Bank Holiday Weekend in Brighton

The August bank holiday is nearly upon us and the weather is looking promising! Wherever you are spending your bank holiday we hope you have a great time. If you just so happen to be in Brighton this weekend here's what you can expect to find:

Brighton Big Screen - The UK's largest beachfront cinema, Brighton Big Screen returns for another year. Situated on the beach close to Madeira Drive the cinema shows a wide range of films for both adults and children. There is a great selection of films showing this weekend including Cinderella, Dirty Dancing, Quadrophenia, Top Gun, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and if you are feeling really energetic a sing-along version of Frozen on Saturday at lunch time!  Lunchtime showings are free and evening films start from £3.00.

Two of the big names of comedy perform Brighton this weekend, with Michael McIntyre's 5 star act 'Happy & Glorious' at the Brighton Centre from Thursday 27th - Sunday 30th August and Jimmy Carr's 'Funny Business' at the Dome Theatre Concert Hall on Sunday 30th August. Tickets are still available for both but availability is limited so book fast to secure yourself an evening of laughter!

Finally, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Mod, this weekend plays host to the 11th annual Brighton Mod Weekender. The weekend includes Live bands, an eagerly anticipated Scooter competition, a group scooter cruise to Beachy Head, DJ sessions and a market selling records, vintage and bespoke clothing, art and memorabilia. More information about the event, locations and tickets can be found here.

Riviera Style at The Fashion & Textile Museum

On Friday we visited the Riviera Style exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London. The exhibition which brings together over 100 years of beach and swimwear shows the extensive history of both our relationship with the seaside and of the use of fabric in our clothing. The exhibition is fun and the brightly coloured array of clothing clearly map the advancing style and technical development of swimwear from the 19th to the 21st century.

The exhibition is a great summer outing and will keep the whole family suitably entertained. If like us you know little about the swimwear industry, its constant technical progression and its cutting edge understanding of style, you too will come away in ore, delighted that we have moved on from the woollen swimsuit!

There is a great gift shop on site which houses, books, jewellery, cards and home accessories, they are currently stocking a selection of our nautical and geometric style products including coasters, necklaces and cufflinks.

The exhibition is on show until the 13th September. More information 
can be found here.

Photographs from the exhibition including vintage black and white fashion photographs from the 1950's, swimsuits from the 1920's and swimming hats from the 1960's & 70's. 

From top left: The museum gift shop / Exhibition poster / Museum Cafe / Our products on display in the museum gift shop

From top left: Wooden Compass Cufflinks, £35 / Wooden Geometric Triangle Necklace, £30 / Arrow Disc Necklace, £30 / Set of Four Wooden Anchor Coasters

Rootcandi Restaurant in Brighton (Vegan & Vegetarian)

Here in Brighton and Hove we are lucky enough to have a really great selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. The wonderful cafe Iydea on Western Road certainly tops our list, so when we heard that they were opening a restaurant we had to check it out! 

Rootcandi is a brand new plant-based Tapas restaurant that is situated upstairs, above Iydea on Western Road. Here is our short account of a super vegan feast!

We had strawberry mojitos and tomato bruschetta to start and then chose from a delicious selection of tapas sets. After much deliberation we went for the 'Preston - South American' and 'Stanmer - Modern European' sets and were very impressed! Each had been carefully selected and put together for their complementary tastes and textures and the great selection of dishes were presented beautifully in wooden bowls on tree style displays. You are also able to swap over the different dishes in the sets should there be something else that you would prefer to try. The service was great and we were given a lot of information about each dish as it arrived. Here are some photos of our meal....

Our tomato bruschetta starter

Strawberry mojito (one of the best ones we have ever had!) and a berry smoothie

The 'Preston' set (above) which included Risoles parcels, Cajun caesar salad, Avocado and mango salsa, Watermelon and radish carpaccio, Cassava cakes and Paprika smoked potatoes

The Cajun caesar salad dish: baby gem lettuce with a cajun caesar dressing, capers, mozzarella balls and croutons

The 'Stanmer' set (above) which included Beetroot risotto, Turmeric courgette fries, Roasted Aubergine, Courgette & cucumber spaghetti, Roast butternut balls and Fennel and grapefruit salad

Dark chocolate truffles which we received after our meal

Rootcandi is located at 105 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2AA 
You can find their facebook page here:

The Tradition of the Wooden 5th Year Anniversary gift

Here at Maria Allen Boutique we often get requests to personalise our products with 5th wedding anniversary messages, a thoughtful and romantic tradition, but how many of us actually know why it is traditional to give a wooden gift to celebrate your 5th year of marriage?

The tradition of wedding anniversaries actually dates back to the Holy Roman Empire, when husbands would crown their wives with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary and with a golden wreath on their fiftieth. The tradition of giving gifts at other notable milestones developed somewhat later, in the 20th Century.  

The wooden gifts of a 5th year anniversary represent strength and a well-rooted relationship. Wood is known as a strong and long-lasting material, a representation of the couple’s relationship at year 5 of their marriage.

We love to receive our customers’ fun and romantic messages, and enjoy helping them to find the perfect gift to express exactly what the 5 years means to them. Our range of personalised wooden anniversary gifts is extensive and we have something for both husbands and wives. Here is our round up of our favourite wooden anniversary gifts!

All of the above, and many more of our personalised gifts, are made from reclaimed or sustainably sourced wood, making them both stylish and eco-friendly.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Visit for more great personalised and non-personalised gift ideas. UK orders are delivered within 2-3 working days and next day delivery options are available!