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Lost in Beijing

Beijing

Roof of Temple, Beijing

OK, I admit it – I wasn’t prepared enough for Beijing, China. I’ve been to lots of places where I don’t speak or read the language – great travel adventures. One such event was where I drove or tried to read in Czeck where all the signs use diacritic lettering. I remember it was really hard at the time. Even then, I managed to start to see the patterns and find my way.

My 1st Day here – not going well!

 

China – nope – no hope and no one speaks anything remotely Latin/European in origin. I’ve no idea what they are saying – all I’ve got is body language.

Plus, there’s so much here that doesn’t look or feel 3rd worldish. Firstly the prices – a lot costs as it would in the UK or more! What’s the point for us, so called, 1st worlders who want to find a bargain? Why come here to buy anything? So I’m not sure I’ll bring a single souvenir home. I can buy a lot of them back in the UK – cheaper.

Pollution – never a big fan of it. I was really looking forward to seeing all the bikes, but where there were bikes there now seems to be cars. One note: both bikes and cars are pretty modern – better than what I see people driving in, so called, 1st world places.

I wish the Chinese were better than us Westerners in this, but it runs akin to the argument we are all the same, but in this case – not in a good way.

My husband tells me in 10 years time or less the city will be cleaned up – I hope so. It deserves it, just for it’s historical significance and for the millions of lives who will live a shorter life due to the poor air quality.

I read in a magazine that Beijing sits at 58 as the worst polluted city in the world – what are we doing to ourselves? Or better question – how do we stop doing this and still enjoy life?

1st Day on my Own

My 1st day on my own was great. Hubby had suggested something close and easy to find, but as the day went on. I soon became quite grumpy. There was little to no clarity how to find places without a tour, a guide or fluent mandarin. I wasn’t keen on any of these, as I like to be able to walk in a city or, at least parts, and just get around.

Beijing is a safe city. I never felt threatened or that I might get mugged at any minute. So, that is great! That made me want to find some way around even more! There are cities out that this isn’t the case – Miami, Florida being 1, but that’s another story!

I thought I was sunk, so I shared my woes with hubby, who just called me a chicken. Needless to say that wasn’t what I was hoping for or needing.

It did get me thinking, plus he said the main sites weren’t as difficult to find as where I had been this day. There are big brown signs that do point you in the general direction. I determined that I would try and push past my fear of dis-orientation and fear of not reaching my destination. I’m willing to try and accept I may fail the 1st time, but try again.

Where I went on Day 1

What have I seen so far? The Drum and Bell Towers – go early – 9:30am to watch the drums being played and buy the combo ticket as you get good views from the bell tower.

Debbie in front of the Drum Tower

This is in the Hutongs – great place to eat, find cafes and observe Chinese city life, esp. around the Lakes. In the evening lovely to stroll around the lakes.

I’ve been to the Beihau Park – very nice walk and mainly Chinese go their to just enjoy life locally.

You can hire boats to go on the lakes. The hotel where we stayed is in a great area to be based from, as it’s so nice to just walk around and there are lots of shops to pop into and enjoy.

My experiences of Beijing just got better from here, but I wanted to write this anyway to encourage others who may be like me and newbies to Beijing. There is a way through, it just isn’t like many other places I’ve been. If you are in Beijing for a few days then use the metro it is brilliant and easy to use and navigate. Plus, my hubby has been to Beijing several times and still hadn’t got 1 of their cards to travel on, they are very easy to get, so ha! Hubby, I’m not such a chicken after all!

Given the traffic jams it also is a great way to save time and get around relatively quickly. Just avoid rush hour!

Share your stories and secrets of Beijing below! We’d love to hear them!

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Tian-Jin Temple – An Oasis in Burnaby

As per usual whenever I go someplace I try to find something off the beaten track. Especially when I know the place I’m in well.  As I come from Vancouver, I did some searching while I was staying in Burnaby (1 of the suburbs of the city). I found a nice little treasure in the Tian-Jin Temple.

It was a cool and slightly drizzly afternoon, but definitely worth the chance to learn something new about the area.

