Sorry if we go quiet for the next week or so - we’ll be out of Office enjoying the festive period! From all of us at DOUK, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year and any other winter holidays out there! We’ll be returning to the office on January 2nd, to bring a whole New Years’ worth of events and exciting new attractions in 2018.
Unfortunately, there will be no updates on DOUK from December 22nd until the date we return. Blogs and news will resume on January 2nd. Have a wonderful festive period! And stay tuned for all the latest events and attractions in 2018.
Keep an eye on our Facebook! We’ll be posting some stuff on there to hold you all over.
Oh, and for New Year’s Eve at 11:59:59… HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you all in 2018!
Summer has been fun hasn’t it? But even though it's coming to an end, there's still plenty to look forward to! With the end of summer, comes a new dawn, rising over the horizon, like a well-cooked sponge… The Great British Bake Off emerges from the fiery ovens of production onto its new home, Channel 4.
For fans of the show, it’s make or bake. Will Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig live up to the legacy of Mel and Sue? And let’s not even talk about losing Mary Berry from the show… Will Bake Off ever be the same? Or will it be better? In any case, the country's still got Bake Off fever.
But, how can the nation expel this baking fury? Bake at home? Don’t be silly… the kids might get involved and you know you’d win in a cooking contest against them (where’s the fun in that?) Alternatively, instead of watching series after series of Bake Off past, you could get out the house and get hands on. Here’s a list of fun, food related things to do round the UK.
Seasoned Cookery School
The Seasoned Cookery School is located in Walton Upon-Trent, in Derbyshire. I like to think of the name as a pun rather than foreshadowing the level of cooking expertise required. But in all seriousness, anyone of any cooking ability or level can come down and dive in. The school’s ethos is ‘inspiring everyone with food’ and has a whole host of talented TV Chefs at their disposal, to teach you some star techniques.
Ranging from classes in making your Indian take away into a beautiful homemade meal, preparing the perfect pastry (with help from 2013 Bake Off Semi Finalist – Beca Lyne-Pirkis) or creating cuisine to host your own swanky dinner party. The school offers a wide array of classes for everyone to enjoy. And you can pretend that the dashing, grey haired man across the kitchen is Paul Hollywood, if you please.
For more information on Seasoned Cookery School, click HERE to visit their website.
The Nick Nairn Cook School
Set up in April 2000, The Nick Naim Cook School now has two schools in different locations. The mission? To arm people with the necessary skills to turn ‘raw ingredients into fantastic food’. The school offers the finest classes for cooking novices to seasoned chefs.
Equipped with amazing facilities, the best tuition and even a place to grab some top shelf produce. The Nick Nairn Cook School has a class to please everyone… even Mary… what was wrong with the base Mary, soggy bottom?
To find out about the cooking classes or for more information on the school, click HERE.
Now, I hear what you’re saying. Some, love to cook and learn, and others? Well, we like to eat. ‘I’m too lazy to cook normally, so why would I want to go to school and cook?’ I hear you cry! No matter, why make, when you can taste…
DID SOMEONE SAY CHOCOLATE? Oh, that was me. I did. Now you’re thinking about chocolate, let’s talk about a place that is MADE OF CHOCOLATE. Well, makes chocolate but I had to draw you in somehow… Cadbury World is the Crème Egg of the crop, of foody days out.
An ideal destination for chocolate lovers, the Birmingham based factory not only takes you behind the magic of the confectionary, but also teaches you a thing or too. Learn about the greatest gift from mother Nature, aside Oxygen, the cocoa bean. Responsible for making the world a more chocolatey place.
And guess what? They’ll be chocolate there. If you’re feeling daring ahead of Bake Off, pick up some chocolate on your way out and give that chocolate gateaux a go.
This tour is guaranteed to be popular, so pre-purchase your tickets to avoid disappointment. Visit the website by clicking HERE, to book tickets or find out more info.
Savouring Bath Walking Tour
Don’t be fooled by the name, you won’t be looking at a collection of bathtubs with legs, no. You’ll be walking around the beautiful city of Bath, soaking in the history and culture of the city, tasting the local cuisine.
Offering a platter worthy selection of tours, experience Bath like never before. Through the taste of local produce. Artisanal food and drink, sweet or savoury, there’s a taste for anyone palette. And don’t worry about eating all that food, it’s a walking tour, designed to aid you in burning off every calorie you eat… well maybe not every calorie but I’ve got to at least try and make you feel better, right?
To find out about all the different food tours head to Savouring Bath’s website, by clicking HERE.
