Travel Dine Relax - Autumn/Winter 2021

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WELCOME What a whirlwind year we’ve witnessed, and probably more than ever, the need to escape, unwind and tentatively start exploring maybe the top of the list for many readers. Our second issue is inspired by the change of seasons - something you couldn’t miss with our choice of cover. With the awe of nature in mind, this issue has seen discussions with travel and dining venues on how they are incorporating sustainable measures and encouraging the preservation of local habitats and species. This summer, I, like many others, ventured closer to home. Staycations not only provided an alternative to tropical climes, but they also reconnected us with homegrown talent and some forgotten treasures. I was thrilled to have some time to speak with the talented Sholto Smith (page 28), who gave his insight into how the hospitality sector is adapting to a post-covid scenario. Exciting destinations are emerging and tempting travellers back to global exploration. JdV by Hyatt hotels announced the opening of three new properties in Sweden. I had the opportunity to interview Geneviève Materne (Senior Vice President Commercial Services EAME & South West Asia at Hyatt Hotels Corporation) to get some insight into what these new properties offer (page 50). Over on our DINE pages, I’ve been catching up with Dan McGeorge (Great British Menu 2021 winner) and had the honour to interview world-renowned Michelin chef Mauro Colagreco (page 70). New for our Autumn/Winter, we have a focus on travel tech (page 55), The Drinks Cabinet (page 98) and Food (page 100). In conclusion, whatever the season throws at us, I hope this issue provides some insight, inspiration and cosy reading over the coming months.

@Travel_Dine_Relax @TravelDineRelax

Nicola

editor hello@traveldinerelax.com

@TravelDineRelax @traveldinerelax

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CONTENTS

SHOPPING

p6 - 11 6-7 City Escape 8 - 9 Weekend Away 10 - 11 Winter Sun

T R AV E L

p12 - 59 14 - 19 24 - 27 34 - 37 38 - 39 48 - 49 54 56 56 - 57 58 - 59

DINE

p60 - 87 66 - 67 68 69 74 - 75 76 77 78 - 79 80 91 82

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Travel News Review - Great Scotland Yard Lulworth Cove Dorset Delights The Fellows House Cambridge New Story Hotels by JdV by Hyatt Travel Tech What’s new in Isere UK Staycation

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The Corn Store Temakinho The Angel Oak The Wellhouse The Yan Burger & Lobster Montagu Kitchen Laylow Nu Sana The Pass, South Lodge

RELAX

p68 - 104 90 - 92 93 94 - 95 96 - 97 98 - 100 100 101 102 - 103

Festive Norwich Harvest at Heligan Rick Stein - Online Fishmonger Oxford Rye The Drinks Cabinet Food Blenheim Palace ToursByLocals

INTERVIEWS Emeline Bouchet, Resident Marine Biologist Velaa Private Island 20-23 Sholto Smith, General Manager, Great Scotland Yard 28 - 33 Carla Puverel, General Manager, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 40 - 47

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INTERVIEWS (cont...) Geneviève Materne, Senior Vice President Commercial Services EAME & South West Asia, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Published by RED KIPPER MEDIA LTD 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street London W1B 3HH

50 - 53 Dan McGeorge, Head Chef at Rothay Manor and winner of the Great British Menu 2021 62 - 65 Mauro Colagreco, Michelin chef Kulm Hotel, St Moritz 70 - 73

Editorial hello@traveldinerelax.com

Although every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions that may occur in this issue. Travel Dine Relax is published by Red Kipper Media Ltd Registered in England. Registered Number 13343949 Registered Office: 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street, London W1B 3HH ©Red Kipper Media Ltd 2021 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, recording, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise without prior permission of the publishers.

Front Cover © Rechitan Sorin Autumn colours in Highlands, Scotland

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ISSN No: 2754-0561 © Red Kipper Media Ltd 2021

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CITY ESCAPE OPPOSITE: Savannah Blue/Pink Coat Savannah in Blue/Pink is a true statement piece. The style is reminiscent of the pea coat, an outer coat generally worn for protection by sailors, and its 80% wool blend is sure to keep you as warm! £295, Welligogs, welligogs.com 1 Swarovski® Golden Snitch Necklace The Golden Snitch was the deciding factor between winning or losing a game of Quidditch. A stunning necklace, perfectly packaged, making it the ideal gift for any Harry Potter fan £57, Secret Halo secrethalo.com 2 Trixie & Toby Silk Scarf Two large colouful hand drawn garden gnomes digitally printed on to cream crepe de chine silk material, finished with a bright stripped boarder. Comes in a ribbon tied gift box. £140, Julie Williams juliewilliams.store

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3 C&C Oversized Boyfriend Cashmere Jumper, Camelia Pink This super cosy, oversized Boyfriend Cashmere Jumper gives the ultimate cosiness and comfort with its long length that covers the bottom and generous proportions making it suitable for all body shapes and sizes. This jumper is big!. £199, Cashmere & Cotton, cashmereandcotton.co.uk 4 Young Living - Savvy Minerals Lipstick, Sweet Life Tangerine-Infused and formulated to bring out every woman’s unique and natural beauty. Enriched with nourishing Tangerine, sunflower seed and grapeseed oil, for an effortless, lightweight non-sticky formula. Made with love using naturally derived ingredients, with no harsh chemicals for glossy and healthylooking lips. £23.85, Young Living, youngliving. com/en_EU

5 Fendi FF Vertigo collaboration with Sarah Coleman available from Selfridges, selfridges. com 6 Quality Woven and leather braided belt Navy/Beige Premium quality woven elastic and leather belt in navy and beige. Contemporary design. Suitable for men and women alike. £31, The Nautical Company, thenauticalcompany.com

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W E E K E N D AWAY OPPOSITE: Men’s’ Navy Peacoat Wool rich peacoat for men in true breton style, designed in France. £170, The Nautical Company, thenauticalcompany.com 1 British City Slim Umbrella- Grey & Yellow With its grey exterior canopy and its leather handle, this slim umbrella is an instant City favourite. Each umbrella is lovingly made and assembled in London, England £95, Heating & Plumbing London, heating-and-plumbing.com 2 Blythe scarf - grey, Bronte by Moon The Blythe check scarf in grey from Bronte by Moon is a traditionally crafted scarf. Abraham Moon is one of the last vertical mills in Britain and have a global reputation for quality. Their Blythe 100% merino lambswool check scarf in grey is no exception. £30, Sir Gordon Bennett Ltd sirgordonbennett.com

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3 Classic London Silver Watch, 40 mm Unisex Quartz Watch £159, Jean Jacob, jeanjacob.com 4 Men’s Staycation T-shirt - navy blue Tabby Firefly’s Men’s Staycay T-shirt is perfect to rock on your staycation. £21, Tabby Firefly, tabbyfirefly. com

7 Personalised Brown Leather Luggage Tag This luxurious luggage tag looks the part with rich brown leather with contrasting white stitching and silver buckle. Option to get embossed with your initials, name or nickname in the corner. £16.39, Yellow Octopus, YellowOctopus.com.au

5 Dents Fleming ‘007’ Black Handmade driving gloves design for the James Bond Spectre movie. Made in Wiltshire from the finest hairskin leather for added suppleness and better fit. £119, Sir Gordon Bennett Ltd, sirgordonbennett. com 6 Leather Hanging Wash Bag Dopp Kit deluxe leather hanging washbag is perfect for those on the move. The washbag simply unrolls and hangs for easy access to all your toiletries and more. £75, Scaramanga,scaramangashop.co.uk

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WINTER SUN 1 Throw Over Hydrangea Lime A versatile throw over inspired by Victorian artist and botanist Marianne North. Perfect for cooler evenings or you can wear it as a house coat, with a little black dress, with jeans and a T shirt, with denim shorts and a crop top or dress up with heels or down with pumps for a relaxed look. One Size £44, Curated Living Limited, curatedliving.co.uk 2 Frayed Edge Hat Handmade with sustainable raffia in Madagascar. This gorgeous hat is perfect for sunny days in the garden or at the beach. It has an adjustable tie at the rim. £25, BasketBasket, basketbasket.co.uk

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3 Cockle Shell Pendant This large solid silved, cockle shell is the perfect necklace for winter sun holidays. Inspired after trips to Cornwall, Devon, Isles of Scilly and Wales, this pendant is handmade in Oxfordshire. £120, Lucy Sylvester, lucysylvester.com

5 To Go Glass Water Bottle - Blush Beautifully crafted from durable, lightweight glass with a soft, matte silicone cover in blush, our stylish glass water bottle is the perfect gift for an ecoconscious friend. £45, Cox & Cox, coxandcox. co.uk

4 Wooden Sunglasses | Lagos | Circular Frame Classic Black These Lagos sunglasses from Bear Essentials have been created using eco-friendly Zebrano and walnut wood. They are inspired by the Algarve - the smooth yet circular shape represents the curves and gradients of the landscape. £78.99, Suusco Ltd, suusco.com

6 Shell Purse, Straw Made from rattan and available in rose pink or natural straw colours, these pretty little bags can stand upright and have an adjustable handle to fit little and bigger hands. £39.90, Bobby Rabbit, bobbyrabbit.co.uk OPPOSITE: Sienna Luxe Swimsuit In Midnight Black The front plunge on this designer one piece swimsuit shows just enough skin to keep this style elegant and sophisticated. £85, Topaz Swim, topazluxe.com

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NEWS

Kouros Hotel & Suite, page 16

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NEWS

Image by Visionalphabet/Fat TonyStudios

Fairfield by Marriott Mie Odai Lobby Library

CASA COOK NORTH COAST EGYPT

FA I R F I E L D B Y M A R R I O T T C O N T I N U E S I T S BRAND EXPANSION IN JAPAN

Casa Cook, the brand behind a collection of adults-only lifestyle hotels, has opened an all-new hotel on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Casa Cook North Coast Egypt will welcome and host guests for an extended season, right up until the end of October. The hotel, located on an expansive salt-water lagoon and with its own private white-sand beach, is close to El Alamein (40km) and 150km from Alexandria. This unique stretch of pristine coastline is popular amongst Egyptians seeking an indulgent escape in beautiful surroundings.

Fairfield by Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, has announced the planned openings of six new Fairfield properties in Japan.

The hotel offers 38 stylish rooms, including two Beach Suites with private terraces and direct beach access, all opening directly onto the salt-water lagoon. True to Casa Cook’s unique approach to space – always striking a balance between private and shared – guests are free to choose whatever suits the moment’s mood, whether that is a social affair, simple relaxation or something in between.

The openings continue the momentum of the innovative “Michi-no-eki” project, bringing six more Fairfield by Marriott hotels to key locations near roadside rest stations called “Michino-Eki”, across four prefectures in Japan. The new hotels are situated close to national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing guests easy access to many undiscovered destinations.

casacook.com/casa-cook-north-coast

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The new hotels slated to open in 2021 are: Fairfield by Marriott Mie Odai, Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Minamiyamashiro, Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko, Fairfield by Marriott Wakayama Kushimoto, Fairfield by Marriott Wakayama Susami and Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Takayama Shokawa.

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NEWS

French Alpine Resort, Morzine

Image courtesy of Visit Maldives

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y AWA R D F O R M O R Z I N E A N D AVO R I A Z

VISIT MALDIVES LAUNCHES ART COMPETITION

The town of Morzine-Avoriaz has been awarded the Flocon Vert sustainability label. The recognition comes after an extensive process, lasting over a year, in which local businesses, tourism organisations and the Town Halls of both French mountain resorts submitted a joint bid. The accolade recognises destinations that demonstrate a commitment to a sustainable development policy. To date, only eight other destinations have been awarded the Flocon Vert label since its inception in 2011. The label is issued based on compliance with 20 criteria divided into four themes: local economy, social & cultural, governance & destination, and environment and natural resources.

The “Thasveeru: Maldives Through Art” competition invites local and international artists to paint and interpret the Maldives under the theme, “Celebration of Nature: Beautiful Ecosystems’’, in collaboration with the Maldivian Artist Community (MAC).

The neighbouring resorts of Morzine and Avoriaz are in the Portes du Soleil, the world’s oldest cross-border ski and summer mountain destination, which covers the Alpine regions of French Chablais and Swiss Valais. Avoriaz is a purpose-built resort that has been a favourite with skiers for half a century, with four terrain parks, excellent powder and a wide range of sporting facilities. In contrast, Morzine offers Old-World charm, remaining free of high-rise buildings with many original wooden chalets still in service. morzine-avoriaz.com / avoriaz.com

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The theme was selected to show that Maldives has a diverse range of natural habitats and offers more than the award-winning beaches it is known for. . The competition is a unique initiative launched for the first time under the social media strategies of Visit Maldives in order to promote the destination as a top choice for travellers in the global market and increase engagement on the Visit Maldives social media platforms. Additionally, it empowers the local artist community and utilises a variety of creative mediums to highlight the awe-inspiring beauty of the destination and its natural ecosystems.

thasveeru.visitmaldives.com

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KOUROS HOTEL & SUITES At this luxury hotel, guests can indulge in the perfect post-Covid getaway within the classical setting of Mykonos island. Nestled on a prime spot overlooking Mykonos Town, Kouros offers guests the best of both worlds: the island’s vibrant energy just moments away, while the accommodation offers a tranquil setting of pure peace and relaxation. The windy isle’s famous windmills and Little Venice are easily reached, along with the island’s shopping, restaurants, and infamous nightlife. Kouros’ personal approach to guest services and a people-centric philosophy make for an unparalleled experience to satisfy even the most demanding visitors. Always keeping customer experience at heart, the hotel recently underwent a full renovation, while the owners continue to invest in new guest experiences, including the addition of a brand-new infinity pool. All 40 rooms offer a sea view, and a fresh modern design blends with Myconian architecture elements for an authentic Grecian feel. Guests amenities include the Zoe spa featuring organic brand Kos-Paris and comes complete with hydrotherapy area with built-in Jacuzzi and hammam. For those looking for the perfect couple retreat, two treatment rooms are available, while the hotel also offers a wellness centre and outdoor pool. Foodies will enjoy a classic menu with a modern twist at the Narcissus Restaurant, while making the most of the breath-taking Cyclades sunsets accompanied by signature cocktails. Additional services include valet parking, in-room champagne breakfast, 24-hour front desk, multilingual staff, and express check out.

kouroshotelmykonos.gr (main) Poolside area at Kouros Hotel & Suites (left from top) Preparing signature cocktails; Pool Suite; Food offering at the onsite Narcissus Restaurant. Images courtesy of Kourus Hotel & Suites

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NEWS

Image courtesy of Hilton

D O U B L E T R E E B Y H I LT O N T O L A U N C H I N BAHRAIN

M A N D A R I N O R I E N TA L A N N O U N C E S LU X U R Y HOTEL IN NANJING

Hilton has announced plans to bring its DoubleTree by Hilton brand to the Kingdom of Bahrain. DoubleTree by Hilton Al Sayh Residences has been signed together with Al Sorouh Hospitality Development Real Estate and is due to open its doors in 2022.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a luxury hotel in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province in China, scheduled to open in 2022. Mandarin Oriental, Nanjing will be located on the Qinhuai River and in close proximity to historic landmarks including the Gate of China, which forms part of one of the longest ancient city walls in the world built by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty over 600 years ago.

Featuring 113 serviced apartments, 61 one-bedroom and 52 twobedroom apartments, DoubleTree by Hilton Al Sayh Residences will be located just a short drive from Bahrain International Airport. Situated close to Bahrain Bay, a waterfront business district and mixed-use community with unique offerings of dining, and nearby several other attractions including The Avenues Bahrain mall which holds 120 stores and F&B outlets at its seafront location. Guests will be able to enjoy uninterrupted ocean views in a number of apartments, an all-day dining restaurant and a sophisticated rooftop café and outdoor pool with views across Bahrain. The hotel will be located at Al Sayh, Manama, walking distance to Al Sayh Island, National Heritage Site of Bahrain. Its proximity to Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Causeway will provide guests with easy access to King Fahd Causeway to reach Saudi Arabia. hilton.com/en/doubletree

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The hotel will feature 106 rooms and suites with views of the river and the ancient city wall. There will be three restaurants and bars, including an all-day dining option, a Chinese restaurant and a Lobby Lounge. There will also be a range of adaptable meeting facilities, and a large ballroom that will cater to events and social functions. The hotel will also have a Spa at Mandarin Oriental providing treatments and therapies, as well as an indoor swimming pool and fitness centre.

mandarinoriental.com

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NEWS

Image : Jumeirah Maldives Overwater Villa

Image : courtesy of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

JUMEIRAH GROUP ANNOUNCES THE OPENING OF STUNNING NEW ADDRESS IN MALDIVES

FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES INTRODUCES MADE FOR LIFE ORGANICS ABOARD NEW SHIPS TO OFFER INCLUSIVE SPA EXPERIENCE

Jumeirah Group (has announced a new international resort, Jumeirah Maldives, will welcome its first guests from 1st October 2021.

Fred. Olsen has become the first cruise line to partner with wellbeing experts Made for Life Organics, to offer inclusive spa experiences including for those living with long-term health conditions.

Guests can now discover Jumeirah Maldives, an all-villa luxury resort tucked away in the crystalline turquoise waters of the North Malé Atoll, easily reachable by speedboat or seaplane from Malé Airport. Its idyllic location offers privacy for romantic getaways, a blissful island retreat for friends and family and experiences to suit the more active traveller. The resort’s surprising panoramic architecture and calming interiors are the work of sophisticated Singaporean design studio, Miaja, who have created an elegant contemporary ethos in harmony with the natural environment, echoing modern Mediterranean chic – a design that sets it apart from the rest.

New ships Bolette and Borealis will be the first in the fleet to offer the new rituals, which will include meditative back, body and scalp treatments and facials, suitable for those with sensitive skin and living with cancer. Made for Life Organics was launched in Cornwall in 2003 and developed advanced Cancer Touch Therapy training, enabling people going through cancer to receive the therapeutic benefits of touch. Treatments and training are approved and accredited by the Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care, the Complementary Medical Association and CIBTAC (The Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology). The Made for Life Treatments will also be introduced into the spas aboard Balmoral and Braemar when they resume sailing.

Jumeirah.com/Maldives

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fredolsencruises.com

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NEWS

Image : Hotel Alpenblume Obergurgl courtesy of Inghams

I N G H A M S A N N O U N C E S S AV I N G S O N AU S T R I A N SKI HOTELS

LEVEN MANCHESTER

Long-awaited ski holidays to Austria can now be picked up for less! Inghams, the trusted ski holiday experts that started taking people on package ski holidays to Austria more than 80 years ago, have recently launched £50pp off some of Inghams’ favourite ski hotels – available on all dates this coming winter.

LEVEN Manchester, an artfully designed new hote is coming soon to the city’s vibrant Village neighbourhood.

