June 10

A World In One Day at the Eden Project

20160217_123518 (Medium)I’d been to the Eden Project in Cornwall before but it was well worth a second visit. We went on a rainy day and although it was very busy (everyone must have had a the same idea!), it’s such a big site that it coped well with the numbers.20160217_150857 (Medium)

It was a visionary idea to put a centre dedicated to collecting plants from many diverse climates and environments and house them in giant biomes, the Rainforest Biome for tropical plants and one for Mediterranean temperatures.

Built inside a disused clay pit the before and after imagery is quite amazing. You can see how it was done on this time-lapse film below.

In the steamy tropical temperatures (18–35°C ) of the Rainforest Biome you can experience four of the world’s rainforest environments: Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America and see a range of plants including bananas, cocoa and rubber trees.

The Mediterranean biome takes you through the landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California and you can see more than 1,000 varieties of plants growing from all over the world including tulips, olive trees and cork trees.

20160217_133549 (Medium)A visit to the Eden Project is a great way to introduce children to the impact man has on the ecology of the planet and serves as a beacon for how we can live more sustainable lives.

      I’d highly recommend it a visit.

My tips:

    • Get there early.
    • Take a packed lunch as the restaurants and cafes get busy.
    • Make sure you remember which parking zone you’re in and which is your nearest bus stop (as we didn’t and we spent ages trying to locate our car!)
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December 15

Book review: Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre

91Wv-v-IzkLI’ve just been sent a beautiful coffee table book Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre which, as the title suggests, is packed with stunning behind-the-scenes pictures from the latest Bond film Spectre.

The 200-page hardback has been ‘curated’ by leading photographer Rankin and is packed to the rafters with very arty pictures from the film. These aren’t your standard behind-the-scenes snaps – nearly all of these images are almost works of art in themselves.812Gjl0cp2L

Rankin himself did much of the photography for the book but it also features contributions from celebrity photographers including Mary McCartney, Graciela Iturbide, Anderson & Low and Brigitte Lacombe.91HuyuUQboL

It’s a classy product – and the Slovakian printers deserve a mention too, as it is beautifully printed – and my only minor criticism is that some of the text is a bit small…

Blood, Sweat and Bond: Behind the Scenes of Spectre is published by Dorling Kindersley, £25 ISBN: 9780241207147

 

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December 9

Inspiring views and great food at Leonard’s Cove in Devon

20151122_073344 Thinking of booking a holiday? Well I recommend Leonards Cove Holiday Park in ‪‎Devon‬. As I have written before, the views from Leonard’s Cove are stunning and it’s a great base from which to explore the beautiful countryside of the South Hams area in Devon, including one of my favourite places in the world, the waterside town of Dartmouth.

12314463_523175847844529_1902256074410907596_oI recently spent a week at Leonard’s Cove working working on a book – and it really was the perfect place for inspiration and peace. I rented the same lodge as I’d stayed in before (you can see some pictures here).

Located in the village of Stoke Fleming in the beautiful South Hams district, Leonard’s Cove boasts stunning views out across Start Bay and a range of accommodation from camping pitches to mobile homes, lodges and cottages.20151121_074240

I stayed in and cooked most evenings in a break between writing but on my last night I was treated to dinner by the owner at Leonard’s Cove at his restaurant Radius 7, a short stroll from the lodge. The staff were friendly and welcoming and the place was obviously popular with locals, which is always a good sign in touristy areas.

small_635708340460706585_gallery_image_02I settled down with a nice glass of wine… To start I had home-made bread and dips, which were delicious. My main a Radius 7 burger, made, as with everything they offer, with local beef. It was perfect – and cooked just right.

I normally skip desserts but could resist trying a couple of scoops of Dartmouth Dairy Ice Cream – and I’m glad I did, as it was delicious.

Next time I stay at Leonard’s Cove I’ll definitely be eating at Radius 7 again.