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 :)


Monday, 6 August 2012

June's Flickr Competition Winner Blog


The prodigal daughter has returned!

We’ve been busy with our Flickr competitions, some amazing photos have been winning our monthly competitions. Check out our Flickr group here: 

In July our theme was Love Jubilees, LoveBrighton, and we had some great shots of the city, flags everywhere! The winner of July’s competition was Ta King, who has written a blog entry for us below. Have a read, and check out her images!

Peace out,

Siobhan x  

On the Jubilee Sunday June 3rd 2012 we decided to check out some cafe places in Upper Kemp Town. I always have a camera with me all the time, at least one. That day I had my Olympus Pen E-P2 with the Pancake 17mm F2.8 lens with me. As we were passing Charlotte Street with a retro looking cafe at the corner, I looked out towards the sea and I noticed this pink Victorian building with lots of union jack buntings. We did walk pass but after a couple of minutes I had this familiar feeling that I was about to miss some good shots. I told Tony, my partner, that I had to go back to take some pictures of that pink building and I did.

It turned out to be a Hotel, Brighton Marina House Hotel. I took two shots one overly exposed so the flags stood out and the other one is this shot that won me the prize. Being an amateur photographer and a camera-mad person, I took pictures for fun and never thought that I would win anything. I am so very pleased and it inspires me to take more pictures, the way I like. 

I had my first digital camera in the year 2003. It's plastic with MP3 player. I really loved it and I thought I would never want to go back to film again. Then I came across Lomo Lc-a and I fell in love with it. I spent all my life trying to fit the Minitar-1 lens on to digital cameras. I took a lot of good cameras apart to take the lens out and replaced it with the Minitar-1 lens. It was good fun. I had no knowledge of anything photography, I still don't know a lot even now. I know I wanted to make it focus to infinity and make it stay and that's about it. I ended up buying a Canon 5D full frame camera for sole reason, so the minitar-lens can show its full effect. Long story short, the back of the lens hits the mirror. I nearly shaved off part of the mirror to make it curve but I stopped myself. These days there are a lot of cameras with Lomo type effects and I had my hands on most of them, still my ultimate goal is to have the Minitar-1 lens fit with adjustable focus on a full frame camera. That's my story. 

I have lived in Brighton for nearly 20 years. Ever since I started taking pictures, I took some almost everyday and I still find things that catch my eyes every time I am out and about. I love Brighton!  

Ta King

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Literary Weekend in Brighton

Today we welcome another of our guest bloggers. Sara Sheridan is the author of Brighton bestseller ‘Brighton Belle’ – a 1950s murder mystery set you-know-where. Today Sara hands out her top tips for the city’s book-ish hot spots...
Brighton is steeped in history! That’s one of the reasons I love it. I’m not the only writer to get inspired by the city’s lively atmosphere. Over 200 years ago when Jane Austen wanted to send Elizabeth Bennett’s naughty sister Lydia somewhere risqué in Pride and Prejudice, she had her visit Brighton where she eloped with army officer, George Wickham. Later, of course, she marries him but you can’t get more shocking than an elopement in Regency Brighton. Today, you can walk past the spot where the regiment were camped on Brunswick Square, which is just around the corner from Brighton’s lovely independent bookshop, City Books (a shop that appears in several of Peter James’ Brighton-based crime thrillers).

I love visiting Brighton – my Granny lived here for a large part of her life and I’ve been coming down since I was a kid. It’s not surprising I always get ideas for stories while I’m strolling around. It’s a great place to write. Dickens completed both Bleak House and Dombey and Son while he stayed here. There’s a blue plaque these days where he stayed – which is now the Holiday Inn on Kings Road. The city’s been immortalised in books several times. Most famously in the raw appeal of Brighton Rock by Graham Greene who also uses The Cricketers as a location in his much more light-hearted novel, Travels with My Aunt. Greene’s own Brighton pick was the first book in local boy Patrick Hamilton’s Gorse Trilogy – he proclaimed it ‘the best book about Brighton ever written’. Hamilton was a Sussex-born novelist and playwright whose work was adapted for film, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in ‘Rope’.

Today Brighton is best known for its edgy crime books – not only Peter James but Mark Peterson and Peter Guttridge, for example turn out atmospheric forensic police procedurals. I decided to write something more cosy though I gave it an edge (of course!) I’m an historical novelist at heart and I’m fascinated by the 1950s. For me Brighton’s unique relationship with London make it the perfect setting for my ex-secret service agent, Mirabelle Bevan, to recover from WWII. It was fun finding out about the world my grandmother must have lived in – shopping at Hannington’s while eking out ration coupons. Granny had a shop in the Lanes for a while – she sold antiques. My guess is she had a window into some intriguing dodgy schemes. I certainly hope so.

Nowadays I visit Brighton whenever I can. Last weekend I took a literary tour and walked everywhere I just mentioned – from Austen to Graham Greene. Then my friend Jess had a swim in the sea and settled down to read my book on the beach in Hove. Brighton Belle in Brighton – there’s nothing better than that for an author to see!

Thanks Sara for all the tips and don't forget Brighton's annual literature festival City Reads will take place this year from 15 September - 7 October. This year's book is another Brighton based novel My Policeman.