Our Brighton Staycation!

Press trip

Hi guys! So if you follow us on Instagram @our.london.life you will know that we recently went on a little trip to Brighton. We had so much fun and I have to say it’s one of the most family locations with so much to do. It’s also great for Vegans like myself!

TRAVEL AND PARKING

Jai’s wonderful Cargoseat

The parking situation for us was not great. I normally am very good at pre-booking or at least planning where we are going to park, but I didn’t do my research on this occasion! Our first stop was the beach and the closest parking I could find was the NCP – car park which ended up costing me £32 for 4 hrs. *falls to the floor*

Our hotel parking was £15 per day in the Brighton station car park, which is opposite the hotel. I should have parked there to begin with and taken a £5 cab to the beach – but we live and learn!

Ive found a few parking sites and car parks around Brighton which seem affordable and will give you a few options. You can check them out below:

https://www.justpark.com/

https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/parking/car-parks

https://jollyexplorer.com/free-parking-in-brighton-and-the-cheapest/

BRIGHTON PIER

Our first stop of this trip was to the iconic Brighton palace pier. It’s holds so many memories for me as a child so I was so excited to bring the kids back here. You will find all of the things you’d expect of a good seaside pier. Hot donuts, candy floss, souvenir shops, rides and arcades. There is even a vegan takeaway!! Dreams made!

Our main reason for visiting the pier was the rides. Jai and Mila have become little thrill seekers recently and love all kinds of rides. I purchased wristbands for them both which cost me just over £20. The wristbands allow you to go on unlimited rides for 2.5hrs. We only had 40 mins until we had to leave for our lunch reservation so we tried to fit in as many as possible in this time.

I was really disappointed with the range of rides available for the kids. Mila is around 80cm tall and Jai is just under 1.2m. There were simple fairground rides such as the cars that go round and round, and Mila was too small and Jai was too tall. They both couldn’t go on the bouncy castle either. You have to be between 90cm-110cm to go on, which I find very strange. I would understand if Jai was 10 years old, but he’s 5.

We went on three rides in total, the dragon ride (which was fab so we went on three times) the carousel and Jai went on the trampolines (Mila was too small.) Jai could have also gone on the helter shelter but chose not to. Overall, I definitely wouldn’t buy the wristbands again, I would rather just pay for a couple of suitable rides.

PUREZZA

It was then time to head for lunch at Purezza, which is about a 3 minute walk from Brighton pier! They have another branch in Camden too if you are desperate to try one of their yummy pizzas! This is a vegan restaurant, and it was so nice for me to be able to go somewhere and just eat whatever I want (except mushrooms of course. Mushrooms are the devil)

The service was warm and friendly, and the waiter was wearing a face mask. I was helped by her to make a decision on the food and she gave me her own recommendations. The restaurant was busy, which for me is always a good sign, but still well spaced out and social distancing was maintained. There are tables inside and out. You also have the option to get a takeaway if you’d prefer and enjoy on the beach!

We went for some marinated olives as a starter (Mila’s fave) and for my main I opted for ‘the one with tomatoes’ pizza and dough balls for a side. The dough balls were so divine and full of gooey (vegan) cheesy deliciousness. Mila had a Mac and cheese and Jai had a Margherita pizza, they both demolished all of their meals. And did I mention, KIDS EAT FREE?!

I haven’t stopped going on about my pizza but I can’t help it. It’s the best I’ve ever had! If you’re a vegan you are going to be in heaven. If you’re not a vegan you’re going to be in heaven. Lovely food, lovely service and kids eat free. Winner!

SEA LIFE

It was then time for us to cross the road and head to Sea life Brighton. Located just outside of Brighton palace pier, it is the oldest operating aquarium in the world. It’s full of history, beauty and of course amazing sea creatures. We have visited Sea life Birmingham, Sea life London and even the one in Paris (to name a few) and I think this one maybe our favourite – although I like them all for different reasons.

You have to book your slot online like a lot of attractions at the moment. We went for the last slot of the day at 2.45pm, and it closes at 4pm – so I thought this was just enough time for us. And it was perfect – especially due to it being so quiet. I absolutely loved that we only saw maybe 2 or 3 other families during our visit. It puts you at ease in terms of social distancing but also you can look at the creatures at your own leisure without feeling rushed to move on to the next thing.

The kids favourite was the Rain forest adventure, especially for Jai who got to get up close and personal to his fave animal – turtles. I really loved the beautiful Victorian arcade, which lights up in different colours. I feel like it’s a cute little homage to the rainbow flag which is synonymous with Brighton.

Keep an eye out for offers on packs of Carex soap and sanitiser where you can receive 50% off your tickets, or selected packs of Kellogg’s cereals and snack bars where adults go free.

Below are the standard online prices. Click here to book your slot

JURYS INN HOTEL

They are two Jurys Inn hotels in Brighton; Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront which is directly on the sea front and Jurys Inn Brighton which is where we stayed. It is about a 2 minute walk from Brighton station so super convenient if you are travelling by train. You are also really central in Brighton and not far from any of the attractions/ shopping etc.

