Tag Archives: Brighton
March 5, 2012

Rooms with a stunning view: umi Brighton. Reviewed.

 

 

Winter is not the most obvious time to visit Brighton.

 

Sitting in one of the seaview rooms in umi brighton, I can see the breathtaking panorama of the world famous Brighton Pier, glinting in the midday winter sun.

It’s very peaceful and calm though- a far cry from the frenetic buzz of Brighton in the summer.

 

The world famous Brighton Pier.Just a 2 minute walk from umi Brighton

 

It’s an iconic view.

Without doubt one of the most iconic views to savour on a holiday in the British Isles.

 

I spend a good hour just admiring the view, listening to the sound of the waves, seagulls.

Holidays are made of moments like this.

 

 

Double Room, ensuite. From just £50 with breakfast in the rate. Bargain.

 

 

Best thing was the room was all mine for just £65.

 

A steal compared to the bigger 4 star hotels along the Brighton seafront.

If you don’t need a room with a view, the rate for a double room, ensuite in midweek goes down to the £50 mark in Spring.

 

The rooms are all ensuite- bathrooms are clean but a bit tired. For the price, you can’t complain.

Rates include a generous buffet breakfast ( You can help yourself to cereals,juice, toast, yoghurts, croissants & a full English Breakfast which really power you through your day) which is served till Midday in the adjoining Little Bay restaurant.

Add to that the provision of free wifi and you have all the elements of a very comfortable but economical stay.

The staff are all hospitality management trainees who are keen to help, whether needing directions to all the famous landmarks or help printing off your boarding pass.

The hotel also has a swanky bar which runs happy hour deals like 2 for 1 cocktails so perfect place to start your night out in Brighton.

I dined on one of the nights at the hotel’s onsite opera themed restaurant- Little Bay.

I was seated in a little opera booth overlooking the rest of the restaurant that is completely made up of little opera booths -a very original and fun idea.

The food is very reasonably priced ( Mussels for starters were half price- £1.98!) service attentive and great atmosphere plus being serenaded by a live opera singer- nice touch.

However I must admit on the night, the food was pretty average.

 

I would suggest trying out some of the area’s excellent gastropubs like The Cricketers in the nearby historic Lanes, one of the oldest pubs in Brighton.

 

2 course lunch for £5 at Sukhothai- awesome Thai resto on doorstep of umi Brighton

 

Or you go to Sukhothai on Middle Street just 5 minutes walking distance from the hotel- excellent thai restaurant which does a brilliant 2 course lunch for just £5 and serves excellent Singha Beer.
Verdict

Clean comfortable beds, ensuite, buffet breakfast and friendly customer service make umi Brighton an excellent base for a shortbreak in Brighton.

 

Top tips

 

  1. Book in advance and aim for a midweek stay to get the best rates.
  2. I didn’t get a chance to check it out but all residents get free access to the nearby Lanes leisure club and pool. Great add-on.
  3. Definitely splurge extra £££ and get yourself one of the superior seaview rooms.
  4. For tips about cool stuff to do in Brighton check out my earlier posts of how to enjoy 48 Hours in Brighton on a budget with a focus on the streetart scene in Brighton,  feature on me discovering Dali’s famous Mae West Lipsofa and also looking at the story behind Cassette Lord.

 

umi Hotel Brighton, 64 Kings Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NA

Contact details: +44 (0)1273 323221

Email: [email protected]

Web: umihotelbrighton.co.uk

 

February 8, 2012

Iphoneography: 48 Hours in Brighton

 

 

Brighton is probably the most colourful city I’ve walked around in.

Everywhere I look, this is a city truly inspired….
Encouraging its citizens to express their talent and giving them a license  to entertain

 

Whether it’s a dude random playing on his rickety piano in the middle of the street….

 

Brighton: Let me entertain you

 

Old Tire Swingers

 

Or the cool local band- Old Tire Swingers…..a traditional old time string band music.

[ Check them out at http://www.facebook.com/oldtireswingers  ]

 

Brighton is very nonconformist- a label that I think it revels in.….

 

Coppers Kissing: Banksy in Brighton

 

This is summed none better than Bansky’s iconic Kissing Coppers on the side of the Prince Albert pub.

Unfortunately because of vandalism issues, the original has been shipped off to New York but visitors can still see the replica in the exact same spot.

 

Brighton breathtaking streetart scene is very much ingrained in the city’s DNA: It’s streetart is a form of expression that imprints the city with the spirit of its artists.

Here are some images from my walkabout around town : Enjoy.

 

 

January 31, 2012

48 hours in Brighton – Checking out Mae West’s lips & other highlights

 

 

9:30am 24th January 2012.

 

Early in the morning.

I’m at the Brighton Seafront walking along the beach to the Pier.

It’s winter.

It’s a unique , moving experience seeing a beach in the winter.

 

Large and noisy part of the local population, The Seagulls are very much a key feature of Brighton with the local football club nicknamed the 'Seagulls'

 

 

The waves roll in and keep receding with that same mesmerising rhythm.

It’s sunny.

There is no warmth on offer.

Still, the winter sky is the clearest you will see.