In 2012, it became a Taoist Temple that took over a church space and turned it into a beautiful place open to all and very tranquil. There is even a lovely garden which they have built around the structure. It is the only Kuan Kung temple in Canada.

Mural on Main Alter

The main altar mural is set in the old alcove of the church. It was painted in 2 weeks and it shows the sun, moon and stars with the Polaris star right in the heart of it. There is a lot of symbolism in the temple, it doesn’t seem like there is a space which doesn’t represent something or someone or sometime in their calendar year. Best to pick up 1 of their brochures which explains everything or ask anyone who is there.

I managed to go on a special talk which was organised through the local Burnaby library, but you can visit anytime and even sit in on their services. Their doors are open to all. A key part of what the temple does is to support the local community with various charity, events and out reach to help those in need in and around them.

It really is a special place and they are so friendly and welcoming, it’s worth a visit to understand this form of Toaism and to see how wonderfully multi-cultural Vancouver is.

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A Visit to the Brighton Royal Pavilion

A Visit to the Brighton Royal Pavilion

If it is your first visit to Brighton then a visit to the Royal Pavilion is well worth the effort. It is in the centre of Brighton and one of Brighton’s iconic landmarks. The Palace is also the only one owned outside the Royal Family. Built in the 1800s as a vacation retreat for the then Prince Regent and later George IV. Once it was built it put Brighton on the map as before that it was just another seaside fishing village.

The History of the Royal Pavilion

Prior to the Royal Pavilion the Prince Regent had a small residence in Brighton. He decided to build something a little bit grander and so John Nash, was commissioned by George IV, to build the Royal Brighton Pavillion. It was completed in 1823 with its domes, minarets and towers.  The Pavilion is unique with its combination of Chinese, Turkish and Eastern influences.

The Brighton Pavillion or a mad kings dream

The Brighton Pavillion or a mad kings dream

George IV was a man who liked the good things in life: food, entertaining, horse riding and collecting art/furniture from France, China and India, so throughout the Pavilion, in different rooms, are a treasure trove of different collections. Photography is banned inside the Pavillion.

How much does it cost to visit?

The Brighton and Hove Council own the Royal Pavilion and set the entry prices. An adult ticket cost £12.30 and if you book online with the link above you can save 10%. Other prices are listed below:

Admission charges Royal Pavilion

Adult £12.30
Child (5-15) £6.90

Family tickets
2 adults with up to 2 children £31.50
1 adult with up to 2 children £19.20

Concessions (ID required)
Seniors (60 or over) £10.50
Students £10.50
Unemployed £10.50
Disabled £10.50 (accompanying carer Free)
Brighton & Hove Residents £6.15

You can also hire for £2 an audio guide or download it for free on your mobile.

What to see at the Pavilion?

One sad thing about visiting the Pavilion is your not allowed to take photos inside. In order for the shop to sell exorbitantly priced postcards, prints and the ubitiquous teatowels. I would allow an hour or so to visit the Pavilion depending on your interest in history.

Top Tip

If you can go early in the morning as it can get busy especially around the holidays.

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Vancouver – 1 Week, 4 Cities, Cribbage and Costco

I’ve landed back in my home town of Greater Vancouver.  It’s been a good 3 years since I’ve spent much time here, but I’m here for 6 months.

Why?

So, why I’m in Vancouver – because I hope to work towards working internationally. I’m taking advantage of having an agent in Vancouver and coming back to build that up better by being in situ.

As a result, I wanted to write about my 1st week, as it’s been just brilliant for all the small encounters.

Westjet – OK this part isn’t so brilliant…

Firstly, I arrive in Kelowna, well, Calgary, but then went straight onto Kelowna.  I wanted to try out the new connection between Westjet London and Vancouver, sadly, that part wasn’t so great.

I didn’t like having to pay for every little thing.  For me, I find I’m more tolerable about this on short halls than long halls. On long hauls, well, I am going to get hungry and thirsty.  I just don’t like the constant sorting of money or having a tab.  Pay up front. Which is what I chose to do, but even this could not be done until 48 hours before the flight.

