British Travel Journal | Autumn 2021

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With complexities around overseas travel still hanging in the air and globetrotters continuing to place their plans to visit more exotic far-flung destinations on hold for something closer to home, much of the British Isles has experienced its busiest summer on record - some hotels, restaurants and landmarks, (especially those in popular tourist spots) have struggled to cope, and favoured honeypots like Cornwall have even had to resort to urging tourists to ‘stay away’.
But what about our cities and other beauty spots, the ones that can still cope with visitors?
London, for example – why not avoid the crowds and queues on a city break to our capital or one of our other vibrant cities? Catch a performance at Stratford-upon-Avon, head to the breathtaking mountains of Scotland, or visit its capital city, Edinburgh for a taste of its flourishing new food scene. Food and drink is a theme throughout this issue, from our interview with Tom Kerridge, to the prestigious new accolade for planet-conscious cooking, the rise of English Whisky, and new premium wine region, the Vineyards of the Surrey Hills. I have personally traded Devon’s beaches for culture and picturesque waterways, staying in the heart of its historic city, Exeter, and I enjoyed a countryside weekender at Goodwood, ‘England’s greatest sporting estate’.
Together with our regular Travel News and cosy Autumn Stays, I hope this issue helps you plan with confidence, discovering less busy but equally charming places to visit.

BRITISH TRAVEL

JOURNAL

explore the british isles

AUTUMN/WINTER 2021 | ISSUE 10

BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM

SUSTAINABLE

GOURMET FOOD

THE MICHELIN GREEN STAR

MOUNTAINS

AND PINES

CLEAN CRISP AIR AND

BREATHTAKING VIEWS

PLUS: SKIING IN

THE HIGHLANDS,

ENGLISH WHISKY,

VINEYARDS OF THE

SURREY HILLS AND

MUCH MORE

£6.75

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CONTRIBUTIONS

BRITISH TRAVEL

JOURNAL

BritishTravelJournal.com

EDITORS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jessica Way

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford

CHIEF SUB-EDITOR Angela Harding

CONTRIBUTORS

Chantal Borciani, Sophie Farrah,

Adrian Mourby, Karyn Noble,

Emma O’Reilly, Lydia Paleschi,

Adrienne Wyper

COVER PHOTO


Loch an Eilein at Rothiemurchus

Scotland's Cairngorms National Park

©VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

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Welcome

EDITOR’S LETTER


WITH COMPLEXITIES around overseas

travel still hanging in the air and

globetrotters continuing to place their

plans to visit more exotic far-flung

destinations on hold for something closer to home, much of

the British Isles has experienced its busiest summer on record.

For a relatively small island full of adventure-seekers exploring our

countryside and coastline, some hotels, restaurants and landmarks,

(especially those in popular tourist spots) have struggled to cope.

Managing numbers in a staycation boom can be hard enough; add

the difficulties of staying COVID-safe while abiding by restrictions,

and favoured honeypots like Cornwall have even had to resort to

urging tourists to ‘stay away’.

If you have been lucky enough to travel to some of these

destinations this year, you will know that booking in advance now

comes as standard. If you want to stay overnight, be seated in a

restaurant, or visit an attraction it's mandatory – even breakfast slots

and swim times must be pre-planned. But what about our cities and

other beauty spots, the ones that can still cope with visitors?

London, for example – why not avoid the crowds and queues on a

city break to our capital or one of our other vibrant cities, p78?

Catch a performance at Stratford-upon-Avon, p40, head to the

breathtaking mountains of Scotland, p20, or visit its capital city,

Edinburgh for a taste of its flourishing new food scene, p92.

Food and drink is a theme throughout this issue, from our

interview with Tom Kerridge, p26, to the prestigious new accolade

for planet-conscious cooking, p32, the rise of English Whisky, p70,

and new premium wine region, the Vineyards of the Surrey Hills, p16.

I have personally traded Devon’s beaches for culture and

picturesque waterways, staying in the heart of its historic city,

Exeter, p86, and I enjoyed a countryside weekender at Goodwood,

‘England’s greatest sporting estate’, p64.

Together with our regular Travel News, p9, and cosy Autumn

Stays, p47, I hope this issue helps you plan with confidence,

discovering less busy but equally charming places to visit.

Jessica x

JESSICA WAY

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


@BritishTravelJournal

@BTravelJournal

SHORTLISTED

BritishTravelJournal.com 3


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CONTENTS

AUTUMN/WINTER 2021 | ISSUE 10


20

16

COMPETITION

23

WIN A HOLIDAY

TO CORNWALL

STAYING IN A LUXURY

WATERSIDE TOWNHOUSE...

Don’t miss your chance to win a

luxury three-night stay, courtesy

of Cornish Gems, to Cornwall’s

newest and most desirable

waterside destination. North

Quay Beach House is set within

the striking scenery of the Hayle

estuary, with World Heritage

Status, a beautiful sandy beach

and picturesque harbour, plus

three more miles of golden

sands stretching from Hayle

Towans to Godrevy and the

striking lighthouse.

JOTTINGS

09

TRAVEL NEWS

Reignite your passion for travel this

autumn with our selection of what's new from

hotels, restaurants, and visitor attractions

across the British Isles

10 OF THE BEST AUTUMN

47 STAYS

We all want somewhere gorgeous to stay – and

these places are certainly that – but they also

have a little extra to add to the holiday vibe

STYLE EDITS

63 Travel souvenirs and gifts lovingly

made for the discerning traveller

FOR YOUR JOURNEY

98 Bookshelf and crossword

FEATURES

16

GRAPE MINDS THINK ALIKE

Meet the five passionate producers

who have come together to form a new

premium wine region: the Vineyards of the

Surrey Hills

SKIING IN THE HIGHLANDS

20Clean crisp air, breathtaking views of

peaks and pines, miles of pure white snow –

and you don’t have to leave the UK

26

MY CULINARY JOURNEY

TOM KERRIDGE

Owner of the first pub to win two Michelin

stars, Tom Kerridge reflects on his stratospheric

success and his 2021 new launch

70

ENGLISH WHISKY

Discover the English distillers

showing they can compete with

Scotland's most famous export

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 5


40

E D I T O R L O V E S DESTINATIONS

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Live your best life with a Cosmo

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smartphone – a nostalgic piece of

tech with a full physical keyboard,

combining the productivity of a

laptop with the functionality of a

modern smartphone. Perfect for

frequent on-the-go travel lovers,

priced £601

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COMPETITION

WIN A FOODIE

91 BREAK TO EXETER,

INCLUDING LUNCH OR

DINNER AT HARRY'S, AND

ROCKFISH RESTAURANTS

Indulge yourself at some

of Exeter’s most renowned

restaurants, with this fantastic

two-night foodie break staying

at the Jury's Inn. Experience

Exeter’s 2,000 years of

history, its beautiful quayside,

and top eateries serving the

best of Devon’s food and

drink.

6 BritishTravelJournal.com

WALKING TOUR OF

40 STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

Visit Stratford-upon-Avon to catch a

performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays

or take a boat on the river

BURGH ISLAND HOTEL

56 In search of an idyllic private island

with magical charm, blessed with exotic plants,

translucent seas and endless amounts of golden

sand? Spend your days exploring ruined castles,

discovering shipwreck tales

48 HOURS AT THE

64 GOODWOOD ESTATE

With acres of nature walks, sustainable farming,

new wellness experiences, spa, and divine

mouth-watering home-grown food, a stay at

the Goodwood Hotel has more delights besides

its renowned vintage cars, planes and worldfamous

annual festivals

64

78

VIBRANT CITIES TO VISIT

78 THIS AUTUMN

This is the ideal time to visit one of Britain's great

cities. The summer crowds have dispersed and

there’s always a cute café, a diverting shop or a

fascinating museum beckoning you in, should

the weather turn

48 HOURS IN EXETER

86 Thought holidays to Devon were mostly

about seafood and beaches? Think again… it’s

time to leave behind the beach towels and flip

flops and prepare for a cultural city-break like no

other. Exeter might be small, but it is perfectly

formed, with world-class museums, excellent

food, beautiful new hotels, historic streets,

and picturesque waterways

EDINBURGH’S NEW FOOD

92 AND DRINK EXPERIENCES

Scotland’s capital has come to life after months of

pandemic hibernation, and the delicious news for

visitors is that there are some brand new dining

and drinking establishments to welcome them

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LOOKING AHEAD...

TRAVEL NEWS

Reignite your passion for travel this autumn with our selection of what's

new from hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions across the British Isles

SOMERSET

The Newt, Beezantium

You can now see the world from a bee's-eye view at

the brand new Beezantium at The Newt – a first-ofits-kind

experience for the UK. Watch the colonies at

work, smell the aroma of the hive, hear their contented

hum and see honey produced in real time. Beezantium

has been designed to highlight the importance of bees

and their contribution to the planet. Within its giant

honeycomb walls are interesting facts and literature

about bees from all over the world, along with flower

pressings showing the types of honey produced

from specific plants on the estate. Why not take the

opportunity for a Bee Safari – a private walking tour of

the woodland hives, providing more insight into The

Newt’s own beekeeping practices. ◆

thenewtinsomerset.com

SCOTLAND

Highland Kings Ultra, Scotland’s west coast

The world’s most luxurious and exclusive ultrarun is about to launch in Scotland – an opportunity

to join the first group of 40 athletes from around the world to tackle 120 miles of Scotland’s

spectacular West Coast wilderness. Included in the programme, which costs £15,499 to enter, is lavish

accommodation, speedboat transfers and seven months of personal mentoring. After a gruelling

running challenge, which includes an ascent of 10,000 feet from Glencoe to the Isle of Arran across

four days, you're treated to the finest in extravagant aftercare, including treatments from on-site masseurs,

as well as a chance to enjoy relaxation space in an athletes’ lounge and award-winning cuisine. Named

after Scottish kings Kenneth McAlpin, Alexander III and Robert the Bruce who helped to shape the

region, the event will culminate with a gala dinner hosted by legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. ◆

highland-kings.com

BritishTravelJournal.com 9


LONDON

The White Garden,

Kensington

Not only did the Queen’s Buckingham

Palace Gardens open to visitors for

the first time in history this summer,

Kensington Palace gardeners transformed

The Sunken Garden into The White

Garden in memory of Diana, Princess of

Wales. During her time at Kensington

Palace Diana was particularly fond of The

Sunken Garden. The unveiling of the new

Princess Diana Statue by Prince William

and Prince Harry took place on 1 July,

the day which would have been Princess

Diana’s 60th birthday. The statue can be

viewed from the Cradle Walk. ◆

hrp.org.uk

LONDON

The Footman Mayfair

One of the oldest pubs in London, The Footman Mayfair has been totally

redesigned following a six-figure investment. The elegant and stylish

refurbishment has modernised the popular pub and restaurant, while

keeping its original charm. The Footman has been in place since 1749 –

originally called The Running Horse, it was frequented by the footmen

who were in service to the households of Mayfair. They would run

ahead of their master’s coaches, paying any tolls in advance and

clearing a safe passage ahead. As the fashion for footmen dwindled,

one bought the pub and named it after himself. Often the source of

the best gossip, the pub soon became well known. ◆

thefootmanmayfair.com

Don't miss

Art Pass Unbooked, launched by Art Fund

This new smart tool brings together hundreds of smaller museums and galleries

in one place, allowing culture lovers to find what is nearby, and book there and

then, avoiding the queues at the bigger institutions. unbooked.artfund.org

10 BritishTravelJournal.com


We love

AIRE Ancient Baths, Covent Garden

Feeling the need to disconnect? Then head to London's most exciting

new thermal baths spa, complete with an ice pool, cold pool, warm

pool, hot pool, salt-water flotarium, and various treatments – stay

overnight in Covent Garden's new luxury lifestyle hotel, Middle Eight.

beaire.com / middleeight.com

CAMBRIDGE

The Fellows House

Just a stone’s throw from the River Cam in the

heart of the historic city of Cambridge, The

Fellows House is the perfect base to explore

Cambridge’s famous colleges, the Bridge of

Sighs, the University of Cambridge museums

and Botanic Gardens. The brand new 131-

room apartment-style hotel features unique

pieces of artwork and sculptures, all designed

locally in Cambridge. The room types are

all named after people associated with the

city and notable Cambridge fellows, such as

Kipling, Newton, Gormley and Attenborough,

and don't miss the signature restaurant, The

Folio (pictured) serving plant-based dishes

and British comfort classics. ◆

thefellowshouse.com

HIGHLAND PERTHSHIRE

Lapwing and Curlew

A little-known piece of the Scottish landscape has opened up as a

holiday destination for the first time, with the arrival of two exquisite

shepherd's huts on the Atholl Estates in Highland Perthshire. Sitting

on a stunning spot in the Tulliemet Valley, the shepherd's huts

(named Lapwing and Curlew) command breathtaking views across

Strathtay and are surrounded by an abundance of wildlife, from

osprey, nesting eagles and deer to newly arrived resident beavers in

the Tulliemet River. Prices from £360. ◆

atholl-estates.co.uk

BritishTravelJournal.com 11


12 BritishTravelJournal.com


CORNWALL

Ugly Butterfly flies to Carbis Bay

Ugly Butterfly, which is chef Adam Handling’s most sustainable brand

of restaurants, has launched at the luxurious Carbis Bay Estate. The

opening followed the hotel playing host to the 2021 G7 Summit,

where Adam and his team created sustainability-focused dishes for the

leaders, and the whole summit, to enjoy. uglybutterfly.co.uk

YORKSHIRE AND CHESHIRE

New Beauty Spots

The Yorkshire Wolds and the Cheshire

Sandstone Ridge (pictured right) are being

considered by Natural England as the newest

members of our country's designated Areas of

Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

There are 34 Areas AONBs currently in

England and each one is protected by law

so that its natural beauty is conserved and

enhanced. This new status for Yorkshire Wolds

and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge could further

safeguard the region's tranquil landscapes,

boost nature, and help more people enjoy the

rolling hills, ancient woodland, archaeology,

wildlife, and culture. ◆

gov.uk/natural-england

You might also enjoy

ENGLAND

Heritage Open Days

England's largest festival of history and culture returns this September, 10–19.

Each year, thousands of volunteers organise events to give people the chance to

see hidden places and try new experiences for free – online and offline. Heritage

Open Days is about providing people with the opportunity to see places and

spaces they don't usually get access to. The theme for this year is Edible England

– so expect behind-the-scenes tours and entertaining tastings. With more and

more of us learning to love our local areas during lockdown, these outdoor,

usually off-grid hidden gems could be just what we all need. ◆

heritageopendays.org.uk

BritishTravelJournal.com 13


Don't miss

SPECIAL FEATURE

LONDON

Chelsea History Festival 17 – 26 September 2021

The Chelsea History Festival is returning for an action-packed third year this

September, building on the success of previous years that saw almost 30,000

people involved – both physically and virtually. Taking place in the heart of

London in partnership with three notable institutions – the National Army

Museum, Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Chelsea Physic Garden – this

year’s diverse festival will host over 70 exciting physical and virtual events.

There are more than 15 headline speakers, including Damien Lewis, Olivette

Otele and Jonathan Dimbleby, and the festival features a number of

exclusive pre-publication launches. This year’s dynamic programme of events

covers a range of themes, delving into the worlds of military and art history,

and platforming new perspectives on social and natural history. Brand new

for this year’s festival, the History Village in the heart of London will take

visitors back through time to learn first-hand what life was like in Roman

London during World War I. This immersive outdoor event brings history to

the forefront with living historians, serving military units and local cultural

organisations. Visitors also have the opportunity to become knights in shining

armour for the day, clashing blades at the Sword School, alongside a range of

other family-friendly activities. ◆

chelseahistoryfestival.com

14 BritishTravelJournal.com


The Hop Kiln, Herefordshire

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From quintessential cottages and country houses

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01386 897 959


GRAPE MINDS

THINK ALIKE

Move over Champagne – there’s a new premium wine region in

town. We encounter acres of picturesque vines, beautiful views and

award-winning wines when we meet the five passionate producers

who have come together to form Vineyards of the Surrey Hills

Words | Sophie Farrah

16 BritishTravelJournal.com


WHEN YOU THINK of famous wine

regions, perhaps the South of France

springs to mind, or California’s Napa

Valley, but how about the Surrey Hills?

Just 20 miles south of London, sandwiched between

Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, lies a cluster of five

beautiful vineyards, each producing internationally

award-winning wines in an Area of Outstanding Natural

Beauty (AONB). Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Together, they’ve joined forces to create Vineyards of

the Surrey Hills (VoSH) – a new, world-class wine tourism

destination that celebrates the excellence of the wine

being produced there. Cultivated on limestone hills that

share the same geological stratum as the Champagne

region, each vineyard is located along the rolling North

Downs Way; its south-facing slopes, chalky soil and

microclimate providing optimum conditions for wine

production.

As a newly formed wine region, these family-run

vineyards are now working closely together to create

and deliver memorable visitor experiences, while also

sharing knowledge, resources, and above all, a passion

for creating the best possible wine. There are tours and

tastings aplenty, and vineyard hopping is positively

encouraged, but despite their proximity, each one has

something very different to offer, as we discovered…

Our first stop was Albury; this small, beautiful vineyard

is located just outside Guildford and is where Nick

Wenman fulfilled his lifelong dream of planting vines

in 2009, after retiring from the IT industry. Today, he

runs the business with his daughter Lucy and vineyard

managers Dominic and Alex.

