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After a relaxing and enjoyable stay with some old friends, I decided to visit for the first time the Lincolnshire town of Stamford. Stamford was originally the refuelling place for the coach and horses trip to Scotland. It also has the palatial home of William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I’s most [...]

July 2, 2024 // 0 Comments


Ten years ago I made the momentous decision to leave London for the south coast. A good friend at the time advised me that if it did not work out – as clearly he thought it would happen then – I would be back within 2 years and have to deal with increased property prices. In fact, [...]

June 21, 2024 // 0 Comments

Seven Days in North Africa

About a month ago – after a frenetic period of activity and incoming commitments, several of them originally unplanned and/or ‘imposed’ at very short notice by third parties both family and otherwise – She Who Must Be Obeyed and your author decided that we were desirous of “stepping [...]

July 31, 2023 // 0 Comments

The end of the journey

Yesterday I travelled back from Nice on Easyjet. It made me think how much air travel has changed in my lifetime. When I first took a plane in the 1960s there were no budget airlines and the choice was Air France or British European Airways. There was a first class and standard. Nice only had one [...]

April 29, 2023 // 0 Comments

a la Colthard/The Spread Eagle Midhurst

There was something reassuring about this traditional hotel in Midhurst, West Sussex, where my room had a proper key – not a card – the service was friendly but professional and there were floral china cups. Upon arriving last Sunday I ate smoked salmon and egg sandwiches with a glass [...]

November 2, 2022 // 0 Comments

A la Colthard: London hotels post Covid

I was shocked – when seeking to book a hotel in Mayfair for the first weekend in September – to be quoted over £1,000 a night for Browns in Albemarle Street. I imagine hotels are making up their Covid losses in the summer when occupancy is much higher and Browns is uber posh but [...]

August 22, 2022 // 0 Comments

Gleneagles Hotel

Bob Tickler had it right. After the student accommodation, the Rust Group felt they were entitled to some pampering and where better to get it than the Gleneagles Hotel? It’s the place where the Gleneagles Agreement – effectively banning apartheid South Africa from sport – was [...]

July 23, 2022 // 0 Comments

The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel has an interesting history. Like many of its nature it started life as a railway hotel called the Northern British (Railway Hotel). It is still positioned right above the main station Waverley. It has a clock which runs 3 minutes late to help passengers. Forte Hotel Group [...]

July 22, 2022 // 0 Comments

Goodbye Gleneagles, hello Hotel Balmoral Edinburgh

We were all sad to leave the luxurious Gleneagles. No wonder it hosts so many events. In fact the Head of Events Charlotte is the niece of a friend of Bob Tickler and when we met her she explained that security – including detailed vetting of herself – was a vital feature of putting on [...]

July 21, 2022 // 0 Comments

An evening at Windsor Races

Whilst we sporting Rusters often prefer TV-watching to attendance, in recent weeks Duggie Heath has reported from the Lord Test, Ivan Conway from the Oval and yesterday I was at Windsor evening races for its most popular meet on the Monday of Royal Ascot week. Disappointing would be too strong but [...]

June 14, 2022 // 0 Comments

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