The Holiday Season in Rome by our lady in Italy, Nicole Franchini
The holiday season in Rome officially began on December 8, at 4 pm with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (National Holiday), celebrated by the Pope, who during the ceremony crowns the head of the Virgin Mary's statue in Piazza di Spagna,and it continues through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, celebrated with toys and gifts for the kids and, of course, a big 4-course meal.
Each year the city has put increased efforts in lighting up the main commercial areas with festive new and traditional decorations. This year’s theme is on environment protection, moderate energy consumption and sobriety.
Part Three Of Rachel Khoo's Tour De France - Provence
Could there be a more fitting start to a Provencal excursion, than the blustering Mistral reaching 120km per hour whilst paired with a blindingly blue sky? Provence has long been a favourite of the British. Just the mention of it conjures up images of sun filled terraces, purple lavender fields, dusty green shutters on sand coloured bastides, and the summer hum of cigales in the bristly bushes. But of all the places on my visits around France, Provence is by far the most estranged from Britain, architecturally, mentality-wise and weatherwise.
Tour De France Part Two – Brittany, By Rachel Khoo
Lighthouses, timber framed buildings, green pastures, salt plains and tonnes of butter… while researching My Little French Kitchen, I headed to Brittany (and bits of Normandy) to scour out the most interesting produce and recipes of the region.
At a first glance, it is easy to see how Brittany acquired the nickname “Little Britain”, particularly as the rain didn’t let up on my first day of the trip, but also because it reminded me of the lush verdant British fields around where I grew up. There’s also drizzle. A lot of it.
Rachel Khoo Takes Us On A Tour De France - Bordeaux, Arcachon & Cap Ferret
It goes without saying that Bordeaux is mostly famous for one thing, wine. And oh my is it a grand thing to be famous for. To research my latest book, My Little French Kitchen, I headed to the most notorious of the world’s wine regions, one associated with some of the most revered and expensive wines ever to be made.
My visit kicked off in the city itself. Set along the Gironde river, it is proud to have undergone a massive clean up since their former Mayor (who managed to clock a mammoth 50 years of ‘service’ while allegedly not achieving a great deal) died, leaving room for some forward thinking. Since, a shiny new tram glides effortlessly through the streets, all the grubby blackened facades have been cleaned up and the city is bustling with students, beautiful fresh food markets and a handful of very good restaurants. It’s an easy city to like. But a visit to Bordeaux is hardly complete without visiting the ‘allentours’, where much of the most exciting gastronomic happenings are taking place. After all the sight seeing I was happy to put my feet up in the homely and cosy 83 rue de Patay.
When Sawday's Came To Tea, By The Owners Of Little Comfort Farm
It was with great pleasure that Roger and I hosted an Alastair Sawday’s members’ gathering here at Little Comfort Farm last week. It was lovely to put faces to names of the people that Caroline and I email and talk to on the phone at Sawday’s HQ and to meet Alastair himself. It was also a great opportunity to meet fellow members – meeting other people working in the same business as us is something we really enjoy and we always learn so much. As we chatted we all tucked in to homemade highlander biscuits, beetroot brownies and tea bread not to forget our scones, cream and jam – a bit of a Little Comfort Farm trade mark.
Sawday’s New British Bed & Breakfast Guide On Sale And Inaugural B&B Awards Launched!
Sawday’s new British “B&B bible” hit bookshelves this month. The latest edition brings together over 700 of Britain’s finest B&Bs, with over 90 new additions (even more online). In celebration of our wonderful British B&Bs we’ve launched the inaugural Sawday’s B&B Awards selecting twelve stand-out special places in four categories – Best Newcomers, Old Favourites, Most Praised Breakfast and One of a Kind. Read on to find out more about the winners.
Hidden History With A Weekend Of Heritage Open Days
England’s towns, villages and countryside are preparing to give up their secrets this weekend, as over 4,500 properties – from mansions to shepherd’s huts, wartime bunkers to water towers, factories, theatres and private homes – all open their doors to reveal their history. Heritage Open Days (www.heritageopendays.org.uk) is the biggest heritage festival in the country, taking place from 12th-15th September, with every single event completely free.
Our Pick Of Top New Places From Sawday's and Canopy & Stars
Our membership team has been extra busy seeking out even more special places to stay for both Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars, this summer. From a gorgeously restored windmill in Kent, the first olive oil resort in Italy and a cluster of one-of-a-kind treehouses in France, peruse our pick of the newest places below…
Bulls Hall, Suffolk
What we say: “A traditional Suffolk 16th century thatched cottage B&B with wonky floors, beams and pretty colours. In the garden find hens, turkeys and barn owls, and there’s an Airedale puppy called Cara.”
Our Latest Guest Blogger, Michelle Pegg, Gives Us 5 Of The Best British Places To Spend Your Summer!
Our weather might be a little temperamental at the best of times, but the great British summer is still the best time to take a holiday on home soil and explore our beautiful country.
From seaside towns and sleepy villages to rolling countryside and bustling cities, Britain has something to offer every kind of traveller. There are so many options in-fact, that I’ve decided to help you out with a roundup of 5 of the best British places to spend your summer.
Over the years Brighton has transformed from a generic seaside town to a popular destination for the hip and trendy, especially during summer. There’s really nothing better than a sunny stroll down Brighton Pier with light glinting off the sea below, before a stint on the slots, a race on the dodgems and a fistful of candyfloss. And don’t worry, if you prefer to take life at a calmer pace there’s a whole wealth of eclectic shops in kitsch North Laine, as well as countless big names in Churchill Square.
David Hancock's Tenth 'Pub Walk Of The Week'
The Lion Inn, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (Cotswold Way)
The Pub: Push open the heavy oak door of this restored old inn to reveal a beautiful main bar: rugs on pale-painted floors, candles at mullioned windows, rough stone walls, and a log fire crackling in a 15th-century inglenook. Jugs of fresh flowers, battered leather armchairs and grand gilt-framed paintings enhance the authentic feel. Check out the papers over a pint of Hooky, play drafts, order from the short seasonal menu; in summer, spill onto the peaceful terrace.