A Culinary Tale in a Cute C17th Blewbury Inn

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Unlike the Thomas Hardy novel, Wessex Tales, The Red Lion Bar & Kitchen located in the novel’s title is far from a tale of unrequited love. The home-made bread served at breakfast is in direct opposite to Hardy’s style – instead it’s full-filling, nurturing and satisfying.

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Dating from 1612, The Red Lion Pub & Kitchen is a characterful and charming 17th century Inn with 3 rooms, hidden away in a quiet corner of the ancient village of Blewbury which lies at the foot of the Berkshire Downs in south Oxfordshire, also known as Wessex.

Chef and proprietor Phil Wild and wife, Arden, took over this dining pub a little over a year ago and re-opened in March 2016.

The menu for me is the clincher for a visit and this, without a doubt is a well-hidden food destination – a deserved hit among locals, yet to be discovered by tourists.

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“We didn’t want it to be over the top, but we have items on the menu that are quirky,” says Phil.

Take the Frog’s Legs as a case in point. A first for me, and astoundingly good. The starter is awash with a succulent and tasty garlic sauce and caper-combo served with the most delicate of green salad leaves.

My partner and guest for this trip went with the waiter’s recommendation of octopus and wasn’t disappointed either. Perhaps it’s something to do with the freshness as fish deliveries come to the Inn at 1am the previous morning, I’m told.

Service, like the food is impeccable.

The two staff (in smart uniforms) have been here for over a year and live on site. They’re professional and attentive without the over the top-ness that’s also avoided in the menus.

With original features, The Red Lion Pub & Kitchen has been decorated using vintage, country antiques and quirky finds with just 3 beds completing the Inn for an intimate touch.

It’s understated here, warm and cosy.

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But you really should come here for the food and service, with the rooms being a comfortable place to rest your head (my partner and I slept very well here) and sundry to the dining experience.

Phil’s locally sourced, seasonally-changing menu is modern and unique. It features British dishes with French influences. There’s also a cosy, oak-beamed bar with additional dining space, a working Inglenook fireplace and flagstone floors. Outside, an orchard garden for summer dining and drink with views over neighbouring fields to complete your eating experience.

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The village of Blewbury is also well-known for its literary and artistic connections. Kenneth Grahame who penned Wind In The Willows was a regular at The Red Lion Pub & Kitchen. Barbara Euphan Todd writer of Worzel Gummidge, and the ex-jockey and thriller writer, Dick Francis also lived here, while Agatha Christie lived in the nearby village of Cholsey.

The bookishness is reflected in the snug while we take a night cap for the evening by the ample fire – there’s a full book shelve to peruse.

We take a spring stroll around the village before leaving. Daffodils jostle against a backdrop of thatched cottages and a church keeps compass for our freestyle trek as it’s centred in the village.

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With top-notch food and cosy rooms in a little known literary spot like Blewbury, The Red Lion Bar & Kitchen is well-worth a visit and with room prices starting at £95 it provides value for money too.

Accommodation was provided by The Red Lion Bar & Kitchen, Chapel Lane, Blewbury, Didcot. For more information visit theredlionpubandkitchen.co.uk or to book call 01235 850403 or email eat@theredlionpubandkitchen.co.uk

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Guest blog: Mental Health First Aid for children and young people

2835959342_c55f01abc4_zTheresa May announced recently her commitment to invest in helping schools to recognise mental health issues in their students. A long overdue focus, says NICOLA MARSHALL

Having seen for the last five years the increase in mental health related issues in schools across the country, it is fair to say we are inadequately resourced to deal with this growing problem in our children and young people.

According to Gov.UK, over ½ mental health problems start by age 14 and 75% by age 18. Amongst teenagers the rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the last 25 years, and 20% of primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing.

It’s no longer just academic and physical health we have to meet the needs of. There is an ever increasing sense of our children’s emotional needs being neglected. Of course, raising awareness in schools alone won’t change this situation. Our homes and support services need to be strengthened too.

