Ampersand's Travels...

Welcome to Ampersand's travel blog. This is where you'll find out all the latest goings on from our travels across Asia, Africa and the British Isles.

Our motto is that luxury is in the experience: watching tigers padding through the Kanha jungle in the company of an expert guide; camping out under the Ladakh stars wrapped in cashmere blankets; exploring the art galleries and fine dining restaurants in Cape Town; or explore the wild and ravishing highlands of Scotland... these are the things we adore.

All over Asia, Southern Africa and the British Isles – from Bhutan to Bali, Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Bath to Ballyvaughan – we know the most charming privately-owned hotels, the best secret beaches, the prettiest and castles, and the most exclusive safari trails in the untouched wilderness. Our Little Black Book contains the best textile buffs, the keenest foodies, the wittiest maharajas, the most expert guides and the loveliest spots to drink champagne in the moonlight.

But what we love most of all is revealing these treasures to our clients. In our blog we hope to inspire and inform you by providing the latest travel news, hotel openings and luxury holiday ideas across Asia, Southern Africa and the British Isles.

Top 10 favourite Japanese Food Experiences

Top 10 favourite Japanese Food Experiences

Japanese cuisine is renowned for being one of the best in the world, for good reason as it really is one – of the many – perfect creations in Japan! Food is an integral part of the country’s culture... read on to find out our favourites

At Home at Highclere: Dining at the real Downton Abbey

At Home at Highclere: Dining at the real Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle, the 19th century home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, is a jewel of English heritage. Lady Carnarvon is a historian and author, passionate about Highclere’s heritage, and has just written the fascinating story of entertaining at the great house entitled ‘At Home at Highclere’. Here she shares with us about the journey of the book and its inspirations...

Revisiting Japan: Our top 20 highlights

Revisiting Japan: Our top 20 highlights

After moving back home to England after studying in Tokyo for a year, I was longing to go back to immerse myself in Japan’s incredible culture, scenery and food.

Kalinko: A love affair with Burma

Kalinko: A love affair with Burma

Kalinko, a brand of ethically crafted textiles and homewares, was founded in Yangon by Londoner Sophie Garnier. Sophie works with a tribe called Ka-Lin-Kaw who are renowned for their weaving skills, and the collection comprises of linens, throws, beautifully cut garments, patterned cushions, all handmade on wooden looms. Here we get an insider glimpse into the land she now calls home…

Ashok Ferrey: My Sri Lanka

Ashok Ferrey: My Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island creative minds and artistic talents. Colombo-based Ashok Ferrey is one of its most celebrated contemporary authors, and his recent novel, The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons, wittily and irreverently portrays the Sri Lankan society in which Ferrey grew up and rebelled against in youth…

Kathmandu: Insider's Guide

Kathmandu: Insider's Guide

Kathmandu is ‘the Queen of the Himalayas’. An intoxicating and ancient city, adorned with golden spires and fluttering prayer flags, truly friendly locals and a soaring mountain setting… She has risen from the ashes of the catastrophic earthquake of 2015 and is back on her feet with aplomb. Read our insider’s guide here…

Great Thinkers of India

Great Thinkers of India

India is a culture of thought and philosophy. From art to space exploration, the subcontinent has influenced the millennia. Twelve Indians have won the Nobel Peace Prize, while the fields of science and mathematics have had many sons and daughters of Hindustan as celebrated leaders. Here are a handful of revolutionary thinkers whose lives and work helped change the world…

Mumbai Moments: Insider Culture

Mumbai Moments: Insider Culture

The city of Mumbai has many hidden gems for the culturally inquisitive traveller, and the ‘incredible cavalcade of life’ is a richly rewarding place to explore day or night. Artists, filmmakers, authors and adventurers have been drawn for centuries to Mumbai’s raffish charm contributing to a vibrant arts scene that grows more exciting by the year…

Kashmir - Paradise on Earth: An Insider’s Guide

Kashmir - Paradise on Earth: An Insider’s Guide

The northern state of Kashmir is the ideal off-the-beaten-track destination with stunning scenery. Srinagar boasts an old-fashioned charm, buzzing souks, and a slower pace of life. Further up the Vale of Kashmir, the scenic town of Gulmarg is reminiscent of an alpine resort with a romantic history. Read our insider’s guide to Kashmir here…

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Beautiful Bhutan: A Himalayan Kingdom

Ellie has just returned from beautiful Bhutan, the Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern fringes. She spent a week gallivanting and exploring the very best this breath-taking county has to offer; from monasteries and fortresses, to dzongs and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. Here are her top highlights in a photoblog of her journey…


We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India

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