Category Archives: General


Blackpool – the UK’s biggest family resort which attracts 13 million visitors each year – will play host to a major celebration of the 50th Anniversary Year of the STAR TREKTM franchise throughout 2016 and 2017 with a series of thrilling events.


Under license by CBS Consumer Products, the resort will host Star Trek: The Exhibition on the famous Golden Mile, from Thursday 30th June and will open daily throughout the year.


The exhibition will take audiences on a journey through the 50-year history of Star Trek, with original props, costumes and scripts that have never previously been seen in Europe – many from private collectors, as well recreation of the iconic bridge from The Original Series.


Designed by the stage designer Andrew Edwards, the Exhibition will be an experience for fans and families to visit. The exhibition will come alive with an exciting new Augmented Reality app that allows visitors to appear transported. Boldly go, Blackpool!


From Friday 2nd September, Blackpool’s famed Illuminations will showcase a new light feature on the Golden Mile celebrating Star Trek, which will be seen from many miles into space.


Promoter Paul Gregg of Apollo Resorts Blackpool Ltd said: “After many months of negotiation, Apollo is delighted to bring a unique concept to Blackpool. This is the first time a major holiday destination anywhere in the world has celebrated a movie franchise or entertainment brand enjoying a 50 year history. Star Trek will meet all the expectations of a Blackpool visitor with an exclusive exhibition which boasts many never seen before items. A section of the world-famous illuminations will feature the much-loved captains of Star Trek. More exciting activity within the resort is yet to be announced.”


For Blackpool, the key council departments, including Visit Blackpool, The Illuminations team and The Winter Gardens are working together to make sure that every visitor enjoys the Star Trek celebrations.


Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted that Blackpool’s Promenade has been chosen as the location for this new attraction. Star Trek is hugely popular around the world so I am sure this exhibition will be prove a big hit with visitors to the resort.


“Our Illuminations team is currently designing a Star Trek themed feature which will be located in a prominent position on Blackpool’s famous Golden Mile.” 


For the ultimate day out this summer, come rain or shine, head to Bluewater to experience a host of activities, special events, retail therapy and delicious dining for the whole family to enjoy, including:


•       Kick about at Football FEST

•       Family fun at Bluewater’s new nature trail

•       Building fun with LEGO® Friends

•       Fantastic travel offer at Eurostar’s pop-up experience

•       36 hole adventure golf course at Pirate Cove Adventure Park

•       Plus, block buster movies, quality shopping and dining all at Bluewater


The world’s first football theme park: Football FEST

Bluewater presents Football FEST, the world’s first indoor football theme park. From 15th July – 22nd August, guests can take part in a variety of exhilarating games including Foot Darts, Football Pool, Panna, Street Foot Golf and Powerball, plus there’s a chance to win a £1,000 Bluewater Gift Card. Five activity tokens cost £15 or ten for £25, book online in advance at to receive a 25% discount using the code FSUK16BW.


Bluewater’s Nature Trail

Make the most of the outdoors by exploring the beautiful parkland surrounding Bluewater on the new and improved nature trail. Families can pick up a nature trail leaflet, follow the footprints from outside Zizzi and discover picturesque lakes and parkland – the perfect setting for a family picnic. Plus, when children complete the trail and hand the sheet into the Concierge Team at the Red Concierge Desk (close to John Lewis), they’ll receive a special gift from Sidney – Bluewater’s resident squirrel.

Fairground fun with LEGO® Friends 

LEGO® Friends Amusement Park live Tour is coming to Bluewater this summer. Families are invited to join the LEGO Friends and check out the fun-sized Amusement Park Roller Coaster, Hot Dog Van, Bumper Cars, Space Ride and the Arcade. Set in the beautiful world of Heartlake City – the Amusement Park sets offer hours of building entertainment. Little ones can build whatever their imagination desires at the bumper car brick pits, play the slam dunk game, meet Nate the Hot Dog Guy and capture all the action at the photo stand.  Plus, when the excitement is over, visitors will leave with a free goodie bag.  The LEGO® Friends Amusement Park opens in the M&S carpark from 26th – 29th August.


