Category Archives: News

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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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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Merry Christmas from Mind the Gap

London Eye in winter time

London Eye in winter time

Hello dear reader. With just a couple of days left until Christmas Eve, we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Thank you for following us and reading our posts during the last year. We promise to be back after Christmas with more hints and tips about our favourite country – Britain.

Here is some reading material for you who are going to Britain soon:

London in January = SALE
London Christmas Shopping Guide
Winter in Manchester

And last, but not least, a Christmas card from VisitBritain to all of you!

Best regards

/Carl, Gary, Helene, Jackie, Jette, Kim, Siska, Towe and Åsa

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Royal Wedding 2011: The Dress part 2

The speculation around the world is at full speed: Which dress designer will make Kate Middleton’s dress for her marriage to Prince William of Wales?

I can’t wait to hear who will fulfil this extraordinary commission. In the meantime, we present a list of ten possible designers – all British of course – who could make Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Read “The Dress part 1” here. This is the second half of the list:

6. Erdem
The British fashion press would love to see an upcoming designer, who shows at London Fashion Week, get the job, and the extraordinarily talented Erdem Moralioglu would fit the bill. His romantic, often floral, confections show enormous skill, and his obsession with costume history and beautiful fabrics would produce a truly gorgeous dress. He has dressed some of the world’s most important women from Michelle Obama and Anna Wintour in the US to Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron in the UK, and is stocked in Britain’s most prestigious fashion stores, including Harvey Nichols and Matches.

7. Stella McCartney
Educated at London fashion school powerhouse Central St Martins College of Art & Design, Stella McCartney made a great success at Parisian label Chloé, before launching her own label in 2001 with support from fashion giant Gucci Group. She is best known for making desirable clothes that women really want to wear in their everyday lives, but she does have past famous wedding form: She made Madonna’s wedding dress.

8. Amanda Wakeley
Ms Wakeley is another British designer who dressed Diana, Princess of Wales; she has also designed for Queen Rania of Jordan, as well as for Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron. Self-taught, she shows her beautiful, pared down and elegant designs on the official schedule at London Fashion Week, although she is known primarily for her eveningwear outside of fashion circles. A bias cut silk satin column is one of the silhouettes most associated with her designs, and she is becoming one of Britain’s biggest high-end wedding dress designers.

9. Philippa Lepley
If Kate decided to commission a specialist bridal couturier, then Philippa Lepley is considered a front-runner for the job, with several bookmakers making her the current favourite. Along with several other British wedding dress designers like Caroline Castigliano and Suzanne Neville, she has both the skills and experience to make a dress suitable for a state wedding. She opened her eponymous salon in London’s Fulham Road in 1990, specialising in elegant and simple dresses, using incredibly luxurious fabrics, often with hand beading and embellishments.

10. Roland Mouret
Mr Mouret makes some of the most desirable dresses in the world. With an instinctive understanding of how to flatter and fit a woman’s body, he makes every woman who wears his dresses look sublime. His client list is legendary, and although he only makes couture wedding dresses for a few favoured clients, we hear that they are breath-taking. 2011 will be his big year whatever happens, as he opens his first dedicated salon over the whole six floors of a townhouse on Mayfair’s Carlos Place.

Read more about British fashion designers here on our website.

(This list was created for VisitBritain by writer Sasha Wilkins, who blogs as LibertyLondonGirl. The thoughts of an English Fashion Editor in Manhattan on life, love, design, food & style.
www.libertylondongirl.com)

/Helene

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British special guest at the Nobel Prize Ceremony

What is the connection between the Nobel Prize and the 2012 Olympic mascot  Wenlock? Well, I’ve got the answer for you. Wenlock is in Stockholm waiting for the Nobel guests to arrive at today’s prize ceremony!

It is in the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock in England you will find the birthplace of the modern international Olympic Games. It was here, in 1850, that Dr William Penny Brookes first founded the Wenlock Olympian Society.

Now, 160 years later Wenlock’s role has provided the inspiration behind one of the 2012 London Olympic mascots unveiled in a blaze of global publicity.

We are helping our dear friend and mascot to travel the globe and to put Much Wenlock on the map. Go to this Facebook page and help to decide where he will turn up next!

//Helene

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Royal Wedding 2011: The Dress part 1

The speculation around the world is at full speed: Which dress designer will make Kate Middleton’s dress for her marriage to Prince William of Wales?

I can’t wait to hear who will fulfil this extraordinary commission. In the meantime, we present a list of ten possible designers – all British of course – who could make Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Here are five of them, the other five will be published here on Monday:

1. Jasper Conran
A former British Designer of the Year and one of the most commercially successful, through his diffusion ranges for department store Debenhams, Jasper Conran shows his restrained and chic womenswear on the runway at London Fashion Week, and has been making beautiful wedding dresses for nearly thirty years. He has royal wedding experience too: he made the sophisticated and elegant dress that the Queen’s niece Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones wore for her marriage to Daniel Chatto in 1994 at the Church of St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London.

2. Vivienne Westwood
Once the enfant terrible of the British fashion industry, Dame Viv has mellowed with age. Where once her models wore no knickers under micro kilts and wobbled down the catwalk in eight-inch platforms, now her ravishing evening and wedding dresses are just as likely to be worn by pillars of the establishment as they are by rock stars or avant-garde artists.

3. Daniella Helayel of Issa
Previously an under the radar label known mostly for its flattering, slinky silk-jersey dresses, London-based Issa has suddenly become one of the most talked about labels in the world, thanks to the off the rack blue silk dress chosen for her engagement announcement by Kate Middleton. Issa’s Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel is being talked about as the front-runner for the wedding dress, having made bespoke wedding dresses for special clients, but we wonder whether her relaxed, flowing, sexy style is quite formal enough for the wedding of the decade, if not the century.

4. Bruce Oldfield
A treasured darling of the fashion establishment, Mr Oldfield has been designing under his own name since 1975. Raised in a Children’s Home by the charity Dr Barnado’s, he transcended his hard childhood to become one of Diana, Princess of Wales favourite designers, responsible for some of her most iconic outfits. Mr Oldfield does not show at London Fashion Week, and works mainly at couture level from his salons on London’s Beauchamp Place, making dresses for everyone from Rihanna to Joan Collins, as well as being responsible for the wedding outfits for Jemima Khan, and for the Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron.

5. Elizabeth Emmanuel
In 1981 the dress that she and her then partner David Emmanuel designed for Diane, of Princess of Wales’ marriage to Prince Charles was romantic, spectacular and over the top, with its huge puffed sleeves, twenty-five foot train and billowing skirt made from taffeta silk woven on Britain’s Lullingstone silk farm. Since then Elizabeth has been responsible for designing the iconic scarlet Virgin Atlantic uniforms, dressed many celebrities, from Drew Barrymore to Jerry Hall. In 1990 the Emmanuel’s separated, and Elizabeth has continued to design both for private clients and for commercial collaborations. She has a new line called the Art of Being, which launched in September 2010.

Read more about British fashion designers here on our website.

(This list was created for VisitBritain by writer Sasha Wilkins, who blogs as LibertyLondonGirl. The thoughts of an English Fashion Editor in Manhattan on life, love, design, food & style.
www.libertylondongirl.com)

/Helene

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Winter in Manchester

Manchester Christmas markets

Christmas markets in Manchester. Image: VisitManchester

Do you want to take a weekend this winter but not sure where? Why not go to Manchester? The city’s Christmas markets are known as some of the best in the country and there is plenty of nightlife and cultural events to make a perfect winter weekend.


Christmas markets.

During December, Manchester is packed with Christmas markets all around the city.  From the specialist markets such as the Christmas Arts & Crafts market at Exchange Street or the new French market at King Street, to the traditional Christmas markets by New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square. Eat traditional winter food and drink some mulled wine while you think about what Christmas present to buy next.

Read more about the markets here


North Pole Bar

Manchester’s own winter bar is now open again! The North Pole Bar had over 100 000 visitors during its opening months of 2008 and 2009 and is now three times bigger than last year. It offers a perfect end to a busy day of Christmas shopping with cosy chesterfield sofas and vintage rugs, Asian food luxurious cocktails and live music. The North Pole Bar is situated by Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens and is open until 19 December.

Find your way to North Pole Bar with our Britain Map


A Christmas Carol

End your busy day in Manchester with a visit to the theatre. See the heart-warming Charles Dickens tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ about the grumpy old miser Ebenezer Scrooge who makes his staff work on Christmas day – until he is confronted by the Spirits of Christmas and starts to change his mind. The classic play is shown at the Library Theatre until 8 January.

Find your way to the theatre here

See more festive things to do in Manchester this Winter at VisitManchester’s website.

/Carl

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