The Hotel Palacio do Bucaco in northern Portugal has beautiful, vast rooms and is slightly old-fashioned. I stayed there for my wedding anniversary about six years ago, so I asked the staff to prepare a picnic for us. They brought us some fabulous food, and in place of champagne a sparkling wine made on the Bucaco estate. It's absolutely to die for, and you can't buy it anywhere else. The hotel is in the Bucaco forest, and in the mornings the staff would come up with a breakfast table and put it out on our balcony so we could eat overlooking the forest. The level of service was unbelievable. We had a hire car and I just happened to mention that it had a puncture; they fixed it immediately. The restaurant is lovely and looks like the corner of a mediaeval church in places. Because of my interest in military and history, I also enjoyed the fact that the hotel has historical connections - Wellington is supposed to have stayed there.
- Phil Reed is director of the Cabinet War Rooms, London.