IN BRIGHTON Issue 4 September 2021
PERSONA Hello Dolly — we speak to the voice of Broadway, Mr Jason Thorpe
DINE Authentic and affordable Thai at Le Village
SHOP Polka Dot Interiors
COCKTAILS Naughty cocktails at the Nautilus Lounge
LIFESTYLE Cover: Adam Makkai care of The Brighton Box
Jason Thorpe, voice of Broadway, tells us about his new role at this much loved venue
Up periscope! Chantelle O'Keefe reviews the cocktails at Nautilus Lounge
7 DINE Sam Harman reviews the authentic and affordable Thai cuisine at Le Village
10 SHOP ONLY in Brighton are dotty about Polka Dot Interiors
ONLY IN BRIGHTON -
It could only happen here
RECOMMENDED Our hot picks of the best of Brighton
ONLY in Brighton is published by EveryMan Press Ltd Company Registration No. 13381967 For Editorial/Sales Enquiries 01273 567980 Co-Editors: Sam J. Harman, Paul A. Thorn Art Director: Adam Reid Cover: Adam Makkai, care of The Brighton Box Contributers: Chantelle O'Keefe
Printers: Prontaprint, 27 Middle St, Brighton BN1 1AL © 2021 EveryMan Press Ltd All rights reserved All views, information, or opinions expressed in ONLY in Brighton are solely those of individuals involved and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever including the businesses mentioned in this publication, and those to which we are affiliated.
ONLY in Brighton speaks to the voice and manager of Bar Broadway, Jason Thorpe
ou're known as the voice Of Broadway, how did this come about? When Bar Broadway did it's first talent contest back in 2015, searching for the voice of Broadway, the then owner, Alistair hadn't really heard me sing much apart from behind the bar, so put me into the competition as an afterthought to boost numbers. As the weeks went by, I made it through each round and then to the semi final – I sang ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserable on my own for the first time and I won. From that point on I performed cabaret around town and started hosting, the name has stuck since then. How did you feel when Broadway closed its doors? I was deeply saddened when the bar closed. I moved here in 2014 and the bar opened a week before I moved here. When I started working at Broadway, it was a new venue and everyone behind the bar was also new. We became very intense and close almost like an instant family. The bar's reputation grew and it became a community hub. Although I hadn't worked there for two years prior to closing, I was always popping in and out, so yes, It was a deeply sad day when the doors closed. Tell us about the newly refurbished Broadway? Like all good Broadway musicals, they wouldn't be the musicals they are without a revival. So I think that's the beauty of us taking Broadway and reopening the doors, it is our time to carry on the legacy that was already in place. Set designer, Elin Carins' concept for the whole Art Deco, 1930s theme is reminiscent of old Broadway – I loved the idea. Instead of modernising and bringing everything up to date, we took it back and gave it some class and old-fashioned glamour. Everyone who comes in says, ‘It's still Broadway, but it's different’ but they like it and I think that's the main thing. What I've always said about Broadway is the only thing that needs to take centre stage are the TVs that show clips and musical moments, so whether you're on your own or in a group you can come and be part of the Broadway experience and feel like it's a safe space and a little slice of heaven. That's what I felt like when I first came here on my own, I just sat and watched the screens in the mirror at the bar and then I got to know people. It's lovely to see how we can carry on that legacy.
10 Steine Street, BN2 1TY
How do you feel being at the helm again? It's all very surreal being at the helm again, when I first started working here I was known as the carthorse, and that's a whole other story. I asked Alistair for a job and he said, ‘I only really employ...’ and before he could finish that statement I interjected with, ‘If you're going to say young good looking men, that's not fair – you have a glass washer full of dirty glasses and tables full of glasses too, you my friend, need a carthorse.’ I was hired five minutes later. When I left my job in recruitment in London, I was offered the job as manager of Broadway and I jumped at the chance – this bar is like my iphone on shuffle. So to be back at the helm feels like coming home, that's the only way to describe it. I can stand behind that bar and listen to the same music over and over again, because it's the music I would listen to by choice. To be able to have new staff come in who also love the music as much and also the odd old face, we are building a new family. People are coming through the door loving the experience as much as they did the first time and I'm very proud of what we've achieved.
