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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Archive for November, 2008

Belchers cafe

Posted by Sara on November 29, 2008

23.11.2008: Belchers Café, 9 Montpelier rd, Brighton

It’s been pouring with rain all morning and the only thing that’s going to get us out the house today is the promise of a juicy, fat fry up. Buried within the backstreets behind the west pier, on the corner of Montpelier rd and Sillwood st, Belchers looks exactly the kind of café that delivers on its promises. As we approach a welcoming glow greets us through the net curtained, steamed up windows and inside is warm and welcoming.

There is a good selection of breakfasts on offer. We place our orders at the counter and make our way to the table by the window. The décor is tradition café style with wood panelled walls, lino floor, menus on the walls and a community notice board. A lady bird theme brightens the tone with a cute lady bug wind chime on the door matching the brightly coloured plastic table covers. A table in the corner brims with local papers and information as well as a pile of thriller / horror books – just the right reading for a leisurely breakfast.

I ordered the Veggie breakfast with 1 fried egg, 2 veggie sausages, beans, tomato and fried slice. This costs £4 and coffee and a slice of bread and butter is included in the price. D had the Big Breakfast. This costs £6.25 and comprises of 2 fried eggs, 2 sausages, beans, bacon, tomato, chips, fried slice, bread and butter and a mug of tea or coffee.

Belchers Big Breakfast

Belchers Big Breakfast

Breakfast arrived quick and was just what we had hoped for. The food was all good quality with generous portions. The tomatoes were freshly grilled not tinned and the eggs were cooked just right, not too over done and just runny enough. The Big Breakfast was huge and everything seemed buried under a mound of chips, which was a good thing as they tasted delicious. D had been looking forward to the £4 breakfast and had felt a bit hard done by on noticing the Big breakfast included chips on the board. Risking getting less of all on the plate he went for it and says it was the sort of thing you wouldn’t have thought about raising an eyebrow over if it had been billed the £8 mega-pig-buster or somesuch. Sauces were top brands- Heinz and hp.

The coffee was strong and served in a mug, as was the tea. There was no background music and the café was quiet, making breakfast a refreshingly restful affair as all we could hear was the rain pouring down outside. Not the prettiest named cafe in town but we will definitely be coming back for more.

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The Lit Lit Trail

Posted by Sara on November 23, 2008

Clock Tower - Toxic Love

Clock Tower - Toxic Love

Lit Lit Trail

What did we do with the extra hour when the clocks went back this autumn? We went for a walk of course, courtesy of the very first White Night in Brighton and Hove. The Lit Lit tour was part of a series of events being held across Brighton to mark the end of British Summer Time and promised to be a ‘trip through the city’s psyche, geography and history at night through 11 revelations’. We met outside the library in Jubilee square at Midnight and from there a group of about thirty of us followed our guide to specific locations across Brighton.

The theme of the evening was Love and each location had been chosen for a specific story it could tell. The Clock Tower, pictured above, was the location for the scenario entitled Toxic Love; for it was near here, in a sweet shop in West street, that Christiana Edmund bought the sweets she laced with poison in order to win the love of the handsome Dr Beard.

Each location had been illuminated to match the story and the effects, from the deep pink bejewelled town hall pictured below (which I thought featured the most movingly poignant story) to the more subdued but incredibly evocative candle lit grave in St Nicholas’ churchyard, were dazzling. All in all the walk was an amazing experience; not least due to the story telling skills of our guide who really brought the tales to life, despite the many interruptions from puzzled drunks and passers by!

Town Hall - Everlasting Love

Town Hall - Everlasting Love

For more info check out http://whitenightbrightonandhove.com/

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The Cafe Royale

Posted by Sara on November 22, 2008

15.11.2008: The Café Royale, Preston st, Brighton


Cafe Royale

We’ve been here a fair few times and have never been disappointed. Today I had the all day veggie breakfast comprising of scrambled egg (from a choice of 2 fried eggs or scrambled), 2 veggie sausages, mushrooms, hash browns (from a choice of hash browns or fries) and grilled tomatoes (instead of beans). This was served with two slices of buttered toast and a coffee at a cost of £6.95.

The coffee comes in a small mug, without refill, and is hot, fresh and filtered. The breakfast was very good, especially the eggs, with good size portions. I wasn’t too keen on the veggie sausages as I personally prefer my veggie sausages to at least make some attempt at pretending to be meat whereas these were something else entirely – they reminded me of the potato bakes we used to buy at Somerfields but the Other Half loved them.

