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Entertainment Competition

Win a Pair of Cineworld Unlimited Passes

Win a Pair of Cineworld Unlimited Passes

This month is offering one lucky winner the chance to win a Pair of Cineworld Unlimited Passes so that you can enjoy the cinema and see your favourite films.

Complete a short online survey and voice your valuable opinions and you could also win some great prizes for participating. is an online service dedicated to gathering consumer opinions. Here you can enter a competition by providing your views and opinions in the UK's largest consumer opinion poll and help shape the future of British industry and the products and services that it provides to UK consumers.

In exchange for few minutes of your time, will enter you into one of their prize draws where you can win a variety of prizes from new cars and holidays to beauty products and gadgets! If that's not enough, they will also give you an instant reward of a £5 online voucher for completing the survey.

  To Enter the Competition

For your chance to win just click on the words Enter Now

Win a Pair of Cineworld Unlimited Passes

This will take you to a survey form. Please fill it in with your answers, and your full name and address.

This competition is run by Please read the Terms & Conditions at the bottom of the entry page thoroughly before entering the competition.

Please note: this prize is provided by

      Summer Fun
       at Blists Hill

     Victorian Town

Members of the Telford and Ironbridge Meccano Society will bring their creations to Blists Hill Victorian Town

Join the residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge in August as they host a great variety of traditional activities and events for all the family. Members of the Telford and Ironbridge Meccano Society (TIMS) will be bringing their magnificent metal creations to Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August.

Victorian inventiveness will be celebrated with all manner of mechanical marvels, including clocks, cranes, bridges and working steam engines. Much of the technology on show is taken from the 19th century, with clockwork and hand-cranked amusements to delight all ages.

Meccano was the last great Victorian invention, patented by Frank Hornby in 1901, at the end of Victoria’s reign. Originally marketed as Mechanics Made Easy, the Meccano system continues to thrive. Colours, materials and factories may have changed, but the dimensions and chunky screw threads are still Victorian.

Harold Grice with a Steam Engine at Blists Hill 'In Steam' weekend

Discover how the Victorians harnessed steam to power their engines and other machines over the weekend of 20th and 21st August, when Blists Hill Victorian Town will be ‘In Steam’. The outdoor museum in Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge will be host to an eclectic collection of steam powered machines, all of which will be in their full working splendour.

The town’s working replica of Trevithick’s 1802 Coalbrookdale locomotive will be running; the original is believed to be the world’s first steam locomotive. Other Museum engines in steam will include ‘Billy’ our fantastic 1903 Wallis & Steevens steam roller, the Merry Weather fire pump and the Fielding Oil engine.

Excitingly, a huge ploughing engine called ‘The Chief’ will be putting in an appearance over the weekend before commencing a road-run from Blists Hill Victorian Town to Onslow Park for the County Steam Show. There will be a variety of visiting large scale steam engines around the Town throughout the weekend.

The residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town will also be celebrating a traditional gypsy wedding during the summer Bank holiday weekend of 27th – 29th August

The residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town will also be celebrating a traditional gypsy wedding during the summer Bank holiday weekend of 27th – 29th August. See the elaborate gypsy wagons on The Green, watch the recreated ceremony at 2.30pm each day and then join in the fun and merriment.

Engagements and marriages are great and joyous events for gypsies, signifying the extension and continuation of the family. Traditions and customs may vary such as jumping over a broom, but generally the ceremony is quite simple with the joining of hands and the breaking of bread over the bridal couple. In times past gypsy girls might have married as young as 12 or 15 with many family inter-marriages taking place; the groom would take the bride’s family name, unless he was the clan’s headman.

Other activities throughout the weekend include candle dipping workshops in the Goods Shed, which use Victorian techniques to make multi-coloured candles to take home; a lesson in the school house at 12noon and a ride on the horse-drawn bus between 1.30pm and 3pm. There’s also a sing-a-long in the New Inn at lunchtime time and during the afternoon.

Open 10am to 5pm Blists Hill is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply).

Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.

For further information about Ironbridge visit

Or call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or

       New Perfume
   Garden Opens at
   the Eden Project

Biome Supervisor Catherine Cutler in The Perfume Garden at The Eden Project

The intense scents of summer are welcoming visitors to the Eden Project with the opening of a new Perfume Garden.

Inspired by Moorish gardens of old, the exquisite plot sits in a sunny spot within Eden’s Mediterranean Biome and will be the source of heady aromas all through the seasons. It is one of the planting projects marking the 15th year since Eden fully opened.

The garden has been laid in a geometrically-shaped courtyard near the entrance to the Biome. It features a pathway through a terracotta-tiled floor with a giant urn as a centrepiece and a range of blossoming fragrant potted herbs and plants for visitors to touch and smell as they walk through it.

There is a seat recessed into a white-washed wall – a great place to sit back, linger and enjoy the surrounding cocktail of fragrances.

Biome Supervisor Catherine Cutler, who led the planting team says, “The new Perfume Garden is an intoxicating garden within a garden.

“At any one time there are many scented plants within the wider Biome. We have created an area where the aromatic experience is even more intense and exciting to the senses.”

Biome Supervisor Catherine Cutler in The Perfume Garden at The Eden Project

Catherine says that the fragrances will change with the seasons, with different plants and flowers blooming through the year to create a series of beautiful bouquets.

