Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A hidden gem

My last post was about some of the talented artists creating waves today however artwork in Brighton is not all contemporary, as you can also find some stunning pieces by old masters and not just in the art galleries...

Last week a couple of us were invited to visit St Michael & All Angels Church in the Montpelier area of the city. Before I talk about the church itself I have to say that Montpelier & Clifton is a beautiful area of the city, even though it is only a few streets away from the main shopping area it has a tranquil atmosphere. Plus being uphill you do get some fab views across the city and down to the seafront. To find out more why not have a look at the video on our new interactive map (shameless plug!)

Anyway back to the church... It is appropriate that the church has two names as it is actually two churches in one as the original church was not big enough.

But how does this relate to art? Well inside the church are some stunning stained glass windows by pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris as well as some by Ford Madox Brown and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

And it's not just the windows, make sure you check the columns as carved into each pillar are figures ranging from musical notes to miniature Indian pavilions. Each carving tells a story as when the church was built a lot of the parishioners would not have been able to read.

So I would definitely recommend a trip up to Clifton Hill for any art lovers.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Talented Brighton

There seem to have been a few Brighton artists hitting the headlines recently. First up was Sarah Pager who has an exhibit at the contemporary art gallery Towner in nearby Eastbourne. Sarah's creation is a chocolate toilet so it is not really surprising to see that it has caught the attention of the media. Although I can't help wondering if the buyer will display it or eat it?

Also in the news this week is Pascal Anson, another Brighton based designer. Pascal's artwork has been used on the first of BA's new aeroplanes to mark London 2012. The winning design is based on a dove as the bird is not only a symbol of peace but was also used in ancient Olympics to send Games reports to outlying villages, in other words the first version of Twitter!

And finally... Also announced this week is the very exciting news that two of the city's top cultural venues will be working together later this year as The Duke of York's Picturehouse will open a three screen cinema upstairs at the Komedia. Sticking with the arty theme of this post, the other news is that local artist Jamie McCartney has been commissioned to sculpt a new pair of legs for the venue in keeping with the iconic pair at the Duke of York's.

Work on the new venue will start in the summer with a view to opening in December 2012. Follow @dukesatkomedia on twitter for all the latest updates.

So all this just goes to prove what talented and creative people we have living & working in Brighton!


Monday, 2 April 2012

A Grand night out

One of our mantras here at VisitBrighton (yes that's right, we have mantras) if not the mantra is: "think like a visitor". It was with this thought in mind that I checked-in to The Grand hotel this weekend. I should point out that I don't actually live in Brighton anymore so this was not quite as frivolous as it sounds!

We had booked a standard room and I was slightly concerned that this might actually mean small, however I needn't have worried. Here is a picture of the room, the one on the left is from my phone camera and the one on the right is the promotional image:

While of course The Grand's image is much better quality, this comparison does show that it is also a true depiction of the room ie they haven't used clever angles to make it look bigger then it is. Of course you can also see that the decor is a little dated but I have to admit I thought it added to the olde world charm of the building which includes uneven hallways.

We all have different ways of measuring the quality of a hotel room but I'll give you a quick rundown of what made it for us. First of all as you can see from the photo the bed was huge so that was already a big tick. There was also the obligatory tea & coffee facilities complete with shortbread biscuits so we can tick that off the list as well. Being a luxury hotel I am pleased to confirm that bathrobes were included; as well as a bidet and rather bizarrely we had not one, but two, iron & ironing boards - I didn't think I looked that rumpled at check-in! Also in the bathroom we were very impressed with the Pecksniffs toiletries which smelt gorgeous. Although there was another added luxury which I wouldn't have thought to put on the list - a heated bathroom mirror so that it doesn't get steamed up while you're in the shower. Impressive eh?

As you must have guessed by now I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at The Grand, I won't wax lyrical for too much longer but I have to add that the breakfast was delicious too, I just wish I'd been staying longer so I could have tried more of it.

So thinking 'like a visitor' I would happily recommend a stay at The Grand for anyone looking for a taste of luxury without breaking the bank.