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Enter Brighton’s newest Seafront hotel

Brighton’s iconic Norfolk hotel by Mercure has had a stunning new look



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Contributing Editors - Charlie McBrien Victoria Marie Emerson | Lindsay Katherine Hills Kasia (The Styling Agency) Pete Hayward | Tony Shattell (food reviewer) Features Editor - Victoria Marie Emerson - Designer - Pete Hayward - Owners - Publishers Simon Darcy Abbott - David Camici -

Cover Photography - Marsha Dine Photography Location - Bliss Hotel, Mahe, Seychelles Model - Trisha Dubignon Clothing - Kankan Seychelles Hair and make up - Anisa Rose Make up Styling - James Dupres Styling assistant - KC Rose

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The Editor


e don’t like to speak to soon, but it looks like summer has finally arrived and we can think of no better place to live than beautiful Sussex by the sea when the sun has got his hat on. It’s the time of year when the county comes alive and we truly experience the very best that a Sussex lifestyle has to offer.

In this bumper summer edition, we meet with local musical mastermind Rag ‘n Bone Man, interviewing him ahead of his big gig at Brighton Racecourse, plus we accept an invitation to speak to Fernando Peire, the Director of The Ivy Restaurant and The Ivy Club. We also have the pleasure of meeting co-author and curator James Peill to talk about his new book all about the beautiful and iconic Goodwood Estate.

The Absolute team recently met with two of the region’s leading hair stylists, Headmasters Brighton and Oliver Cunningham Hair in Cuckfield where we discovered the real stories behind their success and learnt about future plans. We’ve also wined and dined our way throughout Sussex to bring you the lowdown on leading restaurant names like Gars, Block, Red Roaster and Circo in our foodie section. This summer, out travel writers have taken a look both at home and away to bring you the very best destinations for affordable and sustainable luxury, starting with Brighton beach’s very own newly revamped Mercure Hotel and ending at the paradise location of the Seychelles. From all of the tram at Absolute Magazine, we hope you have a truly wonderful summer in Brighton and the south. Enjoy!






The Luna Beach Cinema London to Brighton Bike Ride 2019 London to Brighton Bike Ride is back for 2019 and is taking place on Sunday 15th June. Join cyclists riding together to help us beat heart and circulatory diseases. It doesn't matter if you come first or last, we ride together. London to Brighton Bike Ride is the British Heart Foundation's flagship event covering 54 miles from the crowds at Clapham Common to the buzz at Brighton beach. Make friends with fellow riders as you pass through the Sussex countryside, conquering Turners Hill and Ditchling Beacon. Once you reach the finish line, you will be greeted with a loud applause and a celebratory party at our very own Beach Village. As together you share the triumph of conquering the London to Brighton Bike Ride. Your pedalling will help power our life saving research. And every penny we raise together will help the British Heart Foundation beat heartbreak forever. Together, we ride. Visit


The Luna Beach Cinema returns this summer to Brighton Beach! Head down to Madeira Drive, grab yourself an ice cream, crack open an ice-cold drink and enjoy some fantastic films on the beach! Films coming up include the musical phenomenon's "The Greatest Showman", 'A Star is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody", alongside family favourites including "The Incredibles 2" and "Moana" and this year's blockbusters "Dumbo" and "Aladdin”. With tickets starting from £12.50, make sure you head down to the beach to enjoy the Great British Summer whilst watching your favourite film on our fabulous high definition LED screen. Make your day even better by booking premium tickets, which include comfy deck chair seating, and for the ultimate Luna Beach experience treat yourself a VIP beach hut, which seats four and comes complete with a fully stocked mini-bar and butler service. All tickets must be booked in advance and capacities are strictly limited, and there will be a selection of delicious hot food and a full bar on-site every day. So, make sure you get planning that date night, or round up your friends and family for a fantastic film down on Brighton Beach!


Picturehouse Outdoor Cinema at Preston Manor This summer the Duke of York's and Dukes at Komedia are going outdoors to the grand setting of the gardens of Preston Manor in Preston Park.

Arrive from 7.00pm to enjoy the last of the evening sun with a fantastic range of drinks from the pop-up bar, including draught beer, and a specially prepared BBQ. The film will start around 9.00pm – as soon as it gets dark. Before the film there will be entertainment in the form of garden games and a film quiz with prizes up for grabs! Jurassic Park [PG]- Thursday 13 June The Rocky Horror Picture Show [15]- Friday 14 June The Greatest Showman (Singalong!) [PG]- Saturday 15 June This screening will be a special singalong event, so get ready to sing your hearts out to the beautiful melodies from the film. Withnail and I [15]- Sunday 16 June

Paddle Round the Pier

Bloc Party Bloc Party will play their seminal debut album Silent Alarm live and in full at four huge shows across the UK this summer, including a date at The Brighton Centre on 29th June 2019. It will be the first time they have performed in the UK since a one-off show at London’s Alexandra Palace - which sold out in minutes - in October last year. Silent Alarm was released in 2005 to widespread critical and commercial success, achieving multiplatinum sales and earning Bloc Party a Mercury Prize nomination. The album has since been heralded as one of the most influential and important of the decade by outlets as diverse as Pitchfork, Q, Newsweek, Spin, Complex and Clash, and was named in numerous lists collating the best albums of the decade, whilst NME named it as one of the best of all time.

Paddle Round the Pier, now the largest free charity beach festival in Europe, runs every year on the beautiful venue of Hove Lawns and will take place on 6th and 6th July this year. It features the very best in water, street & urban sports, live music, kids' entertainment, 'have a go' opportunities and much, much more.

Paddle has always appealed to surfers and water-sports enthusiasts, but it seems the event just can't stop people wanting to get involved. With all the usual suspects from Surfing, Kayaking and Windsurfing, to all new sports like Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Kite-surfing more. With so much fantastic fun to be had, with stacks of great prizes and a chance to try things for yourself on the huge 20 meter long demo pool, it doesn't matter if you're coming along to enjoy the music stage, kids stage or to cheer on all those taking part, you'd be mad to miss it! The event is lucky to have the overwhelming support of the water-sports industry, Brighton & Hove City Council and many local businesses. #PRTP19 is set to be the biggest ever.


Rod Stewart Tickets for Rod Stewart Live in Concert at The 1st Central County Ground on Friday 12th July 2019 are on sale now!

The show is part of Rod’s tour to support the release of his 30th studio album Blood Red Roses which debuted at number one. Rod Stewart Live in Concert will visit football stadiums, outdoor venues and arenas across England and Scotland from May through to July.

His Brighton & Hove show marks the first time Rod has played in the city since he performed to a sell-out crowd at The Amex Stadium in 2014. Tickets for the show can be purchased via Ticketmaster and will be priced between £55 and £125 (excluding booking fees). No tickets are available direct from Sussex Cricket.



Brighton Pride 2019 A dazzling display of inclusivity, and just about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on, the Brighton & Hove Pride Festival in Preston Park is the beating heart of every year’s event.

Adur Valley Afternoon Tea Tour Relax in luxury at tables for 2 or 4 as you travel through the Adur valley to Horsham in a Regency Routemaster. Once on-board you will be served a continental breakfast as you enjoy the beautiful countryside of Upper Beeding, Bramber, Small Dole, Henfield and Partridge Green before arriving in Horsham. Once in Horsham you will have 2 hours to yourself. On the return journey we will be serving a delicious afternoon tea made from local ingredients Pick Up point - Hove Town Hall 0945, Homebush Centre Shoreham 1015 Return Drop off - Homebush Centre 1630, Hove Town Hall 1715 Drop off times are approximate Dates - 18 July, 24 Oct, 19 Dec


Digby Fine English Tasting Room

All Hail The Queen! LGBTQ Icon Kylie To Headline Brighton & Hove Pride Festival 2019 – Generations of Love

England’s first negociant, Digby Fine English, has officially opened its doors to the Digby Fine English Tasting Room in the heart of Arundel, West Sussex. Located steps away from the historic and beautiful Arundel Castle and a few minutes from where the wine is made, the new brand home is set to host, educate and entertain customers from around the world. The Tasting Room offers an elegant and superlative space in the mode of Digby’s living room overseen by the brand’s namesake Sir Kenelm Digby. It features Digby’s well-travelled tasting counter and a more exclusive Members’ Room for up to 10-12 guests. Every detail of the new space has been artfully curated and customised by Co-Founders, Trevor Clough and Jason Humphries, together with interior designer Emma Wood.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising that ignited the Pride movement, the theme ‘Generations of Love – Celebrating 50 years of campaigning with Pride‘ will give you plenty of opportunities to channel your favourite decade, whether it be 60’s flowerpower, 70’s disco, 80’s New Romantics and shoulder pads or something more modern from the pop-tastic 90s or 00s.


2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising that ignited the Pride movement and we are thrilled to announce our headline artist for Pride in the Park on Saturday 3rd August is Miss Kylie Minogue, a true icon and ally of the LGBT community who is also celebrating her 5th decade. In her first ever full UK Pride performance, Kylie will be bringing a very special Pride show to celebrate this iconic anniversary of the Pride movement

Notting Hill Carnival, 24, 26 August It happens every year. London sets aside the Sunday and Monday encompassing their 'bank holiday' on Monday for one of the world's largest street carnivals; Notting Hill Carnival. Each year, close to one million people attend this two-day celebration of Caribbean heritage on the streets of Notting Hill. Celebrations include costumeclad Caribbean's dancing to traditional reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba, and zouk music, and street vendors selling foods like seasoned jerk chicken, callaloo, and traditional goat stew. Many Caribbean foods have roots from cuisines of Europe, America, China, and Africa.

Brighton Wind Farm Tours Take a trip out the New Rampion offshore windfarm. It is approximately 30 minutes from Brighton Marina and will consist of a 2 -3 hour tour. The return trip takes in the Brighton Seafront.

The tour greatly depends on which phase of the project is in operation on the day you will be able to see the construction vessels and the scale of the operation we can get directly under the turbines.

Drusillas Drusillas Park has opened the doors to its brand new ride, The Rainforest Carousel. The beautifully mesmerising Rainforest Carousel is the first of its kind in the UK and the buzz of excitement can be felt in the atmosphere. Visitors are invited to climb upon their favourite animal and be enchanted by the wonders of the rainforest as it soars up and down on the classic ride with a captivating jungle twist!


An island like no other Home to over 30 thrilling rides, attractions & live events. THORPE PARK Resort is the ultimate destination for thrill seekers featuring some of the UK's most popular roller coasters. Reach new heights with Stealth the UK's fastest roller coaster launching riders to 205ft at 80mph in just 2.5 seconds. Take flight on THE SWARM the UK's only winged coaster, or face one of Jigsaw's most twisted traps with SAW - The Ride the world's first horror themed roller coaster featuring a 100ft "beyond-vertical" drop. Day Passes start from ÂŁ33 or come back all Season long with a Season Pass for just ÂŁ49*.










Photography: Marsha Dine Photography Lighting Assistant: Savio Dyer Creative Director: James Dupres Make Up Artist: Anisa Rose Make Up, Ann-Marie Hair, Wigs and Make Up Hair Stylist: Ann Marie Hair, Wigs & Make Up, Federica Desir Models: Anisa Rose, Tasha-Lee Richemond, Trisha Dubignon, Felicita Filipin, Lady Zen Stylist: James Dupres Assistant Stylist: Kc Rose Wardrobe: Kankan, Portofino Sunglasses VisionCare / Beyond The Sea Eden Island

Jewelry: Kankan, Gianmaria Carbo Locations: Alphonse Island Resort, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Bliss Boutique Hotel Seychelles












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Relax & Unwind In The Cities Latest Venue Brighton BeachClub The Milkmaid Pavilion 26 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2LN 01273 206523 @btnbeachclub



Rag 'n' Bone Man A T



Following the phenomenal success of his debut album Human in 2017, featuring the huge hits ‘Skin’ and ‘Human’, Brighton’s very own Rag‘n’Bone Man plays Brighton Racecourse on Saturday 27th July 2019!


ory Graham (best known as Rag‘n’Bone Man) is an English singersongwriter, known for his deep baritone voice. From a young age, Graham has been involved with music; beginning his musical career as a rapping and singing member of Brighton’s hip-hop collective The Rum Committee. The releases of his solo EPs (Bluestown, Wolves and Disfigured) earned him huge crowds across the country, firming a dedicated fan base and industry recognition incredibly early on in his career. Having won the 2017 BRIT’s ‘British Breakthrough Act’ and receiving the BRIT’s Critics’ Choice Award in the same year, Rag‘n’Bone Man cemented his success following the record-breaking release of his triple-platinum #1 album Human with a further BRIT Award for ‘Best Single of the Year’ with the title track (Human) in 2018. The album and its tracks have also been recognised internationally; earning Rory sell out tours and festival appearances around the globe as well as the accolades of ‘International Newcomer’ and ‘International Male Artist’ at Germany’s ECHO Awards and ‘International New Artist of the Year’ at Spain’s LOS40 Awards. Earlier this year, Rag’n’Bone Man appeared at the BRIT Awards (2019) alongside Calvin Harris performing their monster hit collaboration track ‘Giant’. Rag‘n’Bone Man promises a superb night of entertainment. Be sure to get your tickets for a perfect Summer’s evening, a gig not to be missed. “The last few months have been a bit quiet for me whilst I focus on writing more music, but I’m back on the road this summer for a short festival run and I'm ending it with a hometown gig at Brighton Racecourse. This ones gunna be a banger.” Support will come from Maverick Sabre, Ida Vallens and more to be announced! Maverick Sabre released his third album as 'When I Wake Up' in March 2019, supported by his Ireland and UK headline tour. Independently released, the new record is an acutely personal and poignant body of work from the respected songwriter and artist and includes powerful features from Jorja Smith and Chronixx.

I’m back on the road this summer for a short festival run and I'm ending it with a hometown gig at Brighton Racecourse. This ones gunna be a banger.”





Rag 'n' Bone Man A T



The emotive second single 'Her Grace' featuring the Grammy-nominated artist Chronixx premiered recently as a 'Mistajam' Jam Hot' and the new video, debuted by Notion is a haunting, arresting piece of film exploring the narrative around domestic abuse.

Speaking on the video, Mav quotes; "With each of the videos for this album I've wanted to tell strong, emotive stories that carry across the feeling and message of the song. Her Grace is about the unspoken unheard struggles of women that go unnoticed in society and this video feels like a glimpse into an inner battle within that". Ida Vallens is the conceptual art project of 18 year old singer-songwriter and producer Anya Gradisher from just down the road in Worthing. Inspired by David Lynch films, stories of the occult and literature; Ida crafts ethereal electronic pop music that is truly in a lane of it’s own. Her sound is described by Mixmag as ‘part trip-hop and part trap’, and while she acknowledges the influences of these genres, her uniquely jazz infused voice evokes nostalgia, with production that takes us to the future, making it difficult to define. Ida Vallens started making music within the lofi hip-hop scene in late 2016, collaborating online with producers from across the globe and gaining a good following on Soundcloud. In 2017 she went onto release two singles under the College Music imprint that gained over 1 million streams on Spotify in under a year. Throughout 2018 she has continued to develop her songwriting, musicianship and live performance working closely with Brighton based producer Jack-Chi.

As her sound and concept has developed, her music is beginning to take the form of an alternate reality game, with Ida becoming a character that transcends time and space, existing within alternate realities under multiple identities that live contrasting lives - the lyrics are clues to her identities. Her live shows are captivating, weaving the tracks together with improvised theatrical outbursts over a live electronic soundscape. Tickets for Rag‘n’Bone Man – Brighton Racecourse – July 2019 show are available from and plus all usual outlets.







“His colouring is flawless” Leona Lewis

“My favourite hairdressers, I can’t recommend then highly enough” Lottie Moss

113 High Street RH17 5JX t: 01444 452900 OPENING TIMES Monday 10-6 | Tuesday 10-6 | Wednesday 10-6 | Thursday 10-6 Friday 10-6 Saturday 9-5 | Sunday Closed 30


FESTIVAL OF RACING Early bird tickets start from £18

7 /8 / 9 A UGUS T


Free shuttle bus service from Brighton station Brighton Racecourse encourages responsible gambling




Ivy C L U B


reveals all

Discreetly located in Covent Garden's West Street, The Ivy Club opened officially in 2008. This private members club is synonymous with style and privacy. The Art Deco oasis is a magnet for the creative industries and arts, an alluring representation of refined London. It attracts celebrities, politicians, businesspeople and rockstars alike. Luminaries and alternatives smoothly intertwine. Absolute's Style Editor Kasia paid a visit and met up with The Ivy Director, Fernando Peire, for a tete-a-tete.


pon arrival at 9 West Street, WC2H 9NE, I was ushered into a mirrored foyer, immediately reaffirming the special status of this establishment. Greeted by a charming and polite receptionist, my arrival was announced to my illustrious host. The decor and atmosphere were rather exquisite. Soft and warm lighting, wood and leather furnishings accentuate a touch of old school glamour and flair of this opulent and welcoming space. Upon introduction, I was immediately taken by his pleasant warmth and charisma. Fernando Peire is on the board of Caprice Holdings and has been Director of The Ivy Restaurant and The Ivy Club since 2007. He played a key role in the 2015 major refurbishment of The Ivy Restaurant. The five month closure and reopening of The Ivy were the subject of a one hour ITV documentary.


Fernando studied French and Law at Manchester University before devoting himself to a career in hospitality, joining The Ivy as Senior Maître d’ in 1990. After eight years, he departed and worked for several years as a restaurant consultant on projects as far afield as Barbados before opening the Frontline Club in London in 2004. Fernando was “The Restaurant Inspector” in Channel 5’s critically-acclaimed televison series which ran for two seasons. To celebrate The Ivy’s centenary, Fernando wrote The Ivy Now, chronicling the history of The Ivy which was published in June 2017 by Quadrille. Illustrated by Brian Grimwood, this elegant, hardback book contains dozens of stories from The Ivy's customers and staff, as well as one hundred iconic recipes from Executive Chef Gary Lee.



The Ivy has always had a little glitter about it. It attracts an interesting, quirky crowd. It is frequently dotted with celebrities." The interior and image of The Ivy is known for its beautiful Art Deco-inspired design. Has it always been as such? 'I decided to re-furbish four years ago, not as an update of the same, which of course, over time, would become more and more old fashioned. That would have ended up with us just having an older clientele. So one of Richard Caring's and my own objectives was to retain our appeal to an older crowd but importantly, be relevant to a younger crowd. The Ivy has become more easily accessible.' Fernando cites the example of putting the bar at The Ivy Restaurant in the middle of the dining room, immediately sending the subliminal message that you can pop into The Ivy for a drink, rather than booking months in advance. 'That was us demonstrating the idea, and it was essential to get this across.'

“ The Ivy represents what London is all about. Money, glamour, tourism, young and old."

Let's start with the origins, could you tell us when you joined The Ivy and The Ivy Club? 'I joined The Ivy in 1990 as Senior Maitre d', a position I held for eight years. I then left the company to re-launch Quo Vadis in Soho before undertaking consultancy work. I describe these times in my book The Ivy Now. Richard Caring then began The Ivy Club idea, and this was when I was lured back as Director of The Ivy in 2007.

Is the clientele still as vivid? 'The Ivy has always had a little glitter about it. It attracts an interesting, quirky crowd. It is frequently dotted with celebrities. Most restaurants are tribal. Soho, Shoreditch, The City. The Ivy represents what London is all about. Money, glamour, tourism, young and old. It's not a coincidence; everything is planned. The Ivy restaurant was established in 1917, even then it was a major attraction for film stars, artists and raconteurs.'







Can I ask you about those heady days of the 90s? What was The Ivy like during the Rule Britania era? 'The Ivy was very much part of that, and The Ivy was a lucky restaurant which opened just at the right time. However, the key players around me very much made that happen. We established and made it right for the times. We welcomed Damian Hirst, Alex from Blur, Jarvis Cocker - all these "good time renegades." I remember Andrew Lloyd Webber complaining about Damian Hirst's noisy rancour until I informed him who he was. He then went over to tell him he was a big fan. The Ivy Restaurant became a place that was very establishment; the Prime Minister would come in. Tony Blair, even Margaret Thatcher, would visit.' He recounts 'You'd get these severe old folks with their Garrick Club ties. Then you'd get these "layabouts" coming in with their t-shirts, and we would act like it was normal. Trainers would be worn. There was never a dress code as such. There was a point when a man came in without a shirt just boxer shorts, and I acted like everything was normal. It turned out he was an undercover reporter doing as Madonna had done, turning up in a Jean Paul-Gaultier bra and allowed entrance, purely because of her fame. He wanted to do a male equivalent of coming to The Ivy in underpants, a tie and hairy chest over a jacket. He arrived at the door (I thought there was a ruse) and I allowed him past. I thought it was great fun. It was all over the press.'

“ I remember Andrew Lloyd Webber complaining about Damian Hirst's noisy rancour until I informed him who he was. He then went over to tell him he was a big fan."

London is arguably the member club capital of the world. How does the The Ivy Club stand apart from the others? 'First and foremost, you have to do what you do really well. So we focus on the satisfaction of all our customers. That's key. We set out to make people feel good. They don't feel ripped off, or taken for granted and above all, they feel valued. We cater to all types of clientele. From lawyers and accountants at the professional end to entrepreneurs, digital sector creatives, PR and agents, commuters. Our best advertisement is the positive word of mouth. Of course, we do get a certain amount of press from those members who are journalists. They write about it in their columns mentioning their encounters at The Ivy Club.' What kind of entertainment and events do you offer members of the The Ivy Club? 'Lots of interesting and exciting things happen here - all kinds of events. I did a series of interviews here inspired by Michael Parkinson, and that even included interviewing him! Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin have been in the chair as well. People come and show their documentaries and discuss them with members. We have member parties, comedy nights featuring stars and unknown faces.



“ We set out to make people feel good... above all, feel valued. That goes for the restaurant and the club."