In an average classroom, ten will have witnessed their parents separate, eight will have experienced severe physical violence, sexual abuse or neglect, one will have experienced the death of a parent and seven will have been bullied. – MHFA Website

Frightening statistics. Not just because they are terrible things to experience, but the amount of children and young people this affects. How much more do we need to be aware of the impact of these issues for those pupils within our environments?

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The even more worrying fact for me is that our education system and particularly our behaviour management techniques have not evolved over the years to accommodate the change in our students. Children who may have experienced early trauma are still measured against those who haven’t. Zone boards, detentions, exclusions, isolations – all compound the sense of shame, loss and rejection that they already may feel.

When we can move from behaviour modification to relieving anxiety, then maybe we can help and support those struggling emotionally in our schools and colleges.

So what should our response be?

We need to be aware of the mental health issues prevalent and how to meet those needs when we can. There are Mental Health First Aid courses available for educators to train in, of which we are one of the providers in this country through the Mental Health England qualification.

Another positive outcome is to work closer with other services and charities to support our children and their families in whatever way we can. It was encouraging to hear in the PM’s statement that a review of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services throughout the country will take place as part of this focus on mental health.

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As an adoptive parent of three and an educator of educators I wholeheartedly agree with Teresa May’s statement below,

For no parent should feel helpless when watching their child suffer. No teacher should feel ill-equipped to deal with a troubled pupil. No teenager should have to leave their local area to seek treatment. No child should ever be left to feel like their life is not worth living

Let’s hope these changes will truly make a difference in this area.

Nicola Marshall is a Founder, Educator, Adoptive Mother & Author. For more information on Nicola’s work visit www.BraveHearteducation.co.uk

Down on the ‘free-for-all’ farm that offers a spiritual twist in Positively Scottish

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“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus.

For me, the invincible summer can be found in Lesmahagow, some 25 minutes south-east of Glasgow, just off the M74, writes ERICA CROMPTON, in Positively Scottish.

Here I discovered a spiritual eco-farm retreat through Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farming (WWOOF), a global collection of farms where you can work the land in exchange for accommodation and food.

The Krishna Eco Farm in Lesmahagow, or Karuna Bhavan, is home to a community of over 30 people, made up Hare Krishna monks, families, volunteers and the wider Krishna community.

It sits atop a steep hill. If you’re coming by bus and walking here, expect to feel the burn as you reach the entrance. To begin with, you’ll find a navy and white sign letting you know you’re in the right place and acting as a gate to the women’s ‘ashram’ (ashram meaning home in Indian, where the Krishna religion originates). It’s in front of the men’s ashram (the two houses are divided as that sort of thing isn’t allowed here on the sacred grounds).

thumb_img_0997_1024Accommodation is basic, and shared, but often there aren’t many travellers stopping over so you may find you have a room to yourself like me. The heating is on, and my abode for the next five nights is stencilled with elephants and peacocks with plenty of floral fabrics in a rainbow of pastel and primary colours. I could be in India with all this 1970s wicker furniture and wooden floors…although a glance outside at the plump and heavy Scottish rainclouds reminds me I’m not.

You don’t have to be devout or don the tangerine robes to reap the spiritual benefits here, though many do after escaping the rat race or leaving behind troubled pasts. The WWOOF scheme means you can help harvest crops for six hours a day, five days a week in exchange for a bed, and the meals (much of which are made from the crops here).

13423885_10154315812036907_5156835934155131328_nVolunteers are a staple in the running of the temple. Head gardener Bhakti Vinode (above) says: “Labour on the farm has helped us in a big way and we couldn’t cultivate the amount of land without the volunteers – we’ve been depending on them and they bring life to the farm.

“Personally I feel enthused when I see things growing. I work hard to cultivate the land then plant the seeds, so it’s nice to see the seeds germinate after all the hard work. I feel I’m doing something for the world, like I’m contributing. Everyone needs food so I like to grow food and teach others how to grow food. We can feed the hungry but we also have to educate people how to grow food. Growing food gives me a purpose in life.”

Earn your keep, take a working holiday, or stay as long as you want while you get back on your feet if unemployed or homeless. It can even help those with mental health problems, says Bhakti. “We do some horticultural therapy here too. People with mental health problems come along and we encourage them to grow food as it makes them feel more positive.”