As the trusted tour operator have prided themselves on doing right by their customers throughout the pandemic, this coming winter, Inghams will be taking people on ski holidays for the first time since March 2020. Inghams are only travelling to destinations when the Foreign Common Development Office (FCDO) advises it is safe to do so. This combined with their covid-19 refund policy and the safety measures they’ve put in place, continues to offer people that extra peace of mind when booking a holiday with the tour operator.

inghams.co.uk

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Housed in a landmark early 20th century warehouse on the corner of Chorlton Street and Canal Street, LEVEN Manchester is a new hotel designed to be enjoyed on a guest’s own terms. LEVEN’s red brick walls and Crittall windows hold a rich history dating back to Manchester’s industrial past, including former uses first as a cotton warehouse, and more recently a brewery and comedy club. Following an extensive interior and exterior reimagining, the 33,000 sq ft property will open for soft launch in October 2021 as a design-led, 42-key hotel. LEVEN is a brand new lifestyle hotel concept, and is a joint venture between Manchester-born entrepreneurs, brothers Joshua and Ben Senior, and industry innovators Wellbrook Hospitality.

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

EMELINE BOUCHET R E S I D E N T M A R I N E B I O LO G I S T AT V E L A A P R I VAT E I S L A N D

M

aking a difference and supporting unique environments and wildlife are at the forefront for many travellers. Travel Dine Relax caught up with Emeline Bouchet, Resident Marine Biologist at Vellaa Private Island to hear more about how this unique destination is playing an active part in supporting its local environment and educating visitors on the importance of conservation and ecosystems.

Tell us more about your role and what a typical day entails? The most important part of my role is leading the Coral Restoration Project at Velaa, where we use the coral nursery technique, a two-stage process for coral propagation. This method had been chosen due to the shallowness of the lagoon and the structure of the natural reef. Firstly, corals are grown in a mid-water floating nursery, where they can increase in size substantially due to lack of predators and sedimentation, increased water flow, a good light source and removal of competitions, including algae. Once the corals have reached a healthy size, we then ‘transplant’ them back to the reef in the second stage whereby we glue them on the natural substrate using marine cement. Throughout this process, my team and I regularly monitor the coral health and growth rates to track the progress of the programme and to quantify how much they grow throughout the nursery phase. We do this by looking at the percentage of healthy tissue and whether corals are bleaching or not. We also record if they are any disease and if corals are facing any predation or competition. With the help of this programme, the corals have then proven to more than triple in size within six to nine months. Another part of my role as a marine biologist involves Sea Turtle and Manta ray conservation on the island. Velaa means Green Sea Turtle in Dhivehi, the native language, as several females nest on the island between March and August each year.

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Coming on land to lay eggs drains the female of energy, we try to make the process less stressful by keeping our distance, avoiding pictures with flash and using red light in order to increase the nesting success rate at Velaa. With so many travel destinations reliant on beautiful natural surroundings, such as the oceans and sea, how important is it that they play an active role in supporting the local ecosystem? In the Maldives in particular, it’s very important that hotel developments and operations are respectful of the environment and even more important that they play an active role in supporting the local ecosystem through eco-friendly practices. At Velaa Private Island, we believe the support and protection of the natural environment all starts with education and allowing our guests to get involved in these activities first-hand. This is why we believe hosting regular workshops, covering issues such as plastic pollution and ocean conservation and allowing guests to shadow in-house coral biologists for the day, has been so successful in helping guests understand the root of the problem, before taking action themselves. At Velaa, we also work in cooperation with the Oliver Ridley Project and Manta Trust, whereby anytime we have an encounter with manta rays or turtles on the house reef or a nearby island, we send information and images to the relevant organisations for identification. >>>

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Emeline Bouchet, Resident Marine Biologist Velaa Private Island

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>>> The Maldives’ coral reefs experienced severe bleaching in recent years. What caused this, and how can conservation help repair the enormous loss to this precious ecosystem? Global warming is the biggest threat to coral population in the Maldives – coral is highly sensitive to any environmental change and in particular temperature variations. Corals were recovering from the biggest bleaching event ever recorded in 1998 and were still fragile when a second natural phenomenon occurred in 2016 - El-Niño. The El-Niño effect caused sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean to rise above normal levels for an extended period of time, and this was made more extreme by global warming. The average coral cover lost during this bleaching event was 60% which, in turn, led to a decrease in terms of fish abundance and diversity. Coral is also threatened by anthropogenic activities, most notably pollution and overfishing. Conservation can help repair this loss by nursing coral reefs back to full health and our Coral Regeneration Project at Velaa has been effective with an 80% success rate. Since 2016, we have planted over 7,000 nursery grown corals which now cover over 1000m² more of the house reef. We have also increased the diversity of corals on the reef by implementing mini rope nurseries which allow sensitive species to grow and increase their survival rate, such as Acropora branch corals.

on healthy coral reefs in some part of their life cycle for food, shelter and breeding. These are some of the most complex and diverse reef systems in the world. Coral reefs provide habitat for a large variety of marine life with biodiversity ranging from planktonic organisms to sharks (black and white tip reef sharks, nurse sharks, seasonal manta rays, black spotted eagle rays and stingrays). What are the future plans for the coral regeneration project at Velaa? The aim of the project is not only to help regenerate the reef but to spread awareness in terms of the impact we have on the ocean. This has inspired our decision to start working with the local community to help educate them on the coral reef ecosystem and explain the importance of protecting it in the future within the local community. In 2019, Velaa welcomed an NGO, Manadhoo Zuvaanunge Gulhun, from a nearby island to learn about the project at Velaa, with the intention to inspire them to follow our method and protect their own house reefs. This year, we plan to work on sustainable methods to decrease plastic pollution with the aim of reducing the damages on marine life. Indeed, we would like to work with local schools and government to make changes durable in time and which could significantly improve marine life protection.

The Maldives reefs contain a diverse range of marine life. How do they rely on the coral? The Maldives is home to approximately 1,200 islands, each surrounded by coral reef - the predominant ecosystem found in the Maldives. Indeed, an estimated 25% of all marine life is reliant

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velaaprivateisland.com

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What three things can tourists do to help preserve the local ecosystem in the Maldives? Guests of Velaa Private Island can help preserve the local ecosystem by taking part in the following: Adopting coral Our guests can attend an educational presentation about marine life and preserving the reef ecosystem, highlighting the importance of protection. After the presentation, guests can help the marine team attach and monitor corals on the rope themselves. Guided by the team, guests can put their own corals on the nursery by scuba diving or snorkelling. We then give to our guests a certificate of adoption and update them on the health of their adopted coral every semester, so that they can always remember the unique part they had to play in regenerating the reef ecosystem. Become a marine biologist for the day Guests are invited to shadow the coral biologists who live on the island, as they snorkel and/or scuba dive to collect valuable research. Attend an education workshop Guests can learn more about preserving the local ecosystem in the Maldives in our series of awareness-raising workshops which focus on topics such as shark population, sea turtle nesting and the effects of plastic pollution on local marine life. This is to inspire more people to get involved in ocean protection and conservation, with a view to spreading awareness and finding solutions to preserve the biodiversity which is drastically decreasing every year. image: Successfully planted corals at Velaa Private Island

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R E V I E W. . .

G R E AT S C OT L A N D YA R D H O T E L

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Just a stone’s throw away from London Charing Cross lies the Great Scotland Yard Hotel. Once the home of the first police force, it has now been transformed into a boutique hotel providing luxury, comfortable surroundings for its business and leisure guests. This stunning hotel is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection which consists of an exclusive portfolio of upper-upscale and luxury properties designed to captivate travellers seeking distinctive experiences. The last dwellers of the property were the Metropolitan Police, who moved out in the late 19th Century. A grand Edwardian façade offers a tantalising insight into its former use, and it’s this impressive heritage that’s celebrated within the interiors, along with some of the habitual inhabitants and characters that stayed at her majesty’s pleasure. The hotel offers 168 bedrooms with a ground floor dedicated to food and drink and a lower floor for events and fitness rooms. Earlier this year, an exclusive five-storey townhouse opened to provide presidential suite accommodation with all the seclusion of a townhouse property, with all the benefits of the hotel’s butlers and facilities. Travel Dine Relax editor Nicola checked in to find out what makes it a unique spot to stay, dine and relax in the heart of London >>>

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seating areas dotted with talking points such as a quirky rhino >>> W H AT ’ S N E A R B Y Locating the hotel was a breeze, and some of London’s most iconic landmarks are literally on your doorstep. Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery and Buckingham Palace are easily accessible, while those looking for a tranquil spot to relax after a spot of retail therapy can head for the nearby St James’ and Green Parks. Westminster, Big Ben and the London Eye are a leisurely stroll away, and I’d recommend a walk along the Thames to take in the sights. Charing Cross tube station provides a convenient way to explore the rest of London’s attractions, and a helpful concierge team are also on hand to order a taxi. WELCOME & FIRST IMPRESSIONS Arriving at the hotel, we collected our key from the lovely Christina, who provided a short narrative of the hotel’s history. Its lobby stands testament to its police roots, and a gallery of installations from the hotels’ collaboration with charity Koestler Arts brighten neutrally decorated walls. The charity was founded in 1962 to help prisoners express and build self-confidence while providing a creative voice to the disadvantaged. A mini-museum has been collated, consisting of historic law and order pieces, from natural hair judge wigs and wig tins through to truncheons, keys and uniforms. Impeccable interior styling sees Tom Dixon lights paired with

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styled chair and library tables. From the lobby, guests have access to The 40 Elephants, The Yard and Sibín bar. While we visited, the Sibín bar was unfortunately closed, but hopefully, it won’t be too long before this secluded gem is reopened. ROOM Corridors feature police-themed patterns, while each door includes an antique style keyhole design with keyless access. Our King Premium bedroom provided a generous 25 m2 space to call our home for the night. From our window, we could view the courtyard buildings behind, and we were not overlooked. The room incorporated a more subtle and neutral approach to the building’s heritage, and amusing touches such as key, fox and moustache hooks added little nostalgic reminders. In-room amenities included a drinks station with a hidden fridge, drawers, and glass/cup storage. A kettle and pod coffee machine provides all the hot beverage essentials, while a hidden fridge provided chilled water. Tech included a TV providing access to hotel activities, menus and ordering system along with ample bedside USB points for those that love to travel with their gadgets. The bathroom features an intelligent TOTO toilet and sensor lighting to help light the way during night-time visits! Air Con and heat control allows you to stay in control of the temperature, and it remained consistent throughout our stay. Guests can switch on a ‘do not disturb’ light to ensure an uninterrupted sleep – handy for

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international travellers coping with jet lag and time zone travel.

bribery to a new level between the late 1800s and mid-1900s,

The bathroom consisted of a retro marble vanity unit with art deco styled mirror and lighting, paired with rich, dark blue metro tiles. A walk-in shower gave the option of overhead rain showerhead or handheld shower. The bathroom offered a range of handy travel essentials along with aromatic guest amenities such as moisturiser, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner – handy, if like me; you forget the odd essential or two!

often emptying shops, bribing wealthy households and transporting their ill-gotten gains around the country with military precision. A quirky list of cocktails (starting from £14), such as Handsome Polly (Mango wine, bergamot liqueur, Spanish brandy and carbonated perfume), Black Diamond whisky cocktail featuring a rich chocolate diamond and delicately spiced Indian Summer were masterfully created by a talented mixologist team. We opted to have dinner within the salon settings digging into a GSY beef burger and house-made charcuterie board to help counteract the deceptively strong cocktails!

Elsewhere, ample storage, ironing boards, a hairdryer and a smart safe provide practical essentials. An area to sit and relax was small but ample for our requirements. We had two pieces of colourful artwork that helped break up a neutral decor scheme. Our king bed offered a generous amount of comfy sleeping space, and white bedding added a crisp, clean touch. All in all, it was a comfortable and timeless space that provided all the comfort you’d expect from a Hyatt hotel. For bath lovers, you will need to enquire whether you can book a room with a bath as ours had a shower – fine for us, but might be an issue for bath fans.

The Yard We headed to The Yard not for obligatory exercise hour but for our breakfast. We were greeted by a welcoming team of waiting staff decked out in prison styled shirts and trousers and braces based on the original police officer uniform. The open kitchen features patterned tiles, while the dining space is finished in earthy tones with half brick and panel designs with feature arches. While we predictably opted for a Full English breakfast (£18), there was a wide choice of dishes from healthy and vegetarian options.

DINING IN The 40 Elephants This retro and saloon styled cocktail bar features a central chandelier while the walls are adorned with forty glass etched portraits of the notorious females that made up London’s 40 Elephants gang. This shrewd team of ladies took stealing and

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Come back again? Absolutely, we couldn’t fault the staff for their friendly, professional, and caring attitude throughout our stay. While the hotel has been curated to replicate its heritage, the staff provide the personable detail that brings the Great Scotland Yard alive.

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

S H O LT O S M I T H G E N E R A L M A N A G E R , G R E AT S C O T L A N D YA R D H O T E L

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fter visiting the Great Scotland Yard hotel we discuss plans, predictions, challenges and design and how general manager Sholto Smith uses his experience and love of travel to curate the perfect stay for hotel guests.

Firstly, great to see the Great Scotland Yard Hotel opening again. How did it feel to start welcoming back guests earlier this summer? We looked forward to welcoming back Londoners and guests from further afield to experience the hotel, our extraordinary food and beverage venues and warm hospitality. Now that London has reopened, we must focus on promoting London as a safe destination to visit and showcasing the attractions and things to do that are perhaps less crowded, to change the perception of London in the eyes of visitors from near or far. The city is what you make of it and the London experience doesn’t always have to be “metropolitan”. For instance, it actually has great green spaces and beautiful walks, many of which are just on Great Scotland Yard’s doorstep. It’s been a challenging year for anyone within the hospitality sector, but the ability to adapt has been inspirational. How has the Great Scotland Yard team evolved to cope with the pandemic? This past year has been an incredibly difficult year for hospitality as we found ourselves at the epicentre of the pandemic! We at Great Scotland Yard Hotel did manage to stay open throughout the most recent lockdown, even if at a limited capacity, and welcomed key workers and essential business travellers. This enabled us to keep as many team members as possible in employment during such a difficult and challenging time. >>>

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>>> Taking a historic building and adapting it into a luxury hotel must have had its challenges. Were there any surprises along the way and how did the team incorporate and celebrate its past into the hotel we see today? Great Scotland Yard is one of London’s most iconic addresses and is best known as the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. It also served as the London residence of the Scottish Royal Family, an army recruitment office, and The Ministry of Defence. The hotel is housed in a magnificent 1820’s Grade II listed building with Edwardian & Victorian architecture. We were challenged to keep the soul of the building and to pay homage to its heritage. I feel we have created a space which invites guests to experience the history of the building through new eyes; a place where past and present merge; where history meets modern luxury. Transforming the building into a luxury hotel keeps the legend alive and allows us to open its doors to the public and share this building’s colourful past with guests from all over the world. Tasteful nods to the building’s past can be found in the interiors. Every nook and cranny has been carefully curated. Key symbols are featured several times in the guestrooms, encouraging guests to unlock the building’s secret past: robe hooks and the handles of the nightstands and minibar are all key-shaped. The blue-veneered guestroom doors are a reference to the police,

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as are the carpets which integrate elements of badges and uniforms to create a unique modern pattern. Design and art are a key part of the hotel. Tell us more about the artworks and collections guests can see around the hotel. Great Scotland Yard’s distinctive art collection was curated by Sarah Percy-Davis of Hollandridge Group. Pieces were commissioned from 28 artists, including Nicola Green, Cornelia Parker, and Alastair Mackie to name a few. Unusually for a hotel, there are bespoke pieces in each bedroom, as well as the public areas. The collection is valued at over £1m. The collection captures the building’s rich history, with pieces representing crime, detection, and the justice system. The feature piece of the collection is “Service” by Nicola Green, which is a representation of the history of the criminal justice system in the UK. The piece consists of 30 portraits, from notorious criminals, judges, lawyers and politicians, to police, literary figures, and monarchs. Criminal justice is not just about catching and punishing offenders, but also redemption and reintegration. Our fascinating collection takes a multi-layered approach and reflects all aspects of the system. We work with The Koestler Trust, a charity which promotes the arts in prisons and encourages ex-offenders to use art as a means to rehabilitation.

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Who are the types of guests that stay at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel? A Great Scotland Yard Hotel guest focus is on experiencing the city and engaging with its history, people, culture, and food. >>> >>> They wish to avoid the a-typical hotel experience, in search of a truly authentic individual experience, which celebrates exploration, creativity, and originality through storytelling and unique personalised experiences. What can guests expect when they arrive at the hotel and how does the team create unique and memorable experiences? Experience is everything, experience is the new luxury. We pride ourselves on offering a unique and quintessentially quirky twist on a British classic. The team strive to create bespoke experiences for each guest. Expect the Unexpected! The luxury stay sector has seen a rise in pre COVID years. How have the expectations of guests changed during your career, and how does the Great Scotland Yard Hotel adapt to an everdemanding audience? The modern traveller can be less loyal and in pursuit of the undiscovered and the unexpected. Hospitality experiences are no longer on your terms, it’s about delivering a strong narrative that enthrals and rewards the guest and their choice to live life on their

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>>> own terms. This hotel is a one-off in every sense; a reimagined 5-star hotel. A one-off building, a one-off experience, a one-off chance to change the face of hotels from the cookie-cutter experiences that have come to define the sector. The ultimate reward for those who are independent free spirits and seek a non-hotel experience. You’ve been a member of the Hyatt Group family for over thirty years. What have been some of your biggest achievements so far? I would have to say being given the opportunity to open hotels like this one – Great Scotland Yard Hotel! I mean, such a tremendous opportunity. If I were to say anything else on this subject, then it would be the fact that I have been able to grow with the company, travel the world while working with some amazing people, learning from some great leaders and making many friends along the way! What or who inspired you to pursue a career within the hotel business? Travel! I like to travel and to see and experience new things, that and enjoy great service! I am a bit of a stickler for things being done properly “The devil is in the detail!” This works on so many levels! When you’re not overseeing the hotels day to day activities, how do you relax and what is your top holiday destination?

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When I am not working I am more often than not in London! I just love London and all it has to offer! Be it great retail experiences, to window shopping! The art galleries collectively house some of the greatest artists of all time, both past and present! There is also the great architecture to take in to consideration too! The other arts world – the kind that takes place on a stage – also what I like to try to get to see as much of as possible! All world class and London is the centre of the universe when it comes to this! In terms of my top holiday destination – I do not really have one! I am more a city person than resort, albeit that is not to say that I do not enjoy or relish times in the tropics! I certainly do!! If you could have given your younger self any advice at the start of your career, what would it be, and why? If I was to answer that question then it would make me look like I look back thinking if I could have done something different or differently, which is not something that I would do. I like to think that I have made the best of opportunities that have been presented to me and for that matter; the ones I have created I feel I have also made the most of those. I prefer to look forward and to what’s around the corner! If I were to give advice then it would be to say that when opportunity knocks, open the door and take it! Also, it’s very good to listen and to observe!

