Eco and Ethical Christmas Gift Guide – For Kids

For babies, toddlers and little ones, here are some eco and ethical gift ideas to light-up little faces on Christmas morning…

Campervan walker toys – £62.50 from Jo & Co,

These funky campervan walkers are made of wood from natural rubber trees that no longer produce latex. The lovely design means it’s a piece of kit that you don’t mind taking up space in the living room! Suitable for 12 months+, the walkers encourage early movement, but confident toddlers will also love pushing them around like trollies and using them as toy storage. Available in blue or pink.

campervan walkerRacoon Pyjamas Set – £20 from Rockin’ Baby,

We love the Rockin’ Baby brand – they’ve partnered with ChildFund for their one-for-one, mother-for-mother scheme: for every piece purchased, the scheme provides slings and clothing to children living in poverty worldwide. To support a great programme, these cute Raccoon PJs are great for lazy Sundays as well as bedtime. Available in sizes from 18mths to 10yrs.



Jungle Safari Wooden Skittles (large) – £30 from ZSL Shop,

You can’t beat a wooden game, and these large hand-painted skittles are a quirky and cute twist on the traditional version. Featuring two balls and six skittles (hippo, elephant, zebra, lion, monkey, giraffe). Everything bought from the ZSL (Zoological Society of London) shop helps support their ongoing conservation work around the world.

wooden-skittles-safari-18-sml-or-30-lrgToy Dinosaur – £30 from Zaliwana Accessories,

Zaliwana Accessories specialise in sourcing handcrafted, ethically-sourced gifts from around the world. This felt dinosaur has been lovingly handmade in Nepal. Suitable from newborns upwards, no-one will be able to resist a cuddle!


Bamboo 3-piece dining set – £14.50 from Yours Sustainably,

This cute and colourful children’s dining set is made from natural organic bamboo fibre, so is a great eco alternative to plastic. Each set includes a decorated divider plate with matching bowl and handled cup. Comes in two designs – fun ‘Robots’ and cute ‘Animals’.


Baby clothing by From Babies With Love – from £15.90, Big Issue Shop,

This award-winning baby clothing line donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world, supporting organisations that help break the cycle of poverty and ensure children grow up in loving family homes. We love the frog, duck robot, rabbit and penguin designs on the babygrows (£21.90), T-shirts (£15.90) and reversible baby blankets (£26.90) in this ethically-sourced range.


Elephant Craft Kit – £12 from ZSL Shop,

This easy-peasy crafting kit is perfect for little fingers. With no cutting required, this kit includes everything you need (including pre-cut felt, plastic non-sharp needles, thread, stuffing and googley eyes) to make your own elephant toy. Everything bought from the ZSL (Zoological Society of London) shop helps support their ongoing conservation work around the world.



Eco and Ethical Christmas Gift Guide – For Him

For fathers, grandads, brothers, uncles, friends…here are some fabulous eco and ethical Christmas gift ideas for men

‘cor affection’ iPad cover – £50 from ono creations,

We love the super-stylish organic and ethical bags and cases from ono creations – all are made by artisans under fair conditions, using eco materials such as organic cotton, natural bamboo and reclaimed teak. This iPad cover (which measures 20.5 x 25cm and fits the iPad 1, 2, 3 and other tablets) is made from beautifully soft and tactile cork (we couldn’t stop stroking it!) with naturally-dyed bamboo lining. View the whole range for some uber-covetable clutch, shoulder and tote bags, wallets, cases and more.

ono creations iPad cover

Elephant Gin – £41.99 from Selfridges,

For gin conoisseurs, this special botanical blend of apple, elderflower, ginger and African wormwood and baobab (rarely used in gin making), is more than just a lovely tipple. 15% of proceeds from every bottle sold goes towards two elephant conservation charities; Big Life Foundation’s Ranger Club and the Space for Elephants Foundation. Both charities work to preserve Africa’s unique wildlife, help crack down on poaching, encourage wildlife tourism and create local employment opportunities in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Available in London Dry and Sloe Gin varieties (the latter a limited edition of 1,500 bottles), these beautiful bottles with hand-written labels and natural cork stoppers make this a perfect gift.

