We have a new blog!

Our new blog - Britain by Heart

We’re starting off 2011 with a new blog and name. From now on, drumroll please, our name is Britain by Heart and you can find us on www.britainbyheart.com

Last summer we looked for a new blog name and the jury fell for Christina’s suggestion – Britain by Heart. Click here to read why the jury chose this name

After we decided on the name we started working on giving the blog a new design and features. Have a look at our new blog here

We hope you like our new blog and that you’ll keep following us there!
/Siska

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Sunday Sing Along

If you’re looking for a fun night out with the locals then head for the “Duke of Kendal” pub at 38 Connaught Street, close to Marble Arch and Hyde Park.

Every Sunday round 8pm it’s sing along time with traditional English songs and Jennie on the piano (90 years old!)…. One of the few remaining “knees ups” in London! (Live music also most Saturdays).

Of course if you get hungry after all the singing, then there’s good value food too!

Don’t worry if you’re not in London over the weekend, you can always try “The Golden Eagle” at 59 Marylebone Lane, another pub that has live music on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Find your way to Duke of Kendal with our Britain Map.

“Happy Singing” and “Skål”

/Jackie

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Dine with the stars

If you want to dine with a British star, where is the place to go? To one of the 137 Michelin starred restaurants in the United Kingdom of course!

And so it happens that the centenary edition of the UK and Ireland Michelin Guide was announced on Tuesday – and good news, there are more stars than ever!

For 2011 there are a total of 137 Michelin starred establishments in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Yum, yum, I’m getting hungry now!

All the 12 new stars is for restaurants in England, but there are still 125 other restaurants in the whole of UK you could try out. There are a couple of new stars in the East End of London: notably Viajante, run by the acclaimed Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, and Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields.

And one of my own favourites, the quirky Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond …a perfect place for  a day trip, in a calm and relaxing environment.

The new 1* restaurants:

England, outside London
The Curlew, Bodiam, Sussex

The Pony and Trap,  Chew Magna, Somerset

Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

The Black Rat, Winchester, Hampshire

Paris House, Woburn, Bedfordshire

London:

Kitchen W8

Petersham Nurseries Cafe (Richmond, see image below)

Viajante

Galvin La Chapelle

Petrus

Seven Park Place, at the St James Hotel and Club

Gauthier Soho

The two new 2* restaurants:

Helene Darroze at The Connaught, and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, at Rock in Cornwall.

Bon Appétit!

-Helene-

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Grease Is The Word!

They say you can’t go to London without seeing a musical, which is so true! So this time I chose Grease at Piccadilly Theatre. I love the film and the music and it was electrifying!

They say young romance is timeless and universal…how true, should have seen me (46) dancing away in my seat along with a whole school class of 12 year olds.

Our singing wasn’t bad either! We joined in the fun with the groovy “T-Birds”, the “Pink Ladies” and the whole gang from “Rydell High” for a rock ‘n’ roll party of the year!

So all you fans who are hopelessly devoted to Grease book your tickets here (there are some good offers on at the moment!) and see you there, cause I’ll be back and might bring my 91 year old grannie along!

/Jackie

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Derby at White Hart Lane

Tottenham fans, White Hart Lane

Going to a football match in Britain is something else. It is not just a football match – it is a unique experience.

I have been at White Hart Lane, the home of Tottenham Hotspur, in North East London a few times now and every time I go there I get blown away by the atmosphere. The cheers from the crowd roaring inside the stadium can be almost deafening and people are singing during the entire match. What is different with Barclays Premier League from many other football leagues is that it is not only the biggest matches between the biggest teams that attract big audiences. Almost every match is packed with people and the atmosphere can be just as intense – if not more intense – in a smaller stadium than in the major ones.

Chelsea - Cole & Drogba

Chelsea stars Drogba and Cole

I recently visited a friend in London and went to the derby match between Tottenham and Chelsea. We started off by having lunch (classic football food: burgers and chips) close to the stadium with some other fans, discussing possible starting lineups, goal scorers and final score. The match ended 1-1 with Chelsea missing a penalty late in the game – to my great relief.

