Europe

Where to stay and pray in Provence

By Sudi Pigott, December 18, 2014

No wonder I feel at home in Provence.

More..

Hotel of the week: The Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge, London

By Sharron Livingston, December 4, 2014

By my estimation, if I stood in a certain position and stretched out my arms diagonally, I could simultaneously touch the dark wood concierge’s desk that sits to the left of the doorway of this Georgian town house and the white, dark wood-topped curvy reception desk a little way in on the right side of the small lobby.

More..

Tune into a tour of Puccini’s Tuscany

By Michael Knipe, November 26, 2014

Few of us need a particular reason to visit Tuscany but, if you do, the Puccini Opera Festival, commemorating the 90th year since the Italian maestro died, should do the trick.

There is, certainly, nowhere better to enjoy Puccini’s soaring operatic melodies than on warm nights under a moon-lit sky at an open-air amphitheatre on the edge of Lake Massaciuccoli in Torre del Lago.

More..

A Wall of resistance, but Berlin opened my eyes

By Michael Knipe, October 23, 2014

Friends were sceptical when I told them of my plans to visit Berlin. And it wasn't hard to understand why. Paris has Versailles and food, Rome has the Colosseum and fashion, Athens has the Acropolis and antiquity, Madrid has the Prado and flamenco.

More..

Ballyfin Demesne, Ireland

By Sharron Livingston, July 1, 2014

There are 600 acres of land surrounding this remote but very stately home in St Laois. Parked by its lake are bikes and golf buggies but the best way to look around is by pony and trap. The driver, Lionel, points out the estate’s parish church, various follies, such as the viewing tower built to create jobs during the potato famine, the grottos and hidden gardens.

More..

Happiness is a town called Harrogate

June 6, 2014

Harrogate has recently been named the happiest place in the UK in which to live - for the second consecutive year. So what makes this quintissential English town so special?

There's no denying its attractive and historic Georgian architecture.

More..

Where to get your thrills this summer

By Sharron Livingston, June 6, 2014

Duinrell Amusement Park and Tiki Waterpark
Where: near The Hague in Holland

Why: It may be in the heart of lush forest and near to a sleepy, wide beach but you'll get white knuckle rides and thrilling water slides at this amusement/water park combo.

More..

Westbury Hotel, Dublin

By Sharron Livingston, May 27, 2014

I had just turned into the side street from Dublin’s famous Grafton Street to the Westbury when I saw it. I instantly recognised the life size statue of Dublin-bred Phil Lynott. I was still humming “The Boys are Back in town” when I got to the reception desk on the first floor. “A fan of Thin Lizzy are you?” asked Eddie, the concierge in a charming Irish lilt.

More..

Dublin: Tales of one city

By Sharron Livingston, May 27, 2014

I recently discovered that Dubliners are avid storytellers with a lyrical lilt, humour and a lot of poetic licence.

More..

Hotel of the week: Buttermilk B&B, Worcester

By Sharron Livingston, November 27, 2013

When you are alone in a strange town, spending a few nights there can seem a little, lonely. So on a recent budget trip to Worcester, I shied away from the faceless chain hotels, opting instead for a bed and breakfast.

I found one in the village of Ladywood, a few minutes drive from town and noisy local pubs. At the every least, I reasoned, I would be in pleasant surroundings.

More..