“Everyone has historically thought of Sussex and Kent

as key wine-growing regions, but we want to put the

Surrey Hills on the map,” enthuses Lucy, as she showed

us around their 12-acre plot.

Albury is the only organic vineyard in the Surrey Hills,

and one of very few in the UK. It produces a range of

delicious, award-winning sparkling wines made from

traditional Champagne variety grapes, but it’s their

Silent Pool Rosé that has made the biggest splash, after

it was chosen to be served on the royal barge for the

Queen’s Jubilee in 2012. Now it sells out every year. Here,

visitors can enjoy a variety of tours and tastings, or just

pop in for a glass (or bottle), enjoyed while overlooking

the vines. There are also regular events featuring live

music and local food.

Our next stop, less than a 10-minute drive away,

was High Clandon – the smallest vineyard of the Surrey

Hills. Here, South African owner Sibylla Tindale and her

husband Bruce tend to each vine by hand in their small,

but perfectly formed, one-acre vineyard.

“VoSH celebrates the beauty of the Surrey Hills

AONB, and the fact that the chalky terroir of these à

BritishTravelJournal.com 17


glorious rolling downs can produce such exquisite

wines,” enthused Sibylla, as she showed us round her

stunning gardens, with their equally stunning views.

“As there are only five vineyards in this special area,

it made abundant sense to create a delicious wine

region to attract both tourists and wine aficionados.

Also, having more than one lovely vineyard to visit is a

wonderful attraction!”

The offering at High Clandon is aged-matured

vintage fizz only; each release has won a staggering

array of awards and sells out every year. Visits to the

vineyard are by appointment only, while monthly

tours and tastings can be pre-booked.

Our next destination was Denbies, which was until

recently the largest single-estate vineyard in the UK

with a whopping 265 acres ‘under vine’. Established

in 1986, it encompasses a large winery, hotel,

restaurant, shops and various visitor experiences, as

well as seven miles

of public footpaths,

open to all. It

produces a wide

range of awardwinning

still and

sparkling wines, some of which we were lucky enough

to try in one of the vineyard’s new, heated, luxury

cabanas, overlooking acres of beautiful vines.

“Regional clusters of vineyards are forming all

over the UK, so the collaboration of our awardwinning

vineyards, located in an AONB, presented

a significant opportunity,” explains Denbies’ COO,

Jeannette Simpson.

“We are all completely different in size, production

and visitor offering, and so together we can provide

a large selection of tours and experiences that really

complement each other.”

Speaking of which – after our wine tasting, we

hopped aboard the vineyard’s brilliant outdoor train

tour, which trundled through the vines to the top

of the estate, where we could enjoy the stunning

views of Box Hill with a glass of Denbies’ delicious

sparkling in hand.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year is

Greyfriars, our next destination, which Mike and

Hilary Wagstaff took over in 2010 with the aim of

expanding the original vineyard planted there in

1989; they now have a total of 40 acres under vine,

on two neighbouring sites. Here, each element of the

wine-production process takes place on-site; what

Mike describes as ‘grape to glass’. Where smaller

vineyards take their grapes to external wineries for

production, Greyfriars has built its very own, as well

as a large storage cave in the chalk slopes. Their

wines have won several international awards, and

the vineyard hosts regular tours, tastings and foodie

events. This year, it also unveiled an impressive new

tasting room.

“Located just a stone’s throw from London, we grow

amazing and varied wine, with beautiful vineyards

and brilliant people. We want to encourage visitors to

come and experience everything that we have to offer

– not just the wine,”


Having more than one lovely vineyard

to visit is a wonderful attraction!


enthuses Mike.

Our fifth and final

stop was Chilworth

Manor, an astoundingly

beautiful historic house

and estate owned by Graham and Mia Wrigley. The

couple planted vines in 2013, making it the newest of

the Surrey Hills vineyards. Their 10-acre plot produces

fruit for an incredibly popular English rosé and, for the

first time this year, a hotly anticipated sparkling wine.

Currently, Chilworth Manor is the only Surrey Hills

vineyard not regularly open to the public, but it hosts

several annual charity events that are open to all, and a

new, permanent tasting barn is planned for next year.

“I think that the Vineyards of the Surrey Hills will

become known as an umbrella that represents quality

– we’re all so passionate about what we do, and we’re

all family businesses too,” Graham explains.

“Already it’s fast becoming a destination to visit

two or three vineyards in a day. I really believe that we

could be the Napa Valley of the UK. When we started

out, we didn’t realise there would be this wine tourism

element but there is such a demand for it, which is

great, and most of all – it’s fun.” We’ll drink to that.

18 BritishTravelJournal.com


WHERE TO STAY NEARBY

The Merry Harriers

This charming traditional village

inn, complete with friendly resident

llamas, offers good food and four

comfortable and serene bedrooms

with countryside views. In its

pretty gardens there are a further

six bedrooms, and five luxurious

shepherd's huts. Their ‘Taste of

Surrey’ package includes a tour at

Albury Vineyard as well as a bottle of

their highly coveted Silent Pool Rosé.

merryharriers.com

Beaverbrook

Nestled in the heart of the Surrey

Hills, Beaverbrook is a quintessential

British country estate. There are 29

sumptuous, beautifully designed

rooms to choose from, divided

between the House and the Garden

House, including three suites.

There’s also an impressive architectdesigned

spa, cinema, several stylish

eateries and 470 acres of beautiful

countryside to explore.

beaverbrook.co.uk

Denbies Vineyard Hotel

If you’re looking to fully immerse

yourself in Surrey’s beautiful vines

then this is the place for you.

Located on the wine estate itself,

Denbies is home to one of the UK's

very few vineyard hotels. There are

17 recently refurbished bedrooms

here, with both spacious luxury

suites and doubles with king-sized

beds as standard, overlooking the

vineyards and rolling hills beyond.

denbies.co.uk

TOP BOTTLES

Chilworth Manor Brut Rosé 2018,

£36.50

Released this year, the vineyard’s first

fizz has been a huge success; it’s a

delicate salmon pink in colour and

bursting with creamy summer fruits,

butterscotch and brioche. There are

plans to release a sparkling white

wine later this year too.

chilworthmanorvineyard.com

High Clandon Euphoria Cuvée

2016 Prestige Vintage Brut, £39

The word ‘euphoria’ is used to

describe intense feelings of

happiness, and that’s exactly how

you’ll feel after a glass or two of

this delicious, award-winning fizz.

Resulting from a late harvest with

five years' lees ageing, it tastes of

crisp citrus and buttery brioche,

with rich peach and alluring florals.

highclandon.co.uk

Albury Estate Classic Cuvée, £32.95

This award-winning, certified organic

English sparkling wine is a classic

cuvée of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and

Pinot Meunier. Fresh and lively, the

ripe acidity is complemented by a

subtle sweetness.

alburyvineyard.com

Denbies Surrey Gold, £9.75

This is Denbies’ most popular wine,

and the first they ever produced. A

blend of Müller-Thurgau, Ortega and

Bacchus, it’s quite Germanic in style –

off dry, but fresh, fruity and aromatic.

denbies.co.uk

Greyfriars NV Sparkling Rosé,

£19.50

This award-winning, delicious pink

fizz is a delicate pale colour, with

aromas of summer berries and a fresh

fruity palate. A perfect aperitif, it is

incredibly good value too.

greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk

BritishTravelJournal.com 19


20 BritishTravelJournal.com


THE WHITE STUFF...

SKIING

IN THE HIGHLANDS

Clean crisp air, breathtaking views of peaks and pines, miles

of pure white snow – and you don’t have to leave the UK…

Words | Adrienne Wyper

IN RECENT YEARS, there have been around 250,000 ‘skier days’ a season in

Scotland, so it’s a – deservedly – popular winter pastime. But if you’re not into skiing,

or the snow is a no-show, high in the mountains is still a great place to be, with lots to

do. Even in skiing-mad Switzerland, a third of winter visitors aren’t there to ski...

The Scottish skiing season runs from December through to early April, although the

snow conditions are usually best from January onward. Scotland has five ski resorts:

Glenshee, the largest; Glencoe, the oldest, with the longest and steepest runs; Lecht, the

quietest; Cairngorm Mountain Resort, the most popular; and Nevis Range Mountain

Resort, near Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. All offer ski and snowboard tuition,

in groups or solo, and you can hire all the kit you’ll need.

The wintry scenery is stunning, with lochs and forests at lower altitudes often

unblanketed by snow, and for non-skiers (or when the weather isn’t being

cooperative), there are lots of other no-snow activities within easy reach of wherever

you’re based. The total length of all available ski runs, at over 83 miles, is lower

than you’d find at many individual resorts in the Alps or North America, so there’s

less variety, but for a short stay the Scottish slopes give foreign resorts a run for their

money. Snow conditions can be unpredictable, so stay flexible, keep your eye on the

snow situation and weather forecast (visitscotland.com), and perhaps be

prepared to go at short notice.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 21


Pictured previous page: Skiing on the Glencoe Mountain range

Pictured clockwise from left: Rothiemurchus Forest by Loch an

Eilean in the Cairngorms National Park; on the way up at Glencoe

Mountain Resort; The Cairngorm reindeer herd is Britain's only

free-ranging herd of reindeer found in the Cairngorm mountains;

A skier makes a jump from the lemming ridge into Coire Dubh, off

piste at the Nevis Range Ski Centre

Glenshee Ski Centre

The Glenshee Ski Centre resort is set in set in spectacular

mountain scenery in Perthshire at the eastern end of the

highest Cairngorm peaks.

The name Glenshee means ‘fairy glen’ and the area is

sometimes called ‘The Three Glens’ as a nod to the massive

ski area in France known as ‘Les Trois Vallées’. Access is via the

A93, the UK’s highest public road.

Informal skiing started here in the 1930s, and today the

UK’s biggest lift system extends across three valleys and four

mountains – with a summit elevation of 3,504 feet. For

beginners, access is easy, with extensive nursery slopes by the

main car park. Intermediates have 36 runs to choose from,

from the expansive pistes of the Thunderbowl and sheltered

routes of Coire Fionn and Glas Maol to the bumps, jumps

and natural half-pipe of Meall Odhar and the slalom course

at Cairnwell. Experienced skiers should try the mogul-strewn

Tiger black run.

For ski-free family fun, swoosh downhill on a sledge,

or consider ‘bagging a Munro’. There are 24 ‘Munros’ –

mountains over 3,000 feet – here, named after Sir Hugh

Munro, who compiled the first list of such peaks, totalling

282, in 1891. ‘Munro bagging’ means walking up one of

them. Several whisky distilleries are within easy reach, or

sample craft gins at Persie Distillery.

Make your base in Braemar in the heart of the Cairngorms

National Park, near Balmoral Castle, with two castles of its

own, and the driving trail to see another 15. The town is home

to the renowned annual Braemar Gathering, with pipe bands,

Highland dancing and tossing of the caber. Accommodation

ranges from cheery log cabins to a grand Victorian shooting

lodge. Or for splendid self-catering seclusion, stay in

Glenbeag Moutain Lodges: Scandi-style log cabins with

outdoor hot tubs and saunas.

22 BritishTravelJournal.com


Glencoe Mountain Resort

Perhaps best known, at least to Scots, as the site of

the 1692 massacre of MacDonald clan members by

government forces they’d taken into their homes, the

spectacular, brooding scenery of the Glencoe Valley,

sculpted by an ancient volcano, has been seen on

screen many times, in films including Braveheart, Harry

Potter and Skyfall.

It is Scotland’s oldest ski resort, with commercial

skiing starting here in 1956, and also home to the

country’s longest black run, Flypaper, at 2.6 miles,

which is also the steepest. Its highest point is 3,635

feet, giving impressive views of Rannoch Moor and the

sharply peaked Buachaille Etive Mor mountain.

Midway up the mountain there’s a natural bowl with

a large plateau area, and the upper reaches have some

superb runs, including the famous Flypaper. And for

the kids there are igloo-building and snowman-building

competitions for World Snow Day and Snow Fest.


No matter what time of year you visit,

and whether deep in the glen or high on

the moor, Glencoe’s wildlife can be as

spectacular as its mountains.


Stay on-site in the snug tubular Microlodges, or

in the village of Glencoe itself, 11 miles from the ski

resort, beside Loch Leven, at the mouth of the valley, in

charming lochside hotels and welcoming guesthouses.

Around the village are walks to suit all abilities,

or spend a day in Fort William, on the shore of Loch

Linnhe, known as the outdoor capital of the UK, with

its sandy beaches, castles and distilleries. You could even

scale the 4,413-foot Ben Nevis – and no matter what

time of year you visit, and whether deep in the

glen or high on the moor, Glencoe’s wildlife

can be as spectacular as its mountains.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 23


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IMAGES © VISITSCOTLAND / PAUL TOMKINS / KENNY LAM

Pictured: Views from the

Cairngorm Mountain Resort

Cairngorm Mountain Resort

Situated in the heart of Cairngorm National Park, on the country’s

sixth-highest mountain, the resort has 31 runs (13 green, 10 blue, six

red, two black), accessed by 12 lifts, and two cafés – one café is the

UK’s highest.

Views from the top, 4,0484 feet, are spectacular, with the peaks

of the surrounding mountain range and Loch Morlich glistening

below. The 1.2-mile funicular railway, the UK’s highest, runs from the

base station to Ptarmigan, the top station at 3,599 feet. It has been

closed since 2018 but is being repaired and set to reopen in winter

2022. Another record-holder is the UK’s highest red phone box, still

fully operational.

Stay in and around the popular holiday resort of Aviemore, just

11 miles away, which plays host to the Scottish Freestyle Ski and

Snowboard Championships every March, with everything from

luxury hotels, B&Bs or cottages to rent or, for a more rural location,

there are cosy wooden lodges at Badaguish Outdoor Centre in

Glenmore, at the foot of the Cairngorms, surrounded by centuriesold

pine forest.

Aviemore makes an excellent base for exploring the wild reaches

of the Cairngorms National Park, especially for spotting some of

the native wildlife, such as eagles, capercaillie and osprey. And how

about mingling with Britain’s only free-ranging reindeer herd at the

Cairngorm Reindeer Centre at nearby Glenmore? Treat yourself

to a trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway on a heritage steam

locomotive, with afternoon tea en route. Or travel here by train

aboard the Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight service from London,

which stops in Aviemore.

GET YOUR

SKATES ON


For more frozen fun, skating on

seasonal ice rinks is a much-loved

activity that’s now become part of the

run-up to Christmas. The pandemic

is still affecting future events; please

check details before you go.

Somerset House, Strand, London

London’s most glamorous rink, set in the

18th-century courtyard of this working

arts centre and exhibition space, open

all day and into the evening.

somersethouse.org.uk

Skate Manchester, Cathedral Gardens

Experience Manchester’s undercover

outdoor ice rink, located in the heart of

the city centre.

skatemanchester.com

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

With the former royal pleasure palace

as its impressive backdrop, this rink is

powered by wind and solar energy.

royalpavilionicerink.co.uk

Life Science Centre,

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Glide around this city-centre rink

with the award-winning science

centre as a backdrop.

life.org.uk

Winter Wonderland, Cardiff

Instead of going round and round

a rink, follow the ice walk in the

shadow of Cardiff Castle.

visitcardiff.com/discover/christmas

BritishTravelJournal.com 25


26 BritishTravelJournal.com


MY CULINARY JOURNEY...

TOM

KERRIDGE

Owner of the first pub to win two Michelin stars, Tom Kerridge

reflects on his stratospheric success and his 2021 new launch

Words | Chantal Borciani

THE RESTAURANT trade is not for the fainthearted – any business owner

emerging from the last couple of years will attest to this – but Michelin chef Tom

Kerridge has never been averse to seizing an opportunity and rolling the dice.

In 2005, Kerridge and his artist wife Beth bought a rundown pub in Marlow,

Buckinghamshire, and invested every penny they had in the business. The gamble paid

off, and then some – within 10 months The Hand & Flowers won its first Michelin star and

it’s been one of Britain’s finest gastronomic flag bearers ever since. “It was a real case of

just grabbing an opportunity and running with it. Working with your other half is amazing.

Sometimes it’s very hard to know the boundaries between your work life and home life – it

all becomes a bit of a melting pot – but you’re both driven to create something fantastic and

exciting, and it’s amazing because you achieve things together as a team.”

In 2012, The Hand & Flowers won its second Michelin star, making it the first gastropub to

receive two stars in Michelin history. “I think the second star was even bigger because we

had constantly reinvested in the business, the company and the people. We got rooms on

board (Kerridge has cottages and luxurious bedrooms dotted around the charming town

of Marlow for rental) and we just tried to get better every day. We didn’t expect to win two

stars. It’s such a monumental achievement for anyone to win two, but for us to do it in a

pub and being the first pub to do it, was just mind-blowing. Every year when it maintains

that level, it’s like winning it all over again.”

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 27


PUB GRUB

Tom says his cooking is honest with

menu inspirations often taking one dish

– even if intrinsically very simple – “and

doing it the very best it can be done”.

