Friday, 21 December 2012

Twixtmas in Brighton

One of the disadvantages of working in Marketing is having to deal with some of the terrible puns and buzzwords that people in the press and PR seem to love. In recent years we've had the Staycation (holidays in your home country), Set Jetting (holidays to film locations) and also Twixtmas (the time inbetween Christmas and New Year).

While the phrase Twixtmas does make me cringe, it is true that those days in between Christmas and New Year can feel like you are simply counting down the hours to the next event. So why not escape the leftovers and enjoy a break by the sea?

And here are a few suggestions of things to do:

  • Get your skates on at the magical Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, or if you prefer spectating you'll be pleased to hear there's a Jamie Oliver's pop-up restaurant onsite as well. 
  • Visit the Painting Pottery Cafe, simply select your pot, plate or dish; pick up a brush and get creative.
  • Get a bird's eye view of the city with a ride on the Brighton Wheel which includes a commentary by local comedian Steve Coogan. 
  • Breeze up to the Downs on a number 77 bus and work off the turkey and chocolates with a bracing walk or cycle ride in the countryside. Buses run on weekends plus Boxing Day & New Year's Day, learn more about the bus ride by downloading the podcast.

Plus there are still lots of great shows and events taking place that week including:

And don't forget you can book your Brighton Twixtmas (sorry!) Break through our site at: and to make it even more tempting we have a range of Winter Offers available including 3 nights for the price of 2.

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you all enjoy a lovely festive break :)


Monday, 17 December 2012

The Winner of November’s LoveBrighton Flickr Competition


It’s only one week ‘til Christmas – one week! Bonkers. I’m feeling festive, as are all the LoveBrighton team (well, apart from Charlotte :P) and we’re loving the beautiful colours and frosty landscapes being captured and shared in our Flickr group. The theme for December is Love Lights, LoveBrighton, so make sure you gahn doown the toown and get snapping those funky decorations! Also keep an eye out for the Coca Cola truck which will arrive on Brighton seafront’s Madeira Drive on Sunday 23rd December between 1pm and 9pm – a fantastic photo opportunity. *Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…*

But back to the matter at hand; the winner of November’s competition! The theme for November was Love Twilight, LoveBrighton and we had some fantastic entries – the sunset snaps were, like, totes amaze. Check out some of our favourite runner’s up on our LoveBrighton Flickr page. But the all-important winner was Big Grin :) (AKA Josephine), with this eerie shot of Hove seafront in the orange sunset:

We loved the colours and silhouettes of the promenade and bench, and the lights twinkling along the coastline. Josephine won 2 unlimited ride passes on Brighton Pier, as well as dinner in the ‘spiritual home of fish & chips’, the Palm Court restaurant. She’s also been lovely and written about herself and the image as well as her undying love for Brighton & Hove!  

Hi my name is Josephine,
I was surprised to find out that I had won the November Flickr Lover Brighton Competition. The photograph that won was taken on Hove seafront walk; I was taking my young daughter who is eight out for some night-time photography practice having only recently relocated to Brighton, we have been keen to soak up the sights – and what sights they are! This particular scene drew me as the light was so golden and full of feeling also a beautiful view with several people taking an early evening stroll. Needless to say I feel quite addicted to Brighton already – you’ve sucked me in and I never want to leave! I am inspired to become a professional photographer, which I will endeavour to do.
Josephine (Lover of Brighton) x 

Our followers really do make good lovers ;)

Remember to keep uploading your fabulous festive photos to our Flickr group, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Siobhan :)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Brighton Christmas Lights

Brighton Christmas Lights
Come & check out Brighton's Christmas lights!:)

The final run up to Christmas is fast approaching, so here's our roundup of all Brighton & Hove has to offer the festive reveller...

Whether you're looking for a Christmas break, fantastic shopping & gift ideas, festive events or some mouth watering festive food ideas, Brighton & Hove offers something for every walk of life.

From ice skating at the Royal Pavilion to Christmas Artists' Open Houses and Burning the Clocks, Brighton & Hove is bursting with Christmas & winter events. Check out our festive fun page for loads of ideas for all the family.

Brighton Christmas Shopping
Or if you're looking for that special gift (or just love shopping!) The Lanes & North Laine shopping areas are crammed with independent shops & boutiques, with quirky gift ideas from home ware to vintage items & even vegetarian shoes! Or check out Hove for an array of funky interior design shops, fashion boutiques and specialist shops.

Brighton Christmas Lights
The Christmas lights in Brighton are pretty spectacular too - the perfect backdrop for a spot of late night shopping on a Thursday at Churchill Square during December.

And if you've got kids, why not drop into Brighton Marina & see Santa for FREE.

Winter in Brighton video
Check out our Winter in Brighton video below to check out the sights of Brighton & Hove over Christmas & the winter period.

Facebook Christmas Hamper Competition
And don't forget to check out our 'Christmas Hamper' Facebook competition for the chance to win great prizes in the run up to Christmas!

For more on all things Brighton & Hove go to

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Duke's at Komedia

As readers may or may not be aware Brighton is home to the country's oldest continuously operating cinema - the Duke of York's Picturehouse. The Duke's is a much-loved institution within the city, I love the big comfy seats, the eclectic programme and the fact that you can take a slice of home made cake into the screen with you. In fact the only downside is that they only have one screen so films are usually only on for a few days and often sell-out.

So earlier this year I was very excited to hear that the Duke's was going to be teaming up with another fabulous city centre venue - Komedia. And finally the wait is over, the Duke's at Komedia is open for business. The new cinema has two screens and has all the things we love about the original Duke's including a few sofa seats. Of course one of the things the Duke of York's is most well-known for is the stripy legs on the roof, well thanks to local artist Jamie McCartney (of Brighton Body Casting) Duke's at Komedia also has a rather splendid pair of pins.

So Monday night we decided to go and put it to the test. Having already seen Seven Psychopaths at this year's Cinecity Festival (fantastic film, a definite must-see) we decided to go and see Sightseers - another black comedy featuring a cute dog! The film features a couple on a sightseeing holiday who start killing people, trust me it's a lot funnier then it sounds although it is quite bloody so be warned.

Photo taken from the Duke's at Komedia Facebook page - photo credit Jim Stephenson.
We decided to go for the full experience so before we saw the film we popped into the bar for a drink and a bite to eat. As at the Duke of York's you can still get homemade cakes and other tasty snacks but in addition to this you can also get Hot Dogs. There are some suggested combinations or you can create your own dog, using either pork or tofu sausages or fish goujons plus lots of sauces and sides. The food was delicious and there's a good selection of drinks, plus the bar itself is very stylishly decced out with a retro feel.

So I'm relieved to say the Duke's at Komedia is just as good as it's big sister, bringing all the things we love about the Duke of York's to the North Laine and with more screens - hooray!


Monday, 10 December 2012

Dome Christmas Round-up

We've got a guest blog for you this week, as Elizabeth from Brighton Dome offers you a festive round-up of all the fantastic events coming up. Read on for news of Squonkaphones, Plumpets and Kitchen Tymps! Over to you Elizabeth...

Christmas treats for everyone at Brighton Dome
Celebrations are in full swing at Brighton Dome and there is a packed programme of events to suit everyone this December.

The Lost and Found Orchestra
At the top of the tree is a breathtaking show from the award-winning creators of STOMP – The Lost and Found OrchestraBursting with energy and creativity this is a performance which will delight the whole family and is a real alternative to a trip to a traditional pantomime.

Those inventive STOMPers have replaced all the traditional instruments found in an orchestra with strange and beautiful music makers made from flower pots, traffic cones and bits of plumbing. Across a six month period, instruments like Squonkaphones, Plumpets and Kitchen Tymps were invented from scratch and an entire score composed.

Steve McNicholas, composer and co-director said: “It’s like a Dr. Seuss orchestra and it’s a big cast – we’ve got 22 people – so it’s a much, much bigger show than STOMP. It’s a big celebration really.”

It sounds like great fun and as the show broke box office records when it played at Sydney Opera House it’s probably a good idea to book your tickets early.

The Lost and Found Orchestra will be performing their exhilarating mix of magic and music between 20 and 29 December, including several matinee shows.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus
Brighton Gay Men’sChorus always get great reviews and have won nationwide fame following their appearances on BBC TV’s Last Choir Standing.

You can catch the boys on Saturday 15 December when they perform Christmas classics alongside rock and pop favourites in a joyous festive evening. The concert will help raise funds for the Sussex Beacon Urgent Appeal.

Hans Christian Anderson’s 'The Nightingale'
I’ve come over all nostalgic and got tickets to see Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale The Nightingale.

The story is all about the true values of Christmas; love, friendship and the pleasure of the simple things in life. It will be performed using a mixture of puppets, masks, animation and music by Lancashire-based theatre company Horse + Bamboo.It’s suitable for children of all ages from four years up and this big kid cannot wait!

The Treason Show
If you enjoy something much more grown-up then Brighton’s legendary satirists The Treason Show might be more to your taste. Between Christmas and New Year they will be casting a critical eye over the bankers, politicians and celebrities who made the headlines in 2012 and making them the targets of their wicked wit.

Featuring songs and sketches with a topical twist, the show runs from the 27 to the 31 December it could be just the thing to brighten your post-Christmas slump with some bright and sharp humour.

New Year's Eve Viennese Concert 
If you fancy something more elegant and traditional to bid farewell to 2012 then the Viennese Concert on the afternoon of New Years Eve is a charming choice.

Featuring popular classics such as Blue Danube and the Tritsch Tratsch Polka this delightful programme by Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra will have you waltzing your way into a very happy New Year.

Book tickets
For more details and to book tickets visit or call 01273 709 709.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Winter Wheelchair Staycation in Accessible Brighton & Hove

Today's blog post has been written by Marina who is an accessible travel researcher and blogger. She shares her wheelchair accessible adventures at the Wheel Travel Blog.

Getting ready for winter in Brighton & Hove. Here’s how I might be spending some of my time in the chillier months to come.

Winter Wheelchair Fun On The Seafront

Brighton Beach Wheelchairs

Wrapped up warm and going for a roll on Brighton beach. Winter has it’s advantages, I might even get the place to myself. The beach accessible wheelchairs are available every day of the year, and are rarely booked out during the winter. Call the Seafront Office on 01273 292716 to make a booking. They are free to use, all they require is a form of proof of I.D. and a £25 deposit.

Beach Wheelchair Brighton and HoveBrighton Beach


Easy Access On Brighton & Hove Promenade & Pier

Going for wheelchair walks along the promenade. Eating chips and watching the seagulls from the Pier. There are sloping walkways down to the promenade in Brighton (may be difficult to ascend without assistance). The access to the promenade is level at the Hove end. Numerous disabled parking bays and disabled toilets (RADAR key required) can be found all along the seafront. There is level access all along the Pier and 2 disabled toilets (RADAR key available at the cafe). They also have Braille menus.

seagull on street lamp, brighton and hovebandstand brighton and hove

Brighton Wheelchair Bike

I will be gliding along the promenade (when it’s not raining or blowing a gale) on a Duet Wheelchair Tandem. To hire Brighton Wheelchair Bike email: Bring a strong person to peddle you both along the miles of seafront cycle path between just before the Pier all the way to Hove Lagoon. Booking essential.

brighton wheelchair bike - duet wheelchair tandem, brighton & hovebrighton wheelchair bike - Duet wheelchair tandem in brighton and hove

Accessible Brighton Wheel

I could take my wheels on the Brighton Wheel. It’s fully wheelchair accessible. Disabled adults tickets are £6.50 and disabled children tickets are £5. Carer tickets £4.

wheelchair travel, brighton wheel, brighton and hovewheelchair travel, brighton wheel, brighton & hovebrighton wheel, brighton and hove wheelchair travel,

More Accessible Winter Joy

Feeding The Squirrels At St Anne’s Well Gardens

I heart squirrels. This park is a wonderful wheelchair walk at any time of year. Surfaced paths (there are slopes as well as level parts-strong assistant needed for some bits), disabled toilet (RADAR key), the Garden Cafe, fabulous kids playground, a pristine bowling green, tennis courts, table tennis, sensory garden, fish pond, lots of birdlife, beautiful trees and friendly (just don’t let them mistake your finger for a peanut) squirrels. For more on parks in Brighton & Hove, go to park disabled access info.

