Everybody's favourite restaurant returns to Hove www.lapiazza.co 79 - 80 Western Road Hove BN3 2JQ
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he new year has fully got going now and the team at Absolute Magazine are feeling more energised than ever with Spring in the air and the promise of a long balmy Sussex Summer ahead.
Fronting our first issue of 2019 is a stunning image from our fashion shoot taken at the brand new Brighton Beach Club, situated just next to the i360, right by the sea’s edge. If you haven’t already visited, be sure to soon as there is no doubt it will be one of the hottest places to dine and chill this Summer. The shoot was captured by the incredible Darren Black, a huge inspirational talent in the photography world who we have interviewed in this issue and who has shot some of our most iconic front covers in the past. We were also proud to have featured enchanting dresses from Argentinian designer Natalie Antolin, whose exquisite creations can be found at Forget Me Not in the North Laines, Brighton. This issue we look at the highly-anticipated forthcoming Brighton Festival and the recently announced guest director for 2019, plus we interview Amber Bain of indie pop rising stars The Japanese House ahead off her UK tour. We also bring you some valuable fitness advice to get your mind body and soul in order for the year ahead from Briony Fisher, yoga teacher to the Brighton and Hove Albion FC. In addition to all our well-loved regular features, we also bring you loads of fabulous Sussex foodie news and reviews. We have visited Hove’s La Piazza, enjoyed the stunning beers from The Cloakroom Bar and Brewery in St James Street Brighton, stayed at the luxurious Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spas and have previewed the impressive new spa at South Lodge. Overseas, we look at the world famous Alphonse Island and the awe-inspiring Sea Monkeys Villa in the Seychelles and finally back in Sussex we look forward to the year ahead at our local racing tracks at Brighton, Fontwell and of course the glorious Goodwood. Enjoy! Absolute
Bolney Wine Estate Spring Fayre Brighton Wind Farm Tours Take a trip out the New Rampion offshore windfarm. It is approximately 30 minutes from Brighton Marina and consists of a 2 -3 hour tour with the return trip taking in the Brighton Seafront. The tour greatly depends on which phase of the project is in operation on the day and you will be able to see the construction vessels and the scale of the operation as you sail directly under the turbines. Rampion Windfarm tours depart at 0900 and 1200 1430. Visit www.brightondiver.com
On 17th March the Bolney Wine Estate will be showcasing a dazzling array of stalls selling local crafts and produce. The Eighteen Acre cafe and restaurant will be open on the day selling lots of charming treats and savouries for you try and entry is free. Plus for all children and families, their will be a vineyard trail to enjoy. A day not to miss!
VegfestUK Brighton 2019
George Ezra continues his phenomenal ascent with the announcement of his first ever headline arena tour, coming to the Brighton Centre on March 11th ’19.
29th Sussex Beer & Cider Festival
“WE’RE GOING ON TOUR!” says George. “And not just any tour, the biggest run of dates that I will have ever played, ending at the O2 in London. Touring these new songs along with all of the first album has meant that the last year has been the most amazing twelve months imaginable, to all of you that have made a show so far, thank you. And to all of you that we will see next year, hold tight! Get practising those songs, polishing off your dancing shoes, let’s make it one to remember.”
140 real ales plus ciders and perries are coming to Brighton Racecourse on 2223rd March, plus a variety of food will be on sale, including vegetarian and vegan options. Advance tickets are now available until Saturday 16 March from the following outlets: Evening Star, Brighton; Gardener's Arms and Brewers Arms Lewes; Duke of Wellington, Shoreham-by-Sea; Selden Arms, Worthing; Beer Essentials, Horsham; Eagle, Eastbourne and Tower, St. Leonards. Brewery Shade, Brewery Shade, Crawley
Coming to The Brighton Centre on 23rd March, the event will feature around 230 stalls packed full of a wide range of vegan products, 19 globally inspired vegan street food caterers, numerous featured areas and approximately 80 special guests. Products will range from the latest vegan meats, cheeses, chocolates, cakes, m*lks, kombuchas, alcoholic drinks, smoothies, juices, lemonades, snack bars, coconut products, superfoods, supplements, sauces, oils, chutneys, pickles and dips, to clothing, footwear, bags, bodycare, cosmetics, jewellery, magazines and beyond. Features will include a selection of talks on various subjects such as Activism, Fitness, Health, Environment, Comedy, plus Cookery Demos, an Art Exhibition, a Kids Area, Live Music, Panel Discussions and more.
UB40 ft. Ali Campbell & Astro Following the release of ‘A Real Labour Of Love’ - their most successful album for 25 years – and their headline show at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, UB40 Featuring Ali & Astro have announced ‘A Real Labour Of Love and 40th Anniversary Tour’, a UK Arena tour for 2019, with a date at The Brighton Centre on 8th April ’19.. With 2019 marking 40 years since UB40 first performed live, the legendary reggae band will be celebrating with a greatest hits set that features global smashes including ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘Cherry Oh Baby’, ‘Rat In Mi Kitchen’ and ‘Kingston Town’. Ali & Astro will be joined on-stage by their incredible eight-piece reggae band.
Brighton Festival 2019 Brighton Festival has named Malian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré as 2019 Guest Director.
Brighton Marathon Looking for a big challenge in 2019? Why not take part in the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 14 April and raise money for our award-winning work? Brighton Marathon is widely-regarded as one of the best marathons in the UK, with enthusiastic crowds and a route which takes in some of the city's most-iconic attractions. Starting in Preston Park and ending on the seafront, the Brighton Marathon is a must for seasoned marathon runners and firsttimers alike. And the good news is there are a number of charity places available. Registration is just £25 when you commit to raising £450.
Bill Bailey Larks in Transit is a compendium of travelers’ tales and the general shenanigans of twenty years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness at The Brighton Centre on 4th May ’19. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald, and a re-imagines the Stars and Stripes. Two decades of touring larks from a comic described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the brainiest comic of his generation’.
Award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré has been named as the eleventh Brighton Festival Guest Director, following in the footsteps of David Shrigley (2018), Kate Tempest (2017), and Laurie Anderson (2016) amongst others Key commissions and premieres revealed include the UK premiere of Rokia Traoré’s theatrical and musical project Dream Mandé Djata - a musical monologue which pays tribute to the ancient art of the griots of West Africa; the world premiere of a new choral work, Eye to Eye, written and created by theatre-maker Sheila Hill and True Copy, a new multimedia work from international theatre company BERLIN.
Squeeze The Vamps The Vamps are one of the most successful British bands, achieving a huge amount of success and acclaim all over the globe and now they will be performing at The Brighton Centre on 31st May ’19. The Vamps have picked up over 2 billion streams globally and have 8.4 million monthly listeners and 1.7 million followers on Spotify. They are also one of the most watched artists on YouTube, with over 600 million video views. Their most recent album Night & Day (Night Edition) scored the top spot on the Official Albums Chart and also stormed into the Top 10 on iTunes in over 20 countries including Argentina, Philippines, India and Australia. As well as their phenomenal record sales, they also have a huge live following. The Vamps have done 4 European arena tours and have sold out the O2 Arena multiple times. Their most recent tour saw them sell over 100,000 tickets. They are also a force to be reckoned with on social media, with over 6 million likes on their Facebook, over 4.2 million followers on Twitter, 2.3 million followers on Instagram.
Sunset Wildlife Cruise Join the Brighton Dolphin Project on our sunset wildlife cruise to learn about and hopefully see some of our amazing marine wildlife here in Brighton from April ’19 onwards. Setting off from Brighton Marina, this is an opportunity to get up close and personal with our Aquatic Sussex residents and visitors. Whilst dolphin sightings this close to shore are rare, you will learn all about our Sussex dolphins and the other amazing animals living off our beaches, including sea horses, sharks, lobsters, and fish! There will be time to view seabirds and listen to underwater sounds, before taking in a unique view of Brighton's seafront as the sun sets (weather permitting!) behind the West Pier and i360! All proceeds directly fund the Brighton Dolphin Project. The project studies the local dolphin population and works with local communities to better understand and protect our unique marine natural heritage. You'll have a whale of a time!
Squeeze have announced their brand new tour ‘The Difford And Tilbrook Songbook 2019’, which will see the South-London legends play their extensive list of hits at The Brighton Centre on 26th October ’19, as well as some rare, lesser known gems from their back catalogue and solo careers. “‘I am over the moon to be announcing the 2019 tour with Squeeze.”, says Glenn Tilbrook.“We’ve had something of a renaissance in the last few years, and look forward to this continuing, as we will play a set of songs that are both new, contemporary and as innovative as people have come to expect from us, along with the old beauties. I’m also excited to have Heaven 17 with us, what an extraordinary time we will have!' With 2 critically acclaimed albums in the past three years, and a live show that has seen them headline numerous festivals in the UK (as well as sell their own sold out shows across the country), “something of a renaissance” seems like an understatement. Ever hardworking, the band will be bringing their scintillating live performances to adoring UK fans again in 2019, treating them to not just the hits, but also rarities that span their 45 year career both as Squeeze and solo artists. The incredible reviews of their 2017 tour speak for themselves.
Rod Stewart Live in Concert Tickets for this highly anticipated concert at the 1st Central County Ground on Friday 12th July 2019 are on sale now! The show is part of Rod’s tour to support the release of his 30th studio album Blood Red Roses which debuted at number one. Rod Stewart Live in Concert will visit football stadiums, outdoor venues and arenas across England and Scotland from May through to July. His Brighton & Hove show marks the first time Rod has played in the city since he performed to a sell-out crowd at The Amex Stadium in 2014. Tickets for the show can be purchased via Ticketmaster and will be priced between £55 and £125 (excluding booking fees).
a-ha a-ha have always set themselves challe nges. In 2018, their the MTV Unplugged tour proved that their songs could be given new settings and remain as alive and as impactful as ever. Now, pushing even further, they are announcing that their October and November 2019 tour, including a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall will be different from anything they have previously undertaken and what’s more, it’s coming to The Brighton Centre on 6th November 2019. Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy will be performing in An Evening With format, with an interval. For the first half of the concert, they will play new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs. Then, after returning to the stage,
His Brighton & Hove show marks the first time Rod has played in the city since he performed to a sell-out crowd at The Amex Stadium in 2014. they will play the ten songs of their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the running order of the original release. “We played the full Hunting High And Low album live once before and that was a great experience,” says Pål, looking back on the pair of 2010 concerts and how he, Magne and Morten feel now. “There’s not one song on that album that we’re not looking forward to playing live. We had done quite a few versions of the songs before recording the actual album and they all contain great bits and cool ideas which will be nice to incorporate into the new show.” The tour is timed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the release of the original version of “Take On Me” – issued in the UK on 19 October 1984 to reputed sales of just 300 copies. The re-recorded “Take On Me” was released in Britain during April 1985 to little fanfare, and in America that May where it hit big after its striking promotional video was seen on TV. It was reissued in the UK that September and, finally, the British hit came. The Hunting High And Low album was on sale in America in June 1985, and in the UK in October 1985. “Take On Me” and Hunting High And Low remain as vital as when they were recorded and released. The live shows will show why.
Relax & Unwind In The Cities Latest Venue Brighton BeachClub The Milkmaid Pavilion 26 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2LN 01273 206523 email@example.com www.brightonbeachclub.com @btnbeachclub
C O A S TA L STYLE NATALIA ANTOLIN: dress designer Forget Me Not clothing, Brighton 5 Prince Albert Street, Brighton, UK. Website: www.fmnclothes.com Instagram: @fmnclothes Facebook: /fmnclothes Hair and make up: EDIT Hair, Preston St, Brighton www.editbrighton.co.uk Photography: Darren Black Location: Brighton Beach Club Models: Fiorella Amicucci Rose and Stephani Sams
Brighton Festival 2 0 1 9 The celebrated Malian musician Rokia Traoré has been announced as Guest Director of this year’s Brighton Festival, unveiling the 2019 programme with storytelling at its heart.
righton Festival is the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England and this year it promises to be a wideranging, diverse and international Festival, encouraging audiences to meet, listen and pass on their experiences. Featuring over 130 events with artists and performers from more than 20 countries, Brighton Festival 2019 is a space for contemporary expression from around the world. The importance of respect for all cultures and for nurturing the next generation of artists is at the heart and soul of this year’s programme. The Festival will present new and unexpected events across 25 venues and locations across Brighton, Hove and Sussex from 4 to 26 May 2019. Guest Director Rokia Traoré will bring three exclusive performances to Brighton, opening with her blues rock band to perform the critically acclaimed album Né So, which translates as ‘home’ in the Bambara language. Dream Mandé: Djata is the UK premiere of her theatrical and musical project - a monologue structured around the West African griot tradition of oral history storytelling where Rokia is accompanied by two musicians on kora and n’goni instruments. Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou is a group performance with an orchestra and choir led by Rokia, with re-arrangements of traditional Malian melodies and contemporary songs by the likes of Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. Rokia’s invited guests include artists, musicians and dancers visiting the UK for the first time from Foundation Passerelle, a cultural centre established by Rokia in Mali’s capital city Bamako. This collaboration will form a long-term partnership with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival that is committed to international engagement at the heart of our artistic programme. Commenting on their appointment of the coveted role of Guest Director of this year’s festival, Rokia Traore said, “As Guest Director, I set out to bring new voices to the city to tell their stories. Understanding other cultures is
so important to the world that we live in and it brings me great joy to shed light on some unexpected voices through this opportunity. I hope that through the Festival, visitors listen to stories from far away and from right next door. Stories with characters and ideas you never could have dreamed of, stories that touch you, thrill you, bring you happiness and perhaps move you to experience life in a different way. I am honoured to share my own stories and I’m filled with joyous anticipation to be Guest Director for this wonderful gathering of music, art, words, dance and performance. My hope is that the Festival gives everyone a new story to hand down for generations to come.” Rokia Traoré was born in January 1974 in Kati, on the outskirts of Bamako, the capital of Mali and her father, a Bambara from the region of Bélédougou, was a diplomat. She travelled extensively during her youth: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium, where she studied. Her identity is deeply rooted in West Africa Mandinka culture. Yet, when Rokia began to learn music, it was easier for her to play guitar and write texts in French or English and dream about rap or rock than participate in weddings during which the traditional griot songs are interpreted. Indeed, being considered a noble Bambara, Rokia Traoré was not deemed to have the right to learn and sing the songs of the griots. Now a highly celebrated musician, Rokia Traoré is the founder and president of the Fondation Passerelle in Bamako. Supporting the musical and artistic creation in Mali, the Foundation organises musical training courses and supports multidisciplinary artistic creations along with talks and debates about Malian society, culture, youth and the challenges they face. She has also won the ‘Découverte Afrique’ Award from Radio France Internationale (RFI), a BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, a Victoire de la Musique (French Music Award), and Best Artist Award at the Songlines Music Awards in London.
I am honoured to share my own stories and I’m filled with joyous anticipation to be Guest Director for this wonderful gathering of music, art, words, dance and performance. My hope is that the Festival gives everyone a new story to hand down for generations to come.” ROKIA TRAORÉ
Brighton Festival is the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England and this year it promises to be a wideranging, diverse and international Festival, encouraging audiences to meet, listen and pass on their experiences. Featuring over 130 events with artists and performers from more than 20 countries, Brighton Festival 2019 is a space for contemporary expression from around the world. The importance of respect for all cultures and for nurturing the next generation of artists is at the heart and soul of this year’s programme. The Festival will present new and unexpected events across 25 venues and locations across Brighton, Hove and Sussex from 4 to 26 May 2019. Guest Director Rokia Traoré will bring three exclusive performances to Brighton, opening with her blues rock band to perform the critically acclaimed album Né So, which translates as ‘home’ in the Bambara language. Dream Mandé: Djata is the UK premiere of her theatrical and musical project - a monologue structured around the West African griot tradition of oral history storytelling where Rokia is accompanied by two musicians on kora and n’goni instruments. Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou is a group performance with an orchestra and choir led by Rokia, with re-arrangements of traditional Malian melodies and contemporary songs by the likes of Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. Rokia’s invited guests include artists, musicians and dancers visiting the UK for the first time from Foundation Passerelle, a cultural centre established by Rokia in Mali’s capital city Bamako. This collaboration will form a longterm partnership with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival that is committed to international engagement at the heart of our artistic programme. Commenting on their appointment of the coveted role of Guest Director of this year’s festival, Rokia Traore said, “As Guest Director, I set out to bring new voices to the city to tell their stories. Understanding other cultures is so important to the world that we live in and it brings me great joy to shed light on some unexpected voices through this opportunity. I hope that through the Festival, visitors listen to stories from far away and from right next door. Stories with characters and ideas you never could have dreamed of, stories that touch you, thrill you, bring you happiness and perhaps move you to experience life in a different way. I am honoured to share my own stories and I’m filled with joyous anticipation to be Guest Director for this wonderful gathering of music, art, words, dance and performance. My hope is that the Festival gives everyone a new story to hand down for generations to come.” Rokia Traoré was born in January 1974 in Kati, on the outskirts of Bamako, the capital of Mali and her father, a Bambara from the region of Bélédougou, was a diplomat. She travelled extensively during her youth: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium, where she studied. Her identity is deeply rooted in West Africa Mandinka culture. Yet, when Rokia began to learn music, it was easier for her to play guitar and write texts in French or English and
dream about rap or rock than participate in weddings during which the traditional griot songs are interpreted. Indeed, being considered a noble Bambara, Rokia Traoré was not deemed to have the right to learn and sing the songs of the griots. Now a highly celebrated musician, Rokia Traoré is the founder and president of the Fondation Passerelle in Bamako. Supporting the musical and artistic creation in Mali, the Foundation organises musical training courses and supports multidisciplinary artistic creations along with talks and debates about Malian society, culture, youth and the challenges they face. She has also won the ‘Découverte Afrique’ Award from Radio France Internationale (RFI), a BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, a Victoire de la Musique (French Music Award), and Best Artist Award at the Songlines Music Awards in London. As always, the Festival will include free and participatory activities for all ages. The annual Children’s Parade with Same Sky officially marks the start of the Festival on Saturday 4 May and this year’s theme of folk tales from around the world will bring a procession of colourful characters to the city centre. Without Walls bring a visually spectacular group of outdoor events - from Ghost Caribou’s magical illuminated animals to a day of family friendly performances on the beach level at the British Airways i360. Marking 50 years since the first moon landings, Brighton will have its very own moon with artist Luke Jerram’s realistic illuminated lunar model lighting up the sky above Queens Park - commissioned by Brighton Festival with the Without Walls network. Your Place, initiated in 2017 by Guest Director Kate Tempest, will return to Hangleton and East Brighton but will change its name to Our Place, acknowledging the communities’ commitment to bringing creativity, culture and free events to local residents as part of our growing partnership. Look out for circus theatre, workshops, outdoor art and live music from guest performers! Supporting the next generation of art-goers is integral to the Festival spirit and Young Brighton Festival (YBF) is for children and young people - from infants to Instagrammers - to discover, create and participate in the arts, giving them unexpected and enriching experiences that can be shared with their friends or family. The YBF programme covers everything from poetry, theatre, dance and music. Internationally acclaimed companies travel across the globe to present their new productions to Festival audiences. From Australia, Backbone by circus collective Gravity & Other Myths, is a showcase of raw physical agility. Acclaimed Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez recreate their epic multiartform TrapTown for its UK premiere. From France, Ensemble Correspondances make their Festival debut with music recreated from the court of Louis XIII. BERLIN (from Belgium) expose the hypocrisy of the art world with True Copy, the incredible real-life story of one of the
world’s most prolific forgers. Poland’s Teatr Biuro Podrozy stage Silence, a large-scale open-air spectacle based on a tale of survival and from Taiwan, Tjimur Dance Theatre’s Varhung: Heart to Heart, blends ancient cultural traditions with contemporary dance-theatre. Festival favourites bringing back their own unique blend of creative energy include: Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase, a hilarious take on the Beggar’s Opera; Brighton’s very own Spymonkey celebrate their 20th anniversary with Cooped, in partnership with Worthing Theatres; British Paraorchestra, led by conductor Charles Hazlewood stage The Nature of Why, merging dance and live music into an epic performance commissioned by Unlimited and Chineke! return to celebrate BME talent with music from the 1920s era of Gershwin, Copland and Weill. Recognised cultural figures will bring new work to Brighton this May. Authors Ben Okri and Jon Ronson discuss their latest publications; Grammy award winner Neneh Cherry performs songs from her new release, Broken Politics; comedian Ruby Wax will teach us how to be human and British actress and writer Zawe Ashton shares her memoirs. Following its sold-out run in London, Brighton Festival is excited to welcome Superhoe, Nicôle Lecky’s Royal Court writing debut and the first collaboration between Talawa Theatre Company and the Royal Court Theatre. Immersive installations will pop-up in unusual locations across the city and beyond. Wet Sounds invites you to jump into the Prince Regent swimming pool for a unique audio-visual experience. Distorted Constellations, a performance art piece, in partnership with Lighthouse, will take viewers into the landscape of artist Nwando Ebizie’s brain; Flight by Vox Motus is a spellbinding tale of the journey of two orphaned brothers, recreated through a captivating interactive diorama. Five years after her death, Brighton Festival celebrates the life of seminal African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou with three powerful tributes: Caged Birds Do, Still I Rise, and New Daughters of Africa. Angelou appeared at Brighton Festival several times and these moving and uplifting performances will honour her legacy.
