Anthea Gerrie

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


How this doctor may stop you getting flu

By Anthea Gerrie, July 28, 2010

She has improved the life of millions of Multiple Sclerois sufferers, and is likely to impact the lives of hundreds of millions more if her flu vaccine proves as effective as early trials suggest.

But what Ruth Arnon wants most is government funding for the clinical research which could take her native land to the very forefront of biotechnology.


Royal Crescent

By Anthea Gerrie, July 28, 2010

If Bath is, as many assert, a Regency theme park, the Royal Crescent Hotel is its best ride. And one you don't have to queue for if you are staying inside this magnificent row of five Grade I listed houses designed by John Wood the Younger. He is said to have dreamed up the lawn-fronted crescent, which so spectacularly overlooks the city, because its shape had symbolism relevant to his masonic lodge.


It's no mystery why Christie loved Devon

By Anthea Gerrie, July 28, 2010

You don't need to be a sleuth to figure out why Agatha Christie set so many of her crime novels in Devon. She was born in Torquay, fell in love there more than once and spent the happiest years of her life in a holiday home high above the River Dart with her second husband.


Even in Berlin, the jewels are in the East

By Anthea Gerrie, July 22, 2010

Can there be a city in the world whose centre has shifted as often as Berlin?  We're not just talking pre- and post-Cold War here… at every one of my three visits since the Wall came down, I've found the hub of all that was happening marching relentlessly eastwards.

Blame it on the rich stock of buildings going for very low rents in the depressed east when this city of two halves was reunited in 1990.  

Artists, designers and all kinds of other creatives felt encouraged to set up in the grim but affordable corners of what was already perceived as a buzzy and happening metropolis.


Scientists agree, it's time for some D

By Anthea Gerrie, July 22, 2010

If you are heading for Israel this summer, do not clog up the case with extra sunblock. In fact, consider stepping out for half an hour after breakfast or tea wearing only the merest smidge of low-factor protection; it could prove a life-saver.

It is true that UVB rays can burn and age the skin, but they also bestow a gift whose benefits are only now becoming fully appreciated - they enable our body to manufacture and store vitamin D.


How my dad came to fill a mill with David Hockneys

By Anthea Gerrie, July 15, 2010

All the years Zoe Silver made documentaries with Alan Yentob, she was sitting on the best arts story in Britain. But it was one she could never pitch. "It would have been a conflict of interest," she laughs of her late father's audacious collaboration with David Hockney.


How to stay cool in the north

By Anthea Gerrie, July 9, 2010

When I lived in the so-called Golden Triangle south of Manchester in the 70s, it was a lot easier to shop for frocks. There was plenty of enviable merchandise then as now, but it was a lot more obvious where to find than it is for shoppers today.


Ston Easton

By Anthea Gerrie, July 1, 2010

V The trouble with newish country house hotels is that, polished and swagged within an inch of their lives, they spoil us for the real thing. Like Ston Easton Park, a really grand old pile relatively recently converted to a hotel.            Being seriously old, it has a fascinating history — but age brings its problems. So I had to get over the fact Ston Easton has a shabby, discoloured façade compared to the splendid mansions of golden Bath stone a few miles away, and that my vast bedroom smelled faintly musty.