For those who don’t want to do the farming, you can pay £10 a night for the same deal and explore the surrounding areas. However you’ll be still be expected to observe the house rules, such as no alcohol, no meat, and no sex.

thumb_img_1060_1024Those rules are keenly observed by the monks and you can’t miss them dotted around the grounds in their orange robes, sometimes chanting “Hare Krishna”. They mostly cut lithe, warm figures with their shaven heads fully focused on their work. The farming is also known as ‘Bhakti yoga’. It’s done with devotion for the Hindu God Krishna and forms a crucial part of the devotees’ lifestyle.

Bhakti takes his spiritual name from Bhakti yoga. Of the practice, he says: “Working on the land keeps me fit and it helps regulate my life. I have to be there every morning to water, feed, and weed the seedlings. Most important is I love what I do. Practising Bhakti yoga means I grow food with love and whoever eats the food feels the love while eating.”

You’ll often find Bhakti working in one of two large greenhouses that sit aside the women’s ashram, a little further up the hill and framed by a winding path to the temple right at the top.

Chanting, meditation and yoga take place in this colourful and diminutive temple with intricate carved deities covered in garlands which are made on-site with the marigolds that Bhakti and the volunteers’ harvest.

The marigolds only add to the colour to the site. I also visited this summer for the Hindi Festival of Lights. With monks and friends, we threw coloured paint at each other while singing and dancing. The best part was sitting in the farm grounds around a campfire with sheep until late. But it’s not uncommon for a devotee to rise at 2am to start their mantra rituals.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner follow the early birds at 8.30am, 1.30pm and 7.30pm. The food is all vegetarian and much produced on site, such as the spinach and the potatoes. They call it ‘Prasadam’ and it tastes a little like curry – think saag paneer rather than vindaloo, as it’s all very mild.

Of the food, Bhakti says: “Prasadam means everything to me. It’s spiritual food, and when I eat it, I feel the love! I like to serve Prasadam to others. The Beatle George Harrison said he hopes in the future there will be Prasadam restaurants and takeaways on every corner and I can see that happening in the future, because it’s great food.

“Everyone that comes to the Krishna eco farm gets Prasadam and it’s always such a nice occasion sitting and eating it together – it’s enthusing to see after growing the crops and makes me feel happy and peaceful while bringing the love out in my heart. It’s so easy and everyone can take part.”

I, too, took part. Healthy eating was welcome on my stay and after five days without coffee, booze, and meat I do feel energised and not a little lighter (it must be all that bending and stretching over the spinach).

Sanctuary and peace don’t cost the earth on the Krishna eco farm. So free-loving, colourful summer vibes can live on through the wildest of winters.

For more information on the Krishna eco farm, go here.

 

Forget the church! Here are 10 more imaginative ways to get married

In case you haven’t already got the memo, you don’t have to get married in a white dress in a church.

Fancy flying to the moon for your wedding?

What about a traditional Thai blessing like Kate Moss and Madonna?

Or perhaps the ocean is a good metaphor for the depth of feelings you share with your fiance?

Whatever takes your fancy, there’s a weird and wonderful nuptial package to make your wedding album stand out from the rest and give your guests a day to remember.

From balloons and Vedic ceremonies to medieval hand-fastings and Buddhist blessings, here’s a round-up of some imaginative ways to tie the knot and celebrate your love for one another.

1. Balloon brides

An increasing number of couples are getting hitched in hot air balloons and there’s some stunning backdrops to choose from like in New Mexico.

The balloons can host up to 12 passengers and a small party might even spot cupid up in the clouds.

Just be sure to bring your minister and your witnesses.

 A couple of lovers sit on hot air balloon at Pablo Ecological Valley in Zhuzhen, Liuhe district
(Picture: Wang Xin/VCG)

2. Hand-fasting and jumping over the broomstick

For centuries, couples have ‘jumped the broomstick’ and promised each other friendship and fidelity in a hand-fasting ceremony that was traditionally Pagan.

It’s a fun way to celebrate your love and is still offered as a non-legally binding ceremony in the UK, such as at Tutbury Castle.

