8th birthday party at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton

A sunny September weekend away in Brighton by the North Sea a few weeks back, was just what this frazzled family needed.

Hitting the beach for some sought-after Vitamin D and Vitamin Sea (!) provided us all with the perfect chance to pause and regroup after a heavy few weeks of stop-starting school after lockdown, illness plus sleepness nights and a long wait for a Covid test for Oliver (which I ended up paying for and was relieved when it returned with a negative result).

Not only was Brighton the break we needed to rest our weary bones but it was a sweet old balm to many a missed holiday this year, and most importantly, the best way to celebrate my little ‘baby’ boy and son-shine, Alexander’s 8th birthday!

Brighton beach l Honest Mum

Brighton beach l Honest Mum

Xander and I share the closest of bonds, and while Oliver, my eldest son is absolutely my best friend and confidant (we’re so similar it’s silly, from our tastes in telly and music to our sense of humour), Xander remains my sweet precious baby.

My Mum and I often refer to Xander as our ‘little bunny’ thanks to his big, kind brown eyes and his fluffy cloud of spiralling curls that frame his face. His cuteness warms my heart. Ditto, his gentle, caring personality which makes him popular with family, friends and his teachers too. Everyone loves little Xander.

Teachers has commented many times on how polite he is. The first to hold open a door, he’s generous to a fault (something his older brother often takes advantage of)!

He’s the first to share his sweets, toys and games and he’s the last to hug us before we sleep before bidding us all goodnight John Boy style. He likes to sleep with his entire teddy collection (16 at last count) and likes to take at least one cuddly toy, everywhere with him!

Proof below!

Alexander l Honest Mum

Don’t be fooled by the teds that he’s got, the kid’s a deep thinker, storyteller extraordinaire, maths whizz and empath to the core.

He’s utterly magnetic, drawing everyone in with his wide smile and loveable ways. What a champion dude.

…He’s literally not stopped talking about his birthday weekend, weeks later, bursting with gratitude for the memories made together from jumping waves by the shoreline to collecting shells and pebbles (the shiniest stones were his faves) to riding ‘the spaceship in the sky’ aka British Airways’ i360 (more on that later) and watching the sun go down stuffing candy floss into our faces!

Brighton beach l Honest Mum

Next time, he said he’d like to visit the museum of illusions, the Upside Down House, you can see here (there just wasn’t enough time on this particular trip).

Upside Down House l Brighton

Before I forget, a huge heartfelt thanks to fabulous Laura Pauley, author and founder of Love Saves the Day PR and Communications who kindly arranged absolutely everything you see here as part of a complimentary press trip for us all, from the hotel stay, meals, parking and entertainment.

Laura is a magician hostess with the mostess who makes things happen, and we’re all indebted to her. Thank you for your generosity, time and energy spent making the weekend so wonderful Laura.

Excitingly, you can win a trip to Brighton yourself by entering a competition at the end of the post too. We like to share the love, here!

Good luck!

…So back to Brighton. Arriving in this happy place after far too long since our last visit (when Oliver was just a wee baby), we stayed in a grand family room at the majestic Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel overlooking the pier on the beachfront.

Peter and my folks and brother actually stayed at the Hilton one Christmas back in the day, pre kids so it was pretty poignant heading back there with the boys in tow, a very real marker of how much we’d both grown as a couple, with a little family of our own!

Hilton Metropole Brighton

Honest Mum and kids

Brighton Beach

We were completely spoiled on check-in with dreamy room service (pizza, burgers and hallumi superfood salad) plus the comfiest of beds (ours must have been a triple King size, it was that big) and swan and elephant towel sculptures Xander LOVED (he actually cried when Oliver unwrapped his elephant). Bless!

Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton bedroom Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton  Hilton Metropole Brighton room service Hilton Metropole Brighton room service Hilton Metropole Brighton room service Hilton Metropole Brighton room service

After the best sleep we awoke to the buffet breakfast of dreams (with strict and reassuring safety measures in place) before a leisurely swim (6 people per hour) in the hotel’s warm pool which saw Xander regain his confidence in the water again, which was a joy to see!

Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton Hilton Metropole Brighton breakfast breakfast Hilton Metropole Brighton

Followed by a long, warm dip in the pretty pool.

swimming at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton swimming at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton

Sunday also saw us lap up epic views of Brighton and Hove and beyond thanks to British Airways i360. The views on a clear day also span the South Downs National Park, the UNESCO Biosphere and all along the coast to the Isle of Wight 49 miles away. Wow!

i360 Brighton British Airways' i360 BA's i360   BA's i360

views of Brighton in the i360 in Brighton

The spacious glass viewing pod was created by the team behind the London Eye and like it’s big bro, this too is one smooth ride into the clouds, but with a bar in its centre (yay), and capacity for lots of people (even with social distancing) within the pod. Slow, steady and not frightening at all, it’s the ideal way to see Brighton up top and is an absolute must-see when you’re visiting.  Alexander was jumping for joy when we reached the top!

i360 in Brighton

BA's i360

i360 in Brighton

After the ride, it was time to refuel so we dined on a delicious seasonal menu al fresco downstairs in the West Beach Bar and Restaurant filling our boots on fresh seafood, giant burgers, fish and chips, cauliflower cheese and seasonal salads. Yum!

i360 Brighton West Beach Bar and Kitchen

Oliver l Honest Mum's son

Oliver is smiling on the inside. Ten year old turning moody teen, here!

