Take a break in Brighton

An Advertorial Feature

When you’ve spent all week focused on your problem client/new office design/spreadsheets/that vein throbbing in the boss’s forehead, it’s definitely time to take a break. With only 48 hours until Monday (sorry), you need a mini-holiday-fix, & Brighton is an excellent solution. So close to London & easily accessible by train, Brighton has captured the imaginations of many generations of people, all of whom wanted to escape the concrete jungle & chill-out for a bit. Graham Greene wrote a whole book, Brighton Rock, which was set here & eloquently captures the place, although luckily its population are, on the whole at least, a lot nicer than Greene’s grim characters. Brighton has a fascinating mix of residents, from people big in media to those who are more bohemian & dressed accordingly. Overall, however, there’s a prevailing sense of peace.

There are many pastimes to enjoy in Brighton, but since you’re short on time, try:

The Laines, a maze of twisting alleyways on either side of the high street, which constitute Brightons’ historic quarter. Here you’ll find 400 year-old houses, once home to the town’s population of fishermen, many now housing antique jewellery shops, classy seafood restaurants, antique weapons shops, clothing boutiques & delicatessens.

Walk south from the Laines & you’ll find the boardwalk promenade, the pebbly beach, & Brighton’s famour Pier, which is covered in little doughnut booths, amusement arcades & of course the fairground rides at the very end. It’s a wonderful place to let off steam, even if you just spend a while getting aimlessly excited by the sound of tuppenny pieces cascading down the metal tiers in those machines, or waste a few quid trying to win a stuffed toy with one of those grabby claws while you breathe in the smell of popcorn, candyfloss & perhaps a little sea air.

Along the seafront, you’ll find several great fish & chip shops, while stalls by the beach sell fresh seafood, like winkles in a paper cup. The boardwalk also hosts a number of market stalls, where you can find everything from jewellery to high quality second-hand books. A number of Brighton’s artists & craftspeople sell their wares here, too – you might even get some ideas for the finishing touches to your office – perhaps a local painting or crafts in the excellent Laines – you could also pick up a stick of rock, for your boss.

Back inland, stop off & take a rest in the Pavilion gardens. The astonishing Pavilion is one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in Britain. Built in the 1800, its style is Indian & the interior heavily influenced by Chinese design. It was built by order of the Prince of Wales, who had been advised that the seawater would help soothe his gout. He used the Pavilion to spend time with his future wife, Mrs. Fitzherbert, who had been left destitute following her first husband’s fall from a horse shortly after their marriage. Initially the Prince’s clandestine wedding to Fitzherbert was not recognized in England, but the Pope was later persuaded to declare it valid. It is fitting that such an extravagant – almost over the top – building should rest bang in the middle of Brighton, given the liberal, vibrant city it has become today.