Page 1



6:10 PM Praslin “There are times you share − and there are times you don’t share with anyone, except each other.”

150 places

+ Qatar

Add Qatar to your journey as you discover the world Make Qatar a part of your incredible journey by enjoying a free hotel stay and free transit visa when you fly to any of our 150 destinations.* Please visit for the full details of the offer. *Terms and conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking.


8 14 24 30 34 34 40 44 50 56 60 62 66 70 74 76 80 92 98 104 118 126

Contributing Editors - Charlie McBrien | Matt Parr | Shelley Louise Welti Victoria Marie Emerson | Lindsay Katherine Hills Pete Hayward | Kasia (The Styling Agency) Tony Shattell (food reviewer) Brighton Girl Problems Blogger Fashion, Beauty & Interior Styling Editor - Kasia (The Styling Agency) Features Editor - Victoria Marie Emerson - Designer - Pete Hayward - Owners - Publishers Simon Darcy Abbott - David Camici -

Cover Shot Photography – Jacqulyn Hamilton Model – Layla Harris Stylist – Jana Svalbe Clothes – Dress is Fara Sposa 5237 (2018 collection) from Mode Bridal of Hove. Bespoke Feather Head dress - Lucienne Strong – LulaLupin

Location – Stanhill Court Hotel

ABSOLUTE is owned and produced by Make a Difference Media Ltd Absolute offices 1 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 4QU

Printed by the Magazine Printing Company London


All advertising enq: connect with us facebook/absolutemagazine twitter/absolutesussex instagram/absolute_magazine

The Editor W

elcome to the spring edition of ABSOLUTE Magazine Sussex. If recent weather is anything to go by then summer is on its way, bringing with it all the festivals, fun and amusement we have come to expect from our fair county.

Congratulations go out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their marriage and in becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Our own weddings feature explores venues for your big day including Goodwood House and other stunning Sussex locations. Our resident blogger tells you about a few of the best bespoke hen party destinations to ensure you have a good send off before your big day.

We dine at Issaacs@, i360 Sky Dining and take good look at the new fine dining addition to Brighton ‘The Ivy’ as well as revisiting The Set. Our music interests include Kioko, a unique and soulful-pop, Jazz and Reggae influenced band, and we speak with iconic Manchester band ‘James’ about their new upcoming album and tour.

Art Republic celebrates their 25 year anniversary in Sussex, we speak to the owners about their journey. We also meet with the charismatic UK entrepreneur that created ‘Giggle Water’ a sparkling wine produced in Ibiza. Our travel feature in the Maldives is on two magical islands, set to wet your appetite for sun, luxury and beauty.

As always we are keen to speak with those businesses and readers about Sussex based events and businesses that we should be shouting about. Please email us on info@absolutemaagzine., with your suggestions. We hope you enjoy the read! Absolute





Foodies Festival 2018

Neverland London

Skylight From Thursday May 3 to Sunday September 16 2018, have some (legal) fun in a former carpark at Skylight, a rooftop playground in Tobacco Dock, which is back for some summer fun. The Wapping rooftop will be home to three floors of bars, street food, croquet and pétanque, with some exquisite panoramas of the city skyline to boot. There'll also be screens to watch the Word Cup and Wimbledon unfold and don't miss the one-off parties throughout the summer featuring DJ collectives including Gold Teeth and Coastal Haze. Price for a 45 minute croquet game is £25-£35. Price for a Pétanque game is £15. Group tables start from £10.


Neverland, the Thames-side urban beach, is back from Thursday May 3rd to Friday August 31st 2018 and it's going to be perfect for lazy summer days in Fulham. The place will be decked out with cabanas, daybeds, beach huts and, of course, truck loads of sand. Unfortunately, this year there's no BYOB policy, but to compensate there'll be grub from Jimmy Garcia's pop up restaurant, the BBQ Club who'll be knocking up cocktails, beer and bottomless brunch. If lounging around ain't your bag, this year they've put together a jampacked events series, including yoga and circuit sessions on the beach, cocktail masterclasses, glitter artists, sand sculpting, croquet, shuffleboard, table tennis, and beer and prosecco pong. If you want that VIP, full-on resting beach face experience, you can pay extra to hire beach huts, partybeds or tuck into a Bottomless Beach Brunch (£25 every Sunday from 12noon to 2pm), which includes includes bottomless prosecco, cider and frozen pina coladas.


Back by popular demand, Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, returns to Hove Lawns on the 5, 6, 7 May Bank Holiday with a mouth-watering summer event, which this year includes the launch of a brand new Musicians Against Homelessnessmusic stage and extended opening times. The festival will celebrate live music into the night on the newly launched stage with performances from much-loved headliner Toploader and hugely admired band The Hoosiers. Supported by Musicians Against Homelessness, the live music stage will see talented emerging bands and solo artists perform with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis. Alan McGee, Patron of Musicians Against Homelessness, said: “Foodies Festival is the UK's largest food and drink festival and with such fantastic summer events it seemed a natural link to partner with a festival that reaches the hearts of so many local communities. In turn, we’re confident that they can help us raise awareness and funds for our homelessness charity Crisis by bringing popular headliner bands to their stages alongside some of the country’s best unsigned musical talent." An all-star line up will be cooking up a storm in the Chef’s Theatre, including Great British Bake Off Winner 2017 Sophie Faldo, 64 degrees & Great British Menu winner Michael Bremner, Michelin-starred chef of Ockenden Manor Stephen Crane, as well as Great British Bake Off finalist 2017 Steven Carter & Author of Sesame & Spice Anne Shooter to name but a few, all offering recipe secrets and tips to take home. Fantastic live music adds the cherry on top of an unrivalled foodie feast, proving there’s no better place to be this summer than Foodies Festival – a gastronomic Glastonbury!

London to Brighton Bike Ride 2018 Join the British Heart Foundation on 17th June for the iconic London to Brighton Bike Ride. Take part as a team or as an individual and experience a day out to remember, finishing off with some well-deserved refreshments at the event village on Brighton Beach. Every penny you raise by doing the ride will help the British Heart Foundation fund vital research into heart disease.

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.

Brighton Fringe 2018 Brighton Fringe is England’s largest arts festival and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. We set out to stimulate, educate and entertain a diverse range of people through a diverse range of art forms. And all this in an iconic city with unique cultural heritage.

Brighton Fringe takes place every May (4 May – 3 June 2017) and is a great place to spend the May bank holidays and the summer half-term break. This vast celebration of all things creative has grown out of, and is inspired by, home-grown talent. More than 50% of participants are based in Brighton & Hove A wide array of critically acclaimed shows and performers also appear at Brighton Fringe each year, drawn by the huge number of appreciative audience members who attend every year.


The Lady Boys of Bangkok Uncork the champagne! Dress to kill! Party like there's no tomorrow! Celebrating 20 diamante decorated years, The Lady Boys of Bangkok 'Wonder Women' Tour will take the UK's number one cabaret show to a new level. Coming to Brighton from 3rd May to 4th June and with some of your favourites from the last 20 glorious years re-imagined, new scenes of spectacular costumes have been added, plus, choreography and – of course – hilarious comedy! Wonder Women celebrates in style with iconic appearances including Cher, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Diana Ross, Pink, Shirley Bassey, even Wonder Woman herself and the "practically perfect in every way" Mary Poppins! From Comic Con to the catwalk… the silver screen to the stage… this year's show has it all. film-with-live-orchestra experience! 



Brighton Festival 2018 The full programme for Brighton Festival 2018 (5-27 May 2018), the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England has now been announced, with the Turner Prize-nominated visual artist and Brighton resident David Shrigley (b.1968) as Guest Director. Best known for his darkly humorous works that comment on the absurd, inconsequential and disquieting elements of daily life, the artist's offbeat take is reflected in an eclectic programme spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate, from Brighton Festival commission Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt rock/pop pantomime, written and directed by David Shrigley himself to a live durational reading of Camus'seminal The Myth of Sisyphus, and appearances from awardwinning stand-up Bridget Christie and genderqueer rock‘n'roll hero Ezra Furman. David Shrigley makes a number of appearances in the programme including Life Model II, a follow-up to the artist's Turner Prize-nominated installation of the same name, an illustrated talk billed as ‘containing numerous rambling anecdotes… not in the slightest bit boring', and a screening of a documentary about his work titled A Shit Odyssey. Events close to the artist's heart include an exclusive collaboration between orchestral collective Stargaze and one of his favourite bands, Deerhoof;an exhibition by San-Francisco-based artist and trucker Brett Goodroad; and a double bill from his friend Malcolm Middleton, one half of Arab Strap, and Scottish musician Iain Shaw, whose quirky folk song-smithery has turned Shrigley's poems into incisive songs on albums like Awesome and Listening to Slayer.


Other highlights include: Calixto Bieito's The String Quartet's Guide to Sex and Anxiety, a remarkable new production from one of Europe's most exciting theatre directors; Grand Finale by Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival Associate Artist and Brighton Festival 2014 Guest Director Hofesh Shechter, a bold and powerful vision of a world in freefall; and The Arms of Sleep, an overnight choral sleepover experience from The Voice Project in which audiences encounter a unique dream-like night of music stories, sound and images.

Sussex Street Food Festival This May 18th-20th, the UK wide and ever popular Street Food Warehouse, the company behind numerous well-loved Street Food Festivals across the South coast, are rolling into Hastings for a weekend of fantastic fresh food and delicious drinks. An outstanding array of different food will be on offer, from fresh stone-baked pizza to crunchy Pad Thai, to sugary doughy Churros, to juicy gourmet burgers. Hungry visitors will be able to enjoy a range of mouth-watering food from all over the world alongside an ice-cold pint of beer or fresh zesty Mojito courtesy of the Pop Up Bar Hire Company.  Tiny Thai, Chipsmyth, CaPhe Republic and Monte Forte Pizza are just some of the street food vendors confirmed to be attending the event at The Stade, with many other Local and National vendors yet to be announced. Catering to all with vegan, gluten free and vegetarian vendors, there is truly something for everyone.


As a completely free and family friendly event this is something you don't want to miss out on if you love sampling quality food and drink by the Sussex coast in the sun.

Royal Wedding Event Bolney Wine Estate is celebrating the Royal Wedding with a three-tiered afternoon tea available all day on 19th May 2018. There will be an American twist in celebration of Megan Markel joining the Royal Family. An Afternoon tea for two guests will be £15 each and as an optional extra there will be a sparkling glass of our Eighteen Acre Rosé for £5 per glass. They will of course be showing the Royal Wedding in thr café area for those wanting a little something different than their own living room.

Festival of Food & Racing At Goodwood Racecourse The fabulous three-day May race meeting returns from 24th to 26th May 2018 with a fabulous combination of awardwinning food and high-quality racing. In between the excitement of the races you can enjoy the finest food and drink at the Food Festival, including organic produce from Goodwood Home Farm and awardwinning fare from local artisan suppliers. www.goodwood.comfund vital research into heart disease.

The Great Escape Festival 2018 Are you ready for some monumental news? The Great Escape, running from 17th to 19th May 2018 just got so much bigger and better than ever before. We are thrilled to announce The Beach, an exciting new 2000 capacity festival site - right on Brighton beach. Adding to The Great Escape's family of 30 incredible venues, the brand new festival site will be home to two venues to watch the very best new artists as well as buzzing bars, delicious food stalls, hang out areas and pop up performance spaces.  Curated by the greatest music tastemakers around, the beach site will be jam-packed with the most, sizzling, sought after upcoming artists. Curators at The Beach include Island Records, AWAL, Dr. Martens and many more to be announced very soon. Watch this space for more news on The Beach soon. The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 450 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across the city. It’s the first place to discover your new favourite artist and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages. The Alternative Escape, Spotlight Shows, secret gigs, club nights and spontaneous collaborations all add to the festivities and make this weekend in Brighton one not to miss. Artists announced so far include Aine Cahill, Bad Gyal, City Calm Down, COIN, Daniel OG, Ebenezer, Freak, Hunter & The Bear, Joy Crookes, Mansionair, M.I.L.K., Naaz, Promiseland, Sports Team, The Orielles, Sam Fender, Tamino, Ten Tonnes and many more.

Tears For Fears Tears For Fears “Rule The World Tour 2018” With Special Guest Alison Moyet are coming to The Brighton Centre on 12th May 2018. Having sold 30 million albums worldwide, performed to countless sold out audiences, and won various awards, Tears For Fears – Roland Orzabal [vocals, guitar, keyboards] and Curt Smith [vocals, bass, keyboards] – are one of the most influential bands to have come out of the UK. With a catalogue of classic albums namely the gold-certified debut The Hurting [1983], quintuple-platinum BRIT Award-winning Songs from the Big Chair [1985], and Seeds of Love [1989] and a string of huge hits, including classics such as “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Shout,” “Mad World,” “Head Over Heels,” “Woman In Chains,” these shows are not to be missed! Joining Tears For Fears on all UK & Ireland dates is Alison Moyet. In a 35-year recording career, three-times BRIT Awardwinner and Grammy-nominee, Alison Moyet, has released 9 solo studio albums and a further 3 compilations. 2017 sees Alison continuing to make adventurous lyrical electronic pop music with her criticallyacclaimed album Other, and embarking on her biggest world tour for thirty years.


Gary Barlow For his 2018 Solo Tour, Gary will be playing 34 dates and 24 intimate venues across the UK including the Brighton Centre on 14th May 2018 with support from K T Tunstall. The tour will see Gary play intimate venues across the UK and Ireland including some never visited before. The last time Gary played a string of venues this size, demand was so high he could have sold certain venues out six times over! ‘I had such a lot of fun back in 2013 when I played those smaller venues because you’re so much closer to the fans’ says Gary of his forthcoming tour. ‘The audience always seem to love the intimacy of it all too. I’m also really looking forward to playing in a couple of cities I’ve never played before as well as getting a chance to meet the fans there.’ Gary Barlow is a British singersongwriter and record producer who found worldwide fame as a member of British pop group Take That. Since forming in 1989 Take That have won eight BRIT awards, sold over 45 million records and over eight million concert tickets.



12 ABSOLUTE @Eastwingroomingco



F a









Model Layla Harris Photographer Jacqulyn Hamilton IG @jacqulynhamilton FB @jacqulynhamiltonportraits Stylist and Creative Direction Jana Svalbe Venue Stanhill Court Hotel | Charlewood Surrey | England Furs and Throws kindly supplied by Kings Carpets - Hove Planning & Direction Empirical Events IG empirical_events Hair: Amy Harding MUA Max Anderson Dress is KIKI by Mori Lee (2018 collection) supplied by Whyte Weddings of Worthing - UK Bespoke Head dress and Neckcuff by Lucienne Strong - LulaLupin All Flowers and arrangements Nell’s Flowers Cake design and supply Julie Thornton Red Robin Cakes Table set up and DÊcor: Mulberry Events Mode Bridal of Hove Jewellery from Aurum Jewellers

















F a








Wedding s









Red Robin Cakes Julie Thornton founded 'Red Robin Cakes' in the spring of 2015. Working from her home kitchen, she bakes and decorates all her celebration cakes herself, using the freshest possible ingredients.

After catching the 'cake decorating bug' following the creation of her son's first birthday cake, Julie went on to achieve her PME Master's certificate in 'Sugar Flowers', 'Sugarpaste' and 'Royal Icing'. 20 years ago however, she had trained in historical costume and textiles at Wimbledon School of Art, and now finds that the artistic skills she applied to her costumes work their way into many of her wedding cake designs today.

Julie takes inspiration from all around her, for example a stunning wedding dress, an intricate piece of fabric, a quirky invitation design, or the wonders of nature during the changing of the seasons. A beautiful headdress fit for a snow queen was the inspiration behind the 'winter frost' wedding cake design.

Julie enjoys getting to know the couples that come to her to create their wedding cake, as each design reflects their personality and each cake created is a piece of edible Art. Taylor-made to compliment the couple's individual style and theme, the aim is to produce a stunning and unique centre piece for their special occasion, which tastes as good as it looks!'

Lulalupin (Head dresses and Capelet Designer)

Lulalupin create luxurious handmade accessories to suit any special occasion. Inspired by fairytale, Gatsby, Fantasy, Victoriana and Steampunk, every creation is crafted from the finest materials; 100% silk, vintage lace and fabrics, semi-precious stones and glass beads; intricately embellished and hand sewn with tender loving care. Lulalupin offers a bespoke service, creating unique one off designs. Commission something amazing and utterly unique for your Wedding Day, a special party or a gift. Alternative weddings are a speciality!

An eye for detail and a passion for perfection, Lulalupin is the brainchild of Lucienne Strong. She has been making and creating since childhood. First drawn to using textiles while studying at Stafford Art College, she then studied for a degree in Dance and Visual Practice at the University of Brighton before returning to her beloved textiles. With Lulalupin, Lucienne wanted to provide unique, visually alluring, quality handmade pieces, harking back to a time when keepsakes were more prevalent and importance was attached more to the art of the craft itself. Lucienne knew that making something precious imbued with love and care rather than just another identical piece off the production line was vital in today’s throwaway culture.



Empirical Events (Organisers and Stylists)

Empirical Events are a professional event management company who specialise in the provision of wedding industry events and marketing.

Last year they organised 47 events across Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire and in 2018 they will complete at least 60 successful shows. They are contracted to work at some very special venues across the South East in Castles, Abbeys, Museums, Theatres, Barns, Independent Schools, Country Hotels, Chic boutique sea facing Hotels and some well-known, International Hotel groups.

Couples who visit the shows like the breadth of choice and variety at the events and appreciate that by bringing a selection of high quality, trusted wedding suppliers together it makes their wedding planning journey easier whilst providing some inspirational ideas too. The exhibitors appreciate the quality of the venues Empirical work with and their trusted reputation for delivering exceptional wedding shows that are always well marketed and attended.

Organising a wedding, one of the most significant life events, is so important. By connecting quality suppliers with couples who all have very individual likes, dislikes, themes and budgets Empirical Events are offering a service with a really personal touch, taking pride in their events.

Aurum Jewellers (Jewellery Suppliers)

Aurum designer-jewellers is based in the centre of Worthing, and has a wealth of experience of creating unique jewellery in platinum, gold and diamonds. Established for over 30 years, Aurum has always specialised in contemporary handmade jewellery, particularly engagement rings, wedding ring and eternity rings, most of which are bespoke. Potential customers are invited for a free design-consultation with one of the talented designer-makers from Aurum’s on-site workshop. This is an opportunity to be fully involved in the designprocess, and to get some ideas and expert advice. Having a hand in the design can be an enjoyable experience for customers, and it means that they end up with a ring that is unique to them. The business is still owned and run by Andrew Leggett who worked for 10 years creating designer jewellery in top West-End workshops, before setting up Aurum in 1985. Aurum’s goldsmiths are recruited direct from university with a degree in jewellery, and are then trained by Andrew to make jewellery in the house style. Aurum has an enviable reputation for the quality of its jewellery and attracts clients not just locally, but from across the UK and beyond.



Mulberry Events (Decoration and Styling)

Mulberry Events is an innovative, award winning, venue styling company based in Bexhill, East Sussex. They specialise in creating stunning décor for all kinds of venues including marquees, barns, hotels and even outdoors. With their friendly support and working closely with you, the team give individual care and attention to every detail. Turning your concepts into reality and creating a magical, unique day that will be remembered by both you and your guests.

Whether hiring a few finishing pieces or decorating a whole event, no job is too small or difficult for Mulberry Events.

Photography by Jacqulyn Hamilton Jacqulyn is an award-winning Portrait, Editorial and Lifestyle photographer based in Hove, East Sussex. She photographs on behalf of Historic Royal Palaces and her work has featured in many widely known Fashion and Bridal publications.

Jacqulyn is available for Bridal, Fashion, Lifestyle and event photography as well as family photoshoots and personal branding.

Stanhill Court (Venue)

The Quintessential English Wedding Venue, Stanhill Court Hotel is a fine example of Victorian architecture which has retained its original features, high ceilings, open fire places surrounded by ancient woodlands , fields, manicured lawns and boasting its own amphitheatre along with a walled garden perfect for those romantic photos. Traditional with an elegant twist, dazzling chandelier welcome you and the grand swooping staircase with a backdrop of original floor to ceiling stained glass. The main hall is a treat of architecture, carvings hidden in the staircase and the wow really is the warm pitch pine Baronial barrelled ceiling. The private driveway, pretty hedgerows, ornate statues ,squirrels and rabbits are the first views of the Victorian Manor House. Nestled in 35 acres of the Surrey Countryside yet 10 minutes from the M23 and M25 with London Gatwick Airport a short taxi away. Picturesque surroundings whatever the weather.

All of the function rooms apart from the Library are licensed for ceremonies. Antonia Suite - 150 – Large double aspect room , high ceilings, intricate cornicing, Oak panelling and uninterrupted views over fields and Leith Hill. Morning Room – 50 – Overlooking the terrace and green rolling fields an intimate space filled with yet more character. Orangery - 200 -The twist is this beautiful area of light overlooking the trees and fields with the feeling of being outside but in the warm. Large black and glass lanterns hang from the ceiling complementing the space and tiled black and white flooring with doors leading to the main terrace. Colas Suite – 300 – Perfect space for a large wedding , chandeliers and no pillars to block the view.



Floristry and Flower arrangements created by Nell’s Flowers Nell’s Flowers are an independent, traditional English Flower Shop in West Sussex.

At Nell’s, the team believe in seasonality and keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. They do this by sourcing many flowers that are English-grown, often local and always fresh! As well as having a large free carpark, Nell’s is well placed to deliver beautiful flowers to Worthing, Washington, Ashington, Steyning, Storrington, Findon, Brighton and throughout the surrounding area. They can cater to all your floral needs from a vase for the kitchen table to beautiful bespoke wedding flowers. Using their creativity and design experience combined with an obsessive love of flowers, Nell’s Flowers hope to provide you the perfect personal arrangement using the best, fresh, English flowers currently available.

Mode Bridal (Wedding Dresses)

Mode Bridal is based in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, where they have created an elegant bridal boutique with a touch of luxury and fairytale charm within a private home. You can expect a wonderful and stress free wedding dress shopping experience in a totally private setting with a selection of luxurious bridal gowns, expert advice and impeccable service designed for you to find your perfect wedding dress on your first visit to Mode Bridal. Mode Bridal have carefully chosen their designers for their ability to create wedding dresses that look incredibly beautiful, fit perfectly and are made using the best fabrics and dressmaking artistry. Each bridal gown is selected for its unique style ensuring that they have the perfect dress for the bride whether she is looking for a timeless classic, a modern statement, something utterly charming or wants a bridal gown that is beautiful in its simplicity. The service is tailored for you to find your dream wedding dress on your first visit. So whether you are a seasoned wedding dress shopper or this is your first time shopping for a bridal gown, they recommend that you bring along those people whose opinion you value the most in making that all important decision on purchasing your dress.

Whyte Weddings (Wedding Dresses)

Whyte Weddings Bridal Boutique is based in the beautiful town of Worthing, just opposite the picturesque Steyne Gardens, where brides will find a great selection of wedding gowns by some of the best and most sought after bridal designers such as Maggie Sottero, Mori Lee, Rebecca Ingram and Sottero and Midgley. The spacious bridal shop offers large private fitting rooms, a gorgeous viewing area to show off your wedding dress to the bridal party; and one of the bridal consultants is always on hand to help you to find your perfect gown.

Whyte Weddings are very proud to have a large selection of affordable designer wedding dresses that reflect both the classic elegance loved by many brides; and the latest catwalk trends from some of the biggest names in bridal. The dresses have been carefully chosen to ensure that each bride can reflect her unique personality and find a perfect dress whether it is a breathtaking fitted lace fishtail gown with a sweetheart neckline that she is looking for; or an elegant A-line dress with clean and simple lines. Brides often visit through being recommended by previous customers; and are pleasantly surprised when they find their perfect wedding dress on their first visit.


27 | The Gin Tub | 16 Church Road | Hove | BN3 2FL



Kioko KIOKO are a group of like-minded artists with big personalities who started their musical journey as boys in music class at school. Made up of a range of personalities. Lead vocalist Matt Doyle; Jon Brown, the bands guitarist; Ben Torrens the bass player; Tom Collins on drums; Ewan Whyte and Laurence Taylor both have the role of trumpet player/vocalist; Josh Wilkinson plays the trombone. An eclectic mix of talent use of live instruments has encouraged them to develop their unique fusion of soulful pop, reggae and jazz. Their powerful hooks and melodies are filled with well received sociological and political relevant messages, disguised by sharp song writing sensibilities and heavy cultural musical influences. Absolute's Kasia caught up with Kioko.

