Nick Trend Follow 18 December 2018 • 9:25am “Politicians always want to blow up cultural bridges. But we will hold on to the last bridge as long as possible.” Last week, in a room overlooking the ice floes of the Neva river in St Petersburg, the director of the Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, was explaining his views on cultural links. “We can survive if we live separately,” he conceded, “but we can’t live properly if we forget about each other.” For me, this was a poignant reminder of a moment 30 years ago in that very building. I grew up during the Cold War, when Russia was relentlessly characterised as a faraway, alien culture. But I was filled with curiosity and when I first stepped into the Hermitage I felt on familiar ground – as though I was walking into the Louvre in Paris, or the National Gallery in London. I realised that some of the most important paintings acquired by Catherine the Great … [Read more...] about Great museums can bring nations
I am sipping a coconut rum at the village home of Mirella, who supplies free-range chickens and eggs to my hotel in Mauritius. Her brother is singing the Mauritian sega, beating out the rhythm on a drum against his chest. Her two-year-old grandson sways to the raw lament, originally brought to the island by African slaves, and one of her nine daughters (five of them adopted) wiggles her hips as she does the washing-up. By joining a Mauritian feast with five generations of Mirella’s family, I’m experiencing a side of the island that is not normally accessible to most hotel guests. In a community-minded move, Salt of Palmar, a newly opened hotel on the island’s east coast, is one of the first hotels in recent years to encourage guests to get out to experience the island and its people. My first visit to the east coast of Mauritius was in the Seventies, when my father was working for the British Council. I’ve returned often since then and the region has kept … [Read more...] about Salt of the earth: Inside the Mauritius hotel where it’s all about meeting the locals
In New York, the lights are always on. The 24-hour neon signs flash on a loop, Chinatown dive bars keep serving until the sun is up and there's always an open-all-hours deli where you can find a salt-beef sandwich. But after a few days of high octane action, it might feel like time to dial things down a little, so why not extend your next trip to the Big Apple with a bite of something a little more laid-back. Within a three-hour drive of Manhattan, you’ll find quaint white-picket-fence towns, low-key hipster hubs, as well as bracing mountains and surfer beaches – the challenge is where to choose. Here we round-up the very best hotels for a weekend trip from New York City. New York State The Wick, Hudson ... Register for free to read this article, or log in to your Telegraph account Register Log in … [Read more...] about 10 amazing hotels for rustic weekend breaks from New York City
Should my children ever ask me what “misnomer” means, I will now have the perfect answer: “The Wild Rabbit, Kingham.” Reader, there is nothing wild about this most urbane country pub, owned by Lady Carole Bamford, who also possesses (in no particular order) a billionaire husband, the Daylesford organic empire and a propensity to dress everything in immaculate, expensive shades of white. Including the rooms at the Wild Rabbit. Around the corner from the Daylesford estate, the pub and 12 bedrooms were purchased and reopened in 2013, having been Bamford-ised with a lot of exposed stone, nude wood and neutral linen. It has just opened three new, dinky cottages within the village, each with two en suite bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room and a garden. Ideal, then, for families who want to warm milk at mad hours or put the kids to bed without whispering in the pitch-black. We are among the first to stay at the Bunny, so the bijou, bright-red Aga in its … [Read more...] about Hotel Hit Squad: ‘The Wild Rabbit may have tamed the country pub, but it is ticking every box for the Cotswold clientele’
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a British family in possession of a bit of spare time and cash must be in want of a weekend break. But where should they go? Whether for a big group celebration or a mid-term escape en famille, the tens of thousands of choices are overwhelming. And what constitutes “the perfect cottage house for families”, anyhow? There are lots of thoughtfully designed properties on the higher end of the market that cater beautifully to groups with young children. On a hill overlooking the sea in St Mawes you’ll find the stunning Penolva, which sleeps eight and where you’ll find dressing up outfits in the children’s closets and myriad rockpools to explore. At The Freeth, in Herefordshire, there’s a giant playroom tucked away upstairs for children to have hours of fun. The Wow House Company offers plenty of piles, from baronial to bling, which would suit a big birthday or any other showy event. Location helps, certainly, … [Read more...] about Is this Britain’s best holiday cottage for families with young children?