Elephant Gin

Wood-Packer backpack – £268.50 from Fabriano Boutique,

This rucksack may look like it’s made of high-quality leather, but it’s actually made from FSC-certified wood! The material is thin carved wooden sheets with micro laser engravings, coupled to a tissue with the usage of water-based adhesives. The result is a soft material, almost like leather. The bag is large enough to carry a 13″ laptop and heaps of other kit. Fabriano have teamed-up with Tree-Nation to ensure they plant 350% more trees than they consume.

fabrianos-wood-packer-rucksack-238-50-fabrianoboutique-co-ukJollie socks – £15 a pair from The Big Issue Shop,

Christmas isn’t Christmas without someone getting a pair of socks – and it’s hard to beat these ‘Jollie’ ones! Available in eight colourful designs – with names like ‘The Prankster’, ‘The Speckled Punster’, ‘The Jester’ – each pair comes in a very jolly can. Jollie Goods, the brand behind the socks, describe themselves as a ‘more-than-profit’ enterprise which supports homeless charities and those caring for the homeless. For every pair sold, a pair of sturdy hiking boots is given to a local homeless charity.

Jollie socksOmbar chocolate bars – £1.99 each (35g) from

Raw chocolate Ombar bars are just too moorish! Raw chocolate can often be a bit gritty or bitter but these are lovely and smooth. Using 100% organic cocoa, unrefined coconut sugar, live cultures and real fruit, you can almost call these a heath food (raw cocoa really does have health benefits!) Available in a variety of interesting flavours including Lemon & Green Tea, Blueberry & Acai, and Cranberry & Mandarin, alongside standard milk and dark varieties, these 35g bars make excellent stocking fillers.



Upcycled canvas cufflinks – £22.50 from Yours Sustainably,

These smart cufflinks have been made from artists’ canvas rescued from charity shops, mounted on wood salvaged from building sites, then splattered with paint Jackson Pollock style! Various colours available, each design is unique.



Stainless Steel Growlers by Klean Kanteen – RRP £35.95, visit for stockists

These lightweight, reusable stainless steel bottles by Klean Kanteen are a safe and healthy alternative to plastic and lined aluminium bottles. The classic ‘Growler’ is perfect for carrying around cool beer, win, juice or iced tea. The brushed steel is particularly stylish – also comes in a fancy dark amber.


RAW WINE box – £149 from

The wine lover in your life with be delighted to receive this special box direct to their door. The RAW WINE box (from the founder of the RAW WINE fair) features six rare artisan wines that are all from organic or biodynamic grapes, grown using low-intervention techniques and avoiding any nasties at production stage. With tasting notes to accompany each bottle, this is a great way to enjoy hard-to-get, fabulous wines.


3 of the best luxury eco retreats in the Maldives

With the Maldives introducing a new ‘green tax’ to fund conservation efforts, here’s our pick of three of the best sustainable and eco-friendly hotels and resorts in the region…

Soneva Fushi

This resort lives by the ‘S.L.O.W. L.I.F.E’ philosophy (Sustainable Local Organic Wellness, Learning Inspiring Fun Experiences). With a carbon offset programme, its own organic food production and facilities for on-island bottled water production, this beautiful resort pairs great eco credentials with ‘intelligent’ luxury. Secluded chic beach villas and a ‘Mr Friday’ butler service are available for guests, and wildlife fans will appreciate the stretches of undeveloped shoreline that have been left to encourage turtles to continue nesting on the beach.

Soneva fushi
Soneva fushi

Coco Palm, Dhuni Kolhu

This resort is ideal for those passionate about marine wildlife. A ‘Manta Ray Day’ is held every Wednesday, where guests are led by Coco Palm’s resident marine biologist into the shallows to observe the island’s beautiful creatures. As well as manta rays, the house reef provides excellent snorkelling opportunities with chances to spot whale sharks and dolphins too. Coco Palm is also located in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve whose resorts work together to conserve the area.

