Travel

This image shows the Shangri-La Suite

Shangri-La at the Shard 

I’m bored of the Shard. I expect you’re bored of it too. I doubly expect that you’re bored of me boring on about how bored I am of it. Yet here we are, back on these well-thumbed pages, trying to reconcile the first architectural abomination of the twenty-first century; the final phallic frontier before the circle completes, the world implodes, and we go back to living in huts, eating mud, and slinging shit at each other. I wasn’t planning on staying in the Shangri-La Suite. The Review had booked me in to do a write up of a middle-of-the-road room – if Shangri-La has such a thing – and I…

Hiding out

Iain Beaumont is the founder and Managing Director of Venues and Ventures. Since ditching the City, Iain has worked on some on England’s grandest country estates and leading luxury venues, refining his eye for spotting new opportunities and helping businesses realise their potential.

Samujana – Koh Samui

After two nights spent crisscrossing the urban metropolis of Bangkok trying to catch up with old friends, I was rather glad to be arriving on the tropical island of Koh Samui.

Into the blue

Five percent. Only five percent of the ocean has been topographically imaged. This means that 65% of our planet, where you and I live, is unknown. We’ve mapped Mercury and have an incredibly detailed “Idiot’s Guide to the Moon”, complete with ramblers maps which show you how to trek around the international claims of the US and Soviet governments. But comparatively, we know very little of the abyssal plains and continental shelves.

The Academy Hotel, Bloomsbury

It’s easy to miss The Academy. Standing elegant yet inconspicuous on Gower Street, Bloomsbury, the only thing hinting that you’ve arrived at a hotel is a sign for The Alchemy Bar outside. Comprised of five Georgian townhouses, The Academy’s semi-recent redesign was overseen by Alexandra Champalimaud, whose clients also include The Dorchester and The Carlyle. Characteristically, then, while there’s still a nostalgic sense of l’originale, the design, themes and palette here are quintessentially modern and boutiquey. I hate to tarnish or expose anyone for having a ‘concept’, but The Academy’s evocation of its literary locale is both befitting and tasteful, with novels by the Bloomsbury Group—Woolf, Forster, Keynes—adorning pockets of…

The Marylebone hotel

It was forty-five minutes past the witching hour and all was tranquil. The torrential rain that had marred our otherwise scenic drive had gladly ceased leaving Marylebone Lane awash with the glow from the ornate street lamps. Spirits were high, bolstered by the recent nuptials at the Powell Burke wedding in North London that very evening. By this point in the proceedings, I had imbibed enough to play Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong in some sort of homage to My Fair Lady. Which incidentally was actually shot on neighbouring Wimpole Street. I abhor anyone playing music on their mobile phone in public. Unless it’s the First Lady of…

West Barn Lodge

I should start with full disclosure. I was born and bred in Wiltshire. With its rolling chalk download and grazing farmland, it really was an incredibly wonderful and rural place to grow up. I remember hot summers at the Marlborough Jazz Festival and trudging through Savernake Forest, winter walks around Avebury and Stonehenge, and weekends spent at Bowood House and atop Silbury Hill. So deep are the county’s agricultural roots that our houses at school were named Stonehenge, Whitehorse, Ridgeway and Sarum. So, when I decided to spend a long weekend at West Barn Lodge, near Favant, it felt more like a homecoming. We booked our stay with Premier Cottages….