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Go Globalls, Brighton

Do you like dinosaurs? Do you like golf? Do you like UV shizzle?

If you answered yes to all three questions, or yes to the first two and a tentative maybe to the third, then we have the perfect attraction for you…

The brilliantly named, Globalls, is a crazy golf experience like no other! Instead of the usual mini-windmills or clown face obscuring your hole (not like that), they have dinosaurs. Big bloody dinosaurs that not only try and prevent your shot but are covered in an array of UV paint patterns.

Although not strictly accurate in their size and colour, completing 18 holes of golf surrounded by a variety of triceratops and velociraptors is a heck load of fun, and an experience not enough people have enjoyed.

For just £5 per person you get your neon ball, scorecard, clipboard and glowing ended club and can pay a little extra for UV glasses, which we did of course!

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It’s a trippy yet very fun affair from the get go. While waiting in the little reception the staff let you know what to expect and how it all works. This is done in a very polite, fun, succinct manner devoid of patronisation; which you do want as a 26 year old adult going crazy golfing. The whole thing just makes you think ‘why has no one mixed the Jurassic era and golfing before now?’

Globalls is understandably a very popular haunt, being one of the better Brighton Marina attractions, but people are pretty patient if you’re taking your time on a hole, or you can just stop after 11 shots of twatting an Iguanodon in the face with your ball.

The Ninny and I went with my sister and brother-in-law but there were people of all ages laughing, admiring the oddly realistic neon creations and pictures are an absolute must, in fact staff encourage it. How often do you get to stand side on in front of a velociraptor using a club as a rifle and whisper “clever girl” before pretending to be attacked?

Anyway, shoddy Jurassic Park re-enactments aside, Globalls is a bargain, so much fun and actually quite challenging in parts. Overall it gets my rawr-ing approval!  

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The Perfect Saturday in Brighton

Brighton newcomer and trainee journalist, Lucy Maddox looks at our city through fresh eyes…

Being somewhat of a newbie to Brighton, having only moved here in September, I did not feel fully confident at playing host to some guests at the weekend.

However, from what I know of this city so far, I should have realised that Brighton would do all the hard work for me, all my guests and I needed to do was show up.

Let’s get cultural…

I have seen the ornate and impressive pavilion from the outside many times since moving here and I thought it was about time to have a look inside.

My first thought (as a poor student) was ‘I bet it costs a lot to get in’, but actually we managed to get reasonable prices.
Both my guests qualified for a concession, so got in for £10.50 instead of £12.30, and lucky little me, as a B&H resident I got in for the bargain price of £6.15! (If you are a resident, make sure you have some proof of this).

The experience was a little surreal, and pretty chilly (I think they need to turn the heating on) but interesting nonetheless.

The pavilion was built for King George IV who was fascinated by the orient (despite the fact he had never been). It was designed to look like India from the outside and China on the inside, which seems a little out of place by the English seaside, but hey, it’s quirky and the building has become an icon of the city.

The interior seemed very over-the-top in its opulence and certainly not to my taste, but like any historic building it is interesting to glimpse into the homes and party pads of the rich and famous and get a sense of how they lived.

Definitely worth a visit.

Let’s eat…

Time now for a spot of lunch.

I had been keen for a long time to check out Foodilic, both because I had walked past several times and been tempted by the scrummy looking salads in the window, and I had heard rave reviews about this place.

We ambled up North Street from the pavilion and arrived at our destination.

Satisfied with the signage outside that informed us we could enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet for £6.95, we headed in.

Guided to a table tucked away in a cosy corner up in the roof, we were given a drinks menu filled with a great selection of smoothies, juices and hot beverages and told we could help ourselves to as much food as we wanted downstairs – ideal.

Having ordered our drinks (I opted for a carrot & orange juice – yummy and good for you, a no brainer) we could then head down and pile our plates high with a selection of beef stew, chicken wings, mashed potato, sauteed potatoes, sweet potatoes and an array of ‘super food’ salads- what a dream – on a cold wintery day, this is just what the doctor ordered.

Let’s browse the Lanes…

After this leisurely (and extremely filling) lunch, we were ready to head out and check out some of Brighton’s quirky shopping centre.