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DISCOVERING...

L U LW O R T H C O V E T H E J U R A S S I C C O A S T, D O R S E T

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ocated near the village of West Lulworth, Lulworth Cove is a popular tourist location that attracts 500,000 visitors every year.

Its unique formation gives a glimpse into the unique jurassic formations synonymous with the Dorset coast and is classified as a World Heritage Site. We look at what Lulworth Cove and the surrounding areas have to offer day visitors and staycationers along with some of our top picks on places to stay.

Image: Lulworth Cove

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Above : Thatched roof cottages in Lulworth Below: View up from the Cove and Durdle Door

Lulworth Cove is accessed via a winding road that takes you through the chocolate box thatched cottages of West Lulworth towards the main car park where visitors can park and decamp before walking the short distance to the cove. Due to its popularity (especially during the summer holiday season), it’s recommended to get to the car park as early as possible but there’s plenty of overflow parking for late arrivals. Lulworth Cove is one of those unique locations that is a draw for a multitude of visitors. From those looking to swim, paddle board and canoe around its 150-million-year-old shoreline through to walkers exploring the miles of footpaths and landscapes of the South West Coast Path. The cove also provides a treasure trove of fossils for the eager eyed collector. LOCAL TREASURES DURDLE DOOR From the car park visitors can take the trek up the hillside towards Durdle Door which is one of the most famous rock arches in the world. It’s quite a walk, but visitors are treated to an array of picturesque views over the cove and Lulworth Cove’s unique coastlines. For the eagle eyed, it’s possible to view cruise ships towards Weymouth and the out island-like outcrop home of the Portland Bill Lighthouse. If the walk seems a bit daunting many choose to park at the Durdle Door Car Park, located by the Holiday Park and take a short meander down to Man O’War Beach. S TA I R H O L E Stair Hole is a smaller cove than Lulworth and is characterised by folded limestone strata that are visible from the safety of the viewing platforms, or for the more adventurous the pebble beach below – although we recommend keeping an eye out for the odd native adder that finds sanctuary within the secluded grassy areas that line Stair Hole. image courtesy of visitmaldives.com

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FOSSIL FOREST The Fossil Forest is the remains of an ancient, submerged forest and is accessed via the east side of Lulworth Cove. Again, it can be quite a climb to view the sight, but it does give you an insight into the superb geographical identity of how the area has been formed. It also gives you a great opportunity to take in the stunning views from the wide ledge cliff top. NEARBY If you’re planning to stay, then there are plenty of day trips and places to explore nearby. Castle lovers will enjoy visiting the local Lulworth Castle or National Trust’s Corfe Castle. With plenty of activities throughout the year, it’s worth checking before you travel to see if they are planning any festivals or events. Corfe Castle is located in Corfe and this charming village is home to the Corfe Railway which steams its way through the landscape. The railway museum is free to visit and charts the demise and lovingly restored station that transports travellers back to the era of steam travel. The Tank Museum provides a great escape for military and transport enthusiasts and Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre was founded by Jim Cronin and provides a 65 acre sanctuary for primates. The work at the centre was documented in the Monkey Life series and highlights the importance of rehabilitation and rescue of some of the most vulnerable species around the globe.

E AT I N G O U T While many prepare their own picnics, there are plenty of spots to grab food and drink, including The Boat Shed Café which offers a range of meals, snacks and homemade cakes and provides the perfect vantage point to watch the bustle of the cove. If you are a cream tea fan, then The Dolls House is a charming little cottage that has been converted to serve cream teas, ice creams and traditional sweets. Ice-cream aficionados will love the choice of superbly creamy options from the Lulworth Ice Cream Parlour (who also provide a dog friendly scoop of this icy desert), or Purbeck Icecream which is served from the small shop by Lulworth Lodge. For those looking to sample some traditional seafood dishes, Finleys Fish & Chips serves a range of seaside favourites. Mussels, crabs and seabass are a recurring favourite on the menu at Lulworth Lodge, although booking a table before you arrive is advisable due to its popularity. Looking for something a bit spicier? The Castle Inn provides a curry to tickle the taste buds and is located a short walk through the village. Lulworth Cove’s popularity can be seen in the diverse audiences that draw it every year. From families, couples or adventurers, it really is a place that fires the imagination, provides tranquility and is the perfect backdrop to create cherished memories. If you’re planning a staycation to the area then we recommend checking out visit-dorset.com or lulworth.com

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W H E R E T O S TAY

DORSET DELIGHTS

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f our focus on Lulworth Cove has whetted your appetite for exploring Dorset, we’ve rounded up four properties ideally situated for exploring the county.

From eco homes, pampering boutique luxury, or an intimate hotel in the centre of Lulworth Cove, these are just a small selection of the varied and delightful properties that continue to make Dorset a popular choice for visitors

S I LV E R L A K E <<< Close-by to the spectacular Jurassic Coast, this former quarry has been transformed into Silverlake, a nature reserve where guests can stay in an eco-holiday home. With hundreds of acres and different waterways, Silverlake is a haven for wildlife and outdoor adventure. Guests seeking rest and relaxation in the tranquil countryside, The Hurricane Spa is the jewel in the crown of the estate and is perfect for those looking for a sport of pampering. It has a 20m outdoor pool that is heated year-round, and indoors guests will find a sauna and Technogym equipment. There’s a choice of accommodation to choose from with individual holiday homes suitable for families or groups. Habitatescapes.com

THE PIG ON THE BEACH <<< This popular hotel opened in June 2014 and is an old coastal villa formerly belonging to the Bankes family of Kingston Lacey fame. It is a combination of eccentrically interpreted architectural styles reminiscent of castles in a C.S. Lewis novel. Formerly The Manor House Hotel, THE PIG-on the beach has been lovingly restored in the same relaxed, quirky style that has become THE PIG’s signature. The 23 quirky and characterful rooms are like something from a classic fairy tale with Victorian windows, cosy and romantic attic rooms, freestanding baths in clever nooks and the signature ‘larders’ for piggy snacks. Thepighotel.com/on-the-beach/

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THE OLLEROD >>> This charming property dates from the 14th Century and The Ollerod is a magical Dorset country house full of character. Situated in the picturesque town of Beaminster, which borders 3 counties, The Ollerod is the perfect place to explore an incredibly beautiful, and untouched, part of England. The hotel is a foodie lovers retreat and is headed up by Chris and Silvana, who used their experience within the hospitality sector while celebrating the character and beauty of the building. Chris delights with a range of beautifully crafted dishes which draw on his Michelin star experience. South African born Silvana has extensive experience within the boutique, luxury hospitality sector. The Ollerod has nine individually styled hotel bedrooms from cool modern to classic English, all with ensuite bathrooms, organic toiletries, and fine Italian bed linens for added comfort and luxury. Theollerod.co.uk

L U LW O R T H L O D G E >>> This intimate and cosy hotel is enviably positioned within a short stroll from Lulworth Cove. Lulworth Lodge features a range of contemporary, coastal-inspired bedrooms from a single snug to the generous space of The Lodge Suite providing the perfect vantage point to view the sea. Throughout the property calming neutral palettes are punctuated with quirky prints and chic furnishings. Each of the twelve rooms has all the essential guest amenities, from tea and coffee facilities to handy water bottles and complimentary cookies. Its on-site dining area provides a range of seafood and bistro styled dishes to whet the appetite after a day exploring the cove and Dorset walks. Included within your stay is a choice of breakfast dishes featuring local and seasonal produce. Outside is a charming deck area that lends itself well to sipping a local cider (or two), while catching the sunshine and sea breeze. Lulworthlodge.co.uk

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

CARLA PUVEREL GENERAL MANAGER CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND

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arla Puverel, took up her role as General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island at one of the hardest times for the hospitality industry. Carla continues to drive innovation using her outstanding experience within the industry, and we asked her what it takes to be in charge of this luxury, tropical oasis.

Firstly, congratulations on your recent appointment at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. It’s been a turbulent year but how have you and the team coped in such unprecedented times? Thank you, I am so proud of the wonderful team at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. We have all grown and developed so much over the last 18 months in very unprecedented times. We reopened the resort in late September 2020 and have grown from strength to strength as we have navigated the pandemic, the ever-changing goal posts, new restrictions, and guidelines, and we have had to continually evolve quickly to be where we are today. I have always tried to make sure that team members are continuously empowered and are given the opportunity to take ownership of tasks. Team members have adapted well to constant challenges, and all have seen this time as an opportunity for growth and change. Our guests have been wonderful during this difficult period and the experience for everyone has been very positive, despite much adaption and challenging times. Ultimately, communication and transparency are key within our teams, and empowering the team members is fundamental for me as a leader to see success. During these unprecedented times, it is has felt like we have been given a clean slate as we all navigate on how we continue to give personal, heartfelt hospitality, exceed our stakeholder’s expectations, and embrace all the ever-changing ways of life, particularly related to the hospitality industry. I feel in a very fortunate position being at the head of this iconic resort, which proudly boasts a solid history of long-standing relationships with both guests and team members. Overall, our team members all have the same goals, ethos, and drive to take the resort to the next level of personal service, combined with authentic Maldivian experiences and reassurance that all guests have peace of mind during their time with us. >>>

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T R AV E L Conrad Maldives Rangali Island The Quiet Zone aerial view Photo by Justin Nicholas

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T R AV E L >>> With over 18 years within the hospitality industry, what have been your greatest achievements? I am very blessed to be where I am today and am very grateful for all the experiences that I have had, all the lessons I have learnt, and the many more to come. It is a wonderful way to live, grow and work, being exposed to so many different cultures, and live in so many countries around the world. I appreciate the team the most and seeing them being inspired and develop is a huge achievement as we strive for improvement daily. The last 12 months has been a big achievement for all of us at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. What drove you to a career within the hospitality sector and were there any people that inspired you? I am passionate about travel, culture and history along with the ever-changing dynamics and constant growth and development of the hospitality industry. Hospitality evolves all the time, and you can never be stagnant or complacent! The diverse cultures and wonderful people I’ve met along my journey I have learnt so much and it’s encouraging to know there is still more is to come. I am inspired daily by the teams that I work with and the authentic experiences that are created for our guests. I have had many mentors along the way that I am still in touch with and reach out to often. What key attributes does it take to be a great General Manager?

Top Image: One of the Premier Water Villas Photograph by Justin Nicholas Bottom image: Grand Villa with Jacuzzi

It is so important to be aligned with the vision and ethos of the company, stakeholders, and team. Alongside this, being a good listener, understanding diverse cultures, confidently processing information, and building the best team of people around you. I believe its key to have a good understanding of the country you are working in and build good relationships with the long-standing team members to gain their knowledge and understanding of both the country and property. The role of a General Manager has evolved vastly over time, but they should have sound commercial knowledge, as well as driving results, making good and clear decision’s and being agile. The most important attribute is to have the support of the team, to empower people and ensure everyone is accountable and passionate about our product, our resort, and our guests, as it takes an entire team to drive the success of a resort, the stake holder’s goals and the guest’s experiences. What does a typical day entail? Every day is different on Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, and each day brings new stories, challenges, experiences, and often lots of laughter and lessons. We meet as a team in the early morning and plan the day, as we often have private events to plan and entertainment in the evening. Planning is key in operating a remote Island resort, and everyone plays a big role in this. We then welcome guests during breakfast and greet the early morning seaplane arrivals. Each day is filled with passion, and many personal conversations and meetings with guests, team members, and stakeholders. I am generally up before the sun rises and start the day with a morning run alongside some of the early risers on the team, which helps sets me up for the day. Apart from COVID, what have been the biggest changes within the luxury travel industry in recent years? I think one of the biggest changes has been seasonality in travel. As more people are starting to work remotely and children are continuing with online learning, the typical holiday seasons are shifting. Also, flexibility in travel is, and will continue to play a major role in the future. Guests require more flexibility in their bookings and can see the value that comes with long stay bookings. The length of stays in general have increased and will increase even further than it has already. Lastly, wellness and sustainable travel will be an even more important factor than it already is, and I think mindful and responsible tourism will play a big part in this. >>>

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T R AV E L Overwater Spa Treatment Room Image by Gecko Digital

>>> Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a unique, luxury destination, how does it differ from the hotels you have looked after before?

Wellness and experiences continue to be a focus for many travellers. How does the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island adapt to an ever demanding clientele?

The Maldives is such a unique destination and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a pioneer amongst the Maldives and its hotels. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an island of many firsts for the destination, we were the very first hotel in the Maldives to have an over water villa, the first over water restaurant, the very first underwater restaurant in the world called Ithaa, the first resort with an underground wine cellar in The Maldives with over 3000 labels, and the very first 3 bedrooms over water and under water residence in the world, The MURAKA. Lastly, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was also the first international brand resort in the Maldives and set the stage for many after.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is always keeping guests demands front of mind, however due to the unrivalled location of the resort, being surrounded by the ocean and nature, these attributes lend themselves to guests enjoying spending time experiencing the beautiful natural surroundings. Our resort is situated in the South Ari Atoll and is located very close to whale sharks and manta rays, giving our guests that are divers and keen snorkelers a wonderful experience being able to see these magical creatures in their natural habitat.

The hospitality industry has had to be creative and often diversify over recent months. What have been the positives for you and the team during this time, and have there been any initiatives that you are particularly proud of? The goal posts have certainly shifted in the last 18 months and will continue to do so as time goes on. We have had to be agile and evolve quickly to ensure we keep up with the pace of change and last-minute movements. The use of technology is far more present in the resort than before, and using technology to communicate with your guests and keeping a personal guest experience, is a fine line in luxury and personalised service. HiltonClean stay has played a big role in our success over the last year and will also continue to do so as it gives our guests and team members more peace of mind.

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We are also fortunate to have two beautiful spas located on the resort. The over water spa is more wellness centric with natural and organic products ISUN and the treatments focusing on wellness and mindfulness. The over water sunset yoga pavilion is a real treat for our guests, and we are in the process of developing an outdoor gym and fitness area with a range of TRX, weights, medicine balls, battle ropes, and a personal fitness trainer who can create bespoke workouts for guests. With our infrastructure set across two islands which are joined together by a bridge, we can offer both family and couples who are on vacation, personal experiences and adventures. We are very innovative with our culinary team, and with twelve dining options this gives our guests far more choice and options during their stay.

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T R AV E L Beauty Rangali Finolhu Main Island Pool Image by Justin Nicholas

We are constantly evolving our menus and offerings to our guests, and in 2021 we will be completing the final stage of our renovations, further elevating the guest experience such as refreshed water villas, revamped Atoll Market and new teens club, to name a few elements. Who are the typical guests at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island? The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island guests are never the same as they are from all over the world and are seasoned travellers, which is part of what makes the island so special. We are very fortunate that our guests are forthcoming and know what they want when they go on holiday. We also have a large percentage of loyal repeat guests that travel to the islands at least twice a year, which always makes them feel like they are coming back home. What have been the most unusual requests? We have had so many unusual and fun requests, which the team execute flawlessly and with such care and passion. We have had a couple get engaged in our world-renowned underwater restaurant Ithaa, where our divers were waiting underwater with a “Will you marry me?” sign, and our team timed the popping of the champagne perfectly. The couple returned a few months later to celebrate their honeymoon in The MURAKA – our most showstopping villa.

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What are your must-do tips for visitors to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island? We have so many it’s hard to know where to start. There is nothing better than going snorkelling with the manta rays and whale sharks, it’s an experience you will never forget, and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is the perfect location for seeing them. Also, a sunset cruise sipping champagne and watching the dolphins frolic in the ocean, a private lunch on a deserted sandbank, a personal Maldivian cooking class, spa treatment in our beautiful over water spa, and a private chef cooked dinner on the beach in the Quiet Zone, are a few to mention, but this list is endless. If you could sum up the resort in just three words, what would they be? Evolving barefoot luxury Lastly, what can guests expect to experience over the winter sun season? Perfect warm tropical weather, lots of fun entertainment, our newly enhanced kids and teen clubs, manta ray season in the lagoon and surrounding area, innovative cuisine with lots of local flair and inspiration, and many passionate team members looking forward to welcoming you.

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THE FELLOWS HOUSE CAMBRIDGE

C U R I O C O L L E C T I O N B Y H I LT O N U N V E I L S T H E H O T E L ’ S I N T E R I O R D E S I G N B Y TWENTY2DEGREES

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he Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton has unveiled the interior design of both public and guest areas, which was completed by hospitality design practice, twenty2degrees. The new apartment-style hotel opened its doors earlier this summer and is located a stone’s throw away from the river and many of the city’s most famous colleges, offering a home-away-from-home infused with the legacy of university fellows as well as the architectural and cultural soul of Cambridge.

THE DESIGN CONCEPT The plan for the ground floor was a sequence of zoned spaces flowing from the reception lobby to The Folio Bar and, from here, onto The Folio Kitchen restaurant which opens to The Fellows Garden, a courtyard space reminiscent of college quads, with terrace dining and The Observatory snug. The garden is also overlooked by a wellness centre with indoor pool and an events room that hosts a triptych of Stephen Hawking photographs overlaid with theories taken from his Cambridge thesis.

The influences behind The Fellows House brand led the design narrative which threads through the hotel, sometimes thoughtprovoking, often playful and always layered to feed guest curiosity. This can be seen in the choice of furnishings and finishes and the juxtaposition of the classic and modern. Above all, the story is told through bespoke artwork and carefully curated accessories that are seldom quite what they appear to be at first glance.

The scene is set as guests arriving at the main entrance are met by two columns clad in patinated copper. Honouring Alan Turing’s memory, these are etched with mysterious text formatted like the Enigma code but this time hiding famous quotes from Cambridge fellows for visitors to decipher at their leisure. From here, guests pass into the lobby lounge where the design response to location, academic heritage and the fellows’ legacy is immediately apparent, combined with a rich materiality. Nero Marquina marble flooring extends the full length of the ground floor with custom-designed rugs helping to define the seating areas. The Cipollino Ondulato Rosso marble to the reception desk is honed to striking effect; behind this a full height pigeonhole cabinet of the kind once popular in the colleges is labelled with words in an old typewriter font taken from In Cimmerian Darkness by J H Pyrnne, a fellow and key figure in the Cambridge group of revival poets.

Paavan Popat, Chief Executive of The Fellows House Cambridge, sums up the achievement: “We are extremely proud of the final product at The Fellows House. It offers a fine balance of inclusivity with the exclusive refinement of a premium hotel. We want everyone to experience Cambridge like a fellow and make the most of their time with us by feeling inspired and comfortably at home.”