After the match we walked with the rest of the crowd (most of them still singing) to the bus stop and took a bus to Angel where my friend lives. We ended the day with a really nice dinner at a the local gastropub around the corner, called The Alma. London really is packed with great pubs!

The Alma

The Alma, a great gastropub in Islington

So, even if you are not that much into football, I can definitely recommend you to go to a football match in Britain. Tickets vary in price but doesn’t necessarily have to cost more than they do in the Nordics – but the entertainment is so much better!

Read more about the league and how to see a match at our football website.
See where White Hart Lane is located on our Britain Map.
Find The Alma on our Britain Map.

Come on you Spurs!
/Carl

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Daylesford Farmshop & Café – An organic piece of heaven

A couple of weeks ago, the Danish journalist Hanne Høiberg visited Daylesford Farmshop & Café in London. Here’s her review.

“- Want to try a piece of brie with truffle, we just made it?

The waiter behind the bar must be a mind reader. I was just thinking, full of a fantastic pumpkin risotto and a glass of the house wine from their vineyard in Provence, that I might want a little piece of cheese to go down with the rest of the wine. So of course I say yes and complete the meal with a perfect little piece of mature soft brie, together with some mascarpone and truffle oil – on the house.

The staff here at Daylesford Farmshop & Café in Notting Hill is without a doubt passionate about their work and want to share their passion with a Danish journalist doing a research trip. Not that I told them I wanted to write about it. In their eyes I’m just one of all the tourists coming through, who looks like they’re enjoying the food and the beautiful surroundings. And they are perfectly right.

It was a total coincidence that I wandered into this hidden pearl on cosy Westbourne Growe – a vegetable shop, bakery, butcher, cheese store and café, all in one. And everything is organic! Actually, I originally just popped in for a quick cappuccino, the best I’ve ever had in London and enjoyed the sight of the bulging cabbages, crispy carrots, homemade raspberry vodka and yellow cheddar on display in the light rooms decorated in with a Nordic design, while feeling the delightful smell of newly baked bread. After that experience, I just had to come back for breakfast.

Almost everything in both the shop and the café comes from Dayleford’s organic farm in Gloustershire. Not only the beef, chicken, fruits and vegetables are made here, but also the milk, yogurt and cheese, because Daylesford also has their own creamery. And the few ingredients that are not produced at Daylesford, are all from farms living by the same philosophy of organic foods and sustainability.

The Daylesford products have won more than 80 national and international gastronomic prizes. So if you value good fresh food in a beautiful environment, Daylesford Farmshop & Café is a must, when you are in London. “

Daylesford Farmshop & Café in Notting Hill is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am – 7pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm. Get directions in our Britain Map or visit their website www.daylesfordorganic.com for further information about their farm or other shops.

Enjoy!

/Towe

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Year of the Rabbit and Crispy Duck

Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rabbit and falls on the 3rd February this year! If you want to take part, major celebrations are around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown, being the largest celebration outside Asia! Fireworks, music, Chinese dragons, lions and Chinese acrobatics…visit London town’s website for further information.

While you’re there (and if you love authentic Chinese food!)  then Chinatown is the place to be, with flavours you can’t find elsewhere!

Almost 80 restaurants fill the lively and vibrant area and one of my particular favourites is the first restaurant you come to on the corner of Gerrard Street, “Gerrard’s Corner”.

Try their crispy duck…finely sliced duck (done at the table in no time!!) put in a sort of pancake along with finely sliced cucumber, spring onion and sauce. Fold it all together and enjoy! It might sounds strange but it is something different to what we are offered at most Chinese restaurants in Sweden!

There is also an exhibition on at the moment until February 27th at  the Victoria and Albert Museum: “Imperial Chinese Robes From The Forbidden City”, here you can see robes worn by emperors and empresses of the Qing Dynasty, the last ruling dynasty of China will be on display for the first time in Europe. Admission is only £5 and more information can be found here.

Happy Chinese New Year!
/Jackie

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