Short Breaks

The Masons Arms, Louth, Lincolnshire: hotel review

December 3, 2017

This 18th-century pub, in one of Britain’s favourite market towns, has been spruced up – all modern angles and bold statements. But a few rough edges remain There is a lot to like about the Masons Arms in historic Louth. The handsome, 1775 coaching inn had dwindled into a rather shabby pub – with outdated, […]

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Vintage stuff: Belgium’s biggest flea market

December 3, 2017

Tongeren, Belgium’s oldest town founded in the first century AD, is also home to a vast and fascinating flea market. Perfect for a weekend treasure hunt I wake on Sunday morning in Tongeren like a kid on Christmas morning, wondering what goodies are waiting for me. This is the oldest town in Belgium, just 90 […]

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Winter town and city breaks: readers’ travel tips

December 3, 2017

A party vibe, sunshine, snow, shopping … our tipsters look beyond the major capitals to recommend idyllic seasonal breaks from Madeira to Romania. And yes, of course there’ll be glühwein• Write a readers’ travel tip for the chance of winning a £200 hotel voucher Nungwi Village Even in the pelting snow, you can enjoy an […]

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The Pilgrm, Paddington, London: hotel review

December 3, 2017

Space may be at a premium in this new hotel, but beautiful reclaimed fixtures and tempting food more than make up for the lack of elbow room No, that’s not a typo. It really is called the Pilgrm, and that missing second “i” is not all that’s been dropped from this new hotel near Paddington […]

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10 of the best Christmas shopping cities in Europe

December 3, 2017

Put some sparkle into your festive shopping with our guide to the best boutiques, gift stores and markets in Europe• Plus where to eat, drink and drop after you shop Continue reading…

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North House, Cowes, Isle of Wight: hotel review

December 3, 2017

Informal, tasteful (only slightly nautical decor), with cracking views over the Solent and a great restaurant to boot, this island townhouse stay won’t disappoint If you wanted a crash course in anticipating the needs of the world’s most demanding guests, then a spell working on Roman Abramovich’s super-yacht would probably do the trick. Before entering […]

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Prints and prison cells: the Portuguese Centre for Photography, Porto

December 3, 2017

A former jail houses artefacts from the dawn of photography, and provides a window onto the life of one of Portugal’s most prolific novelist, who was locked up there for adultery Most prisons are hidden away from a city’s law-abiding citizens. Not so Porto’s 18th-century Cadeia de Relação, now the Portuguese Centre for Photography. Its […]

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The Chain Locker, Falmouth, Cornwall: hotel review

December 3, 2017

Once the haunt of drunken sailors, this 17th-century inn has been faithfully restored, and makes a great base in one of Cornwall’s liveliest towns We were welcomed to the Chain Locker by a multitude of warm smiles. Well, that’s how it felt, as we stumbled out of the gales and driving rain heralding Storm Brian […]

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The Belgian festival where the fountains flow with gin

November 3, 2017

In Belgium, jenever, the juniper-infused gin prototype, is still a popular tipple and is celebrated each October with a riotous festival in the town of Hasselt All hail jenever – the precursor to gin that began the British love affair with juniper-infused hooch when it was brought to England by mercenaries from the Low Countries […]

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The alt city guide to Cambridge

November 3, 2017

Cambridge’s food, drink, music and arts scenes are thriving, with an underground ethic energised more by town than gown You might imagine that in a university city as renowned as Cambridge, the student population is pivotal to its cultural life. “Not remotely,” says Cambridge-based arts journalist, Harry Sword: “It’s bizarre; they live a closeted existence. […]

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