Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Brighton chill out video

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

Oxjam Brighton 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:

Friday, 25 September 2009

A Pony's Eye View of Brighton

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

Gastronomic weekend in Brighton

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

Brighton Early Music Festival Golden Tickets

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 St George’s Church, Kemptow.

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

Get out & go green in the Brighton countyside

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

With an impressive 98 parks and gardens in Brighton and Hove, including 6 with Green Flag Awards, combine the pace of a seaside city with the peace of some green open spaces…

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

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Brighton Mods & Rocks (do you see what we did there?!)

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

Brighton White Air 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 :)