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Farewell and keep travelling!

There are few things I look forward to more each week than sitting down with a cup of tea to write to you dear reader. We’ve been chatting for quite a few years now and the joy has not abated. In fact as more and more of you read my weekly words the better it has become. With more of you tuning in I’ve received more letters, more emails and more lovely messages than I ever dreamed of.

Since the first day I wrote to you an awful lot has happened and poor you have had to listen through my endless excitement about a hundred different things. Great nights out, extraordinary events, lots of Christmases, birthdays and New Years, and plenty of weird and wonderful situations. You were with me on my first date with a new chap, there the day he asked me to be his wife, and alongside us when we went on a wonderful honeymoon. All three of those things happened in glorious places, each another example of how much the world has for us if we’re willing to take a good look around.

Throughout it all I’m most pleased that I’ve been given the chance to talk about my favourite thing – travel. Together you and I have toured the world and I’ve learned about all sorts of places I’d never heard of. Tasted foods I’d never tasted, uncovered sights I’d never seen. And I’ve stayed in hotels so perfect they wrench us out of daily life, away from the march of time, deadlines and stress, and plonk us in a new more peaceful version of ourselves for a few days. The best of us and the best of life shows itself when we’re relaxed, with the ones we love, and surrounded by somewhere new and exciting. Whether you’re chilling on a beach, trekking up a mountain, cycling across a valley, shopping in a new city, or driving through animal-rich savannas.

What has become abundantly clear is that even if we spent every minute or every day travelling to wonderful places and staying in beautiful little hotels there wouldn’t be enough time in a lifetime to see everything we’d like to. So when you consider most of us only get a few weeks holiday a year the choices we make for our down time are among the most important we’ll ever make.

I hope I’ve helped you make a few good decisions and that you’ve enjoyed the hotels I’ve raved about! And I hope the lovely collection Small Luxury Hotels of the World has created continues to inspire you as I bid you a fond farewell.

Sadly this will be my last blog post but for a very good reason… That chap you met on my first date a few years ago is going to be a daddy, and I a mother. So my focus will be on the little one when he or she arrives and making sure I show him or her as much of the world as I can.

Take good care of yourselves and whatever you do make sure you keep travelling!

Melissa. x

Find a NEW New Year’s Eve

It’s around this time of the year that I start to say obvious and repetitive things like: “Can you believe it’s nearly 2017?!” And: “It feels like January was only five minutes ago!” Other people always nod and agree enthusiastically so I don’t think it’s just me! The next question someone involved in this annual conversation is likely to ask is… what are you doing for New Year? It’s an innocent enough question and yet people do not like it. New Year is, it appears, generally considered an annoyance by 95% of people. Or, at least, 95% of the people I’ve spoken to over the years. Considering these negative feelings it’s a wonder that anybody at all goes out on New Year’s Eve. Apparently everywhere is far too busy and far too expensive. It’s never fun and one’s best bet is to just stay in and fall asleep while watching television. Preferably before midnight. I refuse to fall into line and say mean things about New Year’s Eve though. If Christmas is the one day of the year that we all agree to do nothing but sing, eat, drink and play games, then NYE is the one night of the year we all agree to stay up late and be silly. And if you’re bored of spending it in your locale then get on a plane and go experience it through the eyes of another nation.

If you’re not from London then get over here! It’s a wonderful place to watch the clock tick into 2017 while Big Ben bongs. Stay at the quintessentially English retreat Dukes for a true taste of the capital plus you’ll only be a short walk from the river, the Houses of Parliament and the world’s most famous bell.


Or another good choice would be Cologne in Germany, home to the country’s most popular tourist attraction, the twin spired cathedral. Most importantly for New Year’s Eve purposes though is that the people are known for their joie de vivre and there are plenty of beer halls to experience it in! Stay at one of the world’s most unusual hotels, Hotel Im Wasserturm, which is housed inside a 19th-century water tower.


The Aussies know how to enjoy themselves and in Perth they do the last night of the year with aplomb. Fabulous eateries, great wine bars, and plenty of great beaches are housed here in arguably Australia’s most exciting city. More than 1000 people a week move here so it must be a fun and vibrant place! The only place to stay has to be Como The Treasury in the city’s Cathedral Square. The buildings, which have housed state government offices for 140 years, are stunning, the indoor pool with views is extraordinary and as one would expect from a Como, the spa is sublime.