Events have included a professional sports quiz involving real sports personalities. These have all raised money for charity. The news quizzes were also fun and included none other than Angela Rippon. We did a Strictly Come Dancing quiz in which one member of each team had featured on the show. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Another theme was an 80s quiz which included Paul Young and Chesney Hawkes. These are the kind of events we do all the time. We are also doing a series of breakfast briefings, including Managing Stress. Another event we have planned is "An intimate at The Ivy" with Julian Fellowes followed by a Q&A.' (Lord Julian Fellowes won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2002 for Gosford Park, his first film as a writer). 'As we do various events, members come in with new ideas; we have so many creatives it's par for the course. We are very much a proactive members club. Recently we arranged a walking tour of Parliament, shown around by the Deputy Speaker himself followed by lunch here. Then we had "The Women of Soho" tour where an expert showed us around and described which women worked in various buildings. Up and coming is "The Scandals of Belgravia" which of course will include the movements of Lord Lucan.' It actually does feel like a very open-minded place, indeed? 'Yes, we would not turn a member away for wearing a suit. There are places nearby that would!' On the way out I waved goodbye to Fernando and his beloved dog, Zelda. The Ivy Club has been a bit of a secret institution. It is, however, exclusively accessible. Interview by Kasia @thestylingagency




Goodwood G



oodwood is a cherished Sussex treasure, with an intrinsic historical significance. It has been the home of the Dukes of Richmond for over three hundred years. This aristocratic family have all contributed to what Goodwood is renowned for - motorsport, horseracing, golf and many other English sporting pursuits. Absolute's Kasia speaks to James Peill about his recent book that takes us onto a historic journey throughout this grand sporting estate. James Peill has been the Curator of the Goodwood Collection since 2009. Through in-depth research in various archives, his book paints a sophisticated portrait of The Dukes of Richmond set against this spectacular estate in the heart of West Sussex. Glorious Goodwood takes you on a journey through time starting in the 17th Century to the battle of Waterloo, the Great War and onto the present day. The colourful lives, passions and exciting escapades of the various Dukes of Richmond present a truly compelling story.


LEFT, Sir Joshua Reynold's portrait of the third Duke of Richmond. Walpole admired his handsome and noble appearance. TOP, Racehorses Excercising at Goodwood, one of three sporting scenes painted by George Stubbs during his nine-month stay at Goodwood, 1759-60

Firstly, how did you arrive at the position of curator of Goodwood? Before Goodwood, I worked as a specialist in the Furniture Department at Christie’s. Just as I was leaving Christie’s, one of my colleagues told me that the then curator, Rosemary Baird, was leaving. I leapt at the chance, and after going through the interview process, was offered the job. That was in 2009.

LOWER, The Lawn at Goodwood by Walter Wilson and Frank Walton, 1886, depicting an array of high society including Edward V11 and Gilbert and Sullivan. St Roch's Hill (known as the Trundle) is in the background

Can you help to portray in simple terms the historical importance and initial development of Goodwood to the uninitiated? The first Duke of Richmond, an illegitimate son of King Charles II, bought Goodwood in 1697 as a place to stay when he went fox hunting with the famous Charlton Hunt. Succeeding generations built on to the house and increased the landholding until it reached nearly 19,000 acres. Each of the sports represented at Goodwood (horseracing, motor racing, golf, flying, shooting and cricket) stems from a personal passion of one of the dukes which they shared with others. The Dukes of Richmond were famously integral to the story of Goodwood. Out of the many colourful characters, do you have a favourite Duke and can you illustrate as such? The second Duke of Richmond (1701-1750) was a true ‘Renaissance Man’ whose interests spanned everything from cricket and hunting, art and architecture, to natural history and gardening. It was a tragedy he died so young (he was only 49).


COVER, Glorious Goodwood


The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball at the moment the Duke of Wellington was told of Napoleon's alarming advance, 15 June 1815. Several of the guests were killed at Waterloo three days later

The Dukes of Richmond took that responsibility very seriously and saw it as their duty to get involved in national politics, serving the monarch, and fighting for their country in the forces. How did Goodwood become such an important backdrop to the scenic, British historical events of recent centuries? The walls of the buildings must have absorbed some incredible events. A Duke holds the highest rank in the peerage and with it came considerable responsibilities, usually coupled with great wealth and influence. The Dukes of Richmond took that responsibility very seriously and saw it as their duty to get involved in national politics, serving the monarch, and fighting for their country in the forces. Naturally, they moved in elevated circles and many of those friends and relations enjoyed happy times at Goodwood indulging in the sport. 2019 brings another splendid exhibition. Can you enlighten us to the nature of this year’s exhibition? Our summer exhibition aims to tell the story of Goodwood and the Dukes of Richmond with some of the most interesting treasures, not normally seen, on display. These include the earliest written rules of cricket which date from 1727.


You have just published the book ‘Glorious Goodwood’ A Biography of England’s Greatest Sporting Estate. Can you give us an overview of the content? Like the summer exhibition, my book tells the story of Goodwood and the Richmond family. I have interwoven the storyline with scenes and objects that aim to bring to life the different characters, with a continuous thread of sport running through it. The first half of the book covers the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the second half the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; an epilogue brings the narrative up to the present day. Inevitably, the action strays from the confines of Goodwood; two chapters are devoted to Brussels and Scotland.

Your role is one of numerous facets so to speak. Can you give us an overview of your part in the Goodwood annual calendar? My primary responsibility is the art collection - its conservation, display and preservation. But I’m also responsible for the house open days (we are open to the public for 60 days a year) which last from March to October. During the main events, I help host the Duke of Richmond’s guests, as well as making sure the house is looking its best. It’s usually ‘all hands on deck’ for the Festival of Speed when the whole house is taken over for the event.




Like the summer exhibition, my book tells the story of Goodwood and the Richmond family. I have interwoven the storyline with scenes and objects that aim to bring to life the different characters, with a continuous thread of sport running through it. The Jubilee Moment at the Festival of Speed. Photo by Mike Caldwell

Can you share an experience or an occasion which really stood out? The Jubilee Moment at the Festival of Speed in 2012 was incredible. A military band marched and played at the front of the house which ended with a daylight fireworks display from the roof and two huge Union Jacks being unfurled, dropping down either side of the portico.

You describe ‘rhythm to the year at Goodwood’ in your book. What do you think lies in the magic that has attracted literally millions of people through the grounds of the estate? There is no doubt that Goodwood is a beautiful place and people are always inspired by visiting it. But I also think that they are made to feel welcome by the family, a tradition that stretches back to the first Duke of Richmond. So many people have their own happy memories of times spent at Goodwood with family and friends. You work closely with The Duke of Richmond. He is a well-known photographer. You project manage his work exhibits, can you tell us a little of what this entails? Over the last seven years, we’ve had exhibitions in Russia, USA and Italy, as well as the UK. Each of these has required a considerable amount of organisation and logistics, not to mention the large groups of friends and family who have travelled with us in support. It has been an exciting foray into the contemporary art world.

James Peill photographed by Jonathan James Wilson

Interview by Kasia @thestylingagency Follow James @goodwood_curator Glorious Goodwood by James Peill: A Biography of England's Greatest Sporting Estate is now available on Amazon, Waterstones, online and other physical outlets.





The Goodwood Hotel


The perfect base from which to explore Goodwood, Chichester, West Sussex po18 0qb | Tel +44 (0)1243 775537 |



Brighton is a musical hub, renowned for it’s talented performers and creatives. It is the birth place of not only Fatboy Slims Skint Records, but in recent years also one of the largest Music Conferences in Europe BMC. This seaside city enchants and inspires. Musical talents have stormed the charts, from The Kooks to Rizzle Kicks, so it is no surprise that a new star is shining bright and taking the music industry by storm.


arissa Eddie is a dynamic singer and songwriter, who developed her love of music on these shores. Over the past few years this Brighton Belle has been on a steady path of success, touring the UK and Ireland with the likes of the legendary Lionel Richie, sharing the stage with Tito Jackson, Peter Andre as well as writing and performing with X Factor’s Matt Cardle. Larissa is fast becoming one of Britain's brightest stars. Already branching out into television as a judge on BBC's 'All Together Now', a reality TV show with Rob Beckett and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, there is no stopping this BIMM (Brighton Institute of Modern Music) graduate and no doubt that Larissa Eddie’s passion for the music industry is her driving force. In between her busy schedule I managed to interview this Sussex song bird.



What would you do if you weren’t a singer? I think I would have been an actress. I always loved being on the stage.

What/who inspired you to become a singer?

I come from quite a musical family. We went out to Nashville when I was young, as my Mum is a big country music fan, we also visited Graceland the home of Elvis Presley. So that trip definitely inspired me to want to sing and perform.

Is there a song you wish you had written?

There are so many amazing songs, but ‘I will always love you’ written by Dolly Parton has to be one of my all time favourites.

Has anything from your home town inspired a song you’ve written? My last single ‘Where I belong’ was inspired by Brighton, my hometown.

Any Brighton singers that inspired you?

I know the Kooks spent a lot of time in Brighton - they were quite influential on the music scene when I was just starting out.

Are you still involved with musical community in Brighton?

I still spend a lot of time in Brighton and I would love to book in a gig here soon!

Dead or Alive is there a musician you would like to meet?

I think Elvis Presley, the King of Rock’n’Roll! I grew up singing along to his songs and movies. He was one of the first icons.





What song are you most proud of?

I’m proud of all my music, but I particularly enjoyed writing with X Factor winner Matt Cardle. The song is called ‘In love alone’

How long does it usually take you to complete writing a song?

Usually within a few hours. I try and aim to get the song finished by the end of the writing session.

Her voice is pure gold and I can guarantee this is one Brightonian that will be putting our seaside city on the map

Where was your first gig?

My first ever gig was actually at the Saltdean Lido with my first ever band called ‘Entry No 1.’ We were all only 14 and we absolutely loved it!

What was your best or favourite performance?

It has to be supporting Lionel Richie at the O2 in front of 20,000 people. It was a dream come true.

Do you enjoy touring?

Yes I love touring. My favourite part of being an artist is the live performance aspect. I also love traveling and getting to sing in all sorts of different amazing venues from The Royal Albert Hall to the O2 Arena.

Essential travel item when on tour?

It has to be my Lulu Guiness suitcase, It’s my best friend on tour and carries all my makeup and essentials.

What are you currently listening to?

I love Capital Fm - I’ve always got it turned up in my car on the way to gigs! Pink’s new song is Rockin’

Why did you choose BIMM?

I always knew that I wanted to be a singer whilst I was at school, so BIMM was the obvious choice for me! My mum had actually seen Ronan Keating from Boyzone on the TV talking about this new Rock school in Brighton and that same day I signed up to enrol.

It was fresh and exciting for me, BIMM had only been opened a couple of years at the time so the networking was amazing and it was so valuable having tutors that were actually actively working in the industry.

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Ultimate goal?

I have just come off of tour with BGT winners Collabro and I got to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for the second time in my career alongside my brother Jay. It was an unforgettable experience, but my ultimate goal is to have a number one album and get to take my own tour around the world.

Advice for future singers?

Don’t give up; believe in yourself and be prepared to work hard. Yes there are set backs and lots of rejections along the way, but you have to stick to your goals and if you are determined you will always find a way to make it happen.

Chatting to this down to earth and incredibly talented woman I can see that this is just the beginning for Larissa. Larissa’s music video for ‘Where I belong’ is filmed in Brighton and it is truly stunning. Her voice is pure gold and I can guarantee this is one Brightonian that will be putting our seaside city on the map, so watch this space. Lindsay Katherine Hills


“My ultimate goal is to

have a number one album and get to take my own tour around the world."





BRIGHTON CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Headmasters first opened in 1982 and as their number of clients grew, so did their salons! There are now 56 salons nationwide, with Brighton having opened its doors in 2008. Today the Brighton salon, which is busier and more successful than ever, are celebrating both their 10 year anniversary and the winning of a highly prestigious award in the hair industry!



ime is precious and at Headmasters they understand how difficult it can be to take time out of our hectic lives to feel and look good. The Brighton team pride themselves in making sure you get everything you need from a hair salon experience; exquisite cutting, innovative, beautiful colour and a salon where you really are the most important person to your stylist. Relax and unwind, safe in the knowledge you are in expert hands. All staff at Headmasters are trained to the highest standards ensuring you quality every time you visit. The Headmasters Artistic Team work on prestigious events such as London, Paris & Milan Fashion Week, Catwalk shows, television, plus editorial from RED magazine to Good Housekeeping and The Sunday Times Style. This means the stylists know the latest runway hair trends as they happen and can pass them on to you. One high-flying member of the Brighton team and Headmasters Creative Colour Ambassador, Alfie Pfeffer, recently put the salon firmly on the map again by winning the L’OrÊal Professionnel Colour Trophy Southern Region at the glittering grand finale.


demonstrated a clear understanding of the latest catwalk trends. On winning the L'Oréal Colour Trophy Southern Region Alfie said “Colour Trophy always makes me up my game as you are surrounded the best in the industry, to be recognised as the overall Southern Regional winner is an amazing feeling! After five years of reaching the Regional Finals and three of these years reaching the Grand Finals, I can’t explain how amazing it felt to finally get on that stage. Explaining his winning look, Alfie said “the colour was inspired by the warmth and shine you get from semiprecious metals in particular copper, bronze and brass. It’s a super flattering colour with a fashion forward contrast paired with an undone, vintage wave and a polished pastel green colour full tonal look.” Andrew Barton Creative Director for Headmasters explains “We are delighted to celebrate Alfie’s success as Southern Region winner of the L’Orèal Professional Colour Trophy. We care passionately about giving all of our clients the advice they yearn for and we are renowned for our hair colour expertise with the largest number of L’Oréal Professionnel Colour Experts amongst our teams. Alfie’s winning look perfectly mirrors our philosophy of beautiful, fashionable confidence boosting hair.” With such an impressive team and such a loyal client base, Absolute Magazine wanted to see who was the person at the top of the pile, directing this success story. We met up with Hugo Ratzel, Salon Owner and Hair Designer at Headmasters Brighton. Here’s what he had to say….



Alfie who’s based in Headmasters Brighton is a passionate colour technician, dedicated to creating new techniques and continual learning. A favourite with Instagram Influencers, especially for his creative colour work, he continually pushes colour boundaries which was demonstrated when Alfie brought home the Southern Region Trophy for Headmasters. The L’Oréal Colour Trophy journey for Alfie began back in January when, filled with hope and determination he entered his photographic image in to the first round of this iconic competition. His look stood out amongst hundreds of entries and secured him a place in the second round – the live regional finals held in eight locations across the UK. Competing against other teams in the Southern region, he once again impressed the judges with his hairdressing skills and won a place at the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Grand Final. During an intense day of competition at the L'Oréal International Academy in Hammersmith, an elite panel of highly successful, world renowned hairdressers were brought together to judge each total look including precision of cut, flawless looking colour and catwalk inspired styling. The judges, leaders in the industry, were: Tina Farey, Jason Miller, Paul Dennison, Guy Kremer, Adam Reed, Angel Montague Sayers, Siobhan Jones and Charlotte Mensah. After the tough judging process the finalists and models arrived at Battersea Evolution, London where each of the models showcased their hair in a stunning catwalk show to the 1200 strong audience. The esteemed judging panel agreed that Alfie had met the brief, he beautifully executed the colour and




Headmasters When did you first decide to become a hair stylist? I was born into a hairdressing family and started my training in France at my family salon which has been passed down by generations. I went on to manage the salon, alongside my hairdresser sister who still works there now after all these years!

How did you get your first break in the industry?

After starting off at Headmaster’s flagship salon in Wimbledon Village as a stylist, I moved my way up to Salon Manager. I gained as much knowledge and experience as I could from that and then went on to win the L’Oréal colour trophy. After being part of several artistic teams, I then became Headmaster’s Creative Director for 5 years, overseeing the creative vision for the company. I also travelled as an international educator for L’Oréal, moving on to learn from other artistic entities, before coming back to open Headmasters Brighton 10 years ago.

Why did you choose Brighton as a location for your salon and how would you describe your customers?

Your team must be big now. Who make up your team and what do you look for when recruiting?

The salon is filled with a very experienced team, from apprentices to colour experts to having a creative Colour Ambassador based here, everyone is constantly keeping up to date with the industry’s latest trends and techniques. Since the growth of social media, clients are now exposed to the new trends very quickly, so our team are constantly training to keep up with the demands of our clients. Our award-winning Creative Colour Ambassador Alfie Preffer is based at Headmasters Brighton We are proud to say Headmasters has the highest number of L’Oreal Master Colour Experts per salon than any other salon group. This is the highest colour qualification in the industry, meaning that we can confidentially create bespoke colour for each of our clients. t

The salon is filled with a very experienced team, from apprentices to colour experts to having a creative Colour Ambassador based here, everyone is constantly keeping up to date with the industry’s latest trends and techniques.

Where else? Ever since my first visit to Brighton in 2000, it was love at first sight and I couldn’t imagine living or owning my salon in any other area. Being situated in the centre of this busy city allows us to be immersed in the lively atmosphere. As a creative, there is so much to be inspired by in this city. Our clients are all from different backgrounds, whether that be students, young professionals or pensioners, this diversity allows us to pride ourselves in our ability to satisfy all aspirations and needs.



Why do you enjoy working for Headmasters?

Headmasters are constantly keeping our clients ahead on trends introducing new blow-dries & colouring techniques to ensure that we produce beautiful hair. Not only is training and education provided throughout our careers at Headmasters, but our talent is rewarded through competitions and incentives. One of the biggest incentives is that every staff member is entered for a competition to win a brand new Mini Cooper every year!

This year will be your 10-year anniversary. How will you be celebrating?

It's amazing how quickly a decade has come around. We are so proud of everyone who has been part of team over the years and can't wait to celebrate with our team. We also want to give our sincere gratitude to our most loyal clients by offering 'Treat Time.' It gives us a chance to celebrate with those loyal clients who have been visiting us Andea even been part of this journey over the past decade. Our treat time will offer 30% off all services from the 17th of June until the 1st of July, and to show our passion for colouring hair, all colour appointments during our treat time will receive a complimentary fusio dose treatment. This allows the hair to be transformed at the spa area with a made to measure treatment. In addition to the discount, we will be providing all clients with a glass of celebratory fizz and chocolates and an exclusive gift to take home with them. The salon will be decorated with a beautiful white and gold balloon installation so that even those passing by can admire our anniversary.

Clients can relax and unwind at our newly extended spa area that has five luxury massage chairs that can be used whilst your hair is being cleansed. All our hair stylists are qualified in a unique head massage given to clients free of charge to allow them to fully enjoy their spa experience.

Headmasters Brighton has just seen a major transformation. Tell us about that.

As we are a busy salon and so the size of the salon was a concern. Since the refurbishment, we have extended the salon and utilised our space better. Clients can relax and unwind at our newly extended spa area that has five luxury massage chairs that can be used whilst your hair is being cleansed. All our hair stylists are qualified in a unique head massage given to clients free of charge to allow them to fully enjoy their spa experience. The salon was designed with comfort in mind, based on natural colour and a contemporary atmosphere. Even the dĂŠcor works hard to give you good hair with the natural colours and lighting.

Which hair styling products do you personally recommend?

We offer a wide variety of products for all hair types, to suit our clientele. Our personal favourite brand would be Kerastase. They specialise in all needs to suit every aspect of each hair, from giving glossy nourished hair to their 96% all-natural aura botanica shampoo and conditioner. At Headmasters Brighton, our go-to product by Kerastate would have to be their Thermique creme's, which are a leave in deep conditioning ritual which also give heat protection whilst blow drying to give you the ultimate soft, gorgeous blow dry!




We offer a wide variety of products for all hair types, to suit our clientele.

What does the future hold for you and the salon?

With the success of winning the L’OrÊal Colour trophy best in the southern region, I hope this win will continue to allow my clients to see how passionate we are about hairdressing. There are so many opportunities arising outside Brighton, so potentially a new branch coming soon. Watch this space! Headmasters Brighton are open from Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm and both Saturday and Sunday 9am until 6pm to make it as easy as possible for you to escape the world and spend time on you! On top of all this, Headmasters guarantees you a complimentary consultation with an experienced stylist who will be able to advise you on cut, colour, condition and maintenance at home; a luxury head massage; complimentary refreshments throughout your appointment, plus fringe trims as often as you need them at no extra cost.








Afternoon Tea at Goodwood House Treat yourself to one of England’s finest traditions, Goodwood style. Open for afternoon tea and guided tours until October 2019. To check opening dates or to book, please call the Ticket Office on 01243 755055 or visit




Oliver Cunningham Ollie Cunningham is one of the South of England’s ‘must see’ colourists. As well as being the go-to-guy for many an A-lister, Ollie holds the prestigious Colour Specialist Degree from L’Oreal and is a graduate from the Wella Professional Master Colour Expert Programme – the highest colouring accolade available. The stylist has over 15 years’ experience and has worked as Head of Colour for plenty of well-known London salons, such as Nicky Clarke, Trevor Sorbie and Daniel Hersheson. He has also worked on editorial shoots and TV programmes, as well as taming the tresses of clientele from the media, music, fashion and television worlds and Hollywood royalty. Fresh from a full salon transformation and with 2019 looking to be the most exciting year yet, we catch up with Ollie to see why the team are a cut above the rest.

Oliver Cunningham

"Many of my loyal clients have moved out of London and still want that London salon buzz, which I believe we create."


When did you first decide to become a hairstylist? I started at an art college when I left school and soon after I decided I wanted to earn money. I loved fashion, colour and art so thought, why not mix them together and become a hair colourist? At the time Toni and Guy was at the height of its success. The company was making the way for the new generation of hairdressers, so I went to my local salon and enrolled in the apprenticeship scheme.

How did you get your first break in the industry? My first big break was Penelope Cruz believe it or not! A very dear client, whom I had coloured for many years, was working at one of the most lux London hotels and had received a request to arrange a colourist for Ms Cruz. I was lucky enough to have been put forward and it all started from there!

