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Cookie Calcot ManorTamara’s been cheating on the Smith Travel Blog again – she’s just done another post for our favourite US parenting mag, Cookie’s Going Places blog. We don’t mind her philandering with other blogs, however – especially when she’s posting about what’s probably the UK’s most child-friendly hotel, Calcot Manor in Gloucestershire.

Tamara visited en famille not long ago, for her annual clan shindig, and found that the 14th-century farmhouse hotel goes over and above the call of duty when it comes to keeping toddlers amused, with child-geared facilities at every turn. There’s an all-day crèche for the littlest guests, a gigantic play zone for older kids, 220 acres for rambling teens to explore by bike and a parent-pampering spa. Family-friendliness, however, doesn’t mean that the hotel’s a passion killer – the couples-only rooms in the main house, sophisticated fine dining, and an outdoor hot tub make Calcot Manor is as appealing as a romantic weekend away as it is for a family break. This may be part of the reason why Tamara and James keep going back there – once for the anonymous hotel review, again for the family dinner, and now they’re booked in again for Christmas. Soon, I shall have to remind them that there are other hotels out there…

In other news:

  • The Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards nominations close tomorrow, and, well, we’re not exactly storming ahead of the competition. The fat lady is yet to sing, however, so if you have 20 seconds free, please vote for our blog in the ‘Best Group-authored Blog’ category.
  • How utterly fantastic is Google Streetview UK? We’ve spent more time than is strictly healthy this morning stalking our homes and hotels. Now there’s no need to ever go outside…
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