Of course cities don’t have the monopoly on great New Year’s Eves. Staying up very late and watching the sun come up on January 1 while sat on a beautiful beach sounds pretty much perfect to me. There are, of course, a lot of beaches to choose from on this lovely planet of ours but if I were choosing for this year I think I’d go for Mexico, Vietnam or Barbados. In Mexico it would have to be the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen. I’d know there was some action nearby should the urge arrive but if not I could sit back and take in views of the rainforest, white beaches and sea while enjoying a special first day of the year champagne breakfast treat! Plus there are two golf courses so Henry would be thrilled!


In Vietnam I would head straight for Princess D’an Nam Resort and Spa. This is where a sloth would go to chill. A stunning spa, incredible views of the East Sea and colourful fishing boats dotted across Ke Ga Bay, and seafood galore. The only major decision to make as 2016 turns into 2017 is which of the four pools to swim in!


Barbados manages somehow to combine total relaxation with a unique party spirit. If you haven’t ‘limed’ with the locals here or danced to the tunes of Red Plastic Bag (yes a real and very popular artist) then you need to pop it on your to do list. Perhaps New Year is the time to tick this one off – I’ve never been there for the big night itself but having experienced a Bajan festival I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be an incredible night! Stay at The Sandpiper, a family-owned boutique hotel that’s been impressing guests for more than 40 years.


Wherever you decide to be for New Year’s Eve please don’t give up on it! There are so many ways to celebrate it and the world is full of cultures and beautiful spots that offer a new and exciting way to say happy New Year!

See you next week

Melissa. x

Here’s your travel starter for 10

Are you a fan of a travel quiz? I am. I cannot get enough of them.

Here’s a question for you readers out there. What is the capital of Japan? Too easy? Alright then, try this one instead. What was the capital of Japan from 710AD TO 784AD? Now I’ve got you stumped haven’t I. If I haven’t got you stumped and you knew it was Nara then please imagine me wearing a hat. And then continue imagining while I take said hat off to you. You’re much cleverer than I am! This question came up in a quiz I was at this week and needless to say nobody in my team had a clue. We hadn’t even heard of Nara. I Googled it (after the quiz had finished, no Googling allowed during proceedings) and when I saw what the answer to question seven was all about I wanted to kiss the quiz master. Without him I might never have known about this ridiculously pleasant place. It’s got a period named after it (the Nara period naturally) and if you are ever lucky enough to go you’ll be able to see temples from way back then. I feel like ‘way back’ doesn’t really cover how waaaaaaaaaaay back we’re talking about. This was 300 years before Harold got an arrow in the eye and more than a thousand years before George Washington became the first president of the United States.

I had planned on going to Kyoto next time I go to Japan but thanks to this revelation I’m considering skipping it altogether so that I can spend lots of time in Nara. From what I’ve read so far it appears that this little part of the country is more authentic, less busy, and further off the beaten path than the famous Kyoto. First stop after checking in at my hotel, if and when I get there, will be the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) which lives in a huge temple and looks down over a peach of a park. Peaceful, green and home to tame deer this particular park. So tame are the deer in fact that, unlike the ones I try to get close to in Richmond Park in west London who appear to think of me as a threat akin to a pack of hungry lions, these ones will eat from your hand. Remind me to do some research into what they eat please so that I can make sure I have plenty of it. Because it was Japan’s capital city in the 8th century Nara has some of the country’s oldest and largest Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. It’s no surprise the place is littered with sites that have been bestowed the World Heritage thumbs up like the Todai-ji and Horyu-ji temples. Eating and drinking will be key in this part of the world too. And I don’t know if I’m more excited about the prospect of old school thatched teahouses or a bit of Japanese fine dining. Or perhaps I’m most excited about trying out the renowned French restaurant at Noborioji Hotel. I just can’t choose which has me most enthused I’m afraid – gaging my own excitement levels has always been a weak point. Everything is very very exciting indeed. I’ll be sleeping at Noborioji Hotel too. Wooden interiors coupled with large windows and a prime position at the foot of Kotuku-Ji temple make this place an easy selection. The only question now is when to go. Spring I think… so I can combine these temple treasures with a little cherry blossom action.

noborioji-deer noboroji



Have any of you been to Nara before? I’d love your top tips if you have!

See you next week.

Melissa. x

Why holidays are better together

All Together Now. Let’s Stay Together. Together again. We All Stand Together. Come Together.

