Friday, 28 October 2016

The undercliff walk, with a hidden past and some secrets to tell...

Today we welcome another guest blogger, here to tell us a bit about the Undercliff Walk is Warren Hill from Busy Business...

If you go east from Brighton’s Marina there is the undercliff walk. It goes along the coast about 2 km from the marina past Rottingdean and ends up at Saltdean beach. Near the end is Whitecliffs cafe which has been around for what seems like an age. I’ve been there quite a few times and it’s very popular with tourists and locals alike, but it has some intriguing secrets, both in its past and present.

There are many reasons it’s so popular, but one of the main ones is obviously it’s location. It’s situated near the end of the now quite famous undercliff walk in front of Saltdean park. This alone attracts many visitors, but being able to take a break and relax taking in the beautiful views of the chalky white cliffs and the sea view while having a meal or drinks is definitely a bonus.

This place used to be called Smugglers Haunt 2 back in the 1930’s when it was an Art Deco building before it was refurbished and reopened to how we know it today - a popular cafe by day, a romantic restaurant by night but also a venue for hire. You can see it in the rare pic below in the middle with the flag on top.

And when you look beyond the modern day facade and and think about its history it suddenly becomes more interesting. The place itself is built into the cliff making it quite unique but it’s past just adds to it. The whole area was once a haunt for smugglers (yes, it’s that obvious) bringing in cargo from Spain and the mediterranean, but the cafe itself was built around 1925 and was originally called “The Tea Pavillion” before it was named after it’s slightly disreputable past. Nowadays though, it’s a modern place that has many uses. It’s also a venue for hire outside of its usual opening hours and has been used by local businesses for networking events as well as parties and weddings etc, so if you are looking into the best venue hire Brighton has to offer then you should give them a call.

As for me, it’s one highlight of the lovely walk where you are just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Brighton’s town centre to get that great feeling of escapism without having to go too far! Saltdean beach itself is ever popular for other runners who use the undercliff walk as part of their fitness regime, and you can see why as the views are beautiful and uninterrupted all year round which is why we all love this secluded part of Brighton I guess. I have seen many beautiful pictures and paintings by local artists showing just how lucky we are, and also how easy it is to forget about it wrapped up in all of what Brighton has to offer so I hope this acts as a little reminder.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

#BrightonSnowdogs on the seafront

It's time for another trail to catch some more Snowdogs and while today's post does feature 5 sculptures they are all fairly close together so you can take things at a more leisurely pace...

While the whole trail is called Snowdogs by the Sea some have a closer view of the sea then others so for today's post we are going for a walk along the prom, prom, prom starting with Snowdog number 26.

We're starting our walk at the Fishing Museum on the beachfront, if you are coming by train then from Brighton Station walk straight down Queens Road & West Street then cross over and then down onto the lower promenade, heading east towards Brighton Pier. If you're travelling by bus then the majority of services include stops at Churchill Square Shopping Centre or North Street so once you get off the bus walk towards the seafront by walking down either West Street or Ship Street.

26. Bella - Artist: Chris Dawson / Sponsor: OneFamily
Outside the Fishing Museum you'll find Bella who is one of my favourite dogs on the trail. She fits in perfectly with her surroundings with sky and sea blue colourings - complete with a horizon line - and an adorable lighthouse tail. I particulalry like the cheeky Brighton and Brightoff headings for the day and nightime scenes. Before moving on pop in to the Fishing Museum to leaarn more abut Brighton's origins as the sleepy fishing village of Brighthelstone.

27. Process Pup - Artist: Josh Ford (The Osh) / Sponsor: Captiv8
For the next dog we'll continue walking east along the lower promenade with its mixture of shops & galleries until we reach the famous beachfront carousel. Here you'll find Snowdog 27 also known as Process Pup. This colourful pooch has a geometric patchwork design and is in one of the best spots for photographs as as she looks fabulous with either the Brighton Pier or the West Pier & British Airways i360 as backdrop.

