Wednesday, 31 October 2007

What is is about the smell of cow dung?

You either love it or hate it. I have to confess to loving the fragrance of a freshly laid cow pat myself, but I guess that is probably down to my rural upbringing.

On Monday one of my partner's friends decided to come down from Surrey and pay us a visit. As it was not his first time to Brighton, the 'cow dung lover' in me suggested that we go for a jolly jaunt in the lovely Sussex country side that surrounds our wonderful city by the sea!

So with an excitement reminiscent of The Famous Five, we set off with our SuperSaver bus tickets (only £4) and hopped on the upper deck of the number 12 from Churchill Square.

The journey along the coast was lovely, as we were bathed by the lovely warm glow of Autumn sunshine.

We got off the bus at Exceat (the bus stop is just next to the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitors Centre).

Salsa on a schoolnight

People assume that the best time to come to Brighton is at the weekend as there will be nothing going on during the week except possibly in the summer. However this could not be further from the truth. I think Autumn or Winter is actually the best time to come as the city is less crowded, you can have your pick of the best hotels and restaurants and there are some great discounts with our Winter Break offers plus it's easier to get around all the fabulous shops.

On top of that there are always things happening every night of the week and not just at the weekends. Which is why I found myself at the Hanbury Club on a Tuesday night trying to Salsa. At first we were a bit alarmed as we were the only ones in there but it gave us a chance to have a drink and catch our breath after the longish walk up the hill. I have to say the Hanbury Club is a great venue, with it's black and silver interior, it's small enough to be intimate but large enough to have a dance around.

So once everyone had arrived, about 30 people and not the 60 or 70 that the barman had promised us. We did a quick warm up and then were split into two groups - beginners and intermediates. I was in the beginners class and we were taught the basic steps. Although as ever there were not enough men so I volunteered to act as a man, and once we had gone over a few of the steps we then had the music and swapped partners as we tried to remember where our feet were supposed to be and smile as well! The only problem was that it was sometimes difficult to hear what the teacher was saying as she had to shout over the sound of the other class. But it was all a bit of fun. After the class we could stay and watch the more advanced class, to see how it should be done. We could have joined in with the improvers class although I'm glad we didn't because as my friend said that teacher could have worked for the military the way she was barking the names of the steps out at the students!

So would I go again? I would certainly go to the Hanbury Club again as I like the atmosphere, however if I seriously wanted to learn to Salsa then probably not as for one thing I'd end up dancing like a man and personally I don't think these drop in classes are ideal, I think to really learn you need a more structured class, although different methods suit different people. However for a bit of a giggle on a Tuesday night, then why not?


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Sunsets in Brighton

It's not as if I need a reason to bang on about Brighton being a great place to live, cause I don't! But one thing I have noticed recently is the phenomenal sunsets we're getting over the sea at the moment. The other day I made a woman next to me on the bus nearly jump out of her skin when I said 'wow, look at that sunset!' After deciding I wasn't an escapee from Lewes prison, she did agree with though!

In fact, I loved it so much I chased a poor couple all along hove seafront to get this shot...

And sunsets are completely free too! Bargain...


Monday, 29 October 2007

Fat but not frumpy!

Just when I thought being 7 months pregnant meant abandoning all efforts to retain a certain 'je ne sais quoi', I have discovered the joys of Simultane!

No sign of the uniform mumsy pastel hues of pink and light blue that adorn preggie 'boutiques', oh no! Vivid splashes of reds, golds and sea green, which artful drape your bump, in a way in which the designers could never have imagined when pattern cutting for their size zero mannequins.

And, if I need to justify myself, (which I do!) clothes can be worn post birth for that trendy yummy look that Brighton mummies do so well.

All I need to do now is to work out how to intercept the joint bank statement...!


Friday, 26 October 2007

Stardust at Brighton Marina

When visitors come to Brighton they tend to focus on the main city centre area by the Royal Pavilion and the Lanes, and while these are must-sees on any trip one of the great things about the city is the fact that there are lots of other areas to go to as well.

