Sari’s Travel Adventures: To the UK and back, The Great Escape, and more

Well it sure is June! Festival madness and prep is taking over my work days but I wanted to carve out some time to report back on my trip to Brighton and London in May!

I started my fun in Brighton to celebrate The Great Escape festival. It was my first time in Brighton but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the beautiful waterfront and venues. Our hotel was just across from the elegant pier that arched out over the water. On top of the pier was an amusement park, with tons of swirling rides. We stayed away from the rides due to our hangover stomachs churning at the sight of them, but definitely took some lovely walks on the pier to soak in the scenery, beautiful ferris wheel on the water, and city above.

What was super cool about Brighton as well was there were nightclubs and venues literally right on the beach, under the street. I don’t think I got a good picture of this, but it was so cool to be partying in a bar and walk out on to the beach.

Aside from gawking at the scenery I was very excited to link up with The Balconies after their 3 week stint in the UK and Holland. They were in high spirits as they always are and we got to sit down for some delicious meals. Their set was road tested and sounding better than ever whether it was a 1:30p at The Blind Tiger or 2am at Green Store Door (a sweet vintage garage venue).

I soon learned the delegates bar at the Queens was the place to spend your evenings. Lots of drunk schmoozing ensued until the early morning. Often we ended off our adventures with fish and chips from literally the sketchiest place in the world called “Fish & Chips”. Very creative. They would hand you this massive cone of fish and chips, food spilling out the sides, and drunkies would just stumble home stuffing their faces smiling! It was a beautiful thing.

Musically I was able to catch some new exciting bands and connect with local buds like Del Barber, The Elwins, Young Rival, Mo Kenney, Boats, and more. The two most exciting acts I saw personally were Washington Irving (very scottish folk rock and roll) and The Family Rain (bad ass brit rock with bluesy influence). Highlights also included The Beards (Aussie jokesters) and Thumper (young but promising electro).

My favourite meal in Brighton was undoubtedly breakfast at this tiny place called Farm Cafe. Fresh everything. Plus in Britain breakfast always includes beans which is a nice touch. My second favourite meal was Indian food courtesy of Sounds Australia at their fabulously organized luncheon. Thank you for having me!

After TGE I headed over to London to run around for a few meetings, stay with my dear friend Marie-Alicia, and work out of the MusicMetric office (thanks guys)! Even though it was a lot of running around I think for the first time I felt like I actually REALLY LIKED London. I could see myself spending more time there. I came to this realization because I found one part of town that I REALLY like: Portobello Road near Notting Hill Gate. It reminded me of Kensington in Toronto a bit but more upscale. Beautifully coloured houses lined the nearby residential streets and little booths selling adorable clothing were set up on the streets. I bought a dress for 10 pounds and had a meeting at Gail’s Bakery. The streets were swimming with young professionals off to work or running out for lunch. For the first time I felt I found the right place for me in London! Look forward to returning!

On the last night I had the lovely chance to see the Once musical. It was well done and really quite adorable from beginning to end. Though I wish the set changed a bit more often just to keep my eyes excited, it really didn’t need to. I think I liked it more than the movie and the music sounded great. Definitely a good one to see if you liked the movie and soundtrack.

And before I knew it I was jumping on a plane again to return home to Toronto! It was the perfect quick trip with the right amount of work vs. hang out time. The latter of which is very new to me!

Thank you for reading and tweet me your favourite neighbourhoods in London so I can check them out next time! @SARIDELMAR

– Sari

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