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By 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

For those not fortunate enough to have been there already, there are five destinations that should make anyone’s bucket list. Anyone tempted to make a repeat visit will discover that each of these very special places has compelling new events and attractions in 2018. MARRAKECH Marrakech is certainly having a moment. The ground-breaking African contemporary art fair 1-54 takes place in February 2018. October 2017 saw the keenly-awaited opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, a final labour of love by his partner Pierre Bergé. Experienced travellers will always choose

Anyone who has had incredibly adept children zoom past them on black slopes will know that it is almost never too early to start teaching kids to ski. It can be a little bit more complicated picking out the very best places to get them on those nursery slopes for the first time. It’s sometimes even harder to make sure all that learning and exercise still feels like a vacation. Fortunately, there are four beautiful European destinations where those little darlings are perfectly catered for night and day.   Set

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

What makes the perfect sea front property? Direct access to a beautiful beach must surely be at the top of the list. With these nine ultra-luxe villas enjoying such a feature, there are the added benefits of a globally renowned setting, a balmy climate, and a stunning range of attractions, land and sea, right outside the door. Thailand makes the most of its gorgeous coastal scenery. Seven bedroom Villa Riva in the classic resort of Koh Samui is a palatial residence with its own Clubhouse, 12 seater cinema and infinity

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

Anyone enjoying a winter sports break in Europe will be familiar with the pleasurable experience of après ski after a long day of skiing or snowboarding. Whilst there is a plethora of options to suit every taste and budget, there are also a few truly unusual and unexpected places to explore. The Zillertal Valley houses some après ski surprises as well as some of Austria’s best slopes. Harakiri has to be the most colourful and unexpected of the drinking options. A landmark structure kitted out with striking lighting and décor,

With the festive season waning, many people’s dreams start drifting towards a tropical paradise break. Five of the very best, spread across the globe, are guaranteed to lift spirits and rejuvenate whatever the weather back at home. Samara Beachfront Lux in Koh Samui is the ultimate Thai villa, combining virtually everything that attracts visitors to this ancient and beguiling South East Asian nation, from spa facilities to a swim up bar. With room for 17 guests, it has ample accommodation for hosting one of those famous Thai beach house parties,

At a time when almost everyone is in the festive spirit, some places stand out as the very best places to raise a glass or two, whether for their beautiful setting, superb drinks list, or simply the warm welcome that they provide. For drinking in a winter wonderland, Meribel is a wonderful resort to start. The Den Bar has a sleek modern interior that is nevertheless inviting and convivial. The wine list was compiled by Tim Johnston, whose track record includes the celebrated Parisian wine bar Juveniles. Helpfully for those

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