Sticky Mike's Flash Lit Fict 11 Sept 11

As part of the Brighton Digital Festival, Paragraph Planet, Grit Lit and Story Studios, are collaborating on an evening that is experimental in nature and is aimed at bringing together the literary and digital worlds.  Running throughout September the Brighton Digital Festival is worth exploring in more detail, but this event in itself holds enough of a draw to warrant a post of its own.
Recommended by a friend, who is one of those people who not only has at least one novel in them, but has written it and is being published this autumn, also very exciting and deserving a post, so stay tuned.

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton

The evening will consist of short shorts, flash writing and digital technologies, at the heart of which will be a 300-word flash fiction slam competition and an online Twitter story competition, with competitors battling it out for fame and glory.

» To enter the Twitter story competition: use #FLF11

» To enter flash fiction slam: post your name on the Facebook event wall or email

» Advanced tix (fiver)

» FB

The theme is 21st century and the Twitter and slam winners will be announced on the night. Judging panels will include representatives from Grit Lit, Story Studios Paragraph Planet and Myriad Editions.

Sunday 11 September 2011, 7pm - 10pm, drinks til late

Sticky Mike's Frog Shop,
9-12 Middle Street,
Brighton BN1 1AL


Mixing it up Funk style - Soul Casserole Fri 26 August

As an established Kemptown resident I like to keep my ear to the ground for anything exciting to post about and this latest gig of Soul Casserole's is promising to be worth the fiver entry charge.

Latest Music Bar

Next Friday 26th August the DJ collective, Soul Casserole will be mixing up the tunes more than usual at the Latest Music Bar (formerly Joogleberry) by performing with live percussion from Tropical Soundclash, a four piece percussion & turntable based dance band providing a breaks, base & bells, shake your booty, AfroRagga Jump about sound.

Soul Casserole have been building a name for themselves across town over the last couple of years at various venues including regular slots at the Black Lion and the Green Door Store, playing to packed dance floors of over 300.

Well known for making DJing look like it's one big lark, it's difficult to tell who is enjoying the night more, the crowd or the DJs. One thing's for sure all three DJs are passionate about the music they play, whether it's Evil Broke Elvis or Dusty Du on the decks or Alkie Tuner from a lap top.

With music ranging from Stax, Trojan, Motown, Blue Note, Zodiac, Chess and Loma records, ok I'll 'fess up I don't know what any of those record labels mean either, but what it does show is a proper geekness. I love a geek. And having seen them absolutely loving it when playing those toons I know Friday night is set to be a great night for funking it up.

Revenge of the Funk

Soul Casserole plus special guests Tropical Soundclash

Friday 26th August 2011

Latest Music Bar

14 – 17 Manchester Street

Brighton BN2 1TF

01273 687171


The Great Brighton Bake Off - registration ends next Sunday 14th August

With my own commitment to cake baking beginning when I saw the iced cup cake on the front of Nigella Lawson's recipe book, which made me think, I wanna do that, I've had an enduring interest in baking ever since.  Over time I was given, bought, inherited baking paraphernalia and slowly built up a repertoire of trusted recipes, with a small amount of improvisation.  The love affair continued and I can now bake some good solid fare although I still can't bake decent cupcakes and my presentation skills are a bit lacking.  To say the least, the very least.

That said, I love a good bake-off and what could be better than the first ever Brighton Bake-off in aid of the The Sussex Beacon.

Taking place on Saturday 3rd September in Jubilee Square, the closing date for entries is next Sunday.  So NOW is the time to enter.  The theme is rather suitably Brighton, which I imagine will lead to great flights of fancy as well as delectable edibles.  Split into three categories - Children, Amateur and Professional means that everyone gets a chance to take part. 

In the Professional category, three finalists will be chosen in advance and will compete on the day to complete their cake in a timed challenge.

While Amateurs are asked to supply a copy of their recipe in advance, bring their cake with them and be able to answer questions about their baking on the day.

The judging will be undertaken by the winner of BBC2's Great British Bake Off, Edd Kimber and Neighbours veteran and Brighton resident Comedian Mark Little.

Do you know what?  Shucks, I'm just going to have to enter. 