Squirrel      Squirrel Feeding at St Annes Well Gardens, Hove, Sussex      Wheelchair access St Annes Well Gardens, Hove, Sussex

Access To Great Food In Brighton & Hove

Perhaps sitting by the fire at Stanmer House having hot chocolate or afternoon tea. Maybe lunch or dinner at one of Brighton & Hove’s accessible restaurants. I’m going to try some gourmet vegetarian nosh at Food For Friends (mention you’re a wheelchair user when booking so they can be ready with the ramp). I also love the tasty Italian food at Carluccios, the fabulous sea views at Alfresco and the Latin American menu at Las Iguanas. Try the links at the bottom of this post for the full list of wheelchair accessible places to eat out in Brighton and Hove.


Accessible Ice Rink At Royal Pavilion Gardens

Going for a trundle in the beautiful (and organic) Pavilion gardens or even a whizz around the ice rink! The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is fully accessible to wheelchair users. Off-peak sessions (when the rink is quieter) are encouraged. You must be accompanied on the ice by a competent skater who may skate for free.

Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Brighton and Hove     
(photo credit: Katariina Jarvinen)


Brighton & Hove Winter Culture 


theatre royal, brighton and hoveThe Brighton Dome booking office has a fabulous push button door (makes life easy) and a lowered booking desk for wheelchair users. They have wheelchair access and disabled facilities in all the venues and “carer goes free tickets” are also available depending on availability. The Theatre Royal has some wheelchair accessible seating and a disabled toilet in the foyer. Depending on availability they also offer “carer goes free” tickets, so enquire when booking. The Duke of York Cinema, Komedia and The Brighton Centre are also fully accessible. For more accessible venues in Brighton and Hove and detailed access info on the above, be sure to check out the Fed online (link below).


Accessible Brighton and Hove Accomodation Info

Fancy a Brighton & Hove winter wheelchair mini break? A fantastic access guide to Brighton & Hove can be found at the Fed online. There’s also plenty of helpful accessibility info at the Tourist Office or on their VisitBrighton website.

Thanks again to Marina for sharing this fantastic guide with us. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Christmas Shopping in Brighton

Yesterday the Christmas Lights were switched on so we can officially say that the festive season is upon us! Of course it;s well-known (or we certainly hope it is!) that Brighton & Hove is a great city for a shopping break as we've got The Lanes, the North Laine, Churchill Square, Brighton Marina and Hove so whatever you;re looking for you should be able to find it.

However in addition to the shops we also have a number of events which will take the stress out of present buying and help make it fun again.

The first event is MADE, the annual design & craft fair which takes places this year from the 23rd - 25th November. The fair is held at the Corn Exchange and features over 100 makers and designers. Works to look out for this year include these striking green salt and pepper mills by Louise Hibbert and crow cufflinks by Becky Crow. There will be a wide variety of work on offer and with prices ranging from £20 to £1500, there should be something to suit all pockets. 

Another popular event for shoppers is the Artists Open Houses. This will be the tenth year that local artists have opened up their doors to the public. It's a great opportunity to see artwork displayed in a domestic space as well as giving you the chance to chat to the artists. Plus you can have a nose around and see how other people decorate their houses at Christmas time :) The festival takes place on the first three weekends of December.

There are lots more shopping events happening over the coming week so check our Christmas pages on the website for more inspiration and to start planning your festive break.

And if that wasn't enough we have also launched an exciting festive competition on our Facebook page. We;re giving you the chance to help us build the ultimate Christmas hamper, each week we'll ask you to vote for your favourite item including spa treatments, designer socks and restaurant vouchers - and then just before the holidays one lucky person will win the whole lot! So to be in with a chance of winning like our page and start voting.Good luck!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Winner of October’s Love Laughing, LoveBrighton Flickr Competition

Crikey, it's the middle of November already. How time flies when you’re having fun :)

We are very pleased to announce the winner of October’s hilarious Love Laughing, LoveBrighton Flickr competition is this wonderful photo of people (sorry, zombies) having a great time on the Beach of the Dead walk on 20 October:

We also had a great time at the Brighton Comedy Festival, which gets bigger every year, and positively turned Brighton into a land of laughter, mirth and merriment. And we just loved our fabulously cheesy jokes we shared on Flickr, even if we were the only ones giggling! :D

The taker of the winning photo was Justin of Pooka Photography, who won a great family ticket to the opening night of Holiday on Ice: Speed at the Brighton Centre.

November’s Flickr theme is Love Twilight, LoveBrighton, and we’ve already had some stunning evening shots of the city and the seafront. The sunsets have been very romantic! Twilight also links in nicely with the midnight premiere of the new vampire teen movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two, at the Odeon Cinema on West Street on Friday 16 November. So feel free to snap the city at night and anything that resembles Robert Pattinson!

This month’s competition prize is two day passes to all the rides on Brighton Pier and dinner at the Palm Court restaurant, making for a perfect day out at the seaside!

In the meantime, keep those pics a-coming:  

Laters potaters!

Siobhan x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Cinecity 10th Brighton Film Festival

Seeing as I'm a fan of films and the Duke of York's Picturehouse you would think that I would be a regular at  the Cinecity Film Festival, however as I picked up this year's brochure I realised that I've never really made the most of the event. Coupled with the fact that the Duke of York's have put in some new seats which I haven't tried out yet I decided that it was time to start booking...

As I started to read through the guide there were several films jumping out at me and I was very tempted by the special 10th anniversary 10 ticket deal. The first one that caught my eye was the opening night film, which is Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths. The film is his follow-up to In Bruges and as I loved the quirky black comedy I was already interested but when I saw that the cast includes Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken I had to go! As this is the opening night film tickets are selling out quickly but if you do miss the showing on the 15th, the Duke of York's will be showing it in December so you'll still have a chance to catch it.

Of course the festival isn't all about the Duke of York's and I think one of the highlight's of this year's festival will be a special screening of Barry Lyndon in the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Stanley Kubrick's Oscar-winning film features SeraBande by Handel, works by the composer were often played by George IV's band in the Music Room. Tickets include a glass of Champagne on arrival, served in the banqueting room - certainly beats popcorn!

I won't give details of too many films as we could be here all night and anyway part of the fun is going through the brochure or website and seeing which ones leap out at you. Although I will just briefly mention Robot & Frank, as it's a septuagenarian and a robot in a comedy heist, what more do you need to know!

Cinecity runs from 15th November until 2nd December and make sure you get in quick as tickets do sell out quickly. And movie fans don't forget that the new cinema Duke's at Komedia will open it's doors in December - exciting times!


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A very happy visitor

One of our main marketing activities is PR and working with journalists who are writing pieces about the city, either providing them with information and images or helping them plan a visit and ensuring they make the most of their time here.

We don't always get a chance to meet up with the journalists and so we're usually not sure what sort of piece they are going to write until it is actually published. However we do sometimes host group press trips where we do spend a lot of time with the journalists and therefore can usually (not always!) gauge their reaction to Brighton & Hove.

Earlier this month we hosted an international group (German, Swiss & Austrian), the itinerary for the weekend was fabulous - I can get away with saying this as m'colleague Ruth did all the hard work of organising it! I won't give you the full programme but any weekend that includes cocktails at the Hilton, afternoon tea at Metrodeco, the Biba & Beyond exhibition and a Blitz themed supper club at the Proud Cabaret can't be bad!

Anyway the city certainly worked its magic on one our lovely Swiss journalist Helena. After her stay she sent us a lovely thank you note, which was virtually a love letter to Brighton. In it she says: "I have never visited such an outstanding, charming and great place as Brighton!" and she has even told her family that if they ever leave Switzerland they are moving to Brighton. When her Mum complained about the weather, Helena's reply was "But there is much more sun in the hearts of people there.

However I think my favourite part of Helena's note was the fact that while previously she had just been a coffee drinker, she was so inspired by Metrodeco that she recreated her own afternoon tea at home...

Very impressive! As you can imagine we were thrilled to hear Helena had such a great time and we look forward to seeing her article as I'm sure her enthusiasm will encourage more visitors to the city :)


Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Judas Kiss

Back in August when the Theatre Royal Brighton's Autumn programme was released one of the first plays to catch my eye was The Judas Kiss, partly because it will be the first time I'll have seen Rupert Everett on stage, in fact I believe this will be his Brighton debut although please do let me know if I've got that wrong.

However the main attraction for me is the fact that the play is about Oscar Wilde, who has always been one of my favourite playwrights, ever since I saw the film version of the Importance of Being Earnest starring Michael Redgrave. The Judas Kiss depicts Wilde relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas also known as Bosie. The play takes place during two pivotal moments in Wilde's later years - the eve of his arrest and a night after his release from two year's imprisonment.

While I am a fan of Wilde and am obviously a fan of Brighton too, I hadn't realised that Douglas connects the two... Bosie and his sister Edith used to spend their summer holidays in their father's flat on Oriental Place. The children were often sent off to amuse themselves on the Pier while their father enjoyed a cigar in the Metropole hotel. In later years Wilde & Bosie regularly visited Brighton, staying at the Royal Albion or The Grand hotel. Although on one occasion the pair crashed their horse-drawn carriage into the railings at Regency Square, after which Wilde assured the papers that it was 'an accident of no importance' (As ever the Encyclopedia to Brighton by Rose Collis was very useful here!)

I doubt the crash scene will be included but knowing that Wilde and Bosie may well have visited the theatre during one of their visits will add to the atmosphere when I go to see the play in a couple of weeks time. So far the play has been getting rave reviews and it'll be on at the West End in January so now's your chance to get ahead of the game! See you there...


The Judas Kiss will be on at the Theatre Royal Brighton from 5th - 10th November, tickets from £19.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Brighton Early Music Festival 2012 – Early Music with a distinctive Brighton twist

Today we hand over to a guest blogger - Cathy Boyes is the new Festival Producer for the Brighton Early Music Festival...

This year is my first as Festival Producer for Brighton Early Music Festival and I’m feeling at this stage slightly overwhelmed (as well as overexcited) by all the fantastic acts that have played at the Festival over the past ten years (this year is our 10th birthday) and hoping my organisational skills are up to the challenge. By this stage we are juggling press interviews, volunteer and van lists, music printing, rehearsal logistics and much more - with almost 300 performers taking part, that’s a lot of rehearsal cups of tea!

BREMF is a million miles away from an early music festival for aficionados only, and is known for the vibrant and often eclectic take it brings to its performances. This year is no different with costumed nuns, a celebration of medieval food, and a recreation of the most extravagant Medici wedding involving aerial dancers.

If you’ve never heard ‘early music’ before (music written before about 1800) then there are some great opportunities to try it out in BREMF 2012.

The first of these is a completely FREE event which is part of Autumn Lates and a follow on from last year’s BREMF @ White Night – five ensembles performing in St Bart’s Church on Saturday 27th October. For this event we strip all the chairs out of the church and light it atmospherically, with the audience free to move around and come and go as they please. Several of the groups are collaborating with dancers, actors, shadow puppeteers and film artists so this should be a really special evening.

We were so bowled over by two of the groups who played at BREMF @ White Night last year that we’ve invited them back to give their own concert – a sort of White Night 2 on 1st November in St Mary’s Rock Gardens. This will also feature atmospheric lighting and an informal vibe with the musicians introducing the pieces from the stage.