This was useful last night as my Mum and I had decided to go to the cinema, but we knew the city centre would be busy as Thursday night is late night shopping and as we are starting to head towards Christmas lots of people would be there buying presents for Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. On a side note I hope my colleague Julia doesn't read this as at the merest hint of festivities she'll start singing, dragging the decorations out of her drawer and giggling with glee, and I'm just not ready for that, not yet anyway let's wait a couple more weeks at least!

Anyway back to the point, as the centre would be busy we decided to go down to the Brighton Marina instead, as apart from the boats there is a multiplex cinema and a variety of restaurants and bars. So we had a pizza and then off to the cinema to see Stardust, which was very good, your classic fantasy adverture. It had all the elements you would expect from this sort of thing, pirates, witches, magical lands, princes and of course the young couple falling in love. There were also several very funny moments, and it is worth going just to see if you can spot all the famous people in it as nearly every part was played by a well known face (even if we couldn't remember all of their names!) including Michelle Pfeiffer, Ricky Gervais, Peter O' Toole, Rupert Everett, David Walliams and Mark Strong however with all these cameos the one that truly stole the show was Robert De Niro. I don't want to spoil it for anyone planning to see the film but prepare to see him as you've never seen him before, he really is a very versatile actor... so overall a great fun film


Thursday, 25 October 2007

Excellence rewarded!

So, continuing the story from earlier..... we dusted off our DJs, tottered in our stilletoes (not at the same time you understand - it was a mixed group!) and set off for the awards ceremony.

We were up against some stiff competition from other major destinations in the South East, but guess what .... we won!! VisitBrighton's information centre is officially regarded as the best in our region!

So whatever you need to know about the city, or even if you think you already know everything there is to know, don't forget to come in and see us when you're next passing. We're at the Pavilion Shop in the centre of the city - you can't miss us - we're the very purple room at the back!

Virgin Blogger

My virgin blog. It’s nice to do something you’ve never done before. But I’m not really a completer-finisher as decades of half finished jigsaws and DIY projects can testify. I wonder if I’ll manage to keep finding things to write about.

I thought I’d tell you about a couple of things that have happened to me today.

The first is I have discovered my technical genius. I couldn’t understand why every time I typed a ‘t’ I kept getting a ‘t6’? It looked a bit ridiculous – Bright6on, Hot6el and so on. The answer lay in the bit of my lunch that had lodged itself in my keyboard. Should I call x2000 and summon help or could I fix it on my todd. I didn’t fail my o’level Physics three times without good reason: so relying on Isaac Newton I managed to sort it out.

The other thing was the bus trip I took this morning to a meeting in Hove. This bus goes from a regular stop twice an hour and so if you miss it, you’re likely to be late for meetings. I arrived at the bus stop with my usual 30 seconds to spare. A notice was sellotaped to the timetable: the 11x will depart every 30 minutes from in front of Marlborough House – definitely more than 30 seconds from where I was now standing. Trying not to have to run (not as fit as I used to be and there generally tends to be more bouncing than I remember) I fast walked round to Marlborough House to find no bus but another colleague looking confused but contemplating a bus on the other side of the Old Steine hidden from view by the bushes. Some people can sense spirits, others events that are yet to happen. This bloke clearly sensed that somehow the bus that wasn’t where it was supposed to be, that wasn’t really visible and that couldn’t be told apart from a dozen other buses circulating around the Old Steine was our bus. In these matters our bus sage was dead right. I shared my bus stop issue with the driver when we boarded and wish I hadn’t as I have now had the merits and disbenefits of a wide range of bus stops from which they could operate the 11x explained in far more detail than is probably strictly necessary. He’s a nice driver though – always friendly and very ‘Brighton’. This morning I was greeted with a ‘morning chap’ and a colleague with a ‘morning sweetheart’. Nice. I think.

My meeting was about the thing that’s happening between 2011 and 2013. We not allowed to use certain words as they are only available to organisations that have sponsored this thing and I have been threatened with all manner of punishment for straying from this edict. I can’t tell you what it is called but there is an airline and a camera that sound a bit similar. There are probably other things as well that sound quite similar. Aubergine isn't one of them. I’m really not making much sense am I? Answers below please.

And how do I feel at the end of my first blog? Well quite pleased that I managed to actually do it. Who knew my life (bus stops, meetings, minor technical fixes) really was that exciting!

Adam - Visitbrighton

Miss Sandra Bernhard

Well - I've wanted to see one of her shows for ever and she was great - but only thing was she was on in Worthing! She seemed as confused as the audience and it seemed it was all down to the wisdom of the promoters. Poor old Worthing! Still, half of Brighton had made the trip but it seems the UK audience are not quite up to the participation of our Stateside cousins, who apparently heckle witticisms and dance and sing and get - well, VERY involved. We of course all sat there with our arms folded and chuckled and when we got particularly enthused tapped our feet along to Sandra's band. I love the Brits!

Think Sandra was a bit miffed though - at one point she told us what she had just said was hysterical and that we weren't getting with the programme and why didn't we all continue to just relax and go and have fun AFTER the show! Ouch...

Anyway, I thought she was great - funny, bizarre, irreverent, off the wall, not scared to speak her mind politically and all in all very unique. It would have been better in Brighton in a cabaret type format but, hey, its not every day you get to see Miss Bernhard do a rendition of Little Red Corvette...

Funnily enough she waxed lyrical about her hatred of blogs, which upset me a bit - in my small deluded world I imagined Sandra would agree with me about EVERYTHING - but she said she wanted to see who was speaking to her and said she couldn't imagine Liza Minnelli getting up of a morning and blogging before piling on her make up with a couple of G and Ts. Well, OK, fair enough but some of us are less blessed with uber stardom and I find the odd blog post rather cathartic...

Well, back to reality - Sandra didn't ask me to go for a post show curry or even a drink, so its back to work for me...Come to Brighton next time Miss Bernhard.

Did anyone else go? What did you think?

And thanks to the lady at Worthing Pavilion box office who gave me my 15 mins of fame. I'm called Sarah and when she gave me my ticket she got all confused and said 'There you go Sarah, you're Sarah and Sandra Bernhard is performing...oh never mind...

Schmoozing at Snooze

The VisitBrighton team were last night treated to very hospitable tour of a newly renovated guesthouse in Kemp Town, the original and evocatively named Snooze. Owners Tony and Paul bought the property earlier this year and have transformed what was a more traditional B&B into a sleek, quirky and contemporary snooze pad. Each bedroom delights the visitor with its original collection of found furniture and objects ranging from a traditional French country room to a funky 70's lounge style boudoir. The owners have spent the last 6 months trawling the antique shops and markets of Brighton & Hove to find just the right pieces to fit their vision. The breakfast room evokes a 1950's cafe where you can enjoy delicious breakfasts during your stay. Why not try this new guest house and enjoy a totally retro experience with all the mod cons! Snooze can be found at Enjoy!!!


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Blogging in the dark?

Well as I have been encouraging colleagues to write posts for our lovely new blog I thought it best to lead by example the only problem is what to write? Wrting about nothing has worked for some creative geniuses, like Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark or Jerry Seinfeld's sitcom about nothing but somehow I don't think that will work for me.

I do think this blog is a great idea though and a good example of what it is like to work here as we are always doing new things so there is no time to get bored. I also enjoy working with the people here, Nick who did the post about his walk to work is my manager and he is genuinely that enthusiastic about everything, really it's true. Which is great, I mean in all honesty I think I have a better walk to work as I start in Hove which is superior to Hanover, but I take the sun reflecting off of the Regency buildings and the sea view for granted. I think if I were to discuss my walk to work the things that would come to mind are trying not to sing along out loud to my MP3 player, which is currently playing Editors and if you haven't bought their most recent album I urge you to do so immediately... well you can finish reading this first.