A piercing blue that will sterilise the foggiest, darkest thoughts of winter.
The bracing wintry sea breeze is an icy facial- painful yet bringing me to my senses and quite exhilirating.

The sand is not powdery warm and soft as in summer.

Slightly thicker and clumpier, rich in moisture but still pristinely clean, the beach has a certain austere beauty.

 

Brighton Pier. 26th January 2012. 9:30am

 

 

Even in winter, the Brighton Pier looked stunning.

 

I got lucky taking the shot above:  just as I approached the sun was breaking through the clouds.

However seeing the Pier empty , without the masses of people, an air of melancholy sweeps over me.

I suddenly wish summer was around the corner.

Then as I depart the Pier, the sun suddenly hides beneath the clouds and the rain comes from nowhere.

Welcome to my 48 hours in Brighton, possibly one of the few, truly original classic British seaside resorts in existence.

Help is at hand from the sweeping waves of rain.

A quick brisk walk from the seafront brings me into the narrow maze of Brighton’s historic Lanes which offer some protection from the elements.

Originally the heart of the old fishing town of Brighthelmstone, the Lanes are now home to a heady mix of antiques, expensive jewellery and upmarket fashion labels.

 

 

From left clockwise 1) Armand Albert Rateau's Day Bed and Screen 2) Mae West Lips sofa- Dali 3) Max Le Verrier table lamp

 

1130am

After a brief wonder my next stop is a hot date at Brighton Museum + Art Gallery ( £ Free entry) with Mae West.

 

Mae West’s lips to be specific.

I’m here at the Museum to check out it’s prized exhibit, one of the 20th century’s most sensuous and iconic pieces of furniture: the Mae West lips sofa by Salvador Dali

My first impression was like ‘Wow’

It’s not something I expected to see in Brighton.

The story behind the lips sofa is an interesting one.

The sofa was a collaboration between Dali and Sussex based, wealthy art collector- Edward James.

James, with the help of Dali transformed Monkton House, a Lutyens Dower house on his family’s West Dean estate in Sussex into an extravaganza of surreal fantasy.

In hindsight now at the time of writing, it is no surprise to see Dali’s works in Brighton.

I am not sure if Dali ever visited Brighton.

He would felt very much at home and enjoyed visiting this quirky, eccentric and very alternative city.

 

Other highlights of my visit to the Museum was a cracking Art Deco exhibition where I got the chance to see fantastic works like Armand Albert Rateau’s Day Bed and Screen.

Rateau studied cabinet making at the Ecole Boulle and worked for number of wealthy private clients like fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin and the composer Cole Porter.

Other quirky Art Deco pieces that caught my eye included the cool table lamp circa 1925 designed by and made by Max Le Verrier.

There’s something about Art Nouveau art-really exudes class and sophistication.

 

 

The Royal Pavilion: Architectural icon and Brighton's most enduring image

 

12:30pm

Attached to the Brighton Museum is the Royal Pavilion -possibly the most dazzling and exotic buildings in Britain.

Dali surely would have approved of this place.

Unfortunately at the time of my visit, the Pavilion was closed for refurbishment.

‘You either love it or hate it’

 

was how Chris Giles, resident of the city for 30 years and part of the city’s fantastic Greeter scheme,  summed up the Pavilion.

The Greeter allows visitors the chance to be shown around the city by a local greeter for free.

It’s a fantastic idea and in Chris, I had the perfect local guide- extremely passionate about the city’s cultural and artistic heritage.

Chris’s indepth knowledge, insight into the history of every crook and corner in Brighton really made a big difference to the Brighton experience.

Like helping me discover the Brighton’s awesome streetart scene- something I will share with you in my next instalment of my 48 hours in Brighton.

The essentials

Brighton’s Greeter Tours is a free service provided by Visit Brighton and operate from the Brighton Visitors Centre.

For more information or to book a tour (it’s best to book 7-days in advance) check-out Visit Brighton’s website.

I stayed at the uber cool hip budget hotel – umi Brighton where you can get a double room, ensuite for as little as £40 with breakfast in the off peak season. Review of my stay here will appear later in the series.

 

Thank you!

A big thank you to Visit Brighton and Steve Lowy for making this trip a reality and sponsoring our stay

A big hug and thanks to the the awesome #GoBrighton team of bloggers: Julie Falconer from a Lady in London blog, Nicole Lee Smith from Bitten by the Travel Bug, Simon Falvo from Wild About Travel, Sophie Collard from Sophie on Track and last but not least Dylan Lowe the Traveling Editor

 

Disclaimer:  This trip was sponsored by Visit Brighton and umi Hotels but the views represented here are entirely my own

 

 

 

January 27, 2012

Brighton Pier : Photograph of the week

 

Two photographs of Brighton Pier from my trip this week.

 

Even in Winter, the Pier looks stunning.

 

Brighton Pier. 26th January 2012. 9:30am : First time I saw the sun in two days there. Luckily just as I arrived at the Pier, sun started breaking through the clouds.

 

Large and noisy part of the local population, The Seagulls are very much a key feature of Brighton with the local football club nicknamed the 'Seagulls'


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