Family travel with flair
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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...

Review: The World of Charles and Ray Eames, Barbican

  Take a seat. In this case, a quintessential seat of the 20th century. That’s the way into the The World of Charles and Ray Eames, a current design exhibition at the Barbican – about the couple who created the iconic plastic DSW chair, the moulded plywood chair, the lounge chair and ottoman, all of which still feature like furniture supermodels in modern home magazines, in films and on television, even...

Discovering a warm welcome in Camden Town #YoureWelcome

  As parents of a tween and teen, we’re always on the lookout for a particular kind of family welcome at hotels. It needs to acknowledge the kids as almost-adults and meet their “cool quotient”. At the same time, we need a grown-up, comfortable experience. Holiday Inn’s #YoureWelcome campaign highlights how the hotels encourage families (including “tired parents”,...

How to celebrate the Fourth of July in London

How to celebrate this very American holiday in London? I’ve been wondering that myself for about a decade. The thing about celebrating Fourth of July is that the enjoyment comes from knowing all your family, all your friends, the entire nation is celebrating too. When I lived in in New York, the Fourth meant cookouts in Prospect Park organised by my friends, legendary party-makers and grillers John Fasciano...

London summer family fun: Polo in the Park

Summer in London is awash in festivals and outdoor parties, but there’s something quite special about Polo in the Park. The sport has real elegance, excitement and panache, and now it’s more family friendly than ever. (Scroll to the bottom for discount code for money off your tickets for the Friday or Sunday.) The organisers have teamed up with Sharky & George, the cool, fun children’s...

Review: Barbury Shooting School for kids

I come from Texas, so really I’m supposed to know all about guns. But since I won that riflery award at summer camp age 12, my shooting prowess has largely been on the wane. Don’t get me wrong — I love shooting (I did say I’m from Texas, right?), but the opportunities to practice don’t come along that often. When my 16-year-old stepson received a voucher from his grandparents for a...

iPhoneography: Preparing for Chinese New Year in London

I’ve always loved Chinese New Year, even if we don’t always celebrate it in grand style. I also love walking through Chinatown in London whenever I’m in the West End. Compared with Chinatown in New York, which has taken over Little Italy and goes on for block and blocks, London’s Chinatown is basically one or maybe two streets. It’s tiny, really. But whenever I am on my way to...

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