Battles, jousting, food and fun at the Loxwood Joust

The rivalry and banter between the Jousting knights was back in full flow this weekend as thousands experienced a day in mediaeval England at the first of the Loxwood Joust’s two weekends of mediaeval fun and revelry.

Celebrating Queen Katheryn Adelina 1 of Loxwood’s first year on the throne, the best knights in the land were invited to attend a mêlée on the battle field and Sir Thomas of Loxwood returned to defend both his Queen’s lands, and his title in the Jousting Arena when pitted against his arch enemy Sir Hector of Horsham.

And, Sir Alexander Iden of Kent had been invited by Queen Katheryn to this year’s tournament before his real intentions to overthrow the Loxwood Kingdom were made clear. As a result, visitors to this spectacular event saw two magnificent full contact battles each day with 200 fully armoured knights, 70 archers and 20 gunners displaying their skills, strength and training as they went into combat with their authentic mediaeval weaponry.

And the excitement continued in the jousting arena as the four Jousting Knights powered down the tilt with a thunder of hooves, before their clashing lances splintered on impact. By far the fastest man on the field, Sir Like took on Sir Hector with his roguish humour and impressive swordsmanship and bade him to yield before being declared as the tournament’s jousting champion.

Emma Barker who was attending the Loxwood Joust for the first time said ”What a fantastic day, such a great day out for all the family. It was really good to see the children interacting with the weapons experts, so it really was “learning with fun”. The stalls and entertainment were brilliant, the melee was very realistic and the jousting stunning. Well done to everyone involved, we will definitely be coming back next year.”

With the activities and entertainment taking place every half hour from 10am to 6pm there really was something for everyone and the new knight school proved to be a huge success. The Bards were roaming the Loxwood Kingdom’s meadows and woodlands spinning fine tales and spreading the hearsay of Loxwood, whilst the witches, faerie goddess mother, wandering minstrels and children’s kingdom activities were once again the favourites of many.

Maurice Bacon, organiser of the Joust commented “We have had an amazing weekend with all of our new attractions being really popular and Queen Katheryn and our new History of Loxwood story, that is now running through the various threads of the event, has also been very well received. We always aim to make the full mediaeval experience really come to life for our visitors, and this weekend we have achieved that with a large array of characters, food, drink and historic accuracy that is fun, engaging and thrilling for people of all ages.”

The second weekend of the Loxwood Joust takes place on the 10th and 11th August and advance tickets are on sale at . The Loxwood Joust is excellently located just off the B2133 between Wisborough Green and Loxwood and has ample Free Parking.

Stats and comments on how to boost kerb appeal

With new data from Reapit showing an unprecedented five-year sharp drop in property transactions in the last quarter, (36 per cent lower than the long-term average), boosting your home’s kerb appeal is more important than ever. Powertools2U has revealed that almost half of potential home buyers take 20 per cent off the property’s asking price if the house has an untidy exterior. David O’Mara, marketing manager at Hörmann UK, sponsor of the upcoming National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (28-31 March, NEC, Birmingham), provides advice on how to make a great first impression and maximise your potential selling income.

“Kerb appeal is all about your home’s exterior making a good first impression. While it’s easy to focus your efforts on the interior, it is important to remember that the exterior of your property is what everyone, from visitors through to potential buyers, will see first.


“In fact, those savvy homeowners who are keen to increase their property value can do so by ensuring paintwork is fresh, windows and doors are clean and your driveway and garden is neat and tidy. Nearly a third of Brits are willing to pay 25 per cent more for a house which looks stylish from the outside – proof that first impressions count when it comes to the home.

“Garage doors take up a large part of your home and an out-dated or scruffy garage door will instantly affect the look of your property. Nowadays, there is so much choice that the previous ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer appropriate. Thermally efficient sectional garage doors from Hörmann, for instance, are available in a wide variety of styles and surface finishes that will suit all types of homes.

“For those trying to boost kerb appeal, we recommend customers choose a garage door in a colour which complements existing windows and doors. A stone grey theme for all your exterior features will completely transform your exterior and create a harmonious look.”

For more details, visit Hörmann UK on stand number D131 at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (28-31 March, NEC, Birmingham) or visit

Pepe Jeans - Dua Lipa

PEPE JEANS LONDON ANNOUNCES DUA LIPA AS GLOBAL BRAND AMBASSADOR Pepe Jeans, the legendary British denim brand is delighted to announce a new partnership with Dua Lipa, one of the most successful musical artists and style icons of her generation. Following in the footsteps of fashion icons and Hollywood stars, Dua Lipa begins her new role by starring in the Spring/Summer 2019 campaign for Pepe Jeans, photographed by David Sims.

The campaign itself is a celebration of the heritage of Pepe Jeans, which was one of the first British brands to bring a distinct fashion perspective to the world of denim in 1973. Fresh-faced and effortlessly poised, Dua Lipa is photographed in black and white wearing a range of classic denim pieces. An emphasis on strength, natural beauty and the timeless appeal of denim takes precedent in both the campaign and the collection itself.

At 23, Dua Lipa has taken the music world by storm and become a fashion icon for her millions of fans. After releasing her self-titled debut album ‘Dua Lipa’ in 2017, she made history when nominated for five categories at the 2018 Brit Awards - the first female to receive so many nominations. She was awarded ‘Best British Female Solo Artist’ and ‘Best British Breakthrough Act’. For the last two years, Dua Lipa has also been the most streamed female artist in the world. She continues to break records — the music video for her hit single ‘New Rules, her anthem for female empowerment, gained more than a billion views on YouTube, making her the youngest female artist to hit this target. ‘One Kiss’ Dua’s collaboration with Calvin Harris became the biggest selling single of 2018 in the UK and she has sold over 40 million singles and over 3.4 million albums worldwide. And the awards keep coming with Dua winning two Grammys for “Best New Artist” and “Best Dance Recording” with Silk City for their massive hit “Electricity” at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards and another Brit Award for “Best British Single” for “One Kiss”, her track with Calvin Harris at the 2019 Brits Awards.


Dua Lipa and Pepe Jeans are a perfect fit in more ways than one. Both were born in London and have become symbols of idiosyncratic British style. Long before joining Pepe Jeans, Dua Lipa was a fan of the brand’s advertising campaigns as a teenager.

