Three of my 50 Fabulous Things
Both my friend Clare and myself had “Eat cake at Choccywoccydoodah” on our 50 Fabulous Things to do list, and I had “Take a girlie break”, so we booked an overnight stay in Brighton, to cross it off our list.
Brighton is renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, music and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its reverence as the “gay capital of the UK.
We couldn’t of picked a better two days, finally the sun had come out to play in May, both days were pleasantly warm and sunny. We arrived out our hotel on the Tuesday lunch time, admired the wonderful sea view from our room then set off to explore.
Brighton Lanes’ historic quarter is a fabulous maze of twisting alleyways, twittens offering an extraordinary mix of antiques and jewellery shops nestling alongside specialist contemporary and designer boutique fashion, as well as funky restaurants and cafes.
We meandered around, frequently getting lost as you do in the Lanes, going round in circles too, but that’s the fun part, you discover shops you haven’t seen or things you didn’t see first time in passing!
We stopped at Casa Don Carlos, a friendly tapas bar offering a variety of Spanish cuisine to suit all taste buds. ordered a few dishes ourselves, including Patatas Bravos (chilli potatoes) and Pescaditos Fritos (deep fried whitebait) and garlic mushrooms, as well as Berenjenas Fritas con Miel (aubergine with honey), recommended by our waiter. The aubergines were heavenly, will most definitely be ordering them on a tapas menu again. I even tried the whitebait, a dish I had never eaten before so I managed to cross another thing off my list, “Eat something I haven’t tried before”. Our meal was washed down with a glass of two of fruity Sangria.
We stumbled on Choccywoccydoodah, purely by fluke, popped in and had a look around. The shop’s talented artists are real life Willy Wonkas and can transform chocolate into the most amazing shapes. The cakes look pretty impressive, but the general conclusion by both of us, that the products on sale seemed very over priced, as did the menu on offer in their cafe. Whilst researching places to eat we found that the number one restaurant to eat in Brighton was actually a cake shop called Cakes The Difference , which wasn’t even in Brighton town centre but up near Patcham, and apparently offered superb Afternoon Teas, so we decided that we might prefer this option.
We headed over the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which is located in the Royal Pavilion garden. Its diverse collections bring together the arts and history to tell stories about the city. It was quiet interesting to see some of the displays. On the way through there was a rather cheeky squirrel that was quite happily being hand fed nuts, just couldn’t resit getting a photo of him!
Clare wanted to find the “Harry Potter pub”, as she called it, when she visited last time with her husband, so that was our next mission. So more wandering around getting lost we finally found it, a public house called the Black Lion, we stopped here for more liquid refreshment before heading back to our hotel.
Back at the hotel, we relaxed for an hour or two, looking out over the sea from our bedroom window, then used the hotel spa facilities before getting changed and heading out for an evening meal.
We chose A Taste of Sahara, a Lebanese, North African and Middle Eastern restaurant on Brighton’s busy Western Road, where you also bring your own alcohol, with no corkage charge. The interior of the restaurant is tastefully decorated reflecting the type of cuisine on offer. The staff very friendly and food plentiful.
Having filled our bellies, we headed off back to the hotel to retire for the evening.
Wednesday morning we sampled the breakfast on offer in the hotel and headed off to Churchill Square and Western Road, where we had spotted some shops that we wanted to take a peek in, then back via the Lanes, before heading off to Cakes The Difference.
We sadly couldn’t order an afternoon tea, as they needed to be pre-ordered, so we settled on sandwiches and slice of cake washed down with a pot of tea. All very English and civilised but great end to our few days away and check off another thing on our lists.
Check out this site offering a DIY guided history tour, BRIGHTON WALKS