Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

The Imperial Hotel – Brighton

During my recent trip to Brighton for a family wedding I stayed at the Imperial hotel which is situated further down from the hustle and bustle of Brighton seafront but still a stones throw from the beach at Hove.

I stayed with my mum and daughter and we had a room with three single beds. On entering the room we were met with a strange musky smell but were pleased that we were not all cramped into a small space as the room was quite spacious and we quickly opened the windows for some fresh air. The décor seemed to be stuck in the 80’s and I new it needed updating when my mum declared that she liked it and would decorate her front room the same way!

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The beds were comfy and there was a nice little seating area by the window which was lucky because the TV was tiny in comparison to the room and was hard to see from the beds so if we wanted to watch anything it was easier to sit there. The view from the window just overlooked other buildings but if you opened it up and leaned out you could just about see the lapping waves of the sea.

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During my past stays in hotels I have chosen to stay in the more well known chains such as the Sofitel in Paris, The Hilton Garden inn in Manchester and the Crowne Plaza in Amsterdam and I have complained that they don’t seem to have much personality but during this trip I actually missed a lot of the amenities that I have previously experienced and for all around the same price brackets. I wouldn’t say the Imperial was particularly comfortable in the sense of luxury that I had at the Sofitel and when I went to look for the iron (I never usually take advantage of the iron but had a particularly creased dress) I realised there wasn’t one and had to ask at the desk, they bought one to the room with an ironing bored but it was very basic and didn’t do a great job!

I knew that my mum would drink as much coffee as me and I usually use all the little long life milks sachets in one cup (which still doesn’t provide me with my usual milky coffee) so I bought a pint of milk on the way and then realised there was no fridge in the room (even though there was plenty of room for one) so we had to finish it all off before it started to smell. It wasn’t particularly hot in the room and with it being and old building I wasn’t expecting it to have built in air con, like I have had in other hotels, but it would have been a nice touch to have a fan available for the muggy evening air. Another thing missing was a hair dryer which was apparently available at a price!

The bathroom lacked any sort of décor, it was pretty basic and could have done with having a fan as it was particularly stuffy and hot after a shower and needed to be aired out a bit before the next person could use it, but it had clean towels and running hot water.

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The rest of the hotel was pretty much the same as the room, lots of clashing colours and patterns but quite spacious if you wanted to hang out. We didn’t really make use of the bar or restaurant available as we were out most of the time but as we were on the third floor we did have the pleasure of using what can only be described as the worlds smallest and slowest lift.

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We didn’t particularly find our stay sumptuous and there was no grandeur to the Imperial hotel but we did sleep well and the staff were very friendly and helpful. There do seem to be hundreds of hotels in the Brighton area and would probably look for somewhere a bit more contemporary should I visit Brighton in the future.

If you are visiting Brighton at any point, check out my post on 13 things to do along the beachfront.

 

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

13 Things to do on Brighton sea front

As one of the closest beach resorts to London and with so much to see and do in Brighton, it is no surprise that it is such a popular hot spot for visitors, particularly on a nice summers day!

After my recent visit to attend a family wedding I thought I would put together a list of things to do should you be planning a visit in the future.

Relax and take in the views

I love a bit of people watching or just the serenity of watching the sea gently rumbling to the shore so it is perfect to just pull up a deckchair and enjoy the surroundings. Deckchairs are available for a rental charge on the beach but are free to sit on halfway down the pier. You can also enjoy the view in close up by using one of the telescopes on the pier.

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Visit the attractions

The Sealife centre is right opposite the pier and the newer British airways i360 is a replacement to the wheel that used to be pride and place on the beach. The i360 is further down the beach towards Hove and is the worlds tallest moving observation tower at 450ft high. There are also many museums dotted around with the Fishing museum actually along the seafront.

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Sunbathe on the beach

Brighton is not really known for it’s sandy beach as it is actually a very stony beach but this doesn’t stop people laying out their towels and having a sunbathe. if you are brave enough you can even take your shoes off and walk down to have a paddle and if you are lucky you will find some sand. Although I did find sand on the first day I visited, it seemed to have disappeared when I returned to dip my toes in!

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Take a selfie

Do you need an excuse to take a selfie? I personally don’t take many selfies but I certainly caught lots of others doing it and who can blame them with such a lovely backdrop. There are also lots of comical seaside face cut out boards that you can use as a prop for your holiday pics as well.