“Dua Lipa is one of the world’s fastest rising stars and has a style which perfectly fits the Pepe Jeans brand DNA “ said Mark Blenkinsop CMO. “The partnership marks a new milestone for the Pepe Jeans brand as we look to consolidate the brand presence in Europe and seek strategic growth in new markets, 2019 promises to be an exciting year for both Dua Lipa & Pepe Jeans as we will announce a number of initiatives to excite & engage consumers and the B2B trade customers”

The inaugural campaign is photographed by David Sims, the British photographer who began his career photographing musical icons including David Bowie, Nirvana, Bjork and Courtney Love and has since shaped the imagery of titles including Vogue, The Face and i-D. Sims previously photographed Daria Werbowy and Ashton Kutcher for a Pepe Jeans campaign in 2005, joining an illustrious list of photographers who have worked for the brand, including Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Steven Klein and Mario Sorrenti. The London-based photographer’s modern vision of beauty and style made him the perfect choice for working with Dua Lipa and Pepe Jeans is pleased to continue its collaboration with Sims.

#DuaforPepe #MyPepeJeans @pepejeans

Royal Opera House

Live at Lunch, 21 September 2018 © 2018 ROH. Photographed by James Bellorini

Each week, Live at Lunch at the Royal Opera House offers Londoners free culture, with the chance to enjoy music or dance in our newly renovated event spaces.
The performances are all drop-in, last 45 minutes and take place on Fridays or Sundays in either the Paul Hamlyn Hall or Linbury Foyer.

The next Live at Lunch performances in February to April are as follows:

• Sunday 24 February, 1pm (Paul Hamlyn Hall)
• Friday 1 March, 1pm (Linbury Foyer)
• Friday 8 March, 1pm (Paul Hamlyn Hall)
• Sunday 10 March, 1pm (Paul Hamlyn Hall)
• Friday 22 March, 1pm (Paul Hamlyn Hall)
• Sunday 24 March, 1pm (Linbury Foyer)
• Friday 29 March, 1pm (Linbury Foyer)
• Sunday 31 March, 1pm (Linbury Foyer)
• Friday 5 April, 1pm (Linbury Foyer)
• Friday 12 April, 1pm (Paul Hamlyn Hall)

Audience members don’t need a ticket and can turn up to any of the free Live at Lunch events. Performances last about 45 minutes with no break, and seating is unreserved. Visit for more details.

About the Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House wants to give everyone access to exceptional ballet and opera. As The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, we bring together the world's most extraordinary artists in more than 500 performances every year on our two world-class stages.

We are open every day from 10am with a programme of daytime events, activities and festivals for people of all ages. Through award-winning music, dance and theatre we transport our audiences to other worlds.

Last year more than 676,000 people saw a Royal Opera House performance or came for a tour. Our BP Big Screens programme every summer sees thousands enjoy free, world-class opera and ballet on their doorsteps, from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight. The Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season, which broadcasts live performances of opera and ballet to UK and international cinemas, celebrated ten years of world-class cinema broadcasts in 2018. In 2019, we will broadcast to more than 1,500 cinemas globally. Our ongoing partnership with the BBC saw three of our productions broadcast across BBC platforms/channels last Season.

Treat your Mum to a free Mother's Day meal at The Petersham Restaurant

This Mother's Day show your Mum how special she really is with a free four-course meal at one of London's most spectacular hotel restaurants, The Petersham Restaurant in Richmond. Exclusively available for tables of four from 4pm, you and your family can continue to celebrate this wonderful day into the evening – with your Mum eating completely free!

With the stunning backdrop of floor-to-ceiling views of the River Thames and surrounding Meadows, The Petersham Restaurant offers the perfect setting to honour your Mum with an exclusive Mother's Day menu. Carefully curated by Head Chef Jean-Didier Gouges to feature the finest seasonal produce, guests can opt from sublime dishes such as Crab and quinoa salad, yuzu dressing, pickled ginger, keta caviar and Pan-fried cod with crab tortellini, samphire, fried leeks, crispy capers and avocado puree. And to make your mum feel extra special, there's even a Mother's Day pre-dessert to be served before indulging in delicious desserts including Chocolate forest gateau, cherry and rum sorbet and Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and vanilla Chantilly cream.

The Petersham's Mother's Day offer will be available on Sunday 31 March for any tables of four booked after 4pm. For every four guests, one mum will go free. For a party of eight guests, two Mums go for free! For more information and to book a table, visit:

VIP tickets

55% OFF two VIP tickets to Chelsea Enchanted Wedding Fair or the Hilton Riverside Secret Wedding Fair.

The tickets can be purchase for just £9. The VIP package includes a glass of champagne on arrival, accompanied by canapes and nibbles and a goody bag. The event includes an array of exhibitors with a range of fun and quirky ideas for a wedding.

The Chelsea event, held on 3 March, has a fairy tale theme, as you make your way around the venue and browse through the immaculately staged exhibition, complete with a charming Enchanted Hall, Corridor of Dreams and Fairytale Room, whilst the Hilton event, held on 19 May, has an emphasis on exclusivity and luxury.

Interested in going? Get your tickets today at

Top five reasons to visit the London Cruise Show

London, United Kingdom (6 February 2019) – Cruise aficionados are invited to attend The London Cruise Show on Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 February 2019 at London Olympia.

Hailed as Europe’s biggest cruise showcase, the event will host a variety of specialist cruise operators, tourist boards and holiday providers, offering visitors the chance to discover the world by sea. Whether travellers are looking to book their first cruise, organise a round-trip sailing expedition, or experience a new destination, the two day event will cater to all needs highlighting the best of the cruising world for 2019 and beyond.

Sailing the high seas on luxury vessels, to selecting your dream destination, to meeting the experts, The London Cruise Show highlights the top five reasons to attend the event below:

1. Types of cruises available
Home to the largest collection of world-leading cruise lines and specialist operators, including Cruise Critic, Aurora Expeditions, Radisson Blu, Star Clipper and Oceania Cruises, the show is designed to inspire cruise enthusiasts, as well as introduce beginners to what’s new and available for 2019. Industry experts will be on hand to help curate bespoke packages and advise the most suitable style of cruises available for families, solo and mature travellers, including dedicated LGBT cruises, river cruises, luxury vessels, expedition style trips and charter cruises.

2. How to choose a destination
Travellers can choose voyages depending on what they want to see and do – be it an adventurous expedition to see the northern lights or sailing the fjords of Alaska. Taking into consideration costs, duration, luxury, exploration and excursions, The Destination Theatre is hosting talks to create personalised itineraries, including day trips to local towns, enabling travellers to explore the culture, cuisine, art and scenery. Talks at the Destination Theatre include South Africa’s Garden Route, Feel the Far East and imagine your Korea, Expedition cruising to the Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica, Chimu Adventures.

3. New to cruise?
The New to Cruise Theatre will host free talks from a range of cruise lines and travel experts aimed at beginner cruisers over the weekend. Designed as an introduction to cruise, The New to Cruise Theatre will be the place for any new cruisers to listen and be part of aspirational talks and seminars.

