• My Own Back Yard

    The Ivy: An Icon

    Sitting under a bar centrepiece which is gold and glitters, with champagne and fresh flavoured cocktails, I felt like an elegant lady about town surrounded by glamour. And that is just it, the Art Deco decor at The Ivy In The Lanes reels guests back to the time of palm trees, fans and cut crystal chandeliers. It is a picture F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby characters would not look out of place in.  Despite the dance of the waiters busy at work, there is something unrushed about the dining experience here. The airy, lit dining area with beautiful botanical designs, muted windows and luscious greenery give the impression of a vintage…

  • Castle in the care of the Scots guard
    My Own Back Yard

    Edinburgh – A royal guide

    Many monarchs have had a fondness for Scotland throughout the centuries and in Edinburgh, there are symbols of these royal relationships everywhere. Among the city’s elegant street of towns both old and young, sit memorials and monuments to the Kings and Queens of the past. Edinburgh Castle has been a royal home for over 1000 years set upon Castle Rock. It is not yet known how far back the first inhabitants settled here with estimates currently dating back to the 1st century AD. St Margaret’s Chapel sits in grace within the citadel walls as the oldest known building in Edinburgh and the birthplace of King James VI and I of…

  • Petworth House
    My Own Back Yard

    Petworth House and Deer Park

    I have been exploring the deer park at Petworth ever since I was a little girl. It was a Sunday treat to visit with groups of family as we took dog walks and picnics and tried to spot the fallow deer grazing amongst the trees. As I have aged my interest spread to the house of which the grounds belong and a year or two ago I took my first tour of the grand building itself. Constructed in 17th century, Petworth House has passed through generations of one family with the current descendants living in the private apartments today. Full of artworks and stunning interiors, the family’s fondness for the arts…

  • English Christmas Market
    Explore

    Get into the Christmas spirit for free!

    Anyone that knows me well knows how much I love Christmastime.  It is so easy to get carried away with the consumer side, but we all know that this is not what Christmas is really about. There are so many ways we can be involved and get to the heart and the meaning of Christmas, that there really is no excuse for anyone to miss out on some festive fun.  So dust off those Santa hats and hunt out the cookie cutters, we are on the home stretch…here are some extra ways to get into the Christmas spirit for free! Join in – Every town and village has a Christmas…

  • Giant's head at Heligan
    My Own Back Yard

    Cornwall Part 3 – Secret Steps to Megavissey and The Lost Gardens of Heligan

    On my last day in sunny Cornwall, I decided to spend some time getting back to nature by viewing one of the region’s beautiful gardens. So I journeyed east through St Austell to the small fishing village of Megavissey in search of The Lost Gardens of Heligan. The first thing you should know about Heligan is that The Lost Gardens are well and truly lost. Set in the midst of the Cornish countryside, this work in progress is an ever-changing landscape, meaning you will never see the same gardens twice. With sections dedicated to different plantlife from around the World, you can find yourself emerging into an Italian kitchen garden…