“There will be a good range of base, mid and top notes with jonquil and parma violets budding in spring, saffron in autumn and lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus that can be enjoyed all year round,” she explains.

Right now summer scents are predominant. Visitors are enjoying a mix of that includes lily (heady, very recognisable), Citrus 'Bouquet de Fleurs' – a sour orange tree renowned for the scent of its flowers - and ever-popular rose and pelargonium.

The garden also features the stories of some of the best-loved scented plants as well as the plants themselves.

There is caraway, whose dried seeds yield a warm, sweet, spicy essential oil. The intense oil can only be used in small quantities in perfumery, and may be used to complement jasmine fragrance.

Spanish broom has been prized as a perfume plant since the times of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Its essence is a thick, dark brown liquid with a sweet, rosy scent mixed with a green hay-like scent. It is claimed that the camphor-rich essential oil of Spanish sage can improve mood and mental abilities.

The oil of its fellow herb rosemary has a strong, fresh aroma. It can be an ingredient of colognes but because its distinctive scent is so strongly linked to food and cooking, it needs to be used with care in perfumery.

The scent of pinks is reminiscent of childhood, encouraging happy, carefree feelings when used in aromatherapy. The essential oil has a rich, clove like scent and is most frequently used in masculine fragrances.

Sweet Osmanthus flower fragrance is said to have the wonderful effect of increasing happiness. In its native China it is highly regarded, and regularly grown for its scented flowers which are added to teas. The flowers produce a thick liquid with beautiful yet complex fruity, honey notes.

Intensely heavily scented flowers make Cape jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides) a famed perfume plant. Although gardenia perfumes were popular in the 1930s they dropped out of fashion. They are making a comeback - with a few recent contemporary introductions including the rich, sweet, floral scent.

Of the array of sweet, spicy, mellow and sharp scents to choose from, Catherine's all-time favourite scented plant is lemon verbena. She loves the refined, tangy yet sweet, pungent aroma, “great for making a refreshing yet calming cuppa.” Moorish gardens of old are long rectangular gardens with symmetry and structure at their heart. They are often situated in courtyards so that the plants are protected from the sun. Perfumed plants in these old gardens included roses, jasmine and lilies.

For more information about The Eden Project click on

       RHS Garden
 Holidays Launches
   New Programme

The Walled Kitchen Garden at Raveningham Hall in Norfolk

RHS Garden Holidays, the dedicated travel division of the Royal Horticultural Society, has today launched its brand new programme of holidays for 2017/8.

Featuring a total of 35 horticulture-themed holidays around the UK, Europe and worldwide, there are some fantastic new itineraries such as Marrakech and Flowers of the Atlas, visiting some of the exciting new gardens in Morocco including that of Tom Stuart-Smith; Oregon – In the Footsteps of David Douglas holiday, following the route of this famous Scots botanist and Burle Marx Gardens of Rio & Brazil's Natural Wonders which includes exclusive visits to some of the private gardens designed by this celebrated Brazilian landscape architect.

Closer to home are some unique new holidays such as The New RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and Private Gardens of Derbyshire where guests will be amongst the first to visit this exciting new RHS Flower Show; Private Gardens of East Anglia, which includes visits to a number of gardens not usually open to the public such as that of RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon and Private Gardens of Guernsey and Sark where highlights include a personal tour of the Guernsey Clematis Nursery by owner Raymond Evison OBE, VMH – widely recognised as one of the country's leading authorities on this popular plant, as well as a number of private gardens.

The holidays have been created using the expertise of a variety of RHS staff, from curators, horticulturists and garden writers to the Advisory team and committee members. Wherever possible, the holidays offer exclusive access, private openings and a welcome from the garden owner or curator. They are operated in partnership with gardening holidays experts Brightwater Holidays. All holidays are led by an experienced tour manager, and in addition, on certain departures, there will be an RHS host with expert horticultural knowledge. These include Dr Tim Upson, RHS Director of Horticulture, who will host the Marrakech holiday; Garden Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, who will host Villas & Gardens of the Italian Lakes and former RHS Garden Rosemoor and Chelsea Physic Garden Curator Chris Bailes, who will host the Architecture and Gardens of Andalucia holiday.

Countries featured in the brochure are France, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, America, Chile, Brazil, Sri Lanka, China and Japan. There are also holidays to Guernsey and Sark, all around England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. From the elegant gardens of Florence and Tuscany to the fabulous wildflowers in the South African spring, and from the beautiful gardens of the British Isles, including the RHS Gardens at Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor, to the exciting new gardens in Morocco, there is plenty of choice. Some of the highlights are:

Marrakech and Flowers of the Atlas

Marrakech and Flowers of the Atlas

Marrakech, best known for its riads and lively medina, is also home to some superb new gardens as well as the established classics. This 6 day holiday is based at the beautiful Jnane Tamsa in the Palmeraie, the private garden of ethnobotanist Gary Martin and his wife Meryanne Loum-Martin. It provides a peaceful base surrounded by aromatic herb gardens, olive groves and date palms. Gary, who has coordinated botanical and horticultural initiatives in Morocco for over 15 years, has helped put together an itinerary which draws out the best of the country.

