This summer there are plenty of experiences to choose from, including top hotels, food and drink tastings, days in the country, expeditions and even helicopter rides...
Ever stood on a sunny street corner and watched a beautiful sports car raced by? Or watched as a luxury Pullman train trundled smoothly through the station on a special outing? If you've dreamt of being in that car or on that train, then dream no more because, with a little imagination (and a few quid to spare) you could be doing just that.
A day of pampering, a day of excitement, an opportunity to dip your toes in a world of glamour and good living. This summer there are plenty of experiences to choose from, including top hotels, food and drink tastings, days in the country, expeditions and even helicopter rides. You want it, and you can bet there'll be someone offering you the chance to try it.
Find inspiration from our selection of days out, and treat yourself to a fabulous experience on a lovely day this summer. Fancy fishing?
On Thursday 18 June, the Orvis Ladies' Fly-fishing Club is organising a day on the stunning Longstock Park Lakes at Waitrose's Leckford Estate in Hampshire, as part of their Ladies fly-fishing events programme. The Leckford Estate was purchased by naturalist John Spedan Lewis as his private estate, and in the 1940s he established seven acres of garden including a world-class water garden and two and a half acres of lakes, which are fed by the River Test. A maze of interconnecting islands and woodland glades combine to create a different vista at every turn.
A morning of one-on-one tuition by Orvis's world-class ghillies will be followed by a lakeside lunch provided by Waitrose Catering. More fishing will follow after lunch. The Orvis Ladies' Fly-fishing Club is a community of dynamic, like-minded women who enjoy the countryside. All equipment will be provided and all abilities are welcome. Price: £100.
For more details, please contact Polly Dimelow at Orvis Sporting Adventures (01264 349 515 or firstname.lastname@example.org )
Discover Newmarket Tour
Indulge in equestrian excellence at Newmarket, the historic home of horseracing, the sport of kings. Whether you want to treat someone or just treat yourself come along and enjoy a wonderful day with Discover Newmarket. You will start your day by visiting the thriving Newmarket Gallops where you will see some of the 3,000 locally-based racehorses exercising across Jockey Club Estates land. Then take a behind the scenes tour of a busy racing yard before heading to the prestigious members' only club, The Jockey Club Rooms. Founded in the middle of the 18th century, the wonderfully-preserved Jockey Club Rooms still boasts original features from the days when gentlemen, politicians and royalty met to discuss, wager and argue over their racehorses. You will receive a guided tour of the The Jockey Club's incredible collection of sporting art and racing memorabilia which provide an eclectic and truly unique collection - the pictures and artefacts united by a shared passion for racing which spans four centuries. Following this, indulge in a sumptuous 3 course lunch at the Bedford Lodge Hotel 2AA rosette Squires Restaurant. The price is £90 per person. Book at www.discovernewmarket.co.uk
Cooking course at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Due to the success of last year's course, students of The Raymond Blanc Cookery School can once again prepare for a sizzling summer of al fresco entertaining with the Summer Barbecue Course. The course, which soft launched in August 2014, will take place in the garden of La Belle Époque private dining area at the heart of the two Michelin starred hotel and restaurant. The spectacular garden features the original 13th century gates to the main house as well as bronze sculptures by Lloyd Le Blanc. The summer BBQ course is run by Raymond Blanc's Development Chef, Adam Johnson, and will help students to expand their barbecue repertoire beyond bangers and burgers. Learn to create dishes never thought possible on a barbecue, together with exciting salads, marinades, dry rubs and sauces. The course includes full day tuition, morning and afternoon tea, an informal lunch on La Belle Époque Terrace (weather permitting) and a course certificate. The day starts at 8.45am and ends at approximately 4.45pm and is priced at £440 per person. The first courses are scheduled to take place on 25 June and 23 July 2015 and courses will continue throughout the summer subject to demand. More details: www.belmond.com/lemanoir
Lunch and garden tour of Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa in Wiltshire
The impressive 12 acres of private English country gardens at Whatley Manor, near to Malmesbury in Wiltshire, have a series of guided garden tours and lunch on 16th and 30th June, 14th and 28th July, and 11th August. There are refreshments on arrival before head gardener, Andy Spreadbury, brings the gardens to life explaining the inspiration behind the design and planting schemes of the 26 individual garden areas. After the tour a two-course lunch with wine is served in the Le Mazot brasserie. The cost is £44 per person, including the garden tour and lunch with wine. More details from Whatley Manor on 01666 822 888 or visit the website www.whatleymanor.com
Behind the scenes at Bombay Sapphire Gin