4. Meet industry experts
Cruise fans interested in hearing from Lonely Planet expert, Oliver Berry, can sign up to hear a presentation about ‘Cruises of a Lifetime’. Oliver will be presenting his ideas about six once-in-a-lifetime cruises, from wildlife spotting on the Galapagos Islands and cruising the Norwegian fjords to the ultimate seaborne adventure in Antarctica. The session will include advice on how to choose a cruise, what to expect on board, top tips for photography and ideas on ways to cut costs.

5. Exclusive deals, competition and discounts
Visitors can save money by booking their cruise directly at the show and try their luck in a number of competitions on offer throughout The London Cruise Show. Cruise fans can enter Storylines’ competition to win a holiday of a lifetime worth over £175,000, for two to win a year-long residency on board a Storylines ship. Additionally, guests booking a cruise with Crystal Cruises can receive up to 10% off their cruise fare, and Steppes Travel is offering a free flight package for every person who books the Arctic Spitsbergen Charter, worth £750 per person.

Standard tickets start from £6.50 per person and can be booked at

Barbados Bans Single-Use Plastic

From Monday, April 1, the importation, retail, sale and use of petro-based single-use plastic (plastic made from petroleum) will no longer be allowed in Barbados.

The popular tourist destination attracted 623,293 visitors in 2018 and is committed to the fight against pollution and joins the growing list of countries attempting to halt the use of plastic.

Cheryl Carter, UK Director, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, commented:
"Plastic contributes to the contamination of our marine species, and the water surrounding our beautiful island. Banning single-use plastics goes some way to ensuring the protection of our pristine beaches and crystal clear waters that we are famous for. Continuing to attract guests is our priority as we seek to enhance our sustainable credentials and continue to be an environmentally friendly destination.”

In a recent press conference in Barbados, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, and Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, announced the ban, and its parameters.

Mr. Humphrey explained that with effect from January 1, 2020, there will be a ban on all petro-based plastic bags, with the exemption of those used for the packaging of pharmaceuticals/medicines, hygiene and the preservation of food.
“Barbados has to be a value-driven country. We have large expectations for ourselves. We have said that we want to be fossil fuel free by 2030; we want to have a renewable platform; we want to be a country that when we speak to the world we speak as an environmentally friendly country and destination.

“[Therefore] these are the things that we must do if our words and our actions are to be aligned. And so, we have made ourselves clear as to where we stand on single-use plastic,”
Mr. Humphrey said.

Wildlife conservation is another priority for the island; The Barbados Sea Turtle Project has been involved in the conservation of the endangered marine turtle species for more than 25 years. Their long term vision is to restore the local marine turtle population through research, education and public outreach. Barbados is currently home to the second-largest hawksbill turtle nesting population in the Caribbean, with up to 500 nesting females per year.


Carlisle Bay in the south west of Barbados has recently become a designated marine-protected area, popular with divers, swimmers and snorkelers. Preserving Barbados’ coastline, the marine environment, the health of its reefs and habitats of the marine plants and animals is a continuous focus. It will ensure sustainable use and development of the fisheries, marine assets, resources, minerals and species for sustainable recreation and the livelihoods of those that make a living from the sea.

For further information related to the sustainability in the Caribbean, please visit:

For further information regarding Barbados please visit

Let the Adventure BeGin

BeGinThe Epicurean Collection have a cluster of five pubs in South West London. These include The Cross Keys and The Admiral Codrington (Chelsea), The Sands End and The Brown Cow (Fulham) and The Punchbowl (Mayfair).

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 17.38.34

All five pubs are hosting a gin trail from 27 Feb - 27 March. Guests can purchase a 'Gin Passport' at any of the venues (which will also give them 10% off food too) to enjoy a G&T and nibbles at each pub. Once guests have completed the set of five pubs, they will be entered into a draw to win an overnight stay in one of the Epicurean Club countryside Inns. Gin brands taking part in the trail include, Sipsmith, Silent Pool, Elephant Gin, Gin Mare and Warner Edwards.


The gin trail will run each Wednesday between 27/02 – 27/03 and the Gin Passports cost £30.

Bang & Olufsen introduces Beolab 50 and Beovision Eclipse in Piano Black

Experience the dynamic force and mesmerising appeal of perfectly crafted colour.

Bang & Olufsen today presents two enduring design icons, Beolab 50 and Beovision Eclipse, in a sophisticated Piano Black colourway.

True to the legacy of Bang & Olufsen, the Piano Black products exude luxury, infinite sophistication, innovation and a highly ambitious approach to the relationship between sound, image and design. The captivating, paramount colour signals empowerment, glamour and mystery, thus adding boldness and vogue to the classic Beolab 50 loudspeaker and Beovision Eclipse TV. Vibrant sound and aesthetics are combined to perfection, and never before have craftsmanship and colours been this gracefully entangled.

Beolab 50 lights up the black
With the launch of Beolab 50 Piano Black, Bang & Olufsen continues the success of the loudspeaker while adding a dynamic, balanced glossy surface and distinct details. At first glance, hundreds of tiny polished, aluminium dots on the front reminds one of a frozen waterfall or seems to be floating in the air giving Beolab 50 a deeper, almost layered visual expression, reflecting the light. The distance between the dots is chosen to give a notion of the magic going on behind the front, where the speaker drivers are laid out to create the best possible control of the sound. The efficient cooling plates are visually extended into the baffles, to create both a functional as well as an attractive surface treatment. Warm oak lamellas add to its slender, insisting appearance, giving it a contemporary, yet classic look.

Beovision Eclipse in a new, classic attire
The avant-garde, futuristic Beovision Eclipse is the best sounding TV on the market and features 4K HDR OLED screen technology. Complimenting the thin black screen is the new, elegantly crafted black front cover and sound centre, stressing that the TV is greater than the sum of its parts and designed to integrate exquisitely with your lifestyle. The Beovision Eclipse TV connects wirelessly with up to 8 speakers, so for ultimate surround sound experience, the high-end active loudspeaker Beolab 50 is a great match.

Debuting a new floor stand
To compliment the elegance of the new colourway, and in a play with gravity, designer Torsten Valeur has created a new Beovision Eclipse floor stand that takes up little footprint on the floor and which consists of an aluminium tube in either silver or brass-toned aluminium with a black painted floor plate and steel arm.

The iconic planet stand which can turn the screen almost 90 degrees with the touch of a button and the manual or motorised wall mounted solution are also available for the Piano Black Beovision Eclipse.

To find out more, please visit and follow the conversation at @bangolufsen on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using #BeoPianoBlack


Elizabeth Hurley & Justin Theroux at FIA Formula E Championship


Elizabeth Hurley and Justin Theroux enjoy some grid action together as FIA Formula E Championship takes to the streets of Marrakesh

Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Hurley experienced the thrill of FIA Formula E Championship's BMW i8 car today ahead of the first race of 2019.

Following an intimate dinner ahead of the first FIA Formula E Championship race of 2019 at a luxury restaurant hidden away in the city of Marrakesh last night, the pair got up close and personal with the cars with Justin taking the wheel to put the i8 through its paces on the track, while Elizabeth was driven by FIA Formula E Championship Founder & CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag.

Last night, while Justin’s ex wife Jennifer Aniston may be moving on, the On The Basis of Sex and Bumblebee star was moving up, leaving his recent heart break for dust as he cosied up with English actress and model Elizabeth Hurley over an exclusive candlelit dinner hosted by FIA Formula E Championship Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag in the heart of Marrakesh’s vibrant medina.

The pair were also joined for dinner by Tamara Beckwith and fashion designer Patrick Cox.

Justin Theroux said: Formula E is something I have never experiences before. It is innovative, exciting, and most importantly responsible to our environment. I am so happy to be here.

Sustainability and zero emissions championship FIA Formula E is revving up for its first race of 2019 this afternoon, building on a sensational season of racing last year, which saw it visit 10 cities across five continents. Last year, races attracted top talent from Idris Elba and Orlando Bloom to Kylie Minogue – all passionate about its role in promoting a sustainable world and as the future of motor racing.

Season 5 will feature 13 races in 12 of the world's most exciting cities, including street races in Hong Kong, Paris and New York City as well as returning to China and Monaco.

FIA Formula E Championship is the world's only fully electric street racing series with a mission to advance electric vehicle technology and shape the cars of the future, for a world of zero emissions on the track, on city streets and for everyday drivers.

Find out more on where to watch at


Guildford Shakespeare Company stages – A PRACTICAL COURSE FOR THEATRE-LOVERS

2 & 3 March

Join Guildford’s award-winning professional theatre company for GSC Stages, a new programme of exciting evening courses for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of theatre-making.

GSC Stages is split into short courses, with each one led by a different practitioner, within GSC’s professional rehearsal room. Over 12 years, GSC has worked with a variety of creatives and practitioners - including directors, actors, producers and designers – and for the first-time course members will be able to learn from their unique and practical masterclasses on theatre skills.

Each course can be joined separately, allowing members to gain a selection of professional insights and explore a variety of techniques through individual and group exercises. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

GSC Stages: Approaching Shakespeare with Director Richard Neale - 2 & 3 March
Over one weekend at GSC HQ, you will work with Richard Neale, director of GSC’s Robin Hood and acting teacher at GSA. Under Richard's expert guidance, you will unlock Shakespeare’s verse and prose, demystify the complex language and discover clues in the text. This acting masterclass uses rehearsal room techniques and physical exploration to take you on the journey from page to stage.

Topics over the weekend include: "Cuss like you mean it" Shakespeare’s Insults; "Rhythm and truth" Practical use of rhythm in verse; "It’s all on the page" Explore text to discover stage-direction and nuance; "Target Practice" Voice exercises to make the lines carry; Scene study and share.

Times: 10am - 5pm (Saturday and Sunday). Venue: Guildford Shakespeare Company, 14/15 Midleton Industrial Estate Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 8XW. Fee: £120.

More details on the course-leader: Richard trained as an actor at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His acting credits span theatre, film TV and radio. He is an Associate Board member of Actors from the London Stage and teaches full time at The Guildford School of Acting, where he sits on audition panels. He’s also a tutor and panellist for Open Door. He directed Robin Hood for GSC, as well as staged-readings of Pericles and Cymbeline.

To book a place call the office on 01483 301590 or visit the GSC website and fill in our online registration form. If you have any questions please email

GSC Stages. Approaching Shakespeare with Director Richard Neale


Pizarro copy

Popular London Chef José Pizarro has announced that he is taking over The Swan Inn Pub in Esher.

“Esher has made my dream come true,” exclaims José Pizarro as he announces he is turning the Swan Inn into a “Spanish Pub.”

“For years I have dreamed of opening a pub but this is the first time it has been the right building in the right place. I love Esher!”

“This is a special year for me. We call it 20:25 – 20 years since I came to England and 25 since I became a chef. To start the year in this spectacular fashion is my best possible New Year present. Forget No Way José, I’m a Yes Way José!”

José and his team have spent weeks walking around Esher talking to as many local residents and visitors as possible to learn about the area and the people who live there to really understand what will work.

“We found amazing enthusiasm for a Spanish restaurant to come into Esher. So we will essentially be bringing a mixture of the best of my London restaurants as a basis for the food we will serve here.”

The Swan Inn will bring José’s family cooking values to Esher while maintaining a British Pub feel. The menu will include José tapas favourites to share, such as his unforgettable croquetas, tortilla and 100% 5J Jamón Ibérico. The a la carte menu will feature classic pub favourites that have been given a José twist alongside signature regional Spanish dishes using locally sourced produce.

Keeing with pub traditions, there will be a wide selection of real ales, draught beers and of course Estrella Damm on offer. Wines will predominantly be of Spanish origin with a small selection of European and English favourites to compliment the wine list.

Pizarro explains that he has a “wonderful” team in his London restaurants and he will be devoting a lot of his time to the Swan Inn. “This is my dream and I am going to pursue it. We are already looking for local people to join the brigade we will put together for Esher. Of course we seek the highest quality but we also want fun on both sides of the bar – customers and staff.”

The pub will offer breakfast, tapas, and an a la carte menu that includes some of Pizarro’s well-loved dishes, as well as a private dining room for celebrations. Al fresco dining will be available in the warmer months complete with an outside kitchen and food cooked over open fires. If diners fancy staying over, there are 5 cosy rooms in the converted barn next door for overnight stays.

“I am very excited for this next chapter,” says José. “There is not much else that is better than sitting infront of a roaring fireplace with local friends enjoying a pint, and I can’t wait to have that at The Swan.”

For more information please visit >>> &

Richard Gardner Antiques

Whats new at Richard Gardner Antiques


Height of king: 3½ inches / 8.9 cm
Board size: 10½ x 10½ inches / 26.6 x 26.6 cm
Stock number: RW0590/0119
Price: £950

A late 18th century Washington pattern ivory chess set, one side in natural ivory, the other stained red, together with a early 19th century wooden chess board.

A rare opportunity to acquire a good sized Georgian ivory playing set. These sets are highly sought after for their simplicity and history and the fact they were the chosen playing sets of the serious players of the time. The knights are the forerunners of the fine carved horse head knights of the 19th century and the rooks are some of the first in ordinary play to feature such detail. These sets were made for playing and turned on foot treadle lathes. Each piece was turned separately so there will be slight variations. Very much in the family of the “Washington” sets of the period. Of historical importance are the knights which were the last of the pre Lund pieces that paid much more detail to the quality of the horse head. The early Calvert sets were known for this type of knight. Many of the early sets coming to the market are of course bone so a good opportunity to add one of the better quality ivory sets to the collection.

