Wednesday, 21 September 2011

indian summer

My morning walk to work was pretty miserable. It rained. My shoes got wet. So wet I had to remove them when I arrived at the office. I’m going to be miserable, you might think. But no; for I knew I had a foot-warming exotic lunch to look forward to.

So, reapplying my feet to soggy shoes, I made my way to indian summer, looking forward to the promise of authentic Indian spices and curries just like mamaji (mother) used to make.

I’ll be honest, I love Indian food, and we all have our favourite local restaurant, with private booths, dim lighting and sounds of the sitar, so I did feel rather treasonous about dining at another. I was also dubious of eating a heavy curry for lunch (it’s surely a weekend treat, not a midweek staple).

I was however, pleasantly surprised. Warmly welcomed by owners Minesh and Byron, who started the restaurant in 2001, I soon learnt we were celebrating the restaurant’s 10th anniversary with a new menu in completely refurbished (trendy) surroundings.

The lunch menu (£10 for two courses – cheap for Brighton) was delicious. My starter of tomato & onion pakora was crispy and fresh, served with a cooling yogurt dip, and my main of Mamaji’s Chicken was delicious and light, with an undetectable mix of exotic flavours (it’s made to a secret recipe) and left me feeling comfortably full and warm – so much so, I completely forgot all about my squelchy shoes.

Looking at the restaurant’s menus, the food achieves exactly what it sets out to: simple, healthy, delicious dishes, inherited from generations of family cooking. Each dish is also listed with dietary requirements, so it is easy to see gluten, dairy and nut free as well as vegan dishes.

indian summer is a local gem, with friendly and knowledgeable staff, and has a whole host of events and offers throughout the year, so keep an eye their website. I’ll definitely be coming back, perhaps to try their Indian tapas.

Departing the restaurant I was greeted by a clear sky and a beaming sun, just like a true Indian Summer. See also our campaign for an Indian Summer, which celebrates, amongst many others, the anniversary of the India Gate.

Oh, and my feet are all dry :)

Happy eating,


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Brighton Art Fair

September seems to be challenging May to be become the month with the most events in it. The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival and Brighton Digital Festival are still going strong and we've also had the Ace Cafe Reunion, National Speed Trials and Shakedown. But it's not over yet as this weekend it's the Brighton Art Fair (22-25 September).

The Art Fair is the biggest along the South Coast and it is always quite awe-inspiring seeing the Corn Exchange chock full of artistic talent. I appreciate that the art world can sometimes seem to be a little bit pretentious and high brow, however one of the main things I enjoy about the Art Fair is that it is so accessible. There is a wide range of art on display and while some of the pieces do have large price tags there is a lot of affordable work as well. Another bonus is the fact that the artists are there with their work to answer any questions.

There will be over 120 artists exhibiting and so to whet your appetite here are a couple you can look forward to: April Young

Ed Boxall

Sue Long

For more details go to:, see you there!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Brighton QR Treasure Hunt

This month a new festival is taking place in the city - the Brighton Digital Festival. Given the fact that we were recently named the third geekiest city in the country it's no surprise that we now have a geeky festival too!

There are a wide variety of events taking place including a QR Treasure Hunt around Brighton. For the non-geeks out there I will just quickly explain what a QR code is. They look a bit like a square barcode and anyone with a smart phone can download a free app which they can then use to scan the code. This then opens up a website, some text, contact details or anything along those lines. Here's one for you to try:

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So the clever people behind the Brighton Treasure Hunt Company and Sodaworks have decided to use these QR codes to give a 21st century twist to the traditional treasure hunt. Last week Siobhan and I were fortunate enough to join the test run. So once the teams were picked and we'd scared our poor team-mate Ben with our extreme competitiveness, we were off.

Each team was given a map with the 13 locations marked on it, then we had to hunt them down, scan the code and answer the question. Here's a tip: don't try and guess the answer to the questions you will need to follow the clues to find the answer (no one mention Quakergate!).

I've realised I need to be careful what photos I include as I don't want to give away where all the codes are but I think I can get away with this one...