All this talk of food, cake and chocolate has got me feeling full. Paired with that pre Bake Off buzz, I think we all deserve a drink to relax, no? Queue the distillery tour…
Pickering’s Gin Tours
The ideal destination for Gin Lovers, tour the beautiful distillery and learn all about how the masterful gin is created. Learn how the gin is bottled and sample all three of Pickering’s gin expressions. And, as if it couldn’t get any better. There is a bar. Finish your tour at the Royal Dick bar.
What could be better than trying and drinking gin? Throw in a little detective work to add to that excitement. Experience the event of a lifetime, LockedIn the Distillery has you solving clues with up to five friends, working together to save the distillery from destruction! I would pay just to watch five, gin fuelled adults attempting to solve clues. Think that could be an idea for BBC to fill the gap Bake Off has left? Just a suggestion…
For more information about the distillery, click HERE.
Now you’ve digested this five-course meal of food related fun, you’ll finally have a creative outlet for all your Bake Off needs. From cooking master classes to become a baking legend, to food tours to sink your teeth into or just to put your feet up with a nice drink from your favourite distillery, I hope I’ve eased the wait before we welcome Bake Off back to our screens.
The Great British Bake Off is back August 29th on Channel 4.
A Golden Eagle has been spotted in Wales for the first time since 1990, but where else can you encounter some of the UK’s best wildlife?
Cairngorms National Park –
Over 25% of Britain’s threatened species thrive at Cairngorms in Scotland, which at 3,800 sq km is Britain’s largest national park.
What’s there: The elusive Scottish wildcat, more golden eagles and capercaillies can all be spotted, along with Scottish crossbills and wild reindeer.
Tell me more: www.cairngorms.co.uk
Lundy Island –
Now England's only Marine Nature Reserve, Lundy Island is a haven for underwater wildlife and is situated 10 miles off the coast of Devon.
What’s there: A tonne of life including basking sharks, dolphins, grey seals and porpoises.
Tell me more: www.lundyisland.co.uk
New Forest –
Hampshire's New Forest is a walker's or cyclist's paradise with miles and miles of untouched woodland.
What’s there: Four species of deer; the red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, sika deer; reptiles including the adder and sand lizard, and a wide array of insects such as stag beetles.
Tell me more: www.thenewforest.co.uk
Farne Islands –
The Farnes, located two miles off the coast of Northumberland, were voted David Attenborough's favourite place to visit for wildlife in the UK.
What’s there: Grey seals plus over 23 species of bird including puffins, razorbills and Arctic terns.
Tell me more: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/farne-islands
Brownsea Island -
Another island, this time near the Dorset coast, Brownsea Island is entirely owned by the National Trust, hopefully ensuring its wildlife remains to be enjoyed by visitors for a long time.
What's there: Red squirrel, wild peacocks, avocets, herons, sika deer.
Tell me more: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island/
|A red squirrel - grey squirrels have never been introduced on the island|
Isle of Mull -
The Isle of Mull is one of the best places in the UK to catch some of the rarest wildlife we have to offer, and well worth the very long trip!
What's there: Killer whales, humpback whales, basking sharks, otters, seals, golden eagles, white-tailed eagles and short eared owls.
Tell me more: www.isle-of-mull.net
|The Isle of Mull is one of the best places in the UK to spot Killer Whales|
|The town of Tobermory|
We all love days out with the family, but we can all relate to these five things that make you question whether that day out is worthwhile after all…
1. Long Car Journeys
Fasten your seatbelts parents; it’s going to be a long ride. Three excited, screaming kids in the back of the car as you’re speeding along the mortorway at 70mph is not want you want for three hours, but that’s exactly what you’ll be getting.
|But they seem so cute...|
2. Extortionate Prices
You thought your local high street was expensive, try that gift shop or fast food outlet and add a couple of quid to every single food & drink item. And we won’t even mention the entry prices… *gulp*
|That'll be £6.99 please|
3. Queue Jumpers
There must be someone out there inventing something entertaining to do while queuing. Quite simply the dullest ‘activity’ forced upon you, your boredom turns to rage as you see an individual stroll through a queue without so much as a peep from the polite, mild mannered persons such as yourself.
4. Poor Manners
Continuing nicely from No. 3, poor manners in any shape or form has to be one of the most annoying things when on a day out. Try not to get too stressed up, breathe deeply, and tell yourself you are likely to never see that person again…
5. Broken Or Closed Exhibits
You’ve travelled 50 miles and your eager child can’t wait to check out that awesome new science exhibit or go on the new rollercoaster. Oh wait. They can’t. Because it’s shut. No warnings on website, no refunds, unhappy child. Extremely annoying.
|I don't think we can go this way kids...|