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.


Friday, 30 September 2016

Snowdogs - London Road & Falmer

Hopefully by now you will have seen the gorgeous Snowdogs by the Sea sculptures popping up across the city. Each week, to help you make the most of the art trail, we will focus on a different area of the city telling you how you can get to each of the dogs and what to look out for along the way.

Of course the obvious thing to do would be to start the trail at Snowdog number 1 but we've decided to start with the London Road area and dogs 40 - 44...

42. Sparky - Artist: David Sith / Sponsor: Wild in Art
We decided to start our trail at Preston Park which is close to London Road train station and is on the number 5 bus route. Snowdog 42 also known as Sparky can be found by the South entrance near the Rose Garden. With his sparkling nose and glittery ears Sparky brings a touch of bling to the park. Take some time out to enjoy the park which is home to the Preston Park Rockery and the Preston Twins believed to be the largest and oldest Elm Trees in the world! 

43. The Snowdog
Artist: Anonymous  / Sponsor: Penguin
Once you are ready to leave the park head South from Sparky along Preston Road, under the viaduct and at Preston Circus cross over to the Duke of York's Picturehouse to meet Snowdog number 43 - The Snowdog. This is the original design from the Snowman and the Snowdog featuring the orange heart nose and colourful ears. The Duke of York's Picturehouse is over 100 years old and features lovely comfy seats plus you can take a scrumptious slice of cake into screenings with you.

Continue down London Road and make sure you look out for The Martlets Shop where we spotted a Snowpup in the window! Pop in to see the Snowdog merchandise avaialable to buy or simply to see if you can grab a bargain.

After shopping continue walking along London Road until you get to Baker Street. Turn left and walk to the end of the road, then cross over Ditchling Road to enter The Level. Here you will find Snowdog number 41 - Gizmo. If you need to check your look after all this walking then Gizmo can help with his shiny surface! The Level has an international standard skate park as well as table tennis, chess, a café and a children's play area.

The Martlets Shop, London Road

41. Gizmo - Artist: Anonymous / Sponsor: Wild in Art
Leave The Level at the southern end of Ditchling Road and walk towards St Peter's Church. On the south side of the church you'll meet Snowdog number 40 - Dudley. Designed by Louise Dear and sponsored by Dockerill's Dudley is dressed ready for work with his dungarees and his tools.

40. Dudley - Artist: Louise Dear / Sponsor: Dockerills
Once you've said goodbye to Dudley it's time to give your feet a rest so head to the nearby bus stop and hop on a Brighton & Hove Bus number 25 to visit the American Express Community Stadium (aka Amex Stadium) to see Snowdog number 44 - Rose. As Rose is at the home ground of the Brighton & Hove Albion football club she is of course proudly wearing the team's blue & white kit. After visiting Rose why not pop into the shop for some Albion merchandise or visit The Albion Museum to learn more about the history of the club.

44. Rose - Artist: Deven Bhurke / Sponsor: American Express and Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
That ends this trail but check back in next week for more Snowdog trail ideas!

Places to visit / things to do in the London Road 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.


Friday, 16 September 2016

Art lovers weekend as Brighton Art Fair & MADE Brighton unite!

Today it's time for a guest post and so I'll hand you over to Anne-Marie to give us her insider's tips for this year's Brighton Art Fair & MADE Brighton.... 

This year, we are thrilled to be presenting a joint Brighton Art Fair / MADE BRIGHTON extravaganza, featuring fifty each of the best contemporary artists and designer / makers across all media. The show will be varied, exciting and full of original and unique work.

Some of the best contemporary artists from the UK and abroad; painters, printmakers, sculptors, photographers and mixed media artists along with fifty of the best contemporary designer makers in the country will show and sell their diverse work direct to the public. Expect craft and design work ranging from cutting edge ceramics and contemporary jewellery to blown and kiln formed glass as well as wood and textiles. The fair promotes a good balance in established and emerging artists and makers, and insists that all work is of the highest quality

Photo by Alan Powdrill
Photographer, Alan Powdrill will be unveiling a new photo story at the Brighton Art Fair. Fun Fair was inspired by the classic fairs Alan used to visit as a child, places that seemed like vast pop palaces, so much larger than life. He always remembered them as very surreal so it got him thinking how would they look when seen alone in peaceful landscapes away from their usual venues. The results were shot in Great Yarmouth, Blackpool, and all over the UK. 
Porcelain pieces by Jill Ford

We’re looking forward to seeing and feeling Jill Ford’s porcelain bowls, vases and standing forms, thrown on the wheel. Jill’s simple forms are decorated by boring through masses of holes and impressing marks to recreate the textures found on barnacle shells and patterning of marine life on coastal cliffs. 

Textile art by Emily Jo Gibbs
To highlight this marriage between art and craft, Emily Jo Gibbs exquisite stitched work will be presented in the foyer at the show. Emily Jo is a British artist who over the last two decades has established an international reputation for her textile pieces. Emily Jo’s current practice focuses on hand stitched textile portraits, and she has been working on a project called ‘Kids Today’ which features children from Emily Jo’s neighbourhood who would come and sit at her kitchen table; most eager to take part in the project, some less sure but keen not to miss out.

Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th September 10am - 5pm
Tickets: £7.50 on the door
Brighton Dome The Corn Exchange
Church Street Brighton