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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105 Responses

  1. A.E. ADKINS

    I have never been to Brighton and was only saying last night that we ought to go for a break for a couple of nights , post Covid, obviously!

  2. Sam J

    I would like to win this for a family treat for my daughters 10th Birthday. She is sad she wont be able to have a party so this would be so special for us to enjoy as a family. My two daughers think going to hotels is the most exciting thing to do every so this would be a dream come true. We would certainly remember this forever.

  3. Alex McKay

    I’d love to win because i haven’t been to Brighton before and your review is amazing at showing all of the different things we could do. A great holiday for sure.

  4. Becky Duffy

    We would like nothing more than a trip to Brighton, like others we have not been able to get away at all this year unfortunately and Brighton would be the perfect family getaway, looks like you had an amazing time

  5. sarah brokenshire

    Would love to take my little boy – I have heard Brighton is lovely xx

  6. Amanda

    This looks absolutely amazing. I have not been to Brighton for years and would love to stay in the luxury of the best hotel in town, to treat my special partner.

  7. Kat Glynn

    I’d love to win this time away in Brighton as it would give me something to look forward to to when the Covid virus is finally under control – it’s been a long year with no hols!!

  8. Laura Atkin

    Ahh it looks like you all had the most perfect time. I’ve only been to Brighton to pass through so would love to explore the sights and the trip on the i360 would be amazing 😍

  9. Tina H

    I’d love to win as I used to live in Brighton and haven’t been back for years!


    Would love to win to recharge our batteries as been a long and never ending 2020 so far!

  11. Nicki Simpson

    I would love to win so that my little girl daphne gets a holliday, lockdown was tough, like it was for everyone but as I work for the NHS I was extremely busy so no homeschooling for daphne, she was unfortunately sat infront of the TV for the most part, I didn’t even have energy to play on my breaks as I was pregnant, since lockdown has finished we have welcomed beautiful ophelia into the family and my daughter daphne has been the best big sister…she deserves all the treats
    Thanks for the chance HM

  12. Claire Thorpe

    I would love to win to enjoy a UK staycation with my partner – some grown up time !

  13. Lyn west

    Weve only ever visited Brighton on a day trip. Would be lovely to stay longer and spend time exploring whilst being watered & fed

  14. Sean Eccles

    Looks like you had a great time 2020 hasn’t been the best for any of us we need things to help us look forward to 2021!

  15. Emma Walton

    My husband and I would love a short break. Our dream holiday was cancelled in May and my husband has worked all through the lockdown, that is, until he contracted sepsis and was admitted to hospital. We could both do with some R and R!

  16. Adrian Bold

    I’d love to win as a nice treat for my partner and myself when things are safer.


    I haven’t had a holiday or short trip in more than twenty years. My first grandchild was born late last year but Covid has kept my Daughter and the baby apart. Going away for some fun in Brighton sounds perfect.

  18. Emmaline Bach

    To visit my mum. She lives in Brighton but with a baby on the way she isn’t going to have space for us all to stay and I would love to go on the i360 😀 x

  19. Harry MacDonald

    A great choice for a birthday. Brighton is such a vibrant and creative city. Would be wonderful to go back there after yeaea away to show my own family what this amazing city is all about.

  20. kim white

    I haven’t been to Brighton since I was 16 years old, which is many moons or 40 years ago. I’d love to go again.

  21. Rebecca Beesley

    Brighton is my hometown where I was born but the i360 was built years and years after I moved away so I have never been on it! Would love to have a little break there and go on the i360 at long last!

  22. Kas Grant

    I’m pregnant with baby 3, looking after a toddler and a little boy. A break away with my husband would be amazing as I can get childcare. Thanks for chance!

  23. rachel Richardson

    Would love this as a honeymoon break when we get married next year x

  24. Katie B

    It would be so good to get away right now. This would definitely come in handy!

  25. Sharon l Catterall

    hi vicki,i hope your keeping well,id love to win because ive been working 13 hour shifts since lockdown and me and my partner should have been celebrating 27 years to gether this year but we havent been able to due to this awful virus,plus im totally exhausted and id love a chance to relax and unwind with my partner as well as celebrate our anniversary

  26. Tracy Gladman

    I would love to win to be able to catch up with some friends who live in Brighton. Rarely get to go so would be great to have quality time with them.

  27. jane

    Been a while since we’ve all had a good holiday – getting so expensive in the UK due to demand so would be a lovely surprise!


    What a fantastic trip ! Love Brighton, such a nice atmosphere, Sounds like you had a blast.

  29. James Harris

    Amazing prize! I would love to be able to visit Brighton with my family.

  30. Ruth Harwood

    We need a break so badly, been stuck at home for so long the rooms are getting claustrophobic xx

  31. Christina Curtis

    Would love a break away, we haven’t had a night away or any baby free time since we had our daughter 13 months ago. We love Brighton so this would be perfect.

  32. Emma Iraci

    My husband and I were just talking about the fact that we need to visit Brighton- he has never been! I would love to show him the sights!


    We really need a break after the last few months and cancelled holidays

  34. Natalie Crossan

    I’ve never been on anything like the i360 this sounds exciting 🙂

  35. Tony Martin

    This break would be so very welcome,
    It’s been a year of trouble and strife,
    escape to the sea, sounds good for free,
    Really ‘Brighton’ up everybody’s life

    • Kim Kitts

      Hey. I would love to win because I’ve not had a holiday or break away for ages. And I also haven’t seen my friend up there in AGES.

  36. Louise Heaton

    A trip away to this beautiful hotel would be super. I’ve had so much stress these past few months with my dog being ill, and ultimately, having to put him to sleep, to get away from home would be the tonic I need.

  37. Christine Hall

    We are fed up looking at our 4 walls but wouldn’t mind looking at the walls in the Hilton Hotel


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