A very damp stay in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Whilst now somewhat overshadowed by the whole we-got-engaged shenanigans, I still wanted to have a chat about our trip to Brighton.

G and I decided a few months back to spend New Year’s Eve in Brighton. I wanted to go back and visit Brighton soon, to see the side of it that’s not arcade games and aquarium. To see why people rave about it and anyone whose ‘cool’ wants to go live there.

That and I'd discovered this cute boutique hotel online and REALLY wanted to stay in it.

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Tbh by the time new year came around, G had the mother of all colds and was genuinely the most ill I’ve ever seen him, so we weren’t particularly feeling getting on a train. But we’d paid for the hotel and hoped the sea air would clear away the cobwebs. I had visions of beach walks in the crisp sea air, with clear blue skies.

That, my friends, did not happen.

It was, as the weather man would say, fucking pissing it down with a gale force wind thrown in for good measure.

As soon as we got off the train, we headed immediately for a bakery I’d found in my pre-trip research only to find it rammed with no seats. So we dove into another café nearby, not really caring what it was; just wanting to escape the downpour.

It was selling raw cacao balls and avocado & chocolate cake and we sat next to a table who were the perfect image of a stereotypical ‘hippy’ family. They were talking about how their daughter’s star sign was probably why she experiences mood dips and suggesting their son ‘eased off the ketamine’.

I wondered if Brighton was the kind of place G and I would really fit into.

Still the food was good. We had toasted sandwiches, chocolate tart (for G), banana loaf (for me) and a fancy hot chocolate (also for me) meaning we could brave the outside with fuller stomachs. The rain had eased slightly so we could actually look around us at the quirky mix of colourful walls and independent shops and market stalls. It was pretty easy to see why people were attracted to Brighton, but I wasn’t wholly convinced it was a place I would want to live.

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton


Staying in Brighton
The rain didn’t stay eased off for long so we headed to the hotel in the hope that we could check in early and wring out our clothes a bit.

The Artist’s Residence was a key factor in my booking of the trip. This highly-instagrammable townhouse is tucked up in Regency Square overlooking the sea, although the new British Airways i360 somewhat obstructs this view which is a real shame.

(On a side note, the i360 is one hell of an ugly creature. I’m all for a good view from high up but sticking an enormous concreate pole right on the seafront is a bloody awful idea. Just sayin’.)

Exposed brick, distressed wood, walls painted in bold colours, chairs with jazzy print upholstery, neon lights; you will want to photograph every inch of the Artist’s Residence. I did anyway. Each room is uniquely decorated and named after the artist who did so.

We stayed in the Jo Peel, a small double tucked away in the eaves. I would have loved to have gone for one of the bigger, luxury rooms, mainly because hello roll top bath but they were well beyond our price range. So I picked this little fella because I liked the look of the art work.

It was by far the most unusual and pretty hotel room I’ve stayed in and definitely warranted many a photographs. It came with a comfy bed (obvs), full stocked mini fridge and the toilet and shower were hidden away by a set of little wooden doors. Free of charge, there was a full range of local teas (including peppermint), a bottle of water each and a caramel wafer. No standard hotel biscuits here my friends.

The radio was on for us when we first entered the room, which I thought was a nice touch.

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton


Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

We relaxed, dried out and then decided to head to the pavilion. It had momentarily stopped raining when we stepped back outside so we immediately got ourselves onto the beach and enjoyed a bracing hour or so walking a long and taking in the view of the churning sea and strangely-mesmerising old pier.

And then the rain came again so we walked to the pavilion as quickly as we could. If you don’t know, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is an exotic palace built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. Whilst I can sometimes find these kind of attractions rather dull, the inside and outside designs include visual styles of China and India so it’s an unusual building to look around, and there’s a lot to keep the eye busy. There was also a mini Jane Austen exhibition going on at the time as well, so I generally very much enjoyed the visit. Would recommend on a rainy day for sure.

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

When we emerged again, darkness had descended so we headed back to our colourful room to shower and chill before dinner.

(It was during this time that we got engaged but I’m just gonna skip over that one cos don’t wanna become that person that’s like WE GOT ENGAGED DID I MENTION so yeah, you can read more here if ya want. Otherwise, carry on.)

We enjoyed a complementary glass of prosecco in the bar downstairs before going to Food for Friends, Brighton’s ‘original vegetarian restaurant’, where I’d booked us a table based on blogs and good reviews. If I’m perfectly honest, I was somewhat adrenaline-fuelled at this point so wasn’t really aware of what I was eating. I ordered a mushroom pasta and I famously do not like mushrooms so that just shows you where my head was (tbf the truffle flavour was actually very tasty and I even braved a few of the actual mushrooms – GROWTH).

From what I remember though, in general, the food was very nice. We enjoyed a bottle of prosecco and a couple of cocktails for good measure before walking back along the seafront (I can confirm it was a) freezing and b) full of a lot of drunk people).

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton
Back in the hotel room, we were both very happy to get tucked up in bed, watch the London fireworks on TV and watch some real fireworks outside the bedroom window before quickly going to sleep.

Breakfast is included in every stay at the Artist Residence and can be enjoyed in the café on the ground floor which is suitably shabby-chic and an ideal hipsterish brunch spot. I was very happy to have the pancake stack with Greek yoghurt and berry compote as my first meal of 2018.

I managed to get my New Year’s Day walk along the beach, although it was far more stormy than I imagined, but I very much enjoyed watched the big waves come crashing down. We decided we probably couldn’t leave without a walk along the pier so we delayed our train home by an hour to go gaze at the rides, the sea beneath our feet and a few cocky seagulls strutting about. And, just as we decided it was time to go, the sun peaked through the clouds… !

My last taste of Brighton was from Bagelman at the station. I’d read about this being a must (on a blog of course) so grabbed a ‘Mighty Aphrodite’ bagel to eat on the train. It was packed with feta, tomatoes, olives and basil and was bloody tasty. Brighton wasn't quite the vision I had in mind but it will always be a rather special place for G and I now. And I’d go back for that bagel alone, not gonna lie.

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton

Staying in Brighton


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