Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Do you have a favourite place in Brighton?

Locals are often the ones in the know about the more quirky or hidden places in a city. So we asked a range of Brighton locals to tell us their favourite place in Brighton and Hove. Find out what they are on the VisitBrighton site and see Brighton from a whole different viewpoint.

Do you have a favourite place in Brighton?
And whilst you're there, why not tell us yours? If you have your very own favourite place, please email us and let us know and we'll add as many as we can to the site.

My Favourite Place in Brighton Flickr Group
We've also created a My Favourite Place in Brighton Flickr group so people can share photos of their favourite places in the city.

Check out the Flickr page and if you have a photo of your favourite place in Brighton, why not add it to the group?

You could win a Flip Video Camera!


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Brighton Bank Holiday Bonanza

It may seem like it's only been a couple of weeks since we had a bank holiday weekend and that's because it was only a couple of weeks ago, but now another one is upon us, hoorah!

So if you've forgotten to plan anything then don't worry I have decided to help you out by giving you a round up of the top events happening this weekend:
  • This Bank Holiday weekend marks the end of Brighton Festival, Brighton Festival Fringe and Artists Open Houses. The Brighton Festival finale, the Big Splash, will take place for the sixth consecutive year at Brighton Marina. The Big Splash is a great family day out and this year they will be celebrating all the eccentricities of British life, so look out for Punch & Judy, Bobbies on the beat, cockney tourists, posh toffs and some classic Beatles music from the Sgt Pepper's band.
  • For all you fashionistas out there this weekend is also Brighton Fashion Weekend which will feature free fashion workshops and fashion installations across the city – helping you achieve high fashion and style on a low budget.
  • The Military Show 2009 is a military spectacular which is set to bring Hove Lawns to life this coming Bank Holiday and best of all it's completely free! Kicking off at 11.30 on Saturday 23rd May there will be some 40s swing and jive music. Later on in the day there will be the vocal group 'The Clover Sisters'; Max Miller impersonator John Ripley; some impressive military machines plus mouth watering 40s American themed food & drink.
  • Saturday is going to be a busy day in the city as there is another event happening – The St Ann's Well Gardens Spring Festival – from 11.00 – 19.00. The festival will include The Wellbeing Main stage with a great line-up of hot acts; kids arts and craft activities; quiz trail around the park; samba band; massages; burlesque workshop; market stalls and a yummy barbecue.
But if none of that tempts you then it looks like it will be sunny in Brighton so you could always just chill out on the beach :)


Thursday, 14 May 2009

A baby named... Brighton

She’s just over 2 months old and a real beauty.Her name is Isabel Brighton and she lives in the USA. So, how did she come to be named after our city? Her parents so enjoyed their honeymoon stay in Brighton that they felt her name would bring back the memories of the wonderful time they spent here.

Three years ago, for their honeymoon, Dean and Kelly purchased a trip to the UK through a charity auction on their local public broadcasting station (PBS) and the trip included time in Brighton. A time to remember, since it included dinner in the Banqueting Hall at the Royal Pavilion on Halloween night. The Hall looked splendid with black and white table linen and candle-lit pumpkin heads on each table. VisitBrighton’s involvement was part of a marketing campaign in the United States with VisitBritain.

Dean and Kelly really enjoyed their stay at The Grand and the kindness of the staff there.They particularly remember the cab driver who drove them to dinner one night and who, upon hearing it was their first visit, promptly took them on a quick tour of the notable spots along the way to dinner - reducing the charge for the time she diverted from the direct route.

I was involved in the organisation of that visit to Brighton and remember that when I heard they were a honeymoon couple I felt we should make their stay special. Chocolates and champagne were organised for their room and a sea-view guaranteed.

Everyone at VisitBrighton is absolutely delighted that Isabel’s middle name is Brighton. We feel very flattered and honoured that her parents have made such a kind gesture towards our city.

I know Dean’s trip highlight was his opportunity to see The Gunners live, but their stay in Brighton also certainly must have made an impression on the couple.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

VisitBrighton and Nasa get Photosynthing!