(He had the cheese omelette with fries and a cup of tea for £6.75 and says the chips were nice, fat and golden tasting and the omelette was cooked just right. He was however enviously eyeing someone else’s Full English breakfast with chips, which may be the way to go for meat eaters).

veggie breakfast

veggie breakfast

The service was friendly, but a little slow, though the place was busy as it was Saturday lunchtime. The music was muted, we could just make out Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ playing in the background and there are toilets. We both like the décor; an assortment of tiffany lighting, random nic nacs and paintings mixed together with a touch of regency styling. I had a statue of a waiter in front of me and his foot in front of my mouth and I felt like I ought to kiss his little stone shoes as a sort of thank you every now and then.

Overall a rather convivial, if a tad expensive, breakfast- though since there is also a bar and lots of other meals on offer this remains a popular venue for tourists and shoppers alike.

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Brighton Zombies?

Posted by Sara on November 22, 2008

Ghostbuster called as sewage workers stalked by zombie

OK not quite Brighton but near enough to cause a section 5 harassment, alarm and distress; this is too good to leave out on a mere technicality…


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Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

Posted by Sara on November 14, 2008


Or does he? Looks from this photo it’s only a matter of time before all of humanity becomes enslaved. Crikey – it’s a good thing we’re pals…..

Posted in Snapshots | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lost bird

Posted by Sara on November 14, 2008

Lost Bird

What a palava! I’m sure every bird owner says to themselves, this would never happen to me, but last Saturday it did. Left the door open to freshen the flat up a bit and completely forgot to close it when I went to feed the birds. As I opened their cage one of our cockatiels (Al – the smaller grumpy one) flew right past me, straight out the door and up into the wide world beyond. Recovering from the initial shock I legged it up the road and followed his screeching as far as Western Road, where he was perched on a window sill on the top floor of the flats near Sainsbury’s. A concerned passer by informed me the noises he was making were as a result of fear before wishing me luck with catching him. Just then a tattooed arm emerged from the window of the sill he was on and made an attempt to catch him but he flew off again…. I followed him up the hill but lost him somewhere behind the car park in hampton place and could hear his screeching no more…… That’s it I thought, the seagulls will get him for sure. I went home, called the RSPCA and spoke to a very understanding man called Tim, who advised me to leave his cage out by an open window as birds often come back of their own accord. I wasn’t too hopeful but I couldn’t stay in so I went out looking again, and though I spotted a lot of pigeons and seagulls I couldn’t see or hear our bird anywhere. Dejected I gave up and went home.It was already getting dark and I was sure Al was destined for that great big cockatiel perch in the sky.


When I got home I hastily made up some posters asking people to contact me if they had seen him anywhere and was just about to go out again when the phone rang – it was Tim from the RSPCA and had I reported a missing cockatiel? Well he was sitting right next to him! A lady had found him, tired and confused in the St Mary Magdalen church and had driven him over to the RSPCA shelter in Patcham. He was a bit concussed, they believed, as he was very quiet and subdued, but otherwise he seemed none the worse and I could come over and collect him straight away. One taxi ride over to Patcham later and he was soon back home, reunited with his brother and up to his old tricks of hissing and biting anyone who comes near. I said he was a grumpy bird but we wouldn’t change him for anything and I am very grateful to the kind lady who rescued him and to the RSPCA. Thank you!

Posted in Thee Birds - and other animals | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

The Sewer Tour

Posted by Sara on November 14, 2008


tunnel4On Saturday 27th September we went on a tour of the Victorian sewerage system of Brighton, organised by Southern Water. At 11am we met under the Palace Pier, outside Arch 260 and the group of about 15 of us were led into a small room where we were issued with passes, hard hats and gloves. After a short talk and video the tour started. We were led through a small underground tunnel into the first of the sewer chambers. The smell takes some getting used to – though as the 11am group we were told we had gotten off lightly and it was the 9am group who had suffered the full brunt of the Friday night / Saturday morning sewage aroma special. The sewers date back to the 1870’s and the architecture is amazing, comprising of cavernous underground brick work tunnels intercepted by chambers of various sizes. We were led deeper and deeper underground past rushing storm waters and through sewer shafts, some of which had been tagged by a well known Brazilian graffiti artist. After about an hour we climbed up a ladder to emerge above ground in the Old Steine. The guides were knowledgeable and informative and the sewers themselves are remarkable examples of engineering. For all you lovers of everything subterranean, Victorian and Gothic this is definitely a tour worth doing. For more information go to www.southernwater.co.uk


Bricked up tunnel

Bricked up tunnel


Posted in Brighton Graffiti, Brighton Underground, Brighton Walks and Talks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »