I headed down to Brighton for the day on Friday to catch up with a friend who lives nearby. I’ve been staying in South London (cat-sitting!) for a week and thought it would be the perfect time to pop down to Brighton – the train from East Croydon only takes about 45 mins too so it’s really easy from the South…also pretty easy from anywhere in London but y’know even easier!
Although it was a pretty grey day when I arrived and we had a few rain showers, the sun came out just in time for us heading to the seafront! For lunch we grabbed some food from the ‘Street Diner’ which is a collection of stalls selling a variation of street food in the Brighthelm Gardens there were loads of yummy things on offer…no photo of our food as it was consumed too fast 🙂
My friend had mentioned that Brighton Fringe Festival was on while I was down there – it runs throughout May and ends at the start of June – so we had a little look at the programme when I arrived and picked out a comedy show later in the day. There’s a box office outside the Theatre Royal where you can just walk in and buy tickets which is really handy if like us you happen to find yourself in Brighton during the fringe and fancy checking the listings out for that day.
Note: in other food related findings Gelato Gusto on North Laine provided a much needed sugar hit in the afternoon, see above for pic featuring their waffle bites, ice cream and fruit combo (SO GOOD).
We headed to The Warren in the evening to watch comedian Dave Edwards discuss the world of modern dating in his show ‘Looking for Love!’, the studio where he was performing was actually an old shipping container which was pretty cool and the show was really funny!
With the sun coming out later in the day the evening turned out to be super lovely so once we came out of the comedy show we went for another wander and instead of heading back to the station we decided to pop into the open artists studios at Phoenix Studios, the building is home to 100’s of artists and makers as well as providing space for temporary art projects and an education programme. It was really interesting chatting to some of the artists and a really inspiring end to the day!…..
Since I left London I’ve started to rediscover the area that I grew up in again (Suffolk, but very near to Cambridgeshire and Essex too). Just outside of Cambridge there’s a nature reserve called Wicken Fen and the other week when it was much warmer than it is today (err, why is it only 8 degrees again!?) I went on a little day trip with the family to explore!
Anyone that knows East Anglia will know that most of the county is as flat as a pancake and Wicken Fen is the perfect place to experience the flat-ness! You can walk around the wetlands on the specially built boardwalk and wander past the historic wind-pump. There’s also the option to take a guided tour down the river on a boat, which we didn’t do this time but did look lovely. During the spring and summer the Lode Lane cottage which has been preserved as one of the original fen residents homes is open and definitely worth having a look around.
Even though this was only a short drive away from home it felt like being on holiday (even if it was only for one day!). At the moment I’m thinking about moving to a different part of the country (tbc) but as I definitely appreciate more now how much amazing countryside there is in the East of England and it’s nice that will always be home wherever I end up next!
Last week I spent the day in (a very freezing) Cambridge showing a London friend the sights! even though I used to work in the city I never spent much time appreciating how many little back streets there are to wander through. Although we wandered to the river it was way too cold to go punting which is one of the main tourist-y things to be doing in Cambridge, so instead we strolled around the Fitzwilliam Museum, the University buildings and stopped off for lots of tea/coffee/hot chocolate (anything to keep warm basically!).
For lunch we headed to Bread and Meat which is tucked away on Bene’t Street near the Corn Exchange venue. Having not spent much time in Cambridge over the past few years I’ve probably missed a number of ‘trendy’ places like this popping up across the city, but this is the one we stumbled upon…and I’m so glad we did! The name is definitely accurate, the fairly simple menu gives you the choice of a ciabatta sandwich or a bread free bowl which includes your choice of meat, slaw, salad/veg and potato wedges. There are a few sides to choose from too, (check out the menu on their website). We both went for the bowl option with their signature porchetta, the Italian style roasted pork with herbs was delicious with a yummy perfectly crunchy crackling and a salsa verde sauce. Apparently the homemade sausage rolls are v.tasty too and for those with a sweet tooth the handmade brownies looked amazing.
If you live or work in Cambridge then this place is definitely worth checking out, oh and they serve wine and beer too so it could be a great little stop off before heading to the Corn Exchange for a gig!
Shame Cambridge wasn’t looking quite as colourful as the food!….
Tate Modern’s Switch House extension opened in the summer and I went to have a look around this week! The tower creates 60 per cent more space for exhibitions in the gallery, and was designed by Herzog & de Meuron‘s…you can read more about it here! The extension has ten floors and features a 360 degree rooftop viewing deck at the top where you can get some pretty impressive views of the London skyline. (some daytime and night-time shots below!)
