Richard Burton

Martin Lewis: What the money mensch did next

By Richard Burton, September 17, 2015

Martin Lewis is about to become a grandfather. Or an uncle. He can't be sure which. But that's families for you. Virtual ones anyway.

What he does know for sure is his relationship with the financial powerhouse he gave life to in 2003 is about to change - again.


Portugal: High tees and pine trees

By Richard Burton, April 26, 2015

Easyjet dropped us off, but it was a Mercedes that picked us up. V-class, chauffeured, air-conditioned and WiFied up from bumper to boot.

It was 10am, and as the luggage belt at Faro airport rumbled with golf bags, our driver, all in white and in army-clean shoes, rolled us down the coast towards Albufeira through villages scarred by economic strife, to a gated hideaway where


Hotel of the week: Polurrian Bay

By Richard Burton, January 17, 2014

You've got to be under three to enjoy the best views. It's from the seat of a swing in a tiny paddock at the top of a cliff overlooking a vast and improbable stretch of Atlantic coast.

If you're significantly older, you can either push or step back on to the hotel terrace, or better still, into the Vista lounge with its tall wall-to-wall windows.


Hotel du Vin, Henley-On-Thames

By Richard Burton, April 5, 2013

The dress code was simple: wear what you like. No ties, jacket not essential. You choose. And we all did.

Fortunately, a blend of position, reputation and tariff meant that those who did brave one of the coldest Friday nights of the year didn't let the side down.


The Cornwall

By Richard Burton, October 11, 2011

When I moved to the East End to be near the City, it became a ritual to escape to Cornwall to be near the sea.    

So it was with just a tinge of irony that the first person I met when I decided to head to this eponymous five-star country estate was one of the most famous EastEnders in the world.


Doc Martin: Is it all fiction?

By Richard Burton, June 30, 2011

Doc Martin, has done for Port Isaac what Rick Stein has done for Padstow, well almost. Certainly, locals have seen more visitors on its steep winding streets since the cult TV series began. And what was once a harbour town too inaccessible for many has become a must-see on any visit to the area.

But is what they see on the small screen anything like the reality that is life in North Cornwall?


Bedruthan Steps

By Richard Burton, May 5, 2011

A stone's throw from arguably the most spectacular beach in Britain sits a hotel that shares its name. But while Bedruthan Steps the beach is a spectacular feat of nature, its namesake is an altogether more low-key and unfussy family retreat.


Gone with the Wind

By Richard Burton, March 31, 2011

I'd been on board all of 50 minutes - and there I was doing the conga: like an aunt at a wedding, hands on the hips in front and filing out through doors and rocking along corridors.

We were all at it; more than a hundred of us jigging our way out on to the open deck to grab a muster moment under the lifeboats. It was a drill of course, not some welcome aboard ritual.


The JC, ham and churnalism

By Richard Burton, March 11, 2011

The last thing trainee accountant Victor Kaufman expected when he boarded easyJet's flight from Tel Aviv was to be offered a now infamous bacon sandwich.


Rocco's resort gets spa living off to a tee

By Richard Burton, July 15, 2010

After a few days in the sun, there are three words guaranteed to bring you back to earth harder than a 747 with a blowout: Cold, Rain ... and Luton. The pilot told us to expect all three, in that order, as a wobbly budget jet that seemed to shudder in sympathy, broke through the clouds over Bedfordshire to the sound of trolleys being stashed and air crew strapping themselves in.

Ten minutes later, a handful of Brits and a few well-fed Italian families trudged their way against a spitty cross-wind smudging the mascara of the hostess trying to smile us through to Arrivals.


Hotel Du Vin

By Richard Burton, March 18, 2010

From a window table in the Bistro, I watched an imposing-looking off-roader pull into the mini lay-by. Two equally imposing blokes got out and exchanged pleasantries with passers-by.

"That's security," said a waiter. "We are a hotel and we like to keep it that way."

That was probably why, on the first Friday of 2010, I was able to emerge later to enjoy what is widely regarded as one of Brighton's coolest bars in the company of well turned out guests, not pub crawlers .


