Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Brighton Pride 2008

All around the world, ay ay ay...

No longer just a bizarre Lisa Stansfield 80s lyric I'll have you know - but also the theme of this year's Brighton Pride. (Well, if you lose the ay ay ay bit anyway.)

Brighton Pride is the largest festival of its kind in Europe and I thought it might be nice to take a wee look at how the event started and grew into such a seminal event in the gay calendar.

The history of Pride in Brighton & Hove stretches back to 1992 with a very modest afternoon event on The Level, complete with a few chaps and chapesses and some banners. It was probably at the time a bit more political than it is now too, which hopefully reflects that things are changing. These days its less of a political rally and more a celebration of all things gay, lesbian and transgender.

Since its fledgling days of 1992 Brighton Pride has evolved into the biggest free Pride festival in the UK. It was voted the best Pride in 2003 and 2004 by Gay Times and Boyz magazines and named 'Event of the Year' at the first annual Brighton and Hove Business Awards in 2004. Hosting a week of community events every February and August, the Pride summer Festival culminates in a Carnival Parade from the sea front, through the city to a Preston Park and a host of wonderful, eclectic people celebrating all things GAY.

What's great about Brighton Pride is that its such a welcoming event - it's not exclusive to gay people - you'll also see straight families and friends, young kids and grannies all having fun and celebrating the gay diversity in Brighton & Hove.

This year the theme is 'All around the World' so expect a lot of international influences including Brazil, Scotland, Iceland, Australia, Greece, Antarctica, Zimbabwe, Bangkok, Denmark and of course Britain.

The main Canival Parade starts at Madeira Drive next to Brighton Pier, setting off at 11.00am. With up to fifty different entries, representing countries and cities from all over the globe this year is set to be the most colourful and flamboyant yet! So why not come along?

Find out more about Brighton Pride.

It would be great to hear about anyone's Brighton Pride experiences?


Friday, 25 July 2008

Food & Drink Festival

I know I have said this before but there are definitely some good perks to this job, as on Wednesday myself and John were having a meeting with a couple of the lovely people from the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, which is in September. However rather than meeting in a boring old meeting room, we went to The Arrogant Frog in Hove.

Fortunately it was a gloriously sunny day so we were able to sit in their picturesque garden and had three courses of delicious food, sat in the sunshine talking about ... delicious food! We had three courses (well it would have been rude not too) I started with vegetable soup, followed by Toulouse sausage and mash and finally Iles Flottantes for dessert. Seemingly simple dishes but each packed full of flavour.

Rosario, the owner, is so passionate about food and he has done a grand job at The Arrogant Frog. It is these local food heroes and amazing independent restaurants that the festival is keen to draw people's attention too. It is great that we are starting to attract well known chefs to the city including Carluccio, Zilli and next year Jamie Oliver but we mustn't forget why they want to come here, and that is because of the locals who have already put Brighton & Hove on the map as a foodie destination. So when you are planning your visit don't forget to have a look through our Where to Eat guide to see the variety of restaurants on offer, and try and get down during September to experience the delectable festival :)


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Favourite things to do in Brighton

I'm always faced with a bit of a dilemma when going to the cinema. You see, I love to experience a film on the big screen, but I start to get vaguely psychotic when faced with popcorn swilling, coke slurping, chair kicking, twittering, twitching, monsters who wouldn't know an Almodavar from a jamjar. And don't even start me on the sniffing. I go to see the film, not chat with my friends, demonstrate how bad my cold is and munch my way through a small island of crunchy fast food.

So, if you're coming to Brighton and love film but loath the multiplexes, I'll share a secret with you. Check out the Duke Of York's Picturehouse. It's the oldest working cinema in the country and has plush, spaced out seats and offers a brilliant selection of mainstream and art house movies. There's a comfy bar and lots of film lovers who scratch their virtual beards as they realise that, actually, Sienna Miller's performance in The Edge of Love shows that she can act. In fact, it's so atmospheric inside, I'm always convinced a small man on a piano is going to rise out of the floor and play something from Battleship Potemkin. They even sell cake and there's a massive pair of stripey legs on the roof. You won't find that at the local Odeon!

Check out the video below for more about the Dukes. It's got some fascinating history as well as some fanstastic filmic fare throughout the year, from film festivals to New York Met Opera nights. Enjoy!


Monday, 14 July 2008

Leap into Brighton

Well we are quite excited here in the Marketing team as we have just done something that we haven't done in a long time...

For at least three years VisitBrighton has done no print advertising as we felt that given our teeny tiny budgets this was not the most cost effective way of promoting ourselves. However we have put together a special campaign for the summer in response to the current issues and so felt that it needed an extra push, so this weekend adverts appeared in the Express and the Guardian and there will be an advert in the London Metro and Time Out this week.

So it'll be interesting to see what affect the adverts have, especially as we haven't done this for a while. It was also interesting for me to see what my job would have been like if we did do advertising. Well as I've said before one of the best things about the job is that there is always something differnt happening and that I get to try new things, so this will be another string to my bow :)

Anyway here is how the ad looked, and don't forget to check out the offers at:


Friday, 11 July 2008

Creative things to do in Brighton in the rain

Well, being summer and all, we thought it was time for the VisitBrighton beach BBQ last week. The elaborate planning would have given J Lo a run for her money in the Wedding Planner, well, except it wasn't a wedding, but you know what I mean and as 5.30 approached we were all raring to go...

