Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brighton Rock

30 December 2008

By now we had traipsed around quite a bit of London, and anyone who has been to London will know there is a lot of brick, and despite some amazing architecture in-between the brick, brick in winter can be very uncheerful and make you melancholic. And traditionally the British melancholic (and insane) are taken to the seaside for fresh air (or shock therapy).

It was one of those beautiful winter days where despite the cold air, the sun shone beautifully and the ocean glistened. Definitely just what the doctor ordered. The streets were wide, the buildings brighter, and only an hour on the train from London.

Nothing could ruin this magical day, not even slipping on ice and shattering my knee, not even trying jellied eels on Brighton pier, not even the seagull that swooped down and stole the jellied eel right out of my hand, not even the flu-like symptoms that were beginning to present.

We walked along the waterfront, played on the pier and visited the Royal Pavilion, a modest royal residence for the Prince Regent, who later became King George IV.

Side view of the Pavilion

Another view

Brighton Pier

Brighton has a lot going for it and despite the stony beach and cool air, it lends itself to a sense of calm that is lacking in central London. I can only imagine what it is like in the high season – no doubt completely packed out by all manor of transients.

The walk along the waterfront was spectacular – great stone cliffs had trapped the sun and heat was gently being released, allowing us to warm our weary bones. Despite Sha not feeling 100%, she soldiered on admirably and kept the pace strong and steady.

The start of our walk

The lovely warm cliffs

I never knew what a groynes was before!

Ah, lovely!

Spot the boat in the distance

An interesting stairway

Once we reached the end of the cliff walk, we had a couple of scones and cup of tea, although the establishment we frequented wasn’t the most hospitable. It is always a chore when you are viewed as an unwelcome guest, rather than a valued customer. If only the woman who served us could have smiled and perhaps had a tiny bit of customer focus, I’m sure it would have had us raving. I will however concede that the lemon curd was most spectacular.

To preserve Sha’s knee from further damage we took a quick bus trip back to the pier and explored some of the delights around and then on the pier.

Outside Sea Life Brighton

A fishy statue (or is it a dolphin?)

Looking onto the beach (from the pier)

With many thrilling rides available, some which appeared to plunge over the edge of the pier, I am sure there was something for everyone.

Sha with jellied eels (yuck!)

Ivor, Tarot Consultant

I note that Ivor's corporate clients include Cornhill Insurance, Deutsche Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Guinness to name a few. Is this how they make serious business decisions!?

It makes me feel sick

Around and around it goes

There was even a ghost train

Fun for all the family

A final look back from the pier

Once sated with seeing the thrills on offer, we headed to the Royal Pavilion.

Wow! Simply amazing. As per most historical places like this, no photos are allowed inside, but with the magic of flickr, I was able to find some photos from 1987.

A bedroom

A dragon

Great set up for having a guest or two over

A piano

All the above photos were from Pip R Lagenta's 1987 visit to the UK. Please check out the photostream on flickr for even more photos.

Finally, here is a link to the Royal Pavilion's wikipedia page with the historical what not of who, what, why and when (boy, I must be feeling lazy today!)

After the Royal Pavilion, we headed to The George, a vegetarian pub for a slap up feed. I recall somehow everyone having their order messed up except for me…in fact, while I am a fan of meat, the food I got was great. Not too sure about the others. Actually, having done a little further research, it appears that The George used to be a fantastic vegetarian restaurant but it is now no longer as good as it used to be.

Notice on the men's bathroom door

Ah, so that is what they were talking about!

While trying to research Brighton, I did stumble upon a great blog, Brighton Daily Photo, which has some neat photos, such as this one.

Hmmm, what a busy day and I was left with only one regret - we didn't buy any Brighton Rock! I am sure we will return, so perhaps breaking teeth in Brighton is an experience to look forward to at a later date.

As we boarded our train and headed for home we had the dawning realisation that tomorrow was the final day of 2008. What delights would this bring and how would 2009 shape up? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

1 comment:

it said...

Hi again,
My sister used to live in Brighton and I had a lovely two weeks there, wandering the streets, going to the markets and pubs, getting attacked by seagulls on the Pier and generally having a good time. I was quite surprised at how built up the beach was (and kind of disappointed it wasn't a sand beach).
Brighton is a great place to go though! One of the guys from work used to live near Brighton.