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


MADE BRIGHTON this weekend at the Brighton Corn Exchange 22-23 November 2014

~ Wedding Slipper , Caroline Lingwood
Made Brighton 2014 ~
This was my first visit to Made Brighton, the Design and Craft Fair, organised by the lovely people at Tutton and Young and I have to say that I had rather high expectations after visiting their Art Fair.



The last poppy will be planted tomorrow at 11am at the Tower of London - 11 November 2014

Over 100 years ago on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month representatives of France, Great Britain and Germany met at a secret location, north of Paris to end the Great War.
~ Tower of London, November 2014
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red ~

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, at the Tower of London was commissioned and installed to commemorate this event, which took place 100 years ago tomorrow.

In total 888,246 ceramic poppies were made, representing the number of British military fatalities during that war. Over the last three months all except for one have now been planted in the Tower of London's moat.  Created by ceramicist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper the impact of this most thought provoking and spectacular art installation is incredible.

~ Tower of London, November 2014 ~
Seeing it for the first time on Saturday night, I was struck by the scale.  I hadn't realised before that they are planted all the way round the Tower of London's circumference and it's a huge site.  When I first arrived, I looked down into the moat and my first thought was that it really did look like a sea of blood, the way the poppies had been packed in, in rows upon rippling rows. It was stunning and undiminished by the gathering gloom of the cold and rainy night. Despite the weather there was still a good number of other visitors walking around the perimeter. 

I kept walking onwards thinking the installation would reach its end, but the poppies kept beckoning me forwards, until I realised there was no end, remembrance to infinity. 

Fascinated by people's different responses I overheard scraps of information as this moment was intimately shared; "The poppies have all been sold", "Stand there, I'm either getting you or the poppies", "There's one for every person who died". Everywhere phones and cameras were held upright to capture the sight, people taking selfies and someone positioning their terrier to take a picture.  None of this however was out of place, there was a general feeling of hushed respect. The significance of this sea of blood was too impossible to ignore, the scale too vast for anyone to be unaffected.

~ Tower of London, November 2014
Sea of poppies  ~
Every one of the 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies has now been sold for £25.00 each with all the net proceeds going to six nominated service charities - Cobseo, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

The first poppy was planted on 17 July by the Tower of London’s longest serving Yeoman Warder, with the official launch of the installation on 5 August.  Over the last few months around 8,000 volunteers have taken part in planting the poppies over a staggering 16 acres, including my mother Judy and her band of buddies.  "It was an experience I will never forget, I am so glad I took part" said mum.

Tomorrow, on Armistice Day, 11 November 2014, the final poppy will be planted by a young cadet, who will place it in the moat before a lone bugler will sound the last post prior to 11am, after which the two minute silence will commence.

Click here to see photos I took last year of a field of real poppies outside Brighton in Falmer.

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NEW Friends of Brighton Fringe membership scheme

Brighton Fringe are delighted to announce an exciting new Friends membership scheme that will give members benefits year-round as well as during the Fringe (1 – 31 May 2015).

Friends of Brighton Fringe are now able to buy one of four levels of memberships; Platinum (£150), Gold (£75), Silver (£30) and Bronze (£15) entitling them to discounts at some of their favourite hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and spas across the city.

Friends will also see benefits when Brighton Fringe tickets go on sale (24 February for Friends of Brighton Fringe) with the usual ‘in-festival’ offers such as priority booking, 2-4-1 offers, no booking fees, invites to launch parties and monthly e-newsletters still a core part of the membership package.

Platinum Friends of Brighton Fringe will be entitled to discounts at top-end establishments such as 10% off accommodation at Blanch House, 20% off wine and food at Ten Green Bottles, 20% off at Riddle & Finns, 25% off food at Graze plus offers from Plateau, Mange Tout, The Spa at The Grand, Drakes Hotel and Stanmer House. Platinum Friends will also receive all benefits in the lower tiers.

Gold members can expect to find discounts at Grow40, Bill’s, Curry Leaf CafĂ© and Hotel Seattle
whilst Silver Friends of Brighton Fringe will find exclusive offers at Little Bay, Chaula’s, Little Jasmine Spa and Strada. Both membership tiers are entitled to the offers in the tiers below.

Bronze members will still receive a huge number of benefits from Friends of Brighton Fringe partners such as The Seven Stars, Foodilic, The Brunswick, Bagelman, The Oriental, The Cyclist and Komedia.

  Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, said: “Brighton Fringe is now a year-round feature in the city- and anybody can benefit from it with an unprecedented and growing number of discounts for Friends of Brighton Fringe Members. Not only will you be able to save money, you are also providing vital support to a local arts charity while you are at it. Remember that the more members we have, the better Brighton Fringe will be!

Benefits will be constantly added to the Friends of Brighton Fringe membership scheme, with the latest offers all available on the Brighton Fringe website.

You can buy memberships by clicking this link:


Brighton Fringe is also on the lookout for more businesses to become Partners in our Friends of Brighton Fringe membership scheme. If you are interested get in touch with Karla Hancock on



Tune in Tomorrow Morning for the First Ever Crafty Beggars show, Monday 3 November 2014 at 9am on TLC

~ Crafty Beggars tv show on TLC ~
As more and more people fall in love with the world of crafting, a new programme called Crafty Beggars is sure to become a popular tv show for the seasoned and the craft-curious alike.

With a fun, tongue in cheek presenting style from the ever-jolly Julie Peasgood and her fellow, equally golden Wendy Turner Webster, we are introduced to pairs of crafters who have to beg, borrow and buy items to turn into hand-made crafts for sale the next day. 

On day one each team is given a few hours and twenty quid, along with their ingenuity to obtain the raw materials they need to bring their ideas to life. Once these have been gathered, each pair set to work sewing, sticking, cutting, painting and generally getting creative for the following day's selling. 

I was lucky enough to be sent the first two episodes to preview and really enjoyed spotting familiar places around Brighton where the show was filmed.  The teams arrive at their pop up stalls, in the north laine area to sell their crafts and in each show the winning team is decided by who makes the most cash. 
~ Crafty Beggars tv show ~

Along the way, Julie and Wendy share some interesting trivia, hints and tips related to the craft making of the contestants in the show.

Added to this, Julie and Wendy have also created a fab Crafty Beggars website with their own blogs (loved the photos of Wendy's ceramics) and a link to Hobbycraft where you can find out how to get 15% off your next purchase.

The show premieres tomorrow morning on TLC, when Julie and Wendy will meet crafters who upcycle bottle-tops into jewellery and personalised hand-stitched cards (thread sketching), with origami and bunting in episode Two. 

TLC is available on Sky 125, Virgin 169, BT TV 413 and Talk Talk 413.

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