Looking back over my previous anticipatory post about going to Brighton, I think I was a bit mistaken about a lot of things. Brighton is Awesome – and fully meriting the capital A. There most definitely is a buzz I missed before. In fact, I wouldn’t mind living there. I think previous experiences have been tainted by perhaps being in the wrong frame of mind.
This time though, I had a bit of a revelation – I don’t think half the people who have their holidays abroad would do so if we could be guaranteed good weather in Britain during the summer. There are so many places to be found in our lovely country that are full of We did end up going back to the Lanes – there’s still a lot of useless bric-a-brac that I have no personal interest in, but there was a fair bit of buzz and some of the street art was fecking brain-boggling (see above).
I also found an extremely nice little pub in the Lanes – the Bath Arms. For something I would term an ‘old grandad pub’, there’s a pleasant ambiance and a whacking great big skylight which transforms what would otherwise be a pretty dingy place to have a drink in. Good selection of drinks. Ale fans will love the Bishop’s Finger, but there’s also plenty of cider and what I euphemistically refer to as ‘toilet cleaner’ drinks on sale (the garishly coloured ones). Oh, and do try the chips.
My other pub recommendation is the Western Front, which is a great little Cuban-style bar decked out in skulls and crossbones. Trestle tables out front combined with the marble bust and sea paraphernalia on the walls help with the illusion that you’re in Havana – particularly if you’re outside on a sunny day supping one of their rather stellar cocktails. It’s nice to be right next to Churchill Square too – great for watching the crowds go by.
I visited two other pubs as well – The Northern Lights and The King and Queen but I don’t remember a huge amount from either because by that time, the copious amounts of alcohol I had drunk started to kick in, and my brain had broken off diplomatic relations with my limbs and was threatening to go nuclear. I distinctly recall getting excellent service in the Northern Lights and some help with my shot selection.
C’mon Alex, get to the seafront!
The what? Oh yeah – the seafront. I really like coast. The more rugged the better. I wouldn’t say Brighton’s coast is as interesting as that of Vassiliki or Tenerife or even Devon – too much beach, not enough in the way of cliffs. So it’s not really for me. I did like wandering along the pier though. Even among the cheesy rides and the music that accompanies them, you’re utterly surrounded by waves on either side. It’s easy to feel insignificant and reflective – exactly what travelling should be all about.
Far more interesting are the Lanes, which I really enjoyed this time around. A friend once said to me when we were passing through Brighton, “I’d show you the Lanes, but we really need a day”. I scoffed at that at the time, but didn’t make a fuss. Now, I’m starting to understand what she meant (Tasha, if you’re reading this – you were right!). When time is limited and you feel as though you’re being shunted through the shops, it’s no fun. The Lanes is an experience that demands a relaxed meander, so do it justice and put aside an afternoon for it.
Stuff I liked about Brighton… The buzz. There’s more of an atmosphere than I remember – even midweek. Feels like there’s stuff happening.
Stuff I wasn’t so fond of… Yeah, the beach was a bit of a let-down. Got some excellent fish an chips, though.
Stuff I want…
- For my replacement laptop to arrive (the first one died. Don’t ask).
- The new Pretty Reckless album to be released.
- A half-decent camera.
- To be not as shite as I am at piano.
- For my hands and my brain to cooperate and draw properly again.
- To be back in Brighton rather than here in Kent. That, or Japan already.
- A Caribbean island.
- A TARDIS.
- Cider. Pear, for preference.
- For the sun to come back.
Don’t want much, do I?