January 7th, 2013 | | permalink
The fairy lights have been put away for another 12 months and it’s longer acceptable to eat mince pies or wear pajamas from noon until night (unless you have the lurgy). It’s no wonder many of us suffer from the January blues. Cast aside any suspicions you have about the number 13 being an unlucky number – there are plenty of seasonal sensations to this year…
If you’ve already done The London Eye and the OXO Tower, make your next eagle-eyed stop the Shard. On Feb 1, the four-storey observation deck on floors 68-72 is open to the public and offers amazing 360 views across the capital. The high-speed lifts that take just 30 minutes to reach ‘the view’ are sure to add to the experience as well.
Also… Crabtree & Evelyn have an exciting new range being released, which we hope you’ll love. Now there’s a surprise to look forward to…
Is your idea of a good weekend a trip to the garden centre? Then you’ll be in heaven at the RHS Flower Show (May 21-22). 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the awe-inspiring botanical festival – so prepare for some spectacular surprises across eleven acres of Royal Hospital grounds. It’s bound to be a sell-out so book tickets now to avoid disappointment.
Also… The release of the movie adaptation of Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby has been delayed, but it’s now set to hit the big screen in May. We can’t wait to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of America’s self made man Jay Gatsby.
After a fallow year in 2012, Glastonbury Festival is back. In the wake of their 50th anniversary, The Rolling Stones are rumoured to be headlining. While tickets were a sell-out when they became available in October, there will be a resale of tickets in April. Failing that there are opportunities to work at the festival. Of course, there are plenty more amazing British festivals to enjoy. Check out this guide.
Also… Already missing Olympic fever of 2012? Follow the World Athletics Championships, held in Moscow (August 8-18). Naturally, sports stars Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt will be competing.
2013 will see the come back of Bridget Jones in a triple whammy, with a West End musical planned, and the release of the third book and accompanying film. While the release dates aren’t set in stone, author Helen Fielding confirmed that her novel is expected to arrive on the shelves in Autumn 2013. In the next installment, chardonnay-swigging Bridget will be faced with a whole new set of insecurities in the social media age of Facebook and Twitter.
Also… Oyster season is ahoy! The Falmouth Oyster Festival (10-13 October) is well worth checking out. Enjoy cookery master classes from top chefs and delicious Cornish food and drink.
What are you looking forward to in 2013? Tell us in the comments box below.
December 23rd, 2012 | | permalink
So you’ve eaten enough festive food to make your buttons pop, unwrapped all your gifts and your Christmas playlist has done at least three rounds. What’s next? Make the most of 25 December with these ideas for Christmas Day activities…
Dust off the Monopoly board, make use of that prize pack of cards in your cracker, or unwrap your shiny new Cluedo box. There’s no better way of getting the family together by playing some good old fashioned games – unless you let your competitive streak get the better of you, that is. Give the usual suspects in the family a chance to have a break from doing the washing-up by making the losing team or player do the cleaning chores over the holidays.
We suggest the cardboard box game – get a empty cereal box and take it turns to pick it up from the floor using just your mouth. Tear off a section each round so the box gets smaller and smaller and more difficult to pick up. It’s guaranteed to have the whole family in stitches.
Avoid that sluggish feeling of overindulgence by wrapping up in winter woollies and going for a bracing walk with your family, loved one or favourite furry friend. You could make things interesting by taking a new route, or you could drop by at your local pub for a festive tipple and bag of nuts. If it’s snowing (fingers crossed) don’t forget your sleigh and snow boots!
Do you want to give something back this Christmas? You could give up a few hours of your day to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Of course this isn’t just a Christmas Day activity, soup kitchen volunteers are needed all year around – so you could even give it a whirl in 2013. Contact your local council or Salvation Army to find out about how to volunteer. Did you know that Salvation Army founder William Booth set up the first soup kitchen in the 19th century?
