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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114 Responses

  1. Christine Hall

    We are tired of looking at our 4 walls but wouldn’t mind looking at the walls in the Grand hotel.

  2. Valerie Seal

    Our son lives in Brighton and we are the other end of the country so it’s very expensive to visit, but we do love to see him.

  3. Susan John

    I would love to win as my nephew lives in Brighton and this would be a great opportunity to go and visit him and his family.

  4. Jane Willis

    This year we’ve had to cancel two overseas holidays, two weekend breaks and a spa break – apart from duty visits to my Mum we’ve not been away from home at all. It would be lovely to have a little break – not too far to travel and a break from routine.

  5. Stephanie Keill

    Always wanted to go to Brighton for the longest time .me and my partner definitely need this .amazing prize!!

  6. Alison Bruce

    Although I live in the South of England I have never visited Brighton – so it is on my bucket list. Also after reading your article I am encouraged that all covid19 precautions are being taken so I would feel very safe there.

  7. Helen Arlow

    I’ve visited Brighton once, but it was a very quick trip. I’d love to spend more time there x

  8. Susan Willshee

    Like everyone else I’ve been subjected to cancelled holidays, days out and family events during lockdown. I’d really, really love to get away somewhere in the UK and I’ve never been to Brighton!

  9. julia linsley

    Want to Win as Brighton Looks like an amazing experience ! We would love to see those views from the BA’s i360 & the Hotel looks Lush with an amazing reputation !

  10. Dawn McBride

    I would love to visit Brighton, it has always been on my list of places to visit but yet to do it. Would be a really lovely family break away. The hotel and food looks amazing, and real luxury. The Elephant towel is great!! To experience the i360 would be fantastic, the views look incredible. What a great experience. I would also love to visit the upside down house, the kids would love it!!

  11. Graeme Tyrrell

    I would love to surprise my partner with this trip to Brighton as he used to live there and has fond memories and I’d like for him to show me Brighton through his eyes ❤️

  12. Gemma Fletcher

    I used to live in Brighton, moved to the Isle of Wight when I was 8 months pregnant, almost 9 years ago! Would love to go back and show my kids where I used to live! Loved your blog!!!

  13. Lucy

    I was brought up in Brighton and not been for years. I would love to go back with my best friend and have a wonderful weekend in Brighton. Plus I have always wanted to stay at The Metropole

  14. Rachelle Barrett

    Brighton is one of my favourite ever places. It is where my husband proposed to me so its incredibly special. Going back now would be amazing, especially as its been such a tough year for us through redundancy which has had a huge impact on our life.

  15. Helen S Wright

    Would love to surprise my HGV driver husband, who has been working so hard for our wedding anniversary 🙂

  16. Hugh Jones

    I had many happy times in Brighton in my twenties and would love to go back there again,

  17. Oriana Donlevy

    What a fabulous break you had. Would be a real treat to win. This has been a difficult year for so many reasons so a little getaway would be perfect.

  18. Elizabeth Leddy

    This looks like the best day ever 😍 I want to go with the kids one day too!

  19. Christine Shelley

    My daughters are adopted and haven’t seen their birth siblings ( they are 2 of 7) for nearly a year , so we could drop them off to have fun and enjoy ourselves in the lanes

  20. Angie McDonald

    This would be an amazing chance to spend some much-needed time away and have a break with my fiancé

  21. Helen Markham

    Wow I have never been to Brighton, it looks amazing from this Blog! Thanks so much for sharing your trip

  22. Cherry Lloyd

    So I can meet up with my friends who live in the surrounding areas and have a fun filled weekend away

  23. juliette morrison

    I would love to treat my husband to a staycation – like with many others this year hasnt been the greatest it would be nice to escape, recharge and make new memories

  24. Amy SIMPSON

    I’d love to beable to treat my keyworker fiance Allan to a lovely break away,as he’s been working long shifts since february

  25. Hayley Atkins

    Like, for many people, this year has been rather depressing. My partner and I ,both disabled, have rarely left the house .We usually celebrate our birthdays by having a day out somewhere but obviously , this has not been safe to do. A break in beautiful Brighton would be a most welcome change of scenery.

  26. Peter Watson

    My wife has been working tirelessly all through lockdown caring for elderly people and could do with a nice break.


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