Category: UK

exterior Carnarvon
Love a good ale? Love a comfy pub? Also love a little bit of sumptuousness? The Station Pub Hotel at Hither Green is your answer. With a comfortable yet swish pub below the boutique hotel style rooms, that offers great food, a lively atmosphere and real ales all housed in historic quarters in South London, The Station Pub Hotel is a real gem of a find when it comes to putting your head down in bustling London.

They have 16 bedrooms in total all featuring wonderful large London cityscapes on the walls, comfy beds with cosy blankets and a real ‘luxury but homey feel’ for after either a busy day shopping or a large night in the pub eating and drinking.

Don’t however make the assumption that you will be offered run of the mill pub food at The Station Pub Hotel - with Rack of new season English lamb, & crab & smoked salmon linguine on the menu this is not your average run of the mill fare.

Whether you need to stay in London for a weekend or, in fact, are just looking for somewhere that’s great value in South London to have dinner with friends, this is a great option.

What’s even greater is that we have an offer for you with them! Mention WJ (Who’s Jack) when booking and you can get a boutique double room here for just £79 a night - which is amazing value for a stay in London! And if you want even more than that then we can offer you a room and evening 2 course meal for 2 for just £120.

So before you get ready for the summer why not have a little break down South London way, get some great food in you, wash it down with ale and get your head down for a well earned restful nights sleep!

cooking classes at river cottageFancy a break from London and a chance to hone your cooking skills in wonderful surroundings??

The award winning River Cottage Cookery School is set in 65 acres of organic farm land overlooking the Axe Vale, in the wonderful county of Devon and just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Jurassic Coast and Broadchurch cliffs. The school is renowned for its keen sense of seasonality, sustainability and championing the best local producers and ingredients which make it a foodie hub where you can learn, dine and be inspired.

Whether you are an amateur cook, food enthusiast or a full-blown smallholder, there's a course for you which will leave you armed with the skill, confidence and motivation to cook delicious food at home.

The two stand-out courses for aspiring domestic Gods and Goddesses are also the most popular culinary courses which are either spread over four consecutive days or concentrated into two fact packed days  full of practical tutorial.

On the Four Days at River Cottage guests experience immersive cooking, learning and eating, taking them on a culinary journey through all the main principles of food such as meat, fish, bread and baking as well as vegetables. The courses are run by a dedicated team of chef tutors who bring the passion back into cooking and will look after you every step of the way from baking your own sourdough to learning the principles of butchery and offal as well as both sourcing and saucing ingredients. You might make pâté, rustle up a good gravy, fillet, cure and smoke fish; knock up fantastic vegetarian recipes and indulge your sweet tooth with cakes, pastries and desserts. Your four days will cover a huge range of basic and advanced kitchen skills – and you’ll get to taste all the results too.

The Two Day course leaves no ingredient or cooking method unturned however the pace of the day is driven to giving the most authentic and comprehensive two cooking days without leaving anyone behind. Working away at cooking stations in small groups being lead and guided by the chef tutors from the front creates an energy which is infectious and although each individual works on their own dish each session feels collaborative and ends with a celebratory communal lunch or dinner. The pace is just right, balancing heads-down cooking with downtime to savour your efforts with the magic of Britain's most filmed farmhouse as a backdrop and stunning views surrounding River Cottage HQ.

‘Learnt so much, my head is bursting with information that I need to put in to practice. Andy was an excellent tutor, he pitched it just right, sharing hints and tips all the time. It's amazing that we covered such a wide variety of food, cooking and techniques in just two days and all of it will be used in my kitchen.’ Ann Hunt, 7th March 2014

Four Day courses are scheduled for the following start dates:

27 April, 01 June, 13 July, 03 August, 14 September, 22 October, 12 November 2015

£870 per person

Two Day courses are scheduled for the following start dates:

09 April, 16 May, 11 June, 06 July, 19 August, 28 September, 17 October, 07 November 2015

£430 per person

There are plenty of fantastic local accommodation options for your stay when visiting River Cottage HQ. Choose from B&Bs, self catering, hotels, camping and glamping sites.


For more information please visit:

Four Day:

Two Day:

Phone 01297 630 300




Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting an exciting exhibition of ground-breaking work by American artist, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of our time. ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons will be the first time Koons’ work has been shown in East Anglia and is the only chance to see Koons’ work in the UK in 2015.

Representing one of the best Koons collections in the world, the exhibition features key pieces from each of the major series of work that have made him the most expensive living artist on the planet. Throughout his career Koons has pioneered new and imaginative ways of using everyday objects in his work. By combining popular culture with art historical references, and deploying hand crafted techniques with industrial manufacturing, he has tested what an artist can be within a time of ubiquitous celebrity culture. Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp are obvious antecedents to Koons’ artistic practice, but his frank and unashamedly iconic works are distinctively his own, tackling head on the vital questions of art.

