Trip to Brighton

Much cooler weather but still pleasant.

Before setting off grass seed sown. I only wish I had sown Friday morning before the thunderstorm.

Train to Gatwick, not only has 1A power points, but also integral usb charging, 2x 1A ouput. Advantage taken, solar power bank charged.

Chaos at Gatwick. 1158 Southern Fail Gatwick to Brighton running 13 minutes late (Southern Fail from Victoria).  Passengers packed in like sardines, not every one able to board the train. At intermediary stations, not every one able to board.

Train finally arrives Brighton at 1246, it should have arrived 1231.

I head to North Laine for lunch at Iydea.

I pass Brighton Sausages and inquire when they close.  Seven o’clock. I will pop back later.

North Laine is busy on a Sunday. Today, packed, can barely move.

Excellent lunch at Iydea.

I take an ice cream and cappuccino from Brass Monkey ice cream parlour next door. The ice cream not good, neither the cappuccino.

I had an ice cream early June not long after they opened. Then it was excellent. Thus lack of consistency.

Coffee is new. Makes the point, if want a decent coffee go to an indie coffee shop serving speciality coffee.  It is also not doing the reputation of Pharmacie any favours.

I look in Pelicano. No they have not the latest Standart. Not sure if they stock, as does not sell.

I check Magazine Brighton. Neither latest edition of Standart nor Drift.

They tell me they post on Instagram when new magazine comes in. I say bad idea, post on twitter.

I then set off to find Pharmacie, a small coffee roastery in Hove.

This was why I was in Brighton on a Saturday. Only open on a Saturday. It was also why I had a coffee at Brass Monkey as the coffee supplied by Pharmacie.

It had been windy. I assumed would be sheltered walking along the seafront. Quite the opposite. A gale blowing from the south-west.

The seafront at Hove is ugly. A wide monotonous expanse of tarmac that goes on for ever. The monotony only broken by painted sheds, otherwise known as beach huts. People pay a small fortune for one of these sheds, to sit in and stare at the sea.

Past the sheds, I head inland.

It is far far further than I thought to walk to Pharmacie. I arrive at a quarter to four, fifteen minutes before they close.

Pharmacie is located in an old cobbled mews. One side used to be stables, the other side housed the carriages.

Pharmacie is housed in one of the old stables, a coffee shop and roastery.

I am the only customer. Apparently they are busy in the morning.

I order a cappuccino. It is excellent.

A guy brings in a Swiss roll he has made. He offers me a slice. It is excellent.

I buy beans, roasted that morning.

Sitting in the corner a large coffee roaster, Geisen. Maybe the same model I saw at Edgcumbes Coffee the previous week.

I pick up latest Caffeine and what I have not seen before, The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, an independent guide to coffee shops in Brighton and Hove. It is stressed it is genuinely independent, the coffee shops have not paid to be listed. Contrast with The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide which is a blatant scam, coffee shops pay £500 for a listing and write their own entry.

I head back down to the seafront for the long trek back to Brighton.

Interesting villas line the street, as did the road I walked up. A few appear to be single residence, many have been converted to flats, a few are hotels.

I pass Small Batch, look in, but no time to stop for a coffee.

As I approach the road that runs along the seafront I am nearly blown off my feet. It is now worse than before.

Walking back along the seafront, at least I now have the wind behind me.

Taking pictures, my phone is nearly torn from my hands.

I walk as far as Brighton Pier and set foot on the pier. I do not walk along the pier. Too many people.

I head back to North Laine, just make Brighton Sausages 15 minutes before they close.

Unusual shop, sausages and cheese. I query this. They tell me they are a deli. I had always assumed them to be a butcher.

I buy sausages, cheese I have never heard of and a pork pie. I say a small pork pie. None left, only large. What is the big one then? Huge.

Too late for Pelicano. They sell me a bottle of their cold brew. I learn they also sell Drift, which unlike Standart, sells.

Walking to the station, I pass Blend & Brew, a tiny coffee shop I have never noticed before, mentioned in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide which I had picked up from Pharamacie.

I think visit next time I am in Brighton, visit on my way to North Laine. Only open Monday to Friday.

Outside Brighton Station, Gourmet Burgers. Do not touch with a bargepole. Gourmet they are not.

Just before I pass under the bridge to the station a little stall doing burgers, claimed to be gourmet. Ranked No 1 for street food. I risk and eat on the train. Excellent. This is how burgers should be, quality.

Note: I learn on a return visit to Brighton a few weeks later called Organic Dirty Burger, but as a Sunday, not able to try as sadly only open Wednesday to Saturday and I was there on a Sunday.

The train is Gatwick Express. It used to run Gatwick to Victoria, non-stop. Now it runs Brighton, Gatwick, Victoria. Whether this is an extra service or merely replacing an existing service I do not know.

At Gatwick they barely give people opportunity to board the train, station staff harassing the passengers to board.

At Gatwick, I have twenty minutes wait for Reading train. I pass into the airport to M&S. The service appalling, manned tills replaced by automated tills.

I arrive home 9-30 very very tired just as it is starting to rain.

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