I was a massive festival goer in my younger years, sadly as you grow up and take on more responsibility, less money and become attached often your festival going days tend to dwindle. You also find a sudden distinct dislike of discomfort and certainly don't want to be reminded of your advancing years by being pushed and shoved around by a load of 'youth' during the headliner acts.

Having said all that there are festivals and there are festivals and it would make me way to sad to not go to any at all. So the Isle of Wight is my chosen keeper. It's a festival that's not going to leave you with cold feet and an achy back or feeling like you're a parent before you even have your own kids worrying about the state of youngsters around you. You also don't need to feel as though you need a holiday afterwards because you can combine it with a bit of sightseeing turning this into a festi-mini-break which is far more adult and civilised.

The Isle of Wight Festival really welcomes all ages, no one is going to get 'I feel old' pangs here, you can even introduce the next generation of festival goers as it's massively kid friendly. It always has a great line up, extra entertainment, a variety of bars, luxury camping options and you get to go there on a ferry for God's sake!

It's hard to top. The perfect festi-mini break (I think I'll coin that phrase), plus - and it's a bit plus - it always seems to land on the great weather.

If you go this year, please combine it with a little Isle of Wight sightseeing and definitely book yourself into The Hut for a seafood platter. I have been missing that place all year and can't wait to go back.

This year is the festival's Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary and acts I'll be jostling to the front for include Hurts, The Wombats, Depeche Mode, The Killers and Kasabian.

Thursday 21st June - stick it in your diary and start planning your weekend, tickets can be found here.


secret-garden-party-picIt's always a big one - we've had space, we've had under the sea and now we're going current age with VIPs.

Secret Garden Party organisers plan on holding the biggest VIP –LOL-Off ever, (we all VIPs) as theme for 15th edition 2017 is announced……SWEET DREAMS.  Are made of these? And who are we to disagree…

Fame, celebrity, a media that obsesses over both and huge business that sells us access to, and relics of, them: the one thing that’s clear is we have ourselves a new religion…  of sorts. But this is a doctrine that offers us a troubling vision of Heaven on Earth; a room, full of our idols, guarded behind doors, with a strict entry criteria…

So, in this Strictly X Factor Love Island I’m a Kardashian #get-me-out-of-here social, instant, online world; what should we do?  How much do we embrace this idea of the universal right to fame and, if we do, should we all start immediately baking, blogging, dancing, cooking, singing and redecorating our little hearts out, to get 'there’?  You know that place down the red carpet and behind the velvet rope…

Well this summer the Secret Garden Party invites you to join it ‘there’ and finally find out if it’s anywhere we want to be.

In the tradition of the bacchanals, we will satiate this worldly distraction to the point we can break free from it - to finally gain a true perspective.  And in doing so, set a new, true precedent. So we’re donning our finest threads and polishing up like never before for the biggest VIP LOL-off you’ve ever seen. Where everyone likes / follows / adores you, the bouncers all know your name and the Sweet Dreams are made by You…

Also - calling all London artistic types - Art Applications are now open:

SGP is calling out for next year’s creative wonders. Since launching the Grants Programme in the Garden, there’s been an explosion of creative work adorning the site with imaginative installations year on year.  Now SGP is on the hunt for the new and spectacular, theme-inspired pieces for 2017. Artists, Designers & the wildly creative, be a part of this credible arts collective. With commissions, grants and development funds available contact:

They want to keep it funny, not be sell outs and make their own decisions, including say 'F**k ' as much as they damn well please.

Maximus Thor is a kid who gets dubbed over by his uncle whilst miming the script his uncle has written and it's so good. You can find their kickstarter project here.

They have 13 days left and need to double their dollars in that time. This show needs to have more episodes for sure although why they insist on titling their Youtube episodes so strangely I don't know because they're not easy to find because of it.

Anyhow - spend your afternoon watching these if you're board at work, decide you want a son just like Maximus, then give them a little bit to help them out.