Four replacement pieces (all contemporary to the set: red knight, red bishop, white knight and white bishop). There is slight loss to the castellation of the rooks but this is normal for these sets and top collectors tend to keep these rare sets in an “as found” condition.


Height open: 1½ inches / 3.7 cm
Width open: 17 inches / 43.1 cm
Depth open: 15 inches / 38 cm
Stock number: RW0567/0119
Price: £2500

An English gilt-tooled red leather folding games board, in the form of an antiquarian book, the title stamped “Hist. of Russia”, the exterior for chess with red and black squares, the interior for backgammon with elaborate gilt-tooled decoration, with the points coloured in blue and white, the ends and front are marbled paper (with some losses), complete with the two original leather dice shakers. Overall in very good condition.


Height open: 2 inches / 5.1 cm
Width open: 16¾ inches / 42.5 cm
Depth open: 13¼ inches / 33.6 cm
Stock number: RW0548/0119
Price: £1200

An early 19th century rosewood folding chess and backgammon board box, with the chessboard squares in ivory and ebony, with either end of the board with spaces to keep captured pieces, the box opens to reveal an interior with a backgammon board with the points and decoration in ivory and kingwood, the panels decorated with miniature chess boards, on one of the ivory chess squares it has the initials and date EMS 1827 and as this would tie in with the date of the box, these are probably the initials of the original owner. There are some cracks and curling of the chess squares, but nothing to stop you enjoying playing a game with it.

Four replacement pieces (all contemporary to the set: red knight, red bishop, white knight and white bishop). There is slight loss to the castellation of the rooks but this is normal for these sets and top collectors tend to keep these rare sets in an “as found” condition

Richard Gardner Antiques, 4, Queen Street, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7BL - For more information visit >>>

New for 2019

About Pen and Sword Books

The origin of Pen and Sword Books is closely linked with its sister company, the Barnsley Chronicle; one of the UK's oldest provincial newspapers – established in 1858 – and one of the few weeklies still in private ownership. The first books published by the company were in response to public demand following of a series of articles published in the newspaper:- Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks told the story of crash sites in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, and a further weekly feature on the history of two Kitchener battalions, known as the Barnsley Pals, aroused a thirst for more information. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times and have collectively sold around 20,000 copies.

Following on from the success of Dark Peak Wrecks and Barnsley Pals books, a number of local history paperbacks were produced along with a series of battlefield guide books. Battleground Europe proved immediately successful and as more and more titles were produced the company made the decision to launch a book publishing arm of the group. The company acquired the Leo Cooper military history imprint and "Pen and Sword" was born. Leo Cooper, the husband of the famous novelist Jilly, had established a strong reputation for publishing military history titles and had some famous books in his list. With the Leo Cooper imprint and its backlist, Pen and Sword became established as one of the UK's leading military history publishers. Over recent years Pen and Sword has continued to grow and has added new imprints to its core area of military history, as well as publishing the majority of its catalogue digitally in eBook format. Pen and Sword specialises in all areas of military history, naval and maritime, aviation, local history, genealogy, social history, transport, discovery and exploration, archaeology, nostalgia and true crime. In 2017, a new lifestyle imprint named White Owl was launched, which publishes books on areas such as health and diet, hobbies and sport, gardening and wildlife and space.

With over 350 books published every year, Pen and Sword has established itself as a specialist book publisher.

The Trafalgar Chronicle PR

The Trafalgar Chronicle: Dedicated to Naval History in the Nelson Era:
New Series 3 by Liphook author Peter Hore, is sumptuously illustrated with some seldom-seen pictures, and will appeal to naval and social historians whether they are academics, antiquarians or amateurs or simply the reader curious to learn about an important but often overlooked aspect of naval history.

Firmly established as providing the only annual naval overview of its type, Seaforth World Naval Review 2019 edited by Hindhead’s Conrad Waters, is essential reading for anyone – whether enthusiast or professional – interested in contemporary maritime affairs.

Deadlines on the Front Line: Travels with a Veteran War Correspondent by Guildford’s much-published author and sought-after media commentator Paul Moorcraft, is a delightful and invigorating read which offers an intelligent insight into the turbulent world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries from a veteran war correspondent.

Struggle and Suffrage in Leatherhead: Women's Lives and the Fight for Equality has been brought to us by Walton-on-the-Hill’s Lorraine Spindler, who is the curator of Leatherhead Museum and author of Leatherhead in the Great War. She currently lectures at the Guildford Institute, runs regular battlefield tours to Ypres and the Somme, weekly classes in local history and genealogy, and is currently researching those involved with the theatrical arts in the Leatherhead district.

Last Post over the River Kwai: The 2nd East Surreys in the Far East 1938–1945 is the carefully researched account of the experiences of the officers and men of 2nd Battalion The East Surreys during the Second World War.

A History of Trees features unusual and little-known facts about trees that will surprise even the most knowledgeable reader including; Bizarrely, there are two ancient yews known as the Crowhurst Yew, both in villages of this name: one in East Sussex and one in neighbouring Surrey. Coincidentally, each yew grows in a graveyard attached to a St George’s Church, and both are probably over 1,500 years old. The hollow of the Crowhurst Yew in Surrey was enlarged in the early nineteenth century and once allowed twelve people to sit inside for tea – a door was fitted, which can still be seen, although it is now wedged shut.

A History of Trees PR

To see more books by the publisher please visit >>>

Postcard Teas

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New Teas 2019

We're starting off the new year by adding the second tea to what will be our 'Family' range - teas made without pesticides by small farmers, which can be bought in bulk at prices that compete with the supermarkets.

Family Breakfast
We have blended our regular Family Tea from the Sahyadri farmers group in Kerala with a new tea from the Hanundugoda Small Farms group that our friend Herman Gunaratne has helped set up near his estate in Galle. The Family Breakfast is a strong, rich breakfast tea that we have blended specifically to go with milk, and priced at a point where it can be a part of your daily routine. We will be adding more teas to the Family range periodically later this year. See here

Winter High Mountain & Osmanthus Long Jing
While 2019's teas wont be in until April, the new year is also a chance to try the previous year's autumn and winter teas. We have received two so far: the new winter harvest of our High Mountain Oolong made on Chi Lai Shan in November, along with Master Luo's Osmanthus Long Jing, a tea he only blends in autumn when his osmanthus tree starts to flower. See here >>> &

Brooklands Museum New Years Day


New Year Records at Brooklands Museum

The UK’s largest New Year’s Day gathering of classic vehicles which is held at Brooklands Museum on January 1st every year broke its previous record with just over 7,900 people attending throughout the day.

