Miss Arabella and Mlle Rosette by the sea

Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

When a certain B.L. arrived in Brighton in 1866, he took a rather harsh look at the inhabitants of the town.  His article was published in the weekly magazine “La Vie Parisienne”.  B.L. starts his piece by satirising the drivers of the fly carriages before pillorying the street sellers, the urchins and finally the beggars in the street.  But the main barb of his article is reserved for the bourgeoisie. Continue reading

Petit Pois

Tucked away just off the seafront, you will find Petit Pois, a French restaurant run by David and his wife, Ivana.  This is David’s story.

“I trained as a chef in France, mostly Michelin-starred restaurants: L’auberge de l’Eridan (Annecy 3*); le Domaine de Bournissac (Provence 1*) and Le Pastel (Toulouse 1*)  After travelling in several countries, I decided to give it a go in England to discover a new lifestyle.  And to improve my English. Continue reading

Christmas 1915

© Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

On Saturday 25 December 1915, the ‘Brighton Herald and Hove Chronicle’ published this small advertisement placed by the French Protestant Church in Queensbury Mews Brighton. 


On the same days were several small adds from refugee French and Belgian citizens offering various forms of tuition. 

On the Palace Pier, you could watch a highly interesting film illustrating the “Manufacture of Guns in France”.  At the Florence Road Baptist Church, Captain G. M. Rice (Chaplain to HM Forces) was to give an account of his work in France.  In an upstairs corridor of the Brighton Library you could go to view an exhibition of ‘war relics’ which included a large collection of the debris of the battlefield – German helmets, French kepis Turkish fezes (and) fragments of every kind of shell,  whereas Estelle’s (The Dainty Blouse Shop) in Preston Street was advertising Dents celebrated French Kid gloves at a bargain price of 1/11¾ (one shilling and eleven pence three farthings – a snip at the price).


Brighton-lès-Pins [Brighton near the pines]; Brighton Plage; Cayeux-sur-mer-Brighton – call it what you will, there is a development called Brighton in the north-west of France. 

Where in the north-west of France?  Find St Valéry at the mouth of the River Somme.  Follow the coastline round to the south and there it is, just two kilometres north of Cayeux-sur-mer. Continue reading

One egg is ‘un œuf” for breakfast

In 1836, the Revue Anglo-Française was quite astonished to reveal this riveting fact:

Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Apparently, according to the Review, England was importing, via the ports of London and Brighton, no less than sixty-two million eggs annually.  France was providing not less than fifty-five million of these eggs.  The Review goes on rapidly to tot up how much revenue France was gleaning from England.  At 42 centimes per dozen, that added up to 1,925,000 francs a year. 

You can almost hear the author rubbing his hands in glee.  Would he have wanted “England” to leave “Europe”?


Dieppe to Brighton (1)

Source: Musée Carnavalet

In 1821 Charles Nodier, poet, novelist and librarian, was 41 years old and happily married.  He set off to travel from his home in Paris to make the long journey to Scotland.

The journey from Dieppe to Brighton was so rough that the sailboat ferry was blown off course.  Nodier and his fellow passengers endured a crossing of thirty-two hours.  It should have taken a mere ten. Continue reading