100 years of glory at Exbury

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

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A lazy Sunday afternoon at The Bell Inn

It’s always a bit of a lottery, going out for a Sunday roast. It should be such a treat, but I’ve picked half-heartedly at too many lacklustre vegetables, hard roasties, and over-cooked beef. And it’s always a bitter pill when you have to pay for something you know you could have done so much better at home. So to find a pub that serves a … Continue reading A lazy Sunday afternoon at The Bell Inn

Love food, hate fuss? The Earl of March is for you.

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.

Father’s Day. What sort of Dad is yours?

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?

A quintessentially Cornish break

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

A family favourite that would make Orwell proud

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

A long leisurely pint with a changing harbour view

There’s something about water, especially when there’s lots happening on it, that is both therapeutic and time-wasting.  So, if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare and fancy a pint of real ale or a speciality gin, whatever the weather, then head to the Still & West at Old Portsmouth. This is a very old Grade II listed pub which sits right on the … Continue reading A long leisurely pint with a changing harbour view