In recent months I've been lucky enough to experience some great places both far (Vietnam, Singapore, Kenya) and near (the glorious Kent and Sussex countryside near our new home). Postcard from... is a new series of personal travel highlights (with lots of food thrown in, of course), and cafe recommendations. Hope you like it!
First up is Brighton. J and I took a day-break from wedding planning back in May to head down to the coast. We were there for the start of the Brighton Festival, a month-long celebration of art, culture, and - it transpired - the occasional busker in a frock coat playing a kazoo and frightening the locals.
Unfortunately it was bucketing with rain, so we spent much of the day darting between cafes in inadequate flip flops. Luckily, Brighton is crammed with quality coffee shops - from the boho charms of Tic Toc, to the futuristic lab feel of the excellent Small Batch. When I wasn't puddle-dodging, or turning my umbrella back the right way, I did manage to enjoy a few indoor arty highlights, including the Peter Blake Art Bus, a double decker full of Blake's pop-art creations, and a church hall which had been transformed with a strangely beautiful rainbow of mens' shirts. Next year I'll plan a visit properly to take in some of the big theatre, literature and comedy events. Oh, and take a change of footwear.
Cafe of the Trip: Tic Toc Cafe
Tic Toc Cafe resembles a colourful Amsterdam Coffee House without the special cigarettes. The yellow walls with patchwork panels, multicoloured giant letters, robots, and pink plastic bunnies on the counter all create a cosy, fun and not-too-precious feel. Grab a seat in the window to watch shoppers and beach-goers passing by. A silky soya cappucino and a huge sourdough sarnie stuffed with avocado will set you up for an afternoon of exploring the Lanes, lazing on the beach, or driving the Dodgems on the Pier.
Tic Toc, 53 Meeting House Lane, The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1HB
With thanks to festival sponsors Alpro.