Monday, 29 November 2010

Earth 350 King Canute Sculpture - Brighton, UK


A huge thumbs up to all the hardy peeps who donned their black or yellow Earth 350 macs on Hove Lawns on Saturday for the King Canute 'live' sculpture.

It was bloomin cold, which made the success even more heroic & showed how strongly people in Brighton & Hove feel about climate change. More than 2,000 people braved the chilly climes to form an image of King Canute designed by Radiohead lead-singer Thom Yorke.

A social comment on the dangers of ignoring climate change
The public art display was designed to send a climate warning to political leaders in the run-up to the UN Climate Talks in Cancun. According to legend, King Canute set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt, only to be soaked by the ocean’s waves. Just as Canute realized his own arrogance, Earth 350 aim to show how world leaders today must realize the dangers of ignoring climate change.

The image of King Canute was designed by Yorke and Stanley Donwood. The picture also appeared on the cover of Yorke’s album Eraser.

From King Canute to Icelandic polar bears
The Brighton event was one of over a dozen similar displays taking place as part of 350 EARTH. The image of King Canute was joined by a giant sun in South Africa; a polar bear on an Icelandic glacier; a scarab in the Egyptian desert; an eagle in Los Angeles, plus many more.

Brighton & Hove pledge to reduce carbon emissions
The Brighton-Hove event also had the backing of Brighton & Hove Council, who spearhead a city-wide coalition of organisations and businesses that form 10:10 Brighton & Hove. All have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% in a year by simple, achievable measures.

For more on Earth 350 visit their website or check out more images on their official Flickr page.



Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas at the Royal Pavilion

The weather is chilly, the lights are twinkling and there are only 4 weeks (& 1 day) to go until the big day so I think it is safe for me to talk about Christmas.

This year the Royal Pavilion will be hosting a wide range of events to get you feeling the Christmas spirit. Unless you've just come back from Mars you should be aware by now that for the first time there is a real ice rink in the grounds of the Royal Pavilion which includes a pop-up restaurant from Due South. I was fortunate enough to visit it the other day, the setting is truly magical and, as to be expected from Due South, the food is scrumptious :)

However this is not the only festive event taking place as on the 10th and 11th December the Royal Pavilion will be hosting Oriental Christmas Banquets. If you have ever wondered what it would have been like to dine in the specatular Banqueting Room then this is the event for you. You will be welcomed by Regency costumed characters and then the evening will include a welcome drink in the Great Kitchen; a guided tour of the ground floor rooms; carols in the Music Room plus a Chinese banquet buffet served in the Banqueting Room. So for a truly memorable Christmas dinner book your tickets now, but book quickly as Saturday night (11th) has virtually sold out and tickets for the Friday are selling fast. Tickets can be booked online through the Royal Pavilion's website.

But wait there is more! From Sunday 19th - Thursday 23rd December Father Christmas will be at the Royal Pavilion taking residence in the Red Drawing Room. Every child that visits him will receive a gift and will then be able to join a fantasy tour of the palace where they may even get to meet the Prince Regent so why not join in the fun and wear your best fancy dress outfit? Advance booking only so book now to avoid disappointment.

So if those events don't get you feeling festive then I doubt anything will!


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Brighton & Hove Beach Hut Advent Calendar

Got your advent calendar yet?

Personally, I’m quite partial to a picture of an angel with a massive chocolate behind it, but for the real piece de resistance of advent calendars, how about a Beach Hut Calendar!

Yep – I did say beach hut.

Throughout December, beach huts along Hove seafront will be opening their doors to reveal a festive display as part of a giant seafront Advent Calendar.

AND, thanks to the lovely peeps at Choccywoccyddodah, this year the Beach Hut Advent Calendar will contain chocolate every night. Yum.

Now in its third year, each night a different beach hut will open its doors to reveal a festive installation.

So why not pop along, check out the displays and indulge in a mince pie and some mulled wine in the run up to Christmas?

Simply refer to the BEYOND website to see which beach hut will open on which night.

More about BEYOND and the Beach Hut Advent Calendar
The beach huts are organised by BEYOND, which creates opportunities to explore spirituality through a variety of creative activities. Look out for their events on the last Sunday of every month or find out more on their website at


Monday, 22 November 2010

Time flies at VisitBrighton

This is my first month over…time working at VisitBrighton is disappearing so fast! I am even getting used to living like a normal person and seeing seven o’clock twice in one day…it really is far more productive!

