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Pictured: Sharland and Lewis – Tetbury.
TOP 10 INTERIORS SHOPS by Laura Campbell (in no particular order) read more
Potticks House, Wiltshire £1.85m Knight Frank
Bit of a showstopper, this one. Utterly, utterly beautiful, perfectly, classically English, the kind of gaffe that would give most Americans an identity crisis. This stunning Grade 11 listed Georgian house comes with 7 bedrooms, a large swimming pool and 10 acres of grounds including orchard, woodland and paddock read more
Bestival 5-8 September, Isle of Wight
Bestival on the Isle of Wight is one of those festivals that has to be experienced at least once and this year, the 10th anniversary, with Elton John headlining is the one to go for. How to describe the crazy and beautiful madness that takes place in Robin Hill Park? Think Come Dancing Speigeltent where you can learn to breakdance, Tango, hip hop or the Viennese Waltz, the psychedelic Bollywood Tent and Indian themed cocktail bus, so popular and well loved stellar DJs like Fatboy Slim still want to play there or the Prangsta Boudoir, a costumier like no other with the power to reinvent you. Brilliant line up to celebrate the big anniversary and a nautical dress up theme at HMS Bestival – Snoop Dogg, Elton, Franz Ferdinand, MIA, The Flaming Lips, Wu Tang Clan and The Strypes – this year’s hottest band. We’re loving the sound of the Swamp Shack, a Louisiana bayou with Deliverance mutants, fading Southern belles, DJ sets, barn dancing and celidhs. Sounds nuts? It is.
Glastonbury (26-30 June)
Glastonbury is back with a massive splash after its fallow year off, with incredible headliners Arctic Monkeys, the Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons. Started in 1970 (the day after Jimi Hendrix died) this will always be the mother of all festivals, partly because of its size but mainly for the entirely mystical and magical vibe which never dies. More like a whole psychedelic town than a festival there is so much to do here you really need the full four days. It’s great with kids – an enormous dedicated kids field (even a 1930s lighthouse to climb) with every kind of entertainment – but arguably better without because what’s on for adults is immense. read more
Pictured above: the relaxation lounge at The Scarlet Hotel
Hotel Tresanton, Cornwall
When Olga Polizzi opened the Hotel Tresanton in a former yacht club back in 1998 she pretty much set the benchmark for boutique hotels everywhere.
After all, what could be nicer than waking in one of the nautical chic bedrooms which all face onto St Mawes Bay or dining at night by candlelight on the open air terrace? Hotel Tresanton is a place of quietly lavish, pared down cool, whether you’re sipping a perfectly made Bloody Mary in the bar (with its own highly secret recipe) or playing backgammon (and coveting the furniture) in the beautiful sitting room. Food is a high point with local ingredients and the freshest fish and breakfasts are legendary (smoked haddock and gruyere omelette anyone?) Popular with families Tresanton has a playroom with toys and DVDs etc, for older children there’s fishing, kayaking and sailing – right outside the door. New to the hotel is Rock Cottage with family room, kitchen, suite and 2 balconies. The hotel also offers beauty treatments, a cinema and 48ft yacht for private charter. read more
Pictured: Sumbler Bros, Marlborough
Good butchers have never been more in demand and the South West is lucky to have some of the best in the country. You’ll find high quality meat with guaranteed provenance – a far cry from the pre-packed selection in supermarket chiller cabinets. Here are our Top 10 Best Butchers – a cut above the rest…
At last a bit of good news…the South West property market is going to kickstart into action this year according to analysts with London buyers driving the trend. There will be an influx of urban escapees looking to get their hands on eco houses, cut price manors and potential holiday lets. Property searcher Gigi Allen of GA Property Search says: ‘Finally we’re going to see some real movement in the South West market with many new buyers coming from London. High end eco houses are the ‘new’ Georgian rectories, and there’s a real trend for buying properties with additional accommodation such as cottages, annexes and barns to let for extra income.” read more
Pictured above: Clifftop hot-tub at The Scarlet Hotel
For a remote corner of North Devon this 2 year old yoga retreat wins the kind of accolades you’d expect for somewhere much more famous like Thailand’s Chiva Som (Yeotown was Conde Naste Traveller’s Spa of the Year UK 2012). A relaxed and wholesome but stylish rural spa which aims to simultaneously stress-bust and boost your sense of wellbeing. read more
The Bull’s Venner Bar
The Milk Thistle, Bristol
Styled like a 1930s speakeasy and with plenty of attitude to match, your first task is finding The Milk Thistle – entrance is through an unmarked door complete with a spyhole. Tiger skins on the walls, crystal chandeliers, boudoir lamps and house rules such as “swearing, hooting, shouting or shrieking shall not be tolerated”.The cocktails here are something else – try the Gold Swizzle – Chairman’s Reserve rum, Martini Rosso, Cardamom bitters, lime and ginger beer or the Perfume Fizz - Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka, pineapple syrup, Bols Apricot, lemon juice and Fever Tree ginger ale. The hippest bar in Bristol right now and definitely worth a road trip (just get someone else to be your driver). Or take a cocktail masterclass with the house mixologist to amaze your guests £25 a head. read more
Main pic: Santa at Pennywell Farm, Devon
Wondering where to go for that magical Christmas outing to see Father Christmas? Skip the North Pole with a visit to one of our best Santas in the South West… read more