Have you spotted the theme? I’d imagine so. Today we’re talking together. What is it about being together that has inspired everyone from Michael Jackson to Prince to Jason Donovan to Diana Ross to The Beatles to write songs about it?

Most of the time a song about togetherness is a happy song about nice things we all enjoy like love and friendship. Unless the protagonist/singer is no longer together with whoever it is they like being together with. Then it tends to be a sad song. A very sad song indeed. It’s rare to hear a song about being together that complains about the situation and the other people, or a song that rejoices in being alone.

I can relate to all these singers because I like to be together too. Doesn’t really matter who to be honest. I love being together with Henry, with friends, with family, with like-minded folk, with polite strangers on occasion even. Of course it’s impossible to always be together. We can’t go through life as a large family/friends gang demanding to eat/sleep/work in the same place. But what we can do is holiday together – because there are no rules on holiday. We are free to be with the people we want to be with. I don’t know about you but every single one of the best memories I have from holidays over the years have people in them. Often those people are laughing at me for doing something silly but that’s by the by and most of the time they are quite right to laugh at me!

The only regrets I’ve ever felt while away has been while sitting in a pool, on a beach, in a hot tub, atop a mountain, and not having someone I love next to me enjoying it too. Yes, I do love a little solo trip now and then but as a rule I’d rather sit in a muddy puddle with friends than on the most beautiful beach in the world on my own.

What I like to do is to look at beautiful photos and read about incredible places and then picture myself there. Usually I can work out pretty quickly if it’s going to be an ideal spot for Henry and I to enjoy a romantic break. Or if it’s a destination ripe for a giggle with my girlfriends. Or if it’s a spot that my whole family could enjoy from my toddler niece all the way up to my lovely grandparents.

Once I have worked out who would like it I set about making it happen. Hard because everyone’s schedules are so different and frantic. But it’s more than worth the effort when you find yourself strolling on a beach with your husband, sitting at a massive table in the sun eating lunch with your family, or drinking wine on a boat with your friends.


There’s so much we can do together and the lovely folk at SLH have come up with a few ideas for you. Enjoy perusing these and let me know if you decide to go on a ‘together’ break!

Melissa. x

Why am I humming Christmas songs?!

Am I the only one who has suddenly started humming Christmas songs? Walking back from the station, thinking about nothing in particular, I could hear the sound of Let It Snow coming from somewhere. A quick assessment and I realised that the somewhere in question was my mouth. Had I heard someone else humming it? Had it been blasting out of passing car or a stranger’s headphones? I don’t think so. I think it was just me with no prodding from outside influences. Somehow Christmas has managed to quietly and surreptitiously enter my psyche, get settled in, and then start pressing the Christmas song buttons in my head. Not that they would be hard buttons to find… I do enjoy a Christmas tune. That’s not the point though. The point is that something akin to the most cunning guerilla marketing campaign ever has turned me into a walking, talking, humming Christmas billboard. Maybe it’s a long range body clock thing? Perhaps my body knows it has been a while since Christmas and therefore probably about the right time to begin the annual festive shenanigans. Soon the urges to buy presents, buy a tree, and talk endlessly about Christmas day with my mother will kick in.

What I tend to forget every year is that Christmas does eventually end. It doesn’t feel like it come mid December because the whole process takes about two months to reach climax by which time you’ve forgotten there’s such a thing as not Christmas. But it will end. I will feel fat, I will feel like I never want to watch television again, and I will feel like running away to foreign lands and meals with no Turkey or sausages in them.

Rather than wait till that moment arrives – a moment when it’s actually far too late to do anything about the holiday urge – I’m grabbing the Christmas bull by the Christmas horns and booking something. On December 27 I’ll be out of here and heading to a hotel that is ready to meet all my non festive needs. Part of me thinks we should all skip town before Christmas and spend the big day on the beach but my mother is unable to comprehend the idea so indoctrinated is she into traditions. Maybe your family is less inclined to do the same thing every year until the end of time in which case I might join your family and have a swim in the sea before opening my presents. How lovely would that be!

So the only question I have now is where to go. My not particularly thorough thought process has concluded to head for the winter sun. But will it be Caribbean, Cyprus, Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka… oh I can’t decide. I would toss a coin but they are only two-sided which doesn’t much help. Perhaps you could help? Tell me where you would go for a little Christmas/winter sun… PLEASE!

Beach 6



I look forward to hearing your ideas and I’ll see you next week!

