The Big Trip 2021: two nights in Brighton

After six months spent almost exclusively at home, we were gagging to see somewhere other than Vauxhall. Brighton has sea and is less than two hours away – that’ll do.

We were forced to cancel our trip to Greece back in May, so splashing out on two nights with a sea view at the Brighton Grand feels perfectly justified. Only ever having been here for work during party conferences, we’ve never had to stray further than the downstairs bar. We didn’t realise there were just two rather aged lifts. Trying to keep guests safe, these can only be used one household at a time, so getting up to fifth floor with luggage takes some time. We don’t care – we’re just so excited to see different pavements, buildings, people, wallpaper (you get the gist – even different carpets are a bit exciting).

It’s September, but the last dregs of the glorious summer linger. We’re treated to autumn sunshine and evenings dry and mild enough to sit outside. Oh, the joy of a drink outside a pub with other people (though not too close, obviously). We could really get used to this table service thing.

We walk on the beach.

We eat fish and chips and are dive-bombed by seagulls, of course.

We do some shopping. Get Cutie is the clothing equivalent of an old fashioned sweet shop, a pick ‘n mix of styles and fabrics. Every order can be tailored to your preference. A dress with pockets and a shirt will be delivered in a few weeks.

We do some sightseeing. Drowning in the excess of the Royal Pavilion without the crowds is a rare treat.

We are stalked by a gigantic seagull that hangs around outside our window for the entire trip, fixing us with its thousand-yard stare. What does it want? All the food, we’re guessing.

Most of all we are not in London. It’s a short trip that will keep us going for months to come.