Monday, 6 December 2010
Pilgrimage to Brighton
Instead of staying in the heart of Brighton, we found a quaint 1930s inn (The White Horse hotel) in the nearby village of Rottingdean. By this time I felt as though I were living in one of Ms Heyer's or Austen's novels. The inn was perched on the edge of the sea, and featured a bar and restaurant below – perfect. Our rooms were modern and comfortable, I hasten to add, as the hotel is run by a group that specialises in old english inns. I rather think I could tour England staying in them.
Then we went to the Royal Pavilion, built as a pleasure palace by the Prince of Wales (later George IV) in the late 18th C. The Pavilion is almost indescribable. Its exterior is somewhat interesting, while on the inside its entertaining rooms are incredibly elaborate – they have to be seen to be believed. I am left with impressions of much gold, hundreds of Asian or Chinoise-style dragons, sumptuous fabrics . . . (Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos.) The visit included an audio tour that provided all the history of the palace, which was sold by Queen Victoria to the people of Brighton in around 1845. As a royal residence, the Pavilion had a fairly short life, but it still oozes history and is quite stunning (in both senses of the word) to behold.