Experience Gifts

Five gifts not to be missed

For the person that has everything or needs nothing, an experience gift might just be the perfect fit. Some of my favorite ones are offerring gift vouchers, including:

Bisley Shooting Ground — Set within 3,000 acres in Surrey, Bisley Shooting Ground is Europe’s largest sporting clay ground and one of the top shooting schools.  Here's a chance to try one of the fastest growing sports in the country with no prior experience required.Vouchers available £50 — £150

Coutours Emma Parker uses her PR background to discover London's hidden gems, including 'Feast from the East' (street food in London's East End) and 'History of London in 4 Drinks' (tea, coffee, gin or beer). hidden gems, including 'Feast from the East' (street food in London's East End) and 'History of London in 4 Drinks' (tea, coffee, gin or beer).
Walking tour vouchers start at £20 / person

Perfume Studio — After an introduction to 18 blends created by their Master Perfumer, you'll have a chance to sample, test and combine them to create a signature fragrance of our own to take home.
Fragrance experiences starting at £49 /person

Shoreditch Street Art Tours — This tour always offers something different since new art shows up all the time and in the most unusual places. Think of it as live Where's Waldo, but the art you are looking for ranges from famous Bansky to C215 to piggy sculptures.
Public tour vouchers £20 / adult, £10 / child

Sweet Tooth Tours — Led by Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef Lynne Staartjes, Sweet Tooth Tours highlight London's best sweets (bakeries, chocolate shops, gelaterias), savories (cheese mongers) and more.  Once you have tasted London, head to Paris where Lynne leads similar tours!
London experiences start at £58 / person (minimum of 2 for a private tour)

While you are shopping for someone else, you might just find something for yourself too!

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

Favorite custom gifts

Without heading to the shops

Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season. Skip the mall madness and support small businesses on-line instead:

Original Welly Boot Collection
Since 2002, This is Nessie has been producing signature watercolor wellie prints. Designs are updated every season and comes framed or ready to be framed.
Bonus : 20% off orders £60 or more

Personalized Metal Street Sign
— Not on the High Street’s popular aluminum street sign can be personalized with your family’s name and post code. If this doesn't suit, they have 5,000+ other small creative businesses to choose from.
Bonus : On sale for £12.80 with free UK delivery

Vintage Map 
Select a special place, a message and design and let Posh Totty Designs do the rest. Their pieces are handmade and made-to-order, including keepsake jewelery.
Bonus : Free UK delivery with code 'DASHER'

London Needlepoint Kit
— Not exactly custom, but considering it is just the kit — each one comes out as one-of-a-kind. I personally didn’t have the patience to stitch it. Thankfully my sister did!
Bonus : £5 off small kits with code SMALL5 and £10 off big kits code BIG10 for orders placed by Tuesday

Order on-line now for discounts and holiday delivery!

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

Halloween Happenings

Something for everyone in Surrey

Halloween has become increasingly popular in the UK and is one of the country’s biggest cultural events. Here are a few ways to celebrate in Surrey:

For kids
Claremont Landscape Garden (Esher) — Complete the spell and save creatures from an evil wizard and earn your own wand.
£2 / trail added to normal admission

+44 1372 467806
Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG

Garsons Farm (Esher) — Garsons will award prizes for spotting colored pumpkins and spooky silhouettes, the most creative pumpkin colouring contest and guessing the weight of their giant ghost pumpkin. Visit to take photos among the pumpkins and their photo booth.

www.garsons.co.uk+44 1372 460181
Winterdown Road, Esher KT10 8LS

For Adults
The Ivy (Cobham) — Why should kids have all the fun? The Ivy has teamed up with Cazcabel Premium Tequila to serve up Halloween hand-crafted cocktails, including Diablo Verde, Bone Marrow, A Clockwork Orange and The Skull Crusher.
Starting at £9.75

www.theivycobhambrasserie.com+44 1932 901777
48 High Street, Cobham KT11 3EF

For Family & Friends
The Oatlands Park Hotel (Weybridge) — Afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream along with Halloween themed cakes and pastries and feature tea from T2.
Starting at £26.95, £15 (for under 12s)

www.oatlandsparkhotel.com +44 1932 847242
146 Oatlands Dr, Weybridge KT13 9HB

Painshill Park (Cobham) — Afternoon tea will include pumpkin and apple scones along with other Halloween themed treats. £30, £21.50 (for children) includes entry to the Garden and Fairy Door Trail
www.skywalkadventure.co.uk +44 1372 701107
Sandown Sports, More Lane, Esher, Surrey KT10 8AN

While fancy dress is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged!

