Snowy Surrey saunter

Hour-long walk worth bundling up for

Start at Cafe Menta and walk up Esher High Street towards Moore Place and take a right onto the public footpath just past Hill House. Moore Place Golf Course will be on either side of the path. Continue down the path until you reach a fork in the path. Proceed down the right hand side path down a steep hill. At the end of the hill you will reach West End Lane.

Take a left on West End Lane and when you reach the fork in the road stay to your right to Winterdown Road. West End Pond on your left is the central focal point of the small village of West End.


On the way, keep an eye out for the colorful ornamental cabbage. These plants are used by gardeners to provide a shot of color during the winter months before spring flowers emerge. And in fact, they get brighter as the temperature goes down.


If you are lucky, you may see spider webs covered in ice crystals. Once the snow melts a bit, you may see patches of snow drops and blooms of daffodils, a sign spring is on its way.

Don't wait to head out — if you have lived in the area long enough, you know it is likely to go as quickly as it has come!


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Adapted from original post February 27, 2018.

Bridgerton on location

Surrey and beyond

Less than 30 days after its release, Bridgerton has 60 million plus viewers and has already been renewed for season two. The period drama has enjoyed popularity similar to Downton Abbey. While the show is based in London, most of the filming has been done outside the city. Below are just four of the 100 UK film locations used:

Grosvenor Square : Royal Crescent
(Bath) — The series of signature 30 Georgian architecture townhomes placed in a crescent shape is a stand-in for Mayfair, London where the Bridgerton siblings, Featherington families and Siena live.


St James' Palace : Hampton Court Palace
(East Molesey) — The exterior of Queen Charlotte's home was filmed at Hampton Court Palace, a Grade I listed building built in 1500s for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s church officer.


London Park Scenes : Windsor Great Park
(Windsor)
Painshill Park (Cobham) — The London parks of Battersea Fields Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park and Rotten Row were filmed in other locations, such as Windsor Great Park while Primrose Hill and the Botanical Gardens was represented by Painshill Park.

Unfortunately, due to current Government restrictions if these places are not ‘local’ to you — you will need to wait to visit them. But if you are in the area, you may get lucky and catch filming that begins in March.

Otherwise, there is always Netflix now or later this year when Lady Whistledown will pen her Society Papers once again.
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Best of 2020 — Part II

Top 10 posts — Part II

The best of the best from 2020

5. Eat Out to Help Out— Discounts at 73,000+ restaurants in London and Surrey
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/08/eat-out-to-help-out.html

4. Pompeii of the North — you don’t have to leave England to get a taste of Pompeii
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/02/pompeii-of-north.html

3. Open for business — Surrey restaurants and shops
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/04/open-for-business.html

2. Chelsea Flower Show Virtual Views — World’s most famous flower show opens online
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/05/chelsea-flower-show-virtual-views.html

1. Now showing on Netflix — Run down of British-inspired shows worth watching
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/10/now-showing-on-netflix.html

As we bid 2020 a fond farewell — cheers to the New Year ahead!

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Best of 2020

Top 10 posts — Part I

As the UK lifts lockdown (again), it is not surprising the year's most popular posts were either on-line or outdoors. With the less than desirable weather, here's your chance to catch what you may have missed:

10. England’s best vineyard experience— Award-winning boutique vineyard produces sparkling English wines from a trio of champagne grapes that mature at least five years.
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/07/englands-best-vineyard-experience.html

9. Magna Carta pilgrimage — The Magna Carta was sealed at Runnymeade field in Surrey over 800 years ago.
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/07/magna-carta-pilgrimage.html

8. Kew's Summer Cycle — Cycle through the world’s largest and most diverse garden
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/08/kews-summer-cycle.html

7. Shows go on . . . — On-line that is
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/03/shows-go-on.html


6. Covid-friendly adventure hunts — Following the Rule of Six
www.londonviasurrey.com/2020/10/covid-friendly-adventure-hunts.html


Best of 2020  Part II will feature the best of the best from 2020.

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Chocolate-Free Advent Calendars

One-of-a-kind countdowns for everyone on your list

If you missed out on Liberty's luxury beauty advent calendar or Aldi's popular wine calendar, there is still time to have one-of-a-kind countdowns delivered to your door.

