Summer holidays are around the corner, so we thought we’d take you away on a virtual jaunt, or more if you wish. Global Voices’ collaborators are quite ‘mobile’; they live or have lived pretty much everywhere, in France, China or Mexico. This summer, we’ve decided to share with you some of their favorite locations from their current cities. We’ve first started this travel series with Abdelmadjid who lives in London and Claire who has shared with us her take on Paris. Next, we’re up to discover a couple of recommended places, among many others, some very personal choices albeit with an open eye on the rest of the world. Today Gwenaëlle takes us with her to explore Brighton:
Brighton is a seaside resort with a population of around 275 000 inhabitants, seagulls and foxes, located in the south of England, about an hour away from London. Starting from the 1730s, the city entered a growing phase with the enthusiastic help of Dr Russell, a pioneer in the field of seawater therapy…although his methods included the fad for drinking sea water! Then, around 1790 came the Prince Regent and future king George IV who decided to construct his royal abode and establish his private parties palace. The city’s philosophy hasn’t changed much since; in Brighton we enjoy life and the food to the fullest: Welcome!
The Royal Pavilion
If this is your first time in Brighton, there’s no way you can miss a visit of the Royal Pavilion: the Indian (on the outside) and Chinese (on the inside) style palace was George IV’s second extravagant and highly controversial home. It was later sold to the town by Queen Victoria who disliked it very much. The city later went through a lengthy task to restore its fanciful and distinctive style…but my words don’t measure up to the visual blast you’ll experience once you see it! As for the yard surrounding it, it’s the perfect place for a picnic and a little nap, in case the beach gets too windy.
The Lanes and the North Laine
Two equally picturesque, yet so different neighborhoods extend on either sides of the Royal Pavilion. The Lanes, located between the Royal Pavilion and the beach, are a network of narrow shopping alleys that perfectly depict what a shopping day in the Middle Ages must have been like. North Laine, north of the Royal Pavilion, is a separate neighborhood with a mix of shops, organic and/or vegetarian cafés as well as vast flea markets. There you can enjoy the hues, the atmosphere, and you’ll most probably be attracted by the café or pub with the most quirky patio. My favorite one is not the showiest, but maybe the most relaxing one: At the Wai Kika Moo Kau, the light reaches all the way down the bottom of you cup thanks to the interior patio. The homemade milkshakes and juices are…like nothing you’ve ever tasted before (just try a bit of ginger in your juice!) And the menu offers a variety of choices for the vegetarians, the vegans and all the others.
Where to relax with a typical Afternoon Tea: Metro Deco, Small Batch Coffee Company
Whether it’s the furniture or the waiters’ hairstyles, Metro Deco is all about art, design or vintage…including some particular customers. The homemade teas (MD Tea) are delicious and the pieces of cake are huge, and if you take your pet along with you, it’ll also be welcomed with a big smile.
As for the Small Batch Coffee Company, it is to Brighton what Starbucks is to Seattle: a relatively young local chain which, nonetheless, spread all over the city in a matter of a couple of years. As you can tell from its name, every morning, the coffee beans are roasted in small quantities (a maximum of 12 kg) to make sure the coffee is always fresh. Just so you know; their hot chocolate and their teas are also delicious! You’ll have no trouble finding them as they have several coffee houses scattered all over the most popular places in Brighton.