Adriaane Pielou

London-based journalist, editor and content provider.  

If you'd like to get in touch, please email me 

January 17, 2024 Hi. Seaweed as our salvation. The evolution of the spa industry. Scents worth trying and skincare worth buying. The revival of the Irish linen industry. Where to find the best buys in the world's most interesting cities. Forest bathing. The last surviving 1920s dancehall in Berlin ...  Here are 101 of my features, interviews and reviews, focussed on five-star travel, spas, retail, health & beauty and more, and published in media outlets including Conde Nast Traveller, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Ultratravel, YOU, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Centurion and Departures, Country & Townhouse, The National, and Luxury Magazine. You can email me at

Clinique La Prairie, Switzerland

Would you spend around £31,475 for a week-long Premium Revitalisation that minutely tests and examines you inside and out, explores your DNA profile for red flags, assesses your vitamin deficiencies and involves a secret formula to boost your immune system? According to Clinique La Prairie’s Hermès-shod CEO Simone Gibertoni, no one who has undergone this intensive preventive and diagnostic programme has ever left saying, ‘Great, but it’s too expensive.’ Given that the average net worth of visito

Villa Stéphanie at Brenners Park-Hotel, Germany

Yes, Villa Stéphanie is beautiful, its bedrooms and bathrooms large and graceful. Yes, it’s a pleasure that those delicious healthy breakfasts are served in the room and that guests fall asleep with the balcony doors open to the sounds of the Oos river and wind rustling through the trees of Lichtentaler Allee park. Yes, it’s a bonus that direct flights from London take less than an hour-and-a-half to Baden-Baden’s old airport, and that soon after checking in you could be receiving an excellent S

Masqi, The Energy House, Alicante

Masqi, The Energy House is the 2020 Spa Guide winner for best holistic hideaway

Quiet to the point of silence, apart from birdsong, and set in a national park an hour’s drive from the coast, MasQi is one of those discoveries that makes visitors feel torn. Remote and peaceful, it’s utterly restorative and not particularly expensive, and there are always cheap flights to Alicante, the nearest airport. So on one hand there’s the desire to shout about it from the rooftops. But on the other it’s tem

Spa Nescens at Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel, Switzerland

Switzerland was a favourite destination for the British in the 19th century and of the three majestic hotels built in the Alps in that era of César Ritz, Escoffier and aristocratic mountaineers, the Victoria-Jungfrau remains the grandest. Into this much-revered relic - half gilded and baroque, half steel and glass - the newly arrived Nescens Better-Aging programme represents some of the most advanced global research into staying healthy and looking good for as long as possible. Each retreat is p

Lanserhof Lans, Innsbruck

Hunched over a computer half the time, you have a permanently stiff neck and shoulders. You have digestive issues. You know you drink far too much coffee but just can't cut down. You often wake at 3am for no apparent reason. Your joints ache. Maybe you're even recovering from a serious illness. It is precisely these kinds of complaints - the type our GPs never seem hugely interested in - that you might want to get sorted before they deteriorate into something more serious. Lanserhof Lans has alw

Sugar Beach, St Lucia

What would you do for one last blast after the rock'n'roll fun of being an accountant to The Beatles, then heading mega-successful chains Café Rouge and Punch Taverns? Roger Myers splurged on this place, the most spectacularly located hotel in the Caribbean, formerly the Jalousie Plantation, an 18th-century sugar mill in a forested valley running down to a sandy bay. He bought adjoining land from one-time neighbour, the flamboyantly barking Lord Glenconner, and scattered the hillside with big, h

BodyHoliday, St Lucia

This is surely the shape of the holiday of the future. The move by mainstream hotels away from hedonism and towards healthiness has started already, with vegetarian menus, jogging maps and yoga mats. And the all-inclusive detox and fitness stay, as pioneered by BodyHoliday, feels like a blueprint for how it will evolve. After all, who doesn't want to return from any trip fitter rather than fatter? This is the place to come for encouragement to finally get your lifestyle in shape. Ranged around a

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

In brief Gentle downtime in a glorious hilltop mansion

The lowdown Once the property of Osman Ali Khan, seventh Nazir of Hyderabad and the richest man in the world (according to a 1937 Time cover story), here is a hotel that remains off the beaten track to almost everyone except true Indiaphiles. Thanks to its diamond mines, the Mughal stronghold of Hyderabad was so wealthy its nazirs could resist the encroachments of the British Raj to a much greater extent than the maharajahs of Jaipur and Ud

Lonhea Clinic, Switzerland

In brief One-on-one attention to tackle every health niggle

The lowdown This slick medi-spa is a real leading light. So few places offer such incredibly focused personal care - hence its runaway success. Opened in summer 2013, it's been largely booked solid ever since. Based in four traditionally designed wood-and-stone chalets in a sweet Swiss mountain village, it sleeps a maximum of just nine guests at a time.

Lonhea is the brainchild of the renowned Dr Michel Golay, former doctor to several

The family-friendly guide to Hong Kong

Equipped with cafés, loos, lifeguards and shops selling buckets and spades to dig the thick, surprisingly clean sand, Hong Kong's most popular beaches are on the south or east coast of the island. But avoid them at weekends when they're busiest. Deep Water Bay is the closest to Central (25 minutes by bus) and home to the shore-side restaurant Coco Thai, which also serves chips and lasagne. Repulse Bay is wide, with an open-air temple on the beach, and Shek O is best for families and has miniatur

GoldenEye, Jamaica

The coolest cat in the Caribbean.

You can zoom across the bay on a jetski at 60mph in the early morning sunshine then sit on the terrace at the Bizot Bar, watched by beady-eyed birds as you inspect super-healthy toasted granola and bowls of yoghurt and berries. Ian Fleming bagged one of the loveliest, jungliest spots on the island.

If, like Jay-Z and Beyoncé, you rent Fleming's actual house, you can sit at the desk where he bashed out all 14 Bond novels and take a copy of Casino Royale off the

Hotel Pirchner Hof

Here's to Hildegard von Bingen. Who? The sassy 12th-century nun turned 21st-century health guru, of course. You wouldn't need to ask if you lived in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, where clued-in health freaks know all about the medieval abbess who died - in her eighties, in 1179 - leaving records of a lifetime of visions that revealed the health-giving, curative and slimming powers of hundreds of herbs, plants and natural foods.

Made a saint in 2012 by Pope Benedict, she's not just holier tha

Parkschlösschen Ayurvedic Clinic, Germany

The convenient alternative to an Indian retreat.

A 10-day panchakarma, an intense Ayurvedic detox, can easily take 10lb off you. Strict and super-cleansing, it's also pretty damn challenging. There's castor oil or ghee to start the day, to help loosen toxic deposits of ama, rice soup for lunch, a nice declogging enema to further shift that ama, and absolutely no caffeine, alcohol, meat or dairy.

If you're nervous about going all the way to India, this is your convenient, sanitised alternative.

The Smart Shopper: how to bag a luxury bargain in Beijing

Beijing isn't a city to visit purely to shop. But there's much to see here, and now is the time to go. Bitterly cold in winter, boiling hot in summer, it's at its best in April or May, September or October. Appropriately for the capital of the world's most populous country, it's massive, home to 21 million of China's 1.4 billion people, and although for decades the authorities have been busy with the bulldozers, replacing lovely old areas with tower blocks and eight-lane highways, enough has sur

Top 10 opera destinations for 2018

Going to the opera is one of the most civilised pleasures in life, and never more satisfying than when the building soars as much as the music. Since the Real Teatro di San Carlo, the world’s first opera house, opened in 1737 in Naples, a classical exterior complete with portico and pillars and, inside, abundant use of gilding, chandeliers and red velvet, has been the traditional look of opera houses worldwide, from Paris to Prague; “Red and gold disease”, theatre designer Jean Cocteau described

Ultratravel Top 10: Holidays on horseback

Holidaying on horseback is guaranteed to lift the spirits. The exhilaration you feel after spending time in the fresh air afforded by the countryside is enhanced by the fact that you can choose from a range of trips. Despite being a sporty kind of activity, a riding holiday can involve weeks crossing mountains and camping out each night. However, you can also choose undemanding meanders through gentle landscapes and return to five-star comfort at the end of the day.

