Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Family Fun: the Summer Season at the Waldhaus Sils

IMG_0959I had the great good fortune to stay at the Waldhaus Sils, one of the Swiss Historic Hotels last September, when the 2012 summer season was still in full swing, with cow bells ringing out in the perfect, clear sunny mountain air. The Waldhaus is proud of its rich heritage, which it absolutely should be considering that this is its 106th summer…! I ...
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First Thoughts on Derbyshire

Spring 2013 031Today I’ve realised that until right now, I’ve been existing in a state of miserable ignorance about how beautiful the Peak District is, and how much there is to do on a visit. Maybe it was the residue of crisp white snow, but parts of rural Derbyshire felt almost Alpine on the drive up from London. Matlock was a startling sight as I peered at the ...
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Castletown, County Kildare

Ireland and Qatar 051It’s not very often that you get a backstage pass to a place of which Richard Twiss remarked in 1775: “this I believe is the only house in Ireland to which the term palace can be applied”. It’s fair to say I pretty much bit the hands off my wonderful hosts at Barberstown Castle when they suggested that I could do just that, by touring Castletown of...
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Straffan, County Kildare

Ireland and Qatar 012On a recent, fantastic visit to Barberstown Castle, I also took the opportunity to explore the village that Barberstown lies on the edge of, Straffan. Straffan boasts a Steam Museum and a Butterfly Farm, but I was there off season, so I had to get a bit more creative about my activities. (Apparently when the Steam Museum is open, Robert Guinness hi...
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The Timeless Mystery of the Jutland Woods

Niels Bugge's InnAny Dane will tell you that Jutland is unlike any other region of Denmark, and the particular, pretty remote, forest region that I headed for has its own microcosmic unique features too. On the shores of Hald Lake, I was there as the Historic Hotels of Europe's Historic Traveller to write about the cosy, torchlit oasis amongst the dense trees that ...
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Unforgettable Freudenstadt

My first stop during my stay in the Black Forest was Freudenstadt, at the Historic Hotels of Europe property the Hotel Palmenwald. Now a very accomplished spa hotel, it has had a chequered history and a relatively large number of different incarnations during its decades of existence through war and peace. It even has the cartoons and graffiti of s...
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The Lakes of Germany's Black Forest: Schluchsee and Titisee

Before my recent Historic Traveller Grand Tour, I was unfamiliar with the Black Forest, and it was wonderful to bring the folk tales and legends to life during my visit. One lovely unexpected feature of the region was the lakes between the trees, providing the opportunity for all kinds of watersports, hiking, and of course tomantic dining gazing ou...
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Wondrous Wollbach

The Black Forest 150There are relatively few places in the world that enjoy what’s officially called a tripoint, but one of them lies just down the road from the lovely village of Wollbach. The German hamlet’s proximity to Basel secures access to no less than three nations, France and Switzerland as well as Germany. The very fine hotel and restaurant in Wollbach, the ...
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The Highlights and Highlife of North Zealand

Denmark and Latvia 165On a recent visit to this stunning coastal part of Denmark, just a short drive from Copenhagen, I visited two Historic Hotels of Europe, the Helenekilde Badehotel and the Gilleleje Badehotel. Whilst both share romantic views across the sea to Sweden, sensational sunsets and a hip, New England-style chic married with classic Danish design and cuisin...
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Cultural Highlights of Bergün, Switzerland

My work as the Historic Traveller for the Historic Hotels of Europe granted me the opportunity to visit and write about the wonderful Swiss town of Bergün. I was fortunate to be staying at the Kurhaus Bergün, which is a warm and friendly but rather grand residence on the outskirts of the town. Everything is within easy walking distance, from the gi...
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