This fleeting trip to Brighton came about as my mom booked an impromptu visit to London from Vancouver. I was not able to get any holiday time booked off, so we decided why not spend a day at the beach and pretend I was on holiday!
We took the train out of Victoria station around 11am and were excited to arrive in Brighton before noon! We had skipped breakfast with the knowledge that we had a food filled day ahead, so we were pretty hungry for lunch and decided to walk from the station to V-Bites, as it was near the beach which was our next stop. It was a nice level of busy, with a few tables free, so we grabbed one by the window. The decor was simple, cute cafe style and had a little shop area with shelves and refrigerated vegan groceries, which was nice to look through. I ended up bringing home a can of condensed coconut milk, as I know my fiancé used to enjoy a café bombón before going vegan. Since we were at the seaside I thought it was appropriate to get some to-fish and chips and my mom went for the burger. My to-fish was delicious and somehow had that perfect flakey texture to it.
After V-bites we went for a walk on the beach and then onto the pier. The pier sort of reminded me of Coney Island somehow, being the good kind of tacky and making you feel like you’ve been transported to a previous era simultaneously. We then wandered around the lanes and ogled vintage clothing and jewelry that we couldn’t afford for a while. Around 3pm the sun decided to come out and we thought ice cream was in order. My mom had seen on the internet somewhere, a place with “the best” vegan gelato in the world, so off we went to Boho Gelato. I was a bit skeptical at first when we got there because there was a huge line and no signs advertising vegan anything. Lucky for me, my mom convinced me to wait in the line and ask at the counter. Turns out they had tons of vegan flavours. I chose mojito and it was just as refreshing as it sounds, then a scoop of peanut butter salted caramel, which truly was one of the best ice creams I have ever tried.
The rest of the afternoon was spent dipping our toes in the ocean and drinking Pimms on the beach, the perfect pastime. We left the beach bar around 7:30 to so we could walk to Rootcandi where we had reservations for 8pm.
I hadn’t heard of Rootcandi before a few brilliant folks recommended it to me on Instagram. When we arrived it was a nice level of busy, enough people that we could check out what the food looked like but quiet enough that it felt like a calm oasis in comparison to the happenings at the beach bar. The staff were all so friendly and welcoming. We had some delicious cocktails and since they were smaller share plates, we ordered basically everything on the menu – which was really great because it relieved me of having to decide what to have. The food was so delicious, different to any other vegan restaurant I have tried. I am still dreaming of the steamed buns filled with grilled plum and mushrooms. As if we hadn’t had enough, we also shared a chocolate ganache torte, which myself and the waitstaff both assured my mom was fine because vegan food is healthy… An absolutely great spot, I would like to go back very soon please.
After dinner we walked back up to the train station and managed to get on the 11pm train back to London, which sadly was not as quick or quiet as the journey down. All in all I would have loved to spend a few days down by the beach but I did find it was close and different enough to London that a day trip really did the trick in terms of feeling like I had been on a lovely beach holiday.
I would love to go back for a few days exploring more in-depth and write a post with my top vegan finds, so look out for that in the future but for now, all I’ve got is some ideas on how to spend a solid mini beach getaway and some love and longing for Brighton seaside.