For those in the know, Brighton has long-been the place to visit outside of London.   A mere 50-minute train ride south from the capital and half an hour from Gatwick airport, Brighton is one of the UK´s most vibrant cities, as befits its sobriquet “London-by-the-Sea“.

The Palace Pier is a curious mix of Victorian design and modern installations, a pleasure park of funfair rides, slot machines, fish and chip restaurants and bars.

In the 1750s, Brighton was promoted as a health resort, encouraging wealthy Londoners to sample the healing properties of its seawater and bracing sea air.    The town´s repute as a fashionable resort was sealed in 1783, when the then Prince of Wales, later Prince Regent and ultimately King George IV, became a regular visitor.  The seaside retreat he built, a stunning Indian -style edifice known as the Royal Pavilion, remains Brighton´s most distinctive spectacle.

We were staying with our dear friend Margaret, in Rottingdean, a beautiful village on the outskirts of Brighton.   Margaret proved to be an excellent tour guide around the village as well as around the city of Brighton, where we managed to buy new travel packs for our up-and-coming trip to south-east Asia in January 2012.   She also took us to one of the best fish and chip restaurants, Bankers.