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8 reasons why Berkshire is the perfect weekend break

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Wheat fields and woods in Inkpen, Berkshire (Picture: Getty)

Far enough from London to get out of the smoke and into some fields, but close enough that a day or weekend trip isn’t a faff lies Berkshire, synonymous with horse-racing, the royals and beautiful scenery.

It’s provided inspiration for beloved books such as The Wind In The Willows (Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham Dean) and has many famous sons and daughters, from Stanley Spencer (Cookham again), to Reading’s Kate Winslet and Hungerford’s Will Young.

Plus there’s a little heap of rocks in Windsor you may have heard about recently, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to tie the knot… Read the full story

Celebrate the spring equinox with these 8 traditions – egg laying bunnies to the Horned God

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Stonehenge is a popular spot to celebrate the spring equinox (Picture: Chris Clor/Getty)

On Tuesday 20 March days and nights will be of equal length across the globe.

This balancing act of a 12 hour day and 12 hour night is called an equinox (equal night in Latin, fact fans) and the spring or vernal equinox happens at exactly 16.15 when the sun passes the celestial equator and the earth’s axis is perpendicular to its rays.

But this special day isn’t just an astronomical event, it also marks the beginning of springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and we can look forward to the daylight hours getting longer and the nights getting shorter, and who doesn’t… Read the full story

How a long weekend in Andermatt made me fall in love with skiing

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Before the beginning of this year, I had never skied.

Even going to a snow-covered destination seemed like such a drag given how little sun we get in the UK. And I am forever praying at the sun altar.

Plus, a conversation with a skier and snowboarder – where the experience was described as going ‘shoob, shoob, shoob down the mountain’ – left me thinking skiing sounded really boring and was probably not worth the money.

courmayeurA gourmet weekend in Courmayeur is perfect for every foodie who has never skied

Maybe… Read the full story

Aldi is selling its own version of Aperol for £6.99

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(Picture: Aldi)

Summer is still months away, but we’re already dreaming of the warm evenings spent sipping on Aperol Spritz cocktails.

And, thanks to Aldi, you’ll be able to do that on the cheap – as the supermarket has just launched its own version of the Italian Aperitif drink, called the Aperini.

At £6.99, the Aperini is infused with orange, rhubarb, vanilla and herbs and spices.

Aldi’s joint managing director of corporate buying Julie Ashfield said: ‘Not only is our Aperini Italian Aperitif perfectly on-trend, it’s also in keeping with our commitment to providing our customers with products of incredible quality and at the best possible price.

Read the full story

Dad-of-five has gone from navy veteran to professional Snoop Dogg lookalike

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(Picture: Caters News)

A father-of-five has gone from navy veteran to professional Snoop Dogg lookalike, receiving 150 fan messages a day and bringing in up to $2,000 for a 15-minute booking

Eric Finch, 50, from Fontana, California, USA, had no idea who the rapper, real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., was when he was first compared to the star 13 years ago.

After being confused multiple times for Snoop and having retired from the US Navy after serving for 20-years as a load master, he pursued a career as a ‘D-O-GG’ doppelganger.

Eric says he was first compared to Snoop Dogg during a toga party. He decided to embrace the look for the… Read the full story

If you and three friends can demolish this 200oz steak, you can have it for free

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200oz of steak that was used during an eating challenge at the Cattlemans Steakhouse in Paignton, Devon. The restaurant in Devon is serving up a 200oz steak challenge - and it costs ??179. See SWNS story SWSTEAK; A restaurant is serving up a massive steak which weighs more than a newborn baby lamb - and costs ??179. Cattlemans Steakhouse serves the 200oz monster along with garlic bread, chips, onion rings, mushrooms, tomatoes and coleslaw. It is designed to be shared by four people and any group which completes the meal within one hour gets it free of charge. So far 10 groups have attempted it - but only two have finished it.Read the full story

Bride walks down aisle on crutches after stranger broke her ankle jumping on her back

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**MANDATORY BYLINE** PIC FROM Clara Lou Photography / Caters News - (PICTURED: Pictures from Kim Hutchinsons (38, from Hereford) and Iain Hutchisons (34) wedding day on March 10th 2018) - A bride was left hobbling down the aisle to meet her fiance after she broke herankleon her hen do just five weeks before her big day. Kim Hutchinson, 38, from Hereford, was dancing the night away on her hen do in Liverpool when an over-excited stranger jumped on her back and knocked her to the floor.The fall, recorded by Kims friend, caused herankleto snap and she was told she would need to wear a cast for six weeks at the Royal Liverpool… <a href=Read the full story

Uncle Ben’s and Tasty’s one pot ‘biryani’ is an insult to all biryani

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(Picture: Pure Tasty/Metro.co.uk)

Biryani is a majestic, divine food, with flavours bursting in the mouth.

