Hello – I’m back from my holiday (and a short time away from blogging)!
It’s been a strange time around losing my grandfather (or bampy, as I call him) and although grief is an unpredictable wave to try and ride out, it’s something that’s brought the family even closer together and helped me to realise what’s important in life.
They’re some pretty heavy emotions to deal with… so a week away with friends came at just the right time! I had 4 days planned with friends and my partner in Brighton, followed by 3 days in London with my partner.
It was a week of lovely weather, a few too many beers, a banquet of food, lots of wandering and a festival thrown in at the end for good measure!
I’m going to share some of my highlights from the week away and recommendations for places you should visit if you’re nearby.
Let’s start with the obvious one! This is one of the first places we visited – and of course we had a tray of chips (although nearly half of them blew away with the wind and the seagulls were definitely eyeing them up). It’s just downright, good old seaside fun on the pier and the views alone make it worth a visit.
I was too hungry and the food was too delicious to stop and take any photos but The Pond does amazing bao buns and craft beer. We had our steamed bao buns filled with tofu and hoisin sauce and some delicious topped fries to finish it off.
The Vintage Shops
One of my favourite things about Brighton is all the vintage and second hand shops – there’s so many! They’re filled with amazing (and affordable!) retro treats and I always end up coming out with something. This time it was a disgusting/beautiful Hawaiian style flowery shirt.
Dead Wax Social
This was one of the best finds of the trip. Dead Wax Social is my favourite kind of bar – a bit dark and dingy, lots of craft beer, vinyl on request and pizza being made at the back. We had an amazing vegan pizza with a garlic (rather than tomato) sauce base, olives, balsamic vinegar and butternut squash. I even got to devour it to Lana Del Rey playing in the background.
Ground Coffee House
This cute little coffee spot was located, rather conveniently, just up the hill from our Airbnb. We started a couple of mornings with a coffee (and a drool over their delicious cakes) here. One morning we had a coffee which I followed with a turmeric oat latte and croissant – and the extra order had nothing to do with the fact that there were the two most ADORABLE dogs inside that loved to have a fuss.
Bison Beer Bottleshop
Perfectly located near the beach, Bison Beer is an independent craft beer brewer and bar selling loads of different types of beers. We picked a couple up to go and sit on the beach and enjoy in the sun (before the seagulls and impending storm attacked!). I had a Stone Fruit and Amarillo Sour by Brick Brewery which was lovely.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
A little bit worse for wear following a late night of tequila and dancing with friends, we spent the afternoon wandering around Brighton’s museum and art gallery. I made a beeline for the museum as soon as I saw there was an exhibition by The Museum of Transology (a display based around trans people’s experiences and journey with gender) and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
The Hope & Ruin / Beelzebab
A must visit in Brighton! Not only is The Hope & Ruin a cute, quirky pub in a great location but the amazing vegan junk food vendor, Beelzebab runs from inside it. Of course we ordered as much as we possibly could eat, which included deep fried olives (!!), a tofu hot dog and chicken poppers. All washed down with some beer and cider.
One of our first visits in London was Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green. The taproom and bottle shop is housed in a converted railway arch. They work with independent breweries from all over the world and there’s a huge selection to choose from (including a beetroot beer that we tried!). We also had some amazing sushi tacos from a street food vendor just outside the taproom.
A longtime lover of Philadelphia, Passyunk Avenue is always on the menu when I’m in London! This amazing food and beer joint in London is inspired by Philly and sells authentic cheesesteaks and specials (if you know, you know). I had their delicious mushroom cheesesteak and fries washed down with a ice cream soda float with Jim Beam. Yum.
All Points East Festival
We rounded off our stay in London, and the trip, with one of the most amazing gigs I have ever been to. Featuring two of my favourite acts, the festival line up included Run The Jewels and Bring Me The Horizon. After a couple of pints and a vegan ‘duck’ sushi burrito in the sun, we had fun chanting along to RTJ and saw an incredible performance by BMTH. Now that’s how you end a week away!
Have you been to Brighton or London? What are some of your favourite places to visit? Let me know so I can add them to my list for next time!