Great stuff.

Here's an example:


A golf club might not be your first idea when thinking about a Leaving London break but we urge you to make sure it crosses your mind.

Anyone looking for a few nights away in indulgent accommodation after not too long a drive should look up Menzies in the Shakespearian town of Stratford Upon Avon.

Maybe you can't play golf and maybe you feel as though you would be a bit out of place hanging around a golf club full of older men playing the holes but your feelings would be wrong. Full of amazing rooms, both a cosy and spacious bar with fire (the evenings are drawing in now you know) as well as a spa- you can book in for just two nights here and feel as though you have been a world away.

Couple this with a visit to the centre of Stratford Upon Avon - Shakespeare's birth place - and place of rest - and you will not only be having a break but reminding yourself why every school has this mans works on the curriculum.

Not only is the town lovely to walk around and far more chilled than London with extra trees, space and things you can afford but there is a wealth of history too. Wonder around Shakespeare's daughters house, the house in which Shakespeare would have run around as a little boy and the church where he was both married and buried and get some serious inspiration from one of the greatest wordsmiths ever.


Stratford Upon Avon also has cosy pubs come evening with some lovely food on offer and welcoming staff - we visited a couple on our stay and found the standard top notch in all of them.

Back to Menzies, which is only a very short drive away from the town centre (about £7 in a cab if you're not driving) and you will find a dining room with an excellent a la carte as well as an excellent cream tea - if you need to fill a gap over your stay. Both the bar and the kitchen is open all night to guests which is a novelty in your little bubble away from home. You can really push the boat out and feel like you're worlds away from being up for work in the morning or contemplating the smells and characters you might encounter on your night bus home.


There really is no differentiation between those of an older generation at Menzies there for golf and business and the (and there were more than you would think) younger generation there for a little bit of luxury and relaxation. Everyone is there to soak up the views and the atmosphere and have a wonderful time and that atmosphere is one of sheer relaxation and indulgence.

It's worth mentioning that we popped down in a Peugeot 208 GTi - a wonderful, wonderful car for both town and city but more about that in a separate post.

For more information on the area please visit


ralf Lauren 4 D Fashion Show

If you have been anywhere central lately you would have realised that Fashion Week is coming. It's starting this very morning in fact and we currently have a wonderfully eager team of writers and photographers ready to cover all the shows.

Whilst they are setting themselves up for a very busy few days why not check out what Ralf Lauren has been doing over the pond at New York Fashion Week?

To mark Ralph Lauren Corporation's first Polo flagship store at 711 Fifth Avenue in New York City, celebrity guests including Ben Stiller, Kendall Jenner, Ciara & Anna Wintour attended the world's first 4D fashion show.

Held in Central Park, Ralph Lauren’s new Polo line for women presented its Spring ’15 collection during New York Fashion Week in a revolutionary runway event: a water-screen projection that towered above Manhattan’s Central Park, fusing fashion, art and technology.

Hundreds of spectators, including celebrities, famous runway faces and fashion editors, gathered on the Cherry Hill lawn on the west side of the park for a sensory experience that uses innovative technology that could forever change the landscape for a fashion show.

Ralph Lauren Polo models – appearing like beautiful mirages using four-story-tall holographic effects – wore outfits embracing the eclectic spirit of the brand, mixing the edge of New York and Paris, and the sunset colours and patterns of the Adirondacks.

The event celebrates the first Ralph Lauren Polo flagship at 711 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Spanning nearly 38,000 square feet over three floors, the new Polo flagship is the first store to unveil the complete new world of Polo for women, and the first store to showcase women’s Polo alongside the Polo men’s collection. The new store also introduces Ralph Lauren’s first-ever coffee shop, Ralph’s Coffee.

This store will be one of many Polo stores planned to open worldwide in the coming years, in line with Ralph Lauren’s strategic pipeline of new stores.