In the last 48 hrs

I was not able to book my luggage until 24hrs before flight. Also, my seat and then at some point in this 24 hour period finding out I needed to have my own device to watch films on. Then, I had to set up an app to be able to use it on the flight. All this did not please me.

To be frank, the last thing I want to be doing is a bunch of last-minute flight details. I would rather sort this out when I book my ticket, not at the last-minute.

Delayed Flight

Then, I had a problem with my flight being delayed and catching my next flight to Kelowna.

We got there in the end, but my luggage was bumped to a later flight. The seat I had pre booked was reassigned, so I ended up on the last available seat on the flight I had booked. No one told me, they automatically had moved me to a later flight.  It was in the middle at the back of the plane – yuck! Plus, I had people waiting to pick me up at the other end and no way to contact them, as my phone is UK and the Wifi in Calgary, just didn’t work.

There was no communication about this change or that they would make this change at any point – not impressed!  As I did a marathon sprint around Calgary airport. To make that flight, which I can tell you, where we landed and where my next flight to Kelowna went from, were nowhere near each other. Just to add, I had to go through customs in between for just a bit more fun.

At least, I didn’t need to pick up my luggage at Calgary, as I would never have made my flight.  This is a new system they are just starting at the airport. This gets a full tick from me!

Quite a few bugs to work out in their new flights to London – don’t plan to book that way again. Too much fiddling and for what I feel was not much less money in the end.

OK, rant over about my flight, things are going well after that.

Kelowna

I had a great few days with my parents and niece.

Zamboni

Zamboni

I made it to a Saturday night Junior hockey game of the local champs!  Couldn’t get better Canadian entertainment than this – we won, too!  It was fun to see the old Zamboni going round again.

This doesn’t happen in the UK. I got to go to the gym with my niece for free!  I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to go along for free!  Aces, Canada!

As I was 1st in Kelowna, I was in the fruit valley and guess what I got to do?

It’s apple season!

My brother’s home, where I was staying has an apple tree which is not picked much.

I went out and picked, plus made some delicious home-made apple sauce – yummy!

My favourite apple here is the MacIntosh, which, sadly, I can’t get in the UK.

I was so pleased when I went out to my parents place and managed to pick some off a neighbours tree.  Sadly, I forget them in my parents motor home – dang!  Still, I’ve been happily munching away on them since buying some at the local supermarket – scrum!

My parents place is For Sale!

My parents place is For Sale!

1 little side, as I’m often saying to my friends in the UK, ‘Oh, my parents have bears walk through their garden.’  Well, when I was picking apples from my brother’s tree, seems I wasn’t the only 1.

Bear Skat or Poo

Bear Skat or Poo

Some fresh bear scat was there – pleased that my brother’s dog was with as my bear alarm!

Joys of living where the bears are.

Property For Sale
Mom and Dad's view

Mom and Dad’s view

Both my brother and parents live in places which would be seen as quite remote in the UK.

I love them for their naturalness.

My parents place (which is For Sale, if anyone is interested!) have a spectacular view of Okanagan Lake and you can see the lights of both Kelowna and Vernon.

My brother has to truck water in, as they aren’t on city water, only well. They need to bring it in to meet their demands.

Plus, he has a log fire stove which heats the house, so every year he has to chop logs to make sure they have enough for the winter.  I love log fires and campfires.

It’s not uncommon to find dirt roads, log cabins and eagles flying over head.

I just love it, but then, I don’t live it everyday.

I’m used to my creature comforts of tap water and heaters.

Vancouver

Now, of course, the cities aren’t like this.

Vancouver is back to my creature comforts, but there is a marked difference to my life in the UK.

Room with a view

Room with a view

For starters, I was walking in a park in New Westminster and people will smile back and say ‘Hello!’  This is not such a frequent occurence in big cities in the UK.

Also, its commen practise to yell, ‘Thanks’ to the bus driver every time you leave the back of the bus.  They, also, say ‘Hello’ and sometimes ask how you are!  I’d forgotten all these nice gestures.

