Spot yourself

15 types of blokes you get on a Lads Holiday - which one are you?

Spot yourself - and your mates - on our latest list

What sort of bloke are you on a Lads Holiday?

Every trip has its characters and once the dust has settled on day one it’s normally quite easy to divvy up the roles among your boys. So we’ve pulled together this list of the 15 types of Lads we reckon you get on almost all boozy weekends.

Chances are you’ll know who in your group fits each stereotype. Maybe you’re the Lad who loves the rippers or the Lad who carries the whip? Or are you the sort who goes home early or falls in love with a local bird on the first night and leaves your boys going solo?

Have a nose through our list below and see which Lad you can identify with…and then share with a mate who needs naming and shaming!

The Organiser Lad

He’s the bloke at the airport dishing out the boarding passes he’s printed at work and stuck in a folder. On the plane he leans back on the seat and barks out the day’s plan like that school teacher who tried to be everyone’s mate in class. But all in all, every trip needs an organiser because who the hell wants to have to sort all that out.

The Organiser Lad
The Organiser Lad

 

The Ladies’ Lad

He can be a mate of a mate lad or just a generally pal who steps into this mould but whoever does will have form and know he’s good. He’ll be a lady magnet for the rest of the group and break the ice with the opposite sex with ease leading everyone to nod and agree that the fella has graft.

The Ladies’ Lad
The Ladies’ Lad

 

The Fighter Lad

He’s a danger on a trip – but can also come in handy if you’re the one suddenly in the middle of a Latvian ruck. The Fighter Lad can be calm as anything dry, but get a few jars down him and one spilled drink, nudge on the dancefloor or wisecrack in the kebab queue could be enough to send him windmilling into whatever comes his way. Expect torn shirts and claret.

The Fighter Lad
The Fighter Lad

 

The Peacekeeper Lad

He’s the one with his arm round the foreigner with the bloody nose or the cop wanting details of what happened. He’s the guy who rings the landlord or smooths it over with the hotel when you’ve smeared the loo with sick or broken an antique coffee table and are being threatened with eviction or worse. He’s a wise old bean so let him do his thing. He’s like a hostage negotiator this Lad.

The Peacekeeper Lad
The Peacekeeper Lad

 

The Soft Drink Lad

He’s the fella who refuses to drink before the flight out, or when you land, then takes it easy because he’s ‘pacing’ himself. Do one! The thing with the Soft-drinker lad is you have to remember his soft drink on the round and order it on the end as if you’ve brought your nan on the trip.

The Soft Drink Lad
The Soft Drink Lad

 

The Strip Club Lad

He’s done his research and knows where the nearest red light district is. He’s early to test the water with his fellow lads to work out who might fancy an after hours dip into the rippers. He won’t go alone. He’s no stranger to a night at the pound-a-pot back home – and chances are he has a missus who’s utterly clueless about his naughty habit.

The Strip Club Lad
The Strip Club Lad

 

The mate-of-a-mate Lad

He’s the rogue operator. Can work one of two ways. He’s either a top lad who slots in like a dream early doors or he’s a nightmare, off his nut by 6pm, having to be taken home and generally being a 24 carat liability. That’s the gamble with an unknown quantity.

The mate-of-a-mate Lad
The mate-of-a-mate Lad

 

The Romantic Lad

He’s the kind of bloke who falls in love with a foreign lass on the first day, then spends the rest of the night and the trip with her, as if he’s come away with his missus. He’ll be sat in the corner pouring out his love for the lass while the rest of the boys are serving him abuse from the opposite side of the bar. Expect tears on the way home before he forgets and returns to normal life.

The Romantic Lad
The Romantic Lad

 

The Married Lad

He’s sometimes a safe bet for the whip and the organiser role – but can very easily hold multiple Lad titles, including Romantic Lad, Ladies’ Lad and Strip Club Lad. After all, this is a lad off his lead.

The Married Lad
The Married Lad

 

The Oversteps-the-mark Lad

He’s going to be a funny b*stard but make sure you aren’t in the firing line. He’s liable to shock with the kind of behaviour normally reserved for private schools and rugby club end of year parties.

