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Travel

Environment, Travel

The Boutique

Iconic Chewton Glen (Part 2)

Finding a gift shop in a 5 star hotel that has something different, local – well British at least – and perhaps if you are lucky enough, sustainable, is pretty rare I have found. More often than not you find expensive, generic brands that leave you with a sense of blandness and lack of creativity!

Keely van Dam, has brought something special to Chewton Glen’s gift shop. Shaped somewhat out of our experiences during the COVID pandemic, where small local independents came into their own as we took those early steps back into shared spaces, she delivers a totally different experience for guests and visitors….

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Environment, Travel

It’s All About the Bees – The Iconic Chewton Glen Hotel (Part 1)

Inspiring the Next Generation

Chewton Glen is a glorious and luxurious place to stay, set in 135 acres of beautiful rolling grounds.

Would it surprise you that what excited me most was a tour around their waste management area by their very informed Deputy General Manager, Raymond de Toulouse Lautrec? Probably not by now…. just to prepare you for my ‘bin’ conversation!

But what’s this about the bees? My Dad was an avid gardener and I have fond memories of helping him tend our good sized garden of vegetables and flowers as a little girl. Everything was grown from seed, kept from the previous year. Plant cuttings and vegetable gluts were shared with neighbours as were gardening tips on what to grow with what to keep the bugs in check. Everything that could be was composted. He taught me all I know and his presence is always with me when I garden – not surprising, so many of my plants are from him!

My conversation with the Estate Manager, Darren Venables stirred those memories and really got me thinking about all that Darren told me he was trying achieve….

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Environment, Travel

Standing Next to History

… with a group of like-minded, inspirational people who get together to preserve its memory

Hands up who knows the remarkable story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica on the ship Endurance? It’s the one that took place in 1914 on his endeavour to attempt the first land crossing of the Antarctic, from the Weddell Sea through the South Pole to the Ross Sea.

Remember the part where Shackleton and his men are stranded on Elephant Island? He takes a lifeboat with Frank Worsley, Tom Crean and three others battling treacherous seas and ice for 16 days and 800 miles before reaching the ‘wrong’ side of South Georgia, with mountains between them and the whaling station that could provide the help to rescue his men…

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Environment, Travel

How the ‘Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute’ Amplify Antarctica’s Challenges Through Art!

When we think about Antarctica, what tends to come to mind are penguins, whales, seals and of course, snow and ice but unless you have been able to see it for yourself, the vastness and brutality of its stunning scenery are hard to convey in photographs and indeed through paintings.

But that’s exactly what the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute (FoSPRI) annual ‘Artist In Residence’ scheme looks to achieve. Each artist, will have their own unique style capturing Antarctica or the Artic in ways we would not necessarily think about and opening our eyes to new perceptions.

As an FoSPRI member, we joined a preview evening in London of the most recent work and got to speak to the artist, Polly Townsend, first hand about how she transferred her experiences to canvas…

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Environment, Travel

There is Life in the Treehouse – and I Don’t Mean Birds or Squirrels!

Do you remember that Woody Allen film, Stardust Memories, where he is sitting on a train waiting for it to depart the station? His coach is full of boring lifeless people who don’t know how to enjoy themselves and are going nowhere.  He is wondering why his life is so dull and where there could be a place he craves for fulfilment.  Just then a second train pulls into the platform.  He can see directly into a carriage which is full of people enjoying themselves in a happy party environment….

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Environment, Travel

Gravetye Manor: A Centre of Excellence for Gastronomy and Horticulture

Is there anything better than the English country garden in the Spring? Two nights at Gravetye Manor makes you appreciate all that is good about this part of England. I swear it was a degree warmer! But that’s not it. Perhaps the locally produced English sparkling wine, the meadows and tranquil gardens littered with spring flowers, the warm comfortable welcome from the happy helpful Gravetye team and the excellent cuisine? Yes, absolutely.

But of course, for me there was more… some surprising hidden ‘goodness’ that radiates outwards from this stately, historic manor hotel….

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Environment, Travel

Antarctica. A Life Changing Experience

After the success of our short film “It’s time to act. NOW“, we didn’t want to stop there! Continuing the collaboration with the various environmental organisations, we’ve produced a short documentary film that follows my life-changing voyage to South Georgia Island and Antarctica.

Join me as I share my journey and experiences in this very visual way, demonstrating how each of us can contribute to the preservation of our environment and the eco-systems that we are both part of and dependent upon….

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Environment, Travel

Scratching Beneath the Surface: Sustainability At The Treehouse London Hotel

Ok, I admit it – it was my birthday early February. Unlike the past two years, we were at home! Now I love birthday celebrations, my husband would rather leave the country! Couple that with our, what seems like permanent search for ‘fun’ or different hotels, those with a good vibe, great music – or at least not ‘parlour’ music – and a good view, a short London stay fitted the bill. The Treehouse London Hotel, Langham Place, London popped up on my Google search. Ooooh, I thought, that looks interesting. Roof top bar, perfect! It was indeed a perfect stay, one of the best and fun hotels we have stayed in.

But you know me, I always like to look deeper …. this is what I found….

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Environment, Travel

When Having Clean Boots Is Actually Important

Bio Security and the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project

Onboard our Polar Latitudes trip to Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica full focus was on the precious environment we were in and minimising our impact such as we could. Onboard the ship many things were already in place. No plastics, water stations and refillable bottles, bio-digester for food waste and pre-shore visit lectures with IAATO guidelines to adhere to. No food to be taken ashore and critical to ensure everything you went with came back with you. Humour is a great way to deliver these messages, and our team of guides were excellent on this score!

But for South Georgia and Antarctica there was much more, and here is why….

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Travel

Hungry Anyone?

Playa Blanca seafront, Lanzarote is scattered with bars, cafes and restaurants, with a few breaks where a hotel has that precious beachfront space or a pointed rocky out-crop gives a pleasant return to nature and the sea.

Looking for is burger and chips? Please, close this blog, you are wasting your time!

BUT if you are looking for something a little special, with music or the best of Spanish food, then this might be for you.  

Can you guess which is my favourite restaurant?

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