Here at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most environmentally friendly luxury boutique hotel, the changing of each season is full of excitement and anticipation. For one thing, it’s the time we develop brand-new menus for our multi-award-winning restaurant Arbor, using the best seasonal fresh produce to its full advantage in our precision-cooked yet unpretentious dishes.
But it’s more than that. The Green House Hotel has the good fortune to be situated in one of the most beautiful and naturally endowed counties in the whole of England – with miles of gorgeous golden sands, fossil- (and increasingly, vine-) strewn hills and ancient, mysterious forests.
Summer is all about the beach, obviously. But in autumn this beautiful coastline forms the setting for an amazing festival for all the senses – Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea (9-18 October).
Lighting up this year’s festival evenings will be a spectacular fireworks display controlled by the crowd itself. Touching bright orbs of light will fire an array of gorgeous multi-coloured rockets, which will be projected onto a 60 foot wide screen using state of the art projectors and lasers. With each show uniquely choreographed by its audience, no two shows will ever be the same.
Funny-man and winner of the Best Breakthrough Artist at the 2014 British Comedy Awards, Nick Helm, will be performing, as well as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Kokoro. And with theatrical performances from BBC3 children’s favourite, Kid Carpet, there will be something for all ages and interests.
Bringing the festival to a close on 18 October will be Periplum’s open-air performance 451, more thrilling pyrotechnics, a take on Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’.
Of course, with light comes shade – in this case, the shade of thousands of ancient trees, some of them up to a millennium old. Because no sooner has Arts By The Sea come to its thrilling climax than the New Forest Walking Festival is underway (17 October to 1 November 2015).
Led by the New Forest National Park Authority and partner organisations, the Walking Festival includes Wildlife Walks, History Hikes, Accessible Walks, Activity Walks, Family Adventures, Shorter Strolls and Longer Walks. Many walks are free or discounted if you arrive by public transport, by bike or on foot.
The New Forest is a rare and fragile eco-system, a combination of natural environments hard to find anywhere else in Western Europe. It’s the preservation and protection of natural environments like this – not just in southern England but across the globe – that is behind the Green House Hotel’s unique eco-friendly approach and the reason we are often called the Greenest Hotel in Britain. Combining a stay in Bournemouth at the Green House Hotel with the New Forest Walking Festival is the perfect way not only to achieve a low-impact holiday but also to show an appreciation for our amazing and diverse planet.
Take the time to drink in the autumn colours, the fauna and the weird and wonderful fungi (some of which end up on Arbor’s plates!). Or indulge in a spot of mindfulness and Shinrin-yoku. Loosely translated as “forest bathing”, this has been a method of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine since the 1980s – the “medicine of simply being in the forest”. There’s a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy, including boosted immune system, reduced blood pressure, increased energy levels, and improved sleep.
So at the end of a strenuous day of forest bathing and dinner at the two-AA-rosette Arbor restaurant, it would make sense to retire to a Green House Hotel guest room, where you will find a bespoke bed handmade from purely natural materials, luxurious goose down duvets and crisp white organic bed linen. You could call it bed-bathing or, if you must, “the medicine of simply being in bed”. What do we call it? Heaven.
To book a short break at The Green House Hotel in Bournemouth go online call 01202 498500 or email email@example.com