Family travel with flair
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Review: Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

They scamper, they play, they consume a massive amount of fruit. In the event your own little monkeys would enjoy meeting their animal kingdom counterparts, swing over to Trentham Monkey Forest, just outside Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a must-visit activity in Staffordshire.       We visited Trentham Monkey Forest with two tween girls, who loved every minute of it, especially spotting the babies and...

10 British gifts to give Americans for summer

Mention the British summer and you’re sure to inspire a downpour of jokes about the cold weather and rain. Never mind. In my experience there is something quite special about summer in the UK. Perhaps because the traditional hot-temperatures-and-unending-sunshine thing is a rarity, Brits do summer with a bit of flair. If you’re visiting during the summer, it’s an ideal opportunity to pick up...

England: Review of Bath Mill Lodge Retreat

My husband and I dropped our daughter off like a sack of potatoes at Granny and Grandpa’s before we turned up at Bath Mill Lodge. I would have felt a twinge of guilt, but that was the whole idea of our stay here: Have a cosy couple’s getaway with access to the delights of Bath.       We were here to try out the facilities for couples at this self-catering property in Newton St Loe just 3 miles...

9 tips for families at Polo in the Park

  The official signs are iris-purple, the Champagne Lanson tent is a dashing pink, the women’s dresses and children’s outfits turn them into a sea of peonies, bluebells and bright honeysuckle. Even the gents stride round in trousers the colour of spearmint, lemon meringue and coral. This was our second year to attend Chesterton’s Polo in the Park in London as a guest of the event. Once again...

Review: Gillray’s Bar at the London Marriott County Hall

  “It’s performance art meets bottle,” says one patron sitting at Gillray’s Bar, at the London Marriott County Hall on London’s South Bank. Forget the image of the run-of-the-mill hotel bar, with bland staff dispensing pallid lager and overpriced vodka tonics. At Gillray’s Bar, drinks are served with inspiring flavours, elan and a little bit of theatre. New ideas spill from...

10 bars every American should visit in London

In every world-class city across the globe you can find great places to have a drink. What makes going out in London special is the particular style of drinking. You can lift a glass in a room of bedecked in period lavender cornicing or in a historic music hall that references several eras of its history all at once. For Americans, these drinking hotspots showcase the grand buildings, the hidden societies,...

7 reasons to visit Aerial Extreme, Staffordshire

  Maybe it’s inspiration from the Monkey Forest next door, where 140 Barbary macaques run unfettered, scrambling through trees and doing their monkey thing, but the Aerial Extreme ropes course in Trentham Gardens stands apart from run-of-the-mill versions — with its location, its professional and high-spirited staff and its pure thrills.     The logistics: Unlike other ropes courses where...

iPhoneography: The Siddington Point-to-Point

They make movies about toffs in country houses and TV shows about vicars who solve mysteries in villages, but in my opinion to capture something indelible about Britain they should make a film about the British point-to-point — steeplechases so-named because they would take place from one church steeple to another – from one point of a steeple to another.     I started attending point-to-points with...

Trentham Gardens: Kid-friendly & full of life

  I don’t know if Trentham Gardens has a slogan, but it should, and that slogan should be, “Keep ON the grass”. These gorgeous extensive gardens in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire fairly thrum with life from the visitors enjoying the grounds. You don’t simply wander round admiring the plants — although I always find this restorative and relaxing. But here you find children tearing...

What to do in London with kids in 2016

I adore farflung travel, but one of the benefits to living in London is that there are so many things to do with kids right here at home. I thought I’d share my list of don’t-miss activities for 2016, based on experiences we’ve had over the years. We choose our outings to appeal to our tween and teen, but the activities listed here are good for children of just about any age. Leave a comment and...

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