Summer in the UK: The beautiful South

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

In the last of the series, Simone Kane suggests how to stretch out the final days of the season in the southern counties

The Isle of Wight's only Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel, The Hambrough (01983 856333; thehambrough.com) in Ventnor, has just expanded, and is now offering a five-bedroom self-catering property, Villa Lavinia, to complement its rooms.

A stylish refurbishment has retained features such as gothic-style carved staircases and ornate plasterwork. With five double bedrooms and three bathrooms, the property is in nearby Alexandra Gardens, overlooking the town's beach and harbour. Hambrough breakfast hampers and private chef services are available.

The Dorchester Collection launches its latest property on 24 September, when country-house hotel Coworth Park (01344 876600; coworthpark.com) opens its gates. Set in 240 acres of parkland near Ascot, this is the only UK hotel with its own polo field and equestrian centre, with stabling for 40 horses. Country pursuits are the order of the day. But there's also an eco-luxury spa and three restaurants overseen by Michelin-starred John Campbell.

The historic Dorset town of Shaftesbury has a new fine-dining restaurant, The Greenhouse, at the recently opened Hotel Grosvenor (01747 850580; hotelgrosvenor.com). Award-winning and Michelin-starred chef Mark Treasure celebrates local produce with his menu of "traditional European food for the modern palate". Expect to see Simon Harvell's Aberdeen Angus beef or the soft mould-ripened Gold Hill cheese from nearby Cranborne Chase.

Indian chef Dev Biswal has overseen the birth of an unusual restaurant experience in the Hannah Dining Suite, at Quex Park (01843 842168; quexpark.co.uk), home to the renowned Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington, Kent. A refurbishment has warmed up the ambience of the former catering hall and, thanks to Biswal and head chef Patrick Beach, diners can enjoy an "around Britain" gastronomic tour of classic British dishes with a fine-dining twist.

Opening later this month in a riverside setting in Reading, Berkshire, the latest branch of Tampopo (tampopo. co.uk) – the first in the South-east outside London – offers a variety of East Asian street cuisines under one roof. Tastes of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Korea will be served in a location that's perfect for enjoying the late summer sunshine.

Drink in the delights of Sussex this autumn on a Southern Ale Safari (01273 204200; southernalesafaris.com). The one-day or three-day guided tours and itineraries include chauffeured travel between brewery visits, lunch stops at traditional pubs serving local beer and food, and b&b accommodation. Tours can also include an organised ale-tasting session and other activities. Dates are available throughout September and October.

Under wraps this summer for extensive repair work, the Old Gaol Museum (01280 823020; mkheritage.co.uk/ogb), a landmark in the historic town of Buckingham, is again open to visitors. In celebration – and as part of Heritage Open Days – it will throw open its gates for free on Saturday 11 September, between 10am and 1pm. Free guided walks will also take place themed on the subjects of the architect of the Old Gaol, Gilbert Scott, and the town's industrial past. Book ahead.

Whitstable Castle (01227 281726; whitstablecastle. co.uk) on the Kent coast, reopens this weekend after major restoration work to the folly and its gardens. Improved facilities include access to all floors for people with disabilities, the new Orangery Tea Rooms, a pirate-themed play area and the Roof Garden. From here, visitors can admire the same sunsets over Whitstable Bay that were a favourite subject of the artist Turner.

An initiative in the New Forest aims to help more people explore the area's natural beauty on two wheels. Yellowbike (01489 866 652; yellowbike.biz) is offering electric bikes rental at four locations – Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, Beaulieu and New Milton – allowing visitors to experience the freedom of cycling without the hard work.

Still on two wheels, Visit Wiltshire has launched 10 off-road cycle routes, many of them connected by the Wiltshire Cycleway (visitwiltshire.co.uk). The downloadable trails include instructions, as well as the locations of pubs, facilities and points of interest. Anyone who finishes a route is invited to submit a review and update directions.

For more ideas go to visitsoutheastengland.com

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: International Project Coordinator / Account Coordinator

    Circa £26,500 DOE: Guru Careers: An International Project Coordinator / Accoun...

    Guru Careers: Plumber / Maintenance Operator

    £25k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Plumber / Mainten...

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks