Days Out in Brighton: Made Brighton 2015, Designers and Makers Fair

A few things I'd like to say straight up, first, I've included more photos this time because in the past I've felt that I haven't included enough pictures to do the Tutton and Young events I've attended justice.

Made Brighton 2015, photo by Modern Bric a Brac
Jonathan Rogers hand blown glass

Foodie Friday - Hotel Chocolat Christmas Cracker Giveaway

This is so exciting, another Hotel Chocolat Giveaway, whoop whoop! The last one went so well that I've decided to run another giveaway and this time it's even bigger and better than the last.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Cracker Giveaway on Modern Bric a Brac blog

Days Out in Sussex - Lewes Bonfire

Rain, processions going hither and thither, whizzing fireworks, flaming torches, the smell of petrol, spectacular effigies, impressive costumes, marching bands and some very friendly locals.

When my Welsh One said he wanted to go to Lewes Bonfire apart from jumping on the idea, I also knew we would need to put a little thought into how and when we'd get there. Due to the scale of the event taking the car would mean first checking out the various parking restrictions and road closures that spring up around the town.

Lewes Bonfire night is the largest 5th November celebration of its kind and is known for the burning of effigies of high-profile figures. This year the effigies included a seated David Cameron holding a pig's head and wearing underpants with the British flag on them. On the back was a heart with the words David and Piggy on it. Other effigies included one of Jeremy Clarkson and a record-breaking 50 foot Guy Fawkes.

David Cameron effigy, Lewes Bonfire 2015 photo by Modern Bric a Brac
David Cameron effigy, Lewes Bonfire 2015

Foodie Friday - Waitrose presents Christmas 2015

Did I mind going to a Christmas event in London on the hottest day of the summer?

Not when it was to find out about what Waitrose would be up to this Christmas and discovered an amazing looking gold-dusted chocolate Toblerone inspired dessert containing a caramel and nougat mousse.

So with excitement mounting I swished through my favourite park in London, St James'. Up the steps beside the IOD (Institute of Directors) and along past the Royal Society.

Inside the grand hall at 3 Carlton House Terrace I was offered a Christmas cocktail and invited to step into a Christmas food bonanza.

This year Waitrose have created a signature blend of spices that smells divine and perfectly reflects the aromas we associate with Christmas. The mix contains nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and tangerine and features in 30 of their products across their food, drinks and homewares ranges. It's absolutely lush as a shower gel and definitely worth trying, for it's lovely warming, sweet smell.

Waitrose Signature Spice, Waitrose Christmas 2015, photo by ModernBricaBrac

Foodie Friday - Top food trends from Toronto, Canada

Was there ever a time when us Brits didn't consume gallons of coffee and scoff batch loads of bagels? Really? Although it may seem as if the proliferation of coffee shops and mass availability of bagels must have been around since the time of the last ice age, it hasn't.

In fact, only twenty years ago in Vancouver, the Canadians were loving their coffee and bagels in a way we just weren't. Then Starbucks came over to the UK in 1998 and the Bagelman started to deliver bagels in Brighton in 1996.

From my first introduction in Canada to my ongoing love-affair with both, it was Canada that led the way for me.

So, when I found another great reason to fly across the pond, to see my dear friend and new mum, the lovely Caroline, a food tour of Toronto was an absolute must.

Beginning with the 200-year old market of St Lawrence, we found a whole host of curious and unusual food items to admire. There were yellow cauliflowers at Phil's Place, baby peppers and red beans at Family Foods, rye breads at Future Bakery and rare honey as well.

St Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada photo by Modern Bric a Brac

St Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada photo by Modern Bric a Brac

Days Out in Sussex - Petworth House with rare and ancient treasures

With a collection of treasures that include 20 Turners, 20 Van Dycks, a 16th-century globe, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and a 2,500-year-old marble head of Aphrodite to name a few of their show stoppers, Petworth House has a staggering number of rare and ancient treasures to admire.

Head of Aphrodite, Petworth House, photo by Modern Bric a Brac
Head of Aphrodite

Brighton Art Fair 2015 - Modern Bric a Brac's picks

Yes, the standard and diversity is just as amazing as last year's Brighton Art Fair and basically Modern Bric a Brac's picks would actually be all of them, but that would be a pretty long blog post.

So, to give you a flavour of the brilliant art at this year's Brighton Art Fair, here is this year's selection of some pretty exciting art on canvas, sculptures, ceramics and mixed media paintings.

The Art Fair only runs for this weekend, Friday 25 September - Sunday 27 September, and takes place in the Corn Exchange.

It's a great chance to meet the artists and find out the stories behind the pieces on display. I spoke to all the artists listed below and from some I found out what materials they used, who and what inspired them while others shared which pieces they liked best themselves.

If you get a chance to go I'd love to know which pieces stood out for you.

Eve Shepherd

Inspired to capture emotions and interpret them in the form of sculptures, within moments I was captivated by the stories Eve told me about her work.

Eve Shepherd at Brighton Art Fair 2015, photo by Modern Bric a Brac
Seated Bull by Eve Shepherd, porcelain on wood

Eve Shepherd at Brighton Art Fair 2015, photo by Modern Bric a Brac
Sculpture by Eve Shepherd