Why did you choose Cuckfield as the location for your salon? I chose Cuckfield not only because it’s a chocolate box village nestled away in the stunning Sussex countryside, but it’s also in The Times’ top places to live and a huge percentage of my client base live in the area. Having been based in London and Brighton, I wanted a location that falls in between, so hopefully nobody has to travel too far. It’s close to all the best public schools in the area, so it’s easy for drop off and pick ups and many of my loyal clients have moved out of London and still want that London salon buzz, which I believe we create. Your salon is known for being different to the usual set up. Can you tell us about that? After running the salon conventionally for the past 2 years I decided that I wanted to give my loyal team members the flexibility and financial rewards they all deserved. I wanted to create a shared creative working environment, where everyone was responsible for themselves. They all rent a space and now come and go as they please. They run their own days how they see fit. It’s created a great team bond and sense of responsibly for each member. The team are all very experienced and have worked in many salons previously so they have all taken to this new model with confidence and ownership. It’s like everyone runs their own business under one roof. This has helped everybody create a better work life balance. Life is so very short to be slogging every hour at work. We want to to do what we love but, enjoy the other things in life too. I believe it’s a much more modern and mature way to conduct a business. We are becoming paperless and slowly moving everything online, so each team member can access their diary from their devices. They have direct communication with their clients, which provides a much more personal service from the booking to the end result.




Oliver Cunningham The team

Chloe Cassidy

Louise Brown

Elita Hoxha

Morgan Rhodes

Lola Rocket

Poppy Payne

Richard Humpreys

Holli Ashpole

Jodie Keeley

"Everything must be perfect, boundaries have to be pushed and your aim is to keep the hair in the best possible condition whilst achieving the goal required. Naturally this can be extremely stressful, however that stress is teamed with a total buzz." Oliver Cunningham



Who makes up team Ollie Cunningham? Tell us about your elite team. You will be greeted by our amazingly friendly and helpful front of house Jodie and she will then recommend one of my elite team. The team is made up of my Assistant Holli who gives the best blow dries and other highly experienced hair creatives whom have all worked at the top of their game for many years. They currently still work with celebrities, editorial and TV whilst also in the salon on the days they are not travelling the world. We also offer make up and bridal specialists. Allow me to introduce you to a handful of my team..

Chloe Cassidy – Stylist/Colourist/Makeup Chloe has just joined our team and has over twenty years experience in the Hair and Makeup industry. Chloe has worked all over the world on TV and photoshoots, working with celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Matt Le Blanc, Adam Sandler and Jodie Kidd. Chloe works on a Wednesday and Friday in the salon offering all hair services. Louise Brown - Stylist Louise has been hairdressing now for nearly 22 years and still loves it just at much. Giving back to her clients and creating wearable current looks is something she absolutely adores. For Louise, it’s all about her clients. She’s been very fortunate to have been trained by some of the industry’s most influential stylists and has gratefully enjoyed partaking in London Fashion Weeks and styling for editorial work and published books. Louise’s work has been featured in Vogue, she was crowned ‘Fringe Queen’ by The Guardian’s Sally Hughes and enjoyed being Head of Education for Trevor Sorbie for many years. For Louise, being in the salon with the team is the highlight of her week and looking after her clientele. It’s like catching up with friends every 6 weeks, what’s not to love. Elita Hoxha - Stylist/Colourist Elita has been doing hair for over 10 years now. Previously based in Brighton, she is still enjoying every minute of it. She loves following all the hair fashion trends and giving her clients the best advice and hair styles to suit them. Elita has always found huge satisfaction by creating beautiful hair.

Morgan Rhodes Morgan has been in the hair and make up industry for over 15 years. Her portfolio of work consists of fashion show, movies, music video and celebrity clients. Morgan is known throughout the industry for her exquisite up do’s, styling and cool on-trend hair cuts. She is also a bridal specialist, travelling up and down the country to transform her brides on their special day. Nails By Lola – Nail Technician and Artist Lola has worked on many photo shoots and although is still young, is very experienced. She is a fully qualified nail technician and nail artist offering luxury treatments, ranging from manicures and pedicures to gels and acrylics. Perfect for everyday wear and special events!

Poppy Payne - Stylist and Colourist Poppy has over 10 years experience, starting off her career at one of the top London salons. She specialises in both cut and colouring services as well as specialising in bridal hair and makeup. She has an effortless style that reflects in her seamless work. Poppy works in the salon 2 days a week, whilst the rest of her time is spent styling music videos and photo shoots. Richard Humpreys - Colourist and Stylist Richard started his career more than 30 years ago in London at Sanrizz. Since then he has gained a world of experience in the hairdressing world. He has previously been at numerous

London salons and later moved to Brighton to work for the best Sussex salons. His work is soft nd feminine. He is very good at guiding you in the right direction to fit in with your lifestyle.

Which products are you a big fan of at the moment? I absolutely love using REDKEN shades EQ, which is a type of colour glaze. It creates super natural, translucent tones which I have never seen before in any colour product. It’s mainly used for adding tones after the colour service. It is used heavily in the states on every A-lister imaginable. It can also be used to refresh tired looking brunettes or adding soft subtle hues to blondes. Styling-wise, as we are heading into summer we are using a lot of salt sprays to create that beachy undone look, perfect for the festival season. I love KERASTACE AURA BOTANICA EAU DE VAGUES which is their new vegan 99% natural texture spray, so no nasties and still creating beautiful hair.

What’s been the most memorable moment of your career to date? Wow that’s a hard question. There’s been so many times that I’ve had to pinch myself and think ‘has that just happened?’ One such moment was seeing my work on the front of VOGUE - that was pretty memorable.

What inspires you as a hairstylist? I gain a lot of inspiration from Instagram now. I follow lots of different hairdressers and colourists who showcase their work. I think the best way to learn is from each other, so to be able to access every trend around the world via one app just blows my mind. I also take a lot of inspiration from the seasons and I like to change my client’s looks according to the weather. When it’s dull outside it’s great to have a pop of colour around your face to brighten up your day! You are known for a having a loyal celebrity clientele. Can you name any names and what is it like to work with the A listers? Leona Lewis, Louisa Johnson, Lottie Moss and Penelope Cruz to name a few. Everyone I work and have worked with have been amazing. It can be challenging of course – it’s pressurised and you have deadlines. Everything must be perfect, boundaries have to be pushed and your aim is to keep the hair in the best possible condition whilst achieving the goal required. Naturally this can be extremely stressful, however that stress is teamed with a total buzz.

If you could style anyone you haven’t worked with yet, who would it be? Adele! I think she would be a great laugh and l’m sure we would get on. I love to create golden copper blondes; those natural warm hues are delightful and so satisfying.

Are there any tips that you can offer our readers who want to go in to hairdressing? Today with social media, beauty bloggers and the world of Instagram and Facebook, it provides the perfect platform to expose your work. Start a page showing before and after pictures. Get good training, work alongside the most experienced, watch, learn, absorb as much information as possible. Have a passion and run with it. What does the future hold for you and the salon? I hope to have more creative individuals sharing our beautiful space, and possibly expanding the model to create more shared creative hubs where like-minded individuals can work in the space. This way they are working for themselves so they have total control of their own lives, but doing what they love.




Pride 2019

The countdown is on for the UK’s most popular international Pride FestivalAugust 2nd-4th.

The countdown to this year’s Brighton & Hove Pride is on and preparation is well underway for what is sure to be the biggest and best event yet.


he August weekend is firmly cemented on the calendar as a time for everyone to come together and celebrate diversity and inclusion in our great coastal city. Community and fundraising are at the heart of Brighton & Hove Pride and in the last six years, over £700,000 has been raised for local charities, projects, community groups and LGBT and HIV organisations, through The Rainbow Fund, Pride Social Impact Fund and The Pride Cultural Development Fund. On top of that, Pride creates an average £20,500,000+ boost to the city’s economy every year! To promote the shared benefit and responsibility Pride brings to the town, a brand new initiative called City Angels has been launched to recruit and encourage local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses to engage their civic pride and help everyone experience a cleaner, greener and safer Pride. This year’s event is particularly meaningful as it commemorates the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising that ignited the Pride movement in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1969. The riot against a police raid of the bar and club lead to six days of protest and served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and across the world. In honour of the demonstration and its subsequent action, the theme for Pride 2019 is “Generations of Love” . Official festivities remain the highlight for locals and visitors from all over the country and the main fundraising event, Saturday’s Pride in the Park festival at Preston Park will see global superstar, Kylie Minogue, fly the glittering rainbow flag for this year’s ceremony as she plays her end of tour finale. From soap actress to music phenomenon, Kylie is a true icon who has performed her infamous, flawless pop classics including I should Be So Lucky, The Locomotion, Especially For You, Step Back In Time, Can’t Get You Out of My Head, Love At First Sight, Slow, Wow, All the Lovers and many more to audiences all over the world. Whilst Kylie has played to many high profile and Pride lead events, from Australia to the UK, this is the first time she will headline the Brighton Pride stage. Performing hits from her Step Back In Time collection, the crowd (who will no doubt be dressed in an array of Kylie costume classics!) can expect a host of fan favourites, surprises and some very special guests.

Saturday’s Pride in the Park festival at Preston Park will see global superstar, Kylie Minogue, fly the glittering rainbow flag for this year’s ceremony as she plays her end of tour finale.



Campaign placards this year will feature LGBTQ heroes who have devoted their lives, passions and energies to advance LGBTQ+ rights. Supporting Kylie are one of the most successful British bands of the past decade, Clean Bandit, who will bring their mix of cool beats, elements of classical music and big name collaborations to the stage. Expect to hear number ones and chart hits including Rather Be, Real Love, Tears, Rockabye (which hit the Christmas top spot in 2016) and more. The band have been at the forefront of LGBT+ visibility with the video for their top five song Baby which featured Marina and the Diamonds in a bittersweet same sex storyline. In addition, powerhouse X Factor and I’m A Celebrity finalist, Fleur East will storm the stage with explosive performances of her monster hit SAX and new single Favourite Thing. Abba tribute phenomenon Björn Again will perform the Swedish pop group classics; pocket rocket Alice Chater brings her modern pop and on point choreography while North London singer/songwriter Zak Abel who garnered over 3 million streams on Soundcloud with his Say Sumthin and These Are The Days EPs shares his tastemaker cool. As if that wasn’t enough, seven piece, black male dance troupe and All4 reality stars, The Prancing Elites will fly in from their native Louisiana and Alabama to perform at the park and open the Community LGBTQ+ Parade. Aside from the main stage, the park has ten areas of diverse talent including this year’s BAME and QueerTown stages, the Legends Cabaret Big Top, Pride Dance Big Top with He.She.They, the Diva Dance Tent, Brüt Mens Tent plus a whole host of burlesque, speakers and performance art. On Sunday 4th August, the family friendly LoveBN1Fest returns to Preston Park for its second year with international pop star sensation, Jessie J and the legendary LGBTQ+ icon, Grace Jones taking to the stage. With her deep soulful vocals and a sharp pop sense, Jessie has had a trio of UK top five albums as well as chart-topping singles including Pride Tag, Domino, Bang Bang and the brilliant Laser Light featuring David Guetta. The Voice judge, Jessie is known for her show stopping performances, having performed at the London Olympics, Glastonbury and the Diamond Jubilee Concert and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for Sunday at Pride. Like Jessie, supermodel, Studio54 superstar and muse to Andy Warhol Grace Jones has headlined almost every major festival across the world and has create more iconic ‘looks’ than almost any other artist out there. She famously hula hooped at the Queens 90th Birthday celebrations and we can only hope she hula’s her way in to Preston Park to deliver critically acclaimed dance club hits such as Slave To The Rhythm, I Need A Man, La Vie En Rose and Love on Top of Love (Killer Kiss) produced by C&C music factory. Bringing the warm up entertainment, X Factors first male band winners, Rak Su – which stands for ‘tracks vs suits’ and the juxtaposition of carefree youth and adult responsibilities – will perform their no.2 hit Dimelo which features Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy alongside tracks from their forthcoming debut album. Singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt will play her pop-inspired melodies and Pride favourites, House Gospel Choir, will uplift the park with their authentic house meets gospel sound while 21 year old Brighton resident, Grace Carter showcases her emotionally exposing songs in this, her breakout year.


The fun continues throughout the park with pop club night Guilty Pleasures, the crew from Swing Patrol Brighton, The Glory cabaret, BN1 Magazine tent, BIMM live stage, Boogaloo Bingo and family focused entertainment for parents and children of all ages. Baby Loves Disco, Alice’s Theme Party and Bubble Inc. will all be in attendance to entertain our younger attendees. Both Preston Park festival events are supported by TTK welfare to ensure accessibility to all. Before the park events begin, the infamous eyepopping, technicolour magic of the Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade featuring an array of city charities, community groups, local businesses, blue light services and official Brighton & Hove Pride partners, will kick start Saturday’s Brighton & Hove Pride in flamboyant, spectacular style. Campaign placards this year will feature LGBTQ heroes who have devoted their lives, passions and energies to advance LGBTQ+ rights. Starting at 11am at Hove Lawns, the colourful carnival will take a revised route through North Road, for one year only, due to the Valley Gardens regeneration scheme. Over 300,000 people pour onto the streets to participate in and watch as the all singing, all dancing fanfare winds its way to the main festival site. For the best place to view the colourful carnival, head to Kingsway on the sea front, West Street, Queens Road, St Peters Church and the London Road leading to its destination point of Preston Park.




Pride 2019


Other official Pride sites include, The Pride Pleasure Gardens on the Old Steine which will open the weekend once again on the evening of Friday 2nd August at 4pm and play host to three days and nights of free entertainment. The opening party on Friday evening will see Brighton favourite Dynamite Stu take residence with his Boogaloo Bingo followed by a night of disco dancing as only the Boogaloo crew know how. There will also be stunning performances from Epicene and the amazing Prancing Elites. Saturday will see a day packed with fierce fun, saucy wonders, camp pop, cabaret and the return of Sink The Pink with an all new show, featuring the one and only Sporty Spice, Mel C. Sunday picks up where Saturday evening left off with a boot-stomping session of Line Dancing from the Cactus Club followed by an afternoon and evening of queer cabaret before Brüt take the reins for the BearFest T-dance! The Pride Village Party in fabulous Kemptown also makes a comeback with businesses from across St James St and Marine Parade coming together to celebrate and raise additional funds for the Rainbow and Social Impact funds. Entertainment zones, bars and venues, live performances, cabaret, DJs, drag artists, singers, performers, musicians all join forces for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising celebration.


Alongside the weekend festival, various events will take place locally in the lead up to Brighton & Hove Pride. Following the launch of the Pride Cultural Development Fund in 2018 which engages with organisations and groups across the city to present diverse exhibitions featuring an LGBTQ+ narrative, two new exhibits will open this year. Nexus at the Jubilee Library runs from 29th July-11th August and features artists from Brighton and Bloemfontein in South Africa exploring real and imagined social, political and cultural connections. RIOT at the BMECP centre celebrates the Stonewall Uprising from 2nd31st August. For all you hound lovers, the much-loved Pride Community Dog Show will take place at Preston Park on Sunday 7th July from 12-5pm and feature judged events, family entertainment, face painting and a whole lot of canine fun. With such a vast array of activity across the city, drawing revellers from near and far; Brighton & Hove Pride have made a commitment to improve their environmental impact and are working with a sustainability expert to execute a three year plan. Focusing on the official Pride sites: Preston Park and Old Steine, they will be introducing reusable non single use


plastic cups and working with the venues in the Pride Village Party footprint to lower plastic and carbon emissions. Their aim is to reduce the volume of single use plastic deriving from festival bars and expect that the adoption of the reusable cup scheme will decrease 30% the volume of waste that has historically gone to incineration. Pride will also be sponsoring a Silent Disco Beach Clean on the morning of Sunday 4th August, with partners Oceans8, Pier2Pier, Brighton Watersports and the Bird & Blend Tea Co. To get involved, volunteers can sign up via the official Pride website and will receive a free ticket to LoveBN1 fest in return. As the countdown to the weekend continues, remember to plan your journey in advance. Pride have been working with Event Travel Hub to create a network of pick up locations across the South, London and selected cities to transport Pride visitors safely to and from Pride 2019. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have also confirmed enhanced services with extra Saturday train services running late into the night. Brighton & Hove Pride is, above all else, a time to come together, celebrate, embrace diversity and inclusion and we can’t wait for the weekend to begin. For further information, visit


CITY ANGELS City Angels is an initiative to promote a closer working partnership between Brighton & Hove Pride with local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. The year-round campaign will see Pride promoting the local retail and hospitality economy, whilst asking those businesses that benefit from the £20.5m+ that is spent over Pride weekend to engage their civic pride and get involved through the Pride City Angels programme.

100% of the proceeds of City Angels memberships is reinvested into the city and community projects. Whether it is through reducing waste in events supply chains, silent disco beach cleans, sponsoring bins, or consumer focused campaigns to reduce litter – there is plenty for everyone to do – and focused effort means greater benefit. Founding members include Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Brighton & Hove Buses, Hilton Metropole, Legends and Shoosh. To sign up and become a member, visit



Sky Dining Spend an elegant evening dining among the stars

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.

Sky Dining is now available for private and corporate hire.

Find out more and book at




“Worth waiting 300 years of farm evolution for” - The Times

“Darron Bunn has put his Michelin Stars to good use” - Farmers Weekly GOODWOOD ESTATE, CHICHESTER, PO18 0QB. 01243 755070. GOODWOOD.COM

FIZZ F& FOOD East Beach Café

The Bali Brasserie

Limetree Kitchen

1| Littlehampton: Sea Road, BN17 5GB East Beach Cafe was completed in June 2007 and has since won more than twenty national and international awards for design, architecture, steelwork, craftsmanship and engineering. Not dissimilar to the hull of a ship, it is a self-supporting structure and an extremely complicated piece of engineering. The whole process from commissioning the architect, Thomas Heatherwick, to completion took 18 months. Thomas heads one of the world’s leading design practices and was described recently by The Times as “the most creative mind in Britain”, the East Beach Cafe was his first UK building. The emphasis is on fresh fish and locally sourced produce, cooked in a style that lets the quality shine through. The Ritz trained kitchen team produce a standard of food that is fit for such an amazing setting.

5| The Bali Brasserie is proud to present vegan, vegetarian and dairy free dining as well as gluten free. The restaurant inside, ‘Rijsttafe’, (the rice table) is Indonesian themed food on a set menu, but they are able to adapt a meal to almost any dietary requirements. Meaning there is no reason to not go and enjoy yourself. There is something for everyone at The Bali Brasserie.

2| Douglas McMaster, owner and head chef has spent many years working in some of the UK’s and Europe’s top restaurants. You can expect to see a fair sized menu created with seasonal foraged ingredients that come together to give you a unique dinning experience. Some of the dishes so far have been Sea Buckthorn and Elderberry fool for dessert and potato steak, elephant garlic, alliums and herbs.

Memories of India

10| Lewes: 14 Station Road, BN7 2DA The Limetree Kitchen isn’t all about food, they have a unique “Gin Kitchen” which makes them stand out from the crowd. You can choose from their fantastic range of gins on offer and let them mix up a perfect blend of gin & tonic. If you fancy staying the night in Lewes, you can book a night in their elegant accommodation – “The Room”. If you are visiting Lewes for site seeing, or a special occasion getaway, The Room would be the perfect place to stay for a luxurious night after a delicious meal in the Limetree Kitchen restaurant. The menu consists of tapas style small plates which give diners the opportunity to try more on the menu. This is an informal way of eating out and you can either share a few dishes with friends or enjoy them on your own. Their simple menu is split into sections which include Vegetarian, Fish, Meat, Nibbles and Desserts.


Curry Leaf Cafe

3| The original Curry Leaf Cafe is located in the heart of Brighton's bustling Lanes, just a couple of minutes' walk from the beach. This colourful, laid-back 75-seat dining space – decked out with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and vintage Indian design touches – operates as a cafe-cum-lunch spot during the day, offering a range of coffees, teas, snacks and traditional South Indian street food, as well as more substantial meals such as thali platters, dosas and Masala-battered fish 'n chips. In the evenings diners can experience the cafe’s small but diverse dinner menu of tandoor-grilled meats, street food dishes and expertly spiced curries, accompanied by Brighton's best range of craft beers and spiced cocktails.


64 64

4| Eatalio is a recently new addition to Brighton’s food scene, and is located on Queens Road, abouta 5 min walk from the station near Brighton’s clock tower. Inspired by the simple, yet healthy food served from the street carts in Italy, Eatalio provides affordable, grab and go food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A great venue to pop into and dogs are most welcome. No servicesfor dogs, they just allow them in the venue.

Riddle & Finns

6| Another favourite in the restaurant scene, Riddle & Finns offer wonderful seafood platter as well as shellfish too, they do also cater for gluten free. Reservations are not Necessary unexpectedly, however it is recommended on the weekends as it can be very busy. Riddle & Finns also own a second venue on the seafront, both perfect for a special occasion. 7| Offering traditional Indian food in a variety of flavours from all over the continent. If you’re gluten intolerant then you will be pleased to know that gluten is very rare in all Indian food due to the lack of wheat flour. On Tuesdays, you can enjoy a five-course buffet menu for £12.95

Wolfies of Hove

8| Family run business that pride themselves in serving the finest, sustainable fish alongside locally sourced potatoes. Having served the Brighton & Hove area for over 25 years we know that quality is of the utmost importance, with carefully selected suppliers so that they can provide you good quality, fresh ingredients. Boosting The best fish in Brighton & Hove. The fish is the freshest sustainable fish available in Brighton & Hove, and our handmade pies using all local ingredients. They challenge anyone to serve up tastier, fresher & more wholesome fish.


9| If tapas style eating is your thing then MARKET, situated in the Brunswick district of Hove, is sure to deliver. With a multitude of Jamons on display and boasting a host of Spanish & Sussex food ingredients, wines, beers & spirits their Spanish inspired cuisine offers an authentic experience in a fast paced & buzzy environment. With countertop dining & chefs cooking in front of you a real draw for patrons the menu of modern tapas, including great vegan options through to meatiest of meat dishes, MARKET offers something for everyone.


Terre a terre

11| Terre a Terre is an iconic, award winning restaurant where being vegetarian is about more than just not eating meat. You can expect a variety of flavours and foods to try when you arrive. Much more interesting than the standard stuffed mushroom.

