Brighton. The place where larger than normal seagulls swoop in and steal donuts right out of your hands. Having just visited for the weekend a few months before making like our convict ancestors and crossing the seas back to Australia, we feel as though we’ve come full circle. Here’s why and the highlights from each of our visits to Brighton.
How Jodie met Harry sounds like a bad romance movie and is worthy of a whole other blog post. Instead I’ll keep it short and just say that during this visit to Brighton, we had known each other for a whole five days. I had a company car that I rarely used for work purposes and instead drove my housemates, friend and his friend (Harry) to Brighton for the day.
Playing it cool, we spent most our time strolling along the pier, relaxing in deck chairs, getting a photo in the ‘just married’ cardboard cut-out and going on the Booster ride together at the end of the pier. Little did we know that almost 4 years later we’d be engaged! Worthy of its own blog post too which I prepared earlier Weekend in Devon and Cornwall.
We also discovered the Glitter Ball Bar. More on that later.
Three days after moving to London from Australia, we jumped on the train to Brighton. I had moved back to Australia in January 2014 and things were going so well with Harry living together in Melbourne that we decided to move to London together! The Great Escape was on in Brighton which was a great opportunity for Harry to meet other people in the music events industry and the reason we were there.
This was also the visit to Brighton that Harry lost his hot cinnamon donut to the seagull. In fact his Facebook status update was “along with meeting cool people, learning stuff and watching bands, I’ve also seen a seagull as big as a dog. It stole a donut right out of my hands.” Tip – eat your donuts inside.
For my 30th birthday in April, Harry bought me (or us rather) a tandem lover’s leap, aka bungee jump in Brighton. Just imagine giving your partner a hug and then in that same position, being rocked back and forth as voices count down “one, two…” and give you a push before “three”. Harry so kindly agreed to being the one that jumped / fell out backwards.
Friends of ours had moved to town since our last visit so we joined them at the WalkAbout bar where they worked for a snakebite. If you don’t know what it is, it’s half lager, half cider with a splash of blackcurrant cordial.
Okay so the Glitter Ball Bar. Brighton attracts lots of hen and stag parties and in the middle of the day this bar was going OFF with karaoke and red, sweaty faces. We tried to join them by adding our names to the list of karaoke singers but it took so long we gave up and left. Great people watching though.
And last but certainly not least, our most recent weekend away in Brighton. It’s amazing how much Brighton has changed over our four visits in four years. You can’t miss the British Airways i360 that opened last year, offering a 25 minute ‘flight’ in what looks like a spaceship to see the best views of Brighton. Couple that with a sparkling Rosé and beer to cheers to the perfect weather, this autumn Saturday had us convinced it was still summer in the UK. Cost £16 per adult.
There’s lots of photo opportunities like these in the spaceship and giant chairs and Magic Memories offer professional photos taken after you pass through security that you can pick up in the gift shop.The Lanes are also not to miss. You can wander through them and stop in at pubs like the Bath Arms (shout out for going plastic straw free!) and the famous Choccywoccydoodah shop to see the most amazing carvings, including dogs, made out of chocolate! We admired them from the outside to avoid knocking anything over with our backpacks.
Inspired by the Bath Arms to keep our beaches plastic free, we stopped by the Seafront Office on Sunday to collect a picker and bag for the #2minutebeachclean initiative. It was drizzling with rain but we were determined to collect what we could in what ended up being 15 minutes and cramming a bag full of plastic. Most common items were straws, plastic cutlery and baby wipes. And before you say baby wipes are not plastic, they often contain plastic fibres and are therefore not bio-degradable. Eww. Crisp packets and plastic cups were not far behind. There are other pick up points including the British Airways i360 to collect and return your picker.
Unfortunately the Glitter Ball Bar appears to have been replaced by a pizza restaurant but we at least got to enjoy the rest of the pier again including playing arcade games, eating hot cinnamon donuts, sliding down the old Helter Skelter ride and getting our photo taken in another ‘just married’ cardboard cut-out with Elvis.