Author Archives: Solange Berchemin

Highcliffe Contemporary B&B

11/07/2017 by .

The door opened wide onto a large hallway bathed in the afternoon Cornish light. But, all I could see was two beaming faces “We’ve been expecting you, coffee?” says Vanessa Clark as husband Simon directed us to a large welcoming lounge with an open fireplace, a 19th century apothecary’s cabinet to die for and spellbinding wallpaper denoting a designer eye for unusual and eclectic décor. We had arrived at Highcliffe Contemporary B&B.

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Florence Gardens Hotel

25/01/2017 by .

Portsmouth has been much maligned, Spike Milligan relegated the whole town to Room 101 and sure, a weekend break in Portsmouth doesn’t have the same ring as 48 hours in Corfu or Majorca. You won’t see minke whales, otters or seals frolicking on the coast like you could, up in Scotland. But Portsmouth has a rich literary and naval history, the first Sherlock Holmes was written here. There is a newly restored and amazing dockyard with Henry VIII’s warship the Mary Rose and Nelson’s Victory.

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24 hours in Newcastle

01/05/2016 by .

In 2014, The Guardian readers voted Newcastle best city-break destination. I had 24 hours in Newcastle to find out why, but with so much to explore, would 24 hours in Newcastle be enough?

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The Adonis Hotel Singapore

25/03/2016 by .

When asked “What is….exactly….a boutique hotel?” my heart sinks.

I could recite the Oxford dictionary definition, without hesitations: “It’s a stylish small hotel, didah, didah, didah…..”  But my true answer is “I don’t know”. Really, I don’t but unfailingly I’ll recognize one, when I’ll see one. In my opinion, half the hotels claiming being Boutique, just aren’t. Yes, they might well be small or located in a fashionable area or even both but that doesn’t win them the title.

The Adonis Hotel Singapore is.

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L’ HOTEL DU CHATEAU

26/01/2016 by .

In the early Noughties, the French hotel business saw some drastic changes. Suddenly, a generation of hotel managers perpetuating a service along the lines: “my way or the high way”, in rustic accommodations, for lack of a better word, were being sidelined by young entrepreneurs attentive to their customers’ demands and more than willing invest time and money to restore old and tired hotels to exquisite standards.L’Hotel du Chateau, situated right below la Porte de Narbonne, the main entrance to the walled city of Carcassonne, is a perfect example of what happened back then.

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The Gallivant Hotel

01/09/2015 by .

It was 5.00pm and I was interviewing Mark O’Reilly, manager of The Gallivant Hotel when he stopped in mid sentence to point enthusiastically at a white van pulling up in the car-park. “This is the fish for tonight, it was caught this morning”, he said. As I raised an eyebrow, Mark continued, “Our philosophy is simple, 95% of all the fresh ingredients we use in the kitchen come from fishermen and farmers who live and work within 10 miles of us”.

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