I knew I was right about private schools

The Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament has become an annual fixture in the Young household. Known as ‘Wimbledon-on-Sea’, the week-long competition takes place on the Norfolk coast in August and attracts hundreds of entrants. I’m not a contestant myself, but my two youngest are and five years ago my wife won the ladies’ doubles, meaning she’s now much in demand with the Norfolk silver foxes hoping to enlist her as their mixed doubles partner in the junior vets. This year she got as far as the semi-finals, which pleased the 59-year-old KC she was playing with, and was the runner-up in the women’s round robin. Don’t be fooled into thinking Caroline

How to holiday like a Roman

For most people in the ancient world, holidays meant local public festivals – in Rome there were 135 a year – when politicians staged extravagant games and theatrical shows. But the elite mostly spent summers in their own or their friends’ villas, well away from the stench, heat and mosquitoes of Rome. We tend to go abroad to ‘get away from it all’, though Seneca would have doubted that would do us any good – because it was ‘a change of character, not of air’ that people needed. He also quoted Socrates asking, ‘How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you

The best staycation hampers to take on holiday

We may as well get used to the idea that we’re going to be spending an awful lot of time on home turf this year. From 12 April we’re allowed staycations, or self-catering holidays, which can of course be lovely. But they do need a bit of forward planning. I spent a weekend in a lovely house in Norfolk where the only food in the place was bread, butter, teabags and instant coffee. (Memo to providers – a nice cake and some jam or honey is a good way to start.) And there was no shop in walking distance; only an honesty box outside a neighbour’s for eggs. If you’re

The snobbery of ‘staycations’

Last summer, when Covid forced the cancellation of our holiday, my husband and I had a staycation. We read books, played games, drank Pimm’s on our patio and invented ever more imaginative ways to avoid our DIY to-do list. Each morning brought the usual bills and junk mail to our door rather than a hotel breakfast tray, and there was no one else to do the washing up or freshen up the bathroom towels. As of this week, apparently, millions of other people are doing the same thing. The Sunday Times heralded ‘the return of the staycation’ as ‘the great unlocking begins in earnest and we are allowed to stay

Why Tenerife is your best bet for last-minute winter sun

Hurrah! At last the UK government has lifted quarantine restrictions for the Canary Islands, meaning British visitors no longer have to spend a fortnight in isolation when they get back to Blighty. Spanish authorities simply require you to take a rapid-result Covid test upon arrival. For sun-starved Britons, this is great news. Warm and sunny all year round, barely four hours away by plane, with all the mod cons of mainland Spain, the Islas Canarias are the ideal winter sunshine destination. I’ve been half a dozen times and each trip has been a blast. So which island should you head for? Well, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are both dramatic, but the