Monday, 21 December 2009
Well as everyone else still seems to be talking about the snow I thought I might as well join in!
Brighton & Hove has always been a popular spot for photographers whether it's iconic shots of the Royal Pavilion or the Brighton Pier, the Regency architecture or just the eccentric people of Brighton. So we were not surprised to see lots of snowy pictures of Brighton appearing in the newspapers over the weekend and in the Brighton Flickr group.
It also gave Sarah a good opportunity to go out and get a few shots in order to update our Winter image library:
Lovely pictures Sarah - definitely feeling the festive spirit now!
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
With only just over a week to go until Christmas Day why not book yourself a last minute break to Brighton so you can finish off the Christmas shopping and then relax and look forward to the big day?
As I mentioned earlier in the week if you're coming down this weekend it's the Brighton Christmas Market but whenever you come you also have all the shops of the Lanes and the North Laine to be explored so if you're still stuck for present ideas you're bound to find something even for the most awkward of family members!
Although with over 300 shops it may all seem a bit daunting, so here's a couple of suggestions to get you started:
- Last - Beautiful homemade shoes that your feet will love.
- She Said - Erotic boutique (don't think I dare say more then that!)
- Lavender room - perfect place for men who are stuck for ideas of what to buy the ladies in their life
- Papillon - Beautiful gifts for the home
- The Antique House - unsurprisingly they sell antiques!
- RING - contemporary jewellers where if you don't fancy anything in the window you can go in and design your own
- First Light - Is one of your friends a photography fanatic? You'll find the perfect gift for them here
There are 5 videos to get you in the festive spirit so to see the rest of them go to the Brighton & Hove City Council page on YouTube.
Monday, 14 December 2009
With less than a fortnight to go until Christmas Day this is the time to start panicking and checking the shopping list to see if you've remembered to buy presents for all and sundry. And if you suddenly realise that you've forgotten someone then don't worry as this Sunday is the Brighton Christmas Market.
The Market is being held in The Brighton Centre so you won't need to wander around in the cold. There will be about 40 stalls selling a range of gifts and decorations including a lot of locally made products.
But it's not just about shopping as Sunday is also the first day of 'Get Your Skates On' public ice skating event. Then at the end of the day if your feet are sore from shopping and your bum numb from skating then why not head over to the Indulgence and Wellbeing Zone for a massage :)
Monday, 7 December 2009
Well it seems the good people of Brighton simply cannot get enough of advent calendars! In case you missed my previous post, we already have a VisitBrighton advent calendar and a Peter Pan advent calendar but we are now going for the hat-trick with the Beach Huts Advent Calendar.
Local group Beyond gives people the opportunity to explore spirituality through a variety of creative approaches and in recent years this has included turning the famous beach huts into one large advent calendar.
Every day a different beach hut will open its doors to reveal something new about the festive season. The huts open from 5.30-6.30pm each day and you can be entered into a prize draw to win dinner, bed & breakfast at the Hotel du Vin. Download the flyer from the website for full details of which huts are open each evening.
Friday, 4 December 2009
It's going to be a double whammy today as I have two things I want to share with you, aren't you lucky?
The first one is just to let you know that any ticket holders for the Wild Fruit Red Party at Oceana on Sunday night can also get free singing and cocktails at Lucky Voice
The other bit of news is that you can now go to Jamie Oliver's Recipease on Western Road for breakfast or lunch. I was lucky enough to be invited to lunch there yesterday and it was really lovely. For anyone unfamiliar with it the front part is a shop and then there is a kitchen area at the back where you can do a number of different cookery courses. So when we went yesterday we were sat around the kitchen counter which was good for a couple of reasons. First of all we could watch the chefs in action, perfect for nosy people! And it helped me decide what to order as I thought a couple of the dishes sounded tempting but then I saw them preparing the beef and pumpkin salad and decided to go for that.
So if you fancy trying something a bit different for lunch then I'd definitely recommend it as the food was delicious and the staff were very friendly. And to those cynics who say that I would give it a good review as I was invited for lunch there, my reply is that I was well brought up and so if I didn't have anything nice to say I wouldn't have said anything ;)
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Sunday 13th December - 6-12pm
There's loads of great music, plus:
a charity auction
and a piňata!
Tickets are only £7.50, so please come along to enjoy the festive cheer and celebrate the brilliant work Kiya Survivors has achieved in 2009.
Help special needs & abandoned kids
If you don't know Kiya Survivors, they are a local Anglo-Puruvian charity who aims to provide a new beginning for Peruvian children and young people who have special needs or have been abused or abandoned.
Kiya Survivors now support over 200 children, young people and their families and without Kiya they simply would not have the life they deserve, if any life at all.Buy tickets to the Kiya Christmas Party online
Tickets are easy to buy online on the Kiya Survivors new website at www.kiyasurvivors.org
Kiya Survivors, started by local Hoveite Suzy Butler, have also been chosen as this year’s charity to be supported by the Discovering Latin America Film Festival in London, which is brilliant news.
I volunteered with Kiya in Peru and they are a wonderful charity, so why not come and join us on the 13th for some festive fun Latin style...
Find out more abou t Kiya Survivors & their work at www.kiyasurvivors.org
Well first of all please accept my apologies for being a day late with the Advent Calendar but to make up for it I have two for you to have a go at :)
As you may already be aware this year's pantomime will be Peter Pan and to get you in the mood the Theatre Royal Brighton has launched a special advent calendar
And here at VisitBrighton Sarah has also created a lovely Advent Calendar chock full of events in Brighton for the whole of December.
