6 things... to do in Brighton this May
by Sarah Alcock
Each May, Brighton buzzes with festival fever. Activities range from theatre and art to dance and children's activities, and take place all over the city. Here are the bits we certainly won't be missing, and the places we'll be visiting to wind down after all that culture.
1. BRIGHTON FRINGE 3 May – 1 June
Over 700 events are happening at this year's Brighton Fringe. Here are a few facts:
- Audiences can download an app called Performr to find an innovative app-based series of shows.
- The Nightingale Theatre is hosting a new show called Host, which is described as 'a free, one-on-one performance designed to be shared; passed from one person to another like a relay baton.' We are suitably intrigued.
- Brighton Fringe Urban Artfest will see some of the biggest names in street art coming together to teach youth groups and create a showcase of their work.
- Look out for more family shows this year, as the festival has been extended by a week to include half-term. We like the look of Just So, which is a new play based on Rudyard Kipling stories.
2. ARTISTS OPEN HOUSES 3 - 25 May
If you want to get your hands on some original artwork and speak directly to the artists then look out for open houses every weekend in May. A few to look out for:
- The Blue House in Elm Grove will be creating Britain's smallest pub in their living room. In this space they'll be showcasing the work of 17 artists with live music.
- Award-winning children's book illustrator Chris Riddell and his wife Jo will be opening their house to exhibit prints, illustrations, fine art, photography and jewellery.
- Ralph Levy's Handmade House, a 1930s cottage. Shopaholics be warned – everything you see is for sale. From furniture and the paintings on the wall to the cups that you drink from.
3. BRIGHTON FESTIVAL 3 - 25 May
This year's festival is guest directed by Hofesh Shechter – the master of contemporary dance. Make sure you get to the festival opening on 3 May when his company and their brand new work, Sun, will open the three-week festival.
4. ELDERFLOWER FIELDS - THE FAMILY FESTIVAL
Our marketing manager Amy is taking her six-year-old daughter Eliza to Elderflower Fields, as we've heard it's fantastic for children.There's a jam-packed schedule for kids including kayaking and tree climbing, volleyball, rounders and Ultimate Frisbee. For parents, the Woodland Spa offers massages, aromatherapy and lots of relaxation. Oh, and a cocktail bar, serving a special elderflower mojito.
Weekend tickets cost £50 for children, £105 for adults. Under-fives get in free.
5. EAT AND DRINK
64 degrees, 53 Meeting House Lane, Brighton
Order a few small plates and share between friends. We sat in prime position in front of the chefs, and watched in awe as they cooked up our delicious food. Every mouthful was delightful – we recommend the trumpet royale with mint and goats' cheese.
Small batch coffee
This is the city's top spot for delicious freshly roasted coffee. There's even a little stall at Brighton train station for those who can't quite squeeze in a sit-down café visit.
Cool burger place on the front – we loved the Dirty Burger with red slaw and flashed greens – and the chocolate tasting plate we shared was nothing short of superb...
This smart new seafood restaurant in the hotel's airy conservatory has a great sea view. Majors on super-fresh seafood and fish, such as this delicious saffron salted Brighton cod with bacon gnocchi.
6. STAY ON VINE STREET
We did - and we loved it. If there's a group of you heading to Brighton, Vine Street studios is ideally located and really spacious. The apartment itself is open plan and decorated in a chic New York loft style. There's a large dining table, big, comfy sofas and gigantic bean-bags, four bedrooms that can sleep up to 16, and it's conveniently nestled above a fantastic coffee shop - The Coffee Counter. Perfect for our morning pick-me-ups!