Skytrain

In fact, at the Skytrain – like the Tube in London or the Metro in Paris, I had a staff member come up to me on a late Sunday afternoon. My confusion quite apparent.

Compass Card

Compass Card

She showed me how the new Compass card system works and went into great detail of how it worked – what my best options would be and how to sign up online to make sure I didn’t lose any money off my card should it get lost or stolen – Wow!  Love that customer service.

Inspiring Story

My 1st place I stayed was at an Air BnB in New Westminster – I got a beautiful room with a view over the Fraser River.

I had lovely chats with the Croatian immigrant, Suzanna, who I have to say is a real inspiration. She arrived in Canada with no money and is now managing to leave her job, in the care system, to run her various properties.  She is a real turn around sort of person and I love that about Vancouver and BC.

Mixing of Cultures

I love the mix of cultures which is always permeating the city. This is not always so welcome with others who have been born and raised in the city.

I love the diversity.

It’s 1 of the things I’ve always loved about Vancouver is it’s openness to allowing the freedom of cultures.

My Mother comes from Austria, so I’m quite proud of the fact of a mixed heritage background.

Plus, growing up in such a great place where bears can walk through your garden.

Army & Navy
All this from the Army & Navy for under £100!

All this from the Army & Navy for under £100!

Another find in New Westminster was the old Army & Navy store.

It brought back days when I would go shopping with my Mom for school outfits.  Recently, I was reminded that it’s the best place to go to buy jeans. As you are pretty much guaranteed to find jeans that fit and for a reasonable price.

I bought a great pair for $25 – Yes!  It was like walking down memory lane.

It was a good place to buy a cheap back pack as well. Looking elsewhere for a school style back pack, they were starting at $35. I have to say, in the UK, you can get the same thing a lot easier and cheaper. I managed to find 1 for $15 at the Army & Navy – bingo!

Back Packs as far as the eye can see...

Back Packs as far as the eye can see…

Big thanks to Mom for all those times she dragged me around there when I was a kid.

New Westminster Key

After all this walking and shopping, I needed food. So I went off to the new Key at New Westminster and had a lovely meal in a bowl. The waitress warned me, I would need a doggy bag – she was right. I love doggie bags – 2 meals for the price of 1!

More than 1 meal!

More than 1 meal!

The other thing that happened at this lovely restaurant on the Fraser River was, I decided when I sat down it was still warm enough to sit outside. It got cooler and they offered myself and the other couple outside blankets – lovely!  Plus the friendly couple shared a blanket moment with me – love that when that happens and I’m travelling alone.

Tea Tantrums

Also, it’s just standard to get a glass of water.

This is a biggy for me, they don’t charge for extra hot water for my tea!

I’ve had this happen several times in the UK, which really gets my goat.  It’s not like coffee, which, I have to say, many places here offer bottomless filtered coffee – so UK, you really could learn to be better at this.

I do have 1 complaint about the teas I’ve bought or tried here, that is, the tea bag can only really be used once.  It just doesn’t have the staying power of British tea bags, where you can get more than 1 cup from a tea bag.  So it’s all about what ya get and where.

Maybe we could find a tea utopia where we can get leaf tea with bottomless hot water – paradise!

Rounding off

Just to end my time at New Westminster, I observed on a Sunday afternoon at the key they have a circus school for kids. How cool is that?!

To round it all off, this 1st week took me through 4 cities (Brighton, London, Kelowna and Vancouver) and 2 countries (UK, Canada). I got to play cribbage with my family and go to Costco for my 1st shop.

Ahhh, I feel I am slowly getting settled.

I’m just a little duckie waiting in the park for my next adventure… what’s yours?

Little duckie

Little duckie

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Tea in Brighton – Bluebird Tea

Tea Heaven

I love tea!  Love it, love it, love it!

When I found there was a tea tasting in Brighton, I went.  It’s listed in the Brighton Fringe Festival which runs in May. You can tea taste all year round at Bluebird Tea.

They remind me of tea made in Canada called David’s Tea. I’ve a sneaky suspicion is the inspiration for this tea shop. I asked and no one said they knew, but then the tea tasting was done by others. It’s true the owners were in Canada and inspired by the new tea trend which is sweeping across North America.

