Travel

Boutique Retreats, Sojourn

Wilderness perfected, by Boutique Retreats

Travel is a fine and freeing thing. The unshackling of the metaphorical chains, the daily grind of work, and life’s endless expectations. Oh, and the choice! Sunshine, or snow? Lakes, forests, dunes or mountains? Total relaxation, escapism, exhilaration or luxuriation? Maybe, you simply want to throw away the laptop, for just a few days. To be at one with oneself, just a toe off the beaten track. But maybe with a spa too? And don’t forget, we want some really great dining. Suddenly, from a mid-afternoon daydream, you’re wrenched back into the realms of labour, by the nuisance of finding your next getaway. Taking just a little of that weight…

ViseVersa, The Hyatt Regency Lisbon

It would be easy to say that the past decade or so has been kind to Lisbon – it’s subtly undergone the kind of glow-up certain other smaller European capitals keep putting on the backburner… and it’s been driven organically by tourism raised high on the shoulders of social media’s more gastronomy-oriented corners.  However, putting it so blithely would risk being something of a disservice to those who’ve worked their socks off to make it happen. The whims, ebbs and flows of prevailing trends might do a bit of the heavy lifting, but at the end of the day, it’s the chefs working tirelessly to innovate in kitchens, the winemakers…

Into the Wild: Alladale Wilderness Retreat

“This isn’t an estate. I despise the word ‘estate’. This is a wilderness reserve”.  Paul Lister, the rather eccentric and very present custodian of Alladale Wilderness Reserve – a vast stretch of flawless heathery glen in the Scottish Highlands – defines much of Alladale and his place in it through what it and he is not. It isn’t a traditional Highlands retreat, as there is no deer stalking, grouse shooting, salmon fishing or hunting of any kind. He most certainly is not an entrepreneur, as he often tells me, but rather a passionate conservationist and ‘something of a tree hugger’. The reserve doesn’t feel the need to set strict –…

Langdale Chase Hotel

Steeped in amazing untold stories, the house was designed by J.L Ball, JT Lee and Pattinson of Manchester and built as a private house in the late 19th century for Edna Howarth

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville

The Greatest Outdoors

In honesty, “freshly back from the French Alps for a YogiSki festival”, is a phrase quite enjoyable to leave hanging in the air.  Set between Les Menuires and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, my recent foray to the mountains offered plentiful serene moments of reflection and emotional expansion, with ample time to enjoy the last of the white stuff as the ‘23-’24 ski season came to a close. The opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor pursuits means rather scopious packing, and with that, I share my edited picks for a trip of multiple purposes. For the workout Offering elevated workout wear that is just as in place at a leisurely brunch as it…

The Penthouse by 3SA Estate. Limitless Luxury in Super Chic Marbella

I am revisiting Marbella after decades to take a fresh look, as I’ve heard more than a few murmurings that this locale is experiencing a new era of redefined luxury. Indeed, Marbella is said to be undergoing a renaissance created by attracting an entirely new highly sophisticated and professional global jet-set, one that is thriving on a new limitless lifestyle whilst honouring its pedigree and provenance.

Sensational Saint Lucia

The mango-shaped island, only 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, was born from volcanic origin and is fringed with soft sandy beaches, golden in the north and dark silver in the southwest.

Where the Hot Springs Flow: Diving into The Well, Oslo

It is perhaps one of the great tragedies of my life that I don’t spend every weekend in a beautifully crafted replica of a Kyoto bathhouse, surrounded on all sides by thirty or more totally naked Norwegians, each glistening with perspiration and a curated array of essential oils. However, my trip to the spectacular Oslo wellness resort The Well ensured – within an hour of arrival, in fact – that my existence would no longer be completely lacking this experience.  If the beginning of this wellness resort review sounds like the stuff of teenage fantasy crossed with a Nordic fever dream, I could only apologise. Except, as you probably expect,…

Hit reset on your sleep with The Good Sleep Retreat

Recently, I was bestowed a great gift, and each evening my partner grows more covetous as its use becomes routine. I speak with friends, and they too desire to know how they might enhance their morning with such an advantage. What is this gift, you ask? Something that should be so simple, yet for many remains just out of reach.  A good night’s sleep. It hasn’t always been this way. The only routine aspect of my day-to-day across my many years as a makeup artist has been the lack of it, with early starts after late evenings, regularly waking before dawn and spending my days in controlled artificially-lit environments. And…

Cervinia, The Cheat Sheet

I won’t lie, I can’t. That part of any trip where I sit at my desk and relive each moment to digitally pen the experience, that really is not the best bit. Where is the snow? Where are the divine panoramas of iced mountains and frosted pines?  The morning light hits a little differently in the cityscape I see from my window at home as I embark upon my day. Alas, from my screen to yours, I imbue your daydreams with all the details you need to plan your next sojourn in the Italian Alps.   Where to stay Just a short 90 minutes through the rolling countryside outside of…

Puerto rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rio is borne out of an immensely long and diverse history. Its current social make-up and the basis for much of the social aspects of life, food, dance and art are influenced by the triumvirate of backgrounds that the population is largely made up of, those being the indigenous population.

Luxury Dining Table

The Short Stay Property Roundtable

To explore the prevailing wind of the latest travel destinations is one thing. To unpick the essence of luxury travel and hospitality, to unravel the nature of what a whole new generation of high-end holidaymakers are seeking, and to understand what is driving the shifting sands of travel trends is something else entirely. 

Chino Latino, Park Plaza

Slow London

For me, London tends to be a swift one-day affair for a day on set, back-to-back meetings or events across the city. However, last week my visit was a little different, I was to stay at The Gantry, a Stratford hotel, with dinner at Chino Latino, just south of the river.  To the eyes of someone with a packed schedule, staying almost an hour away from an evening destination might seem abhorrent. If this sounds all too familiar, let me explain why you need to embrace a slowing pace, and never overlook the joy of seeing one’s own country or city through the eyes of a tourist. The Gantry Arriving…

Vietnam

Vietnam. A Tapestry of Timeless Tradition

From the lush terraced rice paddies to mysterious forests and serpentine rivers, Vietnam’s natural splendour is nothing short of breathtaking. The nation’s rich cultural tapestry, a seamless fusion of Asian and French influences, is beautifully woven into the very fabric of daily life, from its unique architecture to exquisite cuisine.

Ice_Skating_Lake Minnewanka_Paul Zizka_Horizontal

Beguiling Banff

Welcome to the digital nomads. This new tribe of traveller has an intense desire to immerse themselves in a place, to get a sense of its space and its people. To unearth the roots of its way of life and discover its heartbeat. Only then, can they feel like they are  part of its landscape rather than just a visitor to it.

Eastern Jewels

The trip in question was to the far-flung shores of Thailand, a place I had once visited in what was seemingly a whole other lifetime. I say that as it was a trip taken with a former fiancée, in a pre-social media world.

Méribel

Méribel, The Cheat Sheet

Freshly back from a trip to Méribel, my Moonboots still at the door and my Flight Deck still tucked in my Huff ‘n Puffa jacket, here’s a run-through of where to head this season in this enticing section of Les Trois Vallees.

Laura and Rich Bertenshaw climb Ivano Dibonna Via Ferrata in the Dolomites

Vertical Limit

Imagine scaling the sheer walls of a mountain, gripping onto metal rungs and wires, while admiring the stunning scenery of the Alps, the Mediterranean, or the Canadian Rockies. This is the thrill of Via Ferrata, or “Iron Way”, a type of climbing that originated in the First World War as a way for soldiers to traverse the rugged terrain of the Dolomites.