His latest book’s banned in Russia… but Jeffrey Archer still says St Petersburg’s a real thriller

There’s only one downside to visiting St Petersburg. You quickly realise you’ll have to return again and again if you want to see everything. I’ve visited the Russian city six times over the past 30 years and still feel I’ve only scraped the surface. The Winter Palace is second only to Versailles in architecture and … Read more

Experiencing what it’s like to run a five star hotel at Dukes in London

On the dot of 9.30am, there is a knock on my office door — and in troop the senior management team. There’s the food and beverage supremo, the head of housekeeping, the financial controller, the maintenance man, the boss of ‘guest relations’, the hotel operations manager, the director of human resources, the receptionist, the duty … Read more

From reaching Papua New Guinea to attending a Papal Mass in Rome, the holiday guru offers top tips

Can I cruise from Sydney to Papua New Guinea? What UK holidays are there for singletons? And can I attend a Papal Mass in Rome? The holiday guru offers top tips to travellers Cruising from Sydney to Papua New Guinea is doable but not easy  A walking break in the UK is recommended for singletons without … Read more

Our glorious gardens! You don’t have to travel far to experience the best that spring can offer

The world’s finest spring gardens are right here in Britain. No, really — that’s not an idle boast.  The mild, damp climate helps, along with a rich legacy of plants and centuries-old gardening traditions. So here’s a varied selection of Britain’s most inspiring spring gardens. Opening times can vary from month to month, so be … Read more

The Inspector reviews Mannings Hotel in Truro, Cornwall

An Inspector Calls… The friendly Cornish hotel and restaurant that’s popular with locals (but you wouldn’t want to spend a romantic night there) Mannings has 30 rooms and nine apartments fronting a car park The Inspector checked into an apartment which had a ‘whiff of old shoes’ The a la carte breakfast menu comes recommended over … Read more