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


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

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