Monday, 25 November 2013

Soup and Crumb

One of the biggest challenges we face is getting across the message that Brighton & Hove is not just a summer destination. Of course everyone loves to be by the sea when it is hot and sunny but there is so much more to the city than just being out in the sunshine. To find out just how much is going on this winter why not check out our Christmas pages - Ok shameless plug over with so let's get back to the point....

We are not the only ones faced with this challenge, let's be honest how many of us say we fancy an ice cream when it's freezing cold outside? So rather ingeniously Scoop & Crumb have introduced a new menu for winter - Soup & Crumb (do you see what they did there?)! As I'm sure you've worked out they have just launched a range of soups. The menu does include savoury soups, in fact m'colleague Richard tried the Green Lentil & Bacon and assured me it tasted every bit as delicious as it smelled. However rather unusually the menu also includes three sweet soups: Hot Spiced Plum; Hot Raspberry and, the one that caught my eye, Hot Chocolate Soup. Well of course I just had to try that!

The chocolate was scrummy - proper chocolate rather then just sugary flavoured syrup. As you can see you do still get a scoop of ice cream, which was delicious and also means the soup cools down quite quickly which is good as it means you can dive straight in to the deliciousness :) As with their ice-creams all of the soups are made on the premises using fresh ingredients.

Plus ice cream fanatics will be pleased to hear that Scoop & Crumb do still sell ice-creams including a winter menu of treats which can be pre-ordered to enjoy at home with flavours including: Mince Pie & Rum Custard; Pear & Ginger; Christmas Pudding & Single Malt and Roasted Plum Crumble.

So when you're enjoying your Winter Break in Brighton make sure you pop in to Scoop & Crumb to try one of their warming treats.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

MADE - Brighton's contemporary design & craft fair

It's time for another guest post and today we welcome Anne-Marie to give us a preview of MADE 2013...

MADE BRIGHTON is the city’s annual contemporary craft and design fair which takes place in the beautiful Corn Exchange at The Dome. Now in its 8th year, MADE BRIGHTON offers the public the opportunity to buy original and exceptional pieces of craft and design direct from the best local and national makers and has become firmly established as a friendly, accessible and top quality fair. Over 5500 visitors visit the fair, the majority of whom return year on year knowing that the work on show is well worth viewing.

This is what visitors in 2012 said …
  • Like pearls for the eye! 
  • Great work, lots of lovely things I LOVED the show! 
  • Beautiful things, very talented people 
  • Very high quality, bigger next year please 
  • Wonderful selection, will definitely come again

Pieces by Tammy Child

The majority of exhibitors are from the UK, but fresh talent does come from further afield too. Look out for Karl Sweeney’s beautiful tambour boxes made from European hardwoods and Angela Hope’s lovely retro handbags. This year some fantastic furniture designers are bringing their pieces to the show; Justin O’Brien’s wooden furniture inspired by the flow of nature, blacksmith James Prices’ forged steel and glass tables, and Jorunn Hustoft’s knitted beanbags which are perfect for winter hibernating on, are all sure to be a hit with visitors. The fair showcases over 100 makers and designers; from unique glassware to luxurious textiles, functional ceramics to dazzling jewellery, and tailor made clothing to quirky accessories. This is the perfect opportunity to Christmas shop for unique gifts as well as indulging in some treats for yourself.

Mercury Table by Justin O'Brien

The Private View takes place on Thursday, 21 November and is by invitation only, although a few tickets are available to buy in advance for those people keen to see the work before the show opens to the public on Friday. Tickets on the door cost £7.50, with advance tickets available via the MADE BRIGHTON website for £6.

The Dome cafĂ© will provide a place for visitors to relax and take refreshment. With so much work to see, many people like to make a day of it, spending the morning viewing work, stopping for a bite to eat, then returning to continue shopping. It’s a wonderful day out!

22nd – 24th November 2013
Friday 11am – 7:30pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm
Address: Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD
Tickets £7.50 on the door, £6 in advance via the MADE BRIGHTON website.
Children under 14 free

Thanks Anne-Marie, see you there! 


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Jewellery Remodelling

It's time for another guest post and today we hand over to Stuart Stanley from RING to give us an insight into jewellery remodelling... 

