How to get holiday off to a flying start

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Frequent flyers from South Yorkshire – or indeed living in most places in the North of England – will be familiar with this feeling.

A booking has been made for the cheapest available seats to some far-flung location, but the departure airport is London Heathrow, necessitating an overnight stay.

But staying in a hotel the night before boarding a plane needn’t be a chore.

If it’s viewed as the first night of a trip, it can get a holiday off to a perfect start.

Travelling down to London can be a luxurious treat, for starters. East Coast’s regular services from Doncaster to London King’s Cross offer an excellent first class service, with freshly-prepared meals served to passengers at their comfortable seats as the landscape whizzes by outside.

Certain journeys in the morning and evening offer an extra-special culinary experience, too – with full English breakfasts and, later on, multiple-course meals from starters to wine and cheese the order of the day.

Then, stepping in to the lobby of the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel is an immediately relaxing experiencing – more than making up for the stress of an inevitably packed tube journey across London.

The four-star deluxe hotel is just a stone’s throw from Heathrow itself, with free local buses dropping passengers off virtually outside the doors – however, it feels like anything but an airport hotel. Rooms are spacious, wonderfully comfortable and decorated in decadent style.

Food and drink is no mere afterthought, either. The hotel’s buzzing Bijou Bar and restaurant Trunk have now been joined by a new venue, Annayu, which boasts dishes fusing Indian and English cuisine.

Novel, delicious offerings including giant, mouthwatering sarson prawns with English mustard, curry leaves and lemon, rub shoulders on the menu with expertly-cooked classics such as lamb rogan josh.

Mellow, indulgent desserts – among them a superbly smooth passion fruit phirni – round off the winning combination.

A stay in the Edwardian’s sumptuous surroundings leaves travellers ready foreven the longest plane journey.