Melissa x

Take a luxurious walk on the wild side

There’s a reason one of the most popular things to do on the internet is look at pictures and videos of cute animals. Animals are AMAZING.

I could look at them all day. However, cute dogs and cats tend to dominate the World Wide Web – the really impressive animals are not so well represented. Therefore, if you want to see them it’s far better to jump on a plane and go find them rather than stare at your phone. To my mind there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the adventure of exploring the world’s most incredible landscapes in search of the bountiful natural beauty we have here on Earth.

Those landscapes alone are worth the journey but add on the wildebeest migration, a pride of lions snoozing under a tree, or a coral reef teeming with life and suddenly your holiday has become something magical. Of course before you do any of this you’re going to want to find a place to stay worthy of the occasion.

Africa sometimes steals all the holiday headlines when it comes to animals but while it has an incredible array it is far from having a monopoly on creeping things. Borneo is the most naturally diverse island on the planet, Australia has it’s own unique collection of extraordinary animals and landscapes, the Galapagos Islands have been made famous by their natural abundance… I could go on. Of course the places that have the most to offer animal lovers tend to be quite remote and unpopulated. Else the animals probably wouldn’t be there. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that means this type of holiday requires accepting a little discomfort. Luxury has made its way to every corner of the globe and SLH has sought out the best around. So after your balloon safari or scuba dive you can have spa treatments, eat delicious food and sleep in a seriously comfy bed. All this and without losing the sense of where you are. Quite a trick, but all of these camps, lodges and resorts pull it off with aplomb.

There are too many wonderful ones for me to tell you about so I’ve just grabbed a little selection to whet your appetite. If you’ve not been on safari or wildlife holiday before then take a very close look and start thinking about it! If you have been before you don’t need me to tell you that this holiday is like no other.

Larsens Camp, Samburu District, Kenya

You might think you know what a tent looks like and what staying in one feels like. But if you’re imagining a bad night’s sleep, a cramped sleeping bag, and a tiny gas stove to heat some beans on then stop right now and have a look at these tents. Luxurious doesn’t quite seem a strong enough word. Facing east to ensure morning sunshine on your private terrace, days start with a champagne full English breakfast and a swim.


Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands, Equador

Being perched alongside a volcano may not sound like a bright idea but fear not, this volcano is lava free. Most people stay on boats as they explore these islands but for true comfort this eco-lodge gets my vote. A pool, a restaurant, a spa, and a giant tortoise reserve are all the reasons I need to get me booked in. Add to that a private yacht to head out into the ocean to explore and you have a perfect combination.


Gaya Island Resort, Borneo, Malaysia

I’ve always said the best way to arrive at wherever you’re staying is by boat. So this luxury island resort immediately grabbed my attention – the only way to get there is by sea. Yippee! When you’ve reached your secluded island you’ll find tropical rainforest, mangroves, and coral reefs. Nature literally surrounds this resort so wherever you turn extraordinary animals, flora and fauna are abundant.


I’m hoping this little taster has got you excited about travelling the world in search of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. If you have any favourite animal experiences from your travels I would love to hear about them. So get in touch!

Melissa x

Use them or lose them!

I read something this week that I’m having a hard time believing.

Apparently some companies are giving their employees unlimited holidays. Unlimited!! Extraordinary isn’t it?

What would I do if I could take as many holidays as I liked? Probably get fired before too long for not turning up!

The idea is that the employees can be trusted to do their work and only take holiday when they can. Supposedly the amount of holiday taken has actually decreased a little. Which suggests these particular employees do not share my, and your, love of travel.

While daydreaming about the possibilities of taking so much time off I suddenly remembered that I have no idea how many holiday days I have left to take this year.

A quick calculation revealed I have 10 left to take. 10! And it’s already mid October. Never mind unlimited holiday I’m failing to take the days I’m allowed! Work can get in the way and many of us enter the last quarter of the year with far too many days left. I am very busy for the next couple of months but I decided to get my priorities straight. What is the point in working hard if we don’t spend some of that money and treat ourselves to the ultimate reward life offers- a holiday!

It’s not only me who has noticed this- the wonderful people at SLH have realised that so many people do not take their full allowance so they have come up with a genius idea to ensure you take that much-earned holiday. For anyone who books a stay for this year from now until the end of November will have the chance to win all their holidays for next year- that’s a whopping 20 nights free!


