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COLLECTION FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE YOUR FREE COPY GARY BARLOW ON HIS FRIEND ELTON JOHN AND WHY HE FINALLY CHERISHES TAKE THAT GRAND DAYS OUT our guide to some of the UK s top city attractions FROM PARIS WITH LOVE discover a world of culture and romance FAIRYTALE WEDDINGS top tips for making your dreams come true THE WELCOME N 5 Concierge at The St David s Hotel and Spa Cardiff Welcome Welcome to PH Hotels and the very first edition of The Collection an eclectic look into the world of luxury living. From must see events to the must stay hotels and from world food recipes to Gary Barlow s recipe for success it s all in here to keep you entertained. It s an exciting time to be launching our new magazine with significant investment in the hospitality industry and most importantly your customer experience. At PH Hotels we re proud to be at the forefront of this investment and our majority shareholders Starwood Capital Group share our vision for the future and for excellence in hospitality. We make it our personal mission to convert this passion into memorable experiences at each of our 22 properties. This is driven through our Quality Wins programme which helps to bring out the very best in our team so you can enjoy the very best of hospitality at PH Hotels. As always I d love to hear your feedback on our hotels and our team at talkback principal-hayley.com I d also like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for being our guest and I hope you enjoy your visit as much as we enjoy having you to stay whether you re here for a short break on business or celebrating with us at an exclusive wedding or event. If you re inspired by some of the features in this magazine and you d like to discover other PH Hotels from iconic city centre grandeur to countryside retreats please visit us at www.ph-hotels.com. We d love to welcome you back. So for now whether you re relaxing in the comfort of your room or enjoying a good read over a drink in our Tempus bar sit back relax and let us entertain you. TONY TROY CEO P.S. As a thank you for booking directly with us for your next stay I d like to offer you an exclusive 20% discount just visit www.ph-hotels.com direct20 www.ph-hotels.com 6 n CONTENTS 46 08 53 92 www.ph-hotels.com CONTENTS N 7 86 The Collection 08 BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITIES From London to Edinburgh our hotels can be found in some of the most spectacular UK destinations Welcome to the first issue of The Collection here s what you ll find inside... 60 TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED Discover the intriguing histories of our magnificent hotels how are we connected to JFK and the Titanic 21 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY It s all going on in Britain this summer so we ve picked a selection of the hottest tickets around 66 REAL EDUCATION Learn how we can meet your conference and business needs plus an expert gives his view on effective staff training 24 PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE Gary Barlow discusses his friendship with idol Elton John and looks to the future of Take That 75 WATCH THIS SPACE A grand occasion deserves a grand setting among our hotels you ll find some of the country s most exquisite event spaces 33 TIME FOR FRESH FLAVOURS Our Executive Chef shows you how to make a delicious lamb recipe ideal for any occasion 80 HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE You may have heard about big returns in the wine investment market but is there really cash in the cellar 38 DESIGN FOR LIFE Meet our Interior Design team as they reveal the secrets behind our luxurious bedrooms and stunning spaces 86 PARIS JE T AIME Lose yourself in the City of Love where a world of hidden gems awaits from shopping and dining to history and culture 46 A DAY TO REMEMBER Find out how our beautiful hotels can make your wedding day dreams come true 53 SO SPA SO GOOD Leave your cares behind and relax as you explore the decadent delights of a spa day 92 THE SKY IS THE LIMIT Bentley unveil the fastest four-seater soft-top in the world with the new Continental GT Speed Convertible 80 57 DOWN TO A TEE Whether you re a novice or a master the sociable game of golf offers something for everyone 98 BE OUR GUEST A complete list of contact details for all our hotels so that you can join us again soon EDITOR Richard Moore COMMERCIAL MANAGER Clara Higgs-Prosser MEDIA LIMITED DEPUTY EDITOR Frederick Latty DIGITAL MANAGER Laura Plane Longford House 19 Mount Ephraim Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 1EN 01892 779 650 info exquisitenewhomes.co.uk www.exquisitenewhomes.co.uk The Collection is published by Exquisite Media Ltd and distributed under agreement by PH Hotels. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All prices are correct at the time of going to print. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited material or the return of these materials whilst in transit. WRITER Jane Connolly PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Lee Edwards HEAD OF DESIGN Rowena Cremer-Price PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Ashley Edwards www.ph-hotels.com 8 n PLACES TO VISIT BRIGHT LIGHTS THE UK OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST CITIES IN EUROPE WITH VIBRANT NIGHTLIFE CULTURAL CENTRES AND A VARIETY OF ATTRACTIONS MAKING IT THE PERFECT PLACE TO BREAK AWAY. WITH SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM WE ARE SPOILT FOR CHOICE SO TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR MIND UP HERE S SIX OF OUR TOP PLACES TO VISIT www.ph-hotels.com PLACES TO VISIT N 9 SUBJECT N 28 www.ph-hotels.com 10 n PLACES TO VISIT LONDON With a rich and vibrant range of attractions on offer the historic city of London never fails to captivate excite and inspire. Start your trip with a visit to some of the capital s most iconic locations and monuments such as Buckingham Palace Big Ben or Trafalgar Square. Alternatively get a breathtaking glimpse of the city s skyline by taking a ride on the London Eye or marvel at the glorious architecture of Westminster Abbey or St Paul s Cathedral. If you re an art aficionado or have a passion for museums there s no end to the amount of cultural highlights available. The National Gallery houses over 2 300 paintings dating from the mid-13th Century to 1900. For something a little more contemporary Tate Modern boasts the enviable reputation of being the most-visited modern art gallery in the world attracting around 4.7million visitors each year. For the more outdoorsy type a stroll or picnic in Hyde Park is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon with more than 4 000 trees a lake a meadow and rose gardens. Regent s Park meanwhile spans 166 hectares and houses Queen Mary s Gardens the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo. Fine dining is key to any London visit. From acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Gavroche and The Square to delicious street food in Borough Market you ll never be short of somewhere truly appetising to eat. If historic settings are your thing why not dine at the Tempus Restaurant at the Hotel Russell the inspiration for the Titanic s Grand Dining Room Plus eager shoppers won t want to miss a visit to Oxford Street where approximately 300 shops offer exquisite ranges from leading high street brands. The equally appealing Covent Garden with its eclectic array of shops restaurants markets and live entertainment is just two stops away from our Hotel Russell on the London Underground. And who could forget the city s enthralling theatres London s world-famous West End is packed with dazzling shows and spectacles to behold. Experience the acclaimed Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre or Wicked at the Apollo Victoria or go back in time to Elizabethan England with an authentic Shakespearean performance at the Globe. Whatever your interests London has it all. Get a breathtaking glimpse of the city s skyline by taking a ride on the London Eye BE OUR GUEST Hotel Russell 1-8 Russell Square London WC1B 5BE www.hotelrusselllondon.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com PLACES TO VISIT N 11 CARDIFF As the capital and largest city in Wales Cardiff has plenty to see and do from top class entertainment and quality shopping to historic buildings and monuments. Cardiff Bay is a wonderfully diverse waterfront with a great mix of attractions entertainment and events. Here you can get active at Cardiff International Sports Village (ISV) lose yourself in the Doctor Who Experience or see the sights from the water with a self-drive speedboat ride. Kids will love Techniquest the UK s longest established science centre while Challenge Wales gives you the chance to take the helm and set sail on a 72ft round-the-world yacht. For an insight into the city s fascinating past make sure you visit Cardiff Castle which dates back to the late 11th Century. At Castell Coch history comes alive with a working portcullis and drawbridge combined with sumptuous interiors multisensory resources and touch screen technology. Get swept up by some of the city s magnificent architecture and marvel at its beautiful buildings. Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral is truly a sight to behold while Llandaff Cathedral provides a tranquil retreat from the bustling city centre. A wealth of knowledge awaits at the city s museums. St Fagans National History Museum is set in the 100-acre parkland of St Fagans Castle. It s one of Europe s leading open-air museums and is renowned for being a Living Museum where traditional crafts and activities bring the past to life. National Museum Cardiff s busy programme of exhibitions and events will also enable you to discover art natural history and geology that will astonish and amaze. If you re after something sportier the Millennium Stadium is home to the Welsh national rugby union team and football fans won t want to miss Cardiff City Stadium where some 28 000 spectators can see Cardiff City Football Club up close. For culture vultures the Wales Millennium Centre is a spectacular building just a short walk from the St David s Hotel and Spa hosting theatre opera ballet and live music. The New Theatre is Wales number one venue for the best drama musicals dance children s shows and Cardiff Bay is a wonderfully diverse waterfront with a great mix of attractions entertainment and events pantomime while the ambitious multiplatform cultural space Chapter also showcases international art performance and film. BE OUR GUEST The St David s Hotel & Spa Havannah Street Cardiff Bay Cardiff CF10 5SD www.thestdavidshotel.com www.ph-hotels.com PLACES TO VISIT N 13 EDINBURGH Welcome to the inspiring capital of Scotland where history and culture meet in a vibrant cosmopolitan setting. Stunning scenery and striking architecture capture the imagination making this an unforgettable place to visit. For a great family day out don t miss Edinburgh Castle. Here you can step inside Margaret s Chapel the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh join the crowds to experience the roar of the One o clock Gun or discover 400 years of Scottish history at the National War Museum. Princes Street Gardens can be found nearby covering a beautiful 37.5 acres and maintaining a reputation as the city s bestknown park. Scotland s rich heritage is explored through exquisite international collections at the National Museum of Scotland. Under one roof you can experience the diversity of the natural world from its history culture and art to its design science and technology. Similarly Our Dynamic Earth takes you on a journey of the planet s past present and future with the help of interactive software and exciting exhibits. Enjoy a leisurely walk through Holyrood Park where a wild and wonderful landscape comprises 260 hectares of luscious scenery. At its peak lies Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK s only giant pandas and features more than 1 000 amazing animals to enjoy Arthur s Seat which rises above the city to a height of 822ft providing breathtaking panoramic views and an easy walk for ramblers and hikers. As the world-renowned centre for plant science and education The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is also well worth a visit extending over four gardens and boasting a rich collection of plants. Edinburgh Zoo meanwhile is home to the UK s only giant pandas and features more than 1 000 amazing animals to enjoy. Edinburgh Playhouse Edinburgh Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre showcase some of the best live entertainment on offer in the city while the Scottish National Portrait Gallery tells the country s story through portraits of leading historical figures and more recent pioneers of science sports and art. A short trip to Leith is rewarded by a multitude of renowned eateries while closer to the action on the bustling George Street you can treat yourself to a fabulous meal at the EH2 Tempus restaurant. BE OUR GUEST The George Hotel 19-21 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2PB www.thegeorgehoteledinburgh.