Recent posts

Architecture, UK

Margate: the architecture tour

As Sam Mendes’ new film Empire of Light turns the spotlight on Margate, we take a look at the Isle of Thanet town’s architectural landscape – highlights include a chalk cave, a mysterious shell grotto, a derelict lido, a 1960s Brutalist tower block, a vintage roller coaster and the Grade II* listed Dreamland cinema (the fictional Empire of Light in the aforementioned film).

Architecture, UK, Where to stay

Holy nights: 6 church stays

Tin tabernacle: The Chapel at Walcot Hall in Shropshire A fine example of the non-conformist, colonial-style, tin-clad chapels that proliferated in the 19th century, this little beauty is hidden in woodland in Shropshire’s 30-acre Walcot Aboretum. The chapel sleeps four in two woody bedrooms (from £575 a week) and features stained-glass […]

UK, Where to stay

Cool comfort farmstays

Holidays, when I was child, rarely took us further than my grandparents’ smallholding in Somerset – only two counties away from our towny home in Cornwall. We slept on lumpy mattresses under a thatched roof, woke up to crowing cockerels and fresh eggs fried in lard, watched by a herd […]

Travel, Where to stay: listings, World

Trippy trips: airbnbs on acid

GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME: Melbourne, Australia The four hosts behind this bucolic Airbnb describe themselves as a Sanctuary Artist, a Data Magician, a Maker of Worlds and a Fairy Godmother. Together they have conjured up a Midsummer Night’s Dream of a place: lawn-like flooring, woodland walls, forest drapes – […]

Architecture, UK

Outsiders inside

Tenement House, Glasgow Working gas lights, a coal-fired kitchen range, a vintage packet of Rinso, an old tin of Mothicide and a jar of jam made in 1929, are some of the relics on display in an otherwise ordinary Glasgow flat preserved for posterity by the National Trust for Scotland. […]

UK, Where to stay

Margate: best places to stay

Goodbye boarding house, hello boutique hotel. Margate’s new generation of places to stay is all about cool Independents – guest houses, pubs with rooms and some quirky one offs. Our top ten includes more than one townhouse, a rock-and-roll guest house, an art deco B&B, a jazzed-up vintage caravan and a prison cell.

Architecture, UK

Weymouth: the architecture tour

Look beyond the deckchairs and the donkey rides and the cliched seaside bling and this colourful Dorset town is a treat for architecture buffs. One of Britain’s oldest resorts, its best bits are mainly Georgian (a gilded statue of George III reigns over the seafront’s Regency terraces) but the town’s […]

UK, Where to stay

Homes from home

Introducing our current hot list of self-catering ‘cottages’ – including shepherds huts in deepest Devon, vintage railway carriages in Cornwall, a Scottish island eyrie, a dinky cottage overlooking Polperro’s fishing harbour and a time-warped tin hut in rural Somerset. They are booking up fast for 2023, but there’s always next year…

Travel, World

New York on a budget

The words budget and New York are contradictory surely? In one of the world’s most expensive cities, the spending money doesn’t go very far. But on a recent trip (pre-Covid) we found plenty of low-budget and freebie activities among the must dos. Here’s our top ten tips…

Cornwall, Travel, UK

Cornwall: in the know

Cornwall is so rammed with visitors these days they are squeezing into every nook and cranny. But there are still relatively undiscovered places that don’t draw the crowds. My round-up of ‘secrets’ is quite heavy on tin mining, Cornish moorland, scenic railways and social distancing. The only beaches on the list require walking boots and stamina. And I’ve chucked in three random food options.