Raspberry julep

Having recently met up with a few Punks from my former life where we enjoyed a fabulous fish pie and some catching up, my contribution was to provide liquid refreshment.

So I brought with me a bottle of raspberry grappa and bag of frozen raspberries from Lidl's, all for a very good price and with a little help from some cranberry juice and a few mint leaves a cocktail was born.

As it turned out to be a success I thought I'd share the recipe, just in case you likewise find yourself invited along for some shenanigans of the socialising kind.

Raspberry Julep


500g Raspberries

carton Cranberry and Raspberry juice
A bottle of Raspberry Grappa

torn Mint leaves


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl together and serve


You can do it when you Brit and cue it

Some Useful links for Brighton Film-makers

With The King's Speech receiving a steady stream, no make that a river of accolades, it is inspiring to see great British, as well as other nationalities’ talent recognised. This is particularly gratifying in Brighton, long associated with creativity and where a lot of film-making types choose to come and live. Although the rewards at the top can be manifold, achieving success requires more than just talent and blind faith; it also requires mastering other skills as well, including networking.

To help keep that personal vision alive I've selected a load of links, most of them Brighton-based that may be useful, interesting or a bit of both.

Don’t be shy, network your b*ll*cks off

Yellow man on Madeira Lift, Kemptown

Its common sense to nurture the contacts you made at college, university and from courses you’ve attended related to filmmaking, but don't stop there, offer to work on their projects in any capacity, free or otherwise and whenever you can.

Attend awards shows, film festivals and independent screenings and use the opportunity to make useful contacts. Make it your business to meet and introduce others throughout the evening, you never know which contact may lead to collaboration.

The Basement, a performance space in the centre of Brighton, which supports all comers of the subversive and idiosyncratic nature provides a stimulating selection of events including a night of film, music and books inspired by nature. The Hedgerow Society will present the Kieran Evans documentary, Vashti Bunyan: From Here to Before on Friday 25th March 2011 with music from the Canadian singer songwriter Doug Paisley and DJing from Heavenly Records supremo Jeff Barrett and resident Brendan Cleary.

Another body set up to support artists and in particular filmmakers in Brighton, offering commissions as well as mentoring and tutoring is Lighthouse. Go to their website for details of the various ways they can help or watch some award nominated films that have been commissioned and produced by Lighthouse and the BBC Film Network. They also host exhibitions and events including Laboratory Life open to the public 2-6 March 2011. This intriguing exhibition features DNA tattooing, astrobiology, microbiological textiles and much more. The concept is to invite the public to come and visit the laboratory, meet the artists and scientists as they're working, and discuss what they are doing in a radically open structure.

Also, located in Brighton is another great resource for the artistically-minded and / or practising, at the Phoenix Arts Centre supporting artists who work in a broad range of media, including audio and visual. Last year the video artist in residence Alvaro Collar set up an online video-artistic map of Brighton during a three-month residency at Phoenix. On Thursday 3 March 2011 in the Phoenix Red Room, there will be A History of Sound Art, an 80 minute audio composition weaving through different sound works throughout the century with narratives and ideas from some prominent artists in the field. It is intended to be an insightful retrospective into the craft of sound and its development as an artistic practice, from Edison's first sound film in 1895 to today.

Smaller scale organisations are also worth exploring, next Thursday 24 February 2011, OneWay Theatre is running a night show-casing short films from their solar powered cinema linked to rechargeable batteries, creating a night of short films and entertainment in one of Brighton's most underground artist community spaces.

Network online too, and use all the tools available to you. Set up a Twitter account, Facebook, Blog, Website whatever you feel is appropriate to give you a web presence and one that you realistically will maintain. Creativepool allows you to customise a website, without requiring HTML experience, where you can upload your show-reel and create your own URL.

Remember courtesy is essential, maintaining a web presence does not only require refreshing your content regularly with updated show-reels or photos of you looking debonair, but it also means responding to feedback and comments and keeping dialogue flowing.

Create a profile on Ideas Tap, a website which offers a whole range of services including funding for projects, an updated list of events nationwide and job opportunities. Currently open for submissions, is the opportunity to make a five minute short, eight prizes of £5000 are available. You've got until 28 March 2011 to apply, follow the link to find out more and make sure you are aged between 16-25 to be eligible.

Another resource worth exploring has been set up by Mandy the international film and tv production resource, their Livediary service allows freelancers to make visible to future employers their availability.

Whatever you do, keep the faith and one day you too will make great movie history.

Sharing a poem found under a bed in Leeds c. early 1990s

Sitting at my desk this morning, with a whole heap of serious minded tasks to look at, I quite predictably got distracted from doing any of that by a little poem what I wrote years ago and found earlier today. Quite happy with it, I typed it out and saved it in a folder just in case I ever want to look at it again. This incident reminded me of another little poem that was happened across, this one I didn’t write and was found under a bed, on a scrap of paper in student digs in Leeds. My sister came across this forlorn little moment captured and abandoned in the corner of a room by an unknown hand. This gives it even greater poignancy and my sis and I have always loved it, so I thought I’d share it and maybe the owner will one day come across it and reclaim it as hers.


He said


I shuffled

My feet

And kept a close

Watch on my shoes.

He was talking

I was listening

But he probably

Thought I was


Because I never

Even lifted my


I didn’t want him

To see

The mess mascara

Makes when it


Going Out for Tapas

Growing up for me involved the association of sharing good food with loved ones and with laughter. The only time my family would get together and share stories would be over a meal, often at superb restaurants tasting all the dishes brought to the table and assessing which passed muster, or as I used to think, pass mustard. Add to this my love of all things Spanish including a smooth Rioja and Tapas can often mean Happy Days.

My favourite version of how Tapas originated hails from the reign of King Alfonso XIII, who on a visit to Cadiz in Andalucia stopped at a beach bar to rest and asked for a glass of sherry. At that a gust of wind entered the bar, prompting the barman to cover the glass with a piece of cured ham to prevent sand from ruining the King’s sherry. His Highness summoned the barman over and asked what the piece of meat was doing on his drink and upon explanation drank the sherry, ate the cover ‘tapa’ and then asked for another sherry with another cover. Keen to follow his example the courtiers in attendance made the same request and Tapas was born.

Keep the tradition alive and use my list below to try out the various Tapas serving joints in Brighton.



Located between Riddle and Finn’s and the Angel Cupcake bakery in the South Lanes, Capricho’s is set back from the surrounding establishments in a spacious courtyard. After proving successful in Worthing, Capricho’s has opened a second restaurant in Brighton providing a credible alternative to what is already on offer. Based on my experience even the Plain Jane of Tapas selection, the tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) stood out, tasting creamy, sweet and moist. Another revelation were the plum tomatoes suffused in vodka, definitely worth giving a go and for wine, choose their Muriel 2005 Rioja, I promise you it’s wine genius.

Special Offer: Garlic bread, patatas ali oli or bravas and 2 tapas £10.50 per person

Valentine Day special 3 course menu with entertainment from Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra £17.50 per person

01273 711660, 18 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB

Casa Don Carlos

Casa don Carlos

Indisputably a Brighton staple, it is one of the places in Brighton that the locals keep going back to and to which out of towners return. Always busy, the atmosphere is buzzing, the staff friendly and the interior decorated in an unpretentious simple Spanish style. It is so popular that booking is essential and the albondigas (meatballs) are a winner every time.

Special Offer: They don’t need any

01273 327177, 5 Union Street, Brighton, BN1 1HA

No website

Agua Dulce

Hailing from Almeria in the South East of Spain where the owners had a restaurant opposite the beach for nine years AguaDulce brings a whole load of authenticity to Brighton. Sit up at the bar and enjoy a glass of tinto de verano (red wine with lemonade) and tapa or head into their restaurant for further delving into their raciones, paellas and chef’s suggestions.

Special Offer: St Valentines Day – 3 courses plus a glass of cava for £24.99 per person

01273 328672, 10 – 11 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NE

La Tasca

With over 60 restaurants in the UK, La Tasca are obviously on to a winning formula. Located centrally, it is close to bars, restaurants, clubs and other venues and is decked out in an authentic style bordering on pastiche. La Tasca offers a wide selection of dishes representing the different cultural identities across the 17 regions in Spain, from jamon serrano in the mountains to manchego cheese from the land of the windmills, La Mancha.

Special Offer: Join La Tasca Club on their website and receive £5 when you spend a £20 voucher

01273 737342, 165-169 North Street, Brighton BN1 1EA

Bodega de Tapa

Petite and tucked in between the Waggon and Horses and the Cote Brasserie. This place definitely divides opinion and I think it is a hit and miss option. My experience of it was of feeling squashed in a corner of a tatty patio, next to the drain pipe and eating average tapas that wasn’t particularly cheap. Although I did not feel the restaurant offered anything unique to entice me back I have friends who love it’s size and feel the place offers a warm and intimate setting. You decide.

Special Offer: Call direct

01273 674116, 111 Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UD

No website