What To Book Around The UK This January

Here at SL we’re kicking away the January blues by booking day trips and weekends away. Check out our list of new hotspots below – you’ll find everything from weekday pamper packages to veggie-focused tasting menus. Elsewhere, we’ve rounded up the best theatre productions, talks and live shows across the country…

Hang With Deliciously Ella Here: The Calcot, Cotswolds

Following last year’s successful launch, The Calcot Collection’s ‘In Conversation’ series continues in 2019. Kicking things off is an evening with Ella Mills, the founder of Deliciously Ella. The evening will provide an opportunity for guests to hear about the Deliciously Ella journey first hand, learn more about Ella’s plant-based diet and latest cookbook, as well as picking up healthy tips and recipes to start the new year as they mean to go on. Following a Q&A, guests will have the chance to ask questions. Tickets include a signed book of The Plant-Based Cookbook, a mocktail and 'deliciously' inspired tasters on arrival, including polenta bites with smoky aubergine; corn fritters with avocado and smoky beans; aubergine sliders; rosemary biscuits with roasted veg; and her famous brownie bites.

Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8YJ; 24th January

Visit CalcotCollection.co.uk

Sleep On A Boat Here: Fingal, Edinburgh

This week sees the launch of Fingal, Edinburgh’s newest – and one of its most unusual – accommodation offerings. The sister ship to the famous Royal Yacht Britannia, Fingal has undergone a £5m development to offer 23 beautiful cabins, plus a dining and entertaining space. Permanently berthed in the Scottish capital’s historic Port of Leith, guests can choose from a luxury cabin with private deck, a duplex cabin with comfortable living space or the Skerryvore Suite with extensive outdoor space to relax and entertain. All suites are decorated with Scottish leathers and the finest linens, all in colour palettes inspired by Fingal’s journey from land and sea. We also like the look of the Lighthouse Bar, where its glass ceiling and decking offer views over the Edinburgh waterfront.

Alexandra Dock, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 7DX

Visit Fingal.co.uk

Celebrate All Things Veggie Here: Fordwich Arms, Canterbury

This recently refurbished pub and restaurant is set in Fordwich, Britain's smallest town. With a lovely 1930s bar and oak-panelled dining room with three open fires, now is the best time of year to visit chef-patron Daniel Smith’s newly Michelin-starred eatery. His seasonal menus focus on provenance, showcasing the best of local Kentish ingredients, sourced direct from local farms and producers. So, it comes as no surprise that for January, the team has created a fully vegetarian tasting menu – just in time for people wanting to convert in the new year, and for those vegetarians who are looking to explore more experimental veggie options. The menu, priced at £85pp, includes nine courses, experimenting with veg such as celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke, seeds, charcoal, and hen of the woods mushrooms.

King Street, Fordwich, Canterbury, CT2 0DB

Visit FordwichArms.co.uk

Have A Laugh Here: The Guilty Feminist, UK

Join The Guilty Feminist’s Deborah Frances-White as she takes her hit feminist comedy podcast out on the road in 2019. As part of the 24-day tour (which runs throughout May), Deborah will bring a diverse bill of comics, musicians and other guests to cover a range of topics central to 21st-century feminism, and the hypocrisies and insecurities which undermine them. Previous guests include Susan Wokoma, Lolly Adefope, Sarah Millican, Sharon Horgan and Sara Pascoe – so you know you’re in for a treat.

Various locations: from 1st May

Visit TheGuiltyFeminist.com

See Your Favourite Films On Stage Here: Northern Ballet, UK

This year, Leeds-based dance company Northern Ballet is looking ahead to its 50th anniversary in 2020 with a string of impressive productions. The spring season commences with the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s Victoria (March-Jun), telling the life story of Queen Victoria through the eyes of her youngest child and lifelong companion Beatrice. Blockbuster ballet The Great Gatsby returns to the stage with performances in Salford and Southampton in May. Returning for the first time since its world premiere tour, Cinderella (September- January 2020) sees a glorious summer's day end in tragedy and reduce Cinderella to a desolate new life of servitude before a chance encounter in a marketplace changes her destiny. Meanwhile, Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire lives on in Dracula. An extraordinary ballet with a dramatic bite, the show will open in Canterbury in October and Leeds in November.

