Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brighton, UK

The weekend before I had a flight back the States for winter break, and before my friend would start her winter travel plans across the UK, we decided to take a weekend trip somewhere in England.  We picked Brighton kind of at random.  I didn't know much (or really, anything) about Brighton until I got there - but it was an amazing city.  It is probably the city in England that is the most similar to San Francisco.  There were lots of small, local artist shops, plenty of great food (best Thai food I've ever had, including Thai food in SF), and lots of gay clubs (the lady who checked us into our hostel said it has the biggest gay population in Europe).  It also had a lot of smaller cultures that Norwich lacks - there was more of a punk scene, and a skater scene there.  (I've probably seen 1-2 skateboarders in Norwich within the past 4 months I've been here.)  It also felt more culturally diverse on an international level than Norwich, but perhaps less so than London.  Brighton was very cold, especially since it was by the beach, but it was an adorable city.  I'd definitely recommend it as one of the top cities to visit while in England - it has good shopping, good food, and (as usual in England) everyone is really nice.

My first night in, we checked into the hostel (we stayed at Baggie's Backpackers.  Definitely a nice place to stay if you are on a budget.  It was very homey as most people staying there live there.  It felt very safe, and so far is probably the best hostel I've stayed at).  After checking in, we walked around a bit and explored what we could of Brighton, starting at the beach.  The next day we walked around some more, did some shopping in the Lanes at some vintage and artsy shops.  We also went inside the Royal Pavilion (unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside).  It is modeled in an "oriental" style - but a late 1700/early 1800's, somewhat incorrect, opinion of what Chinese and other Asian art was like.  But the pavilion has some great architecture, and decadent rooms, and is very cool to see, definitely a must do if one is in Brighton.

Brighton Pier

On the pier.  There is an arcade inside, and a restaurant past the arcade.

Royal Pavilion at Brighton.  Feels kind of like if Disneyland tried to build the Taj Mahal.

Great Thai Food :)
Cute bar by their theatre.

Inside of bar.

Clock tower in town.

Hostel we stayed at.

Full English Breakfast at the Green Tomato.  (Best I've had so far).
West Pier
Pebble Beach

Roasted chestnuts :)

Royal Pavilion by day.

My unhealthy lunch - a freshly made waffle topped with sea salt caramel gelato.

Sunday Roast - with chicken and Yorkshire pudding.

Picture from The Graduate inside the women's bathroom.  (It's my favorite movie, so I had to include it!)

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