Every year I go on a girls weekend with two fabulous friends. Let’s call them Fabulous Friend One and Fabulous Friend Two. We started this tradition five years and have only missed one trip (due to small twin boys hanging off my body). We’ve been to the west coast of Ireland (miraculously sunny), where I battled the perils of morning sickness while playing vast amounts of Uno; Manchester with all its lovely shops, restaurants and bars; Paris, where we actually got mistaken for frenchies; Center Parcs for archery, flumes and more Uno; and finally Brighton.
Shamefully I’ve never been to Brighton, even though I used to live in South London and could have gotten there very easily. This weekend though, I discovered Brighton is a great place to visit. Some of the best shops in the U.K, a great selection of restaurants (just don’t mention the last one we visited to Fabulous Friend Two as she may have got food poisoning from it), and a brilliant pier with loads of fun things to do on it. Will I be going back? Oh yes! A combination of great company and a brilliant town led to a great weekend. So here are the ten things I wish I could go back to Brighton for:
1. Another/better caricature. For years, I’ve wandered past artists drawing caricatures on the street and thought ‘I want one of those’. This weekend I was filled with such a free spirit (and cash from husband’s casino win) that I decided to get one. Fabulous friend one and fabulous friend two were also dragged into my artistic fantasy. The three of us sat in a row on Brighton pier, imagining what wonders our Van Gogh would present us with. When he finally turned his pad round to show us the caricature of the three of us, I was on the edge of my seat. And what did he present us with? Well it was a drawing of three girls but I’m just not sure who they were. A couple of them seemed to have perms. Was it us? When we were out of earshot of our ‘artist’ I discovered it wasn’t just me. Fabulous friend one and fabulous friend two were bloody mystified too.
2. Arancini balls. The most delicious balls this side of the Alps. My first and possibly best meal in Brighton.
3. The immense self confidence of the locals. When I say locals, I mean sea gulls. One of the cockiest of Brighton’s sea-gulls, swooped down on Fabulous Friend Two’s ice cream and made off with the flake and half the ice cream. And we didn’t even get a photo. Next time though…
4. Cocktails. Brighton had a lot of great cocktails. The high point was a French Martini in a mexican restaurant. The low point was a Baileys inspired cocktail which cost a fortune and was so bad, I couldn’t finish it.
5. Our hotel. The Artists Residence hotel is one of the best hotel’s in Brighton and one of the best priced. The rooms were fantastic, the breakfasts were actually tasty (green and blacks hot chocolate was on the menu too) and there was a ping pong table in the basement. What more could you ask for? To think we could have spent more and ended up in a Travelodge!!!
6. Walking along the seafront . Okay the weather was miraculously good and I was in the best company but regardless of that, you just can’t beat a walk by the sea. Fabulous friend two even got to eye up some men in Lycra (cyclists I’m told).
7. Laughing with the girls. I’ve known Fabulous friend one for thirty two years and Fabulous friend two for twenty years. That all adds up to a lot of drunken giggling. Not sure Fabulous friend one was laughing when I inadvertently tried to molest her in my sleep but I’m sure she’ll get over the trauma eventually.
8. Another fake tattoo. Given that it’s more painful to have a tattoo removed than to have it put on there in the first place, I think we can all agree they are a fairly big commitment. That’s why I loved my fake tattoo I got in Brighton. It looks great and it was completely pain free. Some woman did have to get very up close and personal to my ear area (could she see any old crusty earwax in there!?!) but it was totally worth it. There was also the added bonus of talking to the crazy guy who owned the place. Apart from suggesting strange Harry Potter tattoos (which I declined very politely), we also got to hear his feelings on helping Africa. Give wheat not ipads, seemed to be the gist of it.
9. Watching warring couples. When men and women want to fall out, they go to Brighton. or so it seemed to us this weekend. They were everywhere. On the streets, in restaurants. And not just little tiffs either. There was storming out of rooms, shouting in the street, all fantastic entertainment. I know that you Bohemian types will say ’embrace love not war’. But couples fighting is actually a lot more fun to watch than couples snogging. And there’s a lot less saliva involved, unless people start spitting of course. In Brighton’s defence, we did see one couple win the world record for longest embrace in the history of mankind. We tried not to stare but…
10. Shopping. Brighton has it all, and as someone who loves to shop, I should know. Need a designer gown you can’t afford? Brighton has it. Need a pencil sharpener in the shape of a dog’s bottom? No problem. Like Fabulous friend two, you need a gold necklace in the shape of a t-rex? It’s right there. Need a birthday cake in the shape of Dobby the house elf lying under the sorting hat? I can tell you where to get it. I’d like to say I resisted, but I didn’t. And so another year goes by, where I spend my birthday money, a month before my birthday. Oh well…
So, the next time you’re wondering where to go for a couple of days with your besties, then remember Brighton. It won’t disappoint.