Yesterday (Saturday) we went down to Brighton. We hadn’t been for quite some time and were overdue for a visit. I like Brighton, especially on a sunny day. The fact that I lived my early years there may have something to do with it, I suppose, but I also think Brighton is a lovely city.
We started in the traditional way with breakfast at the Station Cafe opposite Kings Cross Thameslink station, then dodged the traffic to cross the road (we all know only wimps use the green-man pedestrian crossings) and bought our train tickets. Within minutes we were aboard the train and heading south.
We started by taking a bus ride, showing the driver our railway Plus Bus tickets. We arrived in deepest Hove and saw a cafe bar that looked attractive so we got off the bus and walked back. We had intended to have drinks only but decided to stay for lunch. The menu had a vegetarian section and we placed our order. After some time, the waitress returned and said she was sorry but they didn’t have that item. We chose another. She came back again, saying they didn’t have that one either. So we finished our drinks and left. Nearby was George Street, a pedestrianized shopping street which many towns could boast as being their main high street. I bought some cat food and we chose a restaurant. We ordered. “Sorry,” said the waitress, “but we don’t have that item.” We left.
Walking further, we found Frankie and Johnny, not the lovers in the song but an Italian cafe. Fortunately, they did have what we asked for. Just as well, as we were beginning to feel there was a conspiracy to deny Tigers and Tiggers their lunch.
We took a bus back to the centre of Brighton and walked down to Sydney Street. It was time for a drink, according to Tigger, so we went into a juice bar. I was sensible enough to choose a raspberry milkshake but Tigger chose something called “Refresher”. I really believe you could strip paint with it. I cannot imagine that people actually drink this stuff on purpose. It had an unfortunate effect on Tigger too. I will draw a veil of discretion over what actually happened but to say that she didn’t keep the vile liquid down.
When Tigger was feeling better we continued to Gardner Street. If you know Gardner Street, you also know it is a wonderful but indescribable place, and if you don’t know it, then you need to see it for yourself. In the old days, it was a just a street of shops and I remember going there with my mother to buy curtains. There is still a beautiful hardware shop there dating from the 1883. Most of the premises today are on the trendy and alternative wing of retail. There is jewellery, clothing, furniture, New Age and woo-woo shops, cafes and eateries of various sorts but it feels as much a community as a street of shops.
I left Tigger in the Guaraná cafe-shop, having a soothing tea, while I went and looked at jewellery. The Guaraná sells “health” products sourced in South America and also certain plant derivatives and relevant accoutrements about which little is said but which seem to sell well.
On the train down, Tigger had sent a text to a friend. Coincidentally, that friend and her partner were also in Brighton for the day. Eventually we met and went for a meal at Momma Cherris. This is supposedly purveyor of Caribbean cuisine but to me it seemed tame and over-priced. We are unlikely ever to go there again.
After dinner we went for a stroll on the Palace Pier. This is now called “Brighton Pier” but all true Brightonians know it by its old name. That piece of priceless information should stand you in good stead should you ever find yourself in the company of true Brightonians. It had been a beautiful day and as usual I had enjoyed watching the antics of the gulls. There are plenty on the pier, of course, because they find rich pickings among the discarded food that the slovenly and selfish apes leave lying around. It was now dusk and the lights were beginning to shine in a most romantic manner. I was captivated by the sight of a gull perched on light globes, illuminated from underneath, a most unusual spectacle. So Tigger photographed it for me and that picture appears at the head of this post. (Click for a larger version.)