This weekend marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and so in true Sussex style they stage a torchlit procession through Hastings.

It isn’t that easy to get there from London, but it is a very pretty journey. After a bit of a march from the station, down the seafront and on to the old town we stationed ourselves at the Jenny Lind pub. She was an opera singer, named the “Swedish Nightingale”, apparently she was one of the best known entertainers in 19th century Europe… Anyway it was a very nice pub and incredibly busy on Saturday night.

So we settled in with our pints of Sussex ale, I drank Long Blonde from the Long Man Brewery, lemon, fruity and refreshing, as they state on the website. Then the procession began which was loud with drummers and flaming torches. A real spectacle. It wasn’t as anarchic as the Battle bonfire procession where they set off bangers in the street. A great thing to see.

 

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Here is a Norman, quite a lot of them about…

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So after the procession we went down to the seafront to watch the amazing fireworks, but not before we got some chips. Not a very healthy night out…but lots of fun.

If you want to go to a bonfire procession there is one taking place in Battle on 5th November and also in Lewes.

 

I was down in Bournemouth for a family gathering and was struck again by what a beautiful place it is.

We had lunch at West Beach which according to The Times is one of the best places to eat by the seaside. I am going to try and work my way through a few other places on the list.

I was really impressed by the location and the stunning sea views. I imagine when it is the height of summer it would be really beautiful eating on the sun soaked decked terrace. It was still pretty special on a sunny October day.

So here are a couple of the fish dishes we ate, which were both specials.

The service was great and we were in there for hours. But the best bit was being out on the beach afterwards. Right next to the Bournemouth pier. It was a great afternoon.

So if you find yourself down in Bournemouth, check it out.

Today was a good day, we started off at the Tate Modern to see the new Georgia O’Keefe exhibition, a stroll over the Millenium bridge and hop and skip later we found ourselves in Arnold Circus in East London. This was a a long planned Friday afternoon off work with my favourite dining companion, Ali. I’ve wanted to go to Rochelle canteen for a long time.

We were greeted warmly and started with bread and delicious olives. The restaurant doesn’t have a licence and so make sure to bring your own wine.

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I started with salt cod brandade with a soft boiled egg and Ali had sprouting broccoli. Really rather delicious.The picture doesn’t really do it justice. It was creamy and moreish, I could eat it all over again right now.

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We both chose the lemon sole with capers, parsley and brown butter with some me kale. It was delicious and here it is…

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The staff were great and although it is a not a lot of space there were lots of groups from work, people celebrating and even some solo diners.

It would be a great place for a party. The gardens are still looking great in October, but I would love to come back in spring and summer to see what it is like.

I was lucky to read a lot this summer. I love reading, I grew up surrounded by books and my Dad used to have a bookshop.

One of my favourites was the Outrun by Amy Liptrot. A really inspiring book, a powerful story of her journey from wild and sometimes challenging times in London to building a new life and gaining some peace in Orkney. It is unflinching and I highly recommend it.

Another book that I adored was The Lauras, by Sara Taylor, a roadtrip story with a twist. Great characterisation and one of the most horrific hitchhiking stories I have read in a while.

I have just finished My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, recommended by so many people. It was for ages recommended by loads of people. Really refreshing to read the honest chronicling of the inner conflicts of an intelligent woman. One of the most honest representations of female friendships I have ever read.

Now reading Helen Dunmore’s Exposure and that is my wild plan for this Friday night

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This is something I have thought about starting for a long time, tomorrow I am going to About Time Magazine learn how to blog brunch  which I am really looking forward to.

Last night I was really lucky to go to a talk by the extraordinary blogger The Londoner to learn how she does it. A really fun event by the jewellery brand, Pandora. Thank you for the great goody bag!

So I hope you enjoy reading this as much I do writing it!