Elsewhere, artists explore emotional issues connected to masculinity and femininity. From The Pappy Show’s energetic dance piece BOYS, dealing with young male vulnerability, to Eye to Eye, a Brighton Festival Commission and world premiere by theatre-maker Sheila Hill, inspired by motherhood and featuring a chorus of 100 women and children in collaboration with Glyndebourne Youth Opera and guest musicians. Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Festival & Brighton Dome added “It has been such a privilege working with Rokia, her team and the artists she’s bringing from Mali. We look forward to learning from her unique perspective and hope visitors to Brighton and loyal Festival-goers will enjoy three weeks of engaging and inspiring cultural events. This year we’re pleased to extend our programme across Sussex in a new partnership with Worthing Theatres and continue to reach out further across Brighton & Hove. In these uncertain times it’s important to appreciate the value of stories from near or far, and to come together as a community.” Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said, “Brighton Festival is one of England’s cultural highlights, with a programme full of globally renowned artists and an international reputation for excellence. Through our funding, we’re delighted to be a part of making that happen. It gives so many people from all backgrounds the opportunity to experience and enjoy an amazing variety of great art – that opportunity is very important to the Arts Council. Recent Guest Directors have brought so much to Brighton Festival and I know that Rokia Traoré will continue this wonderful tradition, bringing her own distinct voice for audiences to enjoy.”
Brighton Festival 2019 tickets go on sale to Members at 7.30am, Thursday 14 February and on general sale at 9am, Friday 22 February from brightonfestival.org or 01273 709709. Many events are free and over 100 performances cost £10 or less.
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G O O D
Falling Amber Bain, aka The Japanese House, will be arriving in Brighton in March ready for the band’s eagerly awaited gig at the iconic music venue Concorde 2, bringing to life their latest album ‘Good at Falling’. Following the firm foundations and fan base established with the initial release of 4 EPs, The Japanese House bring to Sussex a new focus, both musically and lyrically with their latest album.
mber first heard the phrase Good at Falling, when a friend showed her a video game about a square experiencing an existential crisis, she started to cry. “I thought it was the sweetest, saddest thing ever,” she says. It came at the perfect time. She had finished her long-awaited debut album, and was reaching for a title that could somehow convey the period of uncertainty and change that had inspired its songs. Over the past few years, the mystery that once surrounded The Japanese House has dissolved into a clear artistic vision. With four EPs, put out between 2015 and 2017, Bain had already released an album’s worth of material, honing the sound and feel of her intricate indie pop dreamscapes, but it has taken her until now to make Good at Falling. Partly, that’s because she has spent much of the last three years on the road, touring with Dirty Hit label mates The 1975 and Wolf Alice, among others. Partly, it’s because she wanted to start with a clean slate. “Also, I’m really bad at finishing things, because my attention span is so bad. It takes me ages to commit to something.” If the EPs were an introduction to The Japanese House, then the album reveals an entirely new direction. “These songs are definitely more direct,” says Bain. The photograph on the sleeve was shot in Death Valley, California, in suffocating 50-degree heat by Jim Mangan, a landscape photographer that Bain has long admired. While it is a recognisably abstract Japanese House-style shot, in keeping with previous singles, there’s one crucial difference: Bain is in the picture this time, dressed in red, away in the distance. “The album has a lot more of me in it, so it makes sense,” she explains.
Over the past few years, the mystery that once surrounded The Japanese House has dissolved into a clear artistic vision."
Good at Falling is an album of new tracks, drawn from a particularly tumultuous and transformative period in Bain’s life, recounted with admirable honesty and candour. “The songs are all about different things, but they tie together, because they are influenced by, and part of, a specific time in my life.” That specific time was one of uncertainty, during which a relationship both came together and ultimately fell apart; many of the songs express a lack of clarity in terms of what is the right decision to make, and at what point it’s right to make it. Lead single Lilo was written when new love was just beginning - “to me, her every movement - paired with her approach to life - seemed as serene as the image of a lilo floating across a swimming pool…” says Bain - but it was finished as the relationship fell apart. “I seem quite helpless in the lyrics. I could definitely tell that I was losing her. I knew, I just knew, that something was ending.”
This evolving theme of uncertainty and evolving relationships is intertwined throughout each and every song in the album. “Can somebody tell me what I want, because I keep changing my mind,” runs the chorus of We Talk All The Time, a deceptively upbeat but blunt assessment of a fading love: “It's about noticing a relationship dying, or changing, whatever way you want to view it,” explains Bain. “It was one of those weird, prophetic songs, where I write it down, and then it happens in real life. It's not because I can tell the future, it's because I'm creating it, or maybe I can sense it's going to happen.” The galloping heartbreak of Follow My Girl is about taking good advice, pushing down doubts and reaching for hope, however tentative, as a plaintive refrain of “nothing feels good, it’s not right” circles around the air. “I never really know what I want, which is a common theme on the album - not knowing what I want, and overthinking everything. Follow My Girl is about sticking something out, and going with it, until something changes. I’m really bad at making decisions, so that's what I tend to do.”
G O O D
Elsewhere, Bain turns her scrutiny inwards. Following the sudden death of a friend, she developed a series of crippling anxieties about her health. “I had never considered the fact that people can die, and then, spurred on by that, I just thought I was dying all the time. I was terrified of being poisoned.” She wrote You Seemed So Happy about the crack between the image and the reality. “That song is about seeming like I was very normal and fine but also that feeling that I genuinely believed I was going to die every single day.” Everybody Hates Me is a beautiful, piano-driven journey through the panic and paranoia of near-permanent hangovers, while Maybe You’re the Reason, a huge, glowing sad-pop anthem, sees Bain looking for a glimmer of hope in the midst of a crisis. “It’s about being depressed and realising there's no meaning in anything. Then in the chorus I thought, I can't keep this up! I need to make it something nice. I thought about my girlfriend at the time, and how maybe loving someone is the reason you live? It's the cheesiest chorus ever, but I think it needed it.” Good at Falling may be filled with the anxiety of uncertainty, at least in terms of its lyrics, but that’s in stark contrast to the sheer size and confidence of its sound, which builds on the foundations of the EPs with added vigour and a sharp sense of focus. Most of the songs began as demos recorded by Bain on her laptop in her room in London. They were fleshed out and finished in studios in Wisconsin, Brussels and Oxford, by Bain and her collaborators BJ Burton (who has worked with Low, Bon Iver and Francis and the Lights), and with George Daniel from The 1975. While the sound is still recognisably The Japanese House, its pop structures bending slightly, thrillingly out of shape, there is the
clear surfacing of a concise pop sensibility, too. “The songs are more upbeat than the ones on the EPs,” says Bain. “That’s inspired by playing live. When I wrote the EPs, in my head, I thought, this will be crazy, people will go wild. And it’s actually so different live. In your head, something can sound like a club anthem and then live, it ends up as some down, slow, sad thing.” She has been listening to more upbeat music, too, and she’s using live drums much more. “I also really like playing bass, so more is inspired by fun basslines, which means fun drum parts. I do it that way around - fitting the drums to the bass, rather than the bass to the drums.” All of this gives Good at Falling a vibrant urgency. “I’m not as happy as the music I make,” she laughs. “Maybe there’s a sense of irony in it. I’m singing about all these really depressing things, but if you don't listen to the lyrics, it sounds really poppy. Also, I just really like major-key pop songs. I like the little nuances, the key changes, that’s what I like to listen to.” Good at Falling may have been years in the making, but it has proven itself to be more than worth the wait. The title, when it finally arrived, seemed perfect. “Falling can mean so much: falling in love with someone, or falling flat on your face, feeling like your life is being destroyed, falling out of love with someone. I always find myself doing that, and being in those things. All the songs are about some sort of fall or failure or vulnerability,” says Bain. But the point is that she could build something out of the rubble. “I wanted to be good at channelling that into something.”
Good at Falling may have been years in the making, but it has proven itself to be more than worth the wait.
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D A R R E N
Black Daring, sexy, sometimes vulgar yet tasteful and provocative, Darren Black is one of the leading innovative photographers currently living in London.
lecturer at London College of Fashion & Istutoto Marangoni, Darren inspires his students with his unique way of combining classic black and white fashion photography, agency and street cast models with daring, gender bending and alternative culture personalities, somehow always making it “fashion”. We visited Darren on set at his amazing studio in the central London to watch him in action and chat about fashion, feminism, gender roles, photography and his opinion on society and culture. Q. Describe your work When people look at my work they tend to think that it is very raw. The one thing that they would associate me with is dense black & white photography. The idea of this raw type of image leads to nostalgia, and this nostalgic ideology in my work is the bridge between the portraiture and fashion. Q. Would you say that you were a rebel? I tend to pitch myself as a rebel (or perhaps an agitator) against the norm - it’s not my manifesto in life, it’s something I just do naturally. However, there is still a gentleness even if some of my photos look aggressive, I adore all of my models - they come on set and they look amazing, so I think about how can I make them even more so? How can I put my imprint? How do I make them belong in my world?
There is still a gentleness even if some of my photos look aggressive, I adore all of my models - they come on set and they look amazing, so I think about how can I make them even more so?"
Q. There is a reoccurring theme of nudity in your work. How do you justify that as a fashion photographer? In the fashion world we are obsessed with how clothes fit the body, so of course as photographers we are obsessed with the bodies underneath the clothes, and what can you do to a body that makes it different; you can add heels, corsets, panniers, you can paint it, decorate it with crystals - you can do all these things and that’s what gives you context. Then if you are a fashion photographer and you have an art eye, your version of this becomes the finished product. Nowadays the artistic side of fashion has become stronger and queerer, because we have such a strong e-commerce presence - the industry has become divided.
It used to be together and now it is apart, the e-commerce is all about selling garments and sales figures, then the editorial side of things is about how creatives are using the garments to curate stories and carve out an authentic identity. Alongside this is the push against the idea of fashion editorially which manifests itself (again as rebellion) as nudity. Literally what is the opposite of fashion? Anti-fashion & the nude.
D A R R E N
Q. Is gender something you think a lot about in your work? I believe that gender is a spectrum I’ve always thought this even though now on a grander scale, we are having the conversation globally about it , but I am not the person who is in front of the crowd saying “This is what we are doing now!” It’s just my point of view and it always has been. I have a very strong feminist opinion: the way heteronormative society has historically worked is a patriarchy; the man goes forward and is assertive and uses his body to navigate the world and the woman is behind supporting him and she is pretty. That’s the boiled down version of the cliché of the human dream. I think we are at the point now where we are actually challenging all of this. Feminism & more importantly intersectional feminism is a conversation we are having currently, because I truly believe that as a woman you can be strong, you can be brave, you can also be pretty and you can wear a full face of make-up and dress however you like and that doesn’t discount your strength that does not make you less than. In breaking down the binary codes of gender, what I address in my work is the idea that a man can wear “women’s” clothing, because when you look at it, clothing has no gender. Historically, society has looked at women as "less than" so to dress as a woman has always been less than, it’s always had a comedic value, especially in British culture. I sometimes reference historic women’s clothing on my male models and I would say that none of my them look reductive - even when they have a corset on, or earrings or full face of make up. And it’s not about sexual orientation; sexual orientation is outside of this. It’s the idea that garments and clothing only have gender because of the way they are marketed at us and the way of society as a whole is conditioned to think. It’s learned behaviour. So what my work does is, it tends to chip away some of those ideas and ideals of what masculinity is, of what gender is, of what sexuality is.
Q. What is currently inspiring you? To say that I’m inspired by Nan Goldin, Julia Gorton & Jamel Shabazz is an understatement but my work isn’t documentary or social commentary. I love Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and JeanLoup Sieff but my work isn’t glamour and advertising. Helmut Newton is a legend but my work isn’t titillating. I have always been motivated to take photographs of people who I find attractive that’s not to say that they are conventionally “beautiful,” it’s more that I find people attractive because I think they look cool, feisty, assertive, if I think they’ve got something to say, if they have got an opinion. Obviously as a fashion photographer I shoot a lot of models but outside of that I shoot people who have body modifications and tattoos; that’s my thing. People who have agency on their bodies. I am always inspired by film and art; I don’t look at other photographers very often. I certainly don’t look at contemporary photographers. It can be very dangerous to use current artists as your inspiration, then try to create work that is inspired by it without it looking derivative. I find it more useful to look quite far back in history for inspiration, because everything has changed - society, politics technology etc. You can look at work from long time ago, you can be inspired by it and homage it and using modern contextual references, create something of merit and relevance.
I feel very strongly that it is very important to take you own photographs. I am often asked by magazines to present an inspirational mood board and I have to use other photographer’s work to show what I want the shoot to look like - to me this is such a paradox: You wouldn’t say to a painter “let’s see how you paint, but first paint me something by someone else.” So on my moodboards I put historical references, I put art references and also my own work. I reference myself, if you want to see how I will do something I can show you how I have done it before. Q. So what’s next for Mr Black? More travel - in the words of the inimitable Diana Vreeland: “the eye has to travel.” I love jumping on a plane and landing somewhere where I know nobody and just diving into the culture. I love to feel the heartbeat of a new country, city, town. I’m extremely adaptable in new situations and love the challenge of creating something that feels referential of where I am. I’m also considering a new exhibition - it’s been a while since I’ve had something in a gallery & I feel a new project bubbling ( and that’s all I’m going to say on the matter! Haha!). And with that, Darren is up off the couch, camera in hand ready to shoot his new muse who has just walked-in complete with bright red Mohawk, shaved eyebrows & hand-painted leather jacket.
Victoria Marie Emerson
â€œ So what my work does is,
it tends to chip away some of those ideas and ideals of what masculinity is, of what gender is, of what sexuality is."
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Hair and Beauty If you are looking for chic, contemporary and approachable beauty, look no further! Edit hair & beauty salon is the latest addition to our glorious shores. A place where you can embrace that inner New Yorker, it is set in a gorgeous loft style space.
Edit is unpretentious; ultra chic, cosy and as charming as the Edit team."
onveniently located in Central Brighton and a stones throw from the sea, this gem on Preston Street is taking the city by storm due to its chilled and chic vibe and that is no surprise given its creation from two of Brighton’s coolest chicks.. Zoe Urben and Tori Tyler launched Edit less than six months ago. This dynamic duo have been tight knit friends for years. Both having a strong interest in the beauty industry, so it seemed fitting that they would collaborate to create an environment with exceptional service and ultra modern techniques. Tori has years of experience, being an extraordinary entrepreneur here in Brighton & Hove with businesses such as The Gin Tub, The Copper Rooms and an ultra modern house dedicated to Bachelorettes wanting to soak up a weekend of seaside shenanigans in surroundings straight from a magazine. Zoe is the face and driving force of Edit, with her incredible background in hair and beauty and keen eye for the latest products and techniques. It’s clear to see that these two are not only innovative, but their style and vision is outstanding and now they are sharing their secrets with the city. Zoe invited me to Edit to try a few of Edit’s most popular treatments. As I walked through the door, my first impression of this boutique salon lived up to my expectations. This is the embodiment of zen, with an industrial elegance and a serene ambiance. Exposed brick work, wooden floors and
floor to ceiling ornate mirrors in glamorous white and gold tones gave a feeling of opulence. Grand windows flood the place with natural light and a floral wall l is a dedicated spot to catch your new style on camera and share with the world. The space is light and airy and I immediately felt relaxed. As I took everything in, I noticed a grand window seat with cushions and blankets, ideal for kicking back, relaxing and watching the world go past. The reception area is also covered in a stunning floral display with jars of sweets on top. Everything is as laid back as Zoe and before I’d even started my treatment I felt at ease and ready for the pampering to begin. I was introduced to Clare, one of the stylists and as she took me to my seat I was offered a delightful Vanilla latte. As I sat and soaked up the atmosphere, I tried to recall the last time I had experienced such a warm welcome. The team is made up of four, with each specialising in an area of beauty, from bouncy blow drys to pedicures and more. Edit also has a freelance celebrity hair dresser and make-up artist who has worked on most of the Love Island and The Only Way is Essex cast. The list of services covers all of your beauty needs from HD Brows to waxing and the incredibly popular Skinny Tan which is one of the UK’s best loved brands due to its natural colour and delicious scent. Zoe is very particular about the products
used and it was nice to discover so many of the products are cruelty free and vegan friendly, including The Gel bottle nail products (which was fantastic as I was keen to have my nails done for the weekend!). Clare handed me the tray to pick my colour and I have to say The Gel bottle has some of the best colours I have ever seen and cruelty free too! Following my relaxing nail pamper and hand massage which I was very pleased with, Clare moved me to the lash bar where she wrapped me up in a soft, fluffy blanket and proceeded to painstakingly apply individual lashes to my own. I had always been dubious about this treatment, but with Clare’s six years of experience, I was mesmerised by the results and during the treatment I actually fell fast asleep as Clare is an expert in LVL lashes and has the steadiest hands in the business. I can see now why do many clients book in for this treatment. I’m addicted! Edit specialises in hair extensions from nano/micro rings, to tape and are now amongst the first in Brighton to offer micro bead weaves, which is increasingly popular as this method puts far less strain on your natural hair and gives a full bouncy look in half the time. As we sat and chatted about the treatments on offer, I was immediately keen to sign up to the Edit loyalty programme; a blow dry subscription where clients pay £80 per month and receive two blow dry a week. Such a fantastic idea and an excuse
to give yourself weekly tender loving care for your hair! I was lucky enough that Zoe had a little time free to wash and tong my hair with her unique and exceptional expertise. Leading me down a spiral staircase to the wash station, I could not believe the size of the space below the main salon. Just as chic and elegant and quite clearly just the beginning for this beauty empire, as the team are already planning what the space will be used for. My hair was styled to perfection and after a few photos in the selfie corner and with my new found love of full standing professional lighting, I was ready and set to face the world. I felt rejuvenated and not just from my treatments, but also from the atmosphere and tender loving care the team at Edit exude. This is definitely your one stop shop for a little pamper or a complete change of look. I was so impressed with the knowledge and commitment of team, Iâ€™ve already planned my next three treatments. This insta-worthy boutique salon is impressive with its effortless luxury and outstanding treatment list. Edit is unpretentious; ultra chic, cosy and as charming as the Edit team.
