Just arrived home yesterday from a business trip to the UK. Normally, I grumble when work travel comes up. But…going to England and hanging out with utterly cool people is a far cry from a typical work trip. I had a really great time!
A few observations.
First, I wanted to stuff every garden I had the opportunity to see in my suitcase to take home with me. English gardens are inspirational and have a beauty all their own, taking on characteristics of both formal and cottage-style.
Next, though England seems like the antithesis of vegetarianism (just try a proper English breakfast or look up blood pudding and you’ll know what I mean), I was surprised to find that it wasn’t that hard to find vegetarian food. Plus (as you’ll read below), there are great veggie restaurants.
Last, English people have a better balance than we do in the US. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying, but it all of my experiences traveling to the UK, this statement seems to have some truth. They take lunch breaks. They leave work at a relatively decent hour. They take their vacations seriously. They have lengthy maternity and paternity leaves to help new families start out. It is really eye-opening and something I wish Americans could learn from (including myself).
Normally, my camera is an extra limb attached to my body. This time, I couldn’t bear the thought of lugging my SLR around with different lenses and I also didn’t want to annoy work colleagues by being too much of a tourist, so the best I can offer you are some iPhone pictures.
I arrived first at Heathrow. Two trains plus the Underground later, I arrived in sunny Brighton, which is on the south shore.
Each trip I’ve previously taken to the UK has always been in the middle of the country (London, Oxford, Hook Norton, Birmingham), so this was a real treat. Brighton is a lively city that is still old by US standards, but has white and cream colored buildings that have a newer seaside look about them. My colleagues took me to the Brighton Pavilion, which is this really wild looking building built for the stylish King George IV in the late 1700s.
After the day in Brighton, I went back on the train for a short ride to Lewes, where I stayed for a few days. Lewes might be the most charming town I’ve ever been in. I stayed at a place called The Pelham House. My favorite spot was out back in the garden, where I had a glass of wine in solitude each night.