28. GRRRace - Artist: Mik Richardson / Sponsor: Peter James / Pan Macmillan
Amble on to the upper promenade as we make our way towards the iconic Brighton Pier. Here you'll find the famous 'Kiss Wall' whose images only become clear when you are stood in front of it with the light shining through. From the 'Kiss Wall' walk on to the entrance to Brighton Pier where you'll find GRRRace & you'd better be on best behaviour as he is a police dog. Snowdog 28 has been sponsored by Peter James who works very closely with Sussex Police when researching his Roy Grace detective series. This dog will not suffer fools gladly and he evens has his handcuffs ready - you have been warned!

29. Palace Pup - Artist: Maria & Patricia Shrigley / Sponsor: Brighton Pier
Of course no trip to Brighton's seafront is complete without a walk along the pier. You'll find shops and bars as well as classic arcade games & funfair rides. If the sea air is making you hungry then there's plenty of food options including the perennial favourites doughnuts, fish 'n' chips and Brighton Rock. Or you can just sit back and relax on a deckchair - after you've seen the Palace Pup of course! Palace Pup reflects the colour and fun of the Pier as well as the unavoidable seagulls.

30. Under the Sea - Artist: Lynne Bannon / Sponsor: Sea Life Brighton 
After the Pier we're going to take in just one more pooch so head back to the upper promenade and use the crossing to get to the Sea Life Brighton. At the foot of the stairs you'll find 'Under the Sea' another of my personal favourites. You'll see that this cutie has explored the depths of the oceans, in fact she still has her goggles on. Her underwater design features Nemo, Dory, an octopus and seahorses. As we've finished today's trail make sure you go into the Sea Life to see the live versions of these underwater animals - and lots more! You'll also be visiting the country's oldest operating aquarium which features stunning Victorian architecture.

Other places to look out for along the seafront trail area:
To download the full trail map head to our website or pick one up from one of our Visitor Information Points. Don't forget the Snowdogs are art sculptures so please respect them and do not climb on or graffiti them. The Snowdogs are supporting the Martlets so if you would like to donate text SDOG16 £3 to 70070.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Brighton Early Music Festival 2016 - Early Music for Everyone! #BREMF16

It's time for another guest post and today we'll hand you over to Hayley Guest to give us a sneak peek at this year's Brighton Early Music Festival...

This time last year, I remember picking up a Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) leaflet from a stand whilst visiting friends in Brighton. Funnily enough, I’ve found myself back in Brighton this year, but this time to be working for BREMF! Something about it back then caught my attention, and I have now come to understand - it’s not your average classical music festival.

Known for breaking the mould, BREMF makes early music accessible to all ages and brings fresh ideas to the table - you’ll find everything from concerts in pubs to wacky instruments to sensational new talent. And this year is no exception. With an eclectic programme of 26 events to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

This year’s theme will explore relationships between scientific developments, the natural world and music. Kicking off the festival, the fabulous L’Avventura London (with Grace Davidson, soprano) will be performing an exciting programme of music to illustrate the works of scientist Athanasius Kircher. From classic favourites like Handel and Rameau to hebrew songs and music from Kircher himself, this won’t be one to miss!

We also have some BREMF-grown events this year: Galileo, our newly-written music drama, will bring his discoveries and musical connections to life in a great evening’s entertainment. And Gaia - Three Intermedi for a Living Planet is our hugely exciting multimedia spectacular, including film, projections, mime, dance and five different ensembles all coming together to tell the story of our Earth. Blimey! A final highlight for me would be the weird and wonderful Sound House by The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments (including the incredible tromba marina, pictured). And of course the BREMF Singers and Players will be returning to perform a great programme of Locke and Purcell.

I have loved working with the festival this year to promote creativity and find new ways to engage more people (including bringing BREMF to the ‘meme’ scene!). BREMF is fun and welcoming to all, so even if you’re completely new to early music why not try out one of our prom tickets or our Clubnight (The Joker, 5th November) - at £5 they’re a steal. Come down and check out one of our fantastic events - the more the merrier!

