Anthea Gerrie

The Arch

By Anthea Gerrie, February 7, 2011

In the same handsome crescent that houses the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, a gorgeous boutique hotel has arisen.

Part of the Pride of Britain consortium, it opened less than a year ago with 82 rooms built within a run of seven listed Georgian buildings and a pair of mews houses. Original features have been retained, but a contemporary vibe prevails in the public areas.

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Give yourself a fresh start

By Anthea Gerrie, January 27, 2011

What constitutes a healthy breakfast? It is a topic which bears close inspection during National Breakfast Week, with experts falling into two distinct camps. About the only thing they agree on is that having any breakfast at all is a Very Good Thing.

The eggs, cheese and yoghurt fraternity points out that protein makes you feel full for longer and stabilises blood sugar. Yet 97 per cent of British households keep a box of cereal in the house and two thirds of us raid it at least once a week. Cereal is cheap, quick, and qualifies for many as comfort food.

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Camden's cool for Katz

By Anthea Gerrie, January 7, 2011

For bringing Israel's favourite egg dish, shak- shuka, to north London, we have not just chef Josh Katz to thank but his parents.

When Josh told his mother and father that instead of planning to follow them into the professions, his passion lay with food, their response was not to wring their hands but to treat him to a Cordon Bleu course.

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Business Travel: Upwardly mobile

By Anthea Gerrie, December 13, 2010

Is business class travel a non-essential luxury, which should be ditched to save money in these credit-crunched time? Successful entrepreneurs, for whom every minute counts, will tell you the upcharge is justified in terms of working time saved and minimising the impact of travel stress on body and soul.

The advantages start even before you make your journey, with faster check-ins for business passengers and lounges with work-stations at main line stations as well as airports.

However, rail passengers are unlikely to get the superb facilities available at the best airport lounges.

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Want to lose weight? Eat like a caveman

By Anthea Gerrie, December 3, 2010

Those watching their weight and contemplating the impact of the party season should consider one sobering fact - cavemen did not eat starchy deep fried snacks. Humans were never designed to digest the foods which have propelled the western world into an obesity crisis.

Oil? Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have the technology to make it, and they did not hang around long enough to grow the crops that produce oil, or indeed those which make bread or pasta.

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The Marylebone

By Anthea Gerrie, November 19, 2010

With its considerable style and comfort and W1 location, it's a mystery why the Marylebone Hotel remains a well-kept secret. Perhaps because, disguised by a grim '60s facade on one of the anonymous, shop-less streets which run behind the Oxford Street department stores, it is unrecognisable from the street as a four-star hostelry.

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UK for better or for verse

By Anthea Gerrie, November 4, 2010

Hull is not Britain's most obvious tourist destination, but Philip Larkin has put it firmly on the map. Several buildings closely associated with the controversial poet - who lived in this coastal city for the last half of his life - have been highlighted on a trail recently launched to mark the 25th anniversary of his death.

A logical place to start is Paragon Station, where a statue of the writer, born in 1922, will be unveiled on December 2. He took many rail journeys and was a regular at the nearby Royal Hotel, where he enjoyed many a lunch in the Brigantine Room.

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Taking steps to ensure you keep in shape

By Anthea Gerrie, October 28, 2010

"You need to walk for your life!" commanded the doctor who informed me I had just flunked both the fitness and ideal weight test at my recent check-up. "Go for 10,000 steps a day - and get a pedometer to tell you when you've done it," he ordered.

I had heard about those 10,000 steps, now considered as essential for optimum health as your five-a-day. However, like every couch potato, I regarded this figure with some trepidation.

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Chocolate's dark secret is revealed

By Anthea Gerrie, October 14, 2010

This is Chocolate Week - and possibly the most delicious aspect of it is that we no longer need to regard a bar of the dark stuff as a guilty pleasure.

For as the Mayans who discovered the fruits of the cocoa plant discovered, it is, when properly made, choc-full of healthful ingredients. Recent scientific studies have shown dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve brain function and contribute to heart health.

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Why you should eat your water

By Anthea Gerrie, September 28, 2010

For a doctor who has built an empire on pricey skin care products, Dr Howard Murad has a surprising message - the secret of a radiant and younger-looking complexion is… water.

In fact getting more water into our cells and keeping it there is the secret to better health all round, says the Baghdad-born associate professor of medicine at California's prestigious UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

"Every single cell is connected to every other cell, so to have good skin you have to have a good body in every sense," he declares.