So I’ve booked every day off and I urge you to do that same. You’ve earned it!

Don’t waste a moment, go now and find out what you have left and get it booked in before it’s too late.

The question now is what to do? Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I’ll definitely be going away somewhere. But where, is the hard part.

So once I’ve finished writing this I’ll be sifting through Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s hotels (could take a while as there are over 500 of them) in 80 countries to find the perfect spot to spend my last holiday days of the year in.

I hope you’ll take my advice and do the same. Quick, go now! Time is ticking!

See you next week

Melissa. x

Thinking Outside The Box

Unlike most people, I rather enjoy watching TV adverts. Usually it’s to tut and then nudge Henry to say something like: “A group of people sat in a room and came up with that. WITH THAT! And then another group of people thought it was a good idea. Absolutely extraordinary.” I’d estimate I say negative things about adverts nine times out of a ten. Yes, I am a lot of fun to watch the box with…

Anyway, this particular advert was admonishing me for being sat on my sofa. I wasn’t sure about the wisdom of being mean to people who were actually paying attention to their advert but I watched on as I was told to go do something else and explore another country.

Of course I already knew there’s plenty to be doing other than watching TV but having these opportunities pop up in front of me as I cradled a cup of tea was enough to get me Googling furiously.

My chosen adventure… well there are lots of them. I couldn’t choose one so I’ve chosen five and if you lovely readers could choose one for me to do I would be most grateful.

  1. The Brussels Light Festival, Belgium

Belgium has a lot going for it. Mainly in terms of things I can put in my tummy. But aside from the chocolate and beer they are also very clever with light. At the end of this month come some incredible light shows (and a winter bbq because you can’t eat light). It’s been going since 2013 and every year more and more locals and travellers have designed their days off around this festival that takes place predominantly along Canal Sainctelette.


2. Dia De Los Muertos, Mexico

Literally translated this doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs (Day of the Dead) but this astonishing November 1 festival, most famously celebrated in Mexico, was born of an attitude I applaud.

The plan is to honour the dead with lively celebrations, food, drink, parties and so on. The idea is that death is a natural part of life and that the dead are still a part of the community. It’s firmly on my bucket lists to walk along with the incredible parade of brightly coloured skeletons and skulls.


  1. Lewes Bonfire, England

You could probably have guessed this takes place on November 5 without my help. I couldn’t have a top five without an entry from my home nation and this is an occasion I regret not going to yet.

Yes there are fire-based goings on all over the country and indeed the world on Bonfire Night but the best of the best takes place in a little market town in Sussex – population 16,000 – where 80,000 people descend to enjoy seven different societies putting on five parades and fireworks displays. This is November 5 overdrive territory so if you like it anyway, you’re going to LOVE this.


  1. Lopburi Monkey Festival, Thailand

This is how all festivals should come about. One bloke, called Yongyuth Kitwatananusont, wanted to reward the monkeys for being such great tourist attractions. So in 1989, on the last Sunday in November, he put on a buffet for them. Initially that meal was 35 tables worth but it had grown and now there are musical performances, human monkey dances and hundreds of thousands of people gathered while the monkeys feast all day long. And all night – there’s lots to munch through.


  1. Texas Renaissance Festival, United States

If, like me, you enjoy dressing up this event might make you too jealous to be able to attend. For two months kings, queens, lords, knights, nobles, fairies, pirates, elves and more gather to create a spectacle that transports people back through time, and indeed to places that exist only in fairy tales. There are acrobats, musicians, jugglers, dancers and a huge number of great artisans selling their wares and showing off skills such as blacksmiths, glass blowing and weaving. Wonderful!


I think you’ll agree that any of these are better than watching television. So I’m going to follow this month’s Small Luxury Hotels of the World mantra and Be Out There! You’ll need to let me know quickly which one to go to please!

I’m going to look up fancy dress outfits now as most of these offer a great chance to dress up. Yippee!

See you next week.

Melissa x

My five favourite travel blogs

Today I’ve been thinking about how very lucky we all are to be living at a time when the internet exists. It hadn’t really taken hold yet when I was at university, but now it’s a vital part of everyday life. For me personally, I love it because it allows me to write this blog and share my thoughts, loves, hopes and dreams with all of you lovely people. But I’m not the only one doing this. Some incredible writers have some wonderful blogs and I read lots of them for inspiration alongside the more traditional publishers. It’s such a treat to have access to so much talent and so much travel knowledge. While I hope this blog is one of your favourite blog reads, I also encourage everyone to read a variety of different blogs. There are too many to list here that are worth a look so I have had to choose a few of my favourite. Have a look… I think you’ll enjoy!

