Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

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

Gombitelli: Lardo and Language Islands

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As the minibus climbed higher into the hills on its ways to the beautiful Versilian village of Gombitelli, the views of the valley and sea below began to take on a slightly misty look. This is the famous “Tuscan haze”, where at this time of year, the amount of pollen from the greenery everywhere gives each landscape the sheen of Renaissance art. Ar...
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Haddon Hall, Derbyshire's Most Beautiful House

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Tucked away in Bakewell in Derbyshire lies what Simon Jenkins described as “the most perfect English House to survive from the Middle Ages”. It’s owned by Lord Edward Manners, who also owns the wonderful nearby hotel/restaurant, the Peacock at Rowsley . Haddon Hall has belonged to the Manners family for over 800 years and they’ve had the good sense...
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Limassol and Lefkara

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Limassol (Lemessos) is the second biggest city in Cyprus, with all the associated pluses and minuses that you might expect. After negotiating kilometres of nondescript suburbs, albeit with some lovely sea views, you reach the old town. It’s classic Med: scooters roaring by, alleyways with ancient guys smoking and drinking at rickety tables, parrots...
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Visit Cyprus Now

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I’ve just come back from Cyprus, and whilst I’ll be writing several detailed pieces on different areas and attractions, for starters I wanted to put out a simple plea: go there. Now. Of course, there are purely pragmatic reasons to head to Cyprus. The current crisis has created an environment of good deals, and availability of accommodation is bett...
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Qatar Airways: The World's Best Airline?

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We flew Qatar Airways recently in order to spend a week in Doha. Our expectation were, ahem, *sky high*, given the accolades that they've won, including World's Best Airline Awards at the World Airline Awards in both 2011 and 2012. First signs were good, with generous legroom and reasonably comfy seats. The crew are friendly but harassed. Unaware h...
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First Thoughts on Derbyshire

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Today 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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Dhow Cruise in Doha

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We had wandered up and down the Corniche for a few days, hovering rather cluelessly near the Museum of Islamic Art, before we eventually achieved our goal of taking a sunset boat ride around West Bay, with spectacular views of the city skyline.   What finally galvanised us was the presence of my dear old schoolfriend Lisa, a longtime Qatar resident...
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Straffan, County Kildare

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On 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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Maldives: Local Luxuries

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I've written about Herathera Island Resort in the Maldives on previous occasions after a fabulous trip there a few months ago. I was very pleased to see my article on Herathera and on locally-produced luxury go up on the Travel Belles site last week. The fragility of the ecosystem in the Maldives gets you thinking about conservation issues and risi...
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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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