Sunshine. Fish & Chips. The Pier. I bloody love Brighton.
Of course, I love London too, and it’s been fabulous here over the last weeks, but in all fairness I have exhausted the parks & beer gardens and wanted to escape the City for a couple of days. So on Monday, we decided to make the most of this glorious weather and take the ridiculously quick trip down to the beautiful Sussex Coast.
We had barely finished our Marks and Spencer train picnic before we pulled into the Station at Brighton and took the quick stroll through those familiar streets to Hotel Pelirocco in Regency Square. If you don’t know about this place – you must investigate immediately. One of the most famous guest houses on the Brighton sea front – each room is individually themed in it’s own unique style – with inspiration taken from Muhammed Ali, 70’s Pin Ups and even Astronauts. We were checked into the Stoli Salon; a Russian themed room sponsored by Stolichnaya vodka, bottles of which are secreted into the walls and leave you tempted to creep downstairs for a quick cocktail (which we did. Obviously). The room comes with a balcony, en-suite bathroom (some rooms just have showers), Flat Screen TV, PS2 and quite possibly the most comfortable kingsize bed I have ever slept in. Oh, and hats. Russian Hats. Dress up time – AWESOME!
The rest of the Hotel is also seriously cool. The lounge/bar area is small but you can almost smell the debauchery seeping from the wallpaper. Things happen here. Good things. DJ’s set up in the window in the evenings and the party carries on as long as they can – although this is a hotel, not a club, and they are of course considerate to residents. The walls are jam-packed full of paintings by Local Artists and friends of Pelirocco, cheeky old British post cards and Polaroids of the many celebs that have passed through this quirky hotel on their travels. We found ourselves staring for ages at the various oddities hanging in every space possible. Loved it.
The staff are friendly and laid back and fit into the vibe of the hotel perfectly. This isn’t a place for airs or graces – this is a fun place to stay and the whole attitude reflects that. If you’re looking for somewhere that gets repainted on a weekly basis and has a fleet of waiters serving you breakfast in minutes this isn’t it. If you’re looking for cool, quirky, incredible place to stay that serves a great breakfast that’s worth waiting for, book into the Pelirocco. And if you really want a treat, book into the Play Room. (More details here)
Despite making the most of the Espresso Martini’s and Ameretto Sours (both ace) at the hotel bar, we did decide we had to go off and be tourists too before we got too tipsy. I mean, you really can’t go to Brighton in the sunshine and not make the most of the numerous beach bars and spend a few quid on the Pier, can you? So, after stopping a few times for a G&T or two, we found ourselves wasting money (£1’s him – 2p’s me) on stupid amusements and laughing. A lot.
For dinner, we took Gordon Ramseys advice and headed along to Riddle and Finns Champagne and Oyster Bar on Meeting House Lane. I am not going to lie – first impressions were not perfect. The waitress was a little grumpy, they had no lobster, no oysters and no squid. This annoyed me. But I soon got over that and chose some other dishes – and my goodness – they were INCREDIBLE. Instead of main dishes we chose lots of plates to pick at, including Languostines, King Prawns and the world’s BEST Scallops with Chorizo and Chilli. Seriously. This dish will go down in my favourite of all time. The only complaint? Not enough. Could probably have eaten 10 of those without stopping for breath. We also ended up having some great banter with our waitress (who wasn’t grumpy at all) and the other staff and thought the final bill was really reasonable for that amount of great quality food and wine. We highly recommend Riddle & Finns – one of my favourite Seafood Restaurants ever.
Tuesday was spent mooching round the Lanes, shopping, sipping Frapaccino’s and generally being lazy and happy. After the wine/cocktail/G&T drinking of the day before, we decided to embrace the organic hippiness of Brighton for lunch and stopped in at Aloka; The Quality of Life Centre, which comprises of a Day Spa, Gallery, Fitness Studio and Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant. Now, for someone who ALWAYS chooses a Steak if it’s on the menu, this was a complete departure for me and I was worried that I’d be wolfing down a burger soon after – how wrong can one be?! Aloka have a fresh buffet selection available, so you can select your dishes yourself (eat in or take away) and which you pay for by weight. The more you eat? The more you pay. Simple really. Dishes included Apple, Cashew and Wasabi Salad, Beetroot and seed Kebabs, Coleslaw, Crispy Roast Potatoes, Hummus, Broccolli with Black Beans and a simply beautiful Thai Butternut Squash Curry, that was spicy, filling and absolutely delicious. So good in fact, that I forgot there was no meat involved. After a long couple of days, we both remarked how energised we felt after eating all this goodness, ad I would definitely head back there whenever I’m in the area for another Veggie feast. It was super!
Considering Brighton is a mere 45 minutes direct from Clapham Junction, we’ve already decided we’ll be heading back down whenever the sun is shining this Summer. Whilst I know there is a lot more to see, I will most certainly be dropping back into Pelirocco (which suite next?!), Riddle & Finns and Aloka as much as possible over the Summer. If you have any other recommendations – please do share below, we’ll be more than happy to check those out too!