Bank holiday blues? Don’t forget Paris

The August bank holiday (sorry non-UK readers, you may look away now) creeps up on you sometimes, suddenly popping onto the horizon the week before it strikes, and reminding you that it’s the last bona fide long-weekend opportunity before Christmas. Not got a getaway arranged yet? Oh well, never mind, you’ll never find anywhere with availability now; may as well give up.

Not really. Just joshing with you there.

Sundaes and sunny days

So far, summer 2009 has lacked sunshine in every sense. We’ve seen a generous onslaught of rain, we’ve lost the King of Pop and a perfectly coiffed Charlie’s Angel and the sound of someone sneezing on a tube is enough to send swine-flu-dreading commuters scuttling for cover. Our medicinal mood-booster? Ice-cream. Pure and simple. What can be more optimistic, especially in this umbrella-necessitating weather, than sitting down to a towering sundae, drizzled in chocolate sauce, chopped nuts and sugar crystals? Ancient Man used to perform sun dances to banish the clouds; at Smith HQ, we’ll put our faith in the gooey stuff.

Budget boutique breaks – the best hotel offers

Given the current storm in our collective piggy banks, we thought now might be an opportune moment to shamelessly plug politely draw attention to a few of the fantabulous boutique hotel offers that are currently glittering away enticingly on the main Smith site.

Every month Mr & Mrs Smith’s hotel guru, the lovely Peggy, puts on her wangling hat and goes head to head with a selection of the finest boutique hotels in the Smith collection, coming out of the fray with a suitcase-load of exclusive special offers, cut-price deals, free nights, and delicious extras exclusively for Smith members, potentially saving hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds on hotel bookings.

This month, our Pegs has worked even more miraculous miracles than she normally does, with heaps of three-nights-for-the-price-of-two bargains, some hotels offering BOGOF deals, and a swathe of heavily slashed room rates. It’s like the January sales, but without the rain, the elbows and the anger.

Here’s a soupcon sampling of some of the more eyebrow-raising, wallet-stroking hotel offers we have this month: