The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Edition

My Fave Places: Kay Burley

15 Jun 2015

kay burley

I recently met Kay Burley when she was compèring a charity lunch for the Pink Ribbon Foundation – a charity supporting research to combat breast cancer – at Champneys Tring.  As a news reporter and presenter, Kay has travelled all over the world, and I was curious to hear which places she remembered and loved from all those she’s visited.  I don’t know how she managed to narrow it down, but she’s chosen a handful of places that she loves and that are important to her – particularly when she’s trying to relax and get away from it all.

Champneys Tring

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I’ve been relaxing at Champneys for more than 30 years now and have seen massive changes over that time.  It still has a magical pull that draws me back three of four times a year. It’s difficult to highlight a particular favourite but certainly the amazing massages and the Elemis Spa Ritual are must-haves on every visit.  I’ve also enjoyed – or should that be endured! – their boot camp.  A week-long stay that saw me exercise hard, eat well and make new friends.  I simply love the place.

Northern Majorca

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Travelling to Majorca is easy. Two hour flight, a couple of G&T’s onboard and you’re there.  I know many people like to lay in the sun and chill.  I much prefer heading to the north of the island, rent a villa in Deia and yomp through the mountainous region.  We tend to set off early while it’s cool and then stop at a finca for a lovely lunch under the shade of an olive tree. The journey home is rewarded with a swim in the pool, then a few chapters of a good book before we fire up the barbie.

Ulusaba

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Ulusaba is Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve in South Africa’s Sabi Sands.  I visit with my son every year and we spend our days on the back of an open-sided truck, enjoying the tranquility of watching game from close quarters.  That peace can sometimes be punctuated by a massive burst of adrenalin when a matriarchal elephant is unhappy with our presence or a lone buffalo has a grumpy afternoon.  Nevertheless, watching a leopard teach her cubs how to hunt or a warthog – my favourite – canter away from a carnivore is life-affirming.

My back garden

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Travelling is wonderful but home is where you’re loved the most, they say, and that’s certainly true on a sunny Sunday afternoon in our back garden.  We’re lucky to have a good-sized garden in London and we love inviting friends round for a lazy lunch and a good gossip.  I have chickens, dogs and a trampoline so all ages are catered for.

Burford Garden Centre

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Whenever I have time I drive up to Burford and spend hours pottering around the garden centre there.  It’s so much more than a garden centre and I have bought some fabulous pieces for the house, as well as the most magnificent shrubs and trees.  Driving back down the A40 the car looks like Birnam Wood heading to Dunsinane.

The Ivy Club

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The Ivy Club is a private members club in London.  I joined about five years ago and generally visit a couple of times a week for business or social meetings. They have a wonderful piano bar where it’s easy to relax in the deep, comfy sofas, or a more formal, oak-panelled and stained-glass dining room which is perfect for a business dinner.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hertfordshire Edition