The Oversteps-the-mark Lad
The Oversteps-the-mark Lad

 

The Early-Night Lad

He’s always the first to leave and could well slope off early without even saying. You get back to the hotel and find him a kip and listen to his poor excuse for vanishing. But deep down you know he just flaked and this is backed up on the second night when he does the same. Why come, mate?!

The Early-Night Lad
The Early-Night Lad

 

The Tourist Lad

He’s downloaded the Apps and already has in mind a few places he wants to visit that he read about online. He wants pace himself in the day and see a few sights, taken in a few galleries because he doesn’t want to booze around the clock. Let him do his thing and meet him later.

The Tourist Lad
The Tourist Lad

 

The Dad Lad

He’s a familiar face on stags – and rightly so. But can also be spotted knocking about with the younger fellas on a boys trip or sports tour. He’s a cheeky f*cker who can hold his own in both the boozing and the banter. But be warned as he can also wear many other Lad hats at the same time – especially the Early-Night Lad.

The Dad Lad
The Dad Lad

 

The Hungover Lad

He’s a right mess every day, morning and night – and if he’s the mate of a mate it’s even more of a ballache. This Lad can’t keep his booze down on the night or the day after. Very likely to chunder at the morning breakfast carve up of the night before. Who did what, who ended up where. He’ll be head down, taking deep breaths, before throwing up. But give him credit where credit’s due, he’ll be back on it.

The Hungover Lad
The Hungover Lad

 

The Gets-his-nob-out Lad

He’s usually all ball and no tool but that doesn’t stop him flopping out his old boy all round the clock. Goes hand-in-hand with public p*ssing so be careful if you’re walking or standing downwind of him. And be careful if he asks you if you like roses. You might well look down and find he’s clutching his scrunched up chap in his hand as a gift.

The Gets-his-nob-out Lad
The Gets-his-nob-out Lad
SIZZLING SPOTS

Where's hot in June? Best holiday destinations for great weather

The hottest and sunniest destinations to visit in June 2018. With cheap flights, holiday deals and weather forecasts.

Guarantee great weather for your holiday this June by booking one of these destinations.

These holiday hotspots boast the most hours of scorching sun per day for the month.

A trip to any of these will leave you sizzling and with a tan to die for when you return home.

Some are closer to home than others, but all promise five star weather.

So read on and get booking your next getaway!

Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve’s average temperature is 25°C, with 12 hours of sunshine per day and hardly any rain in June.

Malta
Malta

This tiny island has a tidy average temperature of 26°C, with 13 hours of sunshine.

Lanzarote, Spain
Lanzarote, Spain

This is a popular one for Brits, with an average temperature of 26°C, zero chance of rain and 11 hours of sunshine each day.

 

Zante, Greece
Zante, Greece

Average temperature is 28°C with 12 hours of sunshine each day and only four days of potential rain.

Paphos, Cyprus
Paphos, Cyprus

Another big hit with Brits, Paphos boasts an average of 28°C in June, with 14 hours of sunshine and just one day of rain.

 

Bodrum, Turkey
Bodrum, Turkey

Tourism is booming again in Turkey and there are some cracking deals to be had. The average temperature is 31°C, with 13 hours of sunshine each day and three days of rain per month.

Best deals on suncream

You won’t want to be left looking like a lobster if you get burnt on the beach.

So invest a couple of quid in a decent suncream you can chuck in your case.

Plus you won’t get stitched up for price buying out there from the local beach supermarket.

WHERE TO GO

Where is hot in May? Best holiday destinations to visit in May

Where are the warmest places to go on holiday in May?

We’re all gagging for a bit of sunshine as the UK stays nippy with the odd glimpse.

But nobody wants to book a trip where you end up sitting there on your sunbed with a coat on.

So below we’ve pulled together a video of the best places to visit if you’re looking for a bit of May sunshine.

Some are closer to home than others – but all guarantee you’ll come back looking bronzed.

If you need more inspiration for this month or later in the year, check out our holiday guides here

Soak up the attention

Best beach towels for 2018 summer holidays

Up your beach banter with one of these cracking comedy towels.

Everyone needs one – be it for a beach holiday or hotel pool towel – so why not add a few laughs with your pick.

Beer towels lead the way when it comes to the top choices of lads heading away to the sunshine in 2018.