Children: £2
Amateur concessions: £3
Amateurs: £5
Professionals: £20


A Guide to summer shakes and smoothies in Brighton

August is upon us already and the weather is starting to steam.  At last it feels that summer is making an appearance.  And as the temperatures soar, that's in UK terms, it's time to grab an ice-cold quencher at one of the smoothie making stores to suck on while you mooch about town or grab one to hit the pebble beach with.  Tempted by a bewildering array of options from the healthy fruit and yoghurt sort to the calorific ice-cream blends there is a choice for everyone.

7 East Street

Wow-ee! Recently pitched up and certainly a contender for the best smoothie combo category, Yog produces smoothies using plain and passionfruit yoghurt.  So, on the search for the best smoothie in town I decide to try the passionfruit with pineapple, peach and pomegranate, blended with apple juice.  This works a treat, in fact it is so good the guy in the shop has to try a little and gives the type of nod, which quite clearly demonstrates his tacit approval.  However, the fruit that was used is either tinned or processed and not fresh.  That's going to impair flavour.
Price: £3.75 

Scoop and Crumb
5-6 East Street
Brighton, Sussex BN1 1HP
01273 202 563

Next door and only three strides, okay maybe twenty (that's still not many) from the sea, which you can see twinkling at the bottom of the street, Scoop and Crumb is also in perfect proximity to the beach and it's holiday making visitors.  Specialising in ice-cream, Scoop and Crumb serves an assortment of the most delicious, creamy and tantalising flavours such as their peach raspberry meringue ripple and rhubarb crumble and custard combo you can go in and try a few if you are struggling to decide.  However, and more importantly in respect of liquid refreshment they also turn these iced dreams into shakes.  A'right, I nod happily.  I'll have one of those 'uns thanks.  And if your waist line is really being ignored then go for whipped cream on top.  I'm not saying it's exactly slimming, but when the sky is blue and you're by the seaside, an ice-cream shake can't be beat. 
Prices:  £3.50 / £4.50
Lick at Night

19 Gardner Street
Brighton, Sussex BN1 1UP
01273 945 102
Alternatively serving up the antithesis to the traditional and calorific is the pared down brand at Lick situated in the heart of the north Laine area.  Selling fat-free, probiotic yoghurt, Lick smoothies are made with fresh  yoghurt from a local Dairy in Sussex. The farm follows organic farming practices, which means no nitrogen is used and their pastures are clover rich. As a sign of their success they have now added local stockists to their repertoire, collaborating with other stalwart Brighton institutions, like the Bagel Man, Duke of York's Picture House, Red Roaster and Infinity Foods, all of which deserve posts of their own.  That said back to their smoothies, I had raspberry puree with fresh strawberries and natural yoghurt, simple and so nice.  Lovely guys too. 
Prices: £2.99 / £3.69
A-summer Lick-ing good queue


8 Bond Street
01273 711179

Shakeaway man

Shakeaway, probably the most popular in Brighton, it is also the most brash with their gaudy yellow and blue stripes, but with queues out the door they are getting something right. The staff are friendly and offered an alternative when the strawberry option I wanted wasn't available. Choosing a raspberry ice-cream shake instead I headed out into the sunshine to taste their fare. It was disappointing, oh well. But as I was walking along the main street I was stopped by a kid who saw the gaudy bright yellow and blue cup and wanted to know where Shakeaway was located. The girl in the store told me their best seller was their Oreo cookies shake. They have a huge array of options including vegan and lactose free listed on their website alongside photos of celeb fans, a downloadable app, calendar and fun stuff to get involved in.  As well as this and their comprehensive list of ingredients they have Named Milkshakes, which could have you opting for the likes of Dave, advertised as, Everyone knows a Dave: Ferrero Rochers and Kinder Bueno forming a perfect couple with a Flake crumble over them.  With such a following I'll have to go back for a second tasting.
Prices: £2.80 / £3.80

Moo Moo's

Moo Moo's
Brighton Pier
01865 200025

Located on the pier Moo Moo's has prime positioning for the teaming tourists who make their way to this Brighton landmark  and in summer it would be difficult not to be tempted.  They have two locations on the pier and a whole host of combos to try, like their Bananarama - a blend of banana, chocolate honeycomb, whipped cream and choclate syrup or The Teaser - blending vanilla ice-cream with Maltesers Toffee Crumble and choc flake.  And surprisingly those pier prices are not much more than other establishments.
Price: £3.70