With the days getting shorter and the leaves changing colors, I have to enjoy my last bits of nice weather before the chilly autumn/winter sets in. One of the sights that most London guidebooks talk about is the town of Brighton as a “holiday” retreat for Londoners. Brighton is about 1.5 hours from London by train, so a friend and I took a daytrip down to explore this beachy retreat on a sunny Sunday.
We started the day at the Royal Pavilion, a palace built under the reign of Queen Victoria. Its Indian influence can be spotted immediately, and it sticks out against basically every other building around. From there, we walked south to the seaside and Brighton Pier. It reminds me of the boardwalks at some of the East-Coast beaches in the US, just in terms of the atmosphere. The beach itself had rocks instead of sand, which would have made swimming quite painful on the feet, but was a nice calm beach nonetheless.
We then headed back inland through the Lanes, a series of tight alleys lined with shops. We found a hidden gem – a delicious cupcake shop wedged in one alleyway, so we enjoyed our first pumpkin-spice flavors of the autumn season. We strolled through the North Laine, a small neighborhood with more modern and larger shops. As we browsed the shops, we were pulling double duty – looking at the goods, as well as trying to find accessories for our Halloween costumes (I’ll keep mine a surprise until after halloween!). We stopped at a Japanese Beer Festival that a restaurant was putting on and I had my first taste of rice-based beer as well as Wasabi Peas as munchies. We were able to get wine in paper cups to watch the sunset over the ocean, and was an out-and-out gorgeous day. Funny story: to get our picture at sunset, I walked up to a man, who was one of the few people who were down by the water with us. I asked him if he would take our picture, and he stared blankly at me; then he opened his mouth to respond and he REEKED of alcohol. He took our picture (after holding the camera backwards and taking one of himself accidentally), and it turned out pretty well.
We ended the day with a Tapas dinner at Casa don Carlos, followed by ice cream at the NYT-recommended Scoop & Crumble. Saying our last goodbyes to Brighton, we hopped back on the train bound for London.
KLTD. You’ll be glad you did.