What To Book Around The UK This Summer

There’s nothing like having some fun stuff in the diary – and we’re happy to say there’s still lots going on around the UK in the coming months. From food festivals and ballet performances to spa weekends, here are some ideas worth looking at.
By Heather Steele /
Parkgate Hotel, Wales

Kora, Edinburgh

Kora is the latest venue from chef Tom Kitchin and his wife Michaela. The team behind The Kitchin, The Scran & Scallie and The Bonnie Badger have set out to create a neighbourhood restaurant and bar for locals and visitors to explore the best of seasonal Scottish simplicity. Diners can expect a range of summer dishes such as gazpacho made using locally grown tomatoes; Shetland mussels with Thistly Cross cider and crisp potato; North Sea cod with seaweed potatoes, lemon and samphire; and Highland wagyu shin with spinach, green peppercorn sauce and Koffmann’s skinny fries. Book it if you’re heading up to Edinburgh for the festival this summer.

Edinburgh, EH10 4HN

Visit KoraByTK.com

The Parkgate Hotel, Cardiff

Cardiff’s newest hotel has opened. Following a two-year redevelopment, the 170-bedroom hotel – which was launched by the same team as five-star Celtic Manor Hotel – has transformed two of the city’s most historic buildings, the former Head Post Office and the old County Court. Inside, guests can dine at the Sorting Room restaurant or in one of the elegant tea lounges, plus there’s an extensive rooftop spa with views over the city skyline.

Cardiff, CF10 1DA

Visit TheParkgateHotel.Wales

Billy Elliot The Musical, Leicester

A new UK production of Billy Elliot The Musical is now open at Leicester’s Curve Theatre. Directed by Nikolai Foster (A Chorus Line, Sunset Boulevard, West Side Story), the musical is running until 20th August. It’s the mid 80s. Thatcher is at her most powerful. Men mine and boys box. Until, in a small town in County Durham, a young boy falls in love with ballet. Set amid the increasingly bitter 1984-85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot the Musical is a tale of determination, acceptance and daring to be different – all with a soundtrack by Elton John. In a close-knit community where family and tradition mean everything, can Billy forge a new destiny and follow his passion?

Leicester, LE1 1SB; until 20th August

Visit CurveOnline.co.uk

Billy Elliot The Musical, Leicester
Marc Brenner

Newlands House Gallery, West Sussex

Newlands House Gallery in the charming Sussex town of Petworth is one of our favourite small art spaces in the UK. Set within a Georgian townhouse, its new exhibition will explore the extraordinary life of Vogue model turned photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller and the artist’s lifelong friendship with Pablo Picasso through a body of work created over four decades, including Miller’s photographs of Picasso, their circle of bohemian contemporaries, self-portraits, war documentary, personal objects and a selection of works by Picasso. The exhibition will also tell the unlikely story of Picasso’s accidental discovery of Sussex, where Miller would eventually reside with her husband, Roland Penrose, her son Antony Penrose, and the family’s Ayrshire bull, William – who inspired a print by Picasso.

Newlands House, Petworth, GU28 0DX; from 10th September

Visit NewlandsHouse.Gallery

Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh

A city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art, Edinburgh Art Festival brings together the capital’s leading galleries and museums for a month-long programme of events. From photography documenting Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe to carnival-inspired performance art, the itinerary features international artists alongside exciting new voices from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. Now in its 18th edition, each year, the festival features major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. 

Various locations; until 28th August

Visit EdinburghArtFestival.com

Holm, Somerset

Nicholas Balfe, Mark Gurney and Matt Bushnell of south London neighbourhood restaurants Salon, Levan and Larry’s opened their first rural outpost earlier this year. In the village of South Petherton in trendy Somerset, Holm is housed in a former bank. Now, Holm’s beautiful courtyard space has launched for lunch and dinner, adorned with pretty planters, large umbrellas for shade and heaters for chillier evenings. Nicholas and the team will also be launching monthly ‘Holm Terrace BBQs’, with the first taking place on 10th August. The evening will include a three-course, family style feasting menu with drinks pairings. Expect to sample dishes such as allotment crudities with smoked almond ajo blanco; barbecued sourdough bruschetta with fermented tomato salsa; grilled melon with chilli, mint and Westcombe ricotta; and grilled corn with n’duja butter.

South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BW; from 10th August

Visit HolmSomerset.co.uk

Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh
JULIE HOWDEN

Big Feastival, Oxfordshire

Blur bassist and cheesemonger Alex James’s annual festival is arguably one of the best when it comes to getting the balance between food and music just right. Aside from the Alex James Cheese Hub, chefs in attendance will include Ravneet Gill, Clare Smyth, Thomasina Myers, Ruby Bhogal and DJ BBQ, while Anne Marie, Sugababes, Stereophonics, Basement Jaxx and Jake Bugg take to the main stage. Designed with families in mind, the M&S Little Cooks Kitchen will provide an opportunity for children to learn about food and get hands on with some picking in The Allotment and cooking in the kitchen.

Kingham, Oxfordshire, OX7 6UJ; 26th-28th August

Visit TheBigFeastival.com

Dishoom, Various Locations

Dishoom co-founder Shamil Thakrar met author Kavita Puri in 2020 at Cheltenham Literature Festival. A shared strength of feeling that the events of partition and Indian independence were just not understood and talked about enough sparked the idea for ‘75 Years’, a series of evening events at the group’s restaurant in Manchester, Birmingham and London this month. Kavita and Shamil have invited survivors of partition, who have made journeys in both directions, to tell their stories, while musician and composer Soumik Datta will perform music created to accompany the series. Guests will then be invited to break bread together over a Dishoom feast, including pau bhaji, chicken ruby, jackfruit biryani, the restaurants’ signature house black daal, breads, salads and puddings.

8th August at Dishoom Manchester; 9th August at Dishoom Birmingham; and 15th August at King's Cross

Visit Dishoom.com

Paco Tapas, Bristol

Six years since first opening, Paco Tapas – the Michelin-starred tapas bar from Peter Sanchez-Inglesias, who also has Decimo in London – has extended into the restaurant's neighbouring site. The space temporarily housed Pi Shop during the pandemic and has now doubled the restaurant’s capacity. The team has also launched a waterside dining terrace. Guests can soak up the sights from its waterside location over dishes from a changing daily menu, all washed down with a glass of cold sherry. Signature tapas dishes include octopus a la gallega, tortilla española and gambas al ajillo.

Bristol, BS1 6FU

Visit PacoTapas.co.uk

Big Feastival, Oxfordshire
ERIC AYDIN BARBERINI

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