Friday, 21 October 2011

Knitting – the new rock ‘n’ roll

The Hotel Pelirocco is a self proclaimed rock ‘n’ roll hotel. Described as a saucy stopover, guests can choose from nineteen themed rooms inspired by pop sub culture and maverick musicians. The playroom oozes sexy decadence, Betty’s boudoir pays homage to ‘50s pin up Betty Page and Pretty Vacant is a punk den with Sex Pistols’ influences.

Nestled among this hedonism is a new room with an unexpected theme - knitting. Traditionally conjuring up images of old women clicking needles and misshapen jumpers made by well-meaning mums, the Pelirocco banishes such old fashioned notions with this knit hit!

Photo credit Andy Nelson

Do Knit Disturb is crafted from floor to ceiling in woolly creations with a Brighton twist. Knitted seagulls hang from the ceiling and adorn the knitted stripy curtains. Pictures of woolly designs hang framed on the wall. Furnishings, including a bedside lamp and the telephone, have been given carefully crafted wool covers. The overall effect is far from fuddy duddy. Instead the room is guaranteed to raise a smile with its cheerful swipe at seaside décor all created out of 500 kilograms of yarn.

The designer behind the vivid room is Kate Jenkins of Cardigan, talented knitting and crochet artist. Kate spent a month transforming the Hotel Pelirocco room using her trademark style of bold patterns and fantastic lifelike items rendered in wool.

The VisitBrighton team took a peak at the new room yesterday. It is as cosy as to be expected of a room made of soft fluffy wool. Yet Do Knit Disturb also exudes a sassy tongue-in-cheek style, putting the fun into funky.

Any guests inspired by their surroundings can have a try at knitting from the comfort of their room, a set of needles and selection of wool balls is available on the dressing table.

Alix and Ruth - knit wits

We quickly decided to the leave knitting to the experts – it’s trickier than it looks!

For more themed rooms across the city have a look at:



Thursday, 20 October 2011

Brighton Early Music Festival

Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) kicks off at venues across the city on this Friday (21st October) and so the VisitBrighton blog guest spot is taken by Chloe Wennersten, a festival intern who has been getting involved behind the scenes as the final festival preparations take place. Chloe writes about her experiences at a rehearsal of the Festival’s own professional Orchestra, The BREMF Players.

The BREMF Players, directed by violinist Alison Bury and joined by soprano Julia Doyle, will be performing this Saturday 22nd October in St. George's Church, Brighton as part of the 2011 Brighton Early Music Festival. The first rehearsal for this eagerly anticipated concert took place yesterday in the beautiful setting of St. John's Church, Hampstead and, as one of this year's BREMF interns, I was fortunate enough to be involved in facilitating its smooth running. It was 9.30am: the biscuits, tea and coffee were at the ready, the music was out and the harpsichord was having its first tune of the day. We were ready for the orchestra! The musicians played and rehearsed with energy all day, no doubt helped by being bathed in the glorious autumnal sun that flowed through the church windows.

I had the opportunity to chat over lunch with the BREMF Players director, Alison Bury about the chosen programme for Saturday's concert. When asked what she was most looking forward to in the concert, she replied without hesitation that the orchestra was most excited about playing the Lully suite - she went on to explain that they rarely get to perform early French music such as this, yet it forms the basis of so much of what was to come in the 17th and 18th Centuries. To work with soprano Julia Doyle is also a privilege for Alison and the BREMF Players: "'Julia's vocal agility and flexibility make her the perfect singer for this programme. She makes the music dance." However, she went on to say that such a programme does present its own challenges when it comes to variety. To overcome this particular issue, Alison has included music that, even if not strictly for the dance, does have an incredible dance basis; "dance is one of the foundations of baroque music..." and the exploration of this is extremely satisfying for both musician and audience. St George’s Church in Kemp Town is the venue for Saturday's concert and that in itself is also something to look forward to. As Alison pointed out, although it is a 19th Century church, St George’s has an 18th Century feel and wonderful acoustics that are perfectly suited to dance music of the baroque.

The programme and vivacity and warmth evident in yesterday's rehearsal suggest that Saturday's concert is one not to be missed.

The BREMF Players perform at St George’s Church, St George’s Road, Kemp Town, Brighton on Saturday, 22nd October at 7.30pm. Brighton Early Music Festival runs until Sunday, 6th November, and includes 24 events covering 800 years of music, this year’s festival celebrates dance and its pervading influence on music over the centuries. For more information and tickets visit

By Chloe Wennersten

Images: BREMF Players wind: credit - Robert Piwko; Alison Bury: credit Lesley Aggar

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Yellowave's Indian Summer

Today we are going to hand over to a guest blogger - Katie Mintram, Director of the Nivea Sun Yellowave Beach Sports Centre to tell us about a fantastic inititive they have been involved with called Youthivate...

We’re contacted almost weekly by charities requesting money or support for their projects but unfortunately we can’t support them all as we put most of our efforts in to our own chosen charity ‘Passing It On’, who run the Super Heroes run on Brighton seafront.

However, back in August we were approached by a charity called Youthivate. Their project just seemed so real that it grabbed my attention. It was just two young women who were going out to some of the poorest areas in India to help youngsters play sport.

