Favorite Shops: Hambleton Bakery: artisan bakers who have introduced Middle Englanders to sourdough and other cosmopolitan ideas; Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese is our very respectable local cheddar, found at farmer's markets in the Midlands and in London.
Favorite Restaurants: The Old White Hart in Lyddington is a medieval village that used to be on the highway to London—the most perfect old-fashioned pub with low ceilings and big fires and not a horse brass in sight. The proprietor often cooks what shoots; good food and ale with customers ranging from farmers to prep school parents. Baines Tearoom in Uppingham, UK's best tearoom (according to the Times) is attached to the best cake shop in Middle England. It's almost unchanged since 1867, with the father and mother running the bakery, and the daughter running the tearoom. Try the battenburg cake.
Design Haunt: The Yellow Book (print and online): a guide to gardens all over England which open especially for the National Garden Scheme to raise money for charity; I follow several local branches on Twitter for last-minute reminders of openings. The Into Gardens app for the iPad and iPhone by James Alexander-Sinclair—it reads well, looks good and has humor. The Foodie Bugle is an online magazine mixing food, living, entrepreneurial start ups, and lots of ideas.