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Sezincote

Rich Davey

Sezincote is a 19th - century neo-Mughal palace in Moreton-in-Marsh.  Having earned a fortune in the East India Company, Samuel Pepys’s grandson, Colonel John Cockerell,  fancied building a Rajasthan-style mansion back home in the Cotswolds. Though a generation late the result is stunning.

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Emily Sutton illustrations

Margot Petherick

Lovely illustrations –colourful, joyful drawings of birds, plants and people. Sutton has had exhibitions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and works with Bettys, the much-loved Yorkshire bakery. Find her illustrations on book jackets, greeting cards and china plates. Keep up with the latest on Instagram.

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Read How to Get Out of London Without Really Trying

Lara Akeroyd

Easy escapes from London. This book ( £10) reveals that just 30 minutes away are marshes, glades and ancient forests. In an hour, there are seaside pleasures, from Margate to Brighton, boating on the Thames and ancient castles; and in just over 90 minutes are the hills and valleys of the Cotswolds.

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Marcel Theroux’s Literary Pub Quiz at Port Eliot

Genevieve Delacroix

Go to Port Eliot Festival and make sure you earmark Marcel Theroux’s Literary Pub Quiz on the festival programme for Saturday night at 7pm-ish. Previous rounds have included ‘decode’ the Literary Emoji to reveal book titles as well as general knowledge questions to turn your brain on its axis.

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Rambert Dance Studio

Thea Dale

Britain’s oldest dance company is now ‘a new ensemble of the world’s best young dancers’. It  gave its first performance in 1926 and still going today. Keep an eye on the current works section of their website for their latest projects – constantly refreshing and pushing the boundaries of dance.

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Letters Live

Trevor Littleboy

This is a celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence. Letters Live organises events where letters are read by an array of outstanding performers. Previous readers include Sir Ben Kingsley, Louise Brealey, Olivia Colman and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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Read Five Go Feasting: Famously Good Recipes by Josh Sutton

Lara Akeroyd

Revisit Enid Blyton’s much loved characters’ favourite foods and drinks, with 80 recipes faithful to the books. Kick things off with a jolly good breakfast, then progress to perfect picnics and onwards to scrumptious suppers. Rustle up marmalade apple pie, jammy buns, and lashings of ginger beer.

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Lake District: The Pheasant, Cockermouth

Margot Petherick

A white-brick old coaching inn that has been converted into a country house hotel with floral curtains that match the bedding. It’s a few minutes’ walk from Bassenthwaite Lake in the lesser-trodden western Lake District. The ancient pub has original art on the walls, 70 whiskies and welcoming rooms

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Intimate gigs in London, with So Far Sounds

Arthur Nottle

Host a gig, volunteer or perform with ‘So Far London’, a venture in which music gigs take place in secret venues across the capital. Buy tickets in advance – but you are only alerted to the location on the day. Currently happening in 310 cities worldwide, so can include a gig on your hols. 

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Scotland: The Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore

Trevor Littleboy

This hotel is situated directly opposite Aviemore station in a stately, turreted building. The interior is a tartan feast. Bedecked with stag antlers and offering whisky on the rocks at the bar. It’s the perfect place for a Scottish getaway or for a one-night stay en route to Inverness or elsewhere

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Fat Macy’s Culinary Pop-Up Events

Thea Dale

This social enterprise works with young Londoners living in temporary accommodation, providing a pathway towards independent living by inviting them to create and curate culinary pop-up events across the capital. The profits go towards a deposit towards their first flat.

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The Grand Hibernian a train odyssey around Ireland

Lucy Blanchette

A gloriously idle form of transport, the deluxe sleeper train, has just arrived in Ireland for the first time.  Belmond, who run Pullman trains and the Orient Express, have just launched their first Irish overnighter, The Grant Hibernian, it harks back to the glory days of slow travel.  

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Monday Morning Mixtape

Mary Canon-Belle

The music blog/producers Stamp The Wax started this as a project when they were students and now each Monday morning they post a groovy, mellow new 60-minute mix, usually with a theme (such as 70s afro funk or Japanese ambient jazz). There are always tracks and sounds you’ve never heard before.

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London: The Freud Museum, Hampstead

Fiona Duncan

Sigmund Freud’s family home from 1938 until the 80s is a red-brick villa full of extraordinary Roman, Oriental and Egyptian antiquities. The art and domestic life is intriguing, but of course the highlight is his psychoanalytic couch, covered in Iranian rugs, upon which clients reclined.

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Read Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Drori, illustrations by Lucille Clerc

Hamish Charlton

In Around the World in 80 Trees, Drori uses plant science to illuminate how the arboreal world plays a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable. Illuminating, insightful and frequently funny. 

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BookMooch

Trevor Littleboy

A straightforward global online book exchange. This – very happily free – site allows you to give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you want. Every time you give a book, you get a point and can get (for free) any book you want from anyone else signed up with BookMooch.

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Buy: Zap-It! Mosquito Bite Relief

Coralie Purves

Zap-It! instantly stops the urge to itch an insect bite by giving you a tiny electric shock (it doesn't hurt). As soon as you see a bite, don’t stratch it, use Zap-It straight away for relief.

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Toms Shoes

Ruby Scott

Toms sell shoes and sunglasses. The idea behind the brand is that for every pair of shoes bought, it donates another pair of shoes to a child in need. I have been buying from the company for the past couple of years; the shoes are comfortable and the company's ethos is a great one to get behind.

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Drink a Sgroppino

Hamish Charlton

Make this beverage at home in your finest cocktail glass or order from a bar. Lemon sorbet blended with vodka and topped up with prosecco. Icy, sweet and summery.

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Download: Serial Reader

Alfred Watchley

If you’re overwhelmed by a great meaty book, maybe Serial Reader will make things more manageable. Books in unabridged form can be downloaded to your e-reader in 20-minute reading chunks. Choose to read in capsules or go the whole hog and binge on the lot.

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Amazon Smile

Jonathan Finchley

Not everyone is enamoured with Amazon and it’s relentless takeover. If you can’t live without the etailer, Amazon Smile may ease the guilt. By shopping via smile.amazon.co.uk, you can browse the same old site, but Amazon will donate 0.5 per cent of your purchase price to the charity of your choice.

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Fragrant Jasmine

Hamish Charlton

Alice Bowe, the gardening correspondent in the ‘Times’ correctly says that ‘few plants can capture the magic of a long, hot summer day better than jasmine’. It’s their delicious scent – reinvigorated in tea bags, as a seductive perfume – but there’s no doubt that it’s smelt best on the vine. 

Download ‘Good On You’ app

Lucy Blanchette

For those with a conscience, this brilliant app provides trusted ethical ratings for more than 1,000 brands. Search for any fashion brand and the app will inform you of its eco-ratings – including how it treats its labourers, the environment and animals – in a well-designed, easy-to-read format. 

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‘Casablanca: My Moroccan Food’ by Nargisse Benkabbou

Arthur Nottle

Benkabbou suggests you flavour your guacamole with a preserved lemon and has come up with a most delightful arrangement for smoky Berber breakfast eggs. Bakoula-stuffed Romano peppers which includes hazlenuts is another inspired take on the traditional cuisine. 

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TV : ‘A Plastic Ocean’ Documentary

Genevieve Delacroix

This Netflix documentary is all you need to watch to convince you that plastic is a very serious issue and our habits need to change. It expands on the horrifying truth that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

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