Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
I love going away for the weekend and was therefore very excited to stay in Brighton one weekend recently for a friend’s birthday. We travelled by train from Leagrave train station. Trains to Brighton via Thameslink were every half an hour.
The staff at the train station could not be more helpful. We boarded the train and enjoyed a chilled out two hours sat in the very comfy seats.
The clever onboard system even told us where we were located in the train and what the next station would be. Upon arrival in Brighton, it was a short 10 minute or so walk straight down one big main road to the seafront. We had opted to stay at the Travelodge Brighton Seafront. We walked in and… wow…. It looked beautiful. On the left-hand side was a well-staffed reception. We were quickly checked into a lovely room on the first floor of the hotel. Reception staff kindly printed out an email we needed and gave us a map to direct us where we needed to get to the following day. There was a lift available if you did not want to use the stairs. If you walked a little way past reception there was a lovely bar/restaurant area. As well as there being tables and chairs to eat at, there was comfy seating.
So now for the room. It was lovely and spacious. There was a shower in the bathroom. The wardrobe had plenty of room to hang the clothes we had brought with us for the weekend. The TV was a good size. The king size bed was so comfy. I think I could have easily dropped off to sleep before we went out for dinner that Friday evening. Having unpacked, we decided to pop to Morrisons to buy something for a late lunch. We opted for their salad meal deal which consists of a medium salad, snack and a drink for just £3. We walked the short distance to Brighton Pier, and sat on a bench to eat our food.
After we finished lunch we went to SEALIFE Brighton, which was a short walking distance from the pier. As a Merlin Annual Pass Ambassador, I visit their locations at every opportunity. There was so much to see at the aquarium. Highlights for me were the turtles. They are so cute. I loved the brightly coloured fishes and the big aquarium the sharks are in. My friend and I stood for ages watching a member of staff at work in the water. A glass floored boat (extra charge) looked great fun. It was packed full of excited people. The toilet facilities were clean and tidy. What I love most about SEALIFE is the educational aspect to it. There was also an area where you could purchase items from vending machines and sit and eat/drink them. You can learn about so many important values in life, like littering or information about the various species the aquarium houses. The building itself is stunning. After an enjoyable couple of hours we left to walk back to the hotel. Whilst we did not purchase anything from the gift shop, it had some lovely items at a wide range of prices.
We walked back to our hotel, where we had an enjoyable hour or so before heading out for our evening meal.
We were very excited to be reviewing a lovely pub/restaurant called The Camelford Arms. When we walked in, what first struck me was how welcoming it was with a lovely atmosphere. We were quickly shown to our table, which had very comfortable bench seats. We ordered from the extensive menu at the bar. My friend opted for the 10oz sirloin steak with chips and peas. I decided to have chilli con carne served with rice and nachos. We sat down to enjoy our drinks while our food was being prepared.
Our meals came within a reasonable time. The steak tasted lovely and was cooked to perfection. Portion sizes were really generous. My chilli con carne tasted amazing. The separate pot of sour cream and nachos was a lovely touch. I must mention at this point how well presented our meals were.
I popped to the toilet and was glad to find they were clean and tidy.
After my main meal, I had my doubts as to whether I could manage a dessert. My friend and I decided to share a chocolate sundae. The portion size again was really generous. There was plenty for both of us. I think it is the best dessert I have ever tasted. I commented to my friend that I would have easily gone back to have our lovely meal again. The staff are a real credit to the place and I can see why it’s really popular.
Now to the cost of the meal. My friend’s meal cost £18.90 and my chilli con carne £10.80. Those prices were worth it for the quality of the food and the portion sizes. Prices for mains start at £6.50 for Welsh Rarebit.
They also offer deals from Mon – Wed only. These are curry corner, bangers ‘n’ mash, burgers or pies main meal for £9.90 with a free drink. This is great value. There are even 5 choices of curry, 4 of bangers ‘n’ mash, 4 of pies and 3 of burger. The Camelford Arms offers a good number of vegetarian options.
We were so full on a main each and a shared dessert, but there are a varied number of side orders/sharing dishes. These are priced from just £1.30. The Camelford Arms also offer Sunday lunches, priced from £13.90 per person. We did not have any of the specials, but they looked to be lovely and great value. 5/5 for food quality, service and value for money.
After a lovely meal, we went back to our hotel room and watched a bit of TV before getting a lovely night’s sleep. The next day we woke up feeling refreshed and went down to the restaurant area for a lovely all you can eat breakfast.
After a lovely overnight stay in Brighton, we headed back to London via the Thameslink trains. Because of engineering works, we did have to get a bus to Three Bridges. The bus and its driver were lovely. After around an hour’s pleasant journey we got off at the train station and had just a short wait to catch a train to St Pancras, where our adventures in London awaited us…
Thameslink and Southern run frequent services between London and Brighton including journeys that cross the capital from Bedford, Luton and St Albans. Super Off-Peak tickets, valid at weekends and on bank holidays, give discounts of at least 20% and kids go for just £2 each when travelling with an adult. visit www.thameslinkrailway.com and www.southernrailway.com.