We like lofty company at VisitBrighton so imagine our surprise when we saw ourselves embalzoned across the Net in the same sentence as NASA!

NASA and VisitBrighton put new Photosynth release to work in Virtual Earth and outer space.

Like NASA, VisitBrighton have recently launched Photosynth software on their website. A great new visual experience, Photosynth takes a selection of photos and 'stitches' them together in a virtual environment to create a powerful 3D effect for anyone on the Internet.

You can find out more about Photosynths on the VisitBrighton Photosynth page, as well as view some Brighton photosynths.

Or check out the video below to find out more from the official Microsoft video, which features yours truly VisitBrighton!


Thursday, 7 May 2009

VisitBrighton podcasts

We have put together a series of 6 new podcasts each themed around a different aspect of the city. The themes are:
  • Historically Hove
  • Brighton Film Locations
  • Arts & Sculpture trail
  • The People who made Brighton & Hove (aka Blue Plaques tour)
  • A walk through time
  • Gay & Lesbian history
The podcasts are all hosted by Simon Fanshawe, who has lived here for years and not only loves the city but knows an awful lot about it. Throughout the series Simon brings in his own thoughts and recollections on how Brighton & Hove has changed throughout the years.

The podcasts will hopefully appeal to residents as well as visitors as I learnt a lot of interesting tidbits along the way. As did our lovely Conference manager Darren who seems to have become rather fond of the podcasts. In order to whet your appetite here are some of Darren's favourite facts he learnt from The People who made Brighton podcast:
  • When the houses around the Old Steine were originally built people were not interested in having sea-views as it was more important to be seen as being part of Georgian high society. This is why the houses around the Old Steine all face each other.
  • Stones used for the Old Steine actually came from Hove as the stones that were already in situ had been dumped in the Channel as people thought they were a hazard.
  • Dinosaur bones are not always discovered in faraway exotic places as Gideon Mantell discovered Iguandon bones in Cookfield. Even more surprisingly Mantell was only an amateur geologist as he was actually a gynaecologist!
Each of the podcasts also comes with a downloadable map, although I hasten to add that these are not trails in the traditional sense of "Go to point 1, walk 10 paces then turn left bla bla bla" these are much more informal and laid-back. However the maps highlight key places mentioned in the podcasts so once you've listened to them you can get out there and explore!

So I hope you enjoy them and let us know what you think. Oh and before I go thanks to everyone who helped with putting these podcasts together especially Simon Fanshawe and Julian at Yada-Yada.


Monday, 4 May 2009

Anish Kapoor's C Curve

John (our marketing manager) and I had decided to get up early on Bank Holiday Monday to see Anish Kapoor's C Curve in the early morning sun. John called in a state of over excitement at 8.50am to say he'd already seen it on BBC Breakfast on the front cover of the Times. Blimey!

So we rushed up there in case the whole world decided to descend upon the South Downs and WOW, what a sight. You can't see the C Curve from the road and you have to walk a good mile across farmland to get to it. Passing the Chattri War Memorial (also well worth a look) on your right, the C Curve looms into sight and you witness the part of the South Downs behind you (not to mention your good self) staring right back at you. Get a good day and the reflection is quite astonishing.

And the 2 red chairs to the right add something really surreal to the whole setup too. Go round the back of the mirror and everything is upside down - John did a very impressive hand stand to see what he looked like doing a hand stand reflected the wrong way up. Don't ask me why - he just did.

Having been a wee bit disappointed by the size of the Sky Mirror in Pavilion Gardens, this really is a must see. If you have a car, get yourself up there and take a look. You can also get a bus up to Patcham and get off at the Patcham YCA. See the Chattri War Memorial website for directions up to the C Curve (they are within minutes of each other).

The C Curve is just one of the works by Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor, which are on view as part of Brighton Festival this year.

Check out this Flickr page to see more images of the C Curve.

Visit the VisitBrighton Festival pages to find out more about this year's Brighton Festival.

Let us know what you think of the C Curve.