Lindsay Katherine Hills 19 Preston St, Brighton BN1 2HN Appointments: booksy.com
YO G A
Breathe Bend Believe Briony Fisher is an adrenaline junkie, turned Yoga Teacher and the Founder of Breathe Bend Believe, the yoga practice in Albourne that is encouraging Sussex to let go, have fun and get on their yoga mats! Whether you are an experienced yogi or new to the practice, Breathe Bend Believe Yoga is for everyone, set to some sweet beats and wobbles are always welcome - never judged.
riony’s yoga style is Vinyasa Flow, which is a dynamic, fluid style of yoga that keeps the body moving and focuses on synchronising movement of the body with the breath. After a hard day at the office, a gruelling commute or a manic day with the kids, a visit to the Breathe Bend Believe studio is just the tonic. But don’t just take our word for it; Briony has a whole tribe of dedicated pupils, including the squad down at Brighton and Hove Albion F.C! Keen to find calm in the chaos, Absolute Sussex caught up with Briony to learn all about her path to Breathe Bend Believe, how we can jump on the bandwagon and what the future holds for this dynamic Sussex-ite. Q. How did you first get into Yoga? My background for nearly 9 years was in PR, specifically crisis media management and response in the oil, gas and shipping industry. I flew around the world consulting for companies throughout Europe, Dubai, Singapore and Africa working for an organisation that treated their colleagues like family. We travelled together, ate meals together, drank (a lot) together, even climbed mountains together. However the 24/7 lifestyle and travel and an added 2 hour door to door commute after moving to Hove, meant pushing my mind and body to the max. I was constantly fuelled by caffeine and adrenaline, fitting in workouts in lunch hours or in hotel gyms after getting off a plane. My husband and I wanted to start a family but we struggled after I was diagnosed with PCOS and we soon got referred to a fertility clinic. The stress of trying to keep up with the pace of work and trying to stay calm and relaxed for fertility treatment was excruciating. Despite my work being super understanding, my two objectives were
completely incompatible. The tipping point was loosing my dad at the beginning of 2015. He died suddenly. His passing made me realise that the way I was living my life wasn’t working for me. I could keep juggling everything, badly, or start a whole new journey. So I quit and became a yoga teacher in 2016 and at the end of the year I was pregnant with our boy Dylan who is now nearly 1 and a half. Q. You specialise in Vinyasa Yoga. Tell us a little about it. Vinyasa flow yoga synchronises the movement in and out of poses with the breath and this rhythmic style of moving meditation allowed my hectic mind to slow down. It became the perfect balance of exercise and mindfulness for this highly stressed, time poor, fitness obsessed individual. Q. How would you describe your teaching style? As a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I naturally bring enthusiasm and energy to all my classes. My teaching style is encouraging and supportive and my intention in every class is to help students develop and enjoy their own personal practise. Q. Where do you hold your classes and how would you describe your audience? I currently teach yoga classes and 1-2-1 private yoga classes from my home studio in Albourne, as well as at Wickwoods Country Club and Rox Life in Hove. I have had the privilege of teaching people of all ages, sizes and professions; from NHS workers and city high fliers to models and athletes and truly love the inclusive ideology at the heart of yoga. It’s not about what you look like or how flexible you are; its about your own practice taking whatever shape it
can on any given day. There is no expectation or competition, only individual exploration. I am also yoga teacher to the First and U23 teams at Premiers League football team Brighton and Hove Albion FC, where I work with the players to improve core strength and mobility while using guided relaxation and breathing exercises to promote relaxation and recovery. Q. It must be amazing working with the BHAFC squad. Are you a footie fan yourself? I love working with the Brighton and Hove Albion football team. In a strange way I feel like my Dad is still guiding my path somewhat. A Belfast lad with a love for Liverpool FC, he brought my brother and I up as die hard reds fans and we would regularly travel up to Anfield or gather together in the pub to watch games. Football was a huge part of our family life and from school to business meetings, I never failed to enjoy the look on people’s face as I comfortably navigated the chat around Premier League title challengers and match of the day analysis. I think I fell out of love with football once he died. It seemed meaningless to follow if he wasn’t around to talk shop with or organise meeting up to watch the games. It just wasn’t the same anymore. Working at the club has started to change all that though. It has reminded me what I used to love about the game and how it can bring people together. I was really moved when Anthony Knockaert spoke out about his depression after his fathers death and how the other players rallied round and supported him through it. Players are regularly dehumanised in the media. They earn big money and people
think that because of this they donâ€™t have problems. There is a real spirit of community at the club from the receptionist to the manager. Q. What is your aim when working with the BHAFC squad? I work with both the Under 23 team and the first team and while the ages and level of play are different, the pressures are not. I try for just a short period of time to help them let go of some of those pressures. Using mindfulness, visualisation, breathing and yoga moves, I aim to help their bodies and minds relax so that they can physically and mentally repair and recover after games. Q. What is your overall aim when running your classes? I choose to cater my yoga to adrenaline junkies of all kinds; whether thats athletes, fitness fanatics, workaholics or stressed out parents. I donâ€™t want to reach the calm, serene, enlightened yogi. I want to reach the person that has their running shoes glued to their feet, their phone glued to their hand or their kids glued to their sides. As a lover of running, HIIT training, mountaineering and wake boarding, my teaching style connects with the energetic personality looking to increase strength, flexibility and decrease aches and pains, but I also want to help people keep doing what they love for longer by bringing space into their lives. These days it's so hard for people to give themselves permission to slow down. Lives are so jam packed with work, kids, hobbies and travel that it can be hard for people to know what slowing down even feels like. Space breeds awareness and when you have greater awareness of what your mind and body needs then you are in a better position to manage life's challenges. Whether you play in the Premier League or work two jobs supporting a young family, everyone needs time out.
Breathe Bend Believe
“ If you are an athlete,
into your fitness and want a side of sweat with your yoga then try vinyasa flow yoga. It is a continuous style of yoga that keeps you moving the whole time and links the poses with the breath." Q. What does the future hold for Breathe Bend Believe? I've recently started branching out into day retreats that focus on exploring both strength and stillness in mind and body. We sweat it out on the mat with strong vinyasa flow and core strength classes, hike through the Albourne vineyards, eat and relax together and chill into the evening with a restorative yoga and meditation class. Many find it hard to take time out of their busy lifestyles and destress. What is your best advice to our readers who want to introduce a bit of calm and reflection into their daily routine? Stress is not always a bad thing, it is a natural response that the body produces to prepare ourselves for action, fight or flight. The idea should be that the body produces a stress response and then once it is no longer needed, the stress response goes away. The problem for many people these days is that the stress response never stops. Our minds are constantly on, constantly racing, day and night, and the body’s fight or flight response is unable to distinguish the difference between the threat of missing your train or your deadline and the threat of actual physical harm. This is where the stress response becomes a problem and can lead to both mental and physical health problems. In order to introduce a bit of calm into your life, you have to first get comfortable with the feeling of calm, the feeling of being still. This in itself can produce a massive psychological reaction in some people. We are not encouraged to stop in todays 24/7 world. There are forever jobs to be done, kids to be looked after, hobbies to pursue and dreams to chase. But when you stop, that is when you can start to listen to what your body is telling
you. How often do you say “I’m tired” and then rush off to another meeting or the gym? We need to get comfortable with carving out time in our day to start saying no to things, do less or take a few minutes of time out. Try gentle meditation Take yourself to a quiet place in your house or work. Sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath into the belly and a deep breath out through the mouth. When you breathe out feel your whole body relax with the exhale. Feel your shoulders dropping away from the ears and let go of any tension in the body. What emotions or physical sensations come up when you sit or lie down in a quiet room with no distractions? Are you thinking about what else you should be doing? Does your mind race? Is your breathing short and shallow? Do your muscles feel tense? Notice how that breath felt. Did you find it hard to breath into your belly? Can you start to make the breath in longer? Can you make the breath out longer? If your mind starts to race or wander thats ok. Just keep bringing your focus back to the breath. If you find it hard to switch off your thoughts you could open your eyes and maybe focus on one object in the room. If the voices still feel loud then don’t worry about turning them of, just practice turning down the volume. Try and keep your focus on the rise and fall of the belly, the gentle rhythm of your breath. This slow steady breathing practise will help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite of your bodys stress response, the part of your body’s physiology associated with rest and digest. Start with an minute and see how it feels to
build up by a minute each day. No-one is too busy for a minute a day… the hardest bit is getting started. With all this talk of slowing down, this is not to say there is no place for energetic activities. People often think that to embrace stillness you have to give up running, spin or HIIT. Definitely not so. In these cases yoga is even more beneficial as it will help athletes recover better if they can properly calm their nervous system after a stress inducing activity. I love getting the adrenaline pumping. I teach dynamic yoga generally, which will get you breaking a sweat, working on increasing both flexibility and strength but I always intersperse breath work and guided meditation into classes. The footballers I work with are so physically active that it can be hard for their bodies to understand when it can carry out its repair work. If we are always in fight or flight mode then the rest and digest mode is not able to kick in. Thats why athletes do yoga and they do it because it works. Try A Yoga Class Yoga is unbelievable at helping to manage and reduce stress. The problem can sometimes be where to get started, as there are so many styles and teachers to choose from these days. Use the below breakdown to help you choose a style to meet your objectives and if the first class doesn’t work out, try another. It took me a while to find the right style and teacher so don’t be put off if the first class you go to isn’t for you. If you are an athlete, into your fitness and want a side of sweat with your yoga then try vinyasa flow yoga. It is a continuous style of yoga that keeps you moving the whole time and links the poses with the breath. It will
help you build strength, focus your breathing and increase your flexibility and sense of balance. If you are working with injury or are a little older and looking for something more gentle then a Hatha class is a good place to start. Its slower and less energetic but still has lots of focus on mobility, breath work and relaxation. If you have less interest in building strength or balance and more focused on breath work, relaxation and decreasing muscular tension then Yin yoga is your class. The whole class is floor based and poses are held for a longer period of time so as to target not only the muscles but also the fascia around the muscles that can be causing stiffness, aches and pains. Try A Yoga day retreat Sometimes a more immersive approach can be good if you find yourself stressed and run down. Trying a day retreat is less of a time and financial commitment than a week long retreat but can start the process of reconnecting in mind and body. Spend a whole day in beautiful Sussex exploring both your energetic and restorative energies. You will experience energetic vinyasa flow yoga, hiking, a core class and a beautifully restful yin class to end your day calm and rested. A heathy vegetarian lunch is included and relaxation time is built in too. Start to find balance in your energy levels and get to know your body better with Breathe Bend Believe Yoga. Briony Fisher 07763 548831 firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Milo By Milo is a new, Brighton-born range of hair products created by the couple who opened the distinctive Dyke Road cutting room, Milo’s, a budding business built on the concept of Chic Utility. Absolute went to meet them and find out all about this exciting new range.
The continuous search for products reflecting the simplicity and ease of use that Miles, Em and their customers desired, led them into creating the By Milo line.
n the 1960’s, the Rolling Stones’ manager, Andrew Loog Oldham set up a maverick, independent record label called Immediate Records. On the sleeves of all its singles was the slogan: “Happy To Be Part of the Industry of Human Happiness.” Miles Coleman laughs at the thought. “Yes, that’s how we feel about cutting hair,” he says, referring to Milo’s, the distinctive salon on Dyke Road, Brighton which he set up with his wife Emma. “We love doing it because, well, it feels good making people feel good!” When it opened seven years ago, Milo’s quickly became known for its friendly, off-beat atmosphere, which was partly the result of being home to both a barber and a hairdresser. Mixing male and female grooming styles was intuitive but surprisingly unusual. “Bringing our two working styles together made total sense.,” says Miles. “Apart from being a superb cutter, Em is a really good listener, brilliant with people, which is a key requirement in great hairdressing. The barbershop side of the business keeps the salon strong, because men get their hair cut more often.” A concise, carefully selected line of clothes, shoes and accessories with a nautical feel, for sale in the salon, helped establish Milo’s distinctive style, one which resonated with people who love living beside the seaside in Brighton. “My design background was always a strong influence. So, right from the start we wanted to offer things that complement good hair. Clothing was an obvious way to start,” says Miles. “It looked good from outside and drew people into the salon. We began with chic, unisex stuff: Breton shirts, deck shoes, casual jackets, things people could sling on without needing a dressing room.”
Miles had studied design at St. Martins College, then travelled the world cutting hair. Returning to the UK he set up a gentlemen’s grooming salon in Kent. He heard about Emma Sanderson, a star alumnus of John Freida’s who had recently gone freelance and had a client list full of celebrities. “She was working with Oasis. I look nothing like them, but I thought, if she’s good enough for them, so I asked her to cut my hair.” Which is how he met his soulmate and partner to be. In 2007, the couple, having married, moved to Brighton to start a family. The commute to Kent soon became tiresome and so Milo’s was born at 216 Dyke Road. The couple’s enthusiasm for their adopted home has now helped inspire a new line of hair products, By Milo, each one redolent of, and named after, people or locations which have meant something to them during their time in the city. “The shop is really relaxed - as befits the Brighton lifestyle,” says Em, looking around the busy room. “With the clothes we were offering well-made, trustworthy basics, classically simple and stylish. That idea rolls over into our hair products.” The continuous search for products reflecting the simplicity and ease of use that Miles, Em and their customers desired, led them into creating the By Milo line. The idea grew from using natural oils on their customers as simple grooming products. “We were using jojoba oil, coconut oil and honey as styling aids to use as a primer to blow dry hair or just as a finish,” says Miles. “I’ve never felt that products have to be heavy or complicated, and we wanted to bring those natural things together into products that are easy to use and truly work.”
“ In business, you have to keep checking that you’re on the right path. But we love what we do and we want our enthusiasm to shine out of our products and our haircuts." “The vast array of hair products on the market is daunting,” says Em. “I’m a professional and I stand in stores bewildered by the choice on the shelves. There are really only a few things you need to do with hair, thicken it, condition it, give it shape and hold for styling, it needn’t be complicated. But we found it surprisingly hard to source products that did what our customers wanted.” “Blokes are bit more knowledgeable about grooming products these days,” says Miles, “but we still get confused by all the gels, oils and sprays on offer. In some ways it was easier when all men used the same products, you know, Brylcreme or brilliantine. Or just wore a hat!” Miles’s first shot at his own product was Timbre, a light styling cream for men, which became popular with customers, and gave him the confidence to expand By Milo into a brand. “Our regular customers, bless them, have been great guinea pigs for these products,” says Em. “The prototypes they responded to really helped us focus on what to bring out. Why sell brands that we only half-heartedly used when we could produce a bespoke range of our own? We want products that we know the ins and outs of, that are safe and that we believe in, that we use as a family.” Miles and Em have worked closely with a chemist over the last four years, testing, adding and eliminating numerous ingredients, learning which oils, scents and ingredients combine and which clash.“It’s been a steep learning curve,” says Miles. “But what we’ve ended up with are styling lotions that we believe are truly brilliant, that really work and smell fantastic!” He is clearly delighted.
So far, there’s 216, named after the location of the salon on Dyke Road, a versatile, volumizing hair spray; &Em, a light styling cream which can be used wet to prep hair for a blow dry or to nourish dry hair; the popular Timbre styling cream for men and, just because they could, a fragrance, Malvern, an eau de toilette named after Malvern House, the building Miles and Em first occupied in Hove, which is a delicious marriage of leather, cedar, frankincense and patchouli. These are available now to buy direct from the salon or online at ByMilo.com. Four more products will follow in the summer, Port To Shore a matte finishing salt spray for “a tousled look like you’ve just stepped out of the sea”. The Dial, a clay and wax paste ideal for lifting short hair, and two lip balms, Gray and Pip, named after the couple’s children. All the By Milo lotions come in handsome, dark translucent bottles or jars with gold accents. Currently, everything comes in a single size, but they have plans to launch a range of travel amenity kits. “I’d be lying if I said this was an easy gig,” laughs Miles. “Running any kind of retail business right now is a challenge, as anyone will tell you. In business, you have to keep checking that you’re on the right path. But we love what we do and we want our enthusiasm to shine out of our products and our haircuts. We hope people will drop in, try out the products, have a haircut, have a chat, and become part of the family.” “Kettle’s on,” says Em. “I do like ‘Industry of Human Happiness’,” says Miles, returning to that old Immediate Records slogan. “I’d buy that. Hairdressing is undoubtedly a feel-good business. If people know they look good then they feel good, it’s as simple as that.” www.bymilo.com
Inspired by Brighton Made in England
216 Dyke Rd. Brighton BN1 5AA +44 (0) 1273 757 264
FIZZ F& FOOD East Beach Café
The Bali Brasserie
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.
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.
Silo 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.
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.
Eatalio 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.
Memories of India 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.
Market 9| If tapas style eating is your thing then MARKET, situated in the Brunswick district of Hove, is sure to deliver. With a multitude of Jamons on display and boasting a host of Spanish & Sussex food ingredients, wines, beers & spirits their Spanish inspired cuisine offers an authentic experience in a fast paced & buzzy environment. With countertop dining & chefs cooking in front of you a real draw for patrons the menu of modern tapas, including great vegan options through to meatiest of meat dishes, MARKET offers something for everyone.
Terre a terre 11| Terre a Terre is an iconic, award winning restaurant where being vegetarian is about more than just not eating meat. You can expect a variety of flavours and foods to try when you arrive. Much more interesting than the standard stuffed mushroom.
Pelham House 12| Lewes: St Andrews Lane, BN7 1UW Pelham House Lewes is a beautiful 16th century town house hotel in the heart of Lewes and one of East Sussex’s hidden gems, just 10 minutes from Brighton. Right off the High Street you will find the historic building, set in an extensive secret garden, Pelham House is perfect for dining alfresco or an afternoon tea. The house & garden has been exquisitely restored to create a stylish venue, combining elegance and history. The head chef has developed a varied set of menus for their gallery, panelled room, garden room and dining outside on the terrace. The restaurant at Pelham House focuses on simple and delicious food, using good quality seasonal and locally sourced produce from Lewes and the county of Sussex. They regularly offer private dining to guests for special occasions and events.
The Urchin Pub in Hove 13| One of Brighton’s newest offerings, the Urchin craft beer and shellfish pub is a wholly unique concept. Entirely dedicated to shellfish, matched with a range of over 100 craft beers The Urchin is something Brighton and Hove has never seen before. Seats 30 covers in the restaurant, the menu predominantly features prawns, lobster, crab and scallops.
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 4
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. Fridays feature the best in Brighton DJ talent.
BARS & B BEATS The Crown and Anchor
Fortune of War
1|Shoreham-by-Sea: 33 High Street, West Sussex BN43 5DD Named after the town’s past with its port famed for smuggling, and centrally located on Shoreham’s high street, the Crown and Anchor is a must visit and very popular with locals and visitors alike. From the high street it looks like a regular run of the mill pub, but it hides a gorgeous restaurant with big glass windows and a patio area with outside seating which backs onto the river Adur. Perfect for alfresco dining and drinking on warm evenings, with spectacular views of the South Downs and the river itself.
5| Legends is a gay bar and hotel located on Marine Parade just a minute away from Palace Pier. It has a fantastic selection of rooms with stunning sea views. The venue itself is very spacious and has a large bar upstairs with outside terrace and huge dance floor downstairs. There is always plenty going on with drag acts during the week and great music played by a diverse r ange of DJs at the weekends.
9| This lovely pub has been open since 1882, making it the oldest pub on the seafront. It is a good meeting place if you are going clubbing on the seafront. There are DJs playing at the weekends and it always has a friendly atmosphere and is never too crowded. The décor has a maritime theme and the pub provides beautiful views over the seafront. It has an outside seating area and a buzzy atmosphere during the summer months.
Lion & Lobster
The Dragon Bar
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.
Idlewild 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.
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 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.
13| Chichester: 3 Little London, PO19 1PH A deep subterranean live music venue which is famed for its Jazz nights, though Whatever your particular taste in music, you will always find there to be a night to suit you here at La Havana. A fun and lively venue which is well thought out in design, you can easily find a spot to sit and chat away from the music whilst still enjoying it, or be right in the action. All in a vaulted basement for real atmosphere. Reasonably priced drinks to boot with beer at £3.00 a bottle.
The Loft Lounge and Bar 3
14| Eastbourne: 14 Station Street, East Sussex, BN21 4RG An elegant chic and sophisticated late night lounge and bar, spread over two floors, and carefully designed to create a unique and sumptuous atmosphere. The downstairs bar boasts an impressive circular bar backed onto a dazzling glass wall, and a skylight which floods the venue with natural light. Upstairs is a bit cosier and intimate, with various sized booths and a premium drinks bar. A fine selection of food and drinks on offer here, with delicious sounding cocktails and expert mixologists more than happy to make off-menu drinks. With live music every Friday and drinks offers throughout the week it’s easy to see why this is one of Eastbourne’s top rated nightspots.
