NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | ISSUE 14
CHRISTMAS AT WINDSOR
QUEEN VICTORIA'S FAVOURITE CASTLE
Culture in the capital
48 HOURS IN CHELSEA HOTELS • THEATRE • SHOPPING
FESTIVE MENUS AT EXCLUSIVE DINING VENUES
Gift ideas and luxury style edits
Plus discover markets, festivals and National Trust walks THE BURLINGTON ARCADE
CELEBRATIONS CELEBRA CELEBRAT TIONS JOIN IN THE FESTIVE FUN!
Ice-skating, light-displays, ﬁreworks and so much more...
£4.25 | $6.16
THE CHRISTMAS MARKET
2nd December to 1st January
25th & 26th November 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December
Discover the ‘Traditions of Christmas’ from the origins of Christmas cards and crackers to poinsettias as you make your way through the Castle’s State Rooms.
Explore an array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink. Enjoy nostalgic fairground attractions and meet Father Christmas’ reindeer.
Kent, England | leeds-castle.com
First words from the Publisher
UTUMN’S STORMS ARE, thankfully, a fading memory and winter’s coming is heralded by Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations, leading up to another fun-filled Christmas and New Year extravaganza. For many, this means the joy of shopping and where better to start than with our ideas of stylish gifts for your favourite people (pp22,24,27,28) or a saunter down historic Burlington Arcade (p52)? We have selected some entertaining Christmas experiences and events and these will, we hope, help you make the most of this magical time. Starting at the very top, see what Windsor Castle has to offer (p48) before sampling a sensational visit to Bath, with its charming Christmas Market only adding to its historical appeal (p84). In the countryside, many of our gardens and rural properties are putting on special displays and plotting stimulating winter-walks (p62) but, for the less adventurous, we suggest some very special dining-venues (p40) and there is a showcase of the fabulous celebrations (p74) demonstrating our nation’s energetic approach to this highlight of the Christian calendar. Our travel-team has been busy, seeking out the best of hospitality destinations, and, in this issue, we feature a superb Chelsea touring-base (p70), a wine-lover’s dream hotel, near Downton Abbey, (p36) and Allan Pickett’s new bar and restaurant at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (p98). Showcasing our take on British style, we interview the CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels (p58), look into the thriving heritage of ‘the written word’ (p30) and discuss the merits of whisky, as an investment vehicle (p88). With so much fascinating content, as well as our regular features on Britain’s cultural life and travel news, we hope you will find plenty to enjoy!
62 CONTENTS November/December 2017
12. CULTURAL AGENDA
Top 10 shows, exhibitions and events for your winter calendar.
30. MADE IN BRITAIN: Write Stuff
Emma Johnson meets British stationery brands still encouraging us to put pen to paper.
40. EXCLUSIVE CHRISTMAS DINING VENUES Discover stunning restaurants in unique settings.
52. BURLINGTON ARCADE
Jessica Way Head of Magazine
One of the oldest and most celebrated shopping arcades in the world.
62. NATIONAL TRUST WINTER GARDENS
There’s nothing better on a crisp winter’s day than to visit a National Trust property, venture outdoors to explore frosty landscapes and spot the wildlife.
70. 48 HOURS IN CHELSEA
Staying overnight in luxury at 11 Cadogan Gardens we discover the cultural haven of London’s Chelsea.
88. WHISKY WONDERLAND
Colin Hampden-White, editor of Whisky Quarterly magazine, gazes into the crystal ball of whisky investment.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | ISSUE 14
CHRISTMAS AT WINDSOR
QUEEN VICTORIA'S FAVOURITE CASTLE
Culture in the capital
48 HOURS IN CHELSEA
HOTELS • THEATRE • SHOPPING
Gift ideas and luxury style edits
Plus discover markets, festivals and National Trust walks THE BURLINGTON ARCADE
CELEBRATIONS JOIN IN THE FESTIVE FUN!
Visit us online: exclusivelybritishmagazine.com • Follow us @thebritishmag
AT EXCLUSIVE DINING VENUES
£4.25 | $6.16
Download past and present issues: From Magzter/the app store:
Ice-skating, light-displays, fireworks and so much more...
Cover Photograph: Christmas at Cliveden House. Five Star Country House Hotel, part of the Iconic Luxury Hotels collection.
36. 48. 58. 74. 84. 98.
VISIT & EXPERIENCE THE VINEYARD
Set in beautiful Berkshire countryside, this unique hotel, restaurant and oenophile paradise is a hidden gem.
CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES AT WINDSOR CASTLE
A visit to Queen Victoria's favourite castle makes a perfect start to the festive season.
PRIDE OF BRITAIN HOTELS
Claire Pitcher meets Chief Executive Peter Hancock to find out more about one of Britain's finest hotel collections.
THE MAGIC OF BATH AT CHRISTMAS
From carol services and illuminated garden trails, to Christmas Markets brimming with handcrafted gifts and seasonal treats. The lure of the World Heritage City of Bath, with its picturesque Christmas Market becomes an irresistible winter destination.
ALLAN PICKETT GOES UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AT SWAN
Jessica Way heads to the Swan Bar & Restaurant, located at the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe with stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s.
NEWS & SHOPPING UPFRONT TRAVEL NEWS
From exhibitions to celebrations, anniversaries to events, we hope you’ll enjoy our pick of the best travel news.
THE LUXURY STYLE EDIT
The best of the seasonal styles from beautiful British brands.
Desirable gifts and winter must-haves for the fun festive season.
STYLE FOR HIM
Seasonal styles for the debonair gentleman.
STYLE FOR HER
Sophisticated elegance à la mode this season.
Subscribe today and receive a luxurious Newby Teas Crown Assortment gift set, and 6 issues for just £19!
6 issues for just £19 »exclusivelybritish magazine.com
Exclusively British magazine Published bi-monthly by Contista Media Ltd. Contista Media Ltd, Mitchell House, Brook Avenue, Warsash, Southampton, SO31 9HP Main Switchboard: 01489 660680 Editorial Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Latest news & press releases: email@example.com
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Contista Media Ltd cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.
4 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
Proud to be working with:
Editor: Samantha Rutherford Head of Magazine: Jessica Way Commissioning Editor: Phillipa Graham Head of Digital: Adrian Wilkinson Head of Finance: Angela Harding Luxury Brands & Shopping Editor: Emma Johnson Luxury Hotels and Travel Editor: Robin Glover Arts & Culture Editor: Melanie Abrams Contributing Editors: Becky Dickinson, Ben Brown, Claire Pitcher, Dave Egan, Diana Woolf, Gabriella Le Breton, Jeremy Forsyth, Katrina Harper-Lewis and Louise Curley.
THE FINEST RIVER VIEW IN LONDON WATERFRONT PENTHOUSE SHOWHOME LAUNCHING 4TH NOVEMBER – REGISTER YOUR INTEREST NOW Simply stunning: the new penthouse Showhome at Waterfront is the ultimate in luxury, with breathtaking views up and down the river to Canary Wharf, the City and the Thames Barrier. Royal Arsenal Riverside is an amazing destination. Residents can relax in the sumptuous spa facilities of The Waterside Club, and enjoy on-site dining, riverside walks, shopping, and a forthcoming Crossrail station.
A limited collection of 2 and 3 bedroom duplex penthouses available*. Prices from £1,295,000. Viewing by appointment only - call 020 3797 8739 to register your interest. Sales & Marketing Suite Open 10am to 6pm (Thursdays until 8pm) Imperial Building, No. 2 Duke of Wellington Avenue, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, London SE18 6FR Photography is indicative only. Prices and information correct at time of going to press. *Estimated completions Sept-Nov 2017
www.royalarsenalriverside.co.uk Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies
TRAVEL NEWS From exhibitions to celebrations, anniversaries to events, here's our pick of the best must-know news... TRENDING NOW
OWN A GENUINE PIECE OF HISTORY WITH A PALACE OF WESTMINSTER FLOOR TILE! Laid between 1847 to 1852, these encaustic tiles were recently removed from the Palace of Westminster and kept for the Encaustic Tile Conservation Project. A limited number of the tiles can now be purchased from the Parliament shops in Westminster or online, the ultimate unique gift for those who love British history and politics! The tiles come in a satin lined display box with a certificate of authenticity included. Choose between a half tile for £95 or full tile priced £150. » shop.parliament.uk
ISLE OF RAASAY DISTILLERY
Whisky makers R&B Distillers officially opened the Isle of Raasay Distillery, the first whisky distillery on this small Scottish island. The much-lauded spirits writer and founder of scotchwhisky.com, Dave Broom, cut the ribbon into the production room of the distillery before joining co-founders of R&B Distillers, Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie, along with friends, family and islanders to celebrate the opening of the island’s first distillery. » raasaydistillery.com
DIAMOND CONCEPT STORE IN LONDON'S PICCADILLY Leading jewellery retailer, VASHI, has opened the doors to its eagerly anticipated concept store in central London’s Piccadilly. Set across 1500 square feet and two floors, the unique new retail concept has turned the traditional jewellery retail model on its head by putting the customer centre-stage offering an in-store diamond laboratory experience. » vashi.com
FAVOURITE BRITISH JEWELLER, BOODLES, IS GLITTERING WITH TWO NEW STORES. One sparkles along swanky Sloane Street opposite Harvey Nichols in London’s Knightsbridge, whilst the other shines on Manchester’s King Street alongside Belstaff, Agent Provocateur and other smart British brands. Classic collections are joined by new pieces, inspired by Britain’s poetic landscape. There are colourful cuffs, whose geometric shapes riff on the limestone Malham Rocks of Yorkshire, say. Discover the in store Patek Philippe boutiques too with the classic Calatravas, Perpetual Calendars and more. Boodles, 6 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9LE, 020 7235 0111 and 13-15 King Street, Manchester M2 6AW, 0161 833 9000. » boodles.com
DON'T MISS! LUMIERE LONDON The capital's largest arts festival taking place from 18-21 January 2018
CONCORDE AT THE NEW AEROSPACE BRISTOL
This new heritage museum and learning centre in north Bristol tells the story of the world-class aerospace industry. It will showcase the brilliance of British innovation, design and engineering, displaying artefacts spanning 100 years of aviation history and bringing together nationally significant exhibits and hidden archive records for the first time. The show-stopping centrepiece is the Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. » aerospacebristol.org
3 OF THE BEST BONFIRE NIGHT FIREWORK DISPLAYS FIREWORKS AFTER DARK SPECTACULAR
THE ROOF GARDENS
Sheffield’s Don Valley Grass Bowl plays host to After Dark, Yorkshire's biggest firework display with a music-synchronised firework display, giant fun fair, food stalls and live music » yorkshire.com
Leeds Castle hosts an annual two-day spectacular, where fireworks, light projections and music combine against the beautiful backdrop of the castle. » leeds-castle.com
Take bonfire night to stylish new heights at the Roof Garden's Bonfire Night Party, with cocktails, BBQ, resident DJs, and a dazzling fireworks display within the Spanish Garden » virginlimitededition.com
Guide to British Style
In an epic turn up for the books Bicester Village has gone into the publishing business with etiquette connoisseurs, Debrett’s no less, and created the ultimate Guide To British Style. Covering everything from the ‘Windsor Knot’ to the ‘Headscarf’ no fashion-stone has been left unturned in the effort to compile a comprehensive guide to dressing like a true-Brit. Let Bicester Village and Debrett’s navigate your Great British Season from Cheltenham Festival to The Last Night Of The Proms, with everything from Wimbledon to Wilderness. Be it high-style at Ascot or classic Black Tie for Glyndebourne know the landscape and nail the look with this perfectly formed Guide To British Style. w bicestervillage.com
Tea Gardens & The Kitchen Garden
A sunlit lawn, blossom-laden trees, rustic chairs, tables laden with teapots and cakes, the tinkle of teacups and the murmur of conversation… tea gardens became popular in London during the eighteenth century and thrived for over 200 years. Wonderfully illustrated, garden historian Twigs Way includes a list of tea gardens that can be visited today. The Kitchen Garden was once a key part of every large country home, which are now popular destinations for visitors. This is the history of the British kitchen garden and those who tended them. Garden historian Caroline Ikin specialises in the Victorian era and worked for the Gardens Trust and the National Trust. w amberley-books.com
8 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
9781445670010 Paperback £8.99 9781445668840 Paperback £8.99
A s c i t nonym n mo a
Part of the 2017/18 Winter Selection season in our indoor Playhouse
THEATRE DINING Begin your Globe experience at Swan with our Theatre Menu featuring seasonal British ingredients sourced from local suppliers, served in our second floor Restaurant, with stunning views of the Thames and St. Paul’s. Alternatively join us after the show for post-theatre dining. Three courses for £26.50. For reservations: 0207 928 9444 firstname.lastname@example.org
Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT swanlondon.co.uk
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS 1 7 — 2 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 18
EXCEPTIONAL MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART FROM AROUND THE WORLD BUSINESS DESIGN CENTRE, LONDON, N1 0QH B O O K T I C K E T S — L O N D O N A R T FA I R . C O . U K
3 OF THE BEST PLACES TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR'S EVE ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND
THE HEART OF LONDON
ST IVES, CORNWALL
WITCHES AND WIZARDS
This amazing spectacle has been celebrated for over 100 years. Join thousands of fellow firework lovers and watch London's See the idyllic town of St Ives transformed on New Year's Eve, extraordinary pyrotechnics bring in the New Year along the Traditionally, the fiery furore was seen as a cleansing ritual to burn off as it becomes awash with partiers and revellers alike, adorned in banks of the famous River Thames. After the success of the fancy dress. Thousands take to the streets for an evening of fun, as bad spirits before the New Year begins. Grab your winter warmers, and watch as the piper-led march heads a dazzling display of brave souls, all 2012 Olympic Games welcome, the event has grown to massive live bands perform by the harbour, ending in a firework display that proportions and is now ticketed. » london.gov.uk/events swinging fireballs above their heads! » stonehavenfireballs.co.uk lights up the whole town. » stives-cornwall.co.uk/events
NEW! THE UK'S FIRST EVER FULLY-FURNISHED IN-STORE APARTMENT
Offering the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience - John Lewis The Residence is fully kitted out, down to the food in the fridge and wine in the pantry, featuring a study and indoor terrace, overlooking Cavendish Square, with everything available to purchase. » johnlewis.com/content/the-residence
The UK's first major public art gallery exhibition devoted to the artist Helen Allingham, RWS (1848-1926), one of the most familiar and well-loved of Victorian artists, is showing at Watts Gallery, Surrey, until 18 February 2018. » wattsgallery.org.uk/whats-on
THE LAST PRECIOUS DROPS
Whisky connoisseurs and collectors from around the world have a rare opportunity to acquire one of 500 single malt, limited edition bottles from an extinct distillery, thought to be one of the oldest in Scotland, released by Littlemill 2017. » £2,250 lochlomondgroup.com November/December 2017
12 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017 HAMILTON PICTURE IS FROM THE BROADWAY PRODUCTION. PRODUCED IN LONDON BY JEFFREY SELLER, SANDER JACOBS, JILL FURMAN, THE PUBLIC THEATER AND CAMERON MACKINTOSH. IMAGE Â© JOAN MARCUS
Top 10 shows, exhibitions and performances for your November/December calendar. COMPILED by Melanie Abrams
Mega Broadway hit, Hamilton, is landing in the West End on 21 December. To a hip-hop, jazz, rap and R&B score, the story unfolds of West Indian born Alexander Hamilton who rose from poverty as an American émigré to become George Washington’s right hand man. Newcomer, Jamael Westman will take the title role in London as it opens the multimillion pound restored Victoria Palace Theatre. » Hamilton, 21 December 2017 to 30 June 2018 (previews from 6
December), Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London SW1E 5EA
Chugging into cinemas this November is Kenneth Branagh’s all-star adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. As well as directing, Branagh plays the moustachioed detective, Hercule Poiret, investigating his stylish co-travellers including Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz. Judi Dench leads the British talent whilst Johnny Depp takes the role of the victim, Edward Ratchett. The claustrophobic thriller fizzes with intrigue, treachery and simmering sexual tension. “You have great entertainment,” said Branagh, “but also something that touches quite deeply on loss, grief and revenge.” » Murder on the Orient Express is released on
