I want to tell you about this underrated gem, perched on the pebbly shore of the West Sussex coast. Granted, it’s not five-star, but the staff are delightful and every room has bunks and toys for the kids. On the doorstep there’s a fish-and-chip restaurant in Farrow-&-Ball-ish shades with vintage posters on the walls and a children’s menu that folds into an origami fish. Or you could stroll to the Fifties diner, all chrome and pink and jukeboxed, then on to the charming fairground where the carousel and helter-skelter are painted cheery shades and you can giggle and gurn in the retro hall of mirrors. I wanted to tell you, because it is all true. But I am obliged to add a caveat. Readers of aesthetic sensitivity should forebear at all costs from stepping inside the giant, white tent. For this is Butlins, where bookings are up 7.5 per cent as an uncertain world propels us into a summer of staycations. Which is why we spent a weekend in the Bognor Regis … [Read more...] about Back to Butlins: a jolly exercise in time travel, or the holiday from hell?
Books about time travel
James Comey's explosive book is not even available to the public yet. But the president is already raging about its contents. The Independent, which live blogged the experience of reading the book, got early access to it ahead of its release this week. And it is precisely as strange, as shocking and as significant as the news about it shows – as you can see from the extracts collected below. It is a wide-ranging book that concentrates on everything from Mr Comey's childhood to his spectacular firing – and, potentially, beyond. But much of the focus has been on what he says about Donald Trump, and the insights he gives into the man at his most tense and shocked. Donald Trump's least presidential moments so far... 17 show all Donald Trump's least presidential moments so far... 1/17 Donald Trump appeared to equate US foreign actions to those of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so … [Read more...] about James Comey book: The five strangest things we learnt from reading the explosive new book about Donald Trump
Our feature on the acts of kindness experienced on our travels prompted a lot of responses, some of which are published here. Pilgrim’s progress To walk from Pershore, Worcestershire, to Rome, to follow in the steps of countless pilgrims... well, that is a special blessing. I had announced before setting off in 2010 the intention of “knocking on doors” in the hope of being offered accommodation. When I tried a door in Conches-en-Ouche, Normandy, a large woman immediately berated me for trespassing. To then ask for a bed for the night did not seem very hopeful but, in my best schoolboy French I had a go. About 20 minutes later I found myself sitting at a full dinner table with a glass of champagne singing “Happy Birthday” to Michel. Fate had decreed that I was to join a family celebrating the birthday of the woman’s husband, a rocket engineer with the Ariane European Space programme. After a sumptuous meal the men retired to … [Read more...] about The kindness of strangers: 17 times travel restored your faith in humanity
A book about Burton's world-famous brewing heritage which sold out in just two weeks is returning to the shelves due to huge demand. Brewing in Burton upon Trent by Swadlincote author Ian Webster proved to be so popular that all 300 copies of the book which were orginally printed sold out within a fortnight of going on sale - and now the publishers have ordered another print run. My Webster, who heads up a blood test lab at Burton Queen's Hospital, carried out months of painstaking research, during which he compiled more than 140 archived photos of the town. It tells the story of brewing in the town, starting with the first recognised common brewer, Benjamin Printon, in 1708 and travels through time to look at the town's current commercial breweries. The final chapter returns to present day to focus on the current industry and features exclusive interviews with brewers from Marston's head brewer Pat McGinty to Stuart Gates from Gates Burton Brewery. Mr Webster said he was thrilled … [Read more...] about Book about Burton’s brewing heritage will be back on shelves
A British member of the Order of Malta, the chivalric organisation which dates back to the Crusades, has been suspended after writing a highly critical book about Pope Francis that was condemned as a “vile attack”. Henry Sire, an Oxford-educated historian and a knight in the ancient order for nearly two decades, has been castigated for his inflammatory book The Dictator Pope, which describes the Argentinian pontiff as “authoritarian and manipulative”. The book claims to be “the inside story of the most tyrannical and unprincipled papacy of modern times.” "When the television cameras aren't rolling, Pope Francis transforms into another person: arrogant, stand-offish with people, vulgar in his language and famous for his violent outbursts of anger that are known to all, from cardinals to car drivers,” the historian wrote. The book claims that Francis was elected thanks to the help of a “mafia” of progressive cardinals. In a recent … [Read more...] about British knight suspended by Order of Malta for writing highly critical book about Pope Francis