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Discover the Octagon Bar: St. Albans’ New Cocktail Hotspot

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Discover the Octagon Bar at Sopwell House – a new cocktail destination featuring a stunning bar and lounge, signature cocktails, and a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for any occasion

St. Albans welcomes a new cocktail destination that’s set to elevate Hertfordshire’s nightlife – the Octagon Bar at Sopwell House. This chic bar and lounge bring the vibrant London cocktail scene right to the heart of a stunning Georgian manor house. Inspired by the capital’s sophisticated drinking dens, Octagon Bar serves an inventive menu of masterfully blended cocktails, each taking cues from Sopwell House’s rich history.

A Taste of Elegance

Step into the Octagon Bar and marvel at its ornate marble-topped bar adorned with vintage, mirrored glass detailing. The transformation of the former lounge area into a stylish bar features high-topped tables and luxurious leather bar stools. The unique, octangular room boasts its namesake tables, decorative archways, and statement glass lighting, creating an ambiance perfect for any occasion. For more casual vibes and daytime sips, the lounge offers comfortable velvet armchairs and picturesque views of the property’s front lawn through stained glass windows.

Discover the Octagon Bar at Sopwell House – a new cocktail destination featuring a stunning bar and lounge, signature cocktails, and a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for any occasion

Signature Cocktails with a Historical Twist

Under the expert guidance of Bar Manager João Chitas, previously of the COMO Metropolitan Hotel, the Octagon Bar presents a cocktail menu with 12 signature serves, each telling a story of Sopwell House’s evolution and its royal guests. Highlights include:

  • Ale, Ale & Honey: Dom Benedictine, dark & ginger ales, and honey cordial inspired by the Sopwell Nunnery founded by the Benedictine order in 1140.
  • Master Mason’s Meds: A complex rum-based drink with chamomile and fennel seeds, nodding to Edward Strong, a Master Mason who developed Sopwell House’s gardens.
  • Battenberg Wine: A vodka fortified white wine, infused with apricot and almonds, honoring Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria.
  • The Octagon Milk Punch: The bar’s signature cocktail made with Genmaicha, wine, and clarified milk.

More Than Just Cocktails

The Octagon Bar also offers a list of classic cocktails, from martinis to margaritas, alongside a selection of low and non-alcoholic options, wines, and spirits. Pair your drinks with light bar nibbles for a complete experience.

Discover the Octagon Bar at Sopwell House in St. Albans – a new cocktail destination featuring a stunning bar and lounge, signature cocktails inspired by history, and a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for any occasion. Join us for a unique mixology experience in Hertfordshire.

Perfect for Any Occasion

Whether you’re seeking a stylish bar without heading to London or a pre-dinner aperitif before dining at Sopwell House’s Asian restaurant, Omboo, the Octagon Bar is the ideal spot. It’s perfect for couples and intimate groups to unwind and savor a cocktail (or two) in a sophisticated setting.

Don’t miss out on experiencing the new Octagon Bar at Sopwell House – where history meets mixology in the most delightful way.

Never full or satisfied, I am always willing to try new things and visit new places. Lover of food and all things FAST - Not necessarily fast food. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.

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Discover Unity Place: Milton Keynes’ Premier Destination is Fully Open

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Discover Unity Place: Milton Keynes’ Premier Destination for Food, Work, and Play

Milton Keynes’ much-anticipated landmark visitor destination, Unity Place, has now opened all of its remaining facilities and is officially fully open. Located directly opposite MK Station Square, Unity Place is more than just a venue; it’s a vibrant community hub set to redefine the urban experience in the heart of the city.

A Culinary Haven: Diverse Dining Options Under One Roof

Unity Place offers an unparalleled shopping and dining experience. At the heart of this destination is the Urban Food Market, featuring an eclectic mix of street food vendors that cater to every palate. Here, you can indulge in rustic Italian delights at Raffaele Pizza, savor Taiwanese rice boxes and bao buns from Bian Dang, or enjoy the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine at Cantina Carnitas. For those seeking an elevated dining experience, Dipna Anand’s Kitchen & Bar is a must-visit. Celebrity chef Dipna Anand brings authentic Punjabi and South Indian cuisine to your table, with signature dishes such as tandoori lamb chops, paneer tikka, and lamb shish.

