I grew up on the south coast of England. Brighton was a place that was always close by, but for whatever reason seemed too big and too far for my teenage brain to comprehend.
Last year, for his birthday, I bought my husband a night photography course along Brighton seafront.
And, as part of my new way forward to clear any FOMO from being a travel writer, I booked up a cheap room at the Jury’s Inn by Brighton train station.
The thinking behind it was that we would load the kids up on the train and go. Incidentally, we ended up taking the car for the 1.5-hour drive and parked overnight at the Trafalgar Street carpark for £16.
FRIDAY – Simple Sleeps & Mexican Eats
The sky was as blue as the tropics, but for a February Friday afternoon it was bitterly cold. We had a few ideas of places we wanted to eat but, recommended by a colleague, we headed to the nearby North Laine to the brightly coloured frontage of La Choza.
|La Choza, Gloucester Road|
Billed as Mexican street food, the décor is as vibrant as its Brighton clientele and there was something to look at wherever you turned. The baby was presented with some toys and the eldest with some colouring in, complete with sugar skulls, Our Lady Guadalupe and all things Mexicana.
Chomping on some homemade tortillas, guac and pico de gallo we took a look at the simple, but perfectly formed menu.
I ordered the soft tacos with deep fried fish, complete with habanero salsa, hubby opted for the spicy beef burrito with chipotle salsa and the eldest got a chicken quesadilla, complete with pico de gallo (something really hard to find in the UK). Because it was a holiday as well we went for Agua Fresca and a Lime and Mint fizzy drink. So LUSH.
Then for dessert, we went for churros, chocolate churros, dulce de leche and some hibiscus ice-cream. The toddler got somewhat defensive over the ice-cream and chocolate churros, but we managed to snaffle some and they were spot-on.
|Casual skulls are de rigeur in Mexico|
The staff were amazing (big shout out to Ruby who made such a fuss of the kids) and the vibe, and food, were as good as Mexico itself. Total cost of the meal was around the £45 mark, so a damn sight cheaper than a flight over to Cancun.
We then sauntered back to the hotel and I attempted to placate the kids to go to sleep as G went and did his photography. It was a right nightmare, trying to settle the pair of them and by the time I managed to, he returned cold and with some chocolate buttons to replenish us after our tricky (but rewarding) evenings.
SATURDAY – Pancakes, street art and exploration
We woke up early (because we have kids and that’s unfortunately what they do *sob*) after a relatively comfortable night’s sleep. The reason I picked the hotel wasn’t just because of location but, often when I stay places, we never actually spend a lot of time at the hotel. I’d rather spend money on eating, exploring and generally doing stuff. Due to this it was a pretty straightforward hotel and managed to book a family room for £63 which is pretty good going.
We were up and dressed by about 9:30am and headed down towards the Pavilion where The Breakfast Club Brighton is situated.
|The Breakfast Club Brighton - Market Street|
I will always try and avoid “chain” restaurants, but I’ve noticed in the last few years there’s been a rise of chain restaurants and bars with a slight difference. Think places like The Alchemist, Dirty Bones, 7BoneBurger etc. They are hipster/foodie vibed places, totally “millennial”, but serve brilliant food and replicate that quality where they go.
The Breakfast Club has a tendency to get busy and this morning was no exception, it was also -7 outside with a baby and a toddler. The wait was around 15 minutes and outside. There was a lot of grumbling between the grown-ups but because we’d been in already the toddler refused to leave.
Thankfully we didn’t need to wait long, and in that time the queue had become insane. The staff opened the upstairs floor and we had loads of more space for both kids, and allowed me, hands-free, to snap away at the décor before it got too hectic.
|The famous, Instagram friendly mugs|
I got a bit “brunch blind” and struggled to choose. Each item on the menu, savoury or sweet, looked insanely good. R, the toddler, chose pancakes with berries and vanilla cream, G chose the “Elvis Waffles” complete with peanut butter, greek yoghurt, grilled bananas and a side of rock’n’roll, I went for the Beer Cheese Benedict, complete with pulled pork and pickled red cabbage.
Two mugs of simple filter coffee to chase down the calories as well.
Just wow, I was expecting to be disappointed. I was expecting it all to be fluffed up, Instagram hype but my god… what a breakfast. It was an unexpected triumph and the eggs were cooked perfectly (a feat in itself). Managed to snaffle a bit of the pancakes when R wasn’t looking, and I think I died and went to heaven with that mixture of strawberries and vanilla cream.
All in all the meal cost a total of £30.20, without a tip and as far as brunch goes? It was a banger. Plus the music playing sounded as if it was lifted straight from my iTunes account, and well… the décor speaks for itself in the photos.