Tag: leaving London


Take a couple of days to leave the smoke (after you've signed Greenpeace's petition to remind Khan that he's meant to be making London's air cleaner) and go to somewhere that doesnt have to worry about pollution all that much - Arosa.

Get back to Nature, sleep in a tepee and go horseback mountain riding and fly fishing at Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa.


Tepee Picture

Sleep under the stars in a luxury tepee and experience nature in the Alps this summer with Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s new tepee adventure experience.

Spend your first night at the hotel, relaxing in the Mario Botta-designed Bergoase spa, before setting off on horseback the next morning with Arosa’s mountain riding team. After stopping for a locally-sourced lunch at Restaurant Alpenblick, you will spend the afternoon learning the art of fly fishing before a Swiss barbecue, spending the night in a luxury private tepee complete with full furniture. The next morning, hike or ride back to your base at Tschuggen Grand Hotel.


Horseback riding Arosa

The tepee adventure experience includes

  • One night at Tschuggen Grand Hotel in a deluxe room on a half-board basis
  • Two-day guided horseback trek through the mountains organised by the Reiten am Berg mountain riding team
  • Lunch, dinner and a farmhouse-style brunch at Restaurant Alpenblick
  • Fly fishing on Lake Schwellisee
  • One night in a private luxury tepee

With a picturesque settings and holidays that you can be active on rather than over indulge making waves with our London leavers the town of Arosa in the Swiss Alps, is an ideal break option. The 5* Tschuggen Grand Hotel sees mild Alpine summers and is an ideal getaway for those looking for an active holiday in beautiful surroundings, with hiking, climbing , mountain biking, running trails and golf on Europe’s highest 18-hole golf course. Alternatively, relax in the Mario Botta-designed Bergoase Spa and enjoy Michelin-star dining in La Vetta restaurant.

For further information and reservations, please visit tschuggen.ch or telephone +41 81 378 99 99.

From CHF970 per person for 2 nights

Horses 2

Crossbasket Castle Exterior evening

With stunning landscapes and some seriously plush new hotels, Scotland really should be on your list for a little weekend jaunt out of London.

How best to get there? Well, get yourself to Euston, have a little sleep - before you know it you'll be waking up in Scotland!lounge

We took the Caledonian Sleeper train to Glasgow to have our own little jaunt all the way to Edinburgh and then back.

CalSleeper-1st-sleeperUnaware of the sleeper train option before we started to look into Scotland we thought it was a pretty cool and different plan for travel. It's a little like glamping, but on a train. You get your own bed, a little goody bag of night bits and pieces, and just down the corridor you'll find a food and drink carriage where, if you want to, you can make a night of it.


If you fancy taking the Caledonian yourself then it's worth knowing that they are partnering with Tomatin for World Whisky Day (21st May). Guests looking for a break north of the border will avoid the hassle of airport queues and begin their experience with a showcase of the distillery’s range of whiskies on board the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness on Wednesday 11 and Wednesday 25 May.

On arrival in Glasgow we made our way to the Falls of Clyde, an amazing water fall and nature reserve next to an old mill, now developed into a small museum. If you enjoy being outdoors and looking at natural wonders then there are a number of walks around here that'll be just up your street. If not, you can see the bottom of the falls from the coffee shop and still tell yourself you've got in touch with nature.



Travelling on from there after a good two hour walk in lovely sunshine we travelled to the newly open Crossbasket Castle, a stunning hotel just 45 minutes outside Glasgow.

The Castle was bought almost a shell and has since been transformed back to it's former glory. There are only a few rooms in this boutique hotel which specialises in events. The owners have created a large and perfectly formed events space which looks out on to a rapid river and beautiful grounds.

Staff are beyond helpful and polite and although still with a dash of the historical the castle is somehow modern too.
Albert and Michel Roux Jnr at Crossbasket Castle Restaurant

The menu is put together by Michael Roux and it will leave you having to unbutton tight trousers (in the best possible way). Room service is even a joy here, none of the paired down menu for your room nonsense. We simply ordered a cheeseboard and this arrived.

The rooms are plush with huge windows and wonderful views. As for things to do, if you don't want to visit the Falls you can do a spot of shooting or fishing, or just relax in their bar.
After one night at Crossbasket we continued our journey to Edinburgh ready for a night's stay in another location and a day ahead exploring Edinburgh castle and the city. Just over an hour and we were at our second destination,  The Roxburghe just outside of Edinburgh.

Complete with Tartan carpet the Roxburghe really does feel like the heart of Scotland. It's a very quiet, relaxing destination and perfect if you really want to unwind from all the buzz that is London.

With board games which you can take to your room, garden rooms, studies and bars with enormous windows framing beautiful views, it really is a little highland haven.

The most exciting part we discovered was the fact that each and every room has a working fireplace in it- something that is a very unusual luxury for most of us.

Food again is special and created by the Roux kitchen. Knowledgable staff help you with wine or fire building, or brolly providing, whichever is needed, and you really do feel at home.

We even got a curtesy call to let us know breakfast was awaiting us downstairs before they shut up shop for the morning.

For the more active amongst you there is golf on offer, fishing and walks. For the less active there is a great cocktail menu, in room treatments and gorgeous views to get lost in out the window.


We'll be keeping both hotels in our minds for this winter as well. Though now, during the spring is a beautiful time to visit as you might get a whole years worth of seasons in one stay.