6 November 2017 by Twentieth Century Fox.
Having won the breakthrough act and Critics’ Choice awards at this year’s Brits, Rag’n’ Bone Man is touring his debut album, Human, across Britain from 17 November. His gritty, bluesy sound has turned Sussex Rapper, Rory Graham – his civilian name – from an open mic hero to industry darling with fans including Elton John. Prepare to belt out his anthems like Human and Skin among other revellers as he’s also heading Edinburgh’s fabled Hogmanay celebrations this New Year in Princes Street Gardens. » Rag’n’Bone Man - The Overproof tour, 17
November to 27 November, O2 Academy Glasgow, 121 Eglinton Street, Glasgow, G5 9NT; O2 Apollo Manchester, Stockport Road, Manchester, M12 6AP; O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL; Wolverhampton Civic Hall, North Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RQ. livenation.co.uk » Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 Concert in the Gardens, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, 0131 510 0395. edinburghshogmanay.com
14 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
Breaking Bad’s teacher turned drug lord, Bryan Cranston makes his British stage debut on 13 November in the new adaptation of the 1976 Oscar winning film, Network. Cranston plays Howard Beale, the evening news anchorman who melts down on screen, uttering immortal lines like "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore". Joining him on stage as the exploitative TV executive is Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery swapping ball gowns for power suits. » Network, 13 November 2017 to 24 March 2018 (previews from 4 November), Lyttleton Theatre, National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX, 020 7452 3000. nationaltheatre.org.uk
ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST Â© HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
As Britain’s merry monarch, little wonder that Charles II hoarded sumptuous paintings, tapestries, silver furniture, jewel encrusted objects and more to decorate his equally lux palaces and show his power. Now over 200 objects from this spectacular collection are on display at the Queen’s Gallery from 8 December. Curated in royal palaces from Edinburgh’s Holyroodhouse to the Tower of London’s Jewel House, the works show how the king reinvented the monarchy through art, says Rufus Bird, lead curator. » Charles II: Art & Power, 8 December 2017 to 13 May 2018,
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1A 1AA, 030 3123 7301. royalcollection.org.uk
Romantics Anonymous is a new musical showing at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London. In this endearing, complicated love story, chocolate-entwined couple, Angélique and Jean-René help each other to discover that the obstacles to their happiness are not the usual external barriers, but those sneaky little ones we know all too intimately - the ones within. » Romantics Anonymous, to 6 January 2018, Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT, 020 7401 9919. shakespearesglobe.com/romantics-anonymous
DERRIN CRAWFORD AND DEMI LEIGH CRUICKSHANK IN THE LIVER BIRDS, LOVE MAGAZINE, LIVERPOOL, 2012 © ALICE HAWKINS
NORTHERN HIGHLIGHTS Whilst London is fashion’s centre, the north of England has stylish credentials too. British designers and models were born there like Burberry’s Christopher Bailey and Agyness Deyn, and so were trends. Take the 1990s parka, thanks to Manchester band, Oasis. Now a new exhibition, North: Fashion Identity highlights the Northern influence on fashion, photography and art at Somerset House from 8 November. Gritty and iconic landscapes form frequent photo backdrops for social documentary or fashion – sometimes ambiguously meshing the two. Whilst the fabled Manchester club, Hacienda, is turned into an art installation.
» North: Fashioning Identity, 8 November 2017 to 4 February 2018, East Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, 020 7845 4600. somersethouse.org.uk
FILM STRIP IMAGES, TOP-BOTTOM: KAREN ELSON, 2005 © ELAINE CONSTANTINE; ABBEY CLANCEY, FROM THE SERIES ‘THE LIVER BIRDS’ © ALICE HAWKINS; FROM PRESTON BUS STATION, 2010-2015 © JAMIE HAWKESWORTH; BLAZE FROM THE WATER'S EDGE, 2007 © MICHELLE SANK; CURLERS AND CHIPS, YORKSHIRE, 1965, SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE © JOHN BULMER; GIRL FROM SEACOMBE, NEW BRIGHTON 1985 © TOM WOOD
18 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
Ballet’s bad boy, Sergei Polunin, leaps onto the London Coliseum stage this December with his own company, Project Polunin, and a new work. It’s been a pivotal year for this 28 year old dance star who explosively quit the Royal Ballet five years ago. His documentary biopic, Dancer was released, including his raw, yet powerful Take me to Church performance; he fronted fashion campaigns for Diesel, among others, and has now transitioned to the big screen – as an aristo suspect on the Orient Express. In more films released next year, Polunin is one to watch. » Project Polunin, 5 to 10 December 2017, London
Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES, 020 7845 9300. londoncoliseum.org
SERGEI POLUNIN © DAVID LACHAPELLE
Discover an intimate side to great British artist, JMW Turner, as his Sandycombe Lodge, opens to the public for the first time after a £2.4 million restoration. Unusually designed by the artist, the seven room house with sitting room, parlour and scullery was his bolthole from busy 19th century London. Now nestled in a residential street, the house’s River Thames surroundings at the time inspired his poetic work. “The spaces where people lived and worked is essential to our British heritage,” said Turner’s House Trust chairman, Catherine Parry-Wingfield. » Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycombe Road, St Margarets, Twickenham TW1 2LR, 020 8892 5485. turnershouse.org
20 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
IMAGES © TURNER'S HOUSE TRUST / ANNE PURKISS
With their swanlike necks and elongated faces, Amedeo Modigliani’s paintings and sculptures are instantly recognisable. Now Britain’s most comprehensive exhibition of his early 20th century portraits, sculptures and nudes will be at Tate Modern from 23 November. “In the age of social media his work is relatable,” said Nancy Ireson, co-curator, “as we want to know who his sitters are.” Some works are here for the first time, whilst the iconic double portrait of his friends, Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz returns after over 60 years. » Modigliani, 23 November 2017 to 2 April 2018, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, 020 7887 8888. tate.org.uk
THE LITTLE PEASANT, C.1918 TATE
While their made-to-measure service remains at the core of their business, established and much-loved British brand New & Lingwood continue to innovate with a host of accessories and accompanying fashion items. We love this seasonal rollneck in dark olive, perfect for cosying up by the fire on icy winter days.
Sourced by | Emma Johnson
Launching this Autumn, Verheyen London tailors Archibald is a luxury e-commerce brand founded statement fur and timeless cashmere pieces. The on the idea of preserving craft and tradition. All its design-focused label has given a new lease of life to the pieces are handcrafted by master craftsmen and made existing fur and cashmere arena, with striking stoles to order, then sold directly online, including these and collars in sumptuous colours. beautiful cashmere scarfs in traditional tartan.
Trellis Cable Roll Neck Sweater in Dark Olive, £295, New & Lingwood » newandlingwood.com
Nehru Collar Stole in Lapis Blue, £1695, Verheyen London » verheyenlondon.com
Cashmere Tartan Stole in Red Garnet, £215, Archibald London » archibaldlondon.com
Morv London – the brainchild of Iranian born, London based designer Morvarid Sahafi – has launched a diffusion pyjama line, which turns even bedtime into an opportunity for the style savvy. This cosmic-inspired set is made from softest silk satin.
Established by founder and designer Jane Lewis in 2001, Goat is a proudly British label, synonymous with understated luxury, and its cashmere range features some of its key signature pieces, including this beautiful plum knit.
Launched in 2016, ethical brand MAiK sources makers that support the local community, and produces beautifully-designed and carefully-made products. Fresh, clean geometric patterns are at the core of the brand’s design and this marble tray table is a perfect example of their simple, but beautiful, approach to décor.
Panelled PJ Set, £295, Morv Moon » morvlondon.com
Plum Cashmere Jumper, £150, Goat » goatfashion.com
Marble Tray Table, £105, MAiK London » maiklondon.com
Ted Baker have always had a reputation blending high street style with British innovation. Their new stationery line is comprised of cool notebooks, stylish pens and striking gift sets, and has a sleek, designer feel.
British family-run audio brand Ruark have just unveiled their latest offering, in the form of this striking radiogram. As much a piece of design in its own right as technology, it would make a beautiful addition to a modern sitting room.
Interiors company Graham & Green has been leading the charge in striking and quirky home décor since the 70s. Their flagship store in Notting Hill is an homage to the kind of eclectic, creative design they are renowned for, and this gorgeous lamp has just the right mix of exotic chic and eye-catching style.
Ball Point Pen in Grey, £40, Ted Baker » tedbaker.com
R7 MkIII Radiogram, £2200, Ruark » ruarkaudio.com
Lexie Mirror Lamp, £115, Graham & Green » grahamandgreen.co.uk
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The best of the seasonal styles from beautiful British brands... Woven with sparkling bergamot zest, wrapped in creamy orange flower and warm enveloping musk, this is a real scent statement and a beautiful example of the dusky, rich quality of Floris’ Chypresse eau de toilette; perfect for crisp winter evenings.
S-Dress is an intelligent, conscious edit of sophisticated and effortless apparel. The contemporary sell-out label marries fashion and ethics, combining style, comfort and practicality with its ever-growing curated collection of sustainable ready-to-wear.
Specialising in hand-wound timepieces with an ethos for vintage aesthetics, the Marloe Watch Company has just released its third collection. A more complex mechanical watch than previous iterations, it comes in grey, panda, white, coffee and vanilla watch face finishes.
Chypresse, £75, Floris » florislondon.com
Ava Burgundy, £640, S-Dress » sdress.com
Lomond Chronoscope, £449, Marloe Watch Company » marloewatchcompany.com
This full-colour illustrated edition of Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling is a wonderful addition to a child’s library or any coffee table. Illustrated by fine artist Olivia Lomenech Gill - who has illustrated every beast from Acromantula to Yeti - the cover itself features the Occamy, a two-legged winged creature that lays eggs of the purest, softest silver.
Former Skandium director Charlie Perry has launched a new concept store, Britain Can Make It, which brings together the very best of post-war and contemporary British designers, including pieces from Anglepoise, Dartington, Kaymet and Royal Doulton.
