I’D never got behind the wheel of a convertible before – and the closest I’d come to glamping was pitching a safe distance from the Glastonbury loos. But what better way to spend “le weekend” than coasting along the highways of France in a top-down Range Rover Evoque? The £47,000 motor — whose top folds back effortlessly even at 30mph — certainly turned heads. While heading from Limoges airport through the Limousin countryside, a clapped-out Renault 21 sped past the other way, flashing its lights. The driver had both hands off the wheel — so he could give us a one-finger salute with both arms. We carried on through the rolling fields of this rural idyll, past herds of Charolais cows, smelling the freshly cut hay on our way to the glamping site near Auzances. The site is run by Nigel and Olivia Stanton, who swapped the rat race and their Oxfordshire home for this little piece of heaven. La Toile Sous Les Etoiles has six large tents … [Read more...] about Take a top down drive in a luxury convertible and go ‘glamping’ for a French holiday with a twist
In nearly three decades of visiting Paris, a highlight of my sojourns is shopping for the sort of Franco-distinct fashions impossible to find at home. Over the years, the proliferation of chain stores in Paris (and easy access to French luxury brands at home) has made finding unique pieces a challenge. So, on a recent trip, when I noticed a secondhand shop filled with high-end designer jackets, bags, boots and jewelry — many from defunct Parisian ready-to-wear brands — I was thrilled. While paying for my haul (a cashmere blazer by Angelo Tarlazzi and a vintage fur stole), I learned that there were dozens of others, a network of resale shops catering to Frenchwomen’s exacting taste and passion for a deal. As a designer resale and thrift store aficionado, I find few things more satisfying than tracking down accoutrements that whisper “Fabriqué à Paris” without paying retail. Thus began my dive into the City of Light’s lively … [Read more...] about High style meets low prices at these secondhand fashion stores in Paris
Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel contests, tips, series, or news. Today (March 17, 2017): Travel tip: Maldives, Seychelles or Mauritius: which island to choose? Are you dreaming of a tropical island hideaway with dazzling beaches, turquoise waters, and exceptional accommodations offering an air of exclusivity and romance? Then the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius are thé destinations that you should put on your bucket list. At the heart of the Indian Ocean, these island aren’t as similar as you might first think, with each nation having its own charm and offering travelers a somewhat different experience. Asking yourself which island to choose one? Let me guide you so that you may find out which one suits you the best by comparing the following characteristics: Weather Landscapes Beaches Luxury resorts Romance Family holidays Wow factor Culture & religion Getting around, activities & sightseeing Snorkeling & … [Read more...] about Maldives vs Seychelles vs Mauritius: which one is best?
On Wednesday night, hotel lovers of the world came together to celebrate the fifth annual Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards. Guests gathered at London’s skyline-spying Store Studios at 180 The Strand as we unveiled the very best of the very best in all things boutique travel. Our judges, hoteliers, journalists and travel-industry tastemakers mingled; cocktails were clinked, corks were popped and prizes were given before the 2 Bears’ Raf Daddy took to the decks (housed in a perspex box dubbed the Fun Palace, no less) for two hours of top-drawer tunes. As for the winners of the night, they were announced – as per tradition – by the original Mr & Mrs Smith, James and Tamara Lohan – you’ll find the full list below. (And should you ever want song to encapsulate each category, we’ve thrown in a playlist, too.) So thanks to the magnificent venue, to everyone who helped, everyone who came, everyone who judged and, most importantly, everyone who … [Read more...] about The party for the best boutique hotels in the world
By Paul Johnson on Dec 10, 2017 in Accessories, Clothing, Featured, Gadgets, Luggage, Travel Equipment It’s that time of year again! If you’re tired of trawling the shops trying to find that perfect gift for him, look no further for Christmas inspiration than these top picks for the festive season. Finding him a thoughtful gift isn’t always easy but here are some great ideas for the man who has almost everything. Mavic Pro Platinum drone from DJI The Mavic Pro Platinum drone from DJI features a sleek design and compact body that is both powerful and alluring. A new and improved 30-minute flight time coupled with 60% noise power reduction makes the Mavic Pro Platinum DJI’s best portable drone yet. With a brand-new aerodynamic design, the 8331 propellers give the Mavic Pro Platinum an impressive noise control performance, and the new FOC ESC drivers offer sinusoidal current for increased stability. No more angry buzzing and smoother-than-ever footage. The … [Read more...] about Top 10 luxury travel gifts for him this Christmas (UK & Europe edition)