For those who’ve never heard about KIOKO - how would you describe your music? Well, we would say it is Caribbean inspired Pop. Primarily we are inspired by Reggae, but we love all genres and styles of music. How was the band formed? We have known each other for years. We all met in school and college, and we have played music together ever since. Kioko formed almost four years ago now.

With such a large band crew, how do you organise yourself into the creative process? Usually, there are members of the band who get songs ideas together and develop them to a point, then as a band we continue to construct that idea and get it ready to gig.

There are so many mixed backgrounds and ethnicities in Kioko, some you wouldn't even realise we love it and want set an example for people to of all backgrounds to get along and get the most out of life.

You have been touring a lot last year, supporting such acts as Dub Pistols. What are your most memorable moments? Wow, there were a few good moments we had while on tour with the Dub Pistols.. There was one show which went well, that well both bands drank a bit too much, and we all jammed backstage making instruments out of drink bottles and cutlery haha! You have played in Brighton before including the great escape festival - what do you think about the city and its music scene? Have you visited before ie on holiday etc? Matt went there on holiday, and he loved it but yeah the music scene is popping down here, we love the fact that there are so many venues that are ready to promote new live music. It's needed in more cities.


What are your music influences? Well, we could be here all night if we talk about them, but I would say its hard-hitting riddim that come from the Carib that is riddim not rhythm. To list genres I guess: Reggae, soul, disco, pop ballads and Jazz. How do you compare the music scene in the Midlands to the South? The Midlands don't shout about the homegrown talent as much as the North and south do, maybe we are too modest. The Midlands has a lot to offer, so we need to shout more and people should come and see for themselves.

You promote a positive message through your music - ie against racism. Tell us more about it. There are so many mixed backgrounds and ethnicities in Kioko, some you wouldn't even realise - we love it and want to set an example for people of all backgrounds to get along and get the most out of life. If you were collaborate with anyone else in the world who would it be? Dead or alive? Haha. I think we could all agree that a collab with Damian Marley would be bangarang! Right up our street!

What is your ultimate song that you would like to cover ? I want to be your man by Roger Troutman. What should be expect from KIOKO in 2018? Expect new music, more shows across the UK and Big announcements

facebook @kiokomusicuk The first single taken from the highly anticipated second EP Let's Be Frank.


follow Kasia on facebook @kasiacreative instagram @thestylingagency




We want to set an example for people of all backgrounds to get along and get the most out of life.” @kathyhorniblow



in Performing Arts



James James, the inimitable English rock band from Manchester, was formed back in 1982. Enjoying huge popularity throughout the 1990s, the band's notorious anthems include 'Come Home', 'Sit Down', 'She's a Star' and 'Laid'.


he turn of the millennium saw the lead singer Tim Booth leave the band, triggering the band to go ‘inactive’. Fast forward 15 years and in January 2007, fans finally got their wish and the band reunited, going on to produce several more hit albums, cementing their reputation as one of the most iconic live British bands. 

Nostalgic for the nineties and intrigued as to the future, Absolute Sussex took the band’s direction, sat down next to them and learnt all about what 2018 has in store for the rockers.

Firstly, could you tell us what we can expect from your May dates? Will it be a mix of tracks from the Better Than That EP and the next album, interspersed with the classics? The May tour will indeed feature at least some of the songs off the EP. As the album won't have been released by then, we won't be playing all the songs off that yet but, of course, we will be playing some. And the number might increase as the tour goes on. We are always so excited to play new songs live and we are so proud of the new record that we can't wait to get playing them to people. But, of course, the set will be a mix of the new and the old with a sprinkling of hits. And how do you decide upon the set list? You have such a healthy and extensive back catalogue that it must be difficult? We change the set list at every gig. We choose the songs that we want to play and what we think will suit the venue and the mood. For instance, a sit-down theatre on a Wednesday night would warrant a different approach to a Friday night all standing venue. Or, if you’re playing abroad, you see which songs are popular there. But at the end of the day, we choose the songs we want to play. If a song gets stuck or it feels like we


are running through the motions, we rest it. We don't want to be up on stage soullessly running through lacklustre hits and wishing we were somewhere else; that's not giving the audience our best. We often change the set list right up until going on stage and, quite often, when we are on stage. We always want to play more than we have time for and it is hard leaving songs out.

How does it feel to constantly sell out every show when you tour? This May tour is a slightly odd one for us because we are playing places we don't normally get to play so, hopefully, a bunch of people will get to see us who otherwise might not have done. Since we got back together in 2007 our tours have just grown and grown. It's amazing to think of so many people spending their hard-earned money coming to see us, and on our last UK tour we sold more tickets than we ever have. I guess that comes from having a good live reputation and delivering on the

night, and maybe changing the set keeps people coming back. You just don't know what you are going to get. Do you have plans to play further – and bigger – shows later in the year? Well, we have a whole heap of festivals to do over the summer and there has been talk of something at the very end of the year but nothing has been announced yet. I'd suggest that people keep an eye and ear open for news from the James camp. Where are your favourite places to play; and where do you get the best reaction? We are pretty successful in Greece and when we play there it tends to be in an outdoor amphitheatre. Some of the settings are incredibly beautiful, and it's sunny and warm! We have huge pockets of mad James fans scattered around the world - Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Chile - and when you play their country they make you so, so welcome. Of course, a home town gig in Manchester is always special as well. And Glasgow Barrowlands too.

We are always so excited to play new songs live and we are so proud of the new record that we can't wait to get playing them to people.”




James Going back to your early days, could you ever envisage that you would still be touring and releasing new material – to huge critical acclaim – so many years on? We released our first single on Factory records in 1983 which feels like several lifetimes ago. We were a strange bunch back then; very insular and trusted no one and had an odd, sparse spindly sound. We wanted to learn, though, and get better, and we always felt confident we would find success somehow. It took a while to get there but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think we were stronger for the wait and appreciated the success more. We've had all the typical rock n roll car crash moments: drink and drug problems; people punching each other; people leaving; people coming back again. It's like some mad, stupid soap opera that doesn't quite make sense. But here we are. And still alive!

We’re anticipating that the Better Than That EP is the prelude to a new album later in the year; would that be correct? And can you tell us anything about that? We have our 15th album coming out later this year, I think in early August. We recorded it with the wonderful producer Charlie Andrew along with assistant producer Beni Giles. We totally fell on our feet with these two. Not only is it a great sounding record but it's also pushed us into new areas which we are loving. The rhythms are huge and should be amazing live, and we had such good fun recording it. I think if there is one huge lesson I've learnt from being in a band this long it's to enjoy it. It's so easy to be overly precious and uptight and totally miss the incredible life and career you happen to have been blessed with. Do you have a favourite song – and one that you’re most looking forward to playing live – from the Better Than That EP? And, if so, why? There is a song on the album called Coming Home (Pt 2). It's a huge, huge James tune which I just don't get bored of listening to. Live, it would have to be a song called Hank, which is on the EP, and which is about Donald Trump. I've been playing along to the songs at home in my studio in the Highlands of Scotland, learning my parts and trying to get the sounds just right. And this one I just can't help playing over and over even when I don't really need to; each time I play it I turn it up so loud. It's a good job I just have sheep for neighbours.

How do feel your influences have changed over the years, musical or otherwise? And what would you say is your biggest influence at the moment? There have always been bands and artists that I love and who have influenced me: Joy Division; The Fall; Talking Heads; The Doors; The Velvet Underground; Captain Beefheart;


The Cure, The National; The Flaming Lips; Glasvegas … it goes on. But I also like dance music and anything abrasive or challenging. I guess that's what I like about this band, there is no 'right or wrong' in James. When we are writing, it's fine to throw anything in the mix and see where it takes us. We are famed for writing anthems but our albums cover so much more than that. And that's a result of that freedom to explore and trust in the people you are writing with.

There has been much media coverage about artists banning phones from gigs recently. Your fans seem to be very interactive, sharing photos and live footage, so what is your view on this? I guess it's a double-edged sword. Of course, people want to capture special moments and they also want to share those moments with others, that's only natural. The problem is that if viewing the world through your phone actually removes YOU from the experience, is it worth it? Wouldn't it be better to actually be there with it, enjoying it in all its glory? Finally, you’ve got the EP, the May tour, festival dates and a forthcoming album; how far in advance do you make plans for the band and can you reveal what might be next for James? Well, we do indeed have album number 15 coming out this summer and that does mean a busy year, but we have already scheduled in writing sessions through the summer. So, in the gaps in between festivals, we will be writing for record number 16. You've just got to keep at it or you end up running out of time and everything starts to fall apart. Having said that, we love writing songs so that is absolutely no hardship at all. There is nothing quite like the buzz of a new song appearing in the room as if by magic. It's fun in itself but also you know that sitting there in front of you is the future. How do you feel your influences have changed over the years? And what would you say are your biggest influences at the moment? As a band, we always used to talk about our influences in terms of other musicians and artists that we admire. I think as we’ve grown as a band and as people, we find our influences coming from other places. Life is way more complicated now because of

technology and social media. Just getting out of the house and away from computer screens to enjoy a walk in the park, or a drive in the countryside, or to enjoy listening to some music without a constant distraction is very calming and inspiring, and having a clear head and calm in your life allows creative ideas to get through smoothly and intact. Inspiration can come from anywhere so long as you’re able to see it and take it in. But I doubt it can happen while spending hours each day on a social media platform.

There has been a lot of media coverage about artists banning phones from their gigs recently. What are your views on this? I don’t like banning things like that, and I don’t like telling people what to do. However, phones and chatting in concerts is hugely annoying for those who want to listen. And it’s rude to the performers too, particularly if the band are trying to play quietly and create an intimate moment in their show. So rather than banning phones, I’d like to see more signs in venues, reminding people that they are there to enjoy the music and that they have a responsibility to be nice and considerate. Are there any bands – new or old – that you’re particularly enjoying at the moment? There is so much good stuff around at the moment! We’re spoilt for choice. I recently discovered a band called Ought, who reside in Canada. They remind me a lot of The Fall. The debut Orielles album is sounding fresh, and I recently fell in love with Bon Iver’s 22 A Million album. It’s a work of staggering, beautiful genius and it’s on repeat daily!

And, finally, next year will see the 21st anniversary of your debut album, The Good Will Out, one of your three number one albums; do you have any plans to celebrate that in style? We’re throwing around our ideas of how to commemorate the album. We’re looking into a deluxe box set version with orchestral scores, unseen photos, bonus audio material etc. Plus, a run of gigs too. I’m certain that we and our fans will be celebrating this together in style.

We are famed for writing anthems but our albums cover so much more than that. And that's a result of that freedom to explore and trust in the people you are writing with.”


Better Than That EP

“ One huge lesson I've learnt from being in

a band this long it's to enjoy it. It's so easy to be overly precious and uptight and totally miss the incredible life and career you happen to have been blessed with.�




“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


Oliver Cunningham


Richard Humphreys

Morgan Rhodes

Jon Moore


Louise Brown

Poppy Payne



Gigglewater Catherine Monahan is the CEO and Founder of Gigglewater Productions Ltd, the new alcoholic beverage and lifestyle brand on the scene, taking Ibiza and now the world by storm, one bubble at a time. From the wines, to the bubblies, events and retreats, Catherine promises quality-driven, interesting, useful, upbeat products that reflects Gigglewater's mission of making balanced living a little bit easier and a load more fun. Intrigued to jump on the bandwagon (and off the wagon!), we caught up with Catherine to find out her story and what this Gigglewater is all about.

How did it all begin and how did the name Gigglewater come about? I've been in the wine business for many years - from 2002 and worked for big retailers like Sainsburys and Tesco, leading world distributors like Hardys/Constellation Brands and my own business creating private label brands for big UK supermarkets and pub groups and globally - creating bespoke blends, labels and so on. I also launched and ran a company like Dragon's Den but for wine - Winestars World - where we put winemakers/wineries in direct sales contact through bespoke events in China, Europe, UK.

“ We are about

to support Love Ibiza Now cleaning up plastic off the beaches.�

Gigglewater came about one and a half years ago, when I was designing a brand concept for a client about the Prohibition Speakeasy era in the USA in the 1920's and I came across a photo of 3 girls in black and white bathing suits on a diving board which said "Gigglewater - An Intoxicating Beverage". I thought what a great name for a global sparkling wine brand - that the word Gigglewater could be synonymous to Sparkling wine as Dyson is for vacuum cleaners and Sellotape is for tape, Perrier is for sparkling water etc. The other thing that came to me was that there is not enough BALANCE in the wine industry or in life when it comes to consuming alcohol etc. With mental health such an important topic and eating right, drinking in moderation, the girls balancing on the diving board made me think about Living Life in Balance. And so our key ethos is about that - Health & Happiness, Live! Love! Sparkle! Life is about celebrating, not escaping...


I wanted to create a brand that brought young people into wine as well - that wasn't about wine - that was about lifestyle, giving back, having fun, bringing all ages of people together - at the end of the day when you're 70 you still feel young - life is about what you make of it, it's EXPERIENTIAL... it's about innovation, change, it's about living it to the full and meeting people, travel, experiencing magical things and that's what we are about. We are also all about giving back to community - that's what inspires me personally - think Global, act Local... so we give a % of our profits to an orphanage in Bali where we are expanding on the school and creating a meditation room for the kids - there are a 137 who all lost their mums and dads in a volcanic eruption and also working on a Nepal Water project in future. In Ibiza we support the Ibiza Preservation Fund, Ibiza Quills, and we are about to support Love Ibiza Now cleaning up plastic off the beaches.

How has your company grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your business’ success? It's a strange one - I have worked for big retailers and distributors and done normal private labels in the past but I think because there is soul in this, because we have thought about the consumer before the product, that there is an essence of feeling in the brand, that people feel without knowing why. It's also about people just feeling happy knowing that health and happiness are key to life. Within 3 months of us launching we had the Oscars in the USA asking us to


to other places in the world. And you can't get too precious about it looking as perfect as your main brand look. I know all the big boys want the family look, but from working a lot and meeting a lot of people across China I realised that we can't be corporate with our branding - we have to be flexible and listen to our distributors and the consumer. We have won best sparkling wine in the world 3 times in Canada in the past 6 months - beating leading names like Bottega and Dr Loosen so we're super grateful. We have also won Peoples' Choice at a lot of festivals so obviously the style works for consumers. We believe in being beautiful inside and outside of pack.

be a main sponsor and the same for all the leading consumer mags in the UK - we just didn't have enough stock to give away free! What's been amazing is that the consumer has come to us, has loved our social media because we try to be real, we try not to look contrived or created and a lot of our new customers/global and UK retailers have found us via social media, which was a surprise for me. Having Waitrose - as the UK's leading premium food and drinks retailer take us on board from the beginning was such a treat. The buyer Victoria Mason has believed in the brand from the start and her support has been amazing. We have grown from 60 stores to near 250 within 9 months with our Gigglewater cans and are truly grateful to have Waitrose as a key partner.

“ Health &

Happiness, Live! Love! Sparkle! Life is about celebrating, not escaping...â€?Â

That aside, it's understanding the client or the consumer - understanding their market and the support they need/want. Delivering on time and if anything goes wrong, making sure to always communicate and update the situation. Also to understand different cultures - for example, what consumers in China want from packaging is very different


At what point did you recognise the success of your business and the brand / product? I don't think I/the business realises that yet. It's always a moveable feat of trying to better ourselves, new products, innovation that adds value and truly listening to consumers and thinking of new things that they might love. I think it's less about success but more about creating relevant, engaging products that people love and want to come back and buy more of and then giving back to the world. Being a recognised brand now, what partnerships with other UK and international brands helped raise your exposure in those early days of the Gigglewater journey ? Yes the partnerships we have made and partnered with have helped - we choose carefully as we want to be associated with things that are about living a life of creativity - whether that be through wine, art, music, dance, poetry, protecting the environment etc. So everything we sponsor is about nurturing creativity in the human soul and about making the world a better place through supporting funds/charities/events that feel the same. We are here for such a short time on this planet that need to feel a sense of purpose - all of us... We work with the British Film Festival, Benevolent Drinks Charity UK which has a magical campaign on mental health launching; supporting/ building the meditation room for the Bali Orphanage mentioned above, the Ibiza foundations mentioned above, charities in the UK that feed the hungry and more to come.



best distributor partners around the world, which we now have in China, Spain, Ibiza, Canada, UK, Sweden, soon USA, Denmark, Australia, South Africa.

How do you stay relevant and current and continuously meet your consumer needs? We are always reading, researching, watching consumer behaviour across different age groups. We don't believe in buying databases or research reports created by people who have a subjective or motive for the answer to their report.  We do our own research globally by country and we work with leading people within the regions/countries to help us on current trends. We also use gut instinct to understand what people want, we look at what works outside of wine (from colour to textures etc) and we watch what is going on in leading travel destinations from food to wine, to needs and more... 

And how has the advent of social media impacted on you? Social media is something that we can love or hate but it's there. We all want connection and whilst the best forms of connection are human one to one, social media has given us all a route to connect globally, which has many positive aspects.  Our social media platforms have brought buyers and retailers and consumers direct to us, which we are very grateful for and is one of the main reasons we are launching a direct to consumer wine business in the UK. Social media is not about talking about yourself. It's about being relevant, being meaningful and creating content and engaging with people in a way that adds value to their moment, their day, their business, their thoughts and more. Be real, be authentic.

Which project/s are you really excited about for 2018? 2018 - Traveling around the world, learning a lot more about new places to sell our products, what people want by location, what the new trends are globally by speaking to real people not people in focus groups. By looking at what is going on in younger age groups as well as older age groups who are doing a lot more traveling and living life in the now... how we can tap into that etc. Looking at non-alcoholic wines which we keep getting asked for, new ranges of global sparkling wines, a JV partnership with a dear friend and artist Victor Spinnelli called SPiN Ibiza craft beer;

The team must be pretty large these days. How many people are now part of the Gigglewater machine? We have tried to keep it tight at the beginning because we wanted to invest in the brand and we want to have the right people on board. Our goal is to have the best people on board in Ibiza (brand home) and London and then to have the



a huge expansion of our Direct to Consumer Online Gigglewater Members Club in the UK and Ibiza, our second "Live Life in Balance" Giggling Buddha Retreats in Ibiza in Sept 2018 and more. We are also working on some exciting new product development projects to be launched second half of this year, including our own canning plant in the UK and some amazing new products.

What makes you so different to other brands within your industry? Explain to our readers what sets Gigglewater so far apart in the market? I think it's about putting the consumer first. We have a product that is relevant in peoples' lives - our cans are perfect for festivals, at home, mixers to make cocktails, on the train home, concerts, beach and more. Our Gigglewater Prosecco DOC in bottle has won best sparkling wine in the world 3 times in a tough market like Canada and also Consumers' Choice awards and more. We pride ourselves on making sure what we choose to be in the bottle is as good as outside the bottle. We also believe in making new products that are innovative and relevant and you will see more from us in that sector. Most importantly we want to be creating fun products that people love and want and need and that they know are giving back to the earth and making a difference.

“ We want to be

creating fun products that people love and want and need and that they know are giving back to the earth and making a difference.”

How has the link between the UK and Ibiza helped your business? Do you feel the two countries high creativity levels have contributed to your success? Ibiza and London are very different but what does connect them is an essence of

no judgement and freedom. It's hard to see this across all of London as it's so diverse but you see now places like Shoreditch/Hoxton etc that are allowing people to just BE. This is Ibiza's essence.. a place of BALANCE and FREEDOM.. if you choose it - a place where there are no boundaries - where the boundaries are your own... where you can be totally you, be free, love, feel, express, create and more.  The true essence of life is to love, to create, to give and we love Ibiza as our home... For more information, visit




Women Uncork the champagne! Dress to kill! Party like there’s no tomorrow!

Photos by Jim Carey


elebrating 20 diamanté decorated years, The Lady Boys of Bangkok ‘Wonder Women’ Tour is heading to the Sabai Pavilion, Victoria Gardens, Brighton from 4th May to the 3rd June 2018. Taking the UK’s number one cabaret show to a new level, you’ll be treated some of your favourites from the last 20 glorious years re-imagined, added to new scenes of spectacular costumes, choreography and – of course – hilarious comedy!

Wonder Women celebrates in style with iconic appearances including Cher, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Diana Ross, Pink, Shirley Bassey, even Wonder Woman herself and the “practically perfect in every way” Mary Poppins! From Comic Con to the catwalk… the silver screen to the stage… this year’s show has it all. The Lady Boys of Bangkok is a cabaret like no other cabaret performed by gorgeous showgirls like no other showgirls - they are all MALE Thai nationals... apart from Trevor.  He comes from Oldham and is known to audiences up and down the country as – “the little guy.”

44 44

The eye-catching Sabai Pavilion provides a spacious yet intimate cabaret venue like no other. To enter the foyer is to step through the looking glass. You find yourself instantly transported to the exotic surroundings of Bangkok – greeted by the enticing aromas of freshly prepared Thai cuisine and an atmosphere charged with excitement and wonder. There are also two well-stocked bars to keep the drinks flowing and the party going. Tickets start at £22.50 for adults or £17 for students, with premium and platinum upgrades available. You can purchase meals when booking tickets and if you're organising an office night out or a Maid of Honour sorting out the Bride's send off be sure to have a look at the discounts and offers available for groups and Hen Parties.   'Gandey World Class Productions' are the ones to thank for bringing this riot of glitz and glamour to Brighton year after year.  For more than 40 years they have staged some of the World’s most famous shows and memorable productions in cities across the world.  The impressive portfolio also


includes The Chinese State Circus, Cirque Surreal, Spirit of the Horse and Fist of the Dragon. Not only are 'Gandey World Class Productions' synonymous with producing exquisite shows, they can also be proud of their charitable credentials.  Last year the Lady Boys tour raised over £18,000.00 from audience collections for their chosen charity “Pattaya Street Kids Support Project” which helps slum children in Pattaya with support and education.   So what are you waiting for?  Book now for a night you’ll never forget with the Lady Boys of Bangkok as they flirt, tease and tempt.  Laugh, enjoy and sing your heart out like you are at a party with hundreds of friends you’ve yet to meet.  It's deliciously naughty, risqué but never risky and a show that you hope won’t reach an end.  No one leaves without a smile on their face and a song in their heart. With special opening night discounts, 241 nights, there is no excuse to miss out on the party! For more information or to book tickets, please visit



You find yourself instantly transported to the exotic surroundings of Bangkok – greeted by the enticing aromas of freshly prepared Thai cuisine and an atmosphere charged with excitement and wonder.





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





L A N E S ,



IVY The spotlight has always shone bright on one of Britain's most cherished and respected theatre land restaurants; The Ivy in the heart of London's West End.


n 1917 Abel Giandellini opened the original site in the city's theatre district as an unlicensed, unassuming Italian cafe. Legend states that actress Alice Delysia made a comment to "Monsieur Abel" in order to put him at ease whilst building works were taking place to enhance his restaurant. Delysia stated 'We will cling together like the Ivy' and there The Ivy was born. Theatrical glamour of the 1920s filled the venue with actors, producers, writers and creatives. This became a firm favourite theatre restaurant that did not alienate anyone and simply offered a faultless service in lavish surroundings. The foundations were set and so the tales began with stars such as Laurence Olivier frequenting this glorious restaurant with the reputation for consistent quality growing. It was, however, not until the 'naughty nineties' that this establishment became the place to be seen by the who’s who from all over the world. Jeremy King and Chris Corbin bought and renovated this gem, bringing new life and reviving its original success by polishing up on The Ivy essence. Specially commissioned art work and an emphasis on British tradition and cuisine made this place stand out from the rest. People from all over the world flocked to The Ivy and the demand for this experience resulted in a waiting list that went on for months.  In 2005 Richard Caring the current owner and renowned entrepreneur added The Ivy to his Caprice Holdings portfolio. Success has continued throughout the years despite economic and social change. Numerous competitive restaurants have popped up with few lasting the test of time.  Now 2018, the British dining scene has evolved and with more accessibility and less pretence it is clear that the desire for a finer dining experience is on the rise. Cities all over the United Kingdom are welcoming fantastic Michelin starred restaurants, so you no longer


have to travel to the big smoke for a fantastic meal or excuse to get dressed up. The Ivy decided to take a risk and share the unique magic of this iconic restaurant. The Ivy is steeped in history with glorious tales from creatives, celebrities, foodies and anyone wanting to experience the epitome of glamour and British refinement. Now the challenge had been set with the first of the The Ivy collection opening, expanding and sharing ‘The Ivy Magic’ around the United Kingdom whilst maintaining the finest hospitality, experience of luxury and gastronomic excellence. Having recently celebrated 100 years on the map, I was keen to speak with The Ivy Collections Executive Director of operations Yishay Malkov to discuss the current evolution of this iconic brand and the rapid nationwide roll out of Ivy brasseries, cafes and grills. The Ivy In the Lanes is the fourth opening for the collection this year, the first in Sussex and a truly welcome addition to Brighton's booming dining scene.  Since the launch of the first of The Ivy Collection in 2014, The Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden, there has been a rapid rollout across the country. How many more cafes and brasseries should we expect by the end of the year? We are aiming to open eight by the end of this year including obviously Brighton, Dublin, Winchester, Norwich, Canary Wharf, Manchester and Leeds. We zoom in on an area and then start looking for the right site and if we do not find the right site it may take up to

a year, two or three until we find the perfect location.

