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EAT

For a high-end, vegetarian treat, make your way to Food For Friends (foodforfriends.com) in Brighton. The innovative kitchen serves up beautiful, tempting meals, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, and it’s a family-friendly affair. Their generous portions of super-fresh food are inspired by cuisines from around the world; try their piquillo peppers or tahini marinated roast aubergine.

FOOD FOR FRIENDS

GRIGG’S OF HYTHE

Serving fish straight off the boats, Grigg’s (griggsofhytheuk.com) is Hythe’s best-kept and tastiest secret. Barely more than a kitchen and fishmongers, you eat your brunch on the beach, either on rickety wooden seats, or sitting on the shingle. Their bacon and scallop sandwiches are to die for, or try kedgeree, mussels or the flakiest fish. It’s only open until 1pm, so get there early to avoid tremendous disappointment.

Miss Walls Back Garden (miss wallsbackgarden. com) in Eastbourne is a welcoming, great value, vegetarian cafeteria with a lovely little back garden perfect for sunny days. It’s relaxed and easy going, with a great selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes including Morrocaninspired stews, homemade soups with spelt bread and great value take-away lunches – why not eat yours on the beach?

LEARN

The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux (theobservatory.org) is an interactive, hands-on kind of place. Explore their large-scale, interactive exhibits that dot the outdoor discovery park, play with tanks, damns, pipes, connectors and fountains at the Water Planet exhibition, and whisper to a friend via their huge sound dishes. Inside there are galleries that explore the universe, explain how forces work, and show the scientific principles behind light and colour. And then, of course, there are the telescopes. Housed in six green domes (you’ll spot them from the road), the historic technical beasts are some of the largest instruments in the world. Some of them are open during the day, others at night at the venue’s Open Evenings, held on selected Saturdays during autumn, winter and spring. Keep an eye out online for the Centre’s excellent children’s workshops.

OBSERVATORY SCIENCE CENTRE

Myth-mad kids will go crazy for the King Arthur’s ‘real’ Round Table, on display at Winchester’s Great Hall (hants.gov.uk/ greathall). The Hall is a spectacle – take in its giant pillars, arched ceilings and strange gargoyles. The building is surrounded by Queen Eleanor’s Garden, a re-creation of an enclosed medieval nook, full of symbolic plants; holly, ivy and bay to represent faithfulness and Christian roses, columbine and strawberry. There are excellent children’s events here in the summer; dressing up, workshops and crafts.

TURNER CONTEMPORARY GALLERY

Art lovers should head to the north coast of Kent. The cool, clean lines of the Turner Contemporary Gallery (turnercontemporary. org) in Margate contrast with the bucket-andspade beach and amusement arcades of the town’s seafront. The venue houses art in a dynamic way – their contemporary exhibitions are particularly successful. The building itself is a triumph – gaze out of their huge windows at sparkly blue seas illuminated by the legendary local light. Their well-run, regular Sunday children’s workshops are joyous occasions, and there’s often opportunities to get hands-on in the galleries; making your own, screen-printed versions of artworks to take home, or creating personal responses to exhibitions.

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FAMILY HOLIDAY GUIDE 2016

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