Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Is it by John Constable?

We see nothing truly until we understand it. John Constable

Saturday morning and unable to wait any longer I head to the Pavilion bright and early so that I can study the Regency costumes on display before crowds pour in. On route I walk down along St James’ Street and there staring back at me from a shop window is a pencil sketch of a ship on Brighton beach looking every bit the antique and with a price tag of only forty quid.

Mind Charity Shop window, St James's Street
I walk on and go to the exhibition, first in, I marvel at the petite size of the costumes positioned in the rooms where two hundred years ago real people would have worn something similar in the very same space. With one eye trying to imagine the costumes walking and talking I still keep thinking about the picture in the window and wonder whether I should go back and have a look at it again in case it is still there.

Some time later and I am in the shop on St James’ Street and I am holding the picture up to try and scrutinize whether it is a copy or an original, I can’t tell and I’m standing in a charity shop so I can’t ask if I can take off the back to check. But forty quid is forty quid.

I dither, what if it's really old I think and then I buy it.

Walking home I’m not sure if I’ve been done up like a kipper or whether it’s ok to spend forty quid on a frame and print.

At home I loosen the fastenings on the back and ease out the picture, to find, it’s a copy. Oh what! I think. Oh well, I shrug. Now that my dreams of untold wealth have been dashed I carefully clean the glass and place the picture back in the frame.

The writing along the bottom of the sketch looks as if it might read, ‘Brighton 14 Oct 1825’, whether it’s a copy or not I still want to know who sketched it.

Brighton 14 Oct 1825

Some googling later reveals a picture that looks similar by John Constable, is my print by Constable I wonder?

courtesy of

Further research uncovers that it is likely that it was by Constable because he was in town on 14 October 1825 sketching an old church.

Whether it is or not, the view from my window is of the same coastline the artist of this sketch looked at and the seaside square I live in was laid out around the same time too, so it seems fitting for this picture to end up hanging above my mantelpiece one hundred and eighty five years later.



The Best Ever Brownies with a twist

Owing a huge debt to Nigella Lawson, Domestic Goddess and Culinary Sage in my eyes, this recipe is taken from her How to be a Domestic Goddess book and incorporates a welcome addition.

The first brownies I ever tasted were made using this recipe and it was as a direct result of eating too many of these that a friend of mine stayed up into the wee hours buzzing and brain-storming entrepreneurial visions.

Moreish and delicious they are a hit every time. So much so that I took a few batches to sell when mother and I went on a carbooting expedition yesterday.

Carboot Marshie Brownies


National Cup Cake Week - Let us eat cake

Strawberries and cream cupcake

In celebration of National Cup Cake Week I thought it only right I recommend the best place to buy cup cakes when in Brighton.  Situated in the Lanes the Angel Food Bakery has been providing an array of colourfully topped creations for a few years, including strawberries and cream (my favourite), red velvet (red cocoa sponge with a cream topping) and chocolate orange to name a few.  Using quality ingredients like unsalted English butter, Belgian chocolate, fresh fruit and free range eggs, their beautiful to look at and scrumptious to eat cup cakes have gained a faithful following.  Mostly priced at £1.75 mark they are best eaten directly.

Angel Food Bakery

In fact so successful has this enterprise proved to be that two weeks ago they have added another premises to their name, just around the corner and designed to offer courses in, guess what?  Cup cake baking, hurrah! 

Head to their website for more info on chocolate making, cupcake baking, buttercream toppings and old school puddings.

Angel Food Kitchen

Angel Food Bakery
20 Meeting House Lane
Brighton, BN1 1HB
Tel: 01273 208 404


Going Out for some wall art - take another look

What with the revving of engines, smell of black leather and burly looking men lugging helmets under their arms, the annual motorbike meet up, aka the Brighton Burn Up, noisily took over the Kemptown seafront for a while. 

Feeling out of place I headed north, floral-ed up to the max in a floaty skirt, flowery top and pink dripping off me as I walked....this made no odds, of course, as the testosterone count was way too high to be breached.

Even the wall art I came across in the north laine area seemed to shout out male partisanship, so in tribute to all things uncompromisingly masculine here's a bit of wall art to be found on the aptly named Regent Street.

Brighton, wall art Regent Street
Brighton, wall art Regent Street

Brighton, wall art Regent Street
Brighton, wall art Regent Street

Brighton, wall art Regent Street
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