Best views of Surrey . . .

. . . you can drive up to

Boxhill (Tadworth) — Box Hill is considered the UK's first park featuring panoramic views of Dorking, Gatwick Airport towards South Downs and as far as Sussex. A few minutes walk from the National Trust's Visitors’ Centre is Salomons Memorial Viewpoint. The viewing platform was erected in honor Leopold Salomons, a prominent businessman who purchased Box Hill to protect the area from development. It will seem familiar having been prominently featured as part of the 2012 Olympic cycling race course.
The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7LB

Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial (Englefield Green) — The memorial features over 20,000 names of those who lost their lives during World War II, but do not have a known grave anywhere in the world. There is a parking lot closeby and a few spots directly in front of the building for those that are mobility impaired. On a clear day, London Eye, Wembley Stadium and Windsor Castle can be seen. In addition, Runnymede Meadow where the Magna Carta was sealed and a memorial to John F. Kennedy are both within walking distance. 1784 433329
Coopers Hill Lane, Englefield Green TW20 0LG

Newland's Corner (Guildford) — In addition to being a picturesque spot to view the Surrey Hills and the location where Agatha Christie’s car was found when she disappeared in 1926, the concession stand attached to the visitors area serves a delicious bacon (English style) and egg sandwich on a soft bun. You can then a short circular walk that makes a loop back to the Centre.
Newlands Corner, Shere Road, Guildford GU4 8SE

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Faraway flavors - closeby

Some of the best ethnic food is not faraway or fancy

Jin Go Gae (New Malden) — This local, family-run restaurant serves up authentic Korean BBQ grilled at your table. Order the two-portion marinated meats which include beef, chicken, duck, pork or squid. Your meal comes with traditional Korean small starters known as 'banchan', including kim-chi (spicy preserved cabbage), seasoned beansprouts and pickled raddish. No reservations are taken for lunch so prepare to queue. 2089 492506
272 Burlington Road, New Malden KT3 4NL

Meat the Greek (Guildford) — Located just off Guildford High Street, this small cafe serves delicious gyros, kebabs and souvlaki. Once you add an order of homemade tzatziki sauce served with pita bread and fries with feta sauce – you have a meal. One reason why everything tastes so good is that they import all their ingredients from Greece. Opa! 1483 458644
15 Chapel Street, Guildford GU1 3UL

Mohsen (London) — Accompanied by friends who have been 'regulars' for over 20 years, we finally made a visit to Mohsen. The perfectly prepared mixed grill of lamb chops, minced lamb and saffron chicken certainly did not disappoint. Some dishes were reminiscent of those found at Indian and Turkish restaurants, including hummus and rose water infused desserts. We finished off our meal sipping their delicious specialty tea blended with saffron, cardamon and flower petals.
+44 2076 029888
152 Warwick Road, Kensington, London W14 8PS

Princi (London) — This location in London is the only one outside of Milan. Think Italian bakery and pizzeria of the Ottelenghi variety – glass cases full of focaccia sandwiches, pastas, and pastries. The cafeteria style service works well for a quick bite before or after the theatre*. 2074 788888
135 Wardour Street, London W1F 0UT

Tayyabs (London) — hough loud and somewhat hectic, this place is among the best (and well-priced) Indian grills. It is also BYOB without a corkage fee (a liquor store is conveniently located nearby). My husband would eat there everyday if he could! 2072 479543
83-89 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1JU

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Costumes Galore

While Halloween is growing in popularity,
fancy dress parties are popular year-round in the UK.

If you are in need of inspiration, plan a visit to Angels Costumes, the world’s largest collection of costumes and accessories. They have over 8 miles of hanging racks and 1 million items. Angels provides garments, accessories and services to a wide range of productions, movies, and events including West End shows, Madame Tussauds, The Globe Theatre and blockbuster movies. Oscar® award-winning costume credits include:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel & Shakespeare in Love (2015)
  • The Great Gatsby (2014)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2011)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • The Last Emperor (1988)
  • Ghandi (1982)
To get a feel of how Angels works, book a two-hour 'Behind the Seams' tour of their Garrick Road location where you will see departments such as alterations, jewellery*, tailoring and uniforms. There is also a book by the same name available for purchase that chronicles Angels' 175-year history as a family business spanning seven generations.

Not surprisingly that the world's largest costume company also boasts the largest fancy dress* selection. Over 10,000 costumes are available for purchase and hire* in store and on-line. If you can't find it here — you might not be able to find it anywhere!

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Oktoberfest Year-Round

Celebrate Oktoberfest without boarding a plane

The tradition of Oktoberfest in Munich started when citizens were invited to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810. The festivities took place on the fields named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's fields") in her honor and have continue annually since.

Today, Oktoberfest (simply known as 'Wies'n'' by locals) takes place in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. In case you missed it, here are two ways to get your Oktoberfest fix:

  • Stein's (Kingston) — At this authentic German eatery, our group settled on the metre* long sharing platter. It came with four different types of sausages, meatloaf, sauerkraut and potatoes (mashed and pan-fried). There were eight of us and this order could easily feed 12 (especially with the unusually large beer steins). If you are going with a party 10+, request the long table on the left hand side of the patio. 2085 462411
    56 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HN
Another place on my list to try is Octoberfest Pub in London. Every Thursday from mid-January until Christmas they feature unlimited sausages and a pint of German beer for £15. Now, that is a true Wies'n welcome!

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