The Utterly Inessential Travel Shopping List: Staycations, luggage and a £45,000 private jet trip to the Maldives

Few things encapsulate the spirit of the Utterly Inessential quite as well as a holiday.

At this time of year — or pretty much any time of year, come to think of it — you’ll hear people saying things like, ‘God, I need a holiday.’ Well, strictly speaking, you really don’t. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t do you a world of good to take one.

Whether you’re happy to jet across the world, or happier staying closer to home (or even at home), our travel editor Rosie Paterson shares some ideas.

It’s a must-buy private jet trip to the Maldives

A one-off flight, from London Stansted’s private terminal, is departing for the Maldives on August 16. Guests on board the all-business class, 100-seat jet can choose between a two-week stay at Milaidhoo Island or The Nautilus, half-board. The exclusive package includes a spa treatment and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Hanifaru Bay and swim with manta rays.
From £45,000 with Abercrombie & Kent —

Sterling staycations

Beaverbrook Hotel

The Beaverbrook Hotel

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Whether you’re looking to get away for a few days or a few weeks, avoid the airport with our pick of the best UK holidays.

For the weekend: Beaverbrook House Hotel

In the spirit of its original owner — Lord Beaverbrook — Beaverbrook House Hotel, Surrey, is offering a new house-party package. Choose between clusters of bedrooms — including six pet-friendly ones — or exclusive hire of one of the buildings. The Coach House Cottage, for example, can be booked for up to 12 adults and six children and benefits from a private garden and car park.

For the week: Benmore Estate

Practise your new-found lockdown hobby with one of the themed, week-long breaks at the Benmore estate on the Isle of Mull. Base yourself at the 12-bedroom sporting lodge, let for single-party use, and choose between photography with Colin Prior and painting en plein air with Jonathan Shearer. Guests can also explore the inner Hebridean islands on the estate boat, Benmore Lady.

The Benmore Estate

For the month: A Cotswolds cottage 

Escape the city with a cottage, farm or manor house from Luxury Cotswold Rentals. The company’s concierge service is included as standard and can help you organise local food and wine deliveries and swimming and tennis coaching.

New kids on the block

Camp Sakira.

Despite the doom and gloom of lockdown, a host of new hotels is opening for the very first time. In Los Angeles, US, you’ll now find The Maybourne Beverly Hills — a sister hotel to London legends Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley. Also in America, in Utah, fans of the wildly popular Amangiri hotel can now opt to stay at neighbouring Camp Sakira — a 10-tent, pavilion encampment with uninterrupted views over the dramatic desert terrain (right). Slightly closer to home, the design-led Nobu Hotel Warsaw, in Poland, will open on August 3, cementing the city’s up-and-coming reputation once and for all. / /

Bring the hotel home

You can now make that holiday feeling last a little bit longer, thanks to the launch of Maison Flâneur and Issimo. Inspired by a lifetime of travel, the founders of Maison Flâneur sell tableware, art, furniture and everything else in between, sourced from iconic hotels and restaurants and off-the-radar destinations. Issimo is part of the Pellicano group, a trio of Italian hotels that ooze old-school glamour. Some products, from home décor to apparel, have been designed in house.

Pack your bags

Briggs & Riley has been busy during lockdown: the company has launched a new soft-sided luggage collection. As well as a crossbody sling bag, there’s a selection of backpacks — all with quick-release buckles, RFID-blocking pockets and padded compartments. There’s also an option for personalisation.

From £169 —

A taste of summer

If you can’t get to Italy this summer, bring Italy to you, with a glass (or two) of Malfy Gin’s la dolce vita spritz.


  • 50ml Malfy Con Arancia
  • 50ml San Pellegrino Limonata
  • 50ml Prosecco Blackberry
  • Pink grapefruit slice
  • Sage

To make the cocktail, just build the ingredients in a glass over cubed ice and gently stir to combine.

Malfy Con Arancia — £25 from Tesco, also available from Amazon and Sainsbury’s