Make sure you open the calendars every day as there are also some competitions hidden under a couple of the dates.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
I've got a busy weekend coming up with some festive fun sandwiched in between seeing two very funny men.
It all kicks off on Friday night when I'm going to see Eddie Izzard live at the Brighton Centre and while I've been a fan of his for ages this will be the first time I'm seen him live. Ooo and I've just realised that this is the perfect excuse to show one of my favourite YouTube clips:
Anyway back to Brighton! On Saturday I'll be having a mosey round some of the Artists Open Houses and my first stop will be to Ourhouse near Brighton Station as my friend will be displaying some of her stuff there as one half of Yukka & Stamp.
With about 75 houses opening their doors to visitors the festival is a great way to find an unusual Christmas present for someone including these cute Christmas Creatures by Mibo who will be at 33 Coventry Street:
After looking at the Artists Open Houses we'll be popping down to New Road for the Christmas Crackers Market to have a look at the variety of festive stalls selling hot food, produce and gifts. I'll probably end up staying a while as they will also be serving mulled Pimms and Baileys (I'm assuming as separate drinks as I can't imagine they'd be very nice mixed together!) There will also be traditional carol singers and the day will end with the switching on of the Theatre Royal's Christmas Lights.
Finally on Monday night (ok not the weekend but it's not far off!) I'll be going to Brighton Dome to see Rob Brydon. Clearly the organisers had heard that I was disappointed to miss out on seeing the show when he was here at the beginning of the year so they've brought him back down just for me :)
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Oh this is a terribly tenuous Brighton link but I haven't been this musically inspired for years and I really want to pass it on.
Rodrigo y Gabriela played at Brighton Dome back in 2006 (that's the terribly tenuous Brighton link!), but as I'd never heard of them then the gig unfortunately passed me by.
It wasn't until last year that I came across these 2 Mexican guitarists on a Latin album and was instantly blown away. Rodrigo y Gabriela are an instrumental acoustic duo whose playing is very hard to categorise. Doing so kind of shoe horns them in to something that simply doesn't do them justice. But if I tried I'd say heavy metal inspired riffs on an acoustic guitar with a percussive backing - but all done on 2 guitars. See - enough to put anyone off!I went to see them play live at Hammermith Apollo last night and the atmosphere was one of the most electric I have ever experienced at a live gig. Even better than Salt-n-Pepa supporting Madge in the mid 80s. (That was a joke.) I doubt they will ever come back to Brighton as although they are not well known by today's music industry standards, they can easily sell out somewhere like the Hammersmith Apollo, but if you get a chance see them live - their talent and sheer passion and originality is quite mind blowing.
Check them out on You Tube below - even if guitars aren't your thing - they really are something else. How DOES she get those percussive sounds out of that guitar! Love it.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Scanning through the news pages today I picked up on two Brighton inventions or firsts and I think you'll agree that the phrase from the sublime to the ridiculous as never been more apt!
The first piece which caught my eye was from the Guardian about Geoff Smith a Brighton based composer and performer who has reinvented the piano. Rather than being fixed to 88 notes from 88 keys the fluid piano has sliders so that different scales can be accessed and there is also a horizontal harp on the top of the piano for even more options.
The next first from Brighton today comes from Fay Miller a wedding cake specialist who now sells Divorce cakes. Apparently there is a growing trend for divorce parties and so Fay spotted a gap in the market for specialist cakes. You probably won't be surprised to hear that the idea for Divorce parties originated from America!
I guess if nothing else the two stories help to show the diversity of what Brighton has to offer from high-end culture to fun and frivolity :)
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Well we can no longer deny that Christmas is well and truly on its way proven by the fact that the Brighton Christmas lights will be switched on this evening. The fun kicks off at 5pm in East Street with the Heart FM DJs playing music and announcing competitions with lots of lovely prizes.
The lights will be switched on at 6pm with a special appearance from the stars of this year's Theatre Royal pantomime - Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Of course Santa and his helpers will also be there although watch out for Silas the Ghostwalker! And after all the festive fun the shops will be staying open late so that you can get cracking on your Christmas shopping.
But if you are still looking for Christmas present ideas or if you feel you deserve a treat yourself then you'll be delighted to hear that this weekend is MADE 09 - Brighton's Design & Craft Fair.
The fair will be on from Friday - Sunday at the Corn Exchange and tickets are just £5 per person with children under 14 getting in for free! From intricate glassware to vibrant knitted textiles, elegant ceramics to dazzling jewellery, there is something for everyone and every pocket as work is priced between £20 and £1500.
For further tips on how to make the most of the build up to Christmas in Brighton then check out the new section on the website which includes our Advent Event (AdEvent?) Calendar which lists an event for every day of December and do make sure you check each one as there are some fab competitions in there as well!
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
She's the most beautiful superhero you'll ever see - but don't let those sultry looks deceive you - she's packs a mean punch in a fight and has many deep, dark secrets. Meet DIVA - a member of the first ever gay superhero team.
Or if Diva doesn't quite do it for you - you can always try Glitter, Mr Muscles, Butch, Prowler, Indigo or Liberty (the leader and first ever transvestite superhero thank you)
World's first all gay superhero team!
Pff to Superman and Spidey - move over darlings and make way for the mighty Spandex - the world's first all gay superhero team.
And what's even more exciting is that their crime headquarters is right here in Brighton...Exciting but maybe not surprising...
Spandex is the brand new comic book series by artist Martin Eden, who wanted to do something never done before. It follows the exploits of glamorous transvestite Liberty and her team as they battle the evil doings of the like of the Pink Ninjas. (yes the baddies are all gay too).
