Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travel: Grand Getaway Is So Bright-On; GORDON BARR Heads South and Enjoys a Grand, but Rather Chilly, Weekend Break in Brighton, Enjoying Some Shopping, Good Food and Even a Spot of Gambling on the Pier

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Travel: Grand Getaway Is So Bright-On; GORDON BARR Heads South and Enjoys a Grand, but Rather Chilly, Weekend Break in Brighton, Enjoying Some Shopping, Good Food and Even a Spot of Gambling on the Pier

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

BRIGHTON Pier is perhaps the most famous in the country.

Standing on my bedroom balcony in the sumptuous Grand Hotel on the seafront, I could see the iconic structure and its funfair, glittering in the near distance.

Naturally, it didn't take long for me to venture to the pier, which is a mix of old and new and steers on just the right side of tacky.

I couldn't stop myself from indulging in a spot of gambling on the slot machines.

Vegas it isn't, but it was enjoyable all the same, even though I lost the handsome sum of pounds 10.

Basing myself at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, though, was no gamble.

Just like the pier, it is one of the city's most famous structures and it's easy to see why.

From the seafront it easily looks the most impressive hotel and it retains that impression inside. A DeVere hotel, it has recently undergone some major refurbishment and the elegance of the building hits you immediately as you walk through the entrance.

My room was wonderful - extremely spacious, decorated in light, airy colours and with floor-toceiling windows, one of which lead to the balcony.

Forgetting the biting wind that engulfed Brighton that weekend, I spent many a moment on that balcony, especially on waking up, rolling out of bed and standing there in my dressing gown, the chill chasing away any sleepy cobwebs.

For those of us of a certain age, The Grand will always evoke memories of the IRA bombing at the Tory party conference in 1984.

But let's not dwell on such matters - times have moved on and so has The Grand.

My partner and I enjoyed a lovely meal in the restaurant, seated by the window looking out to sea.

We could easily have simply stayed in The Grand the whole weekend, but Brighton is a hive of activity and so the majority of our time was spent sightseeing and shopping.

The city took off in the mid-19th Century, with the arrival of the steam railway.

The Grand opened in 1864, providing luxury accommodation for the rise in visitors.

One of the delights of walking along the shore is enjoying the architecture of the older buildings.

Less enjoyable is the eyesore that is Brighton Arena - a monstrosity of a building which was built next door to The Grand. …

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