Pelham House

12| Lewes: St Andrews Lane, BN7 1UW Pelham House Lewes is a beautiful 16th century town house hotel in the heart of Lewes and one of East Sussex’s hidden gems, just 10 minutes from Brighton. Right off the High Street you will find the historic building, set in an extensive secret garden, Pelham House is perfect for dining alfresco or an afternoon tea. The house & garden has been exquisitely restored to create a stylish venue, combining elegance and history. The head chef has developed a varied set of menus for their gallery, panelled room, garden room and dining outside on the terrace. The restaurant at Pelham House focuses on simple and delicious food, using good quality seasonal and locally sourced produce from Lewes and the county of Sussex. They regularly offer private dining to guests for special occasions and events.

The Urchin Pub in Hove

13| One of Brighton’s newest offerings, the Urchin craft beer and shellfish pub is a wholly unique concept. Entirely dedicated to shellfish, matched with a range of over 100 craft beers The Urchin is something Brighton and Hove has never seen before. Seats 30 covers in the restaurant, the menu predominantly features prawns, lobster, crab and scallops.







Chambers Bistro 14| Shoreham-by-Sea: Old Town Hall, High Street, BN43 5DD Chambers Bistro Shoreham is an independent family-run British bistro, serving all the popular classics with an emphasis on locally sourced produce in an elegant and centrally positioned venue. Located just 15 minutes West of Brighton & Hove along the seafront, or 5 minutes off the A27, this well-known restaurant boasts the splendour of a Grade II listed neo classical building with super stylish interiors. Features include stripped wooden floors and cream leather chairs, set among two softly lit dining areas. Think boutique and chic, romantic and intimate. Chambers Bistro is as sophisticated with its appearance as the food they serve.

Sylvan Oak








15| Findon: BN14 0TE The Sussex restaurant is situated 10 minutes north of the town of Worthing in the sleepy village of Findon. The Sylvan Oak prides itself on an evolving food culture, where their head chef and proprietor Sinan Kalan presents flavoured food with amazing visual presentation. The Sylvan Oak could be perfect for that intimate occasion on the sun terrace, or can be privately hire for a party or celebration. Open most days apart from Mondays, and open for lunch and dinners. The Cuisine described by the owner as “British Fusion” which I suppose is close to dine dining and modern European. Essentially the food is professionally prepared and influences stem far and wide giving you quite a varied menu.

The Fountain Inn, Ashurst

16| Beautiful olde worlde inn in the sleepy village of Ashurst. A free house and ‘Cask Marque’ accredited, the Fountain has plenty of local ales on offer as well as the more recognised international beers and lagers. Complete with wonky floorboards, inglenook fireplaces and the heart warming smell of homemade cooking wafting in from the kitchen, you will not want to go home.


Block. 8

17| Block. is a bar with a great wine list, bringing you lots of new young wineries / vineyards, the people who, in wine that are pushing the envelope a bit. The wine is supported with great craft on draft and Brighton's first and currently only charcoal and wood burning oven, working with only the best produce from local farms, fisherman and suppliers they offer you a local meat and fish menu with a basque influence coming through, the garden at block has also recently been improved even after being voted Brighton's best garden for the last two years. So if you want gourmet restaurant quality food, but enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a bar. BLOCK is the place for you. Fridays feature the best in Brighton DJ talent.





BARS & B BEATS The Crown and Anchor


Fortune of War

1|Shoreham-by-Sea: 33 High Street, West Sussex BN43 5DD Named after the town’s past with its port famed for smuggling, and centrally located on Shoreham’s high street, the Crown and Anchor is a must visit and very popular with locals and visitors alike. From the high street it looks like a regular run of the mill pub, but it hides a gorgeous restaurant with big glass windows and a patio area with outside seating which backs onto the river Adur. Perfect for alfresco dining and drinking on warm evenings, with spectacular views of the South Downs and the river itself.

5| Legends is a gay bar and hotel located on Marine Parade just a minute away from Palace Pier. It has a fantastic selection of rooms with stunning sea views. The venue itself is very spacious and has a large bar upstairs with outside terrace and huge dance floor downstairs. There is always plenty going on with drag acts during the week and great music played by a diverse r ange of DJs at the weekends.

9| This lovely pub has been open since 1882, making it the oldest pub on the seafront. It is a good meeting place if you are going clubbing on the seafront. There are DJs playing at the weekends and it always has a friendly atmosphere and is never too crowded. The décor has a maritime theme and the pub provides beautiful views over the seafront. It has an outside seating area and a buzzy atmosphere during the summer months.

6| If you are looking for a good, old fashioned, comfy pub with a great atmosphere then this is the place for you. The Lion and Lobster is very popular with the locals and has become a bit of a Brighton institution. It is a good venue to start your night before going out on the town. The pub is spread over three floors with a main bar downstairs complete with cosy real fires in winter. The second floor has a small bar within a beautiful dining room and the third floor is the outside smoker’s area complete with mini bar and outside heaters. The Sunday roasts are very popular but make sure you get there early.

10| Hastings: 71 George Street, Old Town, East Sussex TN34 3EE Owned by the same people as the famous Dragon Bar in Shoreditch and centrally located in the Old Town in Hastings, just a stone’s throw away from the beach. This is a fantastic bar and eatery where during the day you can sample a diverse and delicious sounding menu made up of fresh local produce, and relax and watch the hustle and bustle of the old town. Beautifully decorated with local artwork with a lively and welcoming ambience. A vast selection of drinks with premium spirits, and live DJ’s at the weekend. Attracts an eclectic crowd of varying ages.


2| Haywards Heath: 65 The Broadway, West Sussex, West Sussex, RH16 3AS Centrally located in Haywards heath, this little Gem of a bar boasts cool funky décor, friendly expert mixologists with a great selection of cocktails and a wonderfully diverse and well thought food menu which caters for everyone. Pictures of sexy celebs adorn the walls of this cool atmospheric venue, which also boasts a great outdoor seated terrace area. Playing an excellent selection of music all day everyday with regular and guest DJ’s Friday and Saturday nights. A lot of thought has gone into this place and it shows.

32 Duke Street

3| Those with a party penchant wont be hard pushed to get your late night fix at this naughty, Brighton number. While a cracking destination for eating out in the day, get stuck into the confines of the quirky Brighton bar as the lights go down and the sound-system goes up for a fun loving, seaside crowd.

My Hotel

4| If you’re after a Sex and the City venue then look no further. My Hotel is a beautifully crafted bar with curved walls, gilding pewter surfaces and low lighting, reflecting a warm and spacious cocoon. As part of the My Hotel franchise, the bar is open to non-guests to enjoy some beautifully made cocktails, a sophisticated atmosphere and an altogether glamorous night out. The bar staff are knowledgeable and helpful. This is a good place for special occasions. Everyone gets super dressed up so if you are looking to get your glad rags on and feel special this could be the place for you.


Lion & Lobster

The Dead Parrot

7| Horsham: 21 Piries Place, RH12 1EH, West Sussex A cocktail bar with a difference! Opened by a group of bartenders in 2014 who are obviously passionate about their craft. The Dead Parrot boasts a fantastic menu of unique and eccentric cocktail as well as some classics, well as a fine selection of beers and delicious wines. Split over two floors with cool and quirky décor featuring some interesting taxidermy and a giant chessboard on the ceiling! An unashamedly hipster joint serving cocktails in all manner of vessels from beer cans with sombrero hats, to metal tankards and even the odd dainty glass. Lots of fun!

Hotel du Vin

8| A lovely start to your evening in a classy venue. The bar is part of the Hotel du Vin chain and is open to non-guests to come in and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. It is a little on the pricey side but if it is sophistication you are after then look no further. The bar has an extensive list of wines and a wide selection of whiskies, rums and countless spirits. As well as relaxing in the main bar you can also enjoy a game of billiards located on the balcony above.


The Dragon Bar

The Tempest Inn

11| With scenic views from the beer garden at this washed up bar along the beach front, enjoy the fresh sea air and the beautiful rolling waves from your dainty picnic bench. If you can drag yourself away from this alfresco seating, you’ll be just as impressed by the coastal coves set into the walls. Enjoy a frothy pint and a tempting tipple in your very own seafront cave at this quirky little cavern.

MEAT liquor

12| Hailing from the success of their London counterpart, Brighton’s MEATLiquour is a wonderment of carnivore feasts and locally inspired artwork. Based around the carnival days of Brighton gone by, doused in neons and brimming with urban regalia, MEATLiquour is a unique restaurant bar in Brighton where the burgers come hearty and the cocktails come laced in awesome.





La Havana 13| Chichester: 3 Little London, PO19 1PH A deep subterranean live music venue which is famed for its Jazz nights, though Whatever your particular taste in music, you will always find there to be a night to suit you here at La Havana. A fun and lively venue which is well thought out in design, you can easily find a spot to sit and chat away from the music whilst still enjoying it, or be right in the action. All in a vaulted basement for real atmosphere. Reasonably priced drinks to boot with beer at £3.00 a bottle.

The Loft Lounge and Bar 3








14| Eastbourne: 14 Station Street, East Sussex, BN21 4RG An elegant chic and sophisticated late night lounge and bar, spread over two floors, and carefully designed to create a unique and sumptuous atmosphere. The downstairs bar boasts an impressive circular bar backed onto a dazzling glass wall, and a skylight which floods the venue with natural light. Upstairs is a bit cosier and intimate, with various sized booths and a premium drinks bar. A fine selection of food and drinks on offer here, with delicious sounding cocktails and expert mixologists more than happy to make off-menu drinks. With live music every Friday and drinks offers throughout the week it’s easy to see why this is one of Eastbourne’s top rated nightspots.

Gin Tub

15| The exciting tastes of international gins in a superb interior of our newly opened Gin Tub Cocktail bar. Finally somewhere to drink after all the great Hove restaurants. With well over 80 gins – bespoke cocktails – craft beers and ales. We have also created flight boards to try new spirits. Bespoke Cocktails, craft beers, IPA’s and all the normal beers and spirits too. Under The Tub Welcome to the Rum Cage, where the spirits and specifically the rum never dry out. With a bar selection of some of the best rums, oh and of course some of our favourite gins.

Cocktail Shack 7

16| A unique and innovative bar hidden within the tall walls of Regency Square. They pride themselves on drinks as creative and bespoke as the Artist Residence itself, offering playful service and a passion for the product. We would urge everyone to check them out at The Shack for a taste of something new.


The Rocking Horse 8

17| Worthing: 3 The Broadway, Brighton Road, BN11 3EG Quirky pub serving cocktails and a limited beer and wine selection. Comfortable place for a chat with a rocking horse theme to the décor and a relaxed vibe. The best place in Worthing where you can go and experience trained mixologists who understand cocktails and flavours make your drinks! Reasonable prices for the quality of drinks too! A clean, light and airy venue with friendly staff to boot. They also offer a cocktail masterclass (daily) where for just £19.50 you can learn to make (and drink) three classic cocktails with a glass of prosecco included.








Nestled in the heart of the stunning Sussex countryside, Ghyll Manor Hotel is a picturesque spot to marry. An elegant 17th-century country house hotel brimming with character and style, the traditional oak-beamed building gazes out over 40 acres of gorgeous private gardens, including a lake and a pretty summer house. We cater for both ceremonies and receptions - enabling you to spend all of your big day in the same delightful setting, or you can choose to just enjoy your wedding reception with us. TAILOR-MADE WEDDING PACKAGES suiting individual tastes and requirements OUTDOOR WEDDINGS AVAILABLE* in our picturesque Summer House *(May to September – weather permitting)

ACRES OF LANDSCAPED GROUNDS & GARDENS An ideal backdrop for photographs A DEDICATED WEDDING COORDINATOR from the booking stage through to completion A TRULY PERSONAL SERVICE Helping to make dreams a reality

EVERY WEDDING IS AS UNIQUE AS YOU ARE! For more information call 01293 871571 (8am – 11pm daily) enquiries:



“Exceptional in every way. Each dish wowed us with seamless balanced flavours which are only fair to be compared with the very best restaurants in Brighton!”


love Chinese food. I love it more than any type of cuisine going and I suffer from cravings, which at times I simply cannot keep at bay. My wife Sally, however, isn’t as keen, so being a gentleman I often have to make sacrifices and go with her choice for our Friday night takeaway. Last week whilst shopping in town we passed Gars, and the heady scents rising from the doorway brought my cravings back with a vengeance. I have not been to Gars in over twenty years myself, but memories of my last experience came flooding back and I thought it was high time I educated Sally in what exceptional Chinese cooking is all about. I did not give her time to protest, as no sooner than these thoughts had entered my head, we were through the door and seated ready to order. Providing high-end Chinese dining at its finest in the same spot in the heart of Brighton’s historic quarter since 1983 , Gars is a Brighton institution which has stood the test of time like none other. Gars is one of the city’s oldest and most successful independent eateries which every Brightonian will have heard of, or visited at least once in their lifetime. It is the place to go for anyone who demands more from their Chinese experience than greasy plastic containers in a paper bag. Gars is certainly not your typical Chinese restaurant. It is luxuriously decorated with traditional styles meeting contemporary. Elegant floral arrangements adorn the room, whilst gleaming glasses and immaculate sparkling silverware are positioned on the table tops, with modern chandeliers casting intricate light patterns on cosy red and crimson walls. I was in the mood for a feast so I opted to sit in the upstairs dining room on a circular table with a rotating glass plate for the abundance of food I was about to order. We started with a selection of simply divine Dim-Sum served in traditional bamboo towers which release plumes of scented steam when opened. Each tower revealed jewels of thin wun tun pastry encasing light fillings of either pork, prawn or a divine mix of both, each very individual, incredibly moreish and tasted great dunked in chilli oil and vinegar dip. This was Sally’s first experience of Dim-Sum and she absolutely loved them, though sensibly only had one of each to save room for the rest of the gargantuan order I had placed, meaning my ‘appetiser’ consisted of twelve dumplings to myself, which I swiftly devoured.

Gars is one of the city’s oldest and most successful independent eateries which every Brightonian will have heard of, or visited at least once in their lifetime.



Our starters arrived as I popped the last dumpling into my mouth; a heavenly mixed platter of delicately flavoured chicken satay, some of the fattest prawn toast I have ever seen, giant crisp and juicy tempura king prawns, and incredibly tender and tangy salt and pepper spare ribs. I could see Gars was starting to win Sally over, as she greedily chomped on the giant prawn toast which barely fitted in her mouth. I still had the lion’s share however, as Sally knew we had some crispy duck coming, which is usually the only thing she will eat on the rare occasion I manage to wear her down and get to order a Chinese takeaway. We got halfway through the starters when my cheeky side-order of quick fried squid arrived. This one was all mine as I have not yet been able to get my fussy wife to try anything with tentacles. Tender and succulent pieces were spiced to perfection with salt, pepper and chilli and expertly cooked with just the right amount of bounce in the bite before they melt on the tongue. I could see Sally eyeing the dish up, as the smells emanating from bowl were irresistible. Holding a small piece in my chopsticks up to her mouth, she hesitated briefly before munching down on it. The look on her face said it all. Sally was impressed! Sally was visibly excited when the duck pancakes arrived. I was beginning to struggle, but soldiering on was easy when presented with this classic dish done so well! The duck was incredible, juicy and tender plump strips of meat, with the crispy outer layer which we all know and love, some of the richest hoi-sin sauce I have tasted, along with crunchy slivers of spring onion and cucumber. I always tend to overload my pancakes so the contents end up bursting out and making a mess of the table. Today was no exception and Sally looked slightly embarrassed as she nibbled on her expertly rolled delicate creations. My favourite bit; gnawing the last bits off the bone after dipping it in the sauce.


I started to think I might have been a bit greedy at this point. I decided to unbuckle my belt as the mains arrive. First out was a sizzling fillet steak in black bean sauce, which emanated an aroma that filled my nostrils and awakened a hunger in me that even I did not think would be possible! An absolute triumph of a dish, it consisted of tender morsels of melt in your mouth steak and a punchpacking peppery sauce. Prawns in Ginger and chilli and Ginger are perfection on a plate, incredible sweetness and zingy chilli do a merry dance on the tongue as you bite down on the chunky juicy tender shrimp. The dishes are served with sides of buttery smooth and fluffy eggfried rice and Singapore noodles brimming with meat and seafood, so much so it could easily hold its own as a main dish itself. After ploughing through a generous plate each, we had to admit defeat. Our waiter could see we were struggling so he kindly offered to pack what was left in a doggy-bag for us. My breakfast was sorted for the following day! As we left, I managed to get Sally to admit that she thoroughly enjoyed herself and absolutely loved the food. At least now I know that when my cravings appear again, I know I will be able to take the wife to Gars. Despite having visited Gars previously, albeit not for a while, I had forgotten just how superior the chef’s skills are here compared to even my favourite takeaways. In fact, every dish we enjoyed wowed us with seamless balanced flavours that would fairer to compare with the very best restaurants in Brighton. The comprehensive drinks menu, incredibly hospitable service and obdurate attention to detail only adds to my previous statement. Exceptional in every way! Gars 19 Prince Albert Street, Brighton, BN1 1HF.




DRINK DANCE 70 - 72 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FP









Tapas and much more... reviewed by Tony Shattell



ur favourite friendly neighbourhood Tapas bar has opened its doors again after a recent refurbishment. What a great excuse to pay them another visit (not that we needed one). Fresh from its recent renovation, Circo has reopened its doors, with an exciting new look, new menu and brand new extremely talented chef to boot. Having recently had the pleasure of experiencing the delights Pabellon, Circo’s sister restaurant, has to offer (see my rave review in the December issue of Absolute Sussex) my wife Sally and I made sure we were booked in to 9 Preston Road at the earliest opportunity. So exactly one week after the doors opened up again to the public, we arrived, racked with anticipation and excitement, eager to tuck in to some of the unique East Asian and Spanish fusion dishes that Circo has become famous for. The refurb looks great! Painted in the same Regal Haig colour scheme as Pabellon, yet still managing to maintain its intimate and relaxed authentic Tapas bar feel, there are chalk-board menus adorning bare brick sections of wall, a few tables and chairs littering the cosy dining area and of course the bar overlooking the exposed kitchen. Here you can casually dine whilst admiring Chef Leo gracefully glide around the kitchen preparing plates of food for you. We positioned ourselves in our favourite spot at the bar for the evening. My first glance at the menu revealed that my favourite Padron Peppers remained as one of their signature dishes and so I immediately ordered some for us to nibble on whilst we decided on what to try from the food menu. It has stayed true to the original ethos, featuring four to five fun and bold options under each heading; Planta, Pescado, and Carne. We opted to share two dishes from each section, and Manager Catlin was more than happy to help us select a tipple to compliment from the select list of wines from various regions of Spain. Our first ‘planta’ dish was the Chargrilled Aubergines in sweet soy sauce. These were luscious meaty melt-in-your mouth chunks, thoroughly marinated in a sublime sticky teriyaki sauce which, when paired with the tantalising savouriness of the fruit itself, works very well indeed.


The Aubergine was soon devoured and our next dish arrived as we were gnawing on the last of the peppers - Salt and Pepper Calamares with Black Garlic squid ink and Mango Aioli. We had witnessed this dish being prepared for one of the tables when we were ordering and it looked so tasty we swapped out one of our original choices. We made the right choice as this was some of the most flavoursome tender squid I have ever tried, and the mango Aioli paired with the bold and slightly sweet black garlic was a touch of genius. Next to arrive was Pollo al Ajillo. This was Sally’s choice so she ate most of this one. but from the couple of mouthfuls I was allowed to try I was impressed. Beautifully cooked rough cuts of soft tender corn-fed chicken absolutely burst with flavour. The meat had obviously been marinated for hours. I could taste Garlic, Rosemary, and Coriander all at once and they danced round my palate somehow intensifying the taste of the chicken. Throughout the sitting, Leo checked in on us from time to time, sometimes challenging us to pick out what ingredients we thought he had used in a dish (which we got completely wrong most of the time), but mainly just to make sure we were enjoying his creations. He is one of the most enthusiastic excitable passionate individuals I have met in the industry, was a pleasure to talk to and made our night even more memorable. His passion for the dishes he designs and creates himself is contagious, making us want to try everything on the menu. He is given free rein to concoct dishes himself and will be swapping out dishes regularly, whilst keeping some signature dishes like the peppers and Calamari. The next dish really impressed, with its complimenting cross-continent flavours - Beef Pintxo Ternera with Tofu Aioli. Beautifully presented juicy and sweet skewers of beef and peppers, typical from the Basque region of Spain, were coated in teriyaki and served alongside dollops of tofu Aioli, seared to give it a satisfying thin crust. The Aioli really grounding the intense sweetness of the teriyaki. This was simply flawless, leaving me wanting more. Last but by no means least came Red Mullet which we observed Leo skilfully prepare from our favourite position. An altogether more rounded dish than its predecessor, it had lovely down to earth subtle essences working in harmony. Red Mullet has a grounded flavour which worked beautifully with the Malaga style garlic and bread puree and potato skin crisps. The fish was drizzled with beetroot juice, which added an extra dimension and really set this masterpiece off. The only disadvantage of sitting at the bar is that desserts are far too tempting to refuse when you are watching Leo prepare them and hearing gasps of pleasure coming from the recipients. We could not resist but to have one each, meaning we shared two desserts between us. They were both incredible and really showcased Leo’s talent for creating exciting innovative dishes. First out was Milhojas cake; thousand leaves cake with sweet milk. I had no idea what to expect from that description, and what we got was a superb delicate crumbly, rich savoury pastry topped with a whipped sweetened cream and drizzled with caramel. The sweet and savoury really complemented each other, whilst not overpowering each other. The next was a wonderful playful dessert; Yemes De Santa Teresa (Santa Teresa yolks). A lighter than air cloud of fluffy meringue, it was drizzled with strawberry culet and surrounded by dollops chocolate topped whisked yolks. This was truly masterful and well worth saving some room for. Having been to Circo/Senor Buddha several times previously, I felt this was the best meal we have had to date. The combination of flavours and textures were creative, unique, punchy and interesting. The recent facelift has somehow made it seem more restaurant-like, without detracting from the unique tapas bar experience Circo is renowned for. Truly a must visit. rooms, to a more modern affair with contemporary design. The Medieval House is connected to the Thatch House by an underground passageway. The Court and Coach Houses stand opposite the main entrance, while the Gate House and the newer rooms in the Moat House and The Oaks stand beside the old moat overlooking the fields beyond.

