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There's lots to see and do across the UK

WE LOVE this combination from multi-award-winning restaurant  Romulo that has become London’s ‘go to’ destination for fine Filipino food with  celebrated single-island rum, distilled and aged for over seven years on Negros Occidental (known locally as Sugarlandia) in the Philippines. October will see these two hugely successful exports combining their considerable resources in a unique food and cocktail pairing. Marking London Cocktail Month,  and available from Friday 9th October to Sunday 15th November, the limited-edition, three course Sugarlandia Menu is priced at just £35 per person. Both the starter and the main course are paired with two equally memorable cocktails: Sunshine in Sugarlandia (Don Papa Rum, Lemongrass, Calamansi, Ginger, Honey) and Buko Pandan (Don Papa Rum, Pandan, Coconut, Chocolate, Sea Salt), whilst dessert consists of Don Papa Rum Ginger Glazed Pineapple and Otap mille-feuille served with Don Papa run & raisin ice cream.

There is also anothe...

Toasting this seasons must-drink beers and gins with an Autumn glow

As the nights draw in and the seasons change, it is goodbye to summer cocktails on the terrace and hello to Autumn tipples such as amber beers and crispy gins.  Long walks kicking golden leaves and breathing the fresh air of Autumn lend themselves to cosy twilight drinks with friends, and as staycation continues, our new favourites are home grown in the UK, of course, as we continue to celebrate all things local.

HIVER HONEY BLONDE BEER

This season’s must-drink beer is set to be Hiver Honey Blonde Beer, which is as much a stunner as its name suggests. Brewed with British honey from urban and rural bee hives it is a fresh, easy drinking beer with an amber glint in the glass to light up the darker evenings.

Bees seem to have become the heroes of the hour with gardeners everywhere planting bee friendly flowers this year, and bee keeping itself proving to be one of the less likely hobbies taken up during the pandemic.

Hiver Blo...

Stay cosy in The Cotswolds in The Lovely Churchill Arms 

The Churchill Arms is a charming boutique country pub in a quintessentially English village in the Cotswolds. But the picture postcard prettiness of the exterior, with its honey coloured limestone and climbing greenery, belies the fact that inside is one of the area’s leading restaurants serving modern cuisine of a quality you would struggle to find in some of London’s finest establishments.

The Churchill, which opened last year after extensive refurbishment, is the first venture from local boy Nick Deverell-Smith who was named the Junior Chef of the Year in 2000. Deverell-Smith has worked with some of the country’s top chefs, including Marco Pierre-White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Waring and Eric Chavot, before becoming head chef at Soho House and then Dean Street Kitchen.

The food has gained a reputation of its own, but the Churchill also has comfortable rooms so that diners do not have to travel far for a good night’s sleep.

Upst...

Get a taste of Italy during your stay at home Summer

Devonshire Road in Chiswick has gradually become the area’s on trend shopping and eating  village  with its selection of  boutiques and restaurants including the famous la Trompette , although Gordon Ramsey’s attempt to bring glamour to the Devonshire House pub failed miserably and the building is now a block of luxury apartments.

 For over 20 years  Devonshire road  was home to the eccentric  Pickwick’s Wine Bar, a firm favourite with it regulars but regarded as seedy and run down by others.  Now Mr Pickwick has called last orders and the premises are occupied by The Italian Job, the UK’s first Italian craft beer bar and restaurant. It has been completely gutted and is now a fuss-free, contemporary space with a modern bar and bare brick walls where the blackboards showing the special beers and dishes are the main decoration.

The Italian Job is a joint venture from the founders of Birrificio del Ducato, one...

 Above: handwashing in Cambodia 

Whether pounding the pavements, strolling the commons or orbiting our local parks, we’ve been donning our trainers more than ever since lock down began. So why not lace up for a good cause by joining the Just A Drop 100km Dash to raise money for the charity’s Coronavirus Response Programme. Founded in 1998, Just a Drop provides practical, sustainable safe water solutions across the world, partnering with grassroots local communities to deliver practical assistance. To date, the charity has delivered over 300 projects across 32 countries, bringing safe water, sanitation and hygiene programmes to over 1.6 million people. Partnering with Charitable Travel and Wendy Wu Tours, Just a Drop is encouraging runners, joggers, hikers and footpath shufflers to tally 100 kilometres this summer— the same distance as a popular hiking route from Banteay Srei into the Phnom Kulen National Park in Cambodia, finishing at the magnificent Angkor Wat.

