Category: Western Europe

Short stay: Middlethorpe Hotel and Spa, York, UK

Short stay: Middlethorpe Hotel and Spa, York, UK

The red-brick and white-sash-windows house, built in 1699, has echoes of both the grandeur of Hampton Court and Sir Christopher Wren’s elegant rebuilding of London after The Great Fire of London. Although owner Thomas Barlow’s views on architecture were influenced by his Grand Tour of Europe, Middlethorpe Hall Hotel and Spa, with its lawns and […]

Iceland in the shadow of COVID-19: A day on top of a volcano

Iceland in the shadow of COVID-19: A day on top of a volcano

The title, ‘In the shadow of COVID-19’ sounds a little ominous, don’t you think? Trust me, it’s intentional! Iceland is operating again, that’s for sure. Tourists are returning, albeit in small numbers. And people are starting to relax into everyday life. However, to say it is business as usual is simply not true. In fact, in the […]

Time to dream of tomorrow

Time to dream of tomorrow

It has been a challenging year. We may have booked our holidays and then seen our hopes scuppered thanks to the closing of borders and travel restrictions. The recent resurgence in virus outbreaks and the possibility that advice could change in an instance all but destroyed most people’s hopes of time abroad. Of course, this […]

the colours of an Ibiza holiday

The colours of Ibiza holidays

When thoughts turn to a holiday in Ibiza, you may picture its edgy nightclub scene in the heart of the resort of San Antonio. However, it’s easy to get away from 24-hour partying, and escape to the more tranquil side of this popular island. Ibiza is one of the four Spanish Balearic Islands comprising Mallorca, […]

Alonissos village

Idyllic sailing in the Greek Sporades

An archipelago of outstanding beauty, the Sporades are scattered along the eastern coast of mainland Greece, with only four of the 24 isles permanently inhabited: Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros. Rugged and charming, these cruising grounds deliver peaceful serenity whilst sailing amongst some truly breath-taking island scenery. This is an area rich in natural splendour […]

What is Catalonia Day (La Diada) about?

What is Catalonia Day (La Diada) about?

Barcelona is the capital city of the region of Catalonia. This region in Spain is known for its rich tradition that gives the locals immense pride. From foods, to customs, this autonomous community stands out from the rest of the country. On 11th September every year, “La Diada” is celebrated, the national day of Catalunya. […]

Blackheath and Greenwich: 10 reasons to visit

Blackheath and Greenwich: 10 reasons to visit

The 211 acres of Blackheath’s common tell the story of England over the last millennium. The Royal Hundred Hides, traditionally, a hide is enough land to house and feed a family, lead south to Greenwich Park and it’s history. Over the centuries, Blackheath has been a gathering point for both celebrations and revolts: Henry V […]

5 unexpected wine destinations

5 unexpected wine destinations

While Spain, Italy, and France typically enjoy the limelight when it comes to well-known wine regions—think Rioja, Tuscany, and Bordeaux—travelers have long known that what we drink at home is often dictated by what gets exported and imported. Demand for bottle diversity has expanded what we can find on the shelves (thankfully), so it’s easy […]

Short stay: Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa, Nantwich, Cheshire, UK

Short stay: Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa, Nantwich, Cheshire, UK

Two centuries on from its naming as Rookery Hall, the rooks still fly over 38 acres of grounds, waddle across the terrace and perch on the handsome Georgian mansion built back in 1816. Yet, there is an air of the Loire valley to this grand sandstone and grey slate property. When Baron Von Schroeder purchased […]

Trail running takes off in Verbier

Trail running takes off in Verbier

Are you a trail enthusiast who wants to work out on challenging routes while marvelling at the beauty of the landscape? Since lockdown in the UK began, more than 858,000 people downloaded the NHS-backed Couch to 5K app. A huge number of Brits used their daily allowance of exercise to hit the streets and local […]

Short stay: Homewood Hotel and Spa, Bath, UK

Short stay: Homewood Hotel and Spa, Bath, UK

Homewood, in ten bucolic acres of lawns and soaring trees, brings relaxed but stylish Mediterranean living to the rural village of Freshford: palms, olive trees in deep terracotta planters, Goddess sculptures and modernist art. It’s a sensuous taste of the Côte d’Azur slotted between the rivers Avon and Frome. The Mediterranean theme is apt, given […]

Provence boating holidays

Provence boating holidays

We are free to roam the world once more and seek out its beauty. It has been a troubled year, and we have grown used to your homes and the company of a few. It might feel too much to fly out to a major resort to sit amongst thousands of people again. The perfect […]

Where to shop for antiques in Paris

Where to shop for antiques in Paris

With all of its galleries, art dealers and flea markets Paris is an antique lover’s dream destination. In French, there is even a verb chiner – which literally means to search for antiques (much like we would say antiquing in English). If you are an antique aficionado, I hope this list will help you plan […]

Short stay: The Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, UK

Short stay: The Swan Hotel, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, UK

The Swan Hotel is a former sixteenth-century coaching inn that has been extended to become virtually a Lake District resort. Ivy grows on whitewashed walls that overlook the five arches of the narrow 1651 Newby Bridge. Meanwhile the River Leven that sedately flows towards Lake Windermere. After flooding in December 2015, The Swan Hotel rose […]

Reina Isabel Hotel in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Las Palmas in Gran Canaria – a city and beach combination

If you are on your Gran Canaria holiday, and are staying in the capital – Las Palmas – you probably want to pack in as much as possible during your city and beach break. From a golden sandy beach, to lush gardens, you can easily explore this city on foot. Gran Canaria is one the […]

5 luxury hotels that should not be missed on a trip through Switzerland

5 luxury hotels that should not be missed on a trip through Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the countries considered safe for tourists in the current pandemic. Not only for its excellent medical care but also for its stunning, dramatic landscapes and seclusion. If you are seeking tranquillity, and spectacular scenery, from historic towns and contemporary cities, wildflower meadows, to rugged mountain landscapes and Swiss traditions. You definitely […]