Gin Tub 15| The exciting tastes of international gins in a superb interior of our newly opened Gin Tub Cocktail bar. Finally somewhere to drink after all the great Hove restaurants. With well over 80 gins – bespoke cocktails – craft beers and ales. We have also created flight boards to try new spirits. Bespoke Cocktails, craft beers, IPA’s and all the normal beers and spirits too. Under The Tub Welcome to the Rum Cage, where the spirits and specifically the rum never dry out. With a bar selection of some of the best rums, oh and of course some of our favourite gins.
Cocktail Shack 7
16| A unique and innovative bar hidden within the tall walls of Regency Square. They pride themselves on drinks as creative and bespoke as the Artist Residence itself, offering playful service and a passion for the product. We would urge everyone to check them out at The Shack for a taste of something new.
The Rocking Horse 8
17| Worthing: 3 The Broadway, Brighton Road, BN11 3EG Quirky pub serving cocktails and a limited beer and wine selection. Comfortable place for a chat with a rocking horse theme to the décor and a relaxed vibe. The best place in Worthing where you can go and experience trained mixologists who understand cocktails and flavours make your drinks! Reasonable prices for the quality of drinks too! A clean, light and airy venue with friendly staff to boot. They also offer a cocktail masterclass (daily) where for just £19.50 you can learn to make (and drink) three classic cocktails with a glass of prosecco included.
Cloak Room BRIGHTON
“A brand new concept that Kemptown has been crying out for. The boys behind Cloak and Dagger have really excelled themselves in creating a lovely friendly unpretentious bar with a contemporary cool atmosphere and some fine beers to boot."
hen I am not writing reviews for Absolute Magazine, I unfortunately have a day job which involves working some weekends. So when I got the call Friday from my pal Disco-Dave to come with him to check out the Cloak Room, a brand new craft beer bar in the heart of Kemptown by the local Cloak and Dagger brewing company, I was hesitant as: A) I have absolutely zero self-c¬ontrol when it comes to craft beer, and B) I had to be up at 5AM Saturday morning to work a ten hour shift. My love of beer prevailed and after a wonderful fun evening trying lots of exciting and truly spectacular beers, IPA’s and stouts, and at the end of the night when Disco-Dave was piling me into a cab clutching a four pack of delicious speciality Rhubarb and Custard flavoured ale, (I know, sounds weird, but this beer is spectacular!) I had a sneaking suspicion I might regret my lack of willpower in the morning. My Saturday shift actually went pretty well, as my hangover did not kick in properly till mid-afternoon and it was nowhere near as bad as some of the sheer existential-dread inducing ferocious atrocities I had suffered over the Christmas party season. I have read that this might be something to do with the natural organic ingredients used in Cloak and Dagger Beer. My only issue now is piecing together my hazy memories and trying to decipher the drunken scrawling’s in my notepad so I can write this review. You may have come across Cloak and Dagger beer before. Local boys Dave Seward, Leigh Pearce and Ben (Tucker) Hucker, three
childhood friends from Brighton, have been brewing together for over a year, supplying local bars with their fast-becoming renowned quirky, award winning range of beers, and have now opened up their own bar in the heart of Brighton’s Kemptown. We arrived around seven and the place was already buzzing with a relaxed and friendly vibe. We soon got chatting to Tucker and Leigh who were out mingling with the locals while Dave was busy working behind the bar. The boys were so welcoming and obviously passionate about what they do, insisting on giving us a quick tour before we settle at the bar and try some beers. It was immediately apparent that the boy’s passion for brewing quality beer was equally channelled into creating the perfect place to drink it! No expense has been spared in transforming this once dilapidated and tired restaurant into a sleek and stylish venue with the quirkiness to match their brews. They have made great use of the space with industrial style tables and stools (crafted from the scaffolding used when renovating the bar) littering the capacious floor-space, and cosy themed booths adorned with vibrant artwork Leigh designs himself for the labels on the different beers. I particularly liked the zany artwork in the pineapple booth, complete with yellow and green murals from the label on their electric mayhem with pineapple sour brew. Taking our seat at the bar it was now headbrewer Dave’s turn to look after us. It turns out his nickname is also Disco-Dave, which got really confusing as the night progressed. Dave took us through the wide range of their
own, and guest craft beers, served alongside lager, cider and a selection of quality wines and spirits. We opted to start with their original creation “komodo bozo” session IPA; a lovely well rounded hoppy little number which I could quite happily spend an entire day quaffing. Next up was my personal favourite “Never Dug Disco Super Fly PA,” a fantastic, slightly acerbic IPA with hints of grapefruit and lemon. Made with Citra hops, which is where Dave excitedly explained the flavour comes from, there is no added fruit. We had a couple of these before moving on to next offering, which I was not looking forward to as I have never been a stout fan. I always found them a bit too heavy. I was pleasantly surprised by “Two Scoop Pistachio and Chocolate Ice Cream Stout (I did mention Cloak and Dagger beers are quirky). It was much lighter than what I was used to, yet still creamy. The taste was incredible so we ended up having a couple more of these too. This is where my memory gets a bit hazy. I get a call from the owner of Absolute Magazine and socialite man about town David Camici, who decides to join us, and plays catch-up by sticking a coconut rum in the next beer we tried, the “Brass Monkey Tropical IPA”. I had a sip and it actually worked quite well. Myself and Disco wisely abstained, and can confirm this is a beer bursting with flavour, and at 5.5% there is absolutely no need to pour rum in it, even if it does weirdly compliment. The boy’s newest creation “Peche to Death” was the last beer I remember trying before Mr Camici got a round of Cazcabel premium tequila in to finish me off. It was quite lovely peach pale that had a lovely sweet aftertaste that sticks with you. I then have a very vague memory of us leaving Mr Camici as he got another round of tequilas in for his new found friends Leigh, Dave and Tucker, Disco Dave and I quietly slipping away to get our cab. As the haze clears and my memory slowly comes back to me I can now reflect that The Cloak Room is the bar that Kemptown has been crying out for. The boys behind Cloak and Dagger have really excelled themselves in creating a lovely friendly unpretentious beer bar with a contemporary cool atmosphere that I am sure will be embraced by residents and visitors alike. Each of their own brews are radically different from each other, with some truly exciting and innovative flavours on offer. It is unsurprising they have already earnt an award for best new brewer and I can envisage many more honours yet to come. Even if craft beer isn’t your thing, the bar stocks drinks to suit all tastes. From the end of February the team from pop-up kitchen Lost Boys Chicken will be knocking up a full menu, including small plates and sharers as well as their famous chicken wings. They even have plans to make some sauces from Cloak and Dagger Beers. I think I have found my new local (despite it being on the other side of town from where I live). So if you see a slightly overweight spikey haired handsome chap clutching a copy of Absolute Sussex Magazine propping up the bar, do come and say hi and enjoy a unique beer or two with me. Tony Shattell www.cloakroombrighton.com
Beach Club The Brighton Beach Club opened in December ’18 and sits proud within an iconic glass-fronted building right by the waters edge, boasting some of the finest sea views, a stunning new interior and menus that put it firmly on the Brighton foodie map.
The new owners have been very mindful of the unique position the venue enjoys and have kept the tones of the space very natural. "
n a city spoilt for choice with eating establishments, first impressions and curb appeal really do count and Brighton Beach Club is certainly eye-catching on approach. The building has been turning heads since the 1950’s, when it started life as a Milk Parlour selling Ice creams and milk shakes. Over the years an art deco second floor has been added and it became a well known family run restaurant. The team at Brighton Beach Club have clearly thought long and hard about how to make best use of the two levels, creating a relaxed, family-friendly space on the lower ground level and a more sophisticated and romantic setting upstairs. Being parents of two toddlers, we opted for the more informal approach, entering the venue from the beach level. Just as an aside, there is an incredibly conveniently placed kids playground just next to the entrance which is ideal for letting the littl’uns burn off some energy before grabbing a bite to eat. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the Brighton Beach Club team and, despite entering with a large double pram, two very excited little girls, highchair requests and all the regalia that comes with family restaurant visits, we were calmly seated and accommodated with a smile. The owners have clearly thought of everything to make the experience enjoyable for those with kids. Many restaurants claim to be family-friendly, but in reality, few actually are. To my mind there are some very key ingredients that are required in order to
validate that claim and the Brighton Beach Club have nailed every last one. Firstly there is an ingenious ‘Crafty Nippers’ concept whereby, in order to ensure everyone has fun, the team provide every family with a craft pot. Each month they change the craft for the little ones to design, create and colour. Once they have finished they can pop their creation on the ‘craft tree’ and every month a winner is picked and the winning design will win a family meal for 4. The Brighton Beach club have also joined forces with the wonderful Phileas Foggs World of Adventure and will be picking a lucky family every month to win a family ticket to go and be immersed in the magical place. As if I wasn’t impressed enough with the claim that the craft bucket provided, our waiter was also genned up on the importance of just getting the children’s food out to them as quickly as humanly possible. The little ladies went for fish and chips and sausage and vegetables off the Crafty Nippers menu and, although sounding like your average kids menu dishes, what arrived was just so much more. The fish was beautifully fresh, plentiful, cooked in a light crisp golden batter and the chips were high quality, delicious and cooked to perfection. The sausage was a gourmet meaty sight to behold, accompanied by carrots and broccoli that were as vibrant in colour as they were on flavour. Hooray for excellent quality, nutritious children’s dishes! I’m so glad the portions were big as it was impossible not to dig in myself. As well as the kids menu, all of the main menu is also
available in half portion, half price, and there will also be a smaller portion Nippers menu for the little tots. The new owners have been very mindful of the unique position the venue enjoys and have kept the tones of the space very natural. The bar is made from reclaimed scaffolding, whilst beautiful blue and white tiles, brick tiles, reclaimed steel and warm wood all make up an area where you can go to relax, eat, drink, hold an event or get married. Both the upstairs and downstairs areas benefit from huge floor to ceiling windows, so diners can look out to sea whilst wining and dining. With the walls being curved, together with the views, it almost reminded me of being on a cruise ship! As I mentioned before, there are two menus for the grown ups; the brasserie menu and the more formal menu. In both menus the style of food is Modern British and you can eat either menu throughout the venue. So if on your own working over lunch, wanting a great view or a special meal with family and friends you can chose the area to dine in. For those wanting a casual bite to eat, handmade pizza, pasta, a chargrilled burger and an ultimate mixed grill take a starring role, as well as local cheese boards for snacks. For those looking for a fuller dinner or lunch there is a menu which changes monthly and includes sumptuous dishes like Pan fried lamb tournedos, apricot & spinach filling, pumpkin, sage & pearl barley “risotto” or
Chargrilled King oyster mushrooms, vegan halloumi, Puy lentils, roasted sweet potato & sherry vinegar dressing. I decided to order off the more formal menu, as I was unable to resist the lure of Pan fried monkfish, roasted doudie gourde, squid ink risotto, tomato & olive salsa verdes and my husband opted for the brasserie menu’s Chargrilled beef fillet, wild mushroom, shallot & parsley cream sauce on pappardelle pasta with rocket. Both dishes arrived piping hot, filling the air with the scent of fresh ingredients, intelligently balanced and cooked to their optimum. The monkfish, a fish that is so often over cooked, was soft, flakey and just so comforting to eat. Together with the perfectly al dente black squid risotto, the flavours of the sea married beautifully with the vibrant salsa verde. My husband’s eyes lit up when his dish arrived. The beef fillet sat proudly en mass above the fresh pasta and although it appeared a rather substantial dish, the pasta and sauce was so light and flavoursome that it was very easily tackled. It’s clear the Brighton Beach Club chefs have taken time to choose high quality suppliers, be it meat, fish, vegetables or the impressive drinks menu they offer. The bar is well stocked with craft beers, beautiful cocktails and truly amazing vegan milkshakes! It was important to the team to pay homage to this building’s roots and so you will find an incredible shakes menu which is great for kids and the big kid in us all. Not only does the food menu change monthly, the excellent seasonal craft drink range also changes with the seasons. Catering for all ages and dietary requirements is an important part of the Brighton Beach Club’s offer. Intrigued as to who the brains behind the beach club are and what their story is, I sat down with Operations Manager Helen Sprason to get the low down….
“ we wanted to create an environment that could be something special for everyone throughout the day."
How was the Brighton Beach Club concept born and why is it unique? The Beach Club was born from taking inspiration from the iconic building and surroundings. When we were lucky enough to acquire what was Alfresco we knew that we wanted the venue to take on a new format. It is such a wonderful building, in such a brilliant part of Brighton. Being next to the i360 and looking out over West Pier we wanted to create an environment that could be something special for everyone throughout the day. Many beach clubs across the world, like Noosa in Australia are relaxed, but the detail in the service, food and drink offer is exceptional and this is what we want to create in Brighton, with a truly British influence.
Why did you choose Brighton? As a company, City Pub Company we have 2 other venues in Brighton; The Lion and Lobster and The Walrus are part of our company. Both are unique and we really love being a part of Brighton and its community.
What qualities do you look for when recruiting your team? People are what make any business; it’s all about personality with a love for talking! We look for people who have an energy about them and who have passion when they are talking about things that matter to them. Educating the team so they are knowledgeable is what will make a business great, confidence shines through when people have the understanding and then they can talk to people with ease. Being kind is also something we look for, mainly because people who look out for others will ensure there is a wonderful atmosphere at all times.
How did you go about creating your menus? This was a collaboration between our management team and head chef. We have a very clear idea of what we want. We then ensure we balance all areas of the menu so we can ensure we have a varied menu which can change monthly, while keeping some seaside favourites.
Your drinks menus are as exciting as your dishes. How do you select your stock? We are very passionate about ensuring we offer exceptional choices and so we love getting to meet new people and showcase interesting soft drinks, spirits, coffee, beers, milkshakes and smoothies. There are so many wonderful products out there and we are lucky enough to be able to offer such a large range. We will be hosting beer events, gin events, food and drink pairing events and many more educational events. Our first one is in conjunction with Fishers Gin.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring restauranteur, what would it be? For me it’s all about your people and self belief. Sir Richard Branson hits the nail on the head, ‘look after your people and your business will look after itself’. Look after your team, however large or small, and believe in what you are doing. Don’t ever lose sight of what your dream is. You can book a table now at www.brightonbeachclub.com
Under new management, with a fab new team and brand new updated menu, being totally revamped to bring it to the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Aberdeen Steakhouse."
A Brighton institution that has stood the test of time. Under new management with a brand new team and fresh updated menu.
he life of a restaurant reviewer for Sussex’s best free lifestyle magazine can be hard. Having to keep on top of all the current trends and developments in the foodie world, constantly on the lookout for new restaurants to try out, the endless invites to launch nights and press events, and all this for the benefit of our readers (I know, I can hear a violin playing somewhere in the distance...) Sometimes it is nice to take a step back to simpler times, and visit one of Brighton’s more time-honoured restaurants; one that in its heyday could be argued was what launched the culinary revolution we are experiencing today. This was the height of sophistication, serving prawn cocktails, black forest gateau and tons of carnivorous red-meat offerings. Yet in an age where everything is gourmet, and fancy butchers are popping up all over town, it has struggled to stand out in the crowd, yet still somehow survived. Under new management, with a fab new team and brand new updated menu, being totally revamped to bring it to the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Aberdeen Steakhouse. Every year in January my wife Sally, who regular readers will know I usually bring along to help me, feels guilty about over-eating over the festive period and decides to go on a diet. So this time I brought along Absolute Magazine’s owners and self-proclaimed meat-lovers David and Simon, to give their verdict on the new and improved menu.
I arrived promptly at our agreed meeting time to find my dining companions already seated and salivating over the menu. They had picked the best seats in the house, next to the huge windows overlooking the hustle and bustle of Preston Street. “We’ve ordered you a chateaubriand, cooked rare, as a main, and picked out a selection of starters to share. I hope that’s okay?” David exclaimed, who was obviously completely famished after a busy day doing whatever magazine owners do. To be fair, I would not have argued being that he had ordered my favourite cut of steak, and exactly how I liked it cooked. This was just as well, as before I could respond, Paula, the restaurant’s new manager, came over to introduce herself and give us the drinks menu, recommending a wonderful smooth Malbec from the fine selection of wines to go with our meal. Paula was a delight to talk to, enthusiastic and eager to take on the challenge of rejuvenating this Brighton institution. Taking a look around, it was obvious the place had been given a lick of paint, yet remained in keeping with the traditional décor you would expect to find in an establishment such as this. Some would argue it was old-fashioned, but I think it is part of the charm. Everything is spotless, spacious and airy with cosy lighting and immaculately laid and well-spaced out tables. Paula has big plans to modernise over the coming months and it was great to hear how she is going to breathe new life into Preston Street’s oldest dining establishment.
â€œ The friendly knowledgeable and helpful staff will
offer impeccable service, making sure your prime cuts of reasonably priced steaks are cooked to perfection. Do yourselves a favour, try it for yourselves."
Our mystery starters arrived and the boys had done a good job in ordering from the selection of both modern and traditional dishes. I immediately tucked in to the Salt and Pepper Squid, which were a delight. Obviously fresh and perfectly cooked, the calamari rings were crispy, light and tender, topped with lemon and served with their secret recipe spicy mayo, which added a welcome zing that stays with you. “You have to try these mussels” David excitedly proclaimed as he wiped away the sauce that was dripping down his chin. He was right to be excited as they were some of the most flavoursome, meaty mussels I have tasted, and thankfully lots of them! The sauce was intoxicating, creamy and bursting with Mediterranean flavours, with thyme and parsley adding depth and colour to the dish. Simon, who “doesn’t do seafood” seemed happy tucking into his baked mushroom topped with cheese, spinach, garlic and herbs. Even with the recent additions of organic gourmet burgers to the menu, for the main course we all stuck to what Aberdeen Steakhouse does best. Simon opted for a giant tomahawk Steak, which was juicy, flavourful, and wellmarbled, served with mushrooms, crispy roasted potatoes and cherry tomatoes. No seasoning necessary here as it really was best to let the flavour of the meat do the talking. David plumped for a rib-eye surf and turf, which was a more modest ten ounces but just as tasty, and topped with several succulent garlicky grilled king prawns. It was my Chateaubriand that stole the show however, a gargantuan hunk of sliced meat (which I later learnt is meant to be for two to share), so tender it melted in my mouth, releasing the full flavour of the best cut of meat the cow has to offer, intertwined with dazzling seasoned
roast potatoes, sweet and soft inside with a golden-brown carapace of crunch. Everyone’s cut of choice was expertly cooked to the specification of the individual and I am pleased to report not a single morsel was left on any of our plates. The biggest difference between dining out with the boys, and dining with my wife is that when the dessert menu was mentioned, there was no hesitation, no “I don’t think I can manage a whole one, shall we share?” Just a resounding “yes please” all round, despite having consumed our combined body-weight in Steaks. Make sure you save some room when you visit as Aberdeen Steakhouse boasts a great selection of classic desserts, all reasonably priced at around a fiver each, and thankfully not a black forest gateau in sight! We devoured an Eton mess, raspberry crumble, and a silky smooth caramelised vanilla crème brûlée, before declaring ourselves to be completely stuffed and ready to waddle home. If the experience we had on our visit is anything to go by, the new team are taking all the right steps to bring Aberdeen Steakhouse back to its former glory days. In amongst the relentless rise of gourmet burgers and frozen yoghurt establishments it may not be the trendiest of restaurants to visit, but you can tell the love for the venue is back with the new owners, and the friendly knowledgeable and helpful staff will offer impeccable service, making sure your prime cuts of reasonably priced steaks are cooked to perfection. Do yourselves a favour, try it for yourselves.