Coco Palm resort
Coco Palm resort

Kuramathi Island Resort

There’s a long list of green initiatives being undertaken  by Kuramathi, one of the biggest islands in the Maldives. There is an education eco-centre, filters and ozonators to save water in the modern Jacuzzis, water recycling system, energy saving air-con in the newer villas and a hydroponics garden where fresh salads and herbs are grown for the resorts kitchens.

Eco Kuramathi
Eco-friendly Kuramathi

A closer look at the Indian Ocean, like you’ve never seen before…

The many islands of the Indian Ocean are famous for their white sand beaches and beautiful turquoise waters. Although gorgeous to look at, these paradise beach images can give the impression that the Indian Ocean islands are all very similar to each other. In fact, when you take a closer look, the Maldives, Mauritius and other destinations are all very different from each other.

Maldives close-up
Maldives close-up

In November, luxury travel experts Kuoni launched their collection of microscopic sand photographs taken from their seven resorts in the Indian Ocean. The initiative behind the project is to show travellers that when you take a closer look at the smaller details, the islands of the Indian Ocean are all completely unique from one another.

The different sand grains reflect the geology of each island, giving clues as to what kind of activities you can enjoy there. For example, the sands from La Reunion (an island just west of Mauritius) have yellow lava crystals and black grains made from volcanic basalt. These point to the volcanic origins of the island and travellers here can indeed trek through the forests to see amazing craters and live volcanoes. On the other hand, the grains from the Maldives show six tiny snail shells and a rod spine from a sea urchin, pointing to the amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities to be found in the coral reefs of the Maldives.

Seychelles close-up
Seychelles close-up



UK’s best sustainable fish and chip shops reach highest number

The number of MSC-certified fish and chip shops in the UK has doubled this year, and diners can now choose from 50 that are dotted all across the UK.

Next time you’re choosing a chippie, look for the MSC’s ‘blue tick’ ecolabel that appears on sustainable menus to give diners an independent assurance that their fish was sourced sustainably, and is traceable from ocean to plate.

MSC certification provides traceability from ocean to plate
MSC certification provides traceability from ocean to plate

Globally, 1 billion people rely on fish for their main source of protein and around 10% of the world’s population rely on it for their livelihood, so it’s vital to ensure that the life in our oceans is safeguarded for the future. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) was set up 15 years ago to do just that, and is now the world’s leading ecolabel for sustainable wild-caught seafood. It certifies 45% of the UK’s wild-caught fish as sustainable.

World’s most sustainable fish and chip shop

Earlier this year, Plymouth’s Kingfisher Fish and Chips became the world’s most sustainable fish and chip shop, when it put 12 different species of MSC certified fish and seafood on its menu, more than any other fish and chip shop or restaurant in the world. The impressive array of sustainable choices includes cod and haddock from the Arctic Sea, Jersey lobster, prawns, pollock, salmon and even kippers.

Kingfisher’s owner, Craig Maw, says sustainable sourcing is central to the chippy’s focus on quality. “The ecolabel is in the forefront for sustainable fish certification and consumer confidence. This is why we openly endorse MSC certification and the ecolabel. Moving forward, I hope to encourage other businesses to become certified, ensuring future generations have the same choices as today,” says Maw.

Newest sustainable chippie on the list

The latest fish and chip shop to become MSC-certified is Cromars in St Andrews, Scotland. This traditional seaside chippy has also been shortlisted for the Independent Takeaway category at the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, which will take place in January.

Cromars in St Andrews is 50th chippy to become MSC certified
Cromars in St Andrews is 50th chippy to become MSC certified

Colin Cromar, the takeaway’s owner, says: “All of our food is locally sourced and we’re proud to say that we only use homemade, fresh products so we know exactly what we’re selling to our customers. We recently became the 50th shop in the UK to gain accreditation from the Marine Stewardship Council. Add this to now becoming one of the ten best fish and chip takeaways in the UK, and I’d say we’re looking to end the year with a bang.”