The historic site in Weybridge which is the Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation welcomed in excess of 1,500 classic cars, vans, motorcycles and commercials from all over the country – a figure which has also never been reached at this or any other event staged at the Museum before. Every inch of the 32-acre site was filled with a staggering variety of cherished vehicles including rare and early examples of Bentley, Riley, Austin and MG as well as sports and supercars. Over in the Aircraft Park, vehicles nestled amongst the Museum’s collection of Vickers-built aircraft, under Concorde and on the sloped Members’ Banking and Finishing Straight sections of the original 1907 Race Track.

Other highlights included owners who’d brought along hot rods, rally cars and the more unusual makes like Allard, Panhard and Jensen. Visitors came from as far as the West Country, Kent, Worcestershire and Sheffield. Extra catering outlets were set up around the site as well as a winter barbeque to cope with the extra demand and live music filled the air throughout the day adding to the classic atmosphere.

Alongside the rows of classics, visitors explored all the Museum exhibition areas including the Award-winning* Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed. This vast, unique exhibition space tells the story of aviation design, testing and manufacture over an 80 year period at Brooklands through interactive displays, assembly lines and workshops. Beyond this on a connecting walkway from a mezzanine level is the Flight Shed which houses some of the Museum’s live aircraft, and leads out to the north end of the Finishing Straight.

Mr. Lord, a visitor who came from Ashington in a 1953 Morris summed up the day by saying, “Tremendous show, something for everyone at a wonderful venue".

The event kicks off a milestone year in aviation history that commemorates two aircraft inextricably linked with Brooklands with both having been built or partly built and developed at the site: 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first flight of Concorde and the centenary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight which was achieved with a Vickers Vimy bi-plane. Plans are coming together for an exhibition called The First and the Fastest along with fly-ins, a gala dinner, special guests and of course, showcasing these two aircraft which form just part of the aviation collection at the Museum.

These, along with many opportunities to participate in events, volunteering and learning are all detailed on the main Museum website at:


Duos come and duos go...

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And some nurture and fine tune their art and watch it grow into something totally original, captivating and award-winning.

Bonded by an unseen alchemy, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have entwined their professional and personal relationship into an enviable class act of imaginative songwriting and musicianship.

The Dartmoor-based husband and wife have twice won the coveted Best Duo title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (2016 and 2013), consistently delivering assured, distinctive performances whether live or recorded. Over two decades of performance they have never been trapped in a groove – always bold and innovative, mixing traditional song arrangements with (increasingly) their self-penned material which reels from the bitter to the sweet, the wry to the sad, the political to the passive. across folk, rock, country and blues genres.

Last year Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman presented ‘Personae’, their landmark fifth studio album. It is an eclectic emotional see-saw of a journey, melding ten tracks of traditional ballads and their own self-penned versatile material. Once again Roberts & Lakeman have created an album by turns curious, thought-provoking, moving and magical – a complete cornucopia astutely delivered by one of the most intriguing, uninhibited and popular duos on the British folk scene. Most definitely not 'personae non gratae'.

They are playing: Saturday 30 March, Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Manor Rd. Walton ON Thames, KT12 2PF.

Book on-line here >>> and visit for more information about the duo.

Appassionata Ltd

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In Love with Le Marche

When you fall in love with Italy, you fall hard, and you fall fast. This intoxicating land can take your breath away and fill your soul with overwhelming joy, all in a solitary second. Sharon Kilby meets British-born interior designer Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs and her husband Michael who have set up a property business in Le Marche.

Often, an Italian romance starts gently, yet very swiftly becomes an everlasting, passionate affair that envelops the mind, body and soul. This is when you experience the heartfelt desire to enjoy more and more of the dolce vita and the draw becomes simply irresistible. It’s no surprise that so many people make Italy their part-time home, or at least spend many of their regular holidays here. One couple who fell head-over-heels in love with Italy not only made it their home, but also launched a thriving property business sharing their experience and expertise with other families worldwide.

British-born interior designer Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, husband Michael and their family had originally been keen to set down some roots in the city of Florence or in the heart of the wine-growing region of Chianti. After several visits it was clear that while Tuscany was and still is picture-postcard beautiful, it is also extremely popular and very busy in the summer tourist season. After a few extended visits to Italy, Dawn decided to explore a little further afield and following a tip-off from a friend headed east, to the lesser known region of Le Marche…

Authentic Italy
First impressions were dramatic and, in an instant, Dawn knew this was the place she needed to be. An unspoilt, authentic hideaway, resting gently between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic coast, Le Marche offers a tranquil yet vibrant setting, rich in culture and history, with some of the best wines and cuisine in Italy.

“We loved Italy and initially started our search in Tuscany. A beautiful region, but for us it had lost some of the ‘Italianness’ we were looking for. We were looking for authenticity. Within ten minutes of arriving in Le Marche I turned to Michael and said, ‘This is place.’ It has everything we were looking for – sea, mountains, rolling hills, medieval towns, vineyards and olive groves. It was not overrun with tourists and the locals were very friendly. For us, this was the real thing.

“I knew when we found our first restoration property that I wanted others to enjoy what we were experiencing first hand, but in a professional and hassle-free way. Appassionata evolved instinctively from our love and passion for Italy; we fell in love with the language, the people, art, history, food and wine. Le Marche has it all, and we wanted to find a way to share this piece of paradise with others.” With a shared vision of creating the perfect Italian lifestyle vacation, Dawn and Michael decided to pool their shared knowledge of entrepreneurial business, property development and interior design and create something magical, reflecting their life experiences and incorporating their strong family values. Appassionata was born out of a desire to offer a turnkey, affordable solution to international homeowners.

“We are delighted to offer something unique – a boutique family-owned fractional ownership business”

Investing in Le Marche
Dawn’s background in property development and design combined with Michael’s savvy business acumen allowed them the opportunity to invest more than just euros into their Le Marche property portfolio. With the help of a team of local experts each house has been lovingly restored from a state of dereliction. Dawn’s project management expertise means that each property has been renovated to the very highest standard, where function and form work in perfect harmony.

Original architectural features have been preserved where possible and local materials sourced for the construction process. The finishing touches are truly personal and Dawn enlists the input of local suppliers wherever possible. “Collaborating with artisans and local craftspeople is one of the great joys of working as an interior designer in Le Marche. Over the years I have met so many talented people. For example, the wall lights we use are handmade by Alfio. I choose the design, size and colour and his grandmother makes the shades. Each piece is unique.”

Since launching Appassionata in 2007 the business has gone from strength to strength and Dawn and Michael have successfully bought, sensitively restored and fractionally sold four historic properties in Le Marche. Appassionata currently has over 50 global owners and just one remaining opportunity for purchase available in their recent project Il Riposo. To further enhance Appassionata’s Le Marche property portfolio, Dawn and Michael have just started the restoration of beautiful Liberty Villa which will be available for fractional ownership in September 2019.