Unusual, playful & ﬁercely independent
(& DELIVERED NATIONW
DINE By Sam Harman Le Village Thai 2-3 High Street, BN2 1RP 01273 676075
A Hidden Gem on St James's Street
hances are you've walked past Le Village, one of the many colourful LGBTQ bars on St James's Street? I heard a whisper they sell the most exquisite Thai food and for a very reasonable price, so obviously wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. The chefs are Thai and their family owns one of the largest and most successful restaurants in Thailand, so I knew I was in for a treat. Le Village has a large undercover outdoor area, perfect for al fresco dining and as the weather was still reasonably warm, my dining partner and I pulled up a pew and perused the very varied menu. There is an impressive array of starters to choose from, and wanting to sample a few we decided to share; Chilli Squid, Chicken Satay, Sesame Prawn Toast and Thai Crackers.
The food arrived and first impressions were good, all the dishes were beautifully presented with a carved carrot flower. The chef explained that his wife hand carves the flowers and leaves every evening while she watches television. A beautiful, personal touch. But how did it taste? The Chilli Squid was crispy and not chewy, just as nature intended and covered with a delicious, spicy sauce. The Chicken Satay, which wasn't dry, and covered in a sweet peanut sauce, came easily off the wooden skewers and the Sesame Prawn Toast, was perfectly crisp, not soggy or overly greasy, with just the right amount of prawn paste. The food is not only delicious, but surprisingly light, meaning (luckily) we still had room for mains. I ordered Prawn Green Curry and my plus one ordered Chicken Pad Thai. The green curry was again beautifully presented with two heart shaped sticky rice mounds.
I have in the past found Thai green curry too spicy, this one however was not. All the subtle flavours of lemongrass, ginger and herbs were evident and not drowned out by the fresh chilli – a delightful, well balanced dish with a generous amount of perfectly cooked king prawns. My dining partner was impressed with the amount of noodles piled on his plate and again enjoyed the delicate, not overpowering flavours. Moist chicken pieces mixed in with flat noodles combined with sweet tamarind paste, al dente vegetables and a mound of crushed peanuts on the side. His verdict? One of the best Pad Thai dishes he's ever tried and fantastic value for money. The gorgeous food is served Tuesday - Sunday, with vegetarian and vegan options available and at time of writing, Thai Village is launching an all-youcan eat Thai Buffet on Sunday afternoons. Check out Le Village Facebook page for more details...
Le Village, 2-3 High Street, BN2 1RP. No need to book, just rock up.
By Paul Thorn Polka Dot Interiors 60 Middle Street, BN1 1AL www.polkadotinteriorsllp.com
f you're looking for something a bit different, either as a gift or for your own home, ONLY in Brighton suggests getting off the beaten track and discovering Polka Dot Interiors. Located in Middle Street, the shop has been established for over three years and sells an eclectic array of decorative and ornamental items. We spoke to owner, Charlie Bugden. Everything in Polka Dot Interiors is beautiful, it's the first thing that strikes you. Following closely in second place is how reasonable the prices are. How does Charlie do it? He said: ‘sometimes, I won't price items as high as the RRP suggests if I really like the piece. It means we make a bit of a loss on those items, but other things can be put at the proper price. It's really all about sourcing. It's a lot of hard work, and I have to go to a lot of different companies to get exactly the kind of look I want, but it's definitely worth it. It means I have very different stuff to other shops, and that our prices can also be very reasonable. I don't think there is much point having a shop that's too expensive. I can't really compete with Heals, because it's so well known, if people want expensive then that's where they will go.’
