GF Guides | The best chocolate shops in Brighton



Audreys Chocolates
A trip to Audrey's in Hove is like stepping back in time. Their ornate silky boxes are almost as well known as their chocolate which they have been making locally for 60 years. Along with their rose and violet creams, you can pick up crystallised peppermints and posh versions of those fruit jellies your nan always had. Definitely chocolate for good old fashioned romancing. The main shop is in Hove but there is a smaller branch in Brighton.

A Brighton favourite, this place is heaving at festive times with people wanting their fun, colourful creations. They have expanded their range to include many things, but I still like their classic bars with unusual taste twists.

Choccywoccydoodah
Although I don't think this is the best tasting chocolate in the city, you can't fail to be impressed with their wild window displays and quirky styling with pugs, skulls and er, adult themed shapes. They are the rock 'n' roll of the chocolate world and certainly think outside the chocolate box. 

Cake maker extraordinaire and local, possibly UK, king of the macaron. If you like your chocolate in a more substantial dessert, then look no further than the refined, elegant creations here. The glossy, colourful patisserie display is almost impossible to make a single selection from. There are sometimes chocolates on sale for Easter and other festivities as gifts but if you are talking sweet treats you can't miss this place off the list.

Hotel Chocolat
Although a chain, I've always liked the Hotel Chocolat brand. Their products look good and they stock some interesting premium ranges.

Ok, ok, more of a sweet shop but this place is a goldmine of weird imported sweets, chocolates and drinks from America, Europe, Thailand and Japan. You want that bacon flavoured KitKat? It's probably in here. 

Cocoa Loco
Although not a shop, this is a really good brand of local chocolate. I've visited their small factory in Sussex and the quality of their organic and Fairtrade chocolate is fantastic. There are plenty of places that stock them locally and definitely worth a try.


Graphic Foodie Guides 
A series of targeted, helpful guides for Brighton, if you would like me to create a guide on anything in particular drop me an email!
For other guides featured visit www.thegraphicfoodie.blogspot.co.uk/gfguides

GF Great Finds | Brighton Shopping: Utility


This is the first in a series of posts where I feature my favourite Brighton shops that are candy for the foodie. Most are off the beaten track away from the main shopping areas so I thought they'd be helpful to visitors and even locals who haven't come across them yet. Credit cards at the ready!

Utility is one of my absolute favourite local shops, utterly unique and, as the name suggests, full of useful British made stuff, both vintage, end of line and reproduction. It stocks the sort of stuff your badass gran would have scrubbed the living hell out of her house with and crockery that will outlive us all. The muted, grey shades of the products are relevant today as the fashion for industrial style seems to be going nowhere. I'm slowly turning my whole house grey and using harder materials for finishing.

If you're a clean freak like me, their durable bushes, dusters and soaps are worth a look. Their no nonsense crockery, Brown Betty teapots and vintage cutlery are all a pleasure to use as well as nostalgic. Utility also have the larges selection of classic enamel bakeware in the city, plus their own brand of enamel mugs for taking to your "glamping" weekends away. And I never thought I would lust after a loo brush but their concrete holder and hardy bristle has my name ALL. OVER. IT.









www.utilitygreatbritain.co.uk (online shop available as well)
28A North Rd
Brighton
BN1 1YB


Graphic Foodie Great Finds | Brighton Shopping
A series of articles featuring stylish kitchenware and lifestyle shops in Brighton
For other stores featured visit www.thegraphicfoodie.blogspot.co.uk/greatfinds

GF Guides | Buggy friendly cafes in Brighton



There are so many brilliant family friendly things about Brighton, hence why people flock here with their new little darlings. However, in those early days, where you emerge, shell-shocked and needing the support of your entire close parent group, it can be a tricky place to find somewhere that will accommodate more than a couple of buggies in the city. I know, and this is my most requested guide!

Below are a few suggestions of where you can go when you are on tour with multiple buggy carrying friends. Let me know if I have missed anyone off!

Brighton Dome Cafe Bar
The cafe at the Dome is probably the best open space if there is a large group of you. Plenty of room and no one bats an eyelid to exploring toddlers. Now that Peyton and Bryne have taken over the food and drink, there is more on offer especially for lunch like their grilled sandwiches, salads, pies and sausage rolls. And the cakes are wonderful.

The cafe upstairs at the Duke's @ Komedia
This hidden gem I only came across the other day. Essentially, the cafe is the refreshment area for the Komedia Cinema but is quiet in the day and a couple of buggies should be fine. Great homemade cakes (and fabulous wine list).


Seven Bees has won the hearts of locals and is a real community cafe with lots of group meetings and events. Other than the decent and local cafe style food, there is a really lovely kids corner. Plus the cafe operates inside the church itself so plenty of running room which is great as most other Kemptown cafes are quite limited in size. Currently open open Mon-Fri 9.30-3pm it will be extending to the Saturday soon.