The first issue introduces the characters and their Brighton headquarters and is available at selected comic stores and at www.spandexcomic.com.
Apparently Indigo has her very own Indigo Room full of deadly weapons and er costume changes.
Looks great fun and I think I may try and get my hands on one at lunch...!
Happy superheroeing - oh, I mean gay superheroing.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
It's time for us to hand over to another guest blogger....
Hi Folks, Sue Popper here, I set up and ran Joogleberry Playhouse, an entertainment venue in Brighton which attracted the likes of Amy Winehouse, Newton Faulkner and the Kooks to its stage as well as the cream of Brighton’s talent. People loved Joogleberry for its great service and atmosphere along with the handpicked programme, and in 2006 this was recognised with a prestigious award for being the Best Venue to Entertain your Clients at the BAHBAs.
In 2007 I sold the venue but kept the name and after my trip to incredible India I returned to Brighton to set up a music and entertainment agency called Joogleberry Acts featuring great artists who performed at my venue as well as others I personally recommend.
Joogleberry Acts now brings entertainment to all kinds of events from private parties and weddings to corporate events, award ceremonies, venues and festivals across the country, and anyone with a desire for interesting, high quality recommendations provided by the Joogleberry brand.
Have a look at some of the acts: www.joogleberry.com/acts/music
It was hard to leave the venue I’d started from scratch and put my heart and soul into but it was also extremely liberating! Now I can concentrate on the areas of expertise I most enjoy, work with acts that would have never been possible with the restrictions of the old venue and take my artists to new heights.
It’s like a planet exploding with shooting stars cascading in every direction. Now Joogleberry is entirely free of limitations and I can share my wonderful performers and special Joogleberry energy with everyone! And really, wouldn’t it have been selfish to keep all those amazing acts in just one place?
For your first taste of the new mobile Joogleberry why not come to the launch of our first showcase event at the Brunswick, Hove on Thursday 19 November ~ Joogleberry’s Got Soul!
Email me for ticket information and whenever you want some help with your entertainment needs.
Back to you soon people,
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
You may remember my post re Brighton musical mash up maestro Nikky French recently, who was number 3 in a shortlist of musicians to win a competition to create a mash up using nothing but the sounds of the Hyundai i30 .
Well guess what - he won!
Nikky's entry received a whopping 11,725 of the 43, 731 votes, securing him top spot.
In fact Nikky has gained somewhat of a cult following for his car creativity as well as becoming some what of a local celebrity in the Hanover area of Brighton since entering the contest.
Brighton is famous for its thriving music scene, many of whom got right behind Nikky with their support.
Lucky old Nikky has a won a brand new Hyundai i30 for his efforts, which is rather cool as apparently he's never owned a car before.
So if you hear a Hyundai car door slam it could be Nikky. If you ask nicely maybe he'll treat to you a live mash up...
30beats is a homage to everything mechanical, making music with a sample pack of beats to integrate into your very own musical masterpiece. The sample pack is still available to download for anyone that has not had a go making their own mechanical mash-up yet.
Here's Nikki's winning mash up:
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Well by now we should have just about recovered from all the Halloween festivities but don't get too relaxed as we now have Bonfire night to look forward too!
On Thursday night head over to the Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove for the Brighton Lions Firework Display which has been named as one of the Top 10 displays by The Times. There will be fast food outlets and Muller Wine will be on sale to keep you warm in between the oo's and the ah's.
And as Bonfire Night is on a Thursday why not treat yourself and stay in Brighton for the weekend?
That way firework fans can also see the display at the Neville Recreation Ground as well as enjoying all the other things happening in the city over the weekend including:
Monday, 2 November 2009
Today I'm going to hand you over to Stuart Waterman to tell you what it's like to work for Lucky Voice:
One of the first questions people ask when you tell them you work at Lucky Voice is: “Do you just sing all day?”
Unfortunately this isn’t quite the case, although we do start each Monday at our London HQ with an office sing before the morning meeting. We do four songs (they have to be different every week) using our streaming karaoke service Lucky Voice Home, and then it’s onto the business of business.
People seem to respond to Lucky Voice’s brand of singing because it’s not about how good a singer you are, or how amazing your taste in music is – it’s about relishing that great feeling of singing your heart out with friends.
Group singing is nothing new, of course. It’s something that has been done for as long as humans have had voices, and it’s why hearing a football crowd singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” never fails to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
When we were looking for a new venue outside of London, Brighton was the obvious choice. People in Brighton know how to have a good time, and as the bar’s success has shown, they also clearly love to sing. It launched in June and offers something a little different to most other nightlife establishments in the area.
With high-quality cocktails, plush booths and easy-as-pie touchscreens for creating your ideal karaoke playlist, it’s a place to shake off the working week in luxury with your mates.
Singing enthusiasts will have an opportunity to spend a whole ten hours at Lucky Voice Brighton on Monday 9th November, when we host our first Charioke Marathon. It runs from 1pm to 11pm, with participants raising money for their chosen charity beforehand using JustGiving.com – like this Diana Ross fan!
It’s being organised by Refugee Action and has attracted teams singing for charities including Serenity Foundation, Terrence Higgins Trust and Children of the Andes.
Prizes will be given out on the day to singers who excel in individual categories – e.g. “Best Power Ballad Rendition” - and have been donated by Firebox.com, ASOS.com, Lush, EMI and American Apparel among others.