And BREMF wouldn’t be BREMF without a major spectacle – and what could be better than seeing aerial dancers running down the walls of St Bart’s Church (the highest nave in England) as we recreate one of the most spectacular weddings of all time! Ferdinando Medici married Christine of Lorraine in 1589 and the entertainment provided was a set of “intermedi” featuring nymphs, sorcerers and a whole host of classical gods – not to mention a serpent and a couple of dolphins. This is going to be something else!

So if you thought early music was boring maybe BREMF 2012 is the time to think again!

Cathy Boyes, Festival Producer

Concert Listings 
  • Journeys Through Europe: BREMF @ Autumn Lates – Saturday 27th October, 8.30pm & 10.30pm St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann St, Brighton BN1 4GP FREE event – no ticket needed. Come and go as you please (until 12am).
  • Follow the Tide: Young Artists @ BREMF – Thursday 1st November, 8pm St Mary’s Church, Rock Gardens, Brighton BN2 1PR Tickets £12 (£10 conc) from or 01273 709709
  • The 1589 Florentine Intermedi - Saturday 3rd November, 9pm St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann St, Brighton BN1 4GP Tickets from £12 (£10 conc) from or 01273 709709

Friday, 12 October 2012

Walking Dead

As we've said before one of the perks of working here is getting to try out new things in the city and this week I was lucky enough to get to try the new 'Walking Dead' tour run by BrightonWalks.

The tour is based on Peter James first two novels in the bestselling Roy Grace series - Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead (published by Pan Macmillan). The tour starts at Brighton Railway Station and takes visitors around the city highlighting key locations from the novels. Lyn Neville, the blue badge guide who runs the tour, spent time with Peter James discussing the route and which locations to include. So if it's good enough for the man himself, it's good enough for me!

I have read a couple of the books but I haven't actually read these two, however that didn't matter as while plot details were discussed, Lyn was careful not to give the ending away and so by the end of it I was keen to get hold of the books to find out what happens. Obviously this walk will be of interest to fans of Peter James, however it's also a good way to get an alternative view of the city. I should add a brief warning though, fans of the books will know that some of the content is quite gruesome so visitors should be prepared for some gory details! Although it's not all grisly as apart from significant locations linked to the cases, you'll also get an insight into Roy Grace's personal life by seeing some of his favourite haunts.

And while we're on the subject of Peter James, fans will be pleased to hear that there are a couple of opportunities to meet him as he will be signing copies of the newly released paperback version of the latest Roy Grace novel - Not Dead Yet. The book signings will be take place on Saturday 13th October at Waterstones (North Street) from 12-2pm and also on Friday 26th October at WHSmith (Churchill Square Shopping Centre)from 12-2pm. And if that wasn't enough Peter James will also be hosting a special Crime Quiz in aid of The Martlet's on Thursday 8th November at the Thistle Hotel.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

September's LoveBrighton Flickr Winner

My, how quickly time flies, and how chilly it’s getting brrrr. We’ve announced the winner of LoveBrighton’s Flickr winner for September’s competition, for which the theme was ‘Love Eco, LoveBrighton’. This was to celebrate the launch of our new Green Guide (see the post below), and we loved the colour of this photo (a tad green :)) but also the dramatic skies above the sea. It reminded us of the powerful force of nature and how Brighton is so closely defined by the sea and ever-changing coast. It’s also a stark reminder of the impact our own lives have on our local landscapes, and those around the world.

Russ has won a £30 voucher to spend at the yummy Brighton Temptation café in the North Laine.

October’s theme is Love Laughing, LoveBrighton, and links with the hilarious Brighton Comedy Festival taking place until 20 October. Check out all the acts taking place throughout the city, and the new Squawker Award, a competition for new acts, with the winner decided during the festival.

Here's what Russ had to say about his fabulous photo:

"I often walk along Brighton sea front looking for photo opportunities. I'm mostly into street photography and capturing life as it happens, but on this occasion I went right down to where the sea meets the pebbles and there weren't many people around. I love trying to capture motion because it can add a sense of power that is vacant from many images. The sea was quite rough and there were waves rolling in steadily. I could watch them all day.

I had my beloved Fujifilm X100 with me, and as I walked along between the piers I came to a part of the beach where the pebbles seemed to dip down slightly. This caused the waves to curve in towards each rather than dispersing away. The curve you can see in the front of the photo is what I'm referring to, it's not due to a wide angle lens. It was also approaching golden hour, which helped produce good light.

I got home and loved how sharp the image had come out. The X100 captured some lovely detail in the crest of the wave but I wasn't satisfied with it overall. I tried black & white, but I wanted colour. I started playing around with split toning and ended up using blue and green to give the image a more powerful tone, and then added some clarity and contrast to give it extra punch. I'm aware the colour is not realistic, but it seemed to transform the photo into something quite special.

I always name my photos, usually with a single word. As I looked at this one it made me think of what it might be like to be seasick, and so, the name 'Chunder' was born. You might want to google it if you're not sure what it means!

I'm really pleased to have won September's competition. Thank you for supporting my work."

'Till next time,

Siobhan :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Green Brighton Guide launch

In recent months we have been working with Greentraveller and VisitEngland to produce the Green Brighton Guide - a handy pocket guide including a map listing green and ethical businesses as well as details on the City Villages and getting out into the South Downs.

Last night was the official launch of the Guide and the event was held at FARM market, which proved to be the ideal venue for the event. There's a great rustic atmosphere and the food is delicious, if you're in the North Laine on a SAturday make sure you pop in and the sausages are highly recommend.

The guide's will be available at venues across the city, including the Brighton Visitor Informaiton Centre. You can also download a copy of the guide at


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Blue/Orange at Theatre Royal Brighton

Our beloved Theatre Royal Brighton recently launched its own production company and earlier this year the company's first play, Dandy Dick, was staged and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I heard that their next production was going to be the award-winning Blue / Orange starring Robert Bathurst, I had high expectations.

