Saturday, 2 July 2011

Holiday in the sun

We just got back from Brighton early this morning (nearly 2am - more on that later). We had a really good time, met some awesome folks, and ate a ton of junk (candy bars for breakfast more than once). I felt that giving a more detailed account than I would've given on the Facebook would be a good way to get me back into the blogging habit outside of Vegan MoFo (and give me more license to ramble), so expect a couple of posts in the next few days. Not only do I have a couple of posts about the holiday lined up, I'm also gonna do a couple reviews - specifically on chocolate and Ms Cupcake. So, on to the holiday review!

Day 1 (Monday):

We traveled from Edinburgh to London first class. Having gone to London on our honeymoon, Mike decided that 4.5 hours in standard was just no good on his legs. I didn't think first class was all that different to having a table seat in standard, but I guess it was better for him. We started off the trip with a mini-adventure - we had a last-minute change of platform and none of the catering stuff got onto the train. Apparently you get a bunch of free stuff in first class, but we mostly didn't bother (though we did on the way back).

We had planned on stopping for lunch in London, but we'd both eaten enough on the train that we weren't that hungry and just wanted to get to our final destination, so we skipped it. We got to Brighton around 2.30 and made our way to the hotel. We got a bit lost on the way there because Google's directions were a bit crap. When we finally got there and checked in, we were given the wrong room and ended up walking in on some people (who thankfully were fully clothed). We did eventually get a key for an empty room (which we later discovered had a nasty kettle with junk all over the inside (possibly limescale) that they didn't change after we asked - avoid Travelodge Brighton if you can).

It was balls hot in Brighton that day, and we hadn't had much to drink since we were on the train, so we made our way to Shakeaway. We'd had a good experience with them in Nottingham, so we were really looking forward to it. Mike got the coffee shake and I got a Bourbon biscuit shake (both of which we'd had last year). I have to say, neither of us was impressed. It tasted like they used Tofutti ice cream, which frankly isn't that great. (If you've ever had ice milk (not vegan), that gives you some idea of what Tofutti ice cream tastes like. It's nothing like it is in the Cuties.) After that we hit up Lush (we needed shampoo) and Waterstones (Mike had already finished all of his books), then went to dinner at Loving Hut after an insane taxi driver made me fear for my life. Mike had the veggie chow mein, and I had the stir-fry vermicelli. They were both really tasty, but I preferred mine. For dessert, I had a Tofutti Cutie and Mike had a Tofutti Rock 'n' Roll cone, and we bought a few Go Max candy bars (2 each of Twilight and Buccaneer).

Day 2 (Tuesday):

We had another mini-adventure on the second day. The plan was to do lunch at VBites, so we got on the bus to go most of the way and then walk the rest of the way. There was a march that held up the bus for about 15 minutes (we later guessed, from their "Psychiatry - an Industry of Death" banner, that they were Scientologists). We weren't sure where to get off the bus, so we ended up getting off way too early and had to walk about 20 minutes before we got there. Mike got a burger, chips and a mocha, and I got a bacon cheeseburger, chips and a chai latte. They screwed up 2 of the 3 elements of my order - no bacon on my burger and coffee with chai syrup for my chai latte. They fixed the chai, but I couldn't be bothered with the burger. Oh, and the chips were overcooked. Then, worst of all, the main reason I was there was for a soft-serve ice cream cone, and their machine was broken. Boo-urns. After that, we went to the Hove Gallery and Museum. It was a bit strange - there was no theme other than stuff that may have happened or is tangentially related to Hove. This part of the day was punctuated by a couple of pretty hefty thunderstorms that we just managed to miss the worst of - we saw some lightning at VBites and heard some thunder at the museum but were inside for most of the rain.

That evening, we were privileged to have dinner at Pho with a few PPKers - jojo and her mr, messyveggie and her mr, baps, and Ruby Rose. We had a great time, and the food was fantastic. I had some fried noodles (can't remember the Vietnamese name) and Mike had the tofu pho and veggie spring rolls. I really wish they'd open a location in Edinburgh. We then moved on to Terre a Terre for dessert, where most of us had the famed (and one of only 2 vegan options) churros with chocolate sauce and vodka cherries. They were delicious, though not really churros (not the way I remember churros) - they were thicker and doughier and not quite as crispy. I wouldn't say no to them if offered, though. Meeting everyone was really great - everyone was so nice and funny and just completely awesome, and I'm really looking forward to the PPKamping trip in August!

Day 3 (Wednesday):

This was a lazy day - we didn't even get up until about noon. We had lunch at Infinity. Mike had the sausage and puy lentil stew (special),

I had the hot sausage sandwich (which was cold by the time I ate it),

and we shared some garlic bread. The food was average at best - my sammich had a single piece of (probably Taifun) sausage, split down the middle, and Mike didn't eat most of his. We both had mocha cake for dessert, which tasted really good but was a bit dense.

We kinda had our early anniversary dinner on the Wednesday night at Terre a Terre. We started with the garlic foccacia and hoisin tofu, both of which were really nice. Mike had the Rosti Raj and I had the Rosti Revisited. Mike didn't seem super keen on his - I think he thought the mango was a bit weird. Mine, on the other hand, was one of the nicest things I've ever eaten. It was basically just a giant hash brown with spinach and a bit of tofu with some green sauce, but it was incredibly delicious. I wish I could've eaten it again, and the memory of it is making my mouth water. Nom. The choice of sorbets didn't strike our fancy, and we'd had the churros the night before, so we just had the boozy rum truffles for dessert. They were great - just enough rum to taste without having an overpowering feeling of alcohol, and the chocolate wasn't overwhelming (not too dense or bitter). Overall, it was a really good meal, and I didn't expect to be so full when it was finished considering the usual inverse correlation of price to amount of food (i.e., the more you pay, the less you get).

I'll leave this for now and do the last two days in another post, since we did a bit more in those two days. I apologise for the lack of pictures - I kept forgetting and didn't take very many.

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