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Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Life Less Ordinary

Saturdays are usually not ordinary. I so look forward to the weekends when Jim is off work. I imagine I am like our kids were when they were young and were looking forward to playing with Dad on Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays Jim and I usually do a day out, so as we were chatting over our morning coffee I began to quiz Jim on what was planned for the day... Churchill's Bunker?
(Churchill's Bunker London)

I continued reading the paper's weekend guide and Jim answered, how about Brighton? the London by the Sea, we can get a return (round trip) ticket for a tenner' (£10) from London Bridge! How fun - a train ride to the seaside! It had been over five years since our last visit to Brighton......

There is a store in Brighton that I have admired and wanted to see for a long time. The store owners and their home were featured in Country Living UK. I had ripped out the article and kept it in my 'Dream File' with the hope of seeing it one day. I also stalked their website and pinterest boards!

After an hour journey through the English Countryside, we arrived at Brighton's train station. We took a short walk down lanes and past beautiful Victorian town homes.

A lovely park which overlooks the English Channel is beautiful even on a gloomy day.

The English Channel appears to be on the doorstep of these stunning town homes.

The homes with ironwork and sophisticated gloss black doors with period gold plating house numbers are charming and we longed for a peak inside to see the three stories.

We came upon i gigi General Store!We both commented on the bike being just like the one we delivered to FMF Compagnie last fall. (It is still available!!)

Unfortunately, we arrived on a bad day as the store was having its last day of after Christmas Sale. The store is a beautiful space with a large sweeping staircase, wood floors and beautiful plastered walls. There were stunning antiques but it was mostly left over Christmas. The owner was very apologetic and said the basement was packed with new and old merchandise and they were totally redoing the store on Sunday. Our disappointment vanquished when we went upstairs and saw their eatery which was tiny with only 7 tables and the cooking and food preparation done all in the same room.
But it was 'chock a block' (full)! We left hungry and disappointed but they asked us to return in about an hour.

We wandered down the street and visited many little shops. We found a charming florist shop - Florian!
As we walked in, the fragrance of glorious flowers embraced Jim and I. We love stores that stimulate our senses - sound, smell, sight. Florian, smelled lushess and was so beautifully displayed. Light classical music was playing in the background. It was tiny but as we strolled through the two rooms it was full of treasures and wonderful displays.
Several 'locals' were wandering in to buy flowers individually and two men came in with their dogs and were back contemplating a piece of furniture. We had some questions, so we kept perusing while the owner finished with the two gentlemen. She was delightful and had charming stories about each of her antique pieces we questioned her about. It was so obvious she loved what she did!

We left with a few treasures to remember the day. Our son-in-law is studying to be an architect, so the
  ruler will be for him to add to his collection of measuring tools. Jim found the wood spools in a huge glass jar; they are French....of course the French would make unique spools with brass bottoms! I have always collected kitchen pieces and loved these pastry tart tins. As we were paying for the items, we asked if the eatery at igigi was good and they said it was the best in the area, so we ventured back, hoping we could get one of the seven tables.But, before I tell about our late lunch at igigi general, I want to share a few more pictures from Florian for you to admire as Jim and I did.
Luckily there was a corner table at igigi general and it gave us a great view down the staircase and across the room.
Three young girls waited and cooked the meals. We marveled that in such a small area that they worked together with such ease and still served all the customers with smiles on their faces. The space was stark white with a charming quote on the old fireplace that no longer is used.

 The dessert table was gorgeous and every thing displayed tempting. I loved the sugar sprinkler! It was quite difficult to see that beautiful display of sweets as we waited for our lunch.
We were absolutely STARVING!!! Our food arrived beautiful as well. Our lunch was served on cutting boards. I had a delicious chorizo omelette
and Jim had Welsh rarebit.....I'm sure Americans are wondering what is rarebit? A delicious cheese from Wales that they used with potatoes and served on farm fresh lettuce. It was so yummy. Of course, Jim could not refuse a sweet treat, so he had a piece of chocolate beet cake....Yes, beet, the root vegetable! And it was divine...I had a nibble!

The funniest part of the meal was that one of the waitress' looked like our eldest daughter...or at least we thought so....none of our three kids did when we texted pictures! Made for a less ordinary day going to Brighton and running in to our daughter's twin half way around the world.

Can't wait for next Saturday......

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