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T R AV E L Other alumni, including Davidson Nicol, Cambridge’s first African fellow, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, are the subject of expressionist portraits hung on the walls and reflected in antiqued glass panelling. The effect is infinite layering, drawing guests into the experience of The Fellows House. There is also a celebration of Cambridge bicycling – an installation of five classic frames rotated and repeated to create an impression of constant movement. Leather chesterfield sofas and large armchairs are playfully deconstructed as if to show the secrets of their inner workings. By day, the lobby lounge is filled with natural daylight; by night, warm lighting closes the area down into a cosy space. Upholstery fabrics are tactile, the rouge pink tone of velvet offsetting the dark marbles and timbers. THE SAGE OF CAMBRIDGE Situated just inside the main entrance to The Fellows House and with its own street entrance, The Sage of Cambridge is a café intended every bit as much for the locals as for hotel guests. Its gleaming marble surfaces, comfortable bistro-style chairs and jaunty original artwork are all designed to catch the eye and attract customers in for a morning coffee, a spot of co-working or a light lunch. As dusk falls, the ambience changes and the café becomes a space ideal for meeting friends over aperitifs as the lights are dimmed and the custom-designed bar allows staff to easily convert it from daytime service into a glowing cocktail bar. THE FOLIO BAR Occupying the centre of the ground floor plan and hidden from street view, The Folio Bar has the ambience of a private members’ club but one without doors, that is open to all. This is an extravagantly layered space where materiality, texture, lighting and carefully framed views create a feast for the eye in which infinite reflections caught in antiqued mirror amplify the drama. With limited natural light, the theatre of artificial lighting is key, highlighting features, artwork and accessories, revealing luxurious finishes and creating a mood conducive to quiet conversation against the intermittent sounds of cocktail shakers and cues on balls as guests play billiards. The Folio Bar opens onto the restaurant, but three floor-to-ceiling columns interrupt show-through and protect the individual character of each space. The columns are translated into essential components in the design. Nearest to the bar, an elegant cocktail cabinet displays glass drippers used to curate locally inspired drinks but looking like they would be perfectly at home in a Cambridge laboratory; at the other end there is a full height bookcase accessorised with scientific curiosities, games and a collection of books by or about the fellows. In between, a two-way fire cheers both Bar and Restaurant during chillier days. The pool table is designed to transition into a food display counter for private events. Where walls do exist, they are artwork. A free-standing wall hosts a “DNA Panel” – a celebration of the modelling by fellows of DNA’s double helix, apparently over a pint in the nearby Eagle pub – embedded with the hotel owner’s own DNA profile. A brick wall reveals college crests in faded ghost signage where the plaster has “fallen away”. THE FOLIO KITCHEN The Folio Kitchen is both refined and playful, nicely complementing the menu which features homely British classics served with a twist as well as a number of plant-based dishes. While flowing directly from The Folio Bar, the restaurant offers a step-change in ambience. It is a light-filled space thanks to a large roof lantern and a fully glazed wall at one end which opens onto the garden and takes guests from the indoor retreat of the

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ground floor into an outdoor universe where artworks muse on worlds beyond. The Folio Kitchen combines the contemporary and classic within a fresh and inviting colour palette. Walls and columns are clad in whitewashed brick and the accent colour is Cambridge Blue with punches of ochre orange in the leather upholstery. A Calacatta marble sharing table together with marble topped dining tables are elegant and sophisticated. They also provide a counterpoint to the traditional millwork of the roof lantern recess and the timber banquets as well as the geometric black and white tiling to the floor, all of which are a nod to historic Cambridge. Above the fireplace, a portrait of Sir Michael Foster looks down over proceedings much as he might have once surveyed Trinity College’s dining hall in his days as a fellow there. Certain elements are drawn through from the rest of the public areas. Antiqued mirror continues to play an important role in capturing design vignettes and adding drama to the space while original artworks are key to the storytelling. A romantic poem written nearly 100 years ago by a Chinese student and a leader of China’s New Culture Movement becomes a collection of framed love notes to Cambridge abstracted into handwritten texts, modern re-workings of Chinese symbols and laser cut lettering. In The Fellows Garden, a metal sculpture, celebrating the work of fellow Sir John Hershel in astronomy, photography and music, is curious and engaging while, in The Observatory snug, typography portraits of Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and Sir Antony Gormley are reminders of Cambridge fellows who, in their different ways, have challenged our awareness of space. THE FELLOWS HOUSE APARTMENTS The Fellows House offers 131 apartments. Their aesthetic is contemporary and pared-back – space for guests to make their own. Pale timber floors and a monochrome colour palette are paired with marble topped tables and dark timber features and furniture. Punches of colour are introduced in the framed antique-style Cambridge maps which pay homage to alumni and fellows, Charles Darwin, Henry Cavendish, John Flamsteed and Siegfried Sassoon. Nick Stoupas, Founder & Managing Director of twenty2degrees, says: “Creating a new and different hotel in a city seeped in history and academic significance was very special. The question for the design team was how to infuse the spirit of the fellows and the soul of Cambridge into a narrative of layered meaning. The journey we went on to achieve this was fascinating and working closely with a very well-informed and passionate client was a huge pleasure.” THE HOTEL ARTWORK The collaboration with artist and sculptor, Diarmuid ByronO’Connor, was to create several notable pieces for the ground floor. In addition to the Enigma inspired aged copper cladding to the arrival columns, the DNA panel, the bicycle artwork, the ghost wall and the garden sculpture, he was responsible for an etching in patinated copper inspired by fellow C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Its design emulates the printing blocks used to create the original book by scaling-up and reversing the process to achieve a mirror image. The design also worked closely with Elegant Clutter in the creation and curation of all the other artworks. hilton.com/en/curio/

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

G E N E V I È V E M AT E R N E SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT COMMERCIAL SERVICES EAME & SOUTH WEST A S I A AT H YAT T H O T E L S C O R P O R AT I O N

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ith over seventeen years within the hospitality industry, we jumped at the chance to question Geneviève on her experiences within the sector and to hear more about the arrival of three new JdV by Hyatt hotels opening in Sweden.

There’s a growing desire for travellers to connect with the local art and lifestyle of the countries and regions they visit. How does this translate to the properties under Hyatt’s JdV brand? The JdV by Hyatt brand is a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that welcome all vibes, tribes, and unique souls. Each property in the brand’s portfolio embraces the local neighbourhood in which it is situated – from design through to the activities on offer – these hotels invite guests to explore, celebrate and live in the moment. JdV by Hyatt expanded into Europe for the first time earlier this year, with the opening of three hotels in Sweden – Story Hotel Riddargatan and Story Hotel Signalfabriken in Stockholm, and Story Hotel Studio in Malmö, all of which perfectly encapsulate the brand. We know consumers are looking for exceptional experiences from their travels, more so than ever before. Adding these hotels to our portfolio allows us to offer guests a chance to sample unique experiences and live like a local in some of the most exciting cities in the world. Story Hotel Riddargatan, Story Hotel Signalfabriken in Stockholm and Story Hotel Studio Malmo are the latest and first European hotels under the JdV umbrella. What can travellers expect from their visit? These hotels all joined JdV by Hyatt, part of Hyatt’s independent collection in April 2021. Being part of our independent collection means hotels retain their individual identities and names and all three properties reflect the edgy nature of both Stockholm and Malmö. Guests can expect distressed walls, sleek furniture and rustic exposed pipework, a perfect fit for these Swedish cities.

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Plus, each hotel is filled with plush furnishings and offers a vibe that is cool and vibrant, yet easy-going and relaxed. All the hotels are ideally located for guests to explore these vibrant cities, whether that be in the trendy area of downtown Stockholm or with sweeping views of the city’s skyline and ocean. Story Hotel Signalfabriken is actually housed in a 19thcentury building, formerly a fire station and town hall, located in Sundbyberg, less than 20 minutes from Stockholm’s city centre. It’s the perfect base for those looking for quick access into Stockholm’s city centre. Who is the typical Hyatt JdV customer and how is this interpreted into the design, food and drink offering? The typical JdV by Hyatt guest is free-spirited, seeking vibrant and inclusive stays. All three hotels are designed as a welcoming space for guests and locals alike to connect with each other, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life – the ethos that sits at the heart of our JdV by Hyatt brand. In addition to locally inspired design, each hotel provides guests with a range of activities that allow them to experience the local culture first-hand. For example, Malmö is known for its amazing biking infrastructure and leads the way as Sweden’s best place to bike. So, we offer guests the opportunity to borrow a bike at the hotel, free of charge, and explore the Western harbour, working their way up to the city’s landmark Turning Torso - the tallest building in Scandinavia! >>>

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Story Hotel Riddargatan, part of JdV by Hyatt

>>> At the heart of Hyatt JdV is a strong design focus. How does the team balance the need for local identity while balancing luxury, hospitality design? All three hotels are designed to create a luxury and stressfree experience for guests. They feature individually designed boutique guestrooms, vibrant public spaces and food and beverage offerings for both guests and locals – bringing these two communities together in a welcoming and beautifully designed, luxury setting. For example, Story Hotel Signalfabriken is chic and contemporary in its design. With copper plating, brick walls and rainfall showers, the hotel is perfect for those who prefer a modern industrial vibe. Similarly at Story Hotel Studio Malmö, the guestrooms are all designed to reflect the distinct look, feel, and vibrant nature of the local neighbourhoods. With an airy and modern finish, each bedroom offers guests a beautiful view with its large glass windows that overlook the city centre or the ocean. How is Hyatt developing to attract the next generation of travellers and how are travellers evolving when it comes to expectations? As a business we prioritise listening to guests and taking the time to understand what they want from hotels and where they

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want to travel. With stunning architecture, a rich cultural history and breathtaking scenery, Sweden is on many of our bucket lists! It’s consistently in the top ten places to visit in Europe[1], which is why we’re so excited to have opened three hotels in this beautiful country, encouraging more consumers to explore it. In terms of changing expectations, we are constantly evolving our offers and experiences. This year we launched The Great Relocate, a long-stay package in response to pent-up desire for travel and longer stays abroad, after a long period of restrictions. It taps into the “work from anywhere” trend, allowing guests who want to swap their spare room for working poolside, trade standing lunches for lunches in rooftop restaurants or cosy cafes, sneak a pamper session in after a morning meeting, or go for an afternoon swim with their family before dinner. The offer is valid across all our hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, so is a great way to see more of the world. We know that travellers are excited to travel again, with bookings expected to skyrocket now restrictions have eased. Guests are looking for something extra special and unique when they book these trips, so we’re constantly looking at new and creative ways to provide them with unforgettable memories. For example, Great Scotland Yard in London, is set to open ‘Ekstedt at The Yard’ this year; Niklas Ekstedt’s first restaurant outside of Sweden. The open kitchen has been designed to feel like an extension of the restaurant floor, helping to elevate the dining experience

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Story Hotel Riddargatan, Kasai Entrance part of JdV by Hyatt

for guests as chefs perform Niklas’ signature style of wood-fire cooking. Your career has seen you based at beautiful locations around the globe and working with some of the most well-known brands within the hospitality industry. What drove you to pursue a career within this challenging sector? At its very heart, this industry is about people. We’re in the business of making people happy. At Hyatt, we never lose sight of what’s most important and are a people-first company. Hyatt was built by family and is a workplace where colleagues become friends and it’s got a real sense of family with guests as well. It’s about being a part of something bigger, whilst enjoying life every day.

opportunity to try new experiences, live like a local and be able to call the hotel my home for four weeks was something I recommend to anyone. In my job it’s so important to try the packages we are offering our guests, and ensure we are providing them with the ultimate experience. As travel restrictions gradually start to lift, I’m looking forward to ticking even more locations off my bucket list. Story Hotel Studio Malmö Kasai Rooftop part of JdV by Hyatt

And I don’t think anyone could pass up the opportunity to enjoy office space in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. It’s for this very reason I’ve always dreamed of working in hospitality. In which other industry can you, in any given month, be launching 7Pines Resort Ibiza Destination by Hyatt or travelling to Dubai to try out a new long-stay package, all whilst based in Zurich? When you’re not working, what location is on your holiday list? I’ve been lucky enough to have just spent a month in Dubai trying out The Great Relocate offer first-hand atPark Hyatt Dubai, and what an amazing experience that was. Having the

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A NEW CHAPTER THREE NEW STORY HOTELS IN SWEDEN

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yatt recently opened the doors of three hotels in Sweden, under the JdV by Hyatt brand which caters to those free-spirited guests seeking vibrant and culturally charged trips.

S T O R Y H O T E L S I G N A L FA B R I K E N , STOCKHOLM Story Hotel Signalfabriken is housed inside the Signalfabriken building, formerly a fire station and town hall, and is great for those who want quick access to Stockholm’s city centre. The hotel is ideal for those interested in exploring the Friends Arena and Mall, Scandinavia’s biggest shopping centre, which also has an IMAX theatre, and can be reached by car in about 10 minutes.

S TO R Y H OT E L R I D D A R G ATA N , STOCKHOLM Located in the trendy area of downtown Stockholm, Story Hotel Riddargatan is just around the corner from the business and shopping district of Stureplan – great for those travelling for either business or fun. For those interested in immersing themselves in the vibrant city centre, the hotel is close to most key tourist attractions, ferry boats to the archipelago and designer shops and boutiques.

STORY HOTEL STUDIO MALMÖ Story Hotel Studio Malmö is located by the water at Universitetsholmen, a few minutes walking distance from the Malmö Central Station and city centre, making it the perfect springboard for guests to explore the city. The hotel is located within the STUDIO building, sits by the entrance to the harbour and features retail outlets, several restaurants, and a café. The best way to explore the city is on a bicycle, which is perfect as Story Hotel Studio Malmö offers free cycle hires for all guests.

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T R AV E L T E C H Tech and gadgets have been a mainstay within the travel sector with many must have items helping us to communicate, discover and explore the world around us. We look at our favourite four!

Top left The Pocketalk S (RRP £249) can translate 82 languages bidirectionally at the touch of a button and has a text-to-translate camera which instantly recognises and translates text, the written word and signs - ideal if you need help reading menus or are trying to find your way around a new city. By utilising the best translation engines from around the world, Pocketalk S provides consistently accurate translation and creates the best experience by picking up localised dialects and slang. It also comes with a complementary 2-year mobile data plan that provides coverage in over 130 countries/regions so you don’t need to rely on Wi-Fi. Top RIght Contactless Payment Key Charm - Multicolour Butterfly - £80 tovisorga.com Handcrafted in England from Tovi Sorga’s signature printed leather and padded for the perfect squidge. This gadget makes it fast and easy to make touchfree payments. It’s a great option for travellers and never needs charging or batteries.

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Bottom left The Smart Screen £9.95 each or The Gold Edition is available for £14.95 www.smartscreen.store. A London based start up brand propelled by lockdown creativity, ‘Smart Screen’, has launched a revolutionary, antibacterial cleaning cloth designed to ensure your home tech remains box fresh. This is a handy accessory for anyone who wants to keep their gadgets and screens in tip top condition while travelling. Bottom right Garmins newly-launched CamperVan, designed for adventurous travel in smaller vans, comes with a “6.95 screen and includes Michelin Green Guide to enhance spontaneous travel. Prices from £259.99 at Garmin.co.uk. Garmin have partnered with a UK tourism professor to put resorts such as Margate, Scarborough, Skegness and Great Yarmouth on their Trip Down Memory Lane route.

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W H AT ’ S N E W I N I S È R E ? ISÈRE IS GETTING READY TO GREET VISITORS FOR THE BIG WINTER RENDEZVOUS

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sère is a department in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It extends from the banks of the River Rhône to the summits of the French Alps. The region is easily accessible from Grenoble Alpes Isère airport, including numerous flights from London and other major cities in the UK. In winter, the resorts in the Vercors region, the major ski areas of Alpe d’Huez and Les 2 Alpes in Oisans or the resorts in Belledonne will delight mountain holiday fans. The resorts are home to Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing on the major summits and glaciers, snowboarding, freeriding, snow shoeing and dogsledding. The second mountain range, the massif of Belledonne, offers 250 km of slopes with an altitude difference up to 1200 m. With state-of-the-art lifts, skiers are quickly transported up the mountain where incredible panoramic views await. Les 7 Laux offers easily accessible off-piste areas, as well as a large network of marked pistes, including the famous ‘Casserousse’ in Chamrousse, where French sport legend, JeanClaude Killy, won the Olympic gold medal in 1968. Although Vercors is mainly known for cross country skiing, the landscape is different to Oisans or Belledonne: skiers can go through forests with much steeper and craggier terrain available. The slopes are less challenging than in Oisans, yet good skiers can still find some serious black slopes, such as the ‘Carole Montillet’ piste (former ski champion) in Villard-de-Lans / Corrençon-en-Vercors, which is the main Alpine resort in Vercors with 125 km of runs. A C C O M M O D AT I O N Pop Alp in Alpe d’Huez: With its colourful balconies adorned with a hundred or so brightly coloured skis, the hotel is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. Even the hotel’s sign, in pop art style, is a twist on the Alpe d’Huez logo. Once inside, guests can marvel at the universe of pop art that harks back to the 1960s. The 3* Hotel Pop Alp hotel is designed as an exhibition, it’s a contemporary art gallery with murals, sculptures and about 50 original paintings created especially for the hotel. Each of the 28 rooms is unique. To book : A week’s stay at the 3* Hotel Pop Alp costs from €120/£103 for two sharing on B&B board. Return direct flights from London Gatwick to Grenoble cost from £64 pp with easyJet.  www.bensbus.co.uk transfers from £40 pp return. Auris expands: Auris is the departure point for the SATA lift company that will link Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain Ski and Les 2 Alpes in the coming years, meaning this small resort is set to grow in popularity. Designed with an eco-friendly approach, the brand new piste side 3*Alp’Auris Residence sits at an altitude of 1,600 m in the heart of the resort of Auris, part of the Alpe d’Huez ski area. With a magnificent south-facing aspect in the Grandes Rousses mountains, the residence looks out over the spectacular panorama of the Oisans peaks, the Meije and its glaciers. The accommodation is well-equipped for four to eight people on holiday. Guests will also find an indoor swimming area with a small and large pool, and a wellness area with a sauna and a hammam. A week’s stay at the 3*Alp’Auris Residence costs from €416.50/£357 for four people sharing a two-bedroom apartment on a self-catering basis. New Base Camp Lodge hostel in Les 2 Alpes: Skiing becomes even more affordable as a second hostel gets ready to open at the far end of the resort. The Base Camp Lodge, occupying the

