The Solent, renowned for its warships, cruise liners and yachts, is also home to a stunning, if a little eccentric boutique hotel which gives ‘getting away from it all’ a new, and distinctly nautical perspective. Spitbank Fort is a mile off shore between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Built in the 1860’s with the threat of a French invasion, she played a role in … Continue reading Private: Eccentric boutique stay at Spitbank Fort
We love a good garden centre – whether you’re a budding Capability Brown or just have one or two herb pots, there’s something very peaceful about drifting through the plants, sniffing roses, hunting out the healthiest specimens, and asking advice on whether or not that lovely hydrangea would be pink or blue in your soil. And if you can stop for a good cup of … Continue reading For those who love a good garden centre
The chalk landscape of the South Downs has inspired many a writer and poet – and for good reason. Who can fail to be inspired by the gentle rolling hills with their own distinctive tones of greens and yellows, and when that is matched by a bright blue sky, it’s hard to imagine anywhere more picturesque! The Downs has its famous destinations for scenery such … Continue reading A memorable day out in East Hampshire
It is said that the best way to live is to ‘breakfast like a king’ – and never has that been more appropriate than when you’re enjoying the most important meal of the day at the new Ivy brasserie in Winchester. It might be tricky to get a table for the evening at this high street brasserie, but an early outing means many more empty … Continue reading Breakfast like a king
Fine dining in a relaxed pub setting is the best of both worlds for those who love food but hate fuss. The Earl of March near Chichester is a perfect balance between the two. This is a country pub in the West Sussex village of Lavant with a delightful garden and set against the picturesque backdrop of Goodwood and the South Downs. The food is as … Continue reading Love food, hate fuss? The Earl of March is for you.
What do you buy the dad who’s got everything? Well, we live in a spectacular part of the British Isles, so why not treat him to some of its highlights. Give him the gift of a wonderful summer memory! Yee ha dad For the yee ha dad how about a cowboy stay in an iconic Airstream thanks to Vintage Vacations on the Isle of Wight? … Continue reading Father’s Day. What sort of Dad is yours?
Porthcothan is a little-known village with a stunning, quintessentially Cornish Bay with grassy dunes, a huge swathe of sand and fantastic rock-pooling at low tide. Despite being close to the tourist draw of Padstow, it has a ‘step back in time’ quality reminiscent of the beach holidays we had as children. Ruddy cheeks, flip flops and sandy picnics. It’s idyllic for body boarding and water … Continue reading A quintessentially Cornish break
George Orwell famously set out the key attributes of his perfect pub, the fictitious Moon Under Water, in his 1946 essay of the same name. Welcoming, friendly and with none of the annoyances that plague other establishments, Orwell’s detailed description seemed too good to be true. However, as far as we know, he never visited The Hampshire Bowman. Since The Moon Under Water is a … Continue reading A family favourite that would make Orwell proud
Just a few miles outside the county town of Winchester sits Stockbridge, a picturesque town in the heart of the Test Valley, which won Google Street View’s inaugural award for the foodiest high street in Britain. Continue reading Foodie’s delight in Hampshire
Gunwharf Quays is Portsmouth’s big draw for eating out and the queues of cars into the city pay testament to this reputation – who can resist a spot of retail therapy followed by a meal out and a glass of wine, all while overlooking the sea? For a more bohemian, off-the-beaten-track experience, head to Southsea. It’s where you will find most of the locals eating … Continue reading Southsea – a feast of the world