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Well, hotels obviously. But then I’m biased. Thing is what do you do if you need to stay away for a longer period, with the whole family when you’re going to New York? A house swap can be one answer – and the best thing about our recent spell in Brooklyn was that it meant we could splash out on a few nights at some really gorgeous new hotels in Manhattan while we were away. Also we got to enjoy a couple of dirty weekends away within a trip, so it was the perfect combo.

Here’s my piece on our house swap experience in the Observer newspaper: it flags up that doing a trade isn’t headache-free necessarily. Limited mod cons in our case, someone else’s clutter and a bedroom where people on the sidewalk can see you, plus ineffective aircon meant we were always clammy and eternally ravaged by bug bites. But hey – it was one for the anecdote bank. And the people who lent us their home were super-nice.

We were just thrilled that we started our stay with a couple of days at the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa and then halfway through escaped to the soothing luxury and fantastic Lower East Side setting of the Bowery. I don’t think we’d have survived the whole five weeks without a hit of sharp what-you-want-when-you-want service, daily housekeeping and perfect-temperature bedroom in That Heat. There’s a reason hotels charge – and sometimes you kind of wish you’d paid.

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