It is no ordinary rice. It’s spicy rice made with traditional ingredients like ghee (clarified butter), cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander – things you can expect to find in most south Asian foods.

Now, there are a few ways to make biryani. You can add vegetables or for meat eaters; chicken, beef, lamb, or even seafood. But no shortcuts, please.

When BuzzFeed’s food channel Proper Tasty decided to dabble in a bit of fine Asian art, they got it oh so wrong.

The one pot vegetable biryani, was made using Uncle Ben’s rice – that’s right – INSTANT rice to create… Read the full story

Identical twin boys were born with completely different skin tones

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(Picture: SWNS)

These mixed-race boys are actually twins – despite the fact one has dark skin and the other is white.

While Holden Keller inherited blonde hair and blue eyes from his mum Amy Keller, 36, his brother Hayden got darker skin and brown locks from his African-American dad.

Amy, who is raising the 15-month-old fraternal twins on her own, was told she was expecting identical twins during her pregnancy as the babies were sharing a placenta.

However, when the babies were born just seven minutes apart in December 2018, they arrived with different skintones.

The 12 best coffee machines to buy in 2018

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How problematic is our coffee culture?
(Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Skip the morning queues and soul-destroying expense and make your own barista level brew at home in 2018.

It’s never been easier to make good coffee in the comfort of your kitchen and this year brings with it some incredible new offerings – from smart coffee makers, to self-cleaning, remote control access and the super-pods. So whether you like cappuccinos or macchiatos, espressos or flat whites, here are some of the best machines we’ve tested.

First the basics – Which kind of machine do you want?

Bean-to-cup:  Fill the machine with coffee beans (less pricey than pods) and empty the grind after you’ve made a dozen… Read the full story

If you’re always late, you probably fit one of these four personality types

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(Picture: lla Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Either you’re always running late, or you hate lateness with every fibre of your being. There’s no in between.

But whichever view on lateness you take, it’s worth knowing why some people are destined to be late every time you meet up – either to have more empathy with late people or to develop a greater understanding of yourself.

According to Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who recently appeared on Today Extra, there are four different personality types that are prone to lateness.

Knowing which one a late person falls into is key to sorting out their issues and making them get to places on time.

Which is crucial, really,… Read the full story

Blogger fakes trip to Disneyland to prove an important point about Instagram

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(Picture: Instagram/theslowtraveler)

Spoiler: A lot of what you see on Instagram isn’t exactly real.

That candid shot of someone drinking coffee has been redone so many times her drink’s gone cold.

That person who headed to Iceland didn’t actually get to see the Northern Lights, so just ripped one off Google Images and hoped no one would notice

Oh, and that no-makeup selfie you just scrolled past? There was so much makeup involved.

We know this, but it’s easily forgotten when we’re going through our feeds. We forget how much fakery can be involved and go ahead and compare our real lives to other people’s Instagrammed perfection.

To bring that knowledge back to the front of our… Read the full story

What it’s like to lose your voice to selective mutism

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During my first year of primary school, I refused to answer the register.

I knew that all I had to say was a quick ‘yes’ but the idea of saying it in front of 15 classmates and my teacher was a physical pain that my body couldn’t endure.

I had a severe social anxiety disorder called selective mutism, which affects around one in 140 children in the UK. It leaves kids feeling unable to talk in certain social situations.

In my case, it was the horror of having people looking at me while I spoke. The idea of people staring at me while I muttered a three-letter word was unbearable. Instead, I would fold my arms, cross my legs tightly, press my lips shut and hope to just disappear.

I’d always been a shy child, hiding behind my mum if one of her friends tried to say hello to me, or reluctantly looking up through a frown and a fringe at the playschool photographer… Read the full story

A unique safari: kissing giraffes at breakfast, a hidden lodge surrounded by rhino and sleeping under the stars in Kenya

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‘That one’s the best kisser,’ someone said, pointing at a smaller giraffe to my right-hand side.