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former Hôtel des Champions comprises 30 rooms varying in size. From shared rooms (max. 10 people) to en-suite double/twin rooms, a master suite or a 40m² family suite. The style and décor combines Alpine touches of wood with sleek metal finished with a sprinkle of pioneer spirit. It is complemented with a restaurant serving vegan, vegetarian, Alpine and meat dishes. And also has a fitness room, sauna and ski room. The Base Camp Lodge is due to open on 10 December 2021. www.hotel-basecamplodge. com A week’s stay at thebasecamplodge costs from £326 pp for a single bed in a 10 bed dormitory room with three shared showers. EVENTS Les 7 Laux resort celebrates its 50th anniversary: Several events will take place during the winter and summer seasons in all the villages of Les 7 Laux – Prapoutel/Le Pleynet/Pipay. Expect an array of exhibitions plus sports, concerts and unusual events. “Joie de vivre” (the enjoyment of life) is the key phrase for this anniversary, celebrating the development of the resort and shaping the future. Les 7 Laux is the largest ski area in the Belledonne range and sits at an altitude of 1,350 m to 2,400 m. The resort offers a wide variety of slopes and in particular, secure access to the Vallons du Pra, an exceptional wilderness area that has become a marked and secure off piste area while preserving the wild character of this high-altitude territory. Facts about this resort as follows: 22 lifts, 45 pistes, totaling 120 km (10 green, 10 blue, 18 red, 7 black) plus 7 black “freeski” off piste. Families will love the snowpark, the fun trails or the freerando access. The main interest for experts lies in the off piste and ski touring, which is extensive. Grenoble, Capital of the Alps, elected European Green Capital 2022: Each year, the title of European Green Capital is awarded to cities that demonstrate a strong commitment to the environment and to sustainable development. The city of Grenoble demonstrated its vision, enthusiasm, and ability to inspire other cities by highlighting its eco-responsible actions from the last ten years. It is a great city to be based in to explore the nearby resorts of Chamrousse, Les 7 Laux and Villard de Lans. ACTIVITIES The resorts in the Isère region will delight fans of mountain holidays. Together, they offer plenty of varied and accessible winter activities for all levels, including Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing on major summits and glaciers, snowboarding, freeriding, snow shoeing, dogsledding, ski touring, snowshoeing etc. Although that list is long already, here are some brand-new activities for the 2021/22 ski season below! Snowshoeing and yoga retreat, the zen attitude in Chartreuse: Discover the Chartreuse Massif in Isere while staying in the warm and welcoming gites at Chant de l’eau, in the heart of the village of Sappey en Chartreuse. This retreat is for anyone in moderate physical condition. Learn to use yogic techniques to regulate the physical effort, to relax, and self-massage. Become a trapper, following the trails of deer, ducking under snow covered branches in absolute silence, with only the sound of the snow crackling under the snowshoes. No prior experience in yoga or snowshoeing required: all techniques are easy to learn. Walking, exercise, yoga, relaxation, meditation, free time with delicious and healthy food… all the right ingredients for a balanced and

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rejuvenating retreat. Choose from five or six days with relaxation and positive energy in the mountains in a wild and unspoiled nature. Each day begins with a hatha yoga session which mainly works the postures for a gentle awakening of the body and mind. After a balanced breakfast, it’s a day of snowshoeing in the surrounding Isere massifs. Back to the bedroom, after a good herbal tea, one hour of yoga is offered before dinner at the table d’hôte. Price: From 490 € four nights/five days or 580 € five nights/six days flights and transfers not included www. gitechantdeleau.com Ski touring by starlight - Chamrousse 1650: Awarded the “Best Ski Touring Itinerary” at the 2019 Ski Touring Trophies, this multiactivity night hiking itinerary is for ski tourers who want to enjoy a nocturnal touring activity from 6 pm to 10 pm in safety. The resort of Chamrousse has created a specific itinerary, with both ascent and descent. Using this itinerary, however, remains the skier’s responsibility – they need to be mindful of the possible presence of a piste basher. The free to explore itinerary is approx. 3 km and has 600 m of difference in altitude. Reach the trail at the foot of the slopes at Recoin. www.chamrousse.com Breathing and cardiac coherence... at altitude - Les 7 Laux: Cardiac coherence is a breathing method that regulates the heartbeat in times of stress and intense emotion. With this pandemic it’s a good opportunity to try a universal health tool that anyone can use – it is simple and easy to introduce to help individuals achieve a more balanced daily life. Cardiac coherence is best practised outdoors, with rhythm variations, energising, relaxing and balancing and breathing associated with movement

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all allowing guests to harmonise their body and mind to the outside environment. www.fabiennehelip.com. A one hour and 15-minute session costs 60€/£51 E-Trott’athlon in Autrans, Vercors: Experience the thrill of an all-terrain electric scooter combined with biathlon shooting with an optical rifle. Sign up to this new competition as a family (minimum age 10) or as individuals and together, in groups of eight to 10, take on the various challenges on the choice of two pistes. Sample the scooters, the shooting and timed laps with both included. The one-hour package, for groups of eight to 10, costs from €25 pp / £21 pp. www.e-trottathlon.fr Live like a trapper for an evening – Oz en Oisans: Don’t miss this unique experience with mushers Erwin and Barbara and their Siberian huskies. Pull on some snow shoes and hiking with the huskies at sunset before tucking into a delicious dinner cooked on a wood fire in the heart of the forest. A ‘cani-balade’ on snowshoes is a moment of intimacy with the dogs, supervised by a musher. Equipped with a harness and connected to the hikers, the dogs accompany you on a long walk in the thick of nature. €75 per adult, €65 per child or €250 per family www. ranchdeloisans.com T R AV E L A greater number of people are being more aware of train travel; it’s just seven hours by train from London St Pancreas via Paris to Grenoble www.snowcarbon.co.uk isere-tourism.com

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U K S TAYC AT I O N

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hether the rise in staycations has been due to necessity with a lack of overseas travel, or a renewed passion for exploring at home, holidays within the UK are continuing to be a favourite option for travellers. After our popular feature in our first issue (which had originally planned to be a one-off focus), we thought we’d make this a regular spot to get ideas, inspiration and day-dream about your next staycation adventures. Burleigh Court is a 200-year old 18-room romantic country house hotel set within a Grade II listed manor in the Cotswolds. It offers guests a captivating experience of country charm with a splash of luxury served by a warm and welcoming team. Nestled in nature within four acres of lush gardens with panoramic views across Gloucestershire’s Golden Valley, guests can choose between rooms within five categories (Classic, Cosy, Superior, Noteworthy, Romantic) in the main house and adjacent coach house. Pet-friendly rooms are available too. The hotel’s design incorporates traditional materials, country colours and tasteful design, setting the scene for a great stay with a stunning view and a spectacular two AA rosette restaurant. From the moment guests step inside, until the minute they check out, they will eat well, sleep well and feel well. The hotel restaurant specialises in romantic dining and serves a menu that uses ingredients sourced from within a 30-mile radius (both locally sourced Cotswolds goods and produce from the hotel’s

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Top left & bottom left Burleigh Court Top right & bottom right Cambridge Country Club

own kitchen garden). The focus is on serving uncomplicated and seasonal British food that’s big on quality and flavour. Guests can choose to dine in the historic oak panelled restaurant or enjoy al fresco dining on the outdoor front terrace which has spectacular rural valley views. The Gloucestershire hotel is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty with picture postcard villages and unique market and spa towns on its doorstep. Guests can also enjoy a wide range of activities and attractions - all lie within easy reach of the hotel. These include Westonbirt Arboretum, Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Estate, Cheltenham Racecourse and wine tasting at Woodchester Vineyard. Burleighcourtcotswolds.co.uk Located on the outskirts of the City of Cambridge and less than an hour by train from the City of London, the Cambridge Country Club will become one of the most prestigious destinations in the area. The spa is the epitome of luxury, set in the 43,000 sq foot complex complete with a state-of-the-art gym, stylish new bar and restaurant, fully equipped conference rooms and beautiful function rooms complete with panoramic views overlooking the championship golf course. The Cambridge Country Club aims to bring the ultimate ‘London spa experience’ to Cambridge, boasting seven modern and spacious treatment rooms including an opulent Himalayan salt spa. All the treatment rooms will be equipped with ELEMIS ® ‘No-Touch’ Biotec facial technologies alongside a dedicated spray tanning room and sunbed room. The design of the opulent spa has been led by May Fawzy of

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Top left & bottom left The Bellflower Top right & bottom right Pale Hall Hotel

MF Design, complete with consultation from leading global professional skincare brand ELEMIS ®. In keeping with the 5* look and feel, the spa is beautifully decorated with marble, antique mirrors and gold furnishings completed with blush pink highlights. | cambridgecountryclub.com Originally built in 1690, The Bellflower is an elegantly renovated Georgian property with lovingly restored original features and boasts modern touches for all the family to enjoy. Complete with a cinema with a 3-metre wide screen and tiered seating, guests will feel as if they have been transported to the movies. The property also features a 12-foot swim spa and hot tub, a games room with pool table, a 100-foot master suite with an exquisite bathroom, and two of the remaining seven bedrooms also boast spa baths for a those seeking a truly relaxed family reunion staycation. Outside, there are 1.5 acres of mature gardens to enjoy, including a tennis court and four acres of paddock, stables and orchards for guests after more adventurous activities | oliverstravels.com Pale Hall Hotel, Snowdonia was recently awarded a prestigious Michelin Green Star in recognition of its commitment to sustainable practices. Palé Hall’s has its own clean, completely carbon-neutral source of electricity, produced from the on-site hydro-electric generating plant. There are fast-charge units for electric vehicles, the estate is free of pesticides, fungicides or inorganic fertilisers and the seed compost used is from a sustainable peat resource. The woodland around the Hall is

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carefully managed to provide good habitats for wildlife. In the restaurant, the team wear uniforms made from recycled plastic, while on the plate Welsh farmers and businesses are supported as widely as possible, reducing haulage and CO2 emissions. The Garden Suites consist of Harper’s Barn – a dramatic twobedroom barn conversion set across two floors featuring full-height exposed beams, an open plan living area, and a large glass balcony, providing the perfect vista for the views over the garden and hills beyond. Providing a private retreat for two, the Hillside Cottage has its own garden area and outdoor seating. Both the Fern Suite and Bracken Suite have been lovingly restored from Palé Hall’s original Victorian Coach House. Impressive features such as stylish and comfortable furniture, a king-sized bed, roll-top bath, and walk-in shower, makes for a remarkable setting with glorious historic appeal. An AA Five Red Star, Relais & Chateaux destination luxury country house hotel, its acclaimed three rosette and Michelin Green Star fine dining restaurant features signature dishes from Head Chef, Gareth Stevenson. Building relationships with local farmers, growers, fishermen, food producers and suppliers means that the menus at Palé Hall allow you to discover some of the finest food from the region, always fresh, seasonal, naturally delicious and, of course, responsibly, humanely and organically produced. | palehall.co.uk

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

DAN MCGEORGE

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f you were glued to the latest series of Great British Menu 2021 earlier this year, then you would have seen Rothay Manor’s head chef Dan McGeorge crowned this years champion for his incredible dishes, including ‘Give A Dog A Bone’ desert. His four-course tasting menu inspired by this year’s theme of ‘British Innovation’, featured Dan’s full menu including his starter, fish course, main, and dessert. His starter called ‘Doctor’s Orders’, a deconstructed take on a classic scouse, was made with Herdwick lamb loin, BBQ carrot, a carrot top emulsion, pickled onion, potato crisp, toasted yeast and a lamb consommé. This dish celebrates Lucy Cradock, Liverpool’s first practising female doctor. His fish course called ‘Deep Blue Sea’ consists of barbecued monkfish, served with cockles, kohlrabi and a silver submarine flavoured with Xo sauce. This dish is a nod to early submarine designer Reverend George Garrett, whose first design sank off the coast of Rhyll. The main course called ‘The Amazing Adventures of Isabella Bird’, marked the achievements of this intrepid explorer, orientalist and first female member of the Royal Geographical Society. The course is made up of six Asian inspired dishes, one from each of the countries Isabella’s visited and includes: Korean fried lamb sweetbreads with a sticky BBQ sauce, Japanese tempura vegetables, Vietnamese morning glory with oyster sauce, soy marinated quail eggs, stir fried lotus root and barbecued char sui pork.

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His final course, called ‘Give A Dog A Bone’, featured a bone shaped milk chocolate mousse, with a miso caramel centre, sprayed in chocolate, served with a miso caramel sauce, salted caramel ice cream, honeycomb miso tuile and yuzu gel and zest. This dish celebrates the training of the first four guide dogs by Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. Travel Dine Relax editor Nicola wanted to find out more on what inspires Dan to create his dishes and what diners can expect when they visit Rothay Manor.

>>> << images top: Dan McGeorge middle: Squab pigeon, turnip, fermented green strawberry and buckwheat bottom; Photo credit Optomen Television © 2020. An all3media CompanyA whole load of bones, Dan plating dessert >> image right : Photo credit Polly A Baldwin , Dan preparing in the kitchan at Rothay

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Firstly, congratulations on your success on the Great British Menu 2021. Tell us about what made you enter this year’s competition and how long did it take to perfect your menu? Great British Menu is a competition that I have always followed, and I never thought I would have the opportunity to take part. Once I was given the opportunity I grasped it with both hands and began to plan my menu over the period of a month which is a tough ask having just got back to work after the first lockdown. Representing the Northwest region, what local ingredients did you include in your dishes and how much is location reflected in the courses you create at Rothay Manor? For the competition I used local Herdwick Lamb as this is something that I am particularly excited about as it is in my opinion some of the best in the world. As for the restaurant we use local dexter beef, Herdwick lamb and fish from the east coast and north of Scotland. As I endeavour to use the best produce available, and I really lucky to have some of the very best right on our doorstep. How would you describe your cooking style? I would describe my cooking style as unique to me I can’t define it as or narrow it down to a particular style, as I like to use a combination of foraged, preserved, BBQ and Asian flavours alongside using some of the very best of British produce. What, or who inspired you to pursue a career within the culinary sector? That’s a hard question as I don’t have that one thing that inspired me to want to become a chef. However, it all started when I was sat in a law exam and university and I just had this feeling that

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being there was the wrong career path for me. I had two options, either join the police or look at being a chef. There were no jobs in the police at that time, so off to catering college I went, and I’ve never looked back. What advice would you give anyone looking to pursue a career as a chef and what attributes make a great chef? If you want a career as a chef I have to be up front and say it’s not all glamour and tv shows, that side of things is purely coincidental. Being a chef is hard work and it’s a career you have to be passionate about but if you are it’s one of the most rewarding there is. There’s a real camaraderie between the chefs on the Great British Menu. Were there any of the chef’s dishes that really impressed you? All of them, they’re all unique in their styles and all have their own ways of cooking, it was really interesting watching everyone work and produce such amazing dishes. You’ve previously worked at The Bath Priory Hotel and The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall Hotel. What attracted you to Rothay Manor? It has to be the scenery and the amazing produce that Cumbria has. It was only after starting there that I was amazed by the dedication the owners have for the place and the hard work they put in. It truly feels like we are all in it together and that it’s a journey to become better and better each day.

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You’ve been head chef at the hotel for three years. In that time, how has the menu changed and what successes has the restaurant achieved? So it has been three years since I started at the hotel and over that time I think I have developed as a chef and become more confident. Alongside that I have and also found a style that really works for me, which has led to some success with three AA Rosettes and a Michelin Plate, as well as being awarded an Acorn award and winning Great British Menu.

^ images top left: ‘Give A Dog A Bone’ desert created by Dan McGeorge. top right: Suckling pig, chervil root, 3 cornered leek, onion, pine nuts.

Do you have a signature dish and will your show-stopping, guide dog inspired desert be on the menu at Rothay Manor? I wouldn’t say I have a signature dish, as I always want to develop and move forward with my food. It would be rude not to have it on the menu at some point so watch this space. When you’re not working, what’s your go-to comfort dish? That’s hard, because at the moment I don’t have a kitchen at home, we are doing a full house renovation, so a camping stove is all we have at the moment. But I am partial to a really good sourdough pizza in my opinion you can’t beat it. Three must have ingredients for Autumn/Winter? - Wild Mushrooms - Game - Jerusalem Artichokes rothaymanor.co.uk

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THE CORN STORES R E A D I N G ’ S N E W F I N E D I N I N G D E S T I N AT I O N

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arebreed Dining, the group behind The Plough Inn, Shurlock Inn and The Waverley Inn, announced the reopening of its Reading venue earlier this summer, The Corn Stores, with a brand-new fine dining concept. Located in the heart of Reading in a lovingly restored Grade II listed building, The Corn Stores is committed to delivering firstclass service and high-quality British ingredients. Comprised of a stylish restaurant, cocktail bar and members’ lounge, the venue recently underwent a refresh, introducing a new dining menu of beautifully constructed dishes, differing from Rarebreed Dining’s usual steak-focused style - though Rare Members can still dine on the famed dry-aged steaks.

Celebrating its roster of local suppliers, The Corn Stores also showcases its menu through a calendar of curated exclusive events, including its newly launched Supper Club Series, which looks to embrace the original spirit of the longstanding supper club tradition with long and luxurious lunches. Rarebreed Dining also offers Rare Membership for those who want exclusive offmenu dishes, intimate events and access to the top floor lounge and bar at The Corn Stores, which boasts its own bespoke cocktail menu and barred-aged products.

Under the culinary direction of celebrated Head Chef Liam Sweeney, the menus change depending on what’s in season. Whether choosing from the lunch, dinner or vegan menu, diners can expect fresh, seasonal produce from the best local suppliers and from the group’s own butchery and smokehouse, from pasture-fed lamb and slow-roasted pork to Lake District Farmers beef. Signature dishes include the hearty Aylesbury duck breast with beetroot, chard and fig, Slow roasted pork collar with girolle, peas and gooseberry, and for the sweet-toothed, a marinated apricot with smooth coffee and milk. There’s a menu of tempting small plates in the stylish bar – including Ox tongue buns, Lincolnshire Poacher and brioche toast and a British charcuterie selection with mustard and pickles – served alongside craft beers and creative cocktails, curated by The Corn Stores’ master mixologist.

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The Restaurant Menu starts from £55 for three-courses and £62 for four courses. thecornstoresreading.co.uk

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TEMAKINHO LO N D O N ’ S F I R S T N I P O - B R A Z I L I A N B R U N C H AT T E M A K I N H O

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emakinho launches a new brunch concept across both its Soho and Tower Bridge sites. Expect Brazilian vibes and entertainment as you enjoy sushi and cocktails in one of London’s trendiest new restaurants. Temakinho gives a new meaning to the concept of traditional brunching by adding a touch of Japanese and Brazilian culture. Forget the traditional eggs benedict and be ready to immerse yourself into a vibrant atmosphere. The menu will consist of a selection of Temakinho’s best dishes, including, Mini Tartar, Ceviche, Temaki and Picanha Skewers. There will also be a platter of mouthwatering sushi rolls, all finished off with Bolo de Prestigio for dessert.

Both menus will come with bottomless Caipirinha’s; perfect to get you in the mood for some Brazilian themed entertainment. Carnaval Brunch will alternate between Tower Bridge and Soho each week. temakinho.co.uk/soho/brunch

Vegans won’t be disappointed as there is an alternative menu to cater for non-meat and dairy eaters which includes Vegetable Tempura, Tofu Steak and Vegan Cheesecake.

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THE ANGEL OAK THE RYE IN PECKHAM RENAMED THE ANGEL OAK F O L LO W I N G A S T Y L I S H R E N O VAT I O N

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he newly refurbished Angel Oak in Peckham opened its doors last month following a six-figure refurbishment.

