Perfect Pairings

Celebrate National Tea Day (April 21st)

Three convenient outing and afternoon tea combinations

Buckingham Palace : Fortnum & Mason The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace is open for two months every year (July 21- September 30, 2018). Alternatively, you can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (10:45 am - 11:30 am). Walk 13 minutes to Fortnum & Mason to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Fortnum's will also offer a special Wedding Breakfast Tea to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19th. 2077 348040
181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER

The Science Museum : Ampersand HotelThe Science Museum has a vast collection of over 300,000 items. These include medical, scientific and technical advances from around the world — many that are one-of-a-kind. Similar to other museums in London, entry is free (charges apply for IMAX along with some activities, events and special exhibits).  Walk 5 minutes to the Ampersand Hotel to enjoy their hands-on, interactive Science Afternoon Tea — fun for kids and adults too. 20759 14414
10 Harrington Road, London SW7 3ER

Shakespeare's Globe : SwanThe 2018 Banned & Censored Plays season (April 25 - October 20, 2018) features classics like As You Like It, Hamlet and Othello. To make the most of your visit, schedule time for a Globe Theatre Tour and Exhibition beforehand followed by a Midsummer’s Night Dream afternoon tea afterwards at the on-site riverside restaurant, The Swan. They even offer a savory-based Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea option complete with a glass of ale. +44 20790 21400
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT

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Favorite Food Trucks

Some of the best food on the go

Blacks BurgersWith over 25+ toppings to choose from, you can truly customize your burger. If you manage to save room for dessert, they also make their own gelato that is available on its own or part of five different milkshake concoctions. In addition to multiple locations in Surrey, The Blacks Express Bus imported from New York is available for hire.

Phil You UpRanked the top place to eat in Leatherhead and considered among the top 10 ‘restaurants’ in Surrey, the Phil You Up truck resides in the B&Q parking lot. In addition to traditional burgers, the menu includes pitas, sandwiches and wraps. Joe’s Special with Cajun glazed chicken, avocado, brie and mayonnaise is not to be missed.
+44 7795 215654
B&Q Car Park, Kingston Road, Leatherhead KT22 7QB

Taco TruckThe bright, red. Citroen fire truck serves up Mexican street food, including chicken, chilli con carne, fish and veggie tacos. As a truly mobile kitchen, you’ll need to follow them on Facebook to find them at public events and festivals or hire them for your next function. You can, however, have their specially made chilli sauce Guau (Spanish for ‘woof’) delivered to your door. +44 7815 028676

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Five Famous Britons

Get up close and personal

With a good chance of rain still in the forecast, get up close and personal with five of the most famous people in British History while staying dry.

Jane Austen : Jane Austen’s House Museum (Chawton) — The Grade I listed building is considered one of the most important literary sites in the world. Austen spent the last eight years of her life and where she is said to have completed six novels. The Museum includes Austen family items, including original pieces of furniture (the most striking is the small table where she wrote her novels), books, jewelry, and textiles. 1420 83262
Winchester Road, Chawton, Hampshire GU34 1SD

Winston Churchill : Churchill War Rooms (London) — As part of your admission, there is an audio tour (adults have a version and kids have their own version). In addition to this technical gadget, there is a lot to see and do for young kids and older teens. It is incredibly well-organized with interactive, interesting exhibits and actual rooms that have been untouched since 1945. Because it is part of a working government building today, it is a bit of a maze to walk through (keep your kids close since there is no cell signal). 2074 165000
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ

Charles Darwin : Down Home (Downe) — Down House maintained by English Heritage is where Charles Darwin spent 40 years of his life with his family.  The award-winning exhibition highlights Darwin's life's work and features the study that has been left intact from Darwin’s time. There is a multimedia guide for Darwin's family rooms and friendly, knowledgeable staff. It is worth visiting the garden where Darwin’s children helped test his theories and you’ll see the ‘stair slide’ that was put in place for them to enjoy — mark of a true genius! 1689 859119
Luxted Road, Downe, Orpington BR6 7JT

Diana, Princess of Wales : Diana — Her Fashion Story (London) — The exhibition covers the most iconic outfits worn by Diana, the Princess of Wales, from her first public appearances in the 80s to those worn in the 90s. Highlights include the blouse worn for her engagement portrait to the velvet evening gown worn while dancing with John Travolta at the White House. A 'White Garden' has been installed to complement the exhibition and commemorates the 20th anniversary of her passing.  It is also where Prince Harry formally announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.  Until February 28, 2019 (closed April 16 - 25) 2031 666000
Kensington Palace State Apartments, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX

Florence Nightingale : Florence Nightingale Museum (London) — This small, compact museum is traces the life and work of Florence Nightingale, pioneer of modern nursing. It features a collection of artifacts and memorabilia, including the famous lamp which earned her the nickname ‘The Lady of the Lamp’ and even her pet owl she had while visiting patients.  Free 15-minute public tours are included in the price of admission on Tuesdays (except during school holidays). 2071 884400
St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW

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Easter Teas & Treats

Made egg-specially for Easter

Bea's of Bloomsbury (Multiple) — Opened in 2009, Bea's is known for their casual afternoon tea. An Easter cupcake and vanilla bunny biscuit complete Bea’s Easter Afternoon Tea priced at £32.50 / person (wheat-free and vegetarian options are available). Until April 2nd

The Biscuiteers (Multiple) — These iced biscuits taste as good as they look and are literally works of art (not surprisingly many Biscuiteers icers are artists as well). There is an Easter Egg Biscuit tin of 8 iced biscuits for £35 or an Easter Party Luxe tin of 15 iced biscuits for £45. Order by Wednesday for delivery to your home by Easter.

