Caroline Phillips

Journalism

Caroline Phillips
“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”

Caroline Phillips

Journalism

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Create an at-home spa with Esther Cato Wellness

The Luxury Channel | 25 Sep 2020

If you want a masseur with magic fingers who’s bookable throughout the year, Esther Cato is your lady. It’s not just that this healer-meets-ultimate-stress-buster-meets-masseur is so available. It’s also that she’s so good. So thank your lucky stars that government restrictions have just lifted, and book to see Esther in your London home for a deep tissue therapeutic massage. Or bag her for a pregnancy massage. Or a Swedish one.


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Escape to Fingask Castle – home of the Fingask follies

The Luxury Channel | 26 Jun 2020

It’s like disappearing down the best of rabbit holes and arriving at a Scottish baronial version of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The skew-whiff clipped topiary on the sloping lawn looks as if it’s been cut by a drunken gardener or the March Hare; the 240-acre estate is dotted with water-sprouting mermaids, characters from Robert Burns, Robert Burns himself and Ossian, the mythical Scottish Bard. The Queen of Hearts must have shouted, “Off with their heads” because there are decapitated heads (AKA stone busts) on the garden walls.


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Your family history on film

The Luxury Channel | 1 Nov 2019

I’m sitting surrounded by a pile of 31 of my mini DV camcorder tapes and 15 VHS ones. Bear with me. I know this doesn’t sound fascinating. But I am almost crying, actually. I’m the least techie person in the world. I do know that video is no longer, that it doesn’t exist, that it has gone in a puff of smoke to techie hell. And so I’ve lost access to hours of much-loved films of my kids in nursery school nativity plays, end-of-term concerts, my children at their first to 13th birthdays, that first swim, first tooth out…. You get the gist.


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Escape to South Africa’s vineyard hotel

The Luxury Channel | 27 Sep 2019

In the foyer, there’s an antique copper consommé pot large enough to please the most exacting cannibal. The patio flooring is the ballast from a shipwreck and the bar is made of wood salvaged from another wreck. Everywhere there are antique nick-nacks and curiosities. ‘Brass navigational divide 1740’ and ‘Brass taps 1830’ are just two of the curios in the display cabinets.


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Market Street Hotel Edinburgh

Our Man on the Ground | 24 Sep 2019

There are people doing a ‘silent walk’ wearing headphones, gesticulating wildly and singing Freddie Mercury songs in Edinburgh’s city centre. They’re pretending or believing that they’re on stage with Queen. Nearby there’s a man in a kilt playing bagpipes and someone else vying for airspace by strumming flamenco love songs on a guitar.

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Escape to The Park in New Delhi

The Luxury Channel | 17 Jul 2019

‘Do not spit here’ and ‘Carrying tobacco products is prohibited,’ read the signs. This is the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib temple, New Delhi, India; a peaceful Sikh temple with acres of white marble and a gigantic holy bathing pool. Originally it was a bungalow for an important military leader of Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. It’s as close to my hotel as, say, just 100 turbans rolled out end to end: call it half a mile. But let’s rewind. I’m staying in a hotel known for being Anything But Ordinary. There’s coconut juice, candies, comics and Wi-Fi in the hotel transfer car from Delhi airport. A welcome in the lobby by a sari-clad lady — with a dish of red powder on a rose-petal strewn copper tray — who places a marigold garland on me and a decorative Hindu bindi mark on my forehead. A lift with clouds on its walls and mirror on its ceiling: sort of Alice in New Delhi Wonderland.


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Escape to The Park Hotel Chennai

The Luxury Channel | 6 Jul 2019

Think of a place of dreams that transports the viewer. Imagine its being in the erstwhile location of Gemini Studios, a leading Indian movie studio. Then picture somewhere that has cinematic themes incorporated in its décor. This is the five-star art-concept THE PARK hotel, Chennai (Madras). Its grand atrium is like walking on set, with its ‘stage’ the seating area — as if guests are part of the performance — plus there’s a huge screen onto which movie images are projected silently as dusk falls.


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All aboard Fingal, Scotland’s first ship turned hotel…

The Luxury Channel | 6 Jul 2019

It’s not often that I get to sleep in a floating hotel. Especially not one that HRH the Princess Royal has been out to sea on. Nor one that’s a former Northern Lighthouse ship, once used for maintaining lighthouses and transporting their keepers and equipment through treacherous seas. And particularly not one that’s based adjacent to the former Royal Yacht Britannia. Welcome to Fingal, Scotland’s first ship turned hotel. Where once she was stationed at Oban, she’s now in the Port of Leith, Edinburgh.


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Escape to Somatheeram Ayurveda Village in Kerala

The Luxury Channel | 26 Apr 2019

There’s a Chinese lady sitting at lunch slavered in a red face pack. Fabric is wound around her crown, like bandages, and she’s wearing a green overall and sipping fresh pineapple juice. Nearby a Russian man wanders around the garden sporting banana, egg white and mango painted on his face. He has also just enjoyed a Thalapothichil treatment, in which the head is covered with herbal paste and topped off with a lotus leaf — a procedure that’s said to be good for depression and stress.


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Somatheeram Ayurveda Village

Our Man on the Ground | 7 Apr 2019

Sometimes festivals are held at Somatheeram Ayurveda Village. These boast henna painting, palm reading, and guests’ futures also being revealed by a toothless, old soothsayer with a parrot that selects cards with his beak for his master to interpret. The bird picks a lucky card for me, emblazoned with the elephant god, Ganesha. “You shall be very happy lady when you go home,” the parrot tells me, via his master and an interpreter.  “Ganesha helps if you are starting a new job or new projects.”

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Escape to Farr Estate

The Luxury Channel | 15 Mar 2019

Go in spring and you’ll see deer gambolling on the lawns. In summer, the days are long and the light bright for striding across heather-carpeted hills and for lazy days fishing on its loch. In autumn, there’s bracing wild swimming.

Close your eyes and imagine spruce and pine trees dappled in snow. Or walk through the wardrobe and you’ll find a picture-perfect scene of virgin snow-capped hills, ancient monkey-puzzle trees sprinkled with white powder beside icy lakes. Yes, in winter it’s like Narnia or a winter wonderland. Idyllic, no?


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The Potting Shed

Our Man on the Ground | 18 Aug 2014

The Royal Triangle is like a sort of reverse Bermuda Triangle – so instead of aircraft and ships disappearing under suspicious circumstances, tasteful Highgrove daisy…

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