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Monday, 29 June 2015

Heart-warming Wedding

' "...Course we'll be married. I've never been married before." Well, I had to laugh, hug and squeeze her: never been married before! '

The chiming of church bells and metal spoons tapping glasses echoes through my mind as I recall the spirited celebration, mirroring the rumble of laughter present on the day. Not only did the event bring out the inner romantic within us all, but the sun was brought out by best wishes for the couple to have the perfect day.
A tranquil ambience rang through the church, as the organ guided the incandescent bride and father arm-in-arm down the aisle, accompanied by two bridesmaids - whom clearly had her back, best interests and trailing veil. Without an ounce of negativity or doubt, the ceremony proceeded with uplifting hymns and the three letters that bound the couple together lifelong. 

Acting as a palimpsest of past events - be it weddings, dinners or anniversaries - the bridge to the hotel lead us into the wondrous afternoon and evening. Greeted by champagne and the recently married couple, congratulations were in order alongside photographs and mingling with the other guests.

The ascend into the dining area began and as we retreated to our name places, introductions were made between guests. Streaks of purple ran a theme throughout the room, with organza runners brightening the pristine white tablecloths and various glasses accumulating light rays and swirling them into patterns on the ceiling.

Four appetising courses later, when our stomachs began bulging and when restrained to our seats, the speeches were in order. The Father of the Bride, Groom, Best-man and Ushers maintained the humorous and emotional ambience fitting to the event.  

As the tangerine glow gradually descended to conceal its warmth in the trees surrounding the venue, other visitors (including my boyfriend and my brothers girlfriend) arrived for the evening party held in the basement of the hotel. Out onto the balcony, the chatter carried along the waves of the lake and entwined with the steady beats of the first dance; and the other songs unfurling into the night.

As I blog this post, I not only extend my huge congratulations to the newly wed couple, but I also raise a glass to the many that have learnt to love one another in the moments that aren't as easy. 
To my parents, whom have been lovingly married for 32 years, I raise a toast to you. 
To the millions of couples that never let the honeymoon phase end.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Brighton Rock(s)

"...out on the coast, there was a time it could've been different..."

"I can see the sea!!"
 A Mother-Daughter trip away for a couple of nights had been arranged and was thus the motivation for my exam revision... 

Leeds -> London -> Brighton...
Gone were the endless fields of buttercups out the train window and instead we were greeted by the city with a coast not yet visible. Peculiar though it may seem, within just under an hour train journey from London one can escape the bustling city in exchange for a peaceful stroll along Brighton Pier, ice-cream in hand.

Upon our arrival into this diverse city, it felt as though Summer had declared it's presence also, as the sun shone through streets to reveal the sea shore.

The Flour Pot served a fab iced frap...
Inside - the cafe had a great vibe
Bacon Sarnie to kickstart the day...
Not quite the Breakfast at Tiffany's
Holly Golightly would have had in
 More than anything, our few days away were a food fest. The extensive array of cafes and restaurants were suitable for anyone (it's a vegans and veggies' paradise!). 
Smoothies, Frappe's, and cakes galore during the day before our two nights of fine dining in the evening were the perfect combo.

Our first evening was spent in Côte, a French Brasserie where I indulged in a typically French "Steak et Frites" (accompanied by a glass of rosé). Sited in the old music library, the gentle murmur of voices combined harmoniously well with the darkly candlelit room.
As my Mum is a vegetarian (and owner of a veggie blog), we booked a table at Terre à Terre for our last night - a Michelin-star veggie restaurant which will transform anyones opinion about Vegetarian food being boring... Not only was the Churrosimo a divine pudding, but the clever take on fish and chips with battered halloumi instead was mouth watering!

In-between our mouthfuls of food, we managed to squeeze in a few cultural experiences. The impressive Royal Pavilion, King George IV's fantasy palace with Indian and Chinese elements merged, was breath taking and the audio tour allowed an insight into the many mistresses he bedded and the grand banquets he held in the decadent hall.
Having a couple of hours to kill on the Friday before our train, a quick stop was also made at the Brighton Museum/Art Gallery.             The paintings reflected the changing conditions for women over time and "encouraged the viewer to question whether gender matters when interpreting art".

Whilst shopping, a man approached us and asked if he could draw me. Hesitant yet intrigued, I was persuaded when he claimed he could do it within 100 seconds (as he drew catwalk models on runways and therefore had to be quick). 

As the charcoal hit the paper on the clipboard I was holding, I was amazed at how talented he was at 'capturing the moment'. Once done, I handed over a small donation in exchange for the drawing, which shall be framed in my room.

Our trip also involved a stroll along the pier, pit-stopping halfway in some of the deck chairs looking out onto the beach, before catching some rays on the beach for half an hour (yes, it was actually hot enough to in England!).

The City with a Sea; it's ideal just for a "Daycation" from London. Brighton, you served us well with a relaxing few days after a stressful few months and I shall be leaving here with fond memories (and a pocketful of pebbles).