Duck & Waffle (London) — Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle is considered the highest restaurant in the country. The restaurant will feature a special chocolate ‘Rubber Duck’ dessert (white chocolate shell filled with brownie bits, chocolate mousse and mint chocolate foam served with salted caramel sauce) to be shared by two for £16. Only April 1st 2036 407310
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Fortnum & Mason (London) — The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon opened by HM The Queen is the perfect place to have a traditional afternoon tea and enjoy Fortnum's famous loose-leaf tea.  Fortnum’s Easter Afternoon Tea features Easter-themed cakes and pastries starts at £49 / person. Until April 8th +44 2077 348040

181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER

Monty Bo Jangles Truffle Bar (Reigate) — Monty Bo Jangles Truffle Easter Eggs come with with single flavor (Berry Bubbly, Choccys Scoffy, Flutter Scotch or Scrumple Nutty) award-winning French cocoa dusted truffles inside for £6 each or with a range of flavors inside for £10 each.  These can be found at their retail shop in Reigate and from local grocery stores, specialty shops and on-line. 2086 685261
57 High Street, Reigate, RH2 9AE

Warren House (Kingston-Upon-Thames) — Enjoy afternoon tea in this Victorian Grade II listed home surrounded by beautiful gardens set on four acres. Afternoon tea prices start at £28.95 / person (£14.45 / child) and includes a mousse with champagne foam and pistachio and rosewater cake specifically made for Easter. Until April 2nd 2085 471777
Warren Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 7HY

Even if you don't make it in time for Easter, these places are worth visiting year-round!

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Sunbury Eats

Where to get a bite to eat — favorite independent cafes post-Sunbury

Dish Cafe — A wonderful place for a coffee or light bite (and one of the few that is open from 6 am daily). After you order at the counter, head to the back of the restaurant. There is a small outdoor courtyard with a few tables that can be easy to miss. ✆ +44 2089 411095 
3 Bridge Road, East Molesey KT8 9EU

Mada Deli — A few doors down is Mada Deli that features consistently good food (love that breakfast is served until 4 pm). Outdoor seating for people watching is a premium on the weekends — so you will need to go early to get a seat in the sunshine. ✆ +44 2089 797553
11 Bridge Road, East Molesey KT89EU

The added bonus of refueling in East Molesey is more antique shops (if you are not on sensory overload from Kempton!).

Cafe Menta — Up the street is Cafe Menta — a great place for breakfast and salads. The owner is friendly and has a knack for remembering customer's preferences. On my second visit he already knew the variations to my omelette and fresh squeezed juice combination.
✆ +44 1372 467559
64 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9QS

G!RO Cafe — Part cycle shop, part cafe, G!RO is known from their organic coffee and health conscience dishes for the fitness set. However, the delicious baked goods (sourced from Pinnocks Coffee House in Ripley) are not to be missed — my top pick is the chocolate and raspberry brownie. ✆ +44 1372 701701
2 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9RT

If you need a pick-me-up while shopping at Kempton, The Great British Toastie Company tea van strategically placed halfway through the market is a popular stop. 

Located in front of the grandstand is newcomer, Cafe Noir that serves up donuts and waffles — less of a queue (for now). Wherever you end up going, I can't think of a better way to spend the morning!

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Sunbury expands to Sandown

Biggest antiques market set to get bigger

Beginning next month, the Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park Racecourse will expand to Sandown Park Racecourse. Kempton will continue to take place the second and last Tuesday of the month, while Sandown will take place the first Tuesday at of the month (except for November).

Sunbury Antiques Market is the largest and oldest antiques market in the country. Considered one of the premier antique markets, it takes place the second and last Tuesday of the month. The items featured by the 700+ indoor and outdoor stallholders from all over Europe, include new and vintage: 
  • furniture
  • garden items
  • household decor
  • jewelry
  • paintings
  • and just about everything else in between
Like Kempton, Sandown will feature indoor and outdoor stalls and offer free admission and parking.  However, the trading hours will be slightly different.  Sandown opens from 7 am to 1 pm, while Kempton opens at 6:30 am and finishes by 2 pm.  

If Kempton is any indication, go early for the best deals and in anticipation that stallholders may pack up early depending on how sales are going or the weather. 

Either way in this case there is no such thing as too much of a good thing! 1932 230946
Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 5AQ

Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9AJ

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Spring Blooms

Photo opps for Mothering Sunday

Until last week, we’ve had an unseasonably mild winter — at least where flowers are concerned. While snowdrops bloomed on schedule in January, daffodils that typically bloom in March were  already out in February.  Where to spot snowdrops and daffodils in Surrey:
  • Claremont Landscape Garden and Painshill Park — Mum's go free March 11th when accompanied by their children.  What to see while you are there . . .
  • Guildford Castle Grounds — For the best view, climb the tower The Guildford Castle.  The season Family Fun opening event takes place March 24th.  
  • Hampton Court Palace The Wilderness located in the East Front Gardens is home to over 1 million flowering bulbs and is famous for its daffodils.
Even if the cold snap means some of the flowers are a bit behind in blooming — the photos taken at these spots will last longer than any bouquet of flowers!

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