Fun was had by all, despite the urm force 9 wind and rain, and being hardened Brits we remained on the beach until dark. With the lack of sun (a very very rare occurence in Brighton I hasten to add!) we actually became very creative in amusing ourselves. Here are some of our best ideas...

Start limboing - ur, there was no pole girls, but never mind - nice idea...

Pretend you a modern day Grim Reaper from Bergman's Seventh Seal.

Still no pole, girls, but thanks for trying...

Ignore the rain and cloud and pretend you are in Acapulco instead. Ole Sue!

Look dreamily to one side and pretend you are in Gone With the Wind. (Richard does look a bit like Rhett Butler)

Pretend you are the lady of the lake with Excalibur. (We hate to be pedantic, but it was a sword Liz)

Oh for heaven's sake...

So remember, don't ever let the rain put you off!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Brighton's fantastic...

...according to Sacred Heart School in Battersea.

Many of the kids in class 2p had never seen the sea before and, following their trip to Brighton in June, they wrote to VisitBrighton to tell us what a wonderful time they had.

Children always tell it like it is and the comments were really heartwarming, so here are a selection... Enjoy!

'We had a FANTASTIC time in Brighton. It was beautiful. We had competitions and went paddling.'

'We went to paddle and splash ourselves. We have delicious ice cream. We had a great day!'
From Kristal

'We had a blast. It was fun, but the water was ffffreezing...'

'The sea was blue, sparkling and shiny. I had a really good time at Brighton. I will tell everyone to go there.'

'We had a terrific time in Brighton. We took some shells and stones home.'
From Renee

'We walked along the high street singing Summer Holiday and saw the deep blue sea.'

'Sparkling, glittering, fantastic, exhausting, beautiful.'

'When we went to paddle my friend got all wet. I am so happy I went to the beach.'

'The ice cream was really nice, better than my Mum's. But you should take the rocks out so people could have more sand and make bigger sand castles.'

'When we got off the train we all had to go to the toilet. When we got out from the toilet doors, Fifi said she could see the sea. I said 'where Fifi?', she said 'straight ahead of you', but I still couldn't see it. We went closer and closer until we got to the beach.'

'We had a fantastic day in brilliant Brighton...'

I wonder if any of class 2p would like a job in our marketing department?

Thanks to Mrs Metcalf and Mrs Clarke and all the children in 2p at Sacred Heart for writing to us and sharing their memories of their day in Brighton. Hope you get to come back soon.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Relax in Brighton

Well what a dreary, grey Monday it is! Not bad weather for Autumn but isn't it still meant to be summer? If the weather is making you feel a bit fed up then I think I have the perfect solution....

Last week we were fortunate enough to be invited to the launch party for Champneys who have just opened up on East Street in the Brighton Lanes. The property is somewhat tardis like as apart from the shop floor, there is another floor downstairs and one upstairs each of which have private rooms for a full range of treatments. Although what tempted me most was the idea of having a pedicure whilst sitting on a lovely big chair which just happened to have a remote control for controlling the thingies in the back of it (not too technical for you I hope!) to massage your neck and back, as well as being able to recline the chair.

I was also pleasantly surprised in the shop as I was expecting astronomical prices but all the products were very reasonably priced, well as long as you stuck to Champneys own products rather than the supposedly designer names which I had not heard off as those were less affordable. And at the moment it's even better value as to celebrate opening they have 20% off products and 50% off treatments until the end of the month, so go and spoil yourself, you can even get treatments done in your lunch break!


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Win a night at Brighton Komedia

Fancy a laugh? We've teamed up with Brighton Komedia to give away 2 sets of Saturday Krater Comedy Club tickets for 4 people, including your very own reserved table, scrummy meal for 4 and bottle of wine.

Famed for it's popular weekly stand-up Krater Comedy Club, Komedia has been described by The Independent as 'THE place in Brighton to catch stand-up comedy', attracting top comedy acts such as Catherine Tate, Ross Noble and Gina Yashere in the past.

So for chance to win a fabulous night of sniggers, smiles and smirks, visit our Komedia competition page and enter the prize draw.



Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A 1st for Brighton Visitor Information Centre

Well, we think we might be the first in the country, or possibly the world, to have a Visitor Information Centre staff member, with a 1st from Oxford University! Robert, one of our seasonals found out last night he was one of only 2 people in his college to get a 1st in English Language and Literature. That makes him just a teensy weensy bit brainy! He's also a lovely guy and deserves it, so if you see someone in Brighton VIC over the next few days floating on a small cloud with a massive grin on his face, that'll be Robert. Oh and his Mum is a bit pleased too!

Incidentally, that puts Robert among 25 British Prime Ministers, 30 international leaders, 47 Nobel Prize winners, six current holders of the Order of Merit, 6 kings, 12 saints and 20 Archbishops of Canterbury, and at least 9 Olympic medal winners, who were also products of Oxford!

Robert isn't sure what he's going to do yet post the VIC, but we've only got him for the summer, so if you want to catch a possible future mover and shaker, pop in and see him and the team.

Phooey - John, our marketing manager and me were quite chuffed with our 2.1s from Bournemouth and Exeter until about an hour ago! Thanks a lot Robert!