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London: Akira, Kensington

Hamish Charlton

Here we have raw Japanese precision. It sits withn Japan House on Kensington High Street, a discreet showcase for exquisite, expensive Japanese craft. It’s headed up by the chef Akira Shimizu, a man who possesses an eye for the exquisite. ‘Everything we eat here is beautiful’ he says.

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London: Beef & Brew, Haggerston

Lucy Blanchette

Famous for its fabulous steak, this fantastic bar is well worth the trip to Kentish Town. The line up of beers is ever changing, but there is always a tasty ale on tap.

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Friends of Alexandra Park

Nick Bryant

http://www.friendsofalexandrapark.org/

One of North London's great natural resources. The 200 acre park surrounds Alexandra Palace, birthplace of television.

Green space, pitch-and-putt course, tree-top adventures, boating lake, cafes to enjoy.

Biscuiteers

Ruby Scott

Send glorious hand-made biscuits from ‘jolly ginger’ (an iced ginger bread man) to an iced stalk holding a bundle in its beak as a present. Something for every occasion! Pop in to the shop for afternoon tea or to learn to ice a biscuit at their biscuit boutiques in Notting Hill and Clapham.

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London: Music at St. John’s, Smith Square

Jonathan Finchley

In the exceptional setting of St John’s, acoustics, atmosphere, fine dining and architecture come together. It's a significant musical landmark, playing host to today’s leading international artists, who perform inspiring and exciting programmes.

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Badger Badger Shirts

Lysander Tyler-Green

Made in India, these shirts are all about championing conscious consumption. Designed by Bombay-based British duo, Danni and Flora, who set out to make one thing and make one thing well, the shirts are relaxed in style, made from soft cotton and have been created with both him and her in mind.

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The Henki Pod

Thea Dale

The Henki Pod self-identifies as ‘The Coolest Caravan on the Planet’. These little chaps inconspicuously latch onto your vehicle and are large enough to include a double bed, a set of stoves inside the boot, and even a drop down TV. They are relatively pricey but well worth the cost.

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Wiltshire: Beckford Bottle Shop, Tilsbury

Arthur Nottle

The Times describes this as ‘quite possibly the most civalised offie in Britain’. It describes itself as ‘a modern wine shop with old fashioned values’. It has clubby red button-backed Chesterfields where you can nibble charcuterie and taste the team’s fabulous wine finds.

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Make Vanilla Infuesd Vodka

Rich Davey

Vanilla infused vodka is simple to make at home! It's ideal as a standalone drink or for adding to a variety of cocktail mixes. Simply discard vanilla seeds from the pod into a bottle of Smirnoff (or other) and leave to stand for a minimum of five days. Drink as a martini or try poured over ice...

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A holographic manicure

Annabel Sampson

This jazzy way to do-up your nails has sent fashion bloggers into a frenzy. Old, young, millennial, baby-boomer – holographic nails are extremely fun. It’s a look you can now request at most nail salons and it will last a good few days. Ideally get them applied the day before a soirée.

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'The Boxpub'

Lysander Tyler-Green

Take your local anywhere! All the charm & character of your local boozer, with draught taps, tiles and ale-strewn furnishings except that it's mobile. A mobile pub in a vintage horsebox, that you’d do well to book for a festival, wedding or party. The idea was that of four old Dorset school mates.

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North Yorkshire: St George Hotel, Harrogate

Hamish Charlton

The Edwardian-era St George Hotel, opposite the Royal Baths in Harrogate, has been refurbished in partnership with Country Living! The overall effect is country-house chic – but, in the middle of town. Think: soft wooden throws, muted tones of grey and blue and neatly stacked cushions on the bed.

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Kouign-amann

Genevieve Delacroix

A traditional Breton cake, you can find them in most boulangeries and patisseries in Brittany. Sugar, butter and flour are pretty much all that you need to make this particular pastry. During the cooking process, the butter and sugar combine and caramelise to create a mouth-watering treat.

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House of Illustration

Mary Canon-Belle

A rather recent addition to London's collection of galleries, it offers a look at some well known, as well as up and coming artists, in addition to a number of classes and courses for any budding Oldie cartoonists!

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Granary Square

Mary Canon-Belle

A newly built development in the, until recently, cultural No Man's Land of the space behind King's Cross Station, this lovely square contains a brand new gallery, choreographed water fountains, and a steady stream of arty students from Central Saint Martin's to keep things fresh and vibrant.

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Word on the Water

Genevieve Delacroix

A permanent feature at the recently renovated Granary Square next to King's Cross is this floating bookshop. Full of charm, it also offers food and drink, and an occasional jazz performance. Try to avoid on rainy days though!

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Camley Street Natural Park

Jonathan Finchley

Just behind King's Cross station is this oasis that one would not know existed unless you knew exactly where it was, much like walking directly into the countryside from the centre of London. I think it reopens around Spring 2019.

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Exhibition: 'Modern Couples' at the Barbican

Sally Longville

An artistic, multimedia study of personal and professional relationships. Presented with all the passion that one would expect for an exhibition about couples, and featuring the likes of Dali and Picasso, this is worth going out of your way for, especially as it's only £16 for non-members.

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'Leonardo Da Vinci' by Walter Isaacson

Rich Davey

Seasoned biographer Isaacson tackles his most titanic subject yet, but the daunting task of chronicling the original Renaissance Man's life does not seem to faze him. Refreshingly includes some of the more human aspects of Da Vinci, rather than purely waxing lyrical.

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Film: Locke

Harold Llwelyn

One of the most unique film dramas I have ever seen, in that the entirety of the film takes place in one car, and features only one on-screen actor - Tom Hardy. It is gripping from start to finish and is a perfect platform for Hardy’s virtuosity as an actor.

The Romanoffs

Thea Dale

Not a period piece as I thought it to be going into it, but rather an anthology series featuring the stories of those who believe themselves to be descendants of the titular Russians. Another entry in the growing library of big-budget dramas from the online TV giants, and well worth a watch.

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Autumnwatch New England

Lysander Tyler-Green

The delightful Autumnwatch has upped sticks and jumped across the pond for a series, and in doing so brings us something completely new. It allows us to compare and contrast, as well as to see the ’influences’ that we have mutually had i.e. the invasive grey squirrels.

‘Churchill: Walking with Destiny’ by Andrew Robert

Lara Akeroyd

In what seems to be an overly saturated market of Churchill biographies, this newest of entrants stands head and shoulders above my previous readings. Mr Roberts ahas had exclusive access to many new sources and paints a picture of ‘The Greatest Briton’ in a warts-and-all style.

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‘Oscar’ by Matthew Sturgis

Arthur Nottle

An account of the famed wit’s life that is almost as enjoyable as his own writing. This is both due to the events therein, which seems to be an endless well of wonderful anecdotes, as well a great personal tragedies, as well as the ability of the author to convey them in a coherent and cohesive way.

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London: The Height of the Storm @ Wyndham’s Theatre

Edith Warren

A fantastic family-based drama starring the fantastic Jonathan Pryce and Dame Eileen Atkins. Filled with mystery, intrigue, and a sense of unease, this play is wonderfully written, but elevated by the performances of two seasoned veterans.

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