Brighton Bound! (Otherwise titled "Tea, Bacon and Bass Jazz")

The best tea party of all time???

Last weekend I went to visit my best friend Claire who's recently moved to Brighton, a town I hadn't yet explored very thoroughly, only nipping around it in the pouring rain for the Photo Festivals!

We took a stroll along the beach, and found the "Brighton Fishing Museum", but it actually houses a variety of really lovely posters and general seaside paraphernalia! The above picture was our absolute favourite find, gentlemen on wooden horses enjoying a floating tea room....well, why not! Thoroughly recommend you pop into here if passing, it's right by the sea front, you can't miss it!

Amazing Typography on these posters, on the wish list!!
The Brighton Swimming club lads! Claire would like this poster-sized! ;)
Creepy Punch&Judy characters....and me!

We continued strolling, and stumbled upon the wonderful "Jack&Linda Mills Traditional Fish Smokers" which I recognised from Nigel Slater's "Simple Cooking" show. It's a fantastic shop, and Jack and Linda are the most friendly and likeable people you will be lucky to meet! We chose the simple hot mackerel roll, and it was absolutely splendid, one of my favourite foods! We also ate the rollmops, scrummy! They smoke fish in the traditional way with oak and apple wood, and i can assure you, you'll taste the difference! Jack and Linda's represents real, fresh honest food and brilliant value! Watch the video below and see how delightful it is to visit, I'll be back every time I'm in Brighton.

Nigel Slater meets Jack and Linda Mills

On the way back to Claire's pink house, we stumbled across "The Tea Cosy" - a tea room famous for its overwhelming collection of royal memorabilia! Sadly it was closed on this occasion, but I will be back to experience that 'Blighty beauty very soon.

My favourite aspect of Brighton is it's thriving cafe and food culture, businesses that aren't afraid to do things "their way". Considering I work in a coffee shop, I do know my good from bad, and i champion the individual businesses that 200%! I never drink in chains out of choice, and in Brighton, you are so spoilt for choice on interesting places to sit and enjoy, it would be a crime not to investigate!

Our first cafe stop of the weekend was Marwood, who are proud of their "Kick Arse Coffee and Life Changing Cake!" and a very snazzy interior to boot! I really admire their passion to do it their way, particularly their views on decaf! ;) (Not cool, of course!) I doubt they faff about with "Babyccinos" either!

Now can i be honest here? I don't really drink coffee. There, I said it. Why? Because when you're around it (in a chain-environment) all week, it's not an inspiring choice. And in all honesty, you're not even focusing on real coffee because everyone wants "frappe-latte-mocha-choca-ccinos" (devils drinks!) Here, and also in the FANTASTIC "Redroaster" cafe, I had my soya latte, and loved every sip! Coffee can be enjoyable, I KNEW IT! I am a fan of the simple (yes, be it dairy free!) beverage, excessively modified drinks aren't big or clever.

The "life changing" cake also lived up to expectations, I had Pear and otherlovelystuff cake, and Claire had the Guinness Cake, Yum! OH, and they also win the best decorated powder room in town - Check out the saucy tea ladies!

Saturday was raining non stop so I dropped into the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which is right next to The Pavilion, which I also visited for the first time - outstanding! Their collections of local pottery drove me simply maaaaad with jealousy! ALL of these can be added to the wish list. Just need to open my own museum to house them!

Claire also introduced me to "Snoopers Paradise" a very popular flea market which you could spend all day rummaging in, but it does get crowded and a bit fraught at the weekend...quite a few oddballs in there too! I didn't want to laden myself down with heavy purchases...but I did find some great photographs that i will put on the blog soon! This one stall had a great collection of bits and bobs, and nice wallpaper (not many of the stalls focus on display, just cram it all in!) This proud stag SHOULD have been mine if the world was fair.

In the end i did buy this 50's London themed scarf, and of course, some old photographs! Saturday night was wine, Japanese takeaway and Withnail&I. Utter joy!

And finally, my favourite purchase of the weekend comes from the utterly fantastic "Utility" who offer no nonsense, long lasting products for 'Blighty homes. You enter to the sound of cheery 30s jazz, and a warm greeting from owner Martha Tiffin. I honestly could have brought one of everything. I really admire their long lasting quality products that are Made in England. Everything is also most importantly, USEFUL! And NO shabby chic what-so-ever, joyous! Until I get a kitchen of my own to buy for, I settled for this brilliant "Teas Provided" tea towel, and some great post cards! Amazing shop, you won't be disappointed. I'm saving up for one of their aprons now!

And that was our weekend! So good to have my favourite 'gal back by my side! I will write a separate post for our visit to The Booth Museum, but I hope this could inspire a few trips to Brighton soon! (I know regulars there won't be surprised by my selection of venues, I haven't even scratched the surface yet!) It really is a brilliant town.

Hope you had a good weekend, never mind about the tennis eh?


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