Another month has gone by and we’re now in June! Not sure how that happened, but my month started in the best way with a spontaneous trip to Brighton for the weekend with Danny who I met on the Kiwi Bus in New Zealand way back at the end of 2016! Over 19 months later, we reunited and made the trip down to the coast and had such a fun weekend exploring what this vibrant place had to offer
Where we stayed:
We had a cute little Air BnB on Montpelier Road which was a classic arty apartment full of quirky art, the smell of incense and hippy vibes. Our host left personal touches like eggs for breakfast, towels and toiletries and lots of maps and leaflets on the table on where to go and what to see during our stay. The apartment was a minute to the seafront and five minutes (if that) to the centre of all the action. Check out the place HERE.
What we did:
The weather was a bit cloudy on Friday when we arrived so what to do? Pub crawl! We started on the cocktails early and checked out loads of bars in the lanes. One of our favourite finds was Twisted Lemon, hidden down a yellow-painted alleyway with an amazing list of cocktails (£5.95 before 9pm too – even better). We both ordered different ones each round, sipping each others to try as many as we could, as well as munching on a £5 pizza. A great start to what was going to be a messy night! A place called No. 32 served up a great espresso martini and we then wound up in another hidden bar playing Spanish style music where people were flamboyantly dancing and living their best life. I didn’t get the name, it was the music from within that drew us in. Brighton was already gearing up to be a brilliant night out!
A pub called the Seven Stars had an amazing band on, just 3 guys with their guitars and drum kit, singing classics and getting the crowd dancing and singing along. We actually saw them on the Sunday along the beach front putting on another great show.
The Mesmerist was recommended to us but didn’t live up to the hype in our eyes, so our last stop (after I refuelled on a cheeseburger) was Molly Malone’s – the Irish bar with live music until 4am. Perfect. The floor was sticky, it was a bit musty, but I was too drunk to care by this point and me and Danny just danced like loons to the live band, hilariously good fun and how it should be!
After a strong cup of tea on the beach front, we went along the pier to check out the arcades and the rides. We were too hungover to go on anything (just looking at the rides made us queasy), so we opted for the penny machines instead, trying to win cheap key rings and crappy sweets. I’m definitely a big kid at heart! The sun came out and we had to have traditional fish and chips whilst on a deck chair on the pier – classic seaside grub!
We found ourselves exploring more of the lanes that afternoon, winding up at the Brighton Pavilion, strolling around the gardens before stumbling on a grilled cheese stand that completely lived up to my expectations. I had mac n cheese in a toasty and it was the BEST! I can’t even remember the names of the pubs we visited that afternoon, but what I do know is that they were all on a street full of people flogging tickets to their shows at the Brighton Fringe. We ended up going to a magician, a free comedy show in the depths of a little oldy woldy pub and to a pop up venue called The Warren to see a funny Mexican comedian called Jilberto.
By far our favourite find in terms of drinks was The White Rabbit on X. Danny’s quest to find a decent pale ale that wasn’t Australian was fulfilled by the Moose Springsteen. I’m not a beer drinker but even I liked it. At £6.85 a pint (!) I think I should’ve been able to bathe in it but oh well, you only live once and all that so Danny had a fair few of those with me sipping them here and there. The DJ in there was good as well, it had a real laid back vibe about it and we just curled up in armchairs and caught up over our drinks.
By far the best weather day! We had croissants in our little flat and headed back to the beach where we poked our heads in the beachfront shops. We sipped on Pimms and a pint at Ohso Social, a nice beach front bar near the Doughnut Groyne (which definitely looks like a bumhole lets be honest). After a hot dog back on the pier, Danny got to play his beloved guitar hero and I made him go on the dance mat… Sunbathing on the pebbles until it was time to head back and pick up the car topped off the weekend nicely.
Where we parked:
This could have been a potentially stressful thing to organise as so many hotels and houses don’t have parking if you drive down to Brighton like we did! Our Air BnB host had used up all her visitor parking permits for the year so we were left to our own devices in terms of organising parking. After a quick google, I found a place called Regency Mews parking, where they offered parking for £14 a day (including overnight parking in their safe underground car park). It was £14 for 24 hours and any additional hours you run over you pay a £1 per hour). We saved a lot by doing this, it cost us £28 for 2 days and it was nice to know the hire car was in a safe location and not in a public car park or street.
Overall, Brighton completely charmed us. The people were so friendly and there is always somewhere new to explore and something to do. We were a bit gutted we missed out on ‘Wingfest’ which is on this coming weekend, a festival dedicated to chicken wings. You read that right. It was an added bonus that the Fringe was still on and we got to see some funny shows.
It was so good to reconnect with Danny too. When you meet people whilst travelling, it can be hard to form genuine connections and solid friendships. But me and Danny had such a good time on the kiwi bus for 5 weeks, I knew it’d be like nothing had changed. The Kiwi Experience was my favourite tour of all because the bunch of people I shared it with were the best. Even 19 months later, it goes to show that you can reunite and have an amazing time. There’s something so lovely about exploring a new place with someone who loves travelling as much as you too. So, thanks for driving, you loony ❤ New Zealand – Tring – Brighton – who bloody knows where and when next!
I’m back off to B-town in August for Pride and I can’t wait! The parade down to Preston park is going to be so colourful and fun and I’ll definitely be donning my glitter and sequins and embracing every moment.
Until then, have you been to Brighton? Where were your favourite places and what would you recommend for when I go again?