Set on the corner of Peckham Rye Park and Common, the pub is a community hotspot for nearby residents.

pub a ‘lived in’ feel whilst providing an edginess in keeping with Peckham’s style. The Angel Oak is located at 31 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 3NX angeloakpeckham.com

Originally named The Rye thanks to a link to William Blake, who reportedly saw one of the first visions that inspired his poetry whilst walking on Peckham Rye back in 1765. Reopening with a fresh look both externally and internally, guests of The Angel Oak will be able to enjoy a new-andimproved bar area and furniture layout which has resulted in a more functional space to enhance guests’ experience. Behind the bar, mounted craft taps feature on a statement tile backing, drawing guests’ eyes as soon as they enter the pub. Throughout the interior, the distressed décor is complemented by a brighter colour scheme, giving the

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AN INTERVIEW WITH...

MAURO COLAGRECO

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head of the winter season at Kulm Hotel, St Moritz, Travel Dine Relax wanted to catch up with Italian Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco. We discuss post pandemic challenges, inspiration and what it takes to be a world-renowned Michelin chef.

Firstly, congratulations on what must have been a very different first winter season at Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. What have been the biggest challenges for you and how have you adapted to cope with such unprecedented times? Thank you, of course, this past year has been very different with lots of challenges, but I choose to live in hope, not fear. I want to focus on the positive sides, celebrate gastronomy and bring an exceptional experience to Kulm Hotel St. Mortiz. At the moment, everybody’s plans keep changing because of the pandemic. Who knows, I guess we will all become more adaptable and flexible in the future. The pandemic also highlighted the urgent need to act, live and work with full respect for nature. At Mirazur in Menton, we have made big changes and realigned the restaurant with nature and life cycles. This past year has strengthened my philosophy on the importance of taking care and preserving nature, the significance of the local community and understanding where and how our food comes to be. What does the menu at K say about your cooking style? A restaurant located in the middle of nature offers a totally different experience to our guests. The view, the colours, the calmness of looking at the water, the reflections, the light appeals to all the senses and allows a dialogue to be established between the landscape and gastronomic experience. Authenticity and celebrating the simplicity of ingredients play a key part in your dishes. What is your turn to ingredients during the winter season? We used a lot of local vegetables; for example, we worked a lot with pine and wild spinach. We also used a variety of mountain potatoes with a very low amount of water and are ideal for making terrine, mash, a great product that we liked a lot. We made dishes with lamb meat from local breeders and wild boar, and we cooked with trout from the lake. Tell us about the team you work with? The team working with me at Kulm has trained for many years with me from Mirazur to worldwide destinations. I’m fully confident with them. Usually, we launch the season together, and then they can drive the winter season together. >>>

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>>> What have been the highlights of your career so far? 2019 was a beautiful time for our team, Mirazur was awarded three Michelin stars, and we also brought the 50 Best award back to France. However, our passion and creativity continue to drive us forward, and we are always evolving. After such a difficult year with the pandemic, it was a real highlight to reopen our restaurants again. As a team, welcoming back our guests and having a full dining room was special. Who inspired you to cook, and what are your earliest memories of family cuisine? I have very nice memories of my childhood, at my grandparents’ house in the country; simple and loving people who waited for us with lots of dishes and delicacies they had prepared for us. Afterwards, when I started my gastronomy studies, I started working in a friend’s restaurant, and I still remember the first time I stepped into the kitchen in the middle of a service... I immediately understood that I wanted to do this and I was happy! All that energy, the vertigo of service, the concrete and ephemeral side at the same time, I fell in love with the job from the first day. How much of your Italian-Argentinian heritage influences the dishes you create? Octavio Paz, the great Mexican writer, said: “Mexicans are descended from the Aztecs, Peruvians from the Incas and

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Argentines from the boats”. This is a good summary of the Rioplatense culture, my native region in Argentina. A culture and a cuisine very much influenced by migratory flows, Italian and European cuisine. On the other hand, if you go to the north of Argentina, and my father loved this region, which we visited quite often as a family during my childhood, the culture changes a lot. You find other preparations and other products more linked to the crossbreeding with the native peoples of the territory. My professional training in Buenos Aires was purely inspired by European gastronomy, especially French cuisine, considered the Mecca of gastronomy. From my family and my Italian roots, what has marked me the most is the sense of sharing around the table, the taste for discovering new flavours, the open-mindedness towards other cultures. What, in your opinion, are the key attributes needed to succeed at Michelin star level? I do not think there is a specific formula you can follow. Passion, creativity, care for products and connection with local producers offer a unique experience and impart an emotion to guests; these are all important characteristics. What was it like achieving your first Michelin star? It was a day I’ll never forget. It was a real joy, I had taken a big risk leaving Paris and opening Mirazur in Menton, so this recognition from Michelin was very special. To me, Michelin stars are a recognition of the work we do and a sign of consistency. It is a

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guide that shines a light on the hard work of chefs worldwide; it has helped elevate gastronomy and encouraged chefs to break boundaries and be adventurous. When you’re not creating outstanding dishes, how do you relax? I like to spend time in my garden, and of course with my children and wife Julia, family is very important to me. If there’s one ingredient you can’t live without, what would it be? Just one ingredient is too tough, so I’ll give you five:

What words of advice would you give anyone considering a career as a chef? Explore the land, let yourself be amazed by the ingredients and the people as much as possible and never lose the feeling of creative freedom. Finally, what’s the lasting memory that you want guests to take away with them after visiting your restaurants? Our first goal is to offer a moment of joy and happiness to guests. Then if they leave with the memory of what we want to share with the meal about the product and the sustainability, it’ll be a plus.

- Good olive oil: to always finish a dish with - Garlic and onion: to give life to an ingredient - Tomatoes: there are so many varieties, and we can use as salty, sweet, and raw or cooked in different methods - Salt: a little bite of salt can completely change a dish - Bread: perhaps not strictly an ingredient but so important What is the biggest challenge facing todays chefs? Sustainability and protecting our planet are top of the agenda in global gastronomy. Chefs with fine dining establishments have a responsibility; we are in direct contact with producers and benefit from a visibility that directly impacts the social fabric. We have a responsibility to dictate trends, educate our teams and share our values with a wider audience worldwide.

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THE WELLHOUSE, WINCHESTER

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new evening-only eatery has opened in Winchester, The Wellhouse at Lainston House. Expect immersive eating and drinking where the skill of woodfired cooking and home grown produce come together with the very best of local field, farm, forest and fly, all overseen by talented Executive Chef Phil Yeomans.

Celebrating the former life of the listed building – also home to Season cookery school - The Wellhouse is set in historic, rustic-luxe surroundings complete with an idyllic walled kitchen garden, which will play host to private dinners and events. The new restaurant brings a year-round, unique food, drink and social experience to Hampshire, celebrating the bounties of cooking over fire. Executive Chef Phil Yeomans comments, ‘Having spent the last year mastering new woodfire and barbecue techniques, meeting producers and watching the kitchen garden mature, I couldn’t be more excited to unveil The Wellhouse to locals, hotel guests and beyond. It’s a truly unique dining experience and I know many a great time will be had in the restaurant in the months and years ahead.’ The Wellhouse takes inspiration from the hotel’s impressive kitchen garden as well as the exceptional produce found in the county including meat, fish, dairy, wines and spirits. Seasonally changing menus include snacks of Woodfired Lainston kale crisps, smoked paprika, Dorset sea salt; and Scorched Lainston garden asparagus spears, garden romesco. Followed by heartier dishes of Cedar plank seared Chalk Stream trout, fennel, pak choi, honey & ginger; and Prime Angus sirloin steak tagliata, chimichurri, fired scorched pepper, rocket, 36-month aged parmesan. Stand-out sharing platters also feature Wood flame grilled whole Portland lobster, Lyburn cheese & mustard glaze; or Tuscan grilled prime Aberdeen Angus porterhouse steak, apple oak smoked salt. Desserts fall in line with the theme with Woodfired scorched garden raspberry ‘Baked Alaska’; Lainston garden strawberry & basil trifle, shaved Caramac, cracking

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crystals; and Lainston orchard apple pizza, XO caramel sauce, cinnamon mascarpone. The restaurant is open for dinner only, welcoming guests and the local community for intimate dates, family get togethers or fun filled sharing platters for groups. Local wines, ales and Lainston apple ciders, homegrown garden-inspired cocktails and signature serves feature on the drinks list – including ‘shandygaffs’, a long forgotten and very traditional English shandy, whereby the ale is enhanced by the option to mix it with a ginger beer top and a shot of kitchen garden cordial. The creation of The Wellhouse as an entirely new dining concept at Lainston House form part of Exclusive Collection’s wider commitment to reinvesting back into the properties and creating truly original concepts that appeal to their local audience as well as hotel guests. All this whilst the doors have remained closed and ahead of the anticipated busy summer months ahead. Set in the ground of the glorious Grade II listed 17th century manor, Lainston House, The Wellhouse joins restaurant, The Avenue, renowned for its modern fine dining menu championing seasonal produce. Dine at The Wellhouse and stay overnight at Lainston House from £302, inclusive of breakfast and based on two sharing. The Wellhouse is open daily from 6.30pm to 9.30pm, with family hotel guests invited to dine from 5.30pm during school holidays. An experience menu is available for £60 per person or guests can order a la carte. thewellhouserestaurant.co.uk

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T H E YA N

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ake District gem The Yan, has extended its renowned bistro with ‘The Chalet’ – a newly-built dining space providing a birds-eye spot for guests to appreciate the local surroundings.

‘The Chalet’ is a cedar-clad chalet-style dining space which offers a high feature table with views to the west over Helm Crag (also known as The Lion and the Lamb) providing the perfect place for sunset dinners. It seats up to ten people on three separate tables and follows the chic rustic interior design style of The Yan, with wooden walls, exposed steel and slate detailing. Set at the foot of the fells just outside the idyllic village of Grasmere, The Yan has fast become famed for its comforting menu of exceptional Cumbrian classics and nostalgic British favourites which really make the most of the Lake District’s amazing local produce, with everything made from scratch by Executive Chef Will Manley and his team.

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urger & Lobster launches limited-edition dish in collaboration with Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green.

London diners have the chance to dabble in decadence, seduce their senses and dive tastebuds-first into Autumn as renowned surf and turf specialists, Burger & Lobster, have teamed up with Giz ‘n’ Green, aka the legendary chef Gizzi Erskine and world-class musician Professor Green, to bring a limited-edition, wild Atlantic lobster dish of dreams. Created in partnership with Burger & Lobster’s talented chefs, the celebrated food duo’s Sleezey’n’Bisquey Mac & Cheese (£25) is an elevated and unashamedly indulgent take on the classic creamy macaroni and cheese. Starring succulent meat from half a lobster – claws and all - sustainably sourced from the coasts of Nova Scotia, Canada; a rich, boozy lobster bisque-infused cheese sauce; and fresh tarragon, all loaded into a lobster shell and encrusted with a Gruyere and garlic breadcrumbed top. This is comfort food turned up a gear and the pinnacle of mac & cheese excellence. The decadent dish, served alongside a seasonal side salad, weighs in at £25, with £1 from each dish donated to RISE.365, a charity close to Gizzi and Stephen, which focuses on supporting, educating and empowering young adults and community members in Hackney.

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The Sleezey’n’Bisquey Mac & Cheese will be available exclusively in eight restaurant locations from Monday 4th October – Sunday 31st October. burgerandlobster.com

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M O N TA G U K I TC H E N LAUNCHES BRAND NEW MENU FOR AUTUMN The Montagu Kitchen, the British seasonal dining restaurant located in Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, Marylebone, is delighted to unveil a brand new British inspired menu. Headed up by Executive Chef Roger Olsson, the restaurant and culinary team have worked hard with sustainable suppliers across the country, to create a menu with a story filled with familiar favourites cooked with precision and personality, offering an exciting and elevated dining experience at The Montagu Kitchen. Available from October 2021, the new menu will focus on celebrating modern British cuisine. The menu will include what Chef Roger calls ‘British Icons’, inspired by seasonal produce and carefully sourced ingredients, working with only trusted suppliers who place the same importance on quality and sustainability. Roger and the team aim to tell a captivating gastronomic story where you will travel through the different chapters of the menu, embarking on a unique culinary journey. It starts with the Prologue; moving onto the chapters Harvested, Hooked, Farmed; and finally ends with the Epilogue. For good measure, there is also a chapter of The Montagu specials.

and the Nero Scotch Egg, using Cornish Squid and Ink, unlike any other Scotch Egg. The Harvested chapter provides plant based dishes suitable for vegans and vegetarians with similar consciously sourced ingredients. The Homestead Farm Leek is served with Lancashire Bomb, while Globe Artichoke balances savoury and sweet, served with apple and caramel. The Montagu Specials will also showcase a 42 day aged Wing Rib of Beef, and Chef Roger’s personal favourite, the Norfolk Quail Wellington. To ensure your meal ends on a high note, the Epilogue promises many highlights, with one giving a nod to Sir Winston Churchill himself, whose life plays as inspiration to the hotel, described as “Pudding for Victory”. Of the new menu, Chef Roger says: “This is not your usual starter/main/dessert menu. Our guests will be excited to explore the full range of the menu, with many dishes being medium sized, lending themselves to social dining. Our menu and style of cooking strives to be engaging, honest, modern. We leave room for playfulness and continuous evolving while ensuring food is sourced with the upmost serious ethical approach and desire to be at its peak when hitting the table.”

This distinct design means food is socially prepared for diners to have the opportunity to share in the middle of the table should they choose or enjoy individually, not only to offer a varied meal that celebrates the great produce that Britain has to offer, but also to allow a fun, dynamic and engaging dining experience.

Executive Chef Roger Olsson joined Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill in January 2020, having previously held positions at The Ritz London, The Dorchester, and Pied a Terre, where he worked alongside Tom Aikens, among others.

The menu includes beautiful Crispy Rosette, using only the batter from a classic “Fish & chip”, sprayed with malt vinegar and topped with trout roe and chives; ‘Mortar & Pestle’: a dish of beef tartare, which will offer guests an enhanced dining experience;

The Montagu Kitchen will be offering its brand new A La Carte menu in the evenings, whilst a set menu will be available at lunch. themontagurestaurant.co.uk.

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L AY L O W

L AY L O W A N N O U N C E S R E T U R N O F AWA R D - W I N N I N G C H E F A DA M R AW S O N

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ondon’s hottest A-list haunt Laylow has announced the return of their award-winning chef Adam Rawson to oversee all its menus. To celebrate the occasion, he has created an exciting new menu bringing modern European fayre to Notting Hill’s Golborne Road.

Described as ‘London’s Hottest Young Chef’, Adam has gone from strength to strength since winning ‘Chef of the Year’ at the Young British Foodies Awards in 2015. Since then, he has worked as Executive Head-Chef at The Standard, after travelling the world exploring the best gastronomy on offer. Now, Adam returns home to the heart of Notting Hill, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a menu that draws inspiration from his travels and passions for using seasonal produce. Laylow’s new menu caters for brunch, lunch and dinner, with everything from deliciously light lunches to mouth-wateringly indulgent dinners. Starters include burrata with pomegranate and heirloom beetroot, the Koji glazed chicken and black trompette is not to be missed, or for a real showstopper, the sharing dish of Le Big Steak and bearnaise with added truffle never fails to please. End on a sweet or savoury note with their chocolate fondant and cereal ice-cream or burnt cheesecake. And for those looking for the perfect weekend hangout, Rawson’s brunch menu of eggs benedict, prosciutto Cotto, tomato confit and Hollandaise is as good as it sounds, or for those feeling more virtuous, the chia seed bircher muesli will set you up for the day. laylow.co.uk

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NU SANA ROCKLIFFE HALL ANNOUNCES NEW SPA R E S TA U R A N T A N D D I N I N G C O N C E P T

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ockliffe Hall has announced a brand-new restaurant and dining concept named ‘Nu Sana’ (‘Nourish the Soul’), a casual eatery situated above the hotel’s awardwinning spa.

Nu Sana will offer a dining menu consisting of both healthy, nutrition-led menu items such as superfood salads, smoothies, fresh juices alongside nourishing dishes and buddha bowls. In addition, there will be more indulgent choices to give guests the option of ‘everything in moderation’. With a strong emphasis on garden-to-plate, many of the dishes use ingredients from the estate or are grown within the kitchen garden. The design of the new spa restaurant focuses around celebrating the light filled space, with attention on materials such as marble, timber and botanical essences. Whether dining indoors or on the alfresco terrace overlooking 375 acres of beautiful grounds, guests and spa day visitors will be welcome to dine ‘in robes’ to allow for ultimate comfort and relaxation. rockliffehall.com/restaurant/nu-sana

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THE PASS, SOUTH LODGE G R E G C L A R K E TO TA K E T H E H E L M AT T H E PA S S AT S O U T H LO D G E F O R A SIX-MONTH RESIDENCY

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hef Greg Clarke is set to join Exclusive Collection’s South Lodge for a six-month residency at The Pass from 9 September 2021. Greg’s residency follows Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 winner, Steven Edwards Summer takeover at The Pass.

Before embarking on his residency in The Pass, Wiltshire born Greg Clarke has worked in some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in the UK and Scandinavia. Notably as development chef for Daniel Clifford’s two Michelin starred Midsummer House, together with time spent at The Ledbury in Notting Hill, Restaurant Tom Aikens and more recently at Norway’s Maaemo. His background paired with his passion for sourcing and foraging the best of the British larder, gives him the creative direction needed to take over The Pass, a restaurant housed in one of the UK’s finest country house spa hotels. Utilising the expansive kitchen garden at the hotel paired with sourcing the finest local produce from responsible and sustainable sources, the menus at The Pass will change regularly and be created around a single set menu format. Sample dishes will include Autumn mushroom tart, Baron Bigod & blackberry leaf; Cornish poached crab, courgette & salted gooseberry; Roast mallard, heart ragu, crapaudine beetroot & preserved elderberries; and Charentais melon, lavender sheep’s yoghurt & ‘caramac’. A five-course menu will be available at lunch (£50pp) and eight courses will be on offer at dinner (£95pp). A vegetarian and pescatarian menu will be available on request, as is a bespoke wine pairing. Greg Clarke commented, “I’m incredibly excited to have been presented with such a unique opportunity, together with my senior sous chef Joe Gray and a fantastic team behind us, along with the hotel’s unparalleled support, we believe we are going to bring something truly unique to the area and I’m delighted to help write this next chapter in such a renowned restaurant.” In response to the appointment, David Connell, General Manager at South Lodge hotel said, “We are very excited by having Greg join us for this latest in our guest residency series. Greg has an impressive background working at some of the country’s finest restaurants, and it is wonderful to be able to bring his incredible food to our guests, and to continue our heritage of being one of the best food destinations around.” Greg Clarke at The Pass joins South Lodge’s acclaimed Camellia Restaurant in the property’s main house and casual Mediterranean inspired restaurant, Botanica located in The Spa. The Pass is a truly unique and immersive dining experience, offering 28 guests only front row seats to the chefs in action in the kitchen. exclusive.co.uk/south-lodge/food/the-pass/

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Poached crab, pickled white asparagus & horseradish

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EM SHERIF IS COMES TO LONDON Beirut born restaurant group Em Sherif is delighted to be bringing its world renowned Lebanese cuisine to Harrods later this year. Chef and Founder Mireille Hayek opened her first restaurant in 2011 and has grown the group to twelve venues across the Middle East. Harrods will proudly be the first outpost in Europe for Em Sherif and we can think of nowhere better for this awardwinning venue.

