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

Saturday

Essential Oils and You, Botanical Balms

In December I found out about essential oils, how they benefit health, why provenance matters and why going to a workshop to make your own balm is 100% worth doing.

Essential Oils and You, Botanical Balms photos by modernbricabrac


The essential oils workshop I attended was run by Essential Oils Consultant Laura Hoy in the must-visit YouJuice cafe in Brighton. I've met Laura a few times thanks to a self-employed group I regularly attend called the Healthy Business Hub. Listening to Laura talk about essential oils is always hugely informative and endlessly fascinating. Her level of knowledge is impressive and she is very generous with sharing all that she knows.

I knew that essential oils have health benefits and I love the scents that natural oils produce but more than that I had yet to learn. Read on to find out which essential oils to use to support your health.

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Friday

Foodie Friday - La Cave a Fromage cheese and wine

Last Friday I travelled via cheese and wine through Europe, finding on the way a great alternative to Sancerre (and slightly cheaper). Paired with an award-winning British camembert-style cheese that had been made using the same starter cultures as the real camembert from France and hailed as the world's best camembert by Raymond Blanc.

Brighton - La Cave a Fromage cheese and wine photo by modernbricabrac


At La Cave a Fromage in central Hove my friend and I shared some carefully selected cheese and charcuterie, each cheese paired sympathetically with a glass of wine.


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Wednesday

Days out London - The Huguenot Festival and Spitalfield Sisters

Linked to the City of London's Festival celebrating women's contributions, the Huguenot Festival this year included a walking tour called Spitalfield Sisters.

Days out London - The Huguenot Festival and Spitalfield Sisters photo by modernbricabrac

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Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day

There may have been rain for the first time in twelve years on Apple Day and it was the soaking-through type of rain but the day was still busy with volunteers, hardy dogwalkers, resilient sellers and families with kids that needed to run around.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

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Friday

Days Out in Sussex - Wakehurst Botanic Gardens

"Light is the primary zeitgeber (time teller)" read the description of a temporary light installation that we stood to watch in the pale evening gloom deep in the Sussex countryside. Consisting of twelve hoops, pulsing and swirling, blue lights came to life with a matching soundscape to visually illustrate the circadian rhythm of life.

Days Out in Sussex - Wakehurst Botanic Gardens photo by modernbricabrac


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Notes from France - Mont St Michel

In the past when I'd seen pictures of Mont St Michel I had marvelled at it. Rising sharply from an isolated outcrop of granite rock, it looked like something out of a fairytale. I had actually been once before as a child and from that trip, I had only one memory, that of walking up a medieval street of shops and feeling entranced.

Notes from France - Mont St Michel photo by modernbricabrac


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Dine at Home with a Chef to Prep, Cook and Clear Away

Surely the ultimate in home dining is to have a chef arrive with food already prepped, to cook a meal for you and your guests and then clear away afterwards?  Hashtag Winning springs to mind and when I was offered the chance to check out La Belle Assiette, a company that offers this service across the UK I gladly accepted.

Dine at Home with a Chef to Prep, Cook and Clear Away, photo by modernbricabrac.com


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Days Out in London - House and Garden and Antiques

The theme that ran through this year's House and Garden festival at Olympia in Kensington for me was plastic replacement and recycling. I discovered a paint that is plastic free, food wraps to replace cling film and embossed stationery made from recycled coffee cups. It was all very encouraging and as Emma at the plastic-free paint company said, "Thank God for David Attenborough". I heart that sentiment.

Days Out in London - House and Garden and Antiques photo by modernbricabrac


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Tuesday

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018

This year's Chelsea in Bloom has started and the theme quite appropriately is the Summer of Love. 

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Sarah Chapman Skinesis - Chelsea in Bloom ~

Shop fronts have been bedecked in flowers, luscious leaves and branches from trees. Some frame the shop window while others have been formed into shapes and structures such as hearts, a diamond ring or the Princess and the Pea bed. The sight is quite spectacular and if you fancy making the experience even more special you can book a complimentary rickshaw tour or go to one of the many special events that are happening.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Wulf & Lamb x Seedlip display inspired by the Princess & the Pea fairy tale ~

Chelsea in Bloom is now in its 13th year and has yet to feature on my blog, so it's a real delight to include some photos from it this year. Produced by Cadogan in association with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), a selection of shops, restaurants and hotels compete to win awards for their sumptuous floral displays.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Boutique 1 & Wildabout - Chelsea in Bloom ~

~ Boutique 1 & Wildabout - Chelsea in Bloom ~
It was fabulous going around and watching as some of the displays were coming to life. Boutique 1 have collaborated with Wildabout to create an English country garden with ‘tunnels of love’ floral arches that were in the process of construction on Sunday when I was walking past.

