Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Book a Break with Character; in 2016, Famous Children's Authors Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter and AA Milne Are Celebrating Anniversaries. Make Sure You Take a Family Break with a Fairy Tale Ending, Says Sarah Marshall

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Book a Break with Character; in 2016, Famous Children's Authors Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter and AA Milne Are Celebrating Anniversaries. Make Sure You Take a Family Break with a Fairy Tale Ending, Says Sarah Marshall

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Marshall

ROALD DAHL Responsible for bringing us dysfunctional couple The Twits, eccentric dream maker Willy Wonka and child genius Matilda, Roald Dahl is undeniably one of the world's most fantastic children's authors. This year would have marked his 100th birthday and celebrations more marvellous than George's medicine will be taking place nationwide.

The Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival runs from 10-21 February (southbankcentre.co.uk). Highlights include a narration of Dahl's last book The Minpins, with a live orchestra playing music from Sibelius (PS5-PS10), and The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl exhibition (right), on until 3 July and revealing unusual facts about the author - some stranger than his fiction (PS8-PS11).

Further afield, National Trust property Tatton Park in Cheshire is gearing up for Roald Dahl 100. There will be a Splendiferous Scarecrow Festival in the gardens, featuring scarecrows inspired by some of the former fighter pilot's best-loved protagonists (13-21 February), and an exhibition of book covers from his titles, which have been published worldwide more than 200 million times (19 March-30 October). Entry to the estate costs PS5.50-PS11.

Dahl's birthday falls in September, and to mark the occasion the City Of The Unexpected festival will be held in his hometown Cardiff (17-18 September), with site-specific theatre shows and a spectacular jamboree overseen by Nigel Jamieson, director of the Tin Symphony in the Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony. Stay at the smart St David's Hotel & Spa on the Cardiff Bay waterfront (PS94; thestdavidshotel.com).

Also in Wales, the Lolfa Cynin B&B in St Clears, Carmarthenshire, has created a special children's afternoon tea inspired by Dahl's characters. Scrumptious sandwiches, poppingcandy cupcakes and edible teacups filled with chocolate mousse are all on the menu. There are prizes for the best fancy dress. (Tea costs PS10-PS15, and an overnight stay for a family starts at PS145; lolfa-cynin.co.uk).

If you want to holiday in true Dahl style, book The Cabin in Tenby where he spent every Easter from 1922-1939, going for donkey rides on the beach and collecting winkles for tea. The three-bed Grade II listed property sleeps six and costs from PS572 for seven nights with Coastal Cottages (coastalcottages.co.uk).

BEATRIX POTTER She was born in South Kensington, London, on 28 July 1866, but it was the rolling hills of the Lake District that inspired Beatrix Potter's menagerie of storybook stars. Now, 150 years later, many of the buildings she owned and frequented are open to the public, with several events planned for this anniversary year.

One of the first places Potter visited on holiday with her family was Wray Castle, by Lake Windermere, which serves as the setting for the National Trust's inaugural Children's Book Festival, from 4-6 March (PS5). …

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