The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland

The Cookie Jar is in premises previously occupied by the Convent of Mercy. If you’re looking for a special treat, reserve the Chapel, a suite whose stained glass windows and name provide unmissable hints as to the room’s former use. We popped in for a glance around and were impressed by the sinfully opulent decor.

The Hope and Anchor at South Ferriby

The building dates from Victorian times and underwent extensive repairs and refurbishment following flooding caused by the Humber’s tidal surge of December 2013. The pub reopened in March 2015 with wood-panelled walls and maritime-themed details, including framed pictures of sailing ships, decorative ropes and a female figurehead complete with strategically placed shells to protect her modesty. British cuisine forms the mainstay of the menu, which changes seasonally. As you’d now expect, vegan and vegetarian choices are available. The glass-fronted meat aging cabinet is a clear hint that steak counts among the specialities of the kitchen

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel is one of those places that you really should go out of your way to visit for a drink or a meal even if an overnight stay is beyond your budget. If you can afford to stay at the hotel then do so: it provides a sense of the Victoria Falls’ heritage. I found it a thoroughly pleasant place to stay and a hotel that’s easy to recommend to lovers of luxury.

Bandos Maldives resort in the Maldives

The island was one of the first to open as a resort, back in 1972, when the Maldives began promoting tourism. The nation’s one island, one resort policy has been a factor in the Maldives gaining a reputation as an exclusive holiday destination. As I discovered during my stay, it’s possible to participate in a range of activities and you don’t necessarily need to be planning a honeymoon to justify a trip to the Maldives.

A night at Langley Castle in Northumberland

As the location for surprise meal and overnight stay Langley Castle proved memorable. It seems the gauntlet is down — to use saying derived from issuing the challenge to a duel medieval times. I’m now going to have to raise my game when it comes to choosing date night locations.   

Review of the Park Hyatt Hamburg hotel

The Park Hyatt Hamburg is a luxury hotel in central Hamburg. Moenckerbergerstasse, the main shopping street of Germany’s second city, runs by the front of the Levantehaus, the brickwork building that houses this hotel with 252 guestrooms and 31 apartments...Both the building and the service within the hotel impress. No wonder the Park Hyatt Hamburg counts world leaders and A-list move stars among its guests.

The Talbot Hotel, Malton

I was allocated a sizable ground floor bedroom at the back of the hotel, with a sash window that opened onto the garden. The quiet location and heavy curtains ensured that even on a summer’s night I was able to sleep well. The décor of my room was classically English in pastel colours, with framed prints on the walls. The en suite bathroom was stocked with Penhaligon’s toiletries.