It’s a recipe that has worked wonders,

with the Michelin guide inclusion for The

Hand & Flowers reading: “Food is based

around pub classics, but those classics

are elevated to new heights and are

among the best in the UK. The sourcing

of ingredients is given due reverence and

execution is skilful and confident, while

the dishes themselves are characterised

by rich, powerful flavours – and the

presentation is first-rate. Desserts are

a real highlight and you’ll always find a

soufflé on the list.”

Pictured left to

right: Kerridge’s

grilled lobster and

chips;Tom Kerridge

cooking; Kerridge’s

Bar & Grill, London

Of his ethos, Kerridge says: “A lot of

people sometimes are intimidated

by Michelin stars or Michelin-star

experience, but we want people to

enjoy it and love it. Of course, feel that

there’s something very special there,

but without them feeling that they’re on

edge. For us it’s all about encompassing

and embracing everybody.”

The success of The Hand & Flowers

has led to some delectable offshoots.

Tom now has two further pubs in Marlow

where he lives with his family; The

Coach which opened in 2014 and won a

Michelin star in 2017, and The Butcher’s

Tap – Kerridge’s traditional butchers’

shop that serves the highest quality meat

prepared by expert butchers, which also

28 BritishTravelJournal.com



Working with your other half is amazing – you’re both driven to create

something fantastic and exciting, and it’s amazing because you achieve

things together as a team.


opened in 2017. “Marlow is home. It’s a beautiful

place and so easy for heading in and out of London,”

the chef says.

When it comes to new ventures, Kerridge has

zoned in on venues of historical note. He opened his

first London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at the

Corinthia Hotel in 2018 and then went on to open his

Manchester restaurant The Bull & Bear in 2019 at the

new Stock Exchange Hotel.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 29



I fell for the energy – the

excitement, the late nights, and

the early mornings... the nine to

five, Monday to Friday was never

going to have been for me


COOL BRITANNIA

Born and raised in Gloucestershire, it was a

combination of luck and necessity that led him into the

hospitality trade, aged 18. “I needed some money, so I

went to wash up in a kitchen when I was 18, and I just

fell in love with the industry. I fell for the energy – the

excitement, the late nights, and the early mornings.

After all the routine of school, there was something so

exciting about it all. The nine to five, Monday to Friday

was never going to have been for me.”

Kerridge went to culinary school in Cheltenham

and worked in country houses and hotels across

Gloucestershire as a junior chef before moving to

London in his early 20s to work with the likes of Philip

Britton, Gary Rhodes and Steven Bull.

“You can get influenced more by people who

sometimes you don’t work with – like big names in the

industry, great French chefs and fantastic people like

Marco Pierre White; his White Heat cookery book has

been amazing for many chefs my age. But I suppose

one person in my career who stands out is Gary

Rhodes. Having spent time working with Gary, the

godfather of British cuisine, is special.”

Kerridge's food continues to be honest, true to its

roots and more often than not a celebration of Britain,

which makes his latest opening – Kerridge’s Fish &

Chips in Harrods, in the historic Grade-II-listed Dining

Hall – an even better fit.

Launched in summer 2021, the sociable, laidback

food hall has booths and a bar, with a menu that

includes freshly caught turbot, lobster, Rock oysters,

Cornish squid, and Dublin Bay prawns, along with

joyously British sides of pease pudding, and snacks of

chip shop pickled onions, cockle ‘popcorn’ with malted

beer vinegar, Morecambe Bay shrimps and treacle

bread. Kerridge adds: “It’s a massive celebration

of British food in such a magical shop. The dishes

include incredible lobster, oysters and freshly caught

fish from some of the best suppliers in Britain and

beyond. They are all cooked to perfection and served

with sensational sides, such as the triple-cooked chips

topped with an option of Matson curry sauce, Lobster

Thermidor, Morecambe Bay Shrimps or Caviar – it’s an

unbeatable combination.

“Everyone remembers trips to Harrods as a kid. I

remember going with my grandparents and walking

around with my mouth wide open thinking how

magical it was – and how special to now be able to

serve our food there.

We see it as a great place to represent Great Britain

and the food that we do.”

30 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured

clockwise from

left: Bar at

Kerridge's Bar &

Grill, London;

Kerridge's fish and

chips; Kerridge's

prawns and chips;

Kerridge's haddock

and chips; Entrance

to Kerridge's Bar

& Grill

OFF MENU

The king of elevating British classics, Kerridge notes

his fish-and-chip dishes as some of his favourites

from across his menus: “Fish and chips appears on

all of the restaurants at some point, in some style, so

that’s something that represents us really well, I think.

There’s a smoked haddock omelette that’s on the

starters at The Hand & Flowers that has been there

pretty much from the beginning, which is another dish

we are really proud of.”

Despite the challenging last 18 months, it’s buoying

to see a chef still as enamoured with his kitchens and

his craft. “It’s not a job, it’s a way of life and it’s what

I fell in love with all those years ago. The energy, the

chaotic hours, the enthusiasm.”

When he does take a break, he retreats to Cornwall,

where best friend and top chef Paul Ainsworth has

his famous restaurant No6, alongside Caffè Rojano,

The Mariners Public House, Mahé Cookery School

and Chef’s Table, with rooms at Ainsworth’s Padstow

Townhouse. “He’s down in Padstow in Cornwall and

Paul’s got rooms at the Padstow Townhouse and his

restaurant No6 is just fantastic so we love going down

there.”

Humble, down to earth and authentic – true of both

the dishes and the chef – Kerridge has no plans for further

named expansions and so continues to lead from the front

and keep food at the core of all that he does.

BritishTravelJournal.com 31


32 BritishTravelJournal.com


GREEN

GASTRONOMY

MEET MICHELIN’S NEW SUSTAINABLE STAR ...

The Michelin Green Star is a prestigious new accolade

for planet-conscious cooking. Here, we unearth what it

takes to achieve this ultimate award for sustainability and

meet some of the restaurants that are proudly offering both

gastronomic and environmental excellence

Words | Sophie Farrah

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD of the Michelin star, but how about its

sustainable sister? Unveiled by the Michelin Guide in 2020, the Green

Star is a new annual award that recognises exceptional restaurants that

are operating in a truly sustainable manner; those combining culinary

excellence with outstanding environmental efforts. In the 2021 edition of the Michelin

Guide Great Britain and Ireland, just 23 restaurants received this new eco accolade.

“Many chefs have been creating their cuisine to the rhythm of nature and the

planet's resources for years. By giving credit to some of the most committed ones,

we hope to shape a positive and progressive momentum,” explains Gwendal

Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide.

Restaurants can only qualify for this new, green-clover-leaf symbol if they have

already been recognised by Michelin in some way, either in the form of a Star, Bib

Gourmand or Plate, and there is absolutely no room for greenwashing; Michelin’s

rigorous inspectors are looking for those who are at the very top of their game when

it comes to operating in a sustainable way.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 33



I feel that restaurants and guides have a responsibility to lead by example...

and the Green Star does exactly that. Michelin have taken the first step,

and we couldn’t be prouder to be one of the first restaurants awarded .


“Gourmets and foodies have

become more challenging of their ways

of consuming, trying to leverage the

environmental impact of their actions

and choices. We want to demonstrate

that both gastronomic and eco-friendly

excellence can go hand in hand,” says

Gwendal.

On Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula,

New Yard Restaurant is housed

in a converted stable building on

the Trelowarren Estate. It offers a

leisurely seven-course set menu that

is guided by the seasons and created

using ingredients that have either

been foraged on the estate, grown

in the walled garden or ethically

sourced from the local area. It is a ‘no

option’ menu, which keeps wastage,

staff labour and fuel to a minimum.

Produce is grown using regenerative

agricultural methods, such as ‘no dig’

gardening and using animals to keep

the soil healthy. Sometimes, the menu

isn’t finalised until the same day, when

local fisherman, John, knows how

many covers are booked and delivers

whatever he thinks is best.

“Putting our menu design in the

hands of our local suppliers means that

we use what’s abundant rather than

creating extra demand for what isn’t,”

explains New Yard’s co-owner and

executive chef, Jeffrey Robinson.

“I feel that restaurants and guides

have a responsibility to lead by

34 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured previous

page: Scotland's

Green Star; Inver

in Strachur

Pictured left

to right:

New Yard

Restaurant's

flavours from the

garden: cured

monkfish, curry oil,

yoghurt, grape and

almond; serving

of pheasant; and

smoked cod's roe

with carrots.

example with how the food system

is used, and the Green Star does

exactly that. Michelin have taken

the first step, and we couldn’t

be prouder to be one of the first

restaurants awarded.”

Wales’ only Green Star was

awarded to historic country house

hotel Palé Hall in the tranquil Dee

valley. Its luxurious, fine-dining

restaurant grows its own organic

produce using its own compost,

team uniforms are made from

recycled plastic, and there’s a

hydroelectric plant on-site, which

provides renewable energy.

Scotland is also home to one Green

Star; Inver in Strachur. Set in an

isolated former crofter’s cottage

and boat store on the shore of

Loch Fyne, this beautiful restaurant

has stunning views out across the

water, and luxurious, eco-friendly,

bothy-style bedrooms. Here, chefowner

Pamela Brunton uses local,

wild and foraged ingredients to

create her outstanding modern

menus.

“Sustainability is the ground on

which we build our business; it’s

much more than just a ‘subject’ to

us,” she explains.

“The people, landscape, plants

and animals that guide and shape

our menus are an ecosystem, in

which we are one evolving part. If

they don’t thrive, neither can we.”

Elsewhere in the countryside,

there's another Green Star at

Daylesford Organic Farm in

Gloucestershire, which has

promoted sustainable farming

for over 40 years. Attached to a

farm shop is a stylish restaurant

that houses a wood-fired oven,

a botanical cocktail bar and a

carefully curated menu of mostly

organic food. In Axminster, the

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 35


Pictured clockwise from left: The Baba Au Rhum at

New Yard Restaurant; Dover sole with mussels and

coastal vegetables at Petersham Nurseries; using

regenerative methods in New Yard Restaurant's Walled

Garden to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers as well as

rear two Kunekune pigs and fourteen chickens; freshly

picked tomatoes at Petersham Nurseries

focus at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s

rustic River Cottage Kitchen is also

on seasonal, organic produce, with

a menu of flavour-filled, plant-based

dishes made using ingredients from its

nearby farm. Staff are also treated in

a sustainable manner here; working

hours are fair, good food is provided,

and 100% of tips are shared. In the

kitchen, as much single-use plastic

has been eliminated as possible, cling

film is nowhere to be seen, and milk is

delivered in metal churns.

These ethical and environmental

efforts are not reserved for rural

restaurants alone, oh no. Just off Eyre

Square in Galway city, Loam is the

recipient of both a Michelin Star for its

exceptional and ambitious cooking,

and a Green Star for its rigorously

eco-friendly approach. The seasonally

driven menu is a masterclass in modern

cooking and changes daily, depending

on the availability of local produce.

Chef–owner Enda McEvoy

goes above and beyond to ensure

sustainability; local potters provide

tableware, and local horticulturists

grow wildflowers for the tables,

thus supporting the local economy.

Vegetables and meat are sourced

directly from farmers, game from

hunters, and seafood and fish from local

fishers. In the kitchen, fermenting and

salting techniques are used to prevent

waste, as is a composting system.

Electricity comes from renewable

sources, water usage is closely

36 BritishTravelJournal.com



Silo is the world’s first zero-waste restaurant... and everything, from the

stylish furniture to the cool crockery, is made with recycled materials.


monitored, and induction is used for

cooking, as it uses less energy.

“Urban environments are where

transformative action must take

place, because by 2050 two-thirds

of the world's population will

be living in urban areas. That’s

a lot of food, water, waste and

energy needed, so cities have a

pivotal opportunity to achieve the

goals of the Paris Agreement (the

international treaty on climate

change),” says Enda.

“Recognising efforts in the

industry and the pivotal role

that hospitality can play is

hugely important. It encourages

learning between restaurants and

normalises sustainability efforts,

rather than it being seen as a fringe

movement.”

In Hackney, East London,

Silo is the world’s first zero-waste

restaurant; the menu is mainly

plant-based and everything, from

the stylish furniture to the cool

crockery, is made with recycled

materials. Elsewhere in the

capital, the picturesque Petersham

Nurseries Café in Richmond has

also received a Green Star, having

championed sustainable practices

for over 20 years. Alongside the

delicious food, waste management

is just as important; an advanced

aerobic food digester uses oxygen,

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 37


1334

INNOVATIVE | UNIQUE | EXCLUSIVE

Putting the British into British tea

for the first time in history.

Tregothnan has pioneered botanical firsts since 1334,

experimenting with new plants like the tea genus for over two

centuries. We finally perfected the first ever tea production in the

UK in 2005. Today we continue to innovate inspired by our precious

plants and gardens.

www.tregothnan.co.uk /tregothnan @tregothnan @tregothnan


Pictured: New Yard Restaurant's

Walled Garden

microorganisms and warm water to turn plate waste into a

liquid that can then be poured away, eliminating the need for

any vehicular transportation. Menus here stick firmly to seasonal

vegetables and fruits, with as few food miles generated as

possible. Seven on-site beehives offer honey, while the owner’s

family farm provides many of the organic ingredients used to

create head chef Ambra Papa’s Italian-style dishes, which are

served in a stunning bougainvillea- and jasmine-filled glasshouse.

“Consumers are becoming far more demanding when it comes

to knowing where their food comes from, and that’s a good

thing,” enthuses Ambra.

“I hope that the Green Star will highlight the fact that you can

be green and successful at the same time. Quite often, it’s not the

easiest and certainly not the cheapest way of operating, but it is

the right way to run a business.”

So, next time you’re (Michelin) star spotting, why not look out

for a green one?

GREEN STARS

IN FULL


ENGLAND

☆Angela's, Margate

☆Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'

Saisons, Great Milton

☆Black Swan, Oldstead

☆Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick

☆Daylesford Organic Farm,

Daylesford, Hypha, Chester

☆L'Enclume, Cartmel

☆New Yard, Trelowarren

☆Oxo Tower Brasserie, Southwark,

London

☆Petersham Nurseries Café,

Richmond, London

☆Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

☆River Cottage Kitchen, Axminster

☆Silo, Hackney, London

☆The Dining Room, Whatley Manor,

Malmesbury

☆The Ethicurean, Wrington

☆The Small Holding, Kilndown

☆Tredwells, Strand and Covent

Garden, London

☆Where the Light Gets In, Stockport

SCOTLAND

☆Inver, Strachur

WALES

☆Henry Robertson Dining Room,

Palé Hall, Llandderfel

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

☆Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites,

Inishmaan, Aran Islands

☆Kai, Galway

☆Loam, Galway

BritishTravelJournal.com 39


WALKING TOUR OF...

Str atford-

UPON-AVON

Visit Stratford-upon-Avon

to catch a performance of

one of Shakespeare’s plays

or take a boat on the river

Words | Adrian Mourby

YOU CAN’T GO anywhere in

Stratford without being performed

at. In the garden of Shakespeare’s

birthplace three costumed

performers accost visitors, asking

them to name one of his plays. They then declaim

a speech from memory for you.

Guests pass through this garden to reach

the house from which John Shakespeare ran

his glove-making enterprise in Stratford. The

ground floor living room is decorated with

vividly printed cloth, which was known as

‘poor man’s tapestry’. Shakespeare Senior

wasn’t poor, but he was not the gentleman

his son became. When William returned to

Stratford in 1610, he arranged for a coat of

arms to be granted to his father, which meant

that henceforth the Shakespeares could carry

swords.

John’s workshop for making gloves lies off the

living room via a small passageway. It’s been

reconstructed as it might have looked in the

16th century and there’s a costumed

guide in there to explain how gloves were

made in Tudor times. He’ll even tell you

how many references there are to leather

glove-making in Shakespeare’s plays.

Str atford

-upon

-Avon

IMAGE © VISITBRITAIN/LEE BEEL

40 BritishTravelJournal.com



One Elm

Built where one of three elm trees once marked the town

boundary, this popular Stratford pub has a courtyard

for summer dining and a ‘snug’ and loft for cooler

weather. The loft is decorated with original David Bailey

black-and-white photos from the 1960s of stars such as

Michael Caine, David Hockney, and Mick Jagger. The

menu offers the best of British pub fare with a number of

local real ales offered on a Sip Before You Sup basis – so

there’s no danger of choosing the wrong one.

oneelmsstratford.co.uk

WHERE TO EAT


RSC Rooftop Restaurant

For the best river views before going to a play at the

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), take the lift to

the third floor where an informal dining area has been

carved out of what once was the back of the auditorium.

A chair nailed to the wall above the tables indicates

the position of the back row of the old upper circle. The

stage must have seemed tiny from up there. The RSC

Riverside Café is another option for take-away hot and

cold drinks, homemade cakes, sandwiches and snacks.

rsc.org.uk/restaurant-cafes-bars


El Greco

This Greek restaurant is run by chef Dimitri and his

ebullient wife Flair. El Greco offers the chance to eat a

pre-theatre main course before heading down to the

RSC then come back after curtain-down to finish off

with dessert. The service is very cheery; Flair greets

just about everyone like an old friend. The house wine

is from Macedonia and there is a very good 22-dish

Greek Banquet available for just over £20. On Fridays

and Saturdays there is often Greek dancing upstairs.

el-greco.co.uk

Pictured left: New Place

and Nash's House, the final

home of William Shakespeare,

manged by the Shakespeare

Birthplace Trust

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 41


Pictured below: William Shakespeare's birthplace

Upstairs, guests can walk through bedrooms

and see the attic where apprentices lived. There

is a window that illustrious visitors have signed

over the years, cutting into the glass with their

diamond rings. Among them is the signature

of the great Shakespearean actor Henry Irving

(1838–1905).

