Many places I like have the initial letter ‘L.’ That’s mildly curious. Mildly.

Lincoln. My wife and I woke one Saturday feeling at a loose end. I said, ‘Pack an overnight bag. We’re going away for the weekend.’

OK. Where are we going?’

‘Not sure, nowhere tropical though.’

We ended up in Lincoln. What an attractive city that is, and the cathedral sits on top of the only hill in Lincolnshire. To get to the cathedral on foot, you’re going to have to tackle a road called ‘Steep Hill.’ They weren’t kidding there. It’s a real knee tester, what with the cobbles and all. Dunno if there still is, but halfway up there used to be a pub/restaurant where they ran the full menu all day. If you wanted lobster thermidor at half eight in the morning, you got it. I had a lengthy conversation with the chef, and he was the inspiration behind my signature dish in my Chinese repertoire.

There was also a classic car show in the grounds of the cathedral. Alison loved cars as much as I do. Sunny autumn day, truly beautiful motorcars.

Nice no frills commercial hotel.

Just a nice city. Also, ran into Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees. What a polite friendly bloke he was.

Lyme Regis Very very attractive. Alison and I both had streaming colds, felt like cack when we got there. Alison was navigating, and she’s really good with a map; we got straight there with not a single hiccup. Turned out the hotel we’d picked, though small, had a steam room. We headed straight there, and the effects were little short of a Lazarus-like resurrection.

Alison later did a Merryl Streep wandering down the Cobb looking moody, then we hit the Jurassic Coach beach. You need a stout carrier bag, because you don’t have to dig for fossils, they’re just there lying on the sand. It’s staggering. And very beautiful.

Loughborough Unlikely, seeing as how it’s in the Midlands, but the town itself is generally OK, quite pleasing. Some interesting restaurants (thank the multiracial college, now university, for driving that phenomenon.) Only place I know with two Ferrari dealerships. I’ve never really fallen for the prancing horse from Modena, but two dealerships in the same town deserves some recognition, I feel.

Llandudno. I’ve been stricken with that rather Victorian seaside resort since I was a very small child. The fact that Susan is there isn’t really germane, though it does add to the attraction. I’d be fibbing if I didn’t admit that. But Llandudno has a rather quaint charm about it, with some modern bolt-ons that don’t intrude.

London? Nope. Leamington Spa? Nope. Ugly as sin, but has a rather splendid railway viaduct.