The combination of flavours and textures were creative, unique, punchy and interesting. The recent facelift has somehow made it seem more restaurant-like, without detracting from the unique tapas bar experience Circo is renowned for.

9 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 4QE 01273 567832



Lucky Khao @ Red Roaster Café Authentic Northern Thai barbecue, cocktails, and beers in a tranquil space in the heart of Brighton’s Kemptown.


y job as a food reviewer for Sussex’s favourite magazine provides me with a lot of opportunities to visit some of the top restaurants in Brighton. I get to hear all about the comings and goings on the foodie scene, to try out new restaurants, updated menus and fresh concepts so I can report back and write all about them for our readers. I am very blessed and it is a lovely position to be in. Every now and then however, something really special and unique comes to my attention. Something which reinvigorates my love for dining out in this wonderful diverse town, and something which excites me and reignites the passion I have for my work. Our recent visit to Lucky Khao at Redroaster café did just that and I simply cannot wait to tell you all about it! Just entering Redroaster Café feels like you are being transported instantly to a faraway land. This stunning venue simply has to be seen to be believed and is the perfect setting for Lucky Khao Northern Thai barbeque, cocktails and beers. Opulence and tranquillity spring to mind when describing the space, with an abundance of green foliage hanging from the walls and ceiling, neon lighting, gleaming brass fixtures and marble tiling. No expense nor attention to detail has been spared in creating this wonderful setting designed by ‘World Interiors Designer of the Year’ Hana Hakim. Tables are set out along the walls with the option to sit at the huge bar area and enjoy a cocktail or two whilst nibbling on some incredible sounding “beer food” such as mackerel or sweet mango betel wraps or organic barbeque pork skewers with full view of the open plan bar and kitchen area.



This stunning venue simply has to be seen to be believed and is the perfect setting for Lucky Khao Northern Thai barbeque, cocktails and beers.

We arrive around seven on a Friday and the place is already buzzing. We opt to sit at a table at the rear of the café so we can take it all in. Karen, our waitress for the evening almost immediately brings us a selection of betel leaves scattered with chilli, roasted garlic and nuts along with an assortment of sauces. My wife Sally and I have never been to Northern Thailand and Karen could sense our confusion so she explained that the leaves were to be used to make wraps. This is typical of the region and she then went on to give us the lowdown of how people eat and cook in places such as Chiang Rai and the villages which border Burma and Laos which the menu borrows heavily from, as well as being where the head chef was sent to train for two months before they opened. Karen was incredibly knowledgeable and went through the menu with us, asking if we had any dietary requirements and/or food intolerances, pointing out a comprehensive and easy to follow allergens guide on the back. Neither of us have any allergies, and Sally’s only concern was that she does not like anything too spicy, which considering we were in a restaurant which prides itself on providing an authentic Thai experience, I thought might be a problem. However, Karen was happy to recommend milder dishes for her to try. We ordered a couple of bottles of craft lemongrass beer and some miniature betel wraps and was left alone to consider the menu. Karen returned and we had demolished the betel wraps, which were incredible. The refreshing zingy sweet and sour flavours awakened our taste buds like nothing before. We were ready to order a feast. Over excitedly and completely ignoring Karen’s advice to order as we go along due to the food coming out as it is cooked, we got dived straight in and ordered an abundance of dishes. We opted for a selection of “beer food” to share, a bit from the barbeque section and a curry which Karen recommended for Sally.



Lucky Khao First out; Chiang Mai style northerner’s hot dog, fermented local pork, topped with pickles, phrik num jam, and served in a crisp toasted brioche role. At first glance these bad-boys looked like regular hot dogs, but take a bite and your mouth is filled with wonderful penetrating spices and surprising textures. The sausage crumbles to release the flavour and the pickles and jam just add an extra dimension to this dish. Sally enjoyed deconstructing the dog and making sausage wraps from the betel leaves and dipping them in the sauces. Soon after, Karen brought us vegan charcoal Thai aubergine, a not-too-spicy dish which Sally was eager to try. Aubergine is great for absorbing juices and flavours which are released when masticated, not that there is any need to chew. Sticky, gooey and messy to eat, this is a fun dish and delicious to boot. Note to self – listen to your waitress in future. The food was starting to come out thick and fast now and we were getting swamped with dishes and running out of space. I polished off the last hot dog and Sally made a messy and sticky aubergine wrap to make room on the table for the next dish; Northern Thai charcoal barbeque chicken, another of Karen’s recommendations and a favourite among regular diners. Local free range chicken is marinated with lemongrass, garlic, white pepper and coriander root, then slow roasted over charcoal to give it even more flavour and ensure the juiciest, most tender chicken imaginable. Served with some contrasting spicy jaew sauce and tamarind dipping sauce, everything about this dish was spectacular. We thoroughly enjoyed making wraps and experimenting with the sauces and it all went extremely well with the incredibly moreish lemongrass beer (of which we were now on our third bottle each). If the mess we had made making all the wraps was any indication as to how much we were enjoying ourselves, we were having the time of our lives! Our final dish ‘Khao soi,’ Chiang Mai style curry noodle dish appeared and we again made some room by polishing off some of the remnants of our previous selections, and watched rather sheepishly, while Karen wiped away some of the crumbs and sauces from the table. The curry was a hearty broth akin to Japanese Ramen, but with homemade Thai spices and coconut milk, packed with shallots, bean sprouts, coriander and pickled mustard greens, and a choice of toppings, either smoked beef brisket, Thai sausage, or tofu and oyster mushrooms. We opted for the beef brisket which was melt in your mouth tender and a great pairing with the rich and hearty broth. Thankfully Sally absolutely loved it, otherwise I do not think I would have managed to finish it myself. On reflection, slow and steady wins the race at Lucky Khao. There is absolutely no need to order everything at once. Resist temptation, order as you go along, take in the cool atmosphere and surroundings and relax in to the experience. We still made room for dessert though - albeit one to share between us. We went for Pandan Trifle with ginger sponge, spiced turmeric custard, pandan jelly and topped with toasted coconut marshmallow. This is great fun and innovative twist on a classic pudding, with incredible textures and flavours that, despite how full we were, we completely demolished in less than a minute. Lucky Khao is as exciting and innovative as it gets. Not only is it one of only a handful of restaurants in the UK to specialise in Northern Thai barbeque, it also feels fresh, invigorating and unique! Whether you have been to Northern Thailand, are in search of some authentic Thai food, or just want to pop in for an incredible bespoke cocktail or two, you’ll enjoy an experience you will not forget in a hurry.

If the mess we had made making all the wraps was any indication as to how much we were enjoying ourselves, we were having the time of our lives!

Tony Shattell

1d St James's St, Brighton BN2 1RE






07944 793079 ABSOLUTE www.aberdeensteakhousebri

‘Local Gem’ Waitrose Good Food Guide 2019 ‘Britain’s 12 Best Indian Restaurants’ BBC Good Food Magazine ‘UK’s Best Craft Beer Restaurant’ Society of Independent Brewers





60 ShiP Street Brighton Bn1 1ae

40 uPPer St JameS’S Street Brighton Bn2 1Jn

Brighton Station, QueenS rd Brighton Bn1 3XP ABSOLUTE


Meat & Potatoes @ Honest Burgers


ast growing burger chain Honest Burgers have opened their first restaurant in Brighton. It all began several years ago when owners and best friends Tom and Phil met working for a local high-end eatery, worked the circuit and noticed how most restaurants seem to have added hidden extras like sides and bread, ramping up the cost of dining before the customers realised! They decided they wanted to do it all better, more “honest” and where quality would be absolutely guaranteed. With thirty-odd branches open and seemingly not slowing down, it really does seem that honesty is the best policy! Absolute Magazine’s burger connoisseurs Tony and Nick paid them a visit to see how they have done it and of course try out some of their delicious burgers! First impressions when we arrived is this is not your typical try-hard to be cool dimly-lit neon-heavy burger joint. Homely décor was paired with bare brick walls and simple no-fuss tables and chairs. We checked out the menu and it see more of the same theme. No crazy names and fancy toppings, and no sightings of the words “dirty” “sexy” or “filthy” in view whatsoever! Just simply described, beef, veggie, and chicken burgers along with a couple of speciality burgers made in collaboration with local restaurants that are regularly swapped out.



“ We chose a couple of beef burgers, which come with chips as standard, and some extra onion rings, slaw and beef and bacon gravy and our meal does not take long to arrive. We tucked in and it was immediately apparent why the menu does not need to try too hard. Honest burgers are simply divine. It is all about the meat here. Succulent juicy patties are made from fatty Chuck and Rib-cap steaks to give extra flavour and bind the meat without the need for egg, chopped, not minced so as to hold in the flavour and keep the meat coarse and tender. The patties are cooked perfectly medium-rare through being seared on a flat iron grill and seasoned with salt and pepper during cooking to prevent the salt breaking down the beef and creating a rubbery texture. The toppings only compliment and do not detract any attention from the meat. Just as much attention goes into the sides. The chips which come as standard (no hidden extras here) are out-of-this world crispy, made from specially selected spuds which have a natural low-sugar content, which ensures they crisp up during cooking and don’t go soggy. Seasoned with sea-salt and rosemary, these chips have been described as the crack-cocaine of the chip world and we can see why! The biggest onion rings I have ever seen were beautifully spiced. I think I could taste cardamom or cumin - I forgot to ask. The rich meaty gravy was something truly special - great for dunking the chips and even the burger. We washed it all down with a couple of delicious gin and tonics, with gin sourced from a small distillery in Bristol, and a couple of locally brewed beers. Verdict: Honest Burgers are a must visit. Unpretentious surroundings, well priced and incredibly tasty burgers and sides made from Great British meat and veg.

Honest Burgers are a must visit. Unpretentious surroundings, well priced and incredibly tasty burgers and sides made from Great British meat and veg."

Honest Burgers: 8 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH.




Best of Great Britain

@ The Coal Shed.


The highlights for me were the Orkney Scallop cooked in their shell in the josper grill with pickled seaweed, vermouth and spring vegetables."


was privileged to represent Absolute Magazine attending The Best of Great Britain event at The Coal Shed. The feast featured six heavenly courses explored the best produce from around Great Britain, with some stunning wine pairings from across the globe. This was a truly special event, with some inspired dishes by Salt Room head chef Dave Mothersil and specially selected ingredients from the four corners of Britain. Each course was paired with specially selected wine and diners were treated to a little chat from their resident expert Joe, who captivated the crowd with his knowledge and charismatic delivery. Every course was a delight, but the highlights for me were the Orkney Scallop cooked in their shell in the josper grill with pickled seaweed, vermouth and spring vegetables. They came out steaming hot on a bed of salt and were possibly the tastiest I have tried. They were expertly paired with a full flavoured Parisian Chardonnay. A particularly zesty Greek Sauvignon Blanc accompanied Wye Valley asparagus, Wiltshire truffle and cackleberry yolk and was truly a perfect match. My absolute favourite dish of the night, however, had to be the most tender piece of new season Welsh lamb, served with coal roasted leek rarebit, which had a lovely subtle bite and all went down incredibly well with a particularly elegant Rezalte Crianza from Northern Spain. The evening was educational and fun and I cannot emphasise enough just how delicious and exciting each course was. The sociable communal dining layout made it impossible not to make new friends as the wine had the desired effect in breaking down boundaries.

The evening was educational and fun and I cannot emphasise enough just how delicious and exciting each course was.

Tony Shattell Book yourself a place at:






Taking their already incredible burgers, platters and small plates “up a notch” with an exciting new menu

Brighton has more than its fair share of sophisticated and stylish wine bars, quirky pubs, and restaurants all battling it out with innovative takes on global cuisines. Block bar in Kemptown has now fully established itself as one of Brighton’s go to places which has it all.


his sexy gem of a bar has long been a favourite of mine. On many an occasion I have popped in for a spot of lunch and ended up staying well into the evening, not knowing where the time has gone. Block really stands out from the crowd with its relaxed welcoming ambience, incredibly unique creative flare which sucks you in from the moment you walk in the door. Its charcoal grey walls make perfect chalkboards advertising its well stocked bar with bottles thoughtfully selected to give a modern accessible take on the sophistication and luxury of wine. Behind the bar select draft craft beers, small-batch gins and a great selection of spirits are displayed. Bare brick feature walls with lush foliage and incredible eclectic stencilled artwork by renowned local artist ‘The Postman’ lead to Block’s award winning sun-trapped Mediterranean style patio garden which I have often found myself ‘trapped’ in, soaking up the rays by day and partying to world class DJs in an ambient setting by night. Then of course there is the food. Block prides itself in providing high-calibre exquisite dishes made from the finest locally sourced produce, which is cooked in a giant Spanish style wood and charcoal burning Bertha Oven. It’s the only one of its kind in Brighton, which gives food an incredible rustic flavour you will not find anywhere else. Block’s platters and burgers have become legendary. My wife Sally and I were honoured with an invitation for an exclusive taster of their new improved menu launched in May, which in the words of Block’s charismatic owner Ben Gill, they are “taking up a notch” with a new highly skilled Chef taking full advantage of the Bertha oven with an AngloSpanish influenced menu, and a little oriental flare mixed in.


Block prides itself in providing highcalibre exquisite dishes made from the finest locally sourced produce, which is cooked in a giant Spanish style wood and charcoal burning Bertha Oven.




The chef’s talent for creating incredibly well balanced dishes out of bold flavours and the finest ingredients really stood out

We arrive May Day Bank Holiday Monday after a long, fun over-indulgent weekend feeling a little worse for wear, soon made to feel better by the warm energetic welcome received as we enter Block. Elly and (another) Ben behind the bar could see we were struggling, and were great at recommending a revitalising tipple to sort our fuzzy heads out. Sally opted for a lovely citrusy zesty wine and myself a surprisingly refreshing pint of pale stout. It being a bit chilly outside, we opted to sit indoors and relax to the chilled funky tunes while we chat to the team. Pretty soon our food started to arrive. We began with some small plates. First to arrive we’re Feta and Padron Pepper Croquettes, which were incredible. These were tantalising little crispy balls which reveal a light and fluffy filling. Drizzled in a sweet and tangy honey sriracha which had a lovely kick, these are a perfect counterpart to this culinary marvel. Shortly after, a flat-bread piled high with Chorizo, padron and sweet peppers arrived. Another winner! The Bertha oven really brings out the smoky sharpness of the Chorizo which is mellowed by the juicy sweet peppers. Next came a more oriental-inspired offering of caramelised soy blackened cod with a colourful seaweed salad topped with a reduction of sesame. A beautifully presented delicate dish, this was perfectly cooked fish with the meat flaking at the slightest touch of our forks. The full flavour of the fish brought out by the salacious sweet sauce and the tangy crisp salad created an incredibly array of tastes and sensations with each mouthful. From what we had tasted so far, the chef’s talent for creating incredibly well balanced dishes out of bold flavours and the finest ingredients really stood out, and this was further reinforced with the mains which consisted of a meat platter and oxtail burger. As they were brought out to us, I found myself


thinking the new chef could not possibly improve on two things Block had become renowned for. How wrong I was! A giant slab of pork belly glistening with a sweet sesame and soya coating arrived, perfectly cooked and spiced sriracha and paprika chicken, and melt in your mouth mango beef. It was served with a side of crisp and fluffy seasoned hassleback spuds and a generous helping of juicy sweet peppers. What really impressed, however, was the accompanied dipping sauces; a lovely homemade chicken gravy and a potent coriander and sweet chilli sauce which I thought would overpower the other flavours, but did absolute wonders bringing it all out! The platter was enough to finish Sally off, so the burger was all mine to feast on! Before I tucked in, I had my doubts as an Oxtail patty with beef marrow sauce and red wine onions just sounded too rich for my liking, and yet again I was proven so wrong! The patty was flavourful as you would expect, yet the sauce seemed to act as a mellowing agent giving at a rounded flavour with the piquant onions adding an extra special twist to this delightful burger, which fell apart as I chomped down on the ever so fluffy bun! It was so much fun to eat and so delicious, I was gutted to have finished it off! Now we had been fed and our hangovers slightly subsided we relaxed into our drinks and, being true to form, Block somehow managed to hold us there for another couple of hours sipping on some truly special wines and beers and being thoroughly enchanted by the vibrant atmosphere. We reflected on our lunch and agreed it could rival some of the top restaurants in Brighton, let alone the local competition! Block really has it all, and with their new improved menu I’m convinced it is going to be their best summer yet! Block 101 St James’s Street Brighton BN2 1TP


Block somehow managed to hold us there for another couple of hours sipping on some truly special wines and beers and being thoroughly enchanted by the vibrant atmosphere.





6 Pool Valley, Brighton. BN1 1NJ

31 Ship Street, Brighton. BN1 1AD

Handmade daily using local produce and top quality ingredients. -Vegan options-non gluten containing options-cups-cones-takehome tubs-



HOTEL du Vin Spring has sprung and as Victor Hugo once said, "Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” My invitation to Hotel du Vin’s Parisian style bistro did exactly that. This steadfast French cuisine is capable of driving away any winter blues with their freshly baked baguettes, Moules Marinieres and classic cassoulet.


righton's sophisticated and vibrant culinary scene is ever-evolving with fresh and relevant dishes that rival any major city and it takes a winning recipe to secure a loyal following, which Hotel du Vin has succeeded to do year after year.

The distinctive Du Vin brand is all about inspired French home style cooking in an elegant and unpretentious setting.

Located only 100 yards from the city's famous promenade and painted in a cross between sage and Russian green, this eye catching building is a tranquil oasis amidst Brighton's hedonistic merriment. The medieval style chateau, complete with gothic style gargoyles, a cosy courtyard and divine Tudor entrance dates back to 1695. Over the years the collection of buildings has slotted together like an extraordinary jigsaw puzzle and this has created charm and character like no other. This is a unique gem in The Lanes famous conservation area of gobbled stones and history. There are 49 charming rooms with an immense bar, exposed brick work and a life sized mural of known faces over looking the main hall, as though you have been invited to an exclusive soirée.

This is a unique gem in The Lanes famous conservation area of gobbled stones and history.



As you arrive in the main reception the heavily carved opulent staircase is striking without being ostentatious, beautifully and balanced with the Du Vin’s signature chic styling. There is an eye catching Alice in Wonderland style wall of clocks in all shapes and sizes and the vibe is modern meets gothic, eccentric meets elegant - a timeless and balanced style.

Arriving on a chilly Thursday evening our welcome was as warm and inviting as the surrounding décor. We were invited through to the extensive split-level lounge bar for an aperitif. Dark brown leather Chesterfield seating lined the exposed brick work walls, whilst luxurious, dusty rose, velvet chairs created a subtle grace amongst the masculine décor. At 7:30pm the bar area was vibrant with a mix of individuals and small groups. As I enjoy chatting to the mixologists, we decided to perch at the bar. The du Vin Bar boasts over 100 whiskeys as well as an extensive cocktail menu, wines and beers. Continuing with the French theme, I decided to try the French 75, one of my favourite light and refreshing cocktails. My dining companion opted for a crisp glass of Bernard Defaix Chablis. Our maître d' for the evening, Luigi, introduced himself and asked if we were ready to continue to the bistro. The restaurant is at the heart of this enchanting building and has wall to ceiling bi-folding doors. The spacious room has a central dining area in tiffany blue, enhanced by marble tables and candle light. A stunningly restored fireplace gives a warm inviting feel and the artwork has a subtle aquatic theme, in keeping with the seaside city.






It was clear that this was by far the best meal we have had in Brighton this year. A salute to the best of French cuisine in an environment both warm and welcoming, yet sophisticated and delicate."


French cuisine is renowned for bread, sauces, wines and decadent desserts which could be pegged as rather excessive on the waistline, but thanks to cunning portion size, control and a respect for the finest, freshest flavours the French are certainly not depriving or over-indulging. I suppose my love of French cuisine was launched in my early twenties when I read Mirelle Guiliano’s 'French women don't get Fat - The Secret to eating for pleasure’. Ever since, I have had an affinity with the French paradox laid out in this book.

Gazing over the new seasonal menu, I decided to go all out and order with pure 'gastronomic pleasure' at the forefront of my mind instead of calorie counting. The menu caters for all with vegetarian and vegan options, salads and steaks and a whole host of traditional home style French dishes. As we named the theme of the evening as ‘Dining for Pleasure,' we decided to opt for dishes that we could share and discuss. Our charming and professional Miatre'd Luigi suggested that he would assist with appropriate wines to complement each of our courses. Luigi was unobtrusive, but completely aware of our needs. To start, we ordered the Pan seared Scallops with Cobble lane saucisson, samphire, confit garlic and seaweed butter and the soft boiled Goosnargh duck egg with asparagus and brown crab mayonnaise. This was an artful combination almost too pretty to eat and a divine culinary synthesis combining a French recipes with the Lancashire duck egg. The flavours were rich, but not complex and the type of light bite you can easily enjoy on a sunny afternoon with a glass of wine. Luigi demonstrated a passion for his role and knowledge of the food and wine that I have not witnessed in a long time. It was a joy having him look after us and before we had even ordered our main course, we both agreed that he had left an impression that would ensure our swift return to this bistro.

Moving on to the main course and fully immersing ourselves in French dining, it was clear that the best dish to share and to experience the crème de la crème of Hotel du Vin’s Bistro was the Chateaubriand. This French classic named after French aristocrat Francois-rene de Chateaubriand, whose chef invented this method of cooking a large boneless cut of beef. This pure, decadent tenderloin filet is a large portion made for sharing. The dish was completed with pomme frites, sautéed spinach, haricot verts or greens and classic béarnaise and peppercorn sauces on the side. With a cut so tender and cooked to perfection, we found ourselves avoiding the added sauces in order to fully appreciate this divine dish. Dessert was a challenge. Despite my attempt to not over indulge, the food was exceptional and this continued through to the crème brulee and tarte au citron.

