Brighton

27th April 2007 at 01:00
Karen Harrison job-shares teaching Year 2 at Balfour Infant School in Brighton.

Favourite place when you have a dayweek off?

Walking on the beach by the West Pier and going from Brighton Marina up to picturesque Rottingdean on the undercliff path. There are good rock pools.

Shoreham beach is lovely with its interesting houses and houseboats in amazing designs.

When's a good time to come?

Great atmosphere during the Brighton Festival, which starts on May 5 - and a lot of the events are free. At least 80 schools are involved in the children's parade on the first day. We're preparing a large time machine designed by the children. Some of our pupils are in the samba band too.

Every area in Brighton has its own set of artists who have open houses.

Families go round looking at the art, which is also for sale. On the second weekend of the festival, there are entertainers in fancy dress in the Lanes. I like wandering around and coming across very tall ants or aliens.

The Dome Theatre has contemporary dance, orchestras, theatre and talks by politicians and writers. There are also theatre and events for children.

The finale is usually a large free firework display with French acrobats at the marina.

Lunchtime treats?

Bill's (www.billsproducestore.co.uk) is a lovely cafe that sells organic produce. The food is delicious and very healthy. For a treat, The Gingerman (www.gingermanrestaurants.com) has a set menu from about pound;22.

Evening delights?

We go to the Komedia comedy club (01273 647100, www.komedia.co.uk) or one of the trendy little pubs in the Hanover area - there must be at least 15.

A lot serve food and they're a good place to meet friends. A big treat would be Blanch House hotel in Kemp Town (01273 603504, www.blanchhouse.co.uk). It has a lovely 1930s cocktail bar and serves contemporary food.

Don't miss

Apart from the festival, in December we have the Burning the Clocks (www.burningtheclocks.co.uk) parade and in the summer, Gay Pride (www.brightonpride.org).

But don't bother with

The Churchill Square shopping area. There are much nicer shops down in the Lanes.

Remember to try or buy

There's a chocolate shop called Choccywoccydoodah (www.choccywoccydoodah.com) that makes sculptured chocolates and amazing cakes. I got my wedding cake there.

How to get there

Best not to drive. There are parking restrictions and congestion. Come by train. We have tuk-tuks that go from the railway station down to the seafront and the marina and over towards Hove and the lagoon.

Find out more

This year's Brighton Festival runs from May 5 to 28. Visit www.brightonfestival.org.

The VisitBrighton website has details of accommodation, festival events and special offers. See www.visitbrighton.com.

The Cheeky Guide to Brighton (pound;7.95, www.cheekyguides.co.uk) is also worth reading

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