How are you ensuring ‘The Ivy magic' continues and what does this mean to you? When we opened the first of the collection in 2014, our main concern was how to stay true to what The Ivy is and we tried to encapsulate this and so talked a lot about accessible glamour. Everyday glamour is the ability to make something that is very special such as The Ivy that is known for being glamorous and exclusive into something that is still very glamorous, but inclusive. That is the magic. It is the ability to make every day glamorous. Is there a possibility this 'magic' will be dulled down as it is harder to control and there are great expectations from past, present and future guests? This is a relevant question that we ask ourselves at every opening and every day. And so you can imagine when we opened the first one we were very cautious and had to respond to the negative comments that we were going to ruin such a beautiful brand. A lot of it is to do with polishing the halo and we have to prove ourselves every time. We cannot possibly have one Ivy that is amazing and another that is not. People will judge you based on the last meal that they had. The perception of The Ivy brand these days is different to what it was four years ago and the understanding of what we are trying to do is more accepted and in some ways its easier for us to deliver it.

Everyday glamour is the ability to make something that is very special such as The Ivy that is known for being glamorous and exclusive into something that is still very glamorous, but inclusive.”


The Ivy is steeped in history with glorious tales from creatives, celebrities, foodies and anyone wanting to experience the epitome of glamour and British refinement



How do you differentiate yourself from other UK brasseries and cafes? We really avoid the cookie cutter trap and we have done well up to now with ensuring each of our collection is unique and local. Just by design and artwork on the wall, you will be able to find out geographically where you are. The fact that we can bring something special to the area that we come to sets us apart from our competitors. What led your team to choose Brighton? We have a strong team and their job is to locate the perfect location. Brighton was always on the radar from day one, but it’s not just the location. It took us two and a half years to find the perfect building. We are happy we waited for the post office in Ship Street as it’s the perfect place for us. We need a grand building with tall ceilings and this venue went hand in hand with what we were aiming to achieve. A grade 2 listed building full of history. 

Have you spent much time in Brighton? I have actually. I am originally from Israel, but my family brought me to Brighton when I was eight years old and I remember it from back then, particularly the pier and pavilion. I have many fond childhood memories. Since then I have come to visit twice a year. Brighton is this magical city on the shore and I have a very special connection with this city.

Have you dined here in Brighton? Yes I have dined at the Coal Shed a few times and 64 degrees is great! It depends on what I am in the mood for something serious or more relaxed. To be honest, recently it has been a case of grabbing something on the go, but there are so many wonderful places to eat and drink in Brighton. Is the menu for The Ivy Collection standardised across the board? We found when we initially opened up and we wanted to have individual menus for each location, people still tend to migrate towards the same plates, so we do have a core menu which is quite similar across the board, but guarantees consistency. A lot of it is the comfort of knowing what you are getting and not over complicating things. Allowing you to come in and just enjoy yourself and the surroundings. We do like using local produce, particularly when it comes to the drinks and


with Brighton's incredible central bar as a focal point we will be doing some special things with local suppliers.

Is there anything from this menu that you would recommend? My favourite is the duck curry. I just absolutely love it! We sell a lot of fish & chips, shepherds pie and the burgers are very popular because they are simple and excellently executed. Just a really good burger! When simple things are made well, you cannot go wrong. Brighton is a seaside town and perhaps more relaxed than other locations. Will you expect the same dress code? Times have changed and even the dress code at the original Ivy in West Street London is now smart casual. The Ritz is probably the only public place where you still have to wear a jacket and a tie. Most places are now smart casual and that can mean a lot of different things to different people. Whatever makes you feel happy. We want you to come in and feel comfortable in your own skin and feel happy in the surroundings that you are and that works for us.

Will The Ivy's famous hospitality and service continue throughout? Old school hospitality is coming back. Your waiter will not sit with you and discuss their personal life. Old school hospitality is about making people feel welcome, comfortable, happy and allowing them to have a laugh and a drink and not feel too self conscious. Making the place hospitable!

Do you have a favourite in the collection? The first incarnation of what we hoped The Ivy Collection could be will always have a special place in my heart. It is so unassuming and understated. The Covent Garden Market Grill is special to me and delivers so well. Plus I was the General Manager there, so I was very involved. How have your loyal clients taken to the expansion? The toughest moments were when we opened the first. To switch from one to two was the biggest shock to the system for the


old Ivy clientele and it was justifiable. Their fears disappeared once it was understood what we were trying to achieve and that we were not trying to recreate the original Ivy. There is only one and it is 101 years old and we can never replicate, but we can make it a tiny bit more democratic. Is there anything about The Ivy in the Lanes that we should look out for or any part of the design that you particularly like? This venue is incredible and there is a Brighton tongue in cheek glamour. It is a lot more colourful than the rest, the grand central bar is show stopping. The ladies room is pretty spectacular too and very glamorous - it will knock your socks off!! Brighton is very unique and we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved. The Ivy is quintessentially British and as A.A Gill wrote 'In Morning at The Ivy' 'The Ivy is a romantic place. A modern living, poets corner' and that magic is currently being sprinkled across the country with a splendid, awe inspiring venue that spurs your imagination and welcomes all. A superb establishment built on integrity and tradition and now sensitively being seasoned from coast to coast. The Ivy Collection has found a winning formula. Taking the fundamental attributes of the original, but making this dining experience attainable to all. Sussex now has The Ivy in the Lanes and it is a blossoming beauty with dreamy floral wall print, high ceilings, mirrored walls and luxurious booths that you can dine in for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The evolution of The Ivy brand is exciting, but rest assured The Ivy's core values remain the same, as Yishay said the collection is about accessible glamour. The Ivy has always been full of dreams and aspiration and this legacy is simply spreading further afield and accommodating the next generation.  Now in one of Brighton's most historic buildings, you can become a part of this exceptional history whilst being treated to an exceptional experience. Lindsay Katherine Hills 01273 082200 51a Ship Street, Brighton

The Ivy Collection has found a winning formula. Taking the fundamental attributes of the original, but making this dining experience attainable to all.




We offer incredible new versions of food and drink that you might find familiar. We have sodas made in house with some help from our centrifuge machine. They have around one tenth of the sugar of regular sodas. Our cocktails are crafted with loving care using house made essences, bitters and artisanal spirits. Some of our cakes have no added sugar. Some are completely dairy free. We are really proud of our velvety, house made, organic cashew and tiger nut milk blend.

Our coffee has to be tasted to be believed. We only use the best butter, virgin coconut oil (for our many non dairy/vegan creations) and extra virgin olive oil for dressing. Our tea is brewed in clean glass, to the perfect temperature. Everything we have is completely free of gluten. That's right, everything. Even our house made sourdough, sweet bakes and our buttermilk fried chicken. Our aim is excellence as standard. We make super food for super people.

PLEASE PAY US A VISIT 99 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER 01273 620 036

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.



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.

The Urchin Pub in Hove

11| 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.


Terre a terre

9| 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.

Senor Buddha

13| Senor Buddha is a contemporary restaurant located in the up and coming area of London Road in the quirky coastal town of Brighton. Since its opening in 2015 it quickly became a popular destination for food-loving locals as well as tourists. The restaurant has won several awards and was featured in the dining out section of the Financial Times.







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.




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.




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.


To celebrate the inaugural edition of Absolute Sussex, we decided to go on a tour of some of the best bars in the county! Here’s what we found..

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









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.





Coffee, Cocktails, Cake and Crazy in the heart of Brighton's South Lanes




The Marwood


Take a step into another world, or rather a very Eastern Europe styled bohemian café. Our very own caffeine addict took a visit and unlike the reviews on their website, instantly fell in love with the place.

Q. Tell us a little on the Ethos of The Marwood? Marwood was first set up by Richard Grills. Following some time in Australia and on return to Brighton, Rich felt that the coffee scene was very much either generic chains or speciality. Marwood aimed to offer great coffee, without the fuss and as he would put it “silver service in jeans”

To people who haven’t been before, if we had to sum it up, Marwood aims be a place for nice strangers to get a decent coffee (or something stronger!) and meet fellow nice strangers. You can have a chat with the regulars or work upstairs in our laptop room alone. The only rules we follow here are plainly stated on the entrance as you walk in. Q. The decor is very flamboyant. Who's behind this concept? That would be the allusive and extremely talented mind of Aunty Steve, he likes to remain a little anonymous, but he has over the years created something that by all accounts is as beautiful as it is completely unique. Without doubt the true unsung hero

We feel lucky to live and work in a city that accept and embraces creativity and difference. That’s a big part of why Marwood started in Brighton.”



of both Marwood and Presuming Ed and we would be lost without him. Q. Where do you source your coffee beans? We use the super talented guys as Cast Iron Coffee. Check out their website to order some tasty beans or give them a call for some expert advice on what to buy.

Q. What's the most common coffee order? It changes, but last month is was a Latte.

Q. Are your cakes homemade? How dare you suggest otherwise :) Our cakes are the loving creations of Lois, who is Head of all things delicious and sweet at Marwood. Over the years we have always tried to listen to feedback from our customers, so now we make sure that we offer a selection of vegan and gluten free options. Check on the day to see what we have as cakes change weekly.

Q. When does coffee turn into cocktails? Is there a different daytime/evening vibe? Good question, it’s hard to say. We try to make the atmosphere work to who is here and what is going on. Some nights you might find a relaxed, chilled environment with couples drinking cocktails and some nights you’ll find a full on dance party. We have DJ’s every Friday from 7pm -11pm and on Saturday’s the bar team have been known to throw on some 80’s bangers. We are licenced from 11am - 11pm and have a great selection of craft beers on tap and in the fridge, as well as our (award winning) cocktails of course.

Q. Who's behind the cocktail chemistry? That would be the Dragon, a man of few words and beautiful aprons. Previously bar manager at the award winning Merkaba, myhotel, the man knows a thing or two about how to mix a drink. You will find him behind the bar almost every evening and always willing to guide you through the drinks list. All our cocktails are served from 3pm every day and the Espresso Martini is a solid favourite. Our list changes almost every week with at 6 drinks at £6.50. For example right now we have a collaboration cocktail with Boho Gelato, which is a Lillet Blanc and black forest fruit sorbet, which we then top with prosecco. This follows up on a previous colab we did with them last year turning an Aperol Spritz into a gelato. Like our coffee we want our drinks to taste great and not be overly complicated.

Q. Can we book a private party in The Marwood? Why yes you can! We offer the upstairs of Marwood for groups between 2045 people and full venue private hires at our sister site Presuming Ed’s. What people enjoy about our booking terms is that there is no room hire fee or minimum spend. If you are interested in finding out more email harry@

Q. Can you see The Marwood working anywhere else other than Brighton? Having been publicly voted Brighton’s Most Brighton venue 2 years running I have to be a little careful what I say here...We feel lucky to live and work in a city that accept and embraces creativity and difference. That’s a big part of why Marwood started in Brighton and continues to feel like a perfect fit for the city. We would love to see others taking the core concept of Marwood and reimagine it in another city.

Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse 52 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF

Presuming Ed Coffeehouse 114-115 London Road Brighton BN1 4JG



64 64




STARRY Nights ‘Once you have tasted the taste of sky you will look up forever’ as Leonardo DaVinci once said and although he was referring to the arts, now Brighton’s British Airways i360 is making this statement come to life!


igh altitude dining has launched on the south coast and you can now enjoy a culinary experience 450ft above sea level. Launching this spring, Brighton’s glass observation pod is being transformed into a world class dining room. Complete with a three course meal, jazz, the finest local sparkling wine and a spectacular view, this is taking dining to a whole new level and breaking the confinements of conventional restaurants. The British Airways i360 was created by the same team that designed the London eye Mark Barfields Architects. Despite the initial controversy against building the ultra modern 162m on Brighton’s Victorian promenade, two years down the line this 360 degree observation deck is loved by both residents and visitors. Carrying a whopping 175 passengers and departing every 30 minutes, this circular space gives panoramic views that are truly breath taking. Given the pod’s circular capacity, it was not long before the team soon realised that this spectacular space should and could be utilised to give the ultimate aerial dining experience. It was only last year that the idea was conceived and since then, the team have perfected the evening from a cuisine that would work to the entertainment that would complement the evening and the views. I was invited to the official launch April 26th to dine in the clouds and whilst I have been aboard the pod several times, I did not expect for this unique experience to take my breath away. Arriving at 18:30 the red carpet roll out was a welcoming start to my evening. Drinks were served at the sea level bar and the buzz in the air was electric. Twenty minutes before sunset we were all called to board the pod for our flight. There are three consecutive 25 minute


flights each with a different course and a 10 minute break in the middle to freshen up. As the night unfolded it was pure magic to watch Brighton & Hove’s seafront evolve. A jazz singer swooned in the background and fairy lights added to the alluring ambience. Our round table seated eight and whilst we were a larger group, there were smaller tables to accommodate more intimate groups or romantic tables for two for those special date nights. As we reached the top of the tower, our mackerel parfait with pea shoots and garlic crostini was served. Beautifully presented with understated elegance. A top notch starter! The cost of Sky Dining on the British Airways i360 is £85. This includes a three course meal a half bottle of wine and tea or coffee.  I was intending to challenge the price, however my experience from start to finish along with the excellent standard of food, attentive hosts and fantastic entertainment left me feeling that the price was justified. Also this is more of an exclusive night out for a special occasion and creating one off memorable experiences are priceless in my opinion.  As I indulged in my Parfait it was not until I looked up that I realised everyone was standing and taking photos of the glorious, ethereal sunset that surrounded us and it truly was a surreal moment of beauty. I felt like a child, giddy with excitement and for once breaking my rule and using my phone whilst in a restaurant. This is definitely the one exception to my rule! The views were magnificent and having my senses heighten was exhilarating. Lovely flavours, sounds and sights. I simply wanted to share with the world! The wine and conversation flowed and as the pod lowered for a second time it was my opportunity to head inside and powder my


nose. It did momentarily feel like a mad dash, but the team were incredibly professional and calm and assured me that they would not take off with out me. Again, slowly gliding high into the sky and at a pace so steady, I did not realise that we had reached the great heights. The second course was delicious. A succulent breast of chicken, potatoes and roasted baby carrots. Beautifully cooked, which is no mean feat given that meals are transported from the kitchen to the pod then into the air and presented flawlessly.  A few guests commented that they felt they were at a wedding reception and less fine dining, but I found the whole experience to be on another level. Unpretentious, exquisite and hospitality second to none. Our final flight took off and I can say that I did not want the evening to end. Experiencing this stunning city and watching the glistening ocean disappear to the night sky, only to be followed by the spectacular sparkling night lights below was less of a novelty and more a sophisticated evening in a spectacular structure, overlooking my beloved Sussex. This chic contemporary dining experience is perfect for any special occasion allowing us to dine whilst viewing the stunning landscape below. It is delightful, unique and a truly memorable way to enjoy a fantastic meal made with local ingredients that is unlike any other dining experience in Sussex.  The British Airways i360 have created the height of luxury and I was truly enchanted and now we can taste the taste of the sky thanks to our very own sky pod. Lindsay Katherine Hills

















THE STONEHAM PUB Portland road . Hove . BN3 5QJ 01273 383840

ALL Pizza £5.00




ISAAC AT Well and truly tucked away on Brighton’s Gloucester Street sits the award-winning and critically acclaimed fine dining restaurant Isaac At. Now in its third year of trading and having recently climbed up a couple of notches claiming number 12 at Brighton’s top 20 restaurants awards, we figured it about time we checked the place out, and I am so glad we did. The whole experience was nothing short of spectacular, and not to be missed.


rriving on a particularly cold evening and shuffling through the door with about 20 layers on, we received the warmest of greetings from Alex the front of house manager and waiter Colin, who were extremely patient as we de-robed. We were the firsts guests of the evening to arrive and the kitchen, which is the first thing you see as you walk in, was already a hive of activity, with Head Chef and proprietor Isaac busily and expertly going about making preparations for the evening ahead. As we were shown to our seats we had the chance to take in our surroundings. Alex explained they have been open since March 2015 but had recently renovated in August. The intimate space seats around 20 and that evening was laid out as tables of two or four with wooden details such as cutlery stands with enough perfectly polished silverware to keep you supplied throughout the evening. The menus were beautifully presented in rolls and tied with twine and a tag explains the restaurant’s ethos and passion for quality locally sourced ingredients and experimenting to create an ever evolving menu for our pleasure. All of which would become apparent throughout the evening. The décor is homely and welcoming and you are immediately drawn to the televisions in the corners of the room which display various camera views of the kitchen and preparation area. A great touch albeit a brave one!


The menu, once unravelled, reveals three pages. The first is the actual menu, with each dish simply described with just the main ingredients. A list of all the ingredients being used throughout the night and where and how far they have come from follows and finally there is the drinks menu, which when studied you can see that everything is locally sourced. Taking a recommendation from Alex, we started off the evening with a wonderfully crisp sparkling Ridgeview Merret Bloomsbury from Ditchling. No sooner than it was delivered, one of the chefs appeared from the kitchen and presented us with a petite bowl of carrot and cider vinegar with rapeseed oil to sip on. I must admit this didn’t sound too appetising to me but it went down a treat. Wonderfully sweet and buttery smooth. Absolute nectar! The first of seven courses arrived as other dinner guests began to enter. Scallops, Horseradish and apple. The freshest, melt in your mouth scallops criss-crossed with thin strips of apple with droplets of horseradish and speckled with dehydrated scallop roe, which allows them to use the whole fish. An absolute delight! I expected the horseradish to overpower the other subtle flavours on the plate, but it was so smooth it complimented and exaggerated the essence of the main attraction. Sublime! We hadn’t finished marvelling over how impressed we were with the first dish when


the second was humbly presented by one of the young chefs. Roast Carrot and Coriander. Slow roasted for three hours, with a heavily dehydrated centre which gives the carrot a meaty texture, blackened and intertwined with coriander branches. Served with a cold carrot puree which added an extra dimension to this hearty and soothing dish! Who would have thought such a glorious dish could be created out of a lowly carrot! In between courses Alex brought us out some warm treacle and stout loaf with South-Downs butter, and I have to say I have never tasted bread like it. Crunchy mahogany coloured crust reveals a complex yeasty but subtly sweet flavour with a background hit of hearty stout. This is complimented oh so well by the deliciously creamy SouthDowns butter. Seeing our empty fizz glasses, Alex probed us to see if we were ready for a bottle of wine, and as he had been spot on with our first drink we asked him to recommend one. No disappointment here! Alex brought us a fantastic 2013 East-Sussex Davenport Pinot Noir which he said tasted of blue cheese as he poured us a taster… This made me rather dubious but what we got was an astonishingly good drop of wine! A light, fresh, but somewhat earthy rose that did indeed have a strange, but not at all unpleasant blue cheese after-taste. Apparently exclusively sold to Isaacs by the vineyard and only 120 bottles left in existence.

The menus were beautifully presented in rolls and tied with twine and a tag explains the restaurant’s ethos and passion for quality locally sourced ingredients and experimenting to create an ever evolving menu for our pleasure.



The next plate of food was definitely a stood out to me. Pork Belly, Smoked Broccoli, Kohlrabi and Blackened Cabbage. Everything in this dish worked. The Pork was incredibly rich in flavour and succulent, cooked to perfection, the blackened cabbage grounding it even more so. The smoked broccoli puree subtly enhancing the meaty essence and the Kohlrabi giving it a satisfying twang. Incredible. This is where I have to mention how attentive Alex and Colin were to everyone in the room. Absolute masters of their craft, not once were we left with empty glasses, and keen to impart their quite frankly astounding knowledge about the menu, though never intrusive with it. The way they made sure everything ran smoothly and coordinated with the kitchen whilst ensuring every guest was having a good time was really something to behold. The next “main course” to appear was Roast Chicken and Chestnut Mushroom. Sounds simple enough right? Of course not. A masterpiece of a dish where again everything works in harmony to produce an amazing flavour. Wonderfully tender and flavoursome free range corn-fed chicken breast decorated with both cooked and raw mushrooms which immediately added an extra dimension. Chestnut mushroom ketchup and chicken jus accompanied. A fantastic end to the savouries. Now on to the sweets… First up, a Bramley Apple and Sumac Sorbet. Sumac being a lemony Middle Eastern herb was a surprising addition, you would think this was not in-keeping with the restaurants passion for locally sourced produce. However Alex explained it grows wild as an alien species in the local Sussex countryside and they have a forager who goes out to pick it for them. A wonderful light, refreshing and zesty palate-cleanser which prepared our taste buds for the next desert, which we all agreed was a force to be reckoned with. Walnut Ice-Cream, Caramelised and Butter-Apple, topped with warm caramelised crumble and finished off with a wonderfully sweet and invigorating butter apple puree.


There was so much going on with flavours, textures and temperatures. Every bite an adventure. A masterpiece. Last but not least we were given a Rhubarb and Almond drizzle cake. Soaked in syrup, with a crunchy crust and a warm gooey centre. Washed down with an espresso. A perfect satisfying end to the evening. Isaac at, is quite simply perfection. The team were exceptional, and worked energetically and harmoniously throughout the evening. Every course consistently excellent, with a huge variety of flavours and textures with a great deal of thought going into the presentation and composition of the dishes. Their unwavering commitment to sourcing the very best local ingredients is commendable. The menu changes weekly, usually swapping out a dish a week. They cater for all dietary requirements and I had a look at the vegetarian and vegan menus and they are in-keeping with the menu we had, with just the odd ingredient substituted. I am certain they will climb the list at the next Brighton’s top restaurants awards, perhaps even claiming the number 1 spot. Tony Shattell 2-3 Gloucester Street Brighton 07765 934740


The team were exceptional, and worked energetically and harmoniously throughout the evening. Every course consistently excellent, with a huge variety of flavours and textures with a great deal of thought going into the presentation and composition of the dishes.




THE SET After three hugely successful years at Brighton’s trendy Artists Residence hotel, the team behind The Set have been making some exciting changes.


aking over the hotel’s entire food and beverage operation, January saw the launch of their new seasonallyfocussed cocktail lounge, The Fix (formerly The Cocktail Shack), as well as the rebranding of the Set Café as The Set Bar, with a new relaxed and informal tapas-style all-day snacking menu to counterpoint the restaurant’s more formal three seasonal set menu option. In addition to this, later in the year they’ll be opening an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy all this alfresco! Plus there’s a new breakfast offering in the pipeline too! We at Absolute got wind of all this, and in the interest of journalism figured it was our duty to go check out the new menu, and of course a couple of cheeky cocktails. Here’s how it went: Having frequented the Cocktail Shack on occasion, I had an idea of what to expect from the latest incarnation of the Artists Residence hotel bar, and was pleasantly surprised by the venue’s facelift. The gaudy corrugated iron Caribbean inspired rum shack, and film-themed cocktail puns are no more! They seem to have gone for a trendier, cosier feel, however I was pleased to see some of the fantastic neon artwork remained. We were greeted by the bar manager Sergio, who was busy gracefully and expertly going about his craft, allowing us the chance to peruse the menu of very inventive and unusual drinks The Fix had to offer that evening. Sergio explained to us that, where possible, ingredients from The Set kitchen form the basis of the cocktail menu so as to minimise waste. That would certainly explain the “Carrot Iced Tea” and “Rhubarb Spritz”,


which we simply had to try! Who would have thought having a carrot as the basis of a cocktail would be so delicious. It was heavenly to drink, and I loved nibbling on the cinnamon spiced carrot decoration! The Rhubarb Spritz was equally decadent with the rhubarb giving the drink a wonderful tang, offset by the adorning creamy foam. The best thing about The Fix menu, however, was that by using the ingredients from The Set kitchen, the cocktail menu will naturally evolve with the seasons. I can’t wait to see what spring and summer have to offer! Finishing our drinks, feeling a bit boozy and contemplating how I’ll never tire of the fantastic view from the huge bay windows of Regency Square and the i360, we decided it was time to follow our noses and head next door into The Set Bar. The smells emanating from the kitchen were simply too hard to resist. Settling into our seats and, by this time salivating from the delicious aromas teasing us with what was to come, we were taken through the menu by Daisy who took us who recommended we chose up to five dishes, and not to worry if we couldn’t make our mind up as she was happy to come back so we could order more. The impressive menu boasts an extensive range of hot and cold dishes, locally sourced cheeses and charcuterie, and some very tempting “puddings”. The seasonality of the ingredients apparent with root vegetables seem to form a basis of many of the choices from the hot food menu. Also apparent was how reasonably priced the dishes are. With plates averaging around £4.00, accessibility seems to have been a key consideration to this well thought-out menu.


