Author Sophie McLean

Our international maiden of mystery, Sophie spends more time out of the country than in it. A self-confessed Italophile and a lover of all things vinous, when she’s not reposing somewhere suitably superb, you’ll find her zipping around the country in fabulous supercars, thoughtfully admiring arty accolades, and sampling the best of London’s watering holes and eateries.

Cigars
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For most of last year, and some of this, I made frequent visits to Manchester.…

Travel
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“The sky was flecked with white lights that twinkled from Como’s western shore, and the bolt of electricity that the clouds would imminently bring provided a certain drama to our recent arrival.”

Travel
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“There’s an overall palpable sense of history and mystique here, something that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when you realise that Madeira was a preferred holiday spot to characters such as Winston Churchill.”

Hotels The Yeatman
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“Seated a deux along the pretty paved harbourside of the terracotta-coloured UNESCO world heritage city of Porto, an inky Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas 2009 from the Duoro valley glugged into my wine glass.”

Tipples
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In celebration of the Dorchester’s 80th birthday this year, Barbara Banke, from Jackson Family Wines, hosted a dinner in happy marriage with the launch of her new-to-market Vérité La Joie 2008.

Spas
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London’s Dolphin Square is where the bold, the beautiful and indeed the clever, flock to. And now there’s one more very good reason to follow suit, opened just a few weeks ago: the Moroccan-themed Spa.

Spas
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Sophie travels to Spain for a much-needed detox at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, to experience the philosophy of macrobiotics at one of the best equipped spas in Europe. She even gave up wine. Or so she says…

Tipples
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Sophie has a soft spot for Italian men. But we won’t go into that now. She also has a particular weakness for champagne. We couldn’t find any Italian Stallions so we sent her to Searcys to learn about decanting bubbles instead.

The Lifestyle
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Sophie indulges in David Carter’s Coquette; London’s most popular pampering event for ladies who cocktail. Dance the Charleston, glam up like a diva and learn how to kiss handsome bartenders…