In the quaint village of Burton Brastock in West Dorset you can enjoy lush meals al fresco with a beautiful view of the sea. The location is heavenly - with views of the sea and the cliffs of the Jurassic coast! In fact it would be well worth a visit even if the food were limited to sandwiches and lemonade. But luckily for you, it is not. The menu is packed solid with local produce and is simple but delicious. Two days later I can still taste the amazing brown crab I ate (*drool*)...
The service is unfussy, the food is divine, the beach is lovely. I dare you not to fall in love.
I cannot recommend a trip to Bath enough to those who are visiting the UK and are on the hunt for history. A two-hour train ride from London will take you to this UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can experience some of Britain’s best Roman and Georgian architecture.
But if all that history is starting to weigh on your shoulders, and you want to take some time out over truly delicious Japanese food, then I would happily direct you towards Yen Sushi.
Nestled in the heart of Bath, Yen Sushi is a traditional kaiten sushi bar. The chef takes pride of place in the center of Yen. It’s mesmerizing to watch the artist at work as he prepares dish after dish of sushi and distributes it via the rotating conveyor belt that surrounds him. And then the real fun starts. For me eating from a kaiten holds a certain sporting element - call me crazy but sometimes it feels like I’m actually fishing. You see the chef prepare your favorite dish, only to place it on the far side of the conveyor. Then the nail-biting begins as it passes all the other diners – will you get lucky and take home the big fish? Of course you can order anything you want from the menu, but I prefer the joy of the chase.
The food here is top-notch, undoubtedly the best and most authentic sushi in the west of England. And I would be remiss not to mention the truly charming service - the staff cannot do enough to make your visit memorable.
I was moved to visit Salisbury Cathedral after coming across the following pronouncement by Bill Bryson in his wonderful book Notes from a Small Island: “There is no doubt in my mind that Salisbury Cathedral is the single most beautiful structure in England and the Close around it the most beautiful space.”
Imagine my delight to find out that such a hyperbolic statement might actually be true. Salisbury Cathedral is a remarkable sight, with the UK's tallest spire atop a gorgeous building in the middle of a large, peaceful green close. Yet strangely, like the Tardis, it seems to be even bigger on the inside. The jaded among you might think that if you've seen one cathedral, you've seen them all, but there is something special about the sense of depth created by Salisbury Cathedral - there are no screens or dividers between any of the sections of the cathedral, so as soon as you step in the door you can see all the way to the altar. It's a wonderful sight. There are many smaller-scale delights tucked away here and there too, such as the remarkable blue Prisoners of Conscience stained glass window, and one of the original copies of the Magna Carta stashed away in the cool octagonal chapter house.
It's humbling to think that the building has been here since the 13th century. It's a great place to go if you need a little perspective on things, whether you are of a religious persuasion or not! Any day except Christmas, be sure to stop by the Refectory for a revivifying cup of tea and piece of cake, too.
The Pump Room is one of the most extraordinary locations to take your tea in the UK. Situated in the heart of Bath, on top of the ruins of a Roman spa resort and in the shadow of Bath Abbey, lies this fabulous setting to live out your Jane Austen Fantasy.
Today this extremely elegant building is home to a restaurant serving all manner of tasty cakes, pastries, sandwiches and snacks, with a vast selection of tea and Champagne to help wash it down. You can also drink the actual thermal water of Bath itself - I prefer champagne, but apparently people have been drinking this water for its medicinal properties for centuries.
The Pump Room Trio will provide your musical accompaniment - they're the longest established resident ensemble in Europe.
Stonehenge is often billed as the place to head to experience Neolithic architecture in the UK. It's hard to argue that the famous ring of standing stones is anything but amazing. However, its popularity is also its downfall: a high fence prevents you getting up close. If you really want to feel close to the ancient people who created such monuments, head to Avebury.
Just 40 minutes up the road lies this Neolithic touchstone, which contains no fewer than 3 stone circles, with a quaint Wiltshire village in the middle of it. Avebury is Europe’s largest stone circle, and is accompanied by a series of other monuments, including West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill.
What makes Avebury really special is the fact that you can roam freely amongst the stones, even getting close enough to touch them. A museum in the village will help inspire your imagination, and a good pub in the village will quench your thirst. So pack up a picnic basket and make a day of it.
n.b. Get your druid on! Timz
I moved to the Bay Area from my native London a few years ago. I knew I was in for a treat, but nothing prepared me for the delights of the Bay Area; the amazing nature on our doorstep, the great food, the good beer and the friendly and outgoing people. This is what inspired Lonestar and I to build jov.io; We want to share these amazing experiences with our friends.
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