Raising the standard in Hove with free range, ethically sourced cakes

Keeping you in the loop with new happenings in Brighton and Hove, this #foodieFriday post is about a new bakery that has just opened in Hove opposite Hove Town Hall.

Raise bakery, Hove

Bramber ramblings and a great place to picnic in Sussex

It was the day we discovered an unintentional art installation; the story of a wife and children taken to the Tower; a sighting of dainty blue damselflies and a very nice pub lunch.

St Nicholas churchyard, Bramber village, Sussex

Chilli Pickle - the Brighton Indian restaurant that I thought I knew

I kind of thought I knew about The Chilli Pickle. I'd tried their takeaway a few times and knew well it's ta-dah effect. It arrives pizza-box-style with an intriguing selection of little pots of pickles and dips such as Gobi (cauliflower) Thoran, Green Apple Chutney and Mixed Pickles.

The Chilli Pickle is also well-known, round-these-parts for having won lots of local and national awards. Located in the centre of Brighton opposite the Jubilee library, I'd walked passed it hundreds of times.

So far, so much of what I knew, although I'd never actually eaten there. I kind of felt like I knew the place already.

This changed, however, last Saturday when my brother was over from the States and his only wish was for a good curry. Apparently New York doesn't match up to our Brit offerings. After suggesting a load of places, The Chilli Pickle was decided upon and off we went.

The Chilli Pickle, Brighton

Poppadoms,The Chilli Pickle, Brighton


Spitalfields Market, modern architecture and a monument in London

This is a shared post, serving as a recommendation to go check out Spitalfields Market and some other places nearby and at the same time is a chance to give a shout-out to a really great book to take with you.

Taking its name from the hospital and priory, St. Mary's Spittel founded in 1197, Spitalfields lies in the heart of the East End of London and right beside Liverpool Street station.

At the opposite end lies Hawksmoor's Christ Church, consecrated in 1729 its striking white facade is due to the Portland stone that was used. Luckily this beautiful building has survived despite going through a period of neglect when the roof was declared unsafe and the then Bishop proposed its demolition in the 1960s.

Hawksmoor Christ Church and goat sculpture, Spitalfields

Scattered about are interesting sculptures to look at. I Goat, won the Spitalfields Sculpture Prize in 2010, of a hand-sculpted goat standing on top of a stack of packing crates by artist Kenny Hunter.


A peek into the past with Landmark Trust open day in Spitalfields

The area of Spitalfields, London is full of architectural charm from the past. Hawksmoor's Christ Church sparkles overhead while at street level the buzzing market offers creative curiosities, surrounded by early brick terraces from the 1700s.

This weekend Landmark Trust gave me an opportunity to see inside one of them. As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations they had opened 25 of their 200 restored properties right across England, Scotland and Wales. Many had never been opened like this before or only rarely and had been carefully picked so that 95% of the British population would be within 50 miles of one of them.

Founded almost 50 years ago by philanthropist John Smith and his wife Christian, the Landmark Trust was set up to try and prevent the loss of smaller historic buildings that the National Trust and the Ministry of Works could not restore.

Princelet Street, Landmark Trust

Princelet Street, Landmark Trust

A Country idyll and an abundance of lilac in Falmer village and Withdean Park

Taking my dear ones to somewhere that I've been to and think is absolutely gorgeous is made even better when it turns out that they love it too.

Falmer village is just one of those places, it helps that the sun was shining and everywhere spring was working her magic.

The birds were tweeting (and so was I), greylag geese swam across the pond with their goslings and flowers scattered the ground in the graveyard.

The buildings were covered in the traditional flint of Sussex and one house had the date 1732 on the front of it. The village itself is mentioned in the Domesday book and was at times held by Thomas Cromwell (of Wolf Hall fame) and Anne of Cleves.

Apart from all of these really great reasons for taking a look, St Laurence church regularly hosts free concerts with a retiring collection and there's a fabulous Farm shop that I've just discovered too.

Please note, best to check dates and times of events at the church and for the shop or you might end up going there and nothing's open.  To keep informed about upcoming events Like Falmer Concerts Facebook Page and check out the Farm shop for local produce including apple juice, cheese, strawberries and sausages.

Falmer village

Falmer village


Dining and relaxing at The Pig in Brockenhurst

After relaxing at the Herb House spa we had booked to stay in the New Forest so we took ourselves off to The Pig at Brockenhurst where we had our rooms waiting for us.

Exterior, The Pig in Brockenhurst

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