From the drinks menu, which was equally well thought out with a select range of delicious sounding wines and craft beers, I selected a “Salty Kiss” by Magic Rock. This is a fantastic Gooseberry sour beer, bursting with flavour. My companion plumped for the house white, which was a rather superb Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. We were tempted by another cocktail, particularly enticed by the Aperitif “Buttermilk Hardshake” made with buttermilk, orange, orange blossom and rum, but decided to play it safe as I needed to remember the experience for this write-up, and was already feeling a little woozy from the cocktail we had next door in The Fix. We ordered, and the first dishes came out within minutes. It had been a while since we had eaten oysters so were pleased when they were first to arrive, and more so when presented with some of the plumpest, most flavoursome oysters I have ever tasted. Matt, the chef who appeared from the kitchen to deliver our food explained they were from Maldon and specially selected for quality and flavour. Drizzled in Ponzu to further enhance the taste, which really stops with you. We were ready to order some more when the second plate arrived. Which I am pleased to say made us forget about ordering more oysters, as we were presented with another winner! Raw slithers of fresh trout flavoured with orange and fennel. Tangy and refreshing, with the orange not overpowering the fish, further enhanced by the aromatic fennel. We ordered, and the first dishes came out within minutes. It had been a while since we had eaten oysters so were pleased when they were first to arrive, and more so when presented with some of the plumpest, most

flavoursome oysters I have ever tasted. Matt, the chef who appeared from the kitchen to deliver our food explained they were from Maldon and specially selected for quality and flavour. Drizzled in Ponzu to further enhance the taste, which really stops with you. We were ready to order some more when the second plate arrived. Which I am pleased to say made us forget about ordering more oysters, as we were presented with another winner! Raw slithers of fresh trout flavoured with orange and fennel. Tangy and refreshing, with the orange not overpowering the fish, further enhanced by the aromatic fennel. The first of our hot dishes arrived; the “Squid Bun” which was basically a squid burger, but with a fantastic earthy roast garlic aioli which smelt and tasted divine! Served in a light malty brioche made on site, it had a salty kick and complimented the earthiness of the fresh roast garlic. This was quickly followed by Miso leeks, which my companion selected as she is “generally not a fan” of leeks but wanted to “broaden her horizons”. I’m glad she did as this was a particular favourite of mine. The Miso softened the strong flavour of the leeks and the sunflower seeds further rounded off this dish and brought it down to earth. The final hot dish to arrive was the Pig Cheek with Hummus, and we saved the best till last. Perfectly cooked tender and flavoursome meat melted in the mouth to release the full flavour, complimented by a wonderfully nutty hummus and drizzled with a rich tangy jus. Dessert was a lot of fun! We decided to share a couple of malted marshmallows which were coated in a crispy sugary glaze and wonderfully gooey in the middle; a real treat which took me back to my childhood, camping with cub scouts. We also shared a rhubarb cheesecake, which was served upside down in a glass, with the rhubarb in the base, the creamy cheese bit in the middle, and topped with the biscuit and pieces of honeycomb. Having the crumbly bit at the top made it really fun and messy to eat. A great way to finish the night and made the whole evening more memorable. All in all a lovely fun, casual relaxing evening was had. Great food, atmosphere and smashing cocktails. The Set restaurant will continue to serve up their seasonal set menus in the original 20 cover dining room, and I think regular visitors will be pleased with the new identity and offerings in The Set Bar and The Fix. I am also certain the accessibility of the constantly evolving Set bar menu will add further appeal. 01273 855572



Goodwood I n

A l l

I t s

G l o r y

When most people think of Goodwood, they think of one of its internationally famous events; the roaring Festival of Speed, glamorous Qatar Goodwood Festival known as ‘Glorious Goodwood,’ or the nostalgic Revival. But there is far more to Goodwood and the 12,000-acre Estate in West Sussex has experiences to enjoy all year round and is heralded as a premier wedding venue.


t the heart of it all sits Goodwood House, beautifully set in picturesque parkland and home to the Dukes of Richmond since 1697. The House is open to visitors from early March to late October, who can take a tour of the state rooms, enjoy stunning works of art and sit down for a quintessentially English afternoon tea. The Racecourse, widely considered the most beautiful in the world, sits at the top of the South Downs and hosts 19 days of racing each year. From early May to mid-October, Goodwood offers themed racedays to suit all ages and tastes. Foodies can explore the Farmer’s Market during the Festival of Food and Racing (24 – 26 May); World renowned artists Rudimental, Example and Steve Aoki will take to the decks after racing for the electrifying Three Friday Nights fixtures (1, 8, 15 June); children can learn all about horseracing with activities such as touring the jockey’s weighing room on Family Raceday (10June); a spectacular fireworks display will start a weekend of family entertainment over the August Bank Holiday Weekend (24 – 26 August); and a Harvest, Hops and Horseracing meeting will bring the curtain down with a celebration of rural tradition (14 October). The Qatar Goodwood Festival takes place from 31 July to 4August and is a truly charming summer garden party. The racing is thrilling throughout the week, with some of the world’s greatest horses doing battle in front of the packed grandstands. On Ladies’ Day (2 August), the Magnolia Cup provides a colourful start to the racing; inspirational women from the world of business, sport


and media wear silks created by leading fashion designers and ride for charity in a sprint past the grandstands. Children under the age of 18 can go free to all of Goodwood’s horseracing fixtures (except the Three Friday Nights) and all of the on-course entertainment is complimentary to the day. Situated close to Chichester, the Motor Circuit, though famous for the Members’ Meeting in March and Revival in September, also hosts track days and experiences open to all. Young Drivers can take to the wheel of a MINI and learn car control in a safe, confidence-inspiring environment. Those seeking a thrill can drive high-powered BMWs around the track as fast as their bravery will allow, safe in the knowledge that a qualified instructor will guide them. Equally exciting, but at a slower pace, is the Extreme Weather experience, which allows drivers to tackle handbrake turns, oversteer and J-turns on a low-grip area. Within the Motor Circuit is Goodwood Aerodrome, a historic airfield that was used extensively during WWII when it was known as RAF Westhampnett. Several warplanes continue to be housed at the Aerodrome, including two Spitfires and a Harvard, as well as Cessnas and a Piper Super Cub. The Aerodrome provides flight experiences ranging from trial lessons in a Cessna, to helicopter flights alongside a Spitfire or an awe-inspiring flight in the Harvard. For people who prefer their sport at a more relaxed pace, Goodwood has two 18hole golf courses. The Park course provides


a challenge for the experienced player, with tricky bunkers and switchbacks, while still being accessible to those who are new to the game. The Downs course, for members only, is downland golf at its finest. Beautiful views across Chichester and the harbour, coupled with undulating terrain, make this a favourite for true golf fans. After all these activities, the ideal place to unwind is the Goodwood Health Club and Hotel, where guests can unwind with a spa treatment and retire to a luxurious room. Goodwood is becoming increasingly famous for food and the newest addition to the Estate is Farmer, Butcher, Chef, a sustainable restaurant that aims to showcase the lesser-known cuts of meat, exclusively from the organic Home Farm. Meanwhile, The Kennels, Goodwood’s sporting members’ club, houses a sensational restaurant that also celebrates Goodwood produce. Passionate, proud and loyal, Goodwood really is a unique British country estate that remains pioneering in everything it does. Goodwood’s spectacular 12,000-acre West Sussex estate is a magical part of England and an enchanting destination for your wedding. With an authentic heritage in hospitality, the experienced in-house butlers and chefs form part of a team who are passionate about what they do. You are not simply there for your wedding day; you are welcomed into the Goodwood family. From the magnificence of Goodwood House to the classical style of The Kennels and the contemporary luxury of the Hotel, Goodwood has a unique range of wedding venues for any type of celebration.

What makes Goodwood really special is the excellence of its entertaining. Anyone who has spent any time at the Estate experiences a warmth and welcome that stays with them long after the event and the food is always of the finest quality. This is no different when it comes to Goodwood weddings. The Estate’s talented in-house chefs, who are used to catering for over 1,500 people when the flagship events are on, will work closely with you to create a memorable feast that will delight your guests Ingredients and menus are inspired by Goodwood Home Farm, one of the largest organic farms in the UK. The result is delicious dishes that are full of flavour and beautifully presented. Head chef Mike Watts sits down with the couple to create a bespoke menu that is personal to them. He always tells people to see the House as a blank canvas, despite its grandeur. “You really can create anything you like here. It doesn’t have to be formal or stuffy.” From the moment the couple first visit the estate to the big day itself, it is Goodwood staff who ensure every single detail along the way is perfect. “We will solely focus on you: from the planning, to the prepping, to the cooking and the butler service on the night – it is the same team who will look after you throughout the process. We are so used to doing the big events, nothing really is too difficult for us,” says Mike. For more information, please visit





Ethical, 12 hour brined, buttermilked, home spiced fried chicken and gourmet sides Join us for an alternative Christmas including Christmas dinner in a bun and a whole fried bird! Parties of all sizes catered for. The Bok Shop Restaurant, 3-4 East Street BN1 1HP



01273 777 312

/thebokshop 79


Sussex Wedding Every bride and groom has their own vision of their big day – we’ve been planning it since we got the love bug when Scott and Charlene tied the knot. Luckily for us, we live in Sussex, which is full of the most eclectic and eccentric choice of wedding suppliers you can find, catering for every idea under the sun. Whether you want a traditional seaside wedding, a sleek and sophisticated Manor House, or a festival-style knees up, Sussex has it covered. But where do you start when choosing your ‘Team Wedding?’ The internet is a minefield but a good solid start and wedding fayres will inspire you, but you’ll notice the same suppliers do the rounds time and time again. To start you off on your matrimonial journey, this Mother Hen has done the ground work for you. Presenting the Absolute Guide to Sussex Wedding suppliers…

T h e Ve n u e

Pelham House In the heart of magical Lewes lies a beautiful 16th-century Town House complete with meticulously kept mature walled gardens; Pelham House. Offering an elegant backdrop for your wedding day, the hotel is licensed for ceremonies and is ideal for both large and more intimate weddings receptions, allowing you to have the freedom of inviting just your nearest and dearest, or to make it a spectacular affair.

Glenn Lester, the Head Chef of Pelham House, has created a sumptuous seasonal menu using fresh locally sourced produce wherever possible, ensuring you and your guests enjoy a gastronomic feast on your big day. Combine that with the attentive service and the splendid backdrop brimming with old-world charm, and you have the perfect blend to ensure every second of your wedding day is an unforgettable experience.



Mercure Brighton Seafront Ghyll Manor Hotel and Restaurant Nestled right in the very heart of the stunning Sussex countryside, you’ll find Ghyll Manor Hotel & Restaurant, a 17thcentury country house, available to hire for weddings brimming with elegance, style and character. This traditional oak-beamed building gazes out over 40 acres of gorgeous private gardens, including a lake and the pretty summerhouse, and caters for civil marriages, partnerships and wedding receptions – enabling you to spend part or all of your big day in this spectacular setting. The Ghyll Manor wedding packages are perfect for any marriage celebration, however big or small, and are designed to include all the essential elements to make your big day truly unique, including special rates for your guests to stay in the 29-individually designed bedrooms. They also promise they will never host more than one wedding at the same time. This means it is exclusively your day and you’ll receive a truly personal service.

Old Ship Hotel Standing proudly over the beautiful Brighton seafront, the Old Ship Hotel is one of the city’s oldest and grandest hotels making it the perfect choice to celebrate one of the most important days of your lives. They have a range of function rooms to choose from, from the lavish Paganini Ballroom to the intimate Cellar Suite, you can even take your vows overlooking the sea in the Fecamp Lounge. With 3 Licenced rooms for civil ceremonies. At the Old ship Hotel they know that every wedding should be just as special and unique as the lucky couple tying the knot, and the wedding packages have been built accordingly, allowing you to tailor every element to be exactly as you wish. From room set up, to catering and decorations.All of the weddings are catered by the Steak on the Sea Restaurant, serving premium seasonal dishes using locally sourced, high quality produce. With a range of selections and packages to choose from and you also go off menu and design a bespoke plan with the chefs that meets your personal tastes.

This stunning Grade-II listed hotel is set right on the Brighton seafront. Whether you are looking for grand affair for up to 150 people, or a small intimate affair, they have the perfect space. Their Regency Inspired Ballroom is perfect for a sit down wedding breakfast or evening reception. The hotel is also fully licensed so you can have your whole day all under the one, magnificent roof. Wedding packages start from just £2,500 and include complimentary accommodation for the happy couple.

British Airways i360 The British Airways i360 is one of the most unique wedding venues in the world. Imagine saying “I do” 450 feet, high above the beach, as a breath-taking panorama of the beautiful Sussex coastline gently unfolds around you.

The British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and the futuristic looking pod, which can hold up to 198 people for wedding ceremonies or civil partnerships, provides 360-degree views across Brighton and the south coast as it glides slowly up the 162-metre tall tower. There is even a Sky Bar on board where guests can toast the couple with a glass of Nyetimber, England’s finest sparkling wine, before descending into the beach building where the wedding celebrations can continue. Couples can also take their vows in the heritage 1866 West Pier Toll Booth, or choose the beachside event space, each with their own private terraces offering stunning views of the West Pier, Brighton beach and out to sea. The flexible spaces can cater for more intimate groups of 38 people, to larger ceremonies of up to 202 people (including the couple).

Wedding reception menus will use the finest local ingredients from the South Downs and Sussex region. For those wanting a more informal style celebration, British Airways i360 wedding packages include a BBQ and bowl food option or for a very special touch, couples can book the talented Steven Edwards, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013.




Sussex Wedding

Harbour Hotel

Blanch House

Goodwood House

Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa is the perfect venue to tie the knot in Brighton. With an exceptional position on the highly sought-after promenade and on the verge of Brighton’s renowned Lanes, the hotel features stylish new bedrooms with panoramic sea views, the award-winning Jetty restaurant concept and a luxury Harbour Spa, featuring a rooftop infinity pool.

Blanch House is an elegant and chic, boutique wedding venue. A Grade-II listed Regency Town House, it’s set in a quiet side street in the heart of Kemp Town, a stone’s throw from the seafront.

The Goodwood Estate, nestled at the foot of the South Downs just outside Chichester in West Sussex, boasts stunning views, exceptional food and a sense of understated luxury that is hard to find elsewhere. Choose from a number of unique packages and a variety of unbelievably romantic settings to create your dream day. From the historical grandeur of Goodwood House to the contemporary chic of The Goodwood Hotel, or the intimacy of The Kennels, there is a place at Goodwood that will be just right for your special wedding.

Chic and stylish, this waterside wedding venue is licensed for up to 100 guests, for both your civil ceremony and evening reception, to share in the most special day of your life. Like the glistening sea, chandeliers sparkle in the sunlight, which pours into this beautiful room. With large windows to soak up the views and beautiful new décor, this venue offers the perfect setting for your Champagne reception, as you begin your new life together.

It’s licensed for ceremonies and the elegant Belle Epoque Function Suite can accommodate up to 40 seated guests. The team would also be delighted to host your wedding reception in the Champagne and Cocktail Bar Lounge.

Blanch House has a range of wedding packages to suit all tastes and budgets, ranging from the ‘Simply Boutique Wedding Package’ which includes the essential elements for your special day, to the ‘Only You Package’ which offers exclusive use of Blanch House.

The Jetty restaurant, within the hotel, offers the perfect venue conveniently located for bridesmaid luncheons, rehearsal dinners and a farewell brunch, and the exclusive Spa offers the perfect haven to enjoy some time out pampering before your wedding.

The Caterers A Touch of Class Catering Whether you are looking for a sit down wedding breakfast for 100 people, or perhaps some creative and delicious canapés to add to your evening reception, these Worthing-based caterers will endeavour to provide you with an exceptional experience and cuisine. They have over 25 years’ experience in providing quality catering and from the very start, your event manager will work with you on a one to one basis for a perfect menu.

Offering your guests delicious food will add to the enjoyment of your special day and you can feel confident in leaving A Touch of Class to plan the details. They even offer free delivery and clearing afterwards, so while they take care of all the cleaning, you and your guests can sit back and enjoy the day.



The Dress Vintage Originals at Hope & Harlequin This vintage bridal collection is for the bride who wants something not only beautiful and fabulous, but also completely original and entirely authentic. Their stunning collection of dresses is ever-changing and carefully sourced by owner Louise Hill from all around the world. Each dress is restored, cleaned and can be altered or customised inhouse to create the perfect fit or update the style for a more contemporary feel.

Joanne Fleming Designs Multi-award-winning Brighton-based designer, Joanne Fleming’s bridal collections are a Duchess’s French boudoir of sumptuous silks, ostrich feathers and freshwater pearls, bursting with romance and opulence. These unique dresses give a modern twist to the silverscreen glamour of the Thirties and Fifties and each bespoke, or made-to-order dress, is lovingly handmade amid the sequins and Swarovski Crystals at the flagship showroom in the heart of Brighton, opposite the Royal Pavilion.

Lucky Bride A bridal revolution is taking place in St George’s Road, Kemp Town.

“The dress is a major part of representing who you are on your wedding day,” says Louise Hill, the fashion conscious owner of the Lucky Bride boutique. “But, we noticed people often had to compromise themselves on their big day due to budget constraints. Lucky Bride was born.”

The bridal industry is complex with hundreds of designers competing for the eye of the bride – and her mother, who often holds the purse strings. With this in mind, Louise spotted an opportunity to offer high-end, off-the-peg, designer dresses by independent and international designers – including Claire Pettibone, David Fielden, Delphine Manivet, and Flora Bridal – at huge discounts of up to 50%, and occasionally more. “All boutiques have to buy samples from the designers. They are often unworn, or may have been tried on only a couple of times, but always with the upmost care and attention.”

White Leaf Bridal Boutique The White Leaf bridal experience is unique in Brighton, offering brides an opportunity to create affordable bespoke wedding gowns. Either adapt and customise from their made-to-measure in-store range or create a truly one-of-a-kind piece with their design team, complete with an illustration of your exclusive dress. Ensure you book an appointment to have an unhurried styling session with their designer, who will help you find or create the perfect dress for your special day. Everything is custom-made, helping White Leaf provide fantastic and flattering dresses for all shapes and sizes, including pregnant brides.

Sarah Janks Sarah Janks was born of a desire to offer accessible luxury apparel and eschew the hype and fast, faddish, disposable side of fashion and dress women in a modern yet classically elegant fashion, a house that would still be relevant many years from now. Sarah launched her bridal collection late 2011, and in the USA in 2012. By 2015, the label had grown to stock 28 stores worldwide, with a flagship store in Sydney, Australia and company offices in Los Angeles and New York. A juxtaposition of old design inspiration executed using modern techniques underlies the brand’s handwriting. Soft and delicate in fabric and detail yet clean and unfussy lines, slim silhouettes and a truly modern interpretation of the wedding dress, Sarah Janks dresses are distinctive in their look and feel, each collection being another chapter in the same, timeless, classic story.

Velvet Birdcage Finding a well fitted flattering dress, can be like trying to find the holy grail. Velvet Birdcage might just be the grail! they say they don't want you to find a nice dress that makes you feel okay, they want you to find an amazing dress that makes you feel fabulous. Boasting they can find a dress for any size or shape. They have customers from size 2 to 32. Their mantra is all customers must be totally comfortable with everything from the style of dress, to the size and price.

Lucky Bride sell on the samples, allowing the bride to grab a real bargain. A £1,000 budget can get you a beautiful £2,000 dress. Lucky Bride also offers an in-house seamstress to make any necessary adjustment. You simply get more bang for your buck!




Sussex Wedding

The Hair

Simon Webster Hair Simon Webster Hair salon offers bespoke wedding services within a private styling studio at their award-winning salon, on location or at home. An independent, local business, SWH has an internationally renowned team and the brand leads the way in client-centred styling with a fashionforward edge, offering a more intimate and personalised experience. Wedding consultations are complimentary and a variety of packages including hair styling, make-up and pampering, are available to create the perfect experience for him, for her or for the whole bridal party.

Headmasters Brighton Found in the famous North Laine, Headmasters Brighton has a welcoming and creative atmosphere. The skilled team are dedicated to providing you with exceptional hairdressing concentrating on getting you picture perfect hair for your big day.

Making sure you don’t have a strand out of place is a daunting task, so take the panic out of your wedding hair by booking a Headmasters Bridal package. Choose from one of their three packages and enjoy the benefits of an in-depth hair consultation and trial where their experienced stylists will take you through the latest trends and discuss the ideal style for you.

Oliver Cunningham

Based in his impressive salon in Cuckfield, Ollie Cunningham is the ‘must see’ colourist in the south of England and is listed in all the A-listers secret address books.

Lipstick & Gunpowder

With an impressive CV that spans over 15 years, Ollie has been Head of Colour for renowned London salons including Nicky Clarke, Trevor Sorbie and Daniel Hersheson. Add to this his experience from numerous editorial photographic shoots and television programmes, plus a loyal clientele that includes Hollywood royalty, and you have found the perfect man to trust with preparing your locks for your big day!

Lipstick & Gunpowder is a boutique salon in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes, just behind the Queen’s Hotel. With an aim to make haircare a better, more friendly experience for all, they are a salon owned and run by the technicians who work there, all of whom combined have years of experience in major high end brands at all levels. The staff are encouraged to have artistic freedom, and they all have passion and enthusiasm for the hair and fashion industry. As a client you benefit from the most enthusiastic and creative team you could wish to find.

Come your wedding day, Ollie can either join you at your house or hotel or you can take a trip to his luxurious salon. Either way, you know you will be in the hands of a master who is guaranteed to make you feel every bit the celebrity you deserve to be on your special day.

Promising to ensure you feel the very height of glamour, their wedding package offers hair styling for not only the bride, but all bridesmaids, plus any additional special guests they can fit in, if they have a hair stylist available at the time.

Morgan Rhodes bridal specialist now at Oliver Cunningham hair. Offering the inclusive wedding package that is tailored to the customer. Design and creation of hair & makeup looks, beautiful blow drys to intricate hair ups to create the perfect glamorous glistening brides, The service is available both in the salon and throughout the UK to your home address.



The Looks Wax & Thread

Bullit Photography

Getting silky smooth ready for your wedding has never been so easy, and dare we say it, enjoyable! The Wax & Thread Company opened its doors in January 2015 and is the only salon in Brighton and Hove dedicated to waxing and threading, for women and men. The age old tradition of ‘threading’ is now a preferred first choice method for hair removal, as opposed to invasive waxing.

With his work regularly published in many publications ranging from The Times to the front cover of OK Magazine to Elle magazine, and many more, Robin Bradshaw is a wedding photographer with a VIP client list.

Although hair removal couldn’t be described as a luxury treat, it doesn’t mean it has to be an unpleasant experience one has to endure. While the emphasis is on removing the hair, clients are encouraged to relax in the calming luxurious environment and be confident you are in good hands. The salon itself is cool, clean and contemporary with a relaxing atmosphere. As well as two treatment rooms, there is also a dedicated threading room. Centrally located in the heart of town, the salon opens six days a week including evenings.

ProMakeupStyle ProMakeupStyle is a Sussex bridal and special occasion makeup service. High-end chic and elegant, celebrity inspired. Group bookings always welcome for both hen parties, brides and bridesmaids. Looks include soft, glam, vintage or any bespoke request. Fun, helpful and understanding.

Stemming away from traditional wedding photography, Robin sees each wedding as a blank canvas. If you are looking a wedding photographer who turns up for the ceremony, then spends hours setting up family shots, he is probably not the photographer for you. A normal wedding day for Robin would be to arrive when the bride is getting ready and stay until half an hour after the first dance or beyond. There is no set formula to the day and each one is unique. Robin aims to capture people through different approaches, through different angles and by keeping his eyes open watching for those amazing offbeat moments.