Highlights include the new Le Jardin Secret, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, and the Andre Heller garden. There are also visits to Majorelle, the former home and garden of the French painter Jacques Majorelle, renovated by the late Yves Saint Laurent; the abandoned gardens of the 16th century Badi Palace; and the 19th century Bahia Palace. The formal gardens are complemented by a day in the High Atlas Mountains to explore Moroccan flora and important plant areas and there is also a visit to an inspirational charitable horticultural project which supports girls and young women from the Amazigh villages.

Oregon – In the Footsteps of David Douglas

The Douglas Fir is perhaps one of the best known trees in the British Isles. It was brought to the UK by Scots botanist and 'plant seeker' David Douglas, who was sent by the RHS on a plant hunting expedition to the Pacific Northwest in the 1820s which led to the introduction of several notable species and transformed the appearance of the British landscape. This 13 day holiday follows in his footsteps, starting in Portland with visits to selected private gardens and the Grand Floral Parade, part of the Portland Rose Festival. It continues on the Pacific coast, travelling through the diverse landscape of Oregon, with visits to the Bob Straub State Park and in Darlingtonia State Park – home to the rare and carnivorous Darlingtonia californica. After a visit to 'Oregon's Secret Garden', and a trip into the mountains on the trail of the Sugar Pine, the holiday concludes in the unparalleled scenery of the Columbia River Gorge, where there are majestic examples of Douglas firs.

Private Gardens of Guernsey & Sark

Private Gardens of Guernsey & Sark

The island of Guernsey, just 20 miles off the coast of France, flourishes in the warmth of summer and is home to some wonderful private gardens. This 5 day holiday includes several private gardens in St Peter Port, as well as the public Candie Gardens, a Victorian gem. There are also visits to La Petite Vallée, with its range of traditional and exotic planting, botanising in the orchid meadows of the west coast and a visit to the inspiring garden at Guernsey Prison. A highlight of this tour is a visit to Guernsey Clematis Nursery, where owner Raymond Evison, winner of 28 Chelsea Gold Medals, will give an insight into his nursery and the development of new varieties of clematis. Finally, onto the tranquil, traffic-free island of Sark, for a visit to the wonderful garden of La Seigneurie and wildflower meadows.

The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and Gardens of Derbyshire

There could be few finer settings than Chatsworth House for the latest addition to the RHS flower show calendar, and guests on this holiday will be amongst the first to experience it. Set against the classic landscape shaped by Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton, the show aims to present the best in British design and innovation. By contrast, the holiday will also include visits to some of the region's classic gardens including Felley Priory, with its beautiful herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses and white garden; Hardwick Hall known for its woodland, an orchard and romantic rambling roses and Haddon Hall, which although an ancient residence, has had areas of the garden redesigned in the past few years.

For further information, please visit the website at

   Afternoon Tea at
   the Queens Arms

Afternoon Tea at The Queens Arms

Brimming with berries, Battenberg and bubbles, The Queens Arms' selection of afternoon teas are set to be the toast of Somerset as the award-winning pub serves up an irresistible combination of traditional British decadence and handpicked produce from its own kitchen garden and smallholding.

Whether enjoying a traditional Full Afternoon Tea, a Royal Treat Champagne Afternoon Tea or a G&TEA, served with gin and tonic, visitors can tuck into a triple-tiered tower that measures its ingredients in metres, not miles. From finger sandwiches filled with cured ham from the pub's smallholding or salad from its kitchen garden, to handpicked berries and scones baked onsite by the kitchen team, afternoon tea at The Queens Arms is a tasteful tribute to the Somerset countryside, served with lashings of Chantilly cream.

Afternoon tea is served daily at The Queens Arms from 3pm to 5:30pm and is available from £12.50 per person. A Royal Treat Champagne Afternoon Tea, served with a glass of Taittinger Champagne, costs £19.95 per person, and a G&TEA, served with Sipsmith Gin and Fever Tree tonic, costs £19.00 per person.

For more information about The Queens Arms visit

News & Book Reviews

River Cottage
Music Festival

Put on your dancing wellies for the River Cottage Music Festival

Pull on your dancing wellies – it’s the first ever River Cottage Music Festival! River Cottage are thrilled to be making some noise about their first ever boutique, family-friendly music festival, right here on the farm at River Cottage HQ.

On 17th-18th September 2016, the farm will be buzzing with live music from some of the best known talent in the UK as well as a host of local bands which are sure to get you dancing in the fields. With fingers clicking and toes tapping you will be immersed in a symphony of song set in the beautiful surroundings of the Devon/Dorset countryside which has been the home of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s HQ for the last 10 years.

Wood carving at The River Cottage Music Festival

The exciting line up is led by young Brit band Hunter and The Bear who, having previously shared a stage with Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Simple Minds, are making a big noise on the rock scene. They're currently recording their debut album and touring extensively in the UK and Europe. Also headlining throughout the weekend are the harmony-driven husband and wife duo The Gravity Drive who’s debut album has been dubbed ‘mighty and fabulous’ by Radio 2’s Janice Long and ‘excellent’ according to Radio 2’s Bob Harris.

You’ll also be entertained by The Fleas - fresh from their In Session with Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2 - a Brit-based five-piece with a trunk full of songs mashing together vintage influences with fresh grooves to create a sound that's all their own. The beautiful singer songwriters Sadie Horler and Jaz Gosling from The Voice will also be here to serenade away the afternoon.

Jaz Gosling from The Voice

              Jaz Gosling from The Voice

To make sure we keep hitting all the right notes, in between all that dancing you’ll be able to pick up Devonshire treasures in our market area, marvel at a horse and falconry show, watch demonstrations from local craftspeople, find balance in a yoga workshop, make your own piece of bespoke jewellery, set your inner hippie free with a beautiful fresh flower crown and chill in the drinks tent with local beer, cider and botanical cocktails. Plus plenty of delicious food to fuel the fun – naturally.

River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers to make sure no-one goes hungry while enjoying the music. And if you prefer a proper sit down meal there will be hearty festival feasts in the farmhouse.

River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers to make sure no-one goes hungry while enjoying the music

For the little ones it will be a weekend of daring and discovery, from performing their very own puppet shows, building their own scrap instrument with Swedish band SKROT to mastering spectacular skills with Jitterbug circus in the baby big top. So for once, parents won’t be the ones doing the juggling...

Book a luxury bell tent in the Camping Village from Friday 16th – Monday 19th September and camp onsite, in style, for the whole weekend of the River Cottage Festival 2016! You’ll have everything you need for a fun, hassle-free weekend, allowing you to make the most of your time on the UK’s most famous farm. Really, what more could you ask for?

The River Cottage Festival will be a weekend of brilliant music, the finest local fare and otherworldly fun in Devon’s beautiful Axe Valley

The River Cottage Festival will be a weekend of brilliant music, the finest local fare and otherworldly fun in Devon’s beautiful Axe Valley. Dates are from 17th and 18th September 2016

Day tickets are: £35 adults, £10 children under 12 years (babies under 2 years go free)

Weekend tickets are: £60 adults, £20 children

For more details about The River Cottage Festival visit 


Or call: 01297 630 300

The New Forest Launches its First Food & Drink Festival

The New Forest Launches its First Food & Drink Festival

The New Forest is to hold its first ever Food & Drink Festival this autumn from October 31st to November 6th 2016.

The New Forest Food & Drink Festival will be a week-long celebration with culinary events, produce-tasting, featured dishes and activities for every foodie - even the littlest ones. Menus will feature traditional forest foods and more contemporary additions such as award winning charcuterie, not to mention stunning fish and seafood from the forest’s 40 miles of coastline. Some of the New Forest produce is little short of unique – where else can you eat true pannage pork from the forest’s famous free-roaming, acorn-eating pigs?

The Forest is a foodie paradise with world class hotels sitting alongside country inns. Until now it’s been one of the UK’s best-kept foodie secrets, too. But that’s about to change…

The Forest is a foodie paradise with world class hotels sitting alongside country inns

The first New Forest Food and Drink Festival will build on the success of the New Forest Marque – indicator of quality local produce – and celebrate its rich culinary heritage, the variety of food from its natural larder, the drinks created by artisan brewers and wine-makers and the producers, chefs and retailers who create and sell it all.

It will become a must-visit destination on Britain’s acclaimed food fest trail. The Festival itself has a unique framework which has been created to ensure the success of the event – anchored by the committed support of the leading Forest restaurants. Names such as Chewton Glen, Lime Wood, Cambium, the Michelin-starred Montagu Arms and the newly launched Burley Manor.

But involvement from as many Forest businesses as possible is at the heart of the Festival so the itinerary will evolve over the coming months as pubs, market stalls, artisan producers, bakeries, farmers and other food enthusiasts announce their plans.

Chair of the New Forest Food & Drink Festival 2016 Michaela Lisle explains, “The New Forest is one of the most exciting food destinations in the British Isles. Our team of chefs, restaurateurs and producers are all very excited about this celebration of our sensational food – especially in the autumn against the rich canvas of the Forest and its riot of reds and golds.”

So what’s on the Menu?

The menu includes everything from pannage pig and glorious game to the very English afternoon tea and the best of beer, wine, cider and juices

Everything! From pannage pig and glorious game to the very English afternoon tea and the best of beer, wine, cider and juices.

There are 15 themes - each will have its own Main Course or headline event – a special tasting menu perhaps, or a celebrity chef showcase. Every theme, too, will have what we’re calling Sensational Sides; more eclectic events and activities, from celebration menus to sausage-making demonstrations or talks from leading chefs and chocolatier classes.

Then there will be a celebration of passionate producers – a showcase of farmers and producers and the food and drink they create for the Forest’s restaurants, shops and market places.

Enjoy delicious win at the New Forest Food & Drink Festival

Finally, there will be two cross-forest events. The first takes place on Wednesday November 2nd and focuses on Learning and Living in the New Forest with its unique and historic management and culture. The second cross-forest event takes place on Sunday November 6th and will be the highlight of the celebrations, a New Forest Food Skills, Tastes and Produce Fair. Themes ensure there’s something for everyone.

Tastes of the Forest

The Forest’s tastes are an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary, earthy and delicate, sweet and savoury. Organisers hope that among this vast array of delicious choices visitors will discover a whole new, New Forest favourite.

The Sensational Pannage Pig

Enjoy delicious pie at the New Forest Food & Drink Festival

Pannage is the ancient custom of releasing domestic pigs into a forest so they can feast on beechmast, acorns and chestnuts. In ancient times this took place throughout England, with mention in the Domesday Book. But now the New Forest is understood to be the last remaining place in the British Isles which still practices pannaging.