This landmark exhibition will showcase Koons’ remarkable career from 1981 – 2003 and will include significant examples from each of the series created during this period: The New, Equilibrium, Banality, Made in Heaven, Easyfun and Popeye. Among the works featured are his breakthrough pieces with vacuum cleaners and basketballs from The New and Equilibrium; Winters Bears (1988) and Art Magazine Ads (1988) from Banality – the series which made Koons the art superstar he is today; a marble portrait bust of Koons and his former wife and adult film star Illona Staller, also known as la Cicciolina, from Made in Heaven, mirrored animal silhouettes from Easyfun as well as his more recent explorations with inflatables cast from aluminium created for his Popeye series.

Together these remarkable works explore many of the key themes of Koons’ career – commerce, class, celebrity and the concept of value. The exhibition will be a highlight of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival (8 - 24 May) – a world class festival of music, visual art, theatre, performance, and literature – and offers a rare opportunity for UK audiences to engage with his work as William Galinsky, Artistic Director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, explains: "This will be the biggest Jeff Koons exhibition in Britain for a decade and an unmissable opportunity for visitors to see the work of such an important, influential and fun artist,"

The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2015. The tour is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of the Art Fund.

Information on both the ARTIST ROOMS collection and the touring programme can be found at For further information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit and

blue cheese car - c InstantForever

On the 11th April, La Cave à Fromage, purveyor of the finest cheeses, will host the annual Cheese Makers Market in Old Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire - just 45 minutes from London.

Visitors to the Cheese Makers Market will be able to taste, buy and learn about nearly 300 of the UK and Europe’s most delicious cheeses, created by artisan makers and producers from the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

La Cave à Fromage will be just one of the exhibitors showing and selling their produce, with highlights including a rare selection of award-winning matured cheeses, ripened by expert staff at their South Kensington, Notting Hill and Hove shops.

With so much cheese to peruse, peckish punters will be able to enjoy cheese platters and toasted cheese sandwiches from 10am until 5pm, with matching wines by the glass or bottle chosen by La Cave’s knowledgeable team, at the pop-up Market Bistro. There will also be the opportunity to learn about pairing different kinds of cheese and wine, with two sessions over the course of the day: The Best of British Modern Cheeses and French Wines; and A Balanced Cheese Board and Wines.

“The Cheese Makers Market is unique in being the only place in the UK to meet so many fantastic artisan cheese makers and producers face-to-face, allowing guests to learn about what they are trying and buying. This year is going to be the biggest yet – and we can’t wait to meet over 2,000 people who love cheese as much as we do!” says La Cave’s resident cheese expert, David Deaves.

The Cheese Makers Market: Saturday 11th of April

Opening hours: 9am – 5pm


The Market Place

Old Beaconsfield



Normans Easter 2014 - photo credit Tolga Akmen.jpgNorman Knights will descend on Arundel Castle in West Sussex for a thrilling three day Easter weekend. The oldest part of the Castle will host the portrayal of the end of the Norman period and the transition into the Middle Ages.

Visitors will be catapulted back to the beginning of the 13th Century; King John had fallen out with the Barons of England and arrived at Arundel seeking support from William de Albini, Earl of Arundel. As this year marks the 800th year anniversary of the Magna Carta signing, attendees can expect an air of rebellion as the baron’s rise up to force King John to sign the legendary charter.

Set within a historical tented encampment, the Raven Tor Living History Group will recreate spectacular combat displays and provide demonstrations of beautiful falconry. Visitors will be able to find out what it was like to be a knight and listen to the tales from the Yarnsmith of Norwich storyteller. 

As with all Raven Tor Living History group events, the skilled performers will stay true to the costumes, methods and materials used in the 12th and 13th centuries, down to the finest detail.

Bryan McDonald, Castle Manager, commented: “Come and experience what life was like for the Normans at the beginning of the 13th Century and witness breath-taking combat on our American lawn.

“As the event falls during the Easter weekend, we look forward to welcoming all the family for what is sure to be a great day out.”

Visitors can take pleasure from the 40 acres of grounds and stunning gardens, with the beginnings of the spring blooms. The Tulip Festival will be in full flower from mid-April with an explosion of colour. 

McDonald continues: “Don’t miss the Castle’s perfectly preserved rooms. Inside every room is a showcase of exquisite historical craftsmanship, enhanced by a rich and eclectic collection of furniture, paintings, tapestries and priceless artefacts.”

Further information on the Castle and its 2015 event calendar can be found at