Palestinian attack on JC website

By Richard Burton, managing editor, January 18, 2010

The JC’s website was the subject of an online attack yesterday. Hackers managed to place a message on the home page in support of "Palestinian Mujahaeeds".

The site was immediately suspended while technicians investigated if the site's security had been breached.

Fortunately, they quickly established that no serious breach had taken place and no damage was done. Early indications are that the perpetrator was operating from a computer in Turkey.


The Mark

By Richard Burton, January 7, 2010

I’m sitting by the window holding a TV-style handset making the blinds (sorry, drapes) go up and down as I dim the lighting and adjust the room temperatures. Bit cooler in the bedroom, up a bit in the bathroom, methinks.

It’s raining outside and I’m indulging myself with the coolest boy toy that one of the slickest hotels on the Upper East Side, has to offer. And there’s girlie stuff too: the bathroom is lined with Frederic Fekkai smellies and, for those who can afford it, he even has a salon downstairs.


Manhattan: Curtain up on the world’s biggest film set

By Richard Burton, January 7, 2010

A group of us were in the Monkey Bar being stung the price of a cup final ticket for a bottle of fairly ordinary merlot when Keith Richard strolled past.

The smokers spotted him, ambling by with his daughter when they popped outside for a cough and a wheeze.

The following night Jessica Simpson sat a few tables away at Jean Georges, and in the morning in the lounge at Plaza Athenée, a waitress told me I was sitting in Sir Paul McCartney’s favourite seat.


New York for high-fliers

By Richard Burton, November 5, 2009

When the stewardess says we have to take off with half a tank of fuel because the runway’s too short and the plane needs to shed a few pounds to make it into the air, you do wonder.

You find yourself looking at the waistlines of other passengers and wondering if maybe they should take the Jumbo from Gatwick.


Hotel Du Vin, Birmingham

By Richard Burton, September 24, 2009

When Simon Cowell stayed here, he was surrounded by autograph hunters. I had a Big Issue seller. But, each to his own.

A chauffeur dropped Cowell off, but at least I had a concierge take my car away. That helped make me feel just a bit special in what is a hot spot for the well-known and well-heeled: an ornately crafted Victorian boutique hotel in the heart of the city’s jewellery quarter.


Burnham: Hop in, I know the way

By Richard Burton, September 17, 2009

It took an open-top car snug enough for two, a healthy breeze and miles of unbroken road to get this Mr Toad out of Toad Hall and off to Chelsea-on-Sea. And with a poop-poop and glassy-eyed visions of million-pound designer beach huts, he was on his way up the A1 to the Fens, planning the perfect day in a perfect town where Orwell once lived and the seagulls sound just a little posher than those over Southend.


Late for work - but with a good excuse

By Richard Burton, May 18, 2009

The day began a little later than usual for some of us - because a woman almost gave birth on a train.

Passengers travelling on the Central Line into the City were stuck for about 20 minutes as the driver gave constant updates. But left out the best bits.

After first explaining there appeared to be a door problem with the train in front at St Paul's Station, he then announced the unexpected labour.


Life is suite in a penthouse

By Richard Burton, March 5, 2009

It wasn’t the first time I’d sipped champagne mid-ocean, shaken hands with a captain or made small-talk with a diplomat in a ship’s ballroom. But it was the first time I’d stood there and applauded a complete stranger — just for being rich. Honestly. That’s what I did, mid-Adriatic, one balmy night somewhere off the Italian coast.

The stranger was a Japanese businessman who had just completed — wait for it — more than 250 cruises on the same liner.


Get Carried away by Tel Aviv

By Richard Burton, July 3, 2008

If Sex and the City were not filmed in New York, producers could have done worse than to choose Tel Aviv. Like the Big Apple, it never sleeps; its boulevards are lively and culturally diverse enough to keep four career girls out of mischief and there are enough designer stores to keep them in stilettos and handbags from Purim to Chanucah.

OK, with a population of around 1.1 million, it’s just a little smaller than its US counterpart but it has a vitality that justifies its reputation as Israel’s party capital.