Dipna Kitchen & Bar - Food

Convenience Meets Quality: Shopping Essentials at Unity Place

Unity Place isn’t just about food. It’s designed to cater to all your needs under one roof. The Corner Store offers everyday essentials, while Baker’s Room tempts with freshly made bread, pastries, cakes, and coffee. Even grooming is covered, thanks to the high-end barbershop ROK, perfect for a stylish fresh trim.

Work and Play at Unity Place: The Ideal Balance

For those blending work and leisure, Unity Place provides an innovative solution. Partnering with co-working provider x+why, it offers flexible working spaces perfect for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers. The ground floor houses the public Santander Work Café, which includes co-working desks, bookable meeting rooms, and a branch for everyday banking needs. With over 60,000 sq. ft. of contemporary office space, Unity Place ensures a productive environment with breakout spaces, private offices, enterprise suites, and mission rooms.

Sip and Savor at Unity Place: A Destination for Drinks

Unity Place is also a haven for those who enjoy a good drink. The rooftop bar, Unity Sky Lounge, offers stunning panoramic views of the city alongside a fantastic selection of food and beverages. Whether you’re winding down after a long day or starting your evening, this is the perfect spot to relax. Additionally, Dipna Anand’s bar provides a cozy atmosphere for a pre-dinner cocktail or mocktail, while the fully stocked Unity Bar boasts an extensive drinks list to satisfy any preference.

Discover Unity Place: Milton Keynes’ Premier Destination for Food, Work, and Play

Why Visit Unity Place?

Unity Place is more than just a visitor destination; it’s an experience. Here are a few reasons why you should make it your next stop:

  1. Variety: With a wide range of dining options, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Convenience: Everything you need, from food to shopping to workspaces, is available under one roof.
  3. Community: It’s a vibrant hub that fosters community and connection.
  4. Quality: High-end amenities ensure a premium experience.
  5. Scenery: Enjoy breathtaking views from the rooftop bar.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Unity Place is set to become a cornerstone of Milton Keynes. Come and experience it for yourself – the future of urban living is here.

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Father’s Day With A Twist at Hertfordshire’s Sopwell House

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Sunday Roast with Beer or Wine Flight at Sopwell House

Deciding on a great Father’s Day experience can be challenging, but this year, why not treat Dad to an escape to the Hertfordshire countryside at Sopwell House? The hotel and spa are pulling out all the stops for Dad, from a sumptuous Sunday roast with beer pairings to a savoury afternoon tea.

Sunday Roast with Beer or Wine Flight

Elevate Dad’s Sunday roast with an optional craft beer from Tring Brewery. From a punchy Raven King IPA to Tring’s smooth Tea Kettle stout, savour every bite with a carefully selected beer to match each course. For those who aren’t as keen on beer, there is also a wine flight option available.

Start as you mean to go on with Spring shaved courgettes or spicy lamb croquettes, followed by the star of the show – a roast with your choice of chicken, beef, or pork, served with fluffy roasties, seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, and lashings of gravy. End on a sweet note with a choice of summery desserts – think Strawberry bakewell tart and Raspberry crème brûlée – plus an additional cheese course for those opting for the paired menu.

Price: £42 per person for Sunday lunch (£67 per adult including drinks pairing and cheese course).

Sunday Roast with Beer or Wine Flight at Sopwell House

 

 

Father’s Day Afternoon Tea

Adding a savoury twist to the quintessentially British pastime, treat Dad to an afternoon tea with a choice of bubbles or a pint of Pale Ale to complement the experience. Expect bites including quail scotch eggs and roast beef-filled mini-Yorkshire puddings, alongside sandwiches and freshly baked scones.

There is also a selection of sweet treats including a hazelnut praline and chocolate sable, and a coconut, yuzu, and lime macaron, all served with a glass of Taittinger Champagne or a pint of Tring Pale Four beer from the award-winning brewery. A punchy, West Coast IPA style beer, the Tring Pale Four beer is as at home with meats and fish as it is paired alongside sweet treats, making it the perfect accompaniment to Afternoon Tea!