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The Capital

By Anthea Gerrie, September 21, 2010

When David Levin opened The Capital in 1971, it seemed daringly moderne for its surroundings. Genteel Basil Street, between Knightsbridge and Harrods, had never seen the likes of the silver-spaceship foyer and the bold canopy proclaiming in chrome letters London's first true boutique hotel.

But all that is gone now - except the repu-tation. Within a few years of opening, the Capital got recognition from Michelin, and it continues to make all the top award lists for the hotel and its eponymous fine restaurant.

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Lords of the Manor

By Anthea Gerrie, September 16, 2010

There must be many a case of mistaken identity in the hunt for smart lodgings in the tiny, picturesque pair of Cotswold villages known as the Slaughters.

For the upper and lower villages, separated by a bridge, have three manor houses between them. And despite having the only Michelin-starred restaurant, the Lords is not the huge pile at the top of the hill - that's a private house - nor the Relais & Chateaux property two minutes down the street in Lower Slaughter.

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Spend your next holiday in hospital

By Anthea Gerrie, September 16, 2010

Having your arteries scanned may seem an odd thing to do at Waikiki Beach, but Hawaii, with its surf and all the accoutrements of island life, is a great place to get a personal MOT. As is the lakeside resort of Montreux, the California desert playground of Palm Springs or the world-class cities of London and Tel Aviv.

All these holiday destinations now attract not only conventional tourists but medical ones too, many of them businesspeople who like to use their downtime combining a vacation with a thorough check-up by doctors whose clinics boast the most up-to-date technology.

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The Lugger

By Anthea Gerrie, September 7, 2010

It's just a little old inn perched at the top of a slipway in a tiny Cornish hamlet, but The Lugger at Portloe has somehow achieved iconic status. Perhaps because its owners have injected seaside simplicty with a measure of chic without adding an ounce of pretension. Or simply because its romantic harbourside location is unbeatable.

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Unexpected Israel: music, wine and spas

By Anthea Gerrie, September 2, 2010

While wine, womanly pursuits and song are not the most obvious reasons to visit Israel, the country is nevertheless becoming a fabulous holiday playground for hedonists.

Even those who thought they knew the country well may be surprised to find its vineyards are winning international prizes and opening up to visitors. And where there is wine, centres of well-being are never far away, particularly in the north, close to Israel's most noted spas and retreats offering numerous opportunities for New Age-style spiritual renewal.

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How vodka revived a film-maker's Jewish spirit

By Anthea Gerrie, August 26, 2010

It started as an obsession with his grandmother's romantic teenage years in pre-revolutionary Russia. But it grew into a desire to make good on his great-grandfather's pledge to do right by the village where he lived and prospered.

Documentary-maker Dan Edelstyn has revived the vodka business his family once owned to breathe new life into a down-at-heel Ukrainian village, and at the same time discover his own roots.

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Murano

By Anthea Gerrie, August 19, 2010

The Murano delivers a very particular vision of Marrakesh conceived in Milan - Italian high design in an Arabian nights setting. The result is startling at times, but not altogether unpleasing.      

Rooms are spacious and attractive, the pool is cool in every sense, and the setting - in the tranquil oasis just outside the city centre known as the Palmeraie - a great base for Morocco's fascinating, but hot, dusty and noisy, shopping and entertainment capital.

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Villa Sant'andrea

By Anthea Gerrie, August 12, 2010

What can transform an already very good hotel into a truly great one? If you already have a great location and beautiful rooms, it is people. And the Villa Sant'Andrea has achieved greatness in its first season under excellent new management by Orient Express.

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She was a fitness guru to the stars — but unfit as a mother

By Anthea Gerrie, August 5, 2010

As an exercise guru, she was swinging London’s most famous; the founder of the personal trainer craze with a long list of celebrity clients. But as a mother, Lotte Berk was a disaster, heaping abuse on her only daughter.

Now that daughter has spoken about the woman whose clients — including Zoë Wanamaker, Britt Ekland and Maureen Lipman — regarded as an inspirational, if eccentric, teacher. It has taken her 76 years, but Esther Fairfax has finally written a moving account of life with her famous mother.

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Soho House

By Anthea Gerrie, August 4, 2010

With its lack of handsome lobby, uniformed flunkeys or even a sign over the door, Soho House is the antithesis of Berlin’s imposing five-star hotels. Yet it is a five-star animal, albeit of a different breed.

This is the latest enterprise of the media luvvies’ empire, now owned by Richard Caring, which started as a private club in London. Part of its appeal is that guests become members for the duration of their stay, admitted to the  fabulous 7th-floor bar, lounge and restaurant, and the rooftop pool and bar above.

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