My Favourite Places – Carole Manley
The founder of charity-focused Brighton Sings shares finds in Hove and beyond that reflect her love of exploring
Carole Manley had early ambitions to be an explorer or a singer. The second she’s certainly achieved, having been involved with numerous choirs over the years, even gracing the stage of the Royal Albert Hall.
When she moved to Brighton four years ago, she was staggered at the number of singing groups meeting across the city. No stranger to charity feats (she once cycled 500 km from Niagara Falls to the Indie 500 car track in Indianapolis for a children’s burns unit), Carole set her heart on creating a big fundraising concert.
The idea was to bring the local choirs and other keen singers together. Brighton Sings was born and last year raised £2,600 with its first event.
Keep your eye o the website or social media for your next opportunity to sing yourself or watch. In the meantime, check out Carole’s favourite places, around Brighton & Hove and beyond where no singing is required…
Though I can often be found wearing black, I love colour and my home furnishings are bright and bold. I love the interior of the Royal Pavilion for its explosion of colour. My favourite place to find things for my home is this shop that’s hidden away in Blatchington Road, Hove. Jugs Furniture is a family-run business that sources its wildly eclectic furniture and trappings directly from India – which also appeals to the frustrated explorer in me. They specialise in architectural salvage and upcycled furniture and you’ll often find random pieces that have not been repurposed at all, like shop signs, wagon wheels or milk churns, simply sitting there waiting for you and your own imagination.
‘I live in Hove but if I have friends come who need a place to stay I always recommend the Brunswick Square Hotel. It’s such a friendly and convivial place from which to base your visit to Brighton. A family run business, this elegant grade two-listed building is right by the seafront with just a ten minute walk into the main shopping area. Staff are friendly and the accommodation is simple and clean. Nothing is ever any bother.’
‘I love cooking and so don’t go out to eat so often. I particularly like using fresh vegetables and unusual spices that I can buy from the exotic Taj, in Western Road. But I have recently found a Persian restaurant called Shandiz for which I am more than happy to take off my apron. It’s a no-frills eaterie with plenty of staff who make you feel very welcome. Olives, humus and flat breads come to your table, on the house, while you choose from a modest menu and there is plenty of choice for vegetarians and omnivores alike. Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan is a favourite of mine – fried aubergine, yellow split peas and whole dried limes in tomato sauce, served on rice with a sprinkle of sumac. Families, groups of young people, solo diners and business lunchers keep the restaurant busy. I like this place because it combines good service and freshly cooked food and it’s a bit exotic too.’
‘I’ve always been a frustrated explorer, fired by stories from writers like Ryder H Haggard and Willard Price when I was younger. So I find going back to the wild and places that make me feel insignificant is the best way to refocus and realign myself with the things that matter to me. Primum non nocere means ‘first, do no harm’ and I have carried that sentiment with me throughout my life. Do no harm to others, the environment, to other creatures of the earth, and to myself. I don’t know which pledge is hardest to keep. So, a place that connects me back to this is the summit of a chain of peaks in Scotland called the Ben Lawers group, a range in the Munro series that are over 5000m high. Up there you are very insignificant, which leaves space for inspiration.’