Seven things to do this weekend | 23rd – 25th June

Lucky us, it’s set to be another scorcher this weekend and where better place to be than by the beach, right? It’s the last weekend of the brilliant Brighton Book Festival and Brighton Rocks film festival and it’s also English Wine Week and Independent Bookshop Week, aka the perfect excuse to spend your days sipping Pinot over a great book (from one of our fave indies Afrori Books, the Feminist Bookshop or Kemptown Bookshop). We support shopping independent every day, but Saturday is official #ShopIndependentDay, so it’s the perfect time to vote with your money and shop small to help ensure Brighton never turns into another faceless high street. On that note, here are our recommendations for things to do this weekend…

1. Check out a new secret bar in Hove

Popular bar L’Atelier du Vin has opened a Prohibition-style cocktail bar hidden deep underneath its Curds and Cases shop on Western Road in Hove – entrance is through the Cases Club. Head downstairs through the secret doorway and settle into a deep velvet sofa, then make the most of their exceptional champagne collection, sexy cocktails, award-winning cheeses (don’t miss the charcoal Cheddar) and charcuterie boards. It’s the perfect spot to impress a first date, lounge with friends or escape the world for a few hours. It’s dark, decadent and too damn good to have just the one. Bring a fan, though, it gets a bit steamy down there in this hot weather. Don’t tell everyone, though, we want to still be able to get in!
Currently open Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm – midnight
34 – 35 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1AF

2. Get stuck into some boozy drag bingo fun

Drag bingo, epic drinks and tasty street food from Get Sum Dim Sum? You’ve got yourself a perfect Saturday right there. Yep, Brighton Bier taproom over on the edge of Kemptown are hosting a boozy drag bingo session with cocktail superstars Lucky Pineapple Cocktails. Your hostess with the mostess is busy lady (queen of home shopping, recording artiste and everyone’s fave bingo caller) and Woolloomooloo’s own Sheila Simmonds, so you can expect a whole load of fun, with plenty of prizes and surprises thrown in for good measure. Have you got the balls to play?
Saturday 24th June; 1pm – 4pm; £10
Unit 10, Bell Tower Industrial Estate, Roedean Road, Brighton
, BN2 5RU
Book tickets

3. Work it all out at Brighton’s first fitness festival

There’s a lot of health and fitness-obsessed Brightoners (and Hoveites) so it’s no surprise that the city is welcoming its first fitness festival this weekend. The free event is bringing a whole host of live workouts, from HIIT to show dance and yoga, as well as talks and seminars, local wellness company exhibitors and food and drink. It all culminates in what is apparently the south coast’s biggest – and quite possibly toughest – fitness competition, The Vault Games, run by Brighton gym The Vault 164. Enter yourself if you’re feeling brave or just spectate with a drink, telling yourself you could definitely have been a contender (guess which we’ll be doing). All profits from the festival will go the FMG Project charity, which works to support young people through fitness coaching. It’s set to be another scorcher, so don’t forget the SPF and something to cover up with. Sunstroke is never a good look.
Saturday 24th June; 8am – ; free (but you need to book your ticket)
Hove Lawns, Kingsway, BN3 2PE

4. Get your beer on at a free music party by the beach

Glastonbury Schmastonbury, Brighton’s got it all going on this weekend! London’s Beavertown Brewery is making the trip to the coast on Saturday as part of its summer Skulloon tour and they’re bringing DJs and live music to the beach. The Big Push’s Romain Axisa and big-voiced singer Eva Lazarus are both performing – and the brewery has its zingy Neck Oil Session IPA on tap for the event. And entry is totally free (take that, Glastonbury)!
Saturday 24th June; 2pm – 8pm; free
Fortune of War, 156 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB

5. Enjoy all the fun of the fair

There’s something very British about a summer fete. We don’t know if it’s the childhood nostalgia, the teas or the tombola, but we’ve got a special place in our hearts for these events. And we’re deep into summer fair season now so there’s a fair (here we go) few to check out. First up, The Annunciation Church in Hanover is holding its quirky summer fete on Saturday (11am – 3pm; 88b Coleman Street; free), promising the usual suspects of toys and games, a tombola, a lucky dip and bric a brac, but upping the ante with retro video games and even karaoke (we love this for a church fair), as well as home-grown elderflower drinks, tea and cakes and a “sausage sizzle”. Queen’s Park School (just up the hill) is having a summer festival the same day (midday – 2pm; Freshfield Street entrance: adults £1), with “fun, games and entertainment for all the family”. That translates as puppets, live music, craft, games, workshops, a raffle, plus gourmet food and Boho Gelato ice-cream to cool you down when you repeatedly fail to get a zero or a five on the tombola (just us?). The garden party is the summer fair’s infinitely more sophisticated cousin (no tombolas here) and there’s a Regency one in Sussex Square to commemorate the bicentenary of the Kemp Town Estate (midday – 4pm; North Garden, Sussex Square; adults £5, KTS members free). You can expect entertainers, cakes, books, music, silhouette portraits, music and an “exclusive” raffle. They’re asking people to bring some food for the sharing food table and wear pastel-coloured clothes, with Regency dress positively encouraged!
Saturday 24th June; various times, locations and prices

6. Meet the maker at The Old Market

And now for a different kind of fair, the maker’s fair. This popular event is at The gorgeous Old Market theatre in Hove for the first time and, as ever, the two-day event showcases work from some of the best artists, makers and designers in Sussex and beyond. It’s highly curated across a wide range of artistic practices so you know you’re only going to get the good stuff. Like Emma Stanton’s gorgeous gold and silver jewellery, Ken Eardley’s colour-popping ceramics, Lugna’s calming candles, Holly M’s trademark brighton metallic bags, and Cassia Beck’s surprising collage prints, as well as textiles, leatherwork and a whole lot more. And while you’re there we’d highly recommend parking your bum a while at the friendly Bottom’s Rest pub next door.
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June; 11am – 5pm; free

7. Help clean the beach and bag yourself a free coffee

It’s not all just about quaffing beer over great views at Sea Lanes, you know – the new site has teamed up with Leave No Trace to organise another beach clean this Sunday (these will take place on the last Sunday of the month going forwards). As well as having the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your bit to make our beaches nicer for everyone, you’ll also be rewarded with a free filter coffee at Fika (bring your own reusable cup) and a free barre, Pilates or strength class at Barre Set. You’ll be given a code after the beach clean to book your class in. See you on the beach?
Sunday 25th June; 9am – 11.30am; free
Look out for the Leave No trace yellow tear flag at Sea Lanes. 

Leave No Trace