Designed exclusively for The House of Bruar in pure new wool, their tapestry pashminas weave together a simply stunning selection of forms and colours to create a unique, easy to wear garment that’s a work of art in itself. Unlined with two front pockets.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (hardback) £25, J.K Rowling » bloomsbury.com
Sixty Three Armchair, £635, G Plan » britaincanmakeit.com
Pashmina Coat, Green, Black, Grey/Blue, £195 » houseofbruar.com
Sessions & Co was created with artist Mark Hearld, who works with different designers to make gorgeous quilts for children, intended as heirloom pieces that can cover beds, be used as blankets for the sofa or floor, or even hung on the wall. They also come with beautiful matching cushions.
Highly-acclaimed couture designer Fiona Clare has been designing award-winning wedding dresses and formal outfits for over 25 years. She is a favoured designer of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and her collection includes beautifully understated dresses and elegant coats with finely cut lines.
The intriguingly named Curious Department is an exciting London-based design studio and online boutique that specialises in quality art and prints and luxurious home accessories. Its signature pieces feel both decadent and exotic, and these Scarab Coasters are a perfect example.
Bespoke hand-crafted navy wool bouclé coat, £POA, by appointment only at Fiona Clare » fionaclare.co.uk
Deco Scarab Coasters, £25, set of four, The Curious Department » thecuriousdepartment.com
Emily Sutton Quilt, £POA, Sessions & Co » sessionsandco.com
CRACKERS A smooth, full-bodied cognac, made from the two most sought-after vineyards of the Cognac region. Enjoyed neat or on ice – or even alongside a rich chocolate dessert or Parmesan cheese – the XO delivers an outstanding sensory experience.
An East West travel collection which radiates elegance and simplicity, the British Alpaca Travel Collection includes the alpaca cashmere wrap that doubles as a meditation mat or comfy blanket with handmade artisan slippers, made from the softest of British Alpaca cloth to sooth your feet.
GAIL's Bakery introduces its first ever advent calendar this year - filled with bespoke chocolates made in collaboration with chocolatier Alex Mariz, as well as mini gift certificates for an additional treat to be redeemed at any of the bakeries, this is the perfect countdown to Christmas.
Rémy Martin XO, £150 » selfridges.com / thewhiskyexchange.com
Alpaca Cashmere Wrap £150, handcrafted alpaca slippers £95 » alpacaexclusive.com
GAIL's Advent Calendar, £30 » gailsbread.co.uk
Designed and manufactured by Britain's last remaining teddy bear manufacturer, and with only 250 teddy bears in production this handmade limited edition bear dressed in an adorable faux fur trim cotton velvet coat is bound to melt some hearts come Christmas Day.
Nirvana, come rain or shine. This frilly long black umbrella will grant you the true state of happiness when you're under it. Made in the UK with high density luxury yarn. The handle is handmade and cast from pewter. The butterfly handle is hand finished in black enamel.
Stunning Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the House of Haig, created in partnership with David Beckham. With its unique and striking square bottle design, HAIG CLUB brings a contemporary twist to Scotch and is a flawlessly stylish Christmas gift.
Merrythought, Christmas Teddy Bear, £169 » merrythought.co.uk
The Nirvana Umbrella frilly long black umbrella, £385 » gizellerenee.com
HAIG CLUB (70cl), £45 » haigclub.com
Pullman Editions designs striking original limited-edition posters that capture the enduring appeal of Art Deco. Their newly-commissioned posters feature glamorous winter sports and summer resorts around the world, as well as the world’s greatest historic automobiles.
Containing rare Welsh gold as used by members of the British Royal family for over 100 years, Clogau's luxurious Masque necklace is inspired by the opulence of the opera, and the wonderful performance of the court masque. This majestic silver and 9ct rose gold necklace enthuses style and sophistication.
Prestat, chocolatier to Her Majesty The Queen, has created ‘A Chocolate Feast Celebrating The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ which brings to life the famous carol with the excitement and anticipation of opening a daily treat over the holiday.
Masque White Topaz Necklace, £159 » clogau.co.uk
12 Days of Christmas Chocolate Feast , £14 » prestat.co.uk
Over 100 designs available, priced at £395 each » pullmaneditions.com
24 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE IN WAITROSE, MAJESTIC AND 31DOVER.COM
Featuring a Swiss-made automatic movement and water resistant to a depth of 600m, the C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600 is a top-end dive watch that will suit all occasions. More so, with a case that is produced from a corrosion-resistant bronze alloy â€“ one that will develop its own patina over time â€“ your C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600 will become one of a kind.
Swiss movement English heart
Discover the new breed of watchmaker...
Floris 71/72 Eau De Parfum, £140, florislondon.com
Editor's choice! Ettinger Wallet Bridle Hide Billfold with 12 c/c, £250, ettinger.co.uk
Dunedin Cashmere, Men’s harris Tweed Leather Gloves, £32.99, dunedincashmere.co.uk
1 Private White V.C. Great Coat, Charcoal, £1250 privatewhitevc.com 2 Submariner Jumper, £135, shackletoncompany.com 3 Private White V.C. Wax Cotton Twin Track 2.0, Grey, £695 privatewhitevc.com 4 Fencote two-tone brogue, £350, herringshoes.co.uk 5 Bloomsbury Collection, £14, londonsockcompany.com.
Fairfax & Favor, The Narford Belt Navy Blue,£45, fairfaxandfavor.com
These classic but modern seasonal styles and accessories exude sophistication for the debonair gentleman, with a splash of individuality. Introduce some soft creams, charming blues and charcoal greys to your winter wardrobe and feel confident in classic British manner throughout the festive season.
fashion | S T Y L E F O R H I M
COMPILED BY | JESSICA WAY
fashion | S T Y L E F O R H E R
Hobbs London Phoebe Hat, £45, hobbs.co.uk
Aspinal of London, Ladies Sheepskin Lined Suede Gloves, £105, aspinaloflondon.com
Radley London, Kennington enamel watch, £140, radley.co.uk
Crabtree & Evelyn, La Source Overnight Hand Therapy, £19, crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
1 Mary Le Bone, Grand Kendal Two-Sided Lambswool Scarf, £290, maryleboneoflondon.com 2 Schöffel Tenies Hat, £34.95, schoffel.co.uk 3 Radley Folk Dog Mini Telescopic Umbrella, £18, radley.co.uk 4 Queene and Belle, Karma Cashmere Hoodie, £795, queeneandbelle.com 5 Charlotte Olympia, Mini Feline Shopper, £745, charlotteolympia.com 6 Yull Shoes, Mayfair Platform Plum High Heels, £225, yull.co.uk 7 Fairfax & Favour, The Amira - Navy Blue, £395, fairfaxandfavor.com 8 Pip Howeson Florence Coat, £1200, piphoweson.com
For sophisticated elegance this Christmas, introduce warm browns, burnt oranges and a touch of burgundy to your festive wardrobe. Blend some fun statement accessories and patterned animal-inspired prints with our choice of both stylish and practical winter wear essentials, à la mode this season. 28 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
SHINE BRIG H T THIS CHRISTMAS
FREE PENDANT OR BRACELET WORTH £139 RRP When you spend £229 or more on Clogau jewellery Ter ms & C ond itions apply. O ffe rs su b je c t to stoc k . w w w.c log au .c o.u k
Write stuff MADE IN BRITAIN
Even in a world where computers can do much of our work for us, the appeal of holding a pen in your hand and making your mark on a crisp white sheet of paper hasnâ€™t waned. Emma Johnson meets some of stationery brands still encouraging us to put pen to paper.
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HE HEAVY WEIGHT of a pen, the feel of smooth, thick paper, the smell of rich leather, the dark splash of ink – as our world gets more and more digital, it seems the desire to write things down, sign our names, put our thoughts in a journal and share our ideas hasn’t been lost. The British stationery industry has perhaps always been a relatively artisan one, focusing on passed-down skills and traditional approaches, but it seems that this desire for beautiful things in which to impart our thoughts, record our day to day activities or to invite loved ones to a party remains at the centre of the British way of life. “As a country we have many traditions that are admired around the world, and stationery is definitely amongst them,” says Alex, from Mount Street Printers, who have produced beautiful personalised stationery in the heart of Mayfair for almost 40 years. “Engraved stationery production has almost disappeared from continental Europe, but continues to thrive in the UK, which is great for our country,” he adds. Mount Street Printers, which now offers everything from engraving to fast digital printing, has occupied the same site at 4 Mount Street since it opened, and has been successful in part due to its commitment to embracing new technology while still working with traditional craftsmanship. Alex explains that it is traditional approaches to writing and the crafts of personalisation which have protected the industry against the onslaught of modernisation and consumerism: “I think, for instance, that The Royal Family have been incredibly supportive of traditional skills and processes throughout the UK, which has been so beneficial. It has enabled all kinds of craftsmen to thrive and be recognised for their work whilst continuing to produce the finest goods that are economically viable.” And it is this approach that has had an impact felt throughout the industry.
Chase a nd Wond er
At G.F. Smith, where for over 130 years beautiful paper has been produced in the same Hull factory, the brand is still leading the charge for products made with a combination of sophisticated machinery and handcrafted skills. Started by George Frederick Smith in 1885, the company became recognised as one of the great innovators in paper, and is established as the supplier of choice for creative and design industries in Britain and beyond. Colorplan – G.F. Smith’s pioneering range of coloured papers – has been an iconic and indispensable resource for designers since it was launched in 1936, and its range continues to defy expectations – both with its depth and scope of colours, but also its approach to preserving and supporting handmade skills, such as spine stitching and paper sourcing. w November/December 2017
For beautiful fountain pens, roller balls and mechanical pencils, British engineering has again been at the forefront of the industry, with the likes of Yard O Led, Conway Stewart, Burnham and Sigma all important names when it comes to writing instruments. Situated in Spencer Street in Birmingham, in the heart of the jewellery quarter, and handcrafted in England since 1934, pens from Yard O Led are slim, delicate pieces with intricate filigree engravings, and the brand has retained its vintage feel with pens that are classic and collectable. For artists materials, there can perhaps be no more well-known name than Derwent, who have been supplying creatives with high quality artist pencils, watercolour pencils and a wide range of supporting materials for artists since 1832. Its renowned Pencil Museum still stands on the site of the original factory in Keswick, in the the Lake District, while it has maintained Cumbrian roots, building a purpose-built factory in Lillyhall in 2008. At the more modern end of the spectrum, plenty of designer brands have moved into writing instruments, often targeting the business sector with style-focused pens and pencils, designed to make a real impression in the boardroom. From Aspinal of London to Dunhill and Ted Baker, designer pens are making a name for themselves, while new brands who specialise in pens are also becoming more popular. The intriguingly-named Ajoto – which comes from a Japanese word meaning superlative luxury – for instance, designs all its pens at its dedicated factory in Manchester and is renowned for its smooth, fuss-free tapered design.
DESIGN & DECORATION
Perhaps one of the foremost names in British stationery has to be Smythson of Bond Street, who still make and produce all their stationery in Britain. Having created the first portable diary back in 1908, which became known as ‘the Panama hat of books,’ the brand has stayed true to its roots, still producing its ‘Panama Diary’ to this day, but adding to its collection with a host of other leatherbound notebooks and diaries, as well as notecards, envelopes, pens and paper.
“As a country we have many traditions that are admired
around the world, and stationery is definitely amongst them” In addition, it is still a go-to for much of British high society for its personalised, bespoke stationery service, from classic, stamped initials, business cards and personally designed motifs stamped in gold or silver leaf, to a full wedding invitation and stationery design service, much of its work produced using artisan skills from years ago. Elsewhere, innovation comes from the past and the present. Luxury leather brand Jardine of London, has recently launched a range of beautiful leatherbound journals, featuring the distinctive
Jardine star, which comes from the Jardine Star Brooch, bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 by Lady Jardine; while Leathersmith of London have been manufacturing quality leatherbound books, diaries, leather gifts and accessories in England since 1839 – each book handcrafted and bound in its bindery in Essex, using genuine leather and Azure paper. And, at Bound by Hand, fine leather wedding-guest books, notebooks, memory books and journals are all designed and handmade in a Devon studio. w
WHERE TO SHOP
Pen to Paper
Bespoke British Pens
Renowned worldwide for creating and promoting high quality British fountain pens. Brands include Conway Stewart, Henry Simpole and Jack Row. » bespokebritishpens.co.uk
Chase and Wonder
British Stationery and gift brand; designs evoke a nostalgia for the past with a quirky nod to Victoriana motifs. » chaseandwonder.com
Have been making high quality artist pencils, watercolour pencils and a wide range of supporting materials for artists since 1832. » derwentart.com
INSPIRATION & STYLE
Coupled with the continued commitment to bespoke and personalised stationery, is a penchant for beautiful notebooks, diaries, writing paper and desk accessories – something numerous big name and independent shops and producers are inevitably capitalising on. Every stationery-lover must visit the gorgeous enclave that is the Liberty of London stationery room. Recently re-launched, it has always been a destination for beautiful paper, notebooks and diaries and its expertly curated collection includes brands from across the world – including El Casco, Papier and L’Objet – as well as designs from the likes of designers as diverse as Christian Lacroix and Kate Spade. At Chase and Wonder, an independent British stationery and gift brand founded by husband and wife team Faye and David Aspinall, designs evoke a nostalgia for the past with a quirky nod to Victoriana motifs. Based in a converted cowshed in the Cheshire countryside, their beautifully designed, high quality and ethically-made gifts are all proudly made in Britain, and they supply numerous emporiums of style, including Liberty of London, Fortnum and Mason, Harrods, Paperchase, Paul Smith and Lane Crawford. “I think we are popular for our unique designs, the high quality of our products, and the fact that they are all made in Britain,” explains David Aspinall. “There is always a sense of nostalgia about our products, and we try to combine that with a wry sense of humour where possible. All of our designs find inspiration from a variety of places, but especially, past Victorian splendour, antique curiosities, unique finds and even our dog, Ruby.” This quirky approach to design signals, for some brands, a moving away from a classic leather-bound feel, igniting the British stationery scene with fresh eyes for design. Take a leisurely walk around some of London’s best stationery shops and you’ll uncover such delights as Quill London, a stationery and modern calligraphy studio, featuring eclectic designs from as far afield as Japan and San Francisco; Present and Correct, whose focus on graphic design-influenced stationery has ensured a loyal business and corporate following; and Choosing and Keeping, a high end store with a penchant for classic pieces reimagined. As David Aspinall at Chase and Wonder says: “I think the future looks really positive. The world is moving on technologically, but there is still an innate human desire for the tactile, and receiving a greeting card typifies this. As with everything the focus has to be on the design and quality of the products for them to find a place in an ever competitive market – but the British are known for their design, and with new stationery companies starting every day, the future looks exciting.” 34 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
Recognised as one of the great innovators in paper. Established as the supplier of choice for the creative and design industries in Britain and beyond. » gfsmith.com
Jardine of London
The name of this luxury leather brand comes from the Jardine Star Brooch which was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 by Lady Jardine. » jardineoflondon.co.uk
Mount Street Printers
Purveyors of Luxury Personalised Stationery, Foil Blocking, Engraving, Thermography. Dedicated to personal service. » mountstreetprinters.com
Smythson of Bond Street
British stationery brand created the first portable diary back in 1908. They still make and produce all their stationery in Britain. » smythson.com
Yard O Led
Slim and delicate handcrafted sterling silver writing instruments, with intricate filigree engravings. Handcrafted in England since 1934. » yard-o-led.co.uk
and discover seasonal styles on our website: »exclusivelybritish magazine.com
The Freebody slipper launch, hand crafted in England, for lifeâ€™s unforgettable moments.
TELEPHONE: 0 1 6 2 8 824382
T HAMES BOAT HOUSES, MILL LANE, HURLEY, BERKSHIRE SL6 5ND
In beautiful Berkshire countryside, this unique hotel, restaurant and oenophile paradise ticks ALL the boxes! Words | Robin Glover
UCKED AWAY IN the village of Stockcross, on the south-western outskirts of the historic town of Newbury (minutes from Highclere Castle, the real-life ‘Downton Abbey’) and less than an hour from London, is a destination which fully justifies the effort. Modern and sophisticated, The Vineyard, a 5* Relais & Chateaux gem, graciously combines the comfort and style of a rural retreat with the standards of service, facilities, accommodation and dining to be expected of the best establishments in any capital city. The spa and leisure complex, both open only to hotel guests, are rated ‘5 Bubble’, the highest possible; the world-class cuisine of Robby Jenks, Pawel Soha and the kitchen team have justly earned 3 AA Rosettes for outstanding dining; the extensive, 3000+ bin list of wines, from all corners of the globe, is recognised as among the ‘World’s Best’ by ‘The World of Fine Wine’ magazine. It is no wonder that Head Sommelier, Romain Bourger has no less than 6 knowledgeable assistants. Such high standards (Large Hotel of the Year, Restaurant/Bistro of the Year, etc.) could not be maintained without good management and Marwan Hemchaoui (Hotel Manager of the Year) is clearly providing it. At all levels, staff members are cheerful, attentive and efficient. You will need to keep a sharp eye out for the understated signage inviting you to turn on to the curving gravelled drive, through multi-level gardens whose casual perfection reflect the dedication of the gardeners, to the drop-off area, from which your car will be whisked away to the carpark with quiet efficiency. Checking-in is equally stress-free in the bright and spacious reception hall, gently
buzzing with activity from guests meeting, greeting or simply relaxing. Unusually, climate-controlled wineracks are intriguingly prominent in this area, set over glass floors revealing well-ordered cellars in which many more bottles can, temptingly, be seen. Ask for a guided tour of the vaults and prepare to be bewildered – 30000 bottles, ranging in price from £26 to £26000! Returning to reality, your eyes are inevitably drawn to a vast (6m x 3m) painting, called ‘The Judgement of Paris’, which depicts the 1976 blind-tasting competition between the best of French and Californian wines. This unforgettably captures, in cartoon-like expressions, the incredulity of the, predominantly, French experts when the Napa wines were adjudged the victors. In 2006, the test was restaged, with much the same result, but the established myth of the superiority of ‘old world’ wines had, by then, long been shattered and products from all around the globe accepted by an enthusiastic drinking public. Following the pivotal competition of 1976, an entrepreneurial Briton, Peter Michael (driving force behind Cosworth Engineering, founder of Classic FM w
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and knighted in 1989) established his hugely successful winery in Sonoma County and, in 1996, acquired The Vineyard, under the principle that it will remain a 100% family business for 100 years. This personal touch pervades every inch of the estate, from the casual elegance of the welcoming patio areas to the comfortable refinement of the 49 individually-designed guestrooms and suites, each named after iconic wines. Strikingly, the walls of all the rooms, private and public, are liberally embellished by original works of art, whether cartoons by Ronald Searle or collections of stunning pieces by Henry Martin, Boris Smirnoff and the amazing Doris Zinkeisen. Even relative art-philistines, like myself, could not fail to appreciate the craft on display. The Vineyard has been called ‘a temple to Californian wine’, an overly modest description. There are notable wines from the USA, just as there are the finest from Bordeaux and Burgundy, but you are able to sample, too, the more unexpected – a startlingly good Grune Veltliner from Austria and a satisfying Chenin Blanc from Thailand. Start in the modern, laid-back atmosphere of the cocktail bar, all mirrors, chandeliers and bronzed fittings, with canapés and a glass of Kentish sparkling wine (Gusbourne 2009) before going through to the busy and intimate, split-level restaurant, complete with a resident pianist whose well-performed repertoire was both entertaining and, seemingly, infinite. More bronze banisters adorn a curving staircase to the lower level, at the same time smart, informal, discreet and fun. The menu choices were universally and confusingly appealing and our Parisienne waitress, Samantha, proposed the ‘Discovery’ tasting menu, asking Boris, our sommelier, to suggest appropriate wines to accompany each course. Suffice to say, each of the six courses was sensational, especially the seared halibut with mussels, tiny mushrooms and sea herbs, complemented by a Californian Pinot Noir (Gary Farrell 1998), and the sublime thyme parfait, with strawberries and lemon, partnered by the Thai Chenin Blanc (Monsoon Valley 2015). Sir Peter’s venture is a hidden treat, a great hotel not to missed. 38 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
Restaurants in unique settings...
RESTAURANTS offering Christmas lunch, and other tasty, innovative dishes CAN BE FOUND
all over Britain’s countryside – on the shores of lakes, overlooking valleys and even on a mountain. CHOOSE ONE OF THE following restaurants AND Words | JESSICA WAY take in a stunning view WHILE DINING.
T THIS TIME of year, when it is even more meaningful than most to spend time with your family, to celebrate the year that’s passed with close friends or work colleagues, or to simply share in the moment enjoying a romantic table for two, choosing the right restaurant venue is paramount to your dining experience. The choices of where to dine out are plentiful here in Britain, with hidden gems throughout our cities, countryside and coastline. To whet your appetite, and inspire you to book at a venue special to you, we hope you’ll enjoy our selection of some of the finest dining venues, serving delicious food, with beautiful views.
STOKE PARK Pictured top leftright: Christmas pudding at The Horn of Plenty; fireplace at Stoke Park, stockings on the stairs at Huntsham Court and Christmas at Chewton Glen.
Buckinghamshire, South East England Set among 300 acres of beautiful parkland and landscaped gardens, Stoke Park is only 35 minutes from Central London and seven miles from London Heathrow. This Christmas (8, 15 and 16 December) their Palladian Mansion is being transformed into a circus wonderland - so get ready to party! The dress code is black tie with the option of fancy dress - find your inner clown or even trapeze artiste and let them entertain you with their world-class hospitality! » stokepark.com
Devon, South West England There is no shortage of open fires on which to roast chestnuts this Christmas at the impressive exclusive-hire country house. Immaculately restored over a five-year period, this gothic baronial mansion set on five acres of grounds oozes classic charm coupled with accents of modern luxury. Boasting 35 individually designed bedroom suites, many with four-poster beds and claw foot tubs and original fireplaces on which to hang stockings, this perfect party house can sleep up to 82 guests! Over the Yuletide season the house’s five grand reception rooms are adorned with all the Christmas accoutrements, with trees, wreaths, baubles and candles worthy of a Downton Abby film set. » huntshamcourt.co.uk
New Forest, South England Serving an exquisite five course festive dinner between 25 November to 23 December 2017, with Roast New Forest ‘Wrolstad’ Bronze Turkey and Chewton Glen Christmas Pudding, Brandy Butter & Sauce included within their multifarious menu, Chewton Glen is a firstclass dining option. Nestled on the fringe of the New Forest and a few minutes walk from the sea, it is an idyllic retreat with a sparkling history. Historic documents suggest the house dates from the early eighteenth century, with land and premises known as “Chewton Glen House” appearing in 1732. Its famous literary link threads through the decades and centuries. Captain Frederick Marryat stayed for periods in the 1840’s, gathering material for his famous novel “The Children of the New Forest”. Although don’t be misled by history; Chewton Glen never stands still and is a world leader in innovation and hospitality. There is no better time to experience the magic of this property than during the festive season.
THE HORN OF PLENTY
Devon, South West England Overlooking the Tamar Valley, an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty around the rivers Tamar, Tavy and Lynher in Devon, you can enjoy sweeping views while dining on British food with a hint of French flair. Dishes change daily depending on the availability of seasonal ingredients and local produce, but might include local venison, duck or fish. The restaurant is housed in a four-star manor house hotel of the same name. » thehornofplenty.co.uk
Warwickshire, West Midlands England A magnificent 43 bedroom manor house hotel in Leamington Spa, set in 10 acres of grounds. Mallory Court is the epitome of a quintessential English country house hotel. Relax beside a roaring fire and savour exquisite cuisine. Christmas dinners are available throughout December, and with their attentive service and warm hospitality, 3 AA rosettes and exclusive Relais & Chateaux membership, you will be left with the feeling of quality and service from this awardwinning hotel. Their seasonal menu combines the rich flavours of Christmas in dishes to suit all tastes, all freshly prepared while you unwind away from the hectic Christmas rush.
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Pictured left-right: Christmas afternoon tea at The Horn of Plenty, view from Belmond British Pullman and The Isle of Eriska.
ISLE OF ERISKA
Benderloch, Argyll, Scotland The Isle of Eriska is a 25-bedroom Relais & Chateaux hotel, located on its own 300acre private island. Located just two hours from Glasgow Airport, the island also has a luxury spa, tennis courts, nine-hole golf course, nature reserve and private beach. From September to January, epicureans can enjoy big and bold flavours on a new ‘Great Game and Fine Wine Experience’ at The Isle of Eriska in Scotland. This is the season when the Scottish countryside comes into its own on the private island with the autumn colours at their most dramatic. The larder is full of foraged ingredients and the Eriska kitchen gardens overflow with root vegetables, pumpkins and winter herbs for the season’s table.
BELMOND BRITISH PULLMAN
Journey from and back to London Victoria Step back in time to the glamorous 1920s when you board the famous vintage train at London Victoria station. A fine dining experience awaits in your beautiful wood-panelled carriage, resplendent with art deco designs. Entertainment, bedecked carriages and a delicious meal as the beautiful winter countryside passes you by-a festive lunch with all the trimmings aboard the Belmond British Pullman is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas.