As the wine flowed and we continued to chat to the waiter and mairt'd it was clear to both of us that this was by far the best meal we have had in Brighton this year. A salute to the best of French cuisine in an environment both warm and welcoming, yet sophisticated and delicate. It’s good to finally find a place to escape the perpetually frenetic streets of Brighton and indulge in a laid-back French dining where the cooking is simply about layering flavours and mastering basic techniques whilst savouring every tasty morsel. Lindsay Katherine Hills






Available for home delivery with


Regency Relaunched

The Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel

Reviewed by Victoria Marie Emerson

A hugely impressive 4 star hotel that celebrates the building’s and the city’s history through exquisite design. Widely regarded as ‘architecturally unrivaled,’ Brighton and Hove’s magnificent seafront features a diverse plethora of outstanding buildings, ranging from the ultramodern to the clean lines of Art Deco and the grandeur of the Regency period. Sat magnificently on the front row, with the finest views towards the theatre of the sea beyond is the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, a proud example of Regency finery, and now, thanks to a £3 million-pound transformation, a hugely impressive 4 star hotel that celebrates the building’s and the city’s history through exquisite design. The Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel has redecorated and redesigned all of its 116 guest rooms and communal spaces. The new look completed in mid-April and the hotel hosted a party for local press, influencers and businesses to celebrate the grand reopening on the 25th April, as well as inviting me, on behalf of Absolute Magazine to experience a stay in one of the newly appointed guest rooms. Few Brighton hotels can match the seafront location and the fantastic sea views and as I entered the hotel through the revolving doors, the sight I was greeted with was simply breathtaking. Visitors will not fail to be stunned by the dramatic changes made to one of the South’s finest listed properties. Dominated by a grand sweeping staircase that visibly winds round and round to the top of the building, the redesign of the nineteenth century hotel encapsulates the perfect blend of exquisite Regency splendor, with a dash of quirky Brighton charm. Led by a local Hove based interior designer, Helen Hooper, this listed building has had no structural changes made, but the bespoke refurbishment has introduced modern décor throughout, with elements of Brighton’s rich history seen in every room.

Visitors will not fail to be stunned by the dramatic changes made to one of the South’s finest listed properties.

A colour palette of inky blues and welcoming whites has transformed the lounge and reception area. The bespoke carpet is set to make waves with visitors, as design inspiration was taken from the ripple effect of the tide going out from the sea – which is only a few yards away from the hotel’s doorstep. The lounge has been transformed into an impressive gallery showcasing the finest creations from local artists, really putting Mercure at the heart of Brighton’s buzzing art scene.





The Mercure

Clearly proud of their setting, the staff welcome their guests with warmth and are keen to ensure their stay is as comfortable as possible, exceeding all expectations. Iain Lindsay, General Manager at Mercure Hotel Brighton Seafront commented: “The modernisation of the hotel will make the Mercure a thriving cultural hub for guests, the artwork that can be seen all around the hotel shows how proud we are to be a part of the busy Brighton community. We are so happy with how the refurbishment has gone and we are looking forward to welcoming guests, old and new, and hearing their thoughts on our new look hotel.” Check in was swift but attentive, with the team happy to make local recommendations, take bookings for the restaurant, arrange your morning newspaper and book you taxis. A lift is available to assist with those heavy cases but I decided to take the atmospheric and majestic staircase, leading me up to where the three floors of bedrooms have been transformed, brimming with charm and providing an ode to the era, whilst modern finishes bring all the creature comforts for a memorable stay. The bedrooms are spacious, comfortable and calming - a serene retreat away from the buzzing beachfront. The décor takes inspiration from Brighton’s infamous beach, with seaside imagery and textiles adorning the newly refurbished bedrooms, celebrating the quirky history of the surrounding area. The new throws, curtains, carpets and bespoke furnishings provide a fresh and modern look, whilst my bathroom took more of a nod to the traditional side of the hotel. The comfortable beds, and rustic effect furnishings come together to celebrate the old and new.

Rooms at the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel come in three different categories. Firstly there are the Classic Bedrooms which all offer supremely comfortable beds, HD TVs, complimentary high speed WiFi, en suite bathrooms, hairdryer and tea/ coffee making facilities. The Privilege Rooms are upgraded bedrooms which sleep two people, with a handful offering sea views and others located within the brand new Mews. As well as offering all the creature comforts that the classic rooms offer, the 16 sea view rooms have been updated with a plush grey silk effect décor, beautiful glass and brass chandeliers and antique mirror glass on the desk and bedside tables. If you are looking to really push the boat out, then the Superior Bedroom is the best in the hotel, with sea views and balcony. Featuring a spacious room complete with HD TV, complimentary high speed WiFi, Nespresso coffee machine, robe and slippers, this is the perfect luxury seaside retreat.

If you can pull yourself away from the comfort of your bedroom, then be sure to take a trip down to the ground floor and visit the Goulty Restaurant which, following its full refurbishment, is unrecognisable with splashes of jewel colours sapphire, emerald, and amber adorning the walls.


If you can pull yourself away from the comfort of your bedroom, then be sure to take a trip down to the ground floor and visit the Goulty Restaurant which, following its full refurbishment, is unrecognisable with splashes of jewel colours sapphire, emerald, and amber adorning the walls. Comfortable and plush seating provides the perfect perch to gaze out to sea through the vast windows that provide exquisite seaside views. It’s not just the furnishings that have been given an update, a new food and drink menu has launched that reflects the culinary delights that can be locally sourced in and around Brighton. Taste buds tingle with diners being able to choose from many delicious options on the menu from the Chef’s signature locally caught beer battered fish and chips, to the Brighton Deli Burger, made with Sussex Cheddar – for those with a sweet tooth finishing up with the signature Brighton Rock Knickerbocker Glory.




The Mercure

Take a stroll across to the other side fo the hotel and you’ll find the modern and sophisticated Norfolk Hotel cocktail bar whose bar front is the new home to pieces from the iconic West Pier, which were salvaged from the fire that destroyed it almost two decades ago. The bar offers a fine selection of white, rose and red wine from around the world, as well as a choice of Champagne & sparkles to enjoy in the stylish surroundings of the newly renovated NH Bar. Relax before or after your meal, soak up the tranquil atmosphere or use it as the perfect place to meet friends. After a peaceful night’s slumber, I found the perfect start to my day in the decadent setting of the building’s original ballroom, where I enjoyed a delicious continental breakfast of pastries, cereals, ham and cheeses. Also on offer is a delicious traditional breakfast including a selection of egg, back bacon, Cumberland sausage, black pudding, vegetarian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato, fried bread and baked beans. With such an idyllic location and inspired by the grandeur of the ballroom, it’s clear to see that The Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel is one of the most desirable wedding reception venues Brighton has to offer. Pose for photos or get married on the Bandstand with the sea sparkling in the background. Impress your guests with the Regency splendor of ceiling height mirrors and chandeliers in The Ballroom. Couples can choose from the elegant Ballroom which caters for parties from 40 to 180 guests, or take in the modern décor of our West Pier Suite.

The process all starts by getting in touch with the hotel Wedding Planner. They’ll give you a tour of the hotel and find out about the

Just across the road from the promenade, the Mecure Brighton Seafront hotel is just a mile from Brighton railway station, with regular services to London Victoria, Gatwick Airport and England's Beautiful South Downs. The A23 is less than a mile away. The Mercure Seafront Brighton Hotel offers a dynamic pricing module with room rates starting from £129. For further information please visit:


It’s clear to see that The Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel is one of the most desirable wedding reception venues Brighton has to offer.

kind of day you have in mind, covering every aspect from drinks to décor, food to favours, and any special touches or themes you’d like featured. They’ll also suggest ideas if you can’t decide. Most importantly they can take as much responsibility for your celebration as you like, ensuring everything runs smoothly and working hard to guarantee a day of magic and pure enjoyment. The Coast View Suite provides a sea view backdrop for weddings and private events of all types. The iconic Bandstand is directly opposite the hotel and can be booked for weddings. Guests arriving on business will also be pleased to find a number of meeting rooms, making it the obvious choice for business in Brighton.






London Lifestyle Eating, drinking and beauty in glorious West London.


hen in London, it’s always important to keep a look out for new venues, be open to spotting unexpected discoveries and always expect to come across new sparkling seasonal delights. In London everything can change all the time and there are always brand-new shiny places to explore, re-vamped areas to re-discover and great food and drinks to sample. In this issue of Absolute London Life, I will be sharing with you my recent favourite London restaurant discoveries, as well as old favourites, and my latest great beauty destination which are all at home in some of the most infamous and glamorous areas in and around beautiful West London.

The first stop on my list of capital treasures is The Churchill Bar at the Hyatt Regency in Marylebone. This wonderful bar and dining space are the perfect place for after work summer cocktails with its light airy atmosphere, beautiful décor and furniture, and beautiful outside summer terrace bar which has a feeling of a little West London oasis. It’s simply wonderful to sit here on a sunny afternoon with a sumptuous gin and tonic. This space is also a great private party and celebration space for up to 110 guests.


The bar menu and light snacks start from around £8, with main meals from £16, with a fantastic range of fish, shellfish and caviar. 30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH. The Churchill Bar & Terrace.

The Covent Garden Hotel is the infamously chic and sophisticated hotel found in the heart of Covent Garden which is a truly quintessential part of London. The hotel is part of the Firmdale Group, and the bar is one of my favourites in London for its great central location, and the relaxing


and sophisticated atmosphere. The bar is classic and timeless, with beautifully tasteful décor, and comfortable and exquisite furniture, paired with impeccable service and a great wine list. It’s wonderful to pay a visit to this beautiful place for pre-dinner cocktails or a post-theatre night-cap. The Covent Garden Hotel. 10 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HB. london/covent-garden-hotel/the-bar/

Sandy’s pizzeria is a charming little restaurant serving authentic fresh and simple Italian food and Corsican inspired pizzas. The pizzas are mouth-watering and delicious, the salads are huge and tasty, and every dish is created with the freshest ingredients. The whole menu including the wine is reasonably priced, with a range of tasty homemade desserts. On my last visit to Sandy’s I enjoyed a rocket, parmesan and mozzarella salad - £6.95, followed by a delicious pizza 4-fromages £12.95, and a crisp glass of White - Tierra Antica Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Chile - £5.60. Sandy’s. 14 Seymour Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7NF.

Gail’s Bakery creates and serves the most amazing pastries and wonderful fresh coffee. This delightfully pretty little cafe is found tucked away on Seymour Street, just a stone’s throw from my favourite secret favourite Pizzeria, Sandy’s, which I have just had the joy of sharing with you. So, ideally, I would always suggest Sandy’s for lunch before heading to Gail’s Bakery to treat yourself to perfect pastry or cake. I therefore give you permission to momentarily forget the diet and indulge yourself. My favourite cakes are the pistachio, lemon and rose cakes at £4.60 each, and the little flourless chocolate cakes at £4.50 each. These are simply the most decadent and delicious treats I have tasted in this part of London. Gail’s.. 4-6 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7NA.

Bernardis is the wonderfully chic Italian inspired bar and restaurant. Its modern, light and airy, with great décor and a huge down stairs space perfect for a private dining event or celebration drinks, with a divine menu including great group sharing options. On my visit we enjoyed a range of beautiful sharing dishes paired with delicious wines

in the beautiful open private dining space. The service was impeccable and the food moreish and wonderfully presented. We enjoyed dining from the feasting menu which included huge plates of antipasti, followed by dishes of sea bream, and rosemary and garlic roasted chicken, served with a range of colourful and fresh seasonal side dishes. The glorious puddings consisted of salted caramel tart and almond and clementine cake with amaretto cream. Meals for two people can range from approximately £50 to £80 plus wine, whilst the feasting menus are £40 per person plus wine. Bernardis. 62 Seymour Street, Marble Arch, London, W1H 5BN.

Vinoteca in the heart of Marylebone is the perfect place to try wine tasting and sample a delicious and reasonably priced set menu. The basement wine-cellar is the perfect place for private dining events. The space is cleverly adorned with wines from floor to ceiling, next to the open-style kitchen where the chef prepares your food. On my last visit we enjoyed an evening of group wine-tasting, followed by the £30,


3-course set menu, which served us a host of seasonal delights including a choice of carrot and coriander soup, smoked Cornish mackerel or Tudge ham hock to start. This was followed by main courses of vegetable Gnocchi, pan-fried salmon or Braised Wye Valley Lamb. To finish we could choose chocolate mousse with honeycomb, Yorkshire rhubarb pudding, or blackcurrant Jelly and cream. Each plate of food arrived looking immaculate and too good eat and everything tasted delicious. The staff and service were great and the wine selection as you would expect was enormous, with a host of reasonably priced varied wines from around the world to choose from. The wine tasting event was great fun, and at only £25 per person for an hour of sampling six glorious wines, it’s a great way to start an evening before sitting down to a tasty 3-course set menu all from £30 and £40 per person. As well as Marylebone, Vinoteca branches are also found in Farringdon, Kings Cross, The City and Chiswick. Vinoteca. 15 Seymour Place, MarbLe Arch, London, W1H 5BD.


London Lifestyle

The Brasserie of Light is the new, glamourous and beautifully designed restaurant found in Selfridges. The menu is a seasonal and eclectic mix of British and internationally-inspired dishes, offering everything from breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and supper. On your visit keep a look out for the infamous silver Pegasus elevated above the main restaurant, and I would highly recommend you try the decadent afternoon teas which start from just £35. The Brasserie of Light. Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, Duke Street Entrance, London, W1A 1AB.

Lunch at The Providores and Tapa Room is a great choice during a busy day shopping or for a business meeting or team work lunch. The food is fabulous, and the service is welcoming and swift and the restaurant boasts ‘innovative fusion cuisine in a relaxed environment’. The Providores opened in 2001, and is a Michelin starred restaurant serving brunches, lunches and dinner with menus ranging from around £60 to £200 with wine for two people. The Tapa Room on the ground floor is the all-day café serving coffee, cocktails, brunch and lunch, whilst the first-floor dining room serves lunch and dinners. On my last visit I chose from the lunch menu and started with pan-fried halloumi with ginger baked rhubarb and toasted walnuts, £11.50, and for the main course I chose the spiced dahl stuffed inari pocket, shiitake, and broccolini, £17. Both dishes tasted wonderfully fresh and fragrant.

On your visit keep a look out for the infamous silver Pegasus elevated above the main restaurant.

The Providores and Tapa Room. 109 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4RX.

The Maze Grill in the Heart of Mayfair is the infamous Gordon Ramsey restaurant situated in leafy Grosvenor Square with a wonderful menu and great wine list.

Look out for mid-week and special offers and at the weekend The Maze Grill offers bottomless brunches with free-flowing Bloody Mary cocktails or Prosecco from £30. On Sundays enjoy the magnificent Roast Revolution with roast dinners from £17, and one of my favourites parts of this restaurant is that currently kids eat free with every adult meal. The Maze Grill. 10-13 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JP.


The Chiltern Firehouse has been one of my favourite places for a while to pop into for a cocktail, brunch, lunch or dinner. The menu showcases reimagined classics and treats which are seasonal and tasty with bold flavours. My favourite weekend brunch dish is the buttermilk pancakes, with blueberries, creme fresh and maple syrup, £15. When I visit for lunch, I go for the Firehouse chicken Caesar salad, £24, with a side order of black truffle and cheese fries, £14. On my last visit for supper I enjoyed the Monkfish with fennel, apple and barley miso, £38. The décor is fun, the location is perfect, and the service great. Chiltern Firehouse. 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, W1U 7PA.


The Absolute London Life Beauty Essential: London Grace. My favourite London Life beauty venue in this issue is London Grace, a beautiful range of nail bars around London complete with their own cocktails! London Grace, my favourite nail bar of all time now offers two for one on cocktails while I get my nails polished, buffed and painted in my favourite shade! Hooray! The cocktails and nails are simply absolute perfection, and all in a snappy 30 minutes. Get a super-fast shape and polish manicure or pedicure from just £10, while speedy gel nails start from £30, and you can treat yourself to a glass of vino for just another £5. It’s a wonderful place to pamper yourself and relax without breaking your beauty budget. London Grace also offer an amazing range of their own brand nail polishes starting at just £12 in a colourful rainbow range of gorgeous and flattering shades for you to use at home. Angela Hartnett’s Murano in the heart of Mayfair opened in 2008 and achieved a Michelin star within the first 4 months, followed by 4 AA Rosettes. The menu is full of modern and seasonal Italian dishes, created from European and British produce.

London Grace, my favourite nail bar of all time now offers two for one on cocktails while I get my nails polished, buffed and painted in my favourite shade!

I would highly recommend the set menu of 3-courses for £37. I really enjoyed the starter of Sea bream tarter, cucumber, horseradish and carya di miuca, followed by a delicious main course of Carnaroli risotto, asparagus and aged parmesan. The sumptuous pudding was a blood orange tart with crème fraiche. This magnificent meal was accompanied by a couple of glasses of rose wine - 2016 Rosa dei Frati, Cà dei Frati, Lombardy, Italy, at £9 per glass. The dessert menu is amazing, with each wonderful creation being paired with a decadent dessert wine. I would suggest the Brillat-Savarin cheesecake, lemon, blueberry, cucumber sorbet paired with the 2005 Erbaluce di Caluso, Cantina Nervi, Piedmont, Italy, £20, and also the Peanut mousse, Madagascan chocolate, banana sorbet with the 2015 Recioto della Valpolicella, ‘Il Velluto’ Meroni, Veneto, Italy, £18. Murano. 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP.


On my last visit, I chose the Hunky Dorey gel nail polish treatment, expertly done by my super talented nail technician, Kelly, for only £30, and my nails looked perfect for over 3-weeks. One of the best parts is that you can enjoy a cappuccino, glass of wine or a cocktail with great background music, in a fresh and up lifting space. Also, there are no drills or harsh chemicals and all the treatments are kind to your nails. So be warned, this is not your average nail bar, and I am sure you will be addicted after your first visit. Who knew essential maintenance could be so fun? Party packages are also available in the Grace Space party areas which are a great idea for birthday treats, pamper afternoons or hen parties. London Grace also currently have a Happy Hour promotion offering 15% off any treatment from 11am until 3pm Monday to Wednesday. You can find my favourite branch tucked away in the streets of pretty Marylebone, but they also have branches in Clapham, Belgravia, Shoreditch, Canary Wharf and Putney. London Grace. 7 Seymour Street, Marble Arch, W1H 5BA.

Charlie McBrien.








British wildlife photographer





ichard Bowler is a husband, a photographer and a passionate champion of British wildlife. Currently based in North Wales, he has spent a lifetime captivated by the natural world and now, through his photography aims to inspire people to protect the wonderful environment around them. With a particular love of foxes, Richard is not only privileged to care for three, but together with his little terrier Maddy, has shared their images with the country, appearing in the national press and in features and stories around the world. Hoping to change people’s opinions on foxes, to an animal they wish to protect, Richard, together with his trusty Nikon camera gear, reveals to us the stories behind these entrancing images. “I’ve always had an interest in the natural world. As a toddler, my Mum will tell you I scared the living daylights out of her, bringing back a Slow-worm in my little bucket, thinking it was a large worm. When she saw its tongue flick in and out she thought it was a snake, instead of the harmless legless lizard it was. I turned 50 this year, but back in my childhood, it was filled with looking for birds nests, catching butterflies, Slow-worm’s, frogs and toads etc. The natural world seemed and indeed was so much more abundant in those days. I grew up in Dunstable, Bedfordshire and our garden backed onto Blow’s downs, part of the Chilterns. Its chalky slops were filled with wildflowers and clouds of butterflies. When I return now, my Mum still lives

in Dunstable, the downs are now a shadow of what they were, despite, the area now being run by the Wildlife trust. It’s not a knock at the Wildlife trust, but a graphic realisation of the trouble our natural world is now in. In my teenage years, angling came into my life, firstly just something to do with mates from school, but later as a bit of an obsession. The natural world was still of great interest to me and I used angling as an excuse to venture off the beaten track around the world, looking for big fish to catch, but more importantly experience habitats that I had only ever seen on programs like ‘Life on Earth’ etc. My travels took me all over Africa, the northern deserts after Nile perch, the West coast for sharks and the Zambezi for Tiger Fish. Other adventures took me down the Amazon in Brazil, the jungles of Nicaragua and the Indian Ocean. The criteria of choosing my trips always had to be away from tourist hotspots and in a properly wild environment. I feel lucky to have paddled the backwaters of the Amazon, watching Botto Dolphins whilst listening to Howler Monkeys calling at dusk. Or the solitude and stillness of the Western Nubian desert on the banks of Lake Nasser, not far from the Sudanese border. Life is more sparse there, but the detail is exquisite. These trips led me to learn how to use a camera in order to record the trips that I went on. In those days it was slide film and it took a long time for me to turn to digital photography. Not because I didn’t think it was the way forward, but because I could barely turn a computer on.










My love affair with angling gradually started to wane when many anglers started to call for culls of Cormorants and Otters - anything in fact that dared to eat what they wanted to catch. This stance was so foreign to me as angling had always been the excuse to sit and witness the natural world. If fish populations were so poor that they couldn’t sustain natural predation (as anglers will tell you) then I felt I had no right to add to their problem by catching them. It’s been quite a while since I picked up a fishing rod. My love of the natural world has never waned and now I’ve turned my photography skills to capturing its beauty. I’m completely self taught with the camera and certainly don’t claim to be an expert. Like most people who start out photographing the natural world, to start with it’s all about using a long lens and trying to get frame filling stuff. Whilst that’s still a method I use to this day, by far my favourite method is to use wide angle lenses and remote triggers to photograph animals, in some cases just inches away from the glass element of the lens. I find using this method of photography uses skills learnt in my angling days. Using small titbits of food or scent to entice the chosen animal in front of your camera, or learning to read the signs left by wildlife to place your camera on a track that is used regularly by animals are all things I used in my angling days. Wild animals tend to like routine; they’ll mostly follow the same pathways and emerge from their burrows at certain times. By learning these patterns you soon start to become “lucky” with your wildlife encounters. I use a variety of triggers to fire my camera and sometimes flashes. These range from a hand held remote trigger that I fire myself, a PIR trigger I use to photograph nocturnal mammals like foxes, Badgers and Polecats that senses movement and fires the camera on its own (meaning I can be asleep in bed when the photograph is taken), to an infra red beam that fires my camera when it gets broken. This is for high speed subjects like Swallows flying out of stable doors where my reflexes are just not fast enough to capture with regularity those sorts of images. Six years ago, my partner Helen and I moved up to North Wales. My dad had recently died from Motor Neurone disease and it hit me hard. We had worked together running a small building business since I left school. We wanted to drop out of the rat race and live a simpler way of life. We now live on a small holding on the edge of the Berwyn mountains, not too far from Corwen. We’re lucky that we have a small piece of woodland and some paddocks that we are turning back into wildflower meadows. Year on year the amount of wildlife we have here is increasing, things like Pied flycatchers, Small Pearl bordered fritillaries, Purple hairstreak butterflies and the animal that along with foxes I’m getting a name for, Polecats.













