Villa Ratingen, Ratingen near Dusseldorf; 16 May 11

I don’t visit Germany very often these days so I enjoyed a quick trip over last week to visit InterPack, the big triennial packaging show in Dusseldorf. Hotels at the times of big shows double their prices and then double them again but I left it till the last-minute and got a really good deal at the Villa Ratingen, just 10 minutes from the airport. Continue reading


Overnight in Tamworth; 23 Aug 10

Tamworth isn’t an obvious leisure destination. I first remembered it as a town on the A5 which I used to drive along half a dozen times a year to and from University. But those days are long gone and now there’s the M6 so many people wouldn’t know where Tamworth is these days. Continue reading

Ludlow, another world: 19/20 Aug 08

Ludlow’s generally reckoned on being a bit of a gourmet centre but that’s not why I went there nor why I regard it as another world. Admittedly the breakfast at the Clive was first class (more on the hotel later) but dinner was at an Indian and not at one of the Michelin starred restaurants of which the town boasts. I went to visit best friendsColin and Lorraine Onions and they really do live at the end of the world. Continue reading

Old Vicarage Hotel: 6 Aug 08

I’m a regular user of the Active Hotels website to get good hotel rooms in the UK at prices that don’t break the bank. I started using it about 4 years ago after attending a lunchtime seminar where its founder and developer told us how he’d built it up in 3 years before selling out for a cool £150 million! I don’t think it’s as good as it used to be but I still get some good deals out of it and so it was with the Old Vicarage Hotelin Worfield near Bridgenorth, Shropshire. Continue reading

Hotel Món St Benet: 22/23 Jul 08

I’m pretty fortunate in that during my working life various employers have paid for me to travel and to stay in some rather fine hotels all over the place. Often they’ve been the big brands and what they’ve lacked in terms of character they’ve generally made up for in efficiency which is generally what you look for when on a business trip. This week I stayed in quite the most elegant hotel that I have experienced. The Hotel Món St Benet in Sant Fruitós de Bages in Catalonia. Continue reading