However - we need more singers! So if you’d like to take part and do some good while feeling hella good, email Refugee Action’s organiser extraordinaire Esme at firstname.lastname@example.org! Lucky Voice will be providing free throat-soothing soft drinks all day, so if you Just Can’t Get Enough of free karaoke it’s time get involved!
Friday, 30 October 2009
While the weekend may be full of scary surprises designed to make you scream, I doubt you will be shocked to discover that today's post is going to be about Halloween ;)
Here are some of the macabre events happening this weekend:
- Yellowave will be hosting a kids fancy dress Halloween party with fun ghoulish beach sports games on the sand, Halloween food, hot chocolate and marshmallows.
- Take an after dark tour of Preston Manor - Brighton’s most haunted house. Hear about the Victorian ghost sightings, the 1896 séance and spooky experiences up to the present day.
- At Brighton SEA LIFE Centre all children in full* Halloween costume will be given free entry into the attraction to take part in the various activities that are going on. There will be a trick or treat trail, scary face painting, a "yucky" dip, costume competition, Halloween music.... and much more!!
*must be full costume, not just a hat or accessory
- But Halloween isn't just for the kids so if you fancy showing off your spooky moves then get down to Komedia for Club Smooch: Monster Club for a horrifying Halloween show of spooky cabaret. There will be prizes for the best costumes and you get free entry into Club Ampwitch afterwards.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Clare Norburn, Co-Artistic Director of the Brighton Early Music Festival takes the guest blog slot to write about the experiences of a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast from the festival.
Wednesday, 21st October 11am
Les Pratt, producer of BBC Radio 3’s The Early Music Show calls to talk through the suggested order of the show. We planned it first with him back in February and we have chosen three young groups to perform live. Les has finalised timings with them for their pieces, has some ideas about what the presenter, Lucie Skeaping will ask and which CDs relating to festival concerts they will play. He wants to check that I am Ok to talk about certain of the festivals themes and concerts. Les tells me his next phone call will be to Deborah Roberts, my “partner in crime” the other Co-Artistic Director of the Festival.
Saturday 24th October 8am
The BBC van arrives at the Sallis Benney Theatre and the BBC team start setting up – which involves an awful lot of cabling.
Harpsichord arrives and is tuned by our lovely harpsichord provider, Malcolm Rose.
The first ensemble, Triologue, arrive promptly for their sound check. Lucie Skeaping, presenter arrives to go through her script with Les Pratt and Deborah Roberts and myself. 1607 Ensemble arrive and wait for their sound check.
Final group to have their sound check is Tempus Fugit – they have by far the most complicated set up – sitar, theorbo (extremely long-necked lute like instrument but with a second set of long deep bass strings), harpsichord, violin, recorder and two singers. It’s their first broadcast and they want to get it right!
Amazing! The sound checks finish 15 minutes early. Malcolm gives the harpsichord a final tuning.
Doors open to the audience.
Les Pratt, the producer comes on stage to introduce Lucie Skeaping, the presenter, to tell everyone what is going to happen. We wait in a hushed state trying to imagine the newsreader in London and keeping a weather eye on our watches. Suddenly, we’re live. The red light is on and Lucie announces “Today the Early Music Show comes live from the Brighton Early Music Festival…..” We are broadcasting live to the nation for the next hour!
You can hear the broadcast on BBC iplayer and the Brighton Early Music Festival continues till 8th November - www.bremf.org.uk
Monday, 26 October 2009
As you may (or may not!) know 'Brighton Rock' is being filmed in Brighton and Eastbourne at the moment.
Starring Helen Mirren and Pete Postlethwaite, the re-make of Graham Greene's novel is directed by Rowan Joffe and transposes the action from the 1930s to 1964, amidst the imfamous clashes between Mods and Rockers. Pinkie is played by Sam Riley, who played Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control and I'm pretty sure he's in the 3rd clip below.
So anyway, Charlotte and I popped down to Madeira Drive at lunchtime as we'd heard filming was underway. And lo and behold it was. Bit disappointed not to have seen the lovely Helen, but might pop back for a sneak later.
And although I don't think Rowan Joffe need be concerned by by shooting prowess, here are the best sneaky video clips we took.
We still quite can't understand why they've chosen to film some of it in 'ahem' Eastbourne. How rude. It's not called Eastbourne Rock is it.
For more about films made in Brighton, check out our Brighton on Film section.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
We've been twittering about White Night recently although sometimes it can be a struggle to fit the information in to 140 characters. So the obvious solution is to write a lovely restriction free blog post :)
Regular readers will remember that 2008 was the first year of the Brighton White Night Festival and now it is back and with even more things going on then last year. And the best news is that most of the events are free, hooray!
I should give a quick description of White Night for those of you who missed it last year. The idea behind the festival is to encourage people to do something different in the middle of the night, and so there are a whole host of events, trails and tours going on throughout Saturday night (24 October). Also this is the night the clocks go back so there is a whole extra hour to play with!
It all starts at 6.30pm at Jubilee Square with a Venetian Choral concert in association with the Brighton Early Music Festival. Here you will also find the White Night information point as well as a surprise installation which can help answer your tricky questions as the theme of this year's festival is fortune so all of the events are linked to fortune-telling, the future and destiny.
