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Restaurant Review – Shapla Spice

Shapla Spice is one of the longest established restaurants in Ripley, Derbyshire. I must admit I drive past Shapla Spice almost every day and always thought it was a take away, how wrong was I?  It was on a pleasant Friday evening that my partner and I were booked in to dine, it was then […]

Product Test – Skin Academy ZERO

Skin Academy has just launched the UK’s most eco-friendly beauty range, Skin Academy Zero. Skin Academy Zero is the first mass market, 100% natural, 100% recyclable / recycled packaging and sustainable skincare range that is set to shape the future of the beauty industry. The innovation sets a new environmental standard in the beauty industry, […]

Modern Collectibles – UK WW2 Propaganda Booklets

When I was quite small in the late 1940s, I recall leafing through some paper bound booklets of quite substantial length, packed full of pictures of the war at home, on land, on sea and in the air. I was riveted by them, fed by tales of how it all felt, for it was very […]

Celebrity Interview – Rick Wakeman

At the age of 70 most people probably think about taking life a little bit easier. But not Rick Wakeman. Even after three heart attacks because of an unhealthy lifestyle and at one point being given only 24 hours to live, the keyboard virtuoso is still going strong. He’s just finished his first solo tour […]

A visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A short drive from Junction 38 on the M1, leads to the well-signposted way into the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), where scores of massive, mainly metal, sculptures dot the landscape of the 500 acre Bretton Estate not far from Wakefield.   Well placed in an open landscape for the best effect, there is everything from Barbara […]

Walk Derbyshire – Carsington Pasture & The High Peak Trail

5 miles (8km) of minor road and field path walking with one steady 252 foot climb (77m). Moderate. RECOMMENDED MAP: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map Sheet OL24.  1:25000 scale; the Peak District, White Peak Area.     PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Your Bus service between Ashbourne and Matlock calls at Carsington Water Visitor Centre and Carsington village every […]

Celebrity Interview – Tara Fitzgerald

‘Prism is at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 3rd – 12th October and at The Theatre Royal, Nottingham from 21 – 26 October’Tara admits she always gets nervous: “It’s always been the same as far back as I can remember. Excitement and the desire for something to be good are the drivers and inevitably make […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Greenhill Hall, Norton

When I write about Derbyshire, I do tend to stick to the historic borders of the County, the land of which has been eroded (and less generously replenished) ever since County Councils were first formed in 1888.  Although we have gained the Seals (Over and Nether) in the south and Fernilee to the north west, […]

Trams & Trains That Climb Mountains

The Great Orme tramway climbs the hill by a cable operated system from the North Wales coastal resort of Llandudno. It carries holidaymakers almost to the summit of the mountain.  nce the preserve of Oxbridge graduates, following the growth of prosperity and the expansion of railway travel during the reign of Queen Victoria, enjoying mountain […]

Taste Derbyshire – How Green is your Kitchen?

The pine worktops may give off the clean scent of zesty lemon but the kitchen of Taste Derbyshire’s Amanda Volley contains a dirty little secret. Each week she is putting three bags of non-recyclable packaging into her wheelie bin. Desperate to clean-up her act, she reached out to Sue MacFarlane who runs a low impact […]