Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 23- Brighton Beach Memoirs

Woke up with a knife in my throat, which is apparently an indicator of strep, but I needed to see the Royal Pavilion, so I had a bit of coffee (ouch! too hot!) and walked on down to the little park that fronts it and the old stables, which is now the Brighton Museum. I like the character of Brighton, which is kind of touristy, mostly British, with loads of food offerings and reasonable lodgings. My walkup single, on a nice square just a block from the beach, was only £30 ($45). There are all kinds of shops in the winding alleys known as The Lanes.

Local boys adding some atmosphere to the park in front of the Pavilion
I entered the Royal Pavilion and was sad to find out that photography is not allowed there! It is a marvelous interior (exterior too), based on an amalgam of Indian and Chinese architectures. The exterior is mostly the work of John Nash, and was done around 1820, while the interiors are mostly the work of Frederick Crace. It was used by King George IV as a getaway from London, and it has a very festive party look, with an outrageously ornate banqueting room that features a one ton chandelier and very fine decorative work all over.

Model of the Pavilion shows the Indo-Saracenic influence of the exteriors. By John Nash, ca 1820

As the rooms went on, it became easier to sneak a shot here and there, and I almost thought about going back into the banquet hall, but opted instead to do a small drawing of a piece of wall paper in the music room. I later found out that I have friends who know the chief of restoration there (now retired) and I might have gotten a more intimate tour, but as it was I was very impressed with the quality and extent.

Ceiling of the Music Room in the Pavilion gives a taste of the more Chinoise decor of the interiors

After some Thai soup that helped my throat a bit, I crossed over the garden, which has been restored to its original configuration recently, and went to see the Brighton Museum, housed in the old stables building. It's a nice museum, with a mix of design, history, archeology, and science. There were some tasty bits of early 20th century furniture and art, the requisite Turners, a good clothing display, and some Egyptian mummies and crocodile skulls just to round things out.

Early 20th century bathing suits in the Brighton Museum

All in all, a very good day, despite hacking fits and a throat that still feels like someone poured lye down it. Went back to the hotel, spent some web time in the lobby, and turned in early (only to find out that the cough syrup I'd bought had pseudoephedrine in it, which kept me up all night!)

Fun vernacular style of architecture has brick surrounds with beach cobble infills

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