London cocktail week is back

Original cocktail event runs until October 31

London Cocktail Week will again extend to the end of the month. A £15 wristband entitles you to £7 drinks at 250+ venues. There is also an option to have £7 cocktails delivered to your door with The Drinks Drop. Other specials include ‘your first drink is on us’ for NHS workers and students and six tickets for the price of five for groups.

Some photo-worthy spots include:

Aqua Shard
(London Bridge) — Take in views from 31st floor of The Shard, London's tallest building, while sipping a Hennessy VS Cognac cocktail.

Christopher's Martini Bar (Covent Garden) — Enjoy Pining for you made with Grey Goose Vodka, Apricot Brandy Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, Homemade Chamomile Syrup & Fresh Basil Leaves in the heart of the theatre district.

City Social (City) — Sip Hazelnut Negroni (Bombay Sapphire Gin, Red Vermouth, Campari and Hazelnut Liqueur) or a S & T (Amaro Santoni Liqueur and Premium Tonic Water).

Ham Yard Hotel (Soho) — Step into this chic bar for a Fords Gin cocktail served with homemade orange, jasmine and lemon bald soda.

OXO Tower
(Southbank) — Pop into this riverside bar for views and a fruity Beluga Noble Vodka cocktail.

sketch (Soho) — Stop in at this stylish bar for Born to Swizzle (The Botanist Gin, Paragon Timur Berry, Green Melon, Pineapple, Lime, Sugar and Bitters) and Huggy Bear (Belsazar Riesling, Diplomatico Rum, Dark Rum, Martini Fiero, Vanilla Syrup and Salted Chocolate Bitters).

Even if you miss your chance for £7 cocktails — these bars are all worth a visit!


For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

West End Eats

10 stops in 35 minutes
Screenshot by Author of Google Maps
Now that theatres are open at full capacity and restrictions on social contact have eased, it is the perfect time to visit (or re-visit) London’s theatres. There is truly no shortage of places to eat in the West End.  Here is just a taste of places for afternoon tea or pre-theatre dinner:

BONUS : These stops also follow the Art of London digital art trail on display until September 30th.
For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

London Digital Art Trail

Must-see art experience of the year

Art of London has teamed up with National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy and broadcast partner Sky Arts to present the Augmented Reality Art Gallery. From now until the end of the month, some of the most popular paintings can be viewed outdoors through a free augmented reality app.

To get started download the Art of London : AR Gallery on iOS or Android. In the app you will find a map detailing the trail throughout the West End, from Orange Street to St. Martin’s Lane, Leicester Square through to Piccadilly Circus, around St James’s towards Piccadilly. Once you locate an Art of London plaque, scan the QR code with your phone and you’ll be able to view the painting on the wall through augmented reality.

The 20 stops include Malala Yousafzai by Shirin Neshat (Orange Street), Bathers at Asnieres by Georges Seurat (130 Jermyn Street) and Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh (Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly) from the National Gallery and Sir Tom Jones by Duncan Shoosmith (114 St. Martin’s Lane) and Sir Ian McKellen by Christian Hook (Wyndham’s Theatre) from Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. There is also a digital map to explore other arts and entertainment offerings in the area.

Screenshot by Author of Art of London

Catch these classic paintings before they disappear!
For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

Organic September

September 1 — 30
Organized by the Soil Association, Organic September is a month-long British campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of organic food and farming, which include: 1) supporting biodiversity and wildlife; 2) helping to combat climate change; 3) the highest standards of animal welfare; 4) reduced exposure to pesticides; and 5) food as it should be, and food you can trust.

Some of the healthiest places to eat in London and Surrey are:

  • Borough Market (London)
  • Daylesford (Multiple)
  • Farm Girl Cafe (Multiple)
  • Orangery Tea House at Garsons (Esher)
  • Ottolenghi (London)
  • Petersham Nurseries (Multiple)
No better time to de-tox from the summer and have something delcious to eat at the same time!

BONUS : Watch the eye-opening Netflix documentary, 'Kiss the Ground', to learn about newfarming practices designed to combat climate change and perserve the planet.

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App