really nice!
But I’m getting ahead of myself! Before we had dinner, (and after we went down the lanes) we went to the pier! We were both really hoping that some of the carny games would be open, so that Richard could win me a teddy bear (and I could win him something bigger ;)) but only the arcade games were open. We spent a few pounds playing air hockey, and skee-ball before relaxing on the beach for a while. Just down the road from our hotel is where the burned out pier is, and we parked ourselves on the pebbles to watch the sun sink below the water.
Oh, and as if our hotel wasn’t cool enough, they have two cocktail bars! And a ping pong table! We definitely made use of the former, but then were too tired for the latter.
The next morning, we had breakfast at our hotel and sat around drinking tea, planning our IKEA trip that day. Breakfast was actually really nice for something that was included, and the little cafe room is so cute. Nothing gets you ready for a full day trying to buy a new kitchen like berry topped pancakes…