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

Tuesday

Glow Wild at Wakehurst 2019

You know it's close to Christmas time when the Glow Wild winter lantern trail begins. This year it started on 21st of November and runs to the 22nd of December on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Glow Wild is Wakehurst's night-time lantern trail through a glorious woodland setting and is a true delight whatever age you are. This year it returned for its 6th year and not only lit up the woodlands with handmade lanterns in the shapes of birds, animals and stars but also featured spectacular fire torches.


Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


This was my second year at Glow Wild so I had a good idea what to expect, although this year it was even better with more features and a soundscape, by sound and light studio Ithaca that seemed to be louder and as a result worked much better. Along route we discovered rings of fire, willow tunnels, Alice-in-Wonderland-like giant plants as well as animations while we carried our handmade lantern.

For anyone thinking of visiting the event you begin by choosing a colourful lantern to carry around the trail with you. We chose a lilac lantern and soon we were passing robins and stars along a path that led to a lake covered in a multitude of colourful floating waterlily lanterns that subtly changed colour. Further along the trail we discovered a set of badgers, a hedgehog and willow tunnels with tiny lights that gathered on the path under foot. The willow tunnels created by sculptor Tom Hare inspired my little companion to run through each one in turn before triumphantly declaring she had come first.


Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


At the smaller pond we found a lantern moon reflected in it's still surface and as we walked around the outside of it we discovered a heron lantern lit up in the distance while the soundscape provided sounds of nature such as hooting owls and animals rustling in the undergrowth.

Further on we walked through rings of fire that my little companion initially thought was bad because it was burning the trees but after I explained the trees would not be hurt, as the fire was not touching them, she was able to enjoy the experience.

The walled garden at the end was the most beautiful part of the trail for me, dotted throughout the flowerbeds were sparkling giants plants that looked stunning. We turned the corner and watched the mesmerising animation that lit up the house with trees growing at speed, sending out its branches and roots before disappearing.

The finale was the Great tree draped with Christmas lights, underneath which were fire pits for toasting oversized marshmallows and stalls selling mulled wine, hot chocolate and treats. The marshmallows on offer were not your ordinary everyday sort of marshmallows, there were flavours like blueberry, coconut and raspberry and the hot chocolates that came were topped with a sweet cream and tasted immense. Truly fabulous.

The hard part came when we had to hand back our lilac-lit lantern. Luckily this process was made easier once we discovered we could take home our very own mini lantern for £4. Inside the Great House tables had been set up with pens and pritt sticks at hand to turn mini lanterns into dormice, complete with whiskers and tails. A lady came around to check if we needed any help and thought my little companion's lantern was the best she had seen, which pleased her no end.

Thanks to Wakehurst for inviting us to join them to find some autumn colour, we received free entry and vouchers for refreshments but have not been paid for this post.


Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


#GlowWild #winter #lanterntrail #wakehurst 

Find Wakehurst on Facebook @wakehurst.kew 
Instagram @wakehurst_botanic_garden
www.kew.org/wakehurst

For more details just visit kew.org/glowwild



Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac



Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac



Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Lanterns at Glow Wild 2019 at Wakehurst, Sussex photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

SHARE:

Friday

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex

Finding the perfect moment to enjoy autumn colour can be like working out when an avocado has become perfectly ripe. Leave it too long and they both turn to mush, time it just right and you'll be delighted that you did.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


That said, the chances of finding the right time to enjoy autumn colour are, I’d say, massively improved if you plan to go to Wakehurst. With over 500 acres of woodland, garden and meadow to explore, separated into a phytogeographic planting system, it means every time you go, you’re likely to see the woodlands and meadows anew.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Up in the High Weald of West Sussex, where the Ardingly sandstone covers the side of Bloomers Valley, a cacophony of russets, ambers, golden yellows and warm brown leaves lies on top of the valley like a great patchwork blanket.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


As we headed down a steep hill we found a nursery of recently planted monkey puzzle trees, a hundred and fifty in number. They had been collected from Chile by the Wakehurst horticulturists, in order to preserve them, now that they have become endangered in the wild. Apparently, the monkey-puzzle seed cannot be stored (known as recalcitrance) in the Millennium Seed Bank and so it can only be protected by being planted.

For little ones, we discovered the joy of picking up different coloured leaves, twigs and lichen, and placing them in the microscopic tub that comes with the Wakehurst explorer pack for kids. As an adult it became a tangible way of slowing down and reconnecting with the touch and smell of autumn. A process of drawing closer to the natural world that felt so restorative and elemental that I think it should be formalised into a new form of healing therapy.