For more information on the latest fractional ownership opportunities and Appassionata’s Italian lifestyle brand go to or contact Dawn directly

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Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Joanna Read_Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre_Chief Executive and Theatre Director CREDIT Darren Pepe

New year welcomes new Director

The new year hails an exciting new chapter as Joanna Read commences her leadership role as Chief Executive and Theatre Director of Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Monday, January 7. Joanna tells us about the opportunities that her new position presents…

Having enjoyed huge success as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse, followed by a tenure of outstanding accomplishments as Principal of The London Academy of Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), there are many reasons why the prospect of leading the Guildford Theatre posed an exciting opportunity for Joanna.
“I’m a theatre director by profession – I had the most fantastic time running Salisbury Playhouse – and I believe very strongly in regional theatre. I feel Guildford deserves a brilliant theatre and one of the real attractions about coming here was knowing there is an appetite for theatre in this town and in the county.

“The Yvonne Arnaud is held in very high esteem in the profession and there is a fantastic opportunity here to work as a team to bring a little bit of fresh life to the place. I’m chomping at the bit to get going, I really am.”

Joanna is familiar with the venue, both on a personal level as a Surrey resident and professionally, having worked closely with the Theatre during her years running one of the country’s leading producing regional theatres, Salisbury Playhouse.
“I brought work, such as Jamaica Inn and Playing for Time, here on tour when I was at Salisbury, and we co-produced with the Yvonne Arnaud, so my own work has already been on the stage. In that way, it does feel a bit like coming home.

“I came and saw This House at the Yvonne Arnaud last summer when I was thinking about applying for the role and I walked into the Theatre and remembered the fantastic auditorium and that brilliant stage, and I felt the most comfortable I’ve been in a long time; it just felt right.”

Joanna brings a wealth of experience to the role, but which elements of her extensive career does she think will serve her the best?
“The programming from Salisbury will be invaluable, as will my contacts from my time at LAMDA. I used to be Head of Education at Birmingham Rep so I know how important it is to have a Youth Theatre. I think I’ll draw on everything and I’m sure, I hope, I’ll learn new things too. It will be a challenge, as well as an opportunity.”

Keen to hit the ground running, does Joanna already have plans and ideas for what she hopes to explore and develop during her leadership of the Yvonne Arnaud?
“I’m keen to develop making our own work. I think it’s terrific that we make our own pantomime and I think we’re going to do a few of our own co-productions, generated by us as the makers and the producer of the work.

“The Yvonne Arnaud is known amongst actors and within the industry as a great place to open a tour. Actors love it because we’re so close to London, they receive a friendly welcome from the Theatre team and they enjoy our audiences, so we need to capitalise on that.

“I’m interested in building up some of our straight drama and comedy drama audiences, because I think that’s got legs for touring. I also want to make sure we’re offering more interesting and diverse productions here. And I’m excited to work with the Youth Theatre too.”

What does Joanna envisage to be one of the biggest challenges that her new venture will present?
“This is the first time I’ve worked in a venue that hasn’t had Arts Council funding, so the commercial ask here is much tougher. It’s invaluable that this Theatre has its support from Guildford Borough Council, and to come into this role knowing that the Council recognises how vital theatre is to the local economy and how much we can give back to the community is tremendous. It’s great that they appreciate our value and our worth. It strikes me as a really smart piece of thinking.”

To see the productions on at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in the coming months please visit >>>

Firefly Collection

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About Firefly Collection

Luxury travel specialist Firefly Collection, which offers over 600 ski chalets and villas across 74 destinations, has selected five of the finest winter addresses offering the ultimate in wellness. For the French Alps, this means entire spa floors, expert therapists on call to ease aching muscles, splendid swimming pools and steaming hot tubs, and serene settings to inspire mindfulness.


Chalet Marco Polo, Val d’Isere - sleeps 10-14, from 22,800 Euros per week
Set in the heart of Val d’Isere, Chalet Marco Polo retains its privacy due to being set back from the road and at 1,000 square metres, there’s plenty of opportunity to find head space - either with or away from family and friends. The super-stylish main living area commands enviable views of La Face piste and watching the action on the slopes is hypnotic. An entire floor is dedicated to wellness with an indoor jet stream pool - finished in gold leaf - a Jacuzzi and hammam. The massage room - which enjoys a dedicated therapist on stand-by - sits next to an automatic hydro massage area. For those of a romantic bent who simply cannot tear themselves away from their beloved, the chalet gymnasium offers two of every piece of equipment, so a couple can work out together.

La Bergerie, Courchevel 1850 - sleeps 14, from 125,000 Euros per week
Costing £20 million to construct and finesse, La Bergerie is understandably extravagant yet maintains a discreet presence just five-minutes from the heart of Courchevel 1850, neighbouring the Bellecote piste. Guests in the seven suites - each of which boasts a freestanding bathtub and rainfall shower - enjoy the expertise of a dedicated deep tissue massage therapist and a deluxe chalet spa, Technogym-equipped gymnasium and 20-metre swimming pool. The numerous staff, including chauffeur and butler, ensure that guests’ needs are anticipated round the clock and worry is a world away.

Firefly Collection founder Tim Latimer said: “As these five super-chic chalets show, a winter sports escape can be the ideal way to kick off the New Year’s resolutions of sobriety and self-care .Lavish and luxurious, they also provide opportunities for keeping - or getting - slope-fit, maintaining exercise programmes, rejuvenating mind and body with specialist therapies, and relaxing indoor or al fresco dips.”

Find Firefly Collection at

Flip and Fly into 2019!

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Beachfront Family Villa with 74ft Jungle Water Slide on South Coast of Sri Lanka

Ranked Number One by Lonely Planet as THE country to visit this 2019, Sri Lanka has it all; miles of white sandy beaches and the turquoise Indian Ocean, ancient hidden temples, dazzling festivals, traditional tea plantations, a Unesco historic fort, a wealth of local culture and an abundance of wildlife. Meda Gedara villa nestled on the South Coast is also THE number one luxurious family villa to stay in whilst visiting this beautiful country.

Hidden within a unique paradise setting, Meda Gedara, a beautiful colonial beachfront villa in Dikwella delivers the ultimate in tropical luxury; a blend of Robinson Crusoe adventure meets Nicole Fahri elegant style. The spectacular seven-bedroom villa features impressive split levelled swimming pools and a heart racing 74ft jungle water slide, a yoga shala and unrivalled facilities.

It combes incredible natural beauty with sophisticated five star services. It can sleep up to 18 guests (10 adults and 8 children). Boasting its own private chef who lovingly prepares mouthwatering menus, attentive yet discreet staff, an al fresco Jacuzzi, a cinema room for the ultimate movie night and a kids TV room with viewing window for attentive parents.

Palatial yet elegantly informal, the architecture and interior fuse British luxury with intricate local craftsmanship. Each original piece of furniture or artwork has been handmade by local artisans or sourced by the English owner in Antique Auction Houses across the UK.

