6 Live Sporting Events You Won't Catch on ESPN

6 Live Sporting Events You Won't Catch on ESPN

< Sports

If you thought Wimbledon was quirky with its all-white dress code and penchant for strawberries and cream, you haven’t seen anything yet. In Great Britain, we like to stretch the typical interpretation of “sport” and our #BritishFamous sporting activities are ones that you can’t experience anywhere else. From throwing large, tapered tree trunks (the caber toss) to knocking conkers off strings, we certainly know how to have a good time.

Race the Train, Tywyn, Mid-Wales (August 19, 2017)
This contest between man and machine takes place alongside, as far as practicable, the route taken by the Talyllyn Railway on its journey from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol. The Talyllyn Railway, a classic steam train, travels through picturesque hills and meadows. Runners race the train on a course that encompasses a mixture of public roads, lanes, tracks, agricultural land and rough grazing pastures. If you’re running, you should know that the terrain varies all the time, can be very wet and muddy in places, and involves some steep hills. If you’re watching, sit back, relax on the train and look for the places when you’ll be able to shout encouragement out of the window.

Runners race the Talyllyn Railway in Wales. Photo by: Doris O'Keefe

Runners race the Talyllyn Railway in Wales. Photo by: Doris O'Keefe

Braemar Gathering, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (September 2, 2017)
The Braemar Gathering is the most famous and best-attended Highland Games in Scotland, with a rich history that dates back 900 years. The modern Braemar Gathering pays homage to Scottish heritage and traditions and, since 1848, has been regularly attended by the reigning monarch and members of the Royal family. Its famous “heavy” events include Throwing the Hammer, Putting the Stone and Tossing the Caber. With bagpipe displays, competitors wearing traditional Scottish kilts, and a tug of war between different military service groups, the Braemar Gathering is not to be missed.

(Top) The Caber Toss at The Braemar Gathering. Photo from: The Braemar Gathering (Left) Throwing the hammer at The Braemar Gathering. 

(Top) The Caber Toss at The Braemar Gathering. Photo from: The Braemar Gathering

(Left) Throwing the hammer at The Braemar Gathering. 

 

World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, Lancashire, England (September 10, 2017)
Local legends claim that this competition dates back to the War of the Roses in the 15th century when opposing factions of the House of Lancaster and the House of York ran out of ammunition. Supposedly, they started throwing food at each other: black pudding from Lancaster and Yorkshire puddings from Yorkshire. Whether or not that’s true, there’s no denying the quirky nature of the modern day event (run since the 1980s) that sees competitors hurling black puddings at a pile of Yorkshire puddings atop a 20ft high plinth.

 
Adrian Zivelonghi, Gurning World Champion 2016. Photo from: Egremont Crab Fair

Adrian Zivelonghi, Gurning World Champion 2016. Photo from: Egremont Crab Fair

Egremont Crab Fair & World Gurning Championships, Cumbria, England (September 15, 2017)
The Egremont Crab Fair dates back to the 13th century when the local Lord of the Manor would wheel a cart of crab apples through the village of Egremont as a goodwill gesture to the poor. This year sees the 750th anniversary of the Fair which also hosts the World Gurning Championships. Gurning consists of contestants putting their heads through a horse collar and contorting their faces into the silliest expression possible. A totally normal sport. It’s said that the gurning competition originates from the faces the locals made when they bit into the sharp crab apples. Other events include concerts, wrestling, races, and pole climbing.

 

World Stone Skimming Championships, Argyll, Scotland (September 24, 2017)
Held on Easdale Island, the World Stone Skimming Championships attract competitors from all over the world. Due to demand, the number of contestants is limited to 350 but anyone can partake. Each competitor is allowed three skims using specially selected Easdale slate skimming stones. For a skim to qualify the stone must bounce at least three times; it is then judged on the distance achieved before it sinks.

Allan Laycock competing in The World Stone Skimming Championships. Photo by: Michelle Burgess

Allan Laycock competing in The World Stone Skimming Championships. Photo by: Michelle Burgess

World Conker Championships, Northamptonshire, England (October 8, 2017)
These championships have been held since 1965, celebrating the simple but popular game of conkers. The rules are simple. Each player is given a conker attached to a piece of string and takes turns trying to break their opponent’s nut using a swinging motion. Players compete to become the King or Queen of conkers and often wear fancy dress.

Posted in Sports

Cover photo: The Braemar Gathering

The Eat, Lift, Play Guide To London

The Eat, Lift, Play Guide To London

< London

Cover photo: Sky Garden Yoga

From clean eating to fitness classes that get your heart pumping, London offers an increasing number of spots to make you feel your best. Whether you’re trying to sneak in a yoga class before a day of sightseeing or want to make at least one meal of the day a little bit healthier, here are some options to add to your itinerary.

The Detox Kitchen
Goop deems The Detox Kitchen as “the OG (and best) health food and detox delivery service in London.” With three deli locations throughout London and delivery right to your door, they make it easy to eat well despite a busy schedule. Their Fitzrovia location also features a fitness studio on the lower level with curated instructors teaching everything from yoga to ballet.

 

A post shared by Sky Garden (@sg_skygarden) on

Sunrise Yoga at Sky Garden
Combine incredible city views (from the 36th floor) with a dynamic, vinyasa flow yoga class for the best way to start your day in London. With luscious plants behind you and London's skyline in front of you, you'll feel both refreshed and inspired during this early morning, hour-long session. The class, which is open to all levels and abilities, ends with a healthy buffet breakfast served in the Sky Pod Bar.

 

Tiny Leaf
Tiny Leaf is London’s first and only organic, zero waste, vegetarian restaurant. Starting as a successful Notting Hill pop-up, Tiny Leaf now lives in Mercato Metropolitano, a vibrant space dedicated to the local community and celebrating small businesses. Tiny Leaf uses organic surplus food stock, generously supplied by local food suppliers and supermarkets, to create fresh and inventive dishes. Since the food is supplied on a daily basis, the menu constantly changes but diners can expect expertly crafted meals, such as buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, root tartare for lunch, and courgetti and almond pesto for dinner.

 

Another_Space
With no membership fee, Another_Space offers a variety of yoga, HIIT and cycling classes in a friendly environment under one roof. Grab a post-workout smoothie, snack or meal from Detox Kitchen and Natural Fitness in the café.

 

26 Grains
Inspired by founder Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s travels in Copenhagen, 26 Grains makes porridge (oatmeal) that is both delicious and healthy. With sweet and savory options, such as Hazelnut & Butter or Salmon, Wild Rice, Broccoli, you’re sure to have something that both tastes delicious and makes for a Insta-worthy breakfast pic.

 

A post shared by Heartcore (@heartcorelife) on

Heartcore Fitness
Heartcore offers Pilates, TRX, High Intensity Interval Training and ballet barre workouts at nine studios across London. In addition to traditional classes on the reformer, their new-ish Ride2Tone workout concept combines indoor cycling with yoga-inspired bodyweight moves, giving you the best of two workout classes in one.

 

Posted in London

This Celebration Started In 1606 And It’s Still One Of The Best Nights Of The Year

This Celebration Started In 1606 And It’s Still One Of The Best Nights Of The Year

< Art & Culture

Remember, remember the Fifth of November; the gunpowder, treason and plot. Also, remember those Guy Fawkes masks made famous by V for Vendetta and now a symbol of anti-tyranny? Contrary to popular belief, celebrating Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night) does not traditionally involve us Brits marching to protest the government. Instead, we light things on fire and stand around burning effigies. Here’s the #BritishFamous reason we celebrate and the ways in which you can get involved.

Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators hatched the Gunpowder Plot beneath the Houses of Parliament in 1605

Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators hatched the Gunpowder Plot beneath the Houses of Parliament in 1605

A Spark Notes Version of Why We Celebrate
November 5 commemorates the defeat of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot against the Protestant English Government and King James I.