Charlie continued: ‘I've always worked in interiors. I had a shop before in Hurstpierpoint, I remember the type of things sold that well there, and I might see a new variation, or something similar that could sell well. Current trends are important. Instagram has made the fashion houses go crazy with new trends, and it has trickled down into interiors in my opinion. I go to the buying shows and see what kind of thing they are pushing, any new styles, or a new colour or tone, or for example a kind of distressed affect. There's a company in Belgium that I've just started buying from this year. They're doing a lot of this distressed look, but it's different to what I was selling seven years ago. Yet now it has come back and in a more modern way.’
Polka Dot Interiors must be in the minority of businesses to have done OK from the previous lockdowns. Charlie explained: ‘It's actually not been too bad for me because a lot of people during the first lockdown were walking about and had nothing much to do, often they just came in after seeing something they liked in the window. Quite a lot of people weren't spending money on holidays, and rather than going abroad were coming to Brighton for a day or two. Many people had been stuck in their homes and decided to spend their money on that instead.’
Charlie thinks people are more involved with their own interior design today rather than getting someone else it to do it for them. ‘I'd say getting a professional interior designer for the middleclasses has died a death, because people just do it themselves. It's so easy to get inspiration and to see what they want to do from looking at Pinterest and Instagram. I'd say interior design is for the upper-classes, and its huge companies in London that really do that now. I will give people advice, but no-one wants to pay for it. Sometimes I go around customer's houses and make suggestions, but it's not a whole room that someone will unleash me on.’ Polka Dot Interiors has made great design available for all budgets. It's well worth taking a detour to Middle Street if you're wandering around the South Laines. It is an excellent example of one the best independent shops our city has to offer. ONLY in Brighton highly recommends a visit. We bet you will buy and walk away with something you love, and absolutely just have to have.
COCKTAILS Nautilus Lounge 129-130 St James's Street, BN2 1TH www.nautiluslounge.com
ubmerge yourself into the Nautilus Lounge, and you're transported into a Jules Verne 1920's world of tiffany lamps, cosy leather sofas, old world maps adorning the walls, and even a fine grand piano. You could really be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. All that is missing is Captain Nemo. We were warmly welcomed by our ‘Captain’, Steve, who escorted us to our seats. Nautilus Lounge boasts an impressive drinks menu of 60 cocktails and mocktails. Steve explained his cocktails are inspired by the 1920s prohibition era going through to the 80s; some being his own creation and others with a nod to the classics. There's definitely something here for everyone, whatever your taste. Where did the inspiration come from for the décor? Steve felt it was fitting for the area and works especially well as the venue is underground. This is a fabulous cocktail bar for large groups or for those seeking more intimate moments. There's plenty of seating areas, the staff are friendly and warm and operate an effective table service. The venue also has regular entertainment throughout the week and weekends. During our visit we had the fantastic Ed Parry perform on the saxophone.’ Let's move onto the good stuff; a review of some of the ‘Captain's’ favourite cocktails. Espresso Martini – A Classic favourite Ingredients: Fresh Espresso Smirnoff Vodka Kahlua This is an elegant demure cocktail, it looks amazing, it even comes with a nautilus octopus dusted in coco powder for that extra special touch. It is rich, dark, and smooth and definitely up there for one of the finest in Brighton. This is the perfect accompaniment to breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Aviation – A gin sour short cocktail Ingredients: Bombay Sapphire Sweet Maraschino Crème de Violet Lemon Juice A cheeky bouquet of floral and citrus moments. Pink sugar adorns the rim of the glass which marries well, taking the edge off the combination of spirits. This is a very strong short drink so pace yourself. Parma Violets come to mind; you either love it or hate it, I loved it! Dune bug – A big soft tropical hug Ingredients: Midori Melon Malibu Blue Caraco Banana Liquor Pineapple & Lime
Light, fruity and colourful – just as the menu described. Perfect for cooling down after a hot day on Brighton beach. A refreshing pineapple rum cocktail that is synonymous with summer.