The entrance and lobby area of the hotel is really modern and has a lovely design. We checked in and the kids were given little activity packs which included games, a puzzle and colouring. They were able to sit down and enjoy those whilst I checked in which was a nice touch. The check in is behind a screen and your contact with anyone is really limited which is good. You are provided with an envelope containing your room cards, and other info you may need for your stay.

Jurys Inn are ensuring the safety of their guests and staff through the stay safe, stay happy 5 points.

We headed up to our room on the 1st floor via the lifts which are one family/group per lift to ensure social distancing. They are also currently spacing out rooms as much as possible.

I absolutely loved our family room. It contained a large bespoke DREAM bed which was so comfy. The pillows were especially nice too. There is then a sofa bed which is all put together and made for you prior to your arrival which is really nice too.

The bathroom was a good size and really clean and modern. We had a kettle with a variety of teas and coffee, a TV, iron and ironing board as well as a hair dryer. Everything you need for your stay basically. How beautiful is the brighton themed art too?

We were invited to check out their new family package which includes a treasure hunt of the town which you access through an app, as well as a movie night with complementary hot chocolates for the kids and dinner included in one night of your stay.

We ordered room service to our room and it arrived on a tray wrapped in clingfilm, which is another reassuring thing. The kids meals were really good portion size and they couldn’t finish them all (mummy had to help😋)

We then headed down to our movie reservation which is included in the family package. They have turned their meeting rooms into movie rooms – kitted out with a projector and lots of comfy seats. You get the room to yourself and you can chose which family movie you’d like to watch out of their list of options. It was so lovely having a little cinema to ourselves where the kids could run free if they needed to and we wouldn’t be bothering other people. We brought in snacks and thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and family time together. This was one of my favourite parts of the whole stay, and I really think it’s such a lovely idea!

The following morning, mila rudely woke me up at 7am requesting Peppa pig on my phone 😂 I put that on for her and looked outside of our door, as I told our breakfast would be left there. And it was! Little bags of CRUSH breakfasts – containing chocolate crossaints, seasonal fruit pots, yoghurts and fresh juice. A really nice, and quiet healthy, continental style breakfast. A lovely way to start the day.

Check out was as simple as dropping off our room keys into a little box on the way out. Check out is also at 12pm which I find more generous than many other hotels we’ve stayed at. It avoided any rush.

If you’d like to check out the Jurys Inn family packages – click here!

I went and put our luggage back in our car, parked directly opposite the hotel, and then walked about 2 mins to the train station where there is a taxi rank located. The taxi would then take us to our next destination……

WEST BEACH BAR AND KITCHEN

We had a lunch reservation booked for 12.30pm to enjoy a lunch with a view at the West beach bar and kitchen. It is directly below the BA i360, and next to the upside down house and of course right on the beach. So there’s plenty to do in this area and is a fab spot for lunch.

They serve seaside favourites such as fish and chips, but as I’m vegan I ordered the Vegan Moroccan burger! Wow it was delicious! It was full of flavour, fresh salad and in a brioche bun. The kids had the kids meals which were good value for money, and everything is served in takeaway boxes due to the current situation.

Overall a good experience with helpful staff. There is seating indoors and outside too and like I said, the view of the West pier and the beach made it even nicer.

BA i360

The BA i360 was something new for all of us. It is Brighton’s equivalent to the London eye – but also extremely unique. You board your ‘flight’ 20-30 mins before your departure time, and have a quick temperature and bag check. Once this is done you have some time to take a seat and enjoy the views, and watch the i360 float gently back down. There is a bar available with drinks and snacks whilst you wait too. Look at this cute seahorse gingerbread we bought from there!

We saw the previous group depart and then the pod was sanitised quickly by multiple staff before it was our turn to get on.

The pod is divided into sections to ensure social distancing. Only one person/ household/ group should stay within that section at any one time. You are free to move around the pod to take in all of the 360° views, but just stand in a section where no one else is at that time. There are also plenty of seats if you need a little rest!

I had a glass of wine during the experience, from the on board sky bar. You can choose to book a ticket with champagne included or buy it separately on board.

The experience in total lasts for around 25 minutes, and although it feels like the time goes quickly, I don’t really think you’d need any longer.

You must book online. Click here to visit the BA i360 website.

BRIGHTON BEACH AND ARCADES

We spent the last couple of hours enjoying the beach (even though it’s pebbles the kids enjoyed playing with them!) I rented a deck chair for £3 which I used here and there throughout the day. As long as you keep your receipt with you, they will just come and check it.

We also went to the old time amusements, which is where I used to go when I was little. The machines are pretty much all 20p each and although they are a little bit creepy, we had fun!

We headed back to the pier for one last time to grab a vegan hot dog and to go in the arcades. We also bought some souvenirs for our family and friends.

It was such a wonderful trip, exhausting but wonderful. Thank you to all businesses who invited us along during our press trip and for helping us make many more memories! Brighton – We will be back! x

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