SS Great Britain

Once on board I took a moment to look along the length of the vessel and the first impressions I had were of strength, solidity, and safety. The ship is dressed with flags and is ready for departure. SS Great Britain was originally provided with one square-rigged and five schooner-rigged iron masts. They were fastened to the spar deck with iron joints and most were hinged to allow lowering during strong headwinds. On this main deck pigs and chickens were kept to provide fresh meat and fresh eggs.

SS Great Britain had four decks, a crew of 120, and was initially fitted to accommodate a total of 360 passengers, along with 1,200 tons of cargo and 1,200 tons of coal. She was used for special trips, for example to take soldiers and horses to The Crimean War and this situation is faithfully reproduced on the bottom deck of the ship. The steerage accommodation shows how close people lived to each for months at a time on voyages to Australia and the claustrophobia was almost tangible. The first-class passengers had their own beautifully laid out state dining room with candelabras, china plates, and waiters. Other areas show surgery being performed, the cramped kitchen quarters where the meals were produced, and the officer’s quarters.

Let’s eat together: how immigration made British food great

Immigrant communities have dramatically changed the food the UK eats. Nigel Slater celebrates the richness of our blended heritage. Plus, five young chefs reveal how their culture influences their cooking, and reveal a favourite recipe

20 trips in the southwest of England

The South-west of England is slowly recovering from the battering it took from the weather in the first three months of 2014 – here are 20 ideas for trips in Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/apr/04/top-20-holidays-somerset-devon-cornwall

48 Hours in Old York

York will be hosting the Tour de France in 2014. If you prefer railways to cycling, visit the National Rail Museum. Walk the walls, take a boat on the river, see a statue of Constantine the Great, visit the Minster, have a beer and try to pronounce whip-ma-whop-ma-gate.

Alternatively, read this article:

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/48-hours-in/48-hours-in-york-8465380.html

Ziferblat Cafe, London – where drinks are free, but you pay 3p-per-minute to be there

This is an interesting idea – as long as the coffee is good then it could well be worth visiting the Ziferblat cafe.

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jan/08/pay-per-minute-cafe-ziferblat-london-russia

I wonder if they are open 24 hours a day and have comfortable chairs?