I had a good time in Brighton last week, although on my second day there, I slipped in the rain and badly twisted my ankle. However, I spoke to a pharmacist, who suggested I use a diclofenac gel on it; and although it remained swollen and tender, it didn’t stop me getting around.

So the Brighton part of the trip was meeting up with some friends, and 4 days of shopping, eating and cinema. I have already mentioned Apollo 18, which was a disaster. However, I thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes was fun, and I really liked Fright Night (in 3D), featuring David Tennant and Colin Farrell.

Spent a small fortune on clothes in High & Mighty, and bought a couple of games – “Pandemic: On the Brink”, which is an expansion for Pandemic, and “Small World: Underground” which is a variant on “Small World”, that can either be played on its own or combined with the original. I like “Small World”, but at least one member of my gaming group has it, so I liked the idea of getting a slightly different version.

I’ll mention a few food places of note: Visiting BBQ Shack at the World’s End pub was one of the aims of this short trip. The food at this pub is cooked by John Hargate, one of the BBQ professionals who frequent the BBQ forum I use. Although the pub looks like a normal high street pub, the food is anything but, and has recently received a brilliant review from Jay Raynor, of the Observer. If you want to taste authentic American BBQ in the UK, this is one of the places to go. I had a chopped rib sandwich and an armadillo egg, washed down with a glass of American Pale Ale. I also got a chance to chat to John in person, which was really interesting.

The Coach House in Middle Street was a real find. The day I hurt my ankle, I didn’t want to walk far (obviously), so was trying to find somewhere local for dinner. As it turned out, I would have gone out of my way for this meal. A really nice bar and restaurant, the food was wonderful. I had glazed goats cheese toast with a baby spinach, apple and walnut salad to start, followed by poached smoked haddock with baby spinach, polenta and a parmesan cream. A lavendar scented creme brulee finished the meal.

Finally, Food for Friends was always a favourite place of mine, when I lived in Brighton – a vegetarian restaurant that served great food. However, I discovered that their evening menu has gone up a level, and can really be considered fine dining, albeit at a very good price. Both the food itself and the presentation couldn’t be faulted. I had a sweet potato soup, lightly spiced with chilli, followed by portabello mushrooms, stuffed with parmasan and pine nuts, with fresh vegetable.

After my 4 days in Brighton I moved onto the University of Sussex campus, for the 50th Anniversary weekend. Will post more about that later.

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