June 4, 2014

Brighton, UK, 2014

Filed under: food,travel — Frederick Noble @ 5:43 pm Share RSS

Some of the trains in the UK, particularly the Virgin lines, make for a fantastic travel experience. Clean, comfortable, speedy, affordable, wifi, and the English countryside zipping by just outside the window.

rape

Recently, rape culture has spread in England. You see bright yellow fields of the plant everywhere, the seeds of which are used to make oil. Rolling hills dotted with sheep and charming villages of stone flash past. It’s not a continuous blur of heaven, however. There is the occasional industrial eyesore or seemingly-mile-long swath of identical row houses, but for the majority of the trip the windows are transformed into moving landscape paintings straight out of the British museum, only in brighter colors.

We blew past London and arrived at Brighton in yet another beautiful station with almost lace-like ironwork supporting the glass roof.

Brighton station

Out in the street, there’s more architecture to gawk at. A beautiful pile of brick here, a stately mass of stone there, a majestic park and fountain in between – it’s a difficult country to walk through without bumping into lampposts (or locals who are actually watching where they’re going.)

Brighton

Alhambra Theatre

Brighton fountain

Brighton

We took a short walk through the bohemian section of town, pushing through narrow, crowded streets lined with shops selling free range t-shirts and cruelty-free bongs – basically, the Little 5 Points of Brighton.

Brighton Lanes

Brighton

The beach of Brighton hosts carousels, karaoke bars, seafood restaurants and the like – basically, the Panama City Beach of England.

Brighton pier

Brighton beach

Brighton carousel

This particular carousel was lovely sporting its own mechanical pipe organ.

A fire swept away one of the piers that housed amusement parks. The skeleton makes for an interesting offshore sculpture.

Old Pier, Brighton

Brighton sandcastle

The beach itself is interesting as well. A layer of natural pebbles keeps the sand from blowing in your face in the constant breeze. It also ¬†prevents the kids from building sandcastles, and probably doesn’t make for the most comfortable lounging. It was too chilly for me to get anywhere near the water, however, and we opted for a beachfront bar with a view.

brrrrighton

We learned a bit about the history of the beach in the Brighton Fishing Museum, a tiny but free collection housed in one of the many alcoves under the street facing the beach. Slightly larger is the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, showcasing some interesting furniture, fashion, puppets and more.

Brighton Museum

Brighton Museum

Bill'sWe met up with our host and guide for dinner at Bill’s, a gastropub featuring some interesting dishes, their own brew, and an ambiance like a farmhouse kitchen. Foolishly, I tried their ribs. Southerners should rarely eat barbecue outside the South. Other dishes weren’t as ¬†disappointing. The cheese kebabs were probably my favorite of the stuff we sampled.

I decided to try my hand at every pinball game from Soho down to Brighton. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single machine in Brighton despite smartphone searches. We ended up at an arcade where the clerk said, “We haven’t had pinball in… some time.”

Instead, they had a bunch of video poker machines and the like.

Brighton Arcade

We ended up at a little bar with a small basement music venue featuring a band that did mash-ups of classic punk and modern pop, sort of Brighton’s answer to Tongo Hiti. It was fun for about five tunes but the joke wore off faster than my blood alcohol level could catch up.

Brighton live music

Brighton Church

We trekked back across town in the dark. The parks were quiet and even the corner stores were closing for the night.

In the morning, it was back to the station, bound for London.

Say What?

1 Comment

  1. very nice. but you went to brighton and didn’t have any fish and chips?

    Comment by eric lee — June 5, 2014 @ 10:12 am

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