FEVER = closure

Unfortunately we’re closed today due to fever and general un-wellness. This obviously is a bit of a bind and puts Thursday nights WINE WARS in jeopardy, but should be okay by Friday at least for the POP Quiz, and Saturday’s first Supper Club.
I’ll keep you posted – I can write but not really talk.
Last night I worked out a whole Manuka Honey conspiracy and how people got really bad coughs and colds to smuggle the highest quality nectar in. I was ready to expose the whole tawdry trade this morning, but apparently it isn’t actually happening.

April is the cruelest month…

Well it is according to old misery Thomas Stern Elliot, but what did he know anyway? Then again I suppose he was quite a good poet and social commentator, and what he was really saying was something about Spring being a time of new beginnings which were not always easily come by.

What I hear you question – if you have got this far – does this have to do with the lovely purple carrot? Good question. strictly speaking nothing.

Coming at the question from a slightly different angle, still not much, but as we continue into our  fourth year we still have growing pains as we try to accommodate a very wide range of ideas and interests from the basics of food and drink to the wider areas of events and community participation.  Every so often it means we need to shift things around so we can offer something better.  so why I’m I bleating on like this? simply to tell you all the following news…

Closed today – Tuesday 7 April for stock taking and stock re-ordering

Pie n Ale evening is being pushed back to Thursday 23 April so we can get the pies made, and the people through the door

In the meantime next week we do have some very definite events taking place which are well worth the effort / expense.

Thursday 16 April – 7.45 for 8pm start – Wine Wars 2015 starts with an all White evening with some delicious offerings from four different countries and some excellent nibbles as might be found to accompany them in their natural habitat – £17

Friday 17 April – 7.30 for 8pm start – Pop Wars, or more commonly known as Popular Paul’s Pop Quiz – Quizziness all over the place with fajitas or falafel on the food menu – £8.50

Saturday 18 April – 7.30pm Saturday Supper Club – our first forray into the murky world of providing a set menu, rather than pandering to your every whim !! This month the theme has been chosen by birthday girl Phillipa. Okay she crashed and burned at the Trivia quiz but eyes lit up at the mention of a green curry so this month it is FAR EAST FUSION – £20

Sunday 19 April – 11.30am Golf at Eastbourne Downs – The DOGs (decidedly ordinary golfers society) is a rag-tag loose mix of people and abilities who play once a month around the south east. Costs are kept to £27 a time to hopefully allow access to everyone who needs a game. New people are always welcome. This month incorporates bacon butty and coffee, round of golf and some prizes, plus a truly awesome trophy for the winner

Monday 20 April – 7.30pm Books, Films and Cake Symposium – the purple carrots take on what a  book club could be. Feed the mind soul and body. Feel free to turn up and chat, discuss whether you should read the books (this month The Art of War , Strangers on a train, I conquer the castle) go leftfield into films with no connection whatsoever, eat or bring cake to munch, swill it down with a glass of wine / cup of tea / bottle of Ale – job’s a good ‘un – £5

Also we are looking for people who might like to put in the odd shift or three at the purple carrot over the coming months and years. There are no set shift patterns, some evenings, early mornings, weekend work likely to be in the mix – although there’s definitely not enough work to call it anything more than casual – ,the wages are rubbish, the proprietor is always grumpy, you’ll be expected to make the best cup of coffee with terrible training, it’s mostly cleaning really, kudos levels will be set back several years, you have to be nice to the clientelle.  Would suit people who are glutton’s for punishment, can look after things when necessary, have no life – so they can drop everything at a minutes notice – like working in different environments at strange times, have a high tolerance threshold, can cook / bake a bit too. Have I described you? If so do get in touch….


apologies – a couple of dates to revise

This Monday’s (30 March) Book,film and cake Symposium has been put back to Monday 20 April – the same books will be up for a right good going over –
The books to check out remain:
The Art of War – Sen Tzu
Strangers on a train – Patricia Highsmith
I capture the castle – Dodie Smith

– £5 includes glass of wine or tea / coffee and cake nibbles

An evening of Pie n Ale is now DEFINITELY Friday 10 April, not Thursday 9th as previously stated in half the myriad of information chucked out in a vain attempt to drum up a modicum of interest.
The excellent Humble Pie company are enthusiatically collaborating to  produce our very own purple carrot pies – you get to test out the prototypes as well as some of the Humblers classic and inventive creations. Not to be outdone we’ll also have a few local brews to quaff; – £10

Also worth noting that Wine Wars 2015 gets underway again properly Thursday 16th April  (£17) and the first Saturday Supper Club will take place on Saturday 18th April – £20 – pre-booking is required for both these events due to limited capacity

Also the

nothing ever happens in Hassocks….

