Best bets for love...?
We've had some LOVEly features in the press... In the Financial Times 'Expert Selection' section you'll find Alastair's recommendations for boltholes for two, and in Venue magazine, Toby Sawday's top ten romantic retreats for the love-struck. If you want to spring a surprise for your loved one in February, take a look... Or tell us if you've had a memorably romantic Sawday's stay...
Sawday's in Spain - an inspection trip
Alex Skinner, our main man for Spain, sends news from his inspection trip
I'm on an enormous trip, travelling from Malaga to Madrid to Segovía to Castile y Leon, to Asturias, Barcelona, Murcia and Valencia.
Inspection trips are always full of surprises, and the first one for me was the size of my hire car. A Smart car. Not so smart for a chap of six-foot-five-inches to end up with one of these.
Just the two of you
Want to spring a special surprise this Valentine's Day? Or at least escape the commercial mayhem? Take a look at Just for Two, one of the most popular areas on our site. You'll find rustic retreats like Blackberry Barn, right, little apartments and the odd eco-cabin or two. If you can only steal a few days away, have a look at our self-catering places that offer short breaks.
What puts the WOW into self-catering?
Sally Shalam, national newspaper columnist,
travel writer and Anglophile blogger, tells us what makes her happy when she's on her travels
'Lovely home from home’ people write in guest books the length and breadth of Britain. I know, because guest books are my bedtime reading when I’m away reviewing. They are a fast-track vignette of others’ experience. What I don’t understand is why anyone would want a home from home on holiday.
Those who look at such things as HOW new people find our site are well versed in the many ways to spell my name.
Research could throw up no surprises for me, though; my own travels remind me how often people get it wrong. 'Sawday' is almost unpronounceable to the French, but who could fail to be charmed by the welcome "Bonjour, Monsieur Sorbet!"
"Some of the best breaks are short but sweet," says Alastair
Under pressure from all sides, worn down by emails, requests to sponsor half-marathons and attend happiness seminars, we yearn for a break. The trouble is, the allotment needs weeding, the roof is leaking and the car insurance is about to expire. But so are you. So, the need for short breaks is transparent – and desperate.