Travel with Bender (

One day in 2012 Erin Bender decided to leave behind a traditional life in Perth, Australia and set off travelling with her husband and two young children. An extraordinary move that many of us have probably dreamed about but never quite been brave enough to try! No plans, no rules and no limits. They’ve already explored more than 5 countries and stayed in all sorts of places doing all sorts of fascinating things.


Just One Way Ticket (

Sabrina is a bit of a pro when it comes to incredible photographs and videos. I love to read a good bit of text but if there are some incredible images and beautifully shot videos alongside the travel excitement within me burns even brighter. She is an inspiration to many travellers who set off on their journeys based on what she covers. And I’m not surprised!


Wanderlusters (

This one is perfect for the adventurers among you. For those who can’t sit still on a beach too long but need to be out exploring lesser known places, trying out active and adrenaline fuelled pursuits. The founder Charli Moore is a real adrenaline seeker so you can share some of the incredible things she gets up to while also enjoying her take on various other unique experiences found on her way around the world.


Don’t Forget To Move (

I was drawn to this blog by the brilliant name. Many of us do forget to move as we get bogged down in day to day life. But as soon as you start reading this blog the hunger to get going will erupt. The focus is on independent travellers who don’t like to skim across the surface of a destination like traditional backpackers but spend more time on authentic experiences within the local cultures. If you’re a fan of volunteering and sustainable tourism this one is a must for you!


Luxe Tiffany (

As a lover of all things luxurious I had to include this famous blog from Tiffany Dowd. She is a serious expert on all things high end so if you want to know about the latest openings, trends and cool places to stay Tiffany knows all about it. If you prefer your travel to be five star and stunning this is a good place to go get inspired.


Once you’ve had a look at those remember to come back and see me! When it comes to beautiful boutique hotels in amazing places I know what’s going on!

See you next week.

Melissa. x


Four seasons please – with a side of sunshine

The weather has gone mad. Here in the UK it has at least. Last week we had the hottest September day on record at 34 degrees Celsius. This week, not so much. It’s grey, drizzle has taken over the sky, and it’s a little chilly. Thank goodness for that.

Call me old-fashioned but I prefer seasons to stick to their, erm, seasons. Snow in summer, leaves falling off the trees in Spring, scorching sunshine in Autumn… no no no. Stick to the programme please Mr Weather. As we speak I can see a tree giving serious thought to shedding its leaves. This means that shortly I will be able to kick and dance through piles of leaves and feel very autumnal indeed. Order will be restored. Autumn is when television gets better, when great films get released in the cinema, when we all see how long we can wait before turning the central heating back on, and when Sunday roasts in cosy pubs are firmly back on the agenda.

For a couple of weeks this is all well and good and I love it. But around late September as I see winter approaching, months and months of cold weather filling the horizon, I zoom out a bit during weather reports to see a little more of the globe. The UK is going to be cold and wet – that’s a given. But zoom out and take the whole of the planet in and suddenly there are little suns to be seen all over the place. On particularly cold and windy days, usually just after my umbrella has turned itself inside out and I’m drenched, I click on those suns and zoom back in again to see where they are. And then I get on a plane and go at several hundred miles an hour. I fly in search of vitamin D to fill myself up big time so that I’m ready to take on the cold dark winter.

Of course in late September/early October there are plenty of nearby places that still have great weather. Morocco, Greece, Spain, Turkey… head south a bit and you’ll find that warm glow. But as time goes by, Europe and then North Africa slowly cool and then for me there are two top choices for true winter sun – The Caribbean and The Indian Ocean. Both have pretty amazing weather all year round so are vitamin D topping paradises. They also both have a whole load of beautiful little boutique luxury hotels to stay in. Yippee. It’s impossible to pick a favourite – I’ve tried and I can’t I’m afraid –  but if you click here you’ll find some heavenly Indian Ocean hotels and here you’ll see the best of the charismatic Caribbean places to stay.


Serene Pavilions, Sri Lanka


The Sandpiper, Barbados


French Coco, Martinique

You may not be in the mood yet, like me you might be loving the red leaves, conkers, and winter coats. But trust me. In a week or two you’ll be back!

See you next week.

Melissa. x

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