ONLY IN BRIGHTON
Orville (Google him if you aren't old enough to remember) going for an early morning swim.
So many strange happenings on the beach this month - a mystery bunch of cows appeared one morning. It transpires they were part of an advertising campaign for a plant based brand, Over The Spoon. The idea being to ditch dairy and send cows on holiday.
The Naked Bike Ride takes place every August in Brighton, it would appear Boris Johnson joined proceedings this year.
Oooo-errrr take care when sitting down on the bus! Someone spotted this ‘item’ casually sitting on a number 5.
Who knew you could catch a bus to the universe? Obviously ONLY in Brighton do such journeys takes place, ask the Dalek for bus times.
RECOMMENDED AFFINITY BAR
129 St James's Street, BN2 1TH Open daily noon - midnight 01273 567953 Booking for Cabaret recommended
2/3 High Street, BN2 1RP Open daily 12pm untill late Bar snacks and roast dinner served every Sunday untill 6pm 01273 676075
MARINE TAVERN 13 Broad Street, BN2 1TJ Opens 12pm 01273 905578 Every Saturday ‘Candi-oke’ cabaret and karaoke with Brighton's very own Candi Rell from 9pm SEPTEMBER CABERET 3rd- Snow White Trash 8.30pm 4th- Stephanie Von Clitz 8pm 5th- Lovinia Belle 5pm 10th- Miss Jason 8.30pm 11th- Topsie Redfern 8pm 12th- Lovinia Belle 5pm 17th- TBC 18th- Dave Lynn 8pm 19th- Lovinia Belle 5pm 23rd- Brighton Box Art Gallery comes to Affinity Bar. Meet the artist, see their art and enjoy fantastic cabaret with Lovinia Belle. From 4pm. 24th- Lola Lasagne 8.30pm 25th- Davina Sparkle 8pm 26th- Lovinia Belle 5pm
Every Sunday 12-5pm Bee's legendary Sunday Lunch (Booking advised)
NAUTILUS LOUNGE 129-130 St James's Street, BN2 1TH Opens Thursday-Monday from 6pm www.nautiluslounge.com Delicious cocktails with quiz night every monday
REGENCY TAVERN 32 - 34 Russell Square, BN1 2EF Open daily noon 01273 325625
SEPTEMBER CABERET 4th- Jason Thorpe 11th- Chris Hide 18th- Dave Lynn 25th- Lovinia Belle Tuesdays- Live music with Miss Kate & friends/ Mabel South & guests. Wednesday- Ross Cameron's BIG QUIZ. Thursday- Karoke with Chris Hide. Tapas available during the week. Sunday lunch (booking recommended) and very dog friendly too. They even do doggy roast dinners so no one is left out (WOOF!).
THE BOK SHOP
3 - 4 East Street, BN1 1HP 01273 777312
11 Dukes Lane, BN1 1BG
Free range fried chicken and vegan fried chikn joint.
GOLDEN GIRL 10 Manchester St, BN2 1TF 01273 673686 Peeky Blinders prohibition themed restaurant experience, five star food and cocktails. Pre-booking advised.
LONGRAIN THAI 111 St James's St, BN2 1TH 01273 082414 Asian fusion restaurant.
Travel-inspired jewellery handmade from quality metals.
THE BRIGHTON BOX 23 Dukes Lane, Ship St, BN1 1BG 01273 722036 Showcasing the best of local artists, chic affordable art, prints & ceramics.
FARAH 5 Dukes Lane, BN1 1BG Luxury clothing brand.
PEN TO PAPER 4 Sydney Street, BN1 4EN
OLLIE'S JERK SHACK
Independent stationary shop in Brighton's North Laine.
5 Brighton Square, BN1 1HD 01273 714877
POLKA DOT INTERIORS
Bringing Carribean food and good vibes to the city.
6O Middle Street, BN1 1AL Contemporary design at affordable prices.