Luckily I was not disappointed, when I tried to give a synopsis of the play to my colleagues this morning I didn't do a very good job so I think this time I'll copy the description from the site:
A young patient is convinced that a notorious military dictator is his father. Bruce, a junior psychiatric doctor wants to do further tests and plan longer care. Robert, a senior consultant, wants to thrust him back into the community. A riveting, compelling and witty battle of freedom and ambition unfolds.

Production shot of (L-R) Gerard McCarthy, Robert Bathurst & Oliver Wilson.

Naturally the subject of mental health is a sensitive one and while the play could have been heavy-going, the witty script ensured that this wasn't the case. Robert Bathurst was on top form and his performance was a masterclass in comic timing. However with only three cast members, they all need to be good and thankfully this was the case. Oliver Wilson was very convincing as the patient caught in the middle of a battle of wills and we all felt for Gerard McCarthy, the poor young doctor trying to do the right thing for his patient.

So I think the Theatre Royal Productions have another success on their hands, and I can't wait to see what their next play will be. Blue / Orange will be in Brighton until Saturday 22nd September before going on a nation-wide tour.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Winner of August's Love Summer, LoveBrighton Flickr Competition

Greetings lovers of Brighton!

It’s hard to believe that summer is over and winter is slowly moving back in! :(

But never fear, we have one more thing to celebrate before autumn starts to chill our cockles, and that’s the winner of our LoveBrighton Flickr competition! The theme for August was Love Summer, LoveBrighton, and we’re delighted to announce the winner is Rob Webb, with his beautiful image of a Brighton summer surfer:

Rob has kindly written a blog about his photograph adventures in Brighton & Hove, and why he loves our wonderful city so much! Rob won a trip on the Brighton Wheel, where he can view the city from on high, round and round, and round again!

Rob sez:

Brighton is simply a fantastic location for photography, not many places offer the diversity of environments and subjects that make up the area. Living here I have easy access to both the urban sprawl and a few minutes drive to get to the peace and tranquillity of the Downs. The vibrant and creative atmosphere make photography in and around the city a joy.

The beach at sunset is one of my favourite places to visit with a camera; there are so many opportunities to capture interesting moments and points in time. The iconic background of the West Pier at low tide has featured more times than I care to mention in my photography, but I will never get bored of taking pictures of it or of people enjoying the sea around it.

And check out this month’s competition theme of Love Eco, LoveBrighton, celebrating all things green about the city and the launch of our brand new Green Guide to Brighton & Hove.

Get snapping the beautiful season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and you could be next month’s winner! :)

‘till next time,


Friday, 14 September 2012

Brighton Art Fair

Today Anne-Marie is going to give us the insider's guide to the Brighton Art Fair....

Brighton Art Fair is organised by local artist Sarah Young and administrator, Jon Tutton who spent many years exhibiting at craft and art fairs - some good, some busy, and some just dire, and so they got a good grip on what they wanted to achieve when they started the fair in 2003. Since then the show has gone from strength to strength and is back at the Corn Exchange next weekend with another fabulous selection of art.

We are really looking forward to seeing Christopher Sacre's installation in the foyer. In 2010 Christopher created a work with condoms and plaster called, ‘See What This Man Gave Birth to After Using 2000 Condoms in 22 Days’. These simple but very striking cast forms are going to look incredible as visitors come in to the fair!

Christopher Sacre installation. Photo by Rikard Osterlund

There are some wonderful and diverse artists exhibiting for the first time. Look out for Tom Pearson's prints which are inspired by the digital and physical planes we inhabit, beautiful paper cuts by Polly Finch, and Dong Li's graceful and light watercolours. If you're looking for some Brighton art, visit Sam Hewitt and take a peek at his oil paintings, many of which depict local scenes, or Natalie Martin's amazing architectural paintings of some of the city's landmark and lesser known buildings.

Gardner Street in the morning by Sam Hewitt
Tom Pearson print

And if it's something just that bit different that you're after, we'd recommend Serena Partridge's embroidered small-scale curios, David Rhys Jones' ceramic wall art or Ben Yates' photo-cubism! Whatever your preferences, there will be something for everyone. It's going to be a good year!

To receive a 2 for the price of 1 ticket to this exciting event, please complete the form here - - before Tuesday 18th September and a voucher will be sent to you in the post before the event. Please enter 'VB' in the offer code section.

Brighton Art Fair
21st - 23rd September 2012
Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1EE
11.00 - 17.00
Entrance £6, under 14s free

Thanks again to Anne-Marie for writing today's post and we look forward to seeing you at the Art Fair.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Biba-founder Barbara Hulanicki interview video 2012

We're all getting pretty excited here at VisitBrighton about the forthcoming exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery on fashion legend Barbara Hulanicki, of Biba fame.

So ahead of the Biba & Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki exhibition, which runs from 22 September 2012 – 14 April 2013, we caught up with the fashion legend to ask about her time spent studying art and design in our city during the 1950s, the Biba years and fashion in 2012.

Look out for local hotspots which all boast a Barbara connection – the seafront’s Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel, the FAIR shop on Queens Road (once home to Brighton’s very own Biba boutique) and the University of Brighton – as well as sneak previews of some of the original items showcased in the exhibition.

“Brighton’s the right place… because it all started here”, Barbara says.

Re-live her story in the video below.

Barbara Hulanicki – back to Brighton from VisitBrighton on Vimeo.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Brighton again – and again, and again…

Today we hand over to Laura Canning from camping website Pitch-Up to give us some tips from her experiences of camping in Sussex....

‘We’re getting married,’ was the rather tipsy sentence I heard from a friend a year and a half ago late on a Friday night. After waiting until the alcohol had worn off from the happy couple and it was confirmed that yes, in the cold sober light of morn they were still getting married, I found myself making preparations to go to Brighton for the first time for their hitching. On Brighton Pier, the hippies.