The Lanes may be narrow and crowded but there is always a nice buzz and a vast selection of shops to browse from the sublime (jewellers upon jewellers) to the ridiculous (a doggy dressing up shop).
There is a little something for everyone — a chocolate lovers dream to stumble upon Choccywoccydoodah and a bakers heaven to come across Angel Food Bakery…but that’s just me, in case you couldn’t tell I love food!

Let’s get sophisticated…

As we emerged from the crowds into the open space of Brighton Place we were drawn into Artique Galleries as it appeared to be a hive of activity.

As it turned out, there was a special exhibition of work by Sherree Valentine, with Ms Valentine herself in attendance.

We were greeted with sparkling wine and encouraged to stay and enjoy the art.

So we did.

It was very much my cup of tea, gorgeous oil paintings full of texture – not unlike Jack Vettriano in style, but softer and more feminine.

We were told that the gallery had been waiting for this exhibition for a couple of years now, with Sherree Valentine being an up and coming impressionistic artist, and the pieces were selling fast.

I gave myself a pat on the back, imagining that I had set up this event especially for my guests.

In reality Brighton had pulled it out of the bag for me and given us this extra special treat for our day out, but no-one needs to know that, right?

We have to check out the Pier…

Always good for a spot of sea air, we headed to Brighton’s famous pier.

As we walked along – stopping off for an obligatory photo where you stick you face in the hole so it looks like you are a fat lady in a bikini – we were serenaded by the Happy Birthday song blasting out of the speakers for about 10 minutes (I am assuming someone was having a birthday party in the arcade!!?) before being given yet more free entertainment when we saw a small murmuration of starlings.

My guests happen to be bird lovers, so once again I passed this off as a special treat just for them – cheers, Brighton.

Shot of tea anyone?

The day was drawing to a close now, getting dark as it does at about 4.30pm, so we headed back into town to grab a shot of tea.

I love Whittards because I love tea and I love hot chocolate.

Every time you visit this fine establishment they are offering samples of different flavoured teas and I always enjoy trying them all.

Plus they also have samples of their utterly delectable Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate! If you have not done so already, get down there and try some.

And now goodbye…

…it was time for my guests to head home after a thrifty day full of unconventional ways of wining and dining.

A good time was had by all.

Brighton, I thank you!
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Spreading MODness in Brighton

We have recently joined the MOD revolution and are getting behind our new favourite pizza joint on their quest to spread MODness (definition: (v) The ripple effect of simply doing the right thing).

Over the next week, MOD Pizza will be donating £1 of every pizza purchased across all its UK and US restaurants to a local charity partner.

In Brighton, the ‘MOD Squad’ are teaming up with Rocking horse, a charity dedicated to making life better for sick children in Sussex.

MOD is passionate about giving back to the communities that have welcomed its super fresh, super tasty, super fast pizzas into their ever expanding bellies – and this is just one of the reasons we’re behind MOD.

Now, Brighton all you need to do is shimmy on down to the Marina, maybe get your golf on alongside some glowing dinosaurs, get yourself nice and hungry and then chow down in the smug knowledge that you’re doing something right.

Do the right thing, guys. And share your pizza pics with us over on Twitter while you’re at it using the hashtag #SpreadingMODness!

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MOD Pizza, the place to quash all FOMO

We’re getting a little bit experimental up in here, yo. Nick and I are going to attempt to write a blog together. With both our thoughts and feelings expressed as one beautiful, seamless, not at all mental narrative. You lucky geese! So here goes, here’s what we think about MOD Pizza…

There are a plethora of pizza places in Brighton, from old school Italian restaurants using secret sauces, to the quick and easy take outs that ease your hungry hangover pangs! But is there something special on the market, something that stands out, something new to excite and delight pizza fanatics?

Well BOAB readers, the answer is yes! If it was no we’d all be wasting our time. Anyhoo… enter the new kid on the block, MOD Pizza.

MOD is fairly new to the UK having come over from the US a few months ago and setting up the first UK store in Leeds. The super-fast pizza franchise first opened its doors in downtown Seattle in 2008 and is founded by Scott and Ally Svenson. They were inspired by their love of authentic Italian street pizza and, obviously, the UK Mod movement of the 60s and 70s that Brighton is renowned for. 

Fun fact – MOD stands for ‘modification’ ya ya. And it applies most dandily to this concept because you are able to modify all of their off-the-menu pizzas with whatever extras you want, FOR FREE. Honestly, at this point, I have to tell you how happy this makes me. Nick isn’t OTT into pizza (what a ninny), but as a lover of pizza and all the food-type things, the fact that I don’t have to choose between olives and sweetcorn is just the greatest thing. 

