Dubai Part Two: The Best Massage in the World at Raffles Dubai

“Breathe out Miss Emma, please. Three big breaths.” I do as I am told, slowly and self-consciously. “Is she looking at my spine alignment?” “Is she monitoring my lung capacity?” “Can she see my thighs wobbling under the crisp, white sheet?” Shhh! I hiss at my subconscious as I breathe so deeply and thoroughly –…

The Montague on the Gardens, Bloomsbury

Sandwiched between the million pound houses on Montague Street in Bloomsbury, bordered by the cultural juggernaut of The British Museum and a secluded, secret garden, The Montague started off as the venture of a ‘crack-brained, addle-pated fellow’ called Christopher Monck in the 17th century and, after burning down and being rebuilt a few times, became…

Peace Eye Guest House, Pokhara, Nepal

We arrived in Pokhara during a thunderstorm, were dropped on a tarmac-covered bus station and ushered into one of the waiting taxis, through the urban sprawl and onto the lake front of Pokhara proper. We put our faith in the Lonely Planet and headed for their pick of the guesthouses: Peace Eye.It became a magical…

The Baglioni Hotel, London

‘An Italian heart beats in the heart of London.’ This luxurious haunt has an undeniably Italian flavour. That’s not to say that when you arrive you’re surrounded by Italian stallions calling you amore mio and trying to persuade you back to the family pad for a bit of how’s your father before mama comes home,…

Hotel Pheonicia, Malta

The Hotel Pheonicia is the jewel in Valletta’s crown. The first five-star hotel to open in Malta’s capital city under British rule in the thirties, Phoenicia has retained a quintessentially English flavour that pervades the property, from the cavernous Art Deco piano bar to the marble ballroom where the then Princess Elizabeth danced in 1949…

Painswick Court, The Cotswolds

In an impossibly pretty village perched in a picturesque valley along the Cotswolds Way stands The Court House Manor. Carved out of honey-coloured Cotswold stone and saturated with history from the musket hole in the Game of Thrones-style oak door and the original panels in the old court room to the ghosts (King Charles I…