Day 2,063 of Traveling the World | Brighton, UK | September 22, 2023

We Brighton-ed our day by taking the train to the southern coast of England, visiting our friends Steve and Karen in one of the cities on the English Channel. We met Karen and Steve on the Queen Mary 2 last summer, and we were as fascinated with them as they were with us and our lifestyle. When they married in the early 1990s, they decided to take an extended honeymoon. Oh, no, not extended by a week or two – but 80 WEEKS in total! They went everywhere in the world that they wanted to, sightseeing, and doing a lot of hiking and climbing. Sounds fabulous! So when they heard about our lifestyle choice, they wanted to know more. We had lunch with them when we arrived in New York last year, talked our heads off, and promised to meet up in Brighton when we were in London this year.

They showed us interesting parts of Brighton that we hadn’t seen when we were here previously, even though it rained on us. We walked along the seafront and went as far as we could on the existing pier. In the Regency Restaurant, our fish & chips lunch was outstanding, followed by a traditional British dessert which the restaurant gave a nontraditional name – see the last photo!

Brighton has a cool claim to fame – formerly called Brighthelmstone, it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The city thrived through the Middle Ages, then slumped a bit until King George IV, Royal Party Animal Extraordinaire, fell in love with its seaside location and made it the official fun place to be. When the railroad connecting it to London was installed, quick and easy access helped its popularity. Today it is the unofficial LGBTQ capital of Britain, and is very lively, diverse, and welcoming. We liked it immensely, and now can’t wait to return!

Such an ethereal photo of Brighton Beach. This is the leftover skeleton of the West Pier, which was finally laid to rest with two fires in 2003. Apparently rumors as to the origins of the fires abound, with speculation about the owners of the other pier not wanting a competing pier around and involvement of the “Brighton Mafia.We don’t know nothin’ about it, but note that segments of the Sopranos TV show took place on the Atlantic City Boardwalk as well as the show Boardwalk Empire. Just sayin’.
…and this is the robust, fully operational East Pier (Palace Pier), a short way down the beach.
The entrance to this pier is guarded by a Pirate Sheep.
The beach is pebbled, rather than sandy, and as you can see, stretches quite a distance east.
The dramatic clouds over the English Channel.
These colorful cabanas add a lot of character to the Brighton Seafront.
Maybe because it was a rainy day, with not many people, there were sharp, defined horizontal lines between the shore, the water, and the sky.
Meeting House Lane is very charming, just not very busy due to the rain.
We shouldn’t be surprised by Vegetarian Shoes, but we were, as they just aren’t something we had considered before. It makes sense.
Gardner Street looks like a good time…maybe at night, without rain, and with a few more people.
LOVED the kicking red and white legs!
We equally loved a hot pink snail crawling toward us.
Pretty skinny polar bears.
A lot of the shops have the most interesting artwork up above.
This mural is Req & SinnaOne’s Wall of Fame, a tribute to musical legends. At the bottom was an original 2004 Banksy painting called Kissing Coppers depicting two policemen kissing (see closeup below).
This artwork became a target for vandals, but when the building was resold, a facsimile was made of Kissing Coppers, and it now has protective casing over it.
Meet Shaun by the Sea – another Brighton Sheep at the train station, looking unbelievably cute.
RED! This is “Peaky Brighton,” a very red immersive theater production with characters from the series, Peaky Blinders. The sign on the door says, “This establishment is under new management by the order of the Peaky Blinders.” As fans of the show Peaky Blinders, we enjoyed the joke.
Julien Plumart Patisserie. We watched the “British Bake-off – Professionals” last year, and one of the teams was Julien Plumart. They won! Their bakery went onto our calendar, and we visited – and partook – since we were in Brighton. The sweets were exceedingly good!
Our lunch with Steve and Karen was at the Regency, an institution in Brighton across from the beach. The battered cod was excellent! Our dessert was the venerable “Spotted Richard” – as it appeared on the politically correct menu. It is usually called Spotted Dick. Whatever its name, it was heavenly – a not-too-sweet cake with raisins, with the custard adding depth. A wonderful end to a great meal on a great day with great friends.

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