A riding holiday also impose

The enviable greenery of the world's top 10 botanical gardens

The world’s oldest-known botanic garden still in its original location is in northern Italy. The Orto Botanico in Padua was set up in 1545 by the Venetian Republic to grow medicinal plants. As ever-more-exotic foreign plants were brought back from the distant countries with which the republic traded, a tall circular wall had to be erected around the garden to protect its precious contents, and fierce punishments – even exile – were exacted on plant thieves. Over the centuries, the garden has ins

The Smart Shopper: Retail therapy in Rome

Made in Italy: still the best label in the world. When it comes to design – especially of luxurious clothing and jewellery – no one beats the Italians. They seem blessed with a collective good eye and a peerless ability to cut flatteringly, conjure the subtlest colours, and – once you’re pulling out your credit card – charm you into feeling you’re making the most sophisticated, discerning choice. We’ll ignore their aberrational fondness for Speedos on men and sequinned leopard-skin on women; at

Mesas and minimalism

At last. I’m on my way to my first Aman: the 34-room, $1,100 a night Amangiri, Utah, one of the 26 hotels that make up what’s generally agreed to be the best boutique group in the world. Things don’t get off to the best start, though.

In keeping with Aman’s policy of choosing only spectacular locations for their tranquil hotels, Amangiri is located in the desert of remotest southern Utah, a hard-to-reach, ancient region that is close to the Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, the Colorado Riv

A step in a more exclusive direction

So many beautiful things to buy. So many ways to acquire them. Seductive shopfronts smiling silently at us from every glittery new mall; slinky new shopping sites to visit online. So much coming at us from every direction. With more delectable products being offered to us, in more rarefied surroundings, than ever before - have you been into the private suite at the new Dolce flagship on Fifth yet? - one thing is clear. We are living in the golden age of luxury shopping.

Rare and covetable items

Las Vegas: Still going great guns

Get off the plane at Las Vegas, walk into the terminal, and about the first thing you see is a poster of a smiling woman cheerfully brandishing an AK-47. "Learn to fire a real machine gun!" it proclaims encouragingly; US$190 (Dh697) will buy 25 rounds of ammunition and they'll even pick you up from your hotel to take you to the shooting range.

"Drive a Ferrari at 100mph!" suggests an ad in the city guide I start flicking through while on the bus into the city. Las Vegas is ringed by desert and

Istanbul proves a shopper's dream

"And one last thing," says the Marti hotel concierge. Despite working for the newest hotel in Istanbul, he seems to have old-fashioned, rather fatherly views about a foreign woman travelling on her own. "Don't get a taxi. They'll cheat you, for sure. Use the Metro, OK? There are big signs: 'Metro'. OK? You see?". He draws a cross on a city map to show the hotel's location, near Taksim Square in Beyoglu. Then, although I'm here to look at the city's newest shopping places, he adds a cross for the

Licence to chill on James Bond's playground

It is just before 7pm, and as the sun sets, I wait by a massage table on the veranda of my beach villa at GoldenEye, panting slightly. Thanks to a delayed plane I arrived at Jamaica's new luxury resort only 20 minutes ago, and it has been all go ever since.

I'd pre-booked a 7pm anti-jet-lag massage, and it's been a rush, first to trudge along the superfine sand to my beach villa, then to quickly look around at the 20-foot pitched ceiling, outdoor garden bathroom, kitchen with blue Smeg refriger

Travel Essentials: Pack a little glamour with a vanity case

Like pulling on a pair of high heels, carrying a vanity case confers instant glamour. Dangling one of these old-fashioned items from a manicured hand while tripping through an airport feels outrageously agreeable, and a well-stocked case guarantees hours of happy scrabbling. There are less expensive ones than these around. But a girl can dream ...

This is the one that signals, "I'm rich, I'm lucky"; in signature monogram canvas leather, with brass corners and a sturdy lock. Louis Vuitton starte

Linger on in Lisbon

The taxi fare from the airport into Lisbon city centre is just €12 (Dh61). The driver thanks me so fervently when I tip him €3 (Dh15) that I walk into the Altis Avenida hotel feeling half pleased and half uneasy. His worn expression and shabby clothes stay in my mind as I take the lift to my room. I have a quick look around - high ceilings, black carpet, shiny bathroom: all very modern for this old-fashioned, once grand city. Then, with a free shopping guide from reception and a Lisbon Card for

Top new spas for a detox

I'm in a treatment room at the just-opened Six Senses Destination Spa on Naka Yai, an island ten minutes by speedboat from Phuket, Thailand, gazing deep into my own eyes. Magnified on a computer screen, irises are revealed to be so intriguingly marked and fissured that it's like examining a landscape. As I stare, the young Australian iridologist, Sally, points to the screen, explaining what each fissure, dot and blurry edging signifies. "Each part of the iris correlates to a part of the body, so

The life of a cruise host

Jim Wood, 78, a former manager at a Pennsylvania steel company, spends around three months a year working as a host on Crystal’s Symphony or Serenity ships. The host is very much an American phenomenon, largely due to the preponderance of wealthy American widows among cruise passengers. Employed to cha-cha-cha and chat, chat, chat from 5pm to midnight, Wood’s job is to ensure that no single woman on board is a wallflower.

“If you love to dance and meet people, it’s a wonderful life,” says Wood.
Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels

Berlin in winter

Dusk is falling and it’s not even 4pm. Perfect. Half an hour after checking in to my hotel on Unter den Linden, I am back in the gleaming marble lobby, happily wrapping my scarf around my neck and buttoning my coat. Bleak, cold, foggy weather is just right for Berlin , if, like me, you cannot get enough of the Cold War, Second World War and Weimar Republic – albeit from a very safe distance.

This is a grey, unbeautiful city crammed with history and ghosts, and the chill of winter – which contin

Jamaica's golden age

By the time I have struggled against the wind and rain into the little terminal, I am relieved to find that all domestic flights have been grounded (the pilots are looking quite crestfallen) and another taxi has been called, so I'll be making the trip – a three-hour journey across the mountains – by road. Now all I've got to worry about is having to drive through Kingston. The murder count in Jamaica was 1,700 last year, and highest in Kingston. That, admittedly, was worse than usual because of
Photo by Uriel Mont on Pexels

New York in winter

New York has seen about 50 new or refurbished hotels open within the past 18 months — an extraordinary number, but all, of course, planned in the boom years. However, this has not led to any kind of price war or even any bargains. Despite the recession, tourism to the city is booming and rates remain the highest in the US. Still, nowhere else do the top hoteliers decorate for Christmas as extravagantly as Manhattan, and if you travel in December it’s worth visiting the grand, old, five-star hote

New York in autumn

Because nowhere else will you have more fun in autumn. October in New York – high blue skies, cool sunshine with a progressively crisper edge – is ideal for putting on comfortable shoes and simply sightseeing. There is so much to look at, even when you're just strolling down a residential block, let alone joining the throng on the miles-long Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue or Broadway. Besides, the city stages more compelling events and exhibitions now than at any other time of year.

Take this wee

Damascus, Syria

Modern Damascus looks very dull – all 1970s apartment blocks and scruffy electrical shops. The Old City, however, the ancient walled enclave around which it has grown, is something else. Dating back more than 4,500 years, it is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. It has the only street mentioned by name in the Bible – Straight Street, where Saul of Tarsus went after his famous conversion on the road to Damascus.

It exerts such an irresistible allure, you find yourself stopping e

Classic Italy: a whistlestop Grand Tour

Outside again, in the blazing sunshine, I discover Rome's most famous shopping street, Via Condotti, around the corner – and Valentino, Hermès, Gucci and Armani. The Spanish Steps, lively heart of Rome, are just a block away, flanked on one side by the building where Keats lived in a flat (now rented out via the Landmark Trust) and on the other by Babington's Tea Room, which feels as cool and sedate as an EM Forster novel. Poached egg features on the menu, just as it did when two English women o

Krakow: a spring in your step

"Why do I like the British so much that I learn your complicated language?" asks my elegant Polish guide, Eva. It is 11am, and we have stopped for a coffee in a walnut-panelled old café in Krakow's main square. Having listened to Eva hold forth on everything from why the capital moved from Krakow to Warsaw in 1596 (the alchemist king burnt down half of the magnificent Wawel royal palace while trying to turn metal into gold) to how hard it is to pull two supermarket trolleys at once (which she di
Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels

New York: luxury shopping for less

I am peering into a glass-topped cabinet at a collection of diamond rings in Tiffany & Co, on Fifth Avenue, New York, having a Holly Golightly rapture moment. The shop is not only redolent – still – of the comforting glamour it exuded in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It is also much cheaper than the London branch.

New York is still the world's shopping HQ. None of its rivals offer anywhere near as comprehensive a range of delectable things at unbeatable prices. Milan is good for hard-edged high fashi

Bangkok: smart shopping in a gem of a city

Where's the best place to shop in the Far East? It depends on what you want, of course. But for both luxurious and everyday items, as well as tailoring and making-up services, all delectably cheaper than in Britain, there is only one answer: Bangkok.

Where to start? The gigantic Chatuchak weekend market is a good place for a gentle, jetlagged Sunday browse. At the information office, I pick up a colour-coded map showing how the 10,000-plus stalls are divided into 26 zones, then plunge in. My wa
Photo by Maria Carmona on Pexels

Jerez: sherry, flamenco and a true taste of Spain

In the old city of Jerez, so intensely Andalusian that by mid-afternoon the streets are siesta-empty, and, as the hotel manager tells me, “People do not care so much about the clock”, you can lie by the pool of the elegant Villa Jerez and hear only Spanish voices. At night, when you stroll into one of the dimly lit, wooden-floored restaurants for some tapas and a glass of wine (a celestial supper for eight or nine euros), you can expect to be greeted in Spanish, too.

Admittedly, you hear accent

Costa de la Luz, Andalusia: Costa with a touch of class

East of Tarifa – the southernmost spot in Spain, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, and a popular windsurfing centre – lies the overdeveloped Costa del Sol, long stretches of which many Spanish beg to disown. West of Tarifa, however, facing the Atlantic, lies the Costa de la Luz, which could be a different country. Here you find four-mile beaches, pleasant, low-rise hotels, friendly people, good food, and no drunken British vest-wearers. You hardly hear another British voice at all, in

Ultralight luxury travel accessories

Panasonic LX3 digital camera, 227g The compact that makes pro snappers swoon, with a 24-60mm F2.0-2.8 Leica lens that puts a lot of heavier DSLRs to shame; £399, Selfridges (0800 123 400,

Proporta universal emergency recharger, 105g Fitted with multiple connector heads for charging mobile gadgets from any power source; £39.95 (

Apple MacBook Air laptop, 1.36kg The world’s thinnest notebook; not quite pocket-sized, but a slender thing (only 32.5 x 22.7 x 1.9

Ayurvedic spas: Detox is a girl's best friend

There was a time when you had to go to India or Sri Lanka for serious Ayurvedic treatment. These days it’s possible to experience it much closer to home. At the Parkschloesschen – a five-storey, Art Nouveau building at Traben-Trabach, just outside Frankfurt – authentic treatments are delivered in surroundings of hospital-grade cleanliness (German standards, I hasten to add, not British). The speciality here is the Ayurvedic detox called panchakarma, which melts pounds from your body and can also

Barbados: The best of the West Indies?

Holidaying probably isn’t quite as risk-free in Barbados as it is at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos, the private resort where Bruce Willis and Donna Karan have houses and which the billionaire owner, Christina Ong, guards with 150 Gurkhas. Barbados is a lot less expensive, though. It also has one of the lowest rates of crime in the Caribbean. Even though most crime in the region is among local drug dealers, that’s a reassuring consideration after the lethal shooting of the newly-weds in Anti

Affordable spas: 10 top-value breaks

But few places in the eurozone are a bargain any more, with local prices rising and a poor exchange rate against the pound making it 20 per cent more expensive this year than last for British travellers. Spas in eastern Europe remain much more affordable - “with those in Slovenia the best value of all now,” says Miro Sajfert, the managing director of the medical spa specialist Thermalia. “Treatments are first class. Service and food are not comparable with western European spa hotels yet, but th

Heidi Thomas: 'Ballet Shoes saw me through'

"Yes, he walked in and it was a casting couch affair, I am ashamed to say," she sighs. "Love at first sight. We were both with other people at the time so, perverse as it seems now, there was no funny business for about two years, although we always stayed in touch." By 1988 they were both single. "One evening I was having a drink with a friend in Liverpool and he walked in again. Four weeks later he said: 'Let's just cut to the chase' and proposed."

