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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

UK & Canary Islands Travelogue | All Things Brighton

All right this post is going to be a long ass one and it's because we finally got our arses out of Canary Islands and into the UK. We picked up our rental car from Heathrow Airport and we got ourselves a lovely Audi A4. Audi has always been my all time favourite car brand with the Audi TT being my dream car so it was definitely an exciting day for me when I finally got my butt into this beauty.

Our first stop in England was of course to my favourite city, Brighton. I'm a huge Zoella fan and watching years of her vlogs shot in Brighton has always made me wish I could visit the place and my dream finally came true when my parents said that we were heading to the UK. I made sure that Brighton was on the list of cities we were visiting and I really wasn't disappointed the slightest.

The first thing we did was to check in to our B&B and it was probably the quirkiest one ever. It isn't your typical English style B&Bs (which you will see loads of in subsequent posts) but this one was definitely a memorable one. We stayed in Snooze Guesthouse and it had a lovely black door housed into white walls.

When you head into the dining room area, it has white and green walls with loads of pictures, wordings and the whole shebang on the wall. I loved it. There was so much to take in and it made breakfast the next morning an amazing one because I literally spent the whole breakfast looking around and reading everything on the wall.

I had my own room because they could only accommodate 2 people in one room and my room whilst super dope was a little creepy if I were to be fully honest. It was painted in red and orange with red and orange furnishings to boot but the creepy part came from the posters that were hung on the wall. They weren't exactly my cup of tea but I rolled with it and left the night light on the whole night just to make me feel more comfortable.

We decided to head to The Lanes for dinner and we were looking specifically for a Chinese restaurant which was kindly recommended by our host. It was magical being in Brighton. There were so many seagulls everywhere, and the houses were painted in lovely pastel colours. The weather was lovely and crisp which made an evening stroll really enjoyable and the traffic was pretty light as well. We caught a glimpse of the Brighton beach and even the Brighton wheel!

Our destination was Gars which served really good Cantonese style Chinese food. The prices were a little on the pricey side but the food tasted so good especially when I've been craving Chinese food for the longest time.

I'm a true-blue Chinese because I cannot live without Chinese food for longer than maybe 2 weeks before I start developing serious homesickness because I miss Singapore's food. I can never leave Singapore for good.

Traditional Cantonese roast duck with soy sauce (£12)

Sizzling tofu in blackbean sauce (£10)

Pak Choi flash fried in crushed garlic (£8)

Char siu, traditional slow roast terderloin pork served on choi sum (£12)

After dinner, I had a wonderful time perusing all the teas and biscuits available and I definitely went a bit greedy and got myself not only 2 cups of tea but a cup of hot chocolate as well. I mean I'm on holiday right? Don't I get to have whatever I want to have? /shifty eyes/

The next day, we woke up bright and early and headed down for breakfast. I think you can see the details of the dining room a lot better here because the lighting is a lot better. I don't know about you but I really love how much effort each of these B&Bs put into decorating their space to make it unique.

I opted for a light breakfast of cereal, a slice of toast and a BLT sandwich and I have to say it was a very satisfying breakfast indeed.

After breakfast, we checked out and headed to wander around Brighton for a bit. In the day time, Brighton is even more beautiful and I love the fact that it is right beside the sea, and also that the houses were all so beautiful.

We took a detour to the famous Brighton Beach and it was beautiful. I have never been a pebble beach before and it was intriguing (not to mention a bit uncomfortable) to walk on pebbles instead of sand. I spent a few moments sitting on the pebbles near the sea and just admired how calm the water was and how pretty the Brighton Pier looked from where I was. There is something calming about being near water that just puts me at ease and wipes all my worries away.

We then wandered along to the Brighton Pier and I was surprised to realise that it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Not only does it boast a huge theme park with rides that make your stomach twist and knot, there's a enormous gaming arcade there as well. I think it's the perfect place to spend a day out with family and friends because you can find something for everyone.

Alas, my family and I are not thrill seekers, neither were we interested in trying out hand at the many games in the arcade so after strolling around to see all that was available, we decided to head to the famous Brighton Lanes to peruse the little alleys and shops.

The Brighton Lanes are a maze of little alleyways with tons of shops on both sides. You can find food, jewellery, clothes, furniture and beauty shops everywhere. There's so many things to look at and you can easily get lost down the alleyways and spend a whole day (or more) there. You really have to be there to know how amazing and magical the Lanes were.

I really wished we had more time to spend in Brighton but as we were heading off to Bath in the afternoon and we had a 3h drive ahead of us so we managed to squeeze a bit of time wandering around, then had lunch and we left this magical place. 

For lunch, like the true Asians my parents and I are, we went to have ramen at Shogun Ramen. It's this small ramen place near the Lanes and I have to say that the ramen was pretty reasonably priced and really really good.

Hot green tea (£1.30)

Char Siu BBQ Pork Tonkotsu Ramen (£8.90)
Rich tonkotsu pork broth with nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sweet corn, menma bamboo, spinach and kamabako (fish cake)

Chicken Thigh Spicy Miso Ramen (£8.90)
Miso pork broth, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sweet corn, menma bamboo, spinach and kamaboko (fish cake)

After a pretty exhausting 3h drive, we found ourselves at Aquae Sulis Guest House which was our accommodation for the night. This was probably the cosiest and most English-feeling guest house we stayed at for the whole trip. I say this coming from a tourists' point of view because we all have notions of what is "English" and what isn't, this was my impression of what an amazingly "English" place looks like.

Our room was literally in the attic and it was surprisingly big and incredibly cosy. I loved it!

We headed out for dinner to the pub at the Globe Inn and it was probably my first time having dinner in an English pub. The atmosphere was great, there was no smoking indoors and no customers going crazy drinking so we really had a good time. The food was great as well and we had a hearty meal before heading back to the guest house to sleep. 

Apple & Mango Juice

Orange & Passionfruit Juice

Slow-Cooked Ham Hock (£10.95)
With orange and malt whisky marmalade glaze on spring onion mash with honey roasted carrots and a white wine cream sauce

Hunter's Chicken (£10.95)
Chargrilled chicken breast, topped with smoked cheddar, and thick cut bacon with chips and barbecue sauce

Today's soup (£3.75)
Tomato & vegetables, with warm rustic bread and soy roasted seed butter

Thank you so much for reading (and watching!)

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