N E W M AY FA I R G E M , T H E C H E S T E R F I E L D A R M S Nestled in the heart of Shepherd Market, The Chesterfield Arms is a new Mayfair gem located between Green Park and Hyde Park. Steeped in history, the building has been a pub since 1737. It was originally known as The Chesterfield Arms until 1938 when it was renamed the Shepherd’s Tavern. Now under ownership of the Metropolitan Pub Company, the pub has returned to its roots and reinstated its former name, The Chesterfield Arms. Following its tasteful refurbishment, The Chesterfield Arms is a beautifully detailed tavern with a new lease of life. The renewed interior combines the best of British cuisine and hospitality with a curated selection of draughts and wines that are full of personality. The Head Chef and team will be bringing fresh seasonal dishes and pub classics to the menu that perfectly pair with a brandnew curated wine list for guests to enjoy.

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thechesterfieldarms.com

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HACKNEY WICK’S LORD NAPIER OPENS

T H E F O O T M A N I N M AY FA I R U N D E R G O E S STYLISH REFURBISHMENT

It’s been twenty-six years since the last (legal) pint was poured at the Lord Napier pub in Hackney Wick but now the infamous building is reopen as the Lord Napier Star, part of Rob Star’s Electric Star Pubs.

The Footman welcomes back guests following an elegant and stylish refurbishment to modernise the popular pub and restaurant, whilst keeping its original charm.

Unique features include a huge 80 seater roof terrace boasting panoramic views across Hackney Wick with two first floor function rooms that can be booked for private parties, meetings and other gatherings. As with all the Star pubs, music will be a heavy influence on the building with a policy of all things fun and credible, from old school R&B, soul, funk, disco, decent vocal house and good old house classics. Food will be skippered by KraPow, a relatively new food collective that serve up some zingier Thai flavours. They stand against anything bland and will add some Northern Thai soul to the building. The outside graffiti has been updated yet retains a strong connection with its roots with a team of established local artists headed up by one of the original painters. Open from 12pm to late every day with coffees, lunches and other nibbles available throughout, creating a true hub of the Hackney Wick community. lordnapierstar.co.uk

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The main bar of The Footman has been redesigned to open up the space and to allow for more guests seated than were previously available. Heading to the first floor dining room, seating has been rearranged to give guests more privacy. The entire floor has been refurbished, with elegant warm and earthy tones, a bold new ceiling detail and classic parquet flooring. The stylish reupholstered seating in a subtle, yet chic pattern brings the new décor together under softer lighting from brand new fixtures. Completing the dining area re-design, The Footman’s sommeliers have been tasting new world, old world and fine wines to create an offering that will tantalise the taste buds of any connoisseur. The team look forward to inviting guests to try delicious wines and British seasonal dishes created by Stuart, Head Chef and flavour extraordinaire.

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ARAGU V E L A A P R I VAT E I S L A N D ’ S ‘A R A G U ’ N A M E D A S T H E F I R S T M A L D I V I A N R E S TA U R A N T I N A S I A’ S 5 0 B E S T R E S TA U R A N T S AWA R D S 2 0 2 1

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mong the most secluded and luxurious island resorts in the world, Velaa Private Island has announced that their signature restaurant Aragu has been voted as one of the top 100 restaurants in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list and awards for 2021. Officially the first and only restaurant in the Maldives to be voted into Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, Aragu at Velaa Private Island offers a fresh Asian twist on modern European cuisine by combining award-winning Chef Gaushan de Silva’s passion for culinary art with sustainable practices, using only the finest organic produce and carefully selected ingredients from around the world. An unrivalled dining experience and seating up to 36 guests, Aragu’s refined cuisine and bespoke tasting menus are perfectly complemented by a wine list created by Ibrahim Waheed, Food & Beverage Director. Alongside his team, Waheed offers his expertise and tailor-made service of an extensive and constantly evolving wine collection. This year, a virtual awards ceremony was held on Thursday 25th March 2021 across Facebook and YouTube on ’50 Best Restaurants TV’. Based on votes cast by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, made up of over 400 leading restaurant chefs, critics, journalists, restauranteurs and gourmets across

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the continent divided into six separate voting regions, the awards were launched in 2013 in celebration of the fine gastronomy in Asia to provide diners with expert insight and culinary recommendations. Since its inception, the award list has established legitimacy as a compass for gourmands and its ability to unveil culinary trends, up-and-coming chef talent and for showcasing the complexity and variety of cuisines across the continent. Home to three upscale restaurants, two bars and the most exclusive wine cellar in the Maldives, Velaa Private Island’s gastronomic offerings are designed with the most sophisticated traveller in mind. With delectable menus spearheaded by Chef Gaushan, Velaa’s restaurants offer international cuisines with carefully curated recipes ensuring every taste is packed with flavour. Having worked at some of Europe’s most notable Michelin starred restaurants, including Denmark’s Noma – famously voted the world’s best restaurant - as well as being Head Chef to the Royal Family at the Royal Palace in Jordan, Chef Gaushan brings a wealth of experience to the island.

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This issue of Relax features just some of the activites and events that are aiming to get us in the festive mood. We’re also launching our new Drinks Cabinet and Food features, with suggestions from some of the latest products and serving suggestions to share with family and friends this season.

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FESTIVE NORWICH

A C I T Y O F S TO R I E S , TA K I N G V I S I TO R S O N A J O U R N E Y T H R O U G H CHRISTMASTIME.

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he year is 1121 when the Christmas court of King Henry I arrives with a fanfare into Norwich, one of the few recorded visits to the city by an Anglo-Norman king. Some 900 years later through both traditional and experimental forms of storytelling including 70ft projections onto its façade, Norwich Castle presents Christmas at the Castle: The Story of the King.

The next reincarnation of Mysabar is set to re-open 14 October for their second autumn/winter experience under the lights of Norwich Castle. Norwich’s popular pop-up bar and restaurant will be larger than 2020 and will include new tent configurations with decoration by local designers Smoke and Wild Wood, new floors and plenty of heaters to keep things cosy.

Taking the story through Norwich’s medieval street pattern, families will love exploring the city-wide Christmas Crown Trail finding crowns of all sizes, hidden in plain sight within decorated store windows and at iconic attractions such as Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Market.

The centrepiece will always be the food and drink. Sip some of the best craft beer the UK has to offer, rotated on a weekly basis, alongside a carefully curated wine list and some incredibly exciting new local food from nearby traders and restaurants.

Learn about Christmas through the decades visiting Norwich’s smallest festive installation on a pop-up stall at Norwich Market; let your imagination run wild with a Narnia Afternoon Tea in an igloo; devour local food, drink and entertainment at Mysab ar under the watchful gaze of Norwich Castle; immerse yourself in colour and light in the Tunnel of Light and start your shopping at Festive Fair at The Forum over 4-days showcasing East Anglian made products with live entertainment and joyful organ music to get visitors in the Christmas mood.

As Christmas gets underway there will be winter warmers and festive food offerings, plus some one-off special events with live music. Christmas in Norwich isn’t Christmas in Norwich without a visit to see Toby and Dominic on their small market stall bar. Sip steaming traditional Glühwein with or without a top up, wrap up warm and swap stories with friends and family. And they also sell beer- local and otherwise! INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

Culture is a huge part of Christmas in Norwich and Norfolk. And brings a ‘Journey through Christmastime’ bang up to date with the inaugural winter exhibition at Houghton Hall which is set to be transformed by a major solo exhibition of contemporary British artist, Chris Levine, 528 Hz Love Frequency.

The Tunnel of Light has become an iconic sight in the centre of Norwich each festive season. At 45-meters long, 4 meters high and 6 meters wide with over 57,000 LEDs the tunnel never fails to bring a smile to the faces of anyone making a journey through whilst enjoying the colourful dancing sequences.

Whilst at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts see exhibitions: Leiko Ikemura: Usagi in Wonderland; Grayson Perry: The PreTherapy Years; Rhythm and Geometry: Constructivist art in Britain since 1951 and their latest addition to t he Sculpture Park- Anthony Caro’s Goodwood Steps which at over 3 meters in height and over 35 meters in length is positioned in proximity to Denys Lasdun’s famous ziggurats on the University of East Anglia’s Norwich campus.

Norwich Business Improvement District and VisitNorwich in partnership with Norfolk Museum Services celebration of Christmas at the Castle: The Story of the King, brings a trail of crowns hidden in the windows of shops and businesses, and iconic sights such as Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Market. Taking you across Norwich in a q uest to find as many crowns as possible. Pick up a map and get going remembering to look up, down and around along the way.

CHRISTMAS FOOD AND DRINK

In 1121 one of the most powerful medieval kings, Henry I, used Norwich Castle as the venue for his Christmas court. This Christmas, 900 years later, Norwich Castle will be adorned by beautiful 70ft projections telling the story of the royal Christmas visit, one of the few recorded visits to Norwich by an AngloNorman king. Norwich is the City of Stories. And this Christmas it has a very special story to tell.

Why not start the festive season celebrations by booking a Beforenoon Tea or Narnia Afternoon Tea in your own private popup igloo? Beforenoon tea is breakfast cooked along with a themed traditional cake stand including a breakfast shot glass with granola, yoghurt and fruit compote and ‘Fried egg’ mango and vanilla cheesecake and Cruffin cinnamon roll. The Narnia tea includes delights such as ‘Raspberry Snowflake Dodger’, and ‘Snowy Black Forest Cheesecake’. Complement the pastries and cake s with Turkish Delight cocktails, mocktails and hot chocolate. The Narnia afternoon tea can also be taken in the stunning Georgian dining room at The Assembly House under spectacular crystal chandeliers and festive décor.

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Houghton Hall in Norfolk is set to be transformed by a major solo exhibition of contemporary British artist, Chris Levine, 528 Hz Love Frequency. Marking the inaugural winter show in the historic grounds of this prestigious art venue, this exhibition running between 22 October and 23 December 2021 will feature a series of new holographic artworks, print works and large immersive laser and LED installations. This is a body of new work created specifically for the unique environs of the house and grounds. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge work with the meditative and immersive properties of light and sound.

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The Festive Fair at The Forum in Norwich will be back with a bang in 2021 having missed a year in 2020. This popular Christmas market attracts thousands every year with its Norfolkmade crafts, food and produce theme. Shoppers really delight in buying local. Enjoy a glass of Norfolk beer or cup of warming mulled wine while listening to Christmas carols from Norfolk’s own Pavilion Brass Quintet on the Thursday and Friday and return at the weekend for festive tunes from a traditional fairground organ. Plus, there’ll be all sorts of food and drink stands outside, from waffles and gourmet doughnuts to freshly roasted almond pralines. Inside there will be East Anglian stalls galore selling everything from jewellery, pottery, plants, textiles, woodcraft, glassware, clothes, tins, art, preserves, Christmas decorations and much more. Plus, in the spirit of Christmas, this event will also be raising funds for charity, in this instance Norwich-based breast cancer reconstruction charity, Keeping Abreast. Events City shoppers and diners will be able to enjoy a selection box of entertainment every Sunday in the run up to the big day. From choirs and dance groups to jolly characters including Santa Claus himself, there will be something to help everyone step into Christmas in Norwich this year. This Christmas the castle celebrates the historic visit of Henry I to Norwich Castle which took place 900 years ago with The Story of

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the King, an exciting programme combining both traditional and experimental forms of storytelling. Join us for Christmas cheer and fuel your understanding and love of Norwich and its rich and majestic heritage. Norwich: The City of Stories. Norwich’s smallest installation opens in partnership with Norfolk Museum Services celebration of Christmas at the Castle: The Story of the King. King Henry I brought his Christmas court to Norwich in 1121- some 900 years later we look at Norwich through the ages in picture form. The pop-up will be decorated with trees and fairy lights as well as Christmas stories told through images depicting family Christmases, businesses in Norwich, past events in Norwich and people enjoying the festive period. CHRISTMAS SHOWS My First Panto returns to The Garage this year with a brandnew show. This telling of Cinderella is the perfect introduction to theatre for the little ones and is aimed at ages 7 and below. Enjoy singing, dancing, and all out laughter! Plus, there are socially distanced performances, relaxed performances, and performances with BSL. The newly created Minister for Greed & Division wants to deport the people of Norfolk to Suffolk, build a wall around Norfolk and turn the county into a holiday resort for billionaires. But one person is determined to foil these dastardly capitalist plans and stop Norfolk becoming a playground for the super-rich: young queer socialist vegan social media influencer Robin Good. >>>

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>>> Norwich Theatre is delighted to announce that a host of TV stars, a lockdown Youtube sensation, a former wife of Henry VIII and the UK’s youngest one-man-band musician will be joining Norwich’s favourite pantomime dame for this year’s much anticipated production, Dick Whittington and his Cat. The stellar cast will be joined by Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime favourite, Richard Gauntlett. Richard will play the pantomime dame Sarah the Cook, as well as write and co-direct the production. Incredibly, this theatre run will see Richard reach his 1,000th pantomime appearance and this is his 21st pantomime at Theatre Royal. Oh yes, it is! T H U R S F O R D C H R I S T M A S S P E C TA C U L A R Europe’s largest and most lavish Christmas show returns for its most ambitious and extravagant show to date, following a hiatus last year due to Covid. Running for seven weeks only from 9 November – 23 December. Set in the midst of the world’s largest collection of steam engines, mechanical organs and fairground rides, Thursford’s opulent Christmas spectacular is performed by a cast of 130 professional performers, many of whom have come directly from the West End in this three-hour show-stopping bonanza featuring a wide range of music, dance and comedy, with many more surprises along the way. This glittering, tinsel-packed variety show has been entertaining visitors of all ages from across the globe sinc e opening its doors on Christmas Eve more than 40 years ago in 1977. Seen by nearly 6 million people, the team have been busy auditioning over 3000 performers this year, as well as installing a brand-new lighting experience to ensure that this year’s beloved and highly anticipated family-run show brings bucket loads of Christmas cheer to audiences who missed out last year.

Festive Dining in your own private Pop-Up Igloo (6-10 people) The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR4 7TJ 1 November – 2 January 2022 01603 626402 | https://www.assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk/ Narnia Afternoon Tea i The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR4 7TJ £23.95 per person | £47.00 for two. https://www.assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk/ christmas-2021/christmas-menus Mysabar Castle Quarter Gardens, Norwich 14 October – 2 January 2022: Thursday – Sunday https://www.mysabar.co.uk/ Instagram: @mysabar_ | www.facebook.com/ MysabarNorwich Sir Toby’s Beer at Stalls 182 and 183 on Norwich Market November & December https://sirtobysbeers.co.uk/ Tunnel of Light Hayhill, Norwich 16 November – 5 January 2022 www.visitnorwich.co.uk Christmas Crown Trail From Norwich Castle to The Tunnel of Light 16 November – 5 January ‘The King’s Christmas’ projection on Norwich Castle Castle Meadow, Norwich 16 November – 5 January 2022 www.visitnorwich.co.uk Chris Levine at Houghton Hall Bircham Rd, King’s Lynn PE31 6TY 22 October to 23 December 2021; 4.30pm to 9pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays only Tickets £18 inc parking, under 18s FREE, (Students £10) www.houghtonhall.com Festive Fair at The Forum Norwich, NR2 1AW 25 – 28 November 2021 FREE entry Thursday 25 11am to 7pm; Friday 26 and Sat 27 10am to 6pm; Sun 28 November 10am to 4pm. www.theforumnorwich.co.uk Countdown to Christmas live street performance and music Norwich Sunday’s – 5 weeks in the lead up to Christmas www.norwich.gov.uk/events (dates to be released in November)

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Norwich Castle Christmas at the Castle: The Story of the King (Dates tbc) Suitable for children and families of all ages. https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/ norwich-castle Journey through Christmastime (in Norwich) Pop-up stall installation at Norwich Market (Stalls 138 & 139) 17 November – 17 December, FREE, open during market trading hours Christmas patisserie demonstration at The Assembly House The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR4 7TJ 5 December, 11.30am Tickets £40 inc coffee, demo, Narnia afternoon tea and a glass of fizz www.assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk/ events/2021/06/christmas-patisseriedemonstration Christmas patisserie demonstration with Assembly House Head of Pastry Mark Mitson, followed by Narnia at the Assembly House Afternoon Tea at 1.30pm. Christmas Made Simple: Cookery Demonstration at The Assembly House The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR4 7TJ 12th December, 11.30am Tickets £40 inc coffee, demo, Narnia afternoon tea and a glass of fizz My First Panto: Cinderella Rocks The Garage, 14 Chapel Field North, Norwich, NR2 1NY 26 November – 16 January 2022 Tickets £13.50 adult / £8.50 child, under 1s go free https://thegarage.org.uk/shows/my-firstpanto-2021-cinderella-rocks-the-garage/ Robin Good: The Politico-Panto Norwich Playhouse, St Georges, Norwich 08 - 19 December https://norwichtheatre.org/whats-on/robingood-the-politico-panto/ Dick Whittington and his Cat Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich 11 December 2021 - 9 January 2022 https://norwichtheatre.org/ Thursford, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0AS Europe’s largest and most lavish Christmas show returns 9 November – 21 December Tickets www.thursford.com 01328 878477

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H A R V E S T AT H E L I G A N

V I S I T T H I S O C TO B E R TO M A R V E L AT T H E B O U N T Y O F T H E I R G A R D E N S A N D E S TAT E

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Join Heligan Gardeners Martin and the cider gang for a fun and informative demonstation on how to use traditional methods to make cider, juice and cider vinegar – all from the Heligan’s own orchards!

This year’s harvest theme is the past, present and future. Heligan Harvest 2021 will be going back in time as visitors can eavesdrop on the ghosts of the Victorian garden. Visitors can enjoy the present with delicious food and drink, as well as celebrating the current team who tend the gardens, farm and estate. The future also beckons with demonstrations to develop your own harvesting skills for next year and thinking about Heligan’s future, be it further restoration of the Flower Garden or combatting climate change with cows!

