No one ever said travel adventures had to happen abroad or cost hundreds of pounds. One sunny Saturday on what was an uncharacteristically warm, British, summer this year, bestie allowed me to gatecrash a girl’s day out she had organised in Brighton. When I was a child, we made many trips to Brighton and Blackpool, Brighton in particular was the standard go-to coastal place for any relatives who visited us from abroad. Nostalgia conjures up images of stick of rock, souvenir nougat, pebbly beaches and Mr Whippy. There is something so gleefully colourful about these places and somewhere in the midst of Asian beaches and European cities, I had forgotten this.
I think you go through cycles in life; the things that were so un-trendy in my teens have all of a sudden got so much allure. When I was 15, I wanted nothing more than to spend a Saturday getting on a train to London and heading to Oxford Street. Now in my thirties, I want nothing less than to spend a Saturday on Oxford Street and so I headed to London Bridge station to commence my journey to the South coast, just over an hour away. Note to self (and others) – next time you choose to make a leisurely trip to Brighton, either reserve a seat on the train or avoid traveling the same weekend as Pride. Sardines in a tin although I have to admit the positive energy and bright outfits cheered up the crowded carriage no end.After a democratic vote, the decision was made to have lunch in a pleasant Spanish eatery by the name of Agua Dulce – a delicious range of tapas fare, full of wholesome flavours and standard classics but for me, it was never going to compare to fish and chips on the beach followed by a warm batch of mini doughnuts.
A leisurely post-prandial stroll led us to the pier, where everyone from babies to hen parties amassed to share in the fun, basking in the colours of the carousels, high on candy floss and humming the pop melodies, which were blaring out from the rides. Yes, the water is a bit murky and yes, our bottoms were a bit sore after we parked ourselves on the pebbles for too long, having a good old gossip about men, politics, travel and food but it’s the almost Disney-esque sense of fun you come here for. Being on Brighton Pier and most British seaside piers for that matter just puts you in a good mood. It fascinates me how the exhilaration of going on vertigo-inducing rides or trying to win a cuddly toy transcends all generations. The most petrifying ride of all (one which I have no intention of ever trying) involves a 180degree turn in a state of suspension over the English Channel. I’ll leave that one for you thrill-seekers.