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

All The Luxury Channel articles

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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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 Essaouria

The Luxury Channel | 10 Apr 2019

There’s a man in a baseball cap and wellington boots opening and selling sea urchins beside the sand-coloured ancient ramparts. Call it African fast food. Nearby on the quay, a youngster is dragging a dead young shark into a lorry, and then pulling another finned specimen behind him and yet another Mini Jaws — taking them to a restaurant. There are piles of fishing nets waiting to be mended, and at the other end of the port, boats being built in the traditional style in which they have been constructed for centuries.

It’s easy to get the 2000.2 miles here from the UK and it’s well worth it, even for a long weekend. Welcome to Essaouria (pronounced essa-weera), the laid-back, hip, Atlantic-side Moroccan town. Somewhere known for its writers and musicians. The place that’s also renowned for its bohemian vibe and wind. (It’s dubbed the ‘Wind City of Africa’). Except when I’m there in early October, there’s not even a breeze: just a haze of fog playing over the beach and crashing waves.


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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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Escape to Kampala

The Luxury Channel | 10 Aug 2018

Kampala, Uganda. I am sitting in Sparkles Salon, in the Game Mall, sixty minutes into what I’m told will be a marathon four-hour hair-braiding session. Not your usual tourist activity, perhaps. But this isn’t an obvious tourist city. In fact, most visitors give Kampala a miss and rush instead to see the gorillas and big four (for five, the rhino, you need to go to the zoo). But Kampala should be a compulsory stop, a must-see for anyone who likes food, art and African life. About which, more later…


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Escape to Atmantan

The Luxury Channel | 13 Jul 2018

There are some unique boards by the roadside. ‘A fit and healthy you is the best fashion statement you can make,’ reads one sign. Another says, ‘Be transformed — in the land of prana (life energy), there is no app for this.’ Nearby folk wearing kurta pyjamas raise their hands prayerfully in Namaste greetings. This is the Atmantan wellness resort, the name of which is derived from the Sanskrit words for ‘mind’, ‘body’ and ‘soul.’…


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