As we’re tying up the loose ends of our life in London, it’s time to face the list of outings we’d meant to take — just assumed we’d get to — and didn’t. At the top of that list, a mere hour’s train ride from central London, is the bustling beach town of Brighton. It always seemed so easy to go, so we never actually did it. Until last weekend. Three quarters of us got there, anyway. The other spent the weekend with friends in Worcestershire. Like the sauce, except a town. Everybody wins.
As committed, if recently absent, members of the Jersey shore community (New Jersey, that is, which I used to think was obvious), we felt a little like we knew Brighton before we got there. Home of rowdy hen and stag parties, carnival rides on the pier, chilly Atlantic water – this is the beach language we speak. I swear that’s the same horse’s ass that rides by on the carousels across the Garden State. As Cope noticed, though, this one rides clockwise. That’s England for ya. Just when you think it’s the same, it’s different.
Before we left London for the weekend, I asked an English friend whether they use the term “honky-tonk” to describe the kind of environment we’d expect to find in Brighton. She said, “No, we don’t,” and then five slow seconds of dead silence elapsed. So I guess they don’t. And I guess I’m kind of an idiot. All I know is we use that term in the states — or at least my mom and I do — and we’re right about Brighton. Along the beach, it’s as honky-tonk as it gets. Except you can also sit on the rocky shore and look out across the English Channel hoping to catch a glimpse of France. That’s not something we offer at the Jersey shore. And that’s England for ya, too. Just when you think it’s tacky, it’s still like a thousand years old and totally, stunningly elegant.
Brighton is also known for having a thriving vegetarian and vegan food scene, and it didn’t disappoint. On the short walk from the train station to the beach at lunchtime, we stumbled upon the tail end of a street food festival with tons of vegetarian and some good-looking vegan food. I wanted to take a photo, but I was too hungry. And I wanted to link to it, but I can’t find any evidence of it online. There’s some chance it was a mirage, but I don’t think so. View full post »