I've just been wrestling with our ridiculous in-room espresso maker, which was designed more to look elegant than to be of any actual use. I managed to eke out a thimbleful of coffee with the consistency and taste of an oil slick. I think I'll wait until we go out to get the real stuff.
Yesterday's weather turned out to be very pleasant, thank goodness, and we did quite a bit. We wandered around town in the morning and took in the somewhat artsy, colorful vibe. Brighton has a lots of brightly painted street art and quirky buildings that look like they've suffered for their long exposure to the sea air. Not to mention gigantic, pterodactyl-like seagulls.
Here's a little restaurant with some very detailed stenciled "snow windows" by this outfit.
Brighton has a reputation as the gayest place in England, and there are lots of LGBTQ+ establishments and rainbow flags flying everywhere. (Just as I took this photo a passerby decided to involve himself in the picture.)
I visited the Brighton Pavilion while Dave sat on a nearby park bench and babysat Olga. The building -- which you're seeing here across a park and a bus seating area (admittedly not the most aesthetic perspective, but a truthful one) -- was begun in 1787 and expanded by architect John Nash in 1815 for the prince who would eventually become King George IV. He used the building as his seaside pleasure retreat, but after he died and the throne eventually passed to Queen Victoria, she decided to sell it to the city of Brighton. She felt the pavilion was too small for her family and attendants and she didn't enjoy the urban location and lack of privacy.
It is quite grand inside, though Victoria had some of the original fixtures and fittings taken away to Buckingham Palace, where they remain.
Dave didn't really want to see the pavilion, so we went for lunch on the seaside promenade and enjoyed the sunshine. Even Olga -- who gets antsy when we travel, being out of her familiar routines -- calmed down while lying in the sun and gnawing her tennis ball.
We were sitting near the old ruined West Pier, which closed to the public in 1975 and has been through a series of fires and collapses since then. It's basically just a skeleton of girders, rising from English Channel.
Last night we went to dinner at a place recommended by a co-worker of Dave's, called The Set. You get a pre-selected menu (wine pairings are available) and it was delicious, very much focused on rich, meaty and umami textures and flavors. The portions are very small -- bite-sized in many cases -- but they pack a punch. I usually like a nice salad and we didn't get that here, but I still enjoyed the restaurant a lot.
Another day of Brighton awaits!