Thursday, 30 April 2009

The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock

As regular readers of this blog will be aware, one of the perks of working for VisitBrighton is that we often get invited to launch parties. Last night was one of these occasions as we got to have a sneaky peek at the new exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery entitled The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock.

The exhibition features around 80 prints by leading American artists including Jackson Pollock and Edward Hopper. Do you think that's how the came up with the title for the exhibition? ;)

There is a wide range of prints from 56 leading American artists. We were particularly impressed with some of George Bellows prints including this one entitled 'Dance in a Madhouse':

The intricate detail of some of the pieces was amazing, particularly when it came to light and shade within the works. Although one thing we haven't yet managed to find out is what is the difference between a copper dry point, an engraving and a lithograph? So I might have to pop along to one of the lectures which are happening to coincide with this exhibition (smooth segway there!) There will also be a number of events happening including a special Independence Day celebration and Jazz in the Galleries.

Overall I was very impressed with the exhibition even though some of the more abstract pieces were not really for me but I'll still definitely be going back to enjoy one of the events. You can find out more about the exhibition, lecture series and events through the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery's website.


Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Brighton bike

Well here's another first for Brighton, one of our residents is trialling a new bike which has a camera fitted to the handlebars and automatically takes a photo every 60 seconds and then uploads it to the Internet.

Keith Meredith was asked to test the bike out for The Purple Pedals Project as he is a full-time photographer as well as being a keen cyclist who regularly takes part in the London to Brighton bike ride. Twenty people have been asked to test the bikes and Keith is the only person in the UK and there is only one other person trialling it in Europe.

You can find out more about Keith and the bicycle through our local newspaper The Argus and have a look at Flickr to see the photos the bike has taken so far.

The article doesn't say what made the inventors come up with the idea of having a camera on a bicycle but I can see that it could have a number of uses. For example if you were going on a cycling holiday you wouldn't have to worry about keep stopping off to take photographs, or even if you are cycling home from work and you happen to spot a beautiful sunset you'd no longer have to say: "Oh if only I had my camera with me" A more practical use for it of course would be if you got caught in an accident you would instantly have a record of the whole thing and would also hopefully have the driver's number plate as well.

Anyway what do you think, would you be interested in having one on your bicycle?


Friday, 24 April 2009

Brighton park

In Brighton there is always so much going on that it can be a bit tricky deciding what to do next, and with so many exciting and unusual events happening we can sometimes overlook the simple pleasures.

So if you feel you need a moment of calm and a spot of tranquility this weekend then I suggest you visit Withdean Park which has the second largest collection of Lilac trees in the world with over 250 types and they are just about to burst into bloom. The park is just North of the city near Preston Park station so you're far enough away from the centre to relax for a while but not too far so you can quickly get stuck back into things if you want to.

If you fancy a quiet stroll or if you want to read a book in the sunshine but find the pebbles a bit too bum-numbing then try Withdean Park for a change, oh and before I go I should say thank you to Hilary for this top tip :)

Does anyone else have any tips on where to go in Brighton to escape from it all for a bit?


Monday, 20 April 2009

Madonna photos exhibit at Brighton Fringe

Imagine my surprise when some slightly candid shots of Madge popped into my inbox this morning. I hadn't even had a chance to fortify myself with a coffee.

But once I'd calmed myself down, I thought, wow, what a coup! As part of this year’s Brighton Festival Fringe, Impure Art Gallery is exhibiting an exclusive early series of Madonna photos.

In 1979 the as yet unknown 20 year old Madonna posed nude for just $30 for New York photographer Martin Schreiber. Later, when she had become a global icon the shots appeared in Playboy, catapulting Schreiber to fame. And these very photos are coming to Brighton.

As a one time HUGE fan of Madonna, (I had a scrap book of newspaper cuttings and everything and drove my parents nuts by playing the Dress You Up 12 inch around 200 time in one day circa 1985), I personally can't wait.

So, if you need a 'holiday' (oo yeah), get yourself down to Brighton and visit the Impure Art Gallery for a quite frankly MASSIVE slice of pop history. The exhibition kicks of on 1st May.

You can find out more on the Visitbrighton News section.


Friday, 17 April 2009

Happy Birthday William Holden

As you know we can now be found tweeting away on Twitter, and Sarah has kindly set us a challenge - everyday we should try and relate something that happened on this day in history to Brighton. We have only been doing this for a couple of days and they are already rather tenuous, for example we have had the explosion of the Apollo 13 linked to a Fringe event being held in a Spaceship tent!

