Category: Travel

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Take a couple of days to leave the smoke (after you've signed Greenpeace's petition to remind Khan that he's meant to be making London's air cleaner) and go to somewhere that doesnt have to worry about pollution all that much - Arosa.

Get back to Nature, sleep in a tepee and go horseback mountain riding and fly fishing at Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa.

 

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Sleep under the stars in a luxury tepee and experience nature in the Alps this summer with Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s new tepee adventure experience.

Spend your first night at the hotel, relaxing in the Mario Botta-designed Bergoase spa, before setting off on horseback the next morning with Arosa’s mountain riding team. After stopping for a locally-sourced lunch at Restaurant Alpenblick, you will spend the afternoon learning the art of fly fishing before a Swiss barbecue, spending the night in a luxury private tepee complete with full furniture. The next morning, hike or ride back to your base at Tschuggen Grand Hotel.

 

Horseback riding Arosa

The tepee adventure experience includes

  • One night at Tschuggen Grand Hotel in a deluxe room on a half-board basis
  • Two-day guided horseback trek through the mountains organised by the Reiten am Berg mountain riding team
  • Lunch, dinner and a farmhouse-style brunch at Restaurant Alpenblick
  • Fly fishing on Lake Schwellisee
  • One night in a private luxury tepee

With a picturesque settings and holidays that you can be active on rather than over indulge making waves with our London leavers the town of Arosa in the Swiss Alps, is an ideal break option. The 5* Tschuggen Grand Hotel sees mild Alpine summers and is an ideal getaway for those looking for an active holiday in beautiful surroundings, with hiking, climbing , mountain biking, running trails and golf on Europe’s highest 18-hole golf course. Alternatively, relax in the Mario Botta-designed Bergoase Spa and enjoy Michelin-star dining in La Vetta restaurant.

For further information and reservations, please visit tschuggen.ch or telephone +41 81 378 99 99.

From CHF970 per person for 2 nights

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The Ski season may be over but that doesn't mean Switzerland has given you all it has to offer for the year.

We went to Hotel Villa Honegg to have a truly tranquil getaway and decided that come snow or sun (we had both on our trip) this is a stunning pocket of getaway heaven.

The hotel is small with only 27 rooms which makes for a truly boutique offering. There is a well equipped spa with gym, treatments, sauna, steam and plunge pool on offer as well as small swimming pool and outdoor heated infinity pool (our favourite) with stunning views whether the clouds move in and you just see the tops of  mountains or you stay out until the sunset.villa-honegg-terrassenlounge.jpg.1150x0_q85

The dining room is large and joined by the most comfy of library rooms complete with board games, fire (if it gets a little nippy in the evenings or you go in a cooler climate) and large doors out onto the terrace boasting equally stunning tranquil and so, so  quiet views of lakes, mountains and ski.

If you want to get a little active there's not only traditional and motorized bikes available to explore mountain paths but theres also golf buggies free of charge! Who hasn't wanted to steal a golf buggy before? Now you can do it without a bad conscience.

Rooms are snug and perfectly formed with everything you could want. A selection have large balconies perfect for private breakfast and sunset watching.Hotel-Villa-Honegg-designrulz-023

Whether you go to get snow or to get some sun if you want a luxurious break where you can really switch off - see a fully black sky and sleep in pure silence Hotel Villa Honegg is ideal for a short break away from London.

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With stunning landscapes and some seriously plush new hotels, Scotland really should be on your list for a little weekend jaunt out of London.

How best to get there? Well, get yourself to Euston, have a little sleep - before you know it you'll be waking up in Scotland!lounge

We took the Caledonian Sleeper train to Glasgow to have our own little jaunt all the way to Edinburgh and then back.

CalSleeper-1st-sleeperUnaware of the sleeper train option before we started to look into Scotland we thought it was a pretty cool and different plan for travel. It's a little like glamping, but on a train. You get your own bed, a little goody bag of night bits and pieces, and just down the corridor you'll find a food and drink carriage where, if you want to, you can make a night of it.

 

If you fancy taking the Caledonian yourself then it's worth knowing that they are partnering with Tomatin for World Whisky Day (21st May). Guests looking for a break north of the border will avoid the hassle of airport queues and begin their experience with a showcase of the distillery’s range of whiskies on board the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness on Wednesday 11 and Wednesday 25 May.

On arrival in Glasgow we made our way to the Falls of Clyde, an amazing water fall and nature reserve next to an old mill, now developed into a small museum. If you enjoy being outdoors and looking at natural wonders then there are a number of walks around here that'll be just up your street. If not, you can see the bottom of the falls from the coffee shop and still tell yourself you've got in touch with nature.

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Travelling on from there after a good two hour walk in lovely sunshine we travelled to the newly open Crossbasket Castle, a stunning hotel just 45 minutes outside Glasgow.

The Castle was bought almost a shell and has since been transformed back to it's former glory. There are only a few rooms in this boutique hotel which specialises in events. The owners have created a large and perfectly formed events space which looks out on to a rapid river and beautiful grounds.

Staff are beyond helpful and polite and although still with a dash of the historical the castle is somehow modern too.
Albert and Michel Roux Jnr at Crossbasket Castle Restaurant

The menu is put together by Michael Roux and it will leave you having to unbutton tight trousers (in the best possible way). Room service is even a joy here, none of the paired down menu for your room nonsense. We simply ordered a cheeseboard and this arrived.