A group of Roman Catholic activists, led by Robert Catesby and including Guy Fawkes (or Guido Fawkes), wanted to protest the repressive religious policies of King James’ and his Parliament. They hatched a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the night that King James would open a new session of Parliament. Having rented a house close to the Houses of Parliament, they built a tunnel into the cellar of the House of Lords and smuggled in 36 barrels of gunpowder. An anonymous letter tipped off the authorities and a search party found Guy Fawkes – the explosives expert – waiting to blow up the barrels in the cellar. Fawkes was tortured until he gave up the names of his co-conspirators and they were all found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death by being hung, drawn and quartered.

Since 1606, Great Britain has celebrated the defeat of the plot and, to this day, the Yeomen of the Guard still search the Houses of Parliament (with lanterns) before the state opening to maintain tradition.

How to Celebrate

Bonfires are a classic way to celebrate

Bonfires are a classic way to celebrate

Our #BritishFamous celebrations range from waving sparklers in our back gardens to watching enormous firework displays light up skies across the country. The fireworks represent the explosives that were never used by the conspirators. There are also parades that see effigies called “guys” carried through the streets. The effigies often represent the original Guy Fawkes but there are also models of contemporary political figures. Children ask passers-by for “a penny for the guy,” before the effigies are burned on bonfires.

 

Flaming Tar Barrels of Ottery St. Mary, Devon
Don’t miss this centuries old tradition in which men, women and children set fire to tar-lined wooden barrels and run through the streets with them on their head. While the spectacle draws great crowds, there is still a wonderful sense of community particularly because, in many cases, generations of the same family will carry barrels. It’s not for the faint-hearted – there are no barriers or safety nets and the heat of the flames is intense – but it’s certainly a sight to behold.

As the evening progresses, the barrels get larger and by midnight they weigh at least 30 kilos. Photo by: Lewis Clarke.

As the evening progresses, the barrels get larger and by midnight they weigh at least 30 kilos. Photo by: Lewis Clarke.

After Dark, Sheffield
This year, on November 3, After Dark returns to Sheffield with a concert, bonfire, food stalls, a giant funfair and a huge fireworks display set to music.

Amazing fireworks at After Dark. Photo from: Yellow Bus Events

Amazing fireworks at After Dark. Photo from: Yellow Bus Events

Lewes, Sussex
Lewes, the bonfire capital of the world, is home to seven Bonfire Societies which each put on a magnificent procession and bonfire display. The societies (some of which date back to the 1800s) all parade through different areas of the town and each society represents a different group of “pioneers”. These pioneer fronts provide representation to historic or persecuted groups of people– for example, the Commercial Square Bonfire Society's pioneer front is Native Americans while the Cliffe Bonfire Society’s pioneer front is the Vikings. The festivities also commemorate soldiers from the World Wars as well as the 17 Lewes martyrs who were burned at the stake in the 16th century. The parades are an astonishing sight with burning signs, larger-than-life effigies atop giant floats, hundreds of performers and up to 80,000 spectators. 

Commercial Square Bonfire Society around the War Memorial. Photo by: Peter Trimming.

Commercial Square Bonfire Society around the War Memorial. Photo by: Peter Trimming.

London Firework Displays, Various
There will be multitudes of firework displays across the capital on bonfire weekend but some of the best can be seen at Alexandra Palace, Blackheath, and Victoria Park. Or why not head up to Primrose Hill to see all of the displays light up the city?

A Catherine Wheel firework 

A Catherine Wheel firework 

Posted in Art & Culture

Cover Photo: Fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night

How About A Pony: The British Famous Guide To County Fairs

How About A Pony: The British Famous Guide To County Fairs

< Outdoors

Where can I watch a heavy horse display, a hound parade and learn about dry stone walling, you ask? Get out of the city and slip on your wellies to explore the Great British countryside and some of our oldest, most treasured traditions. From ferret racing to falconry, Great Britain’s county fairs showcase weird and wonderful customs that celebrate British heritage, agriculture, food, and local communities.

Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon, Argyll (August 24-26, 2017)
First held in 1894, the Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) is a fantastic celebration of Highland games and Scottish culture. This year sees CHG welcome a record 720 Highland dancers from across the world to compete in the World Highland Dancing Championship. If heavy athletics is more your thing, don’t miss the Cowal Championship in which the “heavies” battle it out in shotput, the hammer and the famous caber toss (in which competitors throw a large tapered pole) on Saturday. Yes, those are actual events and they’re topped off by the magnificent sight of 1,000 pipers and drummers saluting the Chieftain as the sun sets down the Firth of Clyde. We swear this is real life.

720 Highland dancers will compete this year in the World Highland Dancing Championship. Photo from: Cowal Highland Gathering

720 Highland dancers will compete this year in the World Highland Dancing Championship. Photo from: Cowal Highland Gathering

Chatsworth Country Fair at Chatsworth Park, Derbyshire (September 1-3, 2017)
What could be more picturesque than celebrating the British countryside and its traditional pursuits in front of the 16th century, historic and current home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire? Held on part of a 35,000 acre estate, the Chatsworth Country Fair features events such as highland dancing, sheepdog trials, hot air balloons and a good ol’ dog and duck show. If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show, catch Paul Hollywood (Friday September 1) and Mary Berry (Saturday September 2) at The Stoves Cookery Demonstration Theatre. Don’t miss the RAF fly-by or the daredevil acrobatic Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team.

The Hound Parade at Chatsworth Country Fair. Photo from: Chatsworth Country Fair

The Hound Parade at Chatsworth Country Fair. Photo from: Chatsworth Country Fair

Dorset County Show in Dorchester, Dorset (September 2-3, 2017)
Showcasing competitors across homecraft, horticulture, horses & ponies, livestock and vintage agricultural machinery (amongst other categories), the Dorset County Show brings together some of the finest animals and crafts in the South West. Stroll through the grounds that host over 330 trade stalls, watch an incredible stallion and falcon display in the Main Ring, and sample quintessential Dorset treats in the Dorset Food Hall.

Usk Show at Usk Showground, Monmouthshire (September 9, 2017)
The Usk Show has run every year since 1844 and celebrates the best of Monmouthshire farming and rural life. This year, over 300 traders will be present across the Food Hall, Craft Marquee and Shopping Mall, alongside livestock judging and show jumping competitions. Get up close to vintage steam engines and tractors as well as larger than life produce in the Heaviest Marrow, Pumpkin, and Potato competitions.

The Royal County of Berkshire Show at Newbury Showground, Berkshire (September 16-17, 2017)
With 20 arenas and over 2,000 animals, the Royal County of Berkshire Show (running since 1909) is one of the best agricultural shows in Great Britain. Wander through the grounds to see pigs, sheep, cattle, dogs, horses and llamas, and go back in time at the vintage Victorian fairground. Be sure to catch the Grand Parade of Livestock, the Scurry Driving Championship Final and the Heavy Horses show.

The Scurry Driving Championship Final. Photo from: Newbury Showground

The Scurry Driving Championship Final. Photo from: Newbury Showground

Nidderdale Show at Bewerley Park, Yorkshire (September 25, 2017)
Even though it traditionally marks the end of the agricultural show season, Nidderdale Show takes an unconventional approach to its special Main Ring attraction. Who knew you could watch camel racing in the Yorkshire Dales? You can still find classic events such as terrier racing, sheep dog trials and show jumping. You know what they say - come for the camels, stay for the speed shearing. 

Posted in Outdoors and Art & Culture

Cover photo: Nidderdale Show

Your Neighborhood Guide to Hacking Hackney

Your Neighborhood Guide to Hacking Hackney

London

Traditionally a working-class neighborhood throughout the 20th century, Hackney is now increasingly known for its instagrammable Sunday brunches, organic markets and hipster cafes. Yet you can still find its classic East London character when you stroll through the streets - listen to the voices, take in the diverse food stores, have a pint at the corner pub. Here are some of our favorite local spots that showcase a mix of the old and new:

Broadway Market, Broadway Market (Saturdays 9AM-5PM)
Broadway Market is one of our favorite London street food markets. With various stores and over 135 stalls selling everything from farm produce and artisan baked goods to vintage clothing, lingerie, and crafts from local designers, it would be hard not to find something special at this market. It’s also a great people watching spot.