Seven of the 10 finalists in the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards were MSC certified, including Frankie’s Fish and Chips in the village of Brae, in the Shetlands, which was named the best independent takeaway and also scooped the ‘Good Catch – Sustainable Seafood Award’. It sells MSC certified haddock, crab, king scallops and mussels, and it also runs an educational programme to teach local primary school children about the importance of sustainable fishing. “The provenance of our seafood is of great importance to us,” says John Gould, Manager of Frankie’s. “You can buy a fish supper at Frankie’s without worrying that it causes harm to the haddock stock in the seas off Shetland or the environment.”

Other recently certified fish and chip shops include two branches of Scotts Fish & Chips, in York and Helmsley, and four branches of Rockfish, the takeaway restaurant chain that is owned by chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, in Dartmouth, Brixham, Plymouth and Torquay.

For more about the MSC and sustainable seafood visit

Frugal family fun at the Festival of Thrift

Summer may be slowly drawing to a close, but the festival season just keeps on running – hooray!

This September 26th-27th the Festival of Thrift returns for its third year of frugal family fun. The free festival, taking place at Lindfield Point in Darlington, promises a packed programme of sustainable living ideas and inspiration that can help save you money too.

Festival of Thrift Fashion by Tracy Kidd
Festival of Thrift Fashion by Tracy Kidd

The eclectic event will feature well-known ‘scrimpers’, leading and emerging artists and musicians, plus special installations, demonstrations, debates, workshops and stalls offering upcycled, recycled, sustainable and of course thrifty goods to help people towards a happier, more sustainable way of life.

The Festival (winner of the Arts & Culture award at the Observer Ethical Awards 2015) aims to show people how reusing, recycling and upcycling can be fun, save them money and benefit the environment at the same time. This year’s programme features leading and emerging artists from across the globe, demonstrations, stalls and workshops to offer thrifty advice, tips and tricks.

ETHICAL FoT Shane Waltner by Tracy Kidd
Shane Waltner by Tracy Kidd

Highlights include:

  • OxGlam – Michael and John from Oxfam Dalrington and Oxfam Durham demonstrate how to look stylish and original with vintage, second-hand and upcycled clothes. Catch their fashion show using trends through the decades.
  • The Urban Playground, STEAM – Street theatre like you’ve never seen before! Urban Explorers discover a locomotive and take you on a journey through its life, fusing parkour, dance and slapstick comedy.
  • Olivier Grossetete, The People’s Tower – See French artist Olivier Grossetete launch the Festival by rebuilding the rail station clock tower in Market Square in Darlington Town Centre, made entirely from cardboard box ‘bricks’.
  • Ministry of Bicycles, Bomberdrome – This ‘Bicycle Wall of Death’ features five riders, performing tricks of daring do. Thrills, spills and plenty of mild peril all add up to make this a bicycle spectacular.
  • Folk Dance Remixed – A unique remix of Maypole, Clogging, Ceilidh, Street, House and Breakdance with a hint of African & Bollywood… to a live soundtrack of fiddle & beat boxing – this is Folk and Street Dance like you’ve never seen it before with a chance for you to dance!
  • Home Live Art’s Alternative Village Fete – Based on the British village fete, this extravaganza, featuring a range of original artists and creative groups, encompasses live and performance installations, live music, communal dance, craft, food and produce.
  • Darli – Darlie is an enchanting, artist-made, old wooden train carriage stuffed with stories, images, sounds and scenes for families to explore. Created by visual Artist Hannah Fox and Sound Artist Dan Fox, this is an enchanting and playful interactive sculpture, a curiosity box like no other.


This year’s theme is ‘Steam’ as the festivities will also form part of a weekend of celebrations for Darlington and the region as the town marks the 190th anniversary of the world’s first steam passenger train, which travelled between Stockton and Darlington in 1825.

Bobbin workshop by Tracy Kidd
Bobbin workshop by Tracy Kidd

Festival director, Stella Hall said: “Thrift is more than a trend – it’s here to stay, it’s a culture and a set of values to live by. The festival is certainly helping to get it engrained into the lives of people across the North East of England and beyond. Our thrifters are a community and the Festival is a great opportunity for them to get together and share what they do, while enjoying great entertainment and a free day out.”

After winning the Arts and Culture category of the Observer Ethical Awards 2015, festival organisers are poised for another successful year (40,000 festival-goers visited in 2014!). Thrifty living has never been so popular…

The Festival of Thrift takes place 10am to 5pm on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September 2015. Find out more about the latest programme at and register for updates.

Seafood and sea views at Rocky Bottoms, North Norfolk

You can’t get much better than eating local seafood in the sunshine, while gazing out to the very sea it was caught in…

That’s the treat Goodtrippers enjoyed last week when we visited the (relatively new) Rocky Bottoms cafe in North Norfolk. This eco-friendly, purpose-built eaterie is run by a local fishing family of over 35 years.

The cafe sits in its own field set back from the cliff-tops of West Runton in North Norfolk. Serving fresh, locally-caught seafood daily, this is a fantastic foodie addition to the Norfolk coast.

pull up a deckchair at Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk
pull up a deckchair at Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk

Local and seasonal menu

Pick from smoked mackerel, fish cakes, smoked salmon sandwiches, and fresh lobster or crab (famous in this part of the world) caught down the road at Weybourne. We tried the delicious grilled lobster and fries which was topped with garlic butter and served with an inventive, caper-filled salad. There’s also a very yummy seasonal tart on offer – lobster and asparagas in the spring, turning into lobster and samphire in the summer.

Kids can also enjoy the local seafood with a children’s menu offering morsels such as line-caught cod goujons. Puddings are also available – try the ‘Runton Mess’ or classic ice-creams.

Drinks on offer include the usual teas and coffees plus refreshing Fentimans so you can wash it all down with a ginger beer. Or the restaurant operates a BYO option at just £1 per person (so bring some bubbles and make it even more special!).

And you don’t have to eat in – a takeaway menu means you can grab some perfect picnic food for taking down to the beach.

the 'eat in' menu at Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk
the ‘eat in’ menu at Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk

Beautiful surroundings

On a sunny day such as our visit you have to grab an outdoor table (plenty of them but on busy days, which are frequent, it would be best to book), or sit inside for a bit of shelter (large glass sliding doors ensure you can still feel the sea breeze if you want to).

Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk
Rocky Bottoms, Norfolk

If you’re having a briefer stopover, sit back on one of the many deckchairs in the grounds and gaze out at the sea view peeking up over the horizon. The lovely sandy beach of West Runton is a mere three minute walk away.

All in all, we think this is one to rival (whisper it) the infamous Cookies seafood restaurant down the road at Salthouse – Rocky Bottoms has friendly service, wonderful food, and a fantastic location. (We can’t wait to go back to try out their candle-lit indoor eating area for an early seafood supper later this year!).

West Runton beach, Norfolk
West Runton beach, a short stroll from Rocky Bottoms

Opening times: Mon-Sat 10am until 6pm (with later 8pm closing during high season Thurs-Sat); Sun 12pm until 5pm.

Location: Cromer Road (look for the orange signs), West Runton, Norfolk NR27 9QA. Tel: 01263 837359


10 Cornwall spots to eat and drink with a sea view

Cornwall Special 2015

With so much coastline you’re never far away from a great eating and drinking spot with a stunning sea view in Cornwall. Here’s a selection of a few of our favourites…

The Cabin Beach Cafe, Perranuthnoe
This small cafe sits right on the top of the cliffs overlooking the quiet Perran Sands beach in the lovely village of Perranuthnoe. The menu is basic but very nice including filling breakfast baps and paninis, gluten-free homemade cakes, Cornish ice-cream and good teas and coffees. You can sit inside when it’s raining, but go for the unobstructed sea view from a table in the garden.

view of Perran Sands from The Cabin, Perranuthnoe
view of Perran Sands from The Cabin, Perranuthnoe

Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen has become a well-established part of the Cornish foodie scene since opening a few years ago. Very friendly staff give everyone a warm welcome, particularly those with little ones (as you’d expect a Jamie O eaterie to do!). Top quality, Italian-style food is the order of the day including locally-caught seafood and Cornish ales. The restaurant is a social enterprise so all profits go to the Cornwall Food Foundation and its chef training programme. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow you to watch all of the surfing action across the vast Watergate Bay.

