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A review of 2016 – a year of excitement and adventure for ALadyofLeisure

It’s been quite a year! It started with an amazing culinary tour of Japan – a week full of sushi, puffer fish and bullet trains –  and ended with a trip to Antarctica (which felt at times like a trip to another planet). During the rest of the year I discovered mermaids in Las Vegas, had lunch (almost) with The Queen on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace, learned to cook at the River Cottage, found my way onto black runs while skiing in Austria and stayed at some of the best hotels in the country.

In 2016 I reviewed just under 50 amazing hotels, restaurants, bars and holidays – which were read by several thousand unique (and travel-loving) readers a month, plus shared across Twitter and Facebook and from now on, Pinterest.

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Huge thanks to all the venues that made such an exciting year possible and I’m really looking forward to reviewing the best hotels, restaurants, holidays, bars and all things leisure-related in 2017. There’s a full list of reviews below – lots of inspiration for you!

All the best,

[email protected]

My reviews of 2016

Dormy House Cotswolds

Dormy House looking lovely in the Cotswolds sunshine

Dormy House, the Cotswolds: so snug, you’ll never want to leave
Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham: the perfect place for a day at the races
Burley Manor, Burley: the New Forest’s newest, oldest hotel
Balans, Kensington: it’s smarter, sexier and has its very own tree
It’s Oscar time: but who is going to triumph in my very own ALadyofLeisure.com awards?
The Levin, Knightsbridge: a calm retreat from the shopping frenzy
The Crab and Boar, Chieveley: classic country foodie pub (with hot tubs)

Japan food tour

Meals in Japan were a work of art as well as a culinary delight

My culinary tour of Japan: sushi, puffer fish and bullet trains
Hambleton Hall, Rutland: warm, welcoming and wonderful food
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge – food for thought
Hampton Manor, Solihull – top-class food and a step back in time

A view across London from the roof terrace bar at ME London

A room (and cocktails) with some serious views at ME London luxury hotel, London
The Bull Inn at Sonning – possibly the perfect British pub
Is a hotel room complete without a kettle?
Las Vegas – rain or shine, there’s more to do than gambling
Kensington Hotel – luxury in the heart of London’s museum district

The beautiful courtyard at Whatley Manor

A treat for the mind and the body, Whatley Manor is one of the best hotels in the Cotswolds
Noble Rot on Lamb’s Conduit Street, a welcome addition to memory lane
Turn-downs, coat hangers and posh loo seats – here’s what I think is essential in a luxury hotel room
The best luxury hotels in the Cotswolds – A Lady of Leisure’s favourite five
Sopwell House, St Albans – a stay in my very own VIP courtyard

Danesfield House review

Danesfield House – a hotel with a top spa to match its top location

Danesfield House hotel and spa, relaxation on the Thames
Which are the top luxury hotel spas around? Here’s some of the best to get you in the mood
Baths in hotel bedrooms and transparent loo doors – treat or travesty?
Lunch with the Queen (and 10,000 other guests) at the Patron’s Lunch
Brooklands Hotel, perfect location for car, spa and plane fans

luxury hotel reviews

The beautiful Slaughters in the Cotswolds, home of Lords of the Manor

Quintessential Cotswolds retreat at Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
Valet parking – it’s supposed to be great but makes me panic
It’s a day of tasty foodie firsts at the River Cottage cookery school
A garden with a view at the Alexandra hotel, Lyme Regis
Corinthia Hotel London: luxury on a grand scale
Something for everyone come rain or shine at Foxhills hotel Surrey

My very grand bedroom at The Gore, Kensington

The Gore Hotel, Kensington: history, luxury and some rock and roll cocktails
A cooling terrace (and a cocktail or two) at The Bloomsbury, London
Rockliffe Hall, County Durham – a relaxing spa escape
My stay at The Marylebone, London: a room with a view and a seriously nice roof terrace
The Montagu Arms, Beaulieu: a New Forest feast
A deeply relaxing day at Lime Wood hotel spa in the New Forest

Some very useful wellies at The Painswick

Cosy Cotswolds charm at The Painswick, Sunday Times Hotel of the Year
A very Christmassy stay at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, London
Skiing on a Mark Warner ski holiday – on your own but never alone
A stay at The Old Swan and Minster Mill, a classic Cotswolds country inn

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