Tony Shattell 27 Preston St, Brighton BN1 2HP 01273 326892
6 Pool Valley, Brighton. BN1 1NJ
31 Ship Street, Brighton. BN1 1AD
Handmade daily using local produce and top quality ingredients. -Vegan options-non gluten containing options-cups-cones-takehome tubs-
La Piazza “With two visits in the space of two weeks under our now expanded belts, I can certainly see how La Piazza is gaining such a great reputation. The food here is outstanding, with attention to detail that sets them apart.”
first came across La Piazza on the “Brighton Sunday Roast Club” Facebook group, where would-be food reviewers get to post their critiques of the Roast Dinners being served by the massively growing choice of pubs and restaurants serving them up. People were raving about La Piazza, describing their roast dinners as “banging”, and “best in Brighton and Hove.” With such high accolades I decided it worth the risk and booked myself and twenty guests in for my wife Sally’s birthday lunch in January. Sally and I go out for Sunday lunch every weekend. We like to try new places as much as possible, and have our favourites. Now we have tried the roasts at La Piazza I can honestly say, I don’t think we will be going anywhere else again! They have to be tried to be believed. The lovely team looked after all twenty of us with ease, and everyone agreed the dinners were something special. The plates were enormous! Incredibly generous portions of what I can only describe as the very best quality roast dinners in all of Brighton and Hove. Huge lumps of perfectly cooked and seasoned meat come with the finest quality seasonal veg, crispy fluffy potatoes and a giant Yorkshire pudding to mop up the most flavourful gravy ever! So impressed was I with the food and the service, that we decided to go back and try them out of an evening during the week. So we popped back two weeks later, on the night it snowed and even settled, albeit briefly. We arrived at around eight, cold and sodden
and more than ready for a decent hot meal. Thinking back to the roast dinner’s we had two weeks ago, if they were anything to go by we were in for a treat. We took our seats by the huge bay windows so we could see the snow settle on Palmeira Square outside. Bez, our waiter for the evening, warmly welcomed us back and gave us the food and drinks menu, allowing us time to relax and warm up. On the previous visit we were so engrossed in our food and chatting to friends we did not really get the chance to look around and take it all in. Formerly Breeze Brasserie, the restaurant itself has been open just over a year and is beautifully designed. It is spacious, with lovely high ceilings and some grandiose artwork in the form of a giant clock on one side and a huge black face on the other. The contemporary industrial style décor is given warmth by the dimly lit hanging bulbs, Italian style arches are draped in vines and a solid oak floor and ceiling give it an authentic continental feel. We chatted to Bez as he took our order and he took delight in informing us that since our last visit they had become number one rated best restaurant in Brighton and Hove on TripAdvisor, and told us all about some of the fantastic entertainment they have had in recently on Friday and Saturday nights. Most recently they played host to Elvis and Rat-Pack tributes and we were invited back again to try them out again at the weekend so we can experience the place in full swing!
Since our last visit they had become number one rated best restaurant in Brighton and Hove on TripAdvisor."
With two visits in the space of two weeks under our now expanded belts, I can certainly see how La Piazza is gaining such a great reputation. The food here is outstanding."
La Piazza The menu itself was nicely designed and consisted of starters and light meals, mains, and sides. The dishes have an Italian theme with some Asian inspired dishes thrown into the mix too. A separate regularly updated specials menu was provided with three or four tempting dishes to choose from should you desire. The drinks menu was impressive, with a lovely select wine and champagne list, a separate cocktail menu featuring reasonably priced classics, and some mocktails for the designated drivers, and a nice selection of draft and bottled beers and spirits. To start I was seduced by the Spicy Prawns, a signature dish carried over from the Breeze Brasserie days. Beautifully presented, this is a dish with immensely flavoursome prawns encircling a peppery salad. The name is slightly misleading as to me they were not too spicy, just a beautiful rich oriental flavour that left a sublime tingly impression on the tongue. Sally opted for Deep Fried Mozzarella (it seems her January diet had well and truly been forgotten about this evening). It was starting to become apparent the amount of attention to detail the chef puts in to presentation, as he even made what is essentially a lump of coated cheese look elegant! It was a heart attack inducing (in a good way) generous portion of crispy skinned heaven that invoked the green-eyed monster in me as I saw the satisfying oozing strings attach itself to her chin every time she took a forkful. Thankfully Sally saw sense enough to leave room for her main and dessert and I ended up eating most of it. Opting to stick to the regular menu for our mains, I decided on Chicken Behrooz. Perfectly seasoned bread crumbed chicken breast fillet, smothered in melted cheese lies on a bed of linguine in a creamy tomato sauce with just enough chilli to give it a little bite. This is every bit as decadent as it sounds and is as naughty as they come. Not only was it incredibly delicious, but also huge. Even I struggled to finish it, and I am not easily beaten. Sally plumped for the
Chicken Fungi; wonderfully tender, juicy and flavourful Chicken Breast on a bed of creamy Pomme Anna and Spinach leaves cooked al-dente, and all smothered in a velvety mushroom sauce. In the interest of journalism, I had to give it a try. I ensured my fork was filled with every element on the plate, and I was taken aback as to how flavoursome this dish was, with every ingredient and texture working in harmony. I have to admit, going for dessert might have been pushing it a bit after the amount we had already eaten, but we managed to finish them eventually as they were too good to leave. The sticky toffee pudding from the main menu was incredible! It was rich and gooey with the perfect marriage of sweetness and stodge. I devoured the Crème Brûlée. It was as silky and smooth as you would expect with the added twist of a Cranberry compote centre. What a delight, and thankfully not too heavy. With two visits in the space of two weeks under our now expanded belts, I can certainly see how La Piazza is gaining such a great reputation. The food here is outstanding, with attention to detail that sets them apart. The service we have received on both visits has been second to none. For those on a budget they have a comprehensive “Set menu” with nearly as many options as the regular menu! All of their produce is locally sourced from Sussex suppliers, and the quality of the ingredients really is apparent. We will certainly take Bez up on his suggestion and come back to experience some live entertainment while we eat, or perhaps one morning to try one of their appealing breakfast options. In all honesty though, we will more than likely just skip breakfast and just hit the £27.95 two hour bottomless brunch. Tony Shattell 79 - 80 Western Road Hove BN3 2JQ email@example.com
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Authentic Greek cooking made with Greek and locally sourced ingredients. Come and try a true Greek experience. 13-14 Preston Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 2HN For Bookings Phone: 01273 933620 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org at adelfiabrighton f T 97 97
Bailiﬀscourt HOTEL AND SPA
Timeless, enchanting and opulent, Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa is both a rural and beachside escape that exudes excellence on every level.
Set within 30 acres of private parkland and neighbouring the charms of Climping beach, this stunning and historic hotel features a medieval-style house, thatched houses and cottages, a 13th century chapel, a romantic inner rose-clad courtyard and an intriguing underground passageway. Surrounded by a picture book rose garden and boasting an exquisite spa with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a croquet lawn and tennis courts, this is where guests can get away from it all, in their luxurious home from home. From the moment you journey through the gates and up the impressive and welcoming drive towards the medieval main house, you can feel the history and stories of the past in the air. The whole team at Bailiffscourt take pride in being proud custodians of an estate that has welcomed visitors for decades before them, stewarding the building and upholding its ethos and traditions. Staff are well versed in the history of their surroundings and are happy to lead guests through the fascinating accounts and features. With all the appearance of an ancient manor house, Bailiffscourt's best-kept secret is that until 1927 it didn't exist. It was designed for Lord Moyne, then Walter Guinness of the brewing family, by the antiquarian and architect, Amyas Phillips. His brief was to recreate a house in the medieval style, which was favoured by Lord Moyne's wife Evelyn. Phillips searched the country for
original stone, woodwork, doors, windows and fireplaces, bringing them all together at Climping to create the exquisite country house and park that we see today. Throughout the 1930's, Bailiffscourt played host to the high society of the day until the death of Lady Moyne in 1939, and in 1948 it became a privately owned hotel and in 1993 Historic Sussex Hotels bought and lovingly restored to be the Bailiffscourt guests see today. I’ve heard for many years friends and family talk about Bailiffscourt with such high regard and awe, having visited for weddings, relaxing spa visits, and romantic special occasions. So you can imagine that when I was invited to bring my family for a weekend staycations, I felt a mixture of excitement, honour and later, panic. I’d only ever imagined going there on a romantic break and hadn’t considered a visit with two toddlers in tow! Calmed slightly by the fact we were going to experience the specifically designed Family Sussex Staycation package, I surprised my husband with the news and set about packing our overnight bags. Starting from £355, the Sussex Staycation package invites families to discover all that West Sussex has to offer from cultural encounters to award-winning vineyards and return to Bailiffscourt for some calm, a quiet moment in the spa or roam free and explore the 30 acres of private parkland with a wander down to the beach. For the more energetic little visitors, there is plenty on
offer from croquet to quoits and tennis to tumbletowers, before enjoying a delicious dinner from the 3 course ‘Climping Menu’ and settling in for a deeply luxurious night's sleep. As it turned out, Bailiffscourt is truly a family friendly hotel and as soon as we arrived, the team took every care to ensure out little ladies were as looked after as we were. Check in was friendly and efficient and we were delighted to discover we would be staying in one of the very finest rooms on the estate; Baylies. This is the ultimate room for a celebratory or romantic getaway and is now increasingly popular with families, like ourselves, looking to spend time together. Baylies is on the first floor of the Medieval House with dual-aspect views over the rose garden and across the grounds and simply has to be seen to be believed. With its vaulted ceiling, glowing wood-burning stove and a four-poster bed that takes pride of place in the centre of the room, this incredibly spacious signature room certainly has the wow factor and allows it’s guests to feel like royalty. Our daughters immediately started toddling and crawling around the vast room, exploring every nook and cranny. A well-sized cot and child’s bed had been set up for them and they delighted in finding towels upon their beds, that had been crafted in elephant shapes and sat together with a welcome the signed from
It is the attention to detail and small but meaningful gestures that really sets Bailiffscourt apart from other hotels.” ‘Nellie’. Each of us had our very own fluffy dressing gown and as we wandered into the bathroom, we discovered a large walk-in shower and twin roll-top baths (which caused huge excitement at the girl’s bath time!) It is the attention to detail and small but meaningful gestures that really sets Bailiffscourt apart from other hotels; every guest is presented with a beautiful map that details the estate grounds, babies have hooded baby towels provided, each room comes equipped with a list of DVDs which you can borrow from reception, the tea facilities are enhanced by the presence of a very healthy supply of probably the best shortbread I have ever tasted and the numerous lounges are equipped with board games galore, a library’s worth of storybooks and crayons and colouring-in. Bailiffscourt has a total of 39 beautiful bedrooms within a series of charming houses and cottages set in private parkland. Guests can choose from medieval-style rooms, to a more modern affair with contemporary design. The Medieval House is connected to the Thatch House by an underground passageway. The Court and Coach Houses stand opposite the main entrance, while the Gate House and the newer rooms in the Moat House and The Oaks stand beside the old moat overlooking the fields beyond.
Bailiﬀscourt HOTEL AND SPA
All rooms are individually decorated using beautiful fabrics and filled with antiques and art, whilst also offering the modern essentials such as satellite TV and complimentary WiFi. The unusual room names are taken from the fields surrounding the hotel dating back to 1610 and each room varies in size. For families, there are lots of options depending on the age of your children and the size of your family. You can either share - many of the rooms have sofa beds or ample space for extra beds, you can book an entire house or cottage or simply choose adjacent or interconnecting rooms. Upon booking, you will be asked how you will be most comfortable and a recommendation will be given as to the best fit for you and your family. Before long, it was nap time for the girls and whilst ‘Papa’ read the paper by the roaring wood burning stove, it was time for me to go out of my comfort zone entirely and head over to the spa. I know that sounds a little crazy but I’m just not the pampering type. I’m a busy and probably rather highly strung working mummy that finds it very hard or indeed impossible to relax. My husband had encouraged me to take up the offer of a complimentary massage at the spa (my first ever) and so I agreed and pondered at what a challenge it would be for the masseuse to crack this stubborn ice queen. That said, if they were successful, it would certainly be a testament to their skill! Highly regarded as one of the most beautiful spas in the south of England, the Spa takes its inspiration from nature, offering tranquility and indulgence. Built in the style of a Sussex barn with dramatic exposed timber frame, the spa has received prestigious design awards, artfully contrasting the textures of polished limestone and natural green oak. You cannot fail to be impressed as you enter through the glass doors, into the vast reception area. I’m not sure how it happened, but as soon as I arrived, it was like something said to my body ‘….and relax’. Was it the calming scent in the air, the soothing music or the sheer beauty of the venue? Perhaps it was the perfect blend of all those elements. Despite arriving in what my husband had branded a “totally inappropriate outfit for a visit to a spa for a massage,” (it was just a long dress, boots and wintery tights which I didn’t have much choice about as this was news to me and like anyone staying overnight, I had limited resources to hand), the lady at the desk provided me with a locker key and I immediately felt at ease as I discovered a robe and flip flops waiting for me. I then had to fill in a form that, aside from the usual personal details, asked questions such as ‘how intense would you like your massage?’ and ‘would you like your masseuse to be conversational or quiet.’ I have to say I think that is a great idea as it avoids those potentially awkward conversations. I am still in shock, but I have to admit that I absolutely loved the half an hour that followed. Bailiffscourt Spa have managed to create an environment that makes you feel comfortable, calm and totally carefree. The massage led me to drift away from the stresses and strains of
the every day and for 30 minutes, I was just happily existing. Not planning my next work assignment, or the lunchboxes for the week ahead. Not awkwardly flinching (as I pessimistically predicted) as my shoulders and back were worked upon. Just totally and utterly relaxing. It’s not surprising to learn that Bailiffscourt Spa has been awarded The Good Spa Guide's 5 Bubble Rating. They have an impressive choice of treatments on offer designed to relax, de-stress, revitalise and restore. It is advertised that their highly skilled therapists ‘ensure total care of your body, mind and spirit’ and this once Doubting Thomas can certainly vouch for that . Aside from treatments and therapies, the spa boasts a heated outdoor and indoor infinity swimming pool all surrounded by sun loungers with expansive windows bringing the outdoors into the beautiful indoor pool area. A gloriously bubbly hot tub also awaits, as well as the spa bath, steam room and sauna. Enhance your experience with a moment of calm in the specially designed relaxation rooms, while away the time in the Sandpiper Lounge (a light-filled space with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pool towards the sea) or get physical in the gym and fitness studio featuring state of the art equipment, personal trainers and a range of classes including yoga and Pilates. During my lone visit to the spa, I learnt that there were specific family swimming times, from 10 till 11 am and 3:30 till 5 pm every day. Although slightly limiting, it is rather settling to know that all guests are aware that these are family swimming times, allowing you to feel comfortable and not disruptive when your children are splashing around! I returned the next morning with the whole family and, as well as being made to feel very welcome, my little fish enjoyed themselves immensely, aided by the excellent selection of floats and swimming aids made available for children. The restaurant at Bailiffscourt has a wide spread reputation for being exceptional and so we all arrived to dinner dressed in our finest and with very high expectations. We had been assured that despite being a relatively formal setting, the restaurant was family friendly and we would all be very welcome to take dinner at 7pm. Children are welcomed in the restaurant, where you can dine comfortably as a family, or the other options would have been, for those that can't last until dinner, to have snacks and light meals served in the lounge earlier, order room service or (on warmer days) have a picnic arranged by the team to take to the beach. With its medieval architecture, mullioned windows and tapestry-hung walls the restaurant is a stunning setting and upon arriving, we were settled at a table that had a high chair all ready and waiting for us. The little ladies had half portions of the ‘Light menu’ and my husband and I were treated to the 3 course Climping Menu, which changes throughout the year and is a wonderful showcase on a plate, highlighting the exceptional talent of the Chefs. Bailiffscourt use quality, locally sourced ingredients from Sussex throughout the menus and have great
Situated just 25 minutes drive from the charms of Chichester and just 10 minutes from picturesque Arundel, Bailiffscourt is a perfect marriage of relaxation and adventure, luxury and home comforts.”
relationships with local suppliers, some of whom they have been working with for many years. The suppliers know exactly what want and they deliver excellent produce every time, ensuring that the high standards set are continuously delivered - it is a team effort, from field (or sea) to fork. The Climping menu highlights the fine produce available throughout Sussex, creating a mouth-watering menu, mixing innovation and tradition, echoing the ethos of the hotel. Lured by the promise of Selsey lobster, we both opted for the Lobster Soup, accompanied by Aioli, gruyère cheese and croûtes. The soup was warming, indulgently rich, bursting with flavours of the sea and the accompaniments added vitality. For mains, I decided on the Grilled fillet of salmon with salsa verde, samphire, celeriac purée and lobster cream sauce and my husband chose the Roasted cornfed chicken supreme, creamed potato, morel mushroom cream sauce, spring greens and port jus. Every ingredient had noticeably been sourced and selected for its quality and vibrant flavour. The salmon melted in the mouth, the chicken was moist and succulent, the spring greens sung with freshness and both the creamed potato and celeriac purée were perfectly smooth, silky and now my ultimate goal when I make mash at home. The waiting staff were courteous and incredibly patient and friendly towards our super young diners. Although rather well accustomed now to restaurant visits, all in the name of mummy’s work, they do like to keep the waiters on their toes with the ‘drop and retrieve the serviette game’ and their high expectations regarding speed of serving the dessert course. We now have a tactic of ordering their mains whilst we enjoy our starters, their desserts whilst we have mains and then ordering our desserts up to our room, to be enjoyed once the girls have settled in their beds. The waiting team happily obliged, entertained the girls and made us feel both relaxed and at ease. It isn’t just the restaurant at Bailiffscourt that is set aside for feasting and indulging. The series of lounges around the inner courtyard are unique and endlessly appealing for a glass of wine, afternoon tea or simply to sit a while and read the papers. When the sun shines, be sure to take a moment to venture outside into the charming courtyard or rose garden. Afternoon Tea is served between 3.30pm and 5.30pm and from 4pm on a Sunday. I recommend booking in advance as it's extremely popular! Situated just 25 minutes drive from the charms of Chichester and just 10 minutes from picturesque Arundel, Bailiffscourt is a perfect marriage of relaxation and adventure, luxury and home comforts and history and innovation. Few hotels and restaurants are truly ‘family-friendly,’ but Bailiffscourt has created the perfect formula for ensuring every family member is catered for, recognising that if your children are happy and relaxed, then you, and even I am too. Victoria Marie Emerson www.hshotels.co.uk/bailiffscourt 01903723511
The Spa at
SOUTH LODGE The award winning South Lodge hotel in West Sussex is set to launch one of the most innovative and luxurious spas in the UK this autumn. As a self proclaimed spa connoisseur I was keen to take a sneak peak amid the final building work.
This £15 million project started five years ago and has been a labour of love in order to stay true to the historic building and picturesque landscape. Designed by highly regarded architects Felce & Guy Partnership, the key objective was to create a calm and relaxing space that flows as effortlessly as the surrounding Sussex Downs, whilst balancing innovation and sustainability. The quintessentially British Jacobean South Lodge has had a rich history since the original development began in 1883 by keen plantsman Frederick Ducane Godman. Set on 93 acres of Beech and Oak woodland, this spectacular property was once frequented by Winston Churchill and enchanted many more with its surrounding chalky hills, scented orchids and a warm décor inside, with carved oak panelling and oversized fireplaces. Frederick one of the country's leading naturalists of his time, who specialised in fauna and flora. HIs love of plant life was demonstrated across the rolling hills and to this day many of the species live on and have since been of great inspiration for The Spa at South Lodge. The Spa is 44,000 square foot of luxurious five star relaxation and incorporates 14 treatment rooms, 3 swimming pools, an ultra modern gym with dedicated fitness studios and all in a state of the art facility, with floor to ceiling windows that allow guests to engage with mother nature and truly relax and rejuvenate. However it was not until I was invited by Sara Young the vivacious Spa operations manager that I truly understood the extent of this phenomenal project.
