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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Jellybean Queen

Posted by Sara on February 20, 2010

Window display in Fizziwiggs Finest Sweet Emporium, Brighton Lanes.

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Time Out

Posted by Sara on February 16, 2010

02/06/2010 Time Out Cafe, 3-4 East street, BN1 1HP.

Another breakfast close to the sea, though this time at the Palace Pier end of the promenade.  Time Out is a fully licensed Cafe/Restaurant specialising in English breakfasts. There is space for eating outside but it is too cold and windy for that so we opt for a nice table by the window indoors. East Street is a busy place for shopping and can get quite crowded on Saturday afternoons but there is a nice relaxed feel to this cafe. Inside is softly lit and painted in muted orange and blue, with faded prints and large spider plants lining the walls.

Specials of the day include Fresh Mackerel or Sardines griddled in oil and seasalt and served with fresh veg and potatoes and salad for £6.95 or Broccoli and Stilton soup served with croutons and garlic bread for £3.95.

There are also a range of homemade cakes, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and other luncheon treats on offer as well as an evening menu that starts at 6pm. We of course stick to breakfast. This time D decides on the Vegetarian, unable to resist the promise of a giant yorkshire pud, and I opt for the 100% Healthy Option, complete with grilled bacon, potato and scrambled eggs.

Both breakfasts come with drinks and toast. The coffee is hot, strong and filtered and service is good. As you can see from the photo’s, breakfast was a treat – and tasted as good as it looked, brimming with lovely home cooked flavours and textures. Extra nooky points awarded for the fantastically presented vegetarian – a cornucopia of goodness nestled in the most yummy giant yorkshire pudding we have ever had the pleasure of eating this far south of the border.

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Modern Art

Posted by Sara on February 7, 2010

Somewhere in an alley in Preston street.

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Pebble Art

Posted by Sara on February 7, 2010

Somewhere along the beach in Hove

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West Beach Rock Cafe

Posted by Sara on February 5, 2010

30/01/2010 West Beach Rock Cafe, 135 Kings Road, BN1 2HX.

westbeachrockThe West Beach is a great place for a fry up with a view. This south facing cafe is just one big window that lets in all of the sun but none of the blustery sea air, so you can sit and bask in the sunshine while enjoying views over the West Pier.

Inside is crispy clean and brightly decorated in yellows and reds with various pictures of rock gods adorning the walls. There’s a flat screen telly (channel 4 + 1 with the sound down) for those who prefer soaps to seaside, and the chunky pine tables and chairs are comfy and homely.

To the left is a bar and a games room with more seating, big sofa’s and a pool table. Wi-fi is also available.

Background music is a selection of modern pop (Dido, Kylie, Rhiannon etc) which is a little disappointing as from the name we would have expected something a little more, well, rock. westbeachmeatyThe menu is a mix of lunchtime grills, main courses, salads and snacks, with a range of breakfasts on offer including French (with crepes) and Spanish (potatoes and omelette). There is also the All Day Special for £5.90 with drinks included. I opt for the Veggie and D the Meaty All-Dayer.

Service is very good, despite the place being busy. Tea and coffee arrive first in big white mugs. The coffee is hot and strong so I’m happy – and the tea looked good too. westbeachveggieAnd the food? Well this is our first fry up of 2010 so expectations are high. Luckily the West Beach doesn’t disappoint and breakfast is a treat. Everything tastes fresh and flavourful and is served piping hot. Bacon was crispy and home cooked tasting and D was especially pleased with his three sausages. As for the veggie – what can I say? The omlettes here are the best in Brighton I reckon  – chunky and cheesy with just enough gooiness and none of the stodge.

We like coming here for a nice relaxed breakfast by the sea but the West Beach also functions as a bar, restaurant and private hire venue. To have a look at their menu and check out what else they do, you can visit their web page at – www.westbeachrockcafe.co.uk

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Art Junky

Posted by Sara on January 24, 2010

If you’re looking for a jumble sale with a difference then you can do a lot worse than the Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market this Sunday 31st January. Last summer’s bazaar brought together a variety of affordable art and jewellery made by local artists as well an eclectic mix of stalls selling books, badges, buttons an’ bows and all things arty and junkalicious in between. For more information go to http://www.phoenixarts.org/

Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market, Sun 31 Jan 2010, 11am to 5pm

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Dockerills Car Park Regent Street

Posted by Sara on January 13, 2010

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Brighton Marina Car Boot Fair

Posted by Sara on January 6, 2010

With loads of stalls bursting with new and used bargains galore, the weekly Brighton Station car boot was one of our favourite places to shop on a Sunday morning. Last April we said our fond farewells as it was decamped from its location of twenty plus years and moved across town to the multi storey car park in the Marina.

