Beer, boats and bayonets on a weekend touring Leeds’ craft beer pubs and bars

Find out how I got on when I spent the weekend visiting some of Leeds’ many craft beer bars and real ale pubs.

It’s Saturday morning in early March on the south bank of the Leeds and Liverpool canal a few hundred yards from Leeds city centre.

Jamie and I are treading carefully along the sodden towpath to pick up our friend, Robbie.… Read more

5 ways to spend time with the locals on holiday in Barbados

Barbados offers amazing beaches, great food, lots of shopping and plenty of culture.

Despite all this, the best thing about this Caribbean island is the people.

Not only are they welcoming and friendly, but everyone – from the bar staff in your hotel to the ladies and gents dressed in their Sunday best outside the local churches – has a story to tell.… Read more

Liming with the locals at Merton’s (Moontown) Fish Fry, St Lucy, Barbados

Every Friday in the UK, thousands of people flock to the nation’s fish and chip shops for their weekly helping of fried fish.

It’s no different in Barbados.

But instead of cod and chips from the chippie, Barbadians head to the weekly fish fry. This is where vendors cook up the day’s catch on the barbecue and serve it with a few sides and some Banks beer or local rum to wash it down.… Read more

Learning about traditional rum making at St Nicholas Abbey, Barbados

St Nicholas rum distillery Barbados

Find out about my visit to the traditional rum distillery and plantation house, St Nicholas Abbey in Barbados.

The most famous export of Barbados – excluding pop star Rihanna and many exceptional cricket players – is rum.

Naturally then, many visitors to the island flock to the island’s famous Mount Gay Distillery – the oldest rum brand in the world.

Nowadays, Mount Gay – which dates from 1703 – is produced on a mass scale and owned by multinational sprit company Rémy Cointreau.… Read more

Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: Urban Reef, Bournemouth [series]

Did you know that Bournemouth was in Hampshire until 1974?

In my book, that makes Bournemouth burgers eligible in my search for Hampshire’s best burger. Especially since it’s been a while since my last one, at Ruby Reds in Winchester.

I had this one at Urban Reef, which is a cafe, restaurant and deli located right on the beach at Boscombe to the east of the town centre.… Read more

Where to see the autumn colours in Hampshire

Here are 12 places you can see the autumn colours in Hampshire, including many places you can visit for free.

One of the things that makes the transition from long summer days to long winter nights more bearable is the burst of autumn colour we get to see in September, October and November.

And while the UK doesn’t naturally enjoy the multitude of colour seen in places like the US or Japan, where there are naturally more species of trees, you still can’t beat an autumn walk in an ancient forest or a tree-lined avenue as the leaves fall gently around you.… Read more