Category Archives: Travel

Speed and saunas in a day at the Mercedes driving experience at Brooklands

Driving full-pelt towards a solid-looking wall is both terrifying and exhilarating but that’s exactly what you get from a day at the Mercedes driving experience at Brooklands in Surrey.

map of racing circuit at Brooklands Surrey
A map showing what you can expect from trying the Mercedes-Benz experience at the world-famous motor-racing circuit at Brooklands, Surrey

With my pedal to the floor I could see the speedometer sweep up past 60, 65, 70 miles per hour and yet my instructor was yet to tell me to brake. What was he waiting for? Just as it seemed we were about to slam into the wall and end our lesson – and lives – prematurely – he finally said: ‘Brake!’ and I slammed on the brakes with all my force. The car immediately – and it seemed, magically –  slowed to a halt with none of the screeching, fishtailing or general chaos I was expecting and in plenty of time to drive smoothly around the wall obstacle. What had I been so terrified of?

‘Let’s do it again!’ I shouted, giddy with adrenaline. So we did. Continue reading Speed and saunas in a day at the Mercedes driving experience at Brooklands

A most relaxing spa break at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire

There are some hotels with spas and there are some hotels which ARE spas. Ragdale Hall health spa in Leicestershire most definitely falls into the latter camp, making a spa break at Ragdale Hall a must for any spa fans. The moment you arrive you are greeted by the sight of guests walking around dressed in white fluffy dressing gowns (people wear these even at mealtimes) and the whole set-up is spa spa spa break all the way.

Aerial shot of Ragdale Hall
A spa break at Ragdale Hall is set in acres of beautiful countryside

If you are a spa lover you will love Ragdale Hall – it’s one of the best spas in Leicestershire and will certainly make the list of best spas in the country – and if you are not a spa fan then, well, what on earth are you doing here?

Exterior of Ragdale Hall spa
Ragdale Hall spa and hotel is an award-winning spa in Leicestershire
Continue reading A most relaxing spa break at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire

Trying out Park House hotel’s new Germaine de Capuccini spa treatments

Fans of Germaine de Capuccini who are wondering where to get Germaine de Capuccini spa treatments in the UK, will be delighted to hear that award-winning hotel Park House hotel and spa in West Sussex is the latest hotel to offer the skin care specialist products.

Park House hotel West Sussex
Park House hotel is a charming country house hotel set in the West Sussex countryside

Founded in Spain in 1964, Germaine de Capuccini offers beauty and spa treatments suitable for cancer patients and people on intensive medication – which might lead to skin-related side effects – as well as anyone in need of a de-stressing spa experience.

indoor swimming pool Park House hotel and spa
The award-winning spa at Park House hotel has two swimming pools – one indoor, one outdoor – as well as a hot tub and plenty of places in which to relax
Germaine de Capuccini treatments in the UK

Continue reading Trying out Park House hotel’s new Germaine de Capuccini spa treatments

Arranging a hotel and parking at Gatwick airport: testing the APH offer

Arranging a hotel and parking at Gatwick airport – or indeed  Heathrow, Luton or Stansted as well, I travel frequently from all of them – is always a major headache. This could be to do with the fact I usually leave it to the very last minute, pretty much just before I set off,  or sometimes the night before if I’m particularly organised. Either way, it’s usually a case of panic-Googling until I find something that looks not too expensive or too cheap (you read horror stories of cars being dumped in a field or driven for miles while the owner is away) and then just going for it.

airport parking
You won’t be short of choices when it comes to airport parking, but that could make it hard to know which option to go for
Organising airport parking

Continue reading Arranging a hotel and parking at Gatwick airport: testing the APH offer

Luxury on a grand scale at the five star Corinthia Hotel London

The first thing that struck me about the five-star Corinthia Hotel in London when I stayed there was how utterly huge everything is. From the vast central lobby lounge with its soaring dome and chandelier made of 1,001 crystal baubles, to the high-ceilinged pillared restaurant, to the  enormous breakfast room, huge ballroom, conference rooms and outside courtyard, everything at the Corinthia is super-sized. Continue reading Luxury on a grand scale at the five star Corinthia Hotel London

Medieval magic with a modern twist at The Swan hotel and spa in Lavenham, Suffolk

Returning to The Swan hotel at Lavenham in Suffolk several years after my original stay, I was relieved to find that it was just as lovely as I remembered it. This time it also had the added attraction of its new (to me) Weavers’ House Spa which had been seamlessly added to the original hotel and included an outdoor hot tub and treatment rooms as well as a steam room, sauna and relaxing conservatory. Continue reading Medieval magic with a modern twist at The Swan hotel and spa in Lavenham, Suffolk

Curry, bagels, fish and chips and bacon butties on a food tour of London’s East End

In just four hours I ate curry, fish and chips, stilton cheese, salt beef bagels, bread and butter pudding, salted caramel cheesecake and a bacon sandwich. With ketchup. Why? You might well ask. It was because I had decided to be a tourist in London for the day. And my day was all the better for it.

Continue reading Curry, bagels, fish and chips and bacon butties on a food tour of London’s East End