Brighton Beach, Melbourne ‘v’ Brighton Beach, UK

When I was a baby my parents lived in St. Kilda, meaning that I spent the first couple of years of my life making sandcastles on the beach…

So when I visited Melbourne 20 years later, checking out the old gaff and taking a trip to Brighton Beach were top of my list – mainly to paint a picture in my head about how my life might have been had they decided to stay in Australia. When I arrived, the first thing that hit me was how different my teenage years would have been had I spent them living next door to one of Australia’s beaches… rather than huddled under a golf umbrella in a rainy park in Liverpool, drinking cheap cider, (that my friend with the massive boobs managed to buy for us, because the boy in the local off-license was a pervert.) Not that I would change those magical days for the world, mind.

The second thing that hit me, however, was how much it reminded me of my current home in Brighton, UK. 

See what I mean? 

But besides the glaringly obviously similarity of the beach huts, I also loved the fact that both Brighton, UK and St. Kilda are similar in their laid back, ‘anything goes’, bourgeois-esque  atmosphere… and are both crawling with vegetarian cafes, meaning I could get a good meal for once.

So which is better?

“What a ridiculous question” I hear you cry, “Of course Australia’s beach is better.” …and you’d probably be right. For a start Brighton Beach down under has sun and sand – two features that are both pretty high up in the, “things that make something a beach” stakes, (I mean, who thought it was going to be comfortable to lie on rocks?)

But for the sake of being fair I thought I’d put across three of the unsung perks its English counterpart has to offer…

1)Drag queens…

They literally roam the seaside like tall, glittery rays of joy – seeking out karaoke venues and fabulous cocktails and reminding us why Brighton is one of the UK’s best nights out! Hang around long enough on a sunny day, and you’ll see them staggering out of the Glitter Ball bar, adjusting their duct tape and swinging their wigs round in the air. It’s brilliant.

2) The Pier…

I absolutely love Brighton pier, and not just because it reminds me of being a kid and spending every penny of my pocket money on those 2p machines, shaking like a smack head from the sheer amount of sugar I’d consumed. But what better way to find your inner child than at the fairground plied with alcohol* from one of the many bars, and surrounded by drag queens?

3) Chavs…

Usually the presence of chavs is detrimental to any situation – but on particularly warms days, when the beach is packed, you get to see them at full force in their natural habitat. I swear it’s like the seams of Jeremy Kyle burst open to create a hypnotising documentary before your very eyes. Take last weekend for example; I saw one drunk woman getting physically removed from Nobles amusments at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. It was fucking mesmerising – right or wrong, it doesn’t half make you feel better about your own existence.

So there you have it. Australia might have the sun, sand and water sports… but the UK’s Brighton beach offers a service that you just can’t get anywhere else.

*Obviously within reason, hotties. Remember, you’re not Spiderman and Redbull doesn’t give you wings.

25 comments… read them below or add one

Leigh-Ann July 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hilarious! I want to see the drag queens of Brighton so much! xx

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Scarlett July 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Lol! They’re fabulous!! x

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Arianwen July 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Makes me proud to be British! Haha. I reckon I’d like the Aussie version better. I went in the sea in Brighton, UK, last year and it was so cold we all just screamed for 5 minutes and then got out shivering. Not sure why we felt compelled to do it in the first place!

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Scarlett July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

LOL! I was lying on the beach today and saw some poor girl do the exact same thing! It looks so tempting on a hot day but it’s FREEZING xxx

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Waegook Tom July 27, 2012 at 2:10 am

HAHAHAHAHA ohmygod now I’m picturing the drunk woman getting removed from Nobles Amusements at 3pm oh the SHAME hahaha! I’m seriously LOLing here.

Also you’re so right. Whoever thought to call an area with a bunch of rocks by the sea a “beach”? I always seethe with bitterness and resentment if I make it to a beach only to discover it’s a bunch of rocks. However drag queens would more than make up for it.

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Scarlett July 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

It was hilarious Tom, she was wrestling the bouncer in the middle of the road with cars screeching to a halt around her. Nothing says class like it! x

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ShimonZ July 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

Not quite sure what pleasure you derive from watching the drag queens… I prefer to watch the wide wing spread of the birds soaring overhead , in their search of an abandoned sandwich or other treats that humans bring with them… but I suppose it’s a matter of taste.

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Scarlett July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

You should see the majestic wingspan on these Drag Queens when they’re all dressed up for Pride festival Shimon! x

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Monica July 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

Love this. I lived in St Kilda for 5 months and if Brighton in Oz is anything like St Kilda then I have to agree that Brighton UK wins! When the sun is shining in the UK the seaside is amazing. There is so much going on and so much to see and so many weirdos around too. Australian beaches are full of relatively normal people.

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Scarlett July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

I agree Mon, and there’s nothing like a few crazies to spice things up on a hot day lol! x

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snowbird July 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

Wonderful! I think I like both beaches the same albeit they have their own special attractions.xxx

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Scarlett July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

Thanks Snow Bird x

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Elle July 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Any beach with drag queens is a winner in my book.

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Scarlett July 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

A girl after my own heart! x

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Natasha von Geldern July 28, 2012 at 4:24 am

LOL great post. I’ve spent time on both Brighton Beach in the UK and Australia and they both have their own charms.

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Scarlett July 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Thanks Natasha :) x

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Audrey July 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The two look identical! It would be hard to distinguish them were it not for the buildings in the background. (That one’s the UK, right?! Tell me I got it right!) 😀

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Scarlett July 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Haha yes Audrey! x

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Amberr Meadows July 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Sounds like my kind of place to party sans kiddo. You’ve made some changes to your website. It looks fabulous!

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Hannah July 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm

How did I not know that you live in the same city as me??? Crazy! I’m emailing you right now to arrange a day of drag queen spotting, chav avoiding merriment :)

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Scarlett July 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

Definitely Hannah xx

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Lesley Peterson August 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Great post! I love any old beachside resort, especially in the off-season. Very fond memories of Brighton and the odd birds wandering the stone beach.

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Scarlett August 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Thanks Lesley – I love beachside resorts too!x

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Spencer August 3, 2012 at 1:02 am

I have been lucky enough to have gone to both places and loved them equally!

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Scarlett August 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Glad to hear it Spencer :) x

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