Visit Broadway Market on Saturdays to stroll and shop. Image: Broadway Market, Hackney Gov.

Visit Broadway Market on Saturdays to stroll and shop. Image: Broadway Market, Hackney Gov.

London Fields, London Fields Westside
London Fields used to be where farmers pastured their livestock on their way to market in London. Now, instead of sheep and cows, you can find a heated lido, an outdoor gym, tennis courts and a stunning wildflower meadow. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the late summer sunshine.

Forman’s Restaurant, Stour Road
For a close-up view of London’s Olympic Stadium, take a trip to Forman’s Restaurant which sits just over the canal and opposite the stadium. Don’t miss their famous London Cure Smoked Salmon, which the H. Forman & Son Smokehouse invented and has been making since 1905. You can even take a look through the viewing gallery at how the smokehouse operates. Enjoy their riverside terrace and afterwards, stroll over to the Olympic Park.

The interior of Forman's Restaurant which serves the famous London Cure Smoked Salmon. Image: Forman's Restaurant.

The interior of Forman's Restaurant which serves the famous London Cure Smoked Salmon. Image: Forman's Restaurant.

Hackney Empire, Mare Street
Hackney Empire is a classic #BritishFamous institution. It was one of the first theaters to have electric lights, a built-in projector box and central heating, and continues to be at the forefront of innovation and entertainment today. Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong and Ralph Fiennes have all graced the stage at points throughout Hackney Empire’s history and the theatre’s vibrant and diverse programme reflects the local communities which it serves. From comedy and drama to dance and pantomimes, there’s something for everyone.  

St Augustine’s Tower, St John's Church Gardens
As a Grade I listed structure and the oldest building in Hackney, St Augustine’s Tower is a long-standing symbol of the borough. The tower appeared on the cap-badge of the 10th Hackney Battalion during WWI and currently appears on Hackney’s coat of arms. The tower is all that remains of the early 16th century church of St Augustine, which replaced the 13th century medieval church founded by the Knights of St John. Visit the Tower on the last Sunday of every month when it is open to the public and you can climb the narrow staircase to the roof for a stunning view of Mare Street and the City beyond.

St. Augustine's Tower is a proud symbol of Hackney Borough. Image: Hackney Historic Buildings Trust.

St. Augustine's Tower is a proud symbol of Hackney Borough. Image: Hackney Historic Buildings Trust.

East London Tours with Alternative London
It won’t come as a surprise that London's graffiti artists collectively upped their game in Hackney. Our favorite way of checking out the work of some of London's most famous street artists is with affordable and guided walking or bike tours. Alternative London is an organization that offers tours of the coolest spots in London, often led by local artists and creatives. If you’re in to East London’s incredible street art scene, check out their street art tours and workshops. If you’re hungry, try their new food tour.

Alternative London Bike Tours are the best way to explore the neighborhood. Here, cyclists capture photos of artwork by El Mac. Image: Alternative London. Artwork: El Mac.

Alternative London Bike Tours are the best way to explore the neighborhood. Here, cyclists capture photos of artwork by El Mac. Image: Alternative London. Artwork: El Mac.

Cat & Mutton, Broadway Market
Cat & Mutton, a neighborhood institution for over 300 years, is a traditional pub downstairs and a cocktail lounge upstairs. Come for a pint and upmarket pub grub, and watch a mix of old-time locals, yuppies and hipster crowds fill this sizeable watering hole. On Mondays, listen to live jazz and blues, on Tuesdays take part in the pub quiz, fill up on Wednesday steak nights, and dance to live DJs on Friday and Saturday nights.

Columbia Road Flower Market, Columbia Road (Sundays 8AM-3PM)
Okay, so we know this market is technically in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. But it’s just off Hackney Road and it’s one of our favorite places, so we’re making a small exception. This famous flower market is open every Sunday from 8AM-3PM and has been running, in some form or other, since 1869. Many of the stalls were established over thirty years ago with generations of family members working together. Traders - or barrow boys - still yell their prices in hearty East End accents and the market is one of the best places to get affordable and multitudinous varieties of plants. Be sure to check out some of the brick-and-mortar stores and listen to street music on neighboring Ezra Street, when you’re done smelling roses. Visit early to avoid the crowds.

Gorgeous blooms at Columbia Road Flower Market. Photo by: Zoe Baker-Peng

Gorgeous blooms at Columbia Road Flower Market. Photo by: Zoe Baker-Peng

Geffrye Museum 
The Geffrye Museum is housed in a stunning collection of 18th century almshouses on Kingsland Road. The museum focuses on the history of the home in both a physical and conceptual sense, and is a journey through English style, fashion and taste. The meticulously curated period rooms span 400 years, leading visitors from the 17th century through to the present day. Be sure to visit the beautiful garden reading room. Stroll through the period gardens and the herb garden (open April-October) before finishing your visit in the charming café to enjoy some afternoon tea. If all that sounds too good to be true, get this - it’s free to visit.

Geffrye Museum of the Home. Photo by: Jayne Lloyd

Geffrye Museum of the Home. Photo by: Jayne Lloyd

Crate Brewery & Pizzeria, Queen's Yard
Situated right on the River Lea that runs through Hackney, you'll find Crate Brewery & Pizzeria which is usually packed on sunny days. The Crate Bar has its own microbrewery and the homemade pizzas are wonderfully original and inventive. While Crate offers monthly menus, past pizzas have included the Kashmiri Dahl pizza (mozzarella, spinach, dahl, cumin seeds, chili, crispy shallots, mango chutney, Greek yoghurt, coriander and banana) and Sage & Truffle (mozzarella, grated potato, crispy sage, parmesan and truffle oil). Sit inside the eclectic bar space where materials like bed springs, ladders and railway sleepers are incorporated into the decor or head outside where you can sit alongside the herb gardens, water and moored boats.

Outside by the canal is the perfect place to sip a beer and chat with friends. Image: Crate Brewery & Pizzeria.

Outside by the canal is the perfect place to sip a beer and chat with friends. Image: Crate Brewery & Pizzeria.

Posted in London

Cover photo: Crate Brewery and Pizzeria

The Great British Baking Scene

The Great British Baking Scene

Posted in Entertainment and Food & Drink

You salivated over Victoria sponges, pot pies, and Bakewell tarts. Marveled at Paul Hollywood’s piercing blue eyes and admired Mary Berry’s top-notch jacket collection. At some point, you probably couldn’t believe that we Brits actually say things like “soggy bottom” with a straight face or that our idea of a cooking competition involves contestants actually helping each other out. And now you want to know where you can sample the best of the buns, breads and biscuits from the Great British Baking Show. Look no further for your guide to the best #British Famous bakes.

Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies, Cambridge
Perhaps one of the best moments for Chelsea Buns on the show was when Tamal made them the wheels of his famous “Breadcycle”. Traditionally a swirled, square-ish shape, the Chelsea bun supposedly gets its name from the Old Chelsea Bun House (an establishment favored by Hanoverian royalty), where it was first created in the 18th century. Chelsea Buns are sticky, buttery and sweet, filled with a mixture of currants, brown sugar and butter. Often the dough is flavored with lemon peel and cinnamon.

For classic Chelsea Buns, visit Fitzbillies which bakes them daily in its bakery. Founded in 1921, Fitzbillies, according to its menu, has been “fueling students and dons for nearly a century”. 