Join this experience that showcases the craftsmanship and creativity infused into every drop of Bombay Sapphire gin - needless to say any tour ends sampling gin cocktails in their bar. Uncover the unique Vapour Infusion process that gives Bombay Sapphire such a bright, fresh flavour in the Dakin Still House. Explore the ten botanicals nurtured in the stunning glasshouses designed by Heatherwick Studio and discover the aromas and unique flavour profile of each of the exotic botanicals in the Botanical Dry Room. Complete the experience with a complimentary Bombay Sapphire cocktail in the Mill Bar or on the terrace. If you pre-book you can also join one of the interactive masterclasses. The Self Discovery Experience costs £15, the Gin & Tonic Workshop is £25 and the Cocktail Masterclass is priced at £35. To book, go to: http://bombaysapphire.admit-one.eu/?lang=gb
Suffolk open-top tour
Classic open top car touring along the Suffolk Coast Alfa Romeos, convertible Triumph Heralds and the quintessentially English Morgan 4/4 make up the fleet of luxury cars, perfect for cruising along The Suffolk Coast. Take a route from Woodbridge to Southwold journeying past areas of natural beauty along the country roads. Stop off for lunch in Aldeburgh at one of the many restaurants serving up fresh, local seafood or explore the coastal villages on the way. Taster days cost from £135. More details from www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk
All aboard the Cathedrals Express
This is truly elegant rail travel. Enjoy the ever-changing views as you glide through the countryside on a day out with a difference. Sit back and reax in your Pullman seats with individual table lamp and curtains at the windows. On most day trips, a welcome glass of champagne accompanies your breakfast or brunch on the outward journey. On the return journey you will be welcomed on board with canapés before being served a set five-course meal with a complimentary half bottle of wine per person. On some later departures a five-course lunch with a complimentary half bottle of wine per person is served on the outward journey, with tea provided on the return journey. Days out include North Wales on 25 June, Dorset on 9 July and York on 16 August. Prices from £99 per person. Details from www.steamdreams.co.uk or call 01483 209888
See London from the air
The London Helicopter has teamed up with Gordon Ramsay Group's London House to deliver an unforgettable day out. The experience begins by taking in all the amazing sights of the capital from 1,000ft in the air; soaring over Buckingham Palace, peering down on the Tower and peeking in on the Shard. Follow your once in a lifetime flight with a tasting menu at one of London's most innovative restaurants, London House in Battersea Square. Packages from £230pp. To book, call 0207 887 2626 or visit www.thelondonhelicopter.com/london-house-experience/
A day at the exclusive Renaissance Club, East Lothian
The Renaissance Club (TRC) is one of the world's most exclusive golf clubs - but there is an opportunity for non-members to experience what the club has to offer the golfing world. The 'One Time Experience' is available for all those who love the game of golf. The experience is exactly as it sounds; an individual may only come to TRC once. It might be to just play the course, or it could be to stay in the fantastic bedrooms and play the great courses in East Lothian over a week. The Renaissance Club has been lauded by critics and golfing professionals as the 'Best New Course in Great Britain and Ireland' by Golf Monthly and as one of the most exquisite golfing venues in the world. A round of golf costs £250 per player. A room for the night costs £250. For the full 'One Time Experience' (Stay and play) the cost is £400. More details from 01620 850 901 or visit www.trcaa.com
Champagne Moments Masterclass, London
The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Moments Masterclass at the Taste of London Festival (17 - 21 June) is the ultimate afternoon of champagne tasting paired with delicious dishes from Bobs Lobster. Hosted by David Hesketh, Master of Wine and MD of Laurent-Perrier UK - and with canapés prepared by street food connoisseurs Bob's Lobster - you will enjoy a unique champagne experience, learning how to choose the optimum champagne for any occasion or enjoyment. Following a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut on arrival, you will be guided through the key characteristics of a range of Laurent-Perrier's distinct champagnes, while enjoying freshly prepared rock oysters fried in cajun breadcrumbs and yuzo, crispy wonton tacos filled with sashimi grade yellow fin tuna and the famed Bob's Lobster roll; toasted brioche, stuffed with native lobster tail dressed with paprika and fresh oregano. The 'Laurent-Perrier Champagne Moments Masterclass' costs £84. Ticket price includes one session of the exclusive 'Laurent-Perrier Champagne Moments Masterclass' experience including champagne and food pairings, fast track entry to the festival, access to the VIP Lounge and complimentary glass of Laurent-Perrier, £20 worth of crowns, the Taste Recipe Book, and a copy of the Financial Times Delicious Summer Dining guide. More details: london.tastefestivals.com
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