» belmond.com/trains/europe/uk/belmond-british-pullman November/December 2017
OnceOnce home to Her Her Majesty The Queenandand and the Royal home to Her MajestyThe The Queen thethe Royal Family,Family, Once home to Majesty Queen Royal Family, The Royal Yacht Britanniaisisisone one of luxurious eventsevents TheRoyal Royal Yacht Britannia one ofthe themost most luxurious The Yacht Britannia of the most luxurious events venues in the world. venues the world. venues ininthe world. The Queen’s former floating palace can TheQueen’s Queen’s former floating floating palace can The former can now be exclusively yours for palace the evening. nowbe be exclusively yours for the the evening. Whether it’s a special birthday orevening. now exclusively yours for anniversary celebration, a corporate Whether it’saaspecial special birthday or dinner Whether it’s birthday or or drinkscelebration, reception, an aevening on the dinner Royal anniversary corporate anniversary celebration, a corporate dinner Yacht promises to be the event of a lifetime. ordrinks drinksreception, reception,an an evening evening on on the the Royal Royal or in touch our event Eventsof to find out more. YachtGet promises towith be the the lifetime. Yacht promises to be event ofteam aa lifetime. Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ | +44 (0)131 555 8800 Getin in touchwith with our our Events Events team team to find find out out more. more. royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/events | email@example.com Get touch to Registered charity: SC028070 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 EH6 6JJ 6JJ || +44 +44 (0)131 (0)131 555 555 8800 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, 8800
ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA
Ocean Dr, Edinburgh, Scotland Celebrate in royal fashion with a private event on board Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating palace, where kings and queens, celebrities and world leaders were once entertained. Berthed in the historic port of Leith in Edinburgh, Britannia is now a luxury venue for exclusive use dinners and drinks receptions, and is particularly magical at Christmas when candles and sumptuous decorations create a stunning setting for festive dining in the State Dining Room. Guests are treated to a red carpet welcome and are piped on board, an honour previously reserved for The Queen and the Royal Family. There is a variety of packages to choose from which would be perfect for a special occasion or as a memorable place for an office party. Alternatively, book a ‘behind-the-ropes’ Christmas private tour to experience the highlights of this iconic ship whilst sipping Champagne and learning about festive traditions on board. » royalyachtbritannia.co.uk
THE LAKE VYRNWY HOTEL & SPA
Llanwddyn, Wales Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir just outside Snowdonia National Park in stunning North Wales. Built in the 1880s to supply water to the northern England city of Liverpool, the 355-metre long reservoir boasts an unusual turreted tower, which looks like it should belong to a fairytale castle. The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa overlooks the water and has two dining experiences on offer: the Tower Restaurant is more formal, with a three-course menu showcasing seasonal and local produce, while the Tavern Brasserie is more relaxed and offers classic dishes, such as burger and fish and chips. Both eateries share the same great views of the lake. » lakevyrnwy.com
Pictured above-below: Exterior and the State Dining Room dressed for a Royal Christmas Party on board Britannia; The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa.
Cairngorm Mountain, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland The Ptarmigan – named after a bird that breeds in Scotland’s tallest mountains – is the highest restaurant in Britain, sitting at 1,066 metres (3,500 foot) above sea level. The restaurant is at the top station of Cairngorm’s funicular railway, where carriages are hauled up the mountain using a cable system. It offers great views of the surrounding countryside and lochs – on a clear day you might even be able to make out Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, on the horizon. The food menu uses local ingredients where possible. Cairngorm is at the heart of the national park that takes its name – it’s around three hours from Edinburgh by road or rail.
Pictured above-below: Views of and from The Ptarmigan, Christmas decorations at The Horn of Plenty and views from Issho.
3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds In June, sleek rooftop Japanese restaurant and bar Issho arrived in the city, specialising in Asian sharing dishes that incorporate Yorkshire produce. Having previously launched London’s Sexy Fish in 2015, executive chef Ben Orpwood’s extensive travels around Japan have inspired his dishes, resulting in creations such as Wagyu pastrami and maple-glazed pork belly with fresh apple and wasabi. The restaurant features an outdoor terrace, and its bar, Kori, serves a wide range of sake alongside Japaneseinspired cocktails, such as the Matcha Sour. Festive season at Issho is available from 13 November until 24 December, with dishes including turkeytori skewers and a maccha Christmas tree dessert.
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The Great British Escape Stoke Park is a luxury 5 AA Red Star Hotel, Spa and Country Club set within 300 acres of beautiful parkland and offers world-class sporting and leisure facilities.
Facilities include: • • • • • • • • • •
49 Bedrooms and Suites Award winning Spa 27 hole Championship Golf Course 3 Restaurants and Bars, including Humphry’s (3 AA Rosette, fine dining) 13 Tennis Courts (indoor, grass and artificial clay) Indoor Pool State of the art Gym with Fitness, Hot Yoga and Spinning Studios hosting up to 50 classes per week Crèche Games Room Playground
35 minutes from London, 7 miles from Heathrow Airport and a short drive from Windsor makes Stoke Park an ideal location and perfect setting for stopovers and luxury breaks. For more information or to book, please contact our Reservations Team on 01753 717172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org @stokepark
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Christmas FESTIVITIES AT
A visit to Queen Victoria's favourite castle makes a perfect start to the festive season. Words | Diana Woolf
NYONE LOOKING FOR inspiration on how to do a traditional Christmas in the grand style should look no further than Windsor Castle. This December its magnificent state apartments will be given a festive makeover with giant Christmas trees, glittering decorations and dining tables laid out for royal feasts. There will also be a series of immersive performances of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, with visitors being escorted through the castle by Ebenezer Scrooge to the state apartments where they will watch his vision of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come unfold. Windsor Castle, which was founded in 1070 by William the Conqueror, is the oldest royal residence in the British Isles to have remained in continuous use and, over its long history, has been home to 39 monarchs. It was a particular favourite of Queen Victoria who chose to spend the greatest portion of her year here making it a setting for family gatherings and entertainments in addition to grand state occasions. She and her German-born consort Albert are credited with popularising many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas - Christmas cards and trees in particular - and it’s the festive atmosphere of a traditional Victorian Christmas that curators are recreating at Windsor this winter. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the Castle after the terrible fire of November 1992 which seriously damaged the state apartments including the vast St George’s Hall, built by the architect Jeffry Wyatville for George IV in the early 1820s. During the restoration the hall was given a new hammer-beam roof, made using medieval carpentry techniques, and now looks as good as new. Over 55 metres long, it’s often used for state banquets of up to 160 guests. For the Christmas season the 47 metre-long dining table has been removed and instead a huge Christmas tree, taken from Windsor Great Park and decorated with gorgeous gold decorations, dominates the hall. And it’s beside this Christmas tree that the finale of A Christmas Carol takes place, as Scrooge celebrates his new-found festive spirit. Five other Christmas trees decorated with gilded garlands, fruits and ivy add to the festive atmosphere in neighbouring rooms and the Waterloo Gallery – a space long w
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DON'T MISS EVENTS
Changing of the Guard: Daily, at 11am but check for times
Watch the famous ceremony on the parade ground in the Lower Ward.
Private Evening Castle Tours: December, dates tbc
Book a private evening tour for a behind-the-ropes experience of the castle.
Festive Weekend at the Castle: 9-10 December 2017
Visit the castle this weekend and enjoy a series of Victorian themed activities including a pop-up pantomime, story-telling and decoration-making.
The performance of Charles Dickens’ classic tale: A Christmas Carol
Sleeping Beauty: 29 November 2017–7 January 2018
»16-30 December 2017
Visit the Theatre Royal Windsor to enjoy a traditional Christmas panto
unusual treasure is Edward III’s long sword (an impressive two metres long) in the south aisle of the chapel. Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, and the chapel is the spiritual home of his famous order of chivalry, housing the banners of the 24 Knights and hosting an annual service for them on Garter Day. Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is also a must-see site at Windsor. This extraordinary creation is a perfect scale model of a royal mansion and was commissioned by Princess Marie Louise in the 1920s as a gift for Queen Mary, who loved all things miniature. The architect Edwin Lutyens designed the house, while the inside was meticulously furnished by a range of craftspeople, many of whom were royal warrant holders. The lavish interiors are fit for a king: the sheets are embroidered with the royal ciphers, there are a pair of thrones in the Saloon and a set of crown jewels in the strong room - although a mini Fabergé mouse has been allowed to creep in amongst all the tiny treasures. Perhaps it’s searching for some Christmas treats?
associated with Christmas at Windsor as it in old master drawings should stop off at the was here that the young Princesses Elizabeth Print Room of the Royal Library: look out for and Margaret performed Christmas drawings by Renaissance superstars such as pantomines during the Second World War. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael While in the Waterloo Gallery, visitors amongst others. should take time to look at the paintings by St George’s Chapel in the Lower Ward Sir Thomas Lawrence displayed along the of the castle is a marked contrast to the walls. These are portraits of the generals, gold and crimson opulence of the state statesmen and monarchs associated with apartments. This architectural gem was the Battle of Waterloo commissioned by began under Edward IV in 1475 and is a George IV to celebrate the allied victory over wonderful example of the Perpendicular Napoleon; naturally the Duke of Wellington’s Gothic style. It’s famous for its elaborate fan portrait is in pride of place. vaulting which seems to grow out of the As well as admiring the Christmas slender pillars to create a roof of intricately decorations in the state apartments, visitors carved stonework punctuated by colourful should look out for the many treasures from wooden bosses. Ten British monarchs are the Royal Collection on display. Highlights buried here, but perhaps the chapel’s most include paintings by a starry cast of TOP TEN THINGS TO DO artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Giovanni Bellini and Rembrandt van Rijn Square up to Henry VIII Find the Champion displayed in the King’s Dressing Room Measure yourself against the Tudor King’s suit of The armoured figure of the King’s Champion is on armour, on show in the Lantern Lobby. show in St George’s Hall. and King’s Closet (rooms originally created for Charles II). The Queen’s Check out Queen Victoria’s Mourn a naval hero Marvel at the musket ball that killed Lord Nelson at Drawing Rooms, designed for Charles’ throne the Battle of Trafalgar; this was removed by the ship’s Admire the ivory throne given to Victoria by the wife, are decorated with a selection of Maharajah of Travancore, on show in the Throne Room. surgeon and made into a locket. Tudor and Stuart royal portraits by the Go tiger hunting Take a walk likes of Hans Holbein and Robert Peak. See the life-size golden tiger’s head from the throne Explore Windsor Great Park and admire the Although George IV gave these rooms a ancient oak trees of this former royal hunting ground. of Tipu, Sultan of Mysore in the Grand Vestibule. serious makeover, some of the original Go for gold Go to church Be dazzled by the gold and silver artefacts on show Attend one of the daily services at St George’s Baroque ceilings painted for Charles II in in the display cases in the Lantern Lobby. Chapel and soak up the atmosphere. the 1670s still survive, including the fine Get your money’s worth example by Antonio Verrio in the King’s Do your Christmas shopping Convert your entrance ticket into a one-year Buy your friends and family presents fit for a Dining Room, appropriately depicting a pass by asking at the ticket desk. Queen at the gift shop. banquet of the gods. Visitors interested
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One of the oldest and most celebrated shopping arcades in the world, The Burlington Arcade is a striking example of the London shopping scene from years gone by. Words | Emma Johnson
eing the go-to for the affluent Victorian population, the arcade is steeped in a varied and rich history, and, as the first shopping arcade to have a covered roof, is thought to be the predecessor to the likes of The Passage in St Petersburg, the first of Europe's grand arcades, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels. Running behind Bond Street, from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens, the beautiful arcade, complete with its archway entrances and curved shopfronts is pure old-school glamour. It was designed by its creator Lord George Cavendish to house beautiful jewellery and fashion, and opened on 20 March 1819 with 72 small two-storey units – a number that has since been reduced to about 40 stores. It boasts its own police force, the Beadles responsible for upholding the Arcade’s strict codes of conduct for centuries – who still wear the traditional top hats and frockcoats of their predecessors, and prevent shoppers from such infractions as whistling, humming, running or riding bikes. The Beadles even run the renowned Burlington Arcade tours, acting as informative historical guides.
THE BIG NAMES
While some of the stores here are modern names at the cutting-edge of contemporary style, the Arcade still has an air of heritage and understated style, and many of the shopfronts bear the original signage from the Arcade’s early days. Today, its vintage windows are dressed to the nines with everything from brogues and bags to candles and cashmere, but especially with beautiful timepieces, with the likes of The Vintage Watch Company, La Perla, Carat, Michael Rose, Bell & Ross and David Duggan all in attendance. For footwear Manolo Blahnik, Harry’s of London and Church’s lead the charge, while beauty and fragrance stores include Penhaligons, Roja Parfums, Frederic Malle and True Grace. A store absolutely not to be missed would be N.Peal – a British brand which provides the highest quality cashmere and has the ability to trace its cashmere back to the individual herders who tend their goats on the vast steppes of Mongolia. Daniel Craig has sported N.Peal in the last two James Bond movies, Skyfall and Spectre. The brand was commissioned to make a roll neck for Spectre which featured in the nail biting chess scene and James Bond was wearing the turtle neck in the Spectre teaser poster. w
Also worth a special visit is Roja, the perfume store at number 51. Buying scents in here is an unmissable experience. Owned by the eccentric Mr Roja, the design of the shop is flamboyant and quirky, and all perfume bottles are made of beautiful Swarovski glass. The bespoke services are exquisite but incredibly special - to make your own completely unique scent will set you back £45,000. All the ingredients that go into your scent are pure, and he promises that you will never use a chemical filled department store perfume again. Of course, perhaps one of the Burlington Arcade’s most famed stores is the small but perfectly-formed Ladurée, at the entrance to the Arcade. An exquisite experience in sweet treats, it is decorated like a golden grotto with an array of rainbow coloured macaroons covering every surface.
