Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day Trippin' : Brighton | lifestyle

Last weekend me and my friends headed down to Brighton for a day in the sun to celebrate my friend Charlie's Birthday. I can't believe I am 23 years old and have lived in the UK my whole life and this was my first trip down to Brighton. 


To people from America or Australia driving 3/4 hours to the beach may not seem like a big deal, but us Brits have a tendency to feel like we'll need a passport if a drive exceeds 2 hours. Luckily we had a super easy drive down and I was able to be a passenger the whole ride as I am not a morning person so Charlie took the morning shift and it flew by as we were all laughing and singing together the whole way.


We set off really early so arrived in sunny Brighton at about 11 which turned out to be perfect as although we encountered a little bit of traffic we managed to find a parking spot in the car park right by The Lanes straight away so we could hit the pier and start exploring. 


We were so lucky that the sun came out after rainy week and we had been told about Brighton's micro climate. Although it was beautiful, we decided it was best to explore the beach and the pier straight away as no one knows when this British weather will quickly change. 


I was so impressed with how gorgeous and inviting the sea looked and even happier to see some brave beach goers having a dip. The pier is so iconic and I have seen it in photos or videos so many times I admit I was a little bit giddy when I saw it. 



My friends are great sports and always participate when I feel the need to document these moments but how beautiful is that view and made even better by some bright blue skies. I was actually quite shocked how small the pier was as it's so famous but being as work began on building the original and only remaining pier in 1891 it is pretty impressive. 



I honestly just stood here looking at the beach and the pier for so long. Brighton is known for its quirky nature and how busy it can get on Sunday's so there was a lot to take in and see, people watching is also one of my biggest guilty pleasures. 


Helena didn't want to be left out of the party.


The pier is so beautiful and screams of the Victorian era. It looks totally British and for people visiting from outside the UK I think it's the perfect slice of traditional English 'Holidays' and 'Seaside' culture. 
I even love the wonderfully tackiness of the sign and now it's almost vintage so it works. 



Rather than staring at the Pier all day we decided to check it out. I have no idea what is under this wall but I am so curious, if anyone knows what these are or used to be used for please let me know.



There is so much going on, on the Pier I would make some time to explore all there is to offer as well as just walking up and down each side. The views are so beautiful and it's fun to take it all in and relax into the seaside life and listen to the music they're playing along the Pier. 



It wouldn't be a English holiday without the mandatory cutout shot. I don't actually think you can get married on the Pier unless you take your own minister maybe but it was fun anyway. There are lots of these along the way and advertisements for all local businesses. Even the advertising is a little different in Brighton. 


I didn't think I would ever envy anyone in the English sea but I would have loved to have a go on these 
Jet Skis, these guys were amazing and were clearly loving the attention from onlookers and weren't afraid to show off some tricks. 

 


Another landmark that Brighton is known for, are the traditional English deck chairs that line the Pier and covers the beaches. Although on the beaches you have to hire the chairs, they are still free along the Pier and although few and far between we managed to snag a couple to have our tourist pic. 



If I had a little longer I would have definitely taken off a layer and relaxed in these chairs, it was a sun trap and would have been a nice little boost to the summer tan. Right by the chairs were some rides, I'm not normally the biggest fan of rides by the sea as I think they can look cheap and maybe ruin the atmosphere, I just think the beach is such a chilled place I like it to stay that way. However, I think these traditional fixtures just added to the real British feel. 



It's amazing how many people offer to snap a picture for you when they see a large group of girls trying to figure out where to rest a huge DSLR.



Another seaside ritual is the food, I have found that all over the world the beach commands a completely separate cuisine. I found that in Brighton it was more about the sweet treats, this is even different to more Northern English beaches that are all about the Fish and Chips. 




It was still pretty early and I couldn't believe how many people were already settled and camped out for the day, although it was a sunny Sunday, in August during the summer break, over a bank holiday, I was amazed that it didn't feel overwhelming or crowded even though it was busy.




After a stroll along the beach which is one of my favourite things to do, we came across a Vespa festival. Just incase there wasn't enough already going on or to see here the streets were lined as far as you can see.




The arches along the promenade are another must see in Brighton. They are filled with independent shops, galleries, cafes and bars to find the perfect gift or enjoy a view of the beach in a little more luxury setting.



We stopped at the Lodestar Café and sat on their patio looking over the beach to refresh and have a chat as with 7 girls there is never a moment of silence. 

 

Next we headed to The Lanes an iconic, very Brighton labyrinth of independent shops. It's like a mini town with each collection of streets being dedicated to a different kind of store from jewellery, cupcakes, interiors, clothes or thrift store gems.




Again I wish I had, had longer to explore this area but I will go back soon because around every corner there is something to see like random street art or cute buildings and all the shops here are what my Pinterest dreams are made of. 



The Lavender room was one of my favourite shops, it had just enough quirk but wasn't too unorganised because if I'm completely honest, that's not always my favourite way to shop. We all actually loved this place so much we all got bracelets to remember our little trip.



Just off the lanes are these beautiful streets and even though there isn't a view of the sea I feel like this is where I would like to live if I ever lived in Brighton. I think the culture and individuality is more important than the actual sea here but I love the mix of both. 


Before we sent our friends on the train back to London we went for dinner together at a local restaurant we had spotted earlier in the day. Although a lot of the usual favourites such as Jamie Oliver's and Zizzi's are available for a safe choice, there are so many amazing independent places which are always more fun to try when you're on a trip. 



I will be posting a full review of the restaurant soon so keep and eye out for that. 


After we dropped our friends at the station we decided to walk to the Royal Pavilions, with two history graduates in our group I love hearing from them all about places I had no idea about before and although the sun had gone in at this point I think it would be a beautiful place to hang out in the day and like no other park you'd normally hang out at.




Before the drive home we decided to head back to the beach and to one of the cafés to get a cup of tea and watch the sun go down. 



Lucky Beach is a really cool café in the Arches and I would recommend them especially for a delicious drink to go to enjoy while you watch a sunset, or sunrise. 



It was so nice to laugh and enjoy the beach a little bit and breath in the fresh air before travelling back and catch up on all our favourite parts of the day.


I also have a real soft spot for pretty skies and ruins so combine the two, with a cup of tea thrown in and it was a beautiful end to the day.






I was super impressed with Brighton, it was actually different to what I expected but there was so much to see. It was fun to do a whistle stop tour and see everything in just a day trip but I am excited to go back and find even more of what the coolest place on the British coast has to offer.

I also vlogged the day with my friends so would love it if you checked that out below:




Until next time,

Love&Kisses, 

Mel

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