view of Watergate Bay from Fifteen Cornwall
view of Watergate Bay from Fifteen Cornwall

The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion
A traditional pub with a friendly landlord and a range of St Austell beers on tap. Food is served, including gluten-free fish and chips and other seafood dishes, but if you don’t happen to be hungry make sure you at least grab a pint of local ale and take a seat in the beer garden – this pub boasts a stunning view across the water to St Michael’s Mount.

view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion
view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion

The Point at Polzeath, Polzeath
You don’t have to be staying here or using the health club or golf course to eat in The Point’s restaurant (although it is a handy add-on if you are). You can enjoy almost panoramic views from your table (or on the outside terrace) across farmland, the golf course and down into the surfers’ paradise of Polzeath beach and Pentire Point. Look out for Fizz ‘n’ Chips Night (Thursdays) for their choice of three fish with three batters and a glass of fizz (all £15) and Steak Night (Fridays) for their offer of two steaks and a bottle of wine for £30.

Fizz n Chips night at The Point at Polzeath
Fizz n Chips night at The Point at Polzeath

Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove
This informal beachside eaterie and bar is brought to you by Michelin-star chef Ben Tunnicliffe. With wonderful, unspoilt views across Sennen Cove, it does a great job of combining a relaxed and stylish ‘Ibizan beach bar’ vibe without making you feel unwelcome with a little one (they make great efforts to be family-friendly). The restaurant only ever serves ethically sourced seafood with an ever-changing ‘catch of the day’ on the menu. The food is excellent as is the cocktail list, which included a Ben’s G&T made with Cornish gin on our visit.

Cornish G&T at Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove
Cornish G&T at Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove

The Square at Porthleven, Porthleven
Porthleven has become a well-known destination in Cornwall for foodies with several top eateries in the village (including a new Rick Stein). The Square, now run by the previous owners of the renowned Victoria Inn in Perranuthnoe, offers a brasserie-style menu for informal lunch, dinner and coffee and cake in between. Locally-sourced is the order of the day with all fish landed at Porthleven harbour, meats from Primrose Herd and Vivian Olds, and local vegetable suppliers. They can also offer locally-sourced champagne if you’re celebrating! Plenty of seating indoors, or grab a table outside so you can watch the boats coming and going in the harbour.

locally-caught seafood tempura at The Square at Porthleven
locally-caught seafood tempura at The Square at Porthleven

The Godolphin Arms, Marazion
Sitting outdoors at this newly renovated gastropub is blissful on a warm, sunny day. You can hear the waves lapping a few meters from your table as you gaze across at St Michael’s Mount and its castle. We enjoyed the shared seafood platter plus their guest craft beer.

gaze at St Michael's Mount from The Godolphin Arms, Marazion
gaze at St Michael’s Mount from The Godolphin Arms, Marazion

Pedn Olva, St Ives
We’ll be honest – we haven’t tried the food here, but we did escape the crowds of St Ives harbour and enjoy a drink. And what a view from their large, outdoor terrace! Choose either the side facing the famous St Ives harbour view, or pick the other side which looks down onto the lovely Porthminster beach and all of the paddle boarders gliding across the calm sea.

terrace view from Pend Olva, St Ives
terrace view from Pend Olva, St Ives

Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac
OK, not technically one with a sea view (you’d have to drag your seat closer to the road and perhaps crane your neck a bit) but it had to be included in this list as a sea view is mere seconds away and the seafood is fantastic! The fishing village of Port Isaac is a tourist hotspot, particularly down at the harbour, but make sure you spot at this small café before walking down the hill (or treat yourself on the way back up). It does exactly what it says on the sign serving fish and seafood freshly (and sustainably) caught from its own boat ‘Mary D’ in Port Isaac harbour. Try a delicious lobster or crab salad, then buy a few cakes and Cornish foodie delights from their shop to take home.

lobster salad at Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac
lobster salad at Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac

No.1 Rock Road Bar & Grill, Rock
Grab a table on the outdoor balcony (beware of cool winds if there’s a northerly!) and enjoy the view of moored boats gently bobbing in the still waters, and the night ferry going back and forth to the more varied foodie destination of Padstow across the bay. There are plenty of cocktails and decent seafood mains to keep you satisfied.

overlooking the boats from No.1 Rock Road, Rock
overlooking the boats from No.1 Rock Road, Rock

Wonderfruit music festival to launch in Thailand

As the UK festival season draws to a close, we say goodbye to Glastonbury, see you later Latitude and bye-bye Bestival. But what if another eclectic, eco-conscious festival was yet to come? And better still, you can leave your wellies at home as this one will be set on a beach in Thailand!

It’s time to welcome Wonderfruit! This brand new music festival, from the people behind Wilderness, makes its debut in Chon Buri, a stunning tropical setting just outside Bangkok in Thailand. Wonderfruit takes place from 19 to 21 December 2014 with tickets on sale from 15 September.


Nick Mulvey, Seth Troxler, Hercules Love Affair and Fat Freddy’s Drop are all confirmed with more acts to be announced. A mix of Dance, Electro, Folk, Disco, Dub, House, Reggae, Punk and Techno will be played out across some lovely sounding stages including The Floating Stage and Lotus Gardens.

The festival promises to be eco-friendly and socially-conscious, promoting a lifestyle of health and sustainability. The ‘barefoot luxury’ ethos of the organisers’ current UK festivals will give you some idea of the kind of event to expect (at Goodtrippers we are desperately trying to find a diary gap for a pre-Christmas trip!).

Alongside a great musical line-up will be fine dining, health and well-being workshops, art, theatre, film and eco farming activities.

Nick Mulvey plays Wonderfruit
Nick Mulvey joins the Wonderfruit line-up

Jo Vidler, co-founder and director of Wonderfruit, said, “All too often, large-scale music festivals leave a scar on the land. Fields of mud, plastic, empty cans, discarded tents and more are left on-site with toxic toilet chemicals leaching into the soil. Wonderfruit actively looks to work with and improve the land it sits on using only natural and locally sourced materials for its structures and stages.”

Pete Phornprapha, co-founder of Wonderfruit said, “Since we own the land, we will be creating some permanent sustainable models for the festival, and the experience as a whole, to serve as an advocate for eco-friendly and sustainable ways. We want to help people understand that social responsibility and enterprising shouldn’t be viewed separately. Part of the proceeds will be used to create opportunities to ignite the movement through the year and not only at the festival.

“It is a long-term goal and this is just the start. We are working with the vest people in all relevant fields to make sure that the programme is developed properly over the years to better impact lives and values in society. And, of course, to celebrate and have fun.”

For more information about Wonderfruit, and to book tickets, visit


Putting the green into gourmet at T.E.D Restaurant, London

We’re very pleased to welcome our newest guest blogger Jane Cook of award-winning eco-friendly food/travel/lifestyle blog HungryCityHippy (recently named the Guardian’s sustainable blog of the week)! On a recent weekend in London, Jane tried out the new T.E.D restaurant in King’s Cross…

TED restaurant, Kings Cross, London

“Think. Eat. Drink”

T.E.D is an acronym for ‘Think. Eat Drink’; it’s also the name of the consultancy team behind the restaurant, and should tell you a lot about what the founders of this special place are trying to achieve. Restaurant entrepreneur Jamie Grainger-Smith and his team are behind it all, whose brilliant brains have also brought us the likes of Fifteen (with Jamie Oliver), and other eco-friendly restaurants including The Waterhouse. They have a vision to drive the food and drinks industry to create forward-thinking and environmentally aware businesses that are commercially successful, and T.E.D Restaurant is living, breathing proof that it’s an idea that works.


Situated in the increasingly up-and-coming area of Kings Cross, if I had to describe T.E.D’s interior, I’d say it’s got the elusive ‘smart-casual’ dichotomy absolutely nailed. Bright, modern and airy, the white walls act as a perfect canvas for the splashes of colour found throughout, and vases of fresh, delicate meadow flowers adorn every corner. The black and white signage outside is contemporary yet classic, and the tan leather booth in which our party of four were seated was cosy and intimate without being crowded. In truth, I loved it all.

Eating and drinking at T.E.D is special

The regularly-changing menu at T.E.D is centred around sustainable British produce, with a focus on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. One of the signature dishes is Somerset beef tartare, hand-chopped and served with toasted sourdough bread and a single, free range, egg yolk. Of course, in any ethically-driven restaurant, vegetarian food is going to be a big deal too, and on my visit I tucked in to a beautifully balanced main of fresh pappardelle served with chilli, broccoli and anchovies. Other menu highlights included diver-caught plaice, cockles & girolles, and a lovely, cheesy courgette risotto with ricotta and courgette flower.

A drinks list to-die-for

The wine list here is bursting with biodynamic and carbon-neutral bottles, and there are a couple of organic beers on offer too. If cocktails are more your bag, the list is eclectic and imaginative. I’m never one for dessert, so when I visited, I ordered a ‘Black Forest Flip’ to finish my meal – a pretty lilac-coloured drink made from Martell VS Cognac, Black Forest syrup, free range egg and fresh cream. It was a decadent and delicious treat, something all cocktails should be, but sadly so few ever are.

T.E.D Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday- Saturday, and 12-4pm on Sunday. Two courses with wine for two, approximately £75.

For more information and booking visit

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Use ethical and responsibly-sourced ingredients
  • Sustainably sourced fixtures and fittings used throughout the restaurant including salvaged furniture
  • Hand-picked contractors built the restaurant were selected based on their eco-sensitive practices
  • Part of the T.E.D consultancy, a wider network within the food industry whose aim is to eat, drink and think more ethically


About the author: Jane is a lifestyle blogger from Cardiff with a focus on the ethical and eco-friendly. Her blog HungryCityHippy covers restaurant reviews, travel, beauty and environmental awareness and is based mainly in the cities of Cardiff and London. Catch more of her on Twitter @HungryCityHippy.

Nicaragua’s Morgan’s Rock helps define what ‘community tourism’ really means

Guest blogger Andrew Lisa reviews an eco-resort in the heart of the Nicaraguan jungle…

On a vast, 4,000-acre spread located deep in the Nicaraguan jungle, 15 bungalows await holiday-makers like us, who want to enjoy the natural wonders of the jungle without disturbing them. Imagine a private tropical beach, white sand, nesting sea turtles, and perfect weather – that’s Morgan’s Rock, an island paradise that is the pinnacle of luxury and eco-friendly planning.

Nicaraguas Morgans Rock, pic by


The bungalows at Morgan’s Rock are the pinnacle of sustainability. Half of the 4,000 acres on which they sit is government-protected land. The other half is reserved for low-impact, sustainable agriculture.Each bungalow is perched on a cliff and comes with its own terrace. All the wood and furniture is sustainable and recovered from what would have gone to waste.


The ultimate in locally grown, farm-to-table dining, about 60 percent of the cuisine you’ll enjoy at the restaurant is grown right there on the sustainable farm. Visitors can also visit the farm, milk the cows, and select their own eggs.


Chill out in a beachside hammock and indulge in fresh fruit from the local organic working farm. Enjoy an exotic massage and marvel at the bizarre and beautiful wildlife that shares the jungle with you. A beautiful seaside restaurant and straw-thatched huts await you whenever you’re ready to leave your room.


Learn to surf in the surrounding warm waters. Tour the oldest city in Nicaragua, and marvel at its colonial architecture and design. Or, Howler monkeys at Morgans Rock, pic by uncorneredmarket.comfor the more adventurous, check out an active volcano. Zip across the canopy of the dense, primitive Nicaragua jungle; go fishing, cruising, kayaking, horseback riding, or walking at night.

Recommended for… The tourist who wants a slow, measured pace in an ancient jungle.

Be aware that… The city is two hours away. The bungalows are hidden on purpose, isolated on a private jungle island.

Good credentials

  • Sustainable agriculture used on site
  • Virtually no environmental footprint on protected land
  • Solar-powered hot showers
  • Salvaged wood and furniture

For more information and booking, visit

About the author: Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about travel and Spokeo Removal.

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