things to do this weekend: 28th — 31st May

Isn’t May great? Another bank holiday, the start of the Fringe and the Open Houses, the end of a brilliant Festival and, if the forecasts can be believed (we’re not sure they can), we’ve got days and days of toasty sunshine stretching out enticingly ahead of us. Assuming they materialise, you’ll definitely need our picks of Brighton and Hove’s best beer gardens and other alfresco drinking spots.

With cinemas reopening and the world creeping back to normality, though, we thought it was about time we dusted off our weekend guides, not least because it’s May and there’s a lot going on. So dive in…

Fringe benefits
The Fringe is starting! We’re sure we don’t need to tell you how exciting that is. We’ve got some highlights over here but if you fancy an IRL taster of what’s coming up over the next four weeks, head over to Fringe City at Jubilee Square this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for free performances, from circus to song, dance and theatre, as well as pop-up food and drink stalls, including Brighton Gin and donuts from one of Brighton’s best — Glazed. You can find the full Fringe City line-up for the weekend here. Or just head to our favourite Fringe hangout Spiegeltent and soak up the atmosphere and Lucky Pineapple Cocktails’ new collab with Boho Gelato on some bouji af disco cocktail gelatos. Yep, with actual 24k gold.
From 5pm Friday, 28th May
Jubilee Square, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton
, BN1 1GE


Gyoza some of that
Want to get a taste of Tonkotsu before they open their restaurant in June? Of course you do. Well, you’re in luck because you can try their gyozas (pork, ginger and garlic, and shiitake and bamboo shoot) at their pop-up at UnBarred brewery this Friday and Saturday. And there’s no need to book either. And if you’re lucky, you might even be able to get your hands on some prizes and special offers. Gyoza and brilliant beer — the perfect bank holiday combo!
Friday 28th (4pm to 9pm) and Saturday 29th May (midday to 9pm)
Unbarred Brewery, 19-23 Elder Place, Brighton BN1 4GF


Go green
The Brighton Vegan Festival returns to the Hilton this weekend and you’ll find loads of brilliant vegan companies across food and drink, skincare, clothing and gifts selling their products — and offering tasters — under one roof. Look out for locals Koji Kins and Cielo Cakery, too. Tickets start at £5, or you can upgrade to a VIP pass, which bags you a goody bag and fast-track entry.
Saturday, 29th May, 10.30am-4.30pm; from £5
Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FU

Brighton Vegan Festival

Come on in, it’s open
We have always loved the Stanley Road Store and this year they’re bringing 40 brilliant artists and creators to One Church on Florence Road, from paper-cutting artist Porkchops Papercuts paper creations (remember his genius Halloween leaves?) and Silver Spur’s gloriously rude jewellery to Last Born Daughter’s fabulous prints. Plus, there’s the added bonus of the Saturday food market right outside. We’ll also be heading to Milton House, which was voted Best Open House last year. There’s gorgeous jewellery from Emma Stanton, craft kits from Cocoon & Me, as well as ceramics, clothes, lighting and prints. But you can’t really go wrong with the Open Houses, not only do you get to see some fabulous work, you get to have a good old snoop (ooh, nice sofa). And, let’s be honest, having been deprived of the sight of the inside of other people’s houses for so long, we’re quite looking forward to that, too.
Saturday, 29th May to Monday, 31st May and Saturdays and Sundays in June; various locations; free


Donut miss this
As a special bank holiday treat, lockdown saviour Patisserie Stellar is bringing his ridiculously addictive pastries and savoury treats (those cheese and egg buns are the bomb) to Cafe Rust for three whole days this week (he’s normally just there on Saturdays). Worth every minute of the queue, trust us.
Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May, 10am-2pm;
Cafe Rust, 50 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 4QF


Food, glorious food
You’d think all we do is eat round here, wouldn’t you? (Ok, you wouldn’t be far wrong.) While we’re banging our food drum, we’d also highly recommend heading over to the Bison Beer sites this weekend — top BOTI points if you manage a triple whammy. You’ll find Alberta’s banging hot sandwiches (by day) and fried chicken and addictive sauces (by night) over at the Hove site. They’re taking over from Slam Tacos who are moving their lip-smackingly good tacos and dirty bites to the Bison Beach Bar for the bank hols, while Wood x Coal are serving up the always-tasty goods at the North Laine site.
Friday, 28th May – Monday, 31st May
Bison Beach Bar at Sea Lanes, 284 Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1EN
Bison Beer Hove, 57 Church Road, BN3 2BD

Bison Beer North Laine, 103, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YW

It’s groovy, baby
You deserve a slice of culture with all that food, so how about heading to theatre company Something Underground‘s open-air stage show The Spirit of Woodstock this weekend (with a picnic, obvs). Expect to be transported back to the era of the ‘mother of all free festivals’ in this interactive rollercoaster ride of a show that immerses you in everything from the politics and the anti-war protesters to the music and personalities of the groovy sixties via a whopping 65 characters. Tie-dye optional.
Friday, 28th May – 27th June; £14
St Ann’s Well Gardens (Sensory Garden), Hove, BN3 1PP


Seeing is deceiving
If you love optical illusions that mess with your mind, then you’re in for a treat as there’s now a venue with four floors of illusions and tricks — welcome to Paradox Place! From the minds of the team behind Brighton escape room Pier Pressure, you know you’re going to be in for a treat. Find out more here!
Opens Friday 28th May at 10am
Open daily 10am to 6pm; from £6.50, pre-booking is recommended
94 Gloucester Road, Brighton BN1 4AP

Photo credits: Andy O’Hara (Fringe City)