This was our main NCT hang out in that first scary year. Although it can be awkward to get your buggy through the narrow entrance, once in you can nab the seating area at the back with big sofas. Staff are very accommodating with children and breastfeeding, but best of all the food is really fresh, local and nourishing. They also have a cafe in the Jubilee Library (also great for buggies but not so good for noise!) with tea, coffee, cakes and panini. 

I really like the Barefoot Cafe which is next to the Yellowave volley ball courts. If the sun shines you can dine outside on the decked area and little ones can play in the sand or there is a really nice interior. Even my irrational fear of sand doesn't put me off a visit. The only disappointing thing is the food. Order simply like a sandwich or salad and it will be fine but expect nothing more than decent student food for hot meals. It is filling and cheap though and there are BBQs in the summer. If they could nail that food a little better this would be such a winner.

The train station is not somewhere you would think to meet but the new-ish cafe here has been beautifully refurbished, has a cute little kids corner (above) and plenty of space. There's a really varied menu to choose from too.

You can tell Peter Andre is a family man. His cafe is probably the only central place with a small but clean soft play area. The food is casual and could be better but coffee is ok and the staff are really lovely. Plenty of room and convenient location.

This is the latest addition to the rejuvenated London Road area. It didn't take long to be discovered as an ideal hangout for those with small kids due to the sheer amount of space, probably one of the biggest in Brighton. The interior is amazing and there is an enormous menu. I can't say I was too impressed with the food on my last visit but that was in the opening week. A good place to go and still feel a bit cool and due to the size, you'd never feel like you were outstaying your welcome.

Also on London Road, the Emporium Cafe and theatre is a kooky little place. Really open plan with bags of space, there is a small casual menu (jackets, savoury pastries and sandwiches) which looks nice and a selection of locally baked cakes. They sometimes have theatre evens for small children too.

The Cow
Aside from plenty of space, being child-friendly and a nice interior is that all of the bread is baked on site. Hooray for us carb addicts! They also have varied menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Of course, you can't get a better space than one of Brighton's city parks. Run the little critters out then retreat to one of the decent cafes for a pick-me-up. Some of my favourites are:
Pavilion Gardens cafe - kiosk with outside seating
Blakers Park cafe - kiosk with outside seating
Queens Park - basic kiosk with some seating
The Garden Cafe at St Ann's Well - full cafe with internal seating and full menu
Preston Park - not one but two cafes! The Chalet which is really quaint with good seating and the Rotunda Cafe near the rose gardens.
The Velo Cafe at The Level - where cyclists and buggies battle for space but on a quiet day you may be lucky.


Graphic Foodie Guides 
A series of targeted, helpful guides for Brighton, if you would like me to create a guide on anything in particular drop me an email!
For other guides featured visit www.thegraphicfoodie.blogspot.co.uk/gfguides

DESIGN: I Vini D' Italia, Ana Zaja Petrak

It's hardly a surprise I like a bit of design on my walls at home and I like to choose pieces carefully. Currently on display at Graphic Foodie Towers is a selection of limited edition screen prints, framed ephemera and design and photography from some of my talented, creative friends. (No, I don't know what they see in me either.)



And my kitchen, one of the last rooms left to renovate (because I can't make up my mind what to have apart from concrete worktops!), already has a small collection going including an original oil painting from my fair hands circa 1998, but I'm pleased to have a new print to add to the mix. I'm a massive fan of Ana Zaja Petrak's work, the Italian and graphic nature of her illustrations obviously appeals to me in spades. I Vini D' Italia is a more grown up print from her, but still has her playful and casual style that I love.

I was also tempted by the following:



(From top left, clockwise) Limonata by Ana Zaja Petrak, Plums by Ana Zaja Petrak, Coffee Pot 3 by Weef, Wild Raspberries by Andy Warhol and Suzie Frankfurt, Aranci! vintage print, Saki Party Art Print by Fiona Howard.

I found out that Andy Warhol illustrated a series of dessert concepts for a spoof cookbook called "Wild Raspberries". What's interesting is that the type looks so fresh and you see this style all over food and style blogs now. Love that great big wibbly green jelly.


As for buying art online, I particularly like seeing how the print looks in different frames. Easyart have an online tool so you can easily add mounts or change the frame colour and material, which can often change the look of the print completely. I thought a thicker black frame and a mount would make the print look more substantial.

Although I often frame prints myself due to cost, nothing beats having something properly framed. The painted wood frame that I chose for my wine print was excellent quality. All of this results in a far more expensive looking print! I also appreciated the double signed panel on the back of the frame to give it a personal touch to an online purchase. 

The print arrived really well packaged and in perfect condition. Thoroughly recommended! Although Easyart have a lot of choice, in a lot of categories, you can start here at www.easyart.com/prints/food-drink


I was sent the print to review from Easyart.

REVIEW: The Creperie, Brighton


The Creperie is a dream for those with an eye for design. The website and interior have been exquisitely crafted. As a branding designer this would have been a dream job, details are everywhere from the striped paper straws, branded napkins and plates and logo plaques on the table. Stylish, relaxed with the right twist of quirky, it's an absolute pleasure to dine in.