Having shot over 400 weddings in the last nine years, wedding photography has taken him all around the world. Although officially based in Cheltenham, in the middle of the Cotswolds, luckily for us, he is happy to travel wherever his camera takes him!

Sacco & Sacco Photography Sacco & Sacco Photography specialise in wedding and lifestyle photography. Their style and approach is creative, natural and storytelling. Capturing real moments in life, and on your big day: a lovers’ embrace, side-splitting giggles, true family connections. Photos are the only way to hold onto what you know because moments they show never change, when the people do.

Gresham Blake Tying the knot this Summer? Gresham Blake have been creating bespoke & made to measure suits for the last 20 years and understand exactly what it takes to create the perfect wedding suit, for men and women. Gresham Blake are passionate about working with you and your whole wedding party to tailor the unique outfit that you may be looking for.

Their team of talented and experienced tailoring consultants will even correspond with your partner (discretely if needed) to make sure that your wedding suits compliment the overall style of your big day. As a design led tailors absolutely nothing is out of the question at Gresham Blake, so if you are having a traditional day, destination wedding or something a little left of the field, they will be able to create you the ideal wedding suit. They can even create you your very own bespoke cloths, linings, shirts and accessories, providing truly personalised garments.

A number of exclusive wedding packages are available from Gresham Blake at incredibly competitive prices, with made to measure suits starting at £500. Just ask their tailors for more info when booking an appointment. As an addition to the bespoke services on offer, Gresham Blake also create seasonal ready to wear collections of men’s & women’s suiting and accessories, including their popular silk jacquard ties.

he renowned British Tailors have stores in Brighton and Shoreditch where appointments can be made with their team. BOOK ONLINE: LONDON: 020 73750365 BRIGHTON: 01273 609587




Sussex Wedding

The Rings James Ross

House of Hoye

Elizabeth Anne Norris

For the very special occasion of an engagement or wedding, James Ross has a collection of fine diamond jewellery with hundreds of stunning options for every budget, to suit both bride and groom. They offer an unrivalled collection of rings, both vintage and new, that you simply won’t find on the high street.

After many years of trading renowned jewellery, designer Jeremy Hoye decided to re-invent his brand as the now all new House of Hoye. In a conscious effort to shakeup the jewellery retail industry, Jeremy creates unique avant-garde jewellery, whilst also showcasing the work of other talented designers.

Ensure you adorn your wedding finger with a truly unique band of gold by attending a creative half-day workshop in Brighton that helps couples design and make beautiful wedding rings.

For as long as their family business has been established, James Ross has taken the time to ensure their brides and grooms-to-be find precisely the right piece for them. It’s what they’ve built their reputation for quality and customer service on, and they are immensely proud of it. They’ll listen to what you require before helping you to carefully select that perfect piece of bling to suit you and your budget. Most importantly, you can be confident your selection really is one of a kind.

The Decor Fabricate Fabricate specialise in creative and impressive draping and theme sets which will transform your reception into one to remember.

As a leading British contemporary jewellery designer, he has been producing jewellery in Brighton since 1994, creating exciting collections for both men and women, as well as many corporate names, such as; Diesel, Jaeger, Porsche, O2, Grand Marnier and renowned couture designer Jenny Packham. He has collaborated with BMG Records which saw his jewellery worn by chart topping stars including Avril Lavigne, Sister Bliss, Faithless, Dido and Natasha Bedingfield and his latest celebrity clients include Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton, Edith Bowman, Katie Melua and Gary Numan.

Safe in the knowledge you are in good company, you can be sure you are investing in a work of art if you choose to purchase your wedding and engagement rings from House of Hoye. By appointment only, Jeremy is also available to design and produce oneoff commission pieces, made especially for you.

No matter where you have chosen to hold your special day, be it a ballroom, marquee, barn or back garden, Fabricate has the resources and expertise to make your event one to truly remember.

With over ten years of experience in creating beautiful weddings and events, and covering all of the South of England, they stock a wide range of fabrics and styled settings to suit even the most creative of imaginations! Using silks, voiles, velours and organzas, they can create soft ceilings, pleated walls and stylish swags, accompanied with mood lighting, to complete your ultimate dream setting. From classically simple soft drapes, lit with sparkling lights, for a romantic dinner reception to a gala dinner full of glitz and glamor, Fabricate will discuss your vision and ideas, budgets and settings to help the event run as smoothly as possible.



Couples can now design and make their own personalised wedding rings, with tuition from Brighton-based jewellery designer, Elizabeth Anne Norris. Elizabeth has been teaching jewellery making in Brighton for five years, teaching this intricate skill to more than 200 people. With the launch of her new Make Your Own Rings workshop Elizabeth walks couples through the process of effortlessly designing and making their special rings, ready for the big day. After only half a day at Elizabeth’s studio you’ll walk away happy in the knowledge that you have your own personally crafted, fitted, dream wedding rings in your pocket.

The Flowers Pick Your Own at Sussex Cutting Garden Wedding flowers can be an expensive addition to your big day so Sussex Cutting Garden offer a limited number of large buckets full of mixed cut flowers of your choice during the main season. It’s absolutely perfect for DIY table arrangements, and so much fun. If arranging flowers yourself seems daunting, they also offer consultations at the cutting garden where you can see where your flowers are grown, discuss the arrangements you have in mind and they will then turn that into a reality.

The Wedding Stationery Little Lillies – The Floral Sculptor If you are looking for something that isn’t a bunch of chrysanthemums complete with matching vase, then maybe it is a floral sculptor you are looking for, and not a traditional florist. Little Lillies create incomparable floral displays, using some of the most exotic beautiful plants and greenery created by nature, and individually custom-made to your specification. However simple or involved your idea may be, they have a knack of creating the most imaginative designs and often with the most unusual materials; bark, coconut huss, moss… nothing is ruled out.

Hollyhock Lane This is where you can find alternative, vintage inspired and beautiful eco-friendly wedding stationery that is created just for you. All designs are exquisitely hand-drawn and painted by illustrator and designer Julie Annis, from her little cottage in rural Sussex. You can choose from ‘The Collection’ for creative ready designed personalised stationery or ‘Bespoke’ if you have ideas for a custom designed set of stationery of your own.



T h e Tr a n s p o r t South Coast Vintage South Coast Vintage launched in 2013, founded by owners Neil and Antonia and based in Sussex. Both are serious vintage car and VW enthusiasts, and passionate about quality and attention to detail. Neil, a qualified vintage VW mechanic, has owned a range of prestigious cars over the years and has 20 years experience in refurbishing, caring for and enjoying classic VW vehicles. He rescued his first VW Beetle from a scrap yard when he was 15, restored it with the help of his father, learnt to drive in it, and now they hire out these stunning retro rides for that quirky special day, dare to be different and experience the joy of the classic VW's.


Sussex Bentley Hire Sussex Bentley Hire are pleased to introduce the Bentley Continental Flying Spur for your Wedding Car Hire, The Continental Flying Spur is often referred to as the Flagship of Bentley Motors. Built and maintained to the highest standards, their aim is provide an exceptional standard of luxury and service for your special day, able to provide not only the brides special transport but a fleet for the groom and guests this is the perfect choice of those wishing to add that air of ultimate luxury to their day.


Alphonse Island Seychelles

The Overseas Wedding

Kurumba Maldives Celebrate your love amidst the unique colours of this classic Maldivian wedding venue. Sand underfoot, the turquoise ocean beyond…

Atzaró Ibiza Atzaró Ibiza has spent more than a decade hosting celebrations, weddings and special events in one of the most incredible natural wonders of Ibiza. Built on an orange farm, Atzaró is an oasis ripe with the scents of orange blossom, rosemary and lavender.

Surrounded by natural gardens and sunlit groves, this romantic resort offers wedding ceremonies and receptions oozing with relaxed style and sophistication. The architecture, whitewashed walls and the wonderful white, red and green hues of the countryside all create a unique atmosphere, a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of UK life.

Let the professional and experienced team make your dreams become reality as you say ‘I Do!’ experience the wonderful gastronomic cuisine, breathe freely the pure air and make your vows in serendipitous luxury.

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male Atoll, conveniently situated a brief ten-minute speedboat ride from the airport. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Beautiful gardens, palm fringed white sandy beaches and a vibrant house reef is the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort.

The resort offers an array of nine styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment, all while maintaining idyllic refuges and quiet spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for weddings and honeymoons in paradise. Wedding packages are designed to offer couples everything they need to make their day truly memorable, including a master of ceremony to preside over the vows, a Maldivian Bodu Beru traditional dance performance, bridal bouquet, wedding cake, canapés at sunset, champagne, Signature Sounds Of The Sea Dinner with wine, a local Sarong (Feli) for the couple, photographs by the staff of the ceremony on a CD, a 90-minute Spa treatment for the couple and premium breakfast for the couple at Thila.


The Alphonse group of atolls is considered one of the most pristine, untouched Edens of the world, making it a nature lover’s paradise. The magnificent island threesome comprising of Alphonse, St Francois and Bijoutier lies in the very heart of the Indian Ocean as part of the Seychelles outer islands. Beautiful white beaches line the edges of the dense natural forest, interspersed with the remnants of old commercial coconut groves.

Here you will find ancient ambling tortoises, scurrying crabs and an interesting array of bird species. Escape to the exquisite simplicity of a tropical island paradise, leaving behind the impositions of everyday life. Experience the raw beauty of an untouched natural sanctuary and one of the prime protected fisheries in the far reaches of the Indian Ocean. Alphonse Island features a single resort comprising of Beach Bungalows and Suites built alongside the water’s edge, each with scenic ocean views. Freedom of movement around the island on foot or bicycle permits self-discovery of the wonders of this special place. The main hotel complex consists of a reception area, beach bar, dining area, swimming pool, tennis court and main office. Guests stay in one of 22 privately spaced air conditioned Beach Bungalows or five one-bedroom Beach Suites, offering every kind of comfort. The bar area, pool and lounge area provides the ideal venue to relax in the evening breeze after a day out in the sun and houses the restaurant which serves freshly caught seafood of the highest quality. Alphonse Island is a refuge for people looking for an authentic and unspoilt island experience.

Victoria Gibbins All images by Robin Bradshaw at Bullit Photography.


Rina Tairo

13 & 14 Prince Albert street Brighton, East Sussex bn1 1he t: 01273 774288 e:


Luxury HEN PARTY DESTINATIONS & IDEAS by Brighton Girl Problems

Summer is fast approaching and what comes hand in hand with that is Wedding Season. The invites start pouring through the letterbox, you’ve viewed the ASOS Occasion Dresses section more times than you can bring yourself to admit, and you’re scouring the internet for hotels to stay in as close as possible to the middle-of-nowhere wedding that’s coming up at the end of July. Off the back of that, brings us Stag & Hen Do’s. Sorry boys, but today, we’re focusing on the latter. A lot of people may eye roll when they hear those phrases, immediately connecting them to expense, continually circulating emails, huge, long itineraries and nothing but a sore bank balance and even sorer head when you return home at the end of it. I want to talk about Hen Do’s in a way that presents them as the fun, exciting and sometimes even the relaxing thing they’re meant to be.

“ I want to talk

about Hen Do’s in a way that presents them as the fun, exciting and sometimes even the relaxing thing they’re meant to be.”

A lot of us have already been on more Hen Do’s than we can shake a stick at, and so the chance to escape from reality for a short while, kick back and relax sounds all too appealing. Sussex is bursting at the seams with luxurious destinations to spend your last single days and I’m here to tell you all about them and what makes them so perfect. If pulsating bars and sticky nightclub floors aren’t your bag, then perhaps a luxury tree house or spa weekend is?

Chewton Glen, located in the New Forest, is a gorgeous luxury family hotel, where you can either stay in a room or suite, or a treehouse. Today, I’m going to focus on the treehouses, because for a low key but indulgent party, it is the ultimate destination.

It’s meant to be the most special and amazing day of your life, but preparing the Hen Party can sometimes take the buzz out of the Big Day because you become so stressed on the where’s and what’s; you want to please the attendees so much that you almost stop caring about pleasing yourself, and you can sometimes end up going somewhere that actually isn’t somewhere you would ever choose for yourself.

Offering the Treehouse Studio Suite, Treehouse Loft Suite, the Treehouse Hideaway Suite, and The Yews being the newest opening, The Yews is by far the best choice for a small and select hen party. It’s completely secluded and private and set in the heart of the forest, 35 feet up, a gorgeous marble bathroom, hot tubs on the terrace, flat screen TV, wood burner, and so much more.

When we think of hen dos, I know that what automatically springs to mind is straws that you definitely wouldn’t re-use for your child’s birthday party, plus all levels of debauchery. It’s what many of us opt for when we plan our last night or weekend of ‘freedom’, and we want it to be as out there as possible. I’m no stranger to those kinds of weekends, and I think when I finally get down the aisle I will do a mix of both kinds of hen parties; the crazy kind and the chilled kind, to cater for all guests. After all, we don’t want to expose Auntie Sheila to too much, do we?

I feel like if you have a small group of friends you want to celebrate your hen party with, or if you are having a larger hen party and want to get away with a smaller group, then this would be the ideal destination. As most hen parties end up being in busy, bustling cities, it would be great to escape before The Big Day; champagne in the hot tub, board games in front of the wood burner, and luxurious late night baths in the marble covered bathroom. This would be the ultimate chilled out, weekend pamper session.

Weekends away, or sometimes even longer, whether they’re in the UK or outside of it…well, they’re never going to be cheap, and you want to get value for money with whatever it is you decide to do on the weekend that’s supposed to create memories with those you love most.


What about if you could add a touch of luxury to your hen party? If the thought of queuing in the cold for a nightclub, buying a round of Jägerbombs or being huddled in a taxi rank at 4am sends a shiver up your spine, then this article could definitely be for you.

Sometimes, though, you’d rather just be pampered and take the whole ‘do it yourself’ aspect out of it, having someone make the entire experience so much more relaxing for you.


If pulsating bars and sticky nightclub floors aren’t your bag, then perhaps a luxury tree house or spa weekend is?




If you want to focus solely on pampering, then Alexander House Hotel, situated in Turners Hill, East Grinstead, id the place for you. This is a five star hotel that’s home to Utopia Spa, which contains a hydrotherapy pool, Jacuzzi, private hot tubs, a hair and nail spa, and a relaxation lounge to name but a few.

In preparation for the Big Day, you and your girlfriends will want to chill out, kick back and relax. Alexander House Hotel also contains the 1608 Champagne Bar, which stocks 145 wines and 30 different champagnes. Now, even if it’s not the day of the actual nuptials, what better way to celebrate the fact they’re coming up than with a champagne cocktail? I feel like if you’re making a weekend of it, then a good old fashioned Afternoon Tea is an absolute necessity. Their Quintessentially British Afternoon Tea can be taken as standard, as vegetarian, or if you’re really in the mood for celebrations, made into a Champagne Afternoon Tea. In the evening, you can choose to dine at either AG’s Restaurant or Reflections Restaurant.

Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, located in Climping, West Sussex, is another luxury resort that I couldn’t recommend enough.

It houses 39 bedrooms, and an incredible spa, that includes an heated outdoor infinity pool, tennis courts, relaxation rooms and more. You and your Hens can treat yourself to treatments such as a ‘Head in the Clouds’ (an incredibly relaxing massage using warm oils), or maybe a Mediterranean Sea Hydrotherm Massage is more your style, a massage that combines a warm floatation bed and heat. Sometimes, you only want to be around your friends, which is where my next suggestion comes in; cottage or house hire.

After hiring a few houses for such occasions such as parties and family weekends, I can honestly say it makes a gathering of a group of people, whether it’s family, friends or couples, a really special experience, and ‘setting up house’ for the weekend or however long it may be, can make you wonder why you’ve never done it before, or at least why you don’t do it more often. Sussex is absolutely awash with cottage and holiday home rentals, and with a larger group, it can be incredible value for money.

You can go as close or far from home as you wish, which is what makes this particular Hen Party Weekend so great; it’s completely up to you, from where you stay, to what you do and how the weekend runs. You’re not constricted to a specific hotel or spa, or the restaurants and facilities that come with them.

The risk that comes with hotels is generally not knowing what your room will look like from the standardised website photos, however with a home rental, you know what you’re getting. The weekend can be made into something that truly holds the memories of a lifetime, as you can either continue with Hen Party plans based outside of your rental in the nearest town/ city, or you can base the weekend indoors, with games, music, and lots of food and of course, champagne.


If there’s a large enough group of you, you can really create a party atmosphere and involve caterers to put on a spread for you. Cocktail making lessons can also be done from home if you really do want to go all out. A lot of rentals also have pools/hot tubs, so if that’s something you’re looking for you will most definitely be able to find it.

After discussing the best luxurious venues based off the beaten track, I feel it’s only right to lend a bit of focus to my namesake, the city of Brighton, because although it may seem a cliché hen party destination, if you look hard enough you can truly find some real gems that will make your weekend. Whether you want fun, previously mentioned debauchery or a pamper session, we’ve got it covered.

Based in Brighton, The Harbour Hotel along the seafront remains a firm favourite of mine. The prime location means you can head out partying if you so wish, but if you want a touch of relaxation and of course, luxury, and don’t want to stray from a main, busy, vibrant city, then this is the place for you. A spa based in a wine cellar, a gorgeous restaurant and bar, beautiful rooms and a view out onto the sea means you won’t spend a second bored or wishing you were elsewhere.

The hot tubs which are situated in the aforementioned wine cellar, are set in dimly lit, quiet rooms, adding to the feeling of total calm that everybody wants ahead of their Big Day. It’s strange to think you can be somewhere so quiet and yet right next to West Street, the party street of Brighton. However, that’s almost the thing that makes me love it so much, and what makes it a perfect hen party destination. Have the evening planned, but want some daytime activities to add a touch of fun to the mix? Try Bohemia Brighton for cocktail making classes, that can be done for up to 10 people, and allows you to have a glass of bubbly on arrival and 3 cocktails per person during the masterclass. You can also pop down to The Treatment Rooms on New Road for a massage, and head for a post-relaxation cocktail at one of the many surrounding bars afterwards.

Incorporating beauty into your hen do is always a thumbs up from me, so The Lanes Health & Beauty is a fantastic place to head, whether you’re looking to get your nails done as a group, or more specialised treatments such as eyelash extensions and HD brows ahead of your big night out on the town. Wherever it is you head, and whatever it is you decide to do, taking a moment out for yourself, whether that’s with a manicure, a massage or a mojito, is key to making the most of your special weekend. A luxury experience in a treetop house, or a countryside spa weekend may not be what you had in mind to begin with, but they can be key in restoring you ahead of the Big Day. Your Hen Party can be whatever you want it to be; everyone and their tastes and likes and dislikes are different and it’s what makes them unique. What you may find to be brilliant fun could be someone else’s idea of hell, however I feel the above ideas are foolproof for entertaining most people, and of course…it’s your Hen Do, and so you get the final say!




96 96



97 97

London Lifestyle London Weddings The Absolute London Wedding Guide for 2018.. Getting married? Congratulations! Here is the Absolute London Lifestyle 2018 wedding guide for all the wedding inspiration and advice you need.


eddings are big business, with the average wedding costing around £20,000. Whether you decide to have a small refined exclusive affair, or a huge elaborate bash with hundreds of guests and all the glittery trimmings, or something in between, then London is the perfect place to have your wedding celebration l, as well as an inspiring city to source your wonderful wedding ideas. There is no limit to what you can have on your wedding day, from tasteful, intimate and romantic, to an extravagant themed party from start to finish; London has everything for your perfect day. The Wedding Ceremony and Reception - find the perfect location to exchange your vows and celebrate. The wedding ceremony is one of the most


romantic moments in your life and one of the most important commitments you could ever make. The reception is officially the time you can literally kick off your heels and relax, dance, eat, drink and be merry with your nearest and dearest.

HMS Belfast. If you dream to tie-the-knot by the River Thames, then the HMS Belfast is the location for you. Part of the Imperial War Museum, the HMS Belfast is one of the most iconic and historic wedding venues you will find in London. With panoramic views of the river and city, this memorable venue has several versatile rooms on board with original features perfect for your ceremony and reception.


The London Eye. Hire a private capsule in the London Eye and get hitched 135 meters above the ground surrounded by magnificent 360-degree views of London. Your wedding photos will look outstanding with this breath-taking backdrop. Prices start from £2800 with three package offers – Prestige, Classic and Celebration.

Your favourite football club. Most of the main London football clubs are registered venues and licensed to hold civil ceremonies, with dining options, and a variety of spaces just perfect for your special celebration, with wedding co-ordinators ready to help with everything from catering, entertainment to décor and flowers.

Book a luxury vessel for your glamorous wedding reception to whisk you and your loved ones along the River Thames in style past all the iconic London landmarks as the sun sets on your special day.

Tower Bridge. This is arguably the most iconic bridge in London to have your wedding ceremony and reception. The panoramic North Tower Lounge and the high-level Walkways are licensed for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies. This venue can be booked exclusively in the evenings once it has closed to the public at the end of the day. A Thames River Boat. Book a luxury vessel for your glamorous wedding reception to whisk you and your loved ones along the River Thames in style past all the iconic London landmarks as the sun sets on your special day. There are a variety of boat companies with various catering and entertainment options with packages to suit all budgets. London Zoo. If you love animals, then this would simply be a spectacular place for your wedding ceremony and reception. There are a range of wedding packages, from ÂŁ46 per person, with the option of added animal encounters, with space to host from 45 to 240 guests. Kew Gardens. The beautiful gardens and iconic buildings of Kew would be an exquisite setting to say your nuptials surrounded by your favourite people. There are various spaces to host your wedding. The charming Orangery is the Grade 1 listed building with space to host 200 guests, The Temperate House is the beautiful newly restored glass house where


up to 300 guests can dine among rare and exotic plants, and the delightful Nash Conservatory is a stunning glass house with capacity for up to 200 guests. Venue packages for Kew start from ÂŁ4500.

OXO2. This modern and contemporary event space on the second floor of the iconic Oxo Tower, in the heart of city next to the river is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies and partnerships. There are two gallery-style rooms with a balcony and stunning London backdrop perfect for a romantic setting on the bank of the Thames. OXO2 has a team of onsite wedding planners to help with everything in lead up to and throughout the big day with fully inclusive packages. This sleek event space is a blank canvas of white walls and wooden floors which lends itself perfectly to creating the wedding venue of your dreams.


London Lifestyle

The Dress - where to find The One. Browns Bride, Marylebone. Pop in and

browse or book an appointment to try on your perfect dress and meet with an expert Browns Bride fitter to advise on style and cost. They have regular shows and sample sales throughout the year showcasing the latest designs.

Debenhams Bridal department, Oxford Street is a wonderful destination to find bridal dresses and outfits for the whole bridal party from a range of different designers. Book a free personal shopper to help you browse the entire bridal department for dresses, veils, accessories, bridal shoes, bridal lingerie and jewellery. They have a huge range of bridesmaid dresses in every colour imaginable and the changing rooms are huge with plenty of space, mirrors and good lighting to try dresses with your troupe of bridesmaids. Keep a look out for their sample sales during the year. The café on the ground floor is the place to head to afterwards for lunch or at least a well-earned coffee. Pronovias London, New Bond Street is a Spanish bridal brand which has a wonderful range of high-end, luxurious and exclusive bridal dresses and accessories. Book an appointment at the Pronovias flagship store on New Bond to meet with an experienced advisor and try a range of beautiful wedding gowns and cocktail dresses perfect for every type of elegant wedding.

If you are on a budget then it’s a great idea to purchase a plain white celebration or tiered cake, then ask your florist to provide flowers and ribbon to decorate the cake

Monsoon, Oxford Street is the ideal place to find a pretty range flower girls dresses and accessories.

The Wedding Cake - the one cake that simply must taste as good as it looks.

Selfridges, Oxford Street. This is my favourite place to find the perfect bridal shoes. They stock a huge range of designers from LK Bennett, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, YSL and Dior. Your wedding day is the perfect excuse to splash out on expensive shoes to glide down the aisle in.

When looking for a cake designer ask to try samples and discuss everything from size, flavour, ingredients and, most importantly, if they can transport the cake to venue on the day.

Liberty, Regent Street have an amazing selection of men’s silk ties and silk handkerchiefs in all of their signature prints perfect for the groom and his ushers. They have some wonderful ideas for bridal party gifts such as elegant jewellery, superb bridal day handbags, and special fragrances perfect for your maid-of-honour and bridesmaids.