If you really want to beat the trend,here’s your chance, as this is new here and worth a looky-loo!

Tasting – Mixology
The Mixology tastings are hosted by 1 person who talks about the teas and the other who makes them!

The Mixology tastings are hosted by 1 person who talks about the teas and the other who makes them!

The tea tasting experience is a lot like tasting wines. The colour, tannins smells and flavours are all a part of the process.

I think the biggest surprise to me was Matcha tea. Thinking I knew most tea variations, this Japanese based green tea had not reached me yet. I now know about it and it’s now a new favourite for its taste, health benefits and make it with a bamboo brush!

Also, if you have a sweet tooth, but don’t want the waist line to match it. Bluebird Tea offer a huge range of tasty teas which can satisfy that craving, but without the calories or caffeine!  Flavours like: Snowball, Jelly and ice cream, Red Velvet Tea, Maple Bacon Pancakes, Rhubarb and Custard, etc.  The teas are changing with the seasons, so if you find something you like, get it while you can.

You can join their tea university, do their Mixology workshops – blend your tea with alcohol – delicious – and join the tea club.

They give you easy ways to make cold teas without having to heat the water. They sell all sorts of fun tea accessories, too!

For me, it is just tea heaven and I’m so glad it’s here in Brighton.

I made my own tea blend on the tea mixology event – yummy – combining all my favourites!
🙂

Yes, it did taste like it, without the calories!

Yes, it did taste like it, without the calories!

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Canada House – London

Now most Canadians are most likely, like me. When they arrive in London they don’t know or have never heard of the historic building – Canada House in London.

Where

Canada House is located at Trafalgar Square in London, SW1.

Trafalgar Sqaure from the roof top terrace at Canada House.

Trafalgar Sqaure from the roof top terrace at Canada House.

I’ve lived here over 20 years and it’s taken me till now to go on a tour of this iconic and beautiful building. It serves Canadians in the UK as well as being a stellar representation of Canada abroad.

What

All sorts of events occur here – art/music/exhibitions, social, political, business meetings and networking.

One of the 1st things I suggest to any Canadian wanting to know more about Canada House and what it offers (this is for the visitor or the Canadian expat) is to sign up for the monthly newsletter. There you will find out all sorts of what is currently happening.

A few years back, I was very lucky to go to 1 of the Queen’s Garden parties because I was on this mailing list and Canadian.

Tour
BC room at Canada House

BC room at Canada House

Back to my Canada House tour, this building is renovated so that each of the rooms represents materials and art works from various provinces and territories. So you can walk into the B.C. room and pretty much everything in that room is likely to come from that region. It’s my favourite room, of course, as I hail from that province.

The tour is extremely informative of the history of the house, why it’s where it is and what is does today.  I highly recommend doing it and it’s FREE!

I left with a lovely new booklet and postcard which gives more info and photos of the rooms. Especially those I wasn’t able to see for security reasons or they aren’t always open to the public.

Canada House

Canada House

War Brides

War Brides

While I was there they had an awesome exhibition about war brides who married Canadian soldiers in WW II. Incredibly moving stories of what these women went through with beautiful portraits painted on boards representing the gang-planks they walked up. It’s just a wonderful marrying of Canadian and British history – this was displayed in the lobby.

Art Gallery
Emily Carr painting

Emily Carr painting

They, also, have a small art gallery which has changing exhibitions. The 1 I saw was the ‘Tremendous Elusive – Emily Carr and the Canadian Imaginary’. I’m a big fan of Carr, so any excuse to see her work and, once again, this gallery is FREE.

To enter the exhibitions you will need to go through a security check. This building is an oasis in the heart of London and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle. Plus, you are just a stones throw away from St James’ Park.

No excuse not to go!

Have you been to this building before? If so, what were your experiences? Why did you go? If not, what would you like to see there?

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Oh, they do say that Goring is Boring!

Heart on Church bench

Heart on Church bench

Well, its just not true! Goring by Sea is not boring, it’s a lovely little town on the south coast, not far from Brighton and Hove. It hosts a lot of little unique things and places to go.

