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Out of Town

Places to visit outside London and beyond.

Grange Park Opera

A Guide to Grange Park Opera

Deep in the rolling hills of Surrey is Grange Park Opera, set in the grounds of West Horsley Place, a magical location where you will find a crinkle-crankle wall, a woodland glade, an ancient orchard with a 300 year-old mulberry tree and a Theatre in the Woods ringing with first class opera. An evening with…

Christmas Waddesdon Manor 2022

Christmas at Waddesdon Manor 2022

Christmas at Waddesdon Manor is back for its 20th year, and for the first time since 2019, the manor house has opened its doors to reveal a twinkling, merry Christmassy wonderland – all done à la Rothschild with rich and opulent festive touches. The 2022 Waddesdon Manor Christmas lights trail is the longest it’s ever…

The Excursions of Mr Broucek

Review: The Excursions of Mr Brouček

Last updated on June 26th, 2023David Pountney is a genius. The British-Polish director has transformed one of the repertoire’s most difficult and eccentric operas into a madcap, merry work of art, bursting with colour, humour and silliness. I was both intrigued by and slightly dreading The Excursions of Mr Brouček at Grange Park Opera. I…

Hever Castle

Hever Castle: Anne Boleyn’s Childhood Home

Last updated on March 27th, 2023I do enjoy a jaunt outside of London. Throw in a castle, anything about Henry VIII and a historical pub, and I’m there quicker than you can throw a jousting stick. And Hever Castle in Kent isn’t just any old castle. It was the Boleyn family seat and Anne Boleyn’s…

Waterperry Opera Festival 2022

Waterperry Opera Festival 2022 – Review: The Elixir of Love

Waterperry Opera Festival’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) went out with a bang on Tuesday with its final performance of Donizetti’s opera buffa. Sung in English and performed by a youthful, zippy cast, it was a joy for those of us who were so very grateful to be enjoying a “normal” night of opera,…

Carillon Hotel, Miami, Retreat

Retreating at The Carillon Miami

Last updated on June 4th, 2020Miami. The American Riviera with its pastel palaces, its swaying palms and Art Deco curves is one of my favourite haunts when I need a break from the slate-coloured skies at home. Eye-popping art and sleek design sit in every corner and crevice of this sorbet-coloured city, so it’s surprising…

A Tale of Two Cities

Last updated on January 19th, 2019You probably know by now that I am too many nationalities to list and that I was “Born in Paris and Made in London.” I am a true Londoner now, a multi-cultural, multi-national mish-mash, and this city truly is where I belong.  I’ve been a Londoner since 1988 (with a…

Lalique factory, Lalique museum, Lalique hotel

Rene Lalique – The Glass Wizard

Last updated on June 2nd, 2022Think Lalique, and you think glass, non? But there’s so much more to this French design giant, dubbed the “creator of modern jewellery.” And following a whirlwind trip to the Lalique factory and museum in Alsace, the legendary Villa René Lalique with its two Michelin-star restaurant, and an overnight stay…

Algarve Guide

The Algarve: This Shore is More

Last updated on January 23rd, 2023Mykonos may be alluring, Ibiza tantalizing, and St Tropez may have the ultimate swagger, but the Algarve in Portugal is my port of call for dreamy, charming and authentic. And the light: at sunrise, it’s luminescent with shades of cotton candy and bluebells; at sunset, it dissolves listlessly into a…

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