3. Vedic wedding

Don your best robes and flower garlands for a Vedic wedding, a traditional Hindu ceremony, at places like Bhaktivedanta Manor.

With water and fire blessings, these are tremendously opulent and will see the bride and groom together for several lifetimes (if you believe in that sort of thing).

Maharashtrian Indian Bride And Indian Bride Groom Perfoming Mangalshutra Vidhi In Wedding Ceremony.
(Picture: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

4. Tsok Puja

Celebrate the Tibetan Buddhist way with a social gathering, a Lama’s blessing and offerings of plenty of food.

A ‘Tsok puja’ takes up to about an hour and consists of chanting, and a little quiet time for some mantra recitation in the middle.

You can also enjoy the ceremony without the wedding, like at the Kagyu Samye Dzong in London.

5. Wedding on the slopes

Combine your love of skiing with your nuptials and hope to God your marriage doesn’t go downhill too soon!

Companies like Wed ‘n’ Ski offer packages for snow enthusiasts, with ceremonies taking place while they’re skiing or snowboarding.

There’s even an option in Switzerland to wed in an igloo. Go on, melt a heart.

Kelley McGhie , left, Sander Wyjad , both 30, of Nederaland, kiss together after attending a mass wedding ceremony at the top of Loveland Ski Area
(Picture: Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

6. Prisoner of love

Give a whole new meaning to the term ‘ball and chain’ by getting married in a former prison.

The Malmaison Oxford is based in a medieval castle and used to be a prison.

But it is also, I’m told, a beautiful venue for weddings.

7. Cabaret kisses

Fancy being a burlesque bride and a groom with glowsticks?

Then dance on to Cafe de Paris, a notoriously decadent London nightclub and cabaret spot that can be hired for wedding receptions, too.

Burlesque diva performing burlesque show act.
(Picture: Getty)

8. Cave wedding

The path to love doesn’t always run smoothly, so why not have your wedding among the Slovenian mountains?

Predjama Castle is set against the rocky backdrop of a towering cliff and is the largest cave castle in the world.

And, you can host your wedding inside the enormous cavern of its cave.

9. Thai long drum parade and a water blessing ritual

Kate Moss and Madonna both had Buddhist blessings to show their affection and cement their relationships.

The best place to go to have your own is Thailand.

There are a number of all-inclusive packages, including for a traditional Thai wedding at the Manathai Koh Samui.

10. At sea

Cruise lines often offer weddings at sea.

Norwegian for example, offers an itinerary featuring the exchanging of vows at the summit of an Alaskan glacier, helicopter ride, sparkling wine, flowers, and a wedding certificate and cake.

Go on, sail off into the sunset together.

See the original in Metro UK here!

14 reasons you need to visit the Lake District… now!

 

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The floating clouds and canary yellow daffodils of the Lake District inspired William Wordsworth and any number of poets in the day.

Cumbria continues to please and attract, bringing in scores of tourists from as far as Japan.

Inhale the fresh air, walk beneath the emerald hairpin hills, or take it all in from a high by flying in a plane.

There are so many reasons to visit the Lake District, here are just fourteen…

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  1. Wordsworth’s old haunt, Grasmere

Visit Dove Cottage, home to William Wordsworth during the most productive period of his life. It’s the only place in the world where you’ll glimpse his original belongings! https://wordsworth.org.uk/visit/dove-cottage.html

  1. Theatre on the Lake, Keswick

 

Visit one of two intimate stages and watch the drama of the Lakes unfold.

 

  1. Kendal Mint Cake

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These saccharine sweets pack a punch – except freshness like that of a wind machine and breathe fresher that the country air!

 

  1. Grasmere Gingerbread Shop 

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If the mint cake doesn’t give you the sugar kick you need try Sarah Nelson’s ginger bread made in Grasmere! It’s spicy and sweet with biscuit meets cake texture, and is said to be some of the best gingerbread in the world. https://www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk/

  1. Windermere Lake Cruises

Cruise between 45 minutes to 3 hours on the largest lake in the UK, in one of Cumbria’s most popular attractions.

  1. Ulverston Lantern Festival

Trains, ships, flights of aeroplanes, dragons, puppets, flowers, faeries and hobgoblins can all be seen lighting up the Lakes this September 17th. See 600 candle-lit lanterns made from willow and paper from 7.30pm.

