Member Tips

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Somerset: At The Chapel, Bruton

Ferdie Rous

A Grade II listed 17th-century former chapel has been converted into an all-day restaurant and bar, with a bakery, wine store, and an impressive pizza oven. Modern art is the order of the day, but is ‘tamed’ by the impressive ecclesiastical windows and the tranquil, spiritual feel of the building.

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Emery House Design household goods and art

Arthur Nottle

The art, craft and design shop of Georgina Williams… Everything is handmade and all that she sells, from paintings to ramekins, is inspired by the landscape. Take one look at her website and you’ll have presents for life all figured out.

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Somerset: Hauser & Wirth, Bruton

Rich Davey

Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a rural offshoot of the gallery franchise and an idyllic plot for experiencing art and architecture. Have lunch at the impressive Roth Bar & Grill, which serves locally sourced produce, explore the galleries, and even stay with a group in their shabby-chic ‘done up’ barn.

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London: Peter Harrington

Edith Warren

Peter Harrington is one of the world's leading antiquarian book companies. It has previously sourced rarities such as Shakespeare's first folio from 1623. You can find Peter Harrington in Mayfair, Chelsea and online. 

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London, The Old Operating Theatre, Southwark

Thea Dale

The Old Operating Theatre dates back to 1822. It is the oldest surviving operating theatre in the UK. As well as the fascinating, if macabre, contents of the museum, there are also frequent events such as talks, demonstrations, and concerts.

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London: Grant Museum of Zoology, Bloomsbury

Harold Llwelyn

Established in 1828, this small museum houses more than 68,000 specimens, including dodo bones and a quagga skeleton. It is like the Natural History Museum's secret relative. It's also free.

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Facials at Liz Earle

Margot Petherick

I have used Liz Earle's products on and off for years but for my birthday this year, I was given a voucher for a facial there. It was one of the most relaxing facials I have had. I thoroughly recommend it as a gift or a treat for yourself. Be aware that you have to book a while in advance.

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App: PlantSnap

Charles Fergusson

I am not particularly green-fingered so I often come across plants and flowers I don't know the name of. This is where PlantSnap comes in, simply take a picture of the plant and the app tells you what it is! The system currently recognises 90 per cent of known species across the world.

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London: Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

Alfred Watchley

If you happen to be in or around Holland Park, it's worth making your way towards Kyoto Garden, a small Japanese-inspired garden with peacocks roaming around. It can get very busy, particularly on sunny weekends, but it can be peaceful if you head there on a drizzly day midweek.

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Urban Dictionary

Hamish Charlton

If you've ever wondered what FOMO means or whether LOL means 'lots of love' or 'laugh out loud' then you need the Urban Dictionary. There is a whole new language spoken on social media and, to keep up with it all, I use this online book of slang. By the way, FOMO means 'fear of missing out'!

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Visit: Skara Brae, Orkney

Coralie Purves

Skara Brae is one of the best-preserved Neolithic settlements in Europe, older than both Stonehenge and the Pyramids in Egypt. It is a fascinating site in a beautiful setting. I recommend avoiding high season unless you want to end up walking around with coachloads of people.

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Liverpool: Williamson Tunnels

Trevor Littleboy

The Williamson Tunnels are an unusual labyrinth of passages built by the peculiar businessman Joseph Williamson between 1810 and 1840. No one knows the exact purpose of the tunnels but there is plenty of speculation. A good place to go once you've exhausted all the main Liverpool attractions.  

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ONLINE: Seeds from Higgledygarden.com

Ruby Scott

Shop for seeds! Lovely website that is a clear shop window showing what your seeds can flourish into with the right care and attention. From lime-green nicotianas to delicate rudbeckias – and all for £1.95. Plus helpful growing guides. Free p&p on orders of £15 or more.

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Try Honeyfund.com

Hamish Charlton

Something to tell your betrothed granddaughter or family member about, perhaps? An alternative to replace the ‘traditional’ wedding gift list. Honeyfund is a ‘crowdfunding’ app – all you do is create a profile, start raising money for your honeymoon, a down payment or even a donation to a charity.

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Unbound.com

Harold Llwelyn

A crowdfunding platform for as-yet-unpublished books. It’s a liberating idea – it gives people the tools, support and freedom to bring their ideas to life. Use the site to discover ‘pledges’ for unpublished books that need a little backing, shop for newly published books or start your own project.

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Try Eatwith.com

Lysander Tyler-Green

If you’re planning a solo voyage and fret that you might get sick of your own company, EatWith could be a solution. The website and app works with thousands of local hosts around the world and allows you to book a home-cooked meal with friendly locals wherever you might end up.

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ONLINE: Frenchclick.co.uk

Genevieve Delacroix

An online retailer for French groceries and other highly traditional french products – Danette Chocolat Poire to Teisseire Fraicheur de Fruits Sirop Grenadine. Will save you a trip on the Eurostar!

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Online: Wayfair.co.uk

The Oldie

An online furniture site that caters to a wide range of styles and taste – from traditional to trendy. Whether you're looking for cushions or cabinets, this website is really recommended for all homeware. Prices range from fairly cheap to pricey. It also has frequent sales.

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Online: Notonthehighstreet.com

Coralie Purves

A little spot on the internet to find the present for the person who has everything. When you find yourself flummoxed in an effort to find a good gift, head to this site for ideas. It’s bound to have something – from an experiential activity to a vintage poster.

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The Good Life Experience Festival, mid-September

Charles Fergusson

Run by Cerys Matthews, whose dulcet Welsh tones frequently grace the radio, on the Hawarden Estate, Chester. A festival for all – delicious food and fun goings-on for all ages. Listen to reggae music then camp in a pumpkin patch with your children or grandchildren.

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Dorset Cereals

Lysander Tyler-Green

‘Beautiful blueberry muesli’, ‘tasty toasted flake spelt muesli’ or the ‘classic fruit, nut and seeds muesli’. This cereal tastes as wholesome and delicious as it looks. You’ll be delighted to see that the raisins are plump and juicy. You can get granola, too. Be that choc cherry, berry, or honey.

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Chipping Norton: Big Feastival Festival, Bank Holiday Weekend of August every year

Thea Dale

Held at the farm of Alex James (of Blur fame), this is a weekend long fiesta that brings together food, music and a lot of fun. A truly great one for all the family, whether your kids are more drawn to tents such as ‘the makery’, ‘the udder stage’ or a ‘circus school’.

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Anna Mae’s Mac N Cheese

Hamish Charlton

The ‘Evening Standard’ magazine describe Mac N Cheese as ‘legendary’. You can have a portion on the summer festival circuit or you can hire for your wedding, film shoot or office party. Guaranteed to make for a lot of very cheery guests. 

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Happy Maki Sushi

Jonathan Finchley

Vegan sushi burritos! Visit Happy Maki and scoop up a Rainbow Roll (that’s grated beetroot, toasted seeds, avocado, coriander and spiced coconut sauce) or an Avocado Kiss (triple avocado, red pepper, sun-dried tomato and roasted sesame seeds)… beautifully presented and delightfully crunchy.

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Hyde Tavern, Winchester

Coralie Purves

This small, medieval building is dominated by its twin gables, and inside the pub it is cosy, friendly and fantastically unspoilt. Up to six beers are available, as well as ciders. Folk evenings are held on a Saturday, and the pub plays host to storytelling and other groups in the cellar bar.

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