The famous Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies

The famous Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies

Cornish Pasties at Philp's, Cornwall (Multiple locations)
Golden, crimped and traditionally stuffed full of meat and vegetables, Cornish pasties are the national dish of Cornwall and serve as a hearty meal eaten either hot or cold. During pastry week in the first (US) season, Richard and Nancy both made their own versions, with Richard winning star baker partly due to his delicious minted lamb pasties. The Cornish pasty, since 2011, has retained Protected Geographical Indication status, meaning that true Cornish pasties must be prepared in Cornwall.

Philp's, a family-owned bakery accredited by the Cornish Pasty Association, freshly bakes their pasties every morning. Grab a couple (because one is never enough!) and, if you’re visiting one of their coastal locations, stroll out to the beach to get the full Cornish experience.

Philp's Famous Pasties

Philp's Famous Pasties

Shortbread at Pinnies & Poppy Seeds, Edinburgh
Shortbread makes regular appearances on the show, often during biscuit week when the bakers need a sturdy biscuit for their showstopper creations. Shortbread originates from Scotland and dates back to the 12th century, although Mary Queen of Scots is often credited with the refinement and popularization of modern shortbread. Shortbread is traditionally created either in one large circle which is divided into segments, individual rounds, or as fingers.

Visit Pinnies & Poppy Seeds, a small, artisan bakery which favors the rounds and bakes their handmade shortbread using local, Scottish ingredients. Be sure to try their Classic All Butter but don’t miss out on their more inventive flavors, such as pistachio and rose, which rotate daily.

Beautiful pistachio and rose shortbread from Pinnies & Poppy Seeds

Beautiful pistachio and rose shortbread from Pinnies & Poppy Seeds

Scones at Fortnum & Mason, London
One of the most loved and celebrated British treats is the faithful scone which graces tea tables across Great Britain. Indicative of their high standing in British baking, scones were part of the final technical challenge in season 1 which saw Luis, Nancy and Richard racing to bake classic teatime sweets. Scones can be made with or without fruit (usually raisins or currants) and can be savory or sweet. Some of the best scones in Great Britain are served at decadent afternoon teas (see our Outdoor Afternoon Tea guide for more inspiration) and are accompanied by clotted cream and fruit jam.

Fortnum & Mason’s afternoon tea is renowned worldwide and the scones are wonderfully light. You can choose either plain or fruit versions with Somerset clotted cream, Strawberry preserves, and lemon curd.

Perfect scones at Fortnum & Mason with jam and clotted cream

Perfect scones at Fortnum & Mason with jam and clotted cream

Meat Pies at Clark’s, Cardiff
We Brits love our pies whether they’re filled with game, steak and ale, pork and jelly, or four and twenty blackbirds. Just kidding. Meat pies are, indeed, a classic British dish, and were celebrated on the show in season 1 during Pastry Week when the bakers made three-tiered pies, as well as during the wonderful Victorian Week in season 3. We will never forget how casually Ian remarked on using roadkill for his game pies. Pies were originally introduced by the Romans who made their pie crust out of oil and flour. Traditional British pies were made with lard and butter and the thick crust was deemed perfect for preserving the meat and vegetable fillings.

Clark’s uses a closely-guarded family recipe that is over 100 years old and produces their “Clarpies” with a thick short crust pastry. Be wary of A Clark’s Tash (burning the upper lip) and The Hanging Gardens of Grangetown (burning the lower lip) as you eat your potato and beef pie.

Clark's Pies have been a Cardiff favorite since 1913

Clark's Pies have been a Cardiff favorite since 1913

Posted in Entertainment and Food & Drink

Cover photo: Poppies & Pinnies 

Beyond Wonderwall: The Best British Music Not On The Pop Chart

Beyond Wonderwall: The Best British Music Not On The Pop Chart

< Music

Summer is almost over and we know you’re having the festival blues. But fall brings music events that cater to a wide range of music interests and genres and are less about head-banging-light-pulsing-my-tent-is-a-swamp vibes.  Here are some of the best options for where you can find your perfect tune, whether it’s bluesy, jazzy or involves dancing alongside glitter and feather-clad performers.

BBC Proms 2017 and Proms in the Park, Hyde Park, London; Glasgow Green, Glasgow; Singleton Park, Swansea (July 14 - September 9, 2017)
The Proms, billed as the world’s greatest classical music festival, is an epic, two-month celebration of orchestral classical music with concerts happening both daily and nightly. Be sure to partake in the #BritishFamous tradition of “promming,” which involves standing in the Arena or Gallery areas of the Royal Albert Hall. A limited number of tickets for “prommers” are available on the day, between 9AM-12PM, for main-evening and Late Night Proms. Proms in the Park is part of the rousing finale of Proms season and features classical musicians as well as high-profile artists from other genres. Proms in the Park takes place in England, Scotland and Wales – and with big-screen link-ups to the Royal Albert Hall where the famous Last Night of the Proms concert will be happening, you’ll be able to join in the #BritishFamous last night sing-a-long as well as enjoy alfresco music.

Experience the energy of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall

Experience the energy of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, London (August 26-28, 2017)
Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival, is a spectacle representing London's multicultural past and present. It's also a vital date in any party-lover's diary. Join the celebrations, add some sparkle and some dance moves- you’re good to go!

Flamboyant costumes and street dancing are just one of the festivites at Notting Hill Carnival

Flamboyant costumes and street dancing are just one of the festivites at Notting Hill Carnival

The Good Life Experience, Flintshire, North Wales (September 15-17, 2017)
Tuareg music from the Southern Sahara by EZZA. Mesmerizing melodies from Bahraini “psychonauts,” Flamingods. House, jazzfunk and hip hop beats from #BritishFamous Norman Jay. The Good Life Experience is nothing if not quirky and unexpected. Curated by four friends in “The Search of The Good Life,” this festival (celebrating its fourth year) brings together an eclectic mix of activities and entertainment. With axe-throwing, campfire cookouts, tree climbing, archery, leather-working, bushcraft and poetry also on the books, there’s something for everyone. Literally.

Ukulele class at The Idler at The Good Life Experience 2016. Image by: Nenad Obradovic.”

Ukulele class at The Idler at The Good Life Experience 2016. Image by: Nenad Obradovic.”

The Two Moors Festival, Dartmoor and Exmoor (October 13-21, 2017)
Where else can you find a music festival that hosts an event in a church which seats only 33 people, is over 1100 years old, is the smallest parish church in Great Britain, and is accessible only by foot on a 1.5 mile walk? The charming Two Moors Festival brings world-class classical music to Dartmoor and Exmoor, two of Great Britain’s national parks that are renowned for their rugged, natural beauty. At the aforementioned St Beuno's Church, listeners can attend Matins and experience beautiful classical guitar. Other performances include recitals by Barry Douglas and the Endellion String Quartet, which BBC Radio 3 will be recording.

St Beuno's Church hosts a service of Matins and classical music

St Beuno's Church hosts a service of Matins and classical music

BluesFest London 2017, O2 Arena, London (October 27-29 2017)
This three day celebration of blues and soul music brings both contemporary and classic performers to London’s famous O2 Arena. #BritishFamous star, Jack Savoretti kicks off the weekend while the legendary Steely Dan, with special guests The Doobie Brothers, close out Sunday.

Held at London's O2 Arena, BluesFest celebrates blues and soul music

Held at London's O2 Arena, BluesFest celebrates blues and soul music

Posted in Music

Cover photo: Notting Hill Carnival

5 Amazing Places To See Fall Colors In England and Wales

5 Amazing Places To See Fall Colors In England and Wales

< Outdoors

When fall arrives in Britain, the leaves turn golden, the sky seems bluer and the air has a crisp chill making it a great time to explore outside. Here are some ideas for the best places to see the fall colors from the National Trust (who look after properties and landscapes all over England and Wales).