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Eat

There are plenty of places to eat but fish and chips seem to be a firm favourite and there are no shortage of shops to pick up this seaside must have. There are also lots of hot dog, donuts and crepe pop ups and we personally like the Chinese hut at the end of the pier to get noodles and fried rice followed by an ice cream on the beach.

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Fairground rides

The fair is situated right at the end of the pier and you purchase a wrist band in order to go on all the rides, there is a nice selection for all ages and it is a great way to keep youngsters entertained.

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Soft play

You may not want to spend a day trip having to watch your kids in soft play but it is an alternative to the fairground, probably easier if you have little ones. It is also at the end of the pier but is inside the arcade and surrounds the restaurant seating area so you could give yourself a well earned rest while the kids wear themselves out.

Arcades

You cannot visit a seaside resort without a little trip to the arcades! My personal favourites are the 2p machines (one day I’ll be rich enough to move to the 10p machines) and I have amassed quite a collection of tat that I have won on them. I like to put them on my book shelf as they are all quite cute and remind me of family day trips whenever I see them on there.

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Get sporty

Whether you are a keen kayaker or prefer to just watch sport on the TV you can do either in Brighton. The water had a few surfers and jet skiers and there were some fisherman down by the water but on the pier one of the bars have set up a large screen to watch the tennis which is slightly less strenuous and you can enjoy a drink or two while there.

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Get married

Brighton may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a beach side wedding but the bandstand is the perfect intimate setting to get hitched and that is exactly what my aunt chose to do. I thought it would be far from private as it is out in the open and there are people walking past but actually as it is further down the seafront towards Hove it is less busy and passers by didn’t seem to bat an eyelid.

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Cool the kids off

If you are reluctant to let the kids get in the sea in Brighton they can still cool off in the outdoor pool a short walk from the bandstand. There is also a playground next to it so plenty to keep them entertained.

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Instagram the huts

I have been to Brighton on many occasions and had never seen the beach huts before but on this visit our hotel was further down the beach at Hove and the huts were right opposite. From the back they are all one colour but the owners are allowed to paint the doors any colour they like and they look really pretty so I couldn’t resist an Instagram pic. They are also available to rent if you want to use one on your visit.

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Pick up some souvenirs

Have you even been to the seaside if you haven’t come home with a bag full of magnets, keyrings or sweet treats? We personally love a selection of sticks of rock so I always bring them back for the kids.

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I definitely made the most of my trip to Brighton, have you ever visited? What would you add to the list?

 

 

 

Posted in Food, Travel, Uncategorized

Donatello’s – Brighton

A couple of weeks ago my cousin got married in Brighton, it was a very small affair with just a few friends and family members. The weather was really miserable and it poured down throughout so she was unable to have photos on the beach like she was hoping or anywhere outside for that matter! It didn’t however dampen the mood of the occasion and the bride and groom had a joyous day regardless.

After the formalities at the registry office we had a table booked at the Italian restaurant Donatello’s situated in the heart of the picturesque Brighton lanes. I had arrived in Brighton earlier than expected with an empty stomach so actually stuffed my face not long before reaching the restaurant, I was therefore unfortunately too full to try out their delicious looking dishes.

The restaurant itself is really big and caters for weddings and corporate events. As well as the main restaurant it also has a side room where we were seated, an upstairs area, a conservatory and a roof terrace which I imagine would be amazing in the summer.

Our room was bright and airy, decorated with plants and mirrors and had low music playing in the background. Although we were in the window it felt very cosy and private.

The menu had lots of dishes on offer including a wide range of pizzas, pasta and steaks and there is a separate gluten free set menu too. The meals are very reasonably priced with 2 courses for £10 and 3 courses for £12.50.

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My mum is really not a fan of Italian food and never chooses pasta as an option but she went for the lasagne and surprisingly had no complaints, she actually said it was delicious and I must say it did look nice, I’m tempted to go back to Brighton just so I can try it!

Although I had no room for the main meal I did order a dessert (there’s always room for that!) and went for my favourite tiramisu which was served with cream and chocolate sauce.

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Everyone was happy with their food and we had around four members of staff waiting on us that were all attentive and pleasant. I would definitely pay Donatello’s another visit when in Brighton, preferably in the summer on the roof terrace.