The New Forest Forager

The massive ancient woodlands of the New Forest are home to the most delicious wild mushrooms and toadstools – find out from one of our best-known foragers what he gets up to and how he cooks his finds when he gets into the kitchen.

Forest Fish & Fruits of Our Sea

The New Forest is one of the few National Parks which can boast both coast and countryside to explore and enjoy. Its stunning but little-known, 40-mile coastline, stretching from Calshot at its eastern end, to Christchurch in the west, is where some of the best British seafood and fish are landed after being sustainably caught.

Other New Forest Food & Drink Festival themes include: Heritage, Artisan and Charcuterie; New Forest Breakfasts and Brunch; Sizzling Steaks and Perfect Pies; Glorious Game and Roaring Fires; The Vegetarian Forest Feast; The Very English Afternoon Tea; The Great Forest Banger; Sip and Savour; Cheese and the Forest Larder. For the kids, Our future Foodies; and Sweet Forest Somethings.

Enjoy afternoon tea at the New Forest Food & Drink Festival

Information about the Festival activities as well as special accommodation offers which will be available across the New Forest can be found at as well as on social media.

The New Forest Food & Drink Festival is sponsored by local businesses, Donaldson Ross & Co, Eric Robinson solicitors and Penyards Country Properties.

For more information please visit the website at  


 Fun in the Sun at Borde Hill Garden

Fun in the sun at Borde Hill Garden

With the long summer holidays looming, parents and grandparents will be delighted to know that a variety of magical entertainment for both children and adults is on hand at Borde Hill Garden.

On different days of the week, activities for children include a petting zoo, Sublime Science and entertainment with clown and Tomfoolery. If they want to let off steam, the adventure playground features a zip wire, balance beams, swings, slides and climbing frames. There are also outdoor games and plenty of space in the park for ball games and kite flying. If they fancy a few quiet minutes, the children’s Sculpture Quiz will keep them amused.

Borde Hill’s popular Musical Sundays return every Sunday in August from 1-3pm. A variety of musicians will play the cello, viola or harp, performing everything from classical to jazz music, while on other weekends a whole band will perform. The sessions will take place on the South Lawn with the Elizabethan mansion house as a backdrop. The Little Ritz Vintage Tea Café will be serving refreshments and guests are also invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the music with their family and friends.

Entertainment for all the family includes woodland walks, which are a great opportunity to learn more about nature. From the award-winning flora in the Gardens to the numerous species of birds and animals that live in the peaceful woodland areas, there is something for all ages to discover.

August is also a great time to explore the Garden while its herbaceous borders and gold standard roses are in full bloom. The Paradise Walk has been replanted with salvias, geraniums and asters to provide late summer colour, and the tranquil Italian Garden is an August delight with its terracotta pots full of agapanthus and pelargoniums.

Borde Hill Garden is English Heritage Listed Grade II and set in 200 acres of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with spectacular vistas across the Ouse Valley Viaduct. The Garden was created in 1890s by the current owner’s great grandfather and plant expedition sponsor, Colonel Stephenson R Clarke. Thanks to his foresight and hard work, this impressive estate boasts a botanically rich and nationally important collection of trees and shrubs; and is highly regarded as one of England’s ‘great gardens’. The numerous exotic trees, ponds, old potting sheds, Italian and Rose Gardens all provide the ideal setting for exhibiting art.

Café Elvira beckons with hearty breakfasts, morning coffee, delicious home cooked lunches and Sussex cream teas at Little Ritz Vintage Tea in the garden. For a special treat, visitors can dine at award-winning restaurant Jeremy’s. The Green Tree Gallery offers a beautiful and contemporary selection of affordable arts and crafts.

Entry (which includes any activities and the adventure playground), is £8.20 per adult (£9.02 with Gift Aid), £7.80 concession (£8.58 with Gift Aid) and £5.50 per child (£6.05 with Gift Aid). A Family Day Ticket is £23.00 (2+2) or £26.50 (2+3). To gain the most from this Great Sussex Garden all year round, visitors can become a Friend of Borde Hill Garden.

For more information click on


Afternoon Tea at Blenheim Palace

Afternoon Tea at Blenheim Palace

“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

Enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea in the Orangery Restaurant at Blenheim Palace this summer. Overlooking the Duke of Marlborough's private Italian Garden the Orangery Restaurant is the perfect setting for a decadent treat.

Choose from the 'Marlborough Champagne Afternoon Tea', the 'Orangery Celebration Tea with Bubbles' and the classic 'Blenheim Palace Traditional Afternoon Tea', all of which are made by Head Chef Billy Bush and his team. With many ingredients produced on Blenheim Palace's estate, including lavender and fresh seasonal produce, the taste is unique to the Palace.

Enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea in the Orangery Restaurant at Blenheim Palace

Enjoy with a glass of Searcys Cuvee Brut NV Champagne, as well as unlimited tea and coffee to accompany the tiered display.

After Afternoon Tea take the 'Capability' Brown viewpoints trail to explore the 12 Brownian views around the 2,000 acre landscaped Parkland or explore inside the Palace with one of the new Upstairs, Downstairs or Private Apartments tours.

Booking is necessary for Afternoon Tea and a Palace, Park and Gardens tickets is required.

