Currently browsing

The George Fentham room

Hampton Manor, Solihull

It puzzles me that Birmingham, the second biggest city in the UK, does not have a bona fide five-star hotel. This, of course, assumes you pay heed to star ratings, the Michelin Guide, the AA, the Caravan Club’s Top B&B Tips For Where To Stay When Your Box Is Off The …

The entrance to Swinfen Hall

Stately home glory at Swinfen Hall in Staffordshire

It is only half an hour’s drive from the bustle of Birmingham, a city that has taken bustle to another level (and that’s putting it politely) since the council started digging up Paradise Circus. Yet strolling around the grounds of Swinfen Hall, an 18th century pile off the A38 in Staffordshire, feels …

Image 1

The Goring, Belgravia, London

The lighting inside my suite is adjusted via a gold master switch featuring four settings. Guests can selected from: Bright; Calm; Cosy; and Oooh. I am a sucker for “Oooh,” which is just as well. Because “Oooh,” as in “Oooh, how lovely,” “Oooh, how gorgeous,” and “Oooh, all right, I’ll …

45 Park Lane Entrance

45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London

If you have a brother or a sister you will be familiar with the concept of sibling rivalry. It can be very divisive. For no apparent reason, children nurtured in the same womb have a tendency to fall out, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently, often spectacularly. There is a fair chance …

The-lobby-at-the-Baglioni-Hotel-London

Baglioni Hotel, London

It is not that my general mood has been down. Far from it. I can’t imagine that you could ever be down in this gilded property. It is just that everything goes so much more “up” when I am shown to my second-floor room. My allotted junior suite at the …

The-Greenway-near-Cheltenham

The Greenway Hotel and Spa, Cheltenham

William Lawrence II, a previous owner of The Greenway, pontificated on the joys of soulful tranquility. His thoughts were no doubt inspired by the outlook and ambiance of this grand manor house, which was built amid “meadows, leazes and pastures” on the Little Shurdington Estate between 1584 and 1616. The …

The-Bar-at-The-Dorchester

The Dorchester, London

Self-restraint may be tiresome, but it is often the wisest course of action, especially at The Dorchester. The last time I stayed at the hotel I went overboard. They made me do it. I stayed in the Oliver Messel suite, where Liz Taylor and Richard Burton spent their honeymoon night …

The-Four-Seasons-Hotel-in-Park-Lane-London

The Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane, London

Don’t you hate it when you step out of a five-star hotel and you have to hail a taxi? What a nightmare. Suddenly you are one of them again, a normal person. The pampering, the exclusivity, the dinky toiletry sets and discreet service were all for nothing. Once you hit …