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Phileas French

Masserie are characteristically Puglian manor houses which formed the heart of rural estates. Today, many of them have been converted to luxury residences, but they retain their timeless charm as a feature of the countryside in this very special part of Italy. They once housed local nobility and their guests, but were also part of working farms, with arable land, gardens, stables and staff living quarters. The most sympathetically restored masserie have retained some of these evocative features, whilst also offering the highest spec modern comforts. Masseria Della Croce enjoys

Wiltshire is a destination county. With parts in both the Cotswolds and the West Country, it has a unique feel: bucolic, elegant and largely unspoilt. It is home to Britain’s most important ancient historic monument, some of England’s prettiest villages and the grandest of stately homes. An obvious number one, Stonehenge simply cannot be missed. This iconic, mysterious and spiritual Stone Age site looms dramatically and unforgettably out of the Wiltshire countryside. Sadly, the days of being able to touch the enchanting ring of standing stones are gone, but the

Pondering over which gorgeous Caribbean island might suit you best has to be one of life’s more pleasant problems to solve. Though the islands are united by their wonderful climate, natural beauty and warm welcome, many of them have special or even unique attractions depending on taste. St Barths is synonymous with ritzy international wealth and the high life. It’s the perfect Caribbean island for retail addicts and hedonistic groups. La Musique villa sleeps ten and exudes retro glamour and opulence…there’s even a grand piano. Villa Milou sleeps twelve and

For the October half term holidays, which for many schools last a fortnight, there are four truly inspiring destinations that are hard to beat for a genuine change of scene and pace. Morocco does cool down somewhat in the autumn, but still has temperatures in late October which bear very favourable comparison with Northern Europe. Though not its capital, Marrakech is Morocco’s cultural mecca, and has countless exotic and fascinating experiences for adventurous families. In addition to a tennis court and pool onsite the French Colonel villa also offers easy

Making a marriage proposal ranks right up there as one of life’s most exciting yet nerve-wracking experiences. Once you have decided to pop the question, where soon becomes a pressing query. It’s essential to make sure you’ve found the perfect place to hear that one word “yes”. As fuel for the imagination, here are five gorgeous places for lovers. Each one is more than enough to inspire anyone to get down on one knee and put a ring on it. Apartment La Duchessa, in the heart of the timeless Tuscan

There are few more immediate ways to gain acquaintance with a place than by immersion in its food and drink. A private villa chef is perfectly positioned to provide a variety of regional delicacies, often organic and locally sourced, at times from the grounds of the property itself. Delicate, aromatic Thai cuisine is amongst the most renowned in South East Asia. An ideal setting in which to sample it is at Samara Beachfront Lux, Koh Samui. A healthy breakfast is included in the villa’s fee, and for an ingredients shopping

It is probably fair to say that expectations of the luxury family holiday have never been higher. With most families, adults and children alike, enjoying a full schedule of work and leisure activities throughout the year, down time is at a premium, but so is the expectation of a range of diversions and pastimes to match normal energy levels. Fortunately, there are a number of quality properties around the world that go the extra mile in providing for active families. A private island might conjure visions of secluded splendour and

The appeal of the cuisine, landscapes and heritage of rural France and the Balearic islands is universally acknowledged. Many happy couples have also been initiated into the secret that with the right luxury destination property, they are perfect wedding locales. Three exceptional properties in particular represent the very best on offer in these regions. Villa la Tosca enjoys picture postcard beach front surroundings in Lanton, Aquitaine. The villa, ecological pool and gardens combine to create a storybook quality. The pretty little Gallic bridge, fountains, ancient walls and vistas are ideal

There are a growing number of wine connoisseurs who wish to combine a bucolic holiday setting with a high quality wine tasting experience, as well as an education in new or unusual vintages in the site that is producing them. Italy has some of the most alluring villas for wine lovers in Europe. Villa Altaserra Wine Resort in Tuscany is one of the most exceptional. A five bedroom, centuries old stone Tuscan farmhouse estate once owned by the Medici family, it has 22 hectares of vineyards producing two very different

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