"I thought, I absolutely have to do that ada

Eurostar: one day in Brussels

You could grab a cab, or take the Metro (lines 4, 55 or 56 go to the nearest station, De Brouckere). But if you feel like stretching your legs after the train ride, the walk will take only about 25 minutes. It's a pleasant stroll with plenty to look at. Splendid Art Nouveau and vividly painted private homes still greatly outnumber the giant concrete bunkers that today's city authorities appear to favour.

As a day visitor, you have three essential aims: to cram in as many restaurant, café and ba

Germany's Christmas toy towns

"Tradition, tradition, tradition. That is what we Germans love," says Dr Pforr, as we move upstairs to a candlelit restaurant overlooking the shop. "Particularly here in Saxony. In the GDR years everything was made for export and until the change in 1990 it was not possible for us to find our beloved Christmas items. The Chinese, of course, make a problem now. They copy us and sell more cheaply. But if you like the best quality you must buy from Saxony." He examines the menu. "Ah. Wild mushroom

You shall go to the show

Going online to see what else Superbreak had available, on an efficient website that instantly gave the price for whatever combination of date, hotel and show I clicked on to, I had to restrain myself from booking everything just because I could. There were even rare-as-goldust tickets for The Sound of Music on January 31.

The only production I couldn't get into in the next couple of months was Dirty Dancing. That's booked solid until March. "We block-book so far ahead that we get great deals a

NYC Christmas special

With the dollar so weak - you get almost two to the pound now - it's a must. But the run-up to Christmas is spectacular in this city. If you book your flights this minute, you can be in New York at 7pm on Wednesday to watch the illumination of the 30,000 lights on five miles of wiring on the 100ft Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center. If you want to join the skaters on the Rockefeller Ice Rink be prepared to queue, as no reservations are taken unless you book a lesson ($35 for 30 mins). But

Therapists to lie for

This is the most stunning of all the Four Seasons spas, architecturally dramatic, with a lavish hydrotherapy area overlooking the outdoor pool, and treatments that use Australia's 100 per cent pure Sodashi range. Convenient as a luxurious night's stopover en route to the Maldives, the hotel also works as a sybaritic weekend destination in its own right, when it includes several spa sessions booked ahead with Putu. "I was often on my own when I was a child because my parents worked at the temple,

Greece - the new word for luxury

It's unnerving that, although you can now ?ush away lavatory paper, you can also occasionally let the bathwater out in your beautiful marble bathroom only to see it ?ow up again through the drain in the middle of the ?oor and stream under the door into your elegant living-room.

Sani has a great deal going for it. I can't think of a similar resort in Europe that has rooms opening directly on to the beach, a marina with chic shops, cafes and restaurants ensuring life and liveliness, and yet a set

Spas: Ashram or sulphur spring?

The Ashram Health Resort, Calabasas, California (001 818 222 6900,

In the hills above Malibu, this is America's foremost boot-camp-style retreat - where the fit get fitter. It calls itself the "smallest roughest toughest leanest meanest sweetest health resort in the world" - and not everyone who checks in for the week of full-day exercise and minimal food stays the course. Julia Roberts and Renée Zellweger apparently checked out again after just four days. Rooms are shared;
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Photo by Elias Ficavontade on Pexels

London's best new spas

Glossy magazines decorated the two sofas in the waiting area, one featuring a report of W’s opening party. “Bare-bottomed men much in evidence… not an event for the faint-hearted,” I read. Crikey. Directed to the corridor of lockers, I found nowhere to change except one of the two bathrooms, a space with a shower that looked big enough for three, but was otherwise equipped with only a small stool. I had to put my bag in the basin and my clothes on the floor while I changed.

First impression


Top ten life-changing spas

This is where Donna Karan comes to recharge her batteries. Privacy is assured, and simply lying by the pool gazing at the view and contemplating the delicious Balinese massages that lie ahead has a therapeutic effect. Besides effective cleansing, get-fit, rejuvenation and stress-management programmes, the great draw here is the gently probing presence of the resident psychologist, Fiona Paton. “Restorer of sanity to one and all,” says a fan.

Push open the heavy door to this just-opened spa in t
Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels

Wellness treatments to try in 2021

Wellness treatments that can’t be missed in 2021 As we start thinking about life after the pandemic, spas are throwing open their doors with a new sense of purpose. Gone are gimmicks. With good health and robust mental wellbeing more valued than ever before, their focus is on delivering the therapies they know truly work. That means slimmed-down menus of meaningful, tried-and-trusted treatments that have visible, palpable results, genuinely boost wellbeing and thereby strengthen our immunity. We

The Russians have gone, so bag a Baltic bargain!

Don’t let on, but this is one of eastern Europe’s bargains.

With 20 miles of beach lapped by the Baltic Sea and backed by pine forest, the Latvian resort of Jurmala — three hours away by plane — is ripe for discovery.

Traditionally, it’s been packed with holidaying Russians, but sanctions against Putin are biting and prices have plummeted.

‘Now I can take my wife to dinner and not feel frightened of the bill,’ says my guide, Aldis. And it means visitors like me can buy a cup of coffee for hal

What’s behind the vegan revolution?

The number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350 per cent in the past decade. And, fuelled by Instagram-perfect clean-living gurus, it’s a growing trend among teenage girls. But could this obsession with restrictive diets have serious health consequences? Adriaane Pielou reports

How should you react to the news that your 14-year-old daughter is thinking of giving up red meat, chicken, eggs, cheese, butter and yoghurt, plus all processed food, sugar and gluten – and all because Deliciously Ella c

Road-tripping around Ireland by Ferrari

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Like everyone who’s picked up a new rental car I ease gingerly into traffic. The fact that it’s a red £200,000 Ferrari 458 means I’m perhaps going more gingerly than most.

“Give it some welly!” yells a white-overalled man from a beaten-up Ford Escort, which doesn’t real

Lisbon’s hills and elegant streets are alive with history

Fantastically laid back, Lisbon is small enough to explore in a few days. Built around the point where the Tagus river joins the Atlantic, the city is spread over seven hills. The Praça do Comércio is as magnificent as St Mark’s Square in Venice, with the heart of the city, Baixa, centred around the main square Rossio. Elegantly paved with swirling black and white tiles, it’s home to elderly shoeshine men looking hopefully at any passer-by not wearing trainers or flip-flops. Climbing up from Ros

Are you D-ficient?

The health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are far more severe than previously thought – yet the demands of modern life mean we’re getting less than ever before. sheds some light on the issue and explains why we all need to get out more

Vitamin D good, lack of vitamin D bad. Barely a week goes by without a news story warning of the perils of not having enough of the sunshine vitamin in your system (so called because, although it is present in some foods and available in supplement fo

Can a health farm cure my sugar cravings?

Mince pies, Christmas pudding and yule logs. Why did I not resist their siren call? As a perpetual scoffer of all things sweet, forever dipping into a crackly bag of wine gums in my coat pocket, I end the year feeling like a snake that has swallowed a goat. But there's an answer to everything these days. And the answer for those wanting to lose weight and get back on the straight and narrow (three healthy meals a day, no snacking, no sweets) is a spa. A nice sensible English spa.

I am in good
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels

The best pre Christmas city breaks

Fortysomething style writer Eleonora Attolico (00 39 335 644 6337, charges €60 per hour, minimum two hours, for her shopping service. Just specify what you want: costume jewellery, backstreet artisan shops or hand-holding in the glamorissimo Italian designer boutiques on Vias Condotti, Borgognona and Frattina, off Piazza di Spagna.

Prices are about half those in London, says Attolico. Get handmade slips in tulle and lace or silk and lace (€330-€580) and diffusion line (po

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