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28 August 2017


not a month ago i was moaning how i hadn't had a chance to check out any of london's outdoor cinema events this year, and then bam! two invites in a week. the first of which had me totally excited, especially after my quick jaunt down there a few weeks ago for a hen do: brighton's big screen. with soooo many films on offer, it was hard to narrow it down to my faves, and even harder still to align a trip down there with one of my rare weekends off, so in the end i did what anyone would do and picked a film that landed on the only weekend i could do; a film i had already seen, and one i didn't plan to see ever again, but with the lure of a ibis sweetbed on the beach to watch the film from, i picked just cos: bridget jones' baby.

you might remember i went to brighton big screen last year too, so i was looking forward to going as a guest this year, rather than a babysitter! we arrived in brighton to some awwwwfully windy weather, and totally unprepared for the chill off the sea, but were pleased to see the sweet beds were nicely tucked up in a marquee made of thick plastic, which kept the elements out as much as was possible considering the gale it was blowing! the other very pleasant surprise was the vip snacks (popcorn, cheese boards and hot dogs, oh my!) and drinks that made their way to us within moments of hopping into the clean, crisp white sheets and increddddibly comfy bed! the very same beds, in fact, that can be found in the ibis up the road...

the whole set up of the event was in reverse to last year's though, which took me a bit by surprise. the vip sweetbeds were quite some distance from the screen, making it a touch difficult to see clearly without my goggles on me, but thankfully our tent was blessed with surround sound, so we were able to follow the film good enough. until of course, the tent very nearly picked up and flew away into the night - and it was about that point we jumped in a cab and headed back to the hotel for the night. 

we were obviously very grateful for the thick duvet and comfy bed throughout, as the rest of the guests were being literally blown out of their seats from the ridic weather we'd faced. and, considering the almost-£15 you can spend on a cinema ticket alone in london, i'd say the £25 sweetbed experience (that includes food, drink, and a comfy bed) is pretty flippen great value - especially as in london you'd be paying at least double that for the same experience (but less incredible views!).

jasmin and her friend sam were staying the night too, so the four of us grabbed a table in the 24 hour bar area inside the warm hotel, and ordered ourselves some drinks from the bar. the staff were more than happy to have us, and it was interesting to see so many people checking in and out well into the night. i guess - know that i know the gatwick express runs to brighton as well as into london, with gatwick up the road, it's the perfect stop after a long flight into the uk. whatever the case, the bar wasn't too busy, and a damn sight quieter than those rowdy student bars i too-often find myself in when i'm in brighton. prosecco that doesn't break the bank and music you can comfortably talk over is all you could really want at my age, i swear.

we didn't end up getting to bed until the wee hours (really, it's a 24 hour bar), but still managed to make the most of the complimentary buffet breakfast spread the next morning. on a saturday the breakky runs right up until midday, making our need to get up early a lot less necessary than most hotels! the spread though? excellent. crispy bacon, tasty hash browns, hot coffee, and a whole raaange of alternatives for those healthy folks, which was really nice to see. did i try a bit of everything? of course i did, and i even took a coffee for the road, thanks to the handy take-away cups they had available to guests.

so, a big thanks to the whole ibis team for a wonderfully entertaining night in my spiritual home. i always take any opportunity i can to get down to brighton, and this was no different - well, except for the wonderful british summer, and lack of warm clothes. but, when will i learn? not this year, so, i'll definitely be back next year. what about you? cinema on the beach your kinda night out?

*we were guests of ibis' but all words are mine.