“So many steps are involved in the preparation of a really splendid lobster thermidor” trills Julia Child, “No wonder it costs a fortune in any restaurant!” However, I was not ordering from a fancy eatery when I was lucky enough to sample this most luxurious of sea-meats, no, instead it was a birthday treat from my adorable other half.
Not only was it a birthday treat, but it was also something of a moving present too. For you see, dear reader(s), I have relocated to the south coast for work. Exciting times, as now I have a whole new set of museums to explore.
So, explore I shall!
Inspired by my (locally sourced) lobster dinner and my new environs I tracked down the Brighton Fishing Museum. It’s right on the beach, next to the famous pleasure pier.
According to the information on the wall, until 1770, Brighton was a community of ‘sober, industrious’ people – a million miles away from the city’s current reputation as a party town. It’s so easy to forget that before seaside resorts became A Thing; coastal towns were hardworking fishing communities. You can see the transformation happen in the museum as the boats are used less and less for fishing and become “among the principal amusements” according to a Mrs Merryfield in the 1830s.
You can’t forget the seafaring past though, as sea-shanties are played in the background, like echoes from the sailors of days gone by. The smell of the sea spray from the beach and the soft sound of the waves add to the atmosphere as the ship occupying most of the space looks forlornly out to sea…