Family travel with flair
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Hampshire: The Peat Spade Inn, Stockbridge

  Sometimes you just get lucky. A friend of a friend or a colleague or someone you know from somewhere recommends a place to stay and it looks good online so you book it. We’ve all been on the other end of this. Where you book someplace whose website looks marvelous and it ends up you saw the only flattering picture, or it’s next to a tip or is underwhelming or a bit smelly or just meh. But this past...

The luxury hotels that love bees

Honey makes the world go round. It’s not the usual way that phrase goes, but it was certainly the motto at The Joy of Bees, an immersive art installation that took place this month in Soho with the brilliant guys at Bompas & Parr along with Relais & Chateaux. At the event, you could drift from one room filled with a honeybee garden to another with a beekeeper from Bermondsey Street Bees talking about the...

Staying at Cowley Manor with teens

Take my advice when you visit Cowley Manor. Even if the Isamu Noguchi table in the sitting room is a little ill-placed, don’t try to move it yourself. Even when you know the freeform glass top merely rests on the swiveling wooden legs and even when you think you’re being careful and it just needs a nudge, you won’t be able to predict how the table will move and inevitably the water tumbler, the potted succulent and...

Bath: A video room review of Bath Mill Lodge Retreat

Recently we did that rare thing for parents, we spent a weekend away just the two us. We went to Bath and stayed in the lovely Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, self-catering accommodation situated in a lovely little landscaped campus, just minutes by car from the city centre. We had breakfast and shopped at a fantastic farm shop nearby, hopped into city centre for sightseeing and dinner, then relaxed on our sofa with a cup...

Review: Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

They scamper, they play, they consume a massive amount of fruit. In the event your own little monkeys would enjoy meeting their animal kingdom counterparts, swing over to Trentham Monkey Forest, just outside Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a must-visit activity in Staffordshire.       We visited Trentham Monkey Forest with two tween girls, who loved every minute of it, especially spotting the babies and...

10 British gifts to give Americans for summer

Mention the British summer and you’re sure to inspire a downpour of jokes about the cold weather and rain. Never mind. In my experience there is something quite special about summer in the UK. Perhaps because the traditional hot-temperatures-and-unending-sunshine thing is a rarity, Brits do summer with a bit of flair. If you’re visiting during the summer, it’s an ideal opportunity to pick up...

England: Review of Bath Mill Lodge Retreat

My husband and I dropped our daughter off like a sack of potatoes at Granny and Grandpa’s before we turned up at Bath Mill Lodge. I would have felt a twinge of guilt, but that was the whole idea of our stay here: Have a cosy couple’s getaway with access to the delights of Bath.       We were here to try out the facilities for couples at this self-catering property in Newton St Loe just 3 miles...

9 tips for families at Polo in the Park

  The official signs are iris-purple, the Champagne Lanson tent is a dashing pink, the women’s dresses and children’s outfits turn them into a sea of peonies, bluebells and bright honeysuckle. Even the gents stride round in trousers the colour of spearmint, lemon meringue and coral. This was our second year to attend Chesterton’s Polo in the Park in London as a guest of the event. Once again...

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 bars every American should visit in London

In every world-class city across the globe you can find great places to have a drink. What makes going out in London special is the particular style of drinking. You can lift a glass in a room of bedecked in period lavender cornicing or in a historic music hall that references several eras of its history all at once. For Americans, these drinking hotspots showcase the grand buildings, the hidden societies,...

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