Arguably, 25 December is the best day of the year for television – and this year there are some cracking programmes to keep you entertained. We’re looking forward to watching Doctor Who (BBC1, 5.20pm), which is set in Victorian England where scary snowmen monsters roam – and introduces Ex-Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman as the Doctor’s new assistant. Call the Midwife (BBC1, 7.30pm) is another must-watch – in the Christmas special loveable Chummy (Miranda Hart) organises a nativity play and plays guardian angel to a young girl in need. However, don’t expect any snow over in Downton Abbey (ITV1, 9pm), as the Grantham family are off for a summer break at Duneagle Castle in the Scottish Highlands. Meanwhile back at Downton, scrumptious food isn’t the only thing that’s wafting in Mrs Patmore’s kitchen, love is also in the air.
Put the relaxation back into Christmas Day by stealing some time to indulge in some pampering. Hopefully Santa will bring you some lovely Crabtree & Evelyn products – but if you don’t want to take any chances, you can treat yourself to our bathing goodies now. We’d recommend creating a festive sanctuary in your bathroom by lighting a Noel Scented Candle and taking a long soak in the tub with Golden Petals Bubble Bath & Body Wash before drying off and moisturising with Golden Petals Silkening Body Nectar. Then jump into your Christmas PJs and enjoy some more festive TV, or play that 4th round of Monopoly – you never know, you might get Mayfair this time around!
Whatever you’re up to this Christmas, we wish you and your families a merry Christmas and fabulous 2013.
Image by sashomasho.
December 3rd, 2012 | | permalink
The time has come to switch on those fairy lights and crank up the Christmas tunes in the count down to December 25. Watching Elf the movie and munching on a tin of Crabtree & Evelyn Festive Ginger Biscuits is a perfectly acceptable way to welcome in the festive season. But we’d also recommend putting on your favourite reindeer jumper and getting involved in these Top UK Christmas events…
1. Meet Santa
National Trust, locations across the UK
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without gorging on mince pies and checking in with Saint Nick. The jolly chap has set up some amazing grottos at National Trust venues across the UK, from castles to beautiful woodlands. It will make a change from visiting the bearded one in the local shopping centre for your little ones and you.
2. Christmas cruise
Ullswater ‘Steamers’, Lake District
You don’t have to venture to the other side of the world to enjoy a Christmas cruise. Instead jump onboard one of the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ for their Spirit of Christmas cruise. You get to see the beautiful Lakes, drink a hot toddy and eat a delicious two-course meal – all for £25. There’s also a Santa Workshop for children on Sunday 16 December, where youngsters get to sail on the lakes, meet Santa and go home with a gift. A perfect festive treat!
3. Christmas Festival
Wilderness Woods, Sussex
If you’re a crafty type who loves exploring the British countryside then the Christmas Festival at Wilderness Woods (Tuesday 18 December) should be right up your street. You get to forage for natural materials in the 62-acre woodland to make wreaths, table decorations, cards and clay reindeer to take home. While you’re there you could also stock up on firewood and buy your Christmas tree.
4. Explore Christmas past
Geffrye Museum, London
Have you ever wondered where the ritual for hanging up stockings comes from? Or why it’s traditional to kiss under mistletoe? Find out at the fascinating Geffrye Museum, which has been transformed to give visitors an insight into how Christmas has been celebrated in England over the past 400 years. On Saturday 15 December, the museum is holding a Christmas Greenery workshop where you can make festive arrangements.
5. Meet Reindeer
Aviemore, Scottish Highlands
There’s no need to jet off to Lapland to see Rudolph and co. (although that would be lovely) – instead visit Aviemore and see Britain’s only herd of reindeer. The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd roams freely in the Cairngorm Mountains and Cromdale Hills, but throughout the festive season some of them go on tour across the UK. During the winter months trekking with the reindeer isn’t available – but you could always book a trek (from May – September) as a Christmas present for an animal loving friend or relative.
Have you been to any festive events in the UK this year? Do you have any tips or recommendations? We’d love to hear about them – simply drop us a few lines in the comments box below…