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com PLACES TO VISIT N 15 MANCHESTER In the fastest growing city in Britain there s naturally plenty to see and do. Manchester is renowned for its architecture culture and music as well as its fine food and dazzling attractions. An integral part of the city s nightlife is the Northern Quarter where you ll find the best bars restaurants and caf s. Spinningfields is similarly not to be missed here you can treat yourself to a glamorous spa day at City Spa Escapes or a fresh makeover at Nicky Clarke or Jo Pallan. You could also catch a show at one of the city s fabulous theatre venues like the Palace Theatre or the Contact Theatre or see a musical or ballet at the stunning Grade II listed Manchester Opera House. You ll no doubt recognise Britain s most famous road when you go on a fun filled tour of Coronation Street which provides a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the world s longest running soap. If you re a real foodie you ll want to pull up a chair at Manchester House where Aiden Byrne the youngest British chef to win a Michelin star demonstrates his culinary skills. World-class sport can be enjoyed at the iconic Old Trafford stadium and the City of Manchester Stadium as the respective homes of Manchester United Football Club and Manchester City Football Club. If you need to brush up on your knowledge of the sport s history head to the National Football Museum where you ll learn about the greatest players managers and teams of all time. Speaking of history Manchester boasts its fair share of museums. From the People s History Museum to the Museum of Transport and the Science and Industry Museum you ll get a firsthand experience of the city s industrial progress through the ages. What s more some beautiful art galleries also house wonderful collections and exhibitions such as Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth Art Gallery. Make sure you bring a little extra spending money for some truly indulgent shopping outings. Spoil yourself with a visit to Manchester Exchange Square where luxury shops like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols can be found. Similarly Trafford Centre houses over 200 stores as well as not to be missed events like fashion shows and book signings and even hosts an indoor skiing and snowboard centre. BE OUR GUEST The Palace Hotel Oxford Street Manchester M60 7HA www.palacehotelmanchestercity.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com 16 n PLACES TO VISIT YORK You re bound to fall in love with York the moment you arrive. This attractive city is rich in ancient history exquisite architecture and a wealth of visitor attractions. Perhaps the most recognisable monument is York Minster. As the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe it s one of the most magnificent in the world with foundations rooted in the nation s earliest history. For visitors in need of a little retail therapy York s shopping scene is not to be missed. Get your fix at Coppergate Shopping Centre an open-air promenade featuring an abundance of shops caf s and museums. Here you ll also discover Jorvik Viking Centre the groundbreaking visitor experience that recreates an authentic Viking city on a historic site. No visit to the city would be complete without a walk around the city walls where captivating views are enjoyed by some 2.5million people each year while on the River Ouse you can take in a scenic river cruise or even hire your own self-drive motorboat. Plus horseracing has long been an important fixture of the city s culture experience it for yourself with a grand day out at York Racecourse commonly known as the Ascot of the north . Go back in time with a visit to Clifford s Tower and York Castle Museum. Stunning panoramic views of the city make the imposing tower one of the most popular attractions for visitors. And for the ultimate thrill filled journey through the city s murky past the York Dungeon is exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. A true flavour of bygone York awaits in The Shambles an old cobbled street where overhanging timber framed buildings some of which date back as far as the 14th Century make it arguably the best-preserved medieval street in the world. The National Railway Museum uncovers 300 years of history and 1million objects that changed the world while Yorkshire Museum Gardens showcases historical artefacts from Roman and Viking times as well as travelling exhibitions. The history of Roman York can be explored further as many remains are still intact such as the famous Multangular Tower and the Anglian Tower. Theatre Royal meanwhile is the place to go for some first-rate comedy drama dance or the world-famous annual pantomime starring popular panto favourite Berwick Kaler. On the River Ouse you can take in a scenic river cruise or even hire your own self-drive motorboat BE OUR GUEST The Royal York Station Road York North Yorkshire YO24 1AA www.hotelroyalyork.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com PLACES TO VISIT N 17 GLASGOW Culture style and the friendliness of the people are just a few of the things that Glasgow is famous for. The city offers a blend of internationally acclaimed museums and galleries vibrant nightlife and a wonderfully diverse range of restaurants and bars. Our Grand Central Hotel is adjacent to Glasgow Central Station so you can travel and arrive in style. Start your trip with a visit to George Square where an important collection of statues and monuments create a striking impression. The visually stunning People s Palace set in the notable Glasgow Green is full of historical artefacts photographs prints and film providing an unparalleled insight into the city s distant past. Plenty of greenery is available such as Glasgow Botanic Gardens which is ideal for sunny picnics and walks. Worthy of a special mention for shopaholics is the Style Mile where over 200 stores make up an extraordinary shopping experience. The Gallery of Modern Art is the home of contemporary art in Glasgow while Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of the greatest civic art collections in Europe. The award winning Burrell Collection also comprises over 8 000 objects in a unique collection housed in a beautiful woodland setting. Some of the city s most impressive architecture is in Glasgow Necropolis a unique and insightful memorial dating back to the Victorian era and including approximately 3 500 monuments. The Lighthouse is Scotland s national Centre for Design and Architecture promoting both elements through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events. This year Glasgow will be hosting the Commonwealth Games with a spectacular Opening Ceremony kicking off Scotland s biggest ever festival of sport and culture on July 23. Plus sports fans won t want to miss a visit to Celtic Park Scotland s largest football stadium and home to Celtic Football Club while Ibrox Stadium stands as the third largest and is where Rangers Football Club fans can see their sporting heroes play. Both clubs are steeped in history dating back to the late 19th Century as founding members of the original Scottish Football League. Or for lovers of music there are plenty of venues that showcase the best live performance the city has to offer. The SSE Hydro has a seating capacity of 12 000 and plays host to global entertainment sporting events and music stars both national and international. BE OUR GUEST Grand Central Hotel 99 Gordon Street Glasgow G1 3SF www.thegrandcentralhotel.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com CALENDAR N 21 Whether you re looking for a family day out or an excuse to get away for the weekend there is always plenty going on all over the UK. From grand exhibitions to dazzling social occasions here s our pick of some great British events to inspire you this year DATES DIARY for your JULY CHESHIRE TATTON PARK FOODIES FESTIVAL Here you can browse more than 100 stalls meet Michelin starred chefs dine in pop up restaurants and enjoy culinary masterclasses all against the backdrop of one of the UK s most beautiful estates. DATES Friday July 18 to Sunday July 20 LOCATION Tatton Park Knutsford Cheshire WA16 6QN TICKETS www.foodiesfestival.com BE OUR GUEST Cranage Hall Byley Lane Holmes Chapel Cheshire CW4 8EW www.cranagehallholmeschapel.co.uk AUGUST EDINBURGH THE EDINBURGH FESTIVALS Edinburgh is renowned for its cultural events and highlights this month include the Art Festival (July 31 to August 31) the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August 1 to 23) the International Festival (August 8 to 31) the Festival Fringe (August 1 to 25) and the International Book Festival (August 9 to 25). DATES Selected throughout August LOCATION Venues across Edinburgh TICKETS www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk BE OUR GUEST The George Hotel 19-21 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2PB www.thegeorgehoteledinburgh.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com CALENDAR N 23 SEPTEMBER NORTHAMPTONSHIRE DUNLOP MSA BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP A must-attend treat for motorsport fans this thrilling weekend at Silverstone is one of the high points of the British season. With a capacity grid confirmed this celebration of speed is sure to keep spectators on the edge of their grandstand seats. DATES Saturday September 27 and Sunday September 28 LOCATION Silverstone Circuit Towcester Northamptonshire NN12 8TN TICKETS www.silverstone.co.uk BE OUR GUEST Sedgebrook Hall Chapel Brampton Northampton NN6 8BD www.sedgebrookhall.co.uk OCTOBER BIRMINGHAM HORSE OF THE YEAR SHOW Acclaimed as the world s premier equestrian event the Horse of the Year Show attracts top riders contesting a multitude of championships from dressage to scurry racing. DATES Wednesday October 8 to Saturday October 11 LOCATION NEC Birmingham B40 1NT TICKETS www.thenec.co.uk BE OUR GUEST The St Johns Hotel 651 Warwick Road Solihull West Midlands B91 1AT www.stjohnssolihull.co.uk NOVEMBER LONDON THE LORD MAYOR S SHOW Having survived through nearly 800 years of our capital s colourful history The Lord Mayor s Show is one of the world s most spectacular pageants. The three and a half-mile procession from Bank to Aldwych is cheered along by around half a million people each year. DATES Saturday November 8 LOCATION Various locations London TICKETS www.lordmayorsshow.org BE OUR GUEST Hotel Russell 1-8 Russell Square London WC1B 5BE www.hotelrusselllondon.co.uk DECEMBER YORKSHIRE YORK S FESTIVE FAYRE With its eclectic mix of shops and wonderful markets York s Christmas Fayre is just the thing to get you in the festive spirit. Here you can wander through the atmospheric streets enjoy the carol singers and take in the smells of traditional Christmas foods. Come along and see it for yourself DATES Thursday December 4 LOCATION Parliament Street TICKETS Free admission BE OUR GUEST The Royal York Hotel Station Road York North Yorkshire YO24 1AA www.hotelroyalyork.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com 24 n CELEBRITY PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE GARY BARLOW IS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME - BUT HE STILL HAS SLEEPLESS NIGHTS WORRYING IT WILL ALL END TOMORROW. THE SINGER SONGWRITER AND TV TALENT JUDGE TELLS ANDY WELCH ABOUT BEING FRIENDS WITH HIS IDOL ELTON JOHN NEW-FOUND CONFIDENCE AND FINALLY CHERISHING TAKE THAT I m in contact with Elton a lot we ve known each other about 20 years GARY says in a way that hints he still can t believe he s friends with his idol www.ph-hotels.com CELEBRITY N 25 john phillips pa photos www.ph-hotels.com platinum albums under his belt. But as recently as 2005 the year the documentary Take That For The Record aired prompting the group s reunion almost a decade after they d split he was a faded force. It seems ludicrous now but when he Howard Donald Jason Orange and Mark Owen announced they were getting back together there were sneers all round. The idea that the foursome could pick up where they left off without Robbie Williams who d left the group prematurely to become one of the country s biggest-selling solo artists seemed impossible. One listen to Patience their 2006 comeback single and the sneers stopped. But why the initial doubt Songs Barlow had penned after all had been among the biggest hits of the 1990s breaking chart records left right and centre. His solo efforts during the group s break though hadn t been so successful... His debut Open Road capitalised on his reputation as the real talent in Take That selling almost three million copies and spawning two number one singles. But with his follow-up owen sweeney invision ap pa photos W CELEBRITY N 27 atching Gary Barlow on The X Factor mentoring and dishing out advice to young hopefuls it s hard to remember a time when he wasn t a massive star with several multi- Twelve Months Eleven Days things spectacularly ground to a halt. It peaked at No. 35 and fell out of the Top 100 a week later. I was in a rotten place back then Barlow (43) says now. It was written by committee that album with [producer] Clive Davis in the US telling me who I should be and who I should work with then the UK label telling me something different over here and there s actually very little of me on there. I promised myself this time around that I wasn t going to listen to anyone else or be swayed. The first time the label heard the [new] album was when I d finished it. Barlow s latest album is Since I Saw You Last his first as a solo artist in 14 years. The title track he says is one of the most literal things he s ever written summing up exactly where he Williams Orange Howard and Owen were all that time ago. It s about where we are today too he says. It s a celebration saying that even though all that stuff happened it led us back here to this He s my idol Elton he s the reason I sat at the piano in the first place great place we re at now. There s a duet too with his old pal Elton John. I m in contact with him a lot we ve known each other about 20 years he says in a way that hints he still can t believe he s friends with his idol. They see each other about four times www.ph-hotels.com CELEBRITY N 29 a year and most of their communication involves exchanging music recommendations but when I m so lucky to find these melodies he says. I never feel like I was put on this earth to write songs Barlow had a song he thought they could sing together and sent it over within 10 minutes he d had an answer. He was on the phone said it was a smash and wanted to record it as soon as possible says Barlow. Three weeks later we were in the studio playing the piano part together recording the vocals in the same room. It s an oldfashioned duet in that sense two people in the room together and it was brilliant. He s my idol Elton he s the reason I sat at the piano in the first place so to be in a studio with him as an equal is incredible. The funny thing is the song s about that mutual respect. Needless to say I m very happy about it. So what s different now compared to 14 years ago Barlow puts it down to self-confidence and being happy he s been married to dancer Dawn Andrews since 2000 and they have three children together. (Tragically the couple had a stillborn daughter Poppy in 2012.) He doesn t believe he s become a better songwriter since then and still despite the 50million album sales has sleepless nights worrying he ll never write another good track. I m so lucky to find these melodies he says. I never feel like I was put on this Earth to write songs. Never. I just work really hard but I always get this feeling that I ve lost the ability and the luck has run out. Acceptance seems to have played a part in Barlow s renaissance too he admitted in his autobiography Gary Barlow My Take that he once saw the other members of Take That as his backing act but now realises that he wouldn t be where he is without them and cherishes it. I took Take That for granted we all did and now it s come back to us we realise how precious it is he says. I include Rob in that it s his band too. The band is for us all to take care of for the next 20 years or whatever. We can leave it and do other things and come back to it but it s my number one priority. I see the solo album as a lovely little hobby for a year and Gary Barlow at The X Factor auditions held at Wembley arena GARY BARLOW it ll mean I can release some music and do a tour but the main job is always going to be Take That. It was the string of live shows he played this time last year that prompted Since I Saw You BY NUMBERS Number one singles 14 Number one albums 8 Record sales 50million Marriages 1 Children 3 Ivor Novello Awards 6 Estimated fortune 60million Last in the first place. We extended that tour three or four times because we were having so much fun he recalls. After getting home I thought there might be a record in me. I put my head in that space for a few weeks and wrote three or four songs. It felt new and fresh so I called the label told them what I wanted to do and got to work. Another much bigger tour is happening this year. While not on Take That s scale - their www.ph-hotels.com CELEBRITY N 31 andrew milligan pa photos I see the solo album as a lovely little hobby for a year and it ll mean I can release some music and do a tour but the main job is always going to be Take That Progress tour saw an unprecedented 1.34million tickets sold in 24 hours Barlow will be playing arenas all over the country including London s O2 this month. There ll be a bit of production but mainly it ll be me and the band very music-based. Put it this way there won t be any 60ft robots elephants or unicycles he says referencing some of Take That s past stage props. The group reconvened in January to start work on their seventh album. At the time of writing it s unknown whether Robbie Williams will take part although the invitation is there. On September 12 2010 Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams performed live together for the first time in 15 years in aid of Help for Heroes at Twickenham Stadium It all needed organising says Barlow. We ve all got families and there were lots yui mok pa photos of things that needed moving around to make it happen. I ve been really really looking forward to getting back with the guys though. It s our first [record] in four years and that s daunting and exciting. I m very excited www.ph-hotels.com SUBJECT N 28 FOOD 33 TIME FOR FRESH FLAVOURS When it comes to dining our discerning guests have three simple expectations great food exceptional service and a fantastic atmosphere BE OUR GUEST... Whether dining in our restaurants hosting an event or arranging a conference our hotels can provide a broad range of delicious options to meet your needs. From banqueting and glamorous gala dinners to our Day Deli service that is ideal for training and meetings there is a menu to suit you. For more information contact the venue directly or visit www.ph-hotels.com This year a Tempus World Food section has been incorporated into the menu. Where possible dishes reflect our guests desire for outside dining in the summer months. Group Development Bruce McDowell shares his Lamb Tagine recipe featured in the menu. Group Development Chef Bruce McDowell www.ph-hotels.com FOOD N 35 MOROCCAN LAMB TAGINE This authentic tagine recipe will take you to slow-cooked perfection in six simple steps just kick back with a glass of wine until it s ready INGREDIENTS 1 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp ground black pepper 1 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp ground ginger 1 tbsp turmeric 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 x shoulder of lamb trimmed and cut into 5cm 2in chunks (about 1.1kg 2 lb meat in total) 2 large onions grated 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp argan oil 3 cloves garlic crushed 568ml tomato juice 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes 115g 4oz dried apricots cut in half 55g 2oz dates cut in half 55g 2oz sultanas or raisins 85g 3oz flaked almonds 1 tsp saffron stamens soaked in cold water 568ml lamb stock 1 tbsp clear honey 2 tbsp coriander roughly chopped 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley roughly chopped PREPARATION METHOD Place the cayenne black pepper paprika ginger turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge Preheat the oven to 150C 300F Gas mark 2 Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan oil in a large casserole dish. Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes In a separate frying pan heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the pan Add the remaining tomato juice chopped tomatoes apricots dates raisins or sultanas flaked almonds saffron lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish Bring to the boil cover with a fitted lid place in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender. Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped herbs. Serve with flatbread and yogurt www.ph-hotels.com FOOD N 37 The Palace Hotel Manchester GOLD STANDARD SERVICE Philip Bell Group Director of Food and Beverage explains how we ensure that our eateries not only meet but exceed our guests high expectations OUR PHILOSOPHY Moving away from the traditional ideas about a hotel dining room Tempus provides a real dining out experience in a chic and stylish restaurant setting. passionate about ensuring the delivery of a high quality experience. TIS THE SEASON Developed by our Group Development Chef and Senior Chefs throughout the company the Tempus menu changes twice each year in March and September. Menu development incorporates a focus on new and emerging food styles in order to keep the Tempus concept fresh and innovative. www.ph-hotels.com food The Palace Hotel Manchester THE TEMPUS AIM We continually strive to deliver service that exceeds our customers expectations and to provide a professional and positive experience for our guests. Our restaurants offer a fun and relaxed environment for both our guests and our staff who are CHEF ACADEMY AND DEVELOPMENT KITCHEN As part of our continuing development our PH Chef Academy was established to attract new chefs and for our existing Commis Chefs and Chef de Parties to develop their skills base to a supervisory level. It is about delivering new skills and providing training and development to our chefs through the use of an industry recognised qualification with the end goal of having fully qualified and confident chefs at Chef de Partie or Junior Sous levels. All of our Chefs have the opportunity to benefit from practical training in our state-of-the-art Development Kitchen at Horwood House in Milton Keynes working alongside Senior Chefs and our Group Development Chef Bruce McDowell. Hotel Russell London www.ph-hotels.com 38 n INTERIOR DESIGN Visiting a hotel should be a truly relaxing experience combining the comfort of home with the luxury of getting away from it all. The decor and furnishings play a significant role in this experience and many people long to recreate the stylish feel of a top quality hotel in their own home. But how do you approach the task of designing interiors for our magnificent and diverse properties Faye Robinson-Hey of our Interior Design team reveals the secrets behind our philosophy www.ph-hotels.com PHILOSOPHY OUR DESIGN INTERIOR DESIGN N 39 One current trend that has recently emerged is neutral and cooler grey tones with an injection or pop of a bright contrasting colour Hotel Russell London Beaumont Estate Windsor Grand Central Hotel Glasgow It is very difficult to pigeonhole one overall aesthetic of our hotels as each property has its own individual features architecture and quirkiness. We try and treat each property on its own merit integrating an element of continuity through the interior depending on what type of space it is. For example each bedroom scheme will be unique to the hotel in terms of colour scheme bespoke artwork etc. However we do carry certain elements across the properties such as the specification of peripheral items bed heads bathroom fixtures and some furniture. Public spaces have an injection of contemporary styling to keep them modern and approachable but again they will pay homage to the particular setting of the property. We like to incorporate an element of the location within new design schemes especially for those sites that may W hen considering new interior schemes it s important to be sympathetic to the grandeur and history inherent to many of our hotels but to also keep up to date with current trends and fashions. www.ph-hotels.com INTERIOR DESIGN N 41 Grand Central Hotel Glasgow have special historical context one way in which this is achieved is by commissioning bespoke artwork that not only looks attractive but also gives our guests an insight into the historical or geographical context of the building in which they stand. In a nutshell I would describe our look as being a contemporary twist on traditional values. ACHIEVING THE PERFECT HOTEL ATMOSPHERE The approach to design should vary depending on what type of space you are designing and what type of guest it is intended for. It is important to strike a fine balance between designing with current up to date trends in mind and not focusing too heavily on passing fads. Bedrooms in particular along with having a contemporary feel in accordance with our design identity also need to stand the test of time and so classic design rules are always carefully considered. Spaces also need to be designed with an element of practicality in mind this is again important for bedrooms. In terms of colour schemes it needs to be fresh enough to ensure that the interior does not feel closed in or oppressive in any way. Durability plays an important factor in specifications there is no point in putting a painstakingly and beautifully designed scheme together that is going to deteriorate within a few months use. Striking the fine balance between styling the interiors and providing a practical environment for guests is one of the hardest challenges within hotel design. The Royal York Hotel York St David s Hotel and Spa Cardiff www.ph-hotels.com INTERIOR DESIGNN 43 Ettington Chase Stratford-upon-Avon The George Hotel Edinburgh The Palace Hotel Manchester Wotton House Surrey INSPIRING INFLUENCES Interior trends are constantly changing so we have to be careful about what we consider for new schemes. One current trend that has recently emerged is neutral and cooler grey tones with an injection or pop of a bright contrasting colour. This works quite well for us as grey tones look great with white painted architraves coving and interior room architecture but is still quite a calming and classical colour palette. Using muted tones allows us to add a zestier colour within a scheme which aids the contemporary look. This is a design ethos we have recently implemented in a couple of our schemes. At the other end of the scale we are increasingly seeing bolder more colourful fabric and wallpaper designs coming through. This has been useful for us to implement in our conference spaces in which we try and encompass the Inspirational Training concept of our Group. As the hotels can differ so drastically from one another in style and architecture it would not be feasible nor desirable to regurgitate one identical look across all the properties. We always design our hotels on an individual basis we ll look at each scheme with fresh eyes and design in accordance to the space hotel architecture location and guests while implementing some elements from other properties. STANDING THE TEST OF TIME Creating designs that are both up to date and timeless can be challenging. We work collaboratively with our suppliers to make sure we carry an element of current trends and fashions but focus on those that we think will fit the unique interiors of our properties and withstand the test of time. Any overly bold or gimmicky fashions would not work as we know it would date very quickly. www.ph-hotels.com INTERIOR DESIGN N 45 Selection of Harlequin cushions TAKING THE LOOK HOME WITH YOU We hope that our guests will be impressed with the comfort style and luxury of our hotels so many may wish to recreate the PH Hotels look at home. We have a huge design library and like to mix and match across different brands and suppliers so I would say be brave do not just focus on one particular design house or supplier. The mix of old and new works very well and can be done relatively easily especially with the rebirth and popularity of all things vintage . For example a modern industrial-style standard lamp can sit comfortably next to traditional Victorian inspired damask wallpaper or a classic Chesterfield sofa upholstered in contemporary fabric and dressed with bold colourful cushions. Borrowing elements from historical design aesthetics can make a nice contrast when used next to contemporary furniture modern lighting and 21st Century design influences. I would also advise investing in good quality key pieces that are built and designed well and will perform soundly in your home. Choose fabrics that are comfortable and durable as well as pleasing to the eye. Also take the time to do some research into the furnishing options that are available to you for example if you were to have a bespoke sofa or chair made would you prefer a sturdier stronger foam inner or a softer slouchier feather cushion Do you prefer the comfort and convenience of manmade material or would you prefer a natural sustainable fabric such as wool Would you prefer to sleep on a firm fibre cushion or a soft feather cushion Another aspect that we consider in great detail because it really does make a difference to the look feel and atmosphere of an interior is the lighting. Whilst we have to adhere to lighting guides and make sure we achieve the correct lux levels for areas such as conference rooms lighting is also a very important factor within public spaces and bedrooms. Low level changeable lighting in restaurants and bars can create a subdued and atmospheric ambience but it is important to have both practical and ambient lighting in the bedrooms. Choose soft shaded lighting and lamps for a cosier feel but make sure that you have task lighting where it is needed such as reading lamps concealed kitchen lighting etc. There is also a whole host of dimming capabilities which can be incorporated into the domestic environment lighting technology is becoming very advanced now and tools that we use such as wireless dimming and controls can be easily incorporated into your home. BE OUR GUEST... You can get inspired by visiting www.ph-hotels.com where you ll find picture galleries showcasing the superb interiors of all our beautiful hotels. We re sure you ll want to pay a visit www.ph-hotels.com 46 n WEDDINGS REMEMBER Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting experiences life can offer and for this magical day you deserve nothing short of perfection www.ph-hotels.com A DAY TO WEDDINGS N 47 whether you re going for a grand event with 200 people or an intimate affair with just your nearest and dearest it can be quite daunting to start with. Everyone wants something different and bespoke to them and quite rightly so too no one couple is the same so why should their wedding be First things first where do you want to get married It s probably the biggest decision of the day apart from what you re going to wear of course so make your choice early to guarantee your favourite place. When you start planning your wedding or civil partnership the long list of things to do may seem overwhelming so why not start with the biggest decision of all the venue. Your choice of setting for the ceremony and reception will set the tone for the whole day and give you much inspiration for everything from colour schemes decoration and photography ideas to the style of the dress or suits. Think about the ideal setting for your fairytale day. Should it be town or country grand or intimate Approaching a magnificent country house along a sweeping driveway will be a delight for both yourselves and your guests giving the occasion a true sense of grandeur. Alternatively a landmark building in an iconic city centre is also a wonderful choice as the location itself becomes a character in the story of your marriage as well as offering a great deal of convenience for your family and friends. You ll find all these things among our hotels and so much more some of our venues can accommodate larger guest lists making them perfect for ethnic weddings. The best course of action is to make an appointment to visit hotels you are interested in and speak to our wedding teams about what rooms and areas are available. Tell them about your dreams and desires for the big day wedding co-ordinators are experienced experts who will be able to advise on how to make your ideal wedding become a reality. Which means that all you have to do is relax and enjoy that fairytale day when all your dreams come true. Y ou ve found that special someone that perfect person who you want to spend forever with and now it s time to say I do . Congratulations it s great news. Now begins the wedding planning and Every year exciting new trends emerge in the wedding world here are five of our favourite looks for 2014... TOP TIPS h TRUE BLUE Regardless of whether you re going for a neutral colour palette or bold statement hues dark blue is the hot offset colour this year. From midnight blue bridesmaids dresses to a splash of cobalt on your tables there are numerous creative ways to embrace the trend. h PRETTY IN PINK White may be the traditional colour for wedding dresses but pink has been turning heads on the bridal catwalks. Vera Wang led the way with her upcoming Autumn 2014 collection of rose coral and peony gowns which add an extra dimension of femininity to the occasion. h TEMPTING TASSELS Bunting is a popular option for decorating wedding venues but tassels could be this year s mostwanted decor. Metallic fabric will add a luxury edge while plump tassels in natural materials exude rustic chic. h STARS AND STRIPES When you consider your colour scheme think beyond plain fabrics patterns are big news this year and the trend opens up whole new avenues for decor and dress. Polka dot gingham zigzags and animal print are all possibilities and don t be afraid to use more than one though you should ensure that the patterns complement each other. h LET THEM EAT CAKE Don t forget that your cake can make as big a style statement as the dresses and decor. Monochrome and metallics are among this year s trendiest looks for your centrepiece. www.ph-hotels.com WEDDINGS N 49 BE OUR GUEST... DORKING SELSDON WOTTON HOUSE This gorgeous 17 Century venue will take your guests th SELSDON PARK HOTEL & GOLF CLUB As the only wedding venue in the area licensed to hold civil ceremonies and partnerships outdoors Selsdon Park offers a truly romantic setting for your vows the delightful Secret Garden which features a wedding pergoda built in the original 17th Century rose arbour with ancient steps. Your guests will enjoy strolling amid the 200 acres of landscaped gardens which offer a beautiful backdrop for your precious photographs. www.selsdonparkcroydon.co.uk breath away and give your special day a truly exclusive feel. Attractive features such as grottos bridges and ponds are found throughout the 13 acres of gardens while ceremony options range from outdoor Roman style temples to the chapel atmosphere of the Old Library. www.wottonhousedorkingsurrey.co.uk EDINBURGH SOLIHULL THE GEORGE HOTEL If you re looking for a wedding venue to match the grandeur of this iconic city The George Hotel is the answer. The magnificent King s Hall with its dazzling Flight Chandelier and icing style ornate ceiling is breathtaking while the Panorama Suite offers unrivalled views across Edinburgh and over the water towards Fife. www.thegeorgehoteledinburgh.co.uk Set in a great location close to the M42 and Birmingham International Airport this popular hotel has four stylish function rooms that can accommodate up to 700 guests making it THE place for larger celebrations and ethnic weddings. Our experienced team can offer expert advice on Asian Greek and Jewish weddings to make sure your big day is as authentic as it is glamorous. www.stjohnssolihull.co.uk THE ST JOHNS HOTEL www.ph-hotels.com WEDDINGS N 51 WINDSOR BEAUMONT ESTATE The unique Chapel at Beaumont Estate has been voted one of the UK s top 100 wedding venues by Cond Nast Brides magazine. Whatever the size of your party we can provide an unforgettable setting for your celebration in an exclusive setting from the exclusive White House to the spacious and modern Hanover Suite. www.beaumont-estate-windsor.co.uk SHEFFIELD KENWOOD HALL Once a private residence Kenwood Hall exudes 19th Century character and warmth. Views of the charming grounds can be enjoyed from the Terrace Drawing Room and Library which are ideal for more intimate weddings. Alternatively a grand selfcontained banqueting suite hosts up to 250 evening guests amid glamorous surroundings. www.kenwoodhallsheffield.co.uk YORK THE ROYAL YORK HOTEL This historic city provides a magical backdrop for any event and at the Royal York Hotel you ll find a gorgeous venue for your special day. The hotel s Victorian architecture and fabulous gardens overlooking the city are ideal for photos. From the chic modern Events Centre that can seat up to 300 guests to the timelessly elegant Oak Room there s a magnificent space to suit your celebration. www.hotelroyalyork.co.uk WIN A 10 000 NEST EGG At PH Hotels we ll not only give you the wedding day of your dreams you ll also have the chance to win a fantastic prize. Everyone who books their wedding to take place by the end of 2015 will be entered into a prize draw to win a 10 000 nest egg . Whether you put the money towards the cost of the wedding booking an unforgettable honeymoon or feathering your love nest with stylish home products this is another great reason to say I do with PH Hotels. FOR MORE INFORMATION SPEAK TO YOUR WEDDING CO-ORDINATOR CALL 01423 853 800 OR VISIT WWW.PH-HOTELS.COM NESTEGG Full terms and conditions apply. To enter you must make a wedding booking to take place at a PH Hotel by December 31st 2015. See website for full details. www.ph-hotels.com SPAS N 53 SO SPA SO GOOD EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE ME TIME NOW AND AGAIN A RELAXING SPA EXPERIENCE IS PERFECT FOR SOOTHING AWAY THE STRESSES AND STRAINS OF MODERN LIFE hen was the last time you truly relaxed and allowed yourself to be pampered If you re struggling to recall then it s W definitely time to invest in a little indulgence that s just for you. Taking some time out of the daily rush of modern living to focus purely on your own wellbeing might seem like a luxury but it is an essential part of being a healthy happy and balanced person. For ultimate relaxation and recuperation why not book yourself a wonderful spa experience - you ll emerge feeling brighter lighter and deliciously de-stressed. At St David s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff we have the fabulous Marine Spa an award-winning luxurious haven designed with tranquillity in mind. A sense of peace and harmony pervades it s a place where your comfort is the top priority. Spa days are a fantastic way for friends or relatives to spend time together in a truly luxurious environment enjoying the sensation of being totally pampered and indulged whatever the occasion. There s a diverse menu of treatments on offer so how do you decide which blissful experience to choose www.ph-hotels.com 54 n SPAS The St David s Hotel and Spa Cardiff Receiving a full body massage is one of life s true luxuries and there are many techniques available SPA MANAGER JULES WHITE GUIDES US ON THE ROAD TO RELAXATION... Aromatherapy treatments use a combination of essential oils to induce relaxation enhance energy flows and ease tension. At the Marine Spa we offer guests a choice of oils depending on which concerns they wish to address these could include regeneration rehydration and rebalancing of the body and mind. Receiving a full body massage is one of life s true luxuries and there are many techniques available while back massages are also perfect for improving circulation. At the Marine Spa the Life Saving Back Treatment is a wonderful stress-reliever first deep cleansing body brushing and exfoliation helps to stimulate circulation and cell renewal. This is followed by an aromatherapy massage and purifying body mask using warmed Marine Mud combined with your individually chosen essential oils. Facials can help to reinvigorate your skin and leave you with a healthy glow. Collagen based treatments help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while exfoliation treatments will leave your face feeling brighter and revitalised. Body brushing scrub or polish procedures lift away dead skin cells for clear and healthy pores. Mud wraps are designed to nourish dry skin and can even help with slimming body firming and tackling cellulite. The Marine Spa s Stimulating Hip and Thigh Treatment is a specialised ESPA treatment to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems concentrating on the areas of the body prone to cellulite fluid retention and uneven skin tone. There s a new addition to the Marine Spa s offering www.ph-hotels.com SPAS N 55 this year the heavenly Thalgo Polynesia Spa Ritual which lasts for 90 minutes. Experience Polynesia the exotic sensorial spa ritual inspired by four of the most beautiful islands hidden in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. This luxurious treatment begins with an azure water foot bath inspired by the crystal blue waters of the Manihi Lagoon to protect and hydrate the skin. Next is the Exotic Island Body Scrub a gentle vanilla-scented formula blended with pure white sand from Bora Bora sea salt coconut shell and algomonoi for a thorough exfoliation of the entire body to leave the skin feeling smooth and soft. The Mahana Massage incorporates a rhythmic Lomi-Lomi rubdown and warm sand pouches to loosen muscles and Thalgo s latest creation the Polynesia Spa Ritual incorporates the oils used for centuries on these beautiful islands. The treatment uses the scents of the vanilla pod and Algo-Monoi Complex a blend of marine algae rich in trace elements and used by the Polynesian people for years to protect and enrich skin and hair. nourish the skin. Finally Polynesian Sacred Oil from Ra atea the sacred island is swept over the skin its subtle golden pearls leaving a sunkissed glow and a delicate scent of flowers and monoi. Spas are not just for ladies of course. Men who long for a little rest and recuperation need not feel left out as the Marine Spa offers a menu of treatments designed especially for male skin. So allow yourself to be pampered and to experience that wonderful sense of renewal that a spa day can offer you deserve it. BE OUR GUEST ST DAVIDS HOTEL & SPA Havannah Street Cardiff Wales CF10 5SD www.thestdavidshotel.com At the Marine Spa you can choose from an extensive menu of luxurious treatments work out in the gym de-stress in our hydrotherapy pools and treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure all on the edge of Cardiff s trendy waterfront. Consistently voted one of the UK s top 15 spas by Cond Nast Traveller this is the perfect place to wind down after a long day of exploring the vibrant city. www.ph-hotels.com GOLFN 57 Golf is a great way to get several hours of exercise in the fresh air... while actually enjoying yourself DOWN TO A TEE disposal all over the UK not to mention the world it is no surprise that an estimated four million people play the game in this country alone. Novices should not be fooled into thinking golf is an easy sport of course it has been taxing and intoxicating players since the Middle Ages. The pursuit of that one perfect shot the constant honing of the swing and drive these are the things that captivate bringing both men and women back to the tee time and again. Some people labour under the misconception that golf is not really a sport that it s all about having a slow walk and hitting a ball every now and then. But those hoping for an easy day are in for a surprise distances vary but on the average 18-hole course you can expect to walk around five miles. You don t need to be an athlete to take up the sport though so golf is a great way to get several hours of exercise in the fresh air... while actually enjoying yourself FOR ELEGANT EXERTION IN A BEAUTIFUL SETTING IT S HARD TO BEAT A GOOD GAME OF GOLF. IF YOU VE NEVER SCORED A BIRDIE OR ENJOYED THE PLEASURES OF THE 19TH HOLE LET US CONVERT YOU TO THE GLORIOUS GAME ush rolling greens stunning backdrops and long afternoons spent strolling in the sunshine all make golf a thoroughly appealing pastime. When you consider the breathtaking courses at our L www.ph-hotels.com GOLFN 59 Perhaps most importantly golf is an exceptionally social game both on the green and in the clubhouse. Plus the sport plays an important role in the business world - charity golf days and other corporate events are excellent opportunities to bring companies together and build relationships. Most clubs offer private lessons with their pros so beginners can find the confidence to get started. Plus many luxury hotels offer great value weekend packages with a golf focus so that s another good incentive to invest in a set of clubs today. So what are you waiting for It s time to start working on that hole-in-one... For more information about golf at our hotels call 0844 824 6171 or visit www.ph-hotels.com BE OUR GUEST Selsdon Park Hotel and Golf Club in Croydon Surrey was designed by JH Taylor five times winner of the British Open and opened in 1929. GENERAL MANAGER STUART MCGOWAN SAYS This is a par 73 6 100 to 6 368-yard course located on the border of South Croydon and Surrey. Set in the grounds of the Selsdon Park Hotel it s an enjoyable classic Championship standard course in beautiful mature woodland. The imposing former mansion that is the Selsdon Park Hotel provides a magnificent backdrop. 0208 768 3113 www.selsdonparkcroydon.co.uk At Hawkstone Park in Weston-under-Redcastle Shropshire the setting for our two 18-hole golf courses and the 6-hole Academy course could hardly be better - Hawkstone Park is an English Heritage Grade I landscape and was voted one of the top 20 golf holiday destinations in the world.The three courses were designed in extensive parkland surrounding the ruins of a medieval castle with the cliffs of the world-famous 18th Century Follies providing a spectacular backdrop. Our championship golf course will really test your abilities. HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL KEITH WILLIAMS SAYS We re lucky to have two fantastic courses each with equal standing. I think my favourite hole is the 10th on The Hawkstone Course playing to the spectacular backdrop of Grotto Hill. The course also offers corporate packages and society days. 01948 841 700 www.hawkstoneparkweston.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com 60 n HISTORY www.ph-hotels.com HISTORY N 61 UNEXPECTED Among our group of beautiful hotels you ll find that many have rich and interesting histories. From the iconic buildings in historic city centres to the idyllic country houses our hotels have seen their share of fascinating events over the centuries. If only walls could talk... Here we take a closer look at two of our most magnificent buildings and their intriguing pasts GLASGOW TALES OF THE THE GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL During the Victorian era Glasgow became known as the Second City of the Empire . The city s hardworking people thrived as traders importing first tobacco then cotton sugar and rum. Between 1821 and 1881 the population more than tripled as people flocked to Glasgow to find work in this prosperous trade hub and the Industrial Revolution demanded a direct rail service from London to Glasgow to enable the fast and efficient transportation of goods. When Caledonian Railway built the Central Station in 1879 the company had originally intended to create a suite of new offices adjoining the station. But they soon realised that the sheer volume of travellers coming to the city meant that more accommodation was needed so they built a hotel instead. The Central Hotel which opened on June 27 1883 was to become one of Glasgow s best loved buildings. Despite its popularity the hotel stood silent and empty for several months from February 2009 when its then owners went into administration. But following a 20million refurbishment programme by PH Hotels this magnificent building was restored to its former glory and welcoming guests once again in September 2010 under the new name of Grand Central Hotel. During its 131 years of service to the city it has welcomed some of the world s most recognisable figures from Royalty to Hollywood stars and played a role in significant historical events. In honour of these connections we re proud to have named three fine suites after a trio of our most famous and influential guests. The Grand Central Hotel has welcomed some of the world s most recognisable figures and played a role in significant historical events www.ph-hotels.com HISTORY N 63 THE JOHN LOGIE BAIRD SUITE Our hotel played an historic role in one of the most significant technological developments of the 20th Century. Scottish inventor and engineer John Logie Baird was credited with the invention of television and in 1927 he made the first long distance transmission over 438 miles (705km) from London to the Central Hotel. We honour our role in one of mankind s greatest achievements with a beautiful suite that features images of Scotland s famous son at work. THE JOHN F KENNEDY SUITE This most charismatic of politicians came to the hotel in 1939 following the sinking of the SS Athenia which was the first ship to be sunk by Nazi Germany. The son of the then American Ambassador to the UK John F Kennedy was sent to Glasgow to meet the survivors. His first public speech is believed to have been given in front of what is today the hotel s Champagne Central lounge. JFK would go on to become the 35th President of the United States and one of history s greatest orators so we re immensely proud to commemorate his visit with this elegant suite. THE ROBERT ROWAND ANDERSON SUITE Already one of the Victorian era s most acclaimed architects Robert Rowand Anderson was renowned for designing such famous buildings as the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Balmoral Castle. For the Central Hotel he drew inspiration from the informal yet elegant Queen Anne style the Swedish clock tower is a particularly impressive feature. This stunning original architecture has been retained even though the hotel has been extended and adapted over the years. In 1902 Robert Rowand Anderson was knighted by King Edward VII for his services to architecture and the beauty of his legacy can still be enjoyed by our guests today. www.thegrandcentralhotel.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com HISTORY N 65 LONDON Ever since the architectural plans were approved by the 11th Duke of Bedford in the late 1890s Hotel Russell has been one of London s grandest and HOTEL RUSSELL today s standards and guests experienced an astonishing level of luxury. Among the fittings were a Pyranean marble staircase an interior sunken garden and 25 000 worth of furniture which was a huge sum at the time. Other features included a frieze showing the Coats of Arms of numerous countries associated with the British empire which at that time accounted for a quarter of the world and handcrafted statues of past Prime Ministers. Already an epic creation in itself Hotel Russell has a unique connection to one of history s most famous and most tragic events. Charles Fitzroy-Doll was recruited by the White Star Shipping Line to design the interiors for their triumvirate of transatlantic super liners one of which was the RMS Titanic. He based his designs for the luxurious first class lounges and dining rooms of the Hotel Russell one of his favourite projects. At the top of the hotel s second floor stairs you ll see a bronze dragon known as Lucky George . Fitzroy-Doll had just two of these dragons moulded the other is lying on the seabed 2.5 miles below the water level aboard the remains of the RMS Titanic. www.hotelrusselllondon.co.uk most iconic hotels. Properties that were originally built in Russell Square in the late 1700s and 1800s were demolished in 1894 and the Duke then spent two years inspecting submissions by some of London s leading architects. Fredrick Hotels Ltd was finally granted permission to build a hotel in the vacant lot at 1-8 Russell Square and the Duke continued to take a personal interest in the project letters sent in March 1897 between the aristocrat and the architect Charles Fitzroy-Doll document the decision to clad the building in its now famous Terracotta. Influenced by the classical Ch teau Royal de Madrid just outside Paris Fitzroy-Doll s design was all about luxury and attention to detail. Hotel Russell was a vast undertaking even by www.ph-hotels.com 66 CONFERENCES 28 n SUBJECT www.ph-hotels.com CONFERENCES N 28 SUBJECT 67 I ve spent almost two decades working with people at all levels of seniority in organisations from many different industries and market sectors all over the world trying to help them understand and adopt new ideas. This type of trying to educate to learn through error and not to step in and make corrections whenever they sense error approaching. Mistakes are key to effective learning. For the person receiving it it should help them realise that they will not be told what to do they must work that out for themselves. This means they must first learn what the best approaches are and why. Then they must decide how best to use what they have learned. This also means they will have to struggle with the new ideas and techniques until they master them. But that s a good thing because it is how understanding and skill are built. Struggle is another key to effective learning. So I think we need less training and more educating . If my experience is anything to go on the outcome will be more people who can think for themselves and make sensible decisions to do the things they have learned and that they know will deliver worthwhile outcomes. work is generally called training . But I ve never been comfortable with that word to describe what I do. For me the word educating better describes my intention and what I have learned is most likely to achieve the best results. To me training is something we do to animals like getting a dog to walk at your side or a horse to walk sideways. Educating is We need less training people like helping them understand how something and more educating . works so they can make The outcome will be more better use of it or explaining why a different approach people who can think could help them achieve for themselves and improved results. I also think that substituting make sensible the word educating for decisions training can lead to a better methodology from the person delivering it and to better outcomes for the person or people receiving it. For the person delivering it it should help them understand that the purpose of their work is not to tell people what to do. It is to help them understand why what you hope they will do is the best approach so they will then choose to do it. It should also encourage them at the appropriate times to allow the people they are something we engage in with Chris Daffy is one of the UK s best-known customer service fanatics. He is a Companion of the Institute of Customer Service a member of the ICS Editorial Board and founder of The Academy of Service Excellence. His experience and expertise has taken him all over the world as a consultant and conference speaker and enabled him to work with organisations across many sectors. Visit his website www.chrisdaffy.com to find out more. real education DO WE REALLY WANT TO DELIVER AND RECEIVE TRAINING OR WOULD EDUCATING BE BETTER FOR EVERYONE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERT CHRIS DAFFY OFFERS HIS ADVICE ON HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS FOR YOUR STAFF www.ph-hotels.com CONFERENCES N 69 W Exceptional service delivered by exceptional people hen you organise a conference meeting or training session we know the success of the event reflects on you personally. Which is why from your IN THE ZONE To encourage creativity and to meet the individual needs of our clients we have introduced Business and Learning Zones with facilities for delegates to be more productive while Open Zones allow trainers to take their sessions out of a classroom setting. Hospitality Zones are places where you can relax and enjoy refreshments whenever you like. Outdoor areas can also be made available for teambuilding days many of our properties boast stunning grounds that lend themselves to exciting and productive exercises. very first enquiry you will have the prompt attention of a dedicated advisor who will guide you through the whole process to ensure that your occasion not only meets expectations but exceeds them. At each and every venue whether in bustling city centres or tranquil country properties our core value remains the same exceptional service delivered by exceptional people. We are a one stop shop for a fantastic event having worked with thousands of trainers and organisers over many years. We understand that choosing a venue for your conference meeting teambuilding day or training event is a big decision. But we re so confident of surpassing your JOIN OUR CLUB We enjoy great relationships with thousands of trainers across the country who view our hotels as key partners in their work. Our Trainers Club offers fantastic benefits and extra support such as upgraded bedrooms priority parking at any of our UK hotels at any time and early check-in. To find out more about conference meeting and training options at all our hotels and to hear about the latest conference offers visit www.ph-hotels.com or call 0844 854 2911. expectations that we invite all organisers to try before you buy you or a representative of your company is welcome to stay the night and enjoy dinner bed and breakfast in order to personally experience the excellent quality of our customer service accommodation and dining (terms and conditions apply). We also offer show-arounds and menu tastings prior to your event. meeting of EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE AND INSPIRATIONAL VENUES WITH GREAT TRANSPORT LINKS MAKE US THE PERFECT PARTNER FOR YOUR BUSINESS EVENT minds www.ph-hotels.com CONFERENCES N 71 BE OUR GUEST... WINDSOR LEEDS Named as the Best Business Hotel in Yorkshire The Met has 18 stylish meeting rooms seating up to 250 delegates along with the latest presentation technology. 0113 245 0841 www.hotelmetleeds.co.uk BEAUMONT ESTATE The Beaumont Estate has a range of stunning event spaces including the Hanover Suite which seats 550 delegates the self-contained Conference Village and the executive White House wing. 01753 640 000 www.beaumont-estate-windsor.co.uk THE MET DORKING Located just off junction 9 of the M25 and close to Gatwick Airport Wotton House offers a range of meeting spaces from the atmospheric Old Library to the stylish Wotton Suite. 01306 730 000 www.wottonhousedorkingsurrey.co.uk CHESHIRE Cranage Hall is just minutes from junction 18 of the M6. Here you ll find a modern conference centre with a variety of meeting and function rooms accommodating up to 300 delegates. 0844 854 2910 www.cranagehallholmeschapel.co.uk WOTTON HOUSE CRANAGE HALL www.ph-hotels.com ADVERTORIAL N 73 PRIVATE JET CHARTER FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE EVERYWHERE NOW Zenith Aviation is one of the UK s leading executive aircraft management companies providing private jet charter for clients and businesses travelling throughout Britain and Europe is a clear indication that this market is taking off. Flying with Zenith Aviation offers the luxury and flexibility for executives to dictate their own schedule something that cannot be achieved when flying with commercial airlines. It is proven that commercial travel can cost in excess of 20% more than flying by private charter when taking into account the true travelling time and offsetting productivity en route. These valuable saved executive hours allow travellers to enjoy the luxury of parking immediately next to check-in swift customs clearance and a waiting aircraft on the tarmac ready for departure. Of course for international travellers this timesaving also includes the avoidance of lengthy customs queues. Zenith Aviation flies into all main and regional airports across the UK providing a quick and efficient way for business people to attend an important conference or event while enabling them to be back in the office the same day if necessary. Alternatively for T he increasing number of UK businesses opting to fly their senior staff by private jet charter overnight stopovers Zenith can mirror PH Hotels locations in cities including Glasgow Edinburgh Cardiff Manchester Leeds Birmingham Milton Keynes London and of course Paris. Once aboard Zenith s Bombardier Learjet 45 carries eight passengers in a luxurious cabin which features comfortable reclining leather seats a fully stocked bar and pre-ordered catering. The aircraft boasts a cruising speed of 860kph which means a typical journey from Biggin Hill to Edinburgh takes just over an hour. Zenith s fleet is supported by a team of highly trained and experienced type rated pilots and operational ground staff. Operated under Zenith Aviation s UK Air Operator Certificate their own crews maintain the aircraft under licences and approvals. It is this level of control that sets them apart from other aircraft operators and ensures that they deliver the best service the market has to offer. Stuart Mulholland Zenith Aviation s Managing Director comments We believe in taking the simple approach where others make things over complicated. That way we get our clients to their destinations safely comfortably cost effectively and quickly. We know it works because when clients fly with us once they fly with us every time. Stuart Mulholland has held management positions with several organisations ranging from air taxi companies to charter airlines with roles including Chief Pilot Flight Operations Director and Head of Ground Operations. He spent 10 years with BAE Systems and flew as a Training Captain on a variety of aircraft including large turboprops executive jets and commercial airliners. Stuart is supported by a highly experienced team of aviation experts who have all held senior posts in leading aircraft and aircraft safety organisations. To travel swiftly and safely in the knowledge that you are being taken care of by a highly trained crew and team of experienced aviation professionals you ll agree that private jet charter is the only way to fly. For private charter information please contact Zenith Aviation on 01892 739 758. www.ph-hotels.com GRAND SPACES N 75 WATCH THIS SPACE FROM HIGH SOCIETY BALLS TO PRESTIGIOUS EXHIBITIONS YOUR GRAND EVENT DESERVES A GRAND SPACE WITH THAT ELUSIVE WOW FACTOR to your occasion s success. Location convenience and the atmosphere of the building as a whole are of course important elements to consider. But it is the particular space in which your event will unfold that really sets the tone for your day or evening and which can make the difference between an impressive event and a magnificent one. Whether you re organising a fairytale wedding a dazzling award ceremony or an industry event that will cement your company s place at the forefront of your field the room that plays host W hen arranging a special event whether for business or pleasure the choice of venue is essential should leave your guests thoroughly impressed and just a little awestruck. The first question should be how many people are you expecting to attend The space you choose should be large enough to comfortably accommodate all your guests delegates or visitors but without leaving too many unoccupied areas. Your event must not be dwarfed by the size of the room so it s important to judge the attendance and use of space carefully. Your venue s events team will be able to advise on which of their rooms is most suitable for the size and nature of your gathering. Next consider the atmosphere. Your event should be memorable for all the right reasons and leave your guests feeling as if they have been part of something very special. For large social occasions and exclusive industry events a beautiful ballroom or reception hall with magnificent chandeliers and other impressive features will invoke the splendid glamour of yesteryear. More intimate events are suited to smart well equipped business suites or elegant dining rooms that give a lasting impression of all the care thought and expert planning that has been channelled into the organisation of your unforgettable occasion. www.ph-hotels.com 76 n GRAND SPACES BE OUR GUEST... All of our 22 properties are beautiful venues in fantastic locations and among these there are ten grand spaces that are perfect for large scale events and celebrations. For sheer excitement and glamour the capital has it all at the heart of the action are two iconic venues that can provide wonderful settings for even the most sparkling and high-powered events. Set in one of London s most prestigious areas the Hotel Russell in Russell Square offers a range of versatile grand spaces. For larger events the towering Wharncliffe Suite and the spectacular Woburn Suite with its ornate architecture can each accommodate up to 450 guests in Victorian grandeur. www.hotelrusselllondon.co.uk LONDON If your guest list is much longer the Grand Connaught Rooms in Great Queen Street is renowned for hosting some of the city s most prestigious occasions. Packed with history it lays claim as the venue where the FA was founded 150 years ago. Offering some of the largest and most versatile chambers in London the Grand Connaught Rooms can accommodate anything from cocktail parties to launch parties or ethnic weddings with up to 1 000 guests in the spectacular Grand Hall. www.grandconnaughtrooms.com LONDON www.ph-hotels.com GRAND SPACES N 77 Last year s Hotel of the Year at the Scottish Hotel Awards could not be more convenient for visitors to this vibrant Scottish city. Situated adjacent to Glasgow Central Train Station in Gordon Street and just eight miles from the airport this venue offers location location location along with some breathtaking function rooms that have retained their original Queen Anne-style architecture and features. Up to 400 people can socialise in the magnificent Grand Hall and the adjacent pre-function bar with more intimate space available in the equally impressive Victoria and Regent Rooms. For that extra special touch the Champagne Lounge makes a statement like no other venue in Glasgow. 0141 240 3700 www.thegrandcentralhotel.co.uk GLASGOW Also a winner at the Scottish Hotel Awards the George Hotel enjoys a fantastic position on the famous George Street just a few minutes from the city s Waverley railway station and major attractions. This marvellous hotel is steeped in history with its 18th Century heritage visible for all to enjoy and it offers some truly unique event spaces for up to 300 guests. The splendid King s Hall with its Flight Light chandelier is one of the city s most sought after rooms and the contemporary Panorama Suite is something truly special guests can enjoy amazing views of the Forth and Edinburgh Castle from the outdoor terrace adding an unforgettable dimension to your event. www.thegeorgehoteledinburgh.co.uk EDINBURGH Opened in 1878 the Royal York Hotel is a beautiful building in the heart of this gloriously historic city and conveniently close to York Station. The aptly named Oak Room has oak panelling and original features that will transport you back in time to the finesse and elegance of the Victorian era. Up to 300 seated guests can be accommodated in the stylish and modern Events Centre which has a private entrance and its own bar the ideal solution for those who wish to host a large scale event in this most attractive and atmospheric of cities. www.hotelroyalyork.co.uk YORK www.ph-hotels.com GRAND SPACES N 79 With the M42 NEC and Birmingham International Airport all within easy reach the St Johns Hotel is a fantastic choice for your prestigious Midlands event. Banqueting for up to 700 guests is available in the impressive Park Suite which boasts a private entrance and bar. Plus there are three other stylish modern spaces with varying capacities. www.stjohnssolihull.co.uk SOLIHULL The magnificent Beaumont Estate has all the space you need to host a spectacular event. For ethnic weddings or major occasions of up to 550 guests the vast Hanover Suite provides an impressive backdrop in a convenient and picturesque location while the 19th Century Chapel provides a magnificent setting for up to 120 guests. For smaller gatherings the handsome White House is the top choice this executive wing of the Beaumont Estate has event rooms in Georgian and Art Deco style equipped with the latest audio visual technology a private dining space 10 lavish suites and 16 premium deluxe bedrooms. www.beaumont-estate-windsor.co.uk WINDSOR Located on Oxford Street in the centre of this buzzing city the Palace Hotel is an exceptional Victorian building that offers one of the grandest event settings in the North of England and its iconic clock tower is a well-known landmark. The 885m Grand Room providing a stunning Art Deco backdrop to events of up to 1 000 people ideal for exhibitions and receptions and hosting many high profile charity balls. The contemporary Buckingham Suite with its spectacular lighting system is a great alternative for events where up to 250 people are expected. www.palacehotelmanchestercity.co.uk MANCHESTER Whatever your vision the space you choose should make that memorable event truly unforgettable. To find out more about any of our Grand Spaces visit www.ph-hotels.com call our Events team on 0844 824 6174 or email enquiries principal-hayley.com www.ph-hotels.com www.ph-hotels.com WINE INVESTMENT N 81 GRAPEVINE INVESTING IN WINE IS A FASCINATING PROSPECT AND IT CAN LEAD TO IMPRESSIVE RETURNS THAT SOMETIMES HIT THE HEADLINES. BUT LIKE ANY OTHER INVESTMENT THERE ARE RISKS INVOLVED. BEFORE MAKING YOUR DECISION THERE ARE SOME KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT WINE TO WORK FOR YOU literally maturing in the cellar is instantly alluring. Occasionally big sales are reported in the media and there s always brisk trade going on at the world s best auction houses. This year experts have reported an increased interest in older vintages and historic wines from regions HEARD IT THROUGH THE S ome people invest in property others in stocks and shares for many the romantic idea of an investment such as Burgundy and Northern Italy. In the spring an assorted case of 1990 vintage Domaine de la Romanee-Conti from Burgundy fetched 28 200 at Bonham s in London while another case from the same vineyard sold for nearly 29 000 at Wally s in New York. So there are returns to be found but caution and discernment are required when investing in the hallowed grape. www.ph-hotels.com WINE INVESTMENT N 83 HERE ARE SOME TOP TIPS FOR THOSE WHO ARE CONSIDERING THIS MARKET B Only buy from reputable merchants with an established business history particularly when buying en primeur this is when the wine is sold as a future before it is bottled. Check how their portfolios have performed in the past and find out what charges or commissions will be involved B Make sure that you B Develop a good relationship with your merchant preferably with more than one. This means you may get preferential treatment when sought-after wines come to market compare prices as they can still vary hugely between merchants. Websites such as www.winesearcher.com and www.liv-ex.com can help you keep an eye on current values B Ensure that your wine is stored in perfect conditions so that it will mature in a predictable way B Don t deal with wine investment companies who cold-call use high pressure sales tactics or demand an up-front commission fee. You should never buy from anyone who uses a PO Box as their contact address be suspicious of prices that are either too high or too low B If you can try to buy three to five cases per chateaux as larger quantities will attract more attention from trade buyers. But it is generally recommended to buy small quantities of high value wines rather than many cases of inexpensive wines B Trying to sell split or opened cases will prove difficult and the value may plummet so don t be tempted to take a few bottles for personal use. You shouldn t simply buy wine you like anyway in the hope that it will become valuable stick with the tried and tested investment wines B Check the provenance and condition of the wine before you buy it B Storing your collection in bond with a merchant or professional storage company is a good idea but check that your wine is clearly labelled and kept well away from any other stock. You should also insure your wine for the full market value www.ph-hotels.com WINE INVESTMENT N 85 The advantages include the fact that as wine matures it naturally becomes more desirable by more and more will be consumed and therefore it becomes rarer. Generally wine doesn t attract Capital Gains Tax as it is regarded as a wasting asset and keeping the wine in bond means you avoid paying VAT and Duty but you should always consult a tax lawyer or accountant as this area of tax law can