Friday 28 December 2012

Walk up to Dover's Hill, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

This two mile walk takes you up to a scenic escarpment that marks the northern edge of the Cotswolds and overlooks the flat, open countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Turn north off the Lower High Street in Chipping Campden at the sturdy stone catholic church and stroll past the attractive old houses on West End Terrace and then on to Hoo Lane. This modern, but sought-after, residential road climbs gradually upwards before turning into a gravel path with a steeper gradient. You pass a farm before reaching a bench about 200 metres above sea level with a view back down to the western end of Chipping Campden. From here, it is a stone's throw to a country road. Turn left, walk about 50 yards along the road, and then turn right on to a footpath, which takes you up to Dover Hill. From here, you can follow the trail south west, admiring the sweeping views to the north. After about half a mile, you come to a car park, from where you can clamber down to a path that runs back east, just below the escarpment. Make your way south back to the road and retrace your steps back down Hoo Lane. 8/10    

Thursday 6 December 2012

Brawn, Columbia Road, East London

An inviting restaurant housed in an elegant early Victorian building, Brawn combines a hip buzz with excellent  earthy food. The front dining room with its big windows and high ceiling is more appealing than the back dining room, but the latter does include the bustling kitchen, providing some much needed warmth on a cold December evening. The bare brick walls, painted white, and the avant-garde art give Brawn the loft-living vibe.  The cover includes a basket of freshly-baked wholemeal ciabatta, but don't eat too much of it because Brawn serves big portions.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

The view from Hay's Galleria, central London

The shiny city: The Victorian splendour of Old Billingsgate fish market is overshadowed by a sparkling office block, near London Bridge, on a crisp December afternoon. This photo was taken from the quirky Hay's Galleria shopping arcade near London Bridge.