All-aboard Eurostar’s pop-up carriage

The holiday season is here and to celebrate, Bluewater has teamed up with Eurostar to offer guests the chance to travel to top cities across the continent for just £29. Throughout July, holidaymakers can enjoy a relaxed and speedy trip from either Ashford International or Ebbsfleet to Paris, Lille and Brussels. Shoppers simply need to make a purchase at Bluewater and then head to Eurostar’s pop-up train carriage, located at the Rose Gallery, to redeem the offer.


Pirate-themed family fun

Ideal for thrill-seekers, Pirate Cove Adventure Park is a great day out for guests of all ages. Children and parents alike can experience the excitement of two adventure-filled 18-hole mini golf courses, featuring pirate ships, castles, caves, waterfalls and sunken boats. The attraction also boasts a zip wire, high ropes and climbing wall. Additionally, families can board the Pirate Pedaloes and cruise around the Blue Lagoon.


Enjoy the latest must-see movies

Film fans can head to Showcase Cinema De Lux to enjoy the latest movie releases, including The Secret Life of Pets (out now), Ice Age: Collision Course (out now), Ghostbusters (out 11th July), The BFG (out 22nd July) and the highly anticipated Finding Dory (out 29th July).


Indoor fun

Sega XD Theatre is a simulation theatre experience that transports visitors on a thrilling 4D motion ride – the first of its kind in England. Guests can watch 3D movies with motion seats and giant fans, and can choose from a selection of magical adventures including a trip to outer space, a haunted goldmine, a safari and much more.


Let little ones run wild at Splat, the fantastic multi-layered soft play zone for children up to the age of seven. A small Splat play area and ball pond for under threes is also available.


Or why not let the under 17’s enjoy a driving lesson? Young Driver’s fully qualified ADI driving instructors will teach big kids aged 11 or over how to start, brake and park a brand new dual controlled Skoda!


The very best in shopping and dining

With over 300 stores to choose from, shoppers will find an unrivalled mix of fashion brands offering the latest trends and buys for every occasion this summer. From beachwear to wedding outfits, guests can head to top retailers including menswear brand Hackett and the recently opened Mint Velvet, Ariella and Animal, to try on the latest fashion.


Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, visitors can enjoy a well deserved break by stopping off at one of over 60 places to eat and drink, including family favourites such as Carluccio’s, Bill’s, wagamama and the newly opened Bella Italia. Finally, why not finish the trip with a visit to the ICE truck? Located in the lower Guildhall, the team, who are part of an initiative to encourage young entrepreneurs to develop business skills, will be serving up delicious ice cream from a classic Rolls Royce to help shoppers stay cool.



Bluewater, Europe’s leading shopping, retail and leisure destination, brings together over 300 top retailers with quality dining options and family-friendly entertainment. Guests can enjoy stress-free shopping with free parking, late night shopping and retailer Click & Collect Service. For more info visit

This Sunday will see Regent Street transformed into an urban garden, for a traffic-free ‘Garden Party’. Expect grass-lined streets with quintessentially British music, arts and crafts, street-side BBQ from Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen, lawn games including badminton and fencing and much more.

Also back for a second week is the Secret Garden Stage, which will this week feature characters based on London’s loved creatures. A tea party table laid up with interactive games will invite children to make friends and find out interesting facts about the flora and fauna of Regent Street. In the Craft Corner, there will be nature inspired mask making workshops throughout the day.

It’s a really great event for families to join and have fun (and the weather forecast for Sunday is looking good!)

i-SPY, the iconic spotting guides, are to be relaunched, complete with fully updated imagesand information, ensuring they are as relevant to today’s world as they always have been.

Beloved by parents and children for over 60 years, i-SPY books encourage children to explore and learn through spotting and collecting points, with titles such as On a car journey, In the countryside and Creepy crawlies. Once children have collected 1,000 points they are rewarded with a certificate and i-SPY badge. The new i-SPY editions are the perfect way to spend time with your children, whilst encouraging them to explore, observe and engage in the world around them.

The creation of Charles Warrell  (the original Big Chief i-SPY), the series was first published in 1948 for a sixpence. Having had his idea turned down by eight publishing houses, he published them himself and began selling them in his local Woolworths. They remained under Warrell’s stewardship until 1986 when various different publishing houses took over the production of the series. Over the years many people have taken over as ‘Big Chief’ of i-SPY, including nature expert David Bellamy. The position is currently vacant!

