United Kingdom

Exclusive guide to the best holiday destinations in the United Kingdom, independent reviews from award-winning travel writers

Roba interior


With the redevelopment of Paddington imminent, the area is starting to spawn interesting new dining destinations after years as a bit of a gastro-desert. One of the first to jump on the bandwagon is the Norfolk Towers Hotel steps from the station, which has replaced their basement pub with a shiny new ground-floor eatery.

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GAW Res night table view

Galvin at Windows

Years before Galvin at Windows, the Hilton Park Lane has been one of the iconic London landmarks ever since its opening in 1963. I remember spending more than a few nights pretending I was actually living the life of a playboy down in Trader Vic’s. Those were the days.

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windmill clapham bedroom

The Windmill, Clapham

What makes travellers select a pub on far-flung Clapham Common as one of the 25 best hotels in the UK – and the only one of 13 in the capital which is not on the central tourist trail? The answer would seem to be a sense of history in the pub, super-stylish bedrooms and a glimpse of the green and charm which distinguishes so many London neighbourhoods that have retained their original village feel.

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You don’t have to be a foodie to stay at Northcote, but the chances are it will be your tastebuds which draw you to this slightly off the beaten track country hotel. Chef-patron Nigel Haworth did, after all, put Lancashire on the map as a dining destination 30 years ago, and the place, which perches unassumingly on the corner of the main road to Preston, is now drawing celebrated guest chefs and those who like to follow them from all over the world.

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obsession 16

Obsession 16

Obsession 16 is the latest incarnation of the now famous annual gastronomic celebration at Northcote. Initiated for the new millennium by this Lancashire manor hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant named best place to stay outside London, it will this year field 18 chefs with an equal number of Michelin stars from all over the UK and beyond.

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HIlton Bankside lobby

Hilton London Bankside

Finally, a gritty inner London neighbourhood regentrified into a culture hub has got the stylish five-star hotel it deserves. Hilton London Bankside, perched opposite Tate Modern on the industrial side of Southwark Street, aims to appeal to leisure travellers – Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market are also close by – as well as a business clientele.

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