I went to Brighton this week for a long weekend; considering the wonderful weather it was very well planned. It was lovely to see the sea and hear the seagulls and was also an excuse to eat plenty of ice cream. I do have some rather bright and embarrassing tan lines now but I had a great time. I'll definitely be going back.
As our hotel was in Hove, we had a pleasant 20 minute walk to Brighton in the mornings; along the beach front and the brilliantly painted beach huts. We didn't have breakfast at the hotel preferring to have it by the sea or in a local cafe. I had a lovely Eggs Benedict at the Farm Cafe in the North Laines; all the food sounded great but I can't resist Eggs Royale. One thing I can resist (with ease) is banana in smoothies; I'm not sure why but I can't stand drinking blended banana. Fortunately the kind lady who served us omitted the banana so I could fearlessly enjoy my raspberry smoothie.I remember reading a book a little while ago which talked about British smoke houses. The author was concentrated on the Norwich/Lowestoft area and there had once been something like 30 or 40 smoke houses and now, just one. I thought I would be lucky to ever see one but it turns out there is one in Brighton! Does it get much better than fresh fish smoked a few metres away from where it is sold? I didn't manage to try the fish; for some stupid reason I couldn't see the shop nearby. I blame the heat. I will absolutely be visiting them next time.
Have you ever had a chocolate hangover? I'm fairly certain I had one after visiting possibly the best chocolate shop I have ever been in. Choccywoccydoodah is a smorgasbord of pink, red and chocolate, heart shaped chairs, antique tables and a poodle made of marshmallows. The staff were brilliant in explaining that perhaps four massive chocolate bars would be a little too much chocolate for two people. I'm glad we took their advice. We shared a Chunky Munky (sic) (banana, peanuts and biscuit encased in milk chocolate), a Rocky Road and a Popcorn Chocolate Bar. They came to the table slathered in more milk and white chocolate and were wonderful. If you like chocolate even a little bit, you'll love this place. By the time we left we were a little chocolate drunk but extremely happy.
We were feeling a little odd after our entirely chocolate lunch and were looking for a mid afternoon pick-me-up. Something between lunch and dinner which wasn't sandwiches; I have named it 'dinch' which as well as being a great name also reflects the size of the meal we wanted. We stumbled across Ten Green Bottles which was clean and slick with very comfortable sofas. Originally just there for a nice glass of wine I couldn't resist their cheese and charcuterie selection. I'm glad I didn't as it was some of the best I've had. The cheeses were fantastic but the Lomo and Monmouthshire Air Dried Ham were incredible. I suppose it's meant to be about the wine but the charcuterie stole the show.
We had been eyeing up Havana for a day or so wondering whether to give it a try. We looked at the menu and decided to have lunch; it was like a Tardis of neat tables and a nice bit of cool relief. I was busy looking like a tomato and, as was pointed out on Twitter, you are what you eat so I thought the Heritage Tomato and Mozzarella Salad was a good idea. The salad was an exploration of tomato textures and flavours; some sweet, some slightly bitter, some firm and some squidgy. There were red ones, green ones and yellow. My favourite were the slices of large yellow tomato with a red middle; it tasted almost like pineapple.
I'm sure I missed a hundred places that I should have gone and went to a few that weren't worth the time. That's just more reason to return.