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TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Burlington Arcade is in many ways as special on a quiet Monday morning as it is just days before Christmas, its heritage charm in evidence all year round - but for a quieter shopping experience, pick the morning, as the busiest time here is late afternoon. Shops close relatively early though, at 5.30pm, so the weekends are also a more peaceful time. At Christmas the Arcade feels like winter wonderland, beautifully lit-up trees line the covered and marbled avenue, while all the shops offer their own carefully-curated take on the festive theme. Running until November, as part of Mayfair Art weekend, French artist Mathilda Nivet has created a flock of origami paper birds that span the ceiling of the arcade. This is the first time that Nivet has exhibited in the Arcade, and the birds are representative of w
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Pictured right; Mathilde Nivet's hand-made flock of origami paper birds span the ceiling of the Burlington Arcade as part of Mayfair Art Weekend.
© DAVID PARRY
the people passing through London. Nivet – who has designed window displays for Hermès, Bulgari and Chanel - has handmade all 300 birds, in various stages of flight, and the effects are quite stunning, their individual paper feathers re-creating the natural movement of birds. Whenever you decide to shop here, take the time to make the most of the intimate, warm atmosphere. Stores have chosen this location because of their commitment to customer service and it shows throughout the Arcade – from the helpful Beadles at the entrances to all the shop owners and staff, who will want to spend the time helping and advising you on purchases. They are passionate about their brands and will help you have the best possible experience and find something truly unique. They will share exactly the process by which the items are made and even the stories behind them and the shop.
The Tor r idon
Ellenborough Par k
Judges Countr y House Hotel
The Grove of Narber t h
Bodysgallen Hall & Spa
Nor t hcote
PRIDE of BRITAIN HOTELS I N T ERV I EW W I T H P ET ER H A N CO C K C H I EF EX E C U T I V E O F T H E
It’s a difficult strapline to live up to, ‘The Art of Great Hospitality’ but Pride of Britain Hotels sets the standard when it comes to offering guests the best the UK has to offer. Claire Pitcher meets chief executive Peter Hancock at Wiltshire’s Whatley Manor Hotel to find out more about one of Britain's finest hotel collections.
ROM COUNTRY houses in the Cotswolds to cruising the Hebridean islands, we all crave that little something extra when looking for a place to stay in the UK. Not only are we after luxurious décor, decadent bathrooms, delicious food and five star facilities, we would hope to receive the best hospitality. A service that is so light of touch that you want for nothing, without even asking. Many hotels become members of international groups such as Mr & Mrs Smith, Small Luxury Hotels of the World or Relais & Chateaux, but there is one very exclusive consortium that focuses only on the best independent hotels here in Great Britain.
BETTER TOGETHER Pride of Britain started with 12 member hotels, the first being Maison Talbooth, all paying an annual fee then pooling their resources to get to markets that were more difficult to reach on their own. “In the early 1980s that market was North America,” explains Peter, “so all the effort and spend at the time was devoted to targeting the travel trade there. It was only a little over 10 years ago we decided to pull away from the world and concentrate entirely on the British market, because that’s the biggest and most important to us.” w
FROM THE FRONT Started in 1982 by the late Gerald Milsom, Pride of Britain Hotels has just 48 member hotels (including one cruise ship) and makes a point of never representing any more than 50. Chief executive Peter Hancock (pictured above) has been ‘front of house’ for Pride of Britain for 17 years and explains how the consortium started. “Gerald Milsom owned Le Talbooth restaurant and Maison Talbooth near Colchester. He and a group of friends and hoteliers got together and decided the time was right to start their own consortium. They were all members of of another grouping at the time, but they wanted to have a bit more control so decided to start their own.” Literally over dinner they invented Pride of Britain Hotels and laid down the basic ground rules. Namely the organisation would be not for profit, it would have a limit of 50 member hotels to keep it special, the members would always be in charge of who could join, how the money is spent and who managed it. “It’s remained the same ever since,” proclaims Peter.
The Gor ing
When an independent hotel becomes a member of Pride of Britain they pay an annual fee. These fees plus around 20 commercial partnerships with various high-end companies such as American Express, Sky and Moet & Chandon, deliver about £1m a year for us to spend on marketing the hotels, helping to build our brand and generating reservations for the member hotels.” “Soon after Maison Talbooth joined, others followed,” explains Peter. “Hotels like The Goring in London and some of our longstanding members came on board. There’s a wide geographical spread across the 48 we have at present, but they’re all like-minded, with hospitality at the forefront of their minds.”
HAVING WHAT IT TAKES It certainly sounds like these hotels have to have a certain ‘je nais se quoi’ to join the consortium but, surprisingly enough, Peter insists there are no written criteria. “We’ve always worried that if we write on a piece of paper ‘this is what you need to be part of Pride of Britain’ someone we really don’t like might pass and places that are wonderful and charming may not fulfill it.” When a hotel applies it’s visited by a member, who will then tell the board whether they think it’s suitable for membership. If they decide it
Peter under the q&a spotlight... Q: What was your most awkward moment during your time working in the hotel industry? Peter: During my time at The Roman Way in Sussex, I took a couple that had just arrived and got them settled in. I asked if there was anything I could fetch for them and the man said ‘yes, whisky and soda please?’, ‘certainly sir, and can I get anything for your wife?’ I asked. They stared at each other for a moment or two and he said: ‘That’s a good idea I’d forgotten about her – have you got any postcards?’ Q: What’s your favourite hotel? Peter: I thoroughly enjoyed the Phoenicia in Malta; it has many of the qualities of an English country house hotel, even though it’s in a city. The ghost like service, good quality food, beautiful clean rooms, a focus on the comfort and welfare of the guest – much like what I’ve grown used to with Pride of Britain Hotels really.
Q: Are you a good guest? Peter: I think I’m an excellent guest; polite, a good tipper, I try to remember my manners. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for front of house personnel. Having been a waiter myself and never a trained chef, I’ve always felt the cooks receive a disproportionate amount of the accolades. Front of house, when it’s done well, you just don’t notice it, so people don’t talk about it.” Q: Which UK county do you most like to visit? Peter: Cumbria. I do believe The Lakes (pictured below) are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Completely different to anything else we have in the country. It’s the sort of place where you’re moved to stop the car and pull in just to get out and stand and stare. You do get that in the Highlands, but the lakes are relatively easy for any of us to reach; yet so many people have never been.
Holbec k Ghyll
is, all members vote and a majority in favour gets you in. This has often resulted in a rather awkward situation for Peter: “If the members don’t think a hotel suitable I have to go back, cap in hand to the people I’ve sometimes persuaded to apply, to tell them we don’t want them after all.”
SIMPLY THE BEST High standards must be maintained too. All the member hotels are visited each year by mystery guests who produce a report: “If it’s damning then a conversation has to start about how they intend to put things right. Then, if there is no obvious progress we take steps to remove them as a member. We have a reputation to uphold and if the quality is not there, then the brand stands for nothing” Peter insists. Ultimately Pride of Britain wants to help independent hotels enjoy the sort of status and reputation that larger groups can achieve. “We have credibility that comes from a national group. We cherry pick what we think to be the best independent hotels in the country, whatever their style, we know our customers are going to enjoy. Members receive the most effective marketing service we can offer. Be that through press introductions, corporate introductions, the website, the distribution of literature. All the methods of saving money we can offer by pooling our resources.” With a strong background in the hospitality industry before he even began his role at Pride of Britain Hotels, there must be little else for Peter to learn now after 17 years at the helm. He describes himself as “an excellent guest,” but what can he take away from his experiences before he eventually retires? “I’ve learnt how to be courteous. I thought I was, but I had no grasp until I got to know our members really well. It costs nothing to be courteous but they have shown me how you can appear to be very generous to people – but it’s the way you do it, the way you make people feel. I certainly don’t claim to be as good at is as our hoteliers.” Isn’t that what we all want when we check in to a hotel? A level of hospitality so high we can be proud to be British?
» To find out more about Pride of Britain Hotels and their members online at prideofbritainhotels.com. To request a free directory by post, or purchase gift vouchers, please call 01666 824666.
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Wander around one of these delightful
There’s nothing better on a crisp winter’s day than a stroll through frosty winter gardens covered in sparkling lights and illuminations and to see historic houses decked out for the season in the style of centuries gone by. From pleasure grounds to peaceful parkland, here is a selection of some of the great places just waiting to be discovered during the chilly months. Compiled by | Samantha Rutherford
ISITS TO A National Trust winter wonderland helps support bulb planting, conservation work and extra care through cold weather so when spring arrives they are transformed by beautiful blooms. Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Enjoy the decorations inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s works at his house Batemans in Sussex, or head to Dorset to see the spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle illuminated at night. After all that, warm yourself with the knowledge that each magical day out supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy. We hope you feel inspired to visit one this season from our selection of winter favourites. 62 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
IMAGES © NATIONAL TRUST IMAGES
Pictured top-left to bottom-right: Avebury Manor and Garden, Wiltshire; Belton House, Lincolnshire; Deer at Dunham Massey, Cheshire; Blickling Hall, Norfolk; Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath, and Kingston Lacy, Dorset.
South West Trelissick, Cornwall
Kingston Lacy, Dorset
With a mild maritime climate the garden at Trelissick often benefits from early flowering as a result. The bare trees at this time of year open the spectacular view all the way down the ‘Carrick Roads’ estuary. A walk around Trelissick is sure to blow away the cobwebs. » nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick
The Winter Garden at Kingston Lacy is picture perfect during the cold months. The footbridge and twisty pathways from the Japanese garden lead through a tunnel of evergreen foliage for you to explore. The frosty temperature is no match for the early snowdrops either, peak into the Victorian fernery in December to catch Galanthus plicatus or 'Three Ships' sprouting next to the curled fronds of exotic ferns. » nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy
Prior Park, Bath The peaceful garden at Prior Park looks magical on frosty mornings, with mist over the lakes and graceful swans gliding on the surface. It is the perfect place to relax over the busy Christmas period. In winter the leafless trees provide the best views of the valley and the city beyond. » nationaltrust.org.uk/prior-park-landscape-garden
Stourhead, Wiltshire There is no better garden to explore in winter than Stourhead. The frosty mist coming off the lake is magical. Why not take a stomp through the grounds before warming up with a hot chocolate in the café? » nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead w November/December 2017
Pictured top-left to bottom-right: Trelissick, Garden, Cornwall; Kingston Lacy, Dorset; Mottisfont, Romsey, and Polesden Lacey, Surrey.
