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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for June, 2011

Visiting Brighton: Get Paddling Around the Pier

With the weather so good, it’s likely that you’re gonna want to dip your feet in the water when visiting Brighton. Well, this weekend you’ll be able to do a lot more than that: it’s the Paddle Round the Pier Festival.

A real regular on the Brighton party scene, this beach inspired charity fest has all sorts of activities for the family – and plenty for the hardcore surf dude and dudette.

Staying out of the water for a while, there are stalls all over the Hove lawns; concerts and live tunes; surfing movies; BMX and skating – of course; and plenty of stuff just for kids.

Our favourites from last year were the VW Campers on show: amazing conversions of the coolest transporters ever built!

Onto the water and there’s the Pier2Pier race, Stand Up Paddleboarding races (SUP), a swim around the pier, dinghy sailing, surf lifesaving contests and plenty of ways you can get involved. There’s an appearance from the S.A.S (not the balaclava’d, gun-wielding sort) a very special force behind environmental campaigns close to all of us who enjoy the sea – families visiting Brighton beach can get some great sea and beach safety advice from the RNLI.

It’s a very cool weekend. And let’s face it, if you’re visiting Brighton with a family, you’re probably here for fun. So get yourselves to the seafront and head west. Head to Hove and find the sun and fun you’re looking for. And if the surf’s not up, there’s a guaranteed party till the sun goes down!

Here’s what to expect at the Paddle Round the Pier Festival

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Shopping in Brighton? Pick up a dinosaur

Leaving a hotel in Brighton off on a little shopping trip? The temptation must be to get the kids doing something they love while you get right into the retail.

Natural History Museum

Bringing real dinos to Brighton

Well, shopping in Brighton’s about to take an unexpected twist next month, one which will have every member of the family excited: Dinosaurs are coming to town!

And they will be allowed in Churchill Square, thanks to an event set up in conjunction with the Natural History Museum – so don’t think for a minute these will be moth-eaten waxworks – this is the real deal, provided by the museum’s touring exhibition.

Star of the show is likely to be T-Rex. At more than four metres long and six metres tall, this pre-historic predator will dominate proceedings.

Although, the vegetarian option – an armour-plated Ankylosaurus – will also draw gasps from the kids, distracted from shopping in Brighton by the size and complexity of the plates of bone grown into its hide.

Shopping for a dinosaur?

Shopping for a dinosaur?

Dotted around Churchill Square there will also be ‘touch and feel’ boxes to keep visitors busy, as well as a real T-Rex skull. And if dinosaur junior is getting a little too excited, there’s always the intimidating Oviraptor, a six-foot, bird-like dinosaur that used to pick up and carry off children – especially the disruptive ones…

There’s plenty here to keep imaginations driven wild, as Churchill Square’s Marketing Coordinator, Tara Philips pointed out: “The exhibition promises to be a truly lifelike experience which aims to transport people back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the land!”

Churchill Square is probably the best place to start shopping in Brighton: As well as being home to the bigname brands, it’s central, served by just about all the bus routes and links through to a multi-story car park.

The Dinosaur Encounter exhibition runs from 1st July to 4th September 2011 at Churchill Square Shopping Centre – and don’t worry about finding a Spendalotasaurus, the exhibition is completely free!

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Brighton BnB hosts special one-off gig

Usually the only music you here in a Brighton BnB drifts out from a knackered radio in reception. And you can guarantee it’s tuned to Bland 103 FM.

Aidy, on tour

Aidy, on tour

Well, as the only BnB in Brighton with a real blog – rather than a ‘what’s on’ list – The Ambassador is bringing some outstanding live music to the party.

Aidy is playing a one-off gig on Saturday 9th July  at 8 p.m. – this is the man who wrote a song every week for a year! The singer/ songwriter’s first album drew an insightful review from Steve Lamacq, who described it as having a “cinematic quality that pervades the haunting weirdness”.

It’s going to be intimate, and a rare chance to catch him with his three piece – picked up a recording contract this year, so watch out.

Tickets are £free, yes free – that’s just the way he rolls -so spread the word: the best Brighton BnB is also putting on live music. Come on down!

Saturday 9th at 8 p.m.

Music by Aidy

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Brighton’s turning Japanese, I really think so…

There are not many people who’d ever say that when visiting Brighton they didn’t have a ‘cultural’ experience. ‘Culture’ is hard to define when we are talking about Brighton – it’s more a hybrid soup of styles and superficialities – and when it comes to describing other countries’ cultures, it’s often best to let them do the talking.

Brighton Japan Festival

Brighton Japan Festival

Across Brighton this week there’s a celebration of Japanese culture – and it’s not all sushi and stereotypes. Brighton Japan Festival features both the contemporary and the traditional. So while you’ll get taiko drumming, you’ll also be baffled by poster art of the 1960’s – and Nintendo gamers will get an all-nighter.