MOD really is the pizza place to quash all fear of missing out!

Admittedly I was a little nervous of MOD to start with. Super-fast anything in the food industry is, in my snobby mind, associated with greasy miscellaneous meat, slappy beige carbs and no care given to the art of cooking.

However MOD is most certainly NONE of those things.

Upon entering you are met with a sort of Subway style counter, but instead of dodgy looking salady bits (Nick, you love Subway!), there’s a superb selection of fresh toppings, herbs, sauces and drizzles to tailor your pizza.

Either use one of the 10 starting pizzas to get you going or begin completely from scratch, it doesn’t matter at MOD because: a) it’s the same price, no matter how much you edit your pizza and b) it’s all bloody delicious.

And c) you can add things to your base that you never knew you needed on a pizza. Now I’ve had a traditional tomato sauce meets garlic paste meets basil base combo, I’m unsure how I’ll ever eat a ‘boring’ pizza again. 

In a matter of minutes you have ordered a pizza exactly how you want it at no extra cost, which you can then takeaway or enjoy in house.

We had a whole bottle of prosecco while we tucked into our’s. It’s not exactly the environment that lends itself to prosecco mind you. 

The décor is bright, contemporary and very American (in a good way.) It had a sort of modern family-owned diner feel that fits perfectly with the restaurants USP.

I’m actually not a huge pizza fan truth be told but I’d eat there every day if I could. I went for an untraditional white sauce and artichoke focussed pizza, while The Ninny enjoyed a more bit of the traditional red sauce and bit of everything approach. Obviously I preferred mine and vice versa but both were spot on!

I actually don’t think Nick’s was spot on. Who has cream on a pizza?! But that wasn’t MOD’s fault. That was a real case of poor taste. 

Plus if the affordable price, quick turnaround and excellently cooked pizza wasn’t enough, the manager, Mark, is an absolute delight who takes the art of pizza-making seriously and employs polite, attentive staff to create a really charming atmosphere.

They also do insanely delicious cinnamon dough sticks, have affordable alcohol and a student discount!

If you’re feeling rather full after your pizza, get some cinnamon sticks to take away. They’re wonderful hot and cold and their dipping sauces are to die for!

Overall we were hugely impressed and suggest getting your fineself down to the Marina right now.

YES! Plus for those that get freaky about gluten (like me, when the mood takes me), they have a great gluten free base! HOORAH! 

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No Man’s Land- A Review

I love writing for this little blog of ours. It has opened some fabulous doors and forced us to really find some cheaper ways to have fun in Brighton.

This review, however has been my highlight so far and, as a lover of theatre, this was my Elysium. Sophie and I had the pleasure, nay the honour, of attending the Theatre Royal, Brighton to see Harold Pinter’s iconic No Man’s Land.

“But Nick you handsome devil,I hear you cry. “Any GCSE or A-Level student sees and reads Pinter all the time.” Well the twist and real excitement for this production, directed by Tony Award winning Sean Mathias, starred two heavyweights of the British stage:

Sir Ian Mckellen (Gods and Monsters, the X-Men franchise and more recently Mr Holmes.)

Sir Patrick Stewart (Dune, The Star Trek franchise and more recently Green Room)

We attended on opening night and I have literally nothing bad to say about the play. The only disappointment was that it was so damn hot in the theatre, but with Mckellen and Stewart donning the stage, you’re immediately whisked away to another (albeit sweaty) world.

For those who haven’t seen or read the play, it follows a chance meeting between two old writers Hirst (Stewart) and Spooner (Mckellen). When Hirst brings Spooner back to his stately home from a famous Hampstead pub the pair get more and more drunk offering up more and more absurd stories.

The seemingly harmless, occasionally rude and highly humorous interaction between Hirst and Spooner then takes a dark turn. As Pinter’s classic love of power plays are thrown into the mix we see all is not what it seems. Enter then two sinister characters with their own agenda played by Damien Molony (Being Human) and Owen Teale (Game of Thrones).

It is a play fraught with absurdist tales, dark comedy and literary references; most notably The Ninny’s favourite poem by T.S. Eliot, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock.

