Las Vegas – Beyond the Lights in Naked City

Somehow we’ve ended up beyond the lights and the slot machines. On a side street in the desolate district of Naked City. The low-rent apartments this side of town were once populated by showgirls. They sunbathed naked in the courtyards, before fluttering to the Strip and their fleeting existence of rhinestones, feathers and wealthy patrons. … Continue Reading

Celebrity Bingo at The Grove

Every city has its bolthole. New York has The Hamptons, LA has Montecito and London has… Watford. No, that wasn’t a typo. Just 18 miles north of the Big Smoke, hidden away in 300-acres of forests and fairways, hides The Grove; London’s self-proclaimed country estate. Over the years the sprawling 18th-century mansion has played home … Continue Reading

In Bloom – Lavender Season in Gordes, Provence

I am knee deep in Lavandula x intermedia as chubby bumble bees buzz around my ankles. Not one to OM and namaste, I shriek at my photographer to hurry up. An expletive is uttered and the cherubesque family down the field shoot me a look of opprobrium before continuing with their own Sylvanian-families style photoshoot. … Continue Reading

Your stomach will thank me – La Chaumiere, Nice

If you’re sensible, sensitive or particularly frugal, you should never agree to a dinner with me. This is especially the case if you’re imagined lactose intolerant, a pescatarian or fastidiously discard the anchovies from your Ceaser (live a little), because whilst I can’t guarantee the food, I can guarantee you a miserable time. I am … Continue Reading

Going for Gold – The Gritti Palace, Venice (major hotel porn)

John Ruskin is known around the world for his lengthy essays, treaties and manuals covering everything from geology to ornithology. Yet one of the best-loved works by this infamous Victorian critic was in fact a fairy tale, which was never meant to be published at all. The King of the Golden River tells the story … Continue Reading

Venice in a Weekend – Magic in Santa Croce

Venice is best seen from the water, in the half-light of an early morning or a fading day. There’s nothing quite like sailing the silence, past Gothic palazzos of shadowy rooms and magnificent chandeliers. As far as cities go, it’s a fly trapped in resin, with virtually no architectural development in modern times. A fourteenth … Continue Reading

Getting Romantico: Review, Aman Grand Canal Venice, Italy – Papadopoli Palace

We were in Venice for a wedding and since there’s nothing like riding on the coat-tails of someone else’s romance we decided to extend our trip, with a stay at the Aman Resort Venice and the Gritti Palace. Whilst I ordinarily abhor the concept of ‘romantic getaways’ – red roses make me queasy and candlelit … Continue Reading

Review – Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento

Clinging to Sorrento’s dramatic clifftops, the lavish sherbet-hued hotel has breath-taking panoramic views of the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea… STOP! Enough of the Amalfi Coast clichés already. First off, there is no clinging going on here. Built upon the ruins of Roman Emperor Augustus’ villa, The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has been proudly standing on the … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Medellín

“We have weapons too, but they’re spray cans and microphones.” That’s what a Colombian rapper told me as we walked through what used to be Latin America’s most violent neighbourhood. Medellín is this weird mix of things, a mash-up of contradictions. For decades it was one of the most dangerous places in the world, Pablo … Continue Reading

10 Years of Moonlighting in The Connaught  – London’s Best Hotel

Sinning at the Connaught In 2008 I made a terrible mistake. I was visiting Wales for a work thing and just before leaving for the train, I decided to cut my own hair. Just a trim on the back and sides. And at first everything seemed fine. It was only when I caught my reflection … Continue Reading