However today my tenuous link is too long to fit into 140 characters so the readers of the blog get to enjoy it as well as our Twitter followers, hoorah!

Today would have been William Holden's 91st birthday so I decided to see if I could do a six degrees of separation from him to Brighton, so here goes:
  1. William Holden starred in The Bridge on the River Kwai with
  2. Alec Guinness who appeared in Doctor Zhivago which also featured
  3. Tom Courtenay who is most well-known for playing the lead role in
  4. Billy Liar which was written by
  5. Keith Waterhouse who famously said that
  6. "Brighton looks as though it is a town helping the police with their enquiries"


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Book Thief

Over the Easter weekend I finished reading this year's City Reads book which is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Being completely honest with you my heart sank when I realised that the book was set during World War II as at the risk of sounding churlish I sometimes wonder if we might have reached saturation point when it comes to books, films and television programmes set during this period. I think part of my problem is the fact that to a certain extent I have become desensitised to the atrocities of the war as the facts and figures quoted end up being just statistics and it is difficult for numbers to generate an emotional response.

However Zusak's book uses a fresh approach and adds a human factor to all the terrifying statistics. Although I don't want to give the wrong impression and imply that this is by any means a depressing book, as while there are some very sad moments (particularly towards the end) overall this is a heart-warming story. The story of the book thief is thoroughly engaging and you quickly feel completely engrossed with the characters and are eager to know their fate. I particularly loved the fact that the story was told by Death as it was an unusual twist on the traditional use of an omnipotent narrator.

So would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes I certainly would, although not if you are looking for a fast paced action packed Grisham-esque thriller (which I also love by the way) but if you enjoy novels about people and rites of passage then this is for you. The ideal book to get absorbed in on a summers day sat on the beach :)

Anyway don't take my word for it, grab a copy and let us know what you think and get involved with the City Reads events happening until 23rd May. Don't forget that if you are visiting the city then book your accommodation through VisitBrighton and you'll get a free copy of 'The Book Thief'


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

British holidays - check out Brighton Festival breaks

It's official - with the Euro and pound nearly one on one and the continuing economic situation, loads of Brits are holidaying in the UK. So if you're looking for inspiration, howabout a Festival break in the city by the sea?

Set to topple Edinburgh as UK's top festival city

Building up to topple Edinburgh’s crown as best UK Festival city, Brighton is already revving up the festival in May. The month when the city really comes alive, Brighton makes a great destination for a family or cultural break.

FOUR festivals in one

With FOUR festivals in one - The Brighton Festival, Brighton Festival Fringe, Artists Open House and the Great Escape, the city is packed with over 700 performances, including art, music, sculpture, cabaret, comedy, theatre and family events.

Anish Kapoor joins festival as Artistic Director

This year also sees Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor bring his seminal Sky Mirror to the city, as well as brand new works commissioned specially for the Festival, so it really is a year not to miss.

All that in a city that oozes culture, creativity, fabulous shopping and award winning restaurants, plus a great laid back vibe, makes Brighton the perfect place for a great British holiday! Oh and we’ve got sea, a magnificent Royal Palace and loads of stunning countryside and coastline right on the doorstep too.

Check out what's on at the festivals in May

So why not check out all that's hot at the Festivals in Brighton this May at

We've also got some Festival offers coming this week - so keep your eyes peeled on our Special Offers page.


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Easter in Brighton ideas

Coming to Brighton for Easter? Here are our Top 5 (well 6 actually!) ideas for things to do in the city this weekend:

1 - Easter Egg rolling competition
Bring your own hand-decorated hard boiled egg and try your luck at this Easter competition in the stunning countryside at Devil's Dyke - the one that gets the furthest down the valley wins. Judges will also be on hand to judge the best decorated egg.

2 – Things to do come rain or shine
Ok – let’s be realistic – it might rain at some point this weekend! So in case it does, we’ve got things covered.

Check out our Rain or Shine section for some sunshine and rainy day inspiration.

3 – Easter Egg Hunt
Pop along to Devil's Dyke (a short bus or car ride from central Brighton) any time between 11am and 3pm to collect your quiz sheet and map. Find the eggs around the Dyke countryside to solve the clues. Prizes for all!