It’s a treat for Anime fans, as the week ends with the Asahi Anime Festival, where the oddest fashions to ever grace even Brighton streets will take centre stage.

Expect whisky tasting, cult movie watching at the Duke of York’s and tasty, tasty Japanese treats served up all week.

Visiting Brighton and want to check out what’s happening? Pop along to Moshi Moshi as it’s the centrepiece of it all.

More about Brighton Japan Festival

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Family weekends in Brighton on People’s Day

Some people looking to entertain the kids might think it’s too much of a party town, yet spending family weekends in Brighton you’ll soon find the town lays on lots of family friendly events, take this weekends People’s Day festival.

Slap in the middle of town thee are ten different zones to explore, stages and performances and plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved.

People's day map

People's day map

The part of town known as the North Laine area is the place to start looking for the family friendly activities. History zone, Play zone, even quiet zone can al be found within a few minutes’ walk.

And there’s a rare opportunity to get unique access to the backstage areas on a guided tour around the Theatre Royal.

There’s a stage in New Road and also one inside the Dome, where the local community groups will be performing. From Zumba dancing to Archaeology boot camps, there are activities to brighten up every kid’s day and make family weekends in Brighton a regular event.

The fun and games start at 10 a.m. so give them an early wake up, grab a bite from your Brighton B&B and get into interactive mood!

What’s on in Brighton

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Spend your weekends in Brighton worshipping the stars

Most weekends in Brighton, for the party crowd at least, are spent in deep indulgence. Well, this month it’s time for the stars to come to town. And not just stars of the DJ booth or the big screen, we’ve got some stars of their own bedroom visiting Brighton. Yes, it’s time for Britain’s Got Talent to hit Brighton!

Weekends in Brighton: always time to party!

Weekends in Brighton: always time to party!

After the bull****ers and bedroom divas were weaned out, the show kept the best acts to take on tour, and they are here, on 22 June.

Four days later, seasoned pro Michael Ball will be bringing his new show to the Brighton Centre and showing them how it’s really done.

‘Girls just want to have fun’ could well be the motto for girls spending their party weekends in Brighton, and for one girl, Cyndi Lauper, it’s exactly what she’ll be doing on 28 June. The pop icon and 80’s fashion find will be knocking out the tunes in the Brighton Dome.

Concord2 is also hosting some stars of old and new. Ratpack and Ellis Dee get the old skool ravers jumping on 18 June, while Adam Ant will stand and deliver tunes from his greatest hits tour.

It’s not just the weekends in Brighton that are star-studded, look at our listings to see more of what’s on in Brighton day-to-day.

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Visiting Brighton: Bikes and birthday suits

UK has really clear laws about public nudity and us Brits have a bit of a reputation as prudes. Well, this weekend anyone visiting Brighton for the first time will get a very different view. That’s because it’s not just in the Brighton bed and breakfasts where the action is happening…

Visiting Brighton - be prepared: it's naked bike ride!

Visiting Brighton - be prepared: it's naked bike ride! Pic: Flickr/Elsie esq

It’s on the streets and it’s on two wheels. And if you want to see bums, bushes and bits of all shapes and sizes you will have come to the right town. Ladies and gentlemen – and very embarrassed old ladies – it’s the Brighton Naked Bike Ride!

Last year, a marvellous 800 people bared all and pedaled around the streets of this oddball town. They had a ball, all to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists – although, if you look closely – if you must – you’ll probably notice that many are just happy to get their kit off!

If all this skin is too much, get yourself to the beach; but not to Black Rock Beach, because as Brighton’s naked beach it’s in a constant state of undress.

The spokesperson for the ride wasn’t available for a comment, but the only real complaint we’d expect to hear is likely to be from the tandem rider – the one at the rear!

If you’re here for a family weekend, don’t worry or shut yourselves into your Brighton bed and breakfast, just look at our Brighton local events pages – you’ll see there’s a lot happening for the clothed community too!

Our favourite activity this weekend – after Brighton’s contribution to World Naked Bike Ride:

North Laine Summer Walks – Starting from outside Brighton Museum & taking

you back in time to when the North Laine was the industrial and commercial centre

of Brighton, 11am, £3

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Top 10 tips for the London to Brighton bike ride

It’s less than two weeks away, so if you haven’t cycled it before, here’s ten tips to help you on the London to Brighton bike ride, and a great vid from the organisers (tip 11 – book a Brighton Bed and Breakfast for Sunday night, you might just need it!)