All they wanted were some balls so that kids could play volleyball. So we dug out a load of equipment including balls, a net, Yellowave T’shirts, hoodies, caps, score boards and a ball bag.

Just three weeks later we could see how the equipment was getting used. Lara and Hayley from Youthivate flew into Delhi and straight away they got to work. We were sent a simple photo of a street kid in Delhi playing with a Yellowave ball. It was so touching to see. These kids have such tough lives. Knocking a ball about was such a simple pleasure and a moments release from their daily deprived situation.

Lara and Hayley then travelled out to Tamil Nadu in Southern India. This tribal community suffer from severe poverty and don’t get to play much sport at all. In fact the girls in the school had NEVER had the opportunity. Youthivate’s aim was to remove some of these barriers and get the local children involved in sport, to help them improve their health and well being.

Straight away you could see what a benefit the equipment had been and most importantly how brilliant Lara and Hayley were with the kids. They clearly captivated the children’s attention. With just a few lessons they were able to play a mini tournament. The whole school came out to watch and cheer for their friends. In the final ‘The Green Stars’ took the first two sets and were crowned the champions!

What I loved about this project was that it was so instant and so simple – two enthusiastic women, 250 kids, a net and a few balls and so much positivity had come from it. Youthivate are continuing their work by travelling to other deprived areas to deliver all sorts of sport. Anyone who wants to check out their work can follow them at: and check out the video here:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Siobhan Says - Little Bay

I’ll be honest, I’m slightly biased. I visited the Little Bay Farringdon branch a few months ago and loved it (this was mainly due to the opera singer who put his leg up on my table and serenaded me whilst I ate my dinner), so I was extremely excited when I saw that Brighton would be getting its very own Little Bay branch.

I was even more excited when I booked a table for Saturday evening. The restaurant is fantastically decorated as a plush velveted theatre, with ornate neo-classical mouldings adorning booths which offer fantastic views of the pier and now the Brighton Wheel. The food is equally fantastic, with classics such as Moules Marinière, Shoulder of Lamb, Duck Breast and Salmon. Oh, and the chips, cooked in goose fat, are quite simply the crunchiest, tastiest chips you will ever eat.

The Little Bay restaurants are a popular London franchise, and really do offer fantastic value for money. My favourite aspect is that all starters are the same price. As are all mains, and so are the desserts. This means there is no guilt (or pride, depending on who’s buying you dinner) about ordering the most expensive thing on the menu. Everything is equal.

Along with reasonable prices, the house wine is delicious and the staff professional and friendly. The atmosphere is opulent but relaxed, and easily romantic with candles adorning every surface available. We were also entertained by a fantastic opera singer, who provided a background melody whilst also being funny but not intrusive.

The Little Bay truly is a restaurant for all events, be it a good value lunch, a romantic meal for two or for group parties. The only thing holding me back from recommending this restaurant is that I want it all to myself (and those who are buying me dinner!)

Check it out, and let us know what you think!

Siobhan :)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday treat

This lunchtime a couple of us were invited to a new restaurant in Brighton called The Coal Shed. The name comes from the fact that the food is all cooked in a special coal-fired oven which can reach incredible temperatures. The oven is very special and only a few restaurants in the UK use it including Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey, this is the only restaurant in Sussex to have one.

To be honest I'm probably underselling the oven as cooking is not my forte but it did look impressive. So on to the food... while many people assume that everyone in Brighton must be a vegetarian, I am definitely not and do enjoy a piece of steak as a treat. Although I can honestly say that today's steak was in a league of it's own, very tender and packed full of flavour. While I would have happily eaten the meat just as it was but the Chimichurri sauce was recommended to us so we had to give it a try. The sauce was a mixture of herbs, garlic and chilli and was a perfect companion to the meat as it didn't overpower the flavours but simply enhanced them.

I'm started to worry that you will think all this sounds good to be true but I guess the only answer is for you to go and try it for yourselves! Oh but before I let you go and do that I should point out that the reason for the meat being so super scrummy is not just because of the style of cooking. Raz the owner painstakingly researched suppliers and only when he spoke to Garlic Wood Farm was he satisfied. Not only are they a local Sussex farm but they also breed Longhorn beef cows which the industry regard as the best.

Considering the restaurant only opened a couple of weeks ago it was great to see that it was almost full this lunchtime with lots of bookings for the rest of the weekend. I'm sure as the word spreads they will just get busier & busier.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Love Photography Love Brighton

Greetings intrepid Brighton foragers!

Our brand new Flickr account LoveBrighton has launched this week! Our group offers the chance to share and see wonderful pictures of everyone’s favourite city by the sea.

Each month there’ll be competitions, offering the chance to win photography themed prizes, from canvas prints to photography master-classes. There will also be runners-up prizes of LoveBrighton merchandise!

Each month there is a theme to help give inspiration for photographs. October’s theme is Love India LoveBrighton. Other themes are listed on our Flickr page, alongside group discussions.

So if you’ve taken a great photo of Brighton in Brighton, share it in our LoveBrighton Flickr group today and spread the love!

See you soon!

Siobhan :)