Soak up the sun in The Beautiful South – The best Al Fresco experiences

Food and sun are two of our fave things at House of Coco so we are always keen to combine the two. Boasting more sunshine hours than elsewhere in the country, the South & South East of England is the ideal place to enjoy an al fresco experience and make the most of the summer months.  Head outside, soak up the sun and enjoy the great British outdoors in the Beautiful South.


FISH: The Mill at Gordleton, New Forest


Guests are welcome to fish in the river and rambling gardens of the Mill at Gordleton – a small, picturesque hotel set in a 400 year old water mill on the Avon Water in the New Forest. Ducks, Salmon, Trout and Perch are abundant in the river. There’s also a visiting Heron most mornings and if you are lucky you might even spot a Kingfisher.  Rooms from £150 B&B based on two sharing.


SAIL: Cowes, Isle of Wight

Sail, take a rib boat ride or charter a yacht at picturesque Cowes, home of the world’s largest sailing regatta, which this year takes place on 8-15th August 2015.  Split into two by the mouth of the River Medina, the picturesque town’s large marinas make it a popular sailing destination all year round.


WALK/CYCLE: The Royal Landscape, Windsor

Explore the magnificent history of Windsor Great Park, the only Royal Park managed by The Crown Estate. With an inspiring blend of formal avenues, gardens, woodland and open grassland it’s easy to lose yourself in the 1000 acre Royal Landscape. Stroll the 4.5 miles around Virginia Water Lake or follow the National Cycle Route 4 on two wheels which passes through the pretty parkland.


EAT Brighton, East Sussex

Sea views, cosy courtyards, gorgeous gardens and vibrant street life.  Dining Alfresco in Brighton is a treat for the eyes and not just the palette. Enjoy a seaside favourite of fish ‘n’ chips at Harry Ramsden’s by Brighton pier or break with tradition and try Riddle & Finns II, sister restaurant to the highly acclaimed Riddle & Finns in The Lanes and whose terrace overlooks the beach.


DRINK:  Southsea Beach Cafe, Portsmouth


Sip a flute of fizz as you relax with unadulterated views over the Solent at Southsea’s new beach café. There is even a retractable roof for that uncertain sunshine.   It’s also an ideal spot to watch the action and take in the festivities during the America’s World Cup Series on the 23-26th July 2015 and 21-24th July 2016.


PICNIC: The New Forest

You’re spoilt for choice of breathtaking landscapes for that perfect picnic spot in the New Forest.  Head to Beaulieu for a riverside picnic or Lepe Country Park where you can also splash in the Solent.  Make the most of your picnic by purchasing the freshest, local produce – accredited with the New Forest Marque – at shops and markets throughout the National Park.


THEATRE: Twelfth Night, Eastbourne Amphitheatre

28 July – 8 August 2015, 7.30pm

One of Shakespeare’s most memorable plays, ‘Twelfth Night’ comes to Eastbourne this summer, when the 17th Century romantic comedy is brought to life in the picturesque setting of the seafront Italian Gardens. Tickets from £9.


CONCERT: Castle Concerts, Rochester

15-18 July 2015

Set in the beautiful grounds of Rochester Castle, the much-loved four-day music extravaganza, truly is one of a kind. The intimate and casual outdoor venue in the historic city allows fans to get up close to their favourite artists. Tickets from £32.50.


CINEMA: Kew the Movies at Wakehurst, West Sussex

Wakehurst Place cinema

Grease – 11th September, 6.30pm

Frozen – 12th September 6pm

Sit back, relax and enjoy classic movies in Kew’s country estate – 465 acres boasting ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands, a nature reserve and an Elizabethan mansion.


ART: Art in the Garden, Sir Harold Hiller Gardens, Romsey

Until 18th October 2015

Marvel at the inspiring art in the unique outdoor setting of this world famous Garden. Now in its 16th spectacular year, the Art in the Garden exhibition features over 100 sculptures.


CAMP: National Trust’s Big Camping Weekend at NT properties in the South & South East

18-19 July 2015, 5pm-10:30am

For one night only camp at one the South East’s most special places – perhaps the orchard at a castle, in the grounds of Rudyard Kipling’s family home or wake up in the midst of ancient woodland.  Each special location is putting on its own events from den building, bug hunting, storytelling and star gazing, to sporting activities, evening garden tours, dragonfly hunts, live music and of course, toasting marshmallows around a camp fire.


ADRENALINE: Pierzip, Bournemouth (above)

Ride the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire! The unique Pier Zip flies riders over 80 feet above sparkling seas against a backdrop of seven miles of golden sand. It even features two lines so that riders can race family and friends down to Bournemouth’s award-winning beach.


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