BREMF 2016 Highlights
Music, Science and Natural Music
L’Avventura London (with Grace Davidson)
28/10 @ 20:00, St George’s Church BN2 1ED

The Marian Consort and The Monteverdi String Band with Roger Watkins, actor
29/10 & 30/10 @ 19:30, St Pauls Church BN1 2RE

The Lily and the Rose
The Telling - medieval candlelit Hildegard and more
4/11 @ 20:00, St Pauls Church BN1 2RE

Fairest Isle and Foulest Weather
BREMF Singers and Players - including Purcell’s King Arthur
6/11 @ 19:30, All Saints Church BN3 3QE

Gaia - Three Intermedi for a Living Planet
English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, BREMF Consort of Voices, Lacock Scholars, BREMF Community Choir, Onde Sonore + others
12/11 @ 15:00 & 19:30, St Bartholomew’s Church BN1 4GP

Springtime for the Pian’e Forte
Trio Goya playing Beethoven and Haydn
13/11 @ 14:30, Ralli Hall Hove BN3 3TH

Sound House - Francis Bacon and the Nature of Sound
The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments
13/11 @ 20:00, St George’s Church BN2 1ED

Tickets for all events from £5 at (no booking fee) or 01273 709709

Friday, 21 October 2016

#BrightonSnowdogs - Western Road / Regency area

Well as promised here is our second Snowdogs post of the week to make up for not doing one last week :) So today we will be taking in the Western Road / Regency area of the city...

For this trail we will be starting at Churchill Square Shopping Centre, if you are travelling by train the centre is a 10-15 minute walk just head south down Queens Road and turn right at the Clock Tower. If you are staying in the city, the shopping centre is easy to get to on foot as it's a short walk from the seafront and The Lanes or you can use a Brighton & Hove Bus as almost all the main bus routes include a stop at or near Churchill Square.

Our first Snowdog is sitting outside the centre sitting in between the Twins - this is the official name of the big round sculptures here. To be honest this is probably my least favourite dog, the artwork is fantastic but there is something sinister about the big mouth and the teeth. I do like the smiley lolly though :)

13. Blot the Dog - Artist: Iownthis.ART / Sponsor: Brighton & Hove Buses
You won't have to walk far for the next dog although if you get distracted by all the shops it might take a little while to get there! Our next dog is inside the shopping centre on the lower level and Mod Dog is sure to raise a smile. As most of you are probably away Brighton was (still is!) synonomous with the Mod scene which was famously captured in the classic film Quadrophenia featuring a legendary soundstrack by The Who. Mod Dog includes all the key elements from Parkers to Scooters.

14. Mod Dog - Artist: Steve Mason / Sponsor: Churchill Square
After Churchill Square walk back towards the Clock Tower and then turn right down West Street as we head towards the seafront. Cross over to the main promenade although stay on the upper level by the road rather then going down to the beach level. On your right you'll pass the Brighton Centre and the iconic big hotels The Grand and the Hilton Brighton Metropole. Just before you reach British Airways i360 you'll find Bobby. Bobby is very pretty with flowers & butterflies and even a Bowie-esque lightening design over one eye.

8. Bobby - Artist: Katherine Griffin / Sponsor: Sussex Police
Keep heading West along the seafront (staying on the upper promenade) past the i360 and Regency Square until you get to our Victorian bandstand guarded by Flower. With a name like Flower you will probably expect lots of bright colours but this dog is striking in black with a white petal design.

7. Flower - Artist: Kai and Sunny / Sponsor: Mackley Construction
We'll carry on heading West to find our next dog and as you pass the Peace Statue you are now crossing the border from Brighton into Hove. As you walk along take a moment to look at the seafront railings as you'll notice they change from the Brighton turquoise to the Hove green. The walk along the prom will take you alongside Hove Lawns which plays host to several festivals throughout the year. After about 10 minutes you'll find Pebbles who clearly loves being in Hove as her design features the famous colourful Hove beach huts.

6. Pebbles - Artist: Joanna Martin / Sponsor: Yellowafish
For our final dog of the day we'll head back inland so cross over the main road (Kingsway / A259) and walk up Adelaide Crescent. Here you will find some of the best Regency architecture in the city and if the curtains are drawn be prepared to get home envy when you see the size of some of the living rooms! The crescent feeds into Palmeria Square where you will find Dave the Dog - one of the most glamorous Daves you will ever meet (probably). Residents will probably experience a sense of déjà vu as they admire Dave's shiny fiery coat. The reason for this is that the owner of the Golden Lion Group pubs (Dave's sponsors) owns a Bentley with the same orange into red design.

5. Dave the Dog - Artist: Totally Dynamic / Sponsor: Golden Lion Group
From Palmeira Square there are buses heading East and West to take you across the city. Alternatively head East along Western Road and walk back to the city centre, it's about a 20 minute walk with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants to explore along the way.

Other places to look out for in the Western Road / Regency trail area:

To download the full trail map head to our website or pick one up from one of our Visitor Information Points. Don't forget the Snowdogs are art sculptures so please respect them and do not climb on or graffiti them. The Snowdogs are supporting the Martlets so if you would like to donate text SDOG16 £3 to 70070.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Snowdogs - North Laine & Cultural Quarter

Apologies to fans who were waiting for a Snowdogs post last week however our trails were hampered by a cold but this week we are back pounding the streets. For today's trail we decided to explore the North Laine and Cultural Quarter...

For my walk I used Brighton Station as my starting point, this can be reached by train (obviously!) from London, Gatwick and across the coast or if you are staying elsewhere in the city then there are plenty of buses to the station, the main ones are numbers: 6, 7 and 12.

32. Frank - Artist: Jane Anderson / Sponsor: Bill's Restaurant
From the Station turn right and then almost immediately left to go down Trafalgar Street (running under the station) wander down this street and then turn right onto Sydney Street. Both Trafalgar and Syndey Street are great places for shopping & cafés. At the end of Sydney Street turn right and you'll see Frank. This cute fellow has embraced the seaside city with images of Brighton Pier and the bandstand. Frank has been sponsored by Bills and make sure you scan the app to unlock a free cocktail (with main meal) at Bill's. Cheers!

21. Snowman's Nightmare - Artist: Pure Evil / Sponsor: Art Republic
Say goodbye to Frank and wander down Kensington Gardens, this may take a while as there are even more shops & cafés to be explored! At the end of the street turn left and then right down Jubilee Street. Just in front of Jubilee Library you will find Snowman's Nightmare. Not as friendly looking as some of the sculptures this chap as been designed by street artist Pure Evil and features some of his trademark tags. Take time out to pop into the library to see some of the SnowPups. Speaking of Snowpups there are a couple more in this area so we'll make a slight detour before we move on to the next Snowdog.

Snow Pup at The Martlets Shop
Snow Pup 'Laika' at Art Republic
From the bottom of Jubilee Street turn right into Church Street and you'll see the Martlets Shop. In the window is a very dapper Snow pup! Do pop in to the shop to see the Snowdogs by the Sea merchandise or to explore the vintage clothes. From the shop turn left onto Bond Street and head to ArtRepublic. The art shop sponsored Snowman's Nightmare and they are also home to snow puppy Laika. Named after the first dog to go into space, Laika features a spacescape design.

19. Lola - Artist: Deven Bhurke / Sponsor: Theatre Royal Brighton
Carry on walking down Bond Street then turn left on to North Street and then right onto New Road. This marks the start of the Cultural Quarter so named as this is where you will find cultural venues including Theatre Royal Brighton; Brighton Dome; Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and of course the Royal Pavilion. Walk up New Road and you can't miss the bright yellow Snowdog outside Theatre Royal Brighton. This ray of sunshine will bring a smile to your face and once you see that her name is Lola you are bound to have the Kinks song stuck in your head, which is no bad thing! This year the theatre's big Christmas show will be The Kinks' musical 'Sunny Afternoon' so why not pop into the box office and book your tickets while you're here?

