Chalet St Peres in St Martin de Belleville

The Vintage Magazine, that is the editor and his wife, two daughters with accompanying husbands and their respective two children apiece recently spent a fabulous week skiing at St. Martin de Belleville, actually that is not technically correct, we stayed in St. Martin but skiied in the vast area of the Three Valleys (aka Les Trois Vallées if you are French) which incorporates,  Courcheval, Val Thorens, Méribel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin De Belleville, La Tania, Orelle and Brides les Bains; that makes 600 kilometres of slopes to explore and a resort to suit every taste and budget and every level of skiing ability from wonderfully groomed blue pistes to vertiginous couloirs.  There are in fact 321 Alpine ski runs made up of 51 green, 132 blue, 106 red and 32 black making this area perfect for families.

We chose St. Martin de Belleville as we had stayed here about 12 years ago and had fallen in love with the authentic charm of this Savoie region village but also because of the high speed gondolas and chairlifts which whisked us off and up into all the other ski areas.

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October 2015




Well, what a disastrous autumn we are having at least on two main counts: first the rugger World Cup. Not one home country or even a European one through to the semi finals. England failed to overcome their killer of a draw – by far the most difficult group in the entire competition – but my gut feeling is that they weren’t good enough to win the Cup anyway.  The same applies to Wales; Ireland had all their best players hobbling around on crutches for their last group match and Scotland were denied victory in the dying seconds by an incorrect decision by the referee.  As I write we are being slaughtered by the Pakistanis at cricket with the games being played in the UAE because it is not safe to play cricket in their own country.  What is the world coming to?  Secondly, our power stations are to be designed and installed by the Chinese.  As MATT portrayed in his Daily Telegraph cartoon, if we talk about the Dalai Llama all our lights will go out.  Why can’t we build our own power stations?  We always used to.

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It was Samuel Johnson who first pronounced that, ‘When a man tired of London, he was tired of life’, – well I believe that the same can be said about Provence.  In spite of the crowds in the height of the summer there is something very special about this vast area which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River on the west, to the Italian border on the east, and by the Mediterranean Sea on the south and the Alpes Maritime to the north. So we made it our duty to visit as many of the iconic hotels and restaurants that we could manage in one week and to add a few of our personal favourites that we believe will become ‘must visit’ places on any bon vivant’s bucket list!

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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, and a good wife, must be in want of a Caribbean Island.  Apologies to Jane Austin but these words could have been written for Colin Tennant.

He was born into an aristocratic, landed family with enormous wealth.  His education followed the well trodden route of the privileged, Eton, Irish Guards, and Oxford, ensuring the most advantageous start in life and affording him the luxury of doing whatever he liked.

What he liked doing was travelling, partying, and being in ‘Society’.

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The Young Colin Tennant on his Island of Mustique

The Vintage Magazine travel correspondent Paul Thomas is a former Fleet Street journalist and founded and ran what became a major consumer and tourism PR company in the 1980s and 1990s.  Today, taking it a little easier to enjoy vintage lifestyle, he is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, aids charities and also runs a film-making company,

Paul Thomas visits this unique, for some, eccentric time-warped country and asks if its time for a change.  Cuba, a communist land of vintage characteristics, prize cigars, rum, 1950s cars and music, music, music, is facing a classic challenge – change may be on the way.

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The farmer makes cigars

With the first recorded round of golf taking place in Edinburgh in around 1456, Brits have a deep and long-lived passion for this sport.  At first glance, the idea of a golf lover taking a cruise appears to be the strangest of matches – however look a little deeper and the opportunities a golf cruise offers become clear.

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Golf Course destinations on Golf Cruises

This quite fabulously beautiful, productive and wonderfully sensational land has, sadly, become synonymous in recent years with one of the most hated and despised abuser of all forms of human rights, torturer, genocidal maniac, destroyer of his country and all round big time baddy, Robert Mugabe.  But from the ashes of destruction, the land and hope of resurrection is gradually rising like the glimmer of sunlight in an early dawn.  So, let us go back a while and look at this bejewelled piece of God’s earth as it was only 130 years ago.

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Hwange National Park

Patagonia.  What does the word conjure up in your mind?  Its not a country, therefore has no demarcation line, no boundaries, no government or status in its own name.  It does, however cover a huge area and is a most important part of two countries – Argentina and Chile.  It’s really all the land roughly speaking south of latitude 42 degrees down to the Straits of Magellan.

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The Park House Hotel at Bepton is a very well-kept secret, and until recently was only really well-known amongst the elite Polo fraternity, who use it when competing in the major tournaments at Cowdray Park, at  nearby Midhurst, a tradition begun by the O’Brien family, who have owned Bepton house for over 60 years.

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Park House Hotel and Spa at Bepton Midhurst West Sussex