Can you believe it's nearly Spring? 2012 is flying by. And with the Easter weekend nearly upon us, it's time to think up a few ideas for those four days off (or more if you're at home for the school holidays)! After all, you deserve it.
So we've picked the lovely seaside town of Brighton to seek out some ideas on where to go and what to do. And being a fan of girlie pampering, there are some fun suggestions thrown to spoil yourself. Well, that's what holidays are for, right?
How to get there:
Getting the train from London to Brighton is by far the easiest way to get there. Trains go from Victoria and London Bridge stations and stop off at Clapham Junction and East Croydon. They are frequent and each take just under an hour - easy!
It's a straight-forward drive down to the beach too if you follow the M23 motorway (by way of Croydon or the M25) and then A23 right into Brighton town. It takes about 1h 30 minutes from most London destinations. But make sure you check for roadworks and traffic before you set off as these will affect you journey.
Whether it's having a good girlie manicure over a cuppa or a massage in a calming spa - Brighton has everything you could need.
Aloka Well-Being Centre, 14 East Street
Aloka is a day spa which uses colour therapy at the source of its work - so whether it's a facial you go for or a full body massage, you'll be introduced to the world of Aura-Soma colour consultations. It's all quite interesting - and pretty darn relaxing. My masseur had healing hands!
The centre also has a cafe downstairs to pick up some healthy lunch treats - or come back after 6pm to sample the Aloka vegan and raw dinner menu - which you can enjoy from a second floor room, watching the world outside pass you by.
The dinner menu was very tasty but Botanical Living Cuisine isn't for everyone. Personally, I would have been quite happy with a healthy classic like a straight up salad - it was just a little bit too raw. That's not to say it can't be enjoyed - it just might not be something for every visitor. So make sure to consult the menu before your settle in your seat - it's just not for everyone.
Check Aloka's website for special offers: http://www.aloka.aura-soma.net/
The Lanes Health & Beauty, 5 Market Street
If you're up for a proper mani-pedi to give the TOWIE girls a run for their money, then head to The Lanes Health & Beauty spa on Market Street.
Run by Julie Coates, the ladies here are masters at making you feel glamorous. Make sure you try out the Hollywood Nail Bar for a special gel nail manicure (as designed by Tom Bachik - Hollywood's favourite nail technician). For just £35, you'll have chip-safe nails for at least two weeks and there's no sitting under drying machines for half an hour either - once you're done, you can leave! Perfect, right?
There are also facials to be had, waxes to get done, eyebrows to be threaded and if you're really experimenting, ask for vajazzle!
And these girls must be doing something right because they've been featured on ITV2's What Katie Did Next
- a sign of true Brit' glam'.
Book yourself a seat at the Lanes here: http://www.thelaneshealthandbeauty.com/
Eat, drink and be merry:
Whatever food youíre after, you can find it in Brighton. Here are our top recommendations:
Moshi Moshi, Bartholomew Square
Asian fusion cuisine at its best - you get everything from sushi on a belt to full on main katsu curries here. The ambience is fun, smart and chilled out and the staff are friendly. The menu is huge.
Our highlights were the Organic tofu udon and Kamo duck teriyaki main dishes. But we suffered food envy of the table next to us who ordered the tempting Tempura platter.
A meal for two, including drinks and service is about £35.
Englishs Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar, 29-31 East Street
Whether it's a plate of seafood on ice or some traditional rock oysters to start you off, Englishs have it on the menu. There's everything from lobster in garlic butter sauce to seabass fillets to seafood dumplings - and desert boats vanilla brulee, Guinness & Baileys parfait, and rhubarb trifle. Yum!
We loved the Mini Cold Seafood Platter to share and the array of rock oysters to start.
A meal for two, including drinks and service, is about £35-£40.
World's End, 60-61 London Road
Love a good old BBQ? Then wait until you've set your eyes on the World's End BBQ Shack. It's a meat loverís dream here and they don't skimp on the ribs - they are thick and 'meaty' so indulge and be proud. The pulled pork and array of meaty sandwiches are a gem.
A meal for two, including drinks and service, is about £50.
Where to stay:
When the drinks have been drunk, the food has been eaten and that massage is catching up with you, may we suggest the following hotels to lay your head down:
Hotel Du Vin
Located right in the centre of town on Brighton's Lanes is this very special boutique hotel. A few minutes from the sea front, Du Vin boasts 49 well-designed and spacious rooms which are brought alive by the Egyptian bed linen, a walk-in shower and stand-alone bath tubs.
Prices from £103 per night.
They describe themselves as 'a Rock 'n' Roll hotel' - and certainly are. Found on Regency Square near Brighton seafront, Pelirocco is made up of 19 stunningly decorated rooms - all inspired by pop culture. One looks like the inside of a Rough Trade shop, while another boats some famous guests have kipped in its bed. The suite contains a 42Ē LCD Television, plunge bath and a mirrored canopy over bed. See, rock and roll!
Prices from £50 a night.
Think artwork on the walls and bright, colourful surroundings. Then add sound-systems, flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi facilities - that comes as standard at My Hotel. But if you fancy something a bit more special book yourselves into the Artistís studio and enjoy sleeping on circular beds!
Prices from £65 a night.