travel

Heritage Open Days: The Highlights


  • Heritage Open Days: The Highlights
    It has been a busy week. The annual festival, whereby heritage locations open their doors to the public for free, is an autumnal treat. Having said that, it’s not all about ancient buildings. Last year, with traditions as the theme, I popped into a family-run coffee roaster and this year I enjoyed talking to an artisan cheesemaker (while indulging a little cheese tasting, of course). …
  • The best farm shops: Cowdray Farm
    As the summer starts to wind down it’s time to start thinking about stocking up with those little items that will turn root vegetables and autumnal fruit into heartwarming dishes in the cooler months to come. A few jars of pesto and paste to enrich winter casseroles, a tin of quality sardines to whizz into a pate to accompany hot buttered toast, or a few …
  • Discover a secret garden this summer
    This week I’ve been enjoying many horticultural delights courtesy of the National Garden Scheme (NGS). The annual summer event provides the opportunity to mosey around private and public gardens in aid of charity. The scheme is so quintessentially English, reminiscent of the beloved village fete an atmosphere fostered by the delicious homemade cakes available. Spoilt for choice at one garden, I indulged in a generous …
  • Jubilee: the best royal trees in the south east
    In periods of social unrest public statues are often defaced or pulled down. Man-made buildings too are destroyed, as in Henry VIII’s Reformation, as a symbol of protest and change. Trees, on the other hand, planted to commemorate a special date or event, are an entirely different matter. Trees maintain their dignity and longevity. They go about the business of living quietly and conscientiously. They …
  • A visit to an Extraordinary Doll’s House
    Motifs in Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s three-act play, A Doll’s House (premiered 1879), include appearances, the power of money, and women’s place in a patriarchal society. A work of its time, there is a clear divide between those who lived upstairs and the servants living below. Actual doll’s houses, those little microcosms of everyday life, dating back to the 16th century and reflecting similar societal …
  • Bye Bye 2021 (Waving)
    Well, what did you think of 2021? It’s been a mixed bag with a slight improvement on the previous year (it’s all relative) although, generally and personally, not in the top ten. But as I scroll through my photo archives and clippings’ folder for the past year, transferring key dates to the new year’s diary adding anything new (who am I kidding), I’m surprised at …
  • Christmas Around The World: England
    With only 12 days to go until the big day, ‘are you all set for Christmas?’ Whether you are planning a family affair, or a day in bed with a cuppa and a tin of Quality Street, in an uncertain world, and despite the marketing hype, remember, there are no rules. In the last of the series exploring the Festive Holiday around the world, two …
  • Christmas Around The World: Norway
    As we move into December this week, the marketing machine cranks up to yet another level with endless advertising. There’s social media ‘sponsored posts’, texts, leaflets through the letterbox and banners at the supermarket. And, of course, there’s the battle for the ‘best festive TV advert’. It can be hard to resist feeling like the odd-one-out if you’re not in a frenzy of anxiety yet. …
  • Christmas Around the World: Southern California
    There’s a lot of pressure commerically and socially to keep up appearances when it comes to Christmas. But here’s the thing. There are no rules. In this special interview series I ask some favourite Instagrammers around the world how they celebrate the holiday. Tamera Beardsley, fashion accessory designer, is determined to squeeze every last possible drop of joy from the Festive Season. Come with me …
  • Christmas Around the World: Tokyo
    “Are you all set for Christmas?” It’s a common refrain from now until 24th December. Christmas-related anxiety has become the accepted ‘norm’. And if the only date in your calendar for December is the holiday bin collection service, it can feel as though everyone else in the world is out partying every night, except you. Welcome to the third feature in a new festive series …

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