 

  1. Sir John Barrow Monument, Ulverston

Be in awe of the 100 feet tall replica Eddystone lighthouse built in memory of Sir John Barrow one of the Lakes District’s most famous sons. Climb to the tower to learn his story and for stunning views of Morecambe Bay.

  1. Castle Green Hotel

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Easy to access and the perfect spot for exploring, stay at this comfortable expanded Victoria mansion and Cumbria Tourism’s ‘Large Hotel of the Year’.

  1. The Lakes Distillery

Both England’s newest and largest whisky distillery has welcomed over 90K visitors since it opened to the public 2014 and is conveniently located 150m from the eye-wateringly beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake.

  1. Beatrix Potter’s House
In the garden of Beatrix Potter's Hill Top cottage, a familiar sight...
In the garden of Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top cottage, a familiar sight…

Enjoy a tale or two or a tall story? Beatrix Potter’s 17th Century farmhouse in Hill Top is for you. It’s filled with all her favourite things, with each room containing a reference to a picture.

  1. The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, Grasmere

 

Stay here for special reopening rates of £99 per room including breakfast throughout August.

 

  1. The Punch Bowl Inn & Restaurant at Crosthwaite

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Tucked away in a picturesque village between Kendal and Windermere, this 5-star 2AA rosette pub was voted Cumbria’s Best Dining Pub for the last two consecutive years by the Good Pub Guide. In a former life, the inn was an old Blacksmiths shop, too.

 

  1. The Ullswater Way

A 20-mile route circular route around Ullswater Way opened this spring. It’s a scenic walk that can be completed in a day or broken up over a few days.

 

  1. Lake District Gyroplanes

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If you haven’t found enough uplifting reasons to visit the Lake District, here’s a final pitch – fly in a plane from £125 and take it all in from a bird’s eye view.

Where to Holiday like the Fit and Famous

With the celebrity cult well and truly on the wellness wagon, scenic social media snaps of hikes in Ibiza and treetop yoga in St Lucia are evoking worldwide workout wanderlust. Letting you in on the celebrity secret, Health and Fitness Travel, the leading specialists in wellness holidays worldwide, share where to holiday like the fit and famous. From a Thailand wellness retreat frequented by the Beckhams, to a health sanctuary in Spain graced by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Demi Moore, add a touch of star quality to your healthy escape.

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Spain: SHA Wellness Clinic

Spa like the stars at Spain’s pioneering SHA Wellness Clinic, a celebrity wellness hotspot boasting scenic ocean views and sweeping mountain vistas. Frequented by Hollywood stars and music moguls, SHA prides itself on offering distinctively tailored wellness programmes, with healthy breaks to help combat insomnia, stress, weight loss, smoking and more. The world’s first macrobiotic wellness resort, combine a tailor-made macrobiotic nutritional plan with rejuvenating spa therapies and complimentary classes, from yoga to Tai Chi.

Famous Fans: Demi Moore, Kylie Minogue, Simon Cowell, Naomi Campbell, Madonna and Yoko Ono.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at SHA from £2,330pp or £2,775 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.

hibiscus-1393855St Lucia: The BodyHoliday

Nestled in a peaceful cove on the stunning Caribbean island of St. Lucia, The BodyHoliday, has offered a wellness sanctuary to many celebs in search of a haven to refocus their minds and re-energize their bodies. Inviting guests to be as active or relaxed as they need, a dynamic offering of spa treatments, sports, fitness and wellness activities ensure you’ll soon glow like the stars. Explore your tropical surroundings on a scenic bike ride or ocean kayaking adventure, before making the most of a wide array of group classes, including yoga and spinning in the treetop studio.

Famous Fans: Morgan Freeman, Charlotte Church and Emma Bunton.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at The BodyHoliday from £2,140pp for single or double occupancy. Price is all-inclusive, with a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.

