Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Green city

Brighton was recently found to be the most sustainable city in the uk and while this can be attributed to many factors at the end of the day it is thanks to the residents of the city who went green long before it was fashionable to. Whether it's recycling, buying local produce, shopping at independent retailers instead of chain stores, not using plastic bags or cycling and walking instead of driving, the residents of Brighton have been doing their bit for a long time.

Which leads me on to tell you about an exciting new event in the city the Eco Open Houses. Fourteen houses in Brighton & Hove will be opeing their doors to the public during the weekends of 28-29 June and 5-6 July so that people can learn simple ways to save energy and money. Personally speaking I think it is a great idea, as I don't know about you but I find some of the government advertisements about green issues a little patronising to say the least, however to drop in and chat to someone about it and get to ask them for advice and how much they have saved, seems like a much better idea. Plus you get the added benefit of having a nose around someone elses house so you might get some interior design tips as well!

To find out more about the Eco Open Houses visit the website - and you can also download our fact sheet on how visitors can Go Green on a trip to Brighton


Tuesday, 24 June 2008

VisitBrighton were discussing where we'd like to go for our next group outing yesterday and we're seriously thinking about putting our 'extreme Brighton' heads on and opting for a spot of orbing. If we have the balls that is!

The guys at Orb360 turned up in Brighton last year professing to have the ‘biggest balls in Brighton’ and subsequently made thousands of locals and visitors alike grin, scream and become hilariously disorientated travelling at speeds of up to 30mph, two at a time, down the longest Orb run in the country. Our old marketing manager did it and loved it. Although he was a slightly odd shade of green when he came back...

Orb360's antics can be seen and heard across Brighton's summit in the beautifully picturesque setting of the Devils Dyke (Bus No.77).

And now, not content at putting thrill seekers and the adrenaline junkies through their orbing experience the cheeky chappies at Orb360 are also giving orbers the ride of their lives inside the appropriately named ‘Aqua Orb’ - so called because you share the orb with a willing friend and 50 litres of icy water! Really not one for the faint hearted...

Then came the next new thing and, being proud Brightonians, the peeps at Orb360 brought the first Sussex and Brighton ATBA approved Mountain Boarding centre to our shores. For the uninitiated, Mountain Boarding is the sport involving large looking skateboards with bmx style wheels that can travel down hills at up to 40mph and over jumps and rails for the committed adrenaline seeker! With all this happening at Devils Dyke you can see why and are full of rock and roll - quite literally on the rolling stakes! So, go and check them out yourselves or call 01273 880045 for more information. If you think you have the balls!

Height, weight and health restrictions apply.

Oh, and we're thinking of doing a video diary of our trip, so watch this space!


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Welcome to VisitBrighton

First of all apologies for not having written anything in a while, we all seem to be pretty hectic at the moment but I just wanted to write a quick message to let you know that we have a new Marketing Manager joining us today.

John has just moved to the city from Bath so once he's had a chance to settle in a bit I'm hoping he will pop on here to tell you his initial thoughts on living in Brighton.

Anyway I'm afriad that is all for now, but don't forget you can keep up with all the latest news on Brighton & Hove through our website - where you can sign up for RSS feeds or our monthly newsletter


Monday, 9 June 2008

Kids Go Free in Brighton

Well it looks like summer has arrived, and Brighton is the ideal place for a family break as there are lots of things to do and to help out we have put together some special Kids Go Free offers for hotels, restaurant and attractions to find out more go to:


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Am I mising something?

The last few concerts I have been to I have got seated tickets, either because the standing tickets had all sold out or because it was a stadium gig, such as Bruce Springsteen last week so we could only afford to sit up in the gods, which as it was raining was no bad thing! Before moving on I must just praise Bruce as he really put the younger acts who struggle to do an hour set to shame, as he delivered a high energy performance for two and three quarters hours, proving that he is still 'The Boss'

Anyway back to the point, last night I went to see the Pigeon Detectives at Brighton Dome, and we had got standing tickets which I had been very pleased about because I love the band and their music is ideal for jumping around too. This is all very well at home but of course at a concert there are more people and a complete lack of respect for anyone's personal space, so you either end up getting stepped on, someone's hair up your nose, some impossibly tall oaf or flailing arms in your face. The mosh pit is something I have never understood either, I do like bouncing around to a song, but why you need to jump and barge into other people I don't know. But just as I was looking on thinking how relieved I was not to be in the middle of all that lot getting bruised and battered, someone collided into me, desperate to get stuck in. I started to think that it was possibly an age thing as I'm now closer to 30 than 20, but there were plenty of people older than me who were loving it. Am I missing something? Were you in the mosh pit last night, why do you love it so much? As for me I think next time I'll get a seat as then you still have the option of getting up and dancing but you also have a degree of space, the chair zone if you will.

