after work on friday i headed down to brighton seafront to play host to some of my favourite bloggers at one of the last film nights at this year's brighton big screen. this year's festival had upped the ante from all previous years, with the addition of ibis sweet beds right there on the beach, taking the idea of netflix and chill to a whooooole 'nother level!
we'd gratefully had some of the sweet beds reserved for us for the night, which meant that once we hit the beach, it was bed time. big screen director bill murray (not that bill murray; this one was way better) chatted to us briefly about the festival's london olympics origin, and how far it's come in the last four years; back then it was totally self-funded and there were minimal expectations of attendance.
as it turned out though, that first night on the beach saw an overwhelming 20,000 brightoners flock to the shore to watch the opening ceremony. bill says that it was that night he knew he was on to a winner. since then, the festival has grown from a sports-only thing to a music thing, to a stand-up comedy thing, to what it is this year: a bit of everything, thing.
and aren't we grateful for that, because what it meant for us what a sunset screening of a film i like to call "the only tarantino film that i will watch": pulp fiction. i had some great company too - all big fans of the film (just as well really), in leigh, emma, leanne and lisa, and together we spent the night getting in bed with ibis.
with a number of well-stocked bars and food trucks on site, there's literally everything you need for a night at the movies (except decent loos or enough lighting/loo paper)! the open-air cinema was open to the public for a whole month this year, with tickets ranging from just £3 to sit on the pebbles (byo cushions and blankets) to £40 per sweet bed, which included popcorn and drinks delivered directly to the bed! what an awesome idea!
once the film got started and the drinks and popcorn (and hot dogs) started to flow, everyone had a really great time! i hadn't seen that film in so long, and totally forgot how funny parts of it are and how many of the words i actually know and remember! it's a pretty iconic film i suppose, so i was literally so pumped to be spending my night like that. work, schmirk - it was an awesome night!
after the film, we literally spent the night in bed with ibis. the brighton ibis was kind enough to put us up for the night - to actually sleep in one of their sweet beds (sadly it was getting too cold to stay sleeping on the beach), and then gorge ourselves on their incredible breakfast buffet spread. you think you've seen a breakfast buffet, but you've never seen one like theirs! a few weeks back the hotel opted to forgo the standard ibis breakfast for something a bit jazzier, and now it's served from 7am until midday, from an array of vintage crockery and platters, in a uber cool restaurant that looks like it was pulled directly out of a modern boutique hotel's lobby.
we were absolutely blown away by not only the incredible offering, but also from the amazing service we received from gabor - the hotel's assistant manager, and the rest of his team. he showed us around some of the other suites as well as the "basement rooms" that - rather than windows out into the world, open out onto an amazing photo wall, made up of pictures from around the uk, which is an awesome use of space, i think.
a massive thank you to gabor and the ibis team, and bill and maddie and the whole big screen team, who - in a combined effort, truly gave us one memorable evening. bill tells us they're building a beach up in watford this summer to continue the fun, and if friday night was anything to go by, i've finally got a reason to go to watford.