But there are plenty of other options which will raise a smile – and maybe a few eyebrows – as you lay topping up your tan.

Just think: this good be the way you attract THAT girl on resort. It’s the perfect opener!

Below are a few ideas that will turn heads…

Or if you’re looking for something more personalised, check out these JollyFine towels from notonthehighstreet.com – where you can have your name printed on them.

Personalised towel from Not On The High Street
Personalised towel from NotOnTheHighStreet.com
Time to treat yourself?

Best beach watches for men under £200

Here's a list of 2018's most popular summer watches for men, from Ted Baker to Hugo Boss

A top timepiece has become a holiday must-have in recent years – right up there with a decent pair of sunnies and shorts.

Moneybags footballers have set the trend wearing chunky expensive watches on beaches around the globe during their time off ‘work’ – if you can even call it that.

But you don’t need to earn £100k a week to wear something stylish on the sand. There are plenty of options on the market.

Below we’ve listed 9 of the best out there for summer 2018 which won’t break the bank.

They include the best affordable brands such as Ted Baker, Paul Smith and Emporio Armani.

CHECKLIST

Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to

The perfect piss-up should tick all of these boxes, from booze prices to hotel

Picking a lads holiday destination isn’t an easy thing to do.

Nobody wants to break the bank but you also want a decent trip to look forward to.

So to help nail the perfect trip we’ve devised a Lads Holiday Checklist below to make sure your venue ticks all the boxes.

Any potential trip should get a green light for all of the below. If not, you might want to check out our top lads holiday destinations 2018 for inspiration. 

  1. Can all the boys afford it?

    Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to
    Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to

       

Of course, the most obvious place to start. Know your budgets. Your group might have different pocket depths so find a middle ground. Once you work out your max and everyone’s happy, get a trip that all in hits the mark.

Don’t forget to factor in airport transfers at either end too. You could probably get a cheaper flight if you leave at the crack of dawn – but then if you’re travelling to the airport solo, you’ll have to fork out more.

  1. Is the booze affordable?

    Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to
    Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to

This is vital. You don’t want to bag a cheap flight to Iceland then realise it’s £12 a pint and you’ll end up blowing your entire wad on the first night. Do your research and make sure you’re visiting a place which is popular with stag dogs – that’s a good place to start.

  1. Does it have decent nightlife?
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to

Goes without saying you don’t want to go somewhere that shuts down come 7pm but some places are also better than others. Check out what it’s like at the time of year you’re planning. Will it be all Christmas markets and mulled wine?

Read up on the best bars for the daytime and scope out clubs for the evening.

  1. Is your hotel near the action?
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to

Watch out for cheap hotels – they’re often in the ‘business’ districts or slap bang outside the airport and miles from the fun and games. Don’t trust the hotel website – get yourself onto Google maps and scout out how far the walk/cab is to your gaff.

Being walking distance from the main drag can be a godsend for nights out as you won’t need to fight for a cab.

  1. Are there plenty of women?
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to
Lads holiday checklist: 5 questions your destination MUST answer yes to


If you’re all married, this will matter less.

But for the rest of you, check out the male:female ratios online for any potential location. Once you have a country in mind, check out if it has a university – and will you be going in term time? This can drastically up the number of young ladies out and about during your visit. Student bars are also a cool spot for cheap drinks.

If all else fails, you’ll always find women keen to get their kit off at the local strip clubs. But, again – do your reading up before you get there. You don’t want to walk straight into a stitch-up where you’re miles out of town being asked to ship £400 for a JD and Coke. Find out where other lads have been and had a good time.

 

WHISKY MASTERCLASS

This fact about whisky will change how you buy the drink forever

We attend exclusive taster session with Grant's whisky expert

“The price and colour of a whisky have NOTHING to do with its quality!”

That’s not our money-saving tip – it’s the advice of whisky wizard and Grant’s Whisky‘s global ambassador Rob Allanson.

Grant's Whisky's global ambassador Rob Allanson's Whisky masterclass
Grant’s Whisky’s global ambassador Rob Allanson’s Whisky masterclass

He knows a thing or two about the stuff and this week we caught up with him for an exclusive tasting session in London.

Rob was in town to host an informal meet-up in a private basement room of Percy and Founders, just off Tottenham Court Road.