The acting was pristine from all the cast, with Molony and Teale holding their own very well against the sublime leads. All involved delved deep into the complex psyche of these confusing characters delivering great monologues with flair, projection and energy that would’ve made Pinter proud.

It was almost too good, if you can have such a thing, and brought up some heavy hitting themes amongst the humour: life vs death, age vs youth, uncertain reality and real uncertainty.

The synergy of the entire production was clear- from Mathia’s direction, to the set, to the actors, all the way up to a highly appreciative audience. You could damn near feel the place quake as Stewart delivered the iconic line: “There are places in my heart…where no living soul…has…or can ever…trespass.”

Unfortunately the plays run in Brighton has come to an end, and I have it on good authority the tickets sold out almost immediately. But you can still grab your ticket to see it at London Wyndham’s Theatre.

Put simply…find any way you can to see this performance, you will not regret it.

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Staying in the spooky spirit to support young people with learning disabilities

A week has passed since Hallow’s eve, and what a bloody frightful year it has been. What with Trump, Brexit and the ‘killer clown’ phase, it’s a relief 2016 is almost at an end.

However amongst the thrills and kills Halloween brought amongst, there has been something fun, lively and inspiring to come out of this October’s festivities in Brighton.

Oban Digital, a Brighton-based international media and marketing agency, chose to support St. John’s School and College, a special educational needs organisation and charity, by holding a Halloween Spooktacular.

On 28th October 2016 Oban staff and Directors dressed as zombies (for International Zombie Day, obvs) and re-enacted Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance in the graveyard of St. Nicholas’ Church on Dyke Road.

The dance was on Halloween to raise awareness and funds to support the purchase of learning disability equipment for the 100+ pupils of St. John’s.

Oban staff had been tirelessly holding dance rehearsals before and after their working hours to prepare for the main event. The video will feature the whole dance and a variety of costumes paying homage to international dress and culture whilst being a lot of fun too.

Nicholas Cross (yes it’s me shamelessly plugging the charity I work for), St. John’s Development Officer said, “We have never had support of this kind before. The effort, creativity and generosity from Oban and their clients has been staggering.

“They are hoping to raise £500 but are already well on the way to making a lot more. The video will be very impressive and I hope lots of the public see it, share it and most importantly donate.”

James Smith, Head of Operations at Oban, said, “It’s a pleasure to support such a worthwhile learning disability charity and I hope we raise lots of money and awareness for their cause. They are a small but life-changing organisation and when the video goes live on Halloween we hope to cause a stir.”

So BOAB fans, give a little love to St. John’s and Oban, as they get freaky in a cemetery.

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The Hanover- The Place for Beer and Pizza

Being part scallywag and lover of a good pub, I recently had the pleasure of having a meal in The Hanover. I hadn’t stepped foot in this hidden gem for quite some time and I was really rather impressed by the now Indigo owned pub.

The Hanover was the chosen location for an impromptu evening of beer and pizza with some delightful work buddies- it was close to all our homes to get back easily but far enough to count as an evening out. The 4 of us all had a pizza and depending on travel arrangements enjoyed soft drinks or a few pints.

Well first off… the pizza. I went in with low expectations, this is no reflection of the Hanover, which had a quirky beer mat themed décor, a lovely open kitchen area, lots of rich dark wood and plenty of inside and outside space. It’s no spit and sawdust place by any means with families coming in throughout the evening and the occasional red faced local. I just go into everything with low expectations and it’s all the more exciting when they’re exceeded.

Anyhoo, what I delivered to the table was a delectably crispy base, fresh ingredients and beautifully stone-baked treat. I went for the Four Seasons but they have 13 pizzas to choose from that, all bar one, could be turned  into a calzone and extra toppings could be added for a £1.

The food came quickly, it was piping hot and exactly what the mid-week doctor ordered.

The beers and ales varied from your standard Grolsch to the more exciting Wild Beer Co. Bibble. There was a fine array of spirits and a pretty good wine list, however this evening was beer and pizza night and The Hanover delivered.

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They have cheery, efficient and helpful staff who clearly have great taste in music as Motown and 80s classics serenaded us for the evening.

Overall it is a well-run, inviting boozer that is great before a big night out, for a bite to eat or to bring the family! Can’t wait to go back.

Check out their website: http://www.hanoverbrighton.co.uk/ for information on drink deals, special offers, a cracking pub menu and their cash prize quiz every Thursday.

Lovingly written by Sir Cross