After watching The Hangover again and again it was essential to see if ‘Alan’ (Zach Galifianakis) was going to be as funny in his new film ‘Due Date’ so I went down to the Marina to check it out. There were definitely some Laugh out Loud moments (I couldn’t bring myself to use ‘LOL’ there) and the ‘Sophie cackle’ definitely revealed itself! It was total stupid humour that is easy to watch and will definitely leave you smiling!!

While working on the Pier I had a meeting with Jenifer of My Brighton & Hove at the Brighton History Centre in the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. I only had a chance to look briefly at its content but was very impressed. Next week I will arrive earlier so I can explore.

On Thursday the Christmas lights were switched on by Marilyn Monroe look-a-like Laura Nickson, it was hosted by Juice FM. There was a crowd gathered to see what was going on at East Street and a cheer once the lights were switched on. With appearances from the pantomime Cinderella and handing out of mince pies it really began to make the city feel festive.

After watching the Christmas lights I attended ‘As camp as Christmas’, an event where Jeremy Hoye and Dave Pop’s new jewellery collection was launched. The event took place in the shop on Ship Street, which opened in 1994; their décor was very Brighton, it reminded me of under the sea, with the wave inspired 3D ceiling, mermaid statue and submarine style windows where the collections are on show. Their collections are made up of bespoke items made by their own jewellers to accurately suit their customer’s needs. They are today recognised as being one of England’s leading contemporary jewellers.

My favourites included the charm bracelets with the magic carpets, the entire compilation of the kings and queen collection and most importantly the 18 ct yellow gold Russian doll. It opens to reveal a scroll that can be engraved with your own personal message and is encrusted with black diamonds and rubies, defiantly something I wish I could add to the top of my Christmas List, let’s just hope Santa is feeling generous this year!!

Doing this blog presents me the perfect excuse to eat out instead of having to cook for myself; we decided to try Gars Chinese Restaurant, which we enjoyed a really tasty meal.

This week I discovered yet another one of Brighton’s own quirky coffee shop, Redwood Coffee House, a perfect place to hide from the winter weather. Placed at the bottom of the Lanes its cosy décor and snug seats along with the stacks of books provide the atmosphere that you could stay in for hours! With the mixture of cakes, music and books offered this was a perfect Sunday afternoon find.

I spent the weekend in Birmingham visiting one of my best friends Es for her birthday, I had a great weekend catching up and having a good old gossip trying out her favourite places, meeting friends and having a girlie night out.

But by the time I left she had already decided she wanted to visit Brighton and I have booked her in into HotelSophie to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy doughnuts on the deckchairs on the Pier (hopefully in the Snow) who could resist?!?

Goodbye until next week...Sophie.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Brighton 350 EARTH project

Fancy being part of a live sculpture created by Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame?

Part of’s EARTH project, the live sculpture will be formed in Brighton on 27th November with the help of 2000 volunteers and will be viewable from space!

Where: Brighton, UK

When: 11AM Saturday November 27, 2010

What: A recreation of the legendary King Canute, trying but failing to command the ocean, created by Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) and Stanley Donwood.

What you need to do to take part:

To take part simply join our Brighton Earth Facebook Event page where you’ll find details of how to sign up or if you're not on Facebook go to the 350org Earth website.

Please note:
  • The first 2,000 people that RSVP will be guaranteed a spot in the Thom Yorke sculpture. (The remainder will be placed on a waiting list.)
  • All participants must arrive at 11am and be able to stay until 13hr on Saturday November 27, 2010.
  • Participants must please wear all black since your body will literally be the "paint" that makes this drawing.
  • Please also be sure to dress warmly, bring rain gear (just in case) and water. Everyone will be provided with a black poncho/mac.
  • Please also note that we will create the human sculpture even if it rains and is stormy, since weather is a central character in this art piece. Yes, this sounds mad but since we're recreating the story of King Canute it works.

More about’s EARTH project

This November 20-28, 350 EARTH launches the world’s first ever global climate art project. In locations across the globe, citizens and artists will create massive public art installations to show how climate change is impacting our world. Each art installation will be large enough to be seen from space.