Donning my hard hat and high visibility jacket, I was all set for my one on one tour of the nearly completed Spa. Sara led me from the main building to the unique rolling building that evidently was inspired by the Sussex Downs. Once completed, guests can choose to be transported from the main hotel by the UK's first electric tuk-tuks, unless of course you would rather stroll across on a sunny day. Once inside and despite the builders working away, it was clear that no expense was spared to ensure this glorious spa will live up to the five star reputation of the country hotel. The 14 treatment rooms each has its own unique design from Sun Flower to Camellia, with imported Italian marble and floor to ceiling windows, allowing you to relax into the surrounding countryside and truly escape the hustle and bustle of our daily stresses. Sara described a few of the treatments which will incorporate The Spa range, which has been specifically designed for this hotel group. However, the award winning Hungarian Skincare range Omorovicza will also be on offer, with its pioneering skincare range that incorporates the thermal waters and healing springs of Budpest and a fantastic history including the enlisting of a noble prizewinning laboratory to harness the water’s healing powers. The three pools are spectacular, but the crème de la crème is most certainly the first heated natural swimming pool in this country. Even on a rainy January afternoon, this natural beauty looked so inviting with the surrounding sun terrace and unspoiled views.
The Spa at
As we continued to wonder through this spectacular creation, I was overwhelmed by the sense of calm. A true state of zen has been created with a tranquil colour palette of natural, organic shades and attention to detail refining the spa experience with advanced techniques and incomparable designs. The journey through the spa is smooth and allows guests to experience nature on a new level and there are endless surprises including the pod relaxation room. This is a room dedicated to pure relaxation, with individual pods that have sound and gentle vibration to transport the body, mind and soul to a tranquil state of relaxation using vibration to resonate through the body and impart restful harmony. The blend of traditional relaxation and contemporary demands is perfectly balanced. As I continued my tour, we headed towards the state-of-the-art gym for those that want to keep fit as well as indulge in total relaxation. Technogym equipment is available as well as dedicated fitness rooms offering HIIT classes, yoga and a specifically designed Spin room available for all levels. The gym has its own private terrace allowing you to take your work out outside into the fresh air and the holistic studio inside is also strategically placed with large floor to ceiling windows which gives the sensation of bringing the outdoors inside. Grizzly's Barbers of Horsham and Ridgeview beauty spa offer a range of treatments from pedicures to beard trimming and the very first Enoflute wine dispenser offering Sussexâ€™s very own English sparkling wine on tap or Beer with every full hair cut or wet shave. Refuelling at The Spa is just as sensational with the bright and airy Botanica restaurant. This delightful dining experience offers a wide array of delicious healthy dishes to boost and invigorate. Head Chef Jonathan Spiers will be creating
a selection of plant based dishes using locally sourced ingredients and adding a Mediterranean flare. There will also be tasty meat dishes available providing perfectly balanced options that cater for all. The aim is to continue the holistic and healthy experience and naturally boost your immunity with undeniably delicious, notorious dishes and all in the beautiful surroundings. The huge dining terrace has been perfectly positioned to take full advantage and enjoy both the Sun rise and the divine Sunsets of Sussex.
The Spa at South Lodge is as limitless as the stars with its relaxed five star luxury."
The blend of traditional relaxation and contemporary demands is perfectly balanced."
The ‘Watershed’ is a poolside more relaxed dining option for those that would prefer a less formal experience or little snack throughout the day or whilst outside. Sara’s passion for this project is evident and it is clear to see that she is excited to share this incredible spa concept. I believe this spa will take 5 star luxury to another level. The attention to detail is phenomenal and the quality of not only the spa itself, but also the staff, products and services is undeniably sensational. The Spa at South Lodge is as limitless as the stars with its relaxed five star luxury. I thoroughly enjoyed my hard hat tour and since I have not been able to stop myself raving about all of the ultra modern facilities that are set to take wellness, fitness and mindfulness to the next level. Membership for The Spa at South Lodge is currently open, but spaces are limited as the team are keen to keep this little gem exclusive. Guests of the hotel are also permitted to enjoy the facilities, but I can only imagine that once the word is out about this Spa, it’s going to be in high demand. First impressions do count and I have been blown away with this unique, well planned out, dynamic development. I am so excited to visit ‘The Spa’ in all its glory this Spring, so watch this space! Lindsay Katherine Hills For more information www.exclusive.co.uk/the-spa-at-south-lodge/
!V FM V ABSOLUTE V
Karting If all things fast and furious get your pulse racing, then take a spin just 6 miles north of Brighton to Albourne and get in gear for some octane racing that will exhilarate any thrill seeker.
Being so close to Brighton, Brighton Karting is the perfect Stag or Hen activity and the site also offers other activities including Clay Pigeon Shooting, Assault Rifles, Axe Throwing, Bubble Football, Archery and Archery Tag. The Oak Barn is also available for Private Functions.
righton Karting is an 800 meter outdoor go kart track that was originally built in 2004 by Peter Peacock and his family, started off with 6 Karts on the grid and a small 400m loop with a fly-over. The track was an instant success so it was extended within the first couple of years of running. In August 2108 the track was extended and resurfaced, creating an all-weather track that is truly the real deal. Full on pedal to the metal straights and cunning curves test your skill to the limit and be it day or night, you'll love connecting with real world karting in some the most powerful karts available. Brighton Karting offer Championship events and a Kids Karting school, as well as open GP races and general ‘Arrive and Drive’ and open practice events. The most popular event is the Open GP40 which is £67pp for a 10 minute practice, 15 minute qualification and 15 minute Grand Final. For those looking to refine their skills, open practice takes place on Wednesday evenings for £49pp. The new and improved track layout means you can now race grids of 15 Karts and there are plans to push this up to 20 Karts later this year. The team offer a choice of 3 different Karts: 270cc, 200cc and 120cc. This means they can cater for drivers as young as 8yrs old and look after a wide range of driving abilities. The signature kart is the 270cc Sodi RT8, capable of speeds up to a whopping 65mph and available to be used by drivers aged 17 and over. Ultra modern and quite exceptional, it is like nothing you are likely to have experienced before! The Sodi RT8 features the latest technology stemming from 30 years of unrivalled experience on the part of Sodikart’s Research and Development department, as well as high speeds, perfect handling and the added power from the 270cc Honda Engine.
Next up is the the 200cc Biz Evo Kart capable of speeds up to 45mph and with a minimum driver age of 13 years old. This is the perfect entry level kart that can be found at most indoor Karting tracks but to give it a real test you need to take it outside. The kart gives a fantastic performance at a decent speed making this your perfect companion for Arrive & Drive sessions. Fitted with a heavy duty plastic wrap around bumper system, each kart is as safe as possible and eliminates the chance of a kart to flip. Side pods are also in place to absorb impact from contact with safety barriers or karts. Last but not least there is the 120cc Biz Cadet Karts capable of speeds up to 39mph and suitable for kids aged 8 – 12 years old wanting to race in a fun, fast and safe machine. Available in Arrive and Drive and also used for our Brighton Karting Kids Championship. All of the karts are kept to the highest of safety standards and if you are not sure which kart would suit you best then the team are always happy to assist and advise. The track is equipped with a bar, restaurant and business facilities for any corporate bookings requiring a meeting before or after their race. This is track-side dining at its best. The Bar and Restaurant is set inside the beautiful Oak Barn and sits right on the edge of the pond and garden patio. You’ll find a laid-back and friendly atmosphere – it’s the ideal place for a couple of drinks after an epic race on the circuit. You’ll find a great choice of hot, cold and alcoholic beverages including craft ales, local bitters, wines, prosecco, spirits and lagers. Delicious Pizzas, Hot Dogs, Burgers, Bacon Rolls and other light snacks are available and the BBQ Menu is available throughout the summer months, but must be booked in advance. The team like to source as much of the food from local producers as possible and even offer a children’s Party Food menu. Get ‘Off the Grid’ with the outside table seating, including a garden patio at the water’s edge with beautiful views of the South Downs; a great opportunity to get away from the Karting action and wind down. Racers and their fans can find seating inside the Oak Barn including extremely comfy giant leather sofas, both perfect settings to relax and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. The bar is open and available for use during Kart Sessions. Being so close to Brighton, Brighton Karting is the perfect Stag or Hen activity and the site also offers other activities including Clay Pigeon Shooting, Assault Rifles, Axe Throwing, Bubble Football, Archery and Archery Tag. The Oak Barn is also available for Private Functions. www.brightonkarting.co.uk
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Sky Dining Spend an elegant evening dining among the stars
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London Lifestyle Mayfair Mayfair, wonderful Mayfair…you will always be one of the prettiest and most fashionable places in London.
‘There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.’ – Vivienne Westwood.
love Mayfair, the wonderfully glamorous and picturesque corner of West London, tucked between Hyde Park, Park Lane and Regent Street, in the City of Westminster. Famous for its pretty gardens and picture postcard streets, gorgeous Victorian and Georgian buildings, it has so many fashionable shops and boutiques with great places to eat and drink. It’s no secret that I love to eat out a lot - too much in fact. I cook meals at home to keep myself and family sustained, but I do find cooking a bit of chore, therefore I would rather eat out for every meal if I could. Here are some of the wonderful establishments that I have frequented lately for a fabulous meal in and around the infamous areas of Mayfair and Marylebone .
The Portman Pub, Marylebone. Marylebone. 51 Upper Berkeley Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 7QW. www.theportmanmarylebone.com The Portman pub serves great hearty gastro pub food. The British menu is tasty and reasonably priced, serving a good variety of classic dishes for all appetites and tastes, and the weekend menu also boasts great Sunday roasts.
Step through the traditional Portman entrance into a cosy and welcoming ground floor pub area just perfect for relaxed drinks and bar snacks, then explore upstairs to the first floor where you find a stylish dining room perfect for group and private dining or parties. The staff at The Portman are friendly and accommodating, and the service is great. On my last visit, I chose for dinner the red onion and goats cheese tart to
start (£6.85), followed by a wonderful main of proper fish and chips with mushy peas (£15.95) and then the delightfully moreish dessert of sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice-cream (£7). All washed down with a gorgeous white wine - 2017 Ciro’ Bianco Greco, Librandi (£31.50). Cost: Dinner for 2 people from £30 to £80. Set menus start from £37 per person.
The Punchbowl Pub and Dining Rooms. 41 Farm Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5RP www.punchbowllondon.com Welcome to the Punchbowl, one of Mayfair’s oldest pubs. This glorious pub is nestled behind Berkeley Square in the very heart of Mayfair. From the outside it looks like a small traditional, and rather quaint London pub, typically like the pubs you find on every back street and corner around London. But it’s actually a rather deceptively big gastro-pub, stretching over three floors, with a wonderful seasonal menu, chic décor, shabby chic furniture and plenty quiet cosy corners just perfect to tuck yourself away in with groups of friends enjoying wine and wonderful food. The private dining rooms are tastefully furnished without being too ostentatious, giving the atmosphere a slightly members club feel. The Punchbowl boasts three different dining experiences. Dine in either the main pub, the dining rooms or the club. Each serves traditional homemade British dishes, cleverly created with fresh ingredients and seasonal produce. It’s a cosy pub with a luxurious twist, serving glamorous comfort food, and a host of British delights from rare breed steaks with triple cooked trips, market
fresh battered fish and richly decadent homemade desserts, alongside hearty bar snacks, and traditional Sunday roasts. On my visit to the Punchbowl I enjoyed a beautiful starter of baked heritage pumpkin, with whipped ricotta, salsa verde and tossed seeds (£8). My sumptuous main course was the delicious roasted Atlantic cod with cauliflower puree, chorizo and samphire dressing (£21.50). Finally, for dessert I chose the magnificent chocolate and beetroot brownie accompanied by homemade banana icecream (£7), which was absolute heaven. This fantastic meal was accompanied by a glorious crisp white wine - Clef d'Argent Sauvignon Blanc, Côtes de Gascogne, 2016, France (£9.30 per glass and £29 per bottle). Cost: The Pub: Main dishes start from around £14. The Dining Room: Three courses around £40-£50 plus wine. The Club: A set menus between £35 to £55.
The Running Horse Pub. 50 Davies Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 5JE. www.therunninghorselondon.co.uk This delightful pub is found happily sitting on Davies Street in Mayfair, just a stone throw from busy Oxford Street. The old pub was established 1738 and famed as the oldest public house and kitchen in Mayfair and was restored and re-opened in the autumn of 2013. For me, one of the best parts of this pub is the first-floor cocktail bar. This great space is available to hire for private drinks and events. The pub is bright and spacious, and the décor is fun, bright, homely and cosy. The food platters are great value (£25), and they are more than happy to adapt their platters for dietary needs and have great vegetarian options. They also have a range of tasty bar bites (from £5) and to top it all off, all the staff are lovely and friendly. The Running Horse serves a variety of draft beers, along with a range of good quality and tasty seasonal menu delights created from British produce, with decent portions that won’t break the budget. Cost: Dinner for two is between around £30-£80.
Harry’s Bar. 30-34 James Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 1ER. www.harrys-bar.co.uk Harry’s Bar in James Street is one of the most fashionable and popular places to eat and drink in London right now. This chic and glamorous Italian style restaurant opened its doors in autumn 2018. The menu is wonderfully packed with a huge array of Italian classics to delight your taste-buds. My wonderful meal started with the Zucchini Fritti (£6.50), followed by my all-time favourite classic Italian main course of aubergine parmigiana (£15.95) with a rocket and parmesan salad (£4.50). All the desserts are amazing, but my favourite is Harry’s toadstool (£10) which is the glorious chocolate and ice-cream filled toadstool which looks too good to eat and tastes simply divine. Advanced table booking for Harry’s Bar is essential. Cost: A three-course meal for two with wine can range from £80 to £200.
The Ivy Café is exquisite and truly one of the most quintessential places to dine in West London, offering sophisticated and relaxed all day dining.
Feya Café. 23 James Street, London, W1U 1DT. www.feya.co.uk This is the prettiest café I have ever had the pleasure of having coffee and cake at. This wonderful little café, bakery and patisserie is adorned inside and out with beautiful artificial blossoms, so even in the coldest wintery months this little hideaway is a luscious floral oasis hidden in the depths of the back streets of west London. This elegant treasure of a café serves exquisite baked delights of indulgent choux buns, crème patisseries and fruit glazed tarts. As you enter you will spy displayed like jewels in the enormous glass counter, mouth-watering macaroons sitting happily next to fresh fragrant croissants, then delicious dark chocolate brownies next to dainty miniature lemons cakes. If you are one of these rare beings without a sweet tooth, then Feya also offers a wonderful selection of savoury delights such as pesto pasta, smoked salmon sourdough sandwiches and wild mushroom or goats cheese quiche. Even on the busiest days I love to order a coffee (a pearl rose latte, £5.50, if you are buying by the way) and sit amongst the blossoms and butterflies on the plush pink chairs and escape into a floral heaven for half an hour with a good book by one of my many favourite authors (currently, Robert Harris, if you are wondering), away from work and the hustle bustle of busy London. Cost: Drinks and food for two people is around £15.
The Ivy Café, Marylebone. Marylebone. 96 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2QA. www.theivycafemarylebone.com The Ivy Café is exquisite and truly one of the most quintessential places to dine in West London, offering sophisticated and relaxed all day dining, and a favourite dining spot of the local Marylebone residents which is always a good sign for any establishment. The beautiful decor and luxuriously tasteful soft furnishings that adorn this wonderfully light and airy dining space make it a truly relaxing place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or cocktails. Nestled on pretty Marylebone Lane, this lovely restaurant boasts excellent service along with a sumptuous seasonal menu. Each delicious dish arrives looking immaculately prepared and too perfect to devour. On my last visit, I tucked into a starter of roasted pumpkin soup (£5.50) followed by the classic shepherd’s pie (£13.95), and finally I indulged in the crème brulee which has always been one of my favourite desserts (£6.50). Every part of my meal at The Ivy Café in Marylebone was amazing. Cost: Meal for two around £30-£80.
28-50 Wine Workshop and Kitchen. 15-17 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2NE. www.2850.co.uk/marylebone 28-50 on Marylebone Lane is a beautifully elegant and relaxed wine bar and restaurant in the heart of Marylebone. As you enter, you arrive in the luxurious upstairs dining space, while downstairs on the lower level is home to the chic private cocktail bar with open kitchen. Pick from the fabulous set menus which are great value with two courses from £22.95 and three courses from £24.95. On my visit for lunch I enjoyed the crab salad to start, followed by the fish pie and finally for dessert the amazing baked white chocolate yogurt. The wine suggested, was an amazing choice, a glorious Spanish white wine, 2017 Viura, Rama, Bodegas Covinas (£25 per bottle). Cost: Price for to people dining with wine from around £40 to £100.
As you enter Feya Café you will spy displayed like jewels in the enormous glass counter, mouth-watering macaroons sitting happily next to fresh fragrant croissants.
Sourced Market. 68-72 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2SD. www.sourcedmarket.com/marylebone/ Sourced Market opened in 2016 and is a wonderful shop, deli, bar and coffee shop rolled into one light, airy and spacious venue, packed with tasty homemade organic food and treats and serving everything from artisan coffee, fresh bread and baked delights, cured cheese and meat, a salad bar and craft beers. The menus are full of British produce from independent producers, and all the food and drink is reasonably priced, catering for vegans, vegetarian and gluten free. This is the perfect to pick up your lunchtime wrap or a muchneeded glass of wine. There’s masses of seating space and friendly staff. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a great private dining space ideal for a party or corporate event and has an interesting tap room in the basement. As well as Marylebone, you find branches at St Pancras, Victoria and Barbican.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am with traditional dishes of eggs Florentine and eggs Benedict from £5 to £10. I suggest you try the ever-popular breakfast hotpots, £4.50 and the scrumptious homemade pastries from just £1.80. I’m a firm believer in it’s all about quality over quantity, and pastries are one of my all-time favourite breakfast treats. So if like me you must indulge your craving from time to time, then choose a homemade organic fresh croissant or pastry from a small establishment or independent bakery where they are baked on-site that morning, with fresh and organic ingredients. This is much better for you and the environment than buying big packs of cheap mass-produced tasteless pastries. Be sensible with your treats and select the freshest you can afford, and you will never feel guilty when you choose to give in and indulge a little. Lunchtimes can get busy with customers queuing for the homemade hot delights of Thai green curry and lamb casserole from around £7. The salad bar is one of my favourites in the area which offers a huge variety of organic vegetable, alongside fresh fish and cheese, from just £3.50. Now the dinner menu is where it gets exciting, with a range of delicious small plates, tasty bar snacks, and enormous mouth-watering sharing platters from just £8. Of course, all these tempting delights are always wonderful washed down with a crisp glass of wine or a cold beer at the end of a busy day. Cost: Between £5 to £35 from breakfast to dinner and alcoholic drinks. So there we are, a London Life splendidly decadent list of where to feast in Mayfair, Marylebone and glorious West London this Spring. I do hope you enjoy some of the favourite restaurants discovered in the London Life city travels and adventures, after all, life is too short not to eat, drink and always be merry. Charlie McBrien
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The 2019 Absolute guide to a simply splendid day at the races in Sussex! Hold on to your hats as Absolute takes you for a race around some of the best horseracing venues in and around Brighton for 2019.
hether you love the thrill of betting big, enjoy just having a small flutter for fun, or simply love to see the gorgeous racehorses whilst enjoying a glass of fizz with your friends, right here in Sussex is where you will find some of the country’s best horseracing venues offering great days out for all the family, for every budget and occasion. Here are the Absolute favourite horseracing venues hosting the best 2019 events, and a few tips for what to wear to make sure you stand out from the crowd (for all the right reasons!).
Fontwell Park Fontwell Park is the picturesque racecourse in the Village of Fontwell in the heart of the West Sussex countryside. Steeped in history and widely regarded by many as one of the most attractive racecourses in the country, Fontwell Park has been voted Best Small Racecourse in the South East for 19 years in a row. Fontwell Park, owned by ARC racing, and founded by Alfred Day, is located just off the A27 between Chichester and Arundel. This pretty racecourse found in the depths of beautiful Arundel offers 24 jump race meetings throughout the year and is the only
figure of eight course in the UK. This great venue is set in 65 acres of landscaped gardens and green open spaces, with parking for over 2000 cars, making this the perfect place to host a corporate event, an exhibition, party or wedding celebration with meeting space for 2 to 400 guests. There are 12 meeting rooms, with 1000 square metres of exhibition space on the Premier Grandstand, and free Wi-Fi and state of the art AV systems perfect for presentations. There’s also a variety of catering options to suit all budgets and events, and the experienced events team are on hand to help
with every part in the organisation of your special event. On race days, Fontwell Park is relaxed in its dress code, but etiquette stipulates that visitors should dress for a smart/casual race day especially in entering the Premier Enclosure and Hospitality Suites. Also be prepared for changeable weather at the races that are held all-year round in varying conditions. Men should wear collared shirts and smart jeans or tailored shorts, so do leave the ripped jeans and flip flops at home. On your visit, certainly don’t wear fancy dress, sportswear (i.e. jogging bottoms and trainers).