King Alfred’s Tower, Stourhead, Wiltshire, England
Explore south west England with a walk through the beautiful woodlands to King Alfred’s Tower, a 160 ft. high folly designed for the Stourhead estate’s owner, Henry Hoare II, in 1772. It is believed to mark the site where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops in 878. Stop and enjoy the spectacular views across the lake in the landscape garden, with the deep autumnal hues of red, russet and yellow from the surrounding trees.

Explore the beautiful gardens that are dotted with classical architecture at Stourhead

Explore the beautiful gardens that are dotted with classical architecture at Stourhead

Heddon Valley to Woody Bay, Heddon Valley, North Devon, England
Nestled on the West Exmoor coast, it’s easy to see why the Heddon Valley was a favorite with the Romantic poets. In the fall, the path through the valley is full of vibrant yellow gorse, which scents the air with the smell of coconuts all the way down to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth. Walking routes higher up run across some of England’s most dramatic coastal cliffs.

This stunning walk takes you through a varied landscape of combes, woodland and cliffs.

This stunning walk takes you through a varied landscape of combes, woodland and cliffs.

Winkworth to Oakhurst, Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey, England
Winkworth Arboretum comes to life this time of year with rich, blazing color from the collection of trees. A two-and-a-half-mile walk weaves its way through the woodland to the top of Hydon's Ball, where you can enjoy spectacular views. Continue on to the charming village of Hambledon and visit 16th-century Oakhurst Cottage (book tours here), which has remained largely unchanged for the past hundred years or more.

This beautiful walk connects three National Trust properties

This beautiful walk connects three National Trust properties

Gibside Skyline, Gibside, Tyne and Wear, England
Buzzing with wildlife, Gibside is home to red kites, roe deer and many other rare animals. During the fall months, you can see the colors changing on the trees below as you rise out of the Derwent Valley on this circular skyline walk. Leave time for a stop afterwards at the Gibside Pub, with local ales, lager, wine and made-to-order pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven.

Explore Gibside Estate and take in views of the Derwent Valley

Explore Gibside Estate and take in views of the Derwent Valley

Dinas Island Spectacular, Dinas Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This circular walk boasts some of the finest views anywhere on the Pembrokeshire coast. In early fall, the coastal slopes are cloaked with the yellows and browns of fading bracken, while on the headland, the pinks and purples of common heather are just coming into bloom.

Experience the gorgeous Pembrokeshire Coast on this walk

Experience the gorgeous Pembrokeshire Coast on this walk

Posted in Outdoors

Cover photo: Stourhead Garden, Wiltshire, England

11 Best Places To Be Romantic If You Were In A Hugh Grant Movie

11 Best Places To Be Romantic If You Were In A Hugh Grant Movie

< Outdoors

Boy meets girl. Boy meets boy. Girl breaks up with boy, decides to change it up, and watches Love Actually for the 20th time – in July. If you’re feeling romantic, escape to some of the most relaxing, picture perfect spots across the pond. Ocean views, log fires, enchanted gardens – here are the most British Famous places to rediscover love.

The Scarlet Hotel (Cornwall, England)
A luxury eco hotel just for grown-ups, The Scarlet Hotel overlooks Mawgan Porth's bay in Cornwall. The rooms are arranged over five levels, offering views over gardens, cliffs, beach, and sea.

Enjoy gorgeous views at The Scarlet Hotel

Enjoy gorgeous views at The Scarlet Hotel

Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa (Devon, England)
Situated on the south coast of Devon (in southwest England), the Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa features a coastal retreat spa, private cinema, and waterside restaurant with wide outdoor terraces.

Look out at the spectacular view over Salcombe Estuary

Look out at the spectacular view over Salcombe Estuary

Llangoed Hall (Llyswen, Brecon, Powys, Wales)
Llangoed Hall is a wonderfully elegant and historic country house hotel situated in the beautiful Wye Valley in the heart of the Welsh countryside. It offers the quintessential Edwardian country house experience.

Experience elegance at Llangoed Hall

Experience elegance at Llangoed Hall

Cameron House (West Dunbartonshire, Scotland)
A stunning, Scottish Baronial mansion on the banks of Loch Lomond, the five-star Cameron House features 128 bedrooms, four restaurants, 18-hole Championship golf course, and a luxury resort spa.

Dormy House (Cotswolds, England)
One of the most beloved hotels in the Cotswolds, Dormy House is a rural retreat with fabulous views. From cozy corners, to log fires and sumptuous interiors, Dormy House is renowned for its personal service and luxuriously laid-back atmosphere.

Get back to nature at Dormy House

Get back to nature at Dormy House

The Gainsborough Bath Spa (Bath, England)
The Gainsborough Bath Spa centers around its Spa Village Bath which gives guests a restorative and luxurious bathing experience with access to the naturally heated mineral-rich waters. Paying homage to its colorful Georgian and Victorian history, the hotel is designed to be welcoming, elegant, vibrant, and social.

Relax at the luxurious Gainsborough Bath Spa

Relax at the luxurious Gainsborough Bath Spa

Lucknam Park (Wiltshire, England)
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa offers country house living at its very best. Explore the 500 acres of parkland on horseback, unwind with a range of spa treatments, or perfect your cooking skills at The Cookery School.

The Gleneagles Hotel (Perthshire, Scotland)
A magnificent, countryside estate in the heart of Scotland with three championship golf courses, an award-winning spa, and the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars.

Experience the majestic Scottish scenery and luxurious relaxation at Gleneagles

Experience the majestic Scottish scenery and luxurious relaxation at Gleneagles

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House (Lake District, England)
Originally built in 1901, the family-owned Gilpin Hotel blends the old and new to give a timeless balance near Lake Windermere. Every room is different, including its three dining rooms, which provoke interest and the sense of a journey, as you wander through the hotel.

Take in the beautiful Lake District at Gilpin Hotel

Take in the beautiful Lake District at Gilpin Hotel

Old Course Hotel (St. Andrews, Scotland)
Bordering the renowned 17th Road Hole at St. Andrews, the Old Course Hotel overlooks the famous links, the West Sands Beach and the beautiful Scottish coastline.

Coombeshead Farm (Cornwall, England)
Set amongst 66 acres of meadows, woodland, and oak-lined streams, Coombeshead Farm is a joint venture by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield. The informal guesthouse and dining room offers farmhouse comforts and isolation in the heart of Cornwall’s rural countryside.

Retreat to gorgeous Cornish countryside at Coombeshead Farm

Retreat to gorgeous Cornish countryside at Coombeshead Farm

Posted in Outdoors

Cover Photo: Gleneagles Hotel

Where To Eat In London Without Reservations

Where To Eat In London Without Reservations

< Food & Drink

London’s street food scene is one of the most exciting ways to explore the city. Hundreds of vendors all over town serve up some of the best bites you’ll find here. There really is no better way to experience the diversity of London than munching your way through British Famous dosas, pork buns, and three-cuisine burritos while people watching from these food markets.

KERB Camden Market
Although newer to the scene, KERB Camden Market has wasted no time in earning a spot on this list. 34 vendors serve lunch and dinner from a range of cuisines – including North Indian, Italian, Venezuelan, Japanese, and Taiwanese – right next to Camden’s iconic canals. Feeling like a Swedish-Mexican-Korean burrito? They’ve got it. Think you can handle freshly rolled pasta made in a giant wheel of cheese? Look no further. Find out about KERB's other markets here.

KERB Camden at night

KERB Camden at night

Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane is a seasoned veteran in the London scene. Come on weekends when the market is in full swing for a mix of eating and shopping as you pop in and out of stores. Don’t miss the Rib Man (beware that he normally sells out before 2PM). We’re also keen on the Boiler House Food Hall and Ely’s Yard Street Food.

Stroll through Brick Lane and the surrounding streets and experience bustling markets

Stroll through Brick Lane and the surrounding streets and experience bustling markets

Whitecross Street Market
Rub shoulders with stylish whitecollar types who stroll Whitecross Street Market at lunchtime. Whitecross is a favorite of Barbican, Clerkenwell and Hoxton locals who come for the wide variety of heavenly bites like Luardos’ fat burritos.

