09 August 2014

A Sunny Saturday in Brighton

I don't visit many parts of the UK as often as I should and I certainly don't visit Brighton as often as I should. Back in the day, my brother studied in that part of the world and several of my university friends hailed from the area, so I had plenty of excuses to visit, but it  had been a while. Today, though, was one of those rare English summer Saturdays where it is sunny and warm but not too hot, and with no sign of rain, so I hopped on the train from London Bridge and by lunchtime, I was strollin' with the hipsters and yummy mummies.

My online research had indicated that street food exists in Brighton, and I made a beeline for Street Diner, a street-food market that is based in a park just off the Queens Road on Fridays and Saturdays. I had a quick look around, but I already knew what I wanted: a Trollkano burger from The Troll's Pantry. The £9 pricetag was a little steep—come on, guys, even my favourite, Bleecker Street Burger, only charges £6—but the Trollkano was pretty epic; a real sensory bombardment, involving chilli, chocolate, bacon and rum, as well as a tasty beef patty.

Next on my list was a trip to some of the design and home stores around the North Laine area. Unlimited on Church Street has great, colourful art prints and gorgeous jewellery, while Edited on Gardner Street is a haven of neon and amazing-smelling candles (I picked up one of Paddywax's tobacco and patchouli candles, which has a very unique scent). Then there's Utility on North Road, which is filled with no-nonsense retro homeware chic. Closer to the seafront is Our Daily Edit on Ship Street, which presents an immaculately curated selection of men's and women's clothes and accessories.. I also nipped in and out of a few of the many vintage boutiques in search of a costume for my trip to the Back to the Future Secret Cinema later this month, but I left empty-handed.

I had earmarked a couple of potential coffee hot spots to visit, and stopped by the Jubilee branch of Small Batch Coffee. A full review of this, and of Taylor Street Baristas on Queens Road, which I visited later in the day, will follow soon, but suffice to say that these are the two best places for a top-quality pouover or Aeropress brew in the city.

I walked down through Kemptown and then cut down to the beach and walked all the way back to the pier. It was such a gorgeous day that I regretted not bringing a swimsuit, although I did wade in up to my knees. The waves were pretty rough, so swimming probably wouldn't have been the best plan.

The pier itself was packed full with families, hen parties and sun-worshippers. I didn't go on any of the rides or spend my pennies in the arcades, but it was very nice to breathe the sea air.

I carried on walking down the beach to Hove, where things were much calmer. I visited a few antiques shops and then made my way back to Brighton. The obvious choice for dinner was fish and chips on the beach. Well, when in Brighton...

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