Leaving via the Shakespeare Bookshop, walk

down Henley Street past the various buskers to

the old Barclays Bank on the corner. Until 1908

this building was Stratford’s market hall. Now

turn right along High Street. Though many of

the shopfronts ahead are modern, their first

and second floors are still half-timbered from

Shakespeare’s time. Halfway down on the right

stands Harvard House, where the maternal

grandparents of John Harvard, one of the

founders of Harvard College, Massachusetts

lived. Harvard’s grandfather Thomas Rogers

(1540–1611), served on Stratford’s borough

corporation with John Shakespeare.

As High Street turns into Chapel Street, we

come to Nash’s House. It’s another Jacobean

half-timbered structure and now contains

the New Place Museum, which is devoted

to Shakespeare’s last years in Stratford.

Thomas Nash married one of Shakespeare’s

granddaughters, Elizabeth. Next door to

Nash’s stood the house known as ‘New Place’.

Shakespeare wrote many of his best later plays

here. Sadly the house was demolished in 1759,

an act of cultural vandalism that made the

then owner so unpopular that he had to leave

Stratford. Today the site of New Place is an

open-air memorial to Shakespeare, with his

gardens laid out in Tudor style running almost

down to the River Avon.

Continuing over the road junction into

Church Street, the Guild Chapel of the Holy

Cross is a 13th-century church with dramatic

15th-century murals. They were paid for by

Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, who had


The Townhouse

This family home stood here in Shakespeare’s time.

Rooms to the rear of the hotel still date from the 1600s,

but in 1768 the house was given an early neo-Gothic

makeover, with ogee windows to the front. Today the

Townhouse is an 11-bedroom boutique hotel with quirky

decor and the occasional framed Shakespearean quote.

stratfordtownhouse.co.uk

WHERE TO STAY


Billesley Manor

Legend has it that Shakespeare wrote part of his comedy

As You Like It in the library of this stone-built manor house

five miles east of Stratford. The Church of All Saints in the

hotel gardens was where Shakespeare’s granddaughter,

Elizabeth was married in 1646 and may have been where

Shakespeare himself married Anne Hathaway. The

topiary gardens of Billesley are a reconstruction, but the

dining room has an authentically Jacobean feel.

billesleymanor.com


The Arden

Located opposite the Swan Theatre, the Arden has long

been associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Many actors have stayed here and the bar is full of

production photos. Today the hotel has 35 rooms and

suites. If you eat a pre-theatre supper in the restaurant,

you can arrange to have dessert delivered to your room

to await you after curtain-down.

theardenhotelstratford.com

42 BritishTravelJournal.com


THE COTSWOLD

ART & ANTIQUES DEALERS'

ASSOCIATION FAIR

COMPTON VERNEY ART GALLERY & PARK

COMPTON VERNEY, WARWICKSHIRE

CV35 9HZ

14TH - 17TH OCTOBER 2021

THURSDAY - SUNDAY

11AM - 5PM

Complimentary tickets covering

admission to the grounds

and the fair are available

online at:

www.thecada.org

Further information

T: 07855 443913


Pictured below: Rear gardens to Nash's House next door to

Shakespeare's final residence, New Place

owned New Place before Shakespeare bought it.

Ironically Shakespeare’s father was one of those

Stratford aldermen who, in the 16th century,

whitewashed over these gaudy paintings because

they were considered papist.

Next to the Guild Chapel is King Edward VI

School, which young Shakespeare attended. In

the classrooms upstairs there is often an actor in

costume describing school life in Shakespeare’s time.

Escaping the entertainment, continue west

on Church Street and turn left into the lane

known as ‘Old Town’. Soon you’ll come to Hall’s

Croft, a grand timber-framed Tudor house

that was the home of Dr John Hall, who in 1607

married Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna,

mother of Elizabeth.

We know that the parlour passageway at

the back of the house was added by Susanna.

We also know that the kitchen was originally

a separate building, isolated within the walled

garden for fire prevention reasons and only

later linked to the house. Upstairs there is a

dispensary exhibition reflecting John Hall’s work

and medical practices in the early 17th century.

Now walk on down Old Town towards the

River Avon and Holy Trinity Church to find

Shakespeare’s polychromatic monument in the

chancel. This is one of our best-known images

of Shakespeare with his pointy beard and bald

head. The dramatist’s tomb lies nearby, as do

the graves of his family.

Finally, walk through the graveyard to pick

up the riverside walk that heads back into

Stratford. The route goes back through

Avonbank Gardens with its odd little

neoclassical temple. This pavilion was once

part of Avonbank School, attended by young

ladies such as Charlotte Bronte’s biographer,

Elizabeth Gaskell and John Ruskin’s future wife

Effie Gray. Pleasure boats and rowing boats

occupy this part of the river. There is also an

old hand-cranked chain ferry called Malvolio

that still operates and charges 20p to cross

the river. This garden route ends at the Swan

Theatre, which was originally the Shakespeare

Memorial Theatre that burned down in 1926.

It was reopened as a theatre only in 1986 and

now houses a small auditorium and a museum

of Shakespeare performance called The Play’s

the Thing. A boardwalk now takes this route

along the river and past the new Memorial

Theatre, the best-known Shakespeare venue in

the world. It opened in 1932 and was radically

reconceived and rebuilt from 2007 to 2011.

A lift from the new lobby takes visitors to the

Rooftop restaurant, with its panoramic view

across the whole of Stratford.

Coming up in our next issue:

From the stunning Clifton Gorge down to Bristol’s historic dockland,

we walk this dramatic Georgian city. Join us for a stroll around its

vibrant streets and waterfront harbour, full of energy and colour.

WALKING TOUR OF...

BRISTOL

From the imposing heights of

Clifton Gorge down to this city's

lovely reclaimed harbours, Bristol

is a beautiful Georgian port full

of energy and colour. Join us

for a stroll around its streets.

DISTANCE


This 2 mile walk

takes about 45

minutes but

will of course

take longer if

you stop to take

photographs or

divert off it to

explore all the

curious and

Words | Adrian Mourby

LOREM IPSUM dolor

sit amet, consectetur

adipiscing elit. Curabitur

nibh purus, imperdiet vel

semper id, consectetur id

velit. Maecenas vehicula quam eget

nisi consectetur finibus. Nullam

mi purus, laoreet ac tempus a,

egestas ac dolor. Vivamus cursus a

sem nec porta. Aenean vulputate

accumsan congue. Vestibulum

nec congue nunc. Donec pulvinar

magna in volutpat porta. Integer

vel nulla in mauris finibus pharetra.

Phasellus sem libero, dignissim

vitae malesuada vitae, venenatis

ac diam. Orci varius natoque

penatibus et magnis dis parturient

montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

Duis diam erat, ultricies sit amet mi

non, aliquet gravida urna. Class

aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora

torquent per conubia nostra, per

inceptos himenaeos. Fusce semper

malesuada odio, in pellentesque

142 BritishTravelJournal.com BritishTravelJournal.com 143

Pictured: Rear

gardens to

Nash's House

next door to

Shakespeare's

final residence

Bristol

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 45


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10

OF THE BEST

AUTUMN

STAYS

We all want somewhere gorgeous to stay – and

these places are all certainly that – but they

also have a little extra to add to the holiday vibe

Words | Emma O'Reilly

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 47


2STAY AND SEE

WILDLIFE

Fancy falling asleep to the

sound of lions roaring and

waking up to a view of giraffes striding

past the window? The good news is

that you don’t have to travel to Africa to

experience it – just Wiltshire! Longleat

have opened three stylish new cottages

within their grounds. Keeper’s Cottage

(sleeps two) and Keeper’s House (sleeps

four) are within the safari park itself, while

East Lodge, the Longleat gatehouse,

is at the top of the driveway. With each

booking guests receive park tickets

for each day of their stay, a welcome

hamper and continental breakfast. At

the Keeper’s properties, an exclusive 4x4

guided safari tour is also included – don’t

forget the binoculars, as you’re likely

to see lions, tigers, zebra, rhino, wolves

and more. Longleat House itself is well

worth a visit, with its high Elizabethan

architecture, sumptuous state rooms and

Capability-Brown-designed grounds.

Events this autumn and winter include

a hot air balloon ‘Sky Safari’ and the

fantastical lanterns of the Festival of Light.

Cottages from £375 per night.

longleat.co.uk

1

STAY AND DO YOGA

Unwind, quite literally, on a yoga break in the heart of the

Yorkshire Dales. Dalesend Cottages are on a private

estate in the grounds of a much larger house, also available

for hire. Each of the four exquisite cottages (think: super king-size

beds, woodburners and free standing baths) sleeps two people

and guests can take advantage of one of the most enticing on-site

yoga studios we have seen. Come as a couple or with friends,

book yourselves in for some of the regular group classes, or private

sessions with yoga teacher Emma. When you’re not salutating the

sun, yomp around 25 acres of parkland or strike into the countryside

of the Yorkshire Dales, dotted with interesting market towns and

stately homes and gardens. Three-night breaks start from £487 per

property. Yoga lessons cost extra.

dalesendcottages.co.uk

48 BritishTravelJournal.com


FOODIES

WILL

LOVE

3STAY AND COOK

Book a break at Hugh Fearnley

Whittingstall’s River Cottage, in

a bucolic setting on the Dorset–Devon

border. Even better, sign up for a cookery course

(what else?) while you are here. Bedrooms in the

old farmhouse are whitewashed, comfortable and

simply stylish. Breakfast is served in a room with

flagstone floors and an old Esse stove. Courses

running this autumn range from cider making to

bread making and cooking over outdoor fires.

There are lessons in fermenting and foraging, an

‘Eat Better Forever’ session with Hugh, a one-day

cookery course and a more in-depth four day

alternative (with Hugh on veg duty). The Axminster

Kitchen is standing by to feed you when you’re not in

the middle of a lesson. There are walks into a nature

reserve near the house, and the incredible Jurassic

Coast is just a 10-minute drive away for walks, fossil

hunts and mackerel-fishing boat trips.

Doubles from £160 per night, bed and breakfast.

rivercottage.net

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 49


4EDITOR'S CHOICE

STAY AND GO ON A

LLAMA TREK

Merry Harriers, a charming 16th-century pub set in

the picturesque village of Hambledon in the Surrey

Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, must

be one of the UK’s most charming country inns – with

new luxurious accommodation and unforgettable

guest experiences, including llama treks, electric bike

hire and gin classes, there is so much more here than

just a hearty pub lunch.

This wonderfully eccentric inn was refurbished

a couple of years ago, following new ownership by

the brilliant Peter de Savary (www.desavary.com) in

2017, to include four new beautifully designed ensuite

bedrooms and three ensuite bedrooms in a converted

barn in the gardens. It is run by husband-and-wife

team, Sam and Danielle Montgomery-Page, and is

the only inn in England to offer picnic llama treks with

its own resident herd.

The inn is steeped in history, with the landlords’

names through the ages written on the pub walls.

Sustainability conscious, the chefs take pride in

using the freshest and best ingredients – foraged

where possible (nettles, blackberries, wild garlic)

and sourced within a 15-mile radius. The menu offers

heart-warming freshly cooked traditional pub staples

and chef’s specials, including exceptional Sunday

roasts and lighter bites, such as sharing platters,

smoked salmon, prawn and gazpacho platter, and

a ham hock terrine. Seasonal specialities are a

50 BritishTravelJournal.com


highlight, with wild mushroom and Hambledon nettle risotto

a current favourite.

The emphasis on local suppliers continues at the bar,

where at least two of the four real ales on offer are from

Surrey Brewers, and the Merry Harriers Garden Cider is

made using Hambledon apples donated by residents to the

cider press. Local wines contribute to an impressive wine list

and freshly mixed cocktails are on offer alongside spirits and

superior soft drinks.

Full of character and life, the dog-friendly traditional inn

is less than an hour from London (five minutes from Milford

Station), in the picturesque village of Hambledon, just seven

miles from the charming market town of Haslemere in a

remarkable pocket of England on the edge of the South

Downs National Park, a haven for walkers and cyclists. Stay

and experience the landscape a little differently, with their

fabulous llama treks and picnics on the Greensand Way, and

cycle tours in the Hills.

The herd of lovely llamas now numbers nine, each with

their own individual character and personality. They have an

incredibly calming and therapeutic influence and make the

ideal companion for trekking the outstanding natural beauty

of the Surrey Hills, with its unique flora, fauna and history.

The gentle and friendly llamas will carry your picnic as you

lead them through the spectacular Surrey Hills; from the

high points you can see as far as the South Downs. Llamas

are affectionate, intelligent and alert and will draw your

attention to things you would never normally notice.

Trips on offer include an English Picnic Trek, a Winter

Morning Trek – to include lunch back at the Merry Harriers,

or even a Luxury Champagne Picnic Trek.

Located deep in rural England, the Surrey Hills have long

been a place to stay for exceptionally quiet and peaceful

nights, but with the launch of their new deluxe Shepherd's

Huts, The Merry Harriers is now your perfect romantic

getaway for a cosy autumn break. Beautifully positioned

around a pond on a pretty manicured lawn in a field across

the road from the inn, they feel snug, safe and secluded.

They're super cosy inside too, with a log burner, sheepskin

rugs, super-cute llama cushions, chic and colourful interiors,

and stylish kitchen and bathroom mod-cons. And of course

no Shepherd's Hut would be complete without its own firepit

and blankets to snuggle down ready for some marshmallow

toasting at sunset.

Jessica was a guest on The Merry Bikation experience. Prices start

from £330 and include a two-night stay in your accommodation

of choice, including Shepherd's Hut, Garden Room or Inn Room,

cooked breakfast on both mornings, a three-course dinner with

preferred local ale on one night of your stay and a hearty packed

lunch for your cycle day in the Hills. Llama Treks are priced from

£89 per adult, £55 per child or £220 for a family. Cycle tours

with Surrey Hills Cycle last up to four hours and there is also a

non-guided tour option and e-bikes available to hire.

merryharriers.com

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 51


FAMILIES

WILL

LOVE

5

STAY AND

ADVENTURE

There will be no twiddling of the

thumbs on a break at the new

Adventure Parc Snowdonia in Gwynedd.

You’ll be too busy surfing, freefalling, zip

wiring and cycling or skateboarding on

a Pump Track. There’s indoor caving and

assault courses if you’re feeling the cold.

Off-site, even more activities beckon,

including coasteering and mountain

walking – the team can also give advice

on lots of alternatives to the overtrodden

Mount Snowdon. The Deli, Bar and Kitchen

keep everyone fuelled in between all the

fun. And, if you feel tired even reading

about that little lot, there is always the

opportunity to kick back in the spa with

treatments. Accommodation is in woodland

or lagoon-side glamping pods (open until

end of October) that sleep up to four, or at

the new Hilton Garden Inn. Adventure Parc

Snowdonia Glamping Pods from £65 per

night; Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia doubles

from £86 per night, room only.

adventureparcsnowdonia.com

52 BritishTravelJournal.com


6STAY AND

SWIM

Anthology Farm, near

Cheltenham, has been

converted from two 18thcentury

barns into a selfcatering

sanctuary. This place

is all soft natural and muted

colours, warm Cotswold stone,

textural fabrics, tasselled

lights, freestanding baths. It's

a little bit Scandi, with a touch

of boho… There’s plenty of

room for 18 to relax. Of great

appeal for autumn and winter

guests is the serene, heated,

indoor pool, where languorous

laps can be totted up while

the weather unfolds over

the surrounding countryside

through the huge glass

windows. Then, wrap up and

sit by the fire, or maybe watch

a film on the big projector

screen. There are 500 acres

to roam from the door, so you

can pretty much guarantee

you won’t see another soul

on your daily strolls. Anyone

missing the outside world can

delve into smart Cheltenham

or explore the adorable

villages of the Cotswolds.

Short breaks from £5,495, one

week stays from £6,850

uniquehomestays.com

7

STAY AND

ENJOY THE VIEW

Pilot House looks, from afar,

like a giant tin can touched down

on the grassy shores of the Sound

of Mull. The circular design, with a

wraparound balcony, means guests

can bask in 360-degree views of this

dazzling Highland landscape and

out over Ardnarmurchan and the Isle

of Mull. Inside, Pilot House is a small

but light-filled space for a couple,

with the bedroom downstairs and

the living space upstairs, a spiral

staircase connecting the two. A

wood burner keeps out the chill, and

a tiny office offers a vista to inspire

would-be novelists and painters.