F O N T W E L L
P A R K
Fontwell Park is a perfect day out on the South coast, with each race and event offering a thrilling and exciting atmosphere.
Fontwell Park is a perfect day out on the South coast, with each race and event offering a thrilling and exciting atmosphere. Fontwell hosts its ever-popular car boot sale is every Sunday from March to October. Then there’s the Easter Egg extravaganza race day on 12th April, with seven horseraces, masses of free activities to keep the kids entertained, and the infamous Easter Egg Hunt. There are two enclosers to choose from, the Grandstand and the Paddock Enclosure. If you book in advance you will save £5 per person on the gate entry price. The Spring Afternoon Racing season starts from Friday 29th March until Wednesday 24th April. Then the Spring Racing evening kicks off on 8th May with tickets from just £20. This summer, The Big Bank Holiday Family Fun Day will be held on 26th May. While June and August have a series of Summer Afternoon Racing events on 5th and 12th June with tickets from £20, and a Ladies
Evening on 22nd August with tickets from £20. The arrival of Autumn sees in the Autumn Afternoon Racing events and the popular annual fireworks night. Then the end of the years finishes up with the December Festive Jumper Raceday on 10th December and the traditional Boxing Day Racing. Check the Fontwell Park website for latest ticket availability and event updates. Fontwell Park Racecourse is easy to get to via the A27/A29 roundabout between Chichester and Arundel. Access to the main car park is from Fontwell Avenue (A29 towards Bognor Regis). Fontwell Park Racecourse. Arundel Road, Fontwell, Arundel, BN18 0SY. 01273 543 335. www.fontwellpark.co.uk
The 2019 Absolute guide to a simply splendid day at the races in Sussex!
G O O D W O O D
Goodwood Estate hosts a variety of exciting and infamous flagship events every summer.
Goodwood Racecourse Goodwood House was created by the first Duke of Richmond to entertain guests attending the Charlton Hunt. Beautiful Goodwood is a great estate and historic home, framed by views of the Sussex Downs to the north and the Chichester Plains and Isle of Wight to the south. Goodwood Estate hosts a variety of exciting and infamous flagship events every summer. The first of which kicks off to a flying start with the motorsport season in April, with the two-day members meeting on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th April, with tickets from £88. Then the infamous four-day Festival of Speed takes place over the 4th to 7th July. This is the largest event of its kind to bring together some of the rarest cars and motorsport, with day tickets from as little £39 and weekend tickets from £169. The Qatar Goodwood Festival, also known as Glorious Goodwood, is the highlight of the Goodwood flat racing season and runs from 30th July to 3rd August with tickets from £20. Finally, the Goodwood Revival, the threeday September festival celebrating motor cars, fashion and glamour from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, will be held on 13th to 15th September, with tickets starting from £57, and packages from £109. Goodwood is located just outside Chichester, only 60 miles from London, and 30 miles from Brighton and Southampton. There are regular direct train services (1 hour 40 minutes) from London to Chichester and direct trains from Brighton and Portsmouth. There are also plenty of local taxis and buses at Chichester station. Goodwood Racecourse. Kennel Hill, Chichester, PO18 0PS. 01243 755 000. www.goodwood.com
The 2019 Absolute guide to a simply splendid day at the races in Sussex!
B R I G H T O N
Set high up on the South Downs overlooking the coast and surrounded by rolling green landscape. Brighton Racecourse Set high up on the South Downs overlooking the coast and surrounded by rolling green landscape, sits Brighton Racecourse. This infamous racecourse is located on Whitehawk Hill, approximately 1 mile from the coast and originates back to 1783 when the first official race was held in the area. The Brighton Racecourse is said to be one of the few racecourses not to have a complete circuit. The course instead has an undulating left-handed horseshoe racecourse of one mile four furlongs in length. The mile four start is the lowest point of the course, with the winning post being the highest, and there is an uphill climb from two furlongs out. Brighton Racecourse hosts flat racing from April through to October. The main season highlight is the August three-day Brighton Festival, which hosts the main annual event of Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy Handicap. There are plenty of events coming up for the rest of 2019, starting off with April hosting the Mad Hatter Raceday, with tickets from £16. Then the Spring Racing Evening starts on 1st May, with tickets from as little as £13.
The glorious warm summer months make way for the Summer Afternoon Racing on 3rd, 18th and 25th June, with tickets from around £13, and the June Gentleman’s Day is Friday 7th June with tickets starting from just £18. The summer and autumn months host an array of afternoon racing events with tickets to suit all budgets. Check the Brighton Racecourse website for the latest events, ticket availability and prices. Brighton Racecourse can be reached from A27. If approaching from the seafront, head for Brighton Pier and drive eastbound toward Marine Parade, then turn left not Lower Rock Gardens, then turn right on to Edward Street and first left into Freshfields Road and make you way to the racecourse at the top of the hill. If approaching from Brighton on A23, go east on A27, following signs for Sussex University and take the B2123 for Woodingdean, turn right at the traffic lights, and the racecourse is approximately one-mile on the left-hand side.
Brighton Racecourse Freshfield Road, Brighton, BN2 9XZ 01273 603 580 www.brighton-racecourse.co.uk
The 2019 Absolute guide to a simply splendid day at the races in Sussex!
Race Day Ress Code - If you are going to throw yourself in to a race day, make sure you get the dress code right! A race day is always a wonderful chance to meet friends and family and a jolly good excuse to dress up for a fun and glamourous day. Women’s perfect race day attire should be an outfit that is tasteful, elegant, and fashionable whilst being comfortable. Great outfits include knee length dresses, tea dresses, midi or maxi dresses with little jackets or classy jump suits, paired strappy wedges or court shoes, matched with a great hat or fascinator which are often not essential but a lovely touch. Alternatively, match a flowing midi skirt or pleated skirt in silk and chiffon with a silk camisole or blouse and a jacket on top. This season the shops are already starting to fill up with perfect beautiful outfits in an array of summer colours ideal for race days. Look in John Lewis, Debenhams, Whistles, Hobbs and Karen Millen for inspiration and perfect outfits, also check LK Bennett, and Russell and Bromley for wonderful matching shoes and bags. Race days are always a great excuse to get dressed up and throw on a great outfit, dust off those hats, and step out in a pair of wonderful high heels. The gentlemen’s attire should be dapper and smart. It’s great when the chaps wear a lovely jacket and smart footwear. Men take note, there is nothing untidier or that lets an outfit down quite so much as cheap or dirty shoes. Great shops and designers for perfect race day outfits are Gresham Blake, Ted Baker and Paul Smith, then there’s Russell and Bromley for great shoes. Department stores such as Selfridges and John Lewis also do great men’s departments with complimentary stylists on hand to offer advice on styling and size, then there’s Moss Bros which is ideal for suits and a fitting service that won’t break the budget. A great outfit for the chaps at a smart casual race day is a blazer with chinos, a shirt, and a lovely pair of smart brogues. Also, a brown and navy ensemble looks great in warmer months if the thought of a full black or grey suit is rather dull and sombre. However, if you were off to Ascot then of course a top hat and tails are essential. One race day fashion tip is to avoid wearing sportswear to the races. Sportswear should be for physical outdoor pursuits and the gym only. It’s rather peculiar when people decide to spend their entire Saturday or Sunday wearing their gym kit, and then dash round Waitrose in their sweaty leggings. Yes, we get it! You go to the gym, now please shower, change and jump into fresh clothes before embarking on the rest of your day. Also, by the way, avoid going to the races with anyone wearing flip flops! Remember it’s always better to arrive anywhere slightly overdressed rather than underdressed.
(Oh, don’t they look lovely, they have turned up casually dressed… said no one ever!). Don’t be that person! Get your outfits right and make sure you are photographed at the races for all the right reasons These Absolute first-class tips for race day outfits and dressing will have you turning up looking like a winner: • Prepare for changeable weather. • It’s always better to dress smartly rather than too casually. • Avoid flip flips. • For women, wedges are always better on the grass rather than stilettos. • Sunglasses and hats are ideal and often essential on the hot days. • No sportswear – save it for the gym. • No ripped jeans. • Men should choose collared shirts and tailored jackets, and smart shoes. Choose a lovely tailored blazer or jacket, shirt with a collar, smart leather shoes and chinos, or a full suit for more formal race days. • Ladies could choose dresses, smart jump suits, hats and fascinators, and fitted jackets, with great heels and wedges with co-ordinated handbags.
This year when planning a sophisticated race day with friends, booking a suite for a glamourous celebration or organising a smart corporate event, consider booking a day out at a wonderful racecourse. Sussex has some of the best racecourses in the UK, all hosting amazing events and race days throughout 2019, so make sure this year you visit one of these iconic and inspiring venues for a fantastic and memorable day out. See you at the races! Charlie McBrien
Sussex has some of the best racecourses in the UK, all hosting amazing events and race days throughout 2019
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The Lady Boys of Bangkok
…The Greatest Showgirls! The hit cabaret show returns to the Brighton Fringe at its new venue in Hove Lawns.
We decided to bring The Lady Boys of Bangkok to Brighton over 15 years ago and our showgirls just fit right in at this stunning seaside location.
he Ladyboys are back in town and celebrating turning ‘21’ with a new show at the Brighton Fringe. The Greatest Showgirls Tour is coming to Hove Lawns on Grand Avenue from Friday 3 May to Sunday 2 June 2019. So Let’s Hear It For The Boys as they transform into 16 of the most glamourous showgirls, adorned with crystals and sequins galore, to showcase tributes to some of our favourite divas including Kylie, Beyonce, J-Lo, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Rihanna. Dreams will be stirred inside the iconic pink Sabai Pavilion venue as audiences are served a smorgasbord of routines – from M People to the Pussycat Dolls, and Little Mix to the Little Mermaid – as they dine on delicious Thai cuisine freshly prepared on-site. Binky Beaumont, who programs and promotes the tour, can’t wait to see the ladyboys ‘come of age’ in this latest production. Binky said: “When artistic director Philip Gandey opened The Lady Boys of Bangkok at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998, the success of the show was mind-blowing. After a few amazing years, demand was really high from other cities
for us to bring this one-of-a-kind production to them as well. We decided to bring The Lady Boys of Bangkok to Brighton over 15 years ago and our showgirls just fit right in at this stunning seaside location. Since then Brighton has become like a second home to us. Our annual visit in May has become an integral part of our nine-month UK tour.” “For its 21st year we are bringing audiences a show that is even more glitzy and glamourous. Every year there is a new theme reflecting the latest pop culture and 2019 is no exception. The Greatest Showgirls Tour’ allows us to celebrate our favourite divas.” The Lady Boys wear over 400 impressive costumes in the show, and a full-time seamstress is employed to keep them all in check. But the Lady Boys of Bangkok isn’t all just about glamour. There’s side-splitting comedy courtesy of the ladyboys’ sidekick Trevor – a grumpy dwarf from Oldham – who paired with the incomparable Ole will have audiences in stitches. And men especially should be prepared for plenty of audience participation.
For its 21st year we are bringing audiences a show that is even more glitzy and glamourous."
The Lady Boys of Bangkok
“Our Brighton audiences are in for a fantastic evening out, and we’re hoping that our presence at a new venue will encourage people who’ve never seen the show to give it a go this year,” Binky said. “They won’t be disappointed. Plus, we have two new cast members for 2019, which is incredibly exciting. They really are the real deal, a perfect fit for this production.” The ladyboys undergo an intense audition process to be picked as one of the production’s 16 showgirls. Every year artistic director Philip Gandey and choreographer Daniel Todd fly to Bangkok in Thailand to find the stars of the show, before rehearsals start in January. But some of the performers in The Greatest Showgirls Tour 2019 have been part of the ‘family’ for more than two decades, since the show began. “We’re delighted to welcome many of the old favourites – from Sonya to Mr Sak – back this year,” Binky added. With more songs and big-scale musical production numbers than you could point a perfumed glove at, The Lady Boys of Bangkok adds a splash of colour to the black-andwhite normality of everyday life. And the entertainment of The Greatest Showgirls Tour soars from start to finish, with its complete celebration of individuality and pride. Join the Lady Boys of Bangkok at Hove Lawns, as part of the Brighton Fringe.
The ladyboys undergo an intense audition process to be picked as one of the production’s 16 showgirls.
Show Times: Friday 3 May to Sunday 2 June Mondays to Thursdays – 7pm daily Fridays and Saturdays – 7pm and 9pm daily Sundays – 6pm (additional performance at 8.30pm on 26 May) No performances on Tuesday 7, 14, and 21 May. Special Offers: Mondays – all seats 2 for the price of 1 Friday 3 May – all seats £12 each
Tickets can be bought online at ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk or by calling 0871 705 0705* * Calls to 0871 numbers cost 13p per minute plus your network operators access charge.
WITH JOHN SPENCE Spreading the ‘five star hippy’ experience from the beaches to the Ski fields - and recreating what luxury means in the process.
The entrepreneurial chairman and founder of Karma Royal Group now has an impressive portfolio of brands under rapidly expanding and multi-award winning global Karma Group
arma Group is an award-winning international travel and lifestyle brand offering extraordinary experiences in the world’s most beautiful locations and is headed by Chairman and Founder, John Spence. As a trailblazer in the global hospitality industry, John Spence sees himself more as an entertainer than a businessman. In the early ‘80s, John cut his teeth as a music agent in London representing bands such as Culture Club, the Eurythmics and Bananarama before moving into property sales and marketing where he found a true calling. The entrepreneurial chairman and founder of Karma Royal Group now has an impressive portfolio of brands under rapidly expanding and multi-award winning global Karma Group – Karma Resorts, Karma Retreats, Karma Royal, Karma Estates, Karma Beach, Karma Spa and Karma Boutique – so clearly, he is not a bad businessman either. It all started back in 1993, when John visited Goa, India, he simply knew he’d found the place where he wanted to develop his first resort property. Purely using a cash injection from his life savings, John founded Royal Resorts to pioneer vacation ownership in India and South East Asia and began by developing their first Resort - The Royal Goan Beach Club in Cavellosim Goa. That was a huge success and diversification outside India followed with projects in Bali and Lombok, Indonesia, Gold Coast of Australia, Chiang Mai and Phuket in Thailand.
Sensing the need to diversify, in 2002 John founded Karma Resorts and introduced the concept of boutique villa resorts in Asia, allowing clients to purchase freehold villas. John’s vision for Karma Resorts pioneered the luxurious private pool villa experience, offering expansive holiday residences with access to five-star amenities and memorable experiences ranging from holistic healing retreats to hedonistic wine tastings – further pushing the “Five Star Hippy” ideal. John’s philosophy that life is a celebration permeates his companies and this cultivated lifestyle is recognised by consistently achieving the industry’s top accolades. In many ways, John sees the parallels between work and sport. He is a passionate sports fan with his company currently sponsoring the England Men’s Rugby Sevens team. This includes all ten legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, including a training camp at Karma in Bali, and the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. England Rugby players can often be seen ‘recuperating’ by the pool at John’s properties. In 2017, Karma Resorts and Karma Group announced a threeyear sponsorship of Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens, the world's largest school rugby tournament, where they launched a fantastic competition for all Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens Tournament schools to win the chance to be coached by a former England Player or Coach in the run up to the 2017 tournament, plus a one week team training camp in a 5-star Karma Resort in Bali. Further cementing its commitment to sports as well as to Rottnest Island and Western Australian Tourism, Karma Group has the naming rights sponsorship of the iconic Rottnest Channel Swim. The iconic sporting event is now known as the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim.
“Your work has got to be taken seriously and earn you money, but it’s also got to be like sport — fun, challenging and something you do for enjoyment,” he says. “If it becomes just about feeding the family then you’re not going to enjoy it. And if it’s not enough of a job, then really it’s not going to be fulfilling. It’s a balance. I genuinely feel that my work is an adventure, every day.” A former winner of the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Australia Award, John has also been a member of the award’s global judging panel. Being recognized as a leader by his entrepreneurial peers across all industries worldwide is testament to John’s relentless pursuit of the next great challenge. In February 2018, John was awarded Entrepreneur Of The Year at the 2018 Perspective Magazine Awards announced at the GNEX Conference in Florida. A Commissioner on the West Australian Tourism Board from 2006 until 2010 and supporter of numerous charities, John was awarded ‘Philanthropist of the Year’ by the American Resort Developers’ Association (ARDA) in 2006. John founded Karma Group in Bangalore, India and since 1991 has been supporting Christel House, a learning centre for disadvantaged children in Bangalore, which now also supports schools in Venezuela, Mexico City and South Africa. In that time, John’s company has donated more than US$1 million to them, making Karma Group one of the biggest donors in India. The core premise of ‘karma’ is one John avidly believes in and since Bangalore was the location of the first city centre office for his company, it is no accident that he gives a helping hand to the local community. His charitable work in Bali through the Bali Life Foundation reflects his respect and love for the Balinese people and this extends to several other organisations on the island as well. Karma Kandara sponsored Puspadi Bali’s classical music concert in 2015, donating a fabulous stay at the resort in the charity auction. Established in 1999, Puspadi Bali is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through rehabilitation and education. Karma staff members also personally support 25 children to attend school, as part of YKIP’s Kembali project. Each year, John leads the Penguin Walk, a 30-kilometre hike winding through the hills, fields, forests and beaches near the coast of St. Tropez in France. John’s vision is for the Walk to be a fun, challenging and purposed-filled adventure, fully embracing the mission of improving the lives of the disadvantaged, especially in communities around the world where Karma Group operates. The walk has raised over £20,000 over the last two years for Christel House - enough to place three of their rising academic stars through full university scholarships. “Whatever you give to the universe comes back,”says John. “That’s where the whole ‘karma’ thing comes from. I believe it’s everyone’s duty to do what they can to help the world and this is at the heart of all of our global enterprises.” Currently, John oversees three global divisions; Asia and Australia; India and Middle East; and Europe and Caribbean. The company has zero debt or leverage and is still 100% owned by John. It is the market leader in its field and is poised for dramatic growth with future projects providing a global reach and an array of distinctive destinations beyond any other boutique hotel group in the world today. John Spence has spent his professional life identifying likeminded talent from around the world and welcoming them
to the Karma Group team, gathering a dynamic group of independent thinkers who remain unfettered by a traditional approach and who think of the Karma Group as their own from his graduate architecture students at Yale and UCLA, to the local employees at any Karma Resort around the world. “We strive as a company to embody the celebration of life, inspired by beauty and style, fitness and health, in the world’s most beautiful locations,”said John. “This, in turn, inspires our loyal, alpha lifestyle driven guests from all over the world who, much like our team at Karma Group, relish challenging themselves by working hard and playing even harder.” Adding another string to his bow, John has been honoured by the Yale University School of Architecture by being appointed the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow. Through the fellowship, distinguished leaders in the development community from the public as well as the private sector, such as John, participate as integral teaching members in Yale University’s advanced studios and seminars. “It is a tremendous honour to have been the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow at Yale University,” said John. "To excel in a given field, you have to love what you do. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my passion for seeking, recognising and realising opportunities in some of the most diverse global environments with the students.” A book was published through the University about his work with students developing a bodega and related tourism facilities in the Rioja region of Spain. The University of California (UCLA) has honoured John by awarding him Distinguished Visiting Fellowships in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Included in the course work that John presented at the Advanced Topic Studio, “The Island, the Pods and the Glamorous Contemporary Glamping in Remote Settings” incorporated key finishing touches of actual resorts planned by Karma Resorts. During his tenure in the position in 2017, John and Georgina Huljich of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Architecture tasked 14 masters students to design an approximately 40 room hotel for a piece of land in Mykonos, Greece, owned by Karma Group.