West Beach Bar and Kitchen l BrightonWest Beach Bar and Kitchen l Brighton West Beach Bar and Kitchen l Brighton   West Beach Bar and Kitchen l Brighton West Beach Bar and Kitchen l Brighton

Honest Mum's kids

They even treated Xander to a mini birthday cake despite us protesting that we were all too full for dessert (a first here, admittedly!)

Honest Mum's son Alexander

He took his Victoria Sponge in a takeaway box and scoffed it later but loved the Happy Birthday sing song on the beach and felt like a very special boy indeed!

What a banger of a weekend in Brighton!

This photo of Xander chatting to my Mum (his Grandma) below makes me laugh my head off, he looks about 25 doing a deal on the trading floor not an 8 year old on the beach living his best life (!)

Maybe my baby boy is growing up after all!

Brighton beach l Honest Mum

Thanks again Laura!

To win one night at the Hilton Brighton Metropole for 2 adults with bed and breakfast and a sparkling wine ride on the i360 please do enter below.

Honest Mum and kids

Terms and Conditions:

The hotel win is redeemable within 6 months, the i360 within 12 months.

Please follow all the entry requirements on Rafflecopter.

No cash alternative.

If the winner does not respond within 7 days of the notification email being sent, a new winner will be selected at random.

UK only.

Ends 30th October 2020.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This competition is promoted at Prize finderLoquaxSuper LuckyUK Wins and Competition Database.

Enter more competitions here.


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198 Responses

  1. Sue Clarke

    Love Brighton – always something new to see and do – never tire of visiting.

  2. Patricia Barrett

    This would be such a lovely prize to win and look forward to taking once things are a little more settled! Thanks for the competition.

  3. Gemma Holland

    I would love a break with my boys. I’m an NHS nurse and this year has been super chaotic so this would be a lovely break

  4. Leanna Harrington

    I’d love to win so that I can take my fiancé and our son away for a mini getaway. We love going to Brighton and always have so fun. It’d be a first to stay at the Hilton so would be absolutely fab to win x

  5. Lia Burns

    I would love to win because it would be a lovely treat for mine and my husband’s anniversary x

  6. Maria Hackett

    sounds amazing! i would love to surprise hubby to this for our wedding anniversary coming up xx

  7. Violet Phillippo

    I absolutely love Brighton but haven’t had the opportunity to stay overnight before, so this would be amazing!

  8. Heather Hawley

    I’d love to win to take the husband on a break because he deserves one.

  9. Charlotte Hoskins

    I love Brighton from the beach, pier and amusements to all the fabulous places to have a cocktail in the evening!

  10. Sandra Foreman

    Not been to Brighton for over 30 years loved it then would love to see if it has changed much

  11. Terri Dudey

    Always wanted to visit looks lovely and so much things to do with the kids, we did book this year but covid stopped it but definitely on our travel wish list next xx

  12. Jessica R.

    I have never been to Brighton and would love to explore it together with my partner!

  13. Ian Yates

    Having something to look forward to will be very high amongst everybody’s priorities just now, and I’m no exception.

  14. Sammie Martin

    I would love to take my son and partner away by the sea, to have a mini break with them.

  15. Jackie Talbot

    Never been to Brighton and would love to go there to celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday, what a treat that would be for us

  16. Susan K

    I love Brighton, such an exciting city with so much choice for vegetarians like me, but I can’t afford to get there very often. This prize would be brilliant!


    I would love to win as not been to Brighton for over 40 years and would love to see how it has changed also its close to family as we used to go there as kids happy memories.

  18. Kellie McIntyre

    I’ve never been to Brigton so would be lovely to go and experience the beach.

  19. Paul Scotland

    I would love to win, because, firstly, I have never been to Brighton, and secondly, to treat my son, who via circumstances has been isolated for two months

  20. Dorothy McDowell

    A break in Brighton would definitely be a much needed breath of fresh air, in more ways than one

  21. Alison Clark

    We have had 2 u.k. based trips cancelled this year and I would dearly love a getaway with my litttle boy and just go and have some fun as I know many others would too.

  22. Sammi McSporran

    I’d love to win and spend some time with my husband in Brighton (which is where we got engaged 7 years ago!)

  23. Siobhan Rowe

    Love Brighton. Lots to do, plenty of good restaurants and bars. The lanes are a must visit. What’s not to like.

  24. Kim Lam

    I have had two holidays cancelled this year and I could really do with a break

  25. Michelle Corlis

    Love Brighton! Ive not been there for years. Would love a break away with the kids, and the hotel looks amazing!

  26. Alison MacDonald

    I would love to treat my daughter to a relaxing break away she has been going through tough times and deserves a treat xx

  27. Nikki Hunter-Pike

    I would love to take my best friend – we had a trip to Brighton planned that was cancelled due to lockdown and we lost everything we booked, this would be perfect for us for our girly weekend away!

  28. Sunita

    I’m 43 and have never been to Brighton! I’d love a visit. I find it hard to think of ideas for day trips with my son who is now 17, and we always loved our day trips.I think Brighton is good for all ages, it would also be a great opportunity to have a look a their university as it’s one my son has considered. A great prize and great opportunity so fingers crossed 🤞🏽🤞🏽

  29. Jenny Jones

    not very often I get to go away with how crazy everything is at the moment so this would be a lovely treat

  30. Lucy D

    I’d love to take my son. He would be so excited to go on the i360 and I would love to treat him.


    I would love to win and gift to my sister!! She amazes me daily with her strength!!

  32. Elaine Stokes

    i live just down the coast and have never been to brighton, and had booked a weekend away but lockdown hit and it was cancelled, so i would love to go and explore and enjoy the weekend i should have had.


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