Yes, this was the surreal scene at the exclusive Giraffe Manor in Kenya before dinner time, a very hands-on petting session with a pack of long-necked beauties in the lodge’s serene front garden.

In a bid to see a unique side of safari, I’d booked a trip via The Luxury Safari Company and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

From getting unique encounters with giraffes to staying at a tucked-away lodge with an abundance of wildlife to myself, and camel riding through the sun-drenched savannah, here’s a low-down of… Read the full story

Woman responds to body-shamers who asked her how she landed her hot husband

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jenna responds to body shaming
(Picture: Lindsey Roman)

Why are we so puzzled by mixed-weight relationships?

It’s entirely normal for a couple to not be identical. In fact, it’d be a little weird if they were.

But for some reason, when it’s the size that differs between two people who love each other, there’s uproar.

Take Jenna Kutcher, a body positive Instagrammer and podcast host.

She’s married to Drew, a health coach.

Some people find this a struggle to understand, and choose to express their confusion by messaging Jenna directly to ask how she, a woman who’s not super thin, has managed to ‘land’ a guy with sculpted abs.

Read the full story

Mother-of-four responds to cruel comments about a photo of her stretch marks

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(Picture: AsiaWire/Doreen Ching)

It’s 2018 – how are we not a progressive, body positive society yet?

Let’s not forget that body positivity means appreciating all kinds of bodies and all kinds of marks, bumps, and scars.

When you bear the miracle of life upon your body, it leaves some evidence; we all know stretchmarks are a fruit of hard work, growth, and life.

After having four kids, Doreen Ching’s stomach bore the evidence and may never go back to its original state. But Doreen, 23, is okay with that.

A mother of three boys and one girl Doreen noticed that the marks across her stomach were very prominent and showed no signs… Read the full story

Hotel Chocolat’s got all your vegan chocolate Easter needs covered

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(Picture: Hotel Chocolat)

Hotel Chocolat is the Easter Bunny of chocolate shops.

It might offer a wide array of chocolatey goods all year round but its in the Spring that it really excels itself.

Huge solid chocolate eggs? Check. Chocolate egg sandwiches? Check. Gigantic boxes of fruity chocolate truffles? Check.

And now, finally, the chocolate emporium has brought out a range of vegan Easter treats.

Hotel Chocolat already had a number of incredible dairy-free options over Christmas, including a fruit and nut wreath, a dark chocolate Santa and a milkless praline log, but it’s the first time that its egg range has expanded to include vegan options.

The brand, which has 93 chocolate… Read the full story

13 reasons why Queenstown is the coolest town in New Zealand

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With so many incredible places to explore across the globe, I don’t often return to the same place more than once.

But as I boarded my flight to Queenstown for the third time, I was more excited than ever.

12 reasons to add Noosa to your Australian bucket list

I just can’t get enough of this town.

Not only is it stunningly beautiful, situated on a gorgeous lake and surrounded by mountains, it also has a seemingly endless number of activities to try.

And I’m not just talking about bungy jumping (although it really is worth a go).

Here’s why Queenstown is the coolest town in New Zealand:

1. Wine

Read the full story

Ryan Reynolds announces that he’s become part owner of a gin company with the best OOO email

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(Picture: aviationgin/Instagram)

We’re always excited to hear about new gins hitting the market.

Whether it’s salted caramel gin, or Parma Violets flavoured tipples, we’re all over it.

But nothing can quite compete with the prospect of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin venture.

The actor, writer and producer has become the part owner of Aviation Gin.

And, hilariously, he announced his new side-hustle via an out-of-office email sent from the new company.

‘Thank you for your email and interest in Aviation American Gin,’ the statement begins.

‘I’m away from my desk at the moment but will respond the moment they give me a desk.

‘About a year ago, I tried Aviation for the… Read the full story

Models recreate Calvin Klein advert to open up the conversation around men’s body image

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plus size male models recreate calvin klein advert
(Picture: Instagram/tonytrottphoto)

Body positivity isn’t only for women.

While we’re pushing for the inclusion of all kinds of women in fashion ads and on runways, it’s important that we don’t forget men.

After all – how many men do you see in ad campaigns that fall outside of the norm of tall and perfectly sculpted?

To get us talking about the lack of plus-size men in the public eye, model Darnel Ghramm roped in a bunch of models to recreate Calvin Klein’s denim advert.

The original featured A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Ant, A$AP Lou and A$AP J. Scott – all slim, toned,… Read the full story

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