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.
British Summertime is a wonderful thing, when we’re managing to avoid the rain that is. Yes, come showers or shine, it’s important to keep yourself busy this time of year. But what happens if a trip to the shop isn’t entertaining enough? Or your picnic is being invaded by wasps? Look no further than us for inspiration!
If you’re in a crowded city, out in the countryside or even exploring further afield in the UK, there’s a lot going on. There’s plenty of fun to be found for adults, kids and even the whole family, so here’s a list of some amazing upcoming events this summer.
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, is hosting an event on Extreme Fashion on August 20th and 29th. And no, I’m not talking nautical themed clothing, I’m talking about essential clothing and equipment for explorers to aid them in harsh conditions. At this 2-hour session, you can learn all about what those adventurers need brave the wilds of the world. You can even design your own extreme clothing for your very own adventure.
All year round the National Maritime Museum is full of fun and nautical exhibitions for the whole family. You can experience the history of the high seas, without the risk of scurvy…
To find out more about the event click HERE
This is one for the kids, especially if you want to show them how good they have it. Take a trip into Prehistoric Britain at the Beecroft Art Gallery on August 9th and 30th. This hour-long session in Southend-on-Sea, Essex will help educate the little ones and show them about life during the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods (yeah, I couldn’t pronounce those either). They’ll learn about the technology of the old world including original and replicas of prehistoric tools.
If you don’t fancy living the prehistoric life with your kids, the Beecroft Art Gallery is full of beautiful art and photography, with something different with every visit.
Discover more about the event by clicking HERE
Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover
If I told you that you could visit a museum, at night, with exclusive handpicked performers from Edinburgh Fringe and a bar, would you go? Of course, you would. You can even poke around some of the museums exhibitions in-between acts (so much culture and entertainment in one place). Spanning over three nights, from August 11th, the adults-only event showcases a different take on the Fringe.
By night, there’s an entertaining showcase of talent (as well as a bar) and by day it’s a place for the whole family. With stunning exhibitions and artefacts, a day out in the National Museum of Scotland is nothing to turn your nose up at. Just try not to drink too much the night before, it may look like a bucket but it’s probably an ancient vase…
Click HERE for more info.
Dining Experience on board the High Weald Belle
Dinner on a train? No, I’m not talking about a sandwich on the tube, I’m talking about a luxury dining experience in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. This evening dining event, takes place on the High Weald Belle on August 12th and other selected dates. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful English countryside accompanied by dinner, without getting rained on and sitting on grass.
Spa Valley Railway not only host dinner on the rails, but offer trips to beautiful parts of South-East England by steam train.
For more information click HERE
While I can’t promise you the heat of India, I can promise you a look into the amazing culture. Every Wednesday throughout August from the 16th, you can experience art, music and films inspired by Indian traditions, with a little bit of dancing thrown in too. Suitable for adults and children of all ages, immerse yourself in the wonderful story-telling of India at The Horniman Museum and Gardens, in Forest Hill, London.
All year round, the beautiful Gardens are open to the public and the Museum is packed with beautiful natural history. There’s even an aquarium for you to explore.
For more information about the event, click HERE
Wild West Adventures
Pull the snake out your boot and hop on your horse down to Groombridge Place Gardens & Enchanted Forest. From August 21st till September 3rd, you can take the kids to experience being a Cowboy or Cowgirl in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. With action packed Cowboy shows, storytelling and singalongs it’s not a day to miss out on. And prepare yourself for the ‘yee haws’ all the way home.
The award-winning gardens are there to keep you entertained, while you let your little one loose in the ‘Wild West’. Packed with ‘birds of prey’ displays and have a go archery, there’s a lot to fill your time.
Click HERE for all the info
The Wedding Singer
Ever wanted to go back to a simpler, more musical time? Here’s your chance. Take a trip back to the 80s, with the classic musical based on the Adam Sandler hit film. Re-live the huge hair and music of the era at the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House. On August 22nd, find out if Robbie Hart will get his grove back and follow his dreams in the all singing, all dancing show.
The beautiful Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House only houses the very best shows and musicals at the prestigious venue. They even do tours of the theatre if you fancy yourself a history buff.
For tickets and more info click HERE
Military week and camp
Now the nay-sayers out there will tell you that you can’t enlist your child into the military. Well, I’m here to tell you, that you can! (to the Medieval Military at least). Transport the kids to medieval England, as they pitch up camp outside the walls of Bodiam Castle in East Sussex. The castle itself is a marvel of medieval building, what survives of it. It’s surrounded by an overwhelmingly, huge moat and shows a real insight into medieval architecture.
Watch medieval black smiths forge amour to be tested against the powerful bow of English archers. (No children will be harmed in the firing of arrows). Put them through their paces with medieval marches and drills between August 21st to August 25th. Join Sir Edward and his finest knights in the castle bootcamp.
Click HERE for more information
Sleep under the stars at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Ever seen an empty enclosure at the zoo and wondering what’s there? You wander over to the information about the animal and see that it is nocturnal. Some of the most interesting and fascinating animals only come out at night, and the zoo is never open for you to see them. Until now.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, on selected dates throughout August and September, are putting on camping events in the darkness of night. You’ll have the chance to stay overnight and explore the massive 600-acre zoo to find the nocturnal animals, under the cover of night. With park entry, the next day, included in the price and an exclusive morning park tour open to you before the public. This camping trip is perfect for all the animal loving family.
Click HERE for all the info
So, get out the house and explore the UK. Summer doesn’t have to be as dull and dreary as the weather. For a complete list of events happening all over the UK, visit our events page on DOUK.