be complex. There are numerous risks to consider as with any investment and the cost of storing and insuring your wine will need to be factored against your profitability. Those looking for quick returns are unlikely to be successful you may get lucky with a particular vintage if you happen to buy and sell at the right time but short-term speculation will always be more risky. Wine is generally more suited to a long-term investment strategy. Be our guest All our hotels offer an excellent selection of wines and other beverages why not pay us a visit and taste for yourself M ost importantly do not be swept away by the hype surrounding wine investment. Just like any other market values can fall as well as rise and timing is particularly important when it comes to buying and selling wines. Some vintages can experience a brief rise in value even when the rest of the market is falling and vice versa. The advantages include the fact that as wine matures it naturally becomes more desirable. Plus as the years go WHY NOT TRY THE HUGO This blend of Prosecco elderflower and sparkling water is the perfect lower alcohol thirst quencher for 2014 B B B B B 25ml elderflower liquer 50ml soda water 50ml Prosecco 10ml lime juice 3-5 mint leaves Muddle the mint and lime juice then mix with the other ingredients in an ice filled glass. Garnish with mint and a slice of lime. www.ph-hotels.com 86 n TRAVEL je t aime PARIS ISN T KNOWN AS THE CITY OF LIGHT LOVE AND ROMANCE FOR NOTHING. FROM MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS TO MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANTS AND FABULOUS SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES WE PROFILE SOME OF THE LESSER KNOWN THINGS TO DO PLACES TO GO AND SITES TO SEE WHEN VISITING FRANCE S ACCLAIMED CAPITAL SO YOU SEE FURTHER THAN THE WELL-TRODDEN TOURIST HOTSPOTS AND MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT PAR I S www.ph-hotels.com TRAVEL N 87 T here s nothing quite like visiting Paris during the summer months. It s one of the most romantic cities in the world and there s no better place to soak up some culture sample world leading cuisine or get swept up by the beautiful skyline and landscape. To get you started the city offers a wide variety of hidden gems that are bound to delight and entertain. First off make sure the region of Boulogne-Bilancourt is on your list. Here you ll find some excellent museums including Mus e Albert Kahn which showcases wonderful sculpted gardens and collections of 19th Century photography as well as the Mus e Belmondo and the Mus e des Ann es specialising in sculpture and Art D co respectively. Nearby the Bois de Boulogne is filled with lakes and parkland that will take your breath away. Further off the beaten track is the Ch teau de Vincennes one of Europe s bestpreserved fortresses dating back to the 14th Century. And with its narrow cobbled In keeping with the city s reputation for delivering some of the finest food in the world there is a wealth of restaurants where you can taste the many delights of Parisian cuisine. The glamorous dining room of the three Michelin-starred Le Meurice boasts a mosaic floor crystal chandeliers and windows overlooking the Tuileries Gardens across the street along with inventive cooking and precise friendly service. Alternatively Les Enfants Terribles offers great food and a welcoming ambience at reasonable prices while Les Cascades an arty caf popular with locals rather than tourists is tucked away in the leafy Belleville neighbourhood. While you re at it get a taste of what the city s nightlife has to offer with a trip to L Entrep t a wonderful entertainment venue where film and live music as well as an art gallery on the third floor come together to create an inspiring cultural experience. Likewise at Au Lapin Agile an intimate cabaret venue in north Montmartre you can pop in for a drink while listening to some live poetry or New Morning is a low-key club that will introduce you to a world of experimental jazz. Paris is most certainly the place for those who are after some lavish retail therapy. Shops here are not to be missed and range Left Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Below Ch teau de Vincennes streets you can get lost in Marais quartier where intimate museums and elegant mansions await such as the Mus e Carnavalet and Places des Vosges which in turn houses La Maison de Victor Hugo the celebrated writer s former apartment. www.ph-hotels.com TRAVEL N 89 from bustling markets to expansive department stores. Les Puces de Montreuil is the perfect opportunity for some old fashioned bartering or why not treat yourself to some luxury fashion items at Montaigne Market or indulge your appetite at Maison de la Truffe Outdoors there is also a wealth of things to see places to go and unforgettable experiences to be had. Explore the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont a little-known park overlooking the city. In addition to a 30m waterfall it also includes a lake grotto and temple and is a great spot for tranquil picnics. Equally attractive is the Meudon Observatoire where luscious green gardens on the outskirts of Paris provide a view to rival that of the Eiffel Tower. Set on the banks of a lake in a field of wild flowers it s the perfect hideaway from the city s hustle and bustle. You can also marvel at more than 10 000 species of plant in the elegant Jardin des Plantes or even pick your own strawberries at Les Vergers de Champlain farm in La Queue-en-Brie located just 23km south of the main city. Getting around is a breeze when you hire your very own bicycle through the citywide V lib scheme. Launched by the mayor in 2007 this municipal bike hire project has over 20 000 bikes available 24 hours a day at nearly 1 500 stations across the city. Cycling through the streets of Paris on a warm summer s day you ll feel right at home in no time at all. If you re thinking of visiting this remarkable place why not come and stay with us As a guest at our Ch teau Saint Just hotel located in the idyllic village of Belle-Eglise on the outskirts of Paris you ll be in prime position for visiting and exploring the capital while also enjoying a genuine experience of rural France at its best. Set in 42 acres of peaceful grounds and boasting visually impressive towers this picturesque hideaway s local attractions include the beautiful and artistic town of Auvers-sur-Oise where Vincent van Gogh lived out his final years and which features captivating walks museums and monuments. Domaine de Chantilly meanwhile is home to the Mus e Cond a stunning castle housing more than 800 masterpieces of European painting and the first of its kind after the Louvre. There s also an immaculately preserved library and archive and the breathtaking Mus e du Cheval in the Great Stables dedicated to equine art and culture. All this and more can be explored in and around France s captivating capital where there really is something for everyone. Whether you re an avid shopper have a passion for history or simply want to soak up the city s rich and vibrant culture there are endless possibilities when you lose yourself in the romance and splendour of the City of Light or as the locals say La Ville-Lumi re . Left The town of Auvers-sur-Oise where Vincent van Gogh lived out his final years Below The library at Mus e Cond BE OUR GUEST 17 Rue Nationale Belle Eglise near Paris France 60540 33 (0) 344 471 717 www.chateausaintjust.com CH TEAU SAINT JUST www.ph-hotels.com 92 n MOTORS THE SKY IS THE LIMIT BENTLEY HAS UNVEILED THE FASTEST FOUR-SEATER SOFT-TOP IN THE WORLD WITH ITS NEW 202MPH CONTINENTAL GT SPEED CONVERTIBLE www.ph-hotels.com MOTORS N 93 Bentley claims it can withstand monsoon rain and maintain draftfree warmth even on the coldest winter days. was unveiled last year shares most of its technology with its hard-top sibling. The engine has been improved in every respect and despite packing 175kg of extra weight over the current hard top version the latest Convertible is still 15% more efficient than the first GT Speed was. The new 2.5-tonne flagship records 19.5mpg on the EU standard test cycle with CO2 readings of 347g km. The efficiency gains amount to around a 15% increase in the car s range an improvement that could increase further with steady cruising. Fuel tank capacity meanwhile stands at 90 litres. Top speed is down 3mph compared to the hard-top GT Speed while the 0-62mph sprint is just 0.2 seconds slower. The hard-top hits 100mph 0.7 seconds faster though. Like its enclosed counterpart the GT Speed Convertible uses an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox for incredibly fast reliable and smooth changes both up and down. Paddles are present behind the steering wheel for semi-manual shifts if desired. It is also capable of block-shifting for example from eighth to fourth. The famed Bentley wave of torque is maintained with a monumental peak of 590lb.ft sustained between 2 000rpm and 5 000rpm. The four-layer acoustic fabric hood is said to keep road noise to a minimum. During its development it was tested in temperatures from -30 to 50 degrees Celsius with Bentley claiming it can withstand monsoon rain and maintain draft-free warmth even on the coldest winter days. Handling improvements over the standard Continental GT Convertible come from stiffer suspension bushes and stronger anti-roll bars while the ride is set up 10mm lower. Prices have yet to be confirmed but are expected to sit around the 160 000 mark. As per the Bentley norm the options list will be extensive and expensive. F eaturing a twin-turbo W12 engine tuned to produce an astonishing 616bhp the convertible version of the GT Speed that www.ph-hotels.com 98 DIRECTORY 28 n SUBJECT BE OUR GUEST... Here you ll find the contact details for all our luxury hotels across the country and into Europe. We look forward to hearing from you soon LONDON GRAND CONNAUGHT ROOMS 61 - 65 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5DA 0207 405 7811 www.grandconnaughtrooms.com WALES & SOUTH WEST ALEXANDRA HOUSE Whittingham Drive Wroughton Swindon Wiltshire SN4 0QJ 01793 819000 www.swindonalexandrahouse.co.uk HOTEL RUSSELL 1-8 Russell Square London WC1B 5BE 0207 837 6470 www.hotelrusselllondon.co.uk THE ST. DAVID S HOTEL & SPA Havannah Street Cardiff CF10 5SD 0292 045 4045 www.thestdavidshotel.com SOUTHERN ENGLAND BEAUMONT ESTATE Burfield Road Old Windsor Berkshire SL4 2JJ 01753 640000 www.beaumont-estate-windsor.co.uk YORKSHIRE KENWOOD HALL Kenwood Road Sheffield South Yorkshire S7 1NQ 0114 258 3811 www.kenwoodhallsheffield.co.uk HORWOOD HOUSE Mursley Road Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire MK17 0PH 01296 722100 www.horwoodhouse.co.uk THE MET King Street Leeds West Yorkshire LS1 2HQ 0113 245 0841 www.hotelmetleeds.co.uk SELSDON PARK HOTEL & GOLF CLUB 126 Addington Road South Croydon Surrey CR2 8YA 0208 657 8811 www.selsdonparkcroydon.co.uk THE ROYAL YORK HOTEL Station Road York North Yorkshire YO24 1AA 01904 653681 www.hotelroyalyork.co.uk WOTTON HOUSE Guildford Road Wotton Dorking Surrey RH5 6HS 01306 730000 www.wottonhousedorkingsurrey.co.uk www.ph-hotels.com DIRECTORY N 99 SUBJECT 28 CENTRAL ENGLAND EASTWOOD HALL Mansfield Road Eastwood Nottinghamshire NG16 3SS 01773 532532 www.eastwoodhallhotel.co.uk NORTH WEST ENGLAND CRANAGE HALL Byley Lane Holmes Chapel Cheshire CW4 8EW 01477 536666 www.cranagehallholmeschapel.co.uk ETTINGTON CHASE Banbury Road Ettington Warwickshire CV37 7NZ 01789 740000 www.ettingtonchasehotel.co.uk THE PALACE HOTEL Oxford Road Manchester M60 7HA 0161 288 1111 www.palacehotelmanchestercity.co.uk HAWKSTONE PARK Weston-under-Redcastle Shrewsbury Shropshire SY4 5UY 01948 841700 www.hawkstoneparkweston.co.uk SCOTLAND GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL 99 Gordon Street Glasgow G1 3SF 0141 240 3700 www.thegrandcentralhotel.co.uk SEDGEBROOK HALL Chapel Brampton Northampton NN6 8BD 01604 821666 www.sedgebrookhall.co.uk THE DERBYSHIRE HOTEL Carter Lane East South Normanton Derbyshire DE55 2EH 01773 812000 www.thederbyshire-hotel.com THE GEORGE HOTEL 18-21 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2PB 0131 225 1251 www.thegeorgehoteledinburgh.co.uk THE ST JOHNS HOTEL 651 Warwick Road Solihull West Midlands B91 1AT 0121 711 3000 www.stjohnssolihull.co.uk EUROPE CHATEAU SAINT JUST 17 Rue Nationale Belle Eglise near Paris France 60540 33 (0) 344 471 717 www.chateausaintjust.com www.ph-hotels.com