Parents bought the books to keep children occupied first on train journeys and later in the family car. When an I-Spy book was complete, children could apply for a badge from ‘The Chief’, today children can receive a certificate and badge. At its height over 1.5 million children were members of the i-SPY club and two people were employed full time solely to answer the letters arriving from members. There were also I-Spy outings for child communities; 8,000 children once came to London on an I-Spy day outing.

There are currently over fifty I-Spy books, including I-Spy Nature, On a road trip, Cars and At the seaside. Relaunched in time for the summer holidays, i-SPY books are co published by Collins and Michelin and are available from 1st July 2016 at £2.99.












Bella Italia is now open at the Walnuts Shopping Centre, Orpington. The restaurant, which created over 30 new jobs in the area, will be serving up generous, high-value, Italian dining, 7 days a week.

Bella Italia is a fun and friendly Italian restaurant– accessible, welcoming and delicious. The brand prides itself on serving up rustic, Italian comfort food, created with the help of their authentic suppliers back in Italy. It’s the ideal restaurant for family get-togethers, girly catch-ups, date nights, steak nights, business breakfasts and most things in between!

Orpington’s very special Bella Italia (housing 130 covers) will be serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner and a fabulous cocktail menu too. As well as being set to be the ‘go-to’ restaurant for pre-movie bites (with the Odeon set to open next door on 26th February!) it’s also an excellent spot for a delicious breakfast or a cheeky Italian cocktail (Bella Belini anyone?) – perhaps even outside on the terrace when the sunshine makes its elusive appearance.

The restaurant’s bright, colourful and playful interior is designed to mirror the vibrant and vivacious sights and sounds of Italy. Orpington customers can expect fun wall murals, comfy banquet leather booths, vintage Italian artwork, big bold light fittings and even a real Vespa!

The restaurant is proud to be serving up Bella’s best and most authentic menu yet. The creative collection is a true celebration of Italy and its many wonderful ingredients. Executive Chef, Vittorio Lettieri, and the Bella team have carefully sourced some of the most famous and fabulous ingredients from right across Italy to ensure every dish oozes real authenticity from first mouthful to last morsel.


The roster of Bella’s latest authentic, Italian suppliers includes…


  • Agnesi Pasta – Most of Bella Italia’s pasta comes from the ‘Agnesi’ family, the oldest pasta maker in Italy.
  • San Vincenzo – a family-run business in Calabria in Southern Italy, San Vincenzo provide Bella’s Southern-style cured meats and salamis with true Italian flavour.
  • The Fontana Family – Bella’s Northern-style cured and baked meats are from the Fontana Family, they run a charcuterie started by a Mr Ermes in 1959.
  • Dolce Cilento – The Limoncello that adds a twist to new Bella dishes comes from ‘Dolce Cilento’ based in the heart of the Cilento National Park near the Amalfi coast.
  • Gelato Callip – Gelato, which is served at every Bella Italia comes straight from ‘Gelateria Callipo’ in Pizzo, known as the ‘Home of Gelato’. This family has been making real, Italian gelato in the area for 100 years!

Some highlights from the new menu include…

  • Two different Antipasto boards; one with light and herby meats sourced from the north of Italy, combined with deep flavourful salami sourced from Calabria in the south.
  • Bella Italia’s new ‘Ripiena’ (Italian for ‘filled’) pizza has a crust oozing real mozzarella and garlic butter.
  • Cute Heart-Shaped Pasta Parcels with four cheeses in a basil pesto sauce and topped with semi-dried Pachino tomatoes.
  • A slow-cooked and succulent Lamb Shank in a garlic, red wine & rosemary sauce, served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
  • The truly indulgent Limoncello Meringue Pie.
  • Bella’s hallmark fabulous and amazing Gelato in loads of flavours

Families are welcomed with open arms at Bella Italia, and the amazing Gelato Cart is always a hit with children and grown ups alike!

Service is all about making customers smile and ensuring the best possible experience.  Customers can look forward to a warm Italian welcome from General Manager Pedro Miguel and his team!