Thursday, December 21, 2006

Burning of the Clocks and Due South


The Burning of the Clocks parade though the centre of Brighton feels like it should be something very old. Hundreds of clock themed lanterns, in myriad shapes and sizes marched through the streets destined to be burned on the beach by the end of the evening. Dragons, floating human shapes, penguins and a giant squid all festooned with numbers and roman numerals floated ethereally above the heads of the parade accompanied by endless and numerous drums. It feels very pagan akin to cheese rolling and Green Men. Which is a credit to it's organisers, since the festival is only a few years old and by all accounts getting more and more spectacular every year. It's a very Brighton thing to do on the whole, invent a secular winter festival and then make it feel very old by adopting pagan burning rights and then invite all the local drumming collectives. You can't do much in Brighton on a public level without some sort of primal drumming being involved. It has a certain similarity to Valencia's Fallas festival at Easter but on a much smaller and twee scale. With more drums. Can't really stress the importance of the drums enough.

Fortunately, the cold and our early booking at Due South meant that we escaped the noise early on, but missed the bit where they burn everything and let the fireworks off, which was a pity. Getting to Due South means braving the bitter wind on the seafront, but the warm glow and twinkly fairy lights are an excellent way of guiding you in. The space is cozy but with a nice modern edge and deceptively large. It's all good honest modern European with a hint of British and 85% of the produce is sourced within 35 miles of the kitchen, all cooked in a more than competent manner. A very good braised lamb with rosemary mash and roast beetroot battered out the cold from my bones quite happily. A bet it kicks ass in the summer too.

Due South: 139 Kings Road Arches, Brighton Beach, BN1 2FN Tel: 01273 821 218

1 comment:

Freudian Slip said...

I love the picture! I'm heading there in a few weeks and wish I could have been there for this!