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RADIO: tony blackburn's golden hour, fridays 7-8pm

Ruby Scott

A former Oldie of the year award winner, this veteran DJ’s weekly radio slot is musical gold dust. Young or old, you’d do well to tune in or catch up later via iPlayer. An hour that abounds with hits – many long-forgotten and much-missed. Best paired with a glass of fizz and room to boogie.

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RADIO: Radio 3's The Essay at 10.45pm - A brainbox quart d'heure

Valerie Grove

The show promises ‘insight, opinion and intellectual surprise’. A recent five-parter was Walking the Lobster, delivered with wit and aplomb by John Walsh. His subject was flamboyance or ‘the male desire to stand out, sartorially and in attitude’. A rich source of intrigue.

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RADIO: Boswell's Lives

Valerie Grove

Miles Jupp plays an excellent James Boswell, pursuing one hero to the next, be it the flamboyant Lord Byron or the heavybreathing Simone de Beauvoir.

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Quilalea island near Mozambique: Azura Retreat

Fiona Duncan

For an exotic island paradise, I’d head to the Quirimbas Archipelago off Mozambique, and the Azura on tiny, jewel-like Quilalea Island, filled with frangipani, massive baobab trees and exotic birds, and ringed by beaches and rocky bays. Azura’s greatest asset is the superb snorkelling and diving right there off the heavenly beach in front of the hotel.

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Powys: Gregynog Festival, Tregynon

Richard Osborne

Founded in 1933, this festival specialises in chamber, choral and early music performed in a house-party setting. Borders and women’s emancipation are the themes for 2018.

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Pembrokeshire: ‘Cornwall without the crowds’

Harry Mount

Step outside the medieval walls and, in minutes, you have it all to yourself: beaches, cliffs, sea. Even Tenby, the busiest holiday town – with pastel-coloured Regency houses wrapped around the medieval castle – is miraculously self-contained. Glorious, untainted people-free nature.

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Pembrokeshire: Greenhills Hotel, St Florence

Nigel Summerley

This friendly, family-run hotel in the Pembrokeshire village of St Florence has become my home from home, and the perfect base for walking the coast path.

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Pembrokeshire Online - Inside Stories of a Beautiful County

Ian Irvine

Pembrokeshire is one of Wales's great gems, with an endless choice of wonderful beaches and miles of breathtaking coastal walks. A volunteer group of them have put together Pembrokeshire Online - a guide to the place, packed with informative text and excellent pictures.

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Peeblesshire: traquair house, the oldest continuously inhabited house in scotland, Innerleithen

Ian Irvine

The fascination of the big house and the lives of its inhabitants over the generations is firmly established. The house offers B&B in three of its historic bedrooms for £190 a night for a double room. It does a lovely dinner, too.

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Peeblesshire: Traquair Ale, Innerleithen

Ian Irvine

Nothing is more fashionable now than craft beer – more usually assembled by bearded hipsters in the railway arches of our major cities. Its products acquired a following in the real ale boom of the 1970s and now travel the world winning awards.

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Oundle: A walk about the Chequered Skipper pub, Ashton Wolde

Patrick Barkham

Every country walk should end with a country pub, and this one, happily, starts and finishes at a public house with a unique name: the Chequered Skipper. It's the last relic of a rare butterfly that became extinct in England after the long hot summer of 1976.

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online: widen your wine-eyed gaze

Bill Knott

If you are on the hunt for good wine but feeling a little tight-fisted, expand your gaze. Order a bottle of Côtes de Rhone from a top Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer. Similar standard for a better price.

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Online: ugly fruit & veg

Alfred Watchley

If you are frustrated by perfectly tasty – albeit wonky – veggies falling by the waste side then you need to back the Ugly Fruit & Veg campaign. What a waste it is to let  misshapen carrots wither and perish. Click on the link below to follow the five steps for vegetable activism. Let’s get wonky veg in supermarkets.

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ONLINE: The History of District Nursing

Trevor Littleboy

The history of district nursing since 1859 – put together by the Queen’s Nursing Institute. Fascinating archive of stories, photos and films; and even recipes for meals for invalids.
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Online: the geometry of pasta By Caz Hildebrand

Mary Canon-Belle

From the Italian artisans behind the Geometry of Pasta's slow-dried, bronze-drawn pasta (from fusilloni to tagliatelle) paired with rich Tuscan sauces, pomodoro e olive and sugo di caprioli, comes a fantastic book that reveals the secrets of those perfectly crafted shells.

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Online: Radio Garden

Annabel Sampson

‘Sprouting live radio streams,’ says Radio Garden, a website that has a globe which you can scroll round, pick a country, zoom in and listen to a local radio station at that exact geographical point. Once the cursor settles on a dot, the radio bursts into action.

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Online: Peruse the Menu Museum, a historic website

Ruby Scott

A website of historic food menus created by two academics with collections of restaurant menus which they felt were under-utilised. A fun way of reviewing trends in menu design and contents.

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online: patch garden, plant delivery service

Mary Canon-Belle

Patch has come to the rescue of city dwellers seeking a little greenery in their micro-space (be that in or outdoors); and without the time, bravery or know-how to tackle the Garden Centre. Patch launched in April last year and was founded by 28-year-old Freddie Blackett.

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ONLINE: National Theatre Rush for £20 theatre tickets

Ruby Scott

Every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets for shows in all three theatres at the National is released to buy online for the following week’s performances. Friday Rush tickets are only available to book online and limited to two per customer for each show. Set your alarm!

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Online: maude made interiors

Annabel Sampson

What your bathroom is missing are yellow-breasted sparrows, unruly moorhens and woodland rosehips hand-painted on tiles. ‘Folk traditions, the pastoral idyll, nostalgia for a vanished rural world, milkmaids, Victorian nursery maids, peasants and fairies’ are what Maude charts as her inspiration. 

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Online: lay and wheeler wine

Mary Canon-Belle

I buy my posh birthday and Christmas wine from Lay & Wheeler and the rest from Majestic. If you sign up for L & W’s Cellar Circle, to whom you only have to pay £50 a month towards your posh wine, you get 10% off at Majestic, which is very useful for Champagne. Both deliver.

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ONLINE: Issy Granger footstools

Annabel Sampson

Beautiful Ottoman stools are handcrafted by the talented Izzy Granger. She works with Turkish kilim, and has recently started using rich, deep velvet in bright blue, pink and yellow. She was based in Yorkshire, and has recently secured a studio in Stockwell. Made to order.

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ONLINE: Google Space – explore Venus, Mars and Jupiter

Arthur Nottle

The spacecraft Cassini travelled through our solar system for twenty years and took thousands of pictures of many planets and moons. Google has used them to reconstruct these distant worlds in unprecedented detail. Riveting.
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Online: canned sardines – hunting for the best

Lysander Tyler-Green

Fans of tinned fish would do well to locate this blog – it’s an inexhaustible pursuit of the best sardines in the land. It has reviews of well- and little-known products, from Crown Prince’s skinless and boneless sardines in water to Master’s Sardines in oil – both in brilliantly retro tins. A thorough overview of the sardine market for anyone keen to spruce up their salad or sandwich.

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Online: c20 society, for fans of 20th-century architecture

Coralie Purves

If you are intrigued by the works of Ernö Goldfinger, baffled by the Barbican or just curious about skyscrapers or pre-fab housing, then the C20 Society may be of interest. It hosts a fantastic annual lecture series, based around a theme – ‘my father the architect’, ‘my house, my building’ – that is great value and well attended.

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