20. Splash Hound - Artist: Lawrence Art Supplies Creative Team / Sponsor: Lawrence Art Supplies
You won't have to go far to find the next Snowdog as further along New Road by the Unitarian Church is Splash Hound. This black dog has been given a burst of colour with a splash of rainbow colours along his back. From New Road turn right onto Church Street and go inside the Brighton Dome. In the Dome's café bar you will find Roodle, this may be one of the simplest designs but I have to confess he is one of my favourites. He is basically a big bundle of fluff! Also as Roodle is in the café you may well be tempted to treat yourself to a reviving coffee & cake.

22. Roodle - Artist: Isy Langhorne / Sponsor: Vervate
From the Dome carry on down Church Street until you reach the Pavilion's North Gate for our final Snowdog on this trail. Just inside the gate and at the start of the Pavilion Gardens you will find Merry-Go-Hound who has a retro kitsch feel with his gold design. Before leaving the Gardens pop into the Brighton Museum to see some more more of the Snow Pups.

23. Merry-Go-Hound - Artist: Sean Sims / Sponsor: Brighton & Hove Rotary Clubs
Phew that was a busy one! As we missed last week we'll be back later this week for another Snowdogs trail. Don't forget to download the app to keep track of which Snowdogs you have found and to unlock lots of awards including special offers.

Places to look out for in the North Laine / Cultural Quarter trail area:
For more North Laine shops visit:

To download the full trail map head to our website or pick one up from one of our Visitor Information Points. Don't forget the Snowdogs are art sculptures so please respect them and do not climb on or graffiti them. The Snowdogs are supporting the Martlets so if you would like to donate text SDOG16 £3 to 70070.


Monday, 17 October 2016

Isaac is where its At

Isaac At has recently re-launched and we just had to try the new 7-course tasting menu. Going from pop-up to permanent the restaurant, nestled in Brighton’s North Laine, is now open 5 evenings a week – and what an exciting dining experience!

Every dish is locally sourced and every ingredient is used to its maximum potential. The first course was a celebration of the butternut squash. Roasted and beautifully presented the squash was served with the seeds which gave it a great crunch. Alongside each course, we had a juice pairing. Alex, the new restaurant manager, has created this (as well as the alcoholic Sussex flight) which complements the food and, as the name suggests, uses all Sussex ingredients. Our favourite juice was the apple and blackberry juice - the apples came from head chef Isaac’s mother’s garden – as locally sourced as you can get!!

The three courses to follow included a beautifully fresh salted Pollock served with cauliflower puree, crispy pork belly with smoked broccoli and a rich jus, and roast chicken and celeriac in a delicious stock. Each dish was cooked perfectly, bursting with flavours.

Dessert gave us even more tasty surprises. Starting with blackberry and cucumber sorbet to cleanse the pallet and then greengage and pumpkin seed crumble, and if that wasn’t enough, petit fours to finish. We felt very spoilt (and full) by then!

The restaurant’s open kitchen has been extended so you can really be part the action. There are two screens in the corner of the restaurant, where you can watch your food being plated up. We loved watching Isaac and his team professionally and passionately crafting our dishes.

Isaac At was a fantastic experience. The food was absolutely delicious. I would recommend this restaurant for a special occasion. Your party will be looked after all evening - with the waiters explaining all the dishes and bringing you something new and exciting each time.
If you are pushed for time, there is now a shorter menu on offer Tuesdays-Thursdays and Saturday lunchtime, perfect for a pre-theatre stop. And of course there are vegetarian options as well.

Isaac At offers new menus including a four course set menu (£35) – perfect for pre theatre – the full Isaac At tasting menu (£47) and a ‘Sussex Flight’ pairing menu. 

