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Archive - Globalista
North Norfolk has become the Martha’s Vineyard of East Anglia. Who needs the summer retreat for New England Brahmins when we have windy coast roads, mudflats and sanddunes? And Burnham Market. Now to outstrip anything they offer on Long Island, there’s even a blockbuster exhibition, Houghton Revisited, at Houghton Hall near King’s Lynn. It boasts works by Poussin, Rubens and Van Dyck.
Unless you're going by private Lear jet, hot-air balloon or in First Class, there can't be a better way to fly to New York than aboard the Bankers' Express, BA001. Launched last September, it's the Club World only service that avoids the US immigration queues by stopping briefly in Shannon, Ireland to complete the fierce US formalities and to refuel.
We fly from Nairobi in a plane that is one up from that used by Le Petit Prince, land at the one-strip airport with a thatched shed waiting-room, then take a speedboat past timeless fishing villages and mangrove swamps. Welcome to Lamu, a remote island off the coast of Kenya.
It appeals to me when I arrive at Grayshott Spa and know from the minute I walk into the entrance hall that I can wear a white robe from now on. 'You don't have to worry about labels on your tracksuit or whether you have the correct evening clothes. Just bring trackies and robust walking boots', was all Vicki Edgson, nutritionist, global spa retreat leader and health consultant, had insisted. 'The rest of the time, you probably won't even get out of your dressing gown'.
I'm throwing up like an elephant, puking saline water in one enormous wave. I've just swallowed a litre and a half of tepid, salty water - drinking several glasses very fast under the unwavering watch of my yoga teacher, Sandeep Aggarwal. At his instruction, I've tickled the back of my throat with my fingers, before belching more liquid into the sink. As I do this, an elegant woman in a sari walks past the open door of the therapy room and smiles encouragingly.
Vietnam is the new Thailand. You get incredible history, magical landscapes, deserted white beaches, top colonial hotels and wonderful spas. You find bustling cities - some surpassingly beautiful with the faded elegance of the French colonial era - ancient temples, pagodas and haunting relics of the Vietnam War.
Picture a sandstone building shimmering like a mirage. Perhaps something out of Lawrence of Arabia – or maybe a creamy Moroccan fort. Then imagine honey-coloured alleyways, a piazza and a church - just built but looking as if they've been there for centuries. Now envisage, if you will, 93 townhouses in the style of traditional Apulian hill villages. And finally add to the mix some large villas - grand-ish residences encircled with dry stonewalls and cacti - on the outskirts of the town.
Postcard from Ol Seki, Kenya
In the Masai Mara the animals are so used to people that they pose for photos. Find something exciting like a kill, and you'll have to share the experience with a fleet of four wheel drives. So it's a pleasure to stay in Ol Seki - a luxury tented camp situated idyllically in the heart of Eastern Koiyaki - on the edges of the Mara. It's where the animals are timid and humans scarce.
Postcard from Sha Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain
I'm sped from the airport by a James Bond-style driver dressed all in black. He plays New Age dolphin music, the sort that normally goes with massages and crystals. Is he getting me into the mood for the Sha Wellness Spa, the world's first five-star macrobiotic spa, on the 50 minute drive from Valencia, Spain? Soon the spa looms like an ocean liner stranded among the Sierra Helada mountains, with the Lego tower blocks of Benidorm in the distance.
Postcard from Naibor Camp, Kenya
As we arrive, a baboon is trying to break into our tent. The manageress shoos him away and calls a guard who arrives with his spear a few minutes later. She says our primate friend won't return unless we offer him sweets, which seems good enough reason to ban sugar from Africa. The frisson we feel increases when we learn that guests are only allowed to their tents accompanied by guards. Welcome to the delightful excitements of Naibor Camp, one of the most exclusive tented safari camps in Kenya's Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Postcard from Oyster Bay Hotel, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is one of those places dubbed a 'hole'. It's neither particularly old, nor particularly beautiful. But read on because now there's a reason to visit: the Oyster Bay Hotel. Renovated in 2007, the hotel is particularly beautiful. It's also one of the coolest overnight stops in Africa for in-transit honeymooners and those who are en-route, whether to the high snows of Kilimanjaro, the coral sands and historical sights of Zanzibar, the Rift Valley or the Serengeti with its annual migration of two million animals.
The Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons
I'm a big foodie. So I'm as eager as corn kernels on a hot stove to be spending a day learning to cook at the Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons. Le Manoir - for anyone who has been living in Tupperware since 1984 - is Raymond Blanc's two Michelin starred eaterie and hotel in Oxfordshire. RB (as he's known locally) is, of course, the author, TV personality and chef.
“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”
“Caroline's abilities, press releases and pitches to editors are excellent, and her contacts are exceptional.”