July 26th, 2013 | | permalink
“In Lydia’s imagination a visit to Brighton comprised of every possibility of earthly happiness. ” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
As British seaside escapes go, Brighton offers far more than kitsch ‘Kiss me quick’ hats and sticks of rock in every shade of the rainbow. Do you fancy eating oysters on the beachfront? Shopping in bohemian style in The Lanes? Or do you love the idea of relaxing in a bubble-filled bathtub while soaking up stunning ocean views?
With our store in the heart of Brighton we like to think we know it pretty well. Read on for our travel guide to Brighton…
Where to stay?
Brighton is known for its chic boutique hotels, and Drakes offers laidback luxury with lovely sea views. Located on the seafront, the Georgian town house boasts period features teamed with eclectic décor. You can enjoy a soak in a heavenly freestanding bathtub while gazing at the beach sunset and sipping master cocktails ordered on room service. Woody Allen dined at the Drakes’ restaurant after filming Cassandra’s Dream on Brighton Pier, and Kylie Minogue is a regular guest – steal her style by booking room 301.
Cost: £115-345, per room per night
For more info visit: www.drakesofbrighton.com
Where to eat?
Tucking into fish and chips on Brighton seafront is a must. But for a luxurious treat, splash out on seafood delights at Riddle & Finns Champagne & Oyster bar on Meeting House Lane. We can highly recommend the Lobster Fruits De Mer Platter, which offers a majestic selection of shellfish. For those who prefer a knife and fork to grappling with crab crackers and lobster picks, try the locally caught mackerel with apple & gooseberry chutney. As well as the restaurant in The Lanes, Riddle & Finns II recently opened on the beachfront, and there’s outdoor seating – prefect for sunny days or balmy evenings.
For more info visit: www.riddleandfinns.co.uk
Where to explore?
It would be rude to visit Brighton and not take a stroll along the Pier, and enjoy a fairground ride if you’re feeling daring. However, there’s also plenty to see at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which is set in the stunning grounds 0f The Royal Pavilion gardens. Make sure you check out the fun and playful Jeff Koons exhibition (11 May- 8 Sept) – if you have little ones it’s sure to capture their imaginations, too.
Also… Brighton Festival runs from 4-26 May and is one of the biggest arts events in England – from circus acts to classical music, there’s something for everyone.
Where to shop?
The Lanes is a shopping Mecca for those in search of unique buys, whether you’re after gifts, wardrobe updates or homeware. Browse the trove of treasures at Brighton Lanes Antiques Centre, snap up some homegrown art Castle Galleries, and pick up some retro finds in the plethora of vintage shops. Before heading for a wander along the beachfront, stop by the Crabtree & Evelyn store on East Street and stock up on pampering goodies.
Where are your favourite hotspots in Brighton? Tell us in the comments box below or on our Facebook page.
June 18th, 2013 | | permalink
It’s time to practice your backhand and stock up on strawberries and cream, because tennis season is here. Whether you’ll be watching The Wimbledon Championships (24 June – 7 July) from centre court or from your sofa, the London suburb of Wimbledon is well worth a visit. Take a look at our top 5 suggestions of things to see and do in the area…
Visit the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Even if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the Wimbledon Championships this year, there’s always the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. The latest exhibition Tennis on the Riviera features memorabilia depicting tennis on the French Riviera from 1890s – 1930s. The main collection boasts 15,000 tennis related objects from toys to teapots – the oldest artefact dates from 1555.
For further info visit: www.wimbledon.com
Go horse riding
Ditch the tube and saddle up at the Wimbledon Village Stables, which has been a horse riding school for over 100 years.
While Wimbledon is only a short journey from the city, there are more than 3,000 acres of countryside in the surrounding commons and nearby Richmond Park to explore on horseback. The perfect way to make the most of the green space London has to offer.
For further info visit: www.wvstables.com
Go to the theatre
If you’re after a relaxing evening of entertainment away from the hustle and bustle of the city, check out The New Wimbledon Theatre. The Edwardian building is stunning, and it’s only a short walk from Wimbledon Station. Dreamboats and Petticoats the musical will be running from 29 July – 3 August, and promises to be a fun-filled show.
For further info visit: www.agttickets.com
Visit the Windmill Museum
Wimbledon Common isn’t just a great spot for a picnic or taking the dog for a walk, it’s also home to the fascinating Windmill Museum. Built in 1871, the windmill was fully operational until 1864 and the building now houses a museum of windmills and exhibits on local history and the Scouting movement. Look out for the Womble memorabilia in the gift shop.
For further info visit: www.wimbledinwindmill.org
Shop until you drop
If you’re after unusual gifts, explore the delights of Wimbledon Village, from eclectic homeware to unique dresses there’s something for everyone. Every Saturday from 9am-1pm you can pick up fresh fruit and veg at Wimbledon Farmers’ Market at Wimbledon Park Primary School. Also, pop into the Crabtree & Evelyn store at the Centre Court Shopping Centre to stock up on goodies. Our Strawberry & Cream biscuits are a must-try!
What are your favourite Wimbledon hot spots? Tell us in the comments box below…
June 13th, 2013 | | permalink
Give your dad an experience he’ll always remember by treating him to a special adventure this Father’s Day (Sunday 16 June). From zooming through the clouds on a flying lesson to reaching the leafy heights of a mighty oak on a tree climbing course, we’ve got it covered. That’s not all – we’ve also selected Crabtree & Evelyn grooming gifts to match each activity…
Climb a tree
You don’t have to be 8 years old to enjoy conquering a mighty oak. At the Basildon Park in Reading, The Great Big Tree Climbing Company will literally be showing visitors the ropes and teaching them how to reach new heights in the treetops on Sunday 16 June. Plus, there’s a zip wire to help you make your way back down to earth. After all that exhilaration a strong cup of tea will probably be in order, so treat dad to a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea at Basildon Park.
For more info visit: www.nationaltrust.org
Gift it with: Our Gardener’s Hand Care Sampler is the perfect gift for an active and nature-loving dad. Plus, if he’s been climbing trees, his mitts may need some extra TLC.
Take a Tutti Frutti Boat Ride at Kew Gardens
Gourmet jelly mongers Bompas & Parr have transformed Kew Garden’s Palm House Lake into a fruity spectacle as part of the IncreEdibles summer festival. Treat your Pops to the Tutti Frutti Boating Experience –it goes through a secret banana grotto, which has a fruit based weather system that enhances taste perception. The final destination is Pineapple Island, which houses fruit-inspired art installations to make you think differently about the food you eat. The event runs until September, so it’s a brilliant family activity for Father’s Day and beyond.
For more info visit: www.kew.org
Gift it with… Continue the fruit theme with our Men’s West Indian Lime Traveller Gift Set. Using the zesty fragrance in the morning is an invigorating wake-up call.
Ride next to the waves
Is your dad a keen cyclist? If so, challenge him to the Pier to Pier Cycle Launch Event on Sunday 16 June, which opens the new cycle route between Southport and Wigan. It’s a 21-mile ride, and the route can be started at 10am from either pier. To celebrate the launch there’s a family fun day at Burscough Wharf from 11am, as well as a prize draw for the riders, and a raffle with plenty of prizes. If you’re further afield than Lancashire, you could always take the family on a bike-riding jaunt and enjoy a picnic together.
For more info visit: www.visitlancashire.com
Gift it with… After all that cycling, your dad can freshen up with our Sienna Hair and Body Wash, which blends leather, citrus and spice with a hint of fire and herbs.
Learn to fly
Especially for those dads who’ve always dreamed of conquering the clouds, a flying experience will surely make him leap for joy. The Aeroplane Pilot Day Course, available at intotheblue.co.uk, is on offer at £99 (was £198). Students will be taught the first rules of flying by a pilot and enjoy a 20-minute flying lesson. If your father really takes to the experience, there’s a debriefing on how to become a pilot. Who knows, it could be a whole new career for him!
For more info visit: www.intotheblue.co.uk
Gift it with… A great shave will give your dad an air of confidence and right now you can buy a Nomad Shaving Bundle of Aftershave Balm and Shaving Cream for £23 (a saving of 20%).