In addition, by rais...

OK, so you don’t get to meet the man in person, but it’s still a great offer. The two Michelin-starred restaurant at Sketch in Mayfair is offering a meal deal that would put most eateries to shame: a three course Gourmet lunch in the Lecture


 

Room & Library and an exhibition ticket for Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts for £49.

​It’s an ongoing deal for any of the major exhibitions at the Royal Academy. My father and I make an annual pilgrimage to the RA for the Summer Exhibition, which my dad, an artist, loves. I am not a huge fan of the Summer Exhibition but I am very fond of my father and enjoy our little ritual. I don’t enjoy the food, though: lunch at the Royal Academy is way too much like eating in a school canteen for me.

So when I heard about Sketch’s deal, I suggested it to my father who is no aesthete. He may love art, but he is also immensely practical and, as an economist, has a key eye for finance. When I sent him the details, he responded: ‘I’m not sure it’s such a goo...

The award-winning Thurlestone is something very special. Tucked away in a little corner of South Devon on a narrow winding road, it is an adventure to get there. I travelled down by train to Salcombe and got a cab from the station, which is something I would recommend, as you really don’t need a car when you are there.

With its own excellent restaurant, lovely little 16th-century English pub, deservedly popular kids club and 19-acres of exquisite grounds, along with a beautiful stretch of beach, high quality golf course on its doorstep, the Thurlestone really does have it all. I got the feeling that if I did manage to find something to complain about, that it would be dealt with immediately and with real attention. It is no surprise then to find out that a staggering two thirds of guests at the Thurlestone have been here before.

​When I was at the high quality, family run hotel, the guests were a wonderful, happy mix of grandparents, middle-aged couples and young children. With such a va...

It’s a 110 years ago since Beatrix Potter penned her tales, including the one about the most famous naughty rabbit in the world, and the stories are still as popular as ever with all generations. I took my not so naughty little boy on a very special pilgrimage to the Lake District to mark this important anniversary, introduce him to one of my favourite characters from my childhood and discover a very special hotel.

Emma Thompson’s book, The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit, based on the famous character created by Beatrix Potter, has been recently published.  And to mark it, the Lakeside Hotel and Spa has launched a special Beatrix Potter themed package.

​The package offers families the opportunity to visit some of the places that inspired Beatrix Potter to write her books, including Hill Top House – the former home of the famous author, Beatrix Potter Gallery –  a local gallery in the town of

Hawkshead and Wray Castle – opened this summer to the public for the first time in years.

The L...

Wicked’ pronounced one teenage bystander, appropriately enough about my camper van from Wicked Campers. ‘Is that you?’ a middle age woman asked, rather flatteringly, pointing at the life-size version of Tank Girl on the side of the van. My toddler loves her and the vehicle, begging me daily to get in ‘Tank Girl’ simply to go to a car park.

​In the UK we tend to think of campervanning either as a dull pursuit of retirees or as something that only dirty backpackers do as a way of getting around big countries such as Australia. Wicked Campers (www.wickedcampers.co.uk) is unusual for a rental company in that it lets you take its vans anywhere in Europe, but I was happy to stay in this country, pottering around within a couple hour radius of London with my little one.

Our van would be a good choice for an extended family as it includes a two-man tent and sleeps three inside. For 730 pounds for ten days, it is pretty good value, especially when you consider it includes your accommodation (alth...

Normally no fan of theme parks, Jane Egginton checks into the Legoland Resort and is surprised to find herself reluctant to check out.

Few grown-ups are fond of theme parks, but Legoland is a bit different, especially if you are considering amusement across the generations. Part of Lego’s magic is its perennial appeal – who hasn’t played with those legendary bricks at some time in their life? Even if you are not an AFOL (Adult Fan Of Lego), the chances are you will have some fond memories of this world famous brick. And Legoland in Windsor now has a hotel, which means adults can check in with their kids or grandchildren and take the whole thing at a leisurely pace.

I was as excited as my two year old when we checked into reception with his granny, feeling a tingle of excitement that we had made it to this much recommended resort. Check in was smooth: us adults appreciated the helpful staff who offered to take our bags as soon as our room became available (check in is not until 3pm, but y...

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