We got rain, bright sunshine and snow over three days and even the rain that we had for an afternoon was welcomed with the fires all stoked and cosy bars.

So another for your diary - A Scottish Sleeper Train Road Trip.



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!

blue cheese car - c InstantForeverUs Londoners love a bit of cheese. But we're not alone, the average person in the UK consumes 10kgs of the smelly stuff each year. With over 700 types of cheese made in the UK, plus the fact that the International Cheese Awards take place annually each July in Nantwich, Britain is undoubtedly the grand fromage of the cheese industry. And for an even grater choice of cheese, why not head to the Continent too?

For brie-liant ideas of where to enjoy a cheesy break at home or abroad, get ready to cheddar tear for these pun-ridden suggestions from Pitchup.com.

Say cheese... UK sites:


No cheese lover would consider a cheese-themed break without including the king of British cheese, cheddar! There are plenty of places in Somerset to try out a slice and where better to stay than Cheddar Petruth Paddocks? The owners are cheddar fanatics and will give visitors a special guide and insight into the region famed for its cheese and caves.

Price: Book a shepherd’s hut, custom-made by local craftsmen in the Mendip Hills, from £70 per night for up to four people, or try the on-site tipis from £75 per night.


Invented in the 1700s in the village of the same name by a Mr Cooper Thornhill, landlord of the Bell Inn, and sold to travellers on the Great North Road, this unique blue cheese is a British institution. Stock up on stilton and enjoy tucking in as you stay on the stunning 235-acre parkland surrounding Billing Aquadrome, just a 50-minute drive from the town of Stilton itself. The park has camping pods for four and facilities including a pool, splash zone, indoor play area and amusement park.

Price: A camping pod for four starts from £40 per night (guests should bring their own bedding and linen).


This dense, crumbly cheese is produced in Cheshire (obvs) as well as four other neighbouring counties, Denbighshire and Flintshire in Wales, plus Shropshire and Staffordshire in England. Crow Camp Tipis is set in 30 acres of the beautiful Cheshire Plain, where visitors can meet reindeer or take some time out fishing in one of five coarse fishing lakes on site. There’s also a children's play park. The spacious tipis have three double-sized futons.

Price: Tipis start from £100 per night for up to six people.

Pay homage to fromage... sites in France:


Hailing from the Normandy town of the same name, Camembert is perfect when popped in the oven until soft in the middle, then eaten with a crusty baguette. Château de Lez-Eaux campsite in Basse-Normandie is set on 12 acres of green land and offers traditional camping and caravan pitches as well as modern chalets. Entertainment-wise, there’s plenty on site including a large aquatic park, waterslides, paddling pool, heated outdoor pool, multiple sports, fishing, and a kids’ club in July and August.

Price: Book a two-bedroom lodge, sleeping five, from £46.04 per night.


Matured in ancient caves in a village called Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, this ewes’ milk cheese takes three months to ripen into semi-soft, crumbly, white cheese with blue-green veins and a sweet, tangy flavour – delicious with pasta or as a blue cheese dressing. Stay at Camping La Boissière and take advantage of sporting facilities including football, basketball and volleyball, and the aquatic centre consisting of a large pool, a paddling pool and a whirlpool. Plus there are extra activities for kids.

Price: Book an electric grass pitch from £12.24 per night.


Brie de Meaux, made in Île-de-France – has a tradition going back over 1,000 years. The famous poet Eustache Deschamps – not a lover of France – reportedly said of the famous cheese: ‘Brie de Meaux is the only good thing to come out of this country.’ Its more salty sister, Brie de Melun is stronger and more robust. Shoot the brie-ze at Camping La Belle Etoile on the River Seine in Melun and try the famous Brie de Melun pizza and the local artisan beer Bière de Brie.

Price: A three-bedroom holiday home sleeps six and starts from £51 per night.

More ‘Gouda’ options… elsewhere in Europe:


Named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland, gruyère is one of the finest cheeses for baking, particularly suited for fondues and French onion soup - and it goes down well with a Riesling and even with a sprinkling of nutmeg! Enjoy to the full, then work it off by walking, mountain biking, paragliding or mountaineering from Camping Molignon, an excellent base for exploring the Swiss Alps.

Price: From £15.04 per night for two people on a grass tent pitch; or from £302.15 for a seven-night stay in a two-bedroom holiday cabin (sleeps up to five people).


Take a tour of the small cheese factories in Olbia, Sardinia, and discover all about pecorino romano – the best known of the pecorino family. Pitch up in a tent or campervan at Centro Vacanze Isuledda, in a picture-postcard beach location just off the Costa Smeralda, where you can sample the cheese at the site’s pizzeria and grill house.

Price: From £18 for two people per night, including satellite TV connection.

Queso de nata de Cantabria

This delicious mild, creamy cheese is hard to come by – only a handful of farms produce it nowadays and 80% is consumed in the immediate area of northern Spain. Indulge as the locals do and enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or on its own while taking in the surroundings of Camping El Helguero, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of facilities including a swimming pool and separate toddlers' pool plus an extensive entertainment programme.

Price: From £14 per night for a grass motorhome pitch.

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: https://www.rivercottage.net/cookery-courses/classic-cookery/four-days-at-river-cottage

Two Day: https://www.rivercottage.net/cookery-courses/classic-cookery/two-days-at-river-cottage

Phone 01297 630 300

Email rcevents@rivercottage.net