The other thing I would recall is this infuriating little man who walks the same route, he is far too chirpy early in the morning, he even tried to talk to me once but he quickly realised that my brain cells do not kick in until 9 at the earliest, so then had the audacity to excuse himself by saying he had to walk on ahead as if I was the one wanting to dilly dally around chatting! However the most annoying thing about him is that he wears a rucksack on his back, which is half full at best and then carries a carrier bag of stuff seperately, why doesn't he put the carrier bag in the rucksack??!!??

Well I am going to de-vent my spleen, take some deep breaths and let someone else have a go. Although next time I promise to think of something to write before I start typing to avoid this sort of nonsense spewing out...

Charlotte - Marketing Officer

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

the best walk into work

I reckon I've got one of the best walks into to work - can anyone out there do better?

Starts right at the top of Brighton in Hanover - alternatively know as 'muesli mountain'.

Anyway out the front door, look left and I get views of the sea - perfect start to the day. Being on a hill and close to the sea it can get quite windy. Also good for waking me up! Then its down, down, down through friendly colourful streets, meeting the odd cat or seagull if I'm lucky.

At the bottom of the hill I cross the road and I'm in Pavilion gardens - passing the art gallery and Brighton Dome on my right and of course the Pavilion itself. Through the Indian gate and over the road and I'm in the Lanes - the historic part of Brighton, once a small fishing village called Brightonhelmstone. Full of restaurants and coffee houses, the aromas provide the final layer of sensation to ensure I'm fully awake to start the day at Brighton Town Hall, in the heart of the lanes and next to one of Brighton biggest hotels, The Thistle.

So there you have it, the best walk into work. Discuss....

Nick V

VIC up for Excellence Award

Golly - I've just seen all the people from the Brighton Visitor Information Centre all looking rather ravishing in their posh frocks...I thought they were all stapled to their VisitBrighton VIC polo shirts, but it seems they have style and panache a aplenty - i reckon they could give a few of the style gurus scattered around the city a run for their money.

Why the posh frocks? Well - Brighton Visitor Information Centre was recently short-listed for the regional Tourism ExSEllence Awards and tonight are the results. If they're successful, they go through to the National Finals...

Find out more here -

Good luck Brighton VIC....

Monday, 22 October 2007

Blogs away...

Well, we've just won ANOTHER sustainability, greeny type accolade here in Brighton. So we decided we wanted to shout about it from the nearest rooftop. Well, not literally, of course. Whilst we could have climbed onto the roof of Brighton Town Hall (where we work), we thought

a - we might not be heard as its a bit windy
b - we might fall off and our blog would die before it even got started
c - we might get arrested (which might have been quite exciting, but isn't very good when you work for the council)

So, what's the best thing we thought?

Hmmm..., lots of loud scratching of beards...few tumbleweeds...

"What a about a blog?" someone shouted.

Yea - great idea! And much safer too.

So here it is - our very first blog post. We're always waxing lyrical about things at VisitBrighton and thought it was about time we starting sharing our knowledge - some of it rather useful (some of it less so!) and definitely all of it unavailable elsewhere! We might feel like sharing a film or gig review, want to let you in on a top Brighton tip, tell you about special offers or something new and exciting in Brighton or throw some podcasts and funky film clips your way. Or we might just feel like telling you about our day!

And oh yes, almost forgot! The sustainability award - apparently we're the most sustainable city with the best quality of life in Britain... Cor! I feel better already... Find out all about it here -

So, if you want to know about Brighton, check back regularly - we might even let you in on a certain person's latest outing to Primark for the last pair of £4 silver ballet slip ons. Last time they returned sporting bruises and dishevelled hair. It was all a bit embarassing...

And just one more thing - if I don't mention our fantastic Winter Break offers (from £58 per room per night) our Marketing Manager will brand me with burning hot coals...!

Catch you soon

Sarah (VisitBrighton Web Editor).