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Child-free zone on planes? Heck, yeah!

  This week budget Indian airlines IndiGo announced child-free seating zones on all its planes. Some parents are in an uproar. I think it’s a great idea. I’ve been writing about travel for more than a decade, first in magazines and newspapers, now on this blog focusing on family travel. I remember what it was like as a young single woman in row 17 listening to the ear-piercing sounds of the infant...

The complete checklist for car journeys with kids

Being from Texas, I have a particular love for road trips; the journey is part of the experience, with the open road, good music on the car stereo, chat, everything you need packed inside. Once you have kids, that list definitely expands and changes, as it does as children grow up. Here, our list, honed over thousands of miles and hours spent in tailbacks.     Water — Better than sugary drinks or...

Review: Hollie & Harrie Sombrilla sun shade

I wouldn’t venture out for a day at the beach without major sun protection: a rashguard for my shoulders, surf shorts to protect my blue-white thighs, zinc oxide for my nose and my trusty cowboy hat. (What can I tell you? It’s a look.) Plus, when we hit the beach, we like to bed in, with sandwiches, fishing supplies, body boards and sand-castle tools (bucket, plastic fork). Sometimes we use a big,...

Review: Gillray’s Bar at the London Marriott County Hall

  “It’s performance art meets bottle,” says one patron sitting at Gillray’s Bar, at the London Marriott County Hall on London’s South Bank. Forget the image of the run-of-the-mill hotel bar, with bland staff dispensing pallid lager and overpriced vodka tonics. At Gillray’s Bar, drinks are served with inspiring flavours, elan and a little bit of theatre. New ideas spill from...

10 places you’re missing with sunscreen

Sunburn and sun damage are insidious, coming over you slowly, like the creeping realization that you’ve squandered your youth and abandoned your dreams. Luckily– at least with sun exposure– you can start all over again tomorrow, by looking after your skin and minimizing exposure to harmful, ageing rays. I recently talked with Abi Cleeve from UltraSun, which makes high-quality, non-greasy, full spectrum suncreams....

iPhoneography: The Siddington Point-to-Point

They make movies about toffs in country houses and TV shows about vicars who solve mysteries in villages, but in my opinion to capture something indelible about Britain they should make a film about the British point-to-point — steeplechases so-named because they would take place from one church steeple to another – from one point of a steeple to another.     I started attending point-to-points with...

London summer family fun: Polo in the Park

Summer in London is awash in festivals and outdoor parties, but there’s something quite special about Polo in the Park. The sport has real elegance, excitement and panache, and now it’s more family friendly than ever. (Scroll to the bottom for discount code for money off your tickets for the Friday or Sunday.) The organisers have teamed up with Sharky & George, the cool, fun children’s...

12 things every female-friendly hotel needs

Over the years I’ve stayed at a wide range of hotels. Each time I’ve been female. As a result I can’t help but notice how some places get it right and some get it woefully wrong. There are simply some things that we ladies need when staying overnight. It’s not just a matter of convenience or luxury. It’s evidence that hotels don’t value their female guests (and the money they...

Even after the Germanwings crash, I’m still flying

As the revelations have filtered out about Germanwings flight 4U9525, crashed in the southern Alps, I’ve done what so many other travellers have done: imagined the scene inside the plane as it dropped inexorably in altitutude, the mountains looming large in the windows. I’ve thought about the families and friends of the passengers as well as the parents of Andreas Lubitz and what they must be going...

Review: Barbury Shooting School for kids

I come from Texas, so really I’m supposed to know all about guns. But since I won that riflery award at summer camp age 12, my shooting prowess has largely been on the wane. Don’t get me wrong — I love shooting (I did say I’m from Texas, right?), but the opportunities to practice don’t come along that often. When my 16-year-old stepson received a voucher from his grandparents for a...

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