Guests enter the villa via traditional antique temple doors into an impressive hallway, flanked to the left by a majestic curved teak staircase and opening onto a traditional hand finished tiled floor. The spacious living room boasts several relaxed seating areas, and is styled with authentic furniture pieces.

Seven bedrooms (with an eighth available by converting the cinema). The layout has been carefully designed with families in mind. The ocean facing master suite with an en suite has an adjoining twin room that can sleep two children or blocked off and used as a separate bedroom. Two further master bedrooms with super king size four poster beds canopied with light linen fabric create restful havens of calm. Each with en suite and all three master bedrooms open out to a generous teak balcony where guests can relax on charming outdoor seating and take in the breath taking panoramic Ocean views. A fourth jungle facing twin bedded room with en suite has its own romantic Juliette balcony. An impressive triple tiered bunk bed room sleeps six with an en suite. A romantic garden suite with super king size bed, set within the lush tropical gardens offers the villa’s best ocean view.

At Meda Gedara, families will love the ample space for dining and relaxing whilst the beach offers a coastal and marine wonderland for adventurous children. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for thrilling body surfing or an energising dip. The villa with its easy going vibe offers tailored activities for children from cooking classes, beach sand castle competitions, hermit crab racing, the thrill seekers water flume, cricket on the lawn, beach volley ball and tons of family games. Parents can while away the time relaxing on luxurious sun beds, enjoying yoga sessions in the private shala, sampling traditional Sri Lankan tea in the Umpires hut in the garden, snoozing blissfully on the colourful hammock set between palm trees or indulging in a pampering massage in the yoga shala with just the ocean waves as beachside tempo.

Sri Lanka has become the country to discover in 2019. With fabulous tuk tuk rides, markets to temples, amazing safaris to watch wildlife enjoying their natural habitat at one of the Island’s lush nature reserves. Grab a board and go surfing or simply sit back and indulge in the phenomenal flavours of the region’s delicacies.

Meda Gedara is an unparalleled hideaway for adventurous and sophisticated family holidays, glamorous group get togethers, yoga retreats, refined social gatherings, tropical island jamborees or to celebrate a special occasion; it’s for those who want to experience the magic of Meda Gedara and create unforgettable memories.

Meda Gedara, Dikwella on the South Coast. Local surf mecca Hiriketiya has relaxed beachside bars and Galle Fort is an hour away. The villa is three hours drive from Colombo International Airport. There is 24-hour security and free Wi-Fi throughout.

When to go: The best time to visit the South Coast is from December to April and July to September. Sri Lanka's position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round. For further info and high res images contact or +44 (0)7785 776591 or visit >>>

Dorking and Guildford - Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

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10 years of the UK & Ireland Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour!

The events feature a brand-new collection of adrenaline-packed films, with the world’s top adventurers tackling extreme expeditions in the most stunning corners of the planet. Audiences will witness life-changing journeys, incredible wildernesses and spectacular cinematography – all via the big screen!

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is celebrating its 10th year of touring the UK and Ireland, bringing over 100 adrenaline-packed shows to almost 60 venues from January - May 2019. The Tour features two different collections of brand-new films from the world’s most intrepid film-makers, starring pioneers and explorers tackling extraordinary expeditions in the wildest corners of the planet. “We’re thrilled to have reached 10 years of bringing the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to the UK and Ireland – and what better way to celebrate than with the latest dose of cutting-edge adventure films from the world’s most prestigious mountain festival!” says Tour Director Nell Teasdale. “We guarantee that the anniversary atmosphere at the shows will be buzzing – and that audiences will go home inspired to have an adventure of their own as well,” she adds. Films in the World Tour are selected from hundreds entered into the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which takes place for every November in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. The UK & Ireland Tour starts in Edinburgh on Saturday 19 January and finishes in Guildford on Friday 24 May. As well as thrilling films, each event features a free prize draw for exciting outdoorsy goodies from the Tour Partners.

Dates and venues in Dorking and Guildford are:
Dorking Halls - 6 April and 23 May
G Live, Guildford - 11 April and 24 May
There will be a different film programme at each showing – full details on website here >>>

World Travel Awards

Aerial view of Manor House, Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates named South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel by World Travel Awards for second year running

For the second year running, World Travel Awards has named Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s flagship property located in Franschhoek, as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. The award was announced at the glamorous black-tie Gala Ceremony that celebrated all the African winners in Durban, South Africa.

Given the country’s reputation as a wine holiday destination, Leeu Estates had to fight off strong competition to take South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel 2018 award. The World Travel Awards, which this year celebrate their 25th anniversary of honouring excellence in the international hospitality industry, are voted for by travel and tourism professionals, as well as business and leisure travellers worldwide.

Leeu Estates, which opened in June 2016, is a luxury boutique property situated in the Cape Winelands. Located between the mountain and river with spectacular panoramic views, this exceptional property sits on just under 100 hectares of vineyards, landscaped gardens and fynbos (indigenous vegetation) providing the ideal setting for unrivalled escapes where guests can see and enjoy the true experiences of a working wine farm.

Set amid the vineyards is Leeu Spa, a wellness sanctuary that offers authentic massages and holistic treatments and Indaba – The Meeting Place a state of the art multipurpose event and meeting venue.

The Wine Studio, a truly immersive wine experience run by the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines team, whose knowledgeable tasting room staff guide guests through the finer nuances of their handcrafted wines is also located on the estate. Additionally, during the harvesting season, guests of Leeu Estates can sign up to help pick the grapes from the vines that surround the property.

Leeu Estates reflects the pillars of the Leeu Collection brand: superlative service with attention to the smallest detail; an award-winning wine portfolio, distinctive architecture and sophisticated design; inspiring art collections and manicured and detailed landscaping that reflects respect for the environment.

It all started as a personal journey for Leeu Collection’s founder Analjit (BAS) Singh, an international investor of Indian origin. Captivated by the Western Cape’s exceptional beauty and vibrant energy during a trip to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he decided to buy a family home in the Franschhoek valley. The idea of a family home, however, soon transformed into what it is today – four historic farms joined to create a world-class hospitality and winemaking destination.

Said BAS “Our thanks to World Travel Awards for this honour, which pays testament to the dedication of the entire team at Leeu Estates. They have worked extremely hard to turn the property into a world-class hotel in the two years since it opened and this award celebrates their achievements, proving that all our effort has been worthwhile”.

Davos Collection

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The latest in outdoor design for Summer 2019 from Indian Ocean

The Davos Luxury Outdoor Sofa Collection is inspired by the symbolic ancient Flower of Life petals, geometrically arranged to give symmetry and flow. The rounded form of the elegant design gives a sociable, comfortable and welcoming feel.

Available from Indian Ocean London SW12, London NW11, Harrods &
Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine