Saturday, 21 May 2016

A day and a half in Brighton

At Sealife, Brighton

Earlier this month our Sash went on a residential trip to Bristol with his class. Days before his trip I have suffered with a bad sleep and anxiety of the kind which keeps your stomach tied up in knots.
We decided rather than staying at home and me getting more agitated and anxious, to have a mini-break in Brighton, especially that the child psychiatrists' team who work with Sasha's special needs school, thought it might be a good idea to give Eddie our full uninterrupted attention.
We asked Eddie whether he would prefer to go to London or Brighton, and he picked Brighton because of the sea. We looked up a few hotels by the seaside online, and have chosen to stay in Jurys Inn Waterfront. We wanted to be as close to the sea as possible, and Federico has stayed there before. Outside it is a bit on the ugly side, a modern building that you might see anywhere in the world, i.e. practical but not beautiful.

Jurys Inn Waterfront (in the middle)

But you can't beat the location - the Brighton Pier is just minutes away, and it is at a walking distance from the railway station.

As it was Eddie's first stay in a hotel, he was super excited. He loved everything about it, and couldn't contain his excitement, jumping around in the foyer. He was beaming so happily when we were registering, that they kindly offered him an activity pack as a gift. The fact that they had bowls of rock sweets for guests and visitors has totally conquered his heart.
It was already pretty late when we went out for dinner.
And again, it was Eddie's decision. He liked the sound of Donatello's, thinking it is named after his favourite ninja turtle.

Perhaps because it was a Tuesday night, Donatello's wasn't packed full, if anything, half of the tables were unoccupied. I sipped a glass of Bellini, my tipple of choice whenever I happen to go out.

At Donatello's
While my Italian men opted for a pizza, I've set my mind on a seafood risotto dish. It was not bad, but nothing exceptional, and it gave me a terrible heartburn later in the night. The guys enjoyed their pizza though.

At Donatello's

Someone was too excited to go to bed that night, doing the somersaults on our bed. There were two double beds in the family room, plenty of space, and they were pretty comfy too.

Our first morning in Brighton was cheerful and sunny. The sea was calling. We had a room with a view after all, and Eddie loved it.

We arranged to meet with a friend who came along with his younger daughter, and we had breakfast together at Cafe Coho in Ship St. Their pastries and cakes' selection was pretty impressive.

Just in case you missed those gorgeous cakes in the back, here is the close-up. We actually didn't have any cakes for brekkie. I fancied a bagel with smoked salmon, Eddie had a babyccino with marshmallows.

We wanted to do all the simple touristy things, and after breakfast walked to the Royal Pavilion. It is colourful and exotic, but extremely kitsch as well. We didn't do a guided tour, and whizzed through maybe in twenty minutes. It is a true icon of Brighton, which gives an interesting glimpse of the extravagant and debauched life of playboy Prince George.
The pleasure costs over £30 for three of us, which I think is overpriced. I loved the Great Kitchen the best, but alas, you are not allowed to take photos inside.

Eddie was eager to go to the sea, so off we went.

We had a long walk on the Brighton Pier, and of course, he wanted to pose in all the photo frames. I'm not a spoil-sport, and joined him, so we had a giggle together.

Lunch was the classic fish and chips. You must have fish and chips on the Pier, right?! I was all for eating them straight from the paper, but my "aristocrat" of a husband took us to the cafe Palm Court on the pier.
It was sunny but fresh, we found a shady corner, and placed an order.

Fishcakes, fish and chips in Palm Court, Brighton Pier
Children's meal included an ice cream, and someone tucked in with such enthusiasm, that the ice cream ended on his nose.

Though it was a sunny afternoon, it was still pretty fresh. Eddie braved the waves barefoot and had great fun, running and jumping on the beach.
The Sealife Brigthon is much smaller than the London Aquarium. I used a voucher found on the cereal bars for a free entry for a grown-up. We walked slowly, admiring the colourful fish and sea creatures.

Spending an arm and a leg on all the eating out and attractions, I convinced my guys to get some sandwiches and sushi in the supermarket for dinner. We did wander around the centre, looking at all the little shops.

The next morning we came across the Edgar's Water van, and Eddie happily posed next to it.

We couldn't decide where to have breakfast, as Eddie wanted pancakes. We came across The Pancake Place, but the prices for a pancake started at £9, and sorry, but that's just a daytime robbery. How much does it really cost to cook pancakes? Having checked the menu at Bella Italia, we were pleased to find out they do children's Happy Face pancake at a much more reasonable price.

pancake, Happy Face

In Bella Italia
Having packed our bags, we left them with a friendly porter at the hotel who gave a ride to Eddie on a luggage trolley. And off we went to say Good bye to the sea.

We were lucky with the weather on our mini-break. It was all about Eddie and giving him our full undivided attention, and he basked in it.


  1. What a lovely trip away, I do hope it did you as much good as it clearly did Eddie. Brighton is such a fun and happening town. My Mother in Law is in Lewes and whenever we stay the kids insist on a day in Brighton. The sights, sounds and people are all so different to Cornwall and even the beach is different with pebbles instead of sand. My teens are appreciating the vibe of Brighton more and more with age. I think you did really well to stay so central and have everything right there. I hope Sash enjoyed the residential too. Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. Thank you, I think we all enjoyed our mini-break, and Sash had a good time in Bristol too, they had a very busy programme. I agree, the beach is completely different to the one we usually go to in Cornwall in summer

  2. Looks like you had a fantastic time and Eddie obviously had a total blast ! Hopefully Sash had a nice time too. We love Brighton - it's only an hour from my parents in Hastings - but I've never been inside the Pavillion (or the Onion House as the kids used to call it !) or the Sealife centre. For Sophie, it's all about the shops and looking out for Zoella !!

    1. I probably wouldn't recognise Zoella even if I bumped into her. :)

  3. Lovely photos :) I enjoy Brighton every time I visit it! xx

    1. Thank you Kristina! It's such a busy vibrant town, so much to see and do

  4. I'm not sure I would have been able to resist the lure of the pancakes!! It looks like you all had an amazing time, I've never been to Brighton before but it looks beautiful :-)

    Teri-May xx

    1. Thank you Teri, Brighton is a wonderful place

  5. Looks like you had a lovely time and Eddie had great fun. I haven't been to Brighton for years. Would love to go back

    1. Thank you Alison! I would like to go back, maybe with both boys next time.