James Haywood lifts the lid on new menus

From food tasting to glamorous recipe photoshoots, it’s business as usual for Group Executive Chef James Haywood

Hard at work menu tasting

Hard at work menu tasting

Since the opening of Woburn Forest, the most frequent question I get asked is: “I suppose you have a bit more time on your hands now?” After I pick myself off the floor laughing, I kindly reply that no, it may be business as usual but it’s always varied and hectic. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

New flavours
For a while, Eddie McAdam and I have been working on the menu development for all Center Parcs restaurants and a couple of weeks ago we had our first tasting session, held at Woburn Forest. First up on the roster was Sports Café, which is set to get some great additions to its menu from October 10 this year, including breakfast sharing platters which I’m really excited about as they’re such good value. We look at menu development every two years to ensure our restaurants are always up to date with latest trends and tastes, and to ensure we’re offering our guests something new.
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Center Parcs Family Blog club wildcard winners announced

blog_header_image_748x300Since our last wildcard announcement we’ve had three fun monthly challenges and some knock-out entries. In April we drooled over your fantastic edible Easter nest creations. May saw you and your family have fun in the great outdoors. In June you jumped on your bikes and went for a family cycle ride. With such brilliant entries it’s been really hard to choose our next wildcard winners but there could only be two winners. We want to welcome Steph from Steph’s Two Girls and Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins to the Center Parcs Family Blog club.
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Your guide to summer at Center Parcs

From hottest temperatures to fun facts about our Villages, our infographic tells you everything you need to know about summer at Center Parcs.


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Come dine with us! Al fresco dining at Center Parcs

Dining in the sunshine at The Lakeside Inn, Whinfell Forest

Dining in the sunshine at The Lakeside Inn, Whinfell Forest

Sunshine? Sure. Birds singing? OK. That all sounds great, but for me there’s nothing that quite says ‘summer is here’ more than being able to enjoy a spot of al fresco dining.

Al fresco, which is Italian for ‘in the cool air’ is particularly prominent in Mediterranean countries where the weather is decidedly warmer, allowing for large family gatherings in the outdoors. Unsurprisingly this dining trend has made its way over to Britain, along with a penchant for their cuisine, and is now a summer staple for many. Whether it’s a late-evening barbecue or dinner outside, it’s a great way to spend time with family, while enjoying the long summer evenings.

If you’re visiting Center Parcs this summer, you can take advantage of the many restaurants and cafés that offer al fresco dining. Besides, if you can’t stay up late eating and socialising while you’re on holiday – when can you?
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The soundtrack to your summer


School’s out for summer! Well, almost. As that all-important six-week holiday looms closer, it’s time to get prepared for your summer family break.

Whether you’re in a mire of packing, still in the planning stage or need some driving music for your journey to Center Parcs, our mixtape will do the trick! We’ve selected 14 of the best summer anthems and put them all on one playlist, perfect for getting into that summer mood.
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13 things to try at Center Parcs this summer

  1. Whizz across the lake on our longest Zip Wire
    This ever-popular activity at Elveden Forest has recently been upgraded; the wire is now a jaw-dropping 270 metres in length, making it the longest at any Center Parcs Village. As you stand at the platform, pause to enjoy breath-taking views across the forest in summertime before descending into an unforgettable experience. 

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20 years in pictures: Longleat Forest then and now

Longleat Forest today celebrates 20 years since opening. To mark the milestone, we’ve raided our archives to uncover photos taken during the build and early days of the Wiltshire Village. Take a look below to see how far we’ve come in what’s been a very successful 20 years. Here’s to 20 more!

The Village build


Building work began in earnest in early 1993

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Happy Birthday! Longleat Forest celebrates 20 successful years

The Village has welcomed six million guests during 7,300 consecutive days of operation

CPLongBeach-001Today is a very special day for one Center Parcs Village, as Longleat Forest celebrates its 20th birthday. Two decades after first opening, the spot in Wiltshire was the third Center Parcs to be built and has since been the short break destination for more than six million guests.
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Has football fever cooled your summer plans?


We’ve enjoyed one of the most exciting World Cups in living memory, and now that Germany and Argentina have had the final duel, many people in Britain will wonder what to do next. There was almost nothing at fault with this particular month-long festival of football. Well, there is of course the fact that England crashed out in the group stages, making it the worst performance from our national team since 1958, and the home nation failed to sparkle and Germany made the final…but apart from all of that, it’s been perfect.

But that isn’t what this post is about, it’s just nice to have the opportunity to write something that surrounds another one of my passions: football. This is about how football can affect bigger, national trends. In this case, travel.
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