Brighton is a seaside resort city located about 2 hours south of London by car. Since we were in London for a month, I wanted to do as many day trips as possible. The criteria was that it had to be an easy day trip from London by car or train. Eventually I decided on Brighton.
The best thing to see here is the Royal Pavilion. It was the summer home of King George the IV. What is interesting about this is that its architecture and interior design are a mix of Asian and Indian influences. It is also the only palace, I believe, which is not owned by the Monarchy. It is owned by the city. Although I have never been, to the Taj Mahal, the outside reminds me of the structure.
One of the most impressive rooms was the dining room. Very grand and it was easy to imagine how the parties would of been like.
The kitchen was impressive also. Apparently, the king loved to entertain.
In the next few pictures, if you look closely you will see Asian influences. For example, the Chinese warriors in the chandelier and stain glass windows. The chandelier in the main dining room above, is also a dragon. According to a gentleman who I spoke to at the palace, it was considered exotic and trendy at the time.
After this we decided to walk around the city a bit. We first headed to the pier and check out the waterfront.
The pier also consists of a carnival like attractions like small rides, games etc. I would say that this is not the most beautiful beach in the world and if you are into beaches, and have been to many in tropical locales, this will not impress you. However, it was nice to see the water especially after being in London so long, and I can see why locals or UK residents would find it appealing as a weekend getaway from the city. The pier and attractions did not seem well maintained though.
After the pier we decided to venture off into the city and check out the lanes. These are basically a collection of small lanes which house various small shops. Most of the stores are selling antiques and souvenirs. Around this time we started to get hungry and stumbled upon The Flint House…and what a great find it was. Here is a look at the menu:
There are some restaurants where upon the first bite I think to myself “this chef understands flavor”, and this is one such place. We started with the corn fritter. It was SO good:
This was followed by oysters:
…salmon and fennel salad:
The salmon was cooked so perfect and had the kind of seasoning that bordered on over and under seasoned. The cucumber pickle was a nice accoutrement and the fennel salad was smoked with great attention to detail. Service was initially slow but improved. Overall, if you are in Brighton, I would recommend you try this place. I would be eager to return for dinner and try other dishes.
After lunch we headed across the street to Brass Monkey Ice Cream for some cake and ice cream. I could see the shop from my seat at lunch and it was calling out to me the whole time.
Before heading back to London we made one last stop to check out Rottingdean beach. Its about 15 minutes from Brighton. You will get nice views and a look at some white cliffs.
So was this day trip worth it? The Royal Pavilion was definitely worth seeing, but I don’t know if I would make a trip from London just to see it. There are better day trips from London like Cambridge. If you had seen everything in London, and done Cambridge, Oxford, Costwolds etc, then maybe it would be worth seeing, but it would be further down on my list.