Me and Neil had a great weekend, and had a whole day and ahalf off! Woo hoo. We headed off to Brighton on Friday afternoon. I love it there as it is near the sea which is always pretty special and also has loads of inidividual bars and shops. Every time I go I find something new and my visits there are always much to brief. Anyway, we stayed at the Queens Hotel
(excuse the dodgy music accompanying the website). This was a great hotle situated on the sea front. Our room was gorgeous and contemporary. We didn't have a sea view as such but I could see the pier from the window! The gym and pool were a little disappointing, but other than that, it was a great place to stay. Despite the fact that it has been booked up most evenings since appearing on TV, me and Neil manged to wander in and eat at Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack
. I was very pleased as it is a great place to eat. The place is tiny but the music is great - apart from av dodgy R Kelly song. It says something about my life that I heard about this place not from the TV programme and Gordon Ramsay but from Sarah's blog!
As they were so busy, the only item they were serving was Soul in a Bowl; the name just sounds great. It was basically American soul food tapas and we had loads of bowls of food giving us a taste of everything, including jambalaya, catfish goujons, the best macaroni cheese ever, sweet potatoes, fiery chicken wings and drum sticks... it is making hungry just thinking about it now. Seriously, if you get the chance, go there - the food was great!
We then headed off to the Dome Theatre to see Ben Elton. I know people have mixed opinions about him, but me and Neil found him v funny. I thought a couple of his jokes were fairly tired, but much of what he said was thought provoking and brilliantly presented. One of the things he said was that people believe everything and trust nothing, which was quite interesting. He had a stab at fundamentalists but also questioned individualism and focus on the self, allowing them to beleive whet ever they want without thinking things through. He also attacked Trinny and Susannah and Sharon Osbourne, which although quite funny, I thought he went a little too far. The Dome Theatre
was a beautiful venue and was only refurbed a couple of years back. Coupled with having great seats, this made the night even better.
We finished off the night with a couple of drinks at the Greene Room
. The following morning, we spent some time with an old friend of Neil's and I got over excited in Fopp
while only buying one Christmas present and nothing for myself. Quite restrained, I feel....
Our coastal tour then continued as we headed back around the M25 to Southend, as Neil's aunt and uncle were getting married. This was a lovely evening and a great chance to chat to family. However, the DJ was surely the worst DJ in the world - seriously, he was awful. He played most tracks 3 times and talked over all of the good ones. It all added to the fun, though.
I was leading the gift and carol service the following morning, so headed back to Enfield Saturday night. The service was lovely and it was great to see so many of the children involved and excited. An incredible woman in the church had made a giant picture of the nativity with parts of the picture missing. The missing pieces were shaped as bells, lanterns, presents etc and hidden around the church. As the morning progressed and different parts of the story were told by different groups of children and young people, the different parts of the puzzle were added to the picture. The concept really worked and there was good feedback afterwards. The best comment I heard was that someone said that the whole thing felt like worship - sometimes it is hard to get this feeling when so many people are involved. It was a lovely day.
The 'weekend' finished last night with a curry that I cooked for Mark and Marie. We had a great time chatting and discussing. We love having people round and are always pleased when someone says 'is that really the time?'... lovely.