Delicious burritos at Luardos

Delicious burritos at Luardos

Street Feast
Street Feast is an inventive concept that transforms disused spaces into vibrant food markets. In years past, Street Feast has taken over car parks, warehouses, and old grocers with a hearty sampling of global cuisine. We love Street Feast because every location is open late and they all bring the party. If you hit KERB markets at lunchtime, do Street Feast for dinner and drinks. Here’s a rundown of their current locations:

Hawker House: Located near Canada Water station, Hawker House is Street Feast’s “mega-market” – a warehouse with nine bars, 14 street food traders and capacity for 2,500. Don’t miss Chin Chin Labs. Free entry before 7PM, £3 (about $4) after.

Hawker House

Hawker House

Giant Robot: Street Feast’s newest addition, Giant Robot is an eating and drinking “rooftopia” with incredible Canary Wharf views. Don’t miss Yum Bun’s classic pork bun. Free entry.

Giant Robot

Giant Robot

Dinerama: Located in the ever-popular Shoreditch neighborhood, Dinerama is the perfect place to enjoy a summer evening. Don’t miss You Doughnut. Free entry before 7PM, £3 (about $4) after.

Dinerama

Dinerama

Model Market: Located in the Lewisham shopping district, Model Market is an 800-person venue with seated micro-diners, street food vendors, and five bars (including a Tiki bar and rooftop beer terrace). Don’t miss SE Cakery and Mother Clucker. Free entry before 7PM, and £3 (about $4) after.

Model Market

Model Market

Southbank Center Food Market
Located in one of the most exciting places in London, the SCFood Market offers the chance to snack along the Thames River. Take in views of Parliament and the London Eye that would make Clark Griswold proud and be spoilt for choice with options like Greek, French, Ethiopian and Thai. Open Friday through Sunday.

SCFood Market. Photo: India Roper Evans

SCFood Market. Photo: India Roper Evans

Pop Brixton
A celebration of independent and community-based businesses, Pop Brixton has gone from a bare lot to a bustling scene filled with artists, startups, and thriving community garden. Wander through transformed shipping containers as you explore this eclectic hangout and sample Ghanian, French, Italian, and Caribbean Jerk cuisines among the many.

Enjoy the sunshine at Pop Brixton

Enjoy the sunshine at Pop Brixton

Broadway Market
Stroll down this busy street between Regent’s Canal and London Fields on Saturday and you’ll find 135 stalls selling a wide range of locally made street food and craft goods. Don’t miss Spice Box and Le Bao.

Broadway Market

Broadway Market

Posted in Food & Drink

Cover Photo: KERB Camden Market

The #BritishFamous Guide to Summer Music

The #BritishFamous Guide to Summer Music

< Music

Some of the best musicians in the world hail from Great Britain. While you may have missed the boat on Sam Smith or Thom Yorke, you can still find next year’s Adele while they’re still only British Famous. Here’s the shortlist of acts to catch before they’re all over the radio in your Uber.

Dave at Latitude Festival 2017 (July 13-16) - Henham Park, Southwold
Catch the newest and youngest rep of British grime at the Latitude Festival on July 15. Dave is headlining a very exciting lineup that also includes Mumford and Sons, Glass Animals, Margaret Glaspy, and Milky Chance so make sure you get your tickets soon.

Latitude Festival 2016. Photo: Jen O’Neill

Latitude Festival 2016. Photo: Jen O’Neill

JP Cooper at Liverpool International Music Festival 2017 (July 20-23) - Liverpool
What’s better than an outdoor summer music festival? A free outdoor summer music festival. Catch JP Cooper, a neo-soul singer who stormed the British charts with “September Song,” at the Liverpool International Music Festival. You’ll also be able to see other British Famous artists, including Corinne Bailey Rae and Gorgon City.

Tom Zanetti at Creamfields 2017 (August 24-27) - Daresbury Estate in Cheshire
Last year, Creamfields was voted Best Major Festival. This year, Tom Zanetti is playing tunes that’ll make you think you really ought to move here. Catch Tom Zanetti on the Pepsi Max stage on August 26, and stick around for other British Famous artists, including Chase & Status, and Stormzy.

Creamfields

Creamfields

Gulp at Festival Number 6 (September 7-10) - Portmeirion, Wales
Garage space-pop. Don’t knock it until you’ve danced to it. Fronted by Cardiff natives Guto Pryc and Lindsey Leven, Gulp will be playing garage space-pop – which they liken to a road trip – at the equally dreamy and eclectic Festival Number 6. 

The dreamy Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales

The dreamy Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales

Bugzy Malone at O2 Academy (July 21) - Sheffield, England
We think it’s time to call Arena Grime a thing because Bugzy Malone is putting on a show inside the legendary O2 Academy Sheffield, a venue that has also hosted a few other British notables over the years like The Police and David Bowie. It’s all part of the Tramlines Festival After Party, on July 21.

Birdy at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (3-5 August) – Beauly, Scotland
Although she’s Grammy-nominated, Birdy keeps a low-profile, making her still a #BritishFamous treasure. If you want to see her live alongside British legends like Franz Ferdinand and KT Tunstall, you’ll have to hitch a ride up to this wonderfully Scottish festival.

Posted in Music

Cover Photo: Festival No. 6

The 10 Best Summer 2017 Exhibits To Get Your Culture Fix

The 10 Best Summer 2017 Exhibits To Get Your Culture Fix

< Art & Culture

You never know who the next big name in art will be. Or which of their pieces will sell for $110 mil. But since many great artists come from Great Britain, it’s worth starting your search here. Our British Famous exhibitions, including works by the likes of Pink Floyd, Balenciaga, and Gillian Ayres, have just what you’re looking for this summer: air conditioning and plenty of chances to ask, “is this art?” The answer is yes, by the way. And no, you couldn’t have done it yourself.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (June 13-August 20) - London, England
The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open-submission contemporary art show. Now in its 249th year, the Summer Exhibition provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase works across painting and printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture, and film.

Installation view of Gallery VI, curated by Yinka Shonibare RA, at the Summer Exhibition 2017. Photo: © David Parry. Royal Academy of Arts

Installation view of Gallery VI, curated by Yinka Shonibare RA, at the Summer Exhibition 2017. Photo: © David Parry. Royal Academy of Arts

Cambridge Open Studios (July 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23) - Cambridge, England
Each year around 350 artists, designers, and makers open their studios to the public over four weekends in July. Learn more about the artists here.

Serpentine Gallery hosts Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever (June 8 - September 10) - London, England
One of the most famous British commentators on contemporary society and culture, Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry will present a major exhibition of new work. The exhibition will explore popularity, masculinity, and #Brexit. On your way out, you can also check out the annual Serpentine Pavilion (June 23-October 8).

Grayson Perry, Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London (08 June 2017 – 10 September 2017). Image © 2017 Robert Glowacki

Grayson Perry, Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London (08 June 2017 – 10 September 2017). Image © 2017 Robert Glowacki

Babylon Gallery Summer Open (July 22 - August 28) - Waterside, Ely, England
During the summer, this riverside gallery showcases British art from artists of all ages, both amateur and professional. You can explore different styles and mediums, and even buy some art. You might even stumble onto a Banksy piece. Or at least the next generation Banksy.

Gillian Ayres at the National Museum Cardiff (Ongoing until September) - Cardiff, Wales
This exhibition celebrates the work of one of Britain’s most important and internationally renowned abstract artists, Gillian Ayres, as well as her artistic connections to Wales. Featuring major paintings from across the artist’s career, this is the largest exhibition of Ayres’s work ever seen in the UK. 

Tate Liverpool: Tracey Emin and William Blake In Focus (Ongoing until September 3) - Liverpool, England
Mashups are still a thing. So come see what happens when a contemporary British artist and a renowned British poet are shown side by side. This is the first time Emin’s work My Bed, has been displayed in the north of England. My Bed, which still shocks after 20 years, as well as Emin’s drawings from the Tate collection, are being shown with selected work from Blake.