You'll be able to pick up maps and event guides on the night from the information desk at Jubilee Square as well as from our Visitor Information Centre (open until midnight on Saturday) But to help get you in the mood here are a couple of things to look out for:
- Café Babel at the Dorset: The café bar is transformed into a little part of France with menu and music to match. Be entertained by two live bands from Amiens France offbeat chanson from Délicieuse Alexandra and trashy trad from Tribal Jaze
- Playgroup at the Ocean Rooms: Great music continues until dawn with Playgroup, a selection of French electronica and live bands from NuitBlanche (the French version of White Night which happened last Saturday)
- Drawing Cards from the Deck: A night of life drawing at Komedia themed around 13 Major Arcana cards from the tarot deck
- The Penny Drops: Bring a lucky penny and watch as it rolls across the façade of the Northern Gate of the Royal Pavilion as the building is transformed into a large scale slot machine.
- Nightbusk: The Brighton Early Music Festival has handpicked a selection of young early music groups to try their luck at busking with a difference (New Road & Fortune of War pub).
- Future Machine: BANG transform the front of the Unitarian Church into a giant screen. Watch a series of fortune teller's predictions for the future.
- White Night Penny Arcade at Brighton Fishing Museum: Find your fortune the old fashioned way in this classic amusement arcade, where performers lurk inside fortune-telling machines bringing them back to life, accompanied by wonky fairground music and vintage memorabilia.
- Dawn Chorus: This year the White Night festival has commissioned Juliet Russell to compose a choral piece to celebrate the end of the night’s events, greeting the new dawn with the aid of a haunting bagpiper (on the beachfront near the Fortune of War pub).
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Brighton's Nikky French's Mechanical Mash-up
I never expected to find my foot tapping to a car door slam, but a few moments ago it was.
Why? Well, Brighton based musician/producer Nikky French is the running to win a competition featuring a track that is created from nothing but the sounds of the Hyundai i30.
Sounds bit conceptual right? Well, no - Nikky's entry is really good. Check it out below:
Nikky's entry in 3rd place
Nikky is in 3rd place too, just a few votes behind the leader.
Nikky has been making electronic music for 12 years, but only started remixing last year. His entry was created by using the original car noise recordings taken from the Hyundai i30, and has already received an influential thumbs-up from car and some-time music enthusiast, editor of What Car? magazine, Steve Fowler.
Other entries have come from across of the country, some have kept their remixes pure and used nothing but the car sound samples, whilst others have added extra layers of music, synthesizers and drums.
Vote for Nikky online
If you like Nikky's carsome beats, you can register your vote for him online.
Brighton based Danny Barnes has also made the shortlisted entries. Voting ends 31st October 09.
Should I mention my initial confusion with Nicky French of Eurovision 2000/crooner of dance version of Total Eclipse of the Heart fame? Probably not.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
There's nothing more annoying than getting lost when you thought you knew where you were going. Well, perhaps its just me that does it - but it is annoying.
A particularly memorable example was in La Paz in Bolivia (impressed much how i casually dropped that in) when I searched for almost an entire day for the famous Witches Market. A high point was being at one end of the city, convinced I was within seconds of the market, only to be told in hyper speed Spanish that it was the 'other' end of the city. To cut a long story short the market was 10 seconds from my hotel.
Download a Brighton walking map
So to avoid any visitors doing that in Brighton (difficult with the Royal Pavilion as it kind of sticks out!) we've created some great new downloadable walking maps to help guide you around the city. Marked with key landmarks and attractions, they are part of the new Brighton Wayfinding Scheme. (Look out for the new monolith, minilith and finger posting signage around the city.)
3 new Brighton maps to choose from
There are 3 new maps to choose from:
- Download the PDF Brighton Walking Map (2447 KB)
- Download the PDF Brighton Lanes & Seafront Map (951 KB)
- Download the PDF Brighton Laine & Cultural Quarter Map (921 KB)
If I'd had one of these in La Paz I may have saved myself an awful lot of time! And my feet would have hurt less. The witches were nice when I got there though. In fact one saved me from getting run over. It was a successful day...
Friday, 9 October 2009
Whether there is a particular area of Brighton & Hove that you want to explore or whether you want to see Brighton through the eyes of a resident who loves the city, Visitbrighton Greeters is a fantastic way to experience Brighton.
Visits are approximately 2-4 hours long and are completely FREE.
Want to book a Greet? Check out the new Greeter website for more information or sign up directly on the Book Your Greet page.
More about the Greeter Scheme
The Global Greeter Network is the association of independent Greeter programs around the world.
Greeters are volunteers who share their love for their cities, travelling with visitors through their city for a couple of hours to experience the city in a unique way, from the perspective of a person who lives there.
Thursday, 8 October 2009
One of the advantages of living in a city which has festivals happening all year round is that there is room for a variety of genres rather then just the mainstream. So if you are a music fan but you are sick of the shallow, reality tv drivel that is filling the charts at the moment then Brighton has the answer.
The World Sacred Music Festival starts on Saturday and runs until Sunday 18th October. The Festival celebrates sacred music from across the globe and this year the theme will be South with artists from Africa, India, South America and Southern Europe and a focus on Gypsy, flamenco and indigenous traditions.
Events include Amazonian music from Brazil, a Catalan Gypsy band from France, local group The Vocal Explosion Choir and Malan Mamane Barka the last master of the Biram (see picture), a holy instrument used by fishing Nomads from Niger. So if that doesn't satisfy your need for something a bit different then I don't know what will!
The other advantage of the World Sacred Music Festival is that it also gives you a chance to see some of the beautiful churches and religious centres across the city. Venues hosting concerts include the striking Unitarian Church on New Road, St Andrew's Church in Hove and St George's Church in Kemp Town.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Win a Lucky Voice Golden Ticket!