Living here has not only allowed me to concentrate more on my wildlife photography, it’s also allowed us to help wildlife in need. Before we moved up here, we attended a wildlife rehabilitation course at a well known animal rescue centre. We’ve been able to help lots of wildlife since moving up here, ranging from hedgehog orphans to rabbits, squirrels, owls and pheasants. Shortly after moving up here, we had the chance to take on a little fox cub, Rosie who, unable to be released, bonded with our little terrier Maddy and they became best mates. Over the years Hetty and Charlie, two other foxes have joined our family and both love our little terrier also. It’s been a massive privilege to be accepted by these foxes, having them share our lives. I’m always quick to point out to people, foxes do not make great pets. They bond to very few people, meaning you can’t just go off on holiday and leave them. They wee on what they think they own and they own everything in their eyes and in captivity they are a commitment for up to 15 years. Having said that, I wouldn’t swap them for the world. To be able to study their behaviour from close range, learn their different vocalisations (they have around 28 different calls) and see how truly intelligent they are has been incredible. To have a fox groom your head with the side of her mouth or have Charlie look at your cut head and then lick it clean for you, might be some people’s worst nightmare, for me it became a reason to use my photography and experiences with them to try and change people’s perception of foxes. Most people think fox hunting is banned and so is confined to the history books, but that’s not the case. Week in week out, across the country foxes are hunted under the guise of trail hunting. Foxes living in the countryside have declined like most of our wildlife by between 40-44%.To counter the lack of prey for fox hunts, artificial earths are built to encourage foxes to breed in hunt areas, attracted to the area by a large dump of animal carcasses near by. Worse still, captive foxes are ‘Bagged’ - the term used when releasing a disorientated and often dehydrated fox in front of on coming hounds, an easy kill to satisfy the paying customers of the hunt. This has all been well documented by the likes of the League Against Cruel Sports and the Hunt Saboteurs, both organisations whom I support with donated images to help with their work. Here in north Wales we are plagued by gun packs, with up to 40 hounds followed by hunters with guns and terrier men who will dig out any fox that goes to ground. It was confronting land owners and farmers that allow this illegal activity on their land that made me realise I had to stand up for the fox. They did not seem bothered they were breaking the law. “You can’t do anything with two dogs” was what I constantly heard, referring to the law of allowing you only two hounds to flush a fox to waiting guns. I also got told “Everyone reads your social media pages” and so I took this as my cue to up my campaign work. After all, you can’t live with 3 highly intelligent, sentient beings and then find it acceptable that animals like this are ripped to pieces by dogs. The public would be up in arms if a little dog or cat met the same fate. Some people often point at lambs or chickens as a reason to kill foxes. Studies show about 1% of lamb fatalities are down to foxes, but more likely than not the fox in scavenging an already dead lamb or the after birth. It also seems rather childish to me - you domesticate a prey species there bye removing a lot of its natural instincts, dump it on to a hillside to give birth and complain that you lose a few. Poor animal husbandry can never be an excuse to kill our already struggling wildlife, surely? The same goes for chickens; if you have a secure run, you won’t lose any. After all, I’ve never seen a fox with wire cutters or be able to pick a lock. I say this as someone who has a flock of free range chickens and encourages wild foxes and Polecats on the land. I now think it’s a duty of wildlife photographers to stand up for the natural world and the environment. It’s no longer acceptable to take an animal photograph - we must give something back. In my lifetime, the UK has lost 60% of its wildlife and the decline is showing no signs of stopping. Worldwide with climate change, pollution, pesticides and over population we are in the midst of another mass extinction. We must, through our images, make people care before it’s too late.”



You can’t live with 3 highly intelligent, sentient beings and then find it acceptable that animals like this are ripped to pieces by dogs. The public would be up in arms if a little dog or cat met the same fate.

Captive foxes are ‘Bagged’ - the term used when releasing a disorientated and often dehydrated fox in front of on coming hounds, an easy kill to satisfy the paying customers of the hunt.







WWW.LAPTOP-DOCTOR.COM TEL: 01273 748 643 | 01273 95 84 85 122 QUEENS ROAD | BRIGHTON | BN1 3WB











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ART + BELIEVE Brighton-based Dan and Charlotte founded ART+BELIEVE some ten years ago in 2009. Their artwork has been influenced as a result of their travels, where they have designed and created artwork in numerous continents throughout the world. Their intuitive flair has organically evolved as they’ve visited new places, drawing from their inspirations; nurturing and developing the style they are know and admired for today.


oth Charlotte and Dan are highly creative artists in their own right. When they joined and started painting alongside each other they became ART+BELIEVE. Their relationship is more than that of a crew, they are together in every sense of the word and have travelled the world creating breathtaking pieces of artwork.

Their first collaborative commission was in Brazil, South America. They have since produced bright, colourful, breathtaking geometric murals in over sixteen countries. Believing that Art is there for all to enjoy, you will forever find them working on both commercially and community driven initiatives.

They’re a professional outfit that take their work seriously, at the same time their outlook is always open. They love to really push the boundaries with people and organisations that are prepared to take a risk and allow them to produce something that’s creative, unique and different. Each piece of artwork they produce pulls on influences of their previous commissions and movements. They fuse this with ideas that are complementary to the heritage, angles and form of the building or landscape to which their artwork is applied. Their work keeps them excited, making a space or a place more dynamic and fun. This is what gives them the vision and energy to keep on evolving and creating vibrant artwork that makes people stop, stare and inevitably want to know more. The team at Absolute sussex were no exception and so we caught up with the dynamic duo for a quick fire Q&A.

Our strengths are finding new creative solutions to forgotten architectural spaces. TOP, BRIGHTON PRIDE BUS STOP ABOVE, DAN & CHARLOTTE




Fontwell Park is a perfect day out on the South coast, with each race and event offering a thrilling and exciting atmosphere. Fontwell hosts its ever-popular car boot sale is every Sunday from March to October. Then there’s the Easter Egg extravaganza race day on 12th April, with seven horseraces, masses of free activities to keep the kids entertained, and the infamous Easter Egg Hunt. There are two enclosers to choose from, the Grandstand and the Paddock Enclosure. If you book in advance you will save £5 per person on the gate entry price. The Spring Afternoon Racing season starts from Friday 29th March until Wednesday 24th April. Then the Spring Racing evening kicks off on 8th May with tickets from just £20. This summer, The Big Bank Holiday Family Fun Day will be held on 26th May. While June and August have a series of Summer Afternoon Racing events on 5th and 12th June with tickets from £20, and a Ladies


Evening on 22nd August with tickets from £20. The arrival of Autumn sees in the Autumn Afternoon Racing events and the popular annual fireworks night. Then the end of the years finishes up with the December Festive Jumper Raceday on 10th December and the traditional Boxing Day Racing. Check the Fontwell Park website for latest ticket availability and event updates. Fontwell Park Racecourse is easy to get to via the A27/A29 roundabout between Chichester and Arundel. Access to the main car park is from Fontwell Avenue (A29 towards Bognor Regis). Fontwell Park Racecourse. Arundel Road, Fontwell, Arundel, BN18 0SY. 01273 543 335.



We have travelled extensively and have a wealth of experience working with different cultures and unique architectural spaces.




How would you describe ART+BELIEVE in a nutshell? We are an artist team based in the UK. We paint large scale bright, colourful, geometric murals to bring forgotten communal spaces to life. What experience does ART+BELIEVE have? We have 10 years experience in painting public and private commissions. We have painted in over 16 countries working on commercial and community projects. Who do you work with? We work with a wide variety of industries from private commissions, community and charity projects, government bodies, design consultancies, brands and development companies.

How do you work? Our strengths are finding new creative solutions to forgotten architectural spaces. We always view the location before creating the artwork because we believe the architecture should compliment the design.

Why should people work with you? We have painted all over the world on large scale commercial and community based projects. We love what we do. We will transform a space to engage with the local community. What makes you different? We always feel the communication and interaction of a projects journey is as important as the final installation. We have travelled extensively and have a wealth of experience working with different cultures and unique architectural spaces. How can people work with you? We’d love to hear from you so please send us an email with your ideas and proposal to


We always feel the communication and interaction of a projects journey is as important as the final installation.







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Rock Salt Prints Magical things happen when you pair passion with determination. The force keeps getting stronger.


From nursery art to a collection ode to Star Wars, Zita believes in filling your space with things that make you smile. In awe of this highly creative mumpreneur, Absolute Magazine caught up with Zita to discover what makes her tick, what inspires her and how her journey has progressed. Tell us about the start up of the store and your art. How did it all begin? Whilst undertaking various jobs, I was always drawing and painting in the background. I ended up studying Interior Design and Creative Art in Richmond Collage, as well as Digital Art in Elephant Castle College in London. I started doing little personalised artworks for friends and family and from there I started receiving more and more personalised custom artwork requests from friends and family. But it wasn’t until I went


on maternity leave I decided to try and pursue this as a career that involved not only my passion, but allowed me to be around my children growing up. I created Rock Salt Prints - www.rocksaltprints. com. That was 4 years and 2 kids ago! Since then we have an ever growing online store with various artworks and products selling across Europe and around the world. I say we, as my partner left his job as a plumber to come and help me! We still operate from home now. It’s difficult with two little scamps running around, but totally worthwhile and we feel very fortunate to be where we are.

How has the business grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your success?

Art is in the blood. Both my parents are artists and so I was growing up around art and creativity from a young age. I was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to London on my own when I was 18, hardly speaking any English, hungry for success and I was ready for all the challenges life can bring!



Rock Salt Prints

What inspires you and your designs ? I try to create unique and slightly quirky artwork where possible, blending it with current trends and styles. I’m inspired by things around me, family and friends and also my love of fashion and nature. My first artworks were a mix of star wars and fashion, which is still one of our best sellers to date. I’d like to think our Rock Salt customers get all of this, plus we are passionate about every artwork that leaves our house, be it just a print or a gallery wall of frames. We take time and pride to get things out the door looking fabulous.

Now you’re starting to become recognised artist with your first gallery show, have you worked with any brands or commissions you can share with us? I'm currently working on a couple of commission jobs, but can't really name the buyers. However, I'm hoping they will put it on social media and tag me…they both have over 100 million followers on Instagram! A restaurant in Ascot also asked me to create four pieces which can be viewed on site. The restaurant is called Pazzia Sunninghill.

How has the advent of social media impacted on you? I can see from your online presence you seem to embrace this? When we lived in Austin, Texas I did a Facebook / Google course which has helped me tremendously in getting noticed on social media. I still have a call with my Google guru twice a month as these things change every week, I have to stay top of it.

What materials do you enjoy working with most ?

I would describe myself as a mixed media / digital artist. Being self-taught with little awareness or concern for the “rules”, I find myself with a natural tendency to break them. After a full career in supply chain/business ownership and a late start in art, I feel the freedom of being an artist without fear or urgency of creating under conventional standards.


My style? I’d call it pop art, or mixed media implemented with the benefit of digital technology. I enjoy a freestyle approach to the use of media; I orchestrate the visual components using a variety of techniques." Experimenting with acrylic paints, inks, and various mediums and tools, I sometimes find myself with a finished painting and no clear memory of the individual steps taken on the way. Acrylic and watercolour have always been my choice of media to reflect the outer world, however fast computing capabilities provide the tools now to render my vibrant inner world. I absolutely love technology and love creating art with an edge. My style? I’d call it pop art, or mixed media implemented with the benefit of digital technology. I enjoy a freestyle approach to the use of media; I orchestrate the visual components using a variety of techniques. By scanning painted and drawn media into pixels, I manipulate and integrate the imagery with digital painting. These days I am more into digital art, as I have to work around my children and my artist hours start after 7pm.

How do you stay relevant and current, where do you get your inspirations from?

I’m inspired by things around me, family and friends and also my love of fashion and nature. I follow a lot of different trends on social media, mainly Instagram and Pinterest.

Which project's are you really excited about for 2019 and are there any future plans you can share with us?

At the turn of 2019, I decided to go solo as an artist and try and make a name for myself in the art world. My artist name is Zee Zee Pop or just Zee and teamed up with Da Vinci Fine Art Events Company who has been helping me from day one. I will have a solo show in Ascot in July and possibly another one in September in London.

How has being based in the south helped your business? Do you feel the region’s high creativity levels have contributed to your further success? Yes I think in the current economy it so difficult to run your own business, but based in the south has definitely been an advantage.

















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Boltholes We Brighton folk are a lucky bunch, aren’t we? Fortunate enough to live in one of the best cities in the world, a seaside space full of vibrant energy, laughter and tolerance; it’s no wonder when people want a relaxing break, they come here – to eat, sleep, laze, sing, dance, party, chill; we’re pretty damn spoiled really. But even though we all LOVE living in Brighton, sometimes – just sometimes – it’s nice to get a change of scene. But where to go? Especially when your hometown sets the bar so high? We’ve put together some suggestions of special short-break destinations, no more than a few hours from home. Each is very different - but we’ve sought out establishments which place, above all else, the same values we get in our home city; a warm welcome, great service, quirky cool spaces, amazing produce, and people quite simply taking pride in what they do.

The Beckford Arms, Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire If you want the perfect country pub break, this is it; an absolute gem nestled in the beautiful Fonthill Estate, with stunning lakeside walks just moments away; comfortable yet stylish rooms, and the simplest of pub food, cooked to perfection; not fancy – just brilliant. These guys bring new meaning to looking after you - the smile that greets your arrival will become a hug when you leave (because they know you’ll be back).



Eccleston Square Hotel, Belgravia, London The polar opposite of the above, but every bit as good; a luxury London hideaway that remains a secret – and it’s just a few minutes’ walk from Victoria. The Eccleston is a stunning 19th century Grade II listed building, sitting in a beautiful Georgian square. It combines opulence and charm in equal measure; walk through the front door and you’ll feel you’ve arrived in more ways than one. The rooms have the best of everything; state-ofthe-art beds, fancy freebies and more screens (big and small) than you’ll know what to do with. A neighbourhood hotel you won’t want to leave - perfect for a treat-night in the capital. The Jones Family Kitchen, Belgravia, London Where’s the beef? Here. This is the only restaurant in Britain where you’ll find steak from The Ginger Pig’s Tim Wilson (a Yorkshire beef farmer producing some of the world’s finest); it’s not for the vegans among you – though there’s plenty for them here too. But just as good as the cooking here is the location of this stylish eaterie; it’s in Eccleston Yard, an beautiful little courtyard tucked away behind Victoria coach station; step into it and you enter an oasis of calm and class; the guys behind this place know how to show their customers a good time; try one of their stunningly-crafted cocktails, enjoy the warm sun on your face and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. At The Chapel, Bruton, Somerset Where’s the beef? Here. This is the only restaurant in Britain where you’ll find steak from The Ginger Pig’s Tim Wilson (a Yorkshire beef farmer producing some of the world’s finest); it’s not for the vegans among you – though there’s plenty for them here too. But just as good as the cooking here is the location of this stylish eaterie; it’s in Eccleston Yard, an beautiful little courtyard tucked away behind Victoria coach station; step into it and you enter an oasis of calm and class; the guys behind this place know how to show their customers a good time; try one of their stunningly-crafted cocktails, enjoy the warm sun on your face and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Palais Royal, Paris And lastly for those seeking a bit of romance (or in my case a celebration of a 21st) a quick trip on the Euro tunnel will bring you to the Palais Royal Hotel - right in the centre of Paris. This boutique five-star luxury hotel is the only one of its kind in the Palais Royal area (a palace built for a king), the perfect match for travellers who seek a different, historical experience of Paris. Inside you will find interiors designed by the illustrious Pierre Yves Rochon with modern minimalist chic and balcony views across this city. This hotel truly sweeps you off your feet.




“discover the real seychelles� Discover the real seychelles and save upto 10% off the prices on

Connect directly with the very best hand picked hotels, private islands, villas and lodges. Also service providers including car hire and tour companies. @authenticseychelles #realseychelles

Bliss Hotel A Paradisiac Hideaway


idden within a lush cove on the northern side of Mahe, Bliss Hotel overlooks a stunning beach caressed by cascading boulders and cuddled within a lush backdrop of green forest. One of the oldest hotels in Seychelles that was once called Vista Do Mar and was abandoned for some time, the owner Mr Alain Hazan renovated it and transformed it into the beautiful gem that it is today.

The Suites are decorated with only natural materials found in Seychelles and as well as combining creole architecture with contemporary interior design, Bliss Hotel evokes an exotic, friendly and romantic space with 24 Suites, each with its own charm. Bliss Hotel believes in ‘real relaxing’ where the sounds and beauty of nature inspire the guest and provide them with a total escape. There are no paintings on the wall in this hotel, to promote tranquility and keep the focused attention on mother nature. Situated within the same building guests can also enjoy soothing natural massages and treatments at the Pure-Bliss Spa with Coconut Scrubs, Patchouli Sugar Scrubs and other delightful treatments on offer.   The hotel is situated in the quiet area of Glacis that’s only 10 minutes’ drive away from the famous Beau Vallon Beach, home to the Bazaar Labrin Street Market, the Baobab Pizzeria, Boat House Restaurant and water sports activities.   Travelers can enjoy varying ambience at Bliss, the Seaside and the Hillside. Both with its own unique features.

Bliss Hotel believes in ‘real relaxing’ where the sounds and beauty of nature inspire the guest and provide them with a total escape.





Bliss Hotel


Let the lapping of the waves on the shores delight you! The Suites overlook a stunning white sandy beach and the world’s most

breath taking deep orange sunsets. The private beach is nestled within the cove and features a natural swimming pool, made from the cascading boulders surrounding the shoreline.

One of the pearls of the Seaside is the Junior Opuni Suite with its rustic furniture and a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean that can also be enjoyed in the outdoor bathroom.

The Oceanfront Wave Suite offers a stunning view of the beach with a private terrace, and a personal sitting area ideal for socializing

and relaxing. For a more inspiring blend of contemporary and creole architecture, the Suite Birgo would be the

luxury escape. The white cement and polished granite

Wave Suite offers a

plays beautifully with the setting sun creating deep

stunning view of the

to accommodate up to 6 adults and somehow in the

terrace, and a

shades of relaxing earthy colours. The Family Apartment, named The Shadow, provides enough space and is ideal various spaces, the sails and the sun are having fun; the

beach with a private

shadows and reflections somehow merge. The natural

personal sitting area

and re-energizing holiday at one with nature. The hotel

and relaxing.

wood used to decorate the rooms give off a natural and organic feel, providing the perfect space for a relaxing

also offers Zumba and Yoga classes for the active clients!


The Oceanfront


ideal for socializing



Bliss Hotel Hillside

Nestled up in the Secret Garden, the Suites offer beautiful views of the Indian ocean and the relaxing sounds of nature.

The Suites are surrounded by green vegetation, tropical flowers and the sounds of birds singing. Perched on the hillside, the rooms are spacious and plush with wooden furniture and white walls, some with beautiful shell curtains. The Charme Superior Room is spacious with a double view of the garden and the ocean with a private terrace/garden which melts in luxuriant tropical vegetation. Set amidst the vegetation, guests can enjoy the private pool or the choice of walking down just a stone throw away to the secluded beach. Dining at the Bliss Hotel is an unforgettable authentic experience of traditional creole cuisine using fresh ingredients from the island! 

Barefoot Terrace Restaurant

Bliss Hotel offer their clients homemade Breakfast and Afternoon Tea, found only on the islands in the stunning Barefoot Terrace Restaurant that boasts amazing sunset views, sandy floors and wood beamed ceiling covering the comfortable sofas. Once the sun has set behind the horizon and the sky is adorned by a tapestry of exotic colours, guests can enjoy happy hour sipping a tropical cocktail in tranquility. For Dinner guests can taste the exquisite authentic creole cuisine Buffet. The restaurant also offers an a la carte lunch menu that offers a variety of local dishes as well as snacks and coffee.  Whatever time of day that you are enjoying a meal, you can do it soothing your toes in the sand, sitting back and relaxing with the amazing view and sounds of the waves.  

Rockpool Seafood Grill & Bar

Another must try is the Rockpool Restaurant that is shaded just below the terrace offering a cozy and elegant atmosphere. The friendly team offer wonderful cocktails and some of the best Italian food on the island. Rockpool is the ideal venue to experience the perfect fusion of local and Mediterranean culinary delights with a hint of creole touch, whilst enjoying a stunning panoramic view of the Indian ocean. Be sure not to miss the majestic Silhouette Island in the far distance. The hotel offers a few attractive packages such as the Honeymoon Package, Wedding Package and Long Stay Package. To make your holiday to Seychelles exciting, snorkeling trips to beautiful secluded beaches can be organized on their very own boat. An opportunity not to miss to see colourful fish and corals in the alluring clear turquoise waters.

As well as snorkeling, the team at Bliss Hotel can arrange for Hiking, Fishing, Island Tours, Diving and other activities to make your holiday moments memorable. At Bliss Hotel guests can experience mother nature in her truest form and marvel at the world’s most beautiful sunsets, all the while enjoying traditional creole cuisine and appreciating the rustic and creole inspired architecture.

The hotel offers a few attractive packages such as the Honeymoon Package, Wedding Package and Long Stay Package. To make your holiday to Seychelles exciting, snorkeling trips to beautiful secluded beaches can be organized on their very own boat.

