We’ve all done it. Looked through various travel magazines and wondered why all these amazing places are so far away, took one look out of the window and decided that our own surroundings are rubbish. Just me? I decided that I want to explore more of what’s on my doorstep; to visit more of my own backyard as it were. One way of doing this, and certainly the way I have decided to go about it, is to visit all the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the
Winchester is home to many lovely things. A cathedral with an excellent second hand bookshop round the back, a marvellous independent tea shop and now, although I say now it has been there for some time, the River Cottage Canteen Winchester. It’s in such a lovely setting, next to the river Itchen in a park and they get as many of their ingredients as possible from Hampshire. If they don’t come from Hampshire they come from Devon (i.e. River Cottage
So you’ve booked your flights and hotel to the Big Apple and it’s a little while until you go, plenty of time to plan. You start looking online for ideas and inspiration for where to go and what to see; it’s all a bit overwhelming and you tell yourself you’ll come back to it. You buy a guidebook, thicker than you thought, and start trying to narrow down what to do. Again, it’s so full of ideas you don’t know whether to start at the back
Bristol is just over an hour away from me so it's not too far for a day out but not close enough that I pop over on a regular basis. So when I do go I like to make the most of it; there's always plenty to see and do. I went last weekend for a wander round the shops and it always surprises me how far the city stretches and the new places I find. This time I found a lovely street market and food hall very near each other so I was well occupied for at
Maybe it’s just me but whenever I go somewhere for a day, perhaps a wander round an estate, to the beach or for a tree climbing, rope swinging experience I always expect much more from the on-site café than it delivers. I never learn and take my own food though, I just wash the cardboard sandwich down with terrible coffee and have done with it. However, don’t despair and think all is lost because I have good news. There is a café which could
If I go into a pub in the winter and there is a fire, I am a happy customer. I walked into the Red Lion at Stoke Poges to find four fires going and a great range of drinks at the bar. On a drizzly, grey day that’s always a welcome sight. I was there to try out their lunch offerings and after sitting down in the restaurant, which was lovely, bright and airy but still with brick fireplaces and exposed beams, I tried to make some menu choices.
A few Fridays ago I headed off for a one night stay at The Maytime Inn at Asthall (near Burford, Oxfordshire). Sometimes I think a weekend away is better than a week away. Taking a Friday afternoon off to escape somewhere, far enough away that you're somewhere different but not so far away that you're forever travelling, to spend a short time relaxing or doing something new is always good idea as far as I'm concerned. Asthall is a very picturesque
The Dundas Arms in Kintbury had a bit of an overhaul a few years ago; a bit of redecoration, a spruce up in the garden and more. It has recently come under new management and I was invited to try out their dinner menu. I had been for lunch a few days before and I liked what they served (classic Ploughman's and sandwiches) but I wasn't prepared for the dinner menu (and food) to be quite as good as it was.
I was in one of those terrible dining
The Crab and Boar near Newbury is in a lovely location; surrounded by rolling Berkshire countryside. Inside the pub it’s slick and modern but comfortable too. There are plenty of big squishy chairs and sofas to relax in around the bar and the layout in the restaurant means you get the background hubbub of noise without feeling like people can overhear you. A few weeks ago I was invited to try out their evening menu and I was looking forward to
I've driven past The Pheasant at Lambourn plenty of times but had never actually been in. I went a few weeks ago to try out their dinner offerings. It's in such a lovely location; rolling fields all around and because it's Lambourn a subtle equine theme throughout the pub. I thought they had a really good selection of wines by the glass (5-6 red and white) and some fantastically expensive bin ends too; something for everyone. I went for a pinot nero