As my little friend jumped from log to log along the tree trunk trek and carefully selected from the ground fallen leaves and twigs, we forgot about time for a while as we twisted this way and that through the trees and along unfamiliar paths.

We also found a sign and lanterns hanging from a tree that was a reminder of treats to come. The Glow Wild winter lantern trail is set to return to Wakehurst at the end of 22 November and it's a wonderful event with music and light shows with a chance to end the night with toasted marshmallows over an open fire.

If you're looking for some autumn colour this November, then Instagrammable Wakehurst with its golden ferns, gardens, woodlands, meadows and tree trunk trek for kids should be on your list. Thanks to Wakehurst for inviting us to join them to find some autumn colour, we received free entry and parking but have not been paid for this post.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


#GlowWild #winter #lanterntrail #wakehurst #findthecolour #larch #birch #beech #oak #redwood #gingko #dogwood #treetrunktrek #explorerrucksack #lichen #autumnatwakehurst

Find Wakehurst on Facebook @wakehurst.kew 
Instagram @wakehurst_botanic_garden
www.kew.org/wakehurst



Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


SHARE:

Sunday

Leiden Loves - Stay, Eat and Explore

If you love the atmosphere of a university town such as Oxford or Cambridge, then you are going to love Leiden. Hand-painted onto walls all over the city are over a hundred poems in different languages, by different celebrated writers. There are museums and coffee shops, glimpses of old alms houses, cobbles, historic buildings and lots of bicycles. Read on as I share our highlights of what to see, where to eat breakfast, lunch and fine dine, as well as a really immersive place to stay.


Leiden Loves - Stay, Eat and Explore - photos by modernbricabrac


Leiden Loves - Stay, Eat and Explore - photos by modernbricabrac
De Valk windmill museum, Leiden

Leiden Loves - Stay, Eat and Explore - photos by modernbricabrac
Oude Singel, Leiden

SHARE:

Thursday

January Round-Up 2019

MBB is changing. As my focus has shifted on to other projects I've had less and less time to write blog posts about my adventures on modernbricabrac. So, ever hopeful to stretch my time and energies across a range of projects I thought I'd aim for a monthly round-up on MBB instead.

Passion Projects for 2019


January Round-Up 2019, photos by Sarah Agnew, modernbricabrac


Brighton General Hospital


For the last five years I've worked at Brighton General Hospital where I have been endlessly fascinated by the great, old buildings on site. Currently, about 50 % of the site is unoccupied (and not fit for purpose), so half of the buildings remain empty, boarded up and keeping what secrets they hold behind locked doors. The Brighton General site first began life as a workhouse, built in the 1860s and home to 860 souls. In 1914 the building was handed over to the military and turned into a Kitchener hospital before eventually becoming Brighton General Hospital in 1948. However, now it looks like the future of the site is about to change drastically with most of the buildings earmarked for demolition and residential housing set to be built in their place. In fact, I believe all the great old buildings, apart from Arundel block, will be destroyed and the whole site will become completely unrecognisable.
Anyone who follows my insta feed @sarahagnew, will probably have picked up my love of historic buildings and landscapes and will not be surprised to learn that I plan to capture the site as it is now before it disappears. I'm also keen to hear memories and stories of BGH from people that want to share.
As a consequence I've set up social media pages on Facebook @BrightonGeneralHospital, Twitter @BrightonGeneral and on Insta @brightongeneralhospital as a way of sharing people's stories and images.
So far everyone I've spoken to has shared my enthusiasm for documenting this site and the more I discover the more I feel how culturally significant this site is to the people of Brighton and Hove.
Who knows how this passion project will develop? I've made only slight progress so far and welcome interest from anyone who would like to be involved in this. Click here to join the newly created Facebook Page Group BrightonGeneralHospital.

Sisterhood Community


The Sisterhood Community was set up by Emily Kennedy-Barnes in 2017 and she invited me to become involved by looking after the social media. The community was created to put on events to raise the profile of female singers, comedians and trainers in aid of women's charities in Brighton and Hove. Both events introduced me to some incredibly talented women, who, along with all those involved in the projects, gave their talents and time for free. Passionate to continue sharing women's stories and events I kept posting on the community's Facebook Page and Twitter anything that I thought might be of interest to the Sisterhood. Then, a couple of Brighton and Hove based events for women came up recently that reignited my interest and inspired me to develop this community further. Click here to find out about the events on our Facebook Page @womeninsisterhood. On Sunday, I became so inspired I created a Facebook Group for Sisterhood so that the community could get to know each other in a private space. We're also on Insta @womeninsisterhood and Twitter if you'd rather follow us on those social sites instead.

