On Sunday we packed up our lives and left Brighton, the city that has welcomed us into her heart for the past 10 months. We arrived when Gubbins was just 3 weeks old, expectant and excited about our time in this remarkable city. We were fresh, green parents with no idea of the impact that this momentous life change would have on us.
It was probably a bit ambitious to settle in a city where we knew nobody at this fragile stage of our lives. But every time we have hit a wall or got sucked into a pit, we have found a warm heart to guide us through. So a big thank you to all of my wonderful friends who invited me to coffee when I was shy and isolated, gave me a hug in Sainsbury’s as I cried over the milk and generally just shared and cared and laughed and listened. I feel truly blessed. And thank you Brighton, you did not disappoint.
For anyone new to this great city, I thought I would capture some of my top Brighton picks:
For people who like to eat:
Fishmekan for delicious fish dishes that you have never heard of, but will wonder where they have been your whole life.
Food for Friends for vegetarian food so good that even a carnivore will eat it.
Depending on which part of Brighton you are living in Bills, Baked or Kooks for a great breakfast or brunch when you can’t be bothered to smash the avocado or balance tha pancake stack.
Franco Manca for tasty fast pizza and a seemingly endless supply of tables.
Marrocco’s on the promenade for the best gelato in town.
Under the Bridge baby music lessons were simply the best. The wonderful Jackie and her henchman Henry sing so loudly and enthusiastically that you can sit quietly sipping a hot cup of tea if you need to – but it’s way more fun to join in.
Howl Choir – because singing “Wind the Bobbin Up” one more time was going to explode my mind, I found this great choir for adults. They summarise it best on their website: No need to audition. No need to read music. Just a chance to belt out some top tunes. Pre-school little howlers also welcome. You sing, they play.
For parents who enjoy music:
Hove Promenade Park Run is a free 5k ever Saturday morning at 9:00am on Hove Lawns. It’s a great way to get fit again, or just have an early morning stroll, because there is such a wide range of running enthusiasts.
Busy Lizzy for BYOB (bring your own baby) fitness classes. A good place to make friends who will motivate you to get out of the house and will happily join you for cake once you have succeeded.
For parents who like to move:
Little Dippers swimming classes for really fun time with your baba. It took Gubbins a little while to appreciate the water, but since the penny dropped, bath times and swim times are his favourite parts of the day. In addition, it’s a nice place to meet friends who are willing to go out for a coffee and a rant after the classes.
Lucy’s Angels baby massage classes should in fact be called “Lucy the Angel” because she is such a lovely, positive person who radiates calm.
For quality time with baby:
Brighton Library – probably where I spent most of my time. I simply LOVE this place. An oasis when you are a frantic mum looking for somewhere to feed and change a screaming baby. A brilliant kids’ section with books and a play area and a cafe selling good coffee for the mums.
St Anne’s Wells Park and The Level – two great parks for hanging out when it is warm and both have cosy cafes if the weather turns nasty (The Level even has a soft play area)
The kids splash pool and playground on the promenade and of course the sea!