Harvest Feast Night 15 October 2021 Harvest Feast Nights are back on the menu in the Heligan Kitchen as they announce a special night to showcase the many wonders produced within the iconic gardens and estate. The evening will begin with live music and a welcome drink of Rhubarb Fizz, using rhubarb grown within their very own Kitchen Garden.Guests will be seated for an array of tasting platters, highlighting Heligan’s best homegrown heritage produce and rare breed meats, all cooked by the talented Heligan Kitchen Team.

s the nights slowly start to draw in, and the golden autumn sun slides across the fields, it is a time to celebrate harvest, and where better than at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, where they will be marking this wonderful of the year with a series of demonstrations and events for all ages.

Harvest is as much a time of year as it is a physical gathering of crops. Traditionally, it’s like its own mini-season squeezed into the blurry margins between summer and autumn. The Harvest Display – Daily in the Reserve Yard For the first time in 20 years of Harvest celebrations, the amazing displays of gourds taken from The Gardens and Estate will be displayed within the Walled Gardens. With pumpkins and squashes of all sizes, you’ll be amazed at the wonderful autumn colours and shapes! Daily Taste Testers - 2.30pm on Flora’s Green Join Heligan’s team of chef’s alongside the gardeners to delight in the creations of some delicious treats including beetroot brownies, pumpkin breads and more! Visitors can also take home a recipe card to recreate these delicious recipes at home. Apples and Pears with Martin and the Cider Gang Monday 11th-Friday 15th in The Woodturners Lean-to

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This evening will be hosted by Chef Nat Tallents and Head of Livestock, Pip Coard, who will be on hand to discuss rare breeds at Heligan and regenerative farming programme This evening meal with be held within the Heligan Kitchen Conservatory and will begin at 6.30pm Tickets are £35pp and can be booked online by clicking here. Woodturning with Jon Arnold 10th,12th and 15th October From 10am Woodturners Workshop Watch local Woodturner Jon work with Heligan timber to create some unique and decorate pieces. Charcoal Burning in the Lost Valley – witness the heritage practise of burning charcoal in the Lost Valley. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a member of The Great Gardens of Cornwall, a group of the finest Cornwall gardens. Open 364 days a year, pre-booking is essential at this time. heligan.com

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RICK STEIN OPENS ONLINE FISHMONGER R I C K S T E I N R E S TA U R A N T S L AU N C H E S O N L I N E F I S H S H O P S E L L I N G F I S H A N D S H E L L F I S H C AU G H T I N A N D A R O U N D C O R N WA L L

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ick Stein Restaurants opens its online fish shop; making seasonal and sustainably caught fish and shellfish available across the UK. With 45 years of experience in sourcing, preparing and cooking British seafood the Stein’s Online Fishmonger will stock native fish, along with lots of information and videos on how to prepare and cook everything. Produce is packed on icepacks, boxed and delivered chilled. Customers can browse the virtual fish counter and purchase as little or as much as they please, all of which can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date. Catering for the home cook to the seasoned chef, Stein’s Online Fishmonger offers produce like whole Plaice, Dover and Lemon Sole to ready-prepped fillets of Hake, Lemon Sole and Cod. There is also Bass, Red Mullet and John Dory as well as shellfish like Dressed Crab, Mussels, Lobster, Oysters & Scallops. There are two types of Smoked Salmon and splendid Smoked Pâtes. There is also a selection of mixed fish boxes combining fillets, shellfish and seafood. Rick and Jack Stein’s recipes and short ‘how-to’ videos accompany all fish and shellfish ordered. Available via QR code, customers can learn how to get the perfect crispy skin, de-beard Mussels, master the art of filleting or deboning whole fish. On the launch Rick Stein says: “I know that even the keenest cook can find the prospect of preparing and cooking fish at home a little daunting. We want to help allay these fears, with practical advice, step-by-step techniques and recipes to go alongside some of the finest, freshest fish available. Over the years I’ve worked and come to know many of the fishermen around the Cornish coast. I am proud to be able to support their trade in bringing it online for people up and down the country to enjoy” To continue to protect the world’s oceans, Stein’s Online Fishmonger will donate £1 from every order over £50 to new marine conservation charity, The Dive Project: a charity which educates future generations on the importance of the planet’s marine environment. This enables teenagers to attend once in a lifetime trips to Cornwall, learning to dive with marine industry experts, and establishing the next generation of ‘Ocean Influencers’. rickstein.com/onlinefishmongers

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OXFORD RYE O

xford Rye is a unique spirit distilled from heritage rye - a crop that used to dominate the English countryside in preindustrial times. Described as ‘liquid rye’, this delicate and golden-coloured spirit is the purest expression of The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s used of such grains. Twice distilled and then rested in American oak barrels to bring out its best characteristics, Oxford Rye has an intocixating aroma of sandalwood and vanilla, with nutty and spicy notes on the palate. To qualify as a pure ‘rye spirit’ and not be a ‘rye whisky’, a liquid must be under three years old, which is the case here. Oxford Rye is one of a range of spirits produced by the firm, which is one of Britain’s very few ‘grain-to-glass’ distilleries (those who grow and distil their own grain, as opposed to buying in neutral spirit). The distillery’s ancient heritage grains have been chosen for flavour over yield and have been painstakingly sourced and grown by its Head of Grain and Sustainable Development, John Letts, from varieties that had been commonly used in Britain until the late 19th century. John is an organic farmer, archaeo-botanist and plant breeder who has been growing heritage grains for over 30 years. Born in Canada, he has lived most of his life in Britain. He grew up working on farms in Southern Ontario before obtaining a degree in Environmental Studies and Botany at Trent University in Canada. He then moved to the UK where he studied Environmental Archaeology at UCL in London, and plant science at the University of Reading.

Chico attained a BSc (First) from the Instituto Superior de Agronomia in Food Science and Engineering, which took him into the areas of winemaking, brewing, wood ageing and grain farming. This also included an Erasmus stage at the Univerza v Ljubljani in Slovenia, on fruit technology. He then completed the world-renowned MSc in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, broadening his scope into raw materials, distillation, eco-sustainbility, process management, health and safety and rye whisky production. His MSc completely shifted his focus to spirits and it was here that he met the team from The Oxford Artisan Distillery - and the rest is history! Chico is forever experimenting and tinkering in his lab at the distillery and is driven by creating experiences. Chico says, ‘Flavour is one of the best ways to take us into an experience, a story of time and place told with the help of our memories. Making spirits is my favourite way to share experiences. The pursuit for flavours and how to apporach them in the best way is a constant of my daily life, from brewing coffee or cooking or improving or designing a new whisky expression.’ Oxford Rye can be enjoyed neat, with or without ice - or as a long drink, with ginger ale, a splash of Angostura bitters and a squeeze of lime. theoxfordartisandistillery.com

In the mid-1990s, John discovered hundreds of examples of almost perfectly preserved late medieval thatch in the bottom layers of ancient buildings in Southern England, which guided his subsequent research on the history of thatching, medieval crops and sustainable farming. In 2006, he set up Heritage Harvest Ltd to support his research, which was the first company to market genuine heritage (i.e. genetically diverse) grain flour in the UK. John maintains a large collection of heritage grains at his small-holindg in Prestwood, Bucks where he develops new populations of cereals for baking, brewing and distilling. He manages and works closely with an expanding community of growers to ensure that The Oxford Artisan Distillery has a steady supply of top-quality, sustainablygrown grain to make their unique spirits. The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s Master Distiller, Francisco Rosa (affectionately known as Chico) has been working within the drinks industry since 16. After internships at several wineries, he studied oenology, whilst homebrewing on the side.

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THE DRINKS CABINET

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ith the lead up to the Christimas season, we take a look at some of the latest drinks timed for the festive season in our new Dinks Cabinet feature.

>>> Benriach Distillery, located in north Speyside, has revealed a distinctive flavour-forward portfolio of Single Malts and a new look inspired by the distillery’s creative heritage. Known for its long-standing tradition of distilling classic, peated and triple distilled whisky and a vast eclectic cask inventory sourced from around the world, the portfolio has been artistically crafted by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie and her team. Displaying the diversity and versatility of Benriach’s orchard fruit-laden style, this new range spans the full spectrum of whisky flavour. The new packaging takes inspiration from the first Benriach Single Malt released over two decades ago, with the portfolio’s colour palette inspired by Speyside’s natural environment in which the distillery sits. The new Smoky Ten and Smoky Twelve explore the sweet smokiness of Benriach, enriched through innovative combinations of rum, virgin oak and marsala casks interwoven with more traditional bourbon and sherry. The new Benriach range is for those open to new possibilities, building on a wealth of experience and tradition. I invite the drinker to join me on this creative journey, as we explore the rich rewards of Single Malt whisky. In addition to Benriach The Original Ten, the Core Range will feature a new recipe for Benriach’s richly sherried twelve year old whisky, including port and bourbon casks interwoven for seamless smooth complexity.

benriach.com

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BENRIACH PENICILLIN 40ml Benriach The Original Ten 25ml lemon juice 20ml ginger juice/liqueur 10ml honey 10ml Benriach The Smoky Ten Lemon Twist to Garnish Cubed Ice Fill a short / rocks glass with ice. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until cold to touch. Strain into glass with ice and garnish with a twist of lemon. We loved this winter warmer and could imagine supping this one during the colder days of winter.

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Devon cocktail company Bar Buoy is the latest drinks brand to launch a range of bottled cocktails designed specifically to be shared at outdoor occasions such as picnics or small alfresco gatherings. Using premium spirits and high quality ingredients, each bottle is freshly mixed by the sea in Devon and contains the perfect serving for two people to share. Customers can choose from box sizes containing 2, 4, 6 or 12 bottles before selecting whichever cocktails float their boat the most. In the range: Bloody Mary; Bramble; Cosmopolitan; Espresso Martini; Hemingway Daiquiri; Knickerbocker; Long Island Iced Tea; Margarita; Mojito; Negroni; Old Fashioned; Original Rum Punch

barbuoy.co.uk

The Corona crisis affected many breweries within the restaurant sector in particular. During the lockdown, the beer taps in the pubs came to a standstill. This was also the case at Munich Airport’s popular Airbräu brewery. Instead of simply pouring away 4,000 liters of leftover Airbräu beer, the brewmaster René Jacobsen made a virtue out of necessity. He developed a gin-style beer spirit under the brand name “Mountain Hub Distillers” in cooperation with the Hilton Munich Airport Hotel. Distilling Airbräu beer with selected socalled botanicals resulted in the rich and aromatic “infused beer spirit”, which combines the taste of strong beer and high-percentage juniper aromas. The lovingly handcrafted, limited edition of the beer gin was distilled at the Huber fruit distillery in Langenpreising. From the 4,000 liters of beer, a total of almost 300 liters of exclusively distilled beer gin was produced. The “infused beer spirit” is now available at Munich Airport’s Airbräu, the Mountain Hub restaurants and the Hilton Bar. mountainhub.de/en/distillers/ L’Orbe has announced their launch of their First Edition, Vodka x Caviar in time for Christmas. An artisanal avantgarde vodka combined with exceptional, refined caviar. Creating L’Orbe 1st Edition Vodka x Caviar was a quest for the best infusion methods to seamlessly blend exceptional flavours. To capture intact the rarest, most precious ingredients in the world, L’Orbe tapped into state-of-theart technologies developed by the beauty and luxury industries. Made from high-quality, carefully selected Dankowski Diamond rye and filtered twice over, this Polish vodka is noble and incredibly pure. Its silky texture and delicate notes blend perfectly with the Baeri Caviar. Sold at a network of exclusive shops, L’Orbe Vodka x Caviar is available at Fortnum & Mason in London, and at the Maison du Caviar in Paris.

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‘Bottleshot’ landed in the UK in 2018 on a mission to take advantage of the gap in the cold brew market. Founders Annie Mitchell & Charlotte Dales predicted that Europe would see the same spike in demand for cold brew coffee as the US – where 40% of ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products are cold brew products versus just 2.5% in Europe. Bottleshot’s two signature flavours, Coffee Black and Coffee Oat Milk, are now available across the UK in Ocado, WHSmith Travel and Whole Foods. They’re also seeing a huge demand in direct-to-consumer sales online at both Bottleshot and Amazon Prime. It can also be found at London’s prestigious Soho House, where it is the exclusive cold-brew provider. bottleshotbrew.com

AND FOR FOODIES...

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For festive foodie fans this hamper of delights would make a perfect gift. Inside you will find a scrumptious selection which includes, Taste Luxury Mince Pie; Classic Christmas Pudding with Sultanas, Cider & Rum 100g; Thornton & France Milk Chocolate Christmas Tree 118g; Filbert’s Chilli & Lime Peanuts 40g; Farmhouse Spiced Ginger Biscuits 100g; Original Cake Co Iced Cake Bite; Belgian Raspberry Delight 50g; Packed in a Red Christmas Gift Box

The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is a family-owned business who are the only producers of cheddar cheese in the village of Cheddar, Somerset.

From £23.50 | funkyhampers.com

From £29.95 | cheddaronline.com

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The 4 Cheese Square Basket is a popular Gift Basket containing 4 x 190g cheddar portions, two jars of preserves and 1 box of Furniss Oat Biscuits. Nestled on a bed of paper manilla ‘straw’ and over wrapped to complete the presentation.

Premium chocolate producer, Lindt & Sprüngli has launched their most indulgent chocolate yet. The LINDOR Double Chocolate has a milk chocolate truffle shell with a smooth and decadent melting filling made from the finest dark Lindt chocolate. Available from Lindt Chocolate Shops across the UK and online.

lindt.co.uk

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A U T U M N E X T R AVA G A N Z A AT. . .

BLENHEIM PALACE

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lenheim Palace is celebrating all things autumnal over the weekend as part of its brand new Autumn Festival (Friday, 1st October to Sunday, 3rd October).

Based around the historic Walled Garden, the event features delicious street food, live music and theatre, family harvest games, haybale sports, a sculpture trail, competitions, workshops, talks and market stalls as well as a Dragon Maze and a 22ft long Wishing Dragon. Highlights over the weekend include a visit from the Hook Norton Brewery shire horses and their heritage dray, wild mushroom foraging walks, talks on the history of Blenheim’s gardens and beekeeping, as well as children’s entertainers Madame Zuccini and the Walled Garden’s very own Madame Wanda Round. Plus, to celebrate the great British apple, acclaimed food writer and chef Ursula Ferrigno is hosting a series of cookery demonstrations on how to make the most of your apples (separate charges apply and pre-book online). The best of Oxfordshire’s local breweries, distilleries, cider and juice makers will also be available in the Blenheim Orange Bar in the beautiful festival tent and the Fairie Orchard Cider bar. A further 50 market traders from across Oxfordshire and border counties will come together to form the Michaelmas Market, selling locally produced food and drink, crafts, eco homewares and gifts alongside street food specialists Feast Street. On Saturday, 3rd October they will be joined by a dedicated vegan and eco products market alongside special tasting and demonstrations to celebrate Apple Day, next to the estate’s own orchard of Blenheim Orange apple trees. Devised by acclaimed creative designer Charlotte Lloyd-Webber, the event is a re-imagining of the traditional Harvest and Michaelmas Festivals, but with a decidedly modern green twist. For more details and to pre-book online visit www.blenheimpalace.com

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AUTUMNAL EXPERIENCES L ES S E R - K N OW N S P OT S TO E N J OY T H E C H A N G E O F T H E S E AS O N W I T H TOURSBYLOCALS

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fter one of the wettest summers on record in the UK, would-be travellers are crossing fingers and toes for an autumn season that will allow them to get out and explore in fairer conditions. With travel restrictions continuing to ease across the world, demand for autumn escapes has increased dramatically. ToursByLocals has announced some seasonal inspired breaks that promise a more tranquil and secluded experience for travellers. Stimulate your senses in Romanian forest Nature lovers and wine-enthusiasts alike will delight at this autumnal experience in the forests and villages of Iasi in Romania. Groups will join local expert Nicolaie who will share his deep knowledge of the area as he guides travellers through stunning forest trails. Starting in the fragrant botanical gardens, the group will then head up to the hillside villages for a jawdropping view of the landscape -complete with fall colours. Along the trail, there will be stops at the famous monasteries of Dobrovat and Hadambu as well as a visit to the Geological and Paleontological reservation hidden in the secluded oaks. The tour is perfectly rounded off on the return hike with a stop at a local wine cellar for an autumn tasting of the very best Iasi has to offer. Catch the last of the summer sun on Croatia’s secret islands For many, autumn is about holding on to the very last of that summer sun, or if you live in the UK, it’s about finding it! When trying to find to seek out those warmer climates people rightly turn their attention to the Mediterranean – in particular, Croatia. The country boasts fantastic weather deep into October and coastal destinations such as Split remain a holiday paradise – however it is the lesser-known islands off of the coast that are really worth paying a visit to.

This really is the perfect escape for those who aren’t quite ready to embrace the colder months! Dive into the local markets and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bellinzona, Switzerland The historic Swiss town of Bellinzona is an incredible destination to visit at any time of the year however a visit in autumn may just take precedence. The recent harvest means the markets are bountiful with local produce from the nearby farms, with so much great food just waiting to be sampled and celebrated. Groups will join local guide and food aficionado Patricia on this journey through the Ticino capital to find and savour local delicacies. On the tour, travellers will meet the locals from the town including grocers, farmers and life-long residents. There is also time for a visit to the famous castles that stand along the Ticino Valley. These historic castles are a listed UNESCO world heritage site and the only visible example left in the entire Alpine Arc of medieval military architecture of its type. The group will stop at several viewpoints for a spectacular look at the surrounding landscape. ToursByLocals offers the three and a half hour Bellinoza Markets and Castles Tour from £534 per group, for up to ten people. The tour includes guiding services. Extra costs include personal expenses and food. Witness the changing of the leaves in Canada While New England is known around the world for its incredible fall foliage, its nearby neighbour Canada also boasts stunning natural scenery to rival the states. Towering sugar maples are turning a brilliant orange that pops against the deep blue sky, while aspens are rustling their sunshine yellow leaves.

Groups will join local guide and skipper Milos who runs an exhilarating speedboat and hidden islands tour around the coast of Split. As part of this unique experience, Milos ventures to the more secret parts of the islands – that only the locals know about.

In Saint John, New Brunswick, local expert and accredited guide Rod will lead groups to experience all this and more. Travelling along the two major river routes in the area, groups will witness the astonishing changing colours that stretch out far and wide, only occurring at this time of year.

The whole family will love the thrilling speedboat voyage around the Krknjaši and Šolta Islands, absorbing the picturesque views of this part of the world. These islands boast secret lagoons, secluded beaches and stunning views of the main coastline.

Rod will also tour groups around the iconic Reverse Falls that runs along the base of the rugged and colourful terrain. These rapids are produced by a running gorge and perfectly compliment the surrounding landscape to leave a truly jawdropping impression on those who view it. Cameras are encouraged!

There will also be time for swimming and snorkelling at a private Blue Lagoon area nicknamed ‘hidden paradise’ giving the children plenty of time to explore and meet some aquatic friends.

For more details visit the ToursByLocals website. toursbylocals.com

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