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus on display at Tate Liverpool until 3 September 2017 © Pete Carr.

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus on display at Tate Liverpool until 3 September 2017 © Pete Carr.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery: A Perfect Chemistry by Hill and Adamson (July 27 - October 1) - Edinburgh, Scotland
Celebrating early-Scottish photography, A Perfect Chemistry: Photographs by Hill & Adamson explores the partnership of David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848). These two photographers mastered the art of photography only four years after its invention and their stunning images document various aspects of 19th century Scotland in stunning detail.

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A (Ongoing until October 1) - London, England
Visit the first international retrospective of Pink Floyd, a band renowned for both groundbreaking rock music and iconic design. This dramatic audio-visual exhibition explores Pink Floyd’s music, art, and staging since their debut. Book in advance to get your preferred timeslot.

Animals. © Pink Floyd Music Ltd. Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Animals. © Pink Floyd Music Ltd. Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Edinburgh Alphabet at the City Arts Center (May 19 - October 8) - Edinburgh, Scotland
For the first time, Edinburgh’s museums and galleries are bringing together a huge range of objects from their combined collections into one massive exhibition. This A to Z of Edinburgh art includes over 300 items spanning 10,600 years. Expect to find objects and artifacts from archaeology, fine and applied art, childhood art, literary works, and social history collections.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A (Ongoing until February 2018) - London, England
Is fashion art? Or not? Decide for yourself as you wander past glorious dresses and explore Cristóbal Balenciaga’s exquisite craftsmanship. His innovative designs are now on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum – one of the best museums for fashion and design. Advance booking is recommended.

Evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Posted in Art & Culture

Do London Differently: You’re In Peckham, Now What?

Do London Differently: You’re In Peckham, Now What?

<Art & Culture

Wandering through southeast London’s Peckham neighborhood is a sensory journey. The fresh fruits and vibrant colors in the open markets, the music spilling out onto the street, and cuisine brought from all over the world make it a ‘yes’ on the must-see list. If you’re searching for an offbeat British Famous scene, here are our top picks for Peckham.

CLF Art Café
This 120-year-old, four-level warehouse space is perfect for a night out, especially in the summer. There's always something different happening on every floor in the CLF Art Café -  you can dance your way from disco to hip hop to reggae in under 5 minutes. They also host epic soul nights that take place three times a month.  During the day, the café hosts theatre acts, comedy sets, art shows, and more, and be sure to visit Rye Wax in the basement which sells records, comics, books, tacos and cocktails.

Dance the night away in this amazing four story warehouse. Photo: CLF Art Cafe

Dance the night away in this amazing four story warehouse. Photo: CLF Art Cafe

South London Gallery
The South London Gallery is an internationally known contemporary art space. More importantly, it’s been free to the public since 1891. It was opened to ‘bring art to the people of south London’ – and they’re still keeping that promise.

Canavan’s Pool Hall and Bar
This retro club has affordable drinks, pool and ping-pong tables, and a dance floor where you can impress everyone with the latest American moves until 4 am (remember, most pubs here close at 11 pm). If you’re really feeling into the throwback vibe, dressing like you’re still living in the ‘90s is encouraged.

Franks Café

Come for one thing and one thing only: jaw-dropping views of London. Of course art, food, and drink options are available, too.

A Frozen Gin Sorbet. Slurp one of these outside at Peckham Springs.

A Frozen Gin Sorbet. Slurp one of these outside at Peckham Springs.

Peckham Springs
This outdoor bar and gallery space, next to Peckham Rye Station, has what’s quite possibly the best value cocktails in the whole of London. Their frozen cocktails are the perfect answer to a hot summer evening. Every week, they also invite the best independent food traders to set up shop. Good food, good drinks, even better art, music and atmosphere – it literally has all of the things.  

Persepolis
Persepolis brings the best flavors of Middle Eastern and Levantine (East Mediterranean) cooking to South-East London. It also clearly is addicted to all things East. It serves up a pretty perfect breakfast and lunch, but you could always skip right over that and order a decadent Turkish delight sundae complete with slivers of halva and saffron ice cream and drizzled with rose cordial.

Posted in Art & Culture

Cover Photo: CLF Art Café

The Best Places To Get Your Hands On British Tea This Summer (Outside of Boston)

The Best Places To Get Your Hands On British Tea This Summer (Outside of Boston)

< Food & Drink

Sipping tea and eating scones is extra British. But there’s no such thing as too British. So if you find yourself feeling as peckish as the 7th Duchess of Bedford (who invented afternoon tea), then this is the thing for you.

“Afternoon tea” vs “High tea”
We should probably clear up that afternoon tea refers to the mid-day luxury of drinking tea and eating scones, mini sandwiches, and cakes. High tea was for the working classes who ate a heartier meal after finishing work at high dinner tables. So no, high tea does not mean it’s a “special tea” (you could probably get that in Colorado). Sometimes the tea terms are used interchangeably but could lead you to very different experiences. In any case, be sure to keep your pinkies down as you sip your tea.

Over the centuries, the practice of taking afternoon tea has relaxed. Many Brits drink cups of tea throughout the day but consider the tradition of afternoon tea to be more of a treat. While the storied tearooms of The Ritz and Fortnum & Mason are magnificent and worth a visit, in summer we love to do our steeping out in the sun (it’s not always foggy). Here are some of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea outside:

We recommend pre-booking afternoon tea.

London

The Orangery at Kensington Palace
Want to take tea at the royal residence where Princess Diana once lived and where Kate and Will now call home? Then pull up a throne on the Portland Stone Terrace and look over the royal gardens while you sip your earl grey.  

Sip tea like a royal at Kensington Palace.

Sip tea like a royal at Kensington Palace.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Take a break from shopping and the bustle of Kings Road in this beautiful courtyard garden at The Ivy Chelsea Garden. Choose from a cream tea (scones, clotted cream, and jam) or full afternoon tea. There’s also champagne if you need a little more kick than caffeine.

Sit amongst the flowers as you take your tea. Photo: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Sit amongst the flowers as you take your tea. Photo: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Sanderson Hotel
Indulge your imagination with the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea in the courtyard garden at Sanderson Hotel. The menu here is inspired by Alice in Wonderland – fancy a Tweedle Dee’s lemon curd financier, or a “Drink Me” potion? Traditional scones, cream, and jam are also served, just don’t be late.

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea. 

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea. 

England

Lime Wood
Soak up the sunshine while sampling éclairs and enjoying the view of gorgeous gardens at Lime Wood. They even have a G&Tea, which comes with gin specially selected for you. From here you can head out to explore the New Forest National Park, once the royal hunting grounds of William the Conqueror, where horses, cows, donkeys, pigs, and other wildlife roam free.

Afternoon tea at Lime Wood.

Afternoon tea at Lime Wood.

The Royal Hotel
Treat yourself to a Royal Tea on the Isle of Wight where Queen Victoria once also took her tea. The Geranium Terrace is a beautiful place to enjoy homemade strawberry jam, from berries grown in the Royal Hotel’s gardens.

Take your tea on the Geranium Terrace at The Royal Hotel.

Take your tea on the Geranium Terrace at The Royal Hotel.

Cherwell Boathouse
Cross off two British traditions in one afternoon: go punting in true Oxford style (punts are types of row boats, see the sport guide if you’re looking for some NFL action), then treat yourself to tea by the River Cherwell at the Cherwell Boathouse Terrace.

Go punting and have tea at Cherwell Boathouse Terrace

Go punting and have tea at Cherwell Boathouse Terrace

The Royal Crescent Hotel
After visiting the Roman baths, be spoiled for choice with four different afternoon tea menus and sample classic Bath treats in the stunning gardens at The Royal Crescent Hotel.