We strive as a company to embody the celebration of life, inspired by beauty and style, fitness and health, in the world’s most beautiful locations."
During the course of his Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, John worked closely with the students as they developed their ideas, including helping organise an immersive research trip to Mykonos. “I have been pleased to be invited to participate as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at UCLA,” said John. “I enjoyed my experience as the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Fellow at Yale University and was greatly and honoured that a second top-tier American University awarded me a Fellowship.” John’s commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience has recently seen him working with students from the University of Pennsylvania, inspiring them to design plans for a chateau development in Carcassonne. A natural teacher, John has spent his professional life identifying like-minded talent from around the world and inspiring them to become the great entrepreneurs of tomorrow. In 2016, John and Karma Group announced a joint venture with Mark Fuller, hotel legend and CEO of Sanctum Hotel Group to develop a series of authentic luxury rock styled and orientated hotels in strategic locations around the world, accompanied by an exclusive private membership club. Spence and Fuller have identified a huge gap in the market for this style of hotel, which will combine the credibility and glamour of being frequented by rock royalty and music industry management. Plans have been developed to build Karma Sanctum Bali, joining Karma Sanctum Soho in London and Karma Sanctum on the Green, Royal Berkshire, in the English countryside. John Spence has the unique talent to break down as yet unseen barriers, whether spotting and acquiring land in areas still undiscovered that later become global hot spots, from Goa to Uluwatu Bali to Gili Meno, to creating a new five star experience and brand philosophy that has changed what staying in a five star resort means. Now famously referred to as the “Five Star Hippy” lifestyle, Karma clients flock to the experience and other brands aspire to achieve it. The future looks bright as John Spence and Karma Group continue to set industry benchmarks driven by his passion and innovation in providing new products to engage its over 60,000 members and loyal clients all over the globe. www.karmagroup.com
Seychelles As the world becomes more accessible, people are shunning commercialised hotels, resorts and destinations and seeking remote, privately owned, unique properties in unspoiled locations.
cattered like summer blossom across the Indian Ocean, The Seychelles is a destination wellrenowned for being the ultimate in luxury, celebrity escapes and the honeymoon location that dreams are made of. The 115 islands are hailed for their exquisite natural beauty, the peaceful harmony enjoyed by the multi-ethnic society and a near perfect climate where the temperature is always somewhere between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius, earning the islands a reputation as â€˜land of perpetual summer'. Out of all of the Seychelles islands, currently only 16 have hotels, several of which offer the most luxurious amenities and all of which possess their own natural charm. They offer everything from the opulence of world-famous 5-star resorts to the picturesque charms of affordable smaller hotels, Creole guest houses and self catering.
Shorelines, lagoons, sea flats and protected coral reefs home to the vast array of wildlife that exist in this ecosystem.
Seychelles Alphonse offers guests year-round summer days with temperatures seldom dropping below 22°C [72°F], allowing them to relax and indulge in this luxurious nature lover’s paradise anytime they wish.
ALPHONSE ISLAND If a healthy blend of adventure and relaxation are your key ingredients to creating your own personal paradise, then Alphonse Island, part of Blue Safari Seychelles is your calling. This pristine, natural paradise in the Seychelles Archipelago, is a secluded island and part of the Alphonse group of atolls, which includes St Francois and Bijoutier. The island is considered one of the purest natural idylls in the world. Beautiful white beaches line the edges of a lush tropical forest surrounded by miles of unblemished shorelines, lagoons, sea flats and protected coral reefs home to the vast array of wildlife that exist in this ecosystem. Situated only 7 degrees south of the equator and outside of the cyclone belt, Alphonse Island is blessed with one of the world’s healthiest climates and gorgeous, consistent weather. Alphonse offers guests year-round summer days with temperatures seldom dropping below 22°C [72°F], allowing them to relax and indulge in this luxurious nature lover’s paradise anytime they wish. To celebrate being open all year round, a special stay-seven-pay-five package will be available from the 1st May until the 30th September 2019. The seven-night package costs USD $5025pp full board, based on two people sharing a Beach Bungalow and also includes a generous array of activities and inter-island transfers. Alphonse Island is truly unlike any other island in the Seychelles. Located 400km from the mainland of Mahé, Alphonse Island is accessible only by plane. Accommodation is comprised of 22 Beach Bungalows and five Beach Suites, all with direct beach access and panoramic, uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. Beach Bungalows maximise the stunning surroundings, set amongst lush tropical plantation just metres from the beach. With outdoor showers, patios with gorgeous views, and the beach just steps away, the rooms are all focused on the surrounding natural beauty. The five one-bedroom Beach Suites are nestled amongst tropical plants, close to the white sandy beach. Discreet and luxurious, Beach Suites offer two bathrooms and a lounge area to give guests more space, as well as private plunge pools. Interiors reference Creole style and local materials, reflecting a sophisticated fresh island style of the 21st Century.
Unlike many hotels and resorts, the room is not the main attraction. Alphonse Island encourages its guests to spend as much of their time as possible out of their room and discovering all the island offers. Due to its size and remote location, Alphonse Island is free from the influx of tourism that is often present at resorts. Guests visit to explore and discover an authentic Seychelles experience that cannot be recreated or encountered anywhere else in the Seychelles and marvel at the pristine splendor of Alphonse Island in a tranquil environment, where privacy is paramount. The attraction of Alphonse Island is the island itself, her sister islands, Bijoutier and St Francois and the crystal clear, sparkling ocean that surrounds this island trio. Guests of Alphonse Island can experience the fascinating marine environment on a first-hand basis as they swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean and encounter shoals of assorted, vibrantly coloured fish of varying species: Green and Hawksbill Turtles, Spinner Dolphins and Humpback Whales, all in their natural environment. Swimming with sailfish and manta rays is an unforgettable experience, like no other. An encounter with these animals in their own habitat is incredible and unforgettable experience, whether seen from a boat, from the shore or in the Indian Ocean itself. Be amazed as they flash through the crystal waters and witness these craniate animals in their own environment. These unique experiences with an extensive array of marine life make Alphonse Island nothing short of spectacular.
The 5 Star PADI certified dive centre caters for children, who can experience their first foray into the underwater world from 9 years old by completing a Bubble Maker course. It also offers exclusive dives to families where children from the age of 8 can experience the wonders of scuba diving with their parents.
The waters surrounding Alphonse Island are outstanding for both diving and snorkeling. The PADI certified dive centre caters for children, who can experience their first foray into the underwater world from 9 years old by completing a Bubble Maker course. It also offers exclusive dives to families where children from the age of 8 can experience the wonders of scuba diving with their parents. Alphonse Island Dive Centre offers a full range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba diving to Divemaster. Advanced divers can develop new skill sets all endorsed by the world leading training agency the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). These include PADI Underwater Naturalist, PADI Deep Diver, PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy, PADI Digital Underwater Imaging, AWARE Shark Conservation, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, AWARE Dive Against Debris, AWARE Specialist and AWARE Fish Identification. There are 34 dive sites that surround Alphonse Island, all of which are easily reached in under 30 minutes on comfortable purpose-built dive boats. The highlights of diving in the waters surrounding Alphonse Island include the chance to see Manta ray and squadrons of Eagle ray, the ‘Wolf Pack’ of hundreds of Bluefin trevally and associates patrolling or even attacking prey on the reef. Groups of Bumphead parrotfish, schools of batfish numbering in the hundreds as well as interesting animal behavior such as nesting triggerfish can be viewed. As part of the Blue Safari Seychelles portfolio, Alphonse Island are committed to the protection of the environment and as of September 2018, they are proud to have become the first commercial Outer Island with a hospitality offering to rely on solar power and go completely ‘off-grid’.
Designed to allow guests to reconnect with nature while respecting it, the Island Conservation Society (ICS) team offers activities to create an island that is intimately connected to the natural environment, which guests are encouraged to join. By guests assisting the ICS, they gain a wider understanding of the environment that exists on Alphonse, St FranĂ§ois and Bijoutier and the importance of their work and how it greatly affects the islands. As part of the guided walks and Native Vegetation Restoration project, guests can choose to plant an endemic tree. Swimming with - and photographing - Manta Rays, is a particularly magical ocean experience, which helps capture important data about individual specimens and their movements. These islands provide important nesting grounds for our endemic Hawksbill and Green turtles; the turtle patrol and tracking project provides important insights into the population numbers and their movement, which helps the team protect them. Aquatic adventures at Alphonse Island are not limited to below the water. Kayaks are a perfect and non-intrusive way to get up close to turtles and rays around the flats and allow guests to enjoy Alphonse from a new perspective. Choose between a guided tour by nature experts who will point out seabirds and spot fishermenâ€™s delights such as bonefish, permit and triggerfish, or for something more private and personal, kayaks are readily available for guests use. This way guests get to appreciate the untouched exquisiteness of Alphonse Island solely at their own pace and a picnic basket can be organised for you to carry along, ready to choose a spot for a secluded meal.
'Experiences Are Our Luxury'
If it’s a larger vessel that floats your boat, how about setting sail into the Alphonse Lagoon on one of the catamarans, ready to salute the setting sun with a cocktail or beer from the onboard bar. Share stories from your week and bask in the stillness of the departing day. It’s not just the resort, the diving opportunities, the thrilling activities and the weather that makes Alphonse Island so spectacular. Add in the terrain, the techniques, the season and the species diversity and you have an incredible mix, custom-made for fly fishing. On the terrain front, fly fishing in the Alphonse Atoll sets itself apart due to the largely land-based approach it offers. While bluewater, boat-based fishing is available to anglers, the main draw these atolls holds is for the angler to be able to target challenging species on foot. Whereas saltwater fly fishing destinations in many parts of the world are boat-based, the Alphonse Atoll stands apart because of the opportunities it gives anglers: to wading in shallow, warm water on hard white sand and turtle grass, or on coral flats to discover a plethora of exciting new species. It’s not all catching but getting the opportunity to cast at behemoth giant trevally or shoals of bonefish in the same knee-deep water you are standing in, is not something many fly anglers who are accustomed to boat-based fishing, will ever forget. It’s not that Seychelles guides’ and anglers are against boats in any way, but there is something more tactile, connected and satisfying about standing in crystal clear water, while site casting at fish.
If it’s a larger vessel that floats your boat, how about setting sail into the Alphonse Lagoon on one of the catamarans, ready to salute the setting sun with a cocktail or beer from the onboard bar. Share stories from your week and bask in the stillness of the departing day.
Exceptional experiences last a lifetime. They are stories that people tell people with enthusiasm, passion and love, they are memories that can never be erased.
With days filled with adventures on land, in or above the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean, relax at the central dining and bar area, as the sun slowly dips into the ocean and melts away, signaling the end of another day in paradise. Socialise alongside the sparkling pool and shoreline, with diverse cuisine inspired by the island atmosphere and complemented by a comprehensive wine and cocktail list. With the use of indigenous flora and fish, along with garden produce, the menus are built around freshness. Combining the influences of local Seychellois Creole and French cuisine, dishes are inspired from all corners of the Indian Ocean. In addition to the restaurant, private dining can be arranged to allow guests to enjoy meals on the terrace of their Beach Bungalow or Beach Suite, on a special spot on the beach, or alongside the pool. The idyllic, pristine and picture-perfect paradise that is Alphonse Island is the definitive wedding destination. Alphonse Island can arrange fully licensed weddings and the talented team are able to arrange every detail from providing the registrar, to working with the bride and groom to create delicious menus, signature cocktails and canapĂŠs, as well as arranging tropical flowers and fantastic music. Each and every detail is carefully considered to create an unforgettable wedding in paradise. Begin married life on sugar soft, white sand beach with azure waters stretching before you-perfect! For those who seek exclusivity, Alphonse Island can be hired in its entirety-the ultimate wedding venue! Exceptional experiences last a lifetime. They are stories that people tell people with enthusiasm, passion and love, they are memories that can never be erased. Alphonse Island is a sanctuary for the senses, a discovery for the mind, food for the soul. It is a place where guests are at one with the environment, where peace and tranquillity reign. It is a destination like no other, it is paradise perfected and this enchanting island is just waiting to be explored! For more information, please visit www.alphonse-island.com
Seychelles SEA MONKEY VILLA
Seychelles’ sumptuous sanctuary for the senses
s is the case with legendary Shangri-la, discerning travellers who take the trouble of keeping abreast of the finest things in life (and where to find them), may have heard rumours of Sea Monkey’s existence, yet most are still uncertain about exactly where to find it. Not surprising, really, because it’s not until you enter this extraordinary domain, perched on a secluded Jurassic outcrop overlooking (with a full, uninterrupted 180+ degree panorama) north Mahé’s sapphire ocean that the full realisation of what you have just discovered strikes you. Located equidistant from the capital Victoria (20 minutes distant) and the bustling tourism hub of Beau Vallon (15 minutes away) with its beautiful strand and full complement of tourism
facilities, Sea Monkey takes the already legendary Seychelles island lifestyle to a whole new level. As its very name suggests, Sea Monkey, named after a particularly mischievous character in local folklore, is no ordinary luxury villa - not by a long shot – as owners Marcel and Corinna Frichot have taken every pain to ensure. The location, even in a country renowned for its surreal natural beauty, is simply stunning: nestled between a verdant mountain backdrop and an unimpeded view of the Indian Ocean. It’s almost as if one were on a secluded island with nothing around for miles, the almost palpable peace and tranquillity cocooning the villa from the world beyond the waves.
Itâ€™s almost as if one were on a secluded island with nothing around for miles, the almost palpable peace and tranquillity cocooning the villa from the world beyond the waves.
SEA MONKEY VILLA
With their background as professional hoteliers and owners of a number of top-drawer UK hotels and restaurants such as Scotland’s Knockinaam Lodge; the Elms- a Queen Anne styled manor house deep in the Worcestershire countryside; Cheltenham’s stunning Lypiatt House Hotel and the Daffodil, the famous restaurant housed in Cheltenham’s famous 1922 picture palace – it’s without question that much from their illustrious career has rubbed off on the sublime aesthetics of Sea Monkey. The villa, whether in terms of its masterful construction, refined interior decor and discreetlyunderstated, elegant ambiance, capitalises perfectly on its unique location with a 450 sq. metre sanctuary that is the epitome of what Seychelles offers as a unique holiday experience. As one might expect, nothing in the realisation of this dream home has been left to chance with every facet thought through and realised in minute detail. The overall effect is far from one of opulence or overstated luxury – just high levels of comfort and convenience underpinned by exquisite taste and elegance with a most endearing twist of tropical, barefoot chic. From the outset, the Frichots brought the very best on board: Jean Marc Eynaud, a well known architect with a reputation for designing tropical buildings over a period of 30 years in both Mauritius and Seychelles and specializing in hotel and leisure architecture offering personalized services to its clients and exclusivity in its designs. Their philosophy of design in a tropical environment is to integrate buildings within the natural setting and landscape by making use of mainly natural materials, using water as a strong element in the design process.
As one might expect, nothing in the realisation of this dream home has been left to chance with every facet thought through and realised in minute detail.
SEA MONKEY VILLA
ancient granite boulders have been retained as attractive features of the villa.
As interior decorator, they turned to Julie Paul, former head designer at world-famous Oka, and later with her own company, Julie Paul interiors, well-established and widely respected companies working on both residential and commercial projects both nationally and internationally and with a proven track record for excellence. Their forte is in the creation of beautifully designed and functional spaces to reflect the characters of those who live within. Entering the world of Sea Monkey via its main gate, one cannot help but remark on the levels of security in place to protect this gated villa which consists of 24-hour monitoring with multiple CCTV cameras in place, all backed up by the live-in staff. Just inside, is a spacious parking which gives off to the main residence via paths meandering between the tidy gardens and imposing, ancient granite boulders which have been retained as attractive features of the villa.
SEA MONKEY VILLA
The design is such that the villa features many cosy nooks and crannies where guests may be assured of privacy in grand comfort.
Once inside, one’s view concertinas outwards across the characterful wooden flooring, taking in the extravagant, wooden beamed ceilings and imposing glass doors framing a stunning panoramic view of the ocean, not to overlook the choice, artfully placed objets dárt and soft furnishings which together betray the expert hand of a top drawer interior decorator, brought in specially to finish the job. Situated between the villa and the ocean right on its front doorstep is oh-so-inviting 60 sq. m infinity pool giving onto multiple levels of ocean-side decking. For those who are looking for that special beach, there is one right in front of the villa and another private strand a 4-minute walk away, or even shorter by kayak. Down a few steps to your left lies a tastefully decorated gazebo complete with lounge, bar, BBQ and dining area, built around a massive granite boulder, standing like a sentinel overlooking this magical slice of tropical heaven. The villa’s perimeters, meanwhile, are detailed with attractive floral margins and, in places, by fruit bearing, tropical trees: avocado; banana; chili; snake gourd; papaya; red coconuts (excellent for drinking); citronelle and lime, all of which inevitably make their way into the kitchen as tasty, organic additions to the menu. Equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi with a booster in each room, wireless Sonos sound system and Cable TV/ Netflix, Sea Monkey’s well-appointed interior features three airconditioned bedrooms with sumptuous ocean views (even from the bathrooms) and private balcony, all exquisitely decorated and providing Italian cotton towels, Egyptian cotton sheets and top of the range, luxury bathroom cosmetics. The villa also offers a detached guest room in identical style while the well-equipped inside kitchen and another outside will ensure that all guests’ culinary requirements are catered for in style. The design is such that the villa features many cosy nooks and crannies where guests may be assured of privacy in grand comfort.
SEA MONKEY VILLA
Sea Monkey, which was the proud recipient of the 2016 Boutique Hotel Awards for Africaâ€™s Best Beach Hotel or Villa, provides guests with a truly exclusive, seamless taste of Seychelles and the very best that the islands have to offer to clients seeking an other-worldly experience.
The villa, which is Seychelles’ only exclusive, high-end villa currently available, comes fully-staffed with two house boys and staff for shopping, daily cleaning and laundry requirements, a private chef on request and villa manager - all trained in the art of delivering discreet, efficient service. Recreational facilities include table tennis, paddle boards, kayaks, snorkelling equipment and casting rods to supplement the menu with fresh catch from the ocean. The villa provides a full bar and freshly-made cakes with afternoon tea. Staff will be delighted to organise car rentals, excursions, fishing and diving trips and can also arrange for in-house yoga sessions and spa treatments on request, making Sea Monkey your ideal steppingstone to all of Seychelles’ cultural and touristic attributes. Sea Monkey, which was the proud recipient of the 2016 Boutique Hotel Awards for Africa’s Best Beach Hotel or Villa, provides guests with a truly exclusive, seamless taste of Seychelles and the very best that the islands have to offer to clients seeking an other-worldly experience. [Overheard from a recent visitor: ‘I can’t imagine what they were thinking? There’s no monkey business here – this is the real deal!] Sea Monkey offers accommodation on both full and bed & breakfast rates. For further information on prices, please visit our website: www.seamonkeyseychelles.com Geographical coordinates are: longitude East 55.442589, latitude South -4.564169
PETER ANDRE Wed 13 Mar
PAUL CARRACK Sat 16 Mar
40 YEARS OF DISCO 2 Thur 21 Mar
LEGENDS LIVE Sun 7 Apr
UB40 FT ALI & ASTRO Mon 8 Apr
CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN Thur 2 May
THE ORIGINAL HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS Sun 5 May
MICHAEL BALL Wed 8 May
SHAWN KLUSH ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST Sat 25 May
THE GUILTY FEMINIST LIVE Sun 26 May
OLLY MURS Mon 27 May
THE VAMPS Fri 31 May
IL DIVO Thur 20 Jun
BLOC PARTY Sat 29 Jun
THE BEACH BOYS Sat 6 Jul
BIANCA DEL RIO Tue 3 Sep
PROF. BRIAN COX Sat 14 & Sun 15 Sep
THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL Fri 18 Oct
SQUEEZE Sat 26 Oct
DIVERSITY Sun 27 Oct
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