Wordbillower - Social Media Coach


After years of learning about the online world and many years before that teaching others on a one-to-one basis, I've at last decided to combine my skills and knowledge and become a Social Media Coach. Initial sessions have proved highly insightful and have proved that I can deliver instructive lessons in a fun and supportive manner. My clients so far have left feeling enthused to take on the challenges they need to face, while feeling they have gained more clarity and confidence than they had to start with. Their evident sense of accomplishment has left me feeling equally satisfied with the session and eager to share in their highs as they develop.

In my first month I've already received some really heart warming testimonials and want to share at least one on here!


I met Sarah at a Hub event for freelance / self-employed practitioners in the Health and Wellness sector. She came to take photos of the event and was introduced through a mutual contact. I knew she could be trusted and she seemed to fit perfectly. Sarah just 'got' what was needed and her writing style suited the community feel. I knew I was on to a winner. The more I got to know her the closer we began to work together. She shares my passion for health and wellness therapies and also offers me great support. Sarah comes up with new ideas and encourages me. She's good at getting me to do stuff. As a busy entrepreneur I'm a perfectionist and she pushes through that to get me to get sh*t done! Sarah's a value to the Hub and a value to me. I'm happy to talk to anyone over the phone, if they'd like a referral. 
Sophie, Health and Wellness clinic
Jan 2019

Get in touch if you're looking for a Social Media Coach, I can help you gain confidence in your own abilities.

Eats in Brighton


Well, despite all of my passion projects distractions, my love of good food has remained intact and this month I have two great menus to share with you.


Modernbricacbrac January Round-Up 2019 - Bill's Veganuary 2019


Bill's Veganuary


I was invited for a Blogger's dinner to try out Bill's Veganuary menu, available until the end of February 2019 and loved it all. The meal for my friend and I was complimentary but I have not been paid to write about my experience or to share photos.

I must admit even though I was already a fan of Bill's before going for the meal I was still surprised by how impressed I was by every course. The stand out for me was a hearty roasted butternut squash, lentil and coconut soup. It's a perfect pick me up on a damp, cold and dreary day. I also loved the vegan red wine, Little Eden. This little red wine tasted so smooth I could have easily drunk it all night. To find out what else was on offer click here to check out Bill's Veganuary menu.

Joining me for the evening was Brighton Mummy Blogger Chelle, who, like me, is a Passion Project Queen. Worth mentioning are two local projects that she is heavily involved in. The Red Box Project is a community group built to support and empower young women. They aim to ensure no young woman misses a day at school because of her period by providing free sanitary wear. Amazing! The other project aims to save a local nature reserve from redevelopment. "Brighton and Hove Council in partnership with Hyde Housing Group want to build 217 flats on the wildlife site, virtually cutting it in half. It is a Statutory Local Nature Reserve, Brighton's oldest park, a 200 year old recreational Common to be held in perpetuity and is Statutory Access Land, which allows us the right to roam. It has a Scheduled Ancient Monument on it (the first designated in Sussex) and is an ancient, iconic, species rich, much loved and used site." If this sounds like a campaign you want to support, click here to go to Save Whitehawk Hill Nature Reserve.

The Coal Shed


The Coal Shed opened about nine years ago, and locally has a really good reputation. Yet, despite the number of years its been in operation and the good things I've heard about this place, I've only just gone there. It was my Welsh One's birthday this month and this is where he chose to go for his birthday munch. We decided to order the Chateaubriand as a sharing main and soon found out that it was awesome. At £62 for this dish alone our expectations were pretty high, but it we weren't disappointed. Combined with creamy mash (not enough for a Northern Irish lass), tenderstem broccoli, green beans and sauces, this dish delivered big time. The Chateaubriand was exceedingly tender, melt in your mouth perfection. Overall the combo of flavours and textures complemented each other superbly. The other dish I'd recommend from the evening was the crab starter, which, in contrast to the heavy full flavours of the main, was light, delicate and subtle. All in all it was a very special treat for around £160, for two.

January Round-Up 2019, photos by Sarah Agnew, modernbricabrac


I really feel I've rattled on quite a bit so to round-up my round-up I've also been trying to reduce my plastic consumption by refilling my empties; I've been shopping locally by going to the Fish Mongers once a week; decluttering by giving stuff away on Free cycle and recycling more by taking my empty tetrapaks to the tetrapak recycling point.

Maybe next month I should expand on my round-up round-up items with links to help you reduce, re-use and recycle!

Stay warm and
thanks for stopping by
xx




SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig