MT business travel: Room service where Nigel Doggett stays ...

FOR BUSINESS

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I travel for business a lot in northern Europe, and none of the hotels I've used there are as good as the Vineyard, which is in Stockcross, just outside Newbury. I first stayed there three years ago, and now use it for all my European visitors. It's good to see that the UK can match or better continental standards, especially with its food. My colleagues - even the French and Belgians - are always impressed by the varied and interesting menu there. The staff are attentive and flexible without being intrusive, and the facilities are great, too. It has an excellent bar, pool and gym, but as a runner I prefer to go outside - its out-of-town location means you've got direct access to country lanes and fields. The rooms are basic but with a touch of style. They are two-tiered, with lovely bathrooms and comfortable beds, and most have balconies.

It's very refined. After staying there for business, I always think it's the sort of place I'd like to take my wife.

FOR PLEASURE

I've got three young children, so my holidays aren't all about rowdy bars. When I've been travelling a lot on business I like to chill out at Le Favate in Ascea, three hours south of Naples.

It's a converted monastery in a stunning, undeveloped setting, overlooking the sea and surrounded by olive groves - the nearest neighbour is a mile away. It's small, with only eight rooms, plus self-catering apartments in the grounds. The owner is a middle-aged woman called Elvira. She does all the cooking. Dinner is at the same time every day and involves 20-25 people sitting around the table eating organic food and drinking wine made there. It's high quality and dirt cheap, and you feel well looked after. It's an incredibly beautiful area. There are no tourists around; it's like Tuscany used to be, so it's perfect for spending time with my family. The kids love the pool, and the beach is only 20 minutes away.

I'm definitely going back. There are no Germans throwing towels around, and it's great to escape from the everyday.

Nigel Doggett is MD of Autoglass.

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