23 March 2015

Joshua Reynolds revisited at the Wallace Collection - free exhibition

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I remember reading an account of Sir Joshua Reynolds that left a lasting impression. From memory it had something to do with him as an older gent using an ear trumpet and appearing full of good humour.  

The account was by the diary writer Frances Burney, famous for many things including her inside-court account of the madness of King George.

The Wallace Collection, London

Initially she had met Sir Joshua Reynolds through her father, who then became one of her greatest supporters after her debut novel was released to overnight success. Pre-dating Jane Austen by about thirty years, her second novel contains the phrase Pride and Prejudice and has other indications that Austen may have been influenced by this earlier writer's work. 

Anyway enough of this meandering, I could talk about Burney for a very long time, back to her observations of Reynolds.

By the time she was in her mid 30s she had accepted an appointment in the court of Queen Charlotte, which had resulted in a lack of freedom. On a rare trip out to witness the celebrated trial of Hastings she recorded being spotted in the gallery by Reynolds.

I perceived Sir Joshua Reynolds in the midst of the Committee! - he, at the same moment, saw me, also, and not only Bowed, but smiled and nodded, with his usual good-humour and intimacy: making at the same time, a sign to his Ear, by which I understood he had no Trumpet: whether he had forgotten, or lost it, I know not.

14 March 2015

Anthropologie love, a shop in London

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In my world there's a lot of love out there for Anthropologie. First introduced to their Regent Street store by my sis a good while ago, every time I'm in London I hanker to go back.
anthropologie, homeware
Calling itself a destination store it combines floors and floors of colour, clothes, art and homeware with a wall of cascading plants.

Part of their mission is to nurture partnerships with both established and upcoming artists as well as having quirky and vintage pieces in their displays. It's a wonderful experience walking around one of their shops and I clocked a few others with mobiles in hand similarly impressed.

So, in case you've not yet jumped on the bandwagon or aren't near one of their Surrey and London stores, here's a few of the pics I took yesterday. 

11 March 2015

Chance to win a Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg and making up a foodie quizz for the folks

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An Early Happy Easter greeting from me and here's a chance to win a delicious Easter egg from Hotel Chocolat. The egg is one inch thick of deloveliness, contains 12 chocolates and is presented in the most deluxe packaging. Such a treat!

Just choose one or more ways to enter below, it's free and you can enter as many times as you like (the more the better).

The giveaway is open to the UK only and ends on Tuesday 31st March 2015, so get cracking.

All you need to do is login using your Facebook or email and leave a comment, send a tweet or go to Bits and Bobs around Brighton. The more ways you choose to enter the greater your chance of winning. Wishing you the best of luck.
Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last week I had the very exciting and truly delightful (sorry for gushing) opportunity to find out more about Hotel Chocolat and in particular their Easter 2015 range.

Meeting them at their cafe in Kensington I opted straight away for a classic hot chocolate to try and it came presented in a cute white cup on a small wooden tray. The hot chocolate was rich and creamy and I'd barely started drinking it when I met Alex who offered to take me on my very own guided tour of their Easter range.

We're all about more cocoa less sugar, he said High street chocolates use more sugar because it's cheaper whereas we use 2- 3x more cocoa instead.

Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate

We're also more ethical than fair trade, not only do we pay the cocoa farmers a fair rate but we're finding ways to ensure their farming methods are sustainable in the long run. 

This is definitely good to know as was seeing all the fun and quirky ways Hotel Chocolat have come up with around the theme of Easter eggs. 

8 March 2015

How to match funding growth potential at Small Business event - 28 March 2015

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Just outside Brighton in the picturesque Hurstpierpoint in three weeks time is an event that could very well be the answer that small businesses have been looking for.  A way to double their funding. 

Guest speaker, Kerry Kyriacou, will be talking about the Business Navigator Growth Hub, a government-funded service which helps businesses find the support and services they need in order to grow by matching funding growth potential. 

Sussex Pages event

Organised by Sussex Pages the event is part of a new monthly networking programme that provides activities to make it easier for small business owners to get to know one another.

5 March 2015

Deliveroo to you too - Brighton takeaway

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It all happened pretty quickly once the decision had been made. My Welsh Cariad loves a take away and I love ethical dining. We decided to try combining the two and keep us both happy.

Deliveroo takeaway chicken

Using the new delivery service currently hitting Brighton, Deliveroo we could choose from a selection of Brighton's most hip eateries and get it delivered in a flash.

27 February 2015

Music for Curious Minds at the Brighton Science Festival - review by Annabelle Spender

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Music for Curious Minds was for me one of the most exciting events programmed for the Brighton Science Festival. This was due to my background in designing bespoke medical equipment for young people with disabilities, including a musical wheelchair for my final year dissertation. 

The event was all about the latest developments that have been made to enable young people with disabilities to access music. Three organisations have combined their efforts for the last three years and we were to see the results.

Back in 2010 I had spent 9 months researching the existing musical instruments available in order to create my own, so I was looking forward to finding out what advancements had been made. I also took along a fellow musician so that I could find out what they thought of these incredible creations as well. The truly incredible singer / song writer Melissa Hubert joined me for the evening and was interested to find out about new instruments, be inspired and pick up ideas for her own music.

Music for Curious Minds at the Brighton Science Festival 2015 by Annabelle Spender


The talk was held in the church opposite the Brighton Dome with chairs filling the room facing a row of screens and technology surrounding a stage. As we arrived we found a place near the front and watched as slowly the room filled with more and more people. It was clear that most people present were interested in attending due to a family member who they had brought along, but there were a number of other musicians or designers present too.

25 February 2015

Brighton Nerd Nite, Science Festival Special - review by Annabelle Spender

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I have never been to a Brighton Nerd Nite before that is not to say I have never been to an event full of talks on nerdy subjects but this was different. Previous talks have been around a specialist theme or subject that only designers, social media specialists or marketers would be interested in attending. This was going to be a different experience of seeing a different array of what we consider to be nerds in modern society from all different aspects of life. This event interested me because of my love of talks and learning new things.Nerd Nite photos by Annabelle Spender

As I was attending the event solo, I wasn't aware of where I was going or what to expect but after getting my name off the guest list ticked and an entry stamp marked on my hand I cautiously made my way down the two lots of stairs to the basement of Komedia. Arriving early and being on my own meant that while I didn't have the front row I did get a seat on the second row of tables close to the stage. As the room slowly filled I was surrounded by other locals who had arrived in groups of two or three and quickly found that none of us had been to a Nerd Nite before. This was going to be an interesting event for all of us. The talk of cake and biscuits filled the table, as we got to know each other while waiting for the rest of the room to fill. Ninja cookies, chocolate cake and wookie gingerbread filled the table as nerdy glasses and pots of mini eggs were placed on all of the tables. The big screen in front of us also projected onto the smaller screens around the room allowing
everyone to see a counter slowly tick down to 0.