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Thursday, April 24, 2014

48 Hours in Sussex, Brighton and Bishopstoke

I've been to the UK about a dozen times, but never once had I ventured any farther south than Devon (and that was when I was 12 and super jet-lagged so it didn't really count.)  But last month I ran the grueling Sussex Coastal Marathon in near freezing temperatures, and I really got to see that magnificent coastline hugging the English Channel as well as some of that famed countryside scenery.  I had documented my run here, but this is more of what we did, saw, eat and drank during our brief 48 madcap hours starting first in Sussex, then Brighton and Hove, and finally in Bishopstoke.

Getting in gear: A throwback to my surfing days in Hawaii when I had to change out of my trunk in the middle of a car park.  But this time, it's to rummage for more pieces of clothing (layers! more layers!) to stave off the chill, the damp and that relentless wind.
30 seconds after the official start of the 10K race.
The serene meadows of Eastbourne

Running through farmland

This was one of the many, many hills to climb throughout the race.

Heading to the lighthouse....around the 7K mark.

Can't get any more English than to have a blessed pot of Earl Grey tea about two hours after crossing the finish line.  This is also right after Betty, Weng and I wolfed down some pretty greasy fish and chips in the eatery a couple of stores down.  Walked past this lovely little six-seater cafe called Sugardough that is owned by baker Kane McDowell and were immediately seduced by the amazing display of pies, quiches, tarts and breads by the window.

Our selections - cappuccino and carrot cake

Sugardough - 12 Victoria Terrace, Kingsway, Hove, East Sussex - 01273 727 227. Open daily except Mondays.
After loading up on sweet and savoury pastries, we said goodbye to Betty and headed onwards to Bishopstoke to meet with another friend Jill who had very generously opened her lovely home to us for a night.  Formerly a hunting lodge for the King (who resided in Winchester, the former capital of England that is a 10-minute drive away) and his entourage, her Grade II-certified heritage home sits on acres of woodland on top of a hill.  It features five bedrooms, an adjoining garage with a studio apartment above, fruit and cherry blossom trees, a ghost of a little boy (yes, you read that right) and a most impressive cast iron stove that Jill uses for everything (baking, frying, grilling, toasting, heating the home....everything.)
Stoke Lodge, Bishopstoke

Inside Stoke Lodge

What a treat - Jill making breakfast for us on her remarkable stove in her favourite room - the bright sunlit kitchen with huge bay windows.


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