Price: £57 per adult.

Available exclusively on Sunday 16th June, make your Father’s Day one to remember at Sopwell House, with bookings now available at www.sopwellhouse.co.uk.

Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

To complement your luxurious day out at Sopwell House, here are the top 5 Father’s Day gift ideas that will surely impress any dad:

  1. Personalised Gifts
    • Engraved Wallet: A high-quality leather wallet with a personalised message or initials engraved.
    • Custom Photo Book: A photo book filled with cherished memories, perfect for sentimental dads.
  2. Tech Gadgets
    • Smart Home Devices: Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Nest Hub to help around the house.
    • Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Great for dads who enjoy music, podcasts, or need some quiet time.
  3. Experience Gifts
    • Driving Experience: A track day or driving experience with high-performance cars.
    • Cooking Class: For foodie dads, a cooking class with a professional chef can be a memorable experience.
  4. Eating Out Experience
    • Restaurant Voucher: A voucher for a meal at a top-rated restaurant or a local favourite.
    • Afternoon Tea: A classic British experience, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with a variety of teas and delicious treats.
  5. Outdoor Gear
    • Camping Equipment: High-quality tents, sleeping bags, or portable grills for adventurous dads.
    • Garden Tools: For dads who love gardening, new tools or a garden gadget like a robot lawnmower.

Make this Father’s Day unforgettable with a delightful experience at Sopwell House and a thoughtful gift from our top picks!

 

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Experience the Culinary Renaissance of Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall

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Experience the Culinary Renaissance of Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall

Nestled within the historical elegance of Brocket Hall, the renowned Auberge du Lac has proudly announced a new chapter in its storied culinary journey, spearheaded by the illustrious Chef John Barber. Having reopened its doors in May 2023 following a three-year hiatus, the restaurant has been infused with a fresh vigour, artfully blending tradition with cutting-edge culinary innovations.

Experience the Culinary Renaissance of Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall

Chef John Barber

Chef John Barber: A Maestro in the Kitchen

Chef Barber’s illustrious career, inspired by his mother’s home cooking, began at UCB College of Food and has spanned the globe, from the prestigious kitchens of the Belfry Hotel to the exotic locales of Thailand and Paris. His tenure at London’s Bar Boulud and the opening of 14 Hills with the D&D Group has seasoned him with an unrivaled expertise, making his tenure at Auberge du Lac a herald of culinary excellence.

Lucy Hawkins: Sustainability at Its Core

The heart of Auberge du Lac’s culinary philosophy is its kitchen garden, tenderly curated by Lucy Hawkins. This garden is not merely a plot of land; it is the cradle of sustainability, employing no-dig methods that enrich local biodiversity and allow for the freshest ingredients to be used directly in the kitchen. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in this verdant sanctuary during the Garden Tour & Lunch events, connecting them intimately with the origins of their meals.

Experience the Culinary Renaissance of Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall

The Auberge Experience: A Symphony of Luxuries

Auberge du Lac doesn’t just stop at fine dining; it offers an immersive ‘Auberge Experience’ package. Priced at £420 per couple, this luxurious offering includes a cozy welcome with Champagne and chocolates, a seven-course tasting menu, an overnight stay in the stately Melbourne Lodge, and a full English breakfast at The Melbourne Club. Each of the lodge’s 16 luxury ensuite bedrooms offers a vista of the Hall, Broadwater Lake, and the golf course, making it an ideal retreat after a gourmet evening.

Access and Convenience

Just a stone’s throw from London, Auberge du Lac offers an escape into the countryside that’s both quick and easy. The journey from central London to the tranquility of Brocket Hall takes less than 30 minutes, making it an ideal getaway for those seeking a taste of the countryside without straying far from the city’s pulse.

Experience the Culinary Renaissance of Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall

A Forthcoming Review

Stay tuned for an in-depth review of Auberge du Lac, where we will delve deeper into the gastronomic delights and serene ambiance that make this destination a crown jewel of culinary and leisure escapades.

Embrace the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of fine dining and bespoke luxury at Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall, where every visit promises to be more than just a meal—it’s a journey through the rich tapestry of history, taste, and lush landscapes.

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