IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT FOOD AND DRINK, IS IT?

Quote: “I went to Brighton and all I got was the most useless ice cream cone ever.”

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Brighton, famous for lots of things which I am not going to list because frankly if you don’t know then you have been hiding under a rock (not an edible one either).   So I will leave you to visit, explore and have your senses excited.  Whether you believe me or not, visiting Brighton is a multi-sensory experience and one I’ll never forget.

Strolling through the park and hearing the children playing, venturing through a maze of traffic crossings and the constant, fumy cars which filled the streets lead us to the buzzing Brighton seafront.  Food, glorious food was the overwhelming scent.  Mixtures of vinegar, fried food and sugary doughnuts fill the nostrils.  A limited banana breakfast left me shakily craving all types of usually unpermitted food stuffs.  “Fish and chips later?” I hopefully asked my Partner

“Yup,” he said.  Easy peasy, I thought.

People everywhere were sitting and experiencing pebbly bottom syndrome; screams from the funfair on the heaving, creaking pier, and crowds of all sorts of people made me think it was a Saturday but it’s only a Friday.  Popular destination I thought.  I have been to Brighton but I have only seen the Pavilion and the pier before.  My Partner is (brace yourselves) from the north so he was very excited about his southerly adventure.  We were told that there are some backstreets to explore so after a brief sunny spell of the typical south coast beach, away from the water we head.

As we nestle into Brighton’s back streets we see why it is popular.  Maybe it’s not just about the ice-cream and fish and chips.  Quaint streets filled with shops marketed perfectly for tourists, jewellery, quirky goods and restaurants.  Ohh, I think as I see a café, that looks good.  Intrigued now by what Brighton may have to offer in the way of coffee and cake I take out my camera and have my beany eye on red alert.  The further away from the beach you go the more you find.  Snap, snap, snap.  Get your head out of my photo.

I take photos of a bubble tea café, vegetarian and vegan cafés and a seaside themed cupcake shop.  The best thing is the variety and the lack of chains.  Brighton seemed to cater for every need and want.  London named streets nearly had me forgetting where I was until I hear a chip stealing gull screeching overhead to jolt me back to the fact that I am one of those people, yes, I am a tourist.

In my tourist, photo joy I thought, well, it’s only an hour or so from London to Brighton, maybe I could see how good the cafés really are.  I could bring my laptop down and put them to the artycappuccino test.  Before getting carried away by such a fabulous selection of treats for me to test I decide that I should be sensible, I almost choked on that word, and keep my search local, the travel costs may damage my writers pocket a little too much.

One thing that won’t is an ice-cream.  I suggest this to my Partner and cross my fingers that our current dieting may have slipped his mind.  He loves food too, easy target.

“I’m ok, unless you want one,” he said. What? Ohh, the old, turn around the question trick.  Now I am done for, he knows I will feel too guilty to say yes, especially as we will be chowing down on chips soon.

“I’m good, just thought that if you wanted one we could get one.” I say as casual and as off the cuff as I could make it sound.  Damn it!  Then, in a moment that seemed like the best dream ever something catches my eye: a giant, gold ice-cream cone being carried onto the beach.  No, I look closer, that would be useless: look at all of those holes, the ice-cream has slipped out of it already, rubbish.  “That’s an Olympic Torch,” I gasp as I point with realisation, “let’s go.”  I had heard about this torch bearer from a friend and had meant to search him out but for some reason it had slipped my mind.  He used to work on the lifeboats and ran with the torch on his birthday and now he let people have a picture with the torch asking only for a donation towards the Lifeboat charity.

My Partner and I hold the torch aloft and revel in the Lifeboatman’s glory and obvious, well deserved, pride.  In our excitement we had overlooked where the torch bearer worked: an ice-cream shop.   Thanking the generous Lifeboat/Ice-cream man and giving him a donation, we decide that this cone was the best ice-cream cone we have ever had.Image

For more Brighton pics visit http://pinterest.com/artycappuccino/

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