 India: Ananda in the Himalayas

Rejuvenate your senses at this celebrity hotspot, a secluded wellness retreat set at the foot of India’s serene Himalayas. With a holistic wellness approach designed to unite mind, body and soul, revive your well-being with Ananda’s array of experiences, from ancient Indian Ayurvedic spa therapies, to meditation and healthy cooking demonstrations. Mere miles away from Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, yogi enthusiasts can enhance their practice before immersing themselves in the Himalayan foothills during guided mountains treks, a must-do for everyone, celebrity and civilian alike.

Famous Fans: Uma Thurman, Heidi Klum and Ricky Martin.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Ananda in the Himalayas from £3,440pp or £4,340 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of wellness programmes, return flights and transfers.

Ibiza: The Body Camp

A newcomer, already a growing favourite of the fit and famous; experience a full mind, body and soul transformation on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza with The Body Camp. The go-to celebrity hotspot for London’s heiress stars; satisfy your workout wanderlust as you shape up in the great outdoors with a variety of fun fitness activities, from beach circuit training to sea swimming and yoga. Take part in educational cookery classes and mindful coaching workshops, before unwinding after an active day with a revitalising dip in the mineral-rich salt water pool.

Famous Fans: Millie Mackintosh, Caggie Dunlop and Madeleine Shaw.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at The Body Camp from £1,890pp or £3,030 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.

Thailand: Chiva Som

Get the VIP treatment when you escape to the Hua Hin coast of Thailand at world-renowned health and fitness retreat, Chiva Som. Dedicated to a holistic approach to wellness promoting overall well-being, celebs from football stars, to supermodels and Hollywood royalty have sought sanctuary at this award-winning retreat. With tailor-made wellness programmes, from stress relief and yoga to detox and fitness, expert health and fitness advisers utilise the best in specialist exercises, spa therapies and nutrition to help you achieve overall well-being.

Famous Fans: David and Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley, Hugh Grant, Elle Macpherson and Kate Moss.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Chiva Som from £3,395pp or £4,535 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.

Turks & Caicos: Parrot Cay Yoga & Pilates

Holiday like one of the A-list and discover paradise on the private island of Parrot Cay, where many stars have chosen to build their own holiday homes. Guaranteed to leave you feeling like a million bucks, feel the soft sand between your toes as you practice daily yoga and Pilates looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Further improve your yoga knowledge as you open your mind and calm your senses through Vedic yogic philosophy group discussions, before raising the pace with mountain biking and windsurfing or unwinding in luxury at the world-renowned COMO spa.

Famous Fans: Donna Karan, Bruce Willis, and Keith Richards.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Parrot Cay from £2,485pp or £3,885 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a yoga & Pilates programme, return flights and transfers.

 Thailand: Kamalaya

Set overlooking the stunning southern coast of Thailand’s Koh Samui island, Buddhist monks once used the cave at the centre of Kamalaya as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat. Now a wellness sanctuary for civilians and celebrities alike seeking long-term health transformations, tailor-made wellness programmes include; sleep enhancement, ideal weight, yoga, optimal fitness and learning how to embrace change. With a holistic approach to wellness, unwind with stress relieving spa therapies inspired by ancient healing traditions and classes, from yoga to Tai Chi. 

 Famous Fans: Sarah Ferguson, Annie Lennox and Oliver Stone.

Health and Fitness Travel (0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com) offers 7 nights at Kamalaya from £2,502pp or £2,915 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, with a choice of programmes, return flights and transfers.

 For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

A Dram for Dad – The Ardmore Legacy

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Whack for my daddy-o! Whack for my daddy-o! There’s whiskey in the jar-o!

This Father’s Day I wanted to buy something special for my Dad. In an ideal world I’d whisk him to Scotland but neither of us have the time so I’m bringing Scotland to him with a jar of whisky from the Highlands (unlike Thin Lizzy’s preferred Irish whiskey notes).

The Ardmore Legacy is the perfect introduction to peated single malt whisky. It has notes of creamy vanilla, followed by smoky charcoal and savoury spices with a pleasant smoky taste.

 I think he’ll enjoy quaffing back a full-bodied and smooth dram with a dry, spicy and long-lasting finish al fresco this summer.

Available in multiple retailers including Tesco and Morrisons (RRP £29.99). www.ardmorewhisky.com