Like all the best events this one ended in the pub where the winners were announced - sadly we didn't win but we were very gracious, not at all bitter and certainly didn't demand a recount ;)

Not having done a treasure hunt before and being a smartphone newbie I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. However being a tad on the geeky side I loved it, although I must try to stop squealing each time a QR code works! I think this has something for everyone as the geeks will like showing off with their phones, the quiz fans will enjoy the clues and it's also a great alternative way to view the city as it draws your attention to sights you would normally pass by.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone to try and as it's only £5 per person it's good value for money too.

For more information and to book your tickets go to

So thank you to Marie and Georgie for letting us take part and well done on organising such a fun event:


Friday, 9 September 2011

Love Brighton! Love books!

I was an avid reader throughout childhood and immersed myself in many an adventure thanks to the turning of a page. Somehow work, family and Facebook ate into my reading time and finishing a book became a rarity.

In a bid to reclaim a link to literature, I joined a book club a few years ago (although I still sometimes fail to finish the books in time) and through my bibliophile friends I found out about City Reads.

City Reads is an annual city-wide project, revelling in the joy of reading and creating a shared experience for anyone wanting to take part.

Each year, the City Reads team chooses one book to be a focus of a month long series of events and reading outreach programmes. It’s a simple and brilliant idea. One book, one month, one community.

The chosen book for this year is The Long Song by Andrea Levy. During October, everyone in Brighton & Hove is urged to pick up a copy of the book and be part of City Reads 2011. The Long Song is written in the style of a memoir about life as a slave on a sugar plantation in Jamaica during the turbulent 1830s.

Levy deals with the harrowing nature of slavery without preaching. The story is surprisingly tender, life affirming and even funny in places. At the same time, Levy doesn’t shy away from the trauma of her subject matter. I was moved to tears by some turns of the tale. I’m not going to summarise the book. Just find a copy and read it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

VisitBrighton supports the City Reads project and the team was proud to be invited to the launch event last night. The launch was held in The Old Market, a fabulous recently renovated venue in Hove. The Old Market is now a perfect space for cultural events and will be home to many of this year’s City Reads activities. Have a look at the Events Programme for more information.

Sarah Hutchings, City Reads Dierctor, at the launch event

The launch event brought together volunteers, sponsors, supporters and friends of the City Reads project in anticipation of the main events next month. As is proper for a celebration, there was cake. And what a cake! Emma Desbruslais and Dan Wilkinson of the The Rather Good Cake Company created a ginger sponge and sugar icing masterpiece which tasted as good as it looked.

Happy reading!


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Describe Brighton in 10 words

Sometimes one of our lovely Twitter follwers will get in touch to ask for some help, usually about things to do or where to eat etc. However today I was asked to describe Brighton in 10 words so I suggested:

cosmopolitan, vibrant, bohemian, quirky, fun, frivilous, liberated, creative, exotic & cultural

However I was intrigued to see what other people would come up with and so far we have had:
  • Seductive. In the more poetic sense, probably (@WorldofStephen)
  • Vibrant, Hilly, Fresh, Expensive, Cool, Diverse, Colourful, Arty, Buzzing and Welcoming (from @MaireMcSorley)
  • Cosmopolitan, city, steep hills, open minded, punky, night life, gay! (@sidney_vish)
  • Eclectic, inspiring, friendly, non-judgemental, cosmopolitan, vivacious, animated, unequalled, playful and irreverent (@tinathewife)
  • eclectic vibrant loud proud tasty and sunny! (@jezebeljinx)
  • Brighton and Hove allows you to be just you and all this by the splendid sea of the English Channel. (Of course we know @seas_it has gone over 10 words but it's so lovely we had to include it!)
  • Weird,Cool,Swaggerific,Hip Rock,Indie,Wild,Calm,Crazy,Lovely,Sickage!! (@F_is_4_Finisher)
I love the fact that we have all come up with different suggestions and there were only a couple of words which were repeated - cosmopolitan, vibrant, cool and eclectic.

Thanks to everyone who joined in, it certainly proved to be an interesting distraction for a Thursday afternoon and it's great to see that you all have your own reasons for loving Brighton!

If you don't alredy then follow us @Love_Brighton and tell us why you love Brighton, and Hove of course!