Delectable teatime treats at The Royal Crescent Hotel

Delectable teatime treats at The Royal Crescent Hotel

Harewood House
Enjoy tea on the outdoor terraces against a backdrop of sophisticated Georgian architecture (named for the kings, not the state). The award-winning parterre, expansive grounds and surrounding Yorkshire scenery are as stunning as Harewood’s state rooms – all of which you should explore. On weekends, you can take a boat tour of the Lake after.

Sophisticated Georgian design and rolling parkland at Harewood House

Sophisticated Georgian design and rolling parkland at Harewood House

Wales

Lake Vyrnwy Hotel
Come to the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel for tea and finger sandwiches above a fairytale-tower fitted lake. Afterwards, you can spend some time wandering the surrounding nature reserve thinking about princess charming (which may or may not be you).

Look out over this breathtaking view at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel

Look out over this breathtaking view at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel

Gliffaes Country House Hotel
There’s a place where you can get buffet tables of scones, cakes, and sandwiches. It’s the stuff of dreams, but you can experience this afternoon tea on a sunny Brecon Beacons terrace in real life.

Outdoor tea at Gliffaes Country House Hotel

Outdoor tea at Gliffaes Country House Hotel

Scotland

Prestonfield House
A 20-acre parkland and 18-hole golf course will give you a chance to work up a thirst for this tea service. You can take yours with cream, sugar, or overlooking Prestonfield House’s rose-filled garden.

Afternoon tea at Prestonfield House

Afternoon tea at Prestonfield House

The Carlton George Hotel, Glasgow
Dine up amongst Glasgow’s rooftops over homemade cakes and scones at the Carlton George Hotel.

Dine up high at the Carlton George Hotel, Glasgow

Dine up high at the Carlton George Hotel, Glasgow

Glenapp Castle
Reminisce about castle life as you stir your tea and take in Glenapp Castle’s beautiful grounds and gardens.

The grounds at Glenapp Castle

The grounds at Glenapp Castle

Posted in Food & Drink

Cover Photo: The Royal Hotel

Sports To See In Summer 2017 That Don't Take As Long As Cricket

Sports To See In Summer 2017 That Don't Take As Long As Cricket

< Sports

Cut the telly off. Go outside and see the pros play. Summertime in Great Britain is chock full of sporting events. From the classic golf and tennis to the lesser-known bog snorkeling, here are the most British Famous sporting events to go and raise a Pimm’s Cup.

The Aegon Championships (June 19-25) - London, England
Known as the “warm up” for Wimbledon, the Aegon Championships (or Queen’s Club Championships) is one of the leading men’s tennis tournaments played on grass – and the first chance of the season for most players to switch over from clay courts. Last year, Andy Murray set a new record at Aegon by becoming the first player to win it five times.

Royal Ascot (June 20-24) - Ascot, Berkshire, England (an hour from London)
No need to spend your days waiting outside Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of the Queen; as a thoroughbred owner and breeder herself, Queen Elizabeth has attended every Royal Ascot during her reign. It’s the highlight of the British racing summer. The five-day event draws around 300,000 visitors a year for world-class racing, fashion, tradition, and fine dining. If you can't make it to Royal Ascot, consider visiting Ascot Racecourse for some of the other racing events held across the summer, such as the Summer Mile Weekend or King George VI weekend.

Galileo Gold (Frankie Dettori) beats Awtaad (center) and The Gurkha (right) in The St James’s Palace Stakes. Photo: Ascot Racecourse

Galileo Gold (Frankie Dettori) beats Awtaad (center) and The Gurkha (right) in The St James’s Palace Stakes. Photo: Ascot Racecourse

Wimbledon (July 3-16) - Wimbledon, London, England
Wimbledon is the oldest of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the only major still played on grass. A limited number of cash-only tickets are available on the day of play, as are several thousand Grounds Passes (for as little as $10-$32). Find out more about The Queue here. And fancy touring the grounds? Learn how here.

Tennis fans fill the grounds of Wimbledon on Day 1 of The Championships 2016. Photo: AELTC

Tennis fans fill the grounds of Wimbledon on Day 1 of The Championships 2016. Photo: AELTC

British Open (July 16-23) - Royal Birkdale, Southport, England (about 35 minutes from Liverpool)
For over 150 years, The Open has challenged the world’s best players. This year, the return of The Open to Royal Birkdale will give spectators a unique view of the Lancashire coastline with players facing tight fairways, unrelenting wind, and a demanding opening hole.

Ricoh Women’s British Open (August 3-6) - Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland
Continue your golf trip into early August with one of only two women’s Majors played outside the U.S. The 41st Championship of the Ricoh Women’s British Open is making its debut appearance this year at the iconic Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland. Players include reigning champion Ariya Jutanugarn, the youngest to hold the #1 ranking ever.

The Ricoh Women’s British Open. Photo: Getty Images

The Ricoh Women’s British Open. Photo: Getty Images

IAAF World Athletics Championships (August 4-13) – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Cheer on British Famous track and field heroes, like Laura Muir, Greg Rutherford, and Mo Farah, as they go up against Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix at the iconic Olympic stadium. No city has ever hosted both IAAF World Championships and World ParaAthletics Championships (14-23 July) in the same summer, which makes London the first with 245 events spread over 20 days.

Mo Farah will once again take to the track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Summer 2017. Photo: Tom Dulat - British Athletics via Getty Images

Mo Farah will once again take to the track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Summer 2017. Photo: Tom Dulat - British Athletics via Getty Images

Premier League 2017-2018 Season Start (August 12) – Various Stadiums
Boasting some of the best footballers in the world, Premier League play officially kicks off on August 12. The fixtures (schedules) are available here. Just maybe leave the Vinnie Jones impersonations at home.

Matchweek 1: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool. Petr Cech is unable to keep out a stunning Philippe Coutinho free-kick. Photo: Getty Images

Matchweek 1: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool. Petr Cech is unable to keep out a stunning Philippe Coutinho free-kick. Photo: Getty Images

World Bog Snorkeling Championships (August 27) - Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
For the adventurous travelers who want to dive right in, you can participate in the annual World Bog Snorkeling Championships. What is it you ask? Competitors race quickly along two lengths of a thick, 55-meter trench (that’s 60 yards to you Americans) in the middle of a bog without using normal swim strokes. You can enter here (online entries close seven days before the event), but the snorkelers’ outfits alone are worth making the trip.

Bog snorkeling - the quirkiest British sport?

Bog snorkeling - the quirkiest British sport?

OVO Energy Tour of Britain (September 3-10) – Edinburgh to Cardiff
For the first time, Edinburgh will host the opening stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the UK's premier professional cycling event. This is not a tour put on by Drake, but instead features riders racing past eight stages of British Famous scenery towards the finish line in Cardiff city centre. Find out here if you’ll be nearby to cheer on the riders.

2016 Tour of Britain. Photo: @TheoSouthee photography

2016 Tour of Britain. Photo: @TheoSouthee photography

NFL Game #1 in London (September 24) - Wembley Stadium, London, England
If you feel like you might miss your usual kind of football, head to Wembley Stadium in September as they host NFL exhibitions in London. On weeks three and four of the regular season, the Baltimore Ravens will squawk at the Jacksonville Jaguars followed by the New Orleans Saints praying for a victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Visit the iconic Wembley Stadium where a different kind of football will be played in September.

Visit the iconic Wembley Stadium where a different kind of football will be played in September.

Posted in Sports

Cover Photo: Stephen Pond - British Athletics via Getty Images

5 Moments When Your Soul Will Gently Fist-Bump Wales

5 Moments When Your Soul Will Gently Fist-Bump Wales

Wales is deep. There’s just something about it. We’d go so far as to say that if wellness had an ancestral homeland, it would be Wales. For soul-soothing, brain-arousing diversions, it can’t be beat. You’ll find yourself time and again saying, “Wales, I feel you.”