Days out could include a ferry trip to

Tobermory (aka Ballamory) and a

visit to a whisky distillery. Prices from

£526 for a three-night minimum stay.

coolstays.com

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 53


9

STAY AND

VISIT NATURAL

BEAUTY SPOTS

Set in the gorgeous village of Fontmell

Magna in north Dorset, this beautiful

chocolate-box cottage, Fiddlesticks, is on

the edge of West Wiltshire Downs Area of

Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nestled in

the countryside, this wonderful, thatched

retreat is the perfect home from home

to restore and recharge. Sleeping eight,

it has an impressive kitchen and lovely

gardens, as well as a bubbling cedar

wood hot tub. Explore this wonderful part

of England, from the exquisite AONB of

Cranborne Chase and the vibrant town

of Dorchester to the famed coastline of

Studland and Lulworth Cove through to

Lyme Regis. Surrounded by so much to

see and do, you'll never lack for days out,

whether it's pottering in the independent

shops of Shaftsbury, exploring natural

beauty spots, such as Hambledon Hill, or

heading towards the coast where the likes

of Studland, Lulworth Cove and Lyme

Regis await. There are fabulous places to

eat and drink in the area too, and

The Fontmell, an excellent pub and

restaurant, is just 400 metres from the

cottage. Prices from £1,732 for a long

weekend or midweek break.

boutique-retreats.co.uk

8STAY AND ENJOY YOUR OWN HOST CHEF

If you are looking for a gastronomic break away and love beams and vaulted

ceilings, then the boutique converted barn, Shakepear’s Shoes, with uninterrupted

views of the Warwickshire countryside, is certain not to disappoint.

It comes with exclusive access to a beautifully equipped outdoor-indoor alfresco

living and dining space, with ceramic egg barbecue and pizza oven, and host Adam is an

accomplished chef, available to prepare you anything from afternoon tea to a six-course

fine dining experience. As night falls this is the perfect spot for toasting giant marshmallows

around the fire pit, or to simply relax in the hammock with a good book.

You will also not be short for inspiration on days out, with the delights of Stratfordupon-Avon,

the beautiful Cotswolds, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Cheltenham, to

name but a few, all within easy reach.

Prices from £582 for a three-night stay to include a welcome hamper. Adam offers guests the

option of a partial or fully catered holiday, as well as bespoke cookery workshops, which can be

booked as a full- or half-day experience on prior arrangement.

ruralretreats.co.uk

54 BritishTravelJournal.com


GARDENERS

WILL

LOVE

10

STAY AND EXPLORE

THE GARDENS

Homewood is part of a boutique hotel

collection on our 'ones-to-watch' list. The

Bath-based Kaleidoscope Collection trio is a burgeoning

artistic portfolio and also includes The Bird, just a few

minutes’ mosey from the buzzing epicentre of Bath,

and the recently acquired Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, set

within 27 acres of Wiltshire countryside.

When it comes to hotel design and interiors, owners

Ian and Christa Taylor clearly know what they're doing –

they have been involved in many award-winning projects,

transforming small properties into beautiful boutique

hotels using their signature style of unusual eclectic decor

to create spaces that Alex Polizzi would be proud of.

Homewood is an eccentric country house hotel that

has just launched 10 rooms in its new Mallingford Mews,

each with hot tub suites and balconies.

There's an Instagram-perfect garden spa with

indoor and outdoor pool, a new wellness offering from

Olympian Amy Williams, as well as snazzy dining pods

on the lawn – perfect for afternoon teas, or celebrations

at Christmas, when only a dome will do.

Take a wonderful loop walk through ancient

woodlands and quiet lanes, taking in the River Frome,

with a convenient stop-off at Grade-I-listed Iford Manor

Garden to explore their tranquil grounds, cloister, The

Peto and Italianate gardens. Prices from £295 per night.

homewoodbath.co.uk

BritishTravelJournal.com 55


HOTEL REVIEW...

BURGH

ISLAND HOTEL

In search of an idyllic private island with magical

charm, blessed with exotic plants, translucent seas and

endless amounts of golden sand? Spend your days

exploring ruined castles, discovering shipwreck tales

Words | Lydia Paleschi

UNRIVALLED IN LOCATION, Burgh Island Hotel sits atop its very

own tidal island off the coast of South Devon and is accessible by

foot or car only at low tide, twice a day. At high tide, it is possible

to reach the island via its unique sea tractor, which can navigate

its way through almost six metres of swell. As the tide rises from

either side to cover the beach of Bigbury (a notable attraction in its own right

and recognised as one of the country's best beaches), the hotel's occupants are

transported back in time to their very own microcosm of 1930s glamour.

Burgh Island has an eclectic history of smugglers, celebrities and culture alike.

Known as the second home of Agatha Christie and the setting for her 1939

novel And Then There Were None, it has also been frequented by a number of

famous faces, including Josephine Baker, Sir Winston Churchill and President

Eisenhower. It features a unique architecture, including the addition of the

Captain’s Cabin of the HMS Ganges – a warship – in the 1930s, which is now

used as the Nettlefold restaurant, an excellent place to dine on seafood.

After parking at Bigbury-on-Sea on a blustery November afternoon, we

were collected by the wonderful hotel driver, Richard and transported to the

56 BritishTravelJournal.com


à


island. Here, we were seated in the

Palm Court and handed a flute of

Champagne. In doing so, we had

the perfect opportunity to soak up

the art deco ambience and oceanic

views as we waited for our room to

be prepared. Despite the shoddy

weather and howling winds battering

the hotel from all sides (which in itself

was fantastically atmospheric) we

sat bathed in light in the Palm Court,

thanks to its impressive kaleidoscopic

domed ceiling. Fresh flowers adorned

the bar top, and the velvet chairs were

so plush and comfortable that we sank

Pictured clockwise

from above:

Champagne in the

Palm Court cocktail

bar; Exterior of Burgh

Island Hotel; Palm

Court cocktail bar;

At high tide, it is

possible to reach the

island via its unique

sea tractor

instantly into a luxuriously comfortable

state of bliss. Upon being shown to our

room – the Nettlefold Suite – we were

impressed with its warm and inviting

palette of bronze and brown. Despite

the November weather, our room was

cosy and welcoming, with lovely thick

carpets and bedding. The Nettlefold

includes a fabulous double bed, which

gifted us with the best night’s sleep we’d

had in a long time, as well as a separate

sitting room. A balcony ran the length

of the two rooms, the perfect place

to sit with a pair of binoculars (kindly

provided) to look over the mermaid

58 BritishTravelJournal.com



Burgh Island has an eclectic

history of smugglers, celebrities

and culture alike.


pool and far out to sea. We were told that on some

occasions you may be lucky enough to spot seals

perching upon the rocks below.

As part of our stay we were offered a complimentary

seven-course taster meal, which required us to dress

our best in full-black-tie attire. We started in the Palm

Court Lounge with canapés and cocktails before

being brought through to the ballroom. With scenes

of a 1930s dinner party adorning the walls at the far

end of the room and the accompaniment of a jazz

piano player throughout all courses, the ballroom

oozes sophistication.

The chandeliers sparkled overhead as we were

served up exquisite cuisine, sourced from high-quality

local produce and provided with impeccable service

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 59


Pictured left to right: The Mermaid Pool, a

private natural sea water bathing pool; The

Pilchard Inn – originally quenching the thirst of

local fishers and then smugglers, its old-fashioned

charm and character still remains


One of the country’s oldest inns, the Pilchard has been

standing on Burgh Island since 1336 – almost 700 years


throughout. The staff were friendly and attentive, and

both the standard and meat-free options were a delight.

No detail was overlooked as the food both tasted

delicious and was presented impeccably.

A particular favourite course of mine was the

starter (confit chicken leg, crispy chicken skin, Marcona

almonds, sweetcorn purée and bacon popcorn) and

the desert (raspberry bavarois, ruby chocolate glaze,

meringue, raspberry sorbet).

Breakfast in the Nettlefold Restaurant the next

morning was very tasty too. With a variety of options,

including cooked breakfasts and pancakes, plus a

continental selection of freshly baked pastries and breads,

we were able to start the day right.

Being able to look out of the windows at the ocean

views and watch windsurfers flying across the waves as the

tide went back out was a bonus.

THE PILCHARD

One of the country’s oldest inns, the Pilchard has been

standing on Burgh Island since 1336 – almost 700 years.

Originally quenching the thirst of local fishers and then

smugglers, its old-fashioned charm and character still

remains. Offering a more laid-back setting than the hotel

itself, the Pilchard serves up lunch and dinner, though it

is advised to pre-book because it can only seat a limited

number.

The Pilchard has an impressive history of its own, with

notorious smuggler Tom Crocker using it as his hideout

in the 14th century. Unfortunately for Crocker, he was

caught and shot on the inn’s doorstep by the authorities.

LYDIA RECOMMENDS

At low tide, make the most of Bigbury Beach’s golden

sand or try your hand at swimming and surfing.

Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll around the island

and hotel grounds, go for a dip in the island’s private

outdoor mermaid pool or try your hand at a game of

tennis. For those wishing to stay inside, treat yourself

from a range of spa treatments or kick back and relax in

the film room.

The hotel also offers a snooker room, live music

and ballroom dancing twice a week, and my personal

favourite – a murder mystery night.

If you’d like to venture further afield, Bigbury-on-Sea

and the nearby towns of Salcombe and Kingsbridge are

accessible by crossing the sand – but be sure to make it

back before the tide rises!

60 BritishTravelJournal.com


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48 HOURS AT THE

GOODWOOD

ESTATE

With over 12,000 acres of nature walks, health and

wellbeing treatment rooms, sustainable farming, new

wellness experiences, and divine mouth-watering

home-grown food, a stay at the Goodwood Hotel has

more delights besides its renowned vintage cars, planes

and world-famous festivals.

Words | Jessica Way

64 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured

clockwise from

left: Goodwood

House;

Goodwood

House, eastern

façade; view

over the pond

towards the

private gardens;

Tapestry

Drawing Room;

Yellow Drawing

Room

THREE MONTHS ago, say

the words ‘Goodwood’, and I

would immediately reminisce

to previous years of the

Revival, dressing up in my

best ’60s style, sipping Champagne, and

dancing with friends between the Spitfires

and Mustangs. “Give me Goodwood on a

summer’s day, and you can forget the rest

of the world”, as described in the words of

British racing driver, Roy Salvadori.

There’s absolutely no doubt that events

such as the Goodwood Revival and the

Festival of Speed, enjoyed by over 150,000

visitors each year (during pre-COVID

times), have propelled Goodwood into

the worldwide spotlight, under the welldeserved

accolade as ‘England’s greatest

sporting estate’.

More recently, however, I have seen

Goodwood in another light, entirely away

from the big crowds and spotlight, more

simply, as a beautiful escape away from

the modern world. A place you can leave

your worries behind and recharge with

woodland walks between ancient oaks,

ponder over beautiful paintings, and enjoy

home-grown organic food. Life flows at a

different pace at Goodwood.

Goodwood has been home to the

same family for over 300 years. Each

generation has influenced the character and

appearance of Goodwood, with much of

the estate staying true to its original form.

There is perhaps nowhere on the estate

more true of this than at Goodwood

House, surrounded in the beautiful

landscape of the Beech Forest, between

its majestic cedars with its unique copperdomed

turrets and grand columned

portico, which are as beautiful to behold

as the paintings inside.

The Front Hall of the house, built in

1800, serves as the backdrop for three

paintings by George Stubbs of various

sporting scenes on the estate, including

his famous ‘Racehorses Exercising at

Goodwood’, which hangs over one of two

marble chimneypieces in the Regency

entrance.

There’s also the beautiful

Anthony Van Dyck portrait of

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 65



It was our first taste of the award-winning produce from Goodwood’s

home farm – and the perfect introduction to feeling at home at Goodwood.


King Charles I and his family in the Ballroom, a

fabulous reminder of its fascinating past. This

magnificent room is where our wonderful 48

hours at Goodwood began – with a delightful

selection of cakes, pastries, and delicious finger

sandwiches. (Afternoon tea is served in the

Ballroom between 1pm and 4.30pm each day,

with bookings made in advance). There is an

option to book a house tour or combine it with

a luxury cream tea, and both options are very

reasonably priced.

Often I find afternoon teas too sweet and

sugary to enjoy, but not in this case. Each

attractive, artistic tantalising tier was entirely

delicious and comforting. I was surprised at

how light and palatable it all was, from the

Goodwood ham and mustard sandwiches,

Pictured clockwise

from left: afternoon

tea at Goodwood

House; Goodwood

Hotel; Goodwood

Hotel swimming

pool; Goodwood

Hotel reception;

en-suite bedrooms

Goodwood House scone with clotted cream

and strawberry jam (jam first, of course!) to

the coconut and mango pannacottas. It was

our first taste of the award-winning produce

from Goodwood’s home farm – and the perfect

introduction to feeling at home at Goodwood.

I savoured the final sips of my Darjeeling

tea (from the foothills of the Himalayas) along

with the last raspberry macaron (they serve a

Macaron of the Month, which changes with the

season) before being greeted by our lovely guide,

ready to take us on a private tour of the house.

Goodwood House is owned by the Duke

and Duchess of Richmond, Charles Gordon-

Lennox and Janet Astor, daughter of the third

Viscount Astor. They married in 1991, and

live in the West Wing of the house with their

66 BritishTravelJournal.com


four children. Between set times, they allow visitors on

guided tours to admire the grand State Apartments.

It is a wonderful jaunt of one magnificent room after

another; the south wing comprises the Ballroom, Card

Room, Yellow Drawing Room, Red Hall, Egyptian Dining

Room and Music Room. The outdoor colonnade, with an

external view of the old house at one end and a glistening

pond with a perfect view of one of their famous Cedar of

Lebanon trees, then leads you to the back of the North

Wing, Long Hall and Tapestry Drawing Room.

Once checked into the hotel, our fluffy dressing gowns

and slippers reminded us that some wellness time was

ours for the taking – following a challenging year dealing

with the pandemic, being able to take a dip, to sit in a

sauna and to feel the tension melt away with the relaxing

bubbles of the Jacuzzi, is a luxury not to be missed.

Feeling fully relaxed, we spruced ourselves up for

dinner and made our way to the hotel restaurant: Farmer,

Butcher, Chef. In true Goodwood style, the restaurant

is beautifully designed – memorabilia of its former

hunting days and 300 years of farming line the walls and

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 67


Pictured left to right: aerial view of the

Downs golf course; Goodwood home

farm; private dining at Farmer, Butcher,

Chef restaurant; interior of the Farmer,

Butcher, Chef restaurant; Jessica relaxing

in the hotel snug

decorate the furnishings, in a style so countryside chic and

luxuriously à la mode, it enters a league of its own.

Goodwood has designer Cindy Leveson to thank for

this pizzazz – her distinctive style and talent has sprinkled

Goodwood magic throughout the hotel interior, from

the cosy snug and rallying bar to the impactful decor in

the restaurant. The detail is incredible, from the huge

glass lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling and Christopher

Howe chairs made out of Goodwood flags, to the pretty

butterflies and old keys beautifully displayed in picture

frames along the walls. Even our table was glass-topped,

partitioned into several compartments of interesting old

motoring and clock mechanics.

The relevance of this remarkable history is understood

and appreciated with each mouthful of delicious food,

made from the finest home-grown ingredients and cooked

to perfection. Dishes such as Spiced Rump South Down

Lamb and Fillet of Newhaven Cod, enjoyed with a glass

of (local vineyards) Gusbourne’s or Tinwood’s English

Sparkling wine, makes it impossible not to order well.

If you can’t decide, the chef will create a sharing board

showcasing his various cuts and techniques, using all three

of their delicious meats.

I can thoroughly recommend the old-fashioned

cheesecake for dessert, served with Goodwood’s home

farm cream and local strawberries.

The following morning we had a private golf lesson with

golf professional Chris McDonnell at the Park course (one

of Goodwood's two 18-hole golf courses on the estate),

just a short walk from the hotel.

Available as one of the Goodwood Academy

experiences, the golf lessons are held with nationally

acclaimed pros who offer their expertise to players

of any level, from beginner to expert. Chris was an

excellent teacher, and there was a fantastic feeling of

accomplishment, even after just a few successful swings.

We decided to enjoy lunch al fresco on the terrace at

The Kennels, their exclusive members’ clubhouse, also

open to hotel guests, with views across the other of their

18-hole golf courses on the estate – The Downs, designed

by five-time Open champion James Braid in 1914.

There was no departing without a visit to their home

farm dairy, followed by a visit to the farm shop for some of

their beautiful deep-red Sussex organic beef to take home

for a special Sunday roast.

The Farm Manager has helped to build up an impressive

customer list of exclusive restaurants and private members'

clubs, and together with the Executive Chef and Master

68 BritishTravelJournal.com


DID YOU KNOW?

FUN FACTS


Butcher, has developed Goodwood's impressive 'farm to fork'

sustainable food philosophy. I am also told about a series of new health

and wellbeing experiences launching at Goodwood, to include a fiveday

restorative retreat to help guests rebalance, revitalise and recharge.

As we pull out of the driveway and begin to head home, an

impressive convoy of classic two-seater motors, in regal blues,

beautiful beiges, vibrant reds, and glorious greens, zips past,

with glimpses of their equally stylish, seriously dapper drivers.

It's a reminder that Goodwood is more than a hotel, more than

a racecourse, and more than a countryside sporting estate.

Goodwood is quintessentially English, a destination for members,

and, under the first-class management of an exceptional family and

magnificent team, also for everyone else to enjoy.

Next time you visit, don't feel you need to make it on race day –

because every day is a good day to visit Goodwood.