Dine with Isaac Tuesday to Saturday evening and Saturday lunchtime.
Isaac At
2 Gloucester Street


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Snowdogs - London to Brighton

We absolutely love the Snowdogs by the Sea sculpture trail and to help you see as many of the dogs as possible each week we will focus on a specific area of the city to help you plan your visit. Don't forget to download the official Snowdogs by the Sea app to keep track of which ones you've seen.

Today's guide is all about train stations and the Seven Dials...

45. Brighton Belle - Artist: Jenny Leonard / Sponsor: British Airways i360
So the trail will begin in London at Victoria Station. Trains to the South Coast leave Victoria from platforms 15 - 19 and on the way to the platforms you will find Snowdog 45 - Brighton Belle. Sponsored by British Airways i360 this colourful pooch has been decorated with all the things we love about the city. Make sure you take in the whole design including the fabulous rainbow design on the back. Brighton Belle has her own special area under the escalator decorated with all things Brighton. She has been named Brighton Belle after the Pullman train which used to run from London to Brighton, apparently Sir Laurence Olivier was a regular traveller. 

11. Newshound - Artist: Heidi Compton / Sponsor: The Argus
Hop on a train and in just under an hour you will arrive at Brighton Station where Snowdog number 11 will greet you. The Newshound features some pf the classic headlines that have appeared in our local paper - The Argus. Personal favourites include 'Warning over dangerous cupcakes' and 'Man tries to sell himself on Ebay'?! Before leaving the station we recommend popping into The Cyclist 
to refuel and enjoy some local food & drink.
12. Smart Vibes - Artist: Pinky / Sponsor: Lookers
You won't have far to go to find our next dog as out on the station concourse you'll find Smart Vibes who has a 1960s psychedelic vibe. Although I can't help wondering if this pooch has been partying too hard as she does look rather sleepy! 

Typically when visitors come out of Brighton Station they will head straight down Queens Road and to the seafront, but not today! Turn right and cross Buckingham Place at the traffic lights, then we're going up the hill! Brighton is famous for its steep hills so if this one looks too daunting then head back to the front of the station and hop on a number 7 from bus stop E and hop off at the first stop. Once you've made it to the top of the hill you will be at the popular Seven Dials area, easily recognisable by the central roundabout with 7 exits. 

10. Clifton - Artist: Chalk Gallery Artists / Sponsor: Streamline Taxis
Head left round the roundabout from Buckingham Place, cross over Dyke Road and then turn down Vernon Terrace - although be warned one side of the street is labelled Vernon Terrace and the other says Montpelier Crescent, this is because the crescent runs off of Vernon Terrace. Stroll down this road and once you get to the Crescent you will spot Snowdog 10 - Clifton. He has a lovely tranquil spot and has been covered in Brighton postcards. 

9. Neon Camo Snowdog of Hope Artist: Mike Edwards / Sponsor: Brighton & Hove High School
Once you've said goodbye to Clifton continue walking down Vernon Terrace, once you reach a crossroads continue heading down the road (which is now named Denmark Terrace). Then on the right-hand side of the road you will see Brighton & Hove High School which is where you will find Snowdog 9 who has one of the longest names - Neon Camo Snowdog of Hope. Inspired by the work of the Martlets the blue camouflage pattern is a symbol of both a fighting spirit and an ability to protect. Please note this dog is within the school grounds and is situated by the exit for cars so do be careful when visiting this one. 

That ends this trail but if you carry on strolling down Montpelier Road you'll come out at Western Road which has plenty of options for some well-earned refreshment.

Check back in next week for more Snowdog trail ideas!

Places to look out for in the Brighton Station / Seven Dials trail area:

To download the full trail map head to our website or pick one up from one of our Visitor Information Points. Don't forget the Snowdogs are art sculptures so please respect them and do not climb on or graffitti them. The Snowdogs are supporting the Martlets so if you would like to donate text SDOG16 £3 to 70070.