On a recent visit to Belgium, I was both challenged and surprised with what I experienced; a restored heritage village whose retail offer was just a bread vending machine, enjoyed gourmet food, drank Leffe abbey beer, visited a castle haunted by a KKK look-alike ghost, had breakfast with pensioners visiting the many scenes from the famous … Continue reading The great Brexit debate
The fire had been provided by a portable BBQ, that now lay discarded with accompanying beer bottles under a tree just behind the mausoleum. I am sure Sir Francis Dashwood, creator of all I could see, would have approved of the party, but not the litter. Perhaps I was subconscioulsy drawn to West Wycombe hill that … Continue reading Hellfire On a Hill
Once the larder for London, the Chilterns' are enjoying a revival of food fortunes with independent producers setting up their stalls across the hills. I heard on the grapevine that pickers were needed to help bring in the Solaris harvest at Frithsden vineyard last month. 40 or so volunteers, including locals and "I missed it … Continue reading I heard it on the grapevine
Like Nuffield Place, Wormsley Estate is also typical of the Chilterns: slightly bonkers, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably only cycled past along the boundary-hugging Bridleway. The home of cricket and opera, not two pastimes I would associate with the same venue, but hey, that’s the Chilterns for you. I should … Continue reading Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera
It’s not about bagging bucket-list miles, or even bragging about bagging holiday sights, it’s about stopping and looking for the clues that point to natural and man-made structures - or subtle signs of earlier lives that are integral to a locations ‘sense-of-place’ so often missed in the quest to capture that grand vista, or complete that big trek. The Chilterns … Continue reading I am no longer just passing through this landscape
Landscape plays a huge role in determining the form and function of buildings, not least windmills and watermills. The reasons they were built may be long gone, but there are often subtle reminders of lost buildings, in street names for example or from soapwort still growing nearby (used as a natural soaping agent), some mills still … Continue reading Gentle Giants on the Chiltern Ridges
Why is more effort not made by businesses who supply food and beverage directly into the visitor economy to source and sell what is local when we know that enjoying good produce and local food is increasingly key to reasons why holidaymakers choose destinations in England? Perhaps this is true the world over? Why is … Continue reading For some destinations, food is integral to the visitor offer. For others, it’s an after-thought.