Three-course dinner at Farmer, Butcher, Chef, overnight stay and

breakfast at The Goodwood Bar & Grill, from £250 for two

goodwood.com

Goodwood Trees

Goodwood's trees have proved to be an invaluable asset to

the estate at times. Once an estimated 33,000 Beech trees

were sold to cover Death Duties. Some of the oldest trees at

Goodwood are the famous Cedars of Lebanon, planted in

1761, at the request of the third Duke of Richmond – of the

original 1000 planted, only a few of these trees remain.


Cricket Rules

The rules written for a cricket match in 1727 between the

2nd Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick are the oldest

written set of rules in the world. You can see them on display

in the Goodwood Archive.


Rewilding Projects

Goodwood staff were involved in a huge woodland

creation project in December 2019 – the largest of its

type in the South of England. The ongoing scheme

will eventually see 40 hectares of new plantations in

12 locations, with over 78,000 trees arriving on the

estate. They have also planted an extra 600 metres of

hedgerow at Goodwood, and rewilded several sections

of the 11,000 acres to support the local flora and fauna.


The artist Duke

The Duke of Richmond, Charles Gordon-Lennox, led a very

successful career as a high production still life and special

effects photographer in London and continues his passion

today (as Charles March). You can see some of his beautiful

landscape photography around the estate. Since then, he

has experimented with digital photography to produce highly

evocative, impressionistic and abstract works that push the

boundaries traditionally associated with photography.


Eight -sided masterplan

Goodwood House looks like three sides of an octagon,

and it was once believed the plan was intended to build

the complete figure, but this has never been proved. It is

not known what the intentions were when this somewhat

picturesque shape was devised, but the layout certainly works

perfectly for a private family home combined with grand

public apartments and far-reaching views over the park.


Sustainable Farming

Goodwood Home Farm is one of the largest lowland organic

farms in the UK and has been fully organic since 1996.

BritishTravelJournal.com 69


IMAGE CHERHILL DOWNS © GREAT WEST WAY

70 BritishTravelJournal.com


ENGLISH

WHISKY

In recent years England has begun to produce sparkling

wines that rival those produced in Champagne. Now in

the 2020s it's the turn of English distillers to show that they

can compete with Scotland's most famous export

Words | Adrian Mourby

IN BRITAIN, whisky has strong associations with Scotland. So much so in

fact that in the 19th century the word ‘Scotch’ came to mean whisky not

only in neighbouring England but all over the British Empire. But that

hegemony has begun to shift in the last 15 years. In 2006 there was only

one whisky distillery in England. Now there are more than 30.

England will never produce the big single malt guns like Laphroaig and

Tallisker nor the internationally-famous Scottish blends like Johnny Walker

and Famous Grouse but these days there are some wonderful artisanal

distillers producing great idiosyncratic whiskies throughout England. These

small distilleries have been set up all over the country, in Yorkshire and the

Lake District, on the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts, and of course in London.

Each pursues its own vision, sometimes even to the point of eccentricity, but

all of them are producing great whiskies in small batches – and best of all you

can visit and share in their enthusiasm.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 71



He had the help of his son Andrew, and advisor, Iain Henderson from Laphroaig,

the only Scottish distillery to be by appointment to HRH Prince Charles...


English Whisky Company

Any whisky tour of England has

to start with the English Whisky

Company in Roudham, Norfolk.

It was here in 2006 that James

Nelstrop and son Andrew, constructed

St George’s, England's first whisky

distillery to be built in over a century.

The Nelstrop's come from a long

line of English farmers who can be

traced back to working the land in

Yorkshire during the 14th century.

It was on James's 60th birthday

that he decided he wanted a new

venture and chose to produce whisky.

It was a bold move, but he had the

help of his son Andrew, and advisor,

Iain Henderson from Laphroaig,

the only Scottish distillery to be by

appointment to HRH Prince Charles.

Norfolk is in East Anglia, which in

James’ opinion is one of the few areas

in England suitable for growing topquality

malting barley, the essential

ingredient in single malt whisky.

The second vital ingredient – water

– would come from a 160-foot bore

hole that draws up water of purity and

high mineral content in Roudham.

With great confidence, the distillery

chose to name its single malt The

English. It now produces eight English

single malts, each flavoured by the

barrels in which the whisky matures.

There is also a grain whisky series

called The Norfolk which has a

bowler-hatted seal on its label, a

nod to the fact that the bowler hat

was first produced for gamekeepers

working at Holkham Hall, also in

Norfolk. The complete range is

available at the company’s spacious

modern distillery and visitor centre,

with its black clapboard exterior and

cowled roof close to the Thetford

Forest Park.

72 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured previous page: St George's

Distillery, Roundham, Norfolk

Pictured clockwise from left: Adnams

Copper House Distillery; East London

Distillery's Andy Mooney carrying a cask;

casks at the East London Distillery; Andrew

Nelstrop, Chairman of The English Whisky

Co who helped set up the business with his

father, James

Adnams

Across the border in Suffolk, in the

picture-perfect coastal village of

Southwold, stands Adnams, which

was originally founded in 1872 but

as a brewery, not a distillery. The

enterprise was set up by two Suffolk

brothers, George and Ernest Adnams.

In the 20th century their substantial

brick-built factory produced huge

amounts of ales and ciders for Suffolk

and beyond.

The building was a familiar site for

visitors with its mechanical figure of

‘Southwold Jack’ on its exterior. Jack’s

job was intended to sound the hours

by striking his axe against the metal

bell that hung over him.

Moving with the times, in 2010

Adnams successfully challenged

an old English law that prevented

brewers from having a distillery on

the same premises. This enabled the

firm to build a new Copper House

Distillery behind the old premises to

make gin, vodka and whisky, all from

the same locally sourced ingredients

– Suffolk barley, rye, wheat, and oats

– that go into Adnams beers.

There are now three reasonably

priced whiskies made on-site, a Single

Malt, a Triple Malt (made with wheat,

barley and oats) and a Rye Malt

Whisky. All are aged in oak barrels

and you can buy a sample pack of all

three in 20cl bottles (£41.99) from the

busy visitor centre.

East London Distillery

A very different whisky

experience is on offer at the

East London Distillery on Bow

Wharf in Hackney. The building

is a low, grey-painted former

glue factory that faces on to the

old Regent's Canal. The East

London Liquor Company was

founded here by former actor

and bartender Alex Wolpert

who stands for “Great spirits

without the crafty bullshit.

Everyone should have good

booze for good prices from

good people. It sounds radical,

but it shouldn’t.”

Since July 2014 Wolpert’s selfstyled

People’s Drinks Company

has been producing and

importing a wide range of spirits,

including gins, vodka, rum and

whisky. Success came quickly. In

its first year his team of five were

producing 1,000 bottles of gin a

month for East London bars and

restaurants.

Because of regulations,

whisky cannot be released for

three years, but today there is an

East London Wheat Whisky, an East

London Rye, and a new East London

Blend, which is a cross-Atlantic

collaboration with the Bourbon

produced by Sonoma Distilling

Company in California. Wolpert

describes the blend as “chock-full of

sweet corn, brandy-soaked cherries,

fresh grass, and not for the fainthearted.”

The East London Distillery is proud

that its neighbours are “canalside

warehouses and old school boozers”

and indeed the exposed brickwork

of the distillery’s interior gives it an

edginess that matches its claim to

serve “kick-ass cocktails”.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 73


Bimber

Twelve miles to the west, on the

other side of London, is another

remarkable distillery, set up by

two long-term Polish immigrants

Dariusz Plazewski and Ewelina

Chruszczyk. Bimber is the Polish

word for ‘moonshine’ or illegally

distilled spirits. It’s also the name the

couple chose for their new distillery,

tucked away in the unassuming

Park Royal industrial estate.

Bimber brings to British whisky

the skills perfected over centuries

by Polish moonshiners, but it

applies them legally. The distillery

laid down its first casks in May

2016 and released the inaugural

single malt whisky, known as The

First just over three years later. All

1,000 hand-numbered bottles sold

out within three hours. Bimber puts

its success down to handcrafted

traditional techniques and the

founders’ passion for single malt

whisky.

The barley used here is grown on

a single farm near Basingstoke and

traditionally dried in Warminster

Maltings. It’s then hand-mashed

and fermented slowly for seven days

in wooden washbacks at Bimber.

These washbacks were handmade

by the company’s own coopers.

This highly artisanal approach

continues with direct fire being used

to heat unusually small copper

pot stills. Absolutely no computers

come near the production process.

Everything is based on the artisanal

human senses of smell, taste and

even touch.

After maturing in hand-selected

casks – charred oak, bourbon,

sherry and oloroso – this precious

and reassuringly expensive whisky is

bottled on-site. As far as is possible

today, this is how whisky might have

been made centuries ago.

The Oxford Artisan Distillery

Fifty miles north of Bimber along

the A40 stands The Oxford Artisan

Distillery, known locally as TOAD.

TOAD is another new venture and

one that burst on the market in 2017

with an excellent Oxford Dry Gin that

used a picture of Mr Toad himself (as

drawn by Ernest Shepard) on its label.

TOAD is the first legal distillery

in Oxford and occupies a charming

position in tatty old farm buildings

at the top of Headington Hill. Its

founder, Tom Nicolson was inspired

to make a commitment to the ‘grainto-glass’

ethos of handcrafting gin,

vodka and spirit of rye using grain

specially grown for the distillery. To

this end, the archaeo-botanist John

Letts helped TOAD find and plant

medieval heritage grains that were

commonplace in England before the

rise of industrialised agriculture.

In keeping with its self-consciously

eccentric, not to say theatrical style,

TOAD’s master distiller Cory Mason

commissioned two very special

steam-punk stills, named Nautilus

and Nemo, like something out of Jules

Verne, to do the work. These are now

producing TOAD’s first whisky. It’s

actually a pure rye whisky that costs

£75 a bottle, the most expensive

product from this ambitious distillery.

Rye is thought by many to be the new

direction for whisky in the 2020s. It

has a distinctive taste and makes for

great cocktails.

A visit to TOAD is always fun.

Despite the company’s huge success

they give the impression they’re a

bunch of guys who like putting spirits

together to see what happens.

74 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured clockwise from left: Casks at the Bimber Distillery; Farm grain;

Oxford Rye whisky; Nemo – one of the stills inside The Oxford Artisan Distillery;

Stills inside the Bimber Distillery


A visit to TOAD is always fun. Despite the company’s huge success they

give the impression they’re a bunch of guys who like putting spirits together

to see what happens.


à

BritishTravelJournal.com 75


Pictured left to right: Cotswolds Distillery;

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky


Scotland will always have the gravitas... but it’s clear that English whisky is doing

things the Scots have never dreamt of... and that the English are coming.


Cotswolds Distillery

A slicker – but equally welcoming

– operation is at the Cotswolds

Distillery, just south of Stratfordupon-Avon.

Dan Szor who built the distillery

is a New Yorker who made a small

fortune in the City of London and

dearly wanted to create whisky from

all those barley fields surrounding

his Cotswold home. So in 2014 he

opened this distillery, and its gin

– with its lovely hints of lavender –

became a quick success. Gin is a

favourite start-up product for whisky

producers because it provides a quick

turnaround on investment.

This distillery is located in idyllic

countryside in a new building

constructed of local honey-coloured

stone and richly seasoned wood.

It looks like a beautifully designed

barn conversion. There is a shop and

café, and a seductive tasting room

with leather sofas that makes you feel

that you’re staying in the spacious

country cottage of a very wealthy

friend. No expense has been spared.

Upstairs are two more rooms, one for

serious whisky tasting and one for gin.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is now

available in several editions. There is

the Single Malt, the Founder’s Choice,

three single malts from flavoured casks

– peated, sherry and Sauternes – and

Lord Mayor's Single Reserve, which

was blended for the 691st Lord Mayor

of London, Peter Estlin who has been

a keen supporter of the Cotswolds

Distillery from its inception.

Scotland will always have the

gravitas and will continue to dominate

the market but it’s clear that English

whisky is doing things the Scots have

never dreamt of. Later this year an

English Guild of Distillers will be

launched to create a regulatory body

to maintain quality and decide what

we actually mean when we talk of an

English Scotch. Whatever it decides in

the world of whisky there is no doubt

that the English are coming.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY

Filey Bay Whisky

Yorkshire's first ever single malt whisky is

created with 100% homegrown barley

on the Hunmanby coast, at the Spirit

of Yorkshire Distillery. There are views

of beautiful Filey Bay from the distillery,

and a unique field-to-bottle process is used.

spiritofyorkshire.com

And if you’re going to Scotland...

Johnnie Walker Princes Street

In Edinburgh a new eight-floor visitor

experience has opened celebrating the

world's best-selling Scotch. Johnnie

Walker is a blended whisky dating

from 1820. Scottish blends have

been slightly overlooked since the

meteoric rise of Single Malts at the

end of the 20th century. But not any

more. Johnnie Walker Princes Street is

crowned by two superb rooftop bars –

the Explorers' Bothy (for whisky-tasting

experiences) and the 1820 Cocktail Bar

(for food pairings).

johnniewalker.com

76 BritishTravelJournal.com


Iconic architecture, rich

heritage, exquisite cocktails

In the heart of Hampshire just 20 minutes from Winchester and the M4

Bombay Sapphire Distillery | Whitchurch | Hampshire

Hello@bombaysapphire.com | 01256 890090

BOOK YOUR GIN EXPERIENCE TODAY: BOMBAYSAPPHIRE.COM/DISTILLERY

Get 10% off your Discovery booking using the code: BTJ10 (until 31/12/21)


VIBRANT

CITIES

TO VISIT THIS AUTUMN

This is the ideal time to visit one of our great cities. The summer

crowds have dispersed and there’s always a cute café, diverting shop

or fascinating museum beckoning you in, should the weather turn

Words | Emma O’Reilly

YOU CAN’T BEAT THE BUZZ

of a city. From boat-lined canals

to grand palaces and sweeping

countryside, Britain’s cities and their

surrounding areas are packed with romantic

charm, culture and history, offering something

new and exciting to discover at every turn.

So if a walk through London’s ‘Little Venice’

or exploring ‘Mr Darcy’s’ grand estate near

Manchester sound like dream getaways, here’s

how to add a touch of enchantment to future

city stays, whether exploring by foot, bike or on

the water.

London’s canals and open-air theatres

Discover the capital’s tranquil side with an

atmospheric autumnal walk along Regent’s

Canal, just north of Paddington.

This nine-mile canal-side walk starts in

picturesque Little Venice, continues past the

historic locks to Camden Town and finishes

in London Docklands. For some laid-back

romance you could explore Regent’s Canal

by boat. Options include Jason’s Trip, which

has been delighting visitors since 1951, passing

sights such as Regent’s Park, Cumberland

Basin and Primrose Hill along the way.

78 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured clockwise from left:

St Paul's cathedral; smallcar

BIGCITY fleet of restored classic

Mini Coopers; Glass atrium at

NoMad Hotel London; Trafalgar

Square; The National Gallery

Or, book onto a quirkier walking tour to get under

the skin of the city – an eating or cultural tour around

Brick Lane and Spitalfields, one with a local architect

around some of London’s more interesting buildings,

a Sherlock Holmes or a Brit Movie tour, for example.

With smallcarBIGCITY you can even enjoy a themed

driving tour of your choice in a Classic Mini Cooper.

New cultural highlights for 2021 include the Alice:

Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition at the V&A (until

31 December 2021) and the world’s largest touring

exhibition of Banksy artworks is in the West End

(until 21 November). As night falls, head to the

award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre,

with performances of classic plays, including Romeo

& Juliet and Carousel (until 30 September).

Our top tip: Indulge in afternoon tea – whether you

go glam at The Ritz or hip at Sketch.

Stay at: NoMad London, formerly Bow Street

Magistrates Court, in Covent Garden,

launched in the spring. We love the spectacular

landscaped glass atrium used for dining.

Doubles from £383 per night, room only

thenomadhotel.com

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 79


Brighton’s Royal Pavilion and Country Park

Brighton is packed with romantic landmarks, many of which

reveal the region’s royal connections. Future explorers can

revel in the grandeur of the Royal Pavilion. Built in the 18th

century for King George IV, it was subsequently used by

King William IV and finally Queen Victoria. A Brighton

institution, it is known as a beacon of luxury, awash with

opulent treasures and topped with majestic domes. Visitors

longing to explore this regal home can enjoy a virtual tour

of the Royal Pavilion, before booking the real thing. The

palace is currently furnished with over 120 remarkable

decorative works of art on loan from Her Majesty the

Queen. Originally commissioned by the Prince Regent, the

items have been relocated from Buckingham Palace and

reunited in their former home until January 2022.

Our top tip: Longing for the great outdoors? Why not

experience the romantic landscapes of Seven Sisters

Country Park, part of the South Downs National Park.

Marvel at the sprawling white cliffs, winding waterways

and unspoilt grasslands.

Stay at: Artist Residence, a hotel encapsulating the

spirit of a town into one building; creative, bohemian and

downright eccentric. The 24-bedroom townhouse is at the

head of Regency Square and each room is a riot of original

artwork and local character. Doubles from £255

artistresidence.co.uk

Manchester’s Gothic library and grand estate

Known for its impressive architecture, independent shops

and trendy cafés, Manchester's buzzy metropolis has

plenty of entertainment. Culture vultures and rain dodgers

will enjoy the dedicated fashion section, launching in

November, at Manchester Art Gallery. The first exhibition is

on ‘dandy’ style (attention, Bridgerton fans).