Love karaoke but don't want to belt out your favourite tune infront of loads of strangers? We may have the perfect solution!
Check out our new competition and you could win:
- 2 hours of free karaoke room hire for up to 15 people
- a prop box of hats, wigs and percussion at Lucky Voice!
Check out the competition on the VisitBrighton Competition's page.
Monday, 5 October 2009
It's time for us to hand over to another guest blogger in order to give you an insight into planning an event during the Brighton Early Music Festival:
Hi I'm Katie De La Matter I direct Ensemble Tempus Fugit a young London-based early music group with a difference. I'm on the top right of this picture:
We’ve been invited to devise a brand new project bringing together baroque and Indian classical music, as well as involving puppetry and dance. You can catch the premiere performance at this year's Brighton Early Music Festival, and during White Night on Saturday 24th October at 11pm at St. Bartholomew's Church.
As part of BREMF's 'East meets West' theme, we are very excited to be able to present this unique performance which aims to recreate music that could have been heard in and around Calcutta centuries ago.
We bring to life the music of colonists and traditional Indian classical musicians that would mix in the streets and in fashionable soirées. This means we'll be combining the sounds of our historical instruments (like the harpsichord, Baroque violin, recorder and lute) with the sitar and Indian classical singing. We don't know of anyone who has tried this combination before in recent times, so we'll be hard at work over the next month, finding ways to make these two completely separate traditions meet!
Really, though, our music hasn't always been so separate. Trade missions to Calcutta going back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I had musicians onboard to impress trade contacts and foreign leaders, and by the end of the 18th century, the city was full of harpsichords and fortepianos, with more arriving by ship almost every day.
These instruments weren't always used for European music though: we'll be playing Indian classical tunes from a manuscript belonging to a woman named Sophie Plowden in 1780. Sophie was married to an East India Company merchant. She would travel up the Ganges to Lucknow to ask Indian classical musicians into her sitting room, so that she could play along with them on her harpsichord. Luckily for us, she also asked a colleague to write down the songs they would sing together, complete with the music -- this is what we'll be using as our base.
Indian classical music doesn't really fit into the European way of writing music down, but it does give us a skeleton to work from, to make our own arrangements. The knowledge that we aren't the first to try fusion with older instruments, that someone was doing the same thing over two hundred years ago -- that definitely helps us along!
To link the music together, we've made a storyline for the concert -- which will involve drama, song, and shadow puppets (!), to portray a journey from the London of centuries past to the shocking new world that Calcutta presented to newcomers at that time, as they described in their memoirs and letters. At the end, the two worlds will blend together in our fusion music. We will hopefully convey the spirit of exploration that floods this music, and that we feel in our work with Sanjay Guha (an amazing sitarist) and Debipriya Das, a brilliant Indian classical singer who plays the sitar too!
Over the next month, then, we'll be setting up rehearsal/workshop sessions to make our musical arrangements, organizing staging rehearsals, building puppets, devising lighting, doing runs.... all thanks to the generosity of the Arts Council, which has made this project possible. The Brighton Early Music Festival has also supported us in developing this work, and members of the project and volunteers are donating their extra time to make this event the best it can be.
We hope you can join us in our theatrical & early fusion experiment! It'll be in the beautiful space of St. Bartholomew's Church on Saturday 24th October at 11pm. For more information or to book tickets (only £6) please visit: www.bremf.org.uk
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Like a bit of art?
Then we recommend popping along to the Brighton Art Fair this weekend. Now in its sixth year the highly acclaimed Fair is held every autumn at the Corn Exchange. Showcasing over 120 contemporary artists, the fair has built a strong reputation for exhibiting exceptional quality artwork in a welcoming, friendly environment.
The largest single visual art exhibition on the South Coast, Brighton Art Fair is promising once again to be a ‘not to be missed’ art event.Its a diverse and eclectic mix too - you'll find painters, printmakers, ceramicists, photographers and sculptors exhibiting, all chosen in a rigorous and competitive selection process to represent the most exciting and eclectic work across as wide a variety of methods and subjects.
So no village hall tea cosies or woollen toilet roll holders here:)
This art fair is almost unique in that the artists themselves sell their work direct to the public, bringing a personal feel to viewing and to the buying process. So visitors get to enjoy meeting the artists, as well as browsing the art.
Brighton Art Fair is on from 2nd - 4th October at Brighton Corn Exchange.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
September has been a lovely month weather wise, which makes up a bit for the, ahem, great British 'summer' we had in 2009.
But October is on its way and the nights are drawing in, which quite frankly we think is quite cosy, but we also thought it would be nice to have 5 minutes of guaranteed sun and warmth at our fingertips.
So if you're feeling a wee bit chilly or just yearn after some summer rays, check out our Brighton chill out video for 5 minutes of Brighton beach life and summer sun...
Video produced by Fat Sand, Brighton.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
This weekend several Brighton restaurants including: Terre a Terre, Indian Summer, Moshi Moshi, Graze and L'Eglise will be taking part in Oxjam on a Plate. The initiative will be running from 2nd-11th October and the participating restaurants will add an optional 50p charge to diner's bills with all money raised going directly to Oxjam Brighton for Oxfam's Climate Change campaign.
Although it doesn't stop there as if you go out for a drink during this period then you can also take part in Oxjam Top Up where several pubs will be rounding up drinks to the nearest 50p with the change being donated to Oxjam.
Oxjam on a Plate leads up to the main Oxjam Brighton 2009 event which is happening from 18th-25th October and sees musicians, bands and djs - including local boy Norman Cook - taking to stages, back rooms and street corners putting music at the heart of the city.
