Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Artists Open Houses Awards

Last night it was the Artists Open Houses Awards at myhotel. I have to confess when I was first leaving the office, I was feeling quite tired and part of me did just want to scurry off home, but as we were sponsoring one of  the awards this was not an option. Of course dragging a friend along always help but even so I'm very glad I did go as it was actually a very sweet and lovely event.

A lot of hard work goes into the festival, not just by the fabulous artists who exhibit their work but also behind-the-scenes by the organisers and the promoters. Last night was a great opportunity to celebrate the festival and to recognise the work that goes into it.

We were there to present the Visitor's Choice Award:

As the name implies this award was voted for by visitors to The Open House Open Exhibition at the Regency Town House, and the winner was Cristobal Ochoa. Cristobal is only 27 but he has already exhibited all over the world and in his native Venezuela he is known not only for his ceramic sculptures and paintings but also for his artistic interventions and street performances. It was a pleasure to present the award to Cristobal as he seemed to be genuinely touched to have his work recognised in this way and he commented that Brighton as a city was very welcoming to artists.

The other winners were:
  • AOH May 2015 Brochure Cover Artist - Bernard Lodge
  • AOH Artist of the Year - Tony Bowen and Joachim Lambrecht
  • The Latest's Best Open House Award - Peanut Butter Tree Arts
Judy Stevens - Artists Open Houses, Charlotte Barrow - presenter of the VisitBrighton Visitors' Choice Award (me!) and Sarah Jackson of Bullet PR
Hong Dam of Childhood Memories, Cristobal Ochoa winner of the Visitors Choice Award and Miladys Parejo of Encounters Open House
Congratulations to all the winners and to all who took part and made this year's festival such a fantastic event. And a special congratulations to our winner - Cristobal Ochoa :) Also we would like to thank Able and Willing for making the lovely award for us.

While the Artists Open Houses may be over (until Christmas at least!) we were delighted to hear that the HOUSE exhibition by Yinka Shonibare at Brighton Museum has been extended until 22 June so if you haven't been yet or fancy a second look then now's your chance!


Thursday, 22 May 2014

We do love to be beside the seaside... and we're not the only ones!

We recently had some good news. The Office of National Statistics relesed a report about travel trends in 2013 and there were 2 pieces of good news for Brighton & Hove. Firstly we were one of only a few cities to have seen a significant increase in the number of overseas visitors, becoming the 8th most visited city outside of London. Even more excitingly Brighton was the only seaside destinaiton on the list making us the most popular seaside holiday spot in the UK, hooray!

This good news coupled with the improved weather made us think we ought to make the most of it and so last week we popped down to OHSO Social to enjoy lunch with a seaview. The bar has arguably one of the best locations in the city, as it is right on the beachfront moments away from Brighton Pier and the 'doughnut' sculpture (officially it's called 'Afloat'). So with the sun shining it's not hard to see why everyone loves to be beside the sea.

Clearly OHSO are on to a winner with the view but what about the food? The venue has recently been awarded 5 stars in the Scores on the Doors food hygeine rating system so nothing to worry about there. The menu features local Sussex ingredients and while there were lots of tempting options
including charcuterie boards, big salads and burgers, in the end we opted for the classic fish 'n' chips, perhaps all that sea ait had gone to our heads!

It is a classic dish but it is one that can easily go wrong - the fish can be greasy or the chips uninspiring, thankfully this was not the case here. Just look at that!

I'm not a food critic so I'm not going to start trying to describe the texture or whatever it is that critics are meant to discuss. All I will say is that all the ingredients were clearly fresh and everything tasted scrumptious. And we had an amazing view, whta more could you want on your lunch break?


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

National Vegetarian Week: 19-25 May

Brighton was one of the first destinations to embrace vegetarianism so it will be no surprise to hear that we will be celebrating National Vegetarian Week next week.

The city is lucky enough to have two fantastic vegetarian restaurants both of which have offers on next week to tempt you to go veggie.

Terre a Terre has been wowing diners for 21 years now and so they would like Vegetarian Week to be a bit of a reunion. Anyone who has worked at the restaurant is invited to come back with their family & friends and receive a 15% discount plus a complimentary glass of fizz. Don't worry if you haven't worked there though as you can still take advantage of their Terre a Verre offer where two people can enjoy a Terre a Tapas with Chunky Chips and a carafe of wine for just £39.25. To find out more and to book your table call 01273 729051 or check

I am not a vegetarian and even though I grew up here it did take me a little while to actually venture into a purely vegetarian restaurant. While I do sometimes pick the meat-free option I was worried I wouldn't find anything I liked, I think I was probably picturing lentil soup and nut roast. Of course now I know this is complete nonsense and our veggie restaurants serve amazing dishes. But I'm sure you still have friends who need convincing. So book a table at Food for Friends next week and your non-vegetarian friend gets to eat for free! To claim the offer book a table and bring a printed voucher with you, call 01273 202310 to book and the voucher can be printed from this page:

And that's not all as there is still time to enter our competition to win afternoon tea for two at Food for Friends:

To find out more about National Vegetarian Week see: