The New Year has come round and that means New Year’s resolutions, those promises of self-improvement that usually last about a month. But don't worry, this time round Culture Calling is here to help. Don’t get a gym membership you’ll never use, or sign up to some academic subscription you’ll never read: we’ve hand-picked some clubs, classes and activities in Brighton for you to sample for the year ahead.
Have Fun, Get Fit
That age old resolution: get fit. But why not have fun why you are doing it? There are loads of great classes and clubs in Brighton where you can tone those abs and meet new people. Bird Studios out on New England Street offers a huge range of exercise sessions, from kickboxing to zumba. Their speciality is dance classes and you can enrol in ballet, flamenco, tap, hip-hop, jazz, belly dancing and Charleston. They also provide a series of kids groups if you want to bring your little one along as well.
For those really looking to up the fitness ante, Arena 80 is one of Brighton’s friendliest running clubs. The top teams race nationwide, but there’s plenty of room for beginners as well. Training sessions take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and groups are separated into similar ability, so you’ll never feel left behind.
Or maybe you want something more relaxing? YogaHaven offers a wide range of yoga classes out at their studio in Donkey Mews. You can be adventurous with Hot Yoga or Flow Yoga, or try all the moves in the all-encompassing Yin Yang Yoga. Packages can be bought by month or by number of sessions, and there are plenty of trial classes available for as low as £11. No excuse not to find your inner yogi.
Bird Studios. Photo Credit: Holly Crouncher.
Eating well, Cooking Better
Exercise isn’t the only way to get healthy. Why not have a culinary epiphany and eat your way into a fresh lifestyle? If this sounds like your kind of dish, you should discover Foodilic. This bubbly salad and juice bar has a particular focus on healthy eating, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s a huge number of veggie options from which to choose and their feuilleté pastries are the talk of the town. Going healthier still is Rootcandi, a restaurant serving up dishes entirely made up from 100% plant-based ingredients. This isn’t bland cow feed: Rootcandi supplies stir-fries, curries, gyoza and their special “Glory Bowls”, each bursting with flavour and fresh greens.
If you want to go a step above, why not do all the cooking yourself? There’s a range of cookery courses in Brighton to help you on the way. Chilli Chicks offers an introduction to the art of Thai cooking with classes from Bookie, their professional chef and restaurant owner. Sessions can run in groups or as a one-to-one for those really looking to become experts. A drive out from Brighton is Ashdown Manna, a country estate with a whole range of different culinary tutorials. Try Breadmaking? Or maybe Italian cooking? Prices start from £60 and there are always new courses popping up for those determined to learn it all.
Get Arty, Learn Skills
The New Year can be a time to pick up a new skill, and Brighton is bursting with vibrant classes ready to teach you everything you could possible want to learn. For those feeling craft-y, Phoenix Brighton hosts a huge range of courses in everything from printmaking to ceramics and puppetry. The stylish gallery is also home to temporary exhibitions, so treat yourself to some extra culture while you’re stopping by. Sticking with the arts, Evolution Arts provides a broad range of digital workshops, teaching photography and filmmaking. Perfect for those technophiles among you.
What could be newer than learning a new language? Brighton University offers classes in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Courses usually last 20 weeks and start from a measly £200. Tutors are often members of the university and you can be sure sessions will be buzzing and vibrant.
Something New, Something Wild
Sometimes New Years resolutions are just about abandoning the comfort zone and really going wild. And if that’s sounds like you’re gig, we’ve got just the recommendations for you. Did you know Brighton is home to one of Britain’s premier Roller Derby teams? The Brighton Rockers tear up the track (and their opponents), and they train beginners from scratch in their regular “Fresh Meat Program”. They are renowned as the punk group of the Roller Derby scene with fierce team spirit. Join their ranks and become a skate warrior!
Photo Credit: Coffeebucks
Why not annoy your loved ones, flatmates and neighbours by beginning your future career as a percussionist? Drum Lessons Brighton offers – you guessed it – drum lessons from their practice studio in Hova Villas. Join their beginners classes and beat your way to rock god status.
Finally, release your inner geek with Brighton’s selection of weird and wacky talks. The Nerd Nite runs once a month and presents lectures on everything from astronomy to massive data to … eels. Similarly eclectic is the popular Catalyst Club. Three speakers expound for 15 minutes on topics close to their heart in a mash up with intellectual stimulus to boot. The atmosphere is renowned as fun and friendly, and you can enjoy a tipple while you learn.