Various locations; from 9th March

Visit NorthernBallet.com

See What The Man Behind The Typing Room Did Next Here: Pensons

Pensons is the new restaurant from chef Lee Westcott (former head chef at Michelin-starred The Typing Room in east London), which is set to open in mid-January. The 46-cover restaurant, situated on the Herefordshire and Worcestershire border, takes inspiration from the seasonal produce from the Netherwood Estate (where the restaurant is based) and surrounding area. Westcott’s new venture is inspired by the variety and quality of local seasonal ingredients. His a la carte and tasting menus will include the likes of Jerusalem artichoke, cod and truffle; lobster, celeriac, apple and kale; lamb, turnip, potato and onion; and beetroot, chocolate and blackberry. What’s more, guests will be able to stay at The Hyde, an award-winning Grade II*-listed medieval hall house, or The Freeth, a Grade II-listed former hunting lodge.

Pensons Yard, Stoke Bliss, Hertfordshire, WR15 8RT

Visit Pensons.co.uk

Relive SCD Here: Strictly Come Dancing Live, UK

Any Strictly fans missing their Saturday night fix of the BBC show should look at booking tickets for the live event. Couples announced to appear on the arena tour include documentary maker Stacey Dooley and Aljaž Škorjanec, This Morning’s Dr Ranj Singh and Janette Manrara, and YouTube sensation Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell. The trio will be joined by judges Craig Revel Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli, plus more celebrities and professional dancers from this year’s series, as they as they cha-cha around the country for 29 shows. After opening in Birmingham, the tour will visit Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Manchester Arena, Liverpool’s Echo Arena, Sheffield’s Fly DSA Arena, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena and The SSE Arena, Wembley.  The tour culminates with four shows at The O2 Arena on 9th and 10th February.

Various locations; from 18th January

Visit StrictlyComeDancingLive.com

Head North Here: The Bonnie Badger, Scotland

After much anticipation, Michelin-starred, award-winning chef Tom Kitchin has opened the doors to The Bonnie Badger, a pub with rooms in the village of Gullane on Scotland’s east coast. Just a 30-minute drive from Edinburgh, the hotel has undergone a full refurbishment and features fourteen bedrooms, a bar, a 60-cover dining room and an outdoor garden. Guests looking for a weekend away will enjoy the individually designed luxurious bedrooms including a suite boasting a four-poster bed and roll top bath, and deluxe loft rooms with original beams and panoramic views of East Lothian. The Bonnie Badger’s dining room, The Stables, is housed in a converted stable block. Dishes from the kitchen follow Kitchin’s’s ‘From Nature to Plate’ ethos: expect twists on pub and seasonal classics such as steak pie with bone marrow and a Jerusalem artichoke and pearl barley risotto.

Main Street, Gullane, East Lothian, EH31 2AB

Visit BonnieBadger.com

Get Some Rest & Relaxation Here: Thyme, Cotswolds

Cotswolds 'village within a village' Thyme has launched a series of new treatments in its Meadow Spa. We like the sound of the Pamper Package (one-night midweek stay for two people, including breakfast; full 60-minute body massages – including acupressure points and back stretching – using Aurelia Probiotic Skincare oils; and a bottle of English sparkling wine in room on arrival), which includes a stay in one of Thyme’s 31 luxurious bedrooms. Elsewhere, the Spa Nurture Package provides a half-day of pampering with a 90-minute signature Aurelia Ritual for skin, body and mind, along with access to the Greenhouse, spring-water swimming pool and hot tub, plus lunch in the Ox Barn or in The Swan Pub. The spa also encompasses a yoga and pilates studio.

Southrop Manor Estate, Gloucestershire, GL7 3PW

Visit TakeALittle.Thyme.co.uk

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