The night kicked off with fruity cocktails and canapés before Rob sat the invited guests down for a fast track education in all things whisky.

He told how the drink is made and revealed how the colour is created in the lab to make the tipple look more tempting.

Ever wondered why Whisky is a golden brown?
Ever wondered why Whisky is a golden brown?

We learned how Grant’s is a blended type of whisky and that the bottle’s distinctive shape represents the three pillars of the drink’s key ingredients – “or so the marketing department say.”

Rob also treated us to four different types of blend, not available on the high street, which truly knocked your socks off.

All in all we learned that although blended whiskies can get a bad press, experts often favour them over super-expensive imports from Japan and alike.

So next time you’re in the supermarket or the pub, don’t be fooled into thinking the more you spend the nicer the drink…

WE LOST!

Watching England from a VIP bed on Brighton beach

Is this the weirdest way to watch a Euro 2016 match this summer?

Brighton’s Big Screen is showing all the Euros matches this summer on the beach – and you can book a VIP BED to watch the matches from.

Thousand of fans gather on the stones to watch matches on the huge outdoor cinema screen.

But for this summer’s tournament, hotel chain ibis have their own VIP area which fans can book out.

Brighton's Big Screen showing England vs Russia Euro 2016
Brighton’s Big Screen showing England vs Russia Euro 2016

You get a prime fenced-off spot under a private canopy where five double ‘SweetBeds’ – complete with comfy pillows and duvets – have been set up to watch games in style.

The whole thing is called the ibis SweetBed experience and they’re running screenings for every Euro 2016 match.

You get VIP queue-jump access to your own bar and a masseuse is on-hand at half time to give massages.

We went along to watch England’s last 1-1 opener against Russia and had a great time – until the 92nd minute.

Outside the VIP area public can book tickets to stand and watch the big screen and be part of the incredible atmosphere right next to the pier.

There are food stalls serving up everything from pizza and jerk chicken to ice cream and popcorn.

We felt pretty sick at the final whistle but found time to polish off a few slices of Margarita to ease our pain before getting lured into nearby club with a couple of free shots.

Shooshh night club in Brighton with Shane Ross and Lee Walpole
Shooshh night club in Brighton with Shane Ross and Lee Walpole

Shooshh sits perfectly on the seafront and was hosting the Wildlife After Party – which attracted almost twice as many women as men. We’d soon forgotten how much we’d lost in bets – and partied hard with the hens until early hours.

The 10-minute walk back to the newly-renovated ibis was refreshing and give us chance to grab a tasty burger.

It’s a lovely little hotel and perfect for lads trips to the south coast party hotspot.

AA Pub of the Year

Porch House, Cotswolds: Ghosts, grub and great ale at AA Pub of the Year

We spend the night at Britain's Oldest Inn - boutique B&B The Porch House, in Stow-on-the-Wold

“Do you see that chair over there…there’s an old man who sits in it smoking his pipe. People have reported being able to smell his smoke – and his greasy hair!”

No, not a dodgy regular at your local Wetherspoons…but a ghost.

Lads Holiday Guide had been invited to enjoy a night at Britain’s oldest Inn – The Porch House in the Cotswolds market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. It’s now a boutique B&B and restaurant which originally opened in 947AD, so it’s some 1068 years old.

The timber-framed pub might be years old but it’s still very modern inside, having recently been given a complete refurbishment back in 2013.

And it has been catching the eye of experts – having recently been awarded the prestigious AA Pub of the Year England 2015-16 Award in October 2015 having scooped the The Good Pub Guide’s ‘New Pub of the Year 2016’ Award just the month before.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

Then in February this year The AA Guide presented it with Five Gold Stars for Guest Accommodation, two Rosettes for its restaurant and a Breakfast Award. Not bad going, hey.

Manager Alex Davenport Jones welcomed us on arrival and was soon giving us a guided tour of the Grade II listed building to fill us in on its fascinating history – and introduce us to its spooky residents.

“I find myself being nice to him” said Alex, speaking of the old man who supposedly sits in the corner beside the fire, seen below.

“Behind that seat is a filled in entrance tow secret tunnel which used to run from the church in case people needed to escape. Cromwell is said to have used it.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

“There’s also been reports of a little girl appearing at the end of the bed in room 5.”