Should briefly mention the actual gig before I sign off - the support act was Pete and the Pirates which we were pleased about as we'd missed seeing them at the Great Escape and they were good, although surprisingly geeky looking, I swear one of them was Bill Gates’ son! As for the Pigeon Detectives themselves they did not disappoint me, and as ever the main chap (oh dear such a fan and yet I don't know his name!) was full of energy, jumping around like a maniac but still polite enough to say 'ta Brighton' after every song, I was also very impressed that they didn't do the silly encore business either :)


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Brighton is the happiest place to live

As you may have gathered from the press trips I have written about recently, part of my job is to handle press enquiries. This can sometimes include providing quotes for people writing about our lovely city, and once you've written the e-mail it's very easy to forget about it until you get a call from your Grandad to tell you that you have been quoted in the local paper!

Allow me to elaborate... a couple of weeks ago I had a call to tell me that Brighton had been revealed as the happiest place to live according to a survey from O2. This is because 94% of Brighton residents think they have a happy home, well above the average of 84%. Anyway they asked if I could give them a quote on what we thought of the survey results, and so I e-mailed them the following reply:

‘’We’re not surprised to hear that Brighton has the happiest homes. We have all the benefits of living in a city – such as the culture, shopping, restaurants and nightlife – with the added bonus of being by the sea which keeps us relaxed and calm. Also, as Brighton is a compact place, people generally walk around: this means they get to know their neighbours, adding to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the city.”

I did say they could cut it down but they left it as it was, so apart from appearing in our local paper I was surprised to see my name popping up on Sky News, GMTV and in The Sun who generously promoted me to Tourism Chief (sorry Adam!)

So there we have it, Brighton is the happiest place to live. Why not visit our website to see why, and for those of you who live here do you think my quote was right or do you have another reason for being happy? And if you used to be happy living here but had to move away then why not tell us about it and take part in our Brighton Revisited competition?


Monday, 2 June 2008

Visit Hove actually!

Well as today is a grey Monday and I'm back at work after a week off so have a load of e-mails to go through, I thought I would have a break to write a blog post, and I noticed that Sarah has added a new category - Brighton Hidden Gems as a lot of people coming to Brighton go straight to the beach and miss a lot of the city, therefore I have decided to write to you about Hove.

I live in Hove, but it was only walking around the area with one of the press trips last month that made me realise just how much there is to see in the area. I took the group to see some of the Artist Open Houses (don't worry if you missed seeing them this May, as they'll be open again in December) and the journalists were impressed by the large Victorian houses, and surprised by the lovely big gardens some of them had, this includes the charming Claremont hotel. During a visit to the Happy House the journalists admired some of the photographs taken of the beach huts during our freak snow storm a couple of months ago, so much so that they insisted I take them to see the huts for themselves, which was fine by me as apart from seeing the colourful huts, the lovely wide promenade is also a great vantage point for admiring the Regency architecture of Adelaide Crescent and Brunswick Square.

And if you are into architecture then you must include a tour of Embassy Court. At the moment it is mainly only locals who go on the tours to have a nose around this notorious building, as for a while it was known for being a blot on the landscape, but now it has been lovingly restored to its former glory and is a superb example of the art deco movement. Former residents included Laurence Olivier and Keith Waterhouse, and the sun terrace gives fabulous views across the city, although in its hey-day it was a tequila bar and I think they should seriously consider reinstating it :)

Apart from the architecture, Hove is starting to dominate as the place for food fans to visit. Whether it's to shop at the Champagne boutique Toast or to sample some fine dining at Riddle & Finns, The Arrogant Frog or L'Eglise. Although I must just give a special mention to Graze as we visited this restaurant during the press trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as the d├ęcor is very stylish and there is a warm and welcoming atmosphere. As for the food, the restaurant has developed it's own grazing menu where they recommend you select three dishes which are all starter size. There are three categories – Seafood, Meat and Vegetarian (but don't feel you have to have one of each) And as someone who sometimes struggles to finish a main course, I really enjoyed it as although you are eating as least as much, because it is spread over three courses it is easier to manage and you get to try more things. Sadly we didn't have time to sample the desserts so I guess I'll just have to go back again :)

Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the Hove Museum and Art Gallery, which is certainly worth a look as outside there is an Indian Gate - The Jaipur Gate and inside there is the Wizard's attic for children as well the history of film including footage from the 1890s and 1900.

Just before I leave you, I should say thanks to Sarah for the images apart from the Embassy Court one, which is courtesy of Roger Bamber