This week's UK news: 1 October 2010
1 October 2010

Baby in a box

The Prime Minister and his family are not poor. Most people think they are very rich. But David Cameron admitted this week that their new baby, Florence, is sleeping in a cardboard box in their Downing Street flat.

The baby was born three weeks early in September, when the family were on holiday. Mr Cameron says because the baby came early, they did not have a cot for her to sleep in and so her older sister, Nancy, decorated a box for her. "She's still in the cardboard box," says Mr Cameron.

Brothers in the news

Since the UK general election in May, the main opposition political party has been looking for a new leader. Unusually, two of the candidates were brothers.

David and Ed Miliband were both Cabinet ministers in the last Government. David is the older brother and has held more senior posts. Nobody was surprised when David Miliband announced he was standing to be the new leader. But when his brother Ed said he would stand against him, some people were shocked.

This weekend it was announced that Ed had won by a very narrow margin and after a very complicated voting system. The final result was 50.65 per cent to Ed and 49.35 per cent to David.

News reporters are now keen to find out whether the losing Miliband will be willing to work for his younger brother in the shadow Cabinet. Both men have stressed their love for each other but most people think the relationship will be difficult.

One of the world's best hotels

Forbes, an American magazine, has listed the world's top ten most remote hotels. These are meant to be the places where guests can get away from it all. And that can cost up to GBP840 a night.

In 10th place is a very quiet hotel in the wilds of Scotland. The Garvault Hotel charges just GBP 65 a night for dinner, bed and breakfast and has no tourist board rating. It is so far from towns and villages that it has trouble getting staff to work there. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote hotel on the British mainland.

Graham and Doreen Bentham have owned the hotel for seven years and were surprised but very pleased. "In the winter, two or three months can pass without a visitor, depending on the weather," said Mr Bentham. "Last winter we were snowed in for more than two weeks."

At least guests can get to the Gervault by car or on foot. Guests have to scuba dive to reach one hotel on the list, and hire a plane and a river boat to get to another.

Traditional beer getting more popular

Traditional UK beer is enjoying a revival and attracting new customers to British pubs. Real ale is beer which has been made in the traditional way, and is still "live" (fermenting) when it is served.

Real ales are brewed and stored in traditional ways. They are often poured straight from the barrel. No gas is added, and the beer is not chilled. It is served at the temperature of the cool pub cellar where it is kept.

Chilled and fizzy lager beers became more popular than real British beer several decades ago. But recently more and more small breweries have started making their own beers in traditional ways, joining larger brewers which have been around for over a hundred years. For the third year in a row, real ale is increasing its share of beers sold in pubs and clubs, and has 100,000 new customers.

Some modern real ales can have very silly names, such as Fursty Ferret, Old Stoatwobbler, and Piddle In The Snow. The names can be very strange but the beers are good to try.


by Susan Young


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