Why it was the first time, I don’t know – all I can surmise is that there are too many places to see and that Brighton was just one on the ‘must do someday’ list. But after my first time there, I decided that it had been rather considerate of the couple to get spliced in Brighton and let me see a place I might not gone for some time. And then I went back again. And again…

We invaded The Old Ship Hotel for the wedding weekend, but as I’m a camper and like to stay somewhere off the beaten track, I looked for places around the city so I could go into Brighton every morning but see a bit of the surrounding countryside on my travels too. Maximise the time away from the office, that’s my motto…I found a jolly mixture of places to camp around Brighton with tons of things to do from fishing to shopping (natch). Here’s where:

The Barn Caravan Park: I picked this site as part of a week’s holiday as it’s only seven miles from Brighton but is a quiet secluded site and has free wifi – off the beaten track is fine, but I still want to laze about and read the papers on my laptop…There are pitches at The Barn for touring caravans and motorhomes, but I brought my trusty old tent instead, firing up one of the brick barbecues for dinner and pushing the kids away from the climbing tower slide. Well, I got there first.

Arundel Youth Hostel: Camping in the grounds of a Georgian villa while pretending from my tent that one day all this will be mine? Yes please. I moved on here from The Barn for a couple of nights to check out the Monarch’s Way – and the pub just up the road. There was a day at Arundel Castle and the Wetland Centre, a day on the South Downs, and both evenings on the villa veranda with a glass of wine watching the sun go down. Lush.

Arundel Youth Hostel
Merrylands: This site was for a weekend away with the other half, and we even managed to get a spaniel to take along with us – well, the site is dog-friendly and we wanted to pretend we had one (it was our neighbour’s dog – we did ask). The campfire was the other main pull: Merrylands loves its fires and smoky smells, and there’s nothing quite like cooking dinner out in the open over a fire. Even if we did have to struggle to keep the sausages away from the spaniel…

Owlsbury Park: Now I’m not saying the other half and I have anything against children, but occasionally it is nice to pitch up in an adults-only park. We think most parents would agree. Add to that the fact that Owlsbury is known for its wildlife and we were packing the rucksacks before you could say ‘It’s my turn with the binoculars’. This time round we borrowed a campervan rather than a dog, rolling up for a three night stay where the other half went fishing while I had a snuggly lie-in and waited for breakfast. Then we drove through the countryside to Brighton each day for shopping and sightseeing. Arnie style, we’ll be back.

Summer Ponds Fishery and Campsite
Sumners Ponds Fishery and Campsite: Yes, we went fishing again. Or rather, he did while I lazed on the grass and read many magazines, then told him if he wanted to see fish couldn’t we go to the Brighton Sea Life Centre and then go shopping instead? We used this as a base for Brighton for two days and for a day of fishing/reading/woodland walks – the lakeside café with hot food was a big hit with His Nibs too. And we did get to the Brighton Sea Life Centre, and shopping as well. Sorry, His Nibs. I’ll make it up to you on our next Brighton trip. Which I’m going to book in for a month and a half’s time…now where shall I stay next?

Friday, 31 August 2012

The Whales are coming to Brighton … and the dolphins too!

Today we will be handing the reigns to another guest blogger - Ian is the co-founder of the WhaleFest 2012 and here he tells us a bit more about it... 

WhaleFest 2012 is happening at The Hilton Brighton Metropole on the 27th and 28th of October - just before half-term week begins - and will be the biggest international get together of Whale & Dolphin enthusiasts ever staged. There’ll be so much going on, so where do we start….

The venue will be packed with Brighton families and people from across the UK, keen to enjoy the exciting range of activities we’re bringing to town. There really is something for every age group – from Ocean storytelling with internationally published children’s authors, to real-time whale watching trips, fun educational activities, workshops, life-sized whales and dolphins and a chance to discuss the career you’ve always wanted working with ocean wildlife. We have a cast of speakers and experts from across the globe, some of which you’ll recognise from your TV screens and our cinema will be showing fascinating and beautiful films all weekend. And best of all, our inspiring team of volunteers from across the UK, many of whom are whale and dolphin experts themselves, will be on hand to make sure you have a great experience at WhaleFest.

And WhaleFest 2012 also has a serious message to share.

Our aim is to raise awareness of the challenges faced in our marine environment today, and to encourage our visitors to believe that together we can make a significant difference. That’s why we’ve chosen to hold the event at The Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Because it was at this very hotel, 30 years ago in 1982, that the world’s governments voted to suspend the hunting of whales. Thirty years on, Planet Whale will be inviting the public to support its new campaign, Save The Whales: Reloaded. The campaign aims for the first time ever to bring people across the globe together to help identify the parts of our oceans that YOU want to protect.

Protestors in Brighton 1982 - credit, Press Association

Using our innovative online tool, we want you, the WhaleFest visitors, to get involved by mapping out areas of the oceans which you want to see protected for wild whales and dolphins. These will be combined with maps drawn by people across the globe to ensure members of the public, governments, charities and stakeholders all have a say in the future of our oceans.

So come and see us, be part of something BIG. Come and get a taste of what it’s like to share a planet with our most majestic neighbours and find out what makes them tick. Who knows what might happen? At the very least, you’ll leave with a boat-load of memories of a grand day out. And we hope it’ll be those memories you take with you when you take your first trip to see one of these astonishing creatures where they should all be; swimming wild and free.

Thank you Ian! To find out more about WhaleFest and to book your tickets go to:

Friday, 10 August 2012

July’s Flickr Competition: Winner’s Blog

Greetings again LoveBrighton Blogeratti!

The Flickr winner blogs are coming thick and fast this week, with the following from the winner of July’s competition, Love Olympics, LoveBrighton. We chose the photo below as the winner as it showed beautifully Brighton’s Big Screen on the seafront, showing all the Olympics and even some old school blockbusters!

Paul won a £30 voucher to spend at the yummy Coal Shed Restaurant in Brighton’s Lanes. Jealous? So am I! August’s theme is Love Summer, LoveBrighton, so get snapping and get uploading all your summer pics onto the LoveBrighton Flickr page: 

Laters potaters!