In the UK 350 are working with Thom Yorke from Radiohead, to design and create a giant image that will have aerial photographs taken of it, as part of a group of works that can be seen from space.

Brighton has been selected as one of the 18 iconic locations across the planet to take part in the project.

Sign up to take part NOW!

Join our Brighton Earth Facebook Event page where you’ll find details of how to sign up for the live human sculpture or if you're not on Facebook, go to the 350org Earth website.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

MADE10 - Brighton's Design & Craft Fair: 19-21st Nov

This week MADE10 takes place and so today I am going to hand you over to another guest poster - Jon Tutton - to give you the insider's guide to the Design & Craft Fair...

MADE – Brighton’s Design and Craft Fair is now five year old, and is a continuation of the Brighton Art Fair, founded from our desire to help promote innovative makers and designers and to champion the best in craft and design. Pretty much that's what has happened; we've been able to attract some of the best makers in the country and the show has always been very well attended with many visitors using MADE as their main opportunity for buying unusual, beautiful Christmas presents that can't be found in the usual High Street shops or just taking the opportunity to browse the beautiful work and buy for themselves.

This year we're looking forward to seeing; Barbara Keal's animal hats, made from felted wool sourced from the Downs; Kate Fishers ceramics inspired by the colours and shapes of the sea and landscape of her home in East Anglia and the quirky silver and the acrylic jewellery by Helen Noakes featuring characters trapped in resin - swimmers in a ring or a polar bear in a frosty white bracelet.

There’s a lot to see (110 stands) and everything exhibited is designed by and mostly made by the makers. All prices are catered for from notebooks, mugs and teatowels at the lower end of the price bracket to furniture and silverware at the upper end.

Over our 5 years we've finally seen the fusty image of 'craft' starting to change - more people are 'making' themselves, knitting on the bus into work or altering or making clothes. More people are appreciating the design and craft skills of makers and many people are turning their backs on mass-produced objects opting instead for objects that carry the personality of the maker.

MADE10 has again teamed up with Brighton and Hove Museums to fund a £1000 award to purchase or commission innovative work to go in Brighton and Hove Museum's collection.

For more information please go to

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sophie's third week in the city...

This week was too cold, like always in winter I prefer to hibernate indoors with films and a nice cup of tea, I would definitely recommend Russell Brand’s Get him to the Greek as well as the new series of Gossip Girl that I have enjoyed catching up on!

On Wednesday I went to the sold out Mystery Jets’ gig that was held at Concorde 2 which is a popular music venue in the city. This tour was to promote their new album ‘Show me the Light’.

Thursday seemed to be like any other day working at Brighton Pier, being splashed in the face by a crashing wave while staring at the, in my opinion, mental characters who were running into the waves as a photo opportunity. Until over my head flew a kite surfer that managed to clear the pier and land safely on the other side! If you haven’t done so you really need to check out the video. It was definitely something I won’t be trying…I thought I was brave just walking up the pier in that wind!

After early Christmas shopping on Saturday we tested out the Royal Pavilion's first ever outdoor Christmas ice rink, with its impressive background, that definitely distinguishes itself from the one I am used to back home in Sunderland’s Mowbray Park. As I normally fall over my own feet on a daily basis on flat ground I thought best not to try skating on ice as I would definitely multiple times be ending up on my bum! Even without taking part in the actual skating the night made me feel all Christmassy along with the Coke a Cola Christmas advert that appeared while watching X Factor confirming that Christmas has officially begun!! (38 Days 16 hours to go if you were wondering…)


Monday, 15 November 2010

FAIR's second anniversary

Today I am going to hand over to a guest blogger as one of our local shops, FAIR, is celebrating its second anniversary today....

As I wandered around the North Laine in the early nineties, I realised immediately there was something extra special about the Brighton retail scene.

I spent my teenage years in 1980ʼs Buffalo, NY selecting amazing clothes from the 50ʼs and 60ʼs in huge warehouse charity shops. Coming to Brighton, clothes were bright and shocking and the second-hand scene was thriving - arguably even ahead of NY vintage.

With not a lot of money in my pocket, there seemed nothing better than to walk around and check out the shops (as well as lets be honest, the other shoppers!). A feast for the eye, and full of wonderful style, quirkiness and creativity, some of the independents here happily remain the same as they were when I first arrived.

Three of my personal favourites are Rin-Tin-Tin for a laid-back look at retro, Appendage with its amazing array of Brighton creative genius, and Infinity Foods where food shopping has never been healthier, and a happy air of community camaraderie mixes with the Brighton cool.

I never imagined then that one day Iʼd be lucky enough to own a shop in the same area that I fell in love with all those years ago.

Here I am checking out our summer recycled sari stocksold at one of our summer markets.

My name is Siobhan Wilson, owner of FAIR. For those of you who are yet to discover us - we are at 21 Queens Road strictly speaking on the northern boundary of the North Laine. From Brighton Train Station walk on the right-hand side down Queens Rd and you will see our window that we like to think is inviting and distinctive. (If you reach the Clock Tower, youʼll know youʼve gone too far!)

We cater for people that love great clothing, but who also love life, respect other people and care for the environment. We choose only the things that we believe Brighton customers will appreciate too! The refreshing difference is that everything we stock is Fair Trade.

Itʼs true - the customers who choose to shop at FAIR choose to wear beautiful clothing, enjoy the comfort of sleeping in organic cotton bedding, customise with lovely accessories and jewellery, pamper themselves with beautifully scented toiletries, delight in gifts, cards and wrapping paper that are all lovely in their own right. And even more wonderful when they stop to consider the products are all hand crafted by people living in poverty working to earn a better life for themselves and their families...Our customers make a positive impact with every purchase!

I personally visit some of the groups which make some of the items we sell. I can see potential purchases first hand, and then work with local designers who help refine designs that we know our customers will appreciate. Other products we stock are made by groups that people close to me are working with. We also select designer labels whose credentials meet our high standards, both in terms of their design, intrinsic value and Fair Trade practice. And yet ʻweʼ are a tiny team of just three.

Any day of the week thereʼs a lot we do that we are passionate and excited about, so weʼre always keen to celebrate...!!

Today though, is a special day for us here at FAIR - itʼs our second anniversary of trading. Yay!! So thanks to the VisitBrighton Team for letting us share our delight on Monday 15 November 2010 with you, and thanks for reading my LoveBrighton guest blog.

Hereʼs our ʻbirthday cardʼ to invite you to receive 10% off at FAIR in November & December. You may see this card soon in and around places in Brighton (and Hove) that we love. If so, please bring it along to receive your discount. Or print off this page. Naturally the discount doesnʼt apply on our gift vouchers or our charity cards. Nor in conjunction with another offer.

Hope thatʼs given blog readers another reason to LoveBrighton.
Come and live fair, love fair, be fair!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Kite surfer jumps Brighton Pier

Only in Brighton! Well actually they did it in Worthing earlier in the year but hey ho!

Here's the kite surfer video from the lovely guys at Fat Sand, who were tipped off about the kite surfer yesterday (being such avid cool kite surfer dudes themselves) and popped down with their trusty camera to film it.

Enjoy! Oh and please don't think about trying this! VisitBrigton don't condone any form of activity that may cause harm to you or others. This guy is a real professional and the pier don't want anyone landing on the super booster that haven't paid!

For more on Fat Sand visit

Or if you fancy having a go at kite surfing yourself, check out Hove's Kitesurfkings.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Another week living down South…

After an introduction of what my role as marketing assistant would incorporate, Monday lunch break was spent in Paperchase looking for stationery to make my desk more my own. Once all my pens were in order I set down to do some work. Not long after I was informed we were going to an event at Terre a Terre, which was voted best restaurant in Brighton & Hove in the 2010 Foodie Awards. The event was to launch their participation within ‘Street Smart’ which is where restaurants are asking customers to add a voluntary £1 per table in November and December and the money raised will help the homeless. The restaurant had previously participated last year helping raise an impressive £450,000.

On visiting the city I had always been intrigued by the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, to see what all the fuss was about. Then I understood, watching The Social Network in what felt like someone’s front room was definitely more appealing than sitting in a generic cinema screen. The look of the cakes available tempted me far more than that of the standard plastic nachos!!