4 – Kids Events at Jubilee Library

Various events are taking place throughout April and the Easter holidays at Jubilee Children's Library, including Stories and Activities, Baby Boogie, Illustration Workshops, Superhero, Labyrinth, Wallace and Gromit and Muppet Screenings and much more.

From April 6-19th there will also be a local history treasure hunt for, with a prize draw for all completed treasure maps.

5 – Margot’s Parties – Glitter Ball at the Hanbury Club
The kitsch and camp caper falls bang in the middle of the Easter bank holiday weekend and aims to provide some uplifting entertainment amidst the muted mood currently sweeping our credit crunch hit climes.

This month is Margot’s Glitter Ball - a studio 54 style soiree. Expect perfect pop, sexy house & dirty disco, seductive surroundings & a heavenly crowd.

6 - Fiery Food Festival
The Fiery Food Festival takes place on Hove Lawns, by the peace statue, this weekend (Sat 11th, Sun 12th and Mon 13th April). Expect all things hot, including chilli market, live bands, chilli food stage, chilli eating competition and spicy foods from around the world...

Happy Easter from VisitBrighton...


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

myhotel Brighton in Conde Nast Hot List

Well, apparently a lot of us Brits are returning to the great British holiday as a result of the 'credit crunch'. (Is it just me that hates that phrase?) Makes perfect sense really - the Euro and pound are practically 1 to 1 at the moment, making most of the rest of Europe much more pricey than usual. Plus a break in Blighty means there are no costly air fares involved. And your carbon footprint will be all green and lovely too...

So if you're thinking of a trip to Brighton (why wouldn't you!) Brighton
’s myhotel has just been named in Conde Naste’s ‘Hot List’ for 2009.

This unique 80 guestroom hotel, spread over four floors, with restaurant and bar, is the shared aesthetic ideal of Andy Thrasyvoulou, founder and visionary of myhotels and New York designer Karim Rashid.

Described by Andy as 'a hotel where Freddie Mercury might have met the Maharishi', myhotel Brighton is an exhilarating destination hotel.

Embrace you inner kitsch!

Rooms range from simple white cocoons (complete with splashes of colour and huge floating beds that morph into desks) to more decadent suites, three of which have Roche Bobois circular beds and freestanding baths.

A fun, energetic hotel in a brilliant, central location, a break at Myhotel is a perfect way to embrace your inner kitsch - all without leaving the country!

Find out more about myhotel Brighton.




Sunday, 5 April 2009

Having a snooze in Brighton

As we don't live in the centre of Brighton I thought it would be a nice treat to have a break in a guest house in the city so that we could go out and not worry about getting home. Also as I help to promote the city to visitors it is important for me to keep my product knowledge up to date (well that's my excuse anyway!) 

So I booked us into snooze which is a funky guest house in Kemp Town where each room has been individually styled so you can pick the one that suits you, or if you are a frequent visitor you can have a new experience each time. Anyway we decided to go for room 6 which has a sensual feel to it with deep red wine coloured walls, flock curtains and even some victorian erotica! As while sometimes you just need a room with a bed to crash in, other times it's good to go somewhere a bit different like this:

The best thing for me was the atmosphere of the place, the guys are very friendly and welcoming ensuring you have a relaxing stay. They leave you to enjoy yourself although you know they are there if you need anything. Also the location was great as it's only a 10 minute walk from the city centre and just 5 minutes from the beach.

So next time you're visiting why not check them out, oh and I should also mention that the full english breakfast was delicious :) 


Friday, 3 April 2009

Win tickets for Brighton Festival Fringe events

Festival fever is upon us again, so VisitBrighton have teamed up with Fletch productions to give away some rather fabulous tickets to some of the hottest shows at this year's Brighton Festival Fringe.

Prizes include:
So what are you waiting for?

Get yourself over to VisitBrighton for details on how to enter.

Good luck!


Thursday, 2 April 2009

Yoga in Brighton

Channel your Chi energy with the breeze in your hair and sounds of the sea in your ears with some yoga in Brighton.

Ginny has been teaching yoga for 7 years and in the VisitBritain video below she shows us the relaxed 'anything-goes' atmosphere that first attracted her to this cosmopolitan seaside city.

Check out Ginny as she takes us through some yoga moves on the beachfront, and then for a stroll around Brighton’s bohemian shopping area, the Lanes. Namaste!