Qype: The Daily Catch in Brighton

BrightonEating & DrinkingFastfood & TakeawayFish & ChipsEating & DrinkingFastfood & Takeaway

The Daily Catch was my local chippy for almost a year, so I became rather emotionally attached to it. There’s not much in this world I enjoy more than a hot bag of chips with a jumbo sausage on a Friday night when I just cannot be bothered to cook dinner. The chips from here are absolutely awesome – golden brown and they don’t go all soggy when you slather them with copious amounts of vinegar. Lush.

The only downside is that it closes WAY too early (at around 11pm) and there’s nowhere else on St. James Street you can get a decent portion of chips at an ungodly hour. I’m not talking about fries, which are ten-a-penny given the number of rubbish kebabbys around that area – I’m talking about chunky, solid, potato-hewn CHIPS. They lose a star for that.

Check out my review of The Daily Catch – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

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Qype: Buddies Brighton in Brighton

BrightonEating & DrinkingRestaurantsSeafood

Ever-popular with the student masses and weekend club-goers, Buddies is a 24-hour seafront diner. Conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the clubs in the King’s Road Arches, this is the only place I know where you can get a full fry up at 3am. In my student days, we frequently stumbled out of The Honeyclub or Coalition (née The Beach) at around 4am and decided rather than sleeping and THEN having breakfast, it was far more time-effective to do it the other way around.

There are, however, a few problems with Buddies. The first is that it’s absolutely packed with rowdy drunk people. Not all the time, but after about 2am. And I wouldn’t want to go here at any other time. Secondly, it’s way too expensive for what it is – I think they count on people being too hammered to think rationally about spending £7-8 on a fry up (but hey, their rationale works). Thirdly, last time I went there I stormed out before our order even arrived because I was so appalled by the way one of their male staff members spoke to me. True, it was about 4am and insanely busy but I was hungry, tired and definitely NOT in the mood to be offended. I haven’t wanted to go back since.

All in all, this place offers bad pricing and (from my last experience) bad service. The only reason to go here is that nothing else is open, so I guess they feel like they don’t need to rely on anything else. My advice would be to check out their Fish ‘n’ Chip takeaway, Buddies Plaice, next door for much better value for money.

Check out my review of Buddies Brighton – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Fiveways Fruits in Brighton

Brighton

Fiveways Fruits is a fantastic, independent local greengrocer’s just two minutes from my front door. The fresh fruit and veg it stocks always looks bigger, better and fresher than the stuff you’ll find in your average supermarket. It’s also tastier and MUCH better quality.

What I find really special about this place though is that not only does it stock a delicious range of local preserves and organic dried fruit and nuts (the same brand sold in Infinity Foods), but they also stock gluten-free pastas (Dove’s Farm – the best) and things like vegan-friendly ‘cheese’. Not what you’d expect from your traditional little local grocery shop, is it?

It just goes to show that despite its traditional appearance, this great little place is really keeping up with the times and staying in tune with what the people of Brighton want and need. Well, what I want and need anyway…

I’m guilty of not shopping in here as much as I should, seeing as getting everything in one go at Sainsbury’s is incredibly convenient. But I’m going to start really making the effort to shop local and keeping places like this in business.

Check out my review of Fiveways Fruits – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Seafront Image in Brighton

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Seafront Image is another brilliant little photography/art gallery in the ‘Artists Quarter’ on Brighton seafront. This adorable little wooden shack (situated actually ON the beach) sells the most gorgeous Brighton-related images: from the iconic burnt-out West Pier silhouetted against a setting sun to enormous flocks of seagulls cruising along the coastline.

For just £35, their 6×4 triptychs make excellent Brighton-themed presents. My mum is rather partial to images of solitary deckchairs blowing in the breeze as well as rows of multicoloured beach huts so if I’m ever short of present ideas then I know where to go. If you do fall in love with their pictures, but feel a little strapped for cash then don’t worry – like all great seaside mini-galleries their prints are available as greetings cards.

Check out my review of Seafront Image – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: Linda Boucher in Brighton

Brighton

I absolutely ADORE this little gallery along Brighton seafront – it brings out my inner girly girl like no other place in the city. Linda Boucher’s paintings are stunningly simple and all very, very pink. Specialising in ‘still life’ paintings depicting beautiful shoes, handbags and elegant items upon dressing tables, there is a wonderful feel to her work that suggests a vibrancy and life in these colourful, inanimate objects.

Boucher does what every great artist should be able to do – she takes the everyday and makes it new and wonderful. Her portraits are stunning too – faces of women made up in classic 1920s-style.

If you fancy getting your hands on one of these original artworks, it’ll set you back between £45 and (ouch) £325. My favourites are her shoe paintings which are all around the £120 mark. If I had my own place (and was decidedly richer) I’d love to cover my bedroom/dressing room in her designs. I’m just not sure it would go down TOO well with my boyfriend…

Check out my review of Linda Boucher – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: The Tin Drum in Brighton

BrightonEating & DrinkingRestaurantsInternational

I used to come here a lot when I worked around Seven Dials way and never walked away anything but satisfied. This family-run business, established in 1998, now has three pubs throughout Brighton and Hove. In my opinion, this one is the original and best. Well, better than the Kemp Town one – I have yet to sample the delights of the latest Hove edition.

My favourite dish of theirs, and the one I used to have the most, was their grilled sirloin steak with hand-cut chips (the THICKEST ones you’ve ever seen), grilled vine tomatoes and peppercorn sauce. Although a bit pricey at £15, it’s immensely tasty (even though I usually feel like I’d like a few more chips please…)

All the food that The Tin Drum serves is incredibly flavoursome – the owners now have their own smallholding in Upper Dicker (just outside Hailsham) where they grow a lot of their produce and most of their meat is locally sourced as well. You can’t beat that kind of quality.

The atmosphere of the place is great: very relaxed and laid-back. It does fill up very quickly though on account of its fantastic reputation, so get in early if you want to sit down for a meal! The Tin Drum is a pretty unique place in that you’d feel equally at home with a coffee and a book as you would with an enormous steak and a bottle of red wine. It’s classy without being pretentious, chilled-out without being lifeless. If I lived closer to the Dials I’m sure I would spend a lot of time in here. A great place to go, no matter what mood you find yourself in.

Check out my review of The Tin Drum – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Recipe of the Week: BBC GoodFood’s No-Fuss Shepherd’s Pie

My gorgeous, golden-brown masterpiece

Everyone loves a great Shepherd’s Pie. It has GOT to be one of the most comforting, hearty, English dishes around. After experimenting with various twists on Shepherd’s pie such as topping it with cheesy mustard mash, using half potato/half sweet potato mash, adding baked beans, making it with veggie mince or adding mint to bring out the flavour of the lamb, I decided to find a recipe that took the humble Shepherd’s Pie right back to it’s roots. Ta-da! Here it is.

The BBC GoodFood website is often a saviour of mine when I have absolutely no clue what to make for dinner. So I tapped in Shepherd’s Pie and after wading through a number of recipes with various  ‘twists’, I settled on this No-fuss shepherd’s pie. Without a baked bean, handful of grated cheese or spoonful of mustard in sight, this recipe is remarkably simple and totally delicious. Crucially, it contains the most magical of ingredients that no pie, ratatouille, bolognese or chilli con carne can be without: a massive glug of Worcestershire sauce.

Just add some peas and Bisto Best... Nom nom nom

When cooked, it just remains to add some Bisto Best Lamb Gravy (which is gluten-free), some peas on the side and a big glass of red wine to accompany it to make this one of my favourite home-cooked meals. Lovely.