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DestinationsHip HousesTravel

Insider’s guide to Corfu: with kids or without kids, just go…

One of the world's all-time favourite holiday destinations, Corfu is the sun-drenched Greek Island famed not only as the setting for Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, but also as a place of gorgeous beaches, beautiful scenery and stunning coastal views over the glittering Mediterranean. Inspired by pictures of her ridiculously amazing villa Agnos House (available to rent this summer through Scott Williams), we turned to Interior Designer Looby Crean, who has been visiting Corfu for years and is an expert on what to do and where to go on this most idyllic of Greek islands. If you're going this summer, read on for her hot tips and to discover how she transformed the house into a stunning home. If not, read on, be inspired and book for next year! You won't regret it....…

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Family TravelHip HousesTravel

Time to book a holiday? 3 great villas for a sun-filled summer escape

Looks good, huh? Maybe just a teensy bit better than what you’re doing right now? (*stares out of window at the grey rain-sodden sky and returns with a sob to her computer*) If so, why not make it a reality? With the weather being quite frankly unreliable, I am seriously craving proper sunshine and when an email about hot new villa company Oliver’s Travels popped into my inbox, I was all over it like a skinny fashionista at the Chanel sample sale. With 2000 properties on their books and clients spending an average of £39 per person, per night, the villas aren’t only gorgeous (we’re talking converted windmills, trulli and glass houses), but also not break-the-bank expensive and great for big family gatherings or groups of friends travelling together. Here are 3 that I’m currently dreaming of….…

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DestinationsHip HousesTravel

Insider’s Guide to Puglia

If you’re planning on going on holiday to Italy, you may be thinking of somewhere like Tuscany, the Lakes or the Amalfi Coast. But, if you want somewhere a little different, a little less well-known, but arguably as chic then you’d do well to consider Puglia.…

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Hip HousesTravel

Weekend to-do list: Book next year’s break

It’s about this time of year when I think that everyone needs a pick-me-up. Something to look forward to as the nights draw in, the wind whips up and winter lies like a long, lonely road in front of us. While shopping can provide a quick fix, there’s nothing quite like a holiday or weekend away on the horizon to cheer me up. Whereas I used to be all about getting as much sunshine as possible, the arrival of children in my life has meant that I’m something of a UK holiday convert. No flights! No fuss! No airports! No jet-lag! And, did I mention NO FLIGHTS?!…

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DestinationsHip HousesTravel

The Great Escape: Casa Cairucu, Brazil

So, the weather. Not great is it? As much as I love an excuse to stay inside and curl up on the sofa, I really don’t like heavy rain and grey skies. Which is slightly unfortunate considering I live in London and it’s October. However, it’s not just the thought of Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas that’s keeping me going, it’s dreaming about holidays. And, hot holidays at that. As anyone with a sports-interested husband/boyfriend/brother/friend will know, the spotlight is very much on Brazil at the moment. Not only is it the World Cup next year, but then it’s the Olympics after that, which will mean plenty of pictures of white-sand beaches, blue ocean and tropical rainforest will be beamed over the Atlantic just to make us sigh and dream of jumping on a plane immediately. Not that I’m suggesting you actually fly out to Brazil for the World Cup. Oh no ho ho. That would be lunacy unless you are a hardcore football fan. What I am suggesting is that you go to Brazil at another time. Any time in fact. I’ve been twice – both times to Rio (which in the words of Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood is…

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Hip HousesHomeTravelWe want to live here

We want to live here: The Folly, Gloucestershire

Look at this house. Just look at it. Isn’t it just pure Cotswolds perfection? You can imagine yourself living here, can’t you? Pulling on your wellies and going for long walks in the Cider with Rosie countryside, sitting outside with a cup of tea (or bottle of wine), playing tennis like a pro on the tennis court….Well, you can do all of that and more as you CAN live here. I’ll write that again. You can live here. Ok, just for a week (or longer if you can afford it), because The Folly is available to rent. Hurrah! Owned by interior designer Jo Berryman (whose Uniform we featured not so long ago), The Folly was “a well-loved family retreat in dire need of updating and restoration,” when she bought it. Revamping and redesigning it, she removed the carpets, replacing them with reclaimed railway sleepers, which were then blowtorched to age them. Filling the rooms with finds from local antique shops, flea markets and designers, Jo has created a stunning house that exudes “Miss Haversham meets Tim Burton chic.” It sleeps ten and is completely gorgeous. My very stylish friend Lucy visited last year and raved about it. Now you can visit and…

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Family TravelHip HousesTravel

In the mood for a holiday? Five fabulous Cornish retreats

Spring has sprung and it’s gone to our heads. Just one tiny glimpse of sunshine has sent us into a spin and all we can think about is going on holiday. So, let’s start with Cornwall. It’s easy to get to, ridiculously pretty and perfect for children. Here’s our pick of the best cottages, yurts and retreats to rent with (or without) the family……

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Hip HousesTravel

Anyone for a walk on the beach?

  Do you hanker after the bucolic, cream tea and sandy beach English holidays of your (or, more likely, your grandmother’s) youth? But, err, you don’t really fancy eschewing all those little luxuries without which a holiday feels, somehow, so much less. And you’d prefer not to schlep to Cornwall this time, thank you very much. The very first holiday we took after we had C was a gentle toe-in-the-water trip to Dorset (home to many of my own childhood holidays). Now, hands up, I am spoilt on the hotel front (not, I should add, as spoilt as Alex, who has spent years nipping around the globe reviewing a-may-zing hotels for fancy-pants publications. The woman was the Travel Editor for Brides, there is not a honeymoon suite worth it’s rose petals she hasn’t checked out).  So, I was not willing to accept that having a child meant style-free cottages or cheese-tastic family-friendly resorts (obviously, there are exceptions). Thank the gods of travel then, for Baby Friendly Boltholes. Simple concept, well done. It was here that I found The Cowshed – a mini barn conversion in a I-wish-we-lived-here village (there’s a pub and an aesthetically pleasing playground), owned by a lovely I-reckon-we’d-be-friends-with-them…