Though we swore blind we wouldn’t ever go near Brighton Marina again, we couldn’t stay away for long, so last weekend we took advantage of a rare day of sunshine to trek across town to check out our beloved boot fair in its new home.

The Marina boot fair is open from 7am (5am for traders) till 1pm and it’s probably best to get there early for a chance at the real bargains. It’s a long way for us to walk so we get up extra early (for us anyway) and set out  from the West Pier at the crack of 10am. Ten minutes into our trek we’re half way down the promenade and the early morning exercise is taking its toll, so we stop for some well deserved sustenance at Jack and Linda’s Traditional Fish Smokers. Jack and Linda have been smoking locally caught fish fresh on the beach here for over 14 years and there is always a delicious range of  seafood snacks on offer.

Fortified by scrumptious fish soup and hot buttery kipper rolls, we continue our way along the seafront, past the crazy golf toward the Marina. Unfortunately it’s out of season so we can’t even cadge a lift off the Volks Electric railway. Undeterred we carry on down Madera Drive.

Half hour later and we’re still walking – past the nudist beach and on to Black Rock station. As we get to Black Rock we’re thankful the railway’s closed – the place is covered in poo! Yuk.

It’s now about 11.30am and we are nearly there. There’s just the traveller’s encampment to circumnavigate, where we are momentarily diverted from our mission while I play with a rather cute looking pony called Clyde, before the concrete loveliness that is Brighton Marina looms into view before us.

Through the car park and up however many flights of stairs later, we  have  at last arrived at the  boot sale, ready to start our browsing. It’s good to see some of my old favourites – the flower stall, the buttons ‘n’ bows ‘n’ religious souvenirs from Lourdes stall,  the stall run by the nice shouty lady that’s full of bargains from £1. But on the whole traders  seemed a bit thin on the ground today, though being the post Christmas / New Years weekend I guess you’d expect it to be a bit quieter than normal.

There’s still enough to keep us busy for an hour or so and, though there aren’t that many book traders in attendance,  I manage to find some nice vintage paperbacks to keep me going.

mermaid market - not quite as naff as the poster and plastic snowman might suggest...

One good thing about the Marina for a Sunday morning browse is you do get two markets for one.  Walk out the car park, past the gigantic ASDA and you will come upon the Mermaid Market located in the square and open Sundays 11am- 4pm. This comprises of about 50 stalls selling mainly new stuff like home made soaps, food, trinkets and exotic woody things from Thailand. There is also a good second hand book stall so it’s always worth a look.

We head home via Dukes Mound, pausing briefly to pay homage outside Sussex Square – according to D it was here Black Sabbath wrote Paranoid – before wandering down into Kemptown to finish our shopping experience in the eclectic pink wonderland that is The Brighton Flea Market –but more of that in a later post.

Incidently, if you’re the sort of person who likes to check out other peoples bargains almost as much as rummaging for your own, then pay a visit to the amazing The Usual Shop. This Brighton blogger  really knows her way around all the local flea markets, car boot fairs and jumble sales, faithfully recording her finds online for the rest of us to drool over.

So was Brighton Marina boot fair worth the walk? The blurb boasts of over 200 pitches but I say there were less than forty on our visit. To be fair it’s a quiet time of year but I have been here once before in October and found it similarly bereft of traders. Other people on the web seem to love this place so I’m holding off judgement to give it one more go in the spring / summer – third times a charm they say and maybe I’ll have more luck once the weather improves.

In any event, half the fun is watching other people and though it was quiet today there still seemed a fair few satisfied customers milling about…

from alarm clocks

... to shovels...

... to exotic prints....

there's something for everyone

even me!

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Posted by Sara on December 20, 2009

I love the snow.  I love the way it transforms old, familiar landscapes, making them appear magical and new. Let’s hope this weekend’s weather continues and we wake up to a snowy white Christmas.

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Dracula at The Brighton Little Theatre

Posted by Sara on December 18, 2009

Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic is a tale of tragedy and the madness that comes with desire and power. Lochhead brings this nightmare to life against a backdrop of the death of the 19th Century and a world  where the line between sanity and insanity is difficult to distinguish.

Tickets are still available for this cracking adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written by Liz Lochhead and directed by Tess Gill, at the Brighton Little Theatre – but hurry, the last performance is tomorrow. As well as some fine writitng and acting, this play has  some genuinely chilling moments and loads of atmosphere. I loved it. And for extra seasonal splendidness, treat yourself to a delicious glass of mulled wine served at the festively festooned bar during the interval.

For more informaton click here: www.the-little.co.uk

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