PS. VERY proud of the Irish girl Katie Taylor winning the first (and probably only) Gold medal for Ireland at the Olympics! :D

Here is what Paul had to say about his winning photo:

When I first heard there was going to be a big screen by the beach showing the Olympics I whooped with delight. I eagerly made a visit along with family and friends on the first Saturday after the marvellous opening ceremony.

The big screen was showing the men’s road race. After the phenomenal success the week before by Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in the Tour De France – I was keen to see the Brits in action once more and expectations of a Gold were definitely in the air.

Well, a medal didn’t head Team GB’s way in that event but it did not dampen the spirit, as there was such an upbeat and positive vibe in the air.

I decided to attach a fish-eye lens to my camera – so I could really capture the essence of the event – the impressive architecture to the crowds left, the sea to the right, the folks of all ages enjoying watch developments unfold on the big screen, the welcoming blue sky overhead, etc. When I saw the lady with the Union Jack draped over her shoulder I knew it was time to press my shutter button.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Blanch House awarded Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

‘To provide a great night’s accommodation and superb breakfast, using the best local produce, at inclusive prices…’

This is the philosophy of Blanch House, one of Brighton’s original boutique hotels, recently awarded the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence (an accolade awarded to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor).

And we can see why. Some of the VisitBrighton team recently went to visit the very friendly lot at Blanch House to check out their newly furnished themed rooms and it really is a lovely boutique choice for those who love chic and contemporary, plus a little dose of quirky!

Great choice of themed rooms - from Moroccan to Champagne inspired!
I was immediately won over by the ‘Alice’ room (my 1 year old is called Alice!) with its mirrored wallpaper and escapist feel. Or there’s the Moroccan room (see photo) for a sumptuous, exotic edge or for those special occasions there’s even a Champagne inspired room – the luxurious Perriet Jouet. From Renaissance to Sakura, check out the whole range of themed rooms here.

For anyone getting hitched or looking for a great place for a function, you can also hire out the whole hotel for your special occasion. See the Weddings & Celebrations pages for more details.

All the rooms are equipped with complimentary WIFI too, plus LED flat screen TV, Freeview, DVD player, luxury toiletries & robes, teas & coffees, complimentary bottled water and yummy home made biscuits for that added ‘home from home’ touch.

And if you need a wind down after a hectic day in the city, you can even check out the in-house therapist for a massage or holistic treatment. Lovely.

Locally sourced
Oh and the breakfast is pretty good too, using the very best local produce (we’re huge fans of locally sourced food here at VisitBrighton!) and if you are planning to visit on a weekend, we can definitely recommend the Sunday lunch.

You’ll find Blanch House in a discreet Georgian terrace in fashionable and bohemian Kemp Town to the east of the city – only a short walk from the centre of Brighton and a stone’s throw from the city’s stunning Regency seafront. Prices start at £80.

Find out more
Website - 
Phone - 01273 603504 
Email -

Win a 2 night break at Blanch House

For a chance to win a 2 night break at Blanch House, go to and sign up for the VisitBrighton enewsletter via the popup and you’ll go straight into a prize draw.

Bye for now...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Wonderful Year in Brighton

Today we welcome another guest blogger as this post has been written by Eivind Nerberg. Eivind currently lives in Scotland with his partner Suzi but back in 2005 they decided to spend a year living in Brighton. For full details you can read Eivind's blog 'Walk a Pavement Once Again' on The Argus website. But below is a quick summary of their time spent in the city, including their top tips for any visitors...

When you live in inland and inclement Scotland, Brighton appears to be a dazzling jewel. And it was - it was everything we’d read and heard about.

A couple of ex-teachers, Suzi and I rented-out our house, sold the car, and on a beautiful evening in the middle of May we arrived at Brighton railway station.

After spending our first night in a B&B, we moved into a splendid self-catering apartment in Cavendish Place and then, thanks to a friendly, welcoming Brightonian, to a mansion flat overlooking the majestic Lawns at Hove. Throughout this time we were busy flat-hunting, and by the end of May we were signing a lease for six months – which we later extended to twelve – on a delightful flat, just off Western Road and on the cusp of Hove.

Every morning we emerged from our Brighton ‘home’ into invariably glorious sunshine and in sight of the sparkling, brilliantly blue Channel. (Whenever we walked along the beach or the prom we felt great: we were canny Scots and we were getting two things for the price of one – the sea and the city!)

Eivind on the beach
In order to experience as much of the city as possible we did lots of things ‘once-only’. The race-track, the dog track, zen meditation, the Theatre Royal, belly-dancing (well at least Suzi did), Hotel du Vin, the Brighton Marina, the Royal Pavilion, Valentino’s cocktail bar, the unmissable Duke of York’s Picture House - and on the sea-front, Tables 88, where we were joined by my younger daughter and her husband-to-be for an unforgettable Christmas Day dinner. I could go on and on: Brighton is simply inexhaustible.

Nearer to home, in our enchanting neighbourhood, we choose to indulge ourselves in as much repetition as we liked. (It was comforting and sweet to enter a pub and hear the staff say, ‘It’ll be the usual, then?’). By far and away our favourite pub in Brighton was virtually on our doorstep: the Atlas Lounge. We loved its décor, food, atmosphere, guest singers, and its large wooden tables on which, after borrowing a deck of cards from behind the bar, we’d play ‘Two Man’s Whist’, which I was taught decades before, in Norway. We’re delighted to hear that the The Atlas is still going strong – and gladdened to know that the nearby ‘Barney’s’ has re-opened [It is now called Hove Kitchen].

Not much farther along Western Road - in the direction of, and actually in, Hove - are two beautiful, Georgian squares, Brunswick and Palmeira. They are exquisite. Check them out for a chill-out or picnic. ‘Palmeira’, especially, sends a shiver down our spines! It was the most idyllic spot in town. Vibrant and varied, cosmopolitan and captivating, Brighton is a must-visit city. You won’t be disappointed. It gave us one of the best years of our lives.

Suzi in Brunswick Sqaure
Thanks again to Eivind for writing today's post and I hope you both get a chance to visit Brighton & Hove again soon :)