To find out what Oxjam events are happening in Brighton visit: www.oxjambrighton.co.uk
Friday, 25 September 2009
In this high-tech world of e-mails, blogs and tweets we rarely get any post anymore and if we do it is usually just people trying to sell us stuff, but every now and then something lands in the in-tray which is a little out of the ordinary.
Recently we received a charming letter from a lady in Woodingdean who was inspired to write a poem about our city. We so enjoyed it that we thought we'd share it with you:
A Pony's Eye View of Brighton
by Bobby Dalby
I'm a Regimental Mascot, so frequently on tour,
Plumbed up and harnessed, on parade is what I'm for.
We came to Brighton, so a day to look around.
Some sights I won't forget as I stood upon "Duke's Mound".
'Sarge', he let the lads go on beach and in the sea,
Economy on kit? Too far! I blushed as they ran free.
Oh dear, oh dear, what sights! As everyone the same
I closed my lids, then hung my head in shame!
Ice cream cornets next, where's mine? I want one too,
Was told not good for me, as hay is what I chew.
I'll kick and stamp and show I'm a spoilt brat,
I don't care if 'Corp' says I'm now too fat.
A man in blue comes my way, on a mighty horse,
Don't look at me 'cos you're on a different force!
"Oi", you left a package in the road, something the army never do,
Where's your bag? It's a fine, so pick up that poo!
The pier I'm not allowed on, so view from afar,
Oh God, the lads don't care about me, as they find a bar.
I patiently wait, as they drink their fill,
'Sarge' upset as he's left to pay the bill!
Another pub that's military in its name,
Some battle! Pubs and bars, to me they're all the same.
Six burly lads do enter through that door,
Waiting arms in welcome, their style? That I'm not so sure!
Everyone admires me, as I trot along the prom,
No, not outer space, it's Shetlands where I'm from.
Heap of rusting metal, that floats upon the sea,
I think it's called West Pier, so sad, it frightens me.
Now Pavilion looks great, and the gardens too,
Dog snarls "Oi watch it, I'm quite as big as you".
The flowers are nice; I look around and pick Sarge a rose,
Yells of "creep" and "naughty boy" as I'm tapped upon the nose.
It's late I'm told, should be my box and bed.
Who said that, the Sarge? No! so go jump off Beachy Head!
Have we seen all the town, museums, Marina, churches, I think that's all?
My furry legs and hoofs are tired, so it's home before I fall!
As a tourist Brighton's nice to visit for a day
So I will go home, see my filly and then roll in hay.
Thanks again to Bobby Dalby for sending us this poem as it certainly raised a smile :)
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Well September has been a hectic month in the Marketing office and this weekend was the busiest as we were hosting a group of five German journalists accompanied by the lovely Uli who is our German PR account manager.
The idea of the trip was to get the journalists to come over and discover why Brighton is the ideal place for a city break. While it was meant to be a general piece it did end up having a bit of a foodie theme. One of the advantages of planning these trips is that I get to pick restaurants I still haven't had a chance to try yet and so we ended up going to: TABLE, In Vino Veritas and Oki-Nami as well as an old favourite - Due South.
While all the restaurants were great it is always good to get the chance the try new things and so we decided that for the last night we would take part in one of the Open House dining events. In case you haven't heard about it the event is part of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival and combines the TV show 'Come Dine with Me' with the Artists Open Houses festival. So you get to nose around people's houses and then they cook you a three course meal, or you can apply to be host a dinner party if you want to show off your culinary skills. Unlike the TV show there is no cattiness and it is a great way to get to meet people and explore different areas of the city.
Our dinner party was hosted by the two Sams who own Pretty Clever events and who had the idea for Open House dining in the first place. The Sams were very friendly and welcoming hosts and the food was delicious. So we were not surprised to hear that the event has been extremely popular and will hopefully be returning soon so make sure you try one. Here is a picture of us getting ready to tuck in:
Doing these press trips can be exhausting however it always helps when the journalists are all friendly and genuinely enthusiastic about seeing the city. The group all loved Brighton particularly the food and the shops but also the overall atmosphere. In fact Andrea (front left in the picture) so got into the spirit of things that she was planning on getting a tattoo before she went home! We have asked her to send us a picture so we'll keep you posted....
Monday, 21 September 2009
Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about in Brighton & Hove over the next few days!
Brighton Early Music Festival is planting 10 ticket vouchers around town in random locations. The vouchers might be left in cafes, at bus stops, on the beach or anywhere used by the public.
Free tickets to the Festival Preview
If you are lucky enough to find one, then you will be able to claim two free tickets to the festival’s Special “Sneak Preview” concert on Sunday, 27th September at
Special vouchers will have a special ID number, which you can check with the Festival to ensure its validity. Then you simply turn up on the door of the concert with your voucher and claim your two free tickets!Winners will also get given a further voucher to leave in a public place for another member of the public to pick up – and so the chain goes on throughout the festival until it ends on 8th November...
More about Brighton Early Music Festival
Brighton Early Music Festival takes place in late October/ early November every year and is a celebration of all things early music.
As well as celebrating the anniversaries of Purcell, Handel and Haydn this year, orient-inspired Brighton forms the perfect setting for a fabulous fusion of music and dance from East to West. Highlights include Joglaresa with music from 13th century Spain and the renowned Thumri vocalist Purnima Chaudhuri.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Want to get out and about this Autumn? Like the fresh air? Go on - get those shoesies on and discover all the wonderful green open spaces and countyside around Brighton and Hove.
