The 7 Day Basket recipe book — review

I have always said that I don’t have a problem with cooking every night, I have a problem with the planning of a week’s meals and the buying of the ingredients.  I sit down to menu plan, often with a ton of books or my online Thermomix recipe platform and my mind goes blank.  Trying to come up with interesting, varied and healthy recipes for a week takes me forever.

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White Horse Hotel, Dorking — Review

As the great Simon Calder once said, if you want to travel you should really start in your own back yard.  It struck a chord with me as I have been lucky enough to spend many a holiday abroad but have largely ignored the fact I live in a gorgeous part of England.   So when I was asked if Mr B and I would like a night away in

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Luke’s memorial cricket match

  Every year one of Mr B’s oldest friends, Rupe, (met at uni 30 years ago “old”) hosts a cricket match in memory of his son Luke, who died suddenly a few years ago aged 12.   Held on Luke’s birthday it’s a “lads vs dads match” and the day also raises money for Great Ormond Street and ends with a barbecue.  It is the perfect way to spend a

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Why I’ve got a problem with the new CR-UK obesity campaign

Want to know why I have a problem with the new CR-UK obesity campaign?  I will tell you. It is based on statistics that state obese people outweigh smokers in the UK by 2:1 and that whilst smoking is still a leading cause of cancer, being fat is the leading cause of four types of cancer: bowel, liver and kidneys. But we all know that statistics can be manipulated to

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50 things I have learned as I turn 50

Next month I turn 50.  A whole half a century.  In a summer that saw Woodstock and moon landings yours truly arrived into the world in a hospital in Roehampton.   It was the summer that Bryan Adams would go on to sing about and as he was buying his first real six string in a five and dime, playing it til his fingers bled, my parents were working out

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Can we talk about death for a minute?

Sorry, I know that might be a bit of a downer and that nobody ever starts a conversation with “can we talk about death for a minute?” but can we, please? I am a huge champion of having a will.  Everyone should have a will, even if you think you don’t have a home or assets, you do have “stuff”.    It doesn’t have to be about expensive pieces of

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The gift of cheese

This post contains a review item The gift of cheese, to my mind, might just be one of life’s greatest gifts (unless you are vegan or lactose intolerant and then it might be a bit of a nightmare).  When stuck with what to buy those tricky to buy for people I always go down a foodie route.   One of my granny’s favourite ever present was a hamper full of

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Is your garden summer ready? — #AD

This post contains an item sent for review.   Summer has to be around the corner somewhere, doesn’t it?  It can’t keep on raining for much longer, surely.   I can’t believe that with the longest day next week we are still in a position where the big light has to go on before teatime and when I think I can get away with it the heating is going on.

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An open letter to Tanya Gold

Dear Tanya Well this is weird, I feel like I am writing to myself.  Maybe I should explain, or at least introduce myself.  This is an open letter to you, Tanya Gold, from me, a woman who shares the same first name as you but I fear that might be where the similarities end. I had the misfortune to read your latest piece in the Telegraph this week that sat

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The garden at Mottisfont

I have been to Mottisfont at least half a dozen times now and yet I have only been in the house once.  Why?  Well because no matter the season the gardens here are stunning, and I say that as somebody who’s own garden is an expanse of grass and weeds.   These top two pics are of the kitchen garden, just outside the walled garden and they are just coming

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Beano Time Travellers at Mottisfont

Mottisfont might be my favourite of all the National Trust properties, especially at this time of year.  If you haven’t been, then you really should because the walled garden, full of roses really is  stunning.  You can smell it before you even reach it and I have written about it here: Mottisfont’s Rose Garden but I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to win a day pass to

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Cotswold House Hotel — Review

We were invited as guests of the hotel for the purpose of this review   The Cotswold House Hotel and Spa is one of those hidden gem hotels.  You know the ones.  The ones you want to talk about but at the same time you don’t want too many people to know about it because you want to keep it a secret.   It also has one of the most

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