1.  Prepare: bit late if you are just getting started! Ideally you’ll be putting in a mixture of rides: longer weekend sessions to get you used to spending time on the bike, regular commutes to keep the legs ticking over, and hopefully some hill training to get your fitness up.

2.  Check the map: Yes, the crowds will help you on your way, however you’ll be far better off if you have an idea of the scale of the challenge ahead.

3.  Check the hills: There are four lung busters on the road to Brighton. Note when they start and you’ll be prepared mentally for the harder sections – and remember: there may be four big ‘uns but there are many other smaller uphill sections waiting for you.

4.  Trial your clothing: Whatever you do, don’t wear a new pair of shorts, or an outfit you’ve never cycled in before – beware the dreaded chafe!

5.  Prepare your bike: the absolute least you should do is make sure your tyres have enough air (A), your brakes work (B), and your chain is oiled (C). And make sure your gears are working – you are going to need them!

6.  Prepare some food: Big breaky of oats or similar would be a great start, although you should plan to be munching along the way. Look for snacks with lots of carbohydrates but avoid the sticky bars – chocolate is lovely but it’s not the best energy source.

7.  Get fluids ready: So important to keep hydrated, even if it’s overcast. Make sure you start with plenty and keep topping up along the way. After an hour of exercising, the body needs to replace lost salts and minerals. An easy way to do this is to add a little salt to your water and perhaps some natural sugars from a splash of apple juice.

8.  Sort your team tactics: It’s not the Tour de France, but you should sort out what to do if you separate, and how you plan to ride he hills – together or meet at the top – it’s guaranteed to be busy.

9.  Get ready for the Green Monster: Ditchling Beacon is the last hill before you head into Brighton, and it’s tough. Coming to Brighton for the weekend, you probably won’t have seen have seen it before. As you leave Ditchling Village get some water on, shove in the emergency sweeties or choccy (it’s instant energy and useful psychological support) and don’t stop at the bottom to prepare; if you’ve any chance of making it to the top, do it with warm legs.

10.  Love every minute! It’s a fantastic ride, and for anyone new to cycling a really memorable challenge. On Sunday night every bed and breakfast in Brighton will be packed with tired cyclists, off to their slumbers after a couple of well deserved pints.

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Gladrags and handbags: it’s Brighton Fashion Week

Brighton has always been a fashionable place. Hotels in Brighton have long hosted designers, stylists and photographers keen to shoot here. And we know the shopping in Brighton out of this world!
So, when it comes to Brighton Fashion Week, it’s no surprise that we’ve got a fabulous fashion designer and pattern cutter, Masato, staying with us in our Brighton bed and breakfast.
What’s in your mix for Brighton Fashion Week?
Brighton is like my home town as my first place to live in UK. It’s a feeling that Brighton gets people’s heart to visit or live. Its my pleasure to come home and show my collection in Brighton.
How do you describe your style?
I want them to be real and comfortable. It would be nice if a girl in my clothes is in the jazz bar somewhere for a night out.
This summer, what’s hot and what’s not for looking cool on Brighton beach?
Doing whatever you want to do on the beach with your friends. Smiling is much better than looking hot.
Seen anything special in the madcap mix of styles of Brighton?
Your one summer styling tip for guys and one for girls:
For guys including me, we must get cool t-shirts. For girls, let’s wear skirts more.
Why should people come from London to go shopping in Brighton?

Brighton has always been a fashionable place. Hotels in Brighton have long hosted designers, stylists and photographers keen to shoot here. And we know the shopping in Brighton out of this world!

Masato soon to be showing in Brighton

Masato soon to be showing in Brighton

So, when it comes to Brighton Fashion Week, it’s no surprise that we’ve got a fabulous fashion designer and pattern cutter, Masato, staying with us in our Brighton bed and breakfast.

Busy preparing for the show, we caught up with him:

What’s in your mix for Brighton Fashion Week?

Brighton is like my home town as its my first place to live in UK. It’s a feeling that Brighton gets in people’s heart to visit or live. It’s my pleasure to come home and show my collection in Brighton.

How do you describe your style?

I want them to be real and comfortable. It would be nice if a girl in my clothes is in the jazz bar, somewhere for a night out.

This summer, what’s hot and what’s not for looking cool on Brighton beach?

Doing whatever you want to do on the beach with your friends – Smiling is much better than looking hot!

Your one summer styling tip for guys and one for girls:

For guys including me, we must get cool t-shirts. For girls, let’s wear skirts more.

Seen anything special in the madcap mix of styles of Brighton?

Definitely the mapcap Jess Eaton! (she’s showing again this year)

Why should people come from London to go shopping in Brighton?

Shopping is not only  about buying something. Take your friends to Brighton for shopping and have a fun. I promise that it will be one of your favourite days-out!

More on Brighton Fashion Week and Masato

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