If you are having a small intimate wedding, then Lola’s Cup Cakes make gorgeous mouth-watering party and layer cakes in a range of colours and themes perfect for smaller parties. For larger groups The Humming Bird Bakery create stunning hand-made three-tiered wedding cakes from £129 for collection only from the Spitalfields branch.

Phase Eight, James Street. It’s a great idea to buy a ready-made or off-the-rack wedding dress rather than a handmade bridal gown. As well as keeping in budget, it’s also a much faster option without the need for dress fittings. Phase Eight is a great high-end high street shop which has a beautiful dedicated bridal department at their James Street store in the West End. Visit and try on their amazing range of beaded gowns and accessories for real value for money and timeless classic pieces that will look like they have been made to measure.


If you are on a budget then it’s a great idea to purchase a plain white celebration or tiered cake, then ask your florist to provide flowers and ribbon to decorate the cake with that will match the flowers and ribbons from your bridal bouquets and table centres. This is a simple and cost-effective way to have a beautiful wedding cake without the extravagant cost of going to a cake designer or bakery. M&S and Waitrose have a great selection of simple, understated and chic wedding cakes available to order online.


Choose the Date for the Big Day. Keep in mind that wedding venues are often cheaper in the week. Wedding high season in the UK is between April to September so these months could be pricier and may also be booked up quickly. Autumn and winter wedding are beautiful and not to be overlooked just for the unpredictable British summer months.

Wedding Planning… the rouge guide of where to start and the essential tasks that you simply must remember to organise:

The Wedding Squad. Think carefully about which friends or siblings you would love to be in your bridal party team and ask your favourite people to be your bridesmaids and ushers.

Diarise Everything.

Get a wedding diary to jot down all your essential notes and dates. Don’t simply rely on your mobile, if you misplace your phone then you are stuck. Smythson do beautiful diaries, journals and notebooks perfect for jotting down all the most important events in the lead up to the big day.

Wedding Shows - a perfect place for wedding inspiration. The National Wedding Show is the ideal place to visit for wedding inspiration. Visit with your bridesmaids, mother-of-the-bride or fiancé to watch fashions shows, try on bridal gowns, drink champagne cocktails at the Champagne Bar, try accessories and meet make-up artists. This London wedding show has an amazing range of events and stockists lined up to give you all the help and advice you need to plan your special day. Watch exclusive catwalk shows, visit the inspiring travel lounge and vintage wedding village, meet wedding photographers, sample cakes and desserts, gather floral inspiration and watch talented wedding performers on the entertainments stage. It’s also a super helpful way to get an idea of costings for each part of your wedding. The National Wedding Show. 21-23 September 2018. Olympia London. £10 per ticket. london-wedding-show

Budget. Agree on a sensible wedding budget early on and be strict about not over spending. Don’t stretch yourself and over borrow just to fund this day or to impress family and friends. A small, intimate, low budget wedding can be beautiful. You don’t want to be starting married life stressed out because you are in huge amounts of debt just from getting hitched! Keep in mind why you are getting married, the commitment and sentiment, and avoid getting swept up in the spending and don’t drown in the organisation. If you feel overwhelmed ask friends and family to help you organise small parts or give you their opinions – most people would be delighted to be involved. Don’t turn into a bridezilla or a groomzilla. It will be the best day of your life so enjoy every second and that includes the planning.



London Lifestyle

Venue. Book the church and/or venue. Decide if you will need overnight accommodation the night before or night of the wedding for you and your guests. Flowers. Choose the flowers and decide on a theme. Pick seasonal blooms to keep costs down. Perhaps ask the florist to add in feathers, ribbons and foliage to your flowers for a unique look. Flowers often cost more than you think. As well as bouquets, don’t forget to consider button hole flowers, ceremony blooms for the pews and alter, and table flowers for your reception.

Wedding Transport. Choose a wedding car and book guest transport to and from the wedding reception if needed.

Guest List. Start drafting the guest list. If space is limited have an A and B list, and update as you receive the RSVPs. Be strict about your guest list and don’t feel obliged to invite people just because they invited you to their wedding, and don’t invite everyone in your office because you feel you should. People understand that weddings are costly events so are often relaxed about not being invited or just getting an invite to evening party. Entertainment and the Finishing Touches. Choose the music and decide on entertainment for your wedding reception and make sure you end the night dancing. Would you like a jazz band, a DJ, a string quartet, a harpist, a solo singer or an Elvis impersonator? The choice is endless. Consider if you want other entertainment such as a magician or tarot reader, and if your budget suffices consider elaborate finishing touches such as balloons, a sweet cart and fireworks. Wedding Cake. All great wedding cake designers will do tasting sessions. If you are on a budget, then most supermarkets do great plain celebrations cakes which can be customised with ribbons or flowers.

Menu Tasting. For me the food and drink at the wedding breakfast are one of the most important thing, and the wine and champagne should be the best you can afford, without going over your wedding breakfast budget of course!

Wedding Stationary. Will you send out save-the-date cards? Will you include RSVP and menu choice cards? Perhaps you will ask attending guests to respond with their favourite song to get them on the dance floor? And ask guests to let you know if they have any dietary requirements or allergies. Stationary can be customised and designed to match your wedding theme, and Not-On-The-Highstreet have some delightful stationary designers. To save the pennies, opt for pre-printed wedding stationary from creative shops such as Paperchase which do great invitations at a fraction of the price of the tailor-made options. Or perhaps you are so modern or on such a strict budget that you decide to send out texts or emails? Personally, I do prefer the more traditional approach of sending beautiful invitations through the post. It is just so lovely to receive a beautiful wedding invite nestled amongst the ghastly junk mail and dreary utility bills.


Book the Honeymoon. Some couples opt for a mini moon right after the wedding, followed by a more exotic break either later in the year or the following year. For me, I am a traditionalist, and I think it is simply delightful to jet off to a beautiful far flung long haul destination for two glorious weeks without a care in the world. After your wedding, you are on such a blissful happy high, not to mention emotionally and physically exhausted, so it’s truly wonderful to dash off to the airport for your first trip away as a married couple where you get to really relax. You don’t get this blissful time again so make the very most of it. If travelling abroad make sure your passport is up to date and whether you need to arrange visas in advance. Wherever you go, make sure you have a break after your wedding day. It would be such a shame, not to mention thoroughly ghastly to get married then go to work the next day!


If jetting off immediately after your wedding, ensure your plane tickets are in the same name that you have on your passport.” Sort your Passport. For brides this is particularly crucial if you are ditching your maiden name. If jetting off immediately after your wedding, ensure your plane tickets are in the same name that you have on your passport. You can get your passport updated from your maiden name to your married name in advance of your travel.

Wedding Gifts. If you already live together than you probably don’t need wedding gift china, toasters or a three-piece-suit, so you could opt for vouchers from big department stores such as John Lewis or Selfridges. Alternatively, some couples politely request cash towards their dream honeymoon or ask guests to donate to their favourite charity. Health and Fitness. Book in all your pre-wedding body and fitness prep such as personal trainer or join a gym. It is so important to look at your fitness long term in the lead up to the wedding day. A personal trainer is great way to discuss what you are trying to achieve rather then panicking and going on a crash diet a week before your wedding. Be realistic about your body goals, and what improvements you can make to your image in the time you have before the wedding day. For example, if you have always been a curvy size 16 then don’t spend months in the lead up to your big day living on lettuce and feeling miserable trying to whittle yourself down to a size 6. The last thing a bride should look on their wedding day is malnourished and feeling ill. Concentrate on being the fittest and healthiest version of yourself you can be, and you will be glowing on the day and in your wedding photos.

your life so make sure you pick a photographer who really captures everything that you want, making sure to discuss everything from locations to group shots, and to wedding theme, so that everything you love is captured and recorded. Discuss costs immediately and be up front about your budget and ask what exactly you are getting for your money, for example, how many hours that gives you, and how many prints or photo books are included. Wedding photos are so personal and where the costs can escalate dramatically so shop around, get recommendations and find someone that really understands the type of photos and images you would like. Also, it’s important to have a good rapport with your photographer and feel relaxed in front of them as they will be there taking photos of your most special day, so you need to feel familiar with them and comfortable around them. Pinterest has some great wedding photo style ideas and it’s a good idea to take along examples to initial photographer meetings.

Hair and Beauty. Book in your beauty treatments and hair appointments in the lead up to the wedding. I made sure my beautician came over once a month, over a 10-month period in the lead up to my wedding for regular facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and waxing. Like health and fitness, with the beauty preparation in place, you can make sure you are looking your best and groomed to perfection for the big day. Also book in regular appointments with your hairdresser for cuts and colour and discuss your aims for the day, rather than have a drastic re-style the week before that may not suit you and then there’s no time to rectify it.

Hen Party and Stag Party. Ask your bridesmaids and ushers to book your last hurrah. There are so many fabulous options such as long weekends away, nights out devouring cocktails and spa breaks. However, if strip clubs, butlers in the buff and fancy dress are not your thing, make sure you let your organiser know you would like something a little more sophisticated and low key such as dinner and wine tasting. While surprises are good, it’s your party so make sure you do what is perfect for you. Wedding Dress and Suit Fittings. These are essential for obvious reasons so don’t leave this to the last minute. As one of the most important outfits you will ever wear everything should fit perfectly.

Have hair and makeup trails and book in your favourite creative team to make you look fabulous on your big day. This maybe free or for a small fee but this is essential, so you can road test the best look and people for the job. One friend of mine booked her maid-of-honour on a make-up course, so she could do their makeup on wedding morning, which I think is great idea.

Wedding Rehearsal. This is the ideal time to make everyone is exactly clear about arrival times and a running order of the day. Give your bridal party and family jobs for the day to help you relax and concentrate on yourself and your partner.

Wedding Photos. Do your research and book a decent photographer. This is an opportunity to get beautiful photos of your special day that you will look back on for the rest of

Charlie McBrien





K U R U M B A - T H E M A L D I V E S I N A N U T S H E L L Flying the Sussex Nest…


ussex-by-the-sea has its many charms; the sea, the rolling countryside, quaint little villages and action-packed towns and cities.  It’s easy to have the perfect staycation in Sussex with so many adventures to be had right on your doorstep.  However, if you want to escape to sunnier climes, then allow us to point you in the direction of a completely different sanctuary of enchanting colours and adventure; ‘Kurumba Maldives’, The Maldives’ very first private island resort.  A whole new world to inhabit and explore, this 5 star resort’s peerless blend of luxury and tranquillity tempts many a visitor to its sandy shores time and time again.  Flights from Gatwick are 13.5 hours to Malé International Airport and so weary travellers will welcome Kurumba’s convenient location just 10 minutes from the airport.  Upon reaching the resort and having received welcome refreshments from the staff, the journey will soon become a distant memory as you sink your feet into the powder soft sands and feast your eyes on the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, lush gardens ablaze with frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea stretch across the island and shady coconut groves loom over 180 luxury bungalows and villas. 



Feast your eyes on the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, lush gardens ablaze with frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea stretch across the island and shady coconut groves loom over 180 luxury bungalows and villas.Â






Visitors certainly have their every need catered for with no less than nine categories of accommodation. What they all have in common is a fresh and modern design, plus plush state-of-the-art facilities.


Visitors certainly have their every need catered for with no less than nine categories of accommodation.  What they all have in common is a fresh and modern design, plus plush state-of-the-art facilities. Whilst the introductory Superior and Deluxe rooms have a graceful contemporary Maldivian style with open air showers and sunny oceanside balconies, the resort’s signature Deluxe Bungalows and Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows each feature their very own private garden containing an outside shower and spacious decking veranda for sunset tipples. The bungalows themselves are hidden amongst the lush fragrant tropic flora just yards from the pure white beaches corralling the island. Each boasts a giant free-standing bathtub, a luxurious dual-basin bathroom, a glass-walled shower and a king-sized bed to collapse into after a hard days sunbathing If that isn’t enough to send you to seventh heaven, guests wanting even more luxury and privacy can opt for Kurumba villa rooms, starting with the Private Villa with Jacuzzi, and the Garden Pool Villas that offer plunge pools within your private open-plan courtyard with rain shower to cool off. Kurumba’s Deluxe Pool Villas are even more sumptuous with the additional luxuries of a large private pool with a waterfall, day bed and wooden terrace.  For those who want a taste of the ultimate A-list lifestyle, the largest and most extravagant villa on the island is the Royal Kurumba Residence.  Measuring a whopping 768 square metres in diameter and housing two bedrooms, two private pools, a huge living area and veranda, this opulent suite has played host to celebrities, local dignitaries and even heads of state.  Well if you can’t beat them, join them!







Maldives Our discerning Sussex foodies will be well-catered for with a total of 8 restaurants based within the resort, serving an eclectic selection of the world’s finest cuisines.  Deciding whether to visit the main restaurant for unhurried all-day dining, savour far-eastern sushi and teppenyaki at the over-water Hamakaze or to feast within the palatial Lebanese décor of Al Qasr is not an easy decision.  Making a choice between the delicious Indian, Chinese and Italian menus of Mahal, East and Duo, respectively, is equally difficult.  For guests who want to season their meals with a pinch of Maldives romance, Thila offers a unique beachfront setting in which to dine; relish the finest grilled seafood by candlelight surrounded by a panoramic vista of the ocean.  Finally, those wishing to make the most of their private garden, balcony or hired yacht can request an intimate dining experience for two. For those social butterflies that are looking for more of party atmosphere, the resort features three bars: Kalhu, for karaoke kings, Athiri, set on the beaches for the best sunsets and the lively Beach Bar, where guests can share a cocktail and convo in the company of live bands and local dance acts. No resort is complete without a spa and Kurumba certainly delivers on that front. Surrounded by soothing reflection ponds, the Veli Spa is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island.  Here, guests can enjoy a dedicated yoga session, unwinding in the relaxation lounge, de-stressing in the single or couples treatment rooms or indulging in reflexology and exotic body wraps and polishes. For a more romantic experience “The Spa Under the Stars” offers couples a chance to watch the sunset whilst enjoying a unique cowrie shell massage using local hand-pressed Coconut oil.

No resort is complete without a spa and Kurumba certainly delivers on that front. Surrounded by soothing reflection ponds, the Veli Spa is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island.


Life at the Kurumba Resort isn’t just for the sun and spa-seekers – the sporting and adventurous amongst us have a whole smorgasbord of activities to entertain. The Sports Centre offers a fully-equipped gym, pool, and three floodlit tennis courts and if water sports are your passion the Dive School offers a full range of PADI diving courses.  Explore the spectacular dive sites of The Maldives as dazzling shoals of iridescent tropical fish, (friendly!) reef sharks, manta ray and turtles wait to greet you. Once you’ve met the fishy locals, try your hand at Kayaking, water-skiing, windsurfing and parasailing at the spectacular Water Sports Centre and keep the littl’uns entertained with the Fun Tubes and Banana Rodeos.  This is all in addition to a wide-range of fascinating local excursions including a Sand Bank Picnic, the ever popular sunset cruises and even night-fishing under the stars.  They say that everywhere is nice, but home is best.  But if you fancy an escapade and swapping your cup of tea for a tantalising cocktail, your cosy armchair for a luxury sunbed next to a warm glistening shore and your bathtub for an alfresco shower amongst tropical foliage, then the Kurumba Resort is the perfect heavenly retreat to get that extra slice of luxury.





Maldives K U R A M A T H I I S L A N D R E S O R T


cross the sky-blue waters of the Indian Ocean lies an island renowned for its natural beauty; Kuramathi Island Resort. From the 1 km long sandbank that extends from the tip of the resort to the stunning house reef with promising encounters and its wide sweeping beaches offering panoramic views of the ocean, this is a majestic paradise. Upon arrival you will feel like you are on a remote island. However, this resort is easily accessible as transfers from Male International Airport take just 20 minutes by seaplane and 90 minutes via speedboat. How you choose to spend your time on this magical island is up to you. Whether you want peace and quiet whiling away hours in the spa and lazing in the tropical sun, adventure exploring the natural majesty of the Indian Ocean, glamour socialising with fine food and good company, sipping a cocktail by the ocean’s edge, Kuramathi Island Resort will undoubtedly be an unforgettable memory.



Villa accommodation on the island blends contemporary design and nature. Choose from Garden Villas and Beach Villas nestled in lush vegetation, Deluxe Beach Jacuzzi Villas that face the lagoon and new Sunset Pool Villas. The new two-bedroom Beach Houses are expansive duplex-style villas with separate living spaces, located just a stone’s throw away from the water’s edge and able to accommodate up to six adults; ideal for a getaway with friends or a family holiday. Alternatively, couples can find complete bliss in Deluxe Water Villas and Water Villas with a pool, both featuring spacious bathrooms with glass-paned doors leading out on to the expansive sundeck over turquoise waters. Mirrored on the west side of the island, the Sunset Water Villas, with a pool, are just steps away from the resort’s iconic sandbank, perfect for a romantic stroll. Sunset Pool Villas inhabit the beachfront, each boasting endless views direct from the bedroom to the azure sea, a luxurious bathroom with freestanding bath and outdoor rain shower, and a sundeck inset with 18sqm private infinity pool. For added pleasure, all of the new villas also include expanded mini bars with a winechiller housing over 30 hand-selected, international wines, perfect for total indulgence or a festive toast.





Visitors certainly have their every need catered for with no less than nine categories of accommodation. What they all have in common is a fresh and modern design, plus plush state-of-the-art facilities.


Dining options are diverse and All Inclusive guests are allocated a buffet restaurant determined by the location of their villa. If you book the Select All Inclusive package, you’ll have the option to eat at other restaurants offering a great choice of cuisine. The resort boasts an impressive nine à la carte restaurants all offering diverse culinary experiences. A firm favourite with visitors is the classic Reef restaurant, known for its seafood dishes and the fresh catch of the day concept showcasing reef fish such as grouper, mahi mahi, rainbow runner, red snapper and trevallies. It is located on the lagoon side of the island, set in splendid grandeur over water. The middle of the restaurant is truly unique with teppanyaki grills on the left and right-hand side; a new dining experience named Kobe offering authentic Japanese cuisine and finery of cooking meats and vegetables on an iron grill. The al-fresco terraced restaurant Inguru offers stunning views over the ocean and enticing light dining options during the day and Asian fusion cuisine at night. Perhaps the most exciting and majestic new addition to the resort is the Champagne Loft, overlooking the splendid Indian Ocean. Adding to the many bars located throughout Kuramathi Island, Champagne Loft is a special place for couples to drink a glass of Champagne from an eclectic selection of over 45 varieties. Furnished with an elegant ambience and interior; local architecture is inspired and infused with a contemporary touch. Chic furnishings are splayed around the lounge from comfortable loungers to wooden tables that can seat small groups.







The staff at the resort are truly customer satisfaction focused and experts in their respective fields. They offer a welcoming and friendly service and are there to cater to your every need.

There are activities a-plenty available at the resort. If the adventurer in you is keen to explore, exciting times lie ahead as you travel to the mysterious aquatic realm of the Maldives without even dipping a toe in the water! A brand new red semi-submarine seating 12 offers the chance to sight the beauty of the famed prime dive/snorkelling spot of Madivaru twice a week. A variety of water sports, diving and excursions are also available. The house reef offers hours of adventurous snorkelling and when you have had enough of being active, try some of the innovative therapies available at the spa for ultimate relaxation. The staff at the resort are truly customer satisfaction focused and experts in their respective fields. They offer a welcoming and friendly service and are there to cater to your every need. Add to all these luxurious faciites, amenities such as the Bageecha kids club, a sports centre, gym, swimming pools, medical centre with hyperbaric chamber, Eco Centre, boutiques, laundry, library, wi-fi internet and you have the perfect blend to create a retreat that offers unique experiences for everyone in a natural setting.



Voted 2015 World Luxury Spa Awards as Best Luxury Resort Spa - country winner and surrounded by soothing reflection ponds, the resort’s Veli Spa is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island.


Kuoni (01306 747008 or offers 7 nights on full board at the luxury Kuramathi Island Resort, Maldives in a Beach Villa, including flights with Emirates Airlines from Gatwick and group transfers in resort. Lead-in prices for September 2016 are from £1,699 per person, based on two sharing. To book please quote: MV175 With a total of eight restaurants based within the resort, each offering an eclectic selection of the world’s finest cuisines, thoroughly spoilt guests are well catered for. Deciding whether to visit the main restaurant for unhurried all-day dining, to savour far- Eastern sushi and teppenyaki at the over-water Hamakaze or to feast within the palatial Lebanese décor of Al Qasr is not an easy decision to make. Making a choice between the delicious Indian, Chinese and Italian menus of Mahal, East and Duo, respectively, is equally as difficult. For guests who want to season their meals with a pinch of Maldives romance, Thila offers a unique beachfront setting in which to dine; relish the finest grilled seafood by candlelight surrounded by a panoramic vista of the ocean. Finally, those wishing to make the most of their private garden, balcony or hired yacht can request an intimate dining experience for two. The resort features three bars: Kalhu, for karaoke kings, Athiri, set on the beaches for the best sunsets and the lively Beach Bar, where guests can share a cocktail and convo in the company of live bands and local dance acts. Voted 2015 World Luxury Spa Awards as Best Luxury Resort Spa – country winner and surrounded by soothing reflection ponds, the resort’s Veli Spa is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the island. Here, guests can enjoy a dedicated yoga session, unwinding in the relaxation lounge, destressing in the single or couples treatment rooms or indulging in reflexology and exotic body wraps and polishes. For a more romantic experience ‘The Spa Under the Stars’ offers couples a chance to watch the sunset whilst enjoying a unique cowrie shell massage using local handpressed Coconut oil. Kuramathi: Kuoni (01306 747008 or offers 7 nights on full board at the luxury Kuramathi Island Resort, Maldives in a Beach Villa, including flights with Emirates Airlines from Gatwick and group transfers in resort. Lead-in prices for September 2016 are from £1,699 per person, based on two sharing. To book please quote: MV175 For more information visit:







Island Writer Life to life


was standing on the shores of Hawaii, watching the waves crashing on the beach when I decided to become a writer, and live on a tropical island. That is now 27 years ago, and today at 33 I spend my life writing on, and about, island life. Not on Hawaii, but on Ibiza and in Seychelles. But it was a long and sometimes difficult journey to make this dream come true…

Growing up in a small village on the outskirts of Munich the dream of an exotic expat life far away from the conservative German countryside faded over the years, and turned into the nightmare of university, job pressure and existential fears that growing up often comes with. So instead of writing novels on an island, I moved to Hamburg to work for a well-known fashion magazine. Glamorous events and exciting fashion shows kept me busy, and trips to Paris, London and other fashion capitals quenched my desperate thirst for traveling. But the only exoticism in this big city life was my screensaver. Until even that disappeared: the magazine was shut down from one day to the next, and I had to take on some freelance projects to keep my head above the water. So, I found myself in between jobs, over one love affair, and in the middle of a crisis. That’s when I decided to book a trip to the Seychelles to sort out the mess in my mind. But of course nothing is ever that simple…



When I had first arrived in this tropical archipelago with the plan to settle, I didn’t bring much but a suitcase full of hope. For a better life and a happy future. What I just didn’t realise then, was that happiness doesn’t come with palm trees and white sandy beaches. No matter how far you travel, you bring your baggage with you. Whatever you struggled with before often feels magnified on a small island as there is not much distraction, nor an escape: people and families live closely together, and you meet all them all the time. Everybody knows everything about everyone, and no move will go unnoticed. Now, learning to be diplomatic comes in handy. You can’t really show your true self - at least not when you’re an independent, strong-minded woman. Many times I was sent to the girl’s table, so the men could talk business. But you can’t change a society nor a mentality and it often felt like I had to either “fit in or fuck off”. In the beginning I found it very hard and it took me a lot of courage to enter this closed circle that has been established for generations. My English wasn’t good enough to crack a good joke, or to eloquently tell an interesting story. Me, the rhetorical person! I couldn’t shine with a great career then, nor could I look back on a long family history or even a past on the island, while everybody else knew each other for decades, had often shared the same classroom or a first kiss. All these supposed pillars we all build our self-confidence upon were suddenly gone, and I was stripped down to my essential self. And so, with that realisation, I started to unpack the dusty layers of truth that have been carefully hidden and locked up in the basement of my soul for years. What followed were years of learning and understanding, of adapting, growing and rejecting just to fall and get back up. Times full of love, and yet many moments of loneliness. Moments when I felt stuck and restless at the same time, when I left and came back. I’ve had no place I could call my home, but many homes that were mine. And while being so torn, I have learned the greatest lesson of them all: to find the love within myself. It’s a funny thing with islands, they either send you crazy, or make you the master of your own mind. At first you just fall in love with their beauty. I was stunned when I first set foot on Mahé, and discovered this raw gem in the Indian Ocean: the quiet sandy bays that are framed by massive granite rocks. giant tortoises snoozing lazily in the shadows of the palm trees and radiant red hibiscus flowers growing like pulsating hearts in the middle of the lush green veins of the rainforest. Seychelles truly is one of the last unspoiled places on earth. But at a second glance, you realise that living on a small island like this comes at a price that is beyond money. Passion, patience and commitment is the currency that’s needed to make life on these rocks work.