“Which room are we in?”

“9.”

Phew.

Any nerves were soon settled when Alex offered us a pint of the pub’s very own ale – aptly called 947. Brewed in nearby Henley, it’s just the kind of comforting hug of a pint to enjoy in front of a crackling fireplace.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

“Cheers to the old man”, we thought.

We climbed the short staircase to our room, which sat above one of the two main bar areas – but noise was not an issue. The Porch House has 13 rooms

Inside we found almost an apartment, full of homely touches. A short hall led to the main bedroom, with views out onto the high street from the window and a roll top bath at the other end, perfect for an evening soak. A separate bathroom had a shower and loo too.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

Each room also features a desk made from an upcycled Singer sewing machine base with oak top and rustic bedside tables madeby The Furniture Recycling Shop in Bourne End.

All bedrooms feature: Free WiFi, Phillps and LG TV’s, Nespresso Coffee Machine, Alarm Clock, and hand-made toiletries by Noble Isle and the Cotswold Handmade Soap Company. Feature rooms also boast a Roberts DAB Radio.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

On the table, Alex had left another Porch House speciality – a bottle of Sloe gin for us to enjoy. A couple of glasses set us up nicely for dinner downstairs in the older of the two rooms which form the restaurant.

We were sat next to a roaring fireplace.

Pouring our wine, Alex pointed out: “If you look closely on the wall there you can see witch carvings dating back to the 1600s”.

A closer inspection did indeed reveal circular symbols carved deep into the fire’s surrounding walls; another nod to the Porch House’s past. Looking around the room, we imagined the tales these four walls could tell from over the years. Deaths, marriages, fights, friendships – and tonight most definitely fun.

The Porch House in the Cotswolds
The Porch House in the Cotswolds

We enjoyed a three course meal fit for a king of an era, expertly crafted by executive chef Anthony Ely’s award-winning team.

Soufflés and terrines for starters, steak and duck for mains and cheesecake and sponge for dessert.

An incredible menu which we could quite easily have tried anything and everything from.

Feeling full, headed off to bed to enjoy a final gin nightcap.

Then something strange happened.

Maybe it was the old man in the chair or the little girl from room 5, but during the night our lamp kept turning itself on and off.

If was enough to convince my brother the place was haunted – but for me I think Sloe gin was the only spirit messing with his head.

– Double rooms are from £99 a night including breakfast. The single room is £89 a night. Feature rooms from £159 a night. For more information visit porch-house.co.uk/home

– HOW TO GET THERE: Stow-on-the-Wold is situated on the highest point in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Oxford and Cheltenham are half an hour away by car, and Burford is a 15-minute drive away. London is a 1hr.40min drive. The nearest train station is at Kingham or Moreton-in-Marsh. Both on mainline services from Paddington and take 1.20min to Kingham and 1.30min to Moreton-in-Marsh. Stow on the Wold is a 15-20-min taxi ride from either station. There is off-road parking for four cars to one side of the property.

Trending

Cheap lads holiday destinations for 2016 – our Top 5 recommendations

Shoot guns, sink booze and have bags of fun next year

We’ve quizzed our pals and checked out the latest Google trends to reveal our definitive Top 5 places to go.

Be it for booze, birds or..well, more booze, we’re chomping at the bit to board a flight out there next year.

So here we go…just click on each link for more information, including the best bars to visit, top places to eat and stuff to do during the day, such as karting, shooting and even bobsleigh.

5) Riga, Latvia

Radisson Blu skyline bar, Riga, Latvia

Go bonkers in the Baltics with a trip to Riga – a stag party magnet of cheap booze and hot women.Ladsholidayguide’s Lee Walpole, above, recently hit the city for a weekend of carnage, which you can read about here. He shot guns, downed incredible cocktails and paid to get locked in a room. Well worth a visit in 2016.

Click here for our full guide to cheap lads holidays in Riga, Latvia.

4) Reykjavic, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

So much more than just Northern Lights. Hit the Blue Lagoon and unwind in the natural volcano-heated waters of this stunning but stinky country (yes, it smells of eggs). Go off the tourist track to race snow mobiles in the north or ski over now-covered land during the winter. Booze is pricey but it’s money well spent on a trip you’ll never forget. Also great for a trