Tag Archives: local


I’ve never had a ‘local’.  Neither have my parents.  Or my Uncles and Aunts.  None of us have really lived in the same place long enough to become locals ourselves.  Maybe that’s part of the reason.  The most frequented location upon first reaching the ‘legal age’, (or perhaps a little before…ssshh… don’t tell anyone) was The Bridge in Oxford.  Not the pub where Tolkein and Lewis discussed matters of the mind and soul, not an alternative indie venue, not a cosy country tavern – and none of these are in short supply – but an overpriced, overcrowded nightclub full of young girls in heels and purvey older men.  And RnB.  We shook our things and dodged groping hands.  And went back for more, again and again.

Next stop: University of Sussex, Brighton.  Being skint students without a particular interest in beer and a strong female majority, our ‘local’ was the kitchen floor of our grimy East Slope (affectionately known as ‘The Ghetto’) flat on Sussex campus, where we stayed up late with toast and tea.  Then it was the living room of our house in Clyde Road.  In our final year, it was the appropriately named ‘Meeting House’ on campus, where you could make a cup of something hot for 20p and the chairs were comfy enough to nap on.  None of these places were pretty or nicely decorated.  They smelled a bit funny.  But it didn’t matter.  It was the company that counted.

And it’s the same things I’ve discovered at the local establishment for which I’ve just started working.  I’ve got to admit, I was quite apprehensive to begin with.  As I’ve already said, I’ve never had a local.  I don’t know the etiquette.  Also, I don’t watch sport (nope, not cricket, golf OR football!) and the ratio of men to women is about 50:1(ish).  And I am a girl – woman I should say – who apparently looks like she is still at school, is highly gullible and not particularly tough-skinned/quick witted when it comes to being teased.  Eek.

But I ‘gotta’ say, I have been pleasantly surprised.  More than that, I really enjoy going to work there.  It may not be the prettiest pub in the world, but as I said earlier, it’s the company that counts.  The friendships and their histories are what make this place special.  I’m really enjoying the opportunity to get to know people who’s paths I’d never normally cross.  Conversations at the bar are definitely the best part of my shifts.  It’s great to see yet another dimension to this city I’ve lived in for seven years.

We all need a home.  Somewhere to kick off our shoes, loosen our tie, let out our breath, and tell someone how our day really was.  A refuge from banal small talk, where our job title and paycheck don’t matter so much.  Most of us have a desire to be known, recognised.  For somebody to know our name, our special chair, our favoured drink.  For some people, it’s the place where they lay their head down to sleep at night.  The premises to which their post is delivered.  Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, garden.  But perhaps some of us need more than one place.  Somewhere removed from washing up, bills, and (dare I say it), the nagging/whining/grumbling of loved ones.  Perhaps we want a place where we are known, but not quite warts and all.  A place to be real but where pretence is allowed.  Perhaps that’s why, at the end of a long day, the pub is the first port of call.

So Hooray for this ‘local’.  Hooray for all it’s teaching me about community and about home (and crosswords).  And Hooray for the patience of the ‘locals’ as I slowly learn to pour that perfect pint.

Katrina Quinn

Sussex Food

Jason Hurwitz
Thorne’s Foods opened on Upper Gardner Street in Brighton’s North Laine earlier this year, offering a revolutionary local, fresh food concept, bringing together a Sussex farmers’ market, café and restaurant spread over three floors. The ground floor of the superbly restored and characterful antiques auction warehouse is a bustling, atmospheric food store come farmers’ market, offering customers a choice of carefully-sourced local deli products, a full butchery, fish, groceries, bread, cakes, flowers and wine, with late opening hours for busy workers, seven days a week.
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Writing Competitions

Community of WritersWe are two Brighton-based writers, who have just set up our own website. It is called the Brighton COW. (The COW part stands for ‘Community of Writers’.) We are aiming to promote new writers and writing through a range of competitions. We will run several short story and flash fiction competitions throughout the year, some with an open-theme, some with specific ones. We are planning some fun free-to-enter contests too.

Our first writing competition has an open theme with a 3,000 word limit. There are three prizes to the top three winning writers of £100, £50 and £25. There will also be the opportunity for the stories to be published on our website as well as being recorded for Brighton’s Coastway Hospital Radio, which provides music and entertainment to a network of Brighton hospitals. The competition is just £4 (four pounds) to enter, via PayPal or cheque, and the competition is open to writers worldwide. Stories can be submitted online along with payment or by post with a cheque. The deadline is 1 November 2010.
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Welcome to Fogg’s

Phileas FoggGrace Fogg has lived and worked in Brighton for 10 years in the restaurant and pub trade and always wondered where to go for a drink. Since living in the West Hill area for the last 5 years, she’s missed having a truly ‘local pub’. With a name like Fogg her adventurous spirit was stirred, and as she promised herself that she would be self-employed by the time she was 30, she’s just about scraped to that finishing line by opening her very own pub at the Seven Dials, called Fogg’s.

We’re sure she’s going to make a great success of it – there’s been many an establishment on the corner of Dyke Road and Bath Street over the years, but Grace tells The Whistler that she’s here to stay. She’ll be opening a kitchen towards the end of the year but in the meantime she’s serving pizza snacks with the beer and cocktails. There’s a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights and a reggae band on Sunday afternoons. She’s independent by nature and independent in her business, but she’s offering a warm welcome to visitors and residents of the Seven Dials and West Hill. We wish her all good luck in her adventure.

Grocer and Grain – a year of growth

Well folks, it really is nearly a year since we opened the doors of the store, ventured into the world of food and its delights, climbed a steep learning curve and took you with us on this amazing journey.

We just wanted to thank all of you in the neighbourhood who have supported and encouraged us so far. For your ideas, feedback and company! Our little shop seems to be as much a social get-together as it is a place to pick up a fresh loaf and some veg. We’ve learnt that people really do come together over food and we feel part of your lives as you share your family stories, events and updates when you visit us.

What has also been so enjoyable has been working with, and supporting, local Sussex producers. Building relationships with people who are passionate about their – eggs, cheese, chutney – is so exciting and gives meaning and character to a product that we can pass on to our customers. Supporting local producers certainly puts more soul into our daily work. What’s interesting is that more people are approaching us now with new products – so hopefully our store is seen as a good showcase.

Grocer & Grain
Grocer & Grain

I’m also really enjoying cooking and baking for the store and am so appreciative of your compliments – my cakes seem to be rather popular! Working with the seasons has allowed the store to evolve in appearance and with products – it is constantly adapting and we think that’s a good thing. We are always thinking of new ideas and how we can move forward: recently we introduced organic bulk cereals and grains – saving on packaging and cost to our customers. We are also expanding our chilled deli product range as we edge towards sunnier days – good beach picnic grub! In essence, we are still learning and still growing. We hope you will want to come with us as we continue this journey through the next year.

Lizzie & Hakan Toklu