So aside from putting on a few things here and there as a wee coffee bar offering a slightly bigger more rounded experience of Hassocks life – wine tasting, quizzes, films, book symposium, food, drink, children’s pizza parties and the like – let’s face it Nothing ever happens in Hassocks apart from lots of lovely new houses being proposed to be built.

With this in mind we have decided to put on a couple of things during the year, a series of fortunate events if you will, that will take us from our comfort zone to putting on a few larger events – these may or may not get added to during the year so keep looking [@ the Nothing Ever Happens in Hassocks webpage]

An evening of Pie n Ale – Friday 10 April – We’re always trying to get involved with other local people, groups and businesses so we’re very pleased to have the excellent Humble Pie company on our doorstep to collaborate with and produce our very own purple carrot pies – you get to test out the prototypes as well as some of the Humblers classic and inventive creations. Not to be outdone we’ll also have a few local brews to quaff;

Wine Wars 2015 – we don’t spit, we swallow!! – a whole new take on wine-ing in Hassocks ;) first of the year is Thursday 16th April;

Saturday Supper club – £20 – once a month, on a Saturday evening we’ll rove around the globe and back to come up with some interesting grub for you to savour, probably a couple of new wines or ales to taste as well, in the newly charismatic basement cavern. Saturday 18 April

Saturday 6 June – Hassocks 7 a side football tournament – the “Fat Boys Invitational” Trophy. An entertaining afternoon watching loved ones, (mainly) men who should know better collecting groin strains, bruises and watery knees in the name of “fun” and exercise, followed by a slap-up feast at the social club – this year Humble Pies provide the (filling- ho ho ) supper and a chance to watch the european champions league final.

Hassocks Open Houses – the Purple Carrot experience 28-30 June. While it is very noble and good that some of our local artists show off their wares and hope that you’ll jolly well buy them too, it is also important to encourage the talent of tomorrow so we’ll be running a competition with Downlands School for the younger ages to pull out the paintbrush, plaster the Parisen and daub and doodle – free to wander

Lets face it some people just love it…golf that is. DOGSoc Pairs @ Hassocks  – July – Grab your partner by the clubs and enter the two of youse into a pairs challenge with a difference – we’ve made it up and the rules too- juniors, women men, a mash-up all welcome £50 a pair includes food and prizes

Sit Down for Stand up – Sunday 30 August – Adastra Hall Stephen Grant compares £12- get 2 tickets and bottle of wine for £30

 September – GET LOST in Hassocks – Treasure Hunting street and Downs orientering with a cracking hot dawg completo ending


Tonight it’s some avant garde soviet funded film-making from 1960’s Cuba. Friday it’s the Popular Pop Quiz, Sunday it’s Society Golf at Manning’s Heath.  If none of these strike your fancy keep checking out our webpage Nothing Ever Happens in Hassocks to get updates on future events we’re putting on during the year.


So to tonight’s film offering.  Doors open at 7.15pm.

A film endorsed and sponsored by such luminaries as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese, lost in time and reinvigorated in the 1990’s, and again in 2005.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about it

The movie consists of four distinct short stories about the suffering of the Cuban people and their reactions, varying from passive amazement in the first, to a guerrillamarch in the last. Between the stories, a female narrator (credited “The Voice of Cuba”) says such things as, “I am Cuba, the Cuba of the casinos, but also of the people.”

The first story (centered on the character Maria) shows the destitute Cuban masses contrasted with the splendor in the American-run gambling casinos. Maria lives in a shanty-town on the edge of Havana and hopes to get married to her fruit-seller boyfriend, Rene. She takes a job as a dancer in one of the bars filled with rich Americans. At these bars she is known as Betty. One night, one of the rich gentlemen at the club asks her if he can see where she lives. She takes him to her small hovel where she reluctantly undresses. The next morning he tosses her a few dollars and takes her most prized possession, her crucifix necklace. As he is about to leave Rene walks in, and sees his ashamed fiance. The American callously says, “Bye Betty!” as he makes his exit.


The next story is about a farmer, Pedro, who just raised his biggest crop of sugar yet. However, his landlord rides up to the farm as he is harvesting his crops and tells him that he has sold the land that Pedro lives on to United Fruit, and Pedro and his family must leave immediately. Pedro asks what about the crops? The landowner says, “you raised them on my land. I’ll let you keep the sweat you put into growing them, but that is all,” and he rides off. Pedro lies to his children and tells them everything is fine. He gives them all the money he has and tells them to have a fun day in town. After they leave, he sets all of his crops and house on fire. He then dies from the smoke inhalation.


The third story describes the suppression of rebellious students led by a character named Enrique at Havana University (featuring one of the longest camera shots). Enrique is frustrated with the small efforts of the group and wants to do something drastic. He goes off on his own planning on assassinating the chief of police, however when he gets him in his sights, he sees that the police chief is surrounded by his young children, and Enrique cannot bring himself to pull the trigger. While he is away, his fellow revolutionaries are printing flyers. They are infiltrated by police officers who arrest them. One of the revolutionaries begins throwing flyers out to the crowd below only to be shot by one of the police officers. Later on, Enrique is leading a protest at the university. More police are there to break up the crowd with fire hoses. Enrique is shot after the demonstration becomes a riot. At the end, his body is carried through the streets; he has become a martyr to his cause.


The final part shows how Mariano, a typical farmer, ends up joining the rebels in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, ultimately leading to a triumphal march into Havana to proclaim the revolution.

Opening Hours

Dear everyone

Please note that opening hours over the coming weekend will be severely truncated as the proprietor heads off to retain his european golfing trophy for a short weekend break.

Friday 9-12.30am and 7.45- 10.30pm; Saturday 10.00 – 2.00pm; Sunday CLOSED; Monday CLOSED

Fortunately however we do have a few excellent things coming up to compensate Soy Cuba (16th March) – thanks to Dawn, Paul’s Popular Pop Quiz 20 March – going to have to start booking for these again :), The latest installment of the Symposium (Book, Film & Cake) – 30 March  and rapidly starting to take shape Nothing Ever Happens In Hassocks – a series of fortunate events

A week of firsts, and lasts

The first time the Jackpot for the quiz (a measely £134) has been won in 2015. and the last time i ask such easy questions :-(

today – first time I’ve done a birthday meal for two, hope you liked it and it won’t be the last :)

Thursday 5th March – The first time we’ve tried drinking pudding / dessert / after dinner wine at the purple carrot and the last call for the few remaining spaces available – don’t miss out on Giles’ unique take on life, and wine

Friday 6th – Monday 9th March – first time I’ve left Iona in charge of the carrot – last time I let other people organise part of the European “Dogs-on-tour” trip.

Due to my absence there will be a truncation of usual opening hours over the weekend to look something like this.  Friday 8.45am – 12.45pm  and 7.45pm – 10.30pm; Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm; Sunday CLOSED; Monday CLOSED


B..cus..I’m Happppi

There was a customer in the coffee Bar the other day and amongst other parts of putting the world to rights they also  suggested I was negative about things.

Well how little do they know me. How can they suggest that of someone whose favoutitest EVER book is “Eeyores little book of Gloom”, the same person who has spent over 35 glorious years supporting the awesome Bradford City as a footballing penance and had the pleasure, nay privilege of working for a Local Authority dealing with the adoring public and self-important  senior officers and politicians, on and off for nearly 20 years…

What’s not to be happy about??

…and as I have now paid me subs to some holding company so I can carry on using my domain name you can once again read about my sublime happiness on this ‘ere blog

Anyway just in case anyone else gets the wrong impression of my wonderful life let me tell you what fantastic things will be occurring on or near abouts the purple carrot in the next few weeks

Friday 13th – 10.00am – Scrabble Challenge – beat the proprietor and get a free coffee / tea  

Sunday 15 Feb – DOGSoc Golf February Freezer competition – The Dyke  £27 – cafe closing early at 11.30am

Monday 16th – 7.30pm – Purple Carrot Book Symposium
This months books to check out: If on a winter’s night a traveller – Italo Calvino; Any Human Heart – William Boyd
take two books, choose one or both or not, discuss and critique then recommend the next – £5 – includes glass of wine or tea / coffee and nibbles

Friday 20th – 7.30 for 8pm – Paul’s Popular Pop Quiz  – £4 / £8.50 with food – It’s pie night too! – enjoy the end of the half term with some proper irreverent irrelevance

