Friday, 22 May 2015

OHSO Social - perfect for families

Friday afternoon, school’s out and where else to head to avoid cooking while the sun’s shining, but beachside. So, with a spring in our step, my 8-year-old son Louis and I headed down to the seafront to sample the new summer menu at OHSO. By day, OHSO meets the family-friendly remit perfectly, combining a stunning seaside vista with laid back cafĂ©-bar atmosphere. And by nightfall, I’m told, the space transforms into a mecca for sundowner drinking sunset seekers and ocean-loving diners.

Welcome to OHSO Social

The restaurant is on the lower promenade behind the kissing wall - look out for the twin mirror balls and head down the steps – and a welcome oasis of calm among the busy pedestrian strip though ideally positioned near to the Pier and trampolines for a spot of pre and after -meal entertainment.

Louis tucking in to his burger

The summer menu offers up traditional well-loved favourites such as burgers and fish n chips among more grown-up regulars that include Tuna Nicoise, warm goats cheese, Greek or Caesar salad, slow cooked pork ribs and Irish mussels. There’s a children’s menu priced at £5.95 for a main and from £2 for ice-cream but on the day in question my enthusiastic dining companion was super-hungry so gamely went straight in for an adult- sized burger and chips; served with homemade coleslaw, of course. I opted for the Tuna Nicoise which was a generous sized succulent yellow fin steak, grilled and served on a bed of mixed leaves with free range eggs, new potatoes, green beans and tomatoes tossed in house dressing. And, as the burger turned out to be just a bit too much for the young tummy, I got to finish that too. Mum’s perks!

Mum's Tuna Nicoise
After a natural, pebble throwing, break it was back to business and the task of selecting ice-cream. Louis chose vanilla and chocolate which he devoured heartily – there is always room for ice-cream! - while I sipped a cool ginger beer and savoured the last of the evening sun before it was time to head off, making way for the sundowner crowd. All in all a great finish to a busy week and one that Louis was keen to declare as a ten out of ten as he high fived the good-humoured waiter on his way out. 

The restaurant also serves cakes and coffees, a selection of artisan beers and wines, cocktails and a vast array of spirits.

For the full Oh So Social summer menu see


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

As I am sure you must all be aware by now May is a very busy month in Brighton & Hove. There are events all year-round but this is the busiest time of year as we have the Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, Artists Open Houses and the Great Escape. There's also HOUSE, Charleston and Elderflower Fields Festival as well as tons of other events. So with so much going on you could be forgiven for missing the fact that we also have a major new exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery...

I'm sure I've mentioned it before but I've always loved the Natural History Museum and part of that is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. This year to mark the 50th anniversary, 100 award-winning images will go on a global tour starting in... *drumroll*... Brighton. Hooray!

Last week we were fortunate enough to get a sneaky peek and it is fabulous. The photos are truly stunning and I would definitely advise visitors to take the time to actually read the captions beside each piece. Thanks to Instagram and similar platforms we all like to think of ourselves as photographers and we may even kid ourselves that we too could get a lucky shot if only we were in the right place at the right time. But it is exhibitions like this that really make you appreciate the extremely wide gap between amateur and professional. These are not lucky shots, the dedication and determination of these photographers is inspirational. The captions tell the story behind the images and most of the photographers were on site trying to capture these images for weeks, months and, in one case, 6 years!

At the preview event we were fortunate to get the chance to chat to one of the photographers - Andrew Forsyth. Andrew is a Brighton based wildlife photographer and was one of the finalist at this year's event because of this spectacular shot of the starling murmurations in Brighton:

© Andrew Forsyth Murmuration in the storm
I was in awe of Andrew's dedication as he described the months spent at the end of Brighton Pier documenting the murmurmations, including going out in gale force winds (including 70mph gusts!), taking hundreds of photos in treacherous conditions. As Andrew pointed out the murmurations are a popular subject for photographers so trying to capture them in a new and unusual way is no easy task but Andrew certainly rose to the challenge, congratulations :)

The above image is part of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at Brighton Museum but Andrew is also opening his doors for Artists Open Houses where you can see more of his murmuration images. The house is in Balfour Road and if you've already picked up a brochure then it's house number 16.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is open now and will be at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery until 6th September (admission payable).