A couple of weeks ago, I took my first trip to Brighton for my birthday weekend.
It's a place people go on and on about and so many love, so I was really looking forward to it.
After to everything I've been going through recently it was the perfect escape from London and opportunity to slow the pace and take time to relax.
We arrived Saturday morning and had a cooked breakfast looking over the beach, followed by a stroll along the pier. Sitting and chatting on the pier was the perfect place to be able to mull over my thoughts and clear out some of the things that have been contributing to my state of mind over the last couple of months.
I loved The Lanes, although they weren't what I expected at all. They're such a maze of cute little shops and great to wander. I've got to say, I loved the way such a huge proportion of the shops in Brighton are independent. All the usual chains were there, but the overall feel was a very independent one with so many interesting things to explore.
We also enjoyed cupcakes at Angel Food Bakery, which I wish was closer as I'm ready to go again now, please!
As the weather got cloudier, we headed into the Sea Life Aquarium. We timed it a bit badly as we were surrounded by the loudest, rudest huge group of 15 year-old tourists which ruined it a little bit, but it's a great aquarium and you could spend a long time there on a rainy day.
After heading back to relax, we ate out at Ask in the nearby Burgess Hill, which had the loveliest staff and the food was delicious.
With the weather fairly patchy, we chose to have a slow Sunday morning before making the journey back to London.
Although I had a fairly quiet weekend, I really enjoyed the break from London and the chance to finally see Brighton.
I've got to say, I don't think I would rave about it quite as much as some people do - it wouldn't rank among my favourite places, but the independent feel, The Lanes and the beach combine to make a really unique and interesting city.