As well as all of that (and I could go on believe me) Brighton was really desperate for a creperie. I just love the things and their versatility so that they can be adapted for all times on the day. I'm not really a cooked breakfast fan, you won't find me down the greasy spoon for sure, so The Creperie is an ideal start to my day.



I went for a classic sugar and lemon crepe with my Small Batch coffee which I thoroughly enjoyed. The crepe was paper thin, delicious and simple. At just £4.95 and served with either juice tea or coffee, I think it's a bit of a bargain as most cafes will charge a few quid for a good coffee anyway.

Mr GF would probably die of starvation on just my simple crepe to start the day, so he opted for the heartier breakfast crepe with a poached egg and bacon. Amazingly this was also £4.95 with a drink which I think was either a print mistake or too cheap. Crisp streaky bacon was tucked all around the perimeter so it was a decent breakfast. The only negative was the wastage from such a huge portion of ketchup.

Although tucked away, I think The Creperie will do well here in the summer. The menu has been well thought through (designed and created by Karen Samuel formally of Food For Friends). They have a good selection of gelato from locals Gelato Gusto and there are plenty of sweet options. Savoury-wise there is a separate hot and cold menu and I will be returning to make a good dent into both for lunch. You could go classic with a twist with locally haddock in a creamy cheese sauce or wild mushrooms, crème fraîche, white wine, dill and spinach leaves. There are some more unusual options like curry or a fajita inspired galette but really, something to suit all moods.

You would be hard pushed to spend more than £8/9 on lunch here, especially with the take away prices, unless you double or triple up. Which, with the style and attention to detail the owners have gone into is ridiculously good value.

A great addition and nice to see something a little different for Brighton. I like it so much I'm adding it to my Brighton Black Book: www.pinterest.com/graphicfoodie/graphic-foodie-brighton-black-book/

www.thecreperiebrighton.com
2 Ship Street
Brighton BN1 1AD

WIN: Tickets to the Brighton Foodies Festival, Hove Lawns, 3 - 5 May 2014


The Foodies Festival is coming to Brighton again on the 3-5th May 2014. When the sun shines, Hove Lawns is a glorious place to be for a drink and a nibble on something delicious.

[Competition has now closed - thanks for all the entries, amazing response! See the winners at the festival.]

I'm giving away 5 pairs of tickets for entry to any single day of your choice. You can win by either:

1. Leaving a comment below
2. Emailing me your details at thegraphicfoodie (at) hotmail.com with "FOODIES FEST 2014" in the subject line.
3. RT on Twitter with the hash tag #GFComp
(Terms at the end of the post.)

There's a good mixed bag of events again this year; chef masterclasses, tea dances, competitions, producers markets, street stalls, music, drinking and of course, eating. This is really child friendly and there is even a Children’s Cookery Theatre for them to practise their skills.

Baking features heavily with a specific theatre dedicated to the sweet stuff for classes, eating and shopping. If you don't have a sweet tooth then the BBQ Arena may be more up your street.

Pop up restaurants this year come from local favourites Riddle and Finns and Fishy Fishy. 

If I'm honest, my favourite bit these days is the City Beach where you can flake out on a deckchair with an ice-cream whilst the kids build sandcastles. 

This year's chefs include Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and Steven Edwards, winner of Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 and current Head Chef at The Camellia at the local South Lodge Hotel in Horsham.

Ticket Information
2014 Foodies Festivals tickets are now available from www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111.

Tickets:
1-day adult ticket £12.00 (£10.00 concession)
3-day adult ticket £18.00 (£15.00 concession)
1-day VIP ticket £38.00 (Friday VIP ticket £35)
All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

Opening times: 11am until 8pm.

Competition details:
  • Competition closes at GMT midday 7th April.
  • A winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator. 
  • The winner will be contacted, and prize sent direct from Foodies Festival. 
  • The prize is one pair of tickets for adult entry to a single day of your choice to the Brighton Foodies Festival running 3-5 May 2014. 
  • No part of a prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize. 
  • The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Your email details will not be used for any purpose other than to contact the winner and will be disposed over after competition close.

32LDN video series: Bethnal Green/E. Pellicci

Awww. E Pellicci! Shove all of that Michelin nonsense and fannying around with tweezers. There is something utterly enchanting and irresistible about this caff that goes beyond the divine wood panelling and has stood the test of time. I love a classic cafe with heart and this is one of my all-time favourites having a true Italian mamma in the kitchen. The second of a 32-part series of films devoted to London’s 32 boroughs, Nevio Pellicci, grandson of the original owners, takes to the helm for Bethnal Green.



32LDN is a project that aims to collectively build a picture of today's London, through the participation of people from all walks of life. A new film will be shown each day via the fantastic design blog: http://www.itsnicethat.com/

Watch this E. Pellicci video at http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/32ldn