Helicopter ride over the Seychelles
After a romantic candlelit winter wedding at David’s family home in Lincolnshire we spent our first night in the wonderfully cosy Qazvin room at Hambleton Hall before heading off to the airport.
North Island, Seychelles
On arrival in the Seychelles we were escorted to our helicopter for the 30-minute flight over the Indian Ocean. Our North Island villa was incredible – so enormous it took us quite some time to explore it – and every part of it was beautifully designed.
Francis our butler could not have done more to make our stay perfect; serving us lunch, moving our sunbeds to just the right spot and running the bath whenever we left the villa ready for our return. Everything about North Island exceeded our expectations, from the food and staff to the beaches and spa.
Private honeymooner’s beach
Set on a lovely beach, one of the most appealing elements of our stay at Banyan Tree Seychelles was the spa. We’ve never had such fantastic treatments! Each villa has a private pool, which is ideal for secluded sunbathing.
Arriving by boat is a lovely way to get your first glimpse of the beautiful and remote granite island of Frégate. Most villas are set on the cliffs overlooking the sea and are built using lots of teak.
An open-air dining room links the large sitting room and bedroom and a daybed and Jacuzzi nestled in the rocks both offer complete privacy, making this the perfect spot to enjoy sundowner drinks together.
We loved the honeymooner’s beach, where you can put up the occupied sign to ensure you’re not disturbed, take a picnic lunch and spend the day relaxing on your private stretch of sand.
A warm welcome
Johannesburg, South Africa
Flights from the Seychelles to South Africa go to Johannesburg so before starting the next leg of our trip we spent the night at The Grace in Rosebank, a leafy suburb that’s close to the airport. This is, quite simply, an elegant city hotel with beautiful rooms, excellent service, great food and the aptly named doorman Happy must have the broadest and most welcoming smile we have ever seen!
A treetop suite
Garden Route, South Africa
After flying from Cape Town to George we drove through the beautiful countryside to Tsala Treetop Lodge. Our suite, with its glass bathroom, sitting room with open fire, private infinity plunge pool with decking and views across the forest, was so stunning it was hard to drag ourselves away. Fortunately the excellent food and pretty surroundings finally enticed us outside to explore.
Franschhoek, South Africa
Franschhoek may be a tiny town but it’s filled with exquisite restaurants and surrounded by picturesque vineyards. La Couronne, which reopens following refurbishment in September, has beautiful views and is the ideal place to relax between all the eating and drinking that’s too fabulous to miss.
Spa by the sea
Cape Town, South Africa
We loved spending time in Cape Town, which is such a beautiful city with so much to see and do. The five-star Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa overlooks the sea in a quiet location on the outskirts of Cape Town yet is only 10 minutes from its bustling centre. We particularly liked the style of the rooms, which were decorated in soothing beiges and creams and the 16-seater private cinema, perfect for a quiet evening in.
A week in snowy Switzerland
We decided to overnight in London before flying to Geneva for the final leg of our journey. This gave us a chance to drop off our bags and pick up our pre-packed ski luggage.
We arrived in Zermatt to be greeted by enormous snowflakes floating down and the whole town glistening from fresh snow. Having spent nearly three weeks in the sun, the contrast of being wrapped in scarves and long coats made a lovely change, and The Yellow Apartment was the most incredible place to stay. Designed by designer and artist Heinz Julen, it is modern and funky yet very cosy and welcoming at the same time. With walls made almost entirely of glass, an open fireplace in the middle of the sitting room and underfloor heating, this is romance personified.
X-FACTOR: The funky design of the apartment along with views of the Matterhorn as you lie in bed or relax in the Jacuzzi. The champagne ice bucket on wheels is pretty cool too.