London and South East Mottisfont, Hampshire Mottisfont’s winter garden matures into a beautiful and unique landscape, full of horticultural treasures. Stroll along paths through winter-flowering shrubs and perennials, rich in colour and scent. There's brilliantly coloured bark from dogwood and silvery ornamental bramble, while berries, fruit and flowering perennials also provide colour during the shortest days of the year. » nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont
Polesden Lacey, Surrey Polesden Lacey’s garden, designed by Graham Stewart Thomas, is a winter masterpiece. It has a wide central bed of bright yellow winter aconites, interspersed with a variety of pure white snowdrops, some dashed with streaks of green or yellow. Three Persian ironwood trees form the centrepiece, drawing the eye upwards to a dark canopy of crimson buds. » nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey
East of England Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire The Winter Garden at Anglesey Abbey is planted with a range of plants, trees and shrubs chosen to provide vivid colour, textures and scent during the winter months. The grand finale of this is the grove of Himalayan Silver Birch with their pure white trunks. » nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey-gardens-and-lode-mill
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Attingham Park, Shropshire
Find out how the gardeners and volunteers are getting on with Blickling’s walled garden restoration. Autumn through to winter is the best time to start preparing for the following spring. Bulb planting of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils keeps the garden team busy and your winter visits help the National Trust get ready for spring blooms. » nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate
The Pleasure Grounds and Walled Garden at Attingham Park are lovely in winter. Enjoy the Mile Walk and see the restoration of the Pleasure Grounds taking place where the landscape and views will be re-instated. You can also nip into the Walled Garden and see the gardeners at work or pop into the bothy for a little shelter. » nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
Belton House, Lincolnshire
Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire Biddulph Grange Garden is one of the most exciting survivals of the great age of Victorian gardening. The garden was the vision of one man, James Bateman, who from 1841 spent more than twenty years collecting plants from all over the world. The Pinetum is a highlight in winter especially if you are lucky enough to catch snow on the Monkey puzzle trees. » nationaltrust.org.uk/biddulph-grange-garden
Belton’s formal gardens, pleasure grounds and boating lakes provide a charming place for a stroll. The long and winding frostcovered paths, leading to the boating lake, create wintry views to inspire. The tranquil mirror pond lies in sight of the mansion, presided over by the figure of a Roman goddess statue and the walking beech tree. The Palladian style stone temple provides a sheltered spot to sit and enjoy the wonderful reflections on the pond. » www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house w
Pictured: Christmas at Speke Hall, Liverpool
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
At seven acres, Dunham’s Winter Garden is the largest of its kind in the UK and with over 1000 winter shrubs, trees and evergreens chosen for their scent, colour and texture, it offers a treat for the senses over the winter season. Thousands of bulbs spring to life during the cold weather, including delicate blue and purple irises and cyclamen which thrive in the dry conditions. The white of the birch triangle stands out against the variety of grasses and black stem dogwood which surrounds it. Towards the end of January, the snowdrops flood the garden in white. » nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey
Visit the gardens at Beningbrough during winter as starker shadows loom across the garden and the trees come to the fore with their different shapes, from espaliers on the walls to Yorkshire champions in the garden. » nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough-hall-gallery-and-gardens
Wallington, Northumberland Explore the gardens at Wallington and take in the seasonal planting through the East Wood, with trees, shrubs and plants showcasing coloured and textured bark and winter berries. They’ll be joined by 300,000 snowdrops come February when a carpet of white will appear in the wood. In the meantime, you’ll find the Edwardian conservatory in the walled garden bursting with colour throughout the year – it was built to be a winter garden by the Trevelyans in 1908 and is still full of colour and scent all year round and open every day, including Christmas Day, for you to enjoy. » nationaltrust.org.uk/wallington
Sizergh, Cumbria Winter brings the opportunity to see Sizergh’s seasonal planting, showcasing coloured and textured bark, winter berries and bulbs. The stumpery continues to enthral with a structural beauty while the twisted trunks of the Acers in the rock garden are laid bare amongst the limestone and iced-over rock pools. » nationaltrust.org.uk/sizergh
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal,Yorkshire Wander through the estate to see the trees twinkling with lights and the abbey all aglow with the colours of the rainbow. Tuck into hot festive food from the barbeque near the Abbey Tea-Room and stop by the cellarium and Fountains Hall to catch some live festive music. Music and lights at Christmas, 25–26 November, 2–3, 9, 16 – 17, 23 & 27 – 31 December, 3 – 5pm. Normal admission applies. » nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey w
Pictured: Bateman's, a 17th-century National Trust property located in Burwash, East Sussex
Wales Powis Castle, Powys
Dyffryn Gardens,Vale of Glamorgan
Pull on your winter woollies and take a stroll around the beautiful garden this winter at Powis Castle. See the shapes of topiary and intricately trained fruit trees, sparkling under frost or casting their long shadows in the low afternoon light. This is the best time to appreciate the garden’s structure and appreciate how it's been made. » nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden
With Dyffryn’s impressive architecture, walk through romantic archways, winding outdoor steps and marvel at icy water features as you meander through the 55 acres in the rural area of the Vale of Glamorgan. There will be bright red holly berries bursting through the arboretum and colourful chrysanthemums on show to admire in the glasshouse. » nationaltrust.org.uk/dyffryn-gardens
Chirk Castle, Wrexham Chirk has seen many Christmas celebrations since it was built in the early 1300s. This year the castle will be festooned with different styles of decorations, charting the progress of Christmas trimmings over the last 700 years. From the ‘Medieval Christmas’ in the courtyard and Adam’s Tower to the Tudor Kissing Bough in the Portcullis and the Hop Garland in the Long Gallery, there’s plenty to discover about how the festive season was celebrated in centuries gone by. Main activities take place on weekends, or visit on a weekday and enjoy the decorations. Christmas through the Ages runs between 2-23 December. » nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle
Aberdulais, Neath Port Talbot Looking for something a bit different to the usual Christmas lights? Head to Aberdulais tinworks and step back in time to the Victorian era. Using lights, sounds and silhouettes, join the National Trust team on a lantern-lit walk as they help you see and hear, first-hand, what it was like working in a bustling tinworks. Night at the Tinworks 28 November and 5 December. » nationaltrust.org.uk/aberdulais-tin-works-and-waterfall
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Bodnant Garden, Conwy Whether you're looking for relaxation, to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas, or inspiration, activity and fresh air as you stride out into a New Year, Bodnant Garden has 80 acres of landscape to enjoy. The jewel in the crown is the Winter Garden, opened in 2013. The new garden makes the most of the winter light, which at midday shines from the south across the Old Park backlighting the varied herbaceous and stark plants. » nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
Northern Ireland Rowallane Garden, County Down At Rowallane Garden there is something always in season. For winter it’s the honeysuckle and witch hazel which the garden team recommend. Complimented by the evergreens and red berries, it makes the perfect winter garden. After a bracing walk go in from the cold to get warm by the open fire with a bowl of wholesome soup from the café. » nationaltrust.org.uk/rowallane-garden
| Adderley Travel
the specialists in small group garden tours for overseas visitors to Britain
landscapes, culture & heritage
WALKING HOLIDAYS IN GREAT BRITAIN
Helen Allingham New exhibition coming soon 21 November 2017 - 18 February 2018 Guided & Self Guided Walking Holidays. A family-run company now in our 35th season. View our 2017 schedule of walks online. www.footpath-holidays.com | 01985 840049
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Watts Gallery - Artistsâ€™ Village Guildford, GU3 1DQ | wattsgallery.org.uk | 01483 810235
48 hours in
AT THE CROSSROADS OF CITY AND SUBURBIA Bound, to the east and north, by three of Londonâ€™s greatest public spaces, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and only minutes away, by tube, from the frantic bustle of the West End, lie the largely unspoilt residential acres between Belgravia and Kensington, with Chelsea at its heart.
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WHERE TO STAY Pictured opposite page: Christmas Lights Display on Sloane Square in Chelsea, London. The modern colourful Christmas lights attract and encourage people to the street.
11 Cadogan Gardens
will be preserved. First-class service and attention to guests’ satisfaction are priorities, the cocktail bar is simply classic and the sumptuous afternoon teas (with Champagne accompaniment) will continue to amaze and delight – nothing better on a dark afternoon, in front of a glowing open fire. Recently becoming a member of the elite Iconic Luxury Hotels group, which includes Chewton Glen, Cliveden and Lygon Arms, Broadway, sympathetic enhancements to all the bedrooms and lounges are already under way. The resurgence of this part of London, as a leisure destination, is obvious, with independent restaurants, bars and cafes springing up on a regular basis. 11 Cadogan Gardens has exciting plans to add to the mix, converting a row of previously unused garages and opening a top-class restaurant, due to open in May 2018, fronting on Pavilion Road. Naturally, the new and expanded kitchens will provide parallel benefits for the hotel’s guests through improved residents’ dining facilities. With Tiffany & Co just around the corner and Knightsbridge waiting at the far end of Sloane Street, the secluded location is unmatched. When, after a well-earned rest, you wake up to birdsong, otherwise leafy silence (in Central London!) and view the empty streets and gardens, you may begin to appreciate just
Perfectly situated, on a blissfully peaceful Chelsea side-street only 200 metres from Sloane Square and minutes away from some of the world’s best shopping, is 11 Cadogan Gardens, a chic 5* boutique hotel which offers an opportunity to take a 21st century taste of late 19th century, upper-class life. Not that the hotel lacks contemporary appeal - far from it – its 56 opulent guestrooms and suites, each unique in layout and decoration and some with their own front door onto the pavement, are impeccably finished and the ultra-modern marble bathrooms are heavenly. There’s even a state-of-the-art gym! Built by Lord Chelsea in 1887, originally as four of a block of stately townhouses, No 11 became the home of a ‘members only’ club, a temporary London base for the gentry, nobility and politicians visiting the capital. Amazingly, this survived until 2012 and only then did the hotel come about, retaining much of the character and charm born of its long life as a place of discreet hedonism. Lighting is unthreateningly ‘soft’ and the sense of tradition just oozes from the chandeliers, the polished wood and panelling, the many unidentified portraits of former members (some damaged – possibly wayward champagne corks?), the well-stocked library and lounges and the survival of a nostalgicallynoisy, antique elevator. Although changes are afoot, the essential nature of the hotel
how special this hotel is. 11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ
Early in the morning in December on the King's Road in Chelsea
HE JOY OF LONDON is its infinite variety of sights and experiences. Like all the most exquisite works of art or literature, what you miss (or take for granted) on first acquaintance will delight you even more when reviewed on a second, or even later, visit. First-timers can be excused for concentrating on the ‘must-see’ monuments, Westminster Hall, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and many others, but are missing out if they think that is all there is to see. 50 years ago, with the 1960s in full ‘swing’, King’s Road, Chelsea was a focal point for fun-seeking ‘baby-boomers’ taking advantage of the relaxing of social, and other, restraints imposed by decades of global conflict and post-war austerity. The new freedoms have become the norm but echoes remain. The Chelsea Potter, a pub where the late Keith Moon, uncontrollable drummer with The Who, pulled pints when his musical talents were not required on stage, is still there, w
Peter Jones Toy Deptartment in December 1947
SHOPPING AND EVENTS
Celebrate in London GET IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT in Oxford Street, London's most famous shopping area, packed full of big-name brands and huge department stores including John Lewis, House of Fraser and Selfridges. A short walk away is Covent Garden, with a great selection of designer brands and individual market stalls, offering more quirky present ideas. If it's luxury you're after, Harrods in Knightsbridge is a must-visit, and don't forget to pick up a hamper stuffed full of Christmas treats at Fortnum & Mason. Looking for children's presents? The famous Hamleys in Regent Street has toys and games spread out over an amazing seven floors!
Surrounded by luxury in historical Harrods apparently unchanged and Sloane Square, spiritual home of the ‘Sloane Ranger’ set and actual home of the Royal Court theatre, sits at its terminus. The department store, Peter Jones, has been on the square for over 100 years while the splendid, familyrun Partridges, established in 1972, were awarded a Royal Warrant in 1994 as ‘Grocers to HM the Queen’. The equally remarkable Saatchi Gallery, opened in 1985 to display the founder’s own art collection, is only yards away. The Grade 1 listed, upscale streets and squares of Belgravia are the reserve of the wealthy and powerful, embassies and rows of elegant townhouses abound, some with the associated mews cottages still attached, and discreet pubs, fine-dining and top-quality hotels cater to their needs. The same conservation protection applies to Brompton, only a little less grand than
Belgravia but still having that pervasive, undefinable air of easy quality, at the comfortably walkable north side of which is the retail magnet which is Harrods, the capital’s most famous ‘shop’. A further short walk to the west to the famous Brompton Oratory and the trio of illustrious museums, the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science, any one of which can provide (free of charge) hours of wonderment and enlightenment. This somewhat less-travelled corner is enjoying something of a revival as, wearying of the relentless pressure and pace of 21st century life, people are seeking out quieter corners to explore. Take a leisurely stroll along the secluded streets and mews and around the Georgian magnificence of the squares and be prepared for a surprising side of London you might otherwise have missed.
Arguably the most iconic and luxurious of Britain’s famous department stores, Harrods opened in Knightsbridge in 1849 and is the biggest in Europe. In the 1960s you could buy a lion cub in store! While the pet department is a little tamer these days, there’s still plenty to excite – its seven floors and 330 departments of luxury shopping include exclusive designer collections, plus one of the best food halls in Europe. If you can’t decide, don’t worry - the store offers a gift Oban Town Centre concierge service, and payment options include Euros, US dollars and China Union Pay cards.
