Monday, August 28, 2006

Best. Holiday. Ever.

I've just got back from Tinseltroos' and my long weekend away in Brighton. We've eaten, drunk, explored and shopped pretty damn well over the last 3 days and I feel utterly relaxed and incredibly happy.

We booked ourselves into one of the growing number of boutique hotels in Brighton and upon arrival on Friday night we saw that we'd made the right choice. The room was small, but fabulously stylish and a perfect base of operations for a weekend's fun and merriment.

Hotel Road I

My photo doesn't really do it justice but the clear plastic chairs and lampstand added to the slightly kitsch, retro styling of the room which was echoed throughout the whole hotel. White leather and brushed metal were very prevalent. On Saturday we shopped, ate fajitas, had an afternoon nap and then went for a walk along the Palace Pier (or Brighton Pier as the local council now wants us to call it). As the late afternoon gave way to dusk the sky became utterly beautiful with an array of colours and shapes.

Turbo Rollercoaster

After our promenade, we went on to "Valentino's", a cocktail bar recommended to me by my friend Flip, who is a Brighton resident. Not only did they serve me an excellent proper martini (gin, not vodka thankyou) and 'troos a top notch White Russian they then further endeared themselves to us by turning away a hen-party with the phrase "We don't admit hen-parties, never have. We don't like the screechy ones". Brilliant. After our pre-prandial drinks it was time to head up to the Hotel du Vin for an excellent dinner and delicious bottle of Roger Perrin Chateauneuf du Pape. And so to bed.

Grouper

Sunday morning we went to the "Brighton Sea-life Centre" which was stunning. I've always found fish amazing and fascinating creatures so Sunday morning was one of wonderment for me.

Soul Food

After walking around open-mouthed in wonderment we decamped to "Mamma Cherri's Soul Food Shack" which has become something of a Brighton icon since being featured on a Gordon Ramsay TV show. The food was divine, and very very filling. This necessitated another afternoon nap back at the hotel.

The Hand in Hand

After getting up (again) and heading out we decamped to the "Hand in Hand", a tiny pub with it's own micro-brewery in Kemptown. They have two beers, "Dragon's Blood", a not too sweet cherry beer, and "The Olde Trout" a more standard bitter. Both were excellent. After beer we headed back into Brighton centre to "Terre a Terre" one of the top rated vegetarian restaurants in the UK. Their style is deliberately over-the-top flamboyance with every dish a visual as well as gastronomic treat. Another cocktail at "Valentino's" finished off the evening.

Shop Window

Café Society

This morning we went for another wander up The North Laine where there are many independent shops filled to bursting with wares and having had our fill of that we stopped off at a café for a stawberry milkshake. We collected our bags from the hotel and went up the hill to Tinseltroos parents' house for a lovely lunch.

Happy Tired, We Head Home

And here's us, tired but very happy and relaxed on our way home. Although I've only been away for a weekend I feel more chilled than I'd normally do after a week's regular holiday. I've had such a lovely time, just fun activities, plenty of rest, and my beautiful girlfriend and me.

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