12 Delicious Things To Do During English Tourism Week
English Tourism Week 2019 starts on Saturday 30th March. This annual celebration is run in conjunction with Visit England. Hundreds of national and local visitor attractions participate by planning special activities with some offering discounts and free tours. The week coincides with Mother’s Day so do look out for an abundance of cream tea and afternoon tea specials.
As a champion of British food tourism, here’s my pick of 12 fun ideas if you love exploring England with your taste buds.
Eat a Colourful Lunch at Tate Modern in London
This week, Tate Modern was voted the UK’s top visitor attraction. Did you know that nearly six million people visited in 2018? The gallery is currently holding an exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s paintings: The Colour of Memory. If you’re in need of an uplifting and cheer-me-up experience, buy yourself a ticket. You won’t be disappointed.
Bonnard’s paintings will transport you to the sunny south of France; to the bucolic Normandy countryside; to a garden on a summer’s day; to the romance of Paris and to the early morning stillness of your own kitchen.
Afterwards, eat lunch in the gallery’s Level 9 restaurant where Head Chef, Jon Atashroo, has taken inspiration from Bonnard’s life and paintings to produce a colourful and seasonal 3-course menu.
Where: Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Plan a Delicious Getaway By Boat
Do you dream of sailing away for a foodie break? As part of English Tourism Week, Big Ferry Fortnight is offering hundreds of free tickets to lucky travellers. Choose from ferries to the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Isles, the Western Isles of Scotland, the Channel Islands, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The ballot is open until 6th April.
You could go whisky tasting in Scotland, eat mussels in Brussels or drink champagne in Champagne.
Celebrate Spring in the Capital With A Meal at Searcy’s in St Pancras Station
St Pancras station is a destination in itself. No need to hop on the Eurostar to Paris as Searcy’s Brasserie has just the ticket. The restaurant is offering its Market Menu to diners this spring. Packed full of flavour and seasonal produce, the menu is priced at £19 for 2 courses and £25 for 3 courses.
Have a glass of champagne at Searcy’s Champagne Bar before lunch and admire Tracey Emin’s latest artwork: ‘I want my time with you’. Afterwards you can go for a browse around the station’s excellent shops or treat yourself to afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason.
Where: St Pancras station, Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4QP
Cook With MasterChef Finalist Jack Lucas
Have you been glued to your TV screen this week watching the MasterChef 2019 finalists in action? Aren’t they impressive? Well, you can spend the day cooking with a former finalist at the Seasoned Cookery School in the beautiful grounds of Catton Estate in South Derbyshire.
Jack Lucas was a MasterChef finalist in 2014 and one of the youngest chefs in the competition. He’ll be cooking with seasonal local produce and creating modern British dishes including Hay smoked English lamb with potato fondant and new season peas and pancetta.
Where: Seasoned Cookery School, Catton Hall The Stables, Walton-on-Trent DE12 8LN
Hop Aboard The Gin Express
On Saturday 6th April, the Keighley & Worth Valley heritage steam railway in Yorkshire will be running its ‘Gin Express’. As you travel in a Pullman carriage between Oxenhope and Keighley, you’ll be served 4 exclusive small batch gins with various specially sourced tonics. What a great way to experience the Yorkshire countryside.
Where: The Railway Station, Station Rd, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8NJ
Mother’s Day Brunch and Vineyard Tour at Denbies Wine Estate
Does your mum like to wine and dine? Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking is offering brunch with a view in its Gallery restaurant overlooking the vineyard.
Afterwards, take her on a vineyard tour – glass of Denbies finest sparkling wine in hand, where she’ll be treated to sweeping views of the vines from the highest point of the vineyard.
Where: Denbies Wine Estate, London Rd, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6AA
Take a Beer Tasting Tour of Surrey’s Renowned Hogs Back Brewery
The Hogs Back Brewery in Surrey produces award-winning English ales and lagers. Throughout the week, you can take a brewery tour to learn more about how they do it. You get to taste their range of beers and collect your free Hogs Back half-pint glass as a souvenir. Afterwards, stock up on your favourite ones in the Brewery Shop, which stocks up to 300 different beers.
Where: Manor Farm, The St, Farnham, Tongham GU10 1DE
Spend A Day Making Sourdough Bread in West Sussex
Learn the art of sourdough and slow fermentation at The Artisan Bakehouse in Ashurst, West Sussex. Renowned baker and author, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, will guide you through the magic of wild yeast, making a starter culture and how to refresh it and care for it long after you have left the workshop. His sourdough bread has won Soil Association Organic Food Awards, so be prepared to be inspired by his skill and enthusiasm.
If you’re planning a country break, The Artisan Bakehouse has two holiday cottages; The Brewhouse & The Milkhouse. They are available individually or as a whole for a stay on a self-catered basis.
Where: 1-3, Horsebridge Common, Horsebridge Cottages, Ashurst, Steyning BN44 3AL
Enjoy a Free Tasting and Farm Tour at The Isle of Wight Garlic Farm
The sunny Isle of Wight is known for its garlic. This pungent bulb started to be grown on the island during the Second World War. Why not take the kids to The Garlic Farm to do a free farm tour? You’ll have the opportunity to taste different varieties of garlic including elephant garlic. The Garlic Farm restaurant also serves delicious dishes and some of the best garlic bread you’ll ever eat.
Where: Mersley Lane, Newchurch, Sandown PO36 0NR
Take a Culinary Tour of the Beautiful World Heritage City of Bath
During English Tourism Week, Savouring Bath is offering 15% off the standard price of its 3-hour culinary sampling tour of Bath (advance bookings only).
You’ll meet some of the city’s best producers as you stroll from ancient ale houses to contemporary tea-houses, and from expert cheesemongers to medieval eating-rooms. Along the way you’ll taste samples ranging from 18th century buns to modern pastries, artisanal coffee to perfect pasta, and much more.
Take a Tour of Goodwood House Followed by Traditional Afternoon Tea
The glorious 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate is home to Goodwood House where on Sundays, traditional afternoon tea is served in the magnificent ballroom. Goodwood House combines the glamour of an old English country house with the warmth of a family home. Take a guided tour and see the beautiful State Apartments that have been restored to their full Regency splendour.
Afterwards, sit down to finger sandwiches, cakes and scones for just £25 per person.
Where: Goodwood House, Kennel Hill, Chichester PO18 0PX
Go on a Royal Windsor Walk
Blue Badge guide and finalist in the Visit England Awards 2019, Amanda Bryett, will be revealing the stories behind some of the country’s most intriguing monarchs on this Royal Windsor walk.
Along the way you’ll discover the site of Queen Anne’s house and her tragic story, how Charles I’s body was desecrated by a royal physician, the 2 houses where Charles II’s famous mistress Nell Gwynn lived, Queen’s Victoria private lavatory and much more.
Afterwards, why not make a beeline for the foodie village of Bray for a pint in Heston Blumenthal’s pub, The Hind’s Head.
Tips For Enjoying English Tourism Week
- For full details of English Tourism Week including dates for the events listed here, prices and special promotions, please visit the official website
- Visiting London this spring? Buy a London Pass to gain free access to some of London’s top attractions including Tate Modern
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The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.