June What’s New Bulletin
London’s first bottomless brunch on the beach, a season of field-to-fork events on a working farm with a restaurant and art gallery, and the Great British Gin Festival are all on the agenda this month, with the UK’s first zero-waste vegan festival lined up for later in the summer. See below for more information, plus a roundup of other exciting news just in from around the country.
London’s first bottomless brunch on the beach
1 June – 16 September
The Montague on the Gardens Beach Bar is back for another summer season of sand and beach huts – but this year it’s introducing a two-hour bottomless brunch. The menu includes two hours of unlimited refills for tropical cocktails such as pina colada and vodka melon cooler. Brunch-inspired sharing platters are served in the hotel’s sunny conservatory, with ‘beachside’ cocktails served in the beach bar installation on the wood deck outside. £39 per person.
A summer of field-to-fork events at Roth Bar & Grill and Durslade Farmhouse, Somerset
From 10 June
With a working farm, an on-site art gallery, kitchen gardens, restaurant and a 250-year-old farmhouse, this could be the ultimate farm-to-fork-to-bed experience, with a generous helping of art on the side. For Open Farm Sunday (10 June; free), they’ll host butchery demonstrations and vintage tractor displays. New for summer are From the Fire Feasts – seasonal food cooked over an open fire and served outside (every Thursday; Melissa Hemsley will be guest chef on 19 July; from £22.15). Chef & Farmer lunches are a chance to listen in on Paul the farmer and Steve the chef’s monthly catch-ups (£25). The quarterly Days in the Kitchen cover how to make the most of the season’s produce (13 August; £150). Stay in the sensitively restored six-bedroom Durslade Farmhouse, filled with vintage furniture and artworks from Hauser & Wirth (from £600 for whole house).
The Great British Gin Festival, Salisbury (on UK tour)
More than 100 different gins from around the world will feature in the UK’s biggest gin festival tour when it arrives in Salisbury’s Malthouse Lane. Expect a gin-fuelled garden party atmosphere (indoors, so rain can’t stop play) with cocktail demonstrations, live music, talks from producers and industry experts, an on-site shop, trade stands, a virtual reality gin distillery and, naturally, 25ml test tubes of your top tipples to take home. The festival is on tour throughout the country until November. Tickets are £15.49–£20.
New motorhome sharing platform, Camptoo
Opened late April
Camptoo, a new motorhome booking site described as AirBnB for campervans, has launched in the UK. The platform links travellers with motorhome owners so more people can experience the joy and freedom of hitting the road in a caravan. It’s a flexible solution for wannabe-caravaners who can’t afford their own vehicle, and owners who want to share their wheels. Camptoo is already established in Australia and mainland Europe.
Land of the Tiger at Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey
Opened 5 May
Chessington’s new multi-million-pound Land of the Tiger attraction features Europe’s first overhead trails, so visitors can gaze down on the enclosure’s four Amur tigers from above. Tiger Rock log flume also gives riders the chance to glimpse the big cats, called Kalinka, Tsar, Olga and Kyra; the five-minute journey through the Land of the Tiger ends in a 15-metre (50ft) plunge off a misty waterfall. Four new tiger-themed rooms at Chessington Safari Hotel complement the new attraction. Day tickets from £29.
The Making of Harry Potter – Behind the Seams, Hertfordshire
26 May–3 June, then every weekend until 22 July
A new experience at Warner Bros Studio Tour gives Potterheads a behind-the-scenes look at the costumes featured in the Harry Potter films. Taking the form of an exclusive workshop environment, Behind the Seams teaches visitors about the secrets of the Costume Department, such as how magical snail trails were made for Professor Sprout’s robes. Items of clothing from the Wizarding World never seen before at The Making of Harry Potter will be on show, including a battle-weary outfit worn by Lord Voldemort himself. The highlight is the chance to wear an original Hogwarts robe that appeared in the films – in your chosen house colours, of course. Tickets are £65 for adults, £55 for children (not recommended for under 12s).
Seasonal foraging lunches at Fischer’s, Derbyshire
15 August, 10 October
The Michelin-starred Fischer’s at Baslow Hall has joined forces with James Wood of foraging specialists Totally Wild to offer bi-monthly foraging lunches. Guests will spend the morning foraging Baslow Hall’s grounds before sitting down to a three-course lunch made from ingredients sourced a stone’s throw from their dining table. The foraging menus, created by Wood (one of the UK’s top foraging and wild food experts) and Fisher’s head chef Rupert Rowley (who has worked with Raymond Blanc and Gordon Ramsey), will use seasonal wild ingredients such as gorse flowers and birch sap in the spring, hedgerow celery and wood sorrel in summer, and porcini and oyster mushrooms in autumn. £64.50 per person.
No Planet B vegan festival, Cotswolds
The UK’s first zero-waste vegan festival describes itself as “TED talk meets music festival in the beautiful Cotswolds”. With the focus on veganism, minimalism and zero waste, No Planet B wants to educate people to live more sustainably and ethically. It’s still generating funds on Kickstarter but already on the programme are talks, workshops and cooking demos from experts in zero waste, minimalism and permaculture; yoga and pilates; vegan street food; and DJ sets and live music from performers including ukulele group Ukebox. BYO bamboo or metals cups and bottles – there’s a sensible list of zero-waste rules. One-day adult tickets from £79.
UK’s first Hard Rock Hotel, London
The Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch will reopen as the UK’s first Hard Rock Hotel. The hotel has a suitable rock ’n’ roll history – it was here that Jimi Hendrix gave his last interview before he died, and Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Madonna are all former residents. With interiors by Scott Brownrigg architectural and design practice, the hotel will have around 1,000 bedrooms and suites, a 370-seat Hard Rock Café, two bars, a Hard Rock shop, live music performances and about 100 pieces of rock memorabilia throughout. It will be one of only four Hard Rock Hotels outside the USA. Double rooms from £250 per night.
Plans to build Europe’s tallest observation wheel, NewcastleGateshead
Developers have announced plans to build Europe’s tallest observation wheel, on Newcastle Quayside. At 140 metres (459ft), the ‘Whey Aye’ would be almost 5 metres (16ft) taller than the London Eye. The World Wheel Company says the wheel will also have a world record breaking 10,000 sq m (107,340sq ft) LED digital screen as its centre piece, and be surrounded by a pedestrianised area featuring premium bars and restaurants. The World Wheel Company will submit a detailed planning application to Newcastle City Council later this year.