Bonne Maman (£23.99) — Bonne Maman (‘Grandma’) calendar features 23 mini jars of all-natural jams and marmalades plus a gift to open Christmas Eve.  The different, unique fruit combinations are usually not available in the UK and include lemon and yuzu, grapefruit and dragon fruit and raspberry and lychee.
www.bonnemaman.co.uk

Cath Kidston (£34.99) — For nearly 30 years, Cath Kidston has been designing vintage prints with a modern twist. The beauty Advent calendar includes 5 hand and 3 cuticle creams, 3 body lotions, 2 body scrubs, 2 hand washes, 3 bath fizzers, 3 lip balms, 2 liquid and a scented soap all packaged in Kidston’s signature designs.
www.costco.co.uk

The Chuckling Cheese Company (£34.99) — Founded in 2012, The Chuckling Cheese Company is offering two calendar designs (Merry Christmas, ‘Tis the Cheeseason to be Jolly). There are 24 mini cheese wheels in 8 different flavors — including best-selling ones (applesmoked, carmelised red onion) and limited edition and festive ones (Christmas pudding, Sunday roast).
www.chucklingcheese.co.uk

Fortnum & Mason (£25) — For nearly three centuries, Fortnum & Mason has been the exclusive supplier of tea to the Royal family. The teas come in 24 silk bags and include Fortnum’s famous (Breakfast Blend, Earl Grey and Royal Blend teas), holiday flavours (Christmas Spiced Black and Green teas) and Oddi-teas (Gin & Tonic and Lemon Curd Green teas).
www.fortnumandmason.com

Harry Potter (£20.89) — LEGO has teamed up with Costco to offer a Harry Potter themed LEGO Advent calendar. Recreate the wonderful Wizarding World with 24 LEGO Harry Potter toys, including 6 minifigures, Beauxbaton’s carriage and a dining table with ice-castle centerpiece — all ready to build, design and play with.
www.costco.co.uk

Joe & Seph’s (£25) — Joe & Seph’s award-winning handmade popcorn was inspired by trips to the US. The 24 days of popular popcorn is available in three assortments : gourmet (19 flavours, including salted caramel, pumpkin spice), vegan (8 flavours, including toffee apple & cinnamon, coconut & cacao) and tipsy (10 flavours, including gin & tonic, limoncello).
www.joeandsephs.com

That Boutique-y Gin Company (£49.95) — The Boutique-y Gin Company is the world’s first independent gin bottler that produces small batches of new and experimental gins. The Advent calendar features 24 different 30 ml drams of gin by 10 distilleries from 5 countries, including Cherry, GINgle all the Way and Spit-Roasted Pineapple gins.
www.masterofmalt.com

Who knew spending less than £2 a day before the holidays even arrive could bring so much joy?

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Bonfire Night alternative


Sadly, Bonfire Night (November 5) large firework displays are the latest lockdown casualty since you are not allowed to mix with people outside your household or support bubble 
(or at most one person from another household).  Three ways to celebrate while complying with the new rules:

Garden Fireworks — While you can set off set off fireworks in your garden until midnight on Bonfire Night (until 1 am on New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year) and 11 pm all other times, you are not allowed to set them off in public places (ie parks, street or woodlands). Fines can be run up to £5,000 or six months in prison. 
Note : Stock up now since members of the public are only allowed to purchase fireworks until November 10th, December 26th - 31st or three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year.


Hummingbird Bakery : Fireworks Cupcakes — Hummingbird Bakery has a special box of six firework themed cupcakes (three red velvet cheesecake and three chocolate) for £19.95 on offer. Gluten-free and vegan boxes are also available — order now for pick up until November 7th.
www.hummingbirdbakery.com

Monty Bo Jangles : Berry Bubbly Truffles — Monty Bo Jangles decadent Berry Bubbly truffles are filled with popping candy that explode in your mouth. Two 150 g boxes are £6.80 (regularly £8.50) or splurge for a trunk full of truffles (includes 8 other flavors) is £29.99 (regularly £40).  While non-essential travel is discouraged, the decorative box that resembles a piece of luggage will at least give you the feeling of going somewhere.
Note : Sale on 100 g and 150 g boxes runs until Sunday via Amazon.
www.amazon.co.uk

While the saying is 'Remember, remember, the fifth of November' . . . 'Should ever be forgot . . . ' — like so many other things, 2020 might be the one exception!

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Covid-friendly adventure hunts

Following the Rule of Six

Tired of Zoom or staying inside?  Grab a group of family, friends or colleagues and follow a trail of clues and solve riddles through Kingston and London. On both tours you will see things you never noticed before — even if you are a local.  All you need is your mobile phone, walking shoes and a sense of of adventure!

Game of Stones (Kingston) — Make your way through Kingston’s alleys, graveyards and market squares. The game starts at the steps of Kingston Town Hall.
Available : 8 am - 7 pm
Duration : 1 - 3 hours
Cost : £25 for 2 players, £5 for each additional player
Bonus : Prize at the end of the hunt
www.gameofstonestreasurehunt.com

Hidden City (London) — Themed-hunts include : Moriarty Games (Professor James Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes), Hunt for Cheshire Cat who escaped from Wonderland and The Enchanted Mirror inspired by Snow White. 
Available : Start between 10:30 am - 6:30 pm (until 5:30 pm Sundays)
Duration : 3 - 4 hours
Cost : £19 / player (2-5 people)
Bonus : Pause the game for cafe or pub breaks. Fully flexible booking (add or remove players, change the date, game or get a full refund).
www.inthehiddencity.com

Who knew the Rule of Six could be fun and challenging at the same time — in an entirely different way!

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