Jewellery remodelling, upcycling, resetting or restyling. Call it what you will, with precious metals & diamond values so high these days it is the logical choice if you have inherited or unwanted jewellery that is not to your taste.

Many people have jewellery that has been stuck in a drawer for a long, long time. This may be because it is broken, or because it was inherited from a relative & is simply not their style. The temptation is for these people to sell the jewellery but this is usually the worst thing to do. The reason is that 2nd hand jewellers base their buying prices on scrap metal values even when the jewellery is in perfectly good condition. Often they will not even add value to the price they pay if there are gem stones in the ring! With jewellery remodelling although you have to pay for the commission the finished piece is worth the same, if not more, than original piece.

So what is jewellery remodelling?

Well, it can take many forms. One example is simply resetting gemstones. Take engagement rings for example. Many people are tired of constantly paying for the re-plating of their white gold because it has turned a yellowy colour. This is because most jewellers do not tell their customers that the true colour has been masked with a fine plating of a metal called 'rhodium'. So, instead of paying £30-£50 every few months, RING jewellers can unset your diamond(s) & reset them into a metal that is naturally very white & will never need plating - ever! This could be either Platinum or Palladium.

3 stone cluster remodelled into a 9ct white gold rubover set ring
Another form of jewellery remodelling is the melting & reusing of gold. A customer may be looking to buy a wedding ring & they have inherited a gold wedding band that belonged to their parent or grandparent. Now the customer may prefer a white metal like platinum but the family heirloom is yellow gold. This is not a problem. At RING jewellers we can melt the family ring & use it as a fine gold inlay (a narrow yellow stripe in an otherwise white, platinum ring). Some of our clients do not want to see even the finest of yellow details so we use the gold as a 'liner' which is soldered inside the platinum ring & can only be seen when the wedding ring is removed (this choice is made when the gold is there purely used for the sentiment).

Jewellery remodelling can also change the function of an item of jewellery. A customer may have an old ring with lots of stones in. From this one ring they could make a matching set of pendant & earrings.

marquise ring remodelled into a marquise & round diamond pendant

Here is why jewellery remodelling is such a sensible choice:
Scenario 1 A lady inherits her grandmother's yellow gold diamond engagement ring. The insurance value is £2000. She sells it to a 2nd hand jeweller & gets £495. She then buys a ring to remember her gran by. The ring she buys for £495 has way smaller & lower quality diamonds. She has effectively down-graded her jewellery.

Scenario 2
The same lady inherits her grandmother's yellow gold diamond engagement ring. The insurance value is £2000. This time she commissions RING jewellers to design a ring she will love. They remove the diamonds from the inherited ring & reset them into a brand new design. The remodelling process costs her £495. The ring has now retained both its commercial & sentimental value & is still worth £2000. The lady wears the ring every day. This time instead of downgrading her jewellery she has 'upcycled' it!

Thanks for the insight there Stuart - now I'm off to raid the jewellery box! 


Monday, 4 November 2013

CINECITY, the Brighton Film Festival

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the launch event for this year's CineCity Film Festival and aside from being one of the first to get my hands on a copy of the brochure, I also gained an interesting insight into how the festival comes together.

This year's festival features more films from different countries then ever before including: Singapore, Laos, Kurdistan, China, Iran, India, Israel, Mexico, as well as Poland, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, France and the US. 

Still taken from 'Burn the Clocks'

However it's not all international as an important part of the festival is the Brighton Screenings strand. To qualify for this section of the festival the films must be made in Brighton, or filmed with a Brighton crew and it must have been completed after September 2012. We often tell people that the city is a hub for creative people and yet I was still surprised to hear that the panel received 75 submissions. It's great to discover that Brighton is home to such a wealth of talent. Although as the standard of entries was particularly high this year it meant the panel had the unenviable task of somehow whittling the entries down to just 26. To make the process more tricky, apart from looking at the submissions as individual pieces of work, the panel also had to consider how the films would flow together as a package of shorts.

So when you're planning what to see during the festival don't forget to check out the Brighton Screenings to see the home grown talent and place your bets on who will be the next Ben Wheatley or Paddy Considine.