Here are 10 suggestions for places around Brighton and Hove where you can can get out and ‘Go Green’...
1 – Get the bus to Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean
Jump aboard the number 2, 12 or 14 bus and travel along the seafront to historic Rottingdean. Explore the beautiful gardens of The Elms – once home to Rudyard Kipling.
2 – Explore Brighton and Hove on foot with the new city walking map
Easily walkable on foot, discover Brighton and Hove with our handy downloadable Brighton City Walking Map.
3 – Start walking the South Downs Way
Experience some of our finest countryside between Winchester and the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. Major points of the South Downs Way are easily reached from Brighton, some just a short bus ride.
4 – Breeze up to the Downs and explore the stunning Sussex countryside
Breeze up to the Downs is a handy network of three bus services linking the city with some of its most popular countryside destinations. So you can leave the car at home...
5 – Walk or cycle the ‘Chattri to the Windmills’
Not only can you walk the ‘Chattri and the Windmills’, you can also cycle and horse ride most of it too. Download the 'Chattri and the Windmilles' PDF map to set on an exploration of the Chattri Indian War Memorial and windmills of Brighton.
6 – Relax in on one of Brighton and Hove’s parks & gardens
7 – Hire a bike and cycle from Stanmer Park to Ditchling Beacon
If you don’t have one its easy to hire a bike in Brighton and follow one of the many scenic cycle rides into the countryside around Brighton and Hove.
8 – Enjoy a healthwalk
A great way to get active in the fresh air Brighton Healthwalks are a handy way to walk regularly if don't have the time to attend longer walks. With 12 regular walks across the city, from approx 1-4 miles in length, all walks are free and led by trained Volunteer Walk Leaders.
9 – Check out Foredown Tower Countryside Centre
Home to one of only two operational camera obscuras in south east England, Foredown Tower offers fantastic 360 degree views of the Sussex countryside and is the kicking off point for lots of country walks.
10- Take the bus for a walk
Help keep the Downs free of cars by using public transport to explore your local countryside. A series of scenic walks all starting and ending at bus stops.Download the 10 places around Brighton to get out and ‘Go Green’ PDF (108KB)
Or for lots more ideas on things to do outside, in and around Brighton and Hove, visit our Countryside in Brighton section on www.visitbrighton.com
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Well we've all been very busy lately at VB Towers and part of this has been caused by the launch of our new campaign Brighton Mods & Rocks.
The idea for the campaign came from the fact that it's been 30 years since the cult classic 'Quadrophenia' was released and this inspired us to demonstrate to everyone that the spirit of the mods is still alive and well in Brighton today. Although you'll be pleased to know that nowadays if Mods and Rockers do cross paths no one gets hit on the head with a deckchair and all gatherings are peaceful. If you don't believe me then come and see for yourself as this weekend it's the Ace Cafe Reunion run from London to Brighton which includes both scooters and motorbikes!
Anyway back to the campaign, whilst Sarah was stuck in the office beavering away on the new pages for the website. I was out and about on a Mod themed press trip for UK journalists including The Daily Telegraph, The People and The Times. During the trip we were taken on a tour of the Old Police Cells in Brighton Town Hall as this is where the Mods & Rockers from the infamous clash in 1964 were held, proven by the graffiti from Dave the Rocker! Then we went on a walking tour with a Blue Badge Guide to see the key locations used in Quadrophenia including the beachfront, the Beach Cafe and of course the famous alleyway off of East Street.
After a brief respite after all that walking we then went off to the Theatre Royal for the opening night of the new stage show Quadrophenia. Before taking to our seats we had a drink on the balcony as this was the ideal spot to watch the scooter run along New Road, which one of our journalists joined in on:
Afterwards the journalists adjourned to the Grand Hotel - unfortunately we didn't quite manage to persuade Sting to reprise his role as a bellboy there for the evening but it's still a great place to stay. Then the next day it was off to the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery to see some of the original clothes worn by Mods & Rockers and then off to North Laine to see the classic mod shop - Jump the Gun.
We're delighted that the Telegraph have already published a piece about their trip and I think we managed to convert them to the Mod way of life! So don't forget if you fancy being a Mod for a day or two then check out our top tips and let us know how you get on.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
I was thinking, oh poo, summer's almost over and everyone seems to still be waiting for it to arrive. So I though, ok, what's coming in Brighton that looks good and will get me in the spirit for Autumn.
And the first thing that came to me was White Air.
An extreme sports and music festival full of adrenaline rushes, spectacular extreme sports, competitions, displays and a great music line-up, White Air is descending upon Brighton for 3 days of breathtaking action from 18-20th September. It's in its first year in Brighton and it looks pretty unique - as you'd expect from Brighton really.
Premier Extreme Sports Festival
From Free Sports Ramps for Skaters, Boarders and Bikers to all the urban sports, you can also expect Europe’s top Skate Vert comp, as well as the Red Arrows and Falcons Parachute display teams. Oh and if you're feeling brave, Bungee on the Beach.
Watch the world’s best extreme athletes
A chance to watch some of the world’s best extreme athletes or test your own skills and try a completely new sport, you can find out more about the full lineup on our White Air page.
Get your tickets from Brighton Visitor Information Centre & get a FREE copy of the Book Thief
Tickets are available from the Brighton Visitor Information Centre and everyone that buys a ticket there before Monday 14th September will receive a FREE copy of the Brighton City Reads book, The Book Thief.
So why not pop in a grab a couple today. You could be doing a San Francisco Flip or coconut wheelie in no time :)