Thursday night was spent late night shopping, as I of course needed a warm coat, seeing as I had the idea that it was always sunny in Brighton!!

Bonfire night this year can only be described as ‘unique’ as I went to Lewes, which held what seems the ritual of celebrating the ancient tradition of Bonfire, even being credited the ‘Bonfire capital of the world.’ Only on arriving at Brighton station I began to see the scale of the event, rows and rows of people in warm looking hats ready for a winter storm. Throughout the station I could feel the excitement of the night ahead.

After shuffling out of Lewes station following the crowds, amazed at the amount of whizz, bang, pops in the air we ended up outside the Garden Arms, watching only what I can comprehend as a scene out of the film League of Gentlemen. For the whole parade I was in awe…never before had I seen anything like this, all I could see were burning crucifixes coming from the distance.

There was fire, flashes, bangs, costumes, dancing, laughter and screams (most of all from me!). After watching the array of characters walk up and down the street at least three times we were just about ready to speak to each other, but all we could ask is if this was actually ‘real life?!’ Then sure enough there was a loud bang very close by leaving the woman in front of me with a wet hat and me without a drink.

After a long walk around the town…multiple times, we seem to be prone to becoming lost in any given situation. We arrive at Cliffe, one of the bonfire sites where this year there was an effigy of the current Coalition government where David Cameron was holding Nick Clegg upon puppet strings. All in all the night was ‘an experience’ that only I could obtain while living in Brighton and of course I am already excited for next year!!

After walking around Lewes all night our legs decided Saturday had to be spent as a lazy day…so wandering through the lanes, testing out coffee shops was in order. After having brownies and hot chocolate in Komedia we had the energy to move on through towards the seafront, only to be stopped by a magician who impressed me with a Darren Brown taught card trick.
After exploring we went to dinner in Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant. As it was a Saturday night and my friend Lauren had come down from Leeds to visit, we thought it was compulsory to take her to the sites of the Brighton Pubs…

As the vintage car rally from London to Brighton was on we walked through the Preston Park entrance and watched the cars as they drove to the seafront on our way to the station to catch a train into London. It was great to visit the capital but it was good to get back to my new home by the sea.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Brighton Beach of the Dead IV

If you were out in Brighton on Saturday you'd have been hard pressed to miss the multitude of zombies roaming around the city! Only in Brighton we always like to say here...

Alas, I missed the actual march, but I was 'attacked' by so many zombies at White Night, I was getting into the zombie vibe with the best of them.

Well done to everyone who took part - there were some incredibly realistic 'dead people' walking around the city, arms outstretched in true zombie style. George A Romero would have have been proud methinks.

Anyway, check out our slideshow for some pics of Beach of the Dead IV. If you dare that is...

Check out our What's On section for lots more great Brighton and Hove events coming up in the city...


Monday, 1 November 2010

Sophie's First Day at VisitBrighton

Just a quick note to introduce myself…I am Sophie the new ‘inexperienced’ blogger for LoveBrighton (apologies now for any mistakes made!!)

Currently I am an International Tourism Management Student from Leeds Metropolitan University on Placement in industry.

So…this year means breaking away from ‘student life’ this means actually doing more than the odd lecture, partying and lots of sleep that I have grown accustom to!

My time spent in Brighton will include a placement, working within the VisitBrighton Marketing department two days a week as well as the three days in the offices of Brighton Pier where I am planning on doing just a little bit more than eating doughnuts and ‘testing’ out the rides!

As a ‘Geordie’ coming from the North East I am pretty far from my comfort zone so I believe there is a lot of exploring to be done! For years I have visited the city for short holidays and day trips but never ventured further than the Pier or the seafront so definitely need to find myself favourite places to shop, a distinct skill of mine, places where are best to eat, a quirky coffee shop where I can spend Sunday mornings reading magazines or anything I should be doing or visiting to ensure I make the most of living in what seems to be the most energetic city I have been to!

This blog will be a description of what I have done or will be doing within my time in Brighton, hopefully giving details of my ‘exciting’ life as I become an adopted “Brightonian” Any comments and ideas on places or events that are a ‘MUST’ will be much appreciated!!

You can keep up to date with what I am getting up to by following the ‘Sophie in the City’ blog posts.