More creative inspiration is on offer in the city’s Northern

Quarter, crammed with independent clothes, jewellery and

craft shops (don’t miss the multi-floored Affleck’s Palace),

record stores, cafés and bars.

Pictured clockwise from above: Brighton’s Royal Pavilion;

Manchester's Northern Quarter street art; Hallé St Peter’s,

Ancoats, in Manchester's Northern Quarter

80 BritishTravelJournal.com


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eat explore experience

Visit Exeter for seriously stylish shops, a diverse cultural scene and top eateries

serving the best of Devon’s food and drink. Add 2,000 years of history into

the mix and it’s easy to see why everyone’s talking about Exeter!

www.visitexeter.com


IMAGES © VISITENGLAND / VISITLONDON.COM/JON REID / JAMES BILLINGS / NTPL/MATTHEW ANTROBUS

Our top tip: Take time to visit Lyme Park, an Italianate

palace that became Mr Darcy’s grand residence in the

BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, just 20 miles

south of the city centre.

The 1,400-acre estate is home to a large herd of deer,

a lake and a fragrant rose garden. Jane Austen fans can

also enjoy an atmospheric Pemberley walk, which takes in

several picturesque filming locations.

There's also the new RHS Garden Bridgewater just

outside the city – at 154 acres it’s Europe’s largest garden

project, or the brand new ‘I’m a Celebrity…Jungle Challenge’

at MediaCityUK, with its fun challenges and trials.

Stay at: Be one of the first to stay at the 10-floor Resident

Hotel (formerly Nadler Hotels) within the brand new St

John's Place development – an enormous neighbourhood

on the former site of Granada Studios, incorporating

residential homes, world-class hotels, a work space,

intimate streets, lively courtyards and The Factory (billed

as the North of England’s new flagship cultural venue)

although the date of opening is still uncertain.

There's also Brewdog’s new hotel, DogHouse, the world’s

first craft beer hotel. Doubles from £150 per night, including

draft beer tap and beer fridge in shower.

residenthotels.com; stjohnsmanchester.com; brewdog.com

Wellness in Winchester

This well-heeled little place has all the ingredients for a

wonderful weekend break. Winchester does tradition

well, from its cavernous cathedral to its highly regarded

independent school, Winchester College. History oozes

from many other buildings. The Westgate Museum details

the area’s Tudor and Stuart history and is housed in the last

remaining medieval gateway into the city. The Great Hall,

the only remaining part of Winchester Castle, is home to

King Arthur’s legendary Round Table.

Just outside the city are a slew of stately homes, as is Jane

Austen’s House in Chawton. History with a modern twist

comes courtesy of a former silk mill, newly opened as Inn the

Park in Winchester’s Abbey Gardens. The space combines an

open grill restaurant, bar, café and wine room.

Our top tip: Jane Austen fans can also do a guided tour of

Jane Austen’s Winchester.

Stay at: Lainston House Hotel, a 17th-century mansion

Exclusive Hotel, offering tennis, fishing and falconry.

Prices from £176 per room, per night.

Or for location (walking distance of the city centre) you can't

beat the very first Hotel du Vin, which is still providing luxury

at a good price. Doubles from £99 per night, room only.

exclusive.co.uk; hotelduvin.com

82 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured clockwise

from left: Manchester's

Lyme Park; Inn the Park

at Winchester’s Abbey

Gardens; Mural at 2-Tone

Village, Coventry Music

Museum, Coventry

City Culture

Coventry City of Culture

You won’t mind getting sent here, especially as Coventry

celebrates being UK City of Culture 2021 with art exhibitions

and cultural events taking place throughout the year. Plus,

look out out for The Show Windows – ambitious window

installations designed by local architects – and specially

commissioned street art. At the Herbert Art Gallery &

Museum, a new exhibition ‘Hyper-Possible’ runs from

October. Also here are paintings of bold local lass, Lady

Godiva (a statue of her naked on a horse is on the street

nearby). Coventry’s medieval cathedral was left devastated

after World War II and a beautiful 20th-century replacement

with abstract stained-glass windows sits alongside. It’s typical

of the city, which was heavily bombed. Expect brutalist car

parks alongside Tudor cottages – a heavenly hotchpotch.

Our top tip: Coventry Music Museum (including the

2-Tone Village) is a must-visit for music fans

Stay at: The Telegraph Hotel, which opened in May

is a conversion of the local newspaper offices.

Doubles from £67 per night, room only.

à

telegraph-hotel.com

BritishTravelJournal.com 83


St David’s

How can a village become a city? When it has a cathedral

of course and the one in St David’s is large, given the tiny

population. It’s a charming place, with historic sites, shops

and restaurants – including the UK’s first insect restaurant,

Grub Kitchen. There are also alternatives for those with

more conventional appetites. It’s easy to potter away

for many an hour, but what’s on the doorstep is worth

exploring. St David’s is on the Pembrokeshire Peninsula,

with magnificent coastline all around. In autumn and

winter you’ll have it mostly to yourself for windswept walks

or horse riding. Or why not wrap up in a wetsuit for some

winter surfing?

Stay at: Twr y Felin – Wales’ first contemporary art hotel

has just doubled in size. New rooms have balconies with

views over St Bride’s Bay. Doubles from £200 per night.

twryfelinhotel.com

Our top tip: The night sky is often incredible in west Wales.

If staying at Twr y Felin book a Star Gazing Hamper, which

includes binoculars, torches, a constellations guidebook,

camping chairs and a thermos of ‘tiddly’ hot chocolate.

A Royal weekend in Edinburgh

The place to start is Edinburgh Castle, the former royal

residence and military base which sits atop Castle Rock.

There’s lots to see inside and outside and there’s the bonus

of 360-degree city views. Back in the Old Town, walk The

Royal Mile to another regal residence, Holyrood House.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, moored up in Leith, was

the holiday home to the Queen for many years. Today it’s

one of the best museums in the UK – and don't miss our

competition to win tickets and a Champagne lunch on

board for two (britishtraveljournal.com/competitions). Tea

and scones in the onboard tearoom is a must.

You might also like to book a table at nearby Martin

Wishart or The Kitchin, both Michelin-starred. By night,

there are bars aplenty, and it would be rude not to try the

local tipple at Whiski Rooms or The Scotch Whisky Society

– choose from hundreds of rare single and blended malts

and order some food to soak it all up.

Our top tip: Try to be at Edinburgh Castle for the one

o’clock gun salute.

Stay at: The new Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge. It’s

on the site of a famous brewery and has playful, slightly

irreverent interiors plus a rooftop bar with great views.

Doubles from £66 per night.

marriott.com

84 BritishTravelJournal.com


Durham’s cathedral and rowing boats

The city has one of the UK’s most impressive cathedrals,

perched imposingly over the River Wear. See it from the

outside, inside and the top (brave the 137 steps up the

Northwest Tower for worth-it views).

New this autumn is Museum of the Moon, a giant

seven-metre sculpture that will hang from the ceiling of the

cathedral, with atmospheric accompanying music.

You can hire rowing boats on the river until the end of

September but most visitors are content to just wander the

cobbled streets and do like the uni students by hanging

out in the bars and cafés. Or, book in for some fine dining

at Finnbars or The Cellar Door. There’s more nighttime

entertainment during Lumiere Durham (18–21 November)

with fantastical light installations and projections all over the

city. It’s a great time to visit.

Our top tip: Go for a yomp in the Durham Dales to see the

spectacular High Force waterfall.

Stay at: Hotel Indigo combines Victorian features with slick

modern facilities. Doubles from £125 per night.

hotelindigo.com

Oxford’s colleges and museums

The city of ‘dreaming spires’ is famed for its illustrious

university. The colleges with their quads, cloisters and

gardens are mostly open to the public. Other amazing

university buildings include The Bodleian Libraries –

such as the circular, neoclassical Radcliffe Camera

and Duke Humfrey’s Library, which doubled as the

Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter films.

Oxford is crammed with museums. Favourites

include the Ashmolean, with everything from Egyptian

mummies to modern art. Then there's The Pitt Rivers

Museum: a quirky collection of treasures from around

the world collected by one man on his travels.

Our top tip: Don’t miss the chance to hang out in a

studenty waterhole. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used

to enjoy pints together at the Eagle & Child.

Stay at: The Randolph Hotel by Graduate – this

grande dame of a hotel reopened in the summer under

new ownership and with a ‘new old’ look.

Doubles from £225 per night, bed and breakfast.

graduatehotels.com

Pictured clockwise

from bottom left:

Pembrokeshire

Peninsula; Twr y

Felin Hotel; The

Royal Yacht

Britannia;

Edinburgh Castle;

The Randolph Hotel;

Luke Jerram’s

Museum of the

Moon illuminates

the nave at Ely

Cathedral – and

will be at Durham

Cathedral this

September 2021

BritishTravelJournal.com 85


48 HOURS IN...

EXETER

Thought holidays to Devon were mostly about

seafood and beaches? Think again… it’s time to

leave behind the beach towels and flip flops and

prepare for a cultural citybreak like no other. Exeter

might be small, but it is perfectly formed, with worldclass

museums, excellent food, beautiful new hotels,

historic streets, and picturesque waterways...

Words | Jessica Way

IT'S A GREAT FEELING to visit one of the UK's most up-and-coming cities as though you

are just slightly ahead of the curve, discovering valuable insights as if somehow sneaking

in there just before everyone else. That’s exactly how I felt touring and speaking to the

locals on my recent weekend city break to Exeter. You've most probably travelled past this

beautiful historic city (pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50) or passed through it

while en-route to Devon and Cornwall, but perhaps dismissed it as your final destination?

Hopefully, my description of time spent in this eco-conscious re-imagined city will encourage

you to reconsider this as a wonderful city break with great food, culture and varied attractions.

And it would seem I am not alone in my enthusiasm for the city – stylish brands, including

glamorous restaurant chain The Ivy and luxury hotel chain IHG, have moved in too. Opposite

the Cathedral overlooking the green, The Ivy has just opened following a refurbishment to

Exeter’s landmark City Bank; it is the newest Ivy and first of its kind in Devon and Cornwall.

Nearby, luxury hotel brand IHG has announced plans to open Hotel Indigo Exeter, complete

with an urban spa and rooftop bar and lounge, housed in the former House of Fraser

department store on the city’s High Street (opposite The White Company store).

Exeter is also home to Royal Clarence Hotel, described as England's oldest hotel. Located in

Cathedral Yard, sadly this Grade-II listed, 53-bedroom hotel was severely damaged in a fire just

over five years ago – the property has since been under the ownership of Andrew Brownsword

Hotels and now James Brent of South West Lifestyle Brands, who are said to be undertaking

restoration work to open a 74-bedroom hotel with reconstructed façades.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 87


Pictured clockwise from bottom left: The quaint historic estuary port

of Topsham; views from the Exeter Cathedral rooftop guided tour;

Exeter Cathedral, properly known as the Cathedral Church of Saint

Peter; Jessica riding an e-bike through Exeter's historic Cathedral Yard;

Harry's Restaurant in Longbrook Street

Exeter is where Chris Martin from Coldplay was born, attending

the city’s oldest school, Exeter Cathedral School while finding his

passion for music, and where Harry Potter author JK Rowling went

to University – one of the UK's elite Russell Group universities. Rugby

fans will of course know all about the famous Exeter Chiefs, and

might want to arrange a trip around 25 September this year, to watch

them take on Northampton Saints in an English Premiership fixture.

Foodies will love the annual Exeter Festival of South West Food &

Drink, a real highlight in the year, although sadly postponed in 2021

due to the pandemic, but it plans to be back on next spring.

Whether visiting for the festive season (Exeter Cathedral

Christmas Market will be running 18 November–18 December) or as a

city break avoiding the crowded coastlines during the summer, Exeter

is certain not to disappoint – I hope you enjoy my highlights...

DAY ONE

Exeter is compact, revolving around the Cathedral and green in

the heart of the city: Shops from the popular big names are in the

neighbouring High Street and Princesshay precinct. The remains of the

Medieval city walls, originally built by the Romans, and pretty cobbled

streets, lead to the independent boutiques and trendy coffee shops in

and around Gandy Street and the West Quarter.

Our visit coincided with the Cathedral restarting their rooftop

guided tours, and Graham our steward couldn't have been a better

tour host. The views over the city are incredible, but equally the

behind-the-scenes architecture – from the flying buttress bridging to

the wooden infrastructure inside the longest uninterrupted vaulted

medieval ceiling in Europe – was fascinating.

We wandered across to the Cathedral Yard, where we enjoyed

an al fresco lunch with views of the Cathedral at Eat on the Green.

Previously this independently owned restaurant (by local Ben

Mangan) was called Tea on the Green, but there is much more to his

impressive, locally sourced menu than the previous name suggests –

though don’t worry, Devon Cream Teas are still available!

It was a pleasure to meet Ben, a proud father of twins who also

attended Exeter Cathedral School. He told us how his meat comes

from the local Hele Farm (so close you can see it from the upstairs

window), his beers and ciders from Devon and Cornwall brewers, and

how pleased he was that we were highlighting Exeter.

“It really doesn’t get enough recognition, and is such a brilliant

city. There’s a great atmosphere and sense of community here

in Exeter," he said, crediting the many successful independent

businesses, and the acceptance and togetherness of students and

locals living and thriving together.

88 BritishTravelJournal.com



For curious travellers with a desire for

self-guided exploration, electric bike

hire is just brilliant – especially in Exeter

where there are quite a few hills!


Following a delicious Waldorf salad and passion fruit smoothie,

it was time to say a warm farewell and continue with our sightseeing

adventures. Just a short walk away to the Civic Centre and we hired

‘on-demand’ e-bikes (co-bikes.co.uk) – a game-changer for cities

like Exeter to attract tourists. For curious travellers with a desire for

self-guided exploration, electric bike hire is just brilliant – especially in

Exeter where there are quite a few hills!

The app is super easy to use, you unlock your bike with a code

sent to your phone, pay by the hour and you don’t even have to return

the bike to the station you collect it from – there are stops across the

city, including at the two central train stations (Exeter St David’s and

Exeter Central), Topsham and across the road from Exeter Works in

Dix’s Field. It has also been made as safe as possible, with many cycle

lanes, signage and traffic lights for cyclists throughout the city – which

is not too big and daunting to navigate.

We spent a lovely afternoon in Topsham, a beautiful estuary town

on the River Exe, with a rich maritime history. Visit Topsham Museum,

housed in an elegant 17th-century Dutch-style merchant house, to

find out more about the history of the town, or enjoy a glass of wine

at one of the pubs overlooking the boats and paddleboarders before

dinner, or watch the sunset from the famous Goat Walk.

For dinner, we visited Harry's Restaurant in Longbrook Street. This

was a special highlight of our trip – as well as serving delicious food,

Harry’s has a really great backstory. The architecture and interiors are

beautiful – the property was formerly ‘Harry Hems’, a 19th-century

architectural sculptors’ workshop (framed black-and-white photos of

the historic building and workshop are displayed on the old red brick

Gothic-style interior walls) that dates back to 1883.

Following a renovation a couple of years ago, the interiors are

sublime. Luxurious and modern, it’s more trendy Mayfair than busy

Exeter – think: dark green and burnt oranges, regal leather sofas,

tongue and groove panelling, parquet flooring, soft grey blankets,

Cowshed toiletries, an abundance of hanging plants and elegantly

dressed tables.

Simon and Annette Pounds opened the restaurant in 1993.

Daughter, Samantha Pounds, took over the running of the business

and is now at the helm. All four of her daughters (Phoebe, Zoe,

Tigerlily and India) work alongside her, while also juggling successful

careers, including in law and the Army. We were served by Amy, an

Australian and close family friend of the Pounds. She was fantastic

and clearly passionate about the restaurant. She told us the team

were “inseparable” and once included British singer-songwriter Will

Young (before he won Pop Idol).

Menu highlights include a mouthwatering selection of dryaged

steaks sourced from local suppliers, Darts Farm Butchers,

locally caught fish of the day and Devon crab linguine. I opted for

their toasted brioche lobster roll and it was absolutely delightful.

Elderflower sorbet completed the experience and it was time to get

some rest, ready for the next day.

We were thrilled with a Deluxe room at Hotel du Vin Exeter, a city

oasis within walking distance of both the Cathedral and Quay. The

grand 19th-century building formerly housed the West of England Eye

Hospital and has beautifully landscaped historic walled gardens with

a circular lawn, an outdoor swimming pool, spa and contemporary

bedroom decor – an ideal base for exploring the city.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 89


DAY TWO

Feeling more at home with the city centre we decided to head down

to Exeter’s waterfront quay for a day by the river. We made our

way down Stepcote Hill, Exeter’s oldest surviving street, passing

the pretty half-timbered houses. At the bottom on West Street

you’ll be greeted by the curiosity that is The House that Moved – a

fascinating three-storey timber-framed merchant's house, which

quite literally was moved from its original home at the corner of

Edmund Street and Frog Street. Also in this area is St Mary Steps

Church, of 12th-century origin with an amazing early-17th-century

Matthew the Miller clock with figures that strike the hour.

