Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Rottingdean in Brighton

With the Bank Holiday weekend in Brighton coming up - if you fancy getting away from the masses, one idea is to pop along the coast to Rottingdean.

Mentioned in the Domesday book, Rottingdean is a lovely, picturesque seaside village that became fashionable in the nineteenth century among artists, writers and politicians and still retains its artsy feel today. Rudyard Kipling once lived there and you can still visit his gardens today.

A short bus journey (jump in the number 12 at Churchill Square) out of Brighton, Rottingdean is an ideal place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

Here are our top tips for things to do in Rottingdean:

Things to do in Rottingdean

  • Visit Kiplings Gardens - beautiful at this time of year and a tranquil place to relax
  • Visit the Grange Museum - the building itself is of historical significance & houses an art gallery, as well as the museum
  • Visit St Margaret's Church - built of flint and stone, this impressive church is a mixture of Saxon, Norman early English, Victorian and modern, design and construction
  • Walk the undercliff walk to Saltdean
  • Have afternoon tea at one of the tea shops
  • Browse the shops & boutiques along Rottingdean's narrow streets
  • Have a picnic on the beach
  • Combine a trip to Rottingdean with a visit to nearby Brighton Marina

Here are a few photos we took this week to get you all keyed up for a bit of Rotters!


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hove Champagne Festival

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding at a country house with a marquee in the garden and waiters ensuring that our Champagne glasses were topped up. I decided that this was definitely the way forward - spending summer days on the lawn, sipping champagne.

Luckily for me I won't have to wait too long before getting another chance to taste the high life as on the first weekend of June (4th & 5th) it will be the Hove Champagne Festival on Hove Lawns.

Apparently there will be over 50 varieties of champagne to buy either by the glass or sample size. There will also be plenty of restaurants taking part to ensure you have something to soak up the bubbles including Hotel du Vin, drakes, Riddle & Finns, Sevendials and Sam's of Brighton. My mouth is watering already!

A standard entry ticket is £12 and includes a commemorative champagne flute, festival programme, two tasting tickets, and a tutored tasting session, for which advanced booking is required.

But if you are celebrating a special occasion or just fancy a treat then why not get a ticket for the VIP enclosure? VIP tickets are £35 and include fast track entry, a champagne welcome drink in the VIP enclosure, canap├ęs throughout the day, as well as your own commemorative festival programme, champagne flute, four tasting tickets and a guaranteed session in the tasting theatre. But please note tickets must be booked in advance.

To find out more and to book go to:


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Video Mapping of Brighton

We all know Brighton is a great city and its easy to wax lyrical about it for ages, but its also an extremely visual city and sometimes images can speak just as powerfully, sometimes more so, than the written word.

Which is why we decided to get involved in a really unique project at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton, with resident video artist & lecturer Alvaro Collar.

Video Art Mapping of Brighton

Called VAM (Video Art Mapping) Brighton, the project aims to create an online interactive video-artistic Google map of Brighton that is easily viewable and easy for anyone to contribute to and participate in. Most of us have places in the city that we love and with the advent of Iphones and Flip video cameras we can all essentially take footage, transforming the nature of who can be a video artist

Watch the video for a flavour of the project.

Alvaro will be based at the Phoenix Gallery from May to July, setting up the project, holding workshops and compiling videos for the map.

Alvaro is a really nice guy too, as well as a complete whiz on editing techniques and transforming a basic amateur video into something really unique.

Take your own video footage of Brighton at a FREE workshop

A couple of us did a workshop with Alvaro last week and its really great fun - informative, interesting and well thought out. We'll post our videos for all to see when they're ready.

In the meantime if you want to find out more, check out the Video Art Mapping Blog.

And if you want to get involved (definitely recommended) Alvaro is holding a series of FREE workshops - the next one is on 30th May (10-4) at the Phoenix Gallery (advance registration required). You don't need expensive techy equipment - a mobile phone, with video capacity, or a Flip video camera is all you'll need.


Thursday, 6 May 2010

Brighton Festival Launch Weekend Video

If you haven't noticed yet (how could you not!) it's the annual Brighton Festival at the moment.

But did you know Brighton actually has FOUR festivals going on during May?

As well as the ever growing Brighton Festival with its cornupcopia of all things cultural, there's also the Fringe Festival for everything a little more artsy and anarchic, the fantastic Artists' Open Houses (probably the biggest free arts festival in Britain) and the adrenaline rush of the Great Escape (a must for muso lovers everywhere).

So, with so much going on, we sent Fat Sand out with their video cameras at the weekend to drum up a whirlwind, visual 60 seconds roundup of the festivities so far.

Check out the video below.

Don't worry though - there are still 18 days left to get your knashers round some Festival action...

Visit our Festivals in Brighton section to find out more...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Brighton Shopping - FAIR

One of the best things about working at VisitBrighton is that we are not stuck in the office 9-5, we get to go out and meet the people who make Brighton such a great place to visit.

On Friday I went to meet the people behind FAIR a new shop on Queen's Road selling fair trade fashion, gifts and homeware. They also sell beautiful hand-made stationary & cards so if you are buying a present for someone soon make sure you have a look.

I did feel a bit bad while I was in there as at the moment there are no mirrors in the dressing rooms (there will be soon though so don't let that put you off!) and so the lady trying on a blue & green dress had to use the mirror in the shop at which point we immediately started to oo and ah & say how lovely she looked. The poor woman probably hadn't wanted an audience but at least we were being complimentary, and she did end up buying it :)

To find out more about FAIR and all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes then make sure you visit the shop this Saturday (8th May) as it is World Fair Trade day. Siobhan Wilson the owner of the shop will be on hand to explain about the exciting projects she works with. Plus visitors on Saturday will get a 10% discount and a goody bag with all purchases over £10. But if you can't make Saturday then you'll be pleased to hear that the shop will be hosting a Fairtrade Wine & Fashion Charity evening, so you will get another chance to hear more about Fair trade shopping.