The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Gloucestershire Edition

Wouldn't you though?

Chic new scented candle brand SevenSeventeen gets its name from that magical time in the evening when its founders finally herd their children into bed - and relaaaaax. We hear you, sisters - and we love your fragrances too...

Read more

Exciting new arts venue in Cheltenham

15 Feb 2017

So the metropolis may have its White Cubes and Hauser & Wirths, but now Gloucestershire can put its hat in the ring with the capital for cool gallery spaces with the opening in Cheltenham on Friday 17 Feb of Chapel Arts, which for its debut show is exhibiting artworks by the dozen esteemed Royal Academicians, including Antony Gormley, Michael Craig-Martin, Christopher Le Brun and Chris Orr. I know! London eat your heart out!

Read more

A veggie recipe kids will love

13 Feb 2017

Dave Fung of Bristol-based catering company Little Wild Catering is on something of a mission. Formerly an employee at The Soil Association and a chef at The Potted Pig in Cardiff, Fung’s passion is creating healthy, ethical and delicious food using responsibly sourced ingredients. He launched Little Wild Catering at the end of last year after spending seven months in Kenya running a sourdough bakery whose profits went to fund local access to eye care. His jerk tofu and salt beef sandwiches at Bristol’s pop-up market BS5 in December were a sell-out hit and now, as well as setting up stall at farmers’ markets, he delivers superior lunches – his signature sandwiches, as well as a seasonally changing menu of vegan and meaty dishes – to office workers by bike. And you’d be hard-pressed to leave Pret A Manger spending less. He also does special events and corporate dos and here, he’s very kindly donated a recipe in aid of the ‘how can I get some veg down my kids’ necks’ cause.

Read more

Free Fashion and Arts Film Site

12 Feb 2017

OK people, if you’ve overdosed on drama (Taboo, Apple Tree Yard, Homeland – gotta love the winter telly schedules) and fancy something a bit different, then check out Made To Measure (M2M), an unbelievable treasure trove of classic fashion films, documentaries, catwalk shows (it’s already got the best of New York Fashion Week up there) and original programming, which is free (!), but I bet it won’t be for long.

Read more

Eight great book ideas for kids

10 Feb 2017

The wonderful Octavia from Cirencester’s pretty, purple-fronted Octavia’s Bookshop, the friendliest children’s bookshop you’re ever likely to come across, has, and I’m not kidding, read practically every book in her cute, little shop. And she’s very kindly given her recommendations for good reads for all ages, from toddlers to teens, which will keep your kids’ noses in a book all week long (or at least a day). Which is great, because she’s got a few corkers for adults tucked away in the shop too.

Read more

Gorgeous Hair salon in Cheltenham

9 Feb 2017

This salon, which opened six years ago in Cheltenham’s Suffolks (jam full of great antique shops, boutiques, cafés, bars, restaurants and a cute independent bookshop), does what it says on the tin. I went in with a barnet that was, if I’m honest, Wurzel Gummidge on a bad day (well, any day), with a grey root stripe across the top of my head that no amount of ColorWow Root Cover Up (a lifesaver in normal circumstances and Gorgeous Hair sells it, yippee!) could disguise.

Read more

Get ready for February half term!

8 Feb 2017

It’s time to get the planner out and plot how to keep the kids (and yourself – I’ve thrown in some adult entertainment, too. No, not X-rated) occupied during a cold week in February. The Harry Potter box set looks tempting, I know, I’ve just counted how many hours it buys you and it’s a massive 19! But the other 41? Read on, here’s a batchful of ideas to inspire.

Read more

Cool Scandi coffee shop in Cheltenham

7 Feb 2017

Ever since Tyler Brûlé first showcased oh-so-cool Scandinavian style inside the pages of Wallpaper* back in the dotcom 1990s, the love-in with the region’s sleek, modernist interiors has just kept growing and growing. But I never knew the Scandis had coffee totally nailed too! And where did I discover this? Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo? No, Cheltenham! Tucked away in Royal Well Place, a mere skip away from the town’s best shopping strip The Promenade, is The Scandinavian Coffee Pod which looks great on the outside, even better on the inside and serves the most incredible coffee.

Read more

How to keep your mojo in winter

30 Jan 2017

How have the New Year’s resolutions been going? The thrice-weekly runs, salad lunches and interminable juicing? Not so great? Well, it turns out that winter is completely the wrong time of year to be pulling on that scratchy hair shirt. In fact, according to Chalford-based yoga teacher and life coach Claire Beeley, winter should be devoted to restoring and recharging. Hibernating really. Like a bear. But how can we do this when we feel so much ‘New Year, new you’ pressure bombarding us everywhere we look?

Read more
The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Gloucestershire Edition