At the quayside there are many places to grab a coffee or to

browse quirky independent shops for a gift to take home. Feeling

ready for an adventure, we hired some stand-up paddleboards from

AS Watersports (the place to go for kayaks, canoes, paddleboards

and more). In addition to the hire, they offer tuition and have a huge

showroom filled with kayaks and equipment for sale – everything

you need to get on the water and experience watersports.

For lunch, we headed to On the Waterfront – famous for their

dustbin-lid pizzas, they also serve great tapas and offer a really

good selection of locally sourced beers, wines and spirits.

Having been so impressed with our e-bikes from the day

before we decided to go for a bike ride along the river, passing

the Climbing Centre on Exeter Quay – the South West's largest,

dedicated indoor climbing wall. Had there been time and energy left

in our legs we definitely would have stopped for a quick bouldering

session. We soon reached the Double Locks traditional country pub

located on the banks of the 16th-century Ship Canal. You can’t beat

the location! They have a huge beer garden with areas covered and

heated, so perfect for keeping socially distanced.

That evening we stopped for food at Pieminister – set up

almost 20 years ago by friends Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon after

travelling around Australia in their early twenties, where they

found themselves eating pies every day. They came home full of

determination to reinvigorate the humble British pie.

In 2003 they set up shop in Stokes Croft, Bristol. Soon they

had a stall at London’s famous Borough Market, then a pitch at

Glastonbury. They have grown over the years, and now employ

around 300 people, but they still make all their pies in their Bristol

kitchens – and are themselves still eating pies every day! Don't miss

their Bottomless Lunches, where you have an hour and a half to

enjoy brunch pies with unlimited Prosecco or cocktails.

However you choose to spend your time in Exeter, the city is

ready to welcome you with open arms, and there are plenty of green

and open outdoor spaces, making it is easy to explore safely. From

the city’s rich history to the many beautiful cycle trails and miles of

meandering waterways, whether on bike, foot, kayak or ferry there’s

a surprise waiting at every turn.

Pictured below: Jessica parks and locks her electric bike

from a code sent through the app; Double Locks

18th-century inn with outdoor seats by the canal locks


We soon reached the Double Locks

traditional country pub located on the

banks of the 16th century Ship Canal.

You can’t beat the location!


Jessica was a guest of Visit Exeter and Hotel du Vin

visitexeter.com

90 BritishTravelJournal.com


WIN

FOODIE BREAK

Escape to the City

STAYING IN A LUXURY HOTEL IN EXETER,

EATING OUT AT HARRY’S AND ROCKFISH!

EXETER IS ENJOYING A FOOD

and drink revolution with more and

more great eating establishments

and international menus.

There are cafés and teashops in charming

historic buildings, bistros with great views,

and independent restaurants serving

top quality Devon produce.

Head to Princesshay or Queen St Dining

for plenty of choice of eateries serving

international cuisines. If you’re eating

on the go, there are delicatessens and

markets offering seasonal local food –

pick up a delicious pie or pasty from the

Exeter Farmers Market every Thursday, or

experience the vibrant colours and flavours

of the Guildhall Street Food Market every

weekend and the regular Exeter Street Food

Night Markets on the quayside.

There are also popular annual markets and

foodie events in the city, such as the annual

Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink.

Many of Exeter’s pubs have been serving

visitors and locals for hundreds of years

– you can taste real ales and fine wines in

the historic pubs around the Cathedral

Yard and High Street, reputed to have once

been frequented by Sir Francis Drake and

Charles Dickens. There are also smart wine

bars in the city, nestled among independent

boutiques. Topsham, just four miles from

Exeter, also is a must for food lovers.

From award-winning Portuguese bakers

to fish restaurants and a barbeque

smokehouse, there’s food for every

occasion, and to celebrate we are offering

you the chance to win a two-night stay to

experience the delights yourself.

COMPETITION

WIN A FOODIE

BREAK TO EXETER

Indulge yourself at some of Exeter’s

most renowned restaurants,

with this fantastic foodie break...

Experience Exeter’s 2,000 years

of history, beautiful quayside, and

top eateries serving the best of

Devon’s food and drink.

THE PRIZE INCLUDES

• A two-night stay with breakfast

at the Jury’s Inn Exeter

• Lunch or dinner at the wonderful

Harry’s Restaurant

• Lunch or dinner at seafood

restaurant Rockfish, Exeter

HOW TO ENTER

visitexeter.com/

foodiebreak

BritishTravelJournal.com 91


EDINBURGH'S NEW...

FOOD

AND DRINK

experiences

Words | Karyn Noble

92 BritishTravelJournal.com


Scotland’s capital has come to

life after months of pandemic

hibernation, and the delicious news

for visitors is that there are some

brand new dining and drinking

establishments to welcome them.

Karyn Noble is just back from

Edinburgh with the inside scoop for

your next getaway...

EDINBURGH’S FOOD

SCENE has been

inspirational to watch

over the past decade

– a flurry of independent

restaurants with boundarypushing

chefs showcasing

Scotland’s finest home-grown

produce. It’s an easily walkable

capital city, and diving down

into quirky whisky dens or up

to cosy rooftops to admire the

dramatic spires of its Old Town

makes for memorable barhopping

too. The buzz around

some of its new openings

should not be underestimated.

Book well in advance to secure

these hot spots for your next

long weekend away.

Superico Bar and Lounge

Open since 22 July 2021, the

180-seater Superico Bar and

Lounge has been wowing

Edinburgh’s New Town with

its bold Latin-Americaninfluenced

flavours and

Art Deco design (superico.

com/#99). Settling into a

bright yellow booth, it’s not

difficult to see why it’s been

shortlisted for an award in the

Bar, Club & Lounge category

at the Hospitality Design

Awards (held in New York in

September 2021). A massive

light feature, not unlike a

gleaming full moon, dangles

over the entrance, and the

room practically glows with a

vibrant sleekness.

à

BritishTravelJournal.com 93


Pictured top left then clockwise: Superico Bar

and Lounge; Casablanca Cocktail Club's

Gold-leaf Wagyu burger and Sushi Maki Crab

Indulge in house-pressed chips

(70 fine layers of potato, no

less!) with chipotle crema or

dulce de leche doughnuts

while sipping on a Smoked

Peach Fizz (Chivas Regal

Mizunara, Del Maguey

Mezcal, Creme de Peche, Earl

Grey tea, lemon and soda) or

a freezer-fresh Padrón Martini

from a drinks list that spans

cocktails, spritzes and frappés

(all designed by Edinburgh

mixologist Mike Lynch), as well

as a tidy collection of spirits

and liqueurs, alongside nonalcoholic

offerings.

Casablanca Cocktail Club

It might sound like a drinking

destination, but Casablanca

Cocktail Club

(casablancacocktailclub.com)

is actually the name of the new

restaurant for Edinburgh’s

oh-so-extravagant

House of Gods Hotel

(houseofgodshotel.com).

Since it opened in September

2019, the hotel quickly became

known for its lavish Orient-

Express style rooms and the

‘Treat Me Like I’m Famous’

experience (press a button

to summon your butler for

cocktails, midnight milk-andcookies,

Prosecco, a breakfast

hamper with Mimosas).

Casablanca Cocktail Club

is, unsurprisingly, not at all

restrained. “It’s as decadent

and opulent as House of

Gods is,” says Co-Owner and

Director Mike Baxter, from

a Gucci-wallpapered room

with a gold mirror ball on the

ceiling. “Everything we do is

the extreme of fantasy. I love

this hedonistic idea of you

come for dinner but end up

dancing on the tables.”

Open since 16 September

2021, the restaurant serves

40 covers (think: thrones for

chairs) with bar space for 40

guests, as well as a private

dining area for up to 16 people.

From head chef Andrew Logie

(formerly of Edinburgh’s Galvin

Brasserie de Luxe) expect such

indulgences as gold-leaf Wagyu

burgers served on Versace plates,

cheese-and-truffle pizzas, as well

as scallops-stuffed chicken wings

marinated in Dom Perignon.

Rooftop 51

It doesn’t get more meta than

looking at a slide of a cocktail

called ‘Edinburgh’ through

a retro Viewfinder, ordering

it, then sipping on it from a

rooftop bar while looking at

Edinburgh Castle (instagram.

com/rooftop). This is Rooftop

51, where you’ll find a whole new

viewing perspective atop the

Moxy Hotel in Fountainbridge

(marriott.co.uk): new brewerythemed

accommodation on the

western side of the city. “Most

visitors haven’t seen this side of

Edinburgh before,” says Craig

Aitchison, Assistant Captain at

94 BritishTravelJournal.com


Pictured left to right: Rico’s Ristorante; Darnley’s

Gin Experience; the new St James Quarter

The Moxy, as he brings some

‘Wee Plates’ from the tapas

menu (spanning everything

from Baked Mac n Cheese Bites

to a Vanilla & Toffee Honey

Pot). While the bar (open since

May 2021) is named after

the 51 different types of beer

available (the hotel is on the

former Fountainbridge Brewery

site, after all), there’s also eight

internationally themed cocktails

and a short wine list. If the

tartan blankets on the rooftop

terrace aren’t enough protection

against the chill, you can bring

your drinks indoors to the inhouse

cinema where there’s the

occasional theme night (James

Bond was a recent favourite)

and popcorn in a variety of

wacky flavours.

Rico’s Ristorante

An incredibly elegant addition

to Edinburgh’s restaurant lineup,

Rico’s is where modern

Italy meets top Scottish

produce in a sexy 56-cover

space (ricosristorante.

co.uk). Consider freshly made

pappardelle with a ragù of

organic rose veal (from Peelham

farm in the Scottish Borders)

and generous shaves of black

truffle; or an exquisite risotto

with East coast crab, shellfish

bisque, chilli and coriander

from 25-year-old chef Stefano

Pieraccini. Open since 9 July

2021 and named after Stefano’s

grandfather (Enrico Pieraccini),

Rico’s has been extremely

popular with the Scots-Italian

locals, but there’s also a

dedicated space for 20 to sit for

a drink (there are three different

types of Negronis, just saying)

without any obligation to dine,

though you may find the genuine

warmth from the staff will tempt

you to linger over Mortadella

Gnocco Fritto or 24 Month

Proscuitto San Daniele from the

Bar Menu.

If the main venue in

Edinburgh’s New Town is fully

booked during your visit, you

can also sample their pasta from

a dedicated stand at Bonnie &

Wild Marketplace in the new St

James Quarter.

Darnley’s Gin Experience

If you’ve always dreamt of

making your own gin at a tutored

tasting session, then this is the

place to do it. Darnley’s Gin have

ventured out of their home in

Fife and opened a pop-up store

right in the centre of Edinburgh

in June 2021 (darnleysgin.com/

pages/gin-experience). Over the

course of 90 minutes, you’ll be

guided through the history of

their distillery while also tasting

three of their delicious gins.

You’ll then be presented with

all manner of botanicals to sniff

and select, as well as guidance

notes and a flavour wheel, to

create your own gin to take home

(along with a Darnley’s blend).

If you’re impressed by your own

recipe, Darnley’s will even keep

your bespoke blend on file and

96 BritishTravelJournal.com


you can order bottles anytime. But if

this all sounds like too much work, you

can just order a G&T at the bar and

sip it from the terrace outside. While it

looks like a permanent store, the Gin

Experience is in place until the end

of March 2022 at this stage, though

popularity may mean it becomes an

Edinburgh fixture. Let’s hope!

Cold Town Brewery Tours

If you fancy castle views while learning

more about craft beer, then Cold

Town Brewery more than delivers

(coldtownhouse.co.uk/cold-townbrewery-tours).

Since July 2021, small

guided tours have started at their

popular microbrewery. Over the

course of an hour, you can learn more

about the tank-to-tap process from

one of the brewers, taste four of the

range then decide on your favourite

(whether that be a Cold Town Lager,

a juicy New England IPA, or seasonal

brews, such as the Pornstar Martini

Ale or the Chocolate Cake Stout).

Then settle in with your pint and a

stone-baked Neapolitan pizza either

on the roof terrace, the Grassmarket

outdoor area, the Pizza & Prosecco

Floor or within the Brewhouse; either

way, it’s highly likely your views

will be pleasingly turret-topped

and medieval. And if you can’t see

Edinburgh castle and want to remind

yourself that you’re in Scotland, order

the Holyrood pizza, which has a

peppercorn sauce base, crispy bacon,

fior de latte, Mull Cheddar…and yes,

Chieftain haggis.

ST JAMES QUARTER

Don’t miss this extraordinary £1

billion development in the centre

of Edinburgh, one of the largest

regeneration projects in the UK.

Sixteen years in the making, and

after five years of construction, the

first phase of the St James Quarter

opened to the public on 24 June

2021 (stjamesquarter.com). Much

more than a multi-level shopping

galleria (it even has its own tartan,

not to mention a W Hotel opening

in 2022), it offers a broad range of

dining experiences.

“Level 1 is family favourites,”

says Rochelle Weir, Brand and

Marketing Director for St James

Quarter. “We have (an area

known as) Leith St Eats; in there

we have Five Guys, Tortilla, and

Maki & Ramen, which is a local

business. Level 2 is high street

and fashion brands. Level 3 you

have aspirational brands and high

end names… Level 4 is more of

a night-time economy: you can

shop until 8 o’clock, come here

and eat and drink. We’ve got The

Alchemist coming on in autumn,

which is a cocktail bar with

different food offerings. And also

Bonnie & Wild. We should have

around 30 restaurants and bars.”

It would be easy enough to

meet all your gourmet needs

in Bonnie & Wild Marketplace

alone (bonnieandwildmarket.

com). It’s no mere food court,

though it’s certainly possible to

perch at a table (there’s space

for 700 diners) and order coffee,

cakes, pasta and pizza. This

marketplace features some

unique independent Scottish

traders in their first-ever stalls

(CHIX) alongside bigger names

(Masterchef winner Gary

Maclean’s first solo venture).

There’s MacDuff’s butchers for

all your take-away meat needs,

a bottle shop, a private events

space, a demo kitchen, a living

moss wall, photos from the

Scottish Landscape Photographer

of the Year Awards…don’t be

surprised to see a queue to get in.

BritishTravelJournal.com 97


BRITISH TRAVEL JOURNAL CROSSWORD 10

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

AN ETTINGER CAPRA PASSPORT COVER &

LUGGAGE TAG WORTH £165 (AVAILABLE FROM

ETTINGER.CO.UK) WILL BE SENT TO THE THE

FIRST CORRECT ENTRANT RECEIVED THIS ISSUE!

HOW TO ENTER

SIMPLY SEND YOUR COMPLETED CROSSWORD (OR THE

ANSWERS) AND YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS, BY POST TO

BRITISH TRAVEL JOURNAL, UNIT 6, BASEPOINT, ANDERSONS

ROAD, SOUTHAMPTON, SO14 5FE, OR EMAIL THE ANSWERS TO

CROSSWORD@BRITISHTRAVELJOURNAL.COM

BOOKSHELF

We're reading...

ACROSS

1 Home to the Arms Park stadium (7)

5 --- Manor Garden, known for

lavender (7)

9 Noel Coward's --- Spirit (6)

10 Wild and wet activity (8)

11 Company interested in cars and

stars (8)

12 Cathedral and University city (6)

13 Jane Austen's last complete novel

(10)

16 "G.I. Jane" star --- Moore (4)

17 Exercise for the flexible (4)

19 Airport vehicle (7,3)

21 In the second-best category (5,1)

23 Thynne home and safari park (8)

25 Dominant part of the brain (8)

26 City of dreaming spires (6)

27 London theatre (7)

28 Kind of manner (7)

DOWN

2 Throughout history (3-4)

3 Type of treat (5)

4 Lives off others (9)

6 Like some college walls (5)

7 "The other place", to denizens of

26 Across (9)

8 Record deck part (4,3)

10 Many a Saudi (5,6)

14 Cornish beer and clay town

(2,7)

15 Bottom line, after tax and outgoings

(3,6)

18 Peanut or castor bean, for

example (7)

20 Not broadcast (7)

22 Devon hotel island (5)

24 Elevates (5)

Answers will be printed in the Spring 2022 Issue out 4 September

Worlds in Shadow: Patrick tells the stories of sunken land off the coast of

the Isle of Man where ‘sailors assert that they frequently hear cattle lowing,

dogs barking, beneath the waves’, Bloomsbury, £16.99 | The Book Lover’s

Bucket List: A Tour of Great British Literature by Caroline Taggart, British

Library, £16.99 | The Way of the Tortoise: Matt Little, part of the team

that saw Andy Murray win Olympic gold, shares his philosophy on exactly

why taking it slow and steady is the best way to approach things, O’Mara

Books, £14.99 | Hand Luggage Only: Travel guide to Great Britain from

the guys behind award-winning blog of the same name, Hardie Grant, £20

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD 09 | SUMMER 2021

ACROSS: 9 Ocean view 10 Soham 11 Balsa 12 MacGregor 13 Hackfall

14 Annoys 15 Upton-upon-Severn 19 Europe 20 Dwindled 23 In a flurry

25 Sikhs 27 Lento 28 Prurience DOWN: 1 AONB 2 Belloc 3 In half 4 Film clip

5 IWSC 6 Estrange 7 The Globe 8 Imprisoned 13 Hauteville 16 Terrains

17 Napoleon 18 No Way Out 21 Nessie 22 Liking 24 RSPB 26 Seep

98 BritishTravelJournal.com


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