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Travel Ideas

Here are the Travel Ideas for Britain's Finest, chosen by our team of professional travel journalists.

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Champagne has been drunk in this country for centuries but the idea of buying it by the glass really only took off with the rise of the cocktail bar in Britain’s hotels. Suddenly rather than purchasing a whole bottle, it was possible to sit at the bar and sip a glass of... more

You have to be careful when selecting a restaurant for a romantic occasion like Valentine's Day. Yes, the food has to be great, but the surroundings, style of service, location and clientele attain even more importance than usual. You want to ensure that everything is just... more

Hooray, the most miserable month of the year is over and romantic Valentine’s Day beckons. Grab yourself some brownie points with your beloved by organising a cheeky romantic break – here’s my fave five luxurious hotels to wow your other half…... more

Half-term holidays can drag pretty endlessly if you’ve nothing planned – as well I know, being a mum of two young children who need running like terriers every day and are climbing the walls after more than a few hours stuck in the house. The answer? Plan a week away... more

Has that dry January resolution already gone down the drain? What about the 5:2 diet that’s become more like 6:1? If your Spartan regimes and attempts at abstinence always fail at the first hurdle but a health reboot is much in need, a trip to a spa might be the answer. From... more

Scotland is famous for many things but “Scotch” is probably its best known calling-card around the world. Written records of Scotch whisky can be traced back to 1494 in records of King James IV's accounts, but as a local product, uisge beatha has existed for much longer,... more

Gone is the time when stag nights meant the groom to be and his friends, hit the town for a booze fuelled night out, sometimes even the night before the wedding. Now grooms are looking at things more logically and taking a leaf out of Prince William’s book and opting for a... more

Top Ten Venues for Winter Weddings

It’s a fact winter weddings can be just as romantic and spectacular as those in the height of summer. They just need a little more thought and planning. Its just as important to choose the right venue for a winter wedding as it is the right bridal attire. Try and pick one... more

Brighton is Britain's best known seaside resort and by legend the country's favourite destination for a 'dirty weekend'. But the city's 8 million annual visitors have other things on their minds too like the historic Palace Pier and Royal Pavilion; shopping in boutique... more

London's restaurant scene is one of the most dynamic in the world, well worthy of mention in the same breath as New York or Paris. There's a real breadth and depth of quality never previously seen in the capital with great new restaurants (many of them with dazzling interior... more

This year, Christmas is shaping up to be a very merry one if the quality and variety of lunch options are anything to go by. From great gastropubs to beautiful boutique hotels, from the centre of the city to idyllic countryside settings you're in for a festive feast. Of... more

If you think winter gardens are all bleak, barren and lifeless, think again. Those who brave the cold conditions are rewarded with ruby red berries, exquisite white birch and, as winter unfolds, the first glimpse of the delicate snowdrop. And it’s not just the flora that’s... more

Who wants to spend Christmas making beds up, cremating turkeys and following complicated Jamie Oliver recipes? If you think you have been taken for a yule fool too long, let someone else do all the hard work this year...... more

The return of the rain and gloomy skies can make you feel tired and sad - add that to dehydrating temperature changes from radiator-hot rooms to chilly winds outside and you definitely have no need to find excuses to pamper yourself. Here are ten spas which will have you... more

Let’s face it, drawing up a Christmas present list (if you’re organised, at least) of what to buy everyone from great aunt Gertie to your niece’s toddler can be trying at the best of times. After all, there are only so many woollen scarf and hat combos and The Killing box... more

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a chore. Forget manically searching tourist-packed Oxford Street and manically fighting over the last shirt on the shelf. This year is all about retail therapy, finding the perfect city to suit your tastes and enjoying it! I have... more

As the days shorten and the winter nights draw in, the London 9 – 5 feels more like a 5 – 9! But away from the city slog this is when Britain’s glorious countryside is at its most dramatic; breathtaking sunsets, glittering dew-scattered fields and fiery Autumn leaves spring... more

We are living in a golden age of British cocktails. Thank goodness. I can remember twenty years ago asking for a dry martini in a British hotel and being given a glass of Martini Rosso with ice cubes. The recent triumph of the British cocktail has gone hand in hand with... more

You can’t beat an autumn walk. Pull on your boots, throw on a big chunky scarf and escape outside to watch the sun dance across a kaleidoscope of scarlet reds, burnt orange and golden hues. Whether you want to wander beneath ancient towering trees; blow away the cobwebs on a... more

There was a time when wine-drinking in Britain was either very expensive and shrouded in mists of snobbery, or cheap and downright unpleasant. Those of us who wrecked our student-years trying to enjoy the dreaded trio of Liebfraumilch, Piesporter and Blue Nun were almost put... more

“What shall we do for New Year’s Eve this year?” My husband asks me routinely each December. Whether you turn into a party animal or prefer quiet gatherings with loved ones come December 31, deciding where to kick off the coming year can be a tricky task. Here’s my ten... more

Ask most chefs and they'll tell you autumn is their favourite time of year. Native oysters are back in season, the woods are full of wild mushrooms but most importantly it’s game season. Grouse might have been available since the glorious twelfth in August but are best eaten... more

Britain’s hotels can provide a lovely backdrop to the countryside in spring and summer but to get the most out of them it’s best to visit when the nights are drawing in and you can enjoy those cosy drawing rooms, snug bars and warm dining rooms. Not to mention making the... more

My lords, ladies and gentlemen, with the new series of ITV's hugely popular Downton Abbey upon us the appetite for squabbles in the scullery, inappropriate dress codes at dinner and class warfare is set to go through the palace roof. Among the decadent costumes and... more

Ten historic houses to give your wedding Downton Abbey style

With Downton Abbey commanding a world-wide following its influence has been seen in just about everything from fashion and furniture to food! And now with talk of a remake of Brideshead Revisited the stately home theme is set to eclipse everything including the wedding... more