CAN anyone start a travelling tradition?
Not waiting for an answer to that question, two travelling Antipodean media lovers attempted the task on a trip to Brighton.
Brighton is often referred to as ‘Little London’ and serves as a weekend location for hen and stag parties.
In a time before the town was a popular drinking hole for Londoners, it was a base for the Prince Regent, George IV. When in town he stayed at what has now become one of Brighton’s modern day tourist attractions, The Royal Pavilion.
The Pavilion was built and designed for the prince over a period of 35 years, finally receiving its finishing touches in 1823. The place was famous for wild parties, as well as George’s extravagant use of money to design and fit out his pad.
In the name of tradition, and gonzo styled journalistic practice, we therefore felt we owed it to George to see the former palace as he had intended — following a tipple in tribute to the King himself, a man not afraid to enjoy the pleasures of his kingdom.
The palace is supposedly representative of a man with eccentric tastes. There is a dragon that hangs from the ceiling in the main dining hall, and the place has secret passages for at least two to three toilets. There is also terrible patterned carpet everywhere.
On the second floor, after deciding the audio guide script to the palace was informative, but not representative of its reputation as purveyor of parties, we went rogue. Shots of whiskey in the Pavilion toilets was a decision we felt the King would have supported.
Once the tour finished the conclusion reached was that George was a man of little taste. He had money and no idea how to use it. The description, ‘extravagant’ is just used to hide that George was out of touch with the reality of what looked good, and a way to dress George up as some type of rebel king.
For those with discerning interior design tastes, you may be better off skipping the palace tour and enjoying instead the former palace’s grounds. If you do decide to go, then perhaps a whistle of whiskey before entering may enhance the experience. It is what George would have done.