Got more information or to make a reservation, visit











Rockpool Seafood Grill & Bar Mediterranean Inspired Cuisine with a Sunset View


arvel at the world’s most beautiful sunset, all the while enjoying the delicate fusion of mediterranean and creole influences on your plate. Hidden within a cove on the northern side of Mahe, the rustic Rockpool Seafood Bar & Grill is home to the panoramic view of a stunning beach caressed by cascading granite boulders and a deep orange and pink sunset.

‘Let the lapping of the waves on the shores delight you whilst you dine or enjoy an early evening cocktail!’

Today, eating out is often an opportunity to immerse yourself in a constellation of good food and conversation, but also in a vibe that fades the fast pace of modern life far, far away. The designers of Rockpool have taken this into account and have incorporated rustic wooden styled furniture, zen art and authentic decor to transport you into a world of dining that you can escape to.

‘The atmosphere is calm, natural and exclusive’

The restaurant is found just below the terrace of Bliss Hotel, offering a cozy, elegant, outdoor atmosphere. Upon entering Rockpool you are immediately drawn to the secluded and authentic feeling, not to mention the large golden Buddha statue under the shade of the tree in the middle of the restaurant. The friendly team are ready to take you to a table with a smile and offer wonderful cocktails, and some of the best pasta and grills on the island. Rockpool is the ideal venue to experience the perfect fusion of local and Mediterranean culinary delights with a hint of creole touch but be sure not to miss the majestic Silhouette Island in the far distance on the horizon. From the moment the restaurant opens at 1230 until it closes later in the evening at 10pm, guests can come and enjoy a freshly mixed cocktail or coffee whilst feasting the eyes on the beautiful view. If you’re looking for a romantic or relaxed atmosphere for lunch or dinner, the menu offers a range of mouthwatering starter, main course and dessert dishes.



Pastas & Grills And how would you like your pasta, Al Dente? If you’re asked this question in any restaurant, you know for sure you are dining at a place that knows how to make an amazing pasta dish. There are many pasta dishes to choose from, think of it as the popular recipes with an island twist. The creamy curry coconut shrimp is one you cannot miss! And there are also vegetarian options which include vegetables, pine nuts or pesto.

Desserts Imagine the best dessert on the island - the freshly made Panna Cotta qualifies under this category. Guests have hard decisions to make when it comes to choosing from four delightful desserts. From the creamy Panna Cotta, the Tiramisu, and the sweet Apple Crumble with ice cream or the Affogato Al Caffe (Hot coffee with ice cream) the decision will be a tough one to make. Whatever your pick is, there's a delicate balance of textures and flavours at work that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The delicious meals and unique ambiance at Rockpool continue to romance travelers and lure new visitors everyday. Opening Hours: Everyday from 1230-2200hrs




Bliss Hotel The Bliss Hotel, Praslin is an exotic, friendly and romantic escape located in the heart of Praslin, lying between the romantic beach of Grand’Anse and the tropical land in the shade of the ‘Coco de Mer’.


plendid and preserved, the island of Praslin offers an Edenic frame for a stay in the Seychelles archipelago. Just 14 minutes by plane or 45 minutes by boat from Mahé, Praslin is the second island of the archipelago with an area of 26 km². Less mountainous than its Mahé, it owes its reputation to its exceptional Vallée de Mai, a nature reserve, classified in the UNESCO world heritage, where grows the emblematic coco-fesse, you can also find Anse Lazio, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This sumptuous retreat charms its visitors with a delicate blend of modern architecture and Creolity, giving a nod to the island’s heritage, but with a foot firmly in the future. Visitors to The Bliss Hotel can choose from a variety of accommodation, including 27 Rooms and Suites set within 15 chalets that hide away within nature’s paradise. The 15 Chalets available are built with local wood and granite and are set on lush tropical land, surrounded by island Fauna and Flora. The interior decoration of each chalet is inspired by Seychelles and Mother Nature herself, whilst the interiors of the rooms and suites themselves are breathtakingly exotic and a feast for the senses. Enjoy your stay in one of the 6 welcoming and homely ‘Charme rooms’ set in a Chalet. Let the tranquility wash over you the moment you enter this warm and Creole ambiance styled room, where you will be seduced by its simplicity. Each 22m2 room is accompanied by a vast 11m2 terrace; your ideal place for relaxation and reflection. You will wake up as birds sing and be greeted by colourful tropical flowers and luxurious shades of green.

For those looking for even more room to kick back and relax, there are 18 ‘Charme Superior’ Rooms, (35m2) that feature an additional reading bed/ sofa corner, a large dressing room, an office corner and, as with the Charme rooms, your very own terrace for relaxation and reflection.



Families are made very welcome at The Bliss Hotel, with 3 ‘Suite Family Chalet’ available, at a huge 46m2 in size, plus a terrace at 15m2. As well as the bedroom area, these suites feature a relaxing living area that is sure to make you feel like you have arrived to your very own traditional Seychelles house. Sitting on your intimate terrace set in a chalet, families can simmer down and enjoy the sound of the birds, enjoy some refreshments and take in the huge variety of plants and exotic species that surrounds. Take a stroll out of your chalet and you will discover a white sand beach where the sun embraces your skin. As you relax by the waves, you’ll be able to glance upon the sea horizon, scattered with little islands such as Cousin and Cousine. Away from the beach, the Bliss Hotel Praslin Sea Side pool and bar is an ideal place to sip a cocktail of your choice while feeling the ocean breeze and enjoy a meditation moment.



Bliss Hotel Praslin

The gastronomy is as enticing and blissful as the accommodation. The Beach House Restaurant, set in a cozy, comfy and elegant ambiance, serves exquisite Mediterranean cuisine prepared by devoted chefs. With breakfast served 8AM to 10:30AM each morning, you can enjoy a breakfast buffet teaming with fresh local fruits and vegetable, daily pastries and choices of breads, Seychelles jams and paste, yoghurt and cheese, a choice of cereals and more. The team will welcome you for breakfast, be it for the buffet or all day dining with its a la carte menu. Always looking to please and accommodate, the Morning Chef will be delighted to cook your delicious early bright eggs at your taste!

Fish and Mediterranean cuisine are served at The Beach House from 12PM to 9.30PM. In this peaceful, cosy, comfy and elegant setting, enjoy the calming ambiance with a feast of fresh fish brought daily from the nearby Seychellois fishermen that you can enjoy grilled or cooked with local ingredients. The Beach House Ă la carte menu brings authenticity in delivering Mediterranean cuisine with a selection of pasta, appetisers, salads, fish, meat and delicious desserts.

Always looking to please and accommodate, the Morning Chef will be delighted to cook your delicious early bright eggs at your taste!

The Beach House serves all day cocktails to sip, choices of fresh juice and drinks to quench and delicious coffee & teas, perfect for when you want to take for a break.

The tropical Garden Pool & Bar is set in the middle of all the Chalets and will refresh you after a beach day or a long day exploring the island. Tea Time is hosted from 4-5PM each day, where you can enjoy complimentary homemade tea set around the Garden Pool. You will taste delicious homemade cakes and pastries, plus Iced Island Vanilla Tea and iced flavoured spring water.

164 164


The tropical Garden Pool & Bar is set in the middle of all the Chalets and will refresh you after a beach day or a long day exploring the island.



Bliss Hotel Praslin

Pure-Bliss Spa offers a range of local products exclusively made of fresh and organic ingredients. Enjoy a moment of blissful relaxation with a selection of treatments and entertain yourself in the boutique with some local handmade shopping items.

Set by the sea’s edge and in harmony with the natural surroundings, Pure-Bliss Spa offers a range of local products exclusively made of fresh and organic ingredients. Enjoy a moment of blissful relaxation with a selection of treatments and entertain yourself in the boutique with some local handmade shopping items.

Venture outside of the hotel grounds and Praslin will present so any opportunities to you for exploration, relaxation and adventure. Praslin enjoys the most famous beaches; Cote d’Or on the east coast, and Grand Anse on the west coast. There is also a multitude of idyllic beaches such as the famous Anse Lazio, his little sister Anse Georgette and Anse Boudin facing the nature reserve of Curieuse Island or Anse la Blague, which are more difficult to access and therefore less crowded. Not to mention the many lonely creeks cradled by the only sound of the waves that you will cross everywhere on the island. Cruises aboard a sailboat or a boat are the best way to discover the wild coasts of Praslin and explore the surroundings of the Island Curieuse a natural reserve, the surrounding islands like Cousin, Cousine, Aride, the islet Saint Pierre offering a great plant diversity. The Bliss Hotel staff are only too happy to arrange activities such as sailing for their guests, as well as island tours, fishing, diving, snorkelling or hiking. Whatever your wish, the caring and devoted staff will make you experience an unforgettable holiday with a distinct and personalised service. A feeling of paradise. Just bliss….








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Foxhole S P I R I T S Foxhole Spirits specialises in the creation and production of high quality, premium spirits with a focus on using otherwise unused resources, promoting sustainability and creativity within the drinks industry.


ased right here in Sussex, the Foxhole team distill their knowledge and expertise to create handcrafted products that are beautifully unique, of the highest quality, honest to their origins and most importantly, exceptionally delicious.

Having launched their first batch of Foxhole Gin in September 2016; each new batch is beautifully balanced, smooth and aromatic, with its own subtly distinctive character bestowed by that year’s grape harvest. With Gin currently conquering the drinks industry, Absolute Sussex caught up with James Oag-Cooper, Co-founder & MD of Foxhole Spirits to find out just how the journey began and what the future holds. Explain the start-up of the brand/product? How did it all begin? The idea came from a discussion between myself, and Sam Linter, during the English wine harvest in 2013. We had both independently been thinking about what could be done with the surplus grape material and realised that we could work on the idea together.

We decided to create a Gin mostly due to our love for the category. We realised that nobody else had made a Gin from English grapes, wondered whether it could be done, and decided to take on the challenge. So, we collected up a small amount of waste material as a pilot and it’s this base spirit which ended up as Batch 1 of Foxhole Gin.

We went through significant amounts of recipe development for Foxhole Gin, using all kinds of different botanicals and recipes to see what worked best. We ended up settling on a fairly traditional botanical recipe as is became clear to us that the flavour characteristics that were most unique and delicious were those that come directly from the grape spirit. Our recipe allows these characteristics to shine through in the final Gin, without something else taking over.

How has the business grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your success? The first reason is that we never compromise on quality. We strive for high standards in every aspect of production and we are always looking at ways we can improve. Our focus, which is steadfast, is to create hand crafted products that are beautifully unique, of the highest quality, honest to their origins and most importantly, exceptionally delicious.

This focus has contributed to the exceptional quality and consistency of our products and our customers - who have high levels of expectation – appreciate this attention to detail. It’s what sets us apart.



The second is that we have successfully transferred our knowhow behind our limited-edition Foxhole Gin and applied it to making a second premium gin from surplus, HYKE. We’ve co-created HYKE with fruit importer Richard Hochfeld Ltd, using grape spirit produced from internationally sourced, fresh table grapes, that are surplus to the requirements of the supply chain. We take the grapes, press them dry and make the resulting juice into wine. But this wine never sees the light of day: instead, it’s sent to the distillery and turned into grape spirit, which we use to make HYKE along with the more usual grain spirit.

We’re hopefully inspiring people to ask, Why Not? and How? And reinforcing our position as a premium spirits producer which specialises in using surplus

HYKE is significant as we want more people to be able to experience our products and we want to demonstrate that luxury can be made from surplus on a larger scale. This is important not just for the drinks industry as the world’s resources are becoming scarcer and all industries must become more resourceful. We’re hopefully inspiring people to ask, Why Not? and How? And reinforcing our position as a premium spirits producer which specialises in using surplus materials.




Foxhole S P I R I T S We have a passion and determination to not only produce spirits which taste great but to reduce industry waste. Now your starting to become a recognised brand, have you worked with any other brands or campaigns you can share with us ? Any collaborations are very carefully chosen, as we only like to work with other brands who share our values on high quality and sustainability. An interesting one to mention is with a brand called Anamas Anam who make a fabric called Pinatex, a leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves. It’s an incredible material which is being increasingly used by some amazing designers – most recently it was used in H&Ms global and very high profile ‘conscious collection’. We have teamed up with them on a couple of things recently, supporting them with inventive cocktails at Harvey Nichols and I recently participated in a panel discussion they organised for Fashion Revolution Week which asked what the fashion industry can learn from plant-based food & drink. It’s very interesting to see how provenance In fashion is gaining momentum as more people want to know where their clothes come from.

We have also just started working with The Felix Project a charity which improves sustainability by rescuing edible food and delivering it free of charge to vulnerable people suffering food poverty. It’s very early days but we are really excited as the work they do is not only incredible, using surplus is a cause close to our own. Together we can do more. Our ambition is to donate a % of sales in participating bars and restaurants from HYKE and Foxhole Gin cocktails to the charity. On the foodie side we’re working with groups like Sunday Suppers for example, collaborating on food and drink themes at beautifully curated events which tell rich stories and bring passionate people together.


How has the advent of social media impacted on you? I can see from your online presence you seem to embrace this? We’ve embraced it more recently realising that there’s no better way to have a conversation with our customers. Being a small company, it just took us a while to get to a place where we can regularly communicate with a quality message. Overall, being more active is helping us to engage better and to see what followers care about and what they are saying about our products. We love reviews from experts and the press but it’s really lovely and satisfying to see feedback from people who have actively chosen and bought our products.

In a very competitive market place how do you stay relevant and current? Where do you get your inspiration from? We have a passion and determination to not only produce spirits which taste great but to reduce industry waste. This unique combination means that we are uniquely positioned to work with many members of the supply chain to procure different raw materials to create incredible, high quality spirits from. This means that we will be continue to be relevant for as long as people consume, there will always be parts of the supply chain that we can assist in. This is really what inspires us; seeing the large scale of the issue of food surplus and understanding how to take these high quality materials and turn them into spirits that are of world-beating quality. It’s just fantastic to know that we have the skills and capabilities to achieve our mission. Which projects are you really excited about for 2019? Are there any future plans you can share with us? Alongside growing the HYKE brand, our first target is to help Richard Hochfeld use as close to 100% of their surplus grape product as possible. Our strategy is a phased one. Year one is about launch, growth and exploration.


We need to be as resourceful as we can with the products that we are using. That’s why we’re looking at alternative materials and solutions for elements of the packaging as we believe that there are always enhancements that can be made. In years two and three years we also want to experiment with alternative distillation techniques to extract further alcohol from skins and ultimately sell enough product and be at a scale where we are using as close to 100% of Richard Hochfled’s surplus grape materials. By year three, we’d also like to work with other partners to source and lend our knowledge and expertise to whoever needs it.

Other than this, we do have some incredible products in the pipeline, but we don’t discuss anything that we haven’t yet announced.

The single most important thing for us is quality, we have such a key focus on this through all aspects of our products

Why are your products so different to other businesses within the industry? Explain to myself what a Foxhole Spirits consumer gets? The single most important thing for us is quality, we have such a key focus on this through all aspects of our products, whether this is the liquid, packaging or level of service we provide. Every touch point is carefully considered, including our suggested ways that our products are consumed through our signature serves.

But the big bonus that separates us from most other spirits producers is that our products all have the key focus on being created from surplus raw materials. The secret is that these are actually incredibly high quality materials. Whether it’s English wine grapes or surplus supermarket grapes, they are both produce absolutely beautiful juice that’s full of textures and flavours that other spirits would love to have. Working all the way through from raw material really makes us stand out; we don’t just distill from industrially produced spirit, we craft unique products that reflect the true characteristics of these incredible raw materials. How has being based in Sussex helped your business? Do you feel the county’s high creativity levels have contributed to your further success? There is a fantastic F&B scene in Sussex. We have been fortunate to have the support of a number of bars and bartenders who have embraced our products and us as a brand because of our creativity and focus on innovation. This creativity and innovation is something they to strive for everyday too and you can see that reflected in the new openings and menus which are always popping up.

Our important relationships here are being nurtured by our brand ambassador Jake Goldstein who lives and works locally. As well as being our ambassador, Jake runs the cool new cocktail project Trashed Panda which includes a 15 cover bar below The Set and some brilliant pop-ups where he serves delicious cocktails with a refreshing twist without compromise on quality. He’s a great example of the county’s high creativity.




Sea Lanes

Madeira Drive on Brighton’s seafront is an iconic location. Once home to a plush bowling green before being transformed in the 1940s into the famous Peter Pan’s Playground, the area is steeped in the city’s heritage and history. However, since the playground was closed, the condition and reputation of the area have fallen far below its illustrious past.


ea Lanes Brighton is designed as a catalyst to restore the area to its former glory and to get people turning left at Brighton Pier once more. The project captures the spirit of the city and will bring a new lease of life to the area by providing a unique, custom built 25-metre heated outdoor swimming pool and commercial space which will become the country’s official National Open Water Swimming Centre. Using 21st century design and the latest construction technology, Sea Lanes Brighton will transform Madeira Drive into a popular attraction for tourists and the local community once again. Sea bathing and sea swimming have a long history in Brighton and Hove. In the 1740s, British physician Dr Richard Russell visited Brighton to explore his theories on the medical properties of sea water. He recommended that people should try bathing in and drinking the water near Brighton, proclaiming that the curing elements the sea water contained were superior to those of inland spas. By 1753, Russell’s treatments had become so popular that he decided to move his surgery to Brighton, changing the future of the city forever. Brighton went on to become home to the country’s first ever sea swimming club, (founded in 1860) and in recent years, since the London 2012 Olympics, interest in sea swimming as a sport has skyrocketed in the UK with participation increasing by at least 20% annually, year after year. In addition, a recent report by Swim England confirms that swimming for just half an hour three times a week can lower stress levels, raise mood, lower incidences of depression and anxiety, and improve sleep patterns. In 2016 however, due to a lack of funding, the future of Madeira Drive as a leisure destination seemed somewhat uncertain. But Sea Lanes Brighton and the people behind the vision for the project were determined to bring about positive change.

The project captures the spirit of the city and will bring a new lease of life to the area by providing a unique, custom built 25-metre heated outdoor swimming pool and commercial space.



As a collective group, Sea Lanes Brighton Ltd applied for planning permission to create their proposed development in 2018. The ambition from the outset was for Sea Lanes to become the National Open Water Swimming Centre of Excellence featuring a heated open-air pool and facilities, as well as space for health, well-being, food and beverage, and retail units.

Sea Lanes Brighton Ltd are an integral part of the Brighton and Hove community who are passionate about open water swimming. Local people and local enterprise have come together to regenerate Brighton seafront for the benefit of both the community and visiting tourists. The project is made up of Brighton based swim coach Andy White, Copsemill Properties, QED Sustainable Urban Developments, and winners of the 2017 Queen's Award for Enterprise, SwimTrek. As a collective group, Sea Lanes Brighton Ltd applied for planning permission to create their proposed development in 2018. The ambition from the outset was for Sea Lanes to become the National Open Water Swimming Centre of Excellence featuring a heated open-air pool and facilities, as well as space for health, well-being, food and beverage, and retail units. Due to the uncertainty around funding and plans for the longterm, a temporary five-year scheme was devised; a deliverable proposition to encourage activity and inform the future development of both the Sea Lanes site and the wider area. In June 2018, Sea Lanes Brighton Ltd submitted a planning application for a heated 25m x 12.5m open air swimming pool and retractable mat to improve access to the beach. The pool would be open to people of all swimming abilities, from those wanting to get fit and train for open water swimming events, to complete beginners looking to develop the ability and confidence to swim in the sea. The pool would contribute significantly to the city’s current pool provisions – which reach only 44 % of government target figures. The proposal was supported by plans for 10,000 square feet of commercial space that would generate the finances to ensure the pool could operate sustainably for five years.



Sea Lanes

The challenges of delivering such a project were significant, with endangered habitats to relocate, expand and monitor, and storm drains to contend with. In December 2018, the original planning application was rejected, but with public support for the scheme at an all-time high (271 letters of support were received by Brighton & Hove City Council), Sea Lanes Brighton revised and resubmitted the plans and in April 2019 they were approved in a unanimous vote by the council Planning Committee. Sea Lanes Brighton will create more than 70 new jobs in the local area including lifeguards, a pool general manager and a learn-to-swim coordinator. Leading adventure swimming holiday company SwimTrek has already committed to housing its headquarters in the complex and there has been further interest from over 20 local businesses ranging from fitness and health specialists to food and beverage offerings. The development is scheduled to open in Spring 2020 and will be created using a kit of moveable and reusable components that are built offsite to reduce disruption and maximise the efficiency of the build. The Sea Lanes Brighton team are determined to make a success of the development. Andy White from Sea Lanes Brighton said: “The support and reaction we have received from the public has been amazing and has really inspired us to keep driving this forward. Brighton is the natural home for the National Open Water Swimming Centre.” Joe McNulty, Sea Lanes Brighton Director, said: “The 25-metre pool is a five-year project and the stepping stone towards a permanent facility; a heated 50-metre open air swimming pool and supporting commercial space. The addition of a summer 2019 pop-up while detailed plans are developed makes the whole process a refreshing and honest approach to development, allowing innovation and experimentation. A project that seeks to drive support and awareness for something other than itself; the long-term regeneration of the Madeira Terraces. “Sea Lanes can engage with the wider development of this stretch of seaside from Brighton Pier to Brighton Marina, allowing us to shape the future of Brighton, galvanising the community from the ground up.”



“Sea Lanes can engage with the wider development of this stretch of seaside from Brighton Pier to Brighton Marina, allowing us to shape the future of Brighton, galvanising the community from the ground up.”

A summer 2019 pop-up project • Endless Pool Swim Coaching (a swimming treadmill) ideal for swimmers of all abilities to learn, improve and hone their technique. • Weekly guided swims in the sea and introductory courses on sea swimming and its benefits. • The Body Hub Brighton, providing sports massages, soft tissue therapy and other therapies. • Beach Box Brighton providing a wood fired sauna experience • About Balance and Studio iO yoga sessions • Bison Beer and Brighton street food operators providing beers and food Brighton is the city with the natural edge. For all to Sea. Sea Life. Sea Change. Sea Lanes.



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Absolute Sussex Summer Edition 2019  

Absolute Sussex Summer Edition 2019