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The rooms are plush with huge windows and wonderful views. As for things to do, if you don't want to visit the Falls you can do a spot of shooting or fishing, or just relax in their bar.
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After one night at Crossbasket we continued our journey to Edinburgh ready for a night's stay in another location and a day ahead exploring Edinburgh castle and the city. Just over an hour and we were at our second destination,  The Roxburghe just outside of Edinburgh.

Complete with Tartan carpet the Roxburghe really does feel like the heart of Scotland. It's a very quiet, relaxing destination and perfect if you really want to unwind from all the buzz that is London.

With board games which you can take to your room, garden rooms, studies and bars with enormous windows framing beautiful views, it really is a little highland haven.

The most exciting part we discovered was the fact that each and every room has a working fireplace in it- something that is a very unusual luxury for most of us.

Food again is special and created by the Roux kitchen. Knowledgable staff help you with wine or fire building, or brolly providing, whichever is needed, and you really do feel at home.

We even got a curtesy call to let us know breakfast was awaiting us downstairs before they shut up shop for the morning.

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For the more active amongst you there is golf on offer, fishing and walks. For the less active there is a great cocktail menu, in room treatments and gorgeous views to get lost in out the window.

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We'll be keeping both hotels in our minds for this winter as well. Though now, during the spring is a beautiful time to visit as you might get a whole years worth of seasons in one stay.

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We got rain, bright sunshine and snow over three days and even the rain that we had for an afternoon was welcomed with the fires all stoked and cosy bars.

So another for your diary - A Scottish Sleeper Train Road Trip.

 

 

Jet smarter

Introducing  the just launched, JetShuttles from JetSmarter – London’s first ‘single-seat’ private jet service, which is giving Londoners the chance to book themselves on a private jet flight…for as little as £520* a flight for non-members.

Dubbed the UberPool of the skies, JetShuttles is a revolutionary new service that will allow Londoners to purchase a single seat on any morning or evening flight, giving them efficient and cost effective ways to travel in and out of the city from other business hotspots across Europe on a regular basis.

To mark the launch, three new routes have been launched from London to Paris, Nice and Geneva, with many more set to be announced in 2016. Bookable from the 22nd March, each new route currently offers return flights (morning and evening) three to four times a week, potentially paving the way for private jet commuting in the not too distant future.

Frequent flyers can become JetSmarter members for an annual cost of £6,256 a year, and within this cost, they’re able to book as many JetShuttles flights as they want. To put this into context, it’s cheaper than buying a 12-month rail travelcard between Birmingham and London, costing £10,628**, meaning many long-distance commuters could trade in the trains for the luxury comfort of a private jet.

Reservations for the JetShuttle service in Europe are available now for flights starting on March 22nd, can be made through the JetSmarter app, available for iOS and Android devices. For more information on JetSmarter or to become a member, visit www.jetsmarter.com.

About JetSmarter

JetSmarter is a mobile marketplace that offers instant pricing and availability for private jets worldwide.  The application democratizes the private jet industry by decreasing the entry price for consumers, and helping air carriers gain more exposure within the market. By eliminating the middle man when it comes to booking a private jet, this app takes the process into the future with simplicity and ease. The JetSmarter app is available for iOS and Android. For more information, please visit www.JetSmarter.com.

*Based on current JetShuttle flight costs available on the JetSmarter

**Based on the calculations on National Rail’s season ticket calculator: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search

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There's not many places in London that your eyes can use some muscle to see far into the distance. Your gaze is usually blocked by a bus, a commuter, a building.... so that's why its so worth nipping down the M25 for a stay in the newly opened Burley Manor.  Set against the stunning, natural backdrop of the New Forest National Park, Burley Manor has undergone a major £1.8m refurbishment and relaunched in December 2015 into a grown-ups only restaurant with boutique rooms.

Complete with deer park and rolling countryside views and walks all around it's a cosy home from home that'll leave you feeling ready for work again come Monday even if you've only been away one night.

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With rooms in the main house and brand spankers new rooms in an additional out building you won't want for much over your stay. Beds are comfortable, rooms have lovely views and you won't get woken up by a bin man or the traffic lights outside your window - perfect darkness makes the perfect sleep!

When it comes to indulging a bit on your break the restaurant is just the right mixture of smart and casual. All food is locally sourced and if you can't grab a member of staff to enquire further about what might be on your plate you can find it all on the menu so you know just what you're eating.

Venison (somewhat controversially) is on a very Mediterranean, very comforting menu. The simple and delicious flavours of the Mediterranean together with its warm, relaxed way of life are the inspiration for the restaurant and it's food.

Award-winning chefs select the very best seasonal produce from the New Forest as well as across the British Isles and beyond. They then craft them into vibrant, rustic dishes with the bold flavours and delicate tastes of the Mediterranean.

Staff are friendly and knowledgable and will be happy to help you pick out wines and dishes. Come breakfast the spread is perfect with added champagne and Bloody Mary ingredients on hand.

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Just down the road there is a riding school if you feel like being adventurous but other than that this is a relaxation holiday - read the paper, go on some walks, sit by the fire.... and just do nothing for a bit in lovely surroundings and fresh air.

The manor house is a Grade II Listed building dating back to 1852 and steeped in rich history as is the little village you can walk to within minutes. With this in mind the Hotel MD Michaela Lisle took great care to ensure the exquisite old manor house retains its historic personality, while introducing a contemporary, eclectic interiors twist.

 

Burley House has a number of offers on at the moment too from 2 for 1 night stays through to Champagne and tapas for £20. Plus (and this is a big plus for us) it's doggy friendly! So with such great walks about you don't have to leave your little furry one at home.