Blenheim Palace is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England

Annual Pass - Buy One Day and Get 12 Months Free

The Orangerie at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace offers an amazing annual pass ticket deal. When you buy a single day ticket to the Palace, Park and Gardens, you can convert it into an annual pass for free and gain unlimited entry for 12 months.

Annual Pass Privilege Card - 15% discount on dining and shopping

Blenheim Palace is offering a special Privilege Card upgrade option with the Annual Pass. For an extra £5 you can receive a 15% discount in all Blenheim Palace Shops and Cafés!

For more information about Blenheim Palace click on 

Live Every Minute
in Yorkshire

Live Every Minute in Yorkshire

A new website called features activities, adventures and things to do in Yorkshire.

Live Every Minute has been developed by a Yorkshire-based travel company and features the largest dedicated collection of adventures and outdoor activities in a county that is synonymous with the great outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, wakeboarding, motorised trike tours, sky-diving, racing, foodie tours, husky mushing, and even llama trekking feature among the growing 50-plus collection of adventures and activities on the website.

The Live Every Minute team, headed up by national newspaper journalist James Ellis, has scoured the county to bring together a unique collection of fun, quirky, hair-raising, adrenalin-pumping and relaxing experiences for visitors to England's largest county.

The site's 'Editor's Pick' collection aims to include the very best experiences all of which will be individually road-tested by the Live Every Minute team and must fit exacting criteria, including exemplary customer service. This section will be made up of video footage and photography created by and starring members of the team.

Yorkshire has nearly a third of the total area of National Parks in England – it covers 6,000 square miles and is the top destination outside of London for British tourists, ahead of Cornwall, Devon and the Scottish Highlands according to Welcome to Yorkshire ( There are some 216 million visits to Yorkshire made every year; equivalent to the total number of visitors to Walt Disney Theme Parks worldwide.

Around 250,000 visitors take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge every year, and the UK's first National Trail – The Pennine Way, runs through Yorkshire and continues for 268 miles all the way to the Scottish Borders.

Yorkshire is famed for its dramatic landscape and stunning scenery and thanks to the hugely successful Tour de Yorkshire, now in its third year, the county's landscape and scenery have been highlighted to the world.

Yorkshire is also home to the cosmopolitan city of Leeds; situated in the middle of the United Kingdom. With a diverse population of 750,000, Leeds is the third largest and one of the fastest growing, greenest cities in the UK. The city is the gateway to Yorkshire's great outdoors with direct trains from many towns and cities in the UK.

Live Every Minute has also partnered with Mountain Warehouse to promote adventure tourism and active travel in Yorkshire. The two have launched a competition to win 5 x £100 of Mountain Warehouse vouchers. Visit for a chance to win.

 Sixtyplusurfers Book Reviews

       Daughters of
     Castle Deverill

       By Santa Montefiore
        Review by Jenny Itzcovitz

Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore

It is 1925 and the war is long over. But much has been lost and life will never truly be the same again.

Castle Deverill, cherished home to the Deverill family in the west of Ireland for hundreds of years has burned to the ground. But young and flighty Celia Deverill is determined to restore the sad ruins to its former glory. Celia married well and has the wealth, after all, to keep it in the family and she cannot bear to see it stand neglected.

But dark shadows are gathering once more, as the financial markets start to shake. And everything that felt so certain is thrown once again into doubt.

A sweeping story of family history, from the author of the top ten best seller Songs of Love and War.

I really enjoyed this enchanting romance which tells the story of Castle Deverill which has burned down in a fire. When Celia Deverill buys it and hopes to restore it to its former glory, other members of the family are jealous and worried that she does not understand its history and will destroy its heritage.

Meanwhile Kitty Deverill who feels that Castle Deverill is rightly hers, is trapped in a loveless marriage and is bringing up her friend, Bridie's child as her own, but his mother desperately wants him back. Kitty is torn between staying with Little Jack, the child or escaping to America with her lover, Jack O'Leary.

This epic family story of wealth, love, betrayal and secrets is beautifully told. Santa Montefiore is a great story teller and there are plenty of heartfelt moments as each character has to make difficult decisions, set against the backdrop of the ever constant Castle Deverill.

Warmly written with plenty of drama, romance and escapism. This is the perfect Summer book. Read it in the sunshine with a cool glass of wine and a slice of cake and lose yourself in its magical Irish charm.

Santa Montefiore, photograph by Sarel Jansen

               Author, Santa Montefiore,
            photograph by Sarel Jansen

Santa Montefiore was born in 1970 and grew up in Hampshire. She is married to historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.

They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. Santa has her own website at

Daughters of Castle Deverill is published by Simon & Schuster. Price is £14.99 for the hardback.

For more information about the book visit the website at

   An Extraordinary

           By Bryn Hughes
            Review by
Simon Fine

An Extraordinary Sacrificy by Bryn Hughes

On September 18th 2012, PC Nicola Hughes, aged 23, and her colleague PC Fiona Bone, aged 32, were shot dead by a psychopathic criminal called Dale Cregan who had lured the young officers to his doorstep by making a false 999 call. The crime shocked the whole of Britain. At the time, Cregan, who had a long record of crime, was on the run from the police.

Bryn Hughes recalls the life of his daughter Nicola from the joy of her birth, through her childhood and teenage years, how she joined the police, aged 20, with the intention of making a positive contribution to society. Her promising career was tragically cut short and her father describes the harrowing events of that day, how he was informed of his daughter’s death and the pain he suffered in the aftermath and to this present day. He describes the lengthy and stressful legal process and the difficulties of being in the spotlight which sadly involved some insensitive behaviour from a minority of the press.

PC Nicola Hughes and her proud dad

While Cregan serves life sentences for the murders with a recommendation that he should never be freed, Nicola’s father Bryn, a former prison officer, took early retirement, as he could no longer handle his working environment.

As a way of helping him deal with his grief and to create a force for good from an act of evil, Bryn Hughes has set up a charity in Nicola’s name which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help young people who have lost someone close through crime. The police and the people of Britain have united to help him. He tells how he completed the arduous North Pole Marathon with a level of determination that would have made Nicola proud of her father.

Bryn Hughes

                 Author, Bryn Hughes

This is a heartbreaking story with many lovely photographs of Nicola as she grew up. There is also a touching foreword from Nick Adderley, the Chief Superintendent of Greater Manchester Police

An Extraordinary Sacrifice is published by Mereo Books. Price is £12.99 for the paperback.

The book is available to buy through the PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund from the website at

For more information about the book visit the website at 

  The Lost Swimmer
           By Ann Turner
          Review Jenny Itzcovitz

The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, makes sense of the past for a living. But suddenly, truth and certainty are turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There's too much at stake - her love, her family, her work. But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen disappears.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she finds help in the most unlikely of places, and uncovers the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen - and the deceit that has chased her around the world. Sometimes marriage is a lonely place.

I'm always on the lookout for something different to read, and was gripped and intrigued as soon as I started reading this book. Ann Turner takes us into the life of Rebecca Wilding, a highly respected archaeology professor whose life is suddenly turned upside down when she is accused of fraud at the university where she works. She is also unsure who she can trust, particularly because she suspects her husband is having an affair and may be linked to Priscilla Chiton, Dean of Arts at the university who is threatening her job and putting her under intense pressure.

Packed with suspense and drama, we follow Rebecca on her travels to the Amalfi Coast with her husband, where danger seems to be around every corner. And things soon take a turn for the worse when her husband mysteriously disappears. Tense, atmospheric and thought provoking, Ann Turner has created a strong, intelligent, courageous and independent woman who is not prepared to cave in and give up her position at the university or her family without a fight for the truth and justice.

A great Summer read, I stayed up light into the night reading this well constructed thriller. All is cleverly resolved at the end of this powerful story, which explores love, trust and the dark side of marriage. Boldly written, sympathetic and realistic, it stays with you long after you have finished the final page. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author.

Ann Turner

                   Author, Ann Turner

Ann Turner is an award-winning screenwriter and director. Her films include the historical feature, Celia - listed by Time Out as one of the 50 greatest directorial debuts of all time, Hammers Over the Anvil starring Russell Crowe and Charlotte Rampling. the screenplay for Turtle Beach, starring Greta Scacci. and the psychological thriller Irresistible starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neil and Emily Blunt.

Ann's debut novel, The Lost Swimmer explores themes of love, trust and the dark side of relationships. Ann was born in Adelaide, South Australia and lives in Victoria.

For more information about Ann Turner visit

The Lost Swimmer is published by Simon & Schuster. Price is £7.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at   

    Lost Railway Walks
           By Julian Holland
              Review by
Simon Fine

Lost Railway Walks by Julian Holland

Julian Holland has written a beautiful guide to Britain’s ‘Lost Railway Walks’. Cyclists, hikers, joggers, dog walkers and railway enthusiasts can enjoy discovering 100 lost railway walks, covering the length and breadth of Britain.

During the 19th century, new railway schemes proliferated across England, Scotland and Wales leading to the demise of many canals. These new lines were built either to carry passengers or a variety of freight, such as coal, minerals or agricultural traffic. But after the end of the second world war, traffic levels on many rural railways declined due to competition from road transport, causing many lines to become unprofitable.

Despite cost reduction measures such as the replacement of steam locomotives with diesel, “the motorway-mad Ernest Marples and his overpaid lackey, Dr Beeching” decided to close over 4,000 miles of railways and 2,000 stations during the 1960s and 70s. However many of these disused railway branches have re-emerged as footpaths and cycle routes often through the efforts of local authorities and Sustrans, the sustainable cycling charity.

For each walk, Holland describes the history of each line both as an operating railway and its afterlife as an accessible walk or cycle route and offers tips on access today. Each walk comes with a supporting colour map and some stunning photography. For railway enthusiasts, he also points out where overgrown platforms, station buildings, abandoned signals, tunnels, bridges and even restored railway coaches can be found. Most of the lines are rural branches but one or two such as the Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace line in north London and the Manchester to Sheffield route via the Woodhead tunnel offer very different scenery.

This is a great addition to Julian Holland’s expert collection of railway books and a most helpful guide for keen explorers looking to discover hidden railway walks and cycle routes throughout Britain’s countryside and coastlines. For those of a less adventurous nature, this book is a most interesting read about our railway heritage.

Julian Holland

               Author, Julian Holland

From a very young age Julian Holland has had a fascination with railways. He is a writer and photographer on many railway books, including the highly acclaimed and award winning The Times Mapping the Railways (2011), Exploring Britain’s Lost Railways (2013) and Great Railway Journeys of the World (2014).

As well as being passionate about train travel, Julian is a leading commentator in the media on railways.

Lost Railway Walks is published by Harper Collins. Price is £14.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at


      Bake to Impress

         By Christian Hümbs
            Review Jenny Itzcovitz

Bake to Impress by Christian Hümbs

Are you a hobby baker looking for new challenges? Do you want to create exceptional and exciting macaroons, madeleines and muffins? Discover a whole new world of baking creativity with Bake To Impress, a collection of 100 sensational recipes for classic and contemporary cakes and desserts from award winning patissier Christian Hümbs, German Patissier of the Year in 2014 and judge on the German Bake-Off.

Bake To Impress is a beautiful guide to exploring your baking potential and will help you perfect classic recipes like creamy tiramisu and New York-style cheesecake and innovative and unusual sweet creations that will truly impress your guests. Divided into four chapters, there is something for every occasion.

The ‘Quick and Easy’ recipes are perfect for rustling up firm favourites with a decadent twist like Macadamia Caramel Cookies with Maldon Salt and Coconut Banana Muffins with White Chocolate. Explore flavours from across the world with ‘International Classics’, exquisite treats to perfect at home like Éclairs with Strawberries and Mascarpone, Swedish Almond Cake and Coffee Cheesecake New York style.

Christian Hümbs’ expert guidance in every recipe will guarantee incredible results, with additional tips for decorating your bakes and stunning photography of each delicious dessert to show you exactly what to aim for. Wow your guests with ‘Special and Unusual’ recipes that play with exotic flavours including delicate Green Tea Brownies with Macadamia Nuts and Cronuts with Yuzu Jelly and Vanilla Cream Filling.

Finally, take your baking to a new level with recipes for ‘Master Baking to Impress’. From macarons to millefeuille, perfect the techniques of top patissiers to craft delicate and delicious creations like Apple and Pear Tart with Almonds and Acacia Honey Cream and Blueberry Macarons with Sesame.

Perfect for confident bakers seeking new challenges or anyone looking for baking inspiration,
Bake To Impress is a truly show-stopping recipe book.

I was very impressed with this beautifully presented cookery book. Packed with stunning recipes for afternoon tea and gorgeous dinner party desserts, there are plenty of ideas for all occasions.

I particularly liked the Spelt and Cherry Muffins, the Blueberry Madeira Cake, the Orange Cake with Polenta, and the Viennese Apple Strudel. Each recipe is shown with easy to follow step-by-step instructions and an attractive colour photograph to show the finished dish. Dip into this fabulous book for mouthwatering recipes and inspiration for family baking and entertaining. There's something here for everyone!

Christian Hümbs

     Author, Christian Hümbs, © Dorling
       Kindersley Verlag. Photographer:
                  Jan C. Brettschneider

Christian Hümbs is a renowned baker who has cooked in many Michelin starred restaurants. He was named German Patissier of the Year in 2014 and is a judge on the German Bake-Off.

Bake to Impress is published by DK. Price is £14.99 for the hardback.

For more information about the book click on

    Monet's Garden

          By Vivian Russell
            Review by Simon Fine

Monet's Garden by Vivian Russell

Frances Lincoln have published a new paperback edition of Vivian Russell's much-admired exploration of Claude Monet's garden at Giverny, 55 kilometres from Paris. This book describes the history of the garden, how it was developed and extended by Monet, falling into a state of neglect after his death in 1926, and how it was bequeathed to the nation by his son and restored over a three year period before opening to the public in 1980.

Monet famously loved light and natural colours. He was inspired by the bulb fields of Holland and Giverny is described as “A Colourist’s Garden”, often compared to a carefully orchestrated display of fireworks. Monet had many favourite plants in his garden including roses, dahlias, irises, tulips and nasturtiums. Poppies and water lilies featured both in his garden and his paintings.

Vivian Russell links the world of Monet the artist with Monet the gardener. Four chapters trace the garden through the changing seasons, paying special attention to the atmosphere and light that so preoccupied Monet and became the focus of his life as a painter. Each chapter includes a wealth of colour photographs of the garden and a selection of Monet’s paintings.

Many of the photographs feature the Grande Allee and the Water Garden with its centrepiece, the Japanese Bridge. Throughout the book, the work of Giverny's present-day gardeners is analysed to reveal the practical techniques of maintaining the most-visited garden in the world. We can only admire the work they perform in the closed season and the quality of their planting and maintenance to keep the garden in such an attractive condition for the many thousands of visitors.

Monet enjoyed sharing his garden with visitors, so it is fitting that his garden is now a major visitor attraction. The garden is open to the public from April to October and the book commences with plans of the Flower Garden and the Water Garden and concludes with a brief guide for visitors.

Vivian Rusell is a writer and photographer. She has written three other books on Monet: Monet’s Landscapes, Monet’s Water Lilies and Planting Schemes for Monet’s Garden. The original edition of Monet’s Garden, published in 1995, was awarded Book of the Year by the Garden Writer’s Guild.

Monet’s Garden - Through the Seasons at Giverny
is published by Frances Lincoln. Price is £16.99 for the paperback.

For more information about the book visit the website at