Located on the south coast of England, in the county of East Sussex, Brighton is the most famous seaside resort in the UK. I’ve always wanted to visit the city, but could only do it this year. Last July, my mum and I took a train from London Bridge station to Brighton and arrived in less than an hour. However, if you go directly from Gatwick Airport, the journey will take only 30 minutes.
We stayed at the Drakes Of Brighton, a really nice hotel just a few minutes away from the city’s highlight: the Brighton Palace Pier, where we started our tour. Built in the late 19th Century, the famous pier attracts millions of tourists every year, mainly in July and August. There you can find an amusement park with various fun rides, restaurants and stalls selling food, drinks and souvenirs. So cool!
To be honest, there are not many tourist attractions in Brighton, but it’s perfect for a weekend getaway! I’d define it as the Miami of England, especially because of the strong gay scene.
After spending basically all Saturday morning at the pier, we sat at one of the charming cafés on St James Street. We waited for my boyfriend to join us and then walked towards the Royal Pavilion, built in Indo-Saracenic style as a seaside palace for King George IV during the 18th and 19th centuries. Later on, the city of Brighton purchased the building from Queen Victoria and transformed it into a tourist destination, which nowadays attracts about 400,000 visitors per year.
The Royal Pavilion has also an amazing garden with a wide variety of plants. During summertime, people like to sit there to enjoy the beautiful sunny days in Brighton.
In the Royal Pavilion Gardens you will also find a nice open air café serving delicious scones, cakes, teas and other drinks. The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and the Brighton Dome are also located in the same area.
We had lunch at an amazing restaurantes called The Coal Shed, which you can also find in London. Their specialties are steak and seafood. We decided to share a juicy Porterhouse steak and order some different side dishes. The highlight, however, was the dessert: peanut butter ice cream sandwich with jam and macerated cherries. It was worth every single calorie!
After lunch, we decided to walk around the city centre and visit the famous collection of narrow alleyways called The Lanes. There you can find small shops, as well as nice cafés and restaurants. The chocolate shop Choccywoccydoodah became so popular that it can even be considered a tourist attraction in the area!
After a great afternoon, we decided to walk back to the hotel and enjoy some of the stunning seafront views (and, of course, take some photos!). What a great Saturday!
Sunday was rainy though. Luckily, we could see almost everything on the day before. The only thing that was missing was the British Airways i360, a 531 ft observation tower on the seafront of Brighton. With a tall needle structure, it was designed by the same company that did the London Eye. Unfortunately, there was no point in going up there as the weather was awful!
Anyway, we started our Sunday with a delicious brunch at Sugardough. My mum is crazy about bread, so I thought she would love the place (and she did!).
Our next stop was the Steine Gardens, where the Brighton War Memorial is. It was constructed after the end of the First World War to honour more than 2,000 British citizens who gave their lives during that period.
To be honest, we didn’t do much on Sunday. It’s tough to enjoy the day when it’s raining so much, isn’t it? Therefore, we decided to just go shopping and take photos of the charming coloured buildings that are in Brighton’s city centre.
If you go to the UK, you MUST try Ben’s Cookies. They serve the best cookies in the whole world!
Speaking of which, I’d like to recommend two amazing dessert places here. The first one is the Be Chocolat by Michel Clement, a shop that specialises in fresh handmade chocolate. I promise that they make the best salted caramel ice cream pops ever!
My second recommendation is the famous Boho Gelato, an ice cream parlour that offers a daily choice of at least 24 flavours, including vegan options.
Our lunch was at 64 Degrees, an open-kitchen, small plate restaurant by Michael Bremner. It’s considered one of Brighton’s best restaurants and it’s located at a small alleyway on The Lanes. I personally love the concept of sharing food and trying different dishes. However, if you are not a foodie and do not appreciate different combinations such as cauliflower with cocoa, just skip it!
The truth is that I can’t wait to go back to Brighton!