THE MAYFAIR ANTIQUES & FINE ART FAIR 4-7 January 2017 »adfl.co.uk
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Christmas is coming! Magical festive experiences will be popping up all over Britain to get you in the holiday spirit. From carol services and illuminated garden trails, to Christmas Markets brimming with handcrafted gifts and seasonal treats, ring in the Yuletide season and soak up the atmosphere. Words | SAMANTHA RUTHERFORD
CHRISTMAS AT KEW 22 November 2017 - 1 January 2018
Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew transforms into a winter wonderland with Christmas at Kew. Follow the special garden trail – illuminated with over one million twinkling lights – and come across ‘singing trees’, giant baubles, a Fire Garden, and Santa and his elves performing panto. Then there’s the showstopping Palm House finale, a dazzling display of criss-crossing laser beams, jets of light and multi-coloured projections. Kids can have a go on the Victorian carousel and helter skelter rides at the fairground, and warm up with hot drinks, mince pies and other festive foods. Christmas at Kew is an evening event and takes place after the gardens close. 76 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017 » kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas-at-kew
FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AT LONGLEAT Selected dates from 5th November
This winter, stunning Chinese lanterns will light up Longleat once more and bring to life the magic of storytelling. Drawing inspiration from tales new and old, visitors will be transported into a world of fantasy - a land where mermaids swim, princesses live, firebirds fly and dragons roar! A giant 50ft dazzling Christmas tree uses state of the art, multimedia technology and breathtaking projections, to tell the story of Christmas, while the firm family favourite, Santa Train will be ready to whisk you off to meet Father Christmas and his elves in their wintry woodland home. And if you’re feeling a little chilly outside don’t forget to visit Longleat House – which will be decorated for an authentic, grandiose Edwardian Christmas with live characters dotted throughout to make you really feel like you travelled through time. » longleat.co.uk
CHRISTMAS MARKETS Bath
23 November – 10 December 2017 The Bath Christmas Market transforms this historic city into a Christmas shopper’s paradise. More than 200 chalets line the streets, selling gorgeous gifts. As you wander around the market, soak up the sights of the stalls, the smells of freshly baked mince pies, and the sounds of traditional carols. » bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
10 November – 20 December 2017 23 November – 22 December 2017 In the heart of this buzzing city Salisbury Christmas Market Manchester's award-winning transforms the heart of this Christmas Markets are an beautiful medieval cathedral extravaganza of delicious global city into a winter wonderland food, drinks and delicately with its authentic German crafted festive gifts. With Market-style wooden chalets over 300 decorated stalls and and festive events. Proudly wooden chalets you’ll be sure returning to the historic to find something special to go Guildhall Square for its 6th under the Christmas tree. consecutive year in 2017. »November/December manchester.gov.uk/markets » salisburychristmasmarket.co.uk 2017 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l 77
ROYAL PAVILION ICE RINK, BRIGHTON 4 November 2017 – 14 January 2018
A beautiful place to skate, the amazing-looking Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence, built in the 18th century and inspired by Indian architecture. This exotic palace, located in the centre of Brighton, an hour’s train journey from London, is lit up throughout the festive season as skaters enjoy its ice rink. Warm up at the bar with a mulled wine or indulgent hot chocolate. » royalpavilionicerink.co.uk
GLASGOW LOVES CHRISTMAS Mid November and all of December
Soak up some festive Scottish cheer at Glasgow Loves Christmas. Join in with the city’s popular annual Yuletide events, including the big Christmas lights switch-on, the traditional Christmas Market, the Blessing of the Crib, and the Santa Dash – a 5km charity run in fancy dress which turns the streets of Glasgow into a sea of Santa suits! Also, on Sunday 26 November, the Style Mile Christmas Carnival will bring a magical procession of performance, dazzling costume and festive characters to the city centre. » glasgowloveschristmas.com
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SKATE BACK IN TIME 24 November 2017 – 7 January 2018
One of London’s most scenic ice-skating experiences, Hampton Court Palace invites you to ‘skate back in time’ at its large ice rink in front of King Henry VIII’s magnificent redbrick Tudor palace, right beside the River Thames. The rink is open daily, except on Christmas Day, and lit up after dark. The rink is bigger this year and offers early morning weekend skate sessions, lots of food options, plus you can explore the palace and its 65 acres of formal gardens, including its famous maze. » hamptoncourtpalaceicerink.co.uk
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS SERVICES AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Various dates between 3-25 December 2017 Attending a Christmas service at Westminster Abbey or St Margaretâ€™s Church is a special way to celebrate Christmas in Britain, surrounded by the sound of carols sung by the choir. Tickets are free, and you can attend most services by turning up on the day but the very popular services on 23-24 December do need free tickets to be booked in advance. Âť westminster-abbey.org
24 November 2017 – 1 January 2018
Immerse yourself in beautiful sights and discover a bigger and better Christmas Lights Trail at Blenheim Palace this winter as you wander around the beautiful ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland aglow with illuminations. Blenheim Palace is pleased to be open all year round for 2017, closing just for Christmas Day. Enjoy the Palace throughout the festive season with new events and winter activities including Blenheim Palace State Rooms Tours, Winter Walks, Late Night Shopping, Contemporary Art Exhibitions and a festive lunch menu in The Orangery. Visitors can buy an Annual Pass giving them entry to the Palace, Park and Gardens throughout the year for the price of a Palace, Park and Gardens ticket. » blenheimpalace.com
LUMIERE FESTIVAL Durham 16-19 November 2017 London 18-21 January 2018
As the UK’s largest light festival, artists from around the world will once again come together to the birthplace of the Lumiere Festival and illuminate the City of Durham in new and inspiring ways. A roster of the world’s leading UK and international artists will transform Durham’s urban architecture, illuminating its buildings and public spaces in over forty awe-inspiring site specific light sculptures and installations. Lumiere is more than a four-day light festival: it is an extensive outdoor art gallery that temporarily transforms the public realm. The festival showcases an extraordinary level of ingenuity featuring works that traverse the intersection between technology, public sculpture, videography, electrical engineering, and social project. Completely free to attend, Lumiere is committed to bringing art outside the gallery space, making it open, accessible, inclusive and large in scale. As well as the festival, Lumiere is accompanied by a community engagement programme that reaches hundreds of schoolchildren and local residents with little access to the arts, and leaves a lasting legacy. » lumiere-festival.com/durham-2017 80 l EXCLUSIVELYBRITISHMAGAZINE.COM l November/December 2017
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One of the finest Cathedrals Follow in the footsteps of kings and scholars and learn about the legends, characters and stories of the Cathedral; stories of battles, power, politics, romance and pilgrimage. Stunning architecture, fascinating history and arguably one of the finest Cathedrals in the world. This living, breathing church is open for everyone to enjoy. www.LincolnCathedral.com www.LincolnCathedral.com
18 November–24 December 2017
Visit Lapland UK, Ascot, for a truly special and magical pre-Christmas day out with your children. Your personalised invitation to Father Christmas’ arctic homeland opens the door to discovery of the secret world of the elves, which is brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality. » laplanduk.co.uk
SOMERSET HOUSE 15 November 2017–14 January 2018
For a classically British winter experience, ice skating in this stunning London courtyard is open all day and evening, with après-skate cocktails in the Skate Lounge and a Christmas Arcade hosted by Fortnum & Mason. New for 2017 are Skate Lates, a programme of music nights throughout the season, including club nights with top DJs. » somersethouse.org.uk
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of BATH at CHRISTMAS In the build-up to Christmas, the lure of the World Heritage City of Bath, with its picturesque Christmas Market, in the heart of the South West, becomes an irresistible destination. Words | Emma Frayling
LREADY ONE OF THE most stunning cities in the country, Bathâ€™s attractiveness as a place to visit or short break destination is significantly increased with the addition of the picturesque Christmas Market. Nestled in the heart of the city, between the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, the Christmas Market runs from 23 November to 10 December â€“ a perfect time to visit for a pre-Christmas escape. This year over 200 decorated wooden chalets, brimming full of food, gifts and decorations, will be lining the Georgian streets and squares so you will find plenty of Christmas present inspiration for all friends and family, even pets. Visit Bath, organisers of the market, have ensured that the offer is kept fresh for returning visitors by bringing in over 60 new businesses and 80% of the total number of chalets being taken by local craftsmen and producers, creating a shopping experience that is truly unique to the South West region. Last year, Vogue UK magazine voted Bath one of the top five British Christmas markets to visit! Filling the streets with music, and adding to the festive atmosphere, is a variety of entertainers, from carol singers to local dramatic societies. Among many other attractions, children from local schools will be out, w
singing their favourite Christmas songs, and Bath Abbey will be opening its doors for performances of Shoppers’ Carols, free to attend and definitely worth popping in for a break. The Market will also be great for families – several story-telling grottoes will be in action while the modern SouthGate shopping area will have interactive family entertainment at weekends. If you fancy some ice skating, book a ticket in advance for Bath on Ice at Royal Victoria Park, or, less energetically, try Bath Glow-in-theDark – mini golf in Victoria Park as the night draws in. In another pretty area of the city, Kingsmead Square will host a Christmas Food Festival on Fridays and Saturdays, with a huge variety of street-food stalls offering a plethora of fun options. The city is brimming with other eateries from Michelin-starred dining, gastro pubs and independent restaurants to quirky coffee shops and fabulous cocktail bars, giving plenty of choice for eating- and drinking-out.
Places to Stay For city-centre 5* luxury, try the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel (recently named AA’s ‘hotel of the year’), or The Royal Crescent Hotel or, a few miles away, Lucknam Park, whose restaurant boasts a Michelin star. If you are looking for a more boutique feel, No 15 Great Pulteney or the Queensberry are great options. Also worth considering, just outside the city, is Ston Easton Park, situated between Bath and Bristol, or hop on the train (only 10 mins) to market town Bradford-on-Avon where Timbrells Yard, a lovely Grade II listed building, sits right on the river’s edge with a restaurant, bar and 17 en-suite rooms.
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Places to Eat and Drink For local contemporary flavours try the Circus Restaurant, The Marlborough Tavern or Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen. For something a little different, the Mint Rooms offers excellent contemporary Indian cuisine or independent Pinxto offers tapas and sherry. The Ivy Brasserie has just opened in the city and SouthGate shopping area hosts some great eateries such as Tapas Revolution, Thaikhun and Comptoir Libanais. For wine bars try Circo Bar, Sub 13 and, for Jane Austen Gin, the Canary Bar. The Apres Ski Lodge outside the Abbey Hotel is great for some Hygge atmosphere and The Pump Rooms and Sally Lunn’s offer an experience Bath is definitely renowned for - Afternoon Tea! Beer-drinkers will not be disappointed at the choice of hostelries and many will drop into The Lodge for comforting winter food and a range of tipples from the local brewery, Bath Ales. The relaxing rustic décor make The Lodge the perfect place to take a well-earned rest and soak up the festive atmosphere.
and breakthrough brands. Others worth visiting include VV Rouleaux, which has just opened its only shop outside London, Anthropologie, Grace and Ted (for second hand designer clothing), Independent department store Rossiters, Graham and Green, Brora, Duo Boots, The French Linen Company, Topping & Company Books and Verve Living Interiors.
Other things to do If you’re staying for a few days, try and get to the Thermae Bath Spa for a few hours of relaxation – bathe in the naturally heated mineral waters of the roof top pool while enjoying 360 degree views, and enjoy the various thermal and sensory experiences of the new state-of-the-art Wellness Suite. For a small city, Bath has more museums than many twice its size. The Fashion Museum has a world-class collection of contemporary and historical dress and the Holburne Museum, with its grand historic façade and stunning rear glass elevation, contains a fascinating art collection. The Georgian Museum (No 1 Royal Crescent) and The American Museum in Britain, at Claverton Manor, will both be dressed for Christmas. For further information on visiting Bath during the Christmas market and festive season please go to » bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
Places to Shop There are so many lovely shops from all the main high street brands to independent boutiques - late-night shopping will start on 16 November. Wander up to Milsom Street for Jolly’s, one of the oldest department stores in Europe, which houses House of Fraser products, and shopping area Milson Place, with a fabulous mix of famous names
Whisky Wonderland Colin Hampden-White, editor of Whisky Quarterly magazine gazes into the crystal ball of whisky investment.
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S WE DIVE into the Christmas season and the colder weather, there is a parallel with the chilly investment market. Whisky warms not only the cockles on a cold day, but as the market for alternative investments has heated up, whisky offers potential in this arena too. There are two principle ways to invest in whisky; one is to invest in bottles. These can be old or new bottles, and the brand or distillery of bottle is important. Then come casks of whisky. In the case of casks, the distillery from which the whisky comes is of lesser importance. A good return,
between 10% - 15%, can be made from whisky casks from almost any distillery, as the blended whisky market always needs them. The challenge with bottles is that itâ€™s difficult to invest serious money as you need an awful lot of them to make it worth investing at all. Finding the right bottles, at auction or new releases, takes time and expertise, even then, a return is not guaranteed and you really need to know your shallots from your onions. Casks are a different prospect. As blenders will always need whisky there is a stronger market for casks. Scotch whisky casks are a simple asset, held in bond in Scotland and no duty is levied whilst it stays in bond. As whisky is considered a depreciating asset, there is no capital gains payable on its sale. So how does one buy the right casks? Diversity is the key to a good investment portfolio. Casks can be bought w
freshly-filled to well-aged. A cask at zero age is called a new fill cask. The liquid is called new make spirit and will legally become whisky after three years and a day. Casks can also be bought at any age beyond. The casks become more expensive as they gain maturity and the rate of return grows exponentially the older it gets. Another consideration is the type of oak the whisky is stored in. Whisky can be stored in what is known as a first fill a refill or a rejuvenated cask. Think of the cask like a tea bag. The first fill is like an unused teabag which gives out lots of flavour. The refill is a lightly-dunked tea bag. This takes longer to impart flavour to the whisky. Whisky in a first fill cask may be very good for a return on a young whisky, say up to twelve years old. When buying an older cask, a refill will be much better. An old first fill cask may make the whisky taste too woody. There are blended whiskies that like to have a good percentage of rejuvenated casks. These are much-used casks whose surface wood has little flavour left, so a couple of millimetres are shaved off the inside to expose active wood, ready for reuse. They have a different flavour profile, impart flavour at a similar rate to a first fill cask, so blenders can use the whisky earlier, and they are less expensive. Lastly there are two types of oak cask: European oak and American oak, providing the whisky with different flavours. American oak gives vanilla, coconut and sweeter flavours whilst European oak gives spicy and nutty flavours. European oak casks are much rarer in the industry and are more sought after. They are more expensive, but can give a great rate of return.
Around 90% of the Scotch market uses American oak casks and 90% of Scotch sold around the world is blended whisky. So whisky from a European oak cask (exSherry for example) is a sound bet. If the whisky is sold to an independent bottler rather than for blending, and perhaps further maturing before bottling, then a first fill European oak cask would be more desirable. In general terms, the best investment would be a range of casks including new make and aged casks in a mixture of American and European oak. If you’re buying a very old cask or wanting a longer term investment, I would suggest a refill cask. So how and where do you find and buy casks? You can’t just rock up to a distillery and pop a cask in the boot. Whisky brokers only deal with the industry; however there are companies who can buy from brokers and do deal with private investors. Of course, you can find brokers on the internet. But for reliability of service and quality of product, you might look at The Whisky Market Ltd (thewhiskymarket. com). I have been in the whisky industry for many years and have consulted to them for over five years, so they understand the market well. So settle down one evening with a dram that’s old enough to vote and contemplate owning more than just a bottle or two!
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