Brighton Rock

As an (half) Australian, I’m fairly certain I have an affection for the beach genetically coded in my DNA structure. Growing up, the long summers would be filled with early morning swims in the ocean, sunsets spent collecting shells or lying on the sand and school excursions spent learning to sail or snorkel off the coast. The sand is always fluffy and white, the water blue and the days hot enough that lying on the beach in a bikini is logical.

By contrast England, for all its great virtues, is not so blessed on the oceanic front. The water looks sort of cold and steely, instead of fluffy sand there are actual pebbles, and where there should be tiny little alfresco cafes and juice bars there are usually fun fair rides and old-fashioned sweets shops and the garish sound of retro arcade games. But you know what? It’s those colourful stripey deckchairs (for lounging on in lieu of white sand), the sound of those vintage rides, the smell of ice cream and boiled sweets, and the British determination to ‘make do’ and enjoy what they’ve got no matter the weather that makes the English seaside so wonderful.

Because there is no beach near London or Cambridge, the Clever Boyfriend and I had never, in our four and a half years living here, taken a trip to the English seaside before (although I had been with my friend Amanda back here and with my family when I was younger). So one sunny weekend last month, we headed to London to collect my cousin and then took a roadtrip down to Brighton (the only way a roadtrip should be done: with the sunroof down and the stereo blaring the perfect summer sountrack) to educate the Boyfriend on the charms of the British seaside.

Obviously, I donned pastels and deckchair stripes; because matching your surroundings is fun and that’s just the kind of girl I am (and because this dress – which I’ve worn more times this summer than I should probably admit – reminds me of Grace Kelly cruising up the French Riviera in the 50s). We piled out of the car, strolled through the gardens of Brighton Pavillion and walked past the faded pastel buildings that line the shore all the way to Hove, the next seaside town along the coast for lunch. After our fill of fish and chips at the Regency (because is there anything else to eat at the seaside?), we walked back towards Brighton pier along the pebbly shore (the Clever Boyfriend tried his best not to be too offended by the absence of sand); past sunbathers (trying to get a suntan – even though the sun had by then disappeared behind the clouds – in the way only Englishmen do) and seagulls and a vintage carousel filling the air with its hurdy-gurdy tunes as it twirled and twirled upon the shore.

I pestered the boys like an irritating small child until they relented and bought me the biggest ice cream they could find (yes!), and afterwards we walked along the boardwalk to the pier. We passed the fairy floss stands and retro neon lights and the 1950s penny arcade games and bought sticks of Brighton Rock to suck as we leaned against the railings to watch the waves lapping at the pier below.

Wearing: River Island dress c/, Mulberry ‘Lily’ bag, Stella McCartney sunglasses c/ Sunglasses Shop, Lulu Frost necklace via J. Crew (similar styles here), Jersey Pearl necklace, Mimco bracelets and hair bobbles (past season), Jacquie Aiche heart ring via Shopbop, Anya Hindmarch ‘Lucky Sixpence’ coin purse (past season but similar styles here and here), vintage London souvenir scarf, Nails Inc ‘Cambridge’ nailpolish (similar shade here). 

Afterwards, we drove home tired and sunkissed and happy. For it’s certainly not a natural beauty, but the English seaside is so fun and charming regardless.

Please do share your favourite beaches in the comments!

Love, Miss B xx


39 thoughts on “Brighton Rock

  1. Love, love, love your outfit! Matching your surroundings is definitely the way forward. So jealous of your Mulberry too. I love Brighton for shopping and meandering but when it comes to sunbathing I love a bit of sandy Bournemouth beach. Emma.x

    • Thank you so much! And I’m all for dressing to suit my location!
      And thank you for the suggestion; I still need to visit Bournemouth so I’ve just added it to my list for next summer.

      B xx

  2. You are so cute! I love this look on you. And thank you for such a fun post. I’ve never been to Brighton so loved this little ‘trip’ to the seaside 🙂 x

  3. Ha, ha, I loved your description of the English seaside. There is definitely a grim gaudiness about the seaside resorts here, which, to my mind, is part of the attraction.

    The Australian beaches are a world apart though. The Whitsundays – all I can say is ‘Wow!’

    • It’s true; the face they’re so bright and colourful and loud is part of their charm. But there is nothing quite like a white sandy Australian beach (the Whitsundays are surely heaven on earth)

      B xx

    • Thank you so much! And thank you also for sharing the post about a trip to the beach in your hometown (it looks so lovely and sunny)

      B xx

  4. Heyy You look so stunning in that dress! also i love all your pictures, I love looking at colorful scenery pictures and yours caught my attention so well. Regarding beaches, I’m not really a fan of them, but the way you described it made me love it.

  5. What a delightful day trip! The beach near where I grew up on the other side of the Channel is similar to your description so I really enjoyed the beautiful sand and clear blue water of Miami last summer. Closer to us, I love the beach in Deauville because it’s so colorful and filled with history.

    • Thank you Anne! It pains me to say that I’ve never visited the French seaside as yet (though I plan to rectify this next year), so I so enjoyed your post on colourful Deauville!

      B xx

  6. This is darling! I’m a fan of just about any seaside town in the US (even the tacky ones have some sort of hidden charm!), but I had never thought about what the English sea towns may be like! Your photos certainly make me want to visit!

  7. Miss B, I am hooked on your blog! I completely subscribe to your philosophy of finding the beauty in everyday life 🙂 So happy I discovered when actually searching for Taylor Taylor reviews!

    Ashma x

    • Thank you for your sweet words, and so lovely to have you around (I’m always delighted to welcome another pleasure-seeker to the A Girl, A Style world).

      B xx

  8. Truly lovely pictures and great post!!
    You’re right…the Brits make the best of what they got and they enjoy it to the max 😉
    Looks like you had a great day!

  9. Pingback: This week’s must-see blog musings… |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *