Saturday, 10 September 2016

A girls' day exploring and eating in Brighton

"You're going to LOVE Brighton!" "It's full of cute shops, colourful houses and healthy food places!" "Brighton is such a YOU place!"

Everyone had been saying things like that for years, and yet I'd never been. So, when I moved to London at the beginning of the year and realised the seaside town was just an hour away on the train (well, more like two hours if you're poor and have to get the slow train), I decided it was about time I made the trip.

And with summer having almost come and gone and me failing to make it to Brighton, the Bank Holiday weekend provided the perfect occasion to meet up with two of my best gals, Amber and Stef, and shimmy on down to the coast.

I'll be honest with you, Brighton wasn't everything I'd expected.
The picture I'd been painted was, well, just cute shops, colourful houses and healthy food places. And whilst we did find all that, I - perhaps naively - hadn't been imagining all the same chains you find on every British high street and, well, a lot of tacky tat too.

It turns out Instagram doesn't show the full picture after all, who knew?

Nevertheless, and despite the sun being very stubborn and refusing to come out to play, we had a fab day. To be honest I'm sure I could be with these two in hell and enjoy myself.
Aww. I'm so mushy.

Anyway, let me take you with us on our trip and show you the highlights of our day in Brighton.

We wandered out of the train station and straight down to the seafront.
Seagulls squawked and swooped, waves crashed and the fresh, salty air (hopefully) cleared out my polluted Londoner body.
It also turned my hair into a bird's nest because it was hella windy but such is life on the coast.

Keen to see the main sights of the city, we couldn't not go for a stroll round Brighton's famous pier.
We walked past the fairground attractions and rides, but tbh it's all pretty tacky. Nice to look out to sea and back at the coast though.
As you can see, the sky looked a tad threatening so we figured it was the right time to head inside for a spot of lunch.

I'd been recommended soo many amazing-sounding eateries in Brighton that we felt spoilt for choice - the food scene really is fab, especially if you like your healthy grub - but we decided to go to Rootcandi, and it was excellent.

The restaurant specialises in plant-based tapas, and despite being super tempted by the menu of small plates, none of us could resist one of the daily specials, cauliflower dahl.
Served with the scrummiest naan bread and nutty rice, it was incredibly delicious and - amazingly - gluten-free and vegan too, even the naan. We all loved how it was served as well, almost like an afternoon tea stand.

The gals and I also decided to share a portion of courgette fries because, well, courgette fries.
With the (vegan!) garlic mayo dip, I could've eaten buckets of these. They were just so excellent.

Feeling suitably reenergised and having rested our already tired feet (we'd walked a long way along the beach, OK?), we headed back out to do some more exploring.
We soon found our way to North Laine, which is the prettiest bunting-draped street full of interesting shops and cafes.
Everywhere we looked, there seemed to be incredible cakes tempting us in through cafe windows, and I've never seen so many vegan and gluten-free options in my life. Before long, the gals and I decided a spot of sugar was necessary, just as we stumbled upon the most fab little place called Wai Kika Moo Kau.
Chocolate chip banana cake or carrot cake? It's a tough call.

As we munched, we perused the amazing veggie and predominantly vegan menu and were so gutted to discover Wai Kika Moo Kau wasn't open at dinner time. Note to self: go back for lunch.
Onwards we went, soon making our way into Brighton's famous collection of narrow streets full of yet more quirky boutiques and eateries, the Lanes.

We then went to see the Pavilion, which was absolutely not in the slightest bit like what I'd been picturing...
It looks like an Indian palace. But is in Brighton. I still can't get my head round the randomness of it, but I kinda like it. Apparently it was built for King George IV, and I guess when you're a king you get any random shiz you want, eh?

After yet more strolling, we fancied a light dinner before heading home. Enter, Foodilic.

The healthy cafe and deli has two branches in Brighton, and we were lured in by the promise of everything being half-price to take-away from 6.30-7pm.
We piled our boxes high with delicious salads, and you're just going to have to believe me when I say it was a lot more delicious than it may look. The sticky sweet potato with figs was the bomb.

With half an hour before we needed to be back at the station, we had just enough time for one final windswept walk along the pebbly beach. Safe to say I smashed my step-goal that day.

As we waved goodbye to Brighton and each other, I realised I want to do more day-trips - it's amazing how much you can see and do in a day really, and you can totally get a feel for a new place. And with so much beauty in our wee British Isles, I think it's time to do some more exploring closer to home.

Do let me know where I should go!


  1. If you've never been to Canterbury, I'd highly recommend that for a day trip! I know what you mean about Brighton though. It's really nice and cool, but there is also a section of it that is just such a normal British city which felt super odd!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

    1. Ooh I haven't been to Canterbury actually, thanks Hannah. x

  2. I absolutely love Brighton, but I do get its not everyone's cup of tea! Your lunch place sounds amazing, definitely on my list for my next visit. And Wai Kika Moo Kau is amazing, we discovered it five years ago. Best falafel I've ever had! I highly recommend Catwalk Cakes too, I had an amazing blueberry cake last year, totally vegan and delicious. Oh, and there's a gorgeous Italian gelato place inland a bit, near the sea life centre which does the best ice cream I've eaten in this country... x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

    1. Ooh well now I need to go back and try the falafel! OK and the cake and gelato place too. Thanks Chloe x


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