This year marks the 100th anniversary of the spectacular 200-acre Exbury Gardens near Beaulieu in the New Forest. World famous for its Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs, Exbury is celebrating its big birthday with some impressive new projects and a series of special events. A new ‘secret centenary garden’ and ‘stream’ of spring bulbs opened to the public in … Continue reading 100 years of glory at Exbury
Every family should cycle together. It’s a liberating and bonding experience to ditch all the distractions, pack a rucksack with drinks and snacks, stick the bikes on the back of the car and drive to a scenic spot for an afternoon trundle. As a self-confessed MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra), my solo two-wheeled expeditions take me 40, 50 miles and more on the road, … Continue reading Family bike ride on the Hayling Billy Trail
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
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
For those happy campers who are brave enough to battle some elements for a stunning view, there can be few better places to stay than Highlands End At Eype near Bridport in Dorset. Continue reading Family and dog-friendly break in Dorset
Burley Manor in the New Forest National Park is currently offering a three-course lunch with complimentary Prosecco for just £25 – so we headed off for a little midweek indulgence. This is a special seasonal menu being offered by this relaxed restaurant with rooms, a Grade II Listed manor house dating back to 1852 which was fully refurbished three years ago. We started our morning with … Continue reading New Forest Manor lunch and Prosecco offer
Perfect break for 20 in Somerset
We recently found a gem of a holiday home, The Old Stone Barns in Somerset, the perfect self catering stay for an extended family of no less than 20 people. It was a birthday bash for our lovely ‘Grandma and Grandad’ – four generations headed off for the weekend to celebrate with them. Continue reading Perfect stay for 20 in Somerset
There can be only one winner in the MasterChef kitchen, and, as Greg Wallace rather menacingly asserts, that type of cooking doesn’t get much tougher. But being in the kitchen needn’t always be about panic and fluster, and plates don’t always need to be adorned with molecular this and sous vide that. The best cooking is about love, leisure and fun, and the HH@&Co Backstage cookery school at the luxurious Lime Wood hotel … Continue reading HH&Co Backstage cookery school at Lime Wood