Introducing Angela Brightwell; Cofounder of Brighton Food Tours, writer and owner of Bubs the dog.
HELLO ANGELA, What made you want to begin Brighton Food Tours?
A friend of mine Cat and I started it together because we really love Brighton. We are really passionate and proud of Brighton's independent spirit and its exploding food & drinks scene. We wanted to spread the message that if we don't support and celebrate independent Brighton businesses they won't be there in 5 years. We have very strong values and it comes across in everything we do; we have been known to confiscate one or two punters’ Starbucks coffee on a tour, but by the end of their time with us, people are usually really inspired and fired up to support local businesses.
What made you decide to make it a walking tour rather than just picking one spot or facilitating a supper club?
I think because we have got such a huge range of independent food and drink hot spots, makers, producers, pop-ups, creators etc. We aim to showcase as many places as we can in our tours. We want them to have an experience that surprises and delights, which is why we call our tours a smorgasbord experience; it’s a real variety of different experiences in one.
Brighton for us is eclectic, it lends itself really well to a walking tour format - we can cover as many as 6-8 food or drink experiences in one tour. We also like to not tell people where they’re going, we call it a magical mystery food adventure! We love to include hidden gems that everybody should know about.
What has been a highlight of running Brighton Food Tours so far?
Without a doubt, it is the sense of connection with Brighton I now have. I’ve lived here for 6 years, and more than anywhere else I’ve ever lived I feel at home. Meeting such incredible people through my work has helped me feel a connection to the beating heart of the city.
Also, having the majority of the punters on the tours being local to Brighton is an absolute joy; they say it helps them fall back in love with their city which is a fantastic feeling. They’ll be the ones going back to the businesses and keeping them alive.
What initially drew you to PLATF9RM?
Dogs. Also having space where you get away from home where you can get in your own head, to being surrounded by lovely people is a plus. It’s relaxed, everyone's creative, friendly and open but still professional... Plus there are about 50 different ways of making coffee here. The dog-friendly part was a clincher though.
Do you have a favourite spot to sit in at Tower Point?
The cubby holes, the booths. I feel like I’m in a little creative shed.
Have Brighton Food Tours been to any events and are you looking forward to any coming up?
We just did a talk here the other week, T-Shaped Talks, where we spoke about local community and values, was really good fun. I’m looking forward to joining the next social and I fancy going to the next Cereal Filler.
I’m sure this a question you get asked a lot, but, what are some of your favourite eating spots in Brighton?
It all depends, there are so many variables; what’s your price, what mood are you in, do you want somewhere fancy pants, or somewhere relaxed? Off the top of my head, if you’re wanting to go fancy pants but still feel relaxed then Little Fish Market is absolutely amazing. It’s not cheap but totally worth it. For lunchtime, head to Happy Maki, I’m totally addicted. Curry Leaf cafe. Baby Bao at The Pond. And I can’t wait to go up to the Hampton who have the new Easy Tiger kitchen, it’s the same people that run the pond. Plateau as well - they do amazing cocktails. There’s so many!
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
I suppose, naff 80’s music? I can't get enough of disco. Although I don't think it’s that guilty, to be honest. And watching First Dates on the telly.
Do you have any favourite ‘That’s so Brighton’ moments?
There’s not a tour that goes by where you don't pass someone on roller skates dressed as a GI Jane or something equally as strange… A hippy at a bus stop with a dog on a piece of string… Whatever it is, there’s always something.
Thank you Angela!
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