A couple of years ago during our first ever trip to Europe we touched down in the UK, a massive bucket list destination for us at the time. Unfortunately a lot of things went wrong during our stint in England and we never had the chance to properly go out and explore a country that I can now say I absolutely love.

I had an unsettling gut feeling when we left, I never got to properly experience it or tick it off as we slowly drove away to mainland Europe those two years ago. I needed to fix it, and a little upcoming event was going to be my opportunity.

When it came to picking where we wanted to go on our honeymoon Stephen and I decided to choose a destination each. He chose Croatia (which was an amazing choice and totally recommend you take a trip there) and I chose the UK.

The top spot on my list of places to see was Brighton!

We caught the train down from Victoria Station and the moment we arrived we were in awe. You could instantly smell the sea and the sound of seagulls filled the air. We had never been to the coast in this area of the world and we were excited to finally experience a typical English seaside town.

We spent the weekend at the Malmaison Boutique Hotel. Our room was huge, the bed was super comfy and we had stunning views over the harbour. When we arrived we were greeted with a little card congratulating us on our wedding and some cheeky brownies – the perfect treat after the train journey from London. You could tell that the hotel is brand new with it’s super cool decor!

In UK Summer style it began to rain right after check in, so instead of making the 30 minute walk into town we had a delicious lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Mal Brasserie. As we were by the sea I went for a seafood dish full of fresh prawns, mussels and fish & Stephen (as always) went for a classic burger and fries.

Waiting for the weather to get a little clearer, we had a cup of tea – or two – in our room (we have been downing tea’s none stop since we landed) before we couldn’t wait any longer, grabbed our coats and went out to explore.

The first thing we HAD to do was head to the beach. This was our first time on a pebble beach and we weren’t expecting the pebbles to be so big! We quite enjoyed not having sand getting stuck in our shoes as we strolled along the beachside.

Our favourite part about Brighton has got to be the lanes. They are a collection of cute, narrow streets and alleyways full of tiny shops and hipster cafes. On the Sunday morning we woke up super early to go explore them before the crowds came in, however we may have been a little too keen. Arriving at 8am, we thought we could easily grab a coffee and a pastry while we waited for the stores to open, but nothing opened until 10-10.30 – not even the coffee shops!

After taking some snaps of the empty lanes we decided to venture out and find a cafe that was serving an early morning cup of joe, and stumbled upon The Flour Pot Bakery. Coffee was delicious, the place smelt of freshly baked bread (one of Stephen’s all time fave smells) and they even served vegan sausage rolls which we had never tried before – and can now totally recommend trying!

^^ we really wanted to try a hot choccie at Choccywoccydoodah after so many of you guys recommended we go. But this was one of the many cafes in the lanes that weren’t open until later – and we needed a coffee pronto!

After we got our caffeine fix our sweet tooth kicked in, so we headed back to the lanes (we could spend all day there – seriously love it). We decided to go for a doughnut at the famous Dum Dum Donutterie! We got there right when it opened and the lines had already began, so if you want to try one get there early. We went for a Zebra cronut – best.thing.we.have.ever.tasted!

The end to our weekend came way too quickly. We can see Brighton being a place we will come back to again and again during future trips to the UK.

Stephen and Jess signoff

Flying The Nest was welcomed as a guest of Malmaison Boutique Hotel, however as always, our opinions are our own.