The cafes are excellent and, if you are a walker, like me, you’ll love this area. Beautiful coast line and beach cafes to tempt you out of any wind.

Bench on beach

Bench on beach

It seems that this beach is a surf sailing mecca – they have tournaments and, on the 1st day of the year, they were out in all gales and weather doing their stuff. It was great to watch, even if I did get soaked!

Kite Surfing on New Year's Day

Kite Surfing on New Year’s Day

It sits between Worthing and Littlehampton, which are also nice day or afternoon trips in their own right, or it’s a nice place to be, if you want to check out these other townships.

Sistine Chapel reproduction

Sistine Chapel reproduction

Unique to Goring is the only copy of the Sistine Chapel outside of Rome. Why here? Well, the man who painted it felt a calling and so he did it. It has a very modern feel because it doesn’t have the wear and tear of the original. So it looks all brand new, more like when it was 1st painted. I say it’s worth it just to see what it would have looked like if Michelangelo was still alive!

Also, unique to Goring, is the Ilex Walk, a beautiful trail which is best known for the evergreen Helm Oaks. They help block any wind and give great shade if very warm.

Ilex Way

Ilex Way

Pill Box

Pill Box

There is, also, a pill-box still from the war which is situated on the Patterson Walk – a really nice walk along the beach which connects Goring with Ferring – both have excellent cafes, so you could just go from 1 cafe to the next.

If you head East from Goring, you will start to run into Worthing, it’s a half an hour to hour walk or ride, which is a great way to see the coast line. Worthing is full of cinemas, art galleries, festivals, restaurants and theatres, so really, there is no excuse to be bored in Goring.  There is just too much to do!

The 1 thing I will warn you to watch out for are the student drivers, keep your eyes open when crossing any of the streets!

Student Driver

Student Driver

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Secret Treasures – Hove Museum

I love all the little places in Brighton and Hove that the general tourist doesn’t know about and the Hove Museum is one of them.

The beautiful Indian Gate infront of the museum.

The beautiful Indian Gate in front of the museum.

It’s a favourite for its cafe and its displays.  They are planning on moving the Hove Library into the same complex, but at the writing of this article, they are still separate and at least a year away from any real changes.

It’s not as big as the Brighton Museum, but I love its local charm.   It’s a great place to bring kids, as they have a special permanent display for them upstairs, which is great fun.

Camera in the museum

Camera in the museum

It has a good display on the local history of how Hove came about, plus a great exhibition on the creation and development on film – a subject which is a personal favourite.  They even have a little cinema to watch old black and white movies on.

For the adults, they tend to have revolving exhibitions of art on various themes.  It is a nice afternoon well, spent, especially if you indulge in the cafe fare.  The cafe is really bright and the staff are friendly.

Art work

Art work

There small gift shop sells all sorts, but quite unique gifts, so it’s worth a quick look.

If you have the time and the weather isn’t great or you are looking for a lovely afternoon tea, you can’t go too wrong to go to the Hove Museum.

Hove Museum Cafe

Hove Museum Cafe

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Aquarium and Airbnb in Brighton

Aquarium and Airbnb in Brighton

Brighton has an aquarium close by the Brighton Pier. The aquarium is owned and operated by Sealife. It is a good option for families with small children and if it is a wet, windy or cold day. I have visited it a couple of times and found it interesting, even as an adult.  It’s 1 of the few original Victorian aquariums still around, so for that reason alone, it’s worth a look.

1 of the most expensive aspects of travelling to Brighton and, if you’re staying a few days, is accommodation. Brighton has plenty of choices of places to stay from five-star hotels to Bed & Breakfasts to hostels. A relatively new option is Airbnb. The use of Airbnb is a popular choice in Brighton to save costs and put money back into the local economy.

We use Airbnb when we are travelling and are hosts in Brighton when we are at home. I can recommend it as an option for travelling to keep your costs down and the opportunity to interact with locals as well as stay in some great places. We have stayed on a canal boat in Amsterdam, a farm in Tasmania and apartments in Edinburgh and Canada.