In Seychelles I fell in love, and it seemed like a sign that I could live my island dream at last. There wasn’t much waiting for me back in Germany. My family and many friends were spread all over Europe, and I was tired of working in the fashion industry. I was ready to start over. However, I wasn’t naive enough to pack up and move in with my new found love immediately. For a year I travelled back and forth, trying to get to know the person I had fallen in love with, and understanding the country that seemed too beautiful to be true. Eventually I left Hamburg for good, and moved into my boyfriend’s beautiful flat right by the sea on the main island of Mahé. This is where I have spent most of my time on the veranda, sitting on a worn-out bamboo chair brooding; mostly over words, but often over that adventurous journey that brought me here.




Island Writer

Life here often leaves us at the mercy of the cargo ships, planes and the shop-keepers. Sometimes, we have to wait months to get what we want, and patience is a virtue I had to get used to as you wait everywhere: at the grocery store, topping up the cell phone, at the ATM, for the restaurant bill. It’s called “Island Time”, and any expat can tell you a thing or two about it. My expat friends and I often rail about these island curiosities, and I remember how relieved I was when I first met them; finally someone who understood me, and had the same struggles. The problem about having expat friends is that they usually don’t stay. Most of them come for work and stay a limited time so I had to say goodbye to some of them as they left this island adventure and moved on to their next job. I was lucky enough that I could take my job with me when I first came to the islands. The company I worked for in Germany as a social media consultant allowed me to keep my freelance contract for a little while longer. But to become a part of the country and the local community and not live like a tourist, I decided to apply for a work permit so that I could work for local clients. Unlike in bureaucratic Germany, authorities on islands make up their rules as they go, and at times I felt like they had never dealt with such an exotic thing like a freelancing foreigner who wrote for a living. But with a little name dropping here, and a few convincing words there, I finally founded my own company: The Island Writer.


Life here often leaves us at the mercy of the cargo ships, planes and the shop-keepers.


Fast forward four years later: today I am mostly writing articles about the Seychelles and Ibiza for international travel magazines, and my own Blog. The dream had finally come true! But a writer’s life is not always as easy as I had pictured it when I was that little girl on Hawaii. With print magazines struggling on the market, and thousands of travel blogs, it can be difficult to find your place in the industry. But like any other job in the world there are good and bad sides, and I decided for myself that I would rather live my dream with a backpack on my shoulders than dream of that life sitting on a suitcase full of money. Unlike so many bloggers and Instagrammers travelling the world and being en route all year round, I travel mostly between my two favourite islands, one near Africa, and one in the Mediterranean. This gives me the advantage of knowing them much better than anyone just passing through. Especially since Seychelles is not quite on the social media radar - yet. Maybe because the islands are not necessarily known for their dynamic nightlife, or cutting-edge restaurant scene, like you find on Ibiza with all its culinary gems, beach clubs and discothèques. Seychelles never positioned itself as a party or jet-set destination, but more as an exclusive tranquil hideaway far from the international hipster crowd. Their real luxury lies in privacy and simplicity. Coming back to the Indian Ocean archipelago always feels like entering another world - just like the country’s marketing slogan says. Nature here is of such stunning beauty that even after all these years I feel mesmerised by it. And I now understand that nature is what one needs to make the most of to enjoy living there. As often as possible I pack my beach bag to spend time at one of the many fairy-tale bays on Mahé: Anse Intendance in the south, for example, with its long curvy beach and turquoise shimmering water is perfect to unwind with a good book. At Anse Royale on the east coast the reef protects the shallow lagoon, and makes it the perfect place to stand-up paddle or snorkel. I’m not a diver, but I love exploring the sea on a boat. Cruising around the islands is an amazing experience and I would have never imagined finding myself lucky enough to do so regularly. The first time I sailed on a catamaran was on Hawaiian holidays with my family, and while my mother and me were watching some dolphins jumping around the boat she told me that this was probably one of the best days of her life. I felt the same way, and promised myself to never forget the feeling of the wind in my hair and the salt-spray on my skin. I’ve done countless boat trips since then, pottering about the little rocky islands of Seychelles with friends, and I often find myself leaning against the rigging for a moment, remembering that time so many years ago in the middle of a different ocean. Unfortunately, I cannot spend all my days on a boat (even though I considered becoming a captain at one stage of my life). Most days contain a lot of laptop work at home, or meetings, as I still work as a social media consultant. Even island life can get quite busy! But the nights are usually quiet, and most evenings are reserved for Netflix marathons.




Island Writer

For me the charm of Ibiza lies in the laid back yet creative vibe you feel on every corner.” Ibiza is different. There is so much to do that I never know what to start with, and the time I usually spend on the ’White Island’ never feels long enough to explore it all. There are a few theories how Ibiza got its nickname: some people believe it comes from all the white houses, others say it’s because many decades ago, salt became the powerhouse of the Ibizan economy. Nowadays, this name has come to represent the Ibiza lifestyle, and you can find white everywhere: in architecture, fashion, interior and the world-famous white parties. Some of the world's best DJs like David Guetta, Sven Väth, Armin van Buuren and many more descend on the island in summer, making it the ultimate destination for clubbers. I wouldn’t consider myself a party-person, at least not anymore. But it’s always nice to have options especially when you come from a remote place like the Seychelles. For me the charm of Ibiza lies in the laid back yet creative vibe you feel on every corner. I experienced that for the about ten years ago, when I first came to the island. A friend, from my days at the fashion magazine, invited me for a week at her summer house on the Balearic Island. We didn’t know each other well then, but something clicked that day we spent at the Cala d’Hort beach looking at the famous Es Vedra - the little rocky island which is Ibiza's unofficial totem, and the third most magnetic place in the world after the poles. If it was the magic of Es Vedra, or if two soul mates had just met - who knows. But we have remained best friends ever



since, and in the following years we spent a lot of time together on the island. While I had settled in the Seychelles, she built a life for herself in Ibiza. Nowadays she runs a ‘spiritual light centre’ in the north of the island where I have my room whenever I am there. The house in the mountains is a place where people come together to meditate, sing, eat, drink and work. Orama consults and hosts seminars for personal and spiritual growth, and everybody is invited to join the meditation sessions. Her temple is just above my rustic room, and I am always overwhelmed by the peaceful spirit that surrounds this place. The whole island unfolds in front of the stone terrace, and all I hear when I open my eyes in the morning is the sound of nature from the valley and the woods. Along the old Phoenician walls behind the property an enchanted little hiking track leads down to a secluded bay; in spring time the sweet scent of the blossoming almond trees lingers in the air as you walk down the winding path. Having made this peaceful heaven my second home fills me with a deep satisfaction. It is my cocoon, where I can just be myself and take a deep breath - and of course where I write about my experiences on the island. Then, I sit like I do now, on another worn-out wooden chair brooding; mostly over words, but often over that adventurous journey that brought me here. Judith Heede








MEANS BUSINESS Introducing Breathpod


ou were doing it all night long and again this morning. You just did it… oh and again. We breathe on average 20,000 times a day, yet most of us are unaware of its remarkable ability to transform the way we feel. Our lives depend on breathing, the constant exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Some may assume the autonomic action of everyday breathing is sufficient, however, the truth is many people breathe in shallow and constricted patterns. 1 in 10 have symptoms of dysfunctional breathing and we ALL have experiences in life that affect our breathing mechanism. When we limit the effectiveness of our breathing process we limit the amount of oxygen that are delivered to our cells. This can lead to illness, general lack of energy, feeling emotionally drained, fatigue, and can trigger stress, anxiety and depression. The health benefits and effectiveness of a regular breathing practice has been known for centuries by yogis and martial artists. We now also have a strong evidence base backed by neuroscience. Neuroscience tells us that the rhythm, rate and depth in which we breathe directly affects the activity in our brain. We can therefore use the breath to increase energy when we need a boost or to calm ourselves during moments of stress. We can also use deeper forms of breathwork to integrate unresolved emotions that we are holding on to consciously or subconsciously. Stuart Sandeman, founder of Breathpod, started working closely with breathwork following the loss of his girlfriend to cancer. He discovered that by following a connected pattern of deep breathing, the stress and anxiety lifted, his energy levels increased and the emotional trauma of grief and hurt faded. Amazed by his personal shift, Stuart trained in one of the worlds leading techniques for healing and change called Transformational Breath® and set up Breathpod to share breath science, tools and techniques with the world.

“I was travelling worldwide, living a very hedonistic lifestyle as an international DJ and producer, when my girlfriend was diagnosed with late stage cancer. It really put the breaks on things as I took time to support her and fully immerse myself studying health, diet, movement, meditation, psychology, philosophy, and anything related to the body, mind and spirit. When she passed, I found myself in a pretty bad headspace. At this time I found solace in an incredible practise called Transformational Breath. It completely blew me away. Initially it taught me to feel my grief fully so that it no longer had a hold of me, but It didn’t stop there. After a number of sessions I noticed I was fitter and stronger. I felt more compassionate towards myself and others. I began to feel a deep sense of connection to who I am and the world around me. I understand we may not have all lost a loved one but we have ALL felt the associated emotions that come with grief - anger, sadness, frustration, guilt, stress, anxiety, pain. In the course of our busy lives we deal with a number of these emotions, stresses and traumas. These can lead to poor dysfunctional breathing patterns” Breathpod, delivers unique breathing programs designed to help individuals, groups and businesses optimise physical, mental and emotional health. Their one-to-one sessions and workshops increase energy, productivity, communication, confidence, focus and improve emotional intelligence, decision making, concentration, sleep and memory. They have worked with a number of large brands including Nike, Lululemon, Propercorn, Fulham FC, Quickbooks and Virgin Money. “We help people and businesses harness their full potential, teaching breath techniques that are proven to improve the ability to handle stress while reducing anxiety, fatigue, anger and outer and inner conflict” explains Stuart.

One-to-one sessions and workshops increase energy, productivity, communication, confidence, focus and improve emotional intelligence, decision making, concentration, sleep and memory.




Unless we are breathing deeply and fully, our cells are not receiving the amount of oxygen they require for optimum health.� The Breathpod practice is underpinned by 3 principles and based on findings in contemporary neuroscience 1st Principle: The Physical Body

Unless we are breathing deeply and fully, our cells are not receiving the amount of oxygen they require for optimum health. Science shows us, as well as the glucose in the food we eat, that our body utilises the oxygen we breathe in to produce energy. Oxygen is the most fundamental form of nutrition for our cells, and carbon dioxide is the most common waste product generated. Scientific research shows that 2/3 of our energy comes from our breath and 70% of toxins are eliminated through the breath.

By analyzing our breath pattern and clearing any restrictions we can improve the efficiency of the breathing mechanism. This transforms the health and vitality of the physical body producing: More Energy

Increased detoxification Enhanced Respiratory capacity Strengthened immune response Improved metabolism and digestion Muscle Tension Relief Increased physical performance






2nd Principle: Mental & Emotional energy. The physics ‘Law of Entrainment’ proves we can create an extremely high vibrational frequency in the body and integrate the low vibrational energy (incl. emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, guilt) permanently transforming it to that of a higher vibration. This extremely high vibration is created in our sessions by using a connected breath, sound and movement. Like a meditation hack on steroids the results create:

Our state of mind and emotions are associated with distinct patterns of breath. Have you ever noticed when you are stressed, anxious or afraid, you breathe quick and shallow breaths. When we feel happy & calm, our breath is slow and full. A cluster of several thousand neurons deep within the brainstem are in charge of auto generating different types of breath: regular, excited, sighing, yawning, gasping, sleeping, laughing, sobbing etc. These neurons also monitor the signal they receive back from the breath pattern and relay a message accordingly to a part of the brain that then triggers a response – alertness, distress, relaxation, attention, excitement or anxiety. Typically when we feel stressed, anxious or afraid we are activating our sympathetic nervous system commonly referred to as the ‘fight or flight response’. When we are relaxed and calm our para-sympathesitc system is engaged creating a ‘rest and digest response’. By consciously changing the depth, rhythm and rate of our breath, we can hack the messages transmitted from the body’s respiratory system to the neuropathways in the brain. This means we can learn breath techniques to transform:

Stronger connection to who we are and those around us Awareness of unity consciousness. Deeper relaxation response Fuller expression A feeling of openness Removal of self-limiting beliefs, old mental tapes and feelings of lack & limitation More peace, creativity, clarity and joy.

During the beginning of a Breathpod session, a breath analysis takes place to observe and identify any ineffective or restrictive patterns. Following the analysis you are taught to optimise the breathing process by using a fully connected, diaphragmatic breath. This type of breathing massages the various tissues and organs surrounding the diaphragm. It aids good circulation and activates the lymphatic system whilst stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. The nervous system then sends signals to the brain allowing the body to enter the “rest and digest” state, which slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and respiratory rate. It also diverts the blood supply towards the digestive and reproductive systems. Our body accumulates and holds on to physical, mental & emotional stresses in certain parts of our body. Tools such as hands-on acupressure, sound, movement and coaching are used to open the breathing system, allowing us to free up these blocked regions within our body. When breathing is full, open and connected, “activation” occurs creating a high vibrational frequency in the body. Any low vibrational energy held in our cellular memory (the bag of bricks we all carry in various sizes!) begins to synchronise with the high vibration of the breath though the law of entrainment process. This integration results in a clearing of the subconscious. “It can be an emotional experience, however it leaves us with energy, expanded awareness, joy and calm. Really incredible stuff and can help with a number of conditions including: stress, anxiety, grief, asthma & respiratory Ailments, heart conditions, phobias, panic attacks, depression, PMS, headaches, insomnia, infertility, addictions, chronic fatigue, ME, digestive ailments, pain control, apnoea, recovery facilitation and anaerobic diseases. Breathpod works in partnership with coaching company ‘Mindful Talent’ creating bespoke breath and coaching programs. The collaboration is a powerhouse for embedded change. The breathwork practices integrate change on a cellular level and coaching moves the results and experience into action. The impact is huge on the individual and with team growth. The combined workshops have proven a huge success with brands including Google, Lululemon and Sky.

Stress to calm Reacting to responding Complaint to compassion Hearing to listening Disagreement to balance Separation to unification Blame to resolve Fatigue to energy

Naturally, as humans, we also hold our breath to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed by our feelings and emotions. As this process becomes habitual, we lose the ability to breathe deeply and fully. Think about the time you have been angry, clenching your jaw, shaking your fist and holding your breath. Or perhaps a time when you were upset, but it was not appropriate to burst into tears. What do you do to stop yourself… you hold your breath. Or that time when something was extremely amusing which shouldn’t have been, and you had to hold your breath to stop the laughter. All of these are very conscious examples of holding our breath to control our emotions. However, anytime we repress or suppress ANY emotion or feeling we do so by controlling our breath. Our brain tries to protect us from an uncomfortable feeling. This contraction of breathing muscles stops the emotion in its tracks, which is theoretically “energy in motion”, and stops us from fully integrating the feeling into the present moment. Our breath is then restricted and we lose the ability to breathe deeply and fully. We can consciously learn to free these restrictions in the breath and balance the emotional charge by applying our 3rd Principle. 3rd Principle: Vibrational

“Everything in Life is Vibration” – Albert Einstein

Humans are made of cells. Our cells are made of atoms, which are made of particles of vibrating energy. Even our thoughts, feelings and emotions are vibrating



Through Remedy State program we can reduce the industry impact allowing those involved to keep on top of their game, find balance and access deeper levels of creativity.” They hosted their first UK “Transform Your World” Events in Edinburgh and London over two separate weekends earlier this year. Each event combined intensive coaching, mindfulness, neuroscience and special Breathpod breathing techniques to help participants explore ideas, connect with their deepest desires, and find their true purpose in life. Breathpod has also partnered with IMS Remedy State: A wellness retreat taking place as a precursor at the International Music Summit in Ibiza, advocating self-care within the arts and entertainment industry. A 3 day holistic retreat in May curated by and for dance music professionals and the public, aiming to help those who have suffered from physical, mental and emotional demands that come with the industry. This is a hugely exciting collaboration as it remains close to Stuart’s heart as he will be helping artists and industry professionals to manage the pressures he felt when touring the world as an international DJ and producer. “In 2016, a British study commissioned by Help Musicians UK found that musicians are on average three times as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. The challenges of being an on-the-road performer seem obvious with nocturnal hours, absurd travel schedules, onerous public appearances, job insecurity, a culture of drink and drugs and not to mention all those solitary hours spent in front of a computer or on the road. This can take a huge toll on your physical and mental health and act as a catalyst towards the effects of depression, anxiety, addiction and more. Ill health can result in reduced creativity, productivity, low studio output, poor performances, low self-esteem, show cancelations, reduced fees and even early retirement. Through Remedy State program we can reduce the industry impact allowing those involved to keep on top of their game, find balance and access deeper levels of creativity.” Breathpod will be delivering breath workshops at the retreat. Attendees will also have the chance to have one-to-one consultations with nutritionists, dietitians and doctors who specialize in holistic practices. The retreat will also include a daily yoga practice and meditation and offer plant based meals along with keynote lectures and motivational talks. For those in London, Breathpod offers 1:1 sessions at their studio space on Harley Street. They have also working with Cancer Charity Hello Beautiful offering weekly workshops at the Hello Love space in central London. 50% of ticket sales support the charity and sessions are free to those affected by cancer. Breathpod workshops can also be found at London’s trendiest fitness studio Blok London. Blok have recognised breathwork as the next generation in human performance adding it as key component to their offering at the gym. So it may be time to take note that the very air we breathe has more impact on our lives that some of us may have thought. It’s an exciting time for breathwork, and companies like Breathpod helping to create a global shift in awareness.






03-C EIDC_Silhou_DPS 5/17/17 11:33 AM Page 2








ACCOLADE HEATING UK (25 Years Experience) *Bespoke Bathroom Fitting *Plumbing & Heating *Renewable Energies *LPG Gas *Commercial & Domestic Services

All Works Fully Gauranteed Gas Safe Engineers & QualiďŹ ed Plumbers References Available on Request


no obligation Quote Contact Our Team

07852 881965 6




ell that wasn’t so bad was it? Don’t know what all the fuss was about? Project Fear? More like Project Fear Not! Unfortunately, the backwards turning Brexit wheels have not yet been set in motion – the party hasn’t even started.

Initially, things didn’t look so great for both the national and local property markets immediately after June’s momentous decision. Committed buyers suddenly became anxious about putting vast sums of money down on the table. Nervous vendors started withdrawing their properties from the market ‘until things had settled down a bit’. Those sellers that were still keen/ needed to sell were suddenly having to accept reduced offers – something we hadn’t seen across the board for over a decade since the heady days of 2008.

But, gradually the local city market started to shake off the shock of allowing the public to vote on such important issues. Confidence started to creep back in whilst the politicians continued to work out who would be left standing to lead the victorious Brexit negotiations. Ironically, the only person in authority who seemed to have a non-Remain plan in place (in case the public, heaven forbid, decided to vote for change) was a ‘foreigner’ – Canadian Mark Carney – the Governor of the Bank of England. His decision to meet with the heads of the major lending institutions before the Vote to ensure there was no panic retraction of available lending finance to consumers (unlike the previous recession); coupled with a substantial injection of cash (£9bn since June and counting); plus the unheralded drop in interest rates to one quarter percent; undoubtedly helped the market to take a deep breath. These measures were put in place to ensure that the financial system was ‘well-capitalised, liquid and strong’.

The one thing both the financial and property markets despise is uncertainty. For the years leading up to June’s historic vote, Brighton property had witnessed strong steady rises of around 10% year on year. This consistent growth allowed for confident advice from property professionals on not just the benefits of investing in bricks and mortar but also the likely future returns from such investments, whether for owner occupation or for rental purposes. Brexit changed all this overnight.

Unfortunately, even the creators of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union have no idea as to what the full ramifications are for the member state ‘brave’ enough to trigger it – appropriate phrase! It was always

designed to be a nuclear style deterrent of which nobody would dare press the red button. One thing is clear that the UK, (or whatever is left of it in two years’ time if Scotland get their way?), will most likely be in a weaker trade negotiating position and may well also be made an example of to the other EU super powers, to ensure that any other wavering EU members do not also decide to roll the referendum dice.

Sterling is likely to continue to suffer too during this two-year exiting process and also inflation, and thereto the cost of living, will start to rise inextricably with household incomes subsequently squeezed. Marmite Wars will not be the only thing leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Even though nothing has actually happened yet in terms of instigating Brexit, the local property market is clearly nowhere near the activity levels of pre-Brexit, and there will undoubtedly be more troubled waters ahead to steer through. Prices are currently level with generally healthy negotiation between both buyers and sellers alike. This is an unusual scenario within Brighton & Hove property price movements which notoriously have shown a rollercoaster ride of either significant spikes over the years with the occasional sharp fall thrown in for good measure – aka 2007/8.

However, it is not all doom and gloom here in Brighton and Hove. The falling pound obviously helps tourist hotspots like Brighton. Not just from bargain hunting ‘foreigners’ but also staycationers feeling the pinch of sterling’s current close parity with the Euro – not to mention the distinct possibility of having to apply for, and pay for, visas to travel around EU countries in the future. The City has also demonstrated its resilience to property downturns in the past. In particular, last decade’s economic recession only saw property prices fall in the area during 2008 and the latter part of the previous year. By 2009 prices started to rise which was only matched by the City of London. This scenario is very different this time around in that it will be exclusively felt in the UK, plus the prime London property hotspots have undoubtedly taken a massive hit since June’s vote, with no signs of recovering activity and/or prices yet on the horizon. Many would argue these market sectors were overheated in the first place and the champagne bubble needed to burst to make property more affordable again, particularly for first-time buyers. Alas a falling property market only seems to bring out the worst in consumers. Confidence erodes away as buyers, both in the retail


and property sectors, batten down the hatches and sit on their hands until there is light at the end of the dark tunnel. Only a few vulture investors are left picking up bare bone rock-bottom bargains which don’t help enough to bolster the depressed market. This is further compounded by the nervous Banks overreacting by tightening their lending criteria to make it so much more difficult for those buyers still out there trying to bravely bid in a falling market.

As any property surveyor, estate agent, conveyancer, broker, or anyone else connected with the property world, will tell you it’s not falling prices that are the problem – it’s falling transactions. Basic Keynesian supply and demand economics should mean that the acute shortage of available housing stock in the Brighton area, restricted by geographical constraints from the English Channel to the south and the recently designated South Downs National Park to the north, combined with the slow progress of any proposed large housing developments actually coming to fruition, should result in continued property price hikes from the seemingly never-ending demand for property in the City, particular from London buyers/investors. This does not however, translate into the real world when macro-economic factors such as these have such a significant impact on the market. Whatever the repercussions to the economy over the next two years are, once Article 50 is triggered, the key element to avoid a property downturn is consumer confidence. It is down to every one of us, not just the property professionals and analysts, to talk up the market and to keep spending with confidence. This is the best and only way to navigate the stormy seas of uncertainty that lie ahead. It’s no use those of us who voted to Remain, (or more regrettably didn’t bother to vote at all), to say ‘I told you so!!’ If the UK economy catches a cold, then we all suffer. I’d rather the experts ‘we’ve had enough of’ be proved to be wrong and that the fact less phrase I frequently hear of ‘don’t worry everything will turn out alright in the end’ does hold true. For I can take solace that my hometown of Brighton and Hove once again showed its acceptance of diversity and forward thinking by voting over 2 to 1 to remain proud European Brightonians. Michael Ashby MRICS E: M: 07773 338347

House 4 House Limited 42 Carlisle Road, Hove, BN3 4FS F: 01273 220285 W: Registered in England number 07654795



This five storey Victorian house, moments from the sea, is available to buy. Expertly renovated by RIBA award winners Baobab Developments, this is a stylish, high tech yet comfortable family home with five double bedrooms, sea views from the west balcony, a private courtyard, spacious sun terrace and a self- contained one bedroom apartment, perfect for rental, AirBNB or granny annex. 3085 sqft . 5 double bedrooms . 2 receptions . sun terrace . self contained 1 bedroom apartment . sea facing balcony . mural by ART+BELIEVE . gaggenau appliances . control4 home control and audiovisual system . lutron lighting control . marble worktop . dinesen flooring . ultra high specification



We are Brighton based boutique developers, passionate about building incredible houses that enhance the lives of the people fortunate enough to live in them. We won our first RIBA award in 2017. We intend on winning many more. It is our firm conviction that good houses improve lives and this guides all that we do. Design drives decisions. We use renowned architects, we commission designers, be they lighting, kitchen, bathroom, interior, landscape, home automation, and it is this use of experts that allows us to concentrate on delivering the key components of ever y Baobab house – design, detail, light, space.

