A Year in the Chilterns

Tools of the Trade

The weight of history is upon Jon Tyler’s broad shoulders as one of the last producers of watercress in the Chilterns. Located in the beautiful Chess Valley that links Chesham in the Chilterns with Rickmansworth just inside the M25, E. Tyler & Son’s Crestyl Watercress farm is something of a novelty; in a high tech … Continue reading Tools of the Trade

The Charming Chess Valley

We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.

Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

Forget M&S orchids, manicured to within an inch of their pampered lives and head instead to the nearest Chilterns summer meadow. The footpath glistens underfoot as it cuts through the drooping wild grasses, my wet boots and trouser legs a magnet for seed dispersal. The daisy petals are splayed under the relentless June rain, which … Continue reading Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful

The great Brexit debate

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

When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

Forget the Taj Mahal, Tutankhamen's Tomb or even Tower Bridge: all grand in their own right, statements of wealth, status, conquest and achievement of the privileged elite and their contribution to society. Head instead to a place that is the ultimate leveller, a place where death insists the great and good spend eternity lying cheek by jowl with the infamous, … Continue reading When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery

Cornwall really does what it says on the tin

For all the summer crowds, we were so surprised to have what seemed like the place to ourselves, if the killer seagulls weren't going to peck us to death first. I dug out the shoe-box of yellowing holiday snaps to remind myself of where we had been and what we had done on our last … Continue reading Cornwall really does what it says on the tin

For some destinations, food is integral to the visitor offer. For others, it’s an after-thought.

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.

Have we just seen the real 2012 Olympic Legacy in Yorkshire?

The £8.7bn 2012 Olympics were a huge success, of that there is little doubt. But what of the Legacy? Inbound tourism and in particular London, are enjoying increased visitor numbers and spend, but what of the regions, what are they doing? Well, to the people of Yorkshire (sorry Cambridge and Essex), I salute you! You … Continue reading Have we just seen the real 2012 Olympic Legacy in Yorkshire?

Inspired Chilterns’ Landscapes at National Trust Cliveden

“The Rose Garden was described by designer Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe as a vegetable form, like a cabbage, with each bed intended to envelop the visitor and draw them deeper into the garden,” explained Cliveden head gardener Andrew Mudge. Much like the entire National Trust estate at Cliveden, drawing you in up the drive as you … Continue reading Inspired Chilterns’ Landscapes at National Trust Cliveden

A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!

It’s not very often the men in suits upstage a Roman antiquity. I was invited to the special opening of “Predators and Prey: A Roman mosaic from Lod, Isreal” at the splendid Rothschild mansion of Waddesdon Manor in leafy Buckinghamshire, a short train journey north west of London. The reason we were there was kept under … Continue reading A rallying cry from London’s Mayor: Let’s put the grout back into Britain!