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2:28pm Friday 11th April 2014
3:37pm Friday 4th April 2014
I OPENED the bedroom door and Benedict Cumberbatch was inside staring straight at me. Not in person, I should add, before his fan posse of “Cumberbitches” go into a frenzy of delight, but on the cover of a glossy men’s magazine on a table in the room.
2:42pm Friday 28th March 2014
4:15pm Friday 21st March 2014
I LOVE the towns and villages of North Yorkshire – seriously, I do. Richmond, with its stately castle and wide, cobbledmarket place, Settle (more cobbles), the bustling port of Whitby and lively markets of Masham and Leyburn, to name but a few. So I looked on a visit to Skipton as a real treat. But maybe not on this particular day.
3:54pm Friday 14th March 2014
11:21am Friday 7th March 2014
3:12pm Friday 28th February 2014
4:18pm Friday 21st February 2014
THE temperature is rising sharply with the morning sun and my legs are feeling heavier than I would like. It is still just 7am and I am beginning to wonder if I will have the energy and strength to pull myself round the last six miles to get to the finish line of this half-marathon course.
3:38pm Friday 14th February 2014
2:10pm Friday 7th February 2014
3:41pm Friday 31st January 2014
4:09pm Friday 24th January 2014
NEVER judge a book by its cover, my mum told me regularly when I was growing up, and for most of my life I’ve heeded her wise words. How I wish I’d remembered them when we arrived at our hotel for our weekend away in Lancaster.
3:33pm Friday 17th January 2014
4:25pm Friday 10th January 2014
BREAKING off the beautiful, fragile coral, his flippers creating a cloud of debris which muddies the water, Arnie doesn’t even look up at the divers observing his wanton destruction of the reef that everyone else is trying to save.
4:07pm Friday 3rd January 2014
GRIPPING their harness tightly, I try with all my might to stop the eager pack of husky dogs from tearing loose. But not even a fleet of armoured tanks could halt these powerful animals and dampen their desire to run.
12:32pm Monday 6th January 2014
11:21am Friday 20th December 2013
LYING on my back with my legs in the air is a predicament I’ve became accustomed to on ski trips. And just a few hours after arriving in the Swiss Alps, I find myself in that all-too familiar position once again.
12:59pm Friday 13th December 2013
3:04pm Friday 6th December 2013
AS host to one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe, Copenhagen has always been a popular winter city break destination. But thanks to a dynamic food scene and the opening of several world-class restaurants and cafes, there’s now even more reason to head to the Danish capital.
2:26pm Friday 29th November 2013
I AM sitting in the cloisters of a 15th century convent sipping wine and eating a rustic dish of tender partridge, flavoursome chorizo and Portuguese rice. No, I have not joined a religious order, I am in what is now a luxurious five-star hotel, on a culinary tour of Portugal’s Alentejo region. In other words, I am in food heaven.
3:38pm Friday 22nd November 2013
12:03pm Friday 15th November 2013
IT’S pitch dark and I’m flat on my back on a frozen lake in the middle of nowhere. Above me, it seems that almost half the sky is lit up with a sash of minty-green light that appears to ripple and dance.
1:13pm Friday 8th November 2013
12:02pm Friday 1st November 2013
3:47pm Friday 25th October 2013
NO fairytale this. Rather a true story about the rarest of plant life, glimpses of a peregrine falcon, a close-up of a magnificent red deer stag, a lone badger and a legion of snails descending on a remote lighthouse.
4:01pm Friday 18th October 2013
IT DOESN’T take much persuasion for Lars Erikkson to burst into song. Lowering his chin, until it almost reaches the curled-up tips of his reindeer- skin boots, he bellows out a gruff melody with full gusto. The closest neighbours in the village of Flakaberg may be 17km away, but he’s making a good attempt to reach them.
4:27pm Friday 11th October 2013
NO matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get my suitcase shut. Sitting forlornly on the bed is a bag of pink garlic bulbs, purchased from a farm close to Albi, just outside Toulouse. A round of stinky cheese and a few bottles of biodynamic wine will also have to stay this side of the Channel.
4:08pm Friday 4th October 2013
2:58pm Friday 27th September 2013
12:24pm Friday 20th September 2013
THE wide blue bay is a vision of paradise in the early morning sun: golden sand, a gentle breeze and the curving beach almost to myself, apart from a few children fishing for crabs among the rocks on the foreshore.
3:04pm Friday 13th September 2013
MUCH food for thought here. As the Danube – no longer the blue hue immortalised in the waltz by Johann Strauss, but rather a murky green – flows south, it reflects many of the hard-fought changes taking place in this once war-ravaged part of Europe.
2:45pm Friday 6th September 2013
Few hotels can boast a bar built around a national monument, but rather than being made of bricks and mortar, the treasured centerpiece of Masseria San Domenico’s al fresco dining area in Puglia, Italy, is a living, photosynthesising organism.
3:11pm Friday 30th August 2013
TWENTY years ago, when I was last in Newcastle, the idea of taking a holiday in this proud city would have appealed only to football fanatics, stag night masochists and all-night clubbers who never know when they are beaten.
2:30pm Friday 23rd August 2013
THERE was time to appreciate the wisdom of Sir Ernest Royden’s decision to move his home as I sat in the back of the Rolls-Royce waiting for the electronic gates to open and release us from the 250 acres of Wirral parkland in which the Hillbark Hotel sits.
3:12pm Friday 16th August 2013
2:32pm Friday 9th August 2013
3:26pm Friday 2nd August 2013
IT’S HARD not to fall in love with Beatrix Potter’s charming children’s stories: Peter Rabbit getting caught in Mr McGregor’s garden, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle working hard to wash and iron everyone’s clothes, and Jemima Puddle-Duck desperate to hatch her eggs.
3:33pm Friday 26th July 2013
4:25pm Friday 19th July 2013
Best for... scenic surrounds Lausanne, Switzerland EVERY night, on the hours between 10pm and 2am, a town crier can be heard calling the time and confirming “All is well” from the steps of Lausanne's gothic cathedral.
2:46pm Friday 12th July 2013
IT’S not often you get to slip into the sheepskin coat of legendary football commentator John Motson – metaphorically at least – and sleep a stone’s throw away from where the likes of Shirley Bassey, Mick Jagger and David Bowie belted out some of their biggest numbers. And this all in the course of one day.
2:52pm Friday 5th July 2013
4:44pm Friday 21st June 2013
3:32pm Friday 14th June 2013
2:58pm Friday 24th May 2013
3:06pm Monday 20th May 2013
AS a child, I was taken mountain climbing. Don’t get me wrong: I loved it. But the strenuous nature of virtually every family visit to the Lake District perhaps blinded me to the idea that you can have a wonderful holiday in Cumbria’s stunning National Park without coming away completely exhausted.
4:11pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
3:58pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
3:45pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
4:01pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
4:35pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
YOU know you have truly arrived as a leading hotel and golf destination when Lee Westwood promotes your name on an international stage, when your list of celebrity members includes Ant and Dec... and when Alan Shearer helps out as a porter.