Monday 22nd – 7.30pm – Games night – a chance to play some cards, hit the scrabble table, Rumicub the opposition into submission, breakout the backgammon, or chance upon something new and exciting to while away a few hours in our newly decorated basement cavern…

Friday 27th – The monthly Hassocks Hash – 7.30pm prompt

Monday 2nd March 7.30pm for 8pm start –The New Monday Night Trivia Quiz

Thursday 5th March – they’re back – Wine Wars 2015 return to the purple carrot and what a starter.   Well actually not a starter at all but desserts and Pudding wines to tickle the taste buds accompanied by some rather splendid puddings and cake, and cheese. Tickets £16 in advance from the purple carrot

Friday 6 – Monday 9th Feb – limited opening hours as yours truly escapes to the continent for a couple of days –

spoiler alert – NOTHING EVER HAPPENS IN HASSOCKS – a series of events adopted and put on by the Purple Carrot just to prove the point 

SUPPER CLUB COMING SOON – munch with the bunch


could anything be more exciting?

This week we have two events to tell you about (well three if you count next Monday as well). The Neighbourhood Plan Consultation (housing part) (yes I know yawn yawn), The first Wine Wars of the year, and next Monday’s New Monday Quiz

FRIDAY 30th 7.30pm & Saturday 31st 10.30am  So usually you just sort of troll along, popping off to work, relaxing into your weekends, planning future holidays, so when someone tries to tell you about the Parish Council and the Mid Sussex District Council and the West Sussex County Council well it’s pretty boring really isn’t it and they’re all the same anyway – corrupt, self-serving, ineffectual, inefficient, killjoys, no idea what’s really going on – but suddenly, stealthily almost, a trickle of developers turns into a deluge and we want to know why aren’t these councils doing more to protect our “village” from the nasty private sector people?

It is at this point (hopefully) that you realise the nice comfortable bubble of existence that we enjoy here in the shadow of the South Downs National park is not something that should be taken for granted and that being a NIMBY is a right that has to be earned, and sensible reasons for sustainable growth postulated, argued and agreed. The time for moaning is over. The time for ranting is not going to happen. The time to be complacent and tacitly complicit has come to an end. IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT IS PROPOSED FOR HASSOCKS YOU, YES YOU must now come to terms with doing something about it, not leaving it to others – who wouldn’t do it right anyway –     the Neighbourhood Plan is NOT the Parish Council’s plan but the communities plan compiled, after consultation with the community (THAT’S YOU / US again) and others, by the Parish Council and other volunteers – everybody working on the plan is a volunteer and everybody is encouraged to get involved.

There are 2 consultation events, 30 & 31 January @ Downlands School, all about site assessments, which sites are suitable or not and what else should be considered or other potential sites and the size of developments. All the details are here
oh my gosh it’s really happening what can we do….

SATURDAY night – 31 January  7.45pm for 8pm start   After you have finished venting your spleen, conversely known as putting a cogent and coherent argument together the time is probably ripe to continue fixing the world and what better way to do this than explaining to all who will listen just which of the 7 wines at under £7 is the best with which delicious cheese as The Keymer and Hassocks Sports & Social Club opens its doors to the wider community for a right proper wine tasting session. Giles, from Hurstpierpoints’ excellent Southdowns Cellars will offer a masterclass in understatement whilst selling the finer points of white, red and rose, while Mystic (still basking in the glow of Stamford Bridge 4 goal hospitality) will provide purple carrot cheeseboards filled to the brim with High Wield Dairys finest. Tasting starts at 8pm , until about 9.30 and there will be prizes too. Any donations/contributions/funding to the costs you might wish to give will be passed on to local charities and WaterAid.

Finally, and technically next week, it is the Purple Carrot New Monday Quiz again a 7.45 for 8pm start. Suitable for teams of 1,2,3 or 4 (5 or 6 if you like) Now I know some of you don’t come along because you only like to go to one’s that you win at !!! (you know who you are) and others feel that they might drink too much on a school night, but with a jackpot round now standing at over £100, questions ranging from the current, past a future, the easy to the improbable, table rounds to puzzle and tease, a modern invention called decaf coffee (won’t keep you awake all night or get you drunk) and our usual nibbles, platters, cheeseboards and cake…well it’s probably worth giving it a try n’es pas?