I also checked out the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition whilst at the Tate, it’s the first full-scale retrospective of the modernist artist’s work since his death in 2008 and features his silkscreens including the one of President Kennedy, 1,000 gallons of ‘bubbling clay’ (Mud Muse -1968-71) alongside paintings, sculptures and photographs from throughout his career. The exhibition is on until April 2nd, find out more details on the Tate website.
Belated Happy 2017 to y’all!…I’ve been quiet on the blog front since last year (not that long ago but it feels like an age already!), mostly due to the fact I’ve had a fairly boring existence while trying to concentrate on building a website for my crafts – you can have a little look here if you’re interested! – and working on other bits and pieces. I thought I’d do a little post to say hello though and to share the photos I took on a stroll in Long Melford at the weekend including the ones of this lonesome swan, I love how much he/she looks as if they are posing for the photos.Oh and I also decided to add a photos category to the blog to inspire me to take (and post) more rather than just spamming Instagram with them all…here goes!
I spent last Sunday wandering around the grounds and gardens of Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge. The national trust property has a Jacobean style house and a working water mill, both of which are open to take a look around. I’ve been to the property before and a couple of times during the summer but this was my first Autumnal visit and the colours at are stunning, especially on a sunny day!. There’s always different events and activities for children happening which can be found on the website and a brand new tree house has just been added to the woods, which I resisted climbing up to but looks amazing. I’d definitely recommend Anglesey Abbey as a day out if you’re in the Cambridge area.
Last weekend I headed down to visit my friend Bec in Lewes, East Sussex. Usually when I go to that part of the country it’s for a day trip or a gig trip to Brighton so it was nice to another corner of Sussex that I didn’t know that much about. Waking up on Saturday morning to grey skies and rain meant that we decided to stick with exploring Lewes rather than battling the winds nearer to the coast!
We spent the day wandering around the little independent shops, mostly in the Needlemakers originally the building was a candle factory then became a needle factory during World War 1. The charming brickwork building now houses a whole host of unique shops selling some beautiful gifts as well as antique and vintage goods and the Needlemakers cafe. Even though it was only the first day of October my mind was already wandering off into Christmas gift territory! One of my favourite shops in the Needlemakers was Popsicle , an explosion of colourful and kitsch gifts, home-wares and clothing. I loved the pleated style lightshades and the quirky greeting card designs!
A few other shops that caught my eye were Mary Fellows another shop full of bright, colourful and fun gifts where you could also buy personalised items such as mugs, eggcups and prints. From Victoria – a locally based ceramics artist who had a pretty little studio/shop that caught my eye. Located downstairs was The Seamstress , providing the people of Lewes with not only an alterations service but also the opportunity to go in and try their hand at making their own clothes – aspiring seamstresses check out their site for more details about workshops.
After perusing the Needlemakers we headed off towards the river, stopping for some lunch in the aptly named Riverside brasserie, serving all day breakfast, lunches and afternoon tea it was a good place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon lunch! The Riverside building itself hosts a farmers style market and cafe downstairs and some great little fabric and art shops upstairs. Some more strolling in town turned into stumbling upon a beer festival. Taking place at the Snowdrop Inn, with beers from all over the UK it was organised by local brewery Burning Sky and proved a great way to chat to a few locals about the area.
Waking up to sunshine on Sunday morning meant we could stick to our plan of heading to the coast, first we drove towards Birling Gap, a national trust site near to Eastbourne; an unspoiled pebbly beach at the bottom of the famous white cliffs known as the ‘Seven Sisters’ can be accessed via a stair tower from the cliff and the rocky areas when the tide is out is a great place for rock pooling. We sat on the top of the cliffs for a little picnic in the sun, a really peaceful and lovely spot with amazing views!
View from cliffs at Birling Gap
Birling Gap beach
View from cliffs at Birling Gap
Once we’d finished exploring Birling Gap we hopped back into the car and drove the short distance towards the town of Seaford for the view of the Seven Sisters, on the way down the Cuckmere river winding down towards the sea is an impressive site (I wasn’t skilled enough to capture on camera!). We parked a short walk from the famous coastguard cottages, the views were stunning and probably some of the best I had seen in Britain, the chalky cliffs looked so striking, especially with the pink sky as the sun set. Considering how easy it is to get to Lewes/Seaford/Eastbourne from London on the train (Southern rail strike dependent of course!) I would definitely recommend a day trip or a weekend break to the area!