Another that we found midway through completion at the entrance to the Cadogan Hotel was possibly my favourite, partly because of the historic connection to Oscar Wilde. The ladies from Larry Walshe were on site, one up a ladder carefully constructing the ethereal woody theme. Go to Chelsea in Bloom's voting page to see the finished display, it's absolutely fabulous.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ The Cadogan Hotel & Larry Walshe - Chelsea in Bloom ~
But then looking at Rag and Bone's entry again, I think that this one might be my favourite too! Collaborating with the florist, Harper and Tom their display is inspired by the music and graphic arts that emerged from the ‘Summer of Love’ in the 1960’s. The design includes “mind your own business” trailing ivy, Boston ferns, maiden ferns, carnations, stachys, sea lavender, gypsophilia, hydrangeas, rice flower, heucheras, festuca, campanula, cape daisies, alliums and heathers.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Rag & Bone and Harper and Tom - Chelsea in Bloom ~
Meanwhile, Marshall Wace has created in collaboration with Amanda Willgrave from Flirty Flowers, a design that features two life-sized carved wooden elephants dressed for an Indian wedding. Festooned in garlands and covered in intricate flower patterns once completed this design will be surrounded by thousands of fresh rose petals.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Marshall Wace - Chelsea in Bloom ~
Sarah Chapman's floral installation was a cascade of muted mauve, purple, yellow and green that perfectly harmonised with their taupe brand colour and has been created in collaboration with Petal to the Metal Flowers.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Sarah Chapman - Chelsea in Bloom ~
Jimmy Choo had a garland of romantic ivory, pink and red roses in an ombre effect to frame their storefront that had been created in collaboration with Flowerbx.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Jimmy Choo - Chelsea in Bloom ~
I also loved a moment captured through glass of the girls at Peter Jones working on a heart floral display. Capturing the reflection of the buildings opposite as well as what is going on in front of the camera, it's a mix-up of both looking in and reflecting back.

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Peter Jones - Chelsea in Bloom ~

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Olivia Von Halle - Chelsea in Bloom ~

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac
~ Rigby & Peller - Chelsea in Bloom ~

Days Out London - Chelsea in Bloom 2018 photo by modernbricabrac



The displays are judged by an expert panel, and the winners will be announced today, Tuesday 22 May. One award, The People’s Champion Award is chosen by open voting via the Chelsea in Bloom website, so click here to see the full selection and Vote. Voting will close at midnight on Thursday 24 and the winner announced on Friday 25 May.

Chelsea in Bloom takes place until this Sat 26 May 2018. Visit Chelsea in Bloom to find out about all the great events happening too.

Happy summer wishes

Sarah xx


photo 
Sarah Agnew
Blogger, Modern Bric a Brac
    

To find out about the best places to eat in Brighton and London plus beautiful places to visit, click here to Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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Friday

Foodie Friday - Brunch at the Ivy, Brighton

You're in Brighton for the weekend and you want your brunch with a dash of glamour, then Brighton's latest entry on the brunch scene is for you.

Foodie Friday - Brunch at the Ivy, Brighton, photo by modernbricabrac


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Sunday

Notes from France - In the Footsteps of Marie Antoinette

From the glorious Versailles Palace to her final days in the grim Conciergerie prison, read on as I share tantalising glimpses into the life of Marie Antoinette.


Versailles Palace Notes from France - In the Footsteps of Marie-Antoinette, photo by modernbricabrac
Versailles Palace

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Notes from France - In the Footsteps of Helen Maria Williams

Where I follow in the footsteps of Helen Maria Williams the poet and first female war correspondent who lived at the time of the French Revolution. In Normandy, I discover the chateau that she visited and where she dressed up as Madam Liberty in a celebration to mark the happy reunion of her friends separated by the ancien regime. 

The true story of this French couple that Helen Maria Williams knew reads more like a work of fiction than fact with a cruel father who locks up his son, after his secret marriage to a woman of low birth.

Notes from France - In the Footsteps of Helen Maria Williams, photo by modernbricabrac
Eighteenth century chapel at Chateau de Bosmelet

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Friday

Foodie Friday - Veeno Cafe, Brighton

For the Italian Owners, Nino and Andrea, Veeno Cafe, recently opened in Brighton is best described as a wine cafe. They're keen to take the pretentious out of wine enjoyment and introduce us to the art of Italian wine tasting with delicious (and I mean Delicious!) food pairings in a relaxed setting.

Foodie Friday - Veeno Cafe, Brighton, photo by modernbricabrac

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Monday

Days Out in London - Pretty Georgian Greenwich

The birds are tweeting in Brighton and spring has most definitely begun, so it's strange to think that just over a week ago we had such heavy snow. So infrequent is this occurrence that I want to share the photos I took in Greenwich when it was blanketed in white. While I was there I loved looking at all the splendid Georgian buildings and discovered they have one of the few Hawksmoor churches as well as finding a great place for a burger.

Days Out in London - Pretty Georgian Greenwich, photo by modernbricabrac, the Queens House


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Friday

Women's Event - Femfest 2018 Brighton

Women's Event - Femfest 2018 Brighton


Next weekend on Friday and Saturday nights two events organised by FemFriday and Sisterhood at the Lounge upstairs at Bar Broadway in Brighton will showcase some great female talent.

Held between International Day of Women's Rights and Mother's Day, the event celebrates women with a line-up of award-winning Comedians and Songwriters who have released LPs and one that has appeared on BBC introducing. Friday night will be dedicated to female Songwriters and Saturday night will showcase female Comedians who have all agreed to give their time for free. Donations on the door will go to Brighton Women's Centre.

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Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018

Brighton Festival Children's Parade, Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018

Brighton Festival 2018 - 5 - 27 May 2018

Maybe this year's Brighton Festival should have another category, alongside such regulars as, Art and Film, Dance, Comedy and Outdoor, with one called Rock and a Hard Place.

The Guest Director, David Shrigley, Visual Artist and social commentator might agree with me. On the back of this year's programme David has added a few of his own headings with Bad, Good, Boring, Weird, Challenging and Nice now featuring too.
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