We recognise that many people would not consider a newly built property: this stems from the soulless, profit driven finish associated with so many developers, as well as the complete absence of imagination and consideration in the design. We want to buck that trend. We want to create properties, at all levels of size and budget, that are appropriate to the way people live in the 21st centur y. Well designed properties, both in functionality as well as aesthetics, help us lead better and more fulfilling lives. We, as developers, want to build houses that do this.





KOOL KATZ series canvas wall art

TRUMP series

EGO series

NME Rock Pulp series

G-METRICS series

Schreiber YELLOW & BLACK series

Schreiber MOVEMENT series

FLINT series

B E S P O K E H I G H - Q UA L I T Y P R I N T S & C A N VA S A R T we work on a diverse range of commercial and residential projects and to individual requests. Get in touch and see what we can create for you.



Baobab pride and position themselves as boutique property developers, as deliverers of design and architecture.


he company formed 10 years ago with the single intention to build beautiful buildings and this central mission drives and guides everything they do. If ever a decision creates conflict with this, the Baobab team simply default to this overriding desire to create incredible spaces for people to live. Design drives decisions. The team are fueled by a real passion for design and architecture.

Design drives decisions. The team are fueled by a real passion for design and architecture.


In the nine years of operation, Baobab have built out nine schemes, creating 18 houses and 7 apartments. They have a further eight in various stages of construction at the moment, creating 27 houses and 9 apartments. All properties in build and built are characterised by the four elements they strive to incorporate in to all of our buildings: design, detail, light and space. Founder Paul Templeton spoke to Absolute to tell us just what it’s like to be a developer in the everevolving city of Brighton, what projects the team have on the go at the moment and what the future holds…

“Property developers have a bad reputation: I was in Komedia in the lanes one evening, arriving late to discover my wife had got us a spot right at the front of the stage. Nightmare. Inevitably, the compere made a beeline to me and asked what I did for a living. Rather than saying I was a paramedic or a charity worker, I made the mistake of saying I was a property developer. The whole audience booed me as if I was the devil incarnate. It was a lesson! I understood the disdain - property developers are in the main able to be characterised by soulless, profit driven development, devoid of character and thought, with every corner cut. We consider ourselves at the other end of the spectrum - we aim to over-deliver. I was once called an ‘anti-developer’ following our scheme on Withdean Road: the site we bought had planning permission for four large houses of over 5000 square feet each. We then spent a year in planning getting a permission for three houses with an overall area of around two thirds of that already permitted: spending a year and all that money to reduce a site down from four to three is not what your average developer would do. This was rewarded by three magnificent houses which won both a RIBA award and a Sussex Heritage Award in 2017.


We are proud to be from Brighton and try to be as localist as possible in what we do. We use local contractors, such as the excellent Nutshell Construction, as well as local specialist subcontractors, architects, designers, consultants, accountants and lawyers. We appreciate that being next to a construction site is not particularly pleasurable, so we do what we can to ameliorate this experience for our neighbours. Alongside the Considerate Constructor’s scheme, it might even be small things such as commissioning local awesome artists Art+Believe to paint temporary artworks on our hoardings - you may well have seen them around! We also try to engage with the city at large, whether it be sponsorship of events such as the Festival or the Food Awards, or assistance with local charities. Watch this space we will have an exciting announcement shortly of our partnering with a local homeless charity. There are four of us in the company; myself, Ross Barnes our Project Manager, / QS and Hannah Norrish Jones, our Office Manager. Our offices are on Grand Parade and so if you are ever passing do come and say hello!





We have some very exciting projects at the moment:

“ We will continue our gentle expansion, and look to continue to build beautiful houses and spaces to live and work for people in Brighton, Hove and Sussex.� 16

Tongdean Avenue, Hove: We are building a single house designed by the Manser Medal winning architects Carl Turner Architects. This is a low slung, black brick, single storey house arranged around a central courtyard. It is being built by local contractors Nutshell Construction and has an incredible garden design by local Landscape Design expert Nick Dexter. This has sold off plan and is due to complete in August this year.

The Vaults, Lewes: Following a design from YELO architects, we are in the last throes of a four house scheme in central Lewes, behind Steamer Trading on the high street. Contemporary in design, but using traditional, local materials, these four townhouses sit atop listed chalk vaults dating back some three hundred years. Three of the four have been sold and the they will complete in the next month or so


Arundel Road: We are building two contemporary townhouses on Arundel Road in Kemp Town. The architects were Brighton based Alter & Co and these houses are due for completion in September this year. Malling Street, Lewes: Multi award winning architects John Pardey Architects have designed a striking design of 5 townhouses on the site of the old second hand car lot Cuilfail Cars. We took the responsibility of being a gateway project to the town, devising a scheme again contemporary in nature, but detailed beautifully with local, traditional materials.

Ringmer: On a beautiful rural site, with views to the downs and Glyndebourne, we are providing five houses drawn from the pen of local architects ECE Architecture. These will be abvilabnle early 2019.

Hurstpierpoint: We currently have an application in for ten houses on the edge of Hurstpierpoint village. Another John Pardey Architects scheme, this is a cluster of ten two and three bedroom homes, arranged as farm buildings might be with long ranging views to the Downs. A naturalistic and ecologically sensitive landscaping design from Nick Dexter Studio really beds this scheme in to the surrounding environment. Dyke Road Avenue, Hove: We are in planning at the moment with two incredible houses, again from John Pardey, that exploit the elevated position to the south of Dyke Road Avenue. These timber and glass have views down the valley to the sea and will be flooded with light.

Purley: We also have a scheme for nine flats in a leafy avenue in Purley, working again with ECE Architects.

As for what the future holds for Baobab, we will continue our gentle expansion, and look to continue to build beautiful houses and spaces to live and work for people in Brighton, Hove and Sussex at large. We have some very interesting conversations happening regarding various opportunities, be they seafront plots or larger schemes with the Goodwood Estate. I would like to remain true to the spirit of the Ephebic Oath that young Athenians would swear that, “I will leave this city not less but more beautiful than I found it”.” ................

ABSOLUTE 14 Grand Parade Brighton BN2 9QB 01273 695 025


Haut parleurs conçus et développés par Atohm. Création :

enceinte colonne en verre VICTORIA Evo Made in France Tél : +33 (0)4 98 05 11 30 - PA R I S








GT Contractors provide high quality building services to Brighton & Hove and surrounding Sussex areas We can provide architectural services, chartered surveyors, building control services and full project management. We have a very skilled team of contractors that constantly deliver higher professional service to our clients. For a free, no-obligation estimate, please get in touch to arrange an appointment: Contact GT contractors Mob 07881904467 Tel 01273 541544


Address: 13 Colebrook Road Withdean Brighton, BN1 5JH







T: 07815 953824 W: J O N AT H A N S E T H N A I N T E R I O R S . C O M E : J O N AT H A N @ J O N AT H A N - S E T H N A - I N T E R I O R S . U K



Whirlpool Bath,, £1295

Clearwater Bath, Rubberduck, £1499

There's no better luxury feeling in having the time to switch off and immerse yourself in relaxing surroundings. If going on regular spa breaks isn't an option then think whirlpool baths. These cutting edge units with cool shower technology requires professional installation and pipework plus any electrical changes. However what a sheer delight to indulge! Some even come with chromotherapy lighting. Lagoon bath, Bathstore, £1599

“ Eye-catching Mosaics are so in vogue and add a luxury finish. Hexagon shapes, herringbone and chevron, make a good combination for that opulent look. Porcelain tiles are suitable for bathrooms due to reduced water absorption. Luxe, British Ceramic Tile


Veneto Tiles, Bellissimo

Madrid Mosaics, Topps Tiles, £29


Kasia X

Seagull Organic Cotton Bathrobe, Cotton & Olive, £100

Versace Barocco&Robe Bathrobe, AMARA, £335

Spa Towel, Berens

HOME COMFORT Compiled by Kasia | The Styling Agency

The ultimate comfort has to be that warm, soft towel robe straight out of the spa. Pamper yourself and decorate your space to soothe yourself in a spa-like bliss.

Neom Organics' Intensive Skin Treatment Candle, Selfridges

Spa Stool, £99, Destiny


Complete your luxury bathroom decor with sumptuous Egyptian towels and robe. Ultra absorbent, soft and fluffy to enhance your bathroom experience. Home pampering to recharge your batteries.

follow Kasia on facebook @kasiacreative instagram @thestylingagency


Kasia X

Infuse your home with a delicate scent of sophisticated notes. Create a relaxing setting with these beautifully packaged and aromatic candles to sensually unwind.

Robe, The White Company, £50 Sea Salt & Sicilian Lemon Candle, Amara, £40


Jonathan Sethna Redefining luxury interiors


Absolute talks to local high end designer Jonathan Sethna 1. How did your your business' journey start? Starting my own business was something that I had considered for a number of years, however it had never been a viable prospect. My marriage had broken down in 2011 which left me with hefty Spousal and Child Maintenance payments, not to mention the 300 mile round trip to visit my daughter in Norfolk. I therefore could not afford to take the leap of faith into self-employment at that time, although always kept one eye firmly on the goal. As a designer I always craved autonomy, however in many instances you would find yourself in a design by committee situation, which in my opinion dilutes the quality of the end product. I also came across a lot of office politics and bureaucracy which I dislike immensely, and at the end of the day my passion was designing and that was the only reason I went to work.

It was the Summer of 2014 and I was at that point Designer Manager for a very high end property developer based in Surrey. A typical project could be a ÂŁ35m home on the Wentworth or St George's Hill Estate, or a ÂŁ13m 3 bedroom apartment in Knightsbridge. All of which are incredible projects to be involved with, however in tandem a friend had asked me to design a molecular cocktail bar in Croydon.

Designing the bar took me back to the early days of my career, when I used to design back street boozers and JD Wetherspoon pubs. I loved every minute of it and it was a stark reminder of just how much fun and creativity you can ignite within a space. Residential projects can be incredible and highly rewarding, however by their very nature less daring and adventurous.



Not long after I had commenced work on the cocktail bar, a kitchen manufacturer I had a built a good relationship over the previous 2 or 3 years asked me to get involved with a Private Client's Wine and Games Room in Essex he was involved with. We agreed a fee and it was at this point I decided to hand in my notice and set up Jonathan Sethna Interiors. I spent nearly 2 months working on the project in Essex, only to find out at the point of handing in my first invoice that the project was speculative. Two months prior I had handed in my notice thinking this was a live job and one which I commenced based on trust and good faith, and here I was now with a couple of grand to my name and more outgoings than I dare to mention. Life is never easy and I never pretended to be an astute business man, therefore I have had to learn some very harsh lessons along the

My younger years were also very challenging to say the least. Selling aftershave from a bag in the West End of London isn't necessarily a career path I would recommend, nor is working on an ice cream van, chip shop, carpet cleaning, double glazing oh and two YTS schemes if you can think back that far, however all of which have taught me how to be resilient and determined in life.


Throughout my career I specifically opted to work within various sectors of the industry, as this would enrich my experience and knowledge for each genre. Fortunately I have had the privilege to work on a variety of projects along the way, however the most memorable for me would be The Dorchester Hotel Spa in Mayfair, The Old Course Hotel Spa in St Andrews, a restaurant in Bratislava and a 600 bedroom hotel in the heart of Manchester. This job has no boundaries or limitations which is why after 18 years I am as passionate as the day I first started.


2. How has your company grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your businesses success? I wouldn't say the business has grown per say, however it has certainly become more consistent over the past 3 years. It takes a lot of time to establish new relationships as well as nurturing existing ones and like any new business there will be ups and downs. Luckily for me most of the downs came very early on in the business, which now puts me in better stead for the future. Producing good quality work for clients is the best way forward in my opinion, as this often transfers to business recommendations. However without a doubt you need to believe you can achieve anything in life if you put your mind to it. I believed in myself and so did my partner, therefore having positive uplifting people around is half the battle won.

3. At what point did you recognise the success of your business? Unfortunately or fortunately I am my own worst critic, therefore I do not like to consider myself a success. The industry like many other professions can be ruthless, therefore whilst the work is still available I am very pleased and excited to be involved. However, as I have witnessed throughout my career on several occasions economic issues around the world can affect our industry almost overnight. To consider myself a success at this stage of my career, and only 3 years into self employment would be complacent.

4. Being a recognised company, please name a few of your clients or brands that you do business with? London is a great city with stunning architecture, therefore to be invited to work on projects such as The Law Society in Chancery Lane and The Freemason Head Quarters in Holborn and was an absolute privilege. I have completed several projects for The Freemasons HQ, however I hope to work on the Great Auditorium in the near future and this could potentially be in the pipeline... 5. How has the advent of social media impacted on you? Social media is an excellent medium to reach out to business contacts and prospective clients, however it does take time and effort to maintain the interest levels. I find in many instances however it can be over used, which for me can dilute the impact of the message. I like to keep my Facebook and Twitter pages fairly simple, yet informative as and when there is something of real note to share. 6. The team must be pretty large these days. How many people are now part of the machine? On the contrary, it is mainly myself. I like to keep things compact and personable, however on occasions I will draft in additional assistance depending on the projects I am currently involved with. 7. How do you stay relevant and current and continuously meet your consumer needs? Staying current for me is always looking around and taking in the surroundings. Whenever and wherever possible I will go into Hotels, Bars, Restaurants and Showrooms to take a look at the designs and how people are interacting within the spaces. I also attend Interior Design exhibitions, as far afield as Paris in order to meet new suppliers and to see new products and materials. I tend not to follow trends either as these tire quickly and can become repetitive, instead timeless designs with an individual flair are more appealing to me.



“ I tend not to follow trends

either as these tire quickly and can become repetitive, instead timeless designs with an individual flair are more appealing to me."

My favourite place however to seek inspiration is through nature. Nature very rarely gets it wrong and if you're looking for colour schemes or geometry patterns, nature can often throw up some beautiful combinations or patterns. Give it a try!

8. Which project/s are you really excited about? I recently completed a common parts project within a large red brick mansion building in Marble Arch. One of the residents worked in China and invited me to put together some concept ideas for a VIP Wine and Cigar Lounge in Beijing. The concepts were a blend of English and Chinese styles, and actually looked incredibly harmonious together. China has always been a destination on the radar for me, therefore to have the opportunity to work there would be an unbelievable and enriching experience. 9. Why are you different to other businesses within your industry? What can your clients expect? Many Interior Designers focus largely on the soft furnishing and finishes aspects of the project. I am, however, also very technically minded therefore am equally comfortable producing cross section details through bar counters for example, as I would be specifying furniture, fabrics and wall coverings. This gives greater continuity from concept through to completion, which inevitably gives a more seamless end product.

I am also a male in a heavily dominated female industry. I recall on one occasion I was working for a Surrey based design firm as the only male amongst 20 women. I hadn't been in the position too long, perhaps 3 or 4 months when I had the awkward moment when I realised it was the Director's 80 year old mother, Molly's birthday that they were promptly celebrating in the boardroom. Given it was only about 11:30 in the morning, distracted by the laughs and screams (mainly screams) I was quite surprised to see a young near naked male stripper thrusting his crotch towards Molly's face. At that point I thought it was either more crotch or a pint of Guinness, therefore opted for the latter! 10. How has the city of Brighton helped your business? Do you feel Brighton's high creativity levels have contributed to your success? Although I was brought up in South London, Brighton has always been my spiritual home. I've always loved the place, I love taking my family here. As soon as I see Brighton, I feel like I'm home. Always something to inspire-whether it's the beautiful landscape or the eclectic people, it is a wonderful melting pot of styles, tastes and individuals. I am now pleased to call this home. It has long since been my dream to make my mark on the city.



We find you the very best buyers and tenants from across the globe‌

Locally Nationally & Internationally With a network of 54 country branches, 33 within London and 7,000 international partner offices, call us today on 01273 796157 to understand how we can help you.

Hamptons Brighton & Hove 82 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2EB Sales. 01273 796157 Lettings. 01273 796159 Please dial in full. If you have already appointed another agent, you may be subject to a restrictive contract.

CuckfieldBathrooms The Clockhouse, High Street RH17 5JX • Telephone: 01444 414 888

‘Frame’ Fixed Panel by Drench Europe New display in Cuckfield Bathrooms

Earrings, Pretty Eccentric, £39

Sweep him off his feet in this floor-length romantic gown. This statuesque, lacetrim design channels ethereal summer grace for a modern bride.

The Dress Its all about the neckline! Just like Meghan's wedding gown. No embellishments and no-frills. Sartorial elegance.

Rosa Clará collections at Mathilda Rose

Courts Shoes, Beretun Designs, £59

Sandals Sophia Webster £425

Sling Floral

LK Bennett X Jenny Packham, £295

Aquazzura shoes £640


Dune shoes, £120

Dress your feet 132


Justin Alexander 8936 'Vivienne' Stylish Crepe wedding dress Blessings of Brighton

Compiled by KASIA

Inspired by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex here are some regal ideas for your special big day and beyond...

Kasia X


Philip Treacy Headpiece, £450

Dahlia lace edge veil by Rainbow Club £125

A veil adds the final touch to your bridal look. There is something ultra romantic and innocent about this classic accessory. Different lengths suit different dresses.


Deluxe gatsby hair comb, Pretty Eccentric, £89

Earrings, Beretun Designs, £39

As a wedding guest, your attire should also be appropriate for the occasion. No mini skirts, see-through, or braless numbers thank-you. Mid-length dresses and delicate headpieces are more in keeping with a classic event. Keep it tasteful.

Inspirato Design House at Blessing Bridal

Your special occasion ABSOLUTE

Boho Bride. An effortless and freespirited style suits summer weddings perfectly. Think floral embroidery, lace or crochet and with relaxed, floaty lines. Festival Brides.

Compiled by Kasia at / follow fb @thestylingagency

Maggie Sottero dress, Whyte Weddings, Worthing





WWW.LAPTOP-DOCTOR.COM TEL: 01273 748 643 | 01273 95 84 85 122 QUEENS ROAD | BRIGHTON | BN1 3WB 134




JIM CAREY Photography feature SUSSEX & BEYOND














R E P U B L I C One of the shops that best reflect the buzz of the iconic North Laine area has to be artrepublic. Their window continually displays beautiful, stimulating work. The Brighton gallery has one of the most extensive collections of framed limited edition art prints in the UK and features internationally renowned artists & emerging talent. Their team of friendly art experts have over 25 years experience, with knowledge & helpful advice to match you with your perfect art. Absolute's own art man Pete Hayward talked to Gallery Director Acushla Bennett.

Art Republic is an established icon of Brighton’s North Laine. When did the doors of this destination shop and gallery open? What was the early incarnation of the shop like then? The space opened in 1993. The space was hung in the same way, but we dealt mainly in high quality framed exhibition posters from museums and exhibitions around the world. The curated hanging style of the gallery has been a constant with the artwork inside the frame evolving with the times. Which artists were represented in the early days of the shop? Were there any high profile names in the mix? We dealt mainly in open editions in the early days from Rothko to Monet. Our first venture into limited editions was with now well known urban artists- Jimmy Cauty and Banksy. Our tastes have evolved along with the tastes of the public. I notice many editions set prints on offer. Do artists offer you a once-original piece at all? Since dealing with Limited Edition art, we have always had one or two original pieces as well. Now with our new space, we are able to expand the number of original pieces we show and even curate shows and exhibitions of this work. Apart from the fact that its lovely to have a fabulous piece sitting on your wall, do you have customers looking to purchase as an investment? Can you give any guidance on the art market to help this? Investment is often a conversation we have with our clients. We believe that you should buy something you love and that the added bonus is that it will hold or increase in





value- this is not the case for all pieces, but we are able to give guidance due to our 25 years of experience. Having an investment piece allows your collection to evolve over time, often with the sale of one piece you are able to afford another that fits in with your new home- as it is always the art that follows you through your life rather than your bricks and mortar. Many of our clients who invested in Banksy pieces for £80- £100 have returned to invest in Damien Hirst or Peter Blake. Also, investment is made much more affordable using the own art scheme - many people build up a collection this way. So someone has just purchased a large format print. The last thing a customer needs is to start finding a frame and even worse, put it all together with the risk of creasing their valuable investment. Do you offer a complete backup service to see that perfect quality frame and how long does it take to actually deliver? Yes, we have an extensive custom framing service so we can match the perfect frame to your piece. All of the materials used are conservation materials (they won't degrade the art over time) and we can frame to the highest archival format- so your investment is protected. We also offer a delivery service for the whole of the UK and worldwide shipping. Each piece of artwork is different, but as an estimate, we can get the bespoke framed piece to your door in 3-4weeks. An interior designer approaches you with a project that requires a large edition purchase. Can you offer a complete fulfilment and delivery complete with trade discounts? We have worked with many interior designers over the time- just recently we filled a 5star


hotel in Pakistan with limited editions of two of our artists- Louise McNaught and Kristijana Williams. Due to our strong relationships with our artists, we were able to liaise with them to negotiate the best price for our clients and provide a packing and shipping service. Each project differs due to the artists the designer would like to work with, but I am confident we would be able to find a good fit regarding price and service. It is definitely something we would want to do more of! You offer an affordable solution for a customer looking to spread the cost over a period. Could you explain how this works? The Own Art scheme allows you to spread the cost of the artwork over 10 months at 0% APR. You do not need to put down a deposit, and your first payment comes out approximately 6 weeks after you set it up. You can place a deposit if you would like your monthly payments to be reduced. You can also pay the balance off at any time without any charges as well as make overpayments without any charges. The cap for this scheme is £2,500. We offer another plan that if from £4000-£25,000 where you can spread the payments over 20 months interest-free. It takes 5 minutes to set up instore or over the phone and we get a decision on the day. Onto current art. You have a fantastic array of featured artists. Do artists approach you or do you seek them out? Are you open to someone walking in with an idea or a newly printed edition to sell? We are always actively looking for new artists and have a dedicated team to do so. We regularly visit art fairs, and graduate shows to seek out new talent. Many of our artists have been found through our submissions email that we check regularly. All we ask for is your bio and highresolution images of your work. We have been known to nurture new artists we work with by using our years of experience and contacts in the printmaking world. The shop has gone through a new transformation. How did the decision arrive to have an actual gallery space? We have always perceived the space as a gallery, and we were lucky enough to be offered the space next door to expand what we offer. With the new space, we are able to put on more events for the community, and it will also make it easier to put on our meet the artist events that have been a feature of the last 2 years. Does Art Republic have any further future plans? We have lots of exciting plans for this year... Booked in so far- our kids' colouring days and monthly live screen printing with local screen printers.and monthly live screen printing with local screen printers. Watch this space! 13 Bond St, Brighton, Brighton BN1 1RD



Registered Charity No. 1108777 Charitable Company No. 5300691



WHAT AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY What an incredible journey we have had these past 20 years! As a local charity our focus has always been on the City and helping those most in need living in Brighton & Hove; whether that be young people in schools, members of the homeless community living on the streets or women facing times of crisis. We have had an ever increasing passion to impact this City, to see all members of our community thriving and living life to the full. We would like to thank everyone that has partnered with us, supported and worked alongside us over the years. Together we can transform the City even further- let’s make our City the best it can be! Paul Young, Founder.


Buy a vital item for one of our projects

Visit our just giving page

Raise £ for us Whether you want to run, jump, dance, host a sale or take part in a challenge to raise money for our ongoing work, we’d love to hear from you. a

Get in touch at




design that resonates.

design | art direction | consulting | art phone. web. facebook. twitter.

0771 20 43145 @DesignBrighton

publishing | advertising | digital | music Created by Pete Hayward


*NEW MENUS NOW BEING SERVED* 32 Duke Street, Brighton 01273 773388 Follow us on



Absolute sussex spring 2018 issue 140  
Absolute sussex spring 2018 issue 140