ESCAPE THE CITY HERE: Potting Shed at The Grove
The Grove hotel's first seasonal pop-up restaurant, the Potting Shed, has now opened its doors. Set a Victorian glasshouse overlooking the luxurious hotel’s Walled Garden, the evening dining destination focuses on seasonality; serving up a menu sourced almost entirely from the grounds of the hotels Kitchen Garden. Signature dishes include vegetable tapioca crackers with beetroot hummus and dressed avocado, orange, chorizo, pine nuts and rocket; hot smoked salmon, cucumber and fresh horseradish flatbread; and dry-aged Tomahawk steak. As The Grove is little more than half an hour door-to-door from London’s Euston station, it's the perfect opportunity to escape the city.
Chandler's Cross, Watford WD3 4TG; Potting Shed will be open until 2nd September
GET CULTURED HERE: Edinburgh Fringe
Every August for three weeks the city of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe. Hundreds of stages have popped up all over the city present shows for every taste – from big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers. Expect theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.
Various locations in Edinburgh; until 27th August
GET GREEN FINGER INSPO HERE: Shrewsbury Flower Show
One of the country’s Premier Flower Show events, Shrewsbury attracts top exhibitors from all over the UK each year. Expect delicious catering, entertainment – think showjumping, jousting, live music, and fireworks displays – specialist judges and hundreds of competitive classes etc. And don’t miss a visit to the main Quarry Marquee, which is non-competitive and hosts to some of the best horticulturalists in Britain, too.
Quarry Lodge, Shrewsbury SY1 1RN; 10th and 11th August; tickets from £16
EAT SL’S FAVOURITE STEAKS HERE: Hawksmoor Edinburgh
Doors are officially open at Hawksmoor – one of SL’s favourite steak and seafood restaurant groups – in Edinburgh. The highly anticipated opening is situated within a grand Grade A-listed Art Deco banking hall on St Andrew Square, features a locally-inspired menu and seriously impressive interiors. Alongside Hawksmoor classics, new dishes include lamb T-bones with pea, mint & haggis salad from a pedigree flock in the Highlands, and, amongst the desserts, Scottish raspberries, Knockraich crème fraiche and a homemade hobnob.
23 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AA
VISIT A COCKTAIL VILLAGE HERE: Leith Chillfest
This month-long, vibrant celebration of the best bars in EH6’s thriving drinks scene will see Leith become a cocktail community, with 18 of the district’s top watering holes offering an array of incredible drinks. Bars including Toast, Woodland Creatures, The Roseleaf, The Lioness of Leith, Finn & Bear and The Lord Nelson have all worked together to create an exciting cocktail menu – from Sofi’s ‘Tropical Leith’ to Malmaison’s ‘Leith’s A Peach’, there’s a concoction for every taste.
Various locations in Edinburgh; until 2nd September; entry wristbands £5, all cocktails £5
HAVE A MEAL TO REMEMBER HERE: Parker’s Tavern
Inspired by Cambridge’s rich historical past, Parker’s Tavern is a new destination for innovative locally-sourced food. With its own street entrance, the restaurant is part of the University Arms hotel, designed by leading classical architect John Simpson with interiors by Martin Brudnizk inspired by the iconic dining halls at Cambridge University – think Cambridge Blue panelling offset by a traditional dark wood herringbone floor and original stained-glass windows with crest detailing. Seasonally changing, the menu is “as unpredictable as mother nature”, with starters including whole tandoori-roasted Norfolk quail; traditional comfort food mains and a ‘historical’ afternoon tea.
52-42 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AD
GO ON AN ADVENTURE GETAWAY HERE: Camp Wildfire
Pack your bags for unforgettable weekend of adventure activities and forest parties, exclusively for adults, hidden away in a secret heritage pine forest in Kent (just 40 minutes from central London). You’ll be immersed in a 1950s-style camp inspired by Wes Anderson films and steeped in an ethos of adventure, exploration and releasing your inner child – choose from over 50 fun activities including yoga workshops, tie-dying classes, hovercraft racing, freefall stunt jumping and survival runs. By night, a wealth of stellar DJ talent and live acts will transform the adventure camp into music festival.
Heritage Pine Forest, Knock Mill Lane, Sevenoaks TN15 6AH; 31st August-3rd September; weekend tickets £134
TRY NEW DINING HOTSPOTS HERE: Leeds Restaurant Week
This mouth-watering event will welcome some of the freshest foodie additions to the city of Leeds, with the likes of Simpatico rolling out a special menu for the occasion, as well as some Leeds Restaurant Week newcomers such as Pintura, MEATliquor, Pieminster and Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie, which will all be serving up special dishes to get our mouths watering. Family-friendly favourites such as Bibis Italianissimo and Cabana, while The Cat’s Pyjamas kids under 12 can even eat free before 6pm when accompanied by a paying adult.
Various locations in Leeds; 11th-19th August; set menus from £10
PLAN A COUNTRY BREAK HERE: Gleneagles Summer Season
The iconic Scottish hotel is inviting guests to “discover the playground” with their Summer Season. This month sees the launch of a series of themed afternoon teas in partnership with three Michelin-starred Scottish chefs – Andrew Fairlie, Tom Kitchin and Lady Claire Macdonald – who have each created a uniquely personal afternoon tea menu, drawing on their Scottish roots and championing local produce. Guests can also spend the day exploring some of Scotland’s most enduring traditions such as game bird shooting, deer stalking and fishing at Balloch Lodge. And little ones are catered for too with a range of adventurous activities at the hotel’s two kids’ clubs
The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder PH3 1NF; until September
LOOK UP AT THE SKIES HERE: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will return to Ashton Court Estate to celebrate the iconic event’s 40th anniversary. A spectacular and free event, it will once again feature over 100 hot air balloons taking off at dawn and dusk as well as the famous Night Glows, when the balloons light up the sky in time to music. This year's event will also see 40 special shapes taking to the air, including a huge tiered birthday cake, Mr Peanut, the Michelin Man and Simbaloo the Longleat Lion.
9th-12th August; FREE
GET YOUR RAVE ON HERE: Creamfields
Boasting award-winning DJs and live acts from around the world, the most iconic dance music festival in the UK is set to come back with a bang. This year's headliners include Above & Beyond, Annie Mac, Armin van Buuren, Camelphat, The Chainsmokers, Diplo, Fatboy Slim and Tiëst, with Eric Prydz exclusively bringing his hologram live show HOLO.
Daresbury, Cheshire; 23rd-26th August; tickets from £85
LOSE YOURSELF HERE: Lost Village Festival
An immersive theatre experience that encourages improvisational interactions between festival-goers and paid thespians, the story underpinning the show is that of a village lost in time whose inhabitants add an element of the surreal to more traditional festival performances. Picture a surreal woodland setting, on a lake, surrounded by rickety cabins; a crowd of painted faces; music stages (this year’s headliners include Moderat, De La Soul and Nina Kraviz); and plenty of food stalls and bars.
Lincolnshire; 23rd-26th August; limited camping tickets still available
TAKE THE KIDS HERE: Proud Country House Kids Fest
Just 15 minutes from the centre of Brighton, this 18th-century Georgian manor house in Stanmer Park has a packed programme of events and activities on throughout the summer, including storytelling in the forest, treasure hunts, craft workshops, guided bike rides, tree climbing and family yoga. Tickets to the Kids Fest are required but the stunning house and gardens can be visited without booking.
Stamner House, Stanmer Park Road, Brighton BN1 9QA; until 10th September