Also, we have a special offer where you can win a 2 day stay for one person in our Airbnb listing, click here to enter. (offer runs from February 14th to 27th, 2016)

Brighton Aquarium

Brighton has the oldest operating aquarium in the world. There are around 3,500 marine creatures at the aquarium. There are feeding demonstrations all day and lots of interactive options for children and adults.

The aquarium is only closed on Christmas day and open the rest of the year. The hours are from 10am to 5pm with last admission at 4pm. There are a range of ticket prices including a Gold and Silver Package. I would recommend sticking with the General Admission price if you do not have children otherwise consider the 2 other packages but if you do not have kids it is not really worth the extra cost.

A General Admission at the door for an individual is £17.50 and if there are 2 or more of you it is £14.50 per person. To get the best price book online there is a considerable saving for an individual the price drops to £11.95 and for 2 or more to £9.95.

Top tip is buy your tickets online or you can get a 2 for 1 with your train when booking from other cities to Brighton.

(photos will be soon to follow for this part of our post)

Airbnb

In recent years, a new way of staying in places has come on to the market.

Airbnb offers people the option of hosting people in their homes or being a guest in someone elses. We are hosts in Brighton for Airbnb and this month are giving away a prize for 1 person to spend a few nights in Brighton, to enter, click here.

We have been lucky to be able to stay at people’s places in Holland, Scotland, Australia and Canada. We have enjoyed all of our stays and it has saved us a fortune in hotel bills.

We especially enjoyed staying at hosts properties with pets and there have been some great ones. My favourite was with this house who had a Great Dane and a cat in Leithbridge, Alberta.  We were trapped and needed a place that would take 4 adults and a cat and they took us in – brilliant!

Our Lethbridge dog companion - he didn't interest my parents cat at all!

Our Lethbridge dog companion – he didn’t interest my parents cat at all!

Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb accommodation?

Remember to enter the draw here before February 27th, 2016!

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Visiting the Komedia and having a good laugh

Visiting the Komedia and having a good laugh?

The last post on Brighton looked at the Theatre Royal Brighton and keeping with this theme of entertainment we look this week at the Komedia. Debbie has personal experience of working at the Komedia as Front of House and was lucky to see lots of great shows. There are 2 main theatres 1 large and 1 narrow and smaller.

The Komedia was established in 1994 as a venue for comedy, cabaret, music and children shows. Since then it has developed into a popular spot to see, in particular, comedy.

A few years ago, an addition was made with a 2 screen state of the art cinema under the name of Dukes of Komedia. The Dukes of Komedia is in partnership with the Duke of York’s Picturehouse the oldest working cinema in England, also, located in Brighton.  This cinema functions along the Art House style, but offers all sorts of screenings and events.  A lot of local film networking events take place in the bar, so you never know who you may bump into?

There is something on every night of the week at the Komedia situated in the North Laines of Brighton. It is about a ten minute walk from the Brighton train station.

What can you see at the Komedia?

Check their website for upcoming acts.

A few years ago the Komedia also added cinema to its attractions. The Dukes of Komedia has the most modern cinema in Brighton and most comfortable. There is a cosy tiny café upstairs as well as 1 downstairs.

I, personally, have seen a lot of comedy acts. Over the years there have been some great acts including, before they were celebrities, Graham Norton, Russell Howard and Sarah Millican.  Debbie, of course, is very familiar with the comedy as her job their mainly dealt with throwing out any rowdies or poorly behaved people who were making the comedians night a nightmare, as well as for the audience.  She was the big shusher, so that things never go out of hand with hecklers.

How much does it cost and meals?

The prices at the Komedia vary and we suggest you check their website as it will depend on the type of show and length. The food is a bit hit and miss, so our suggestion is to eat somewhere else at the many excellent restaurants that are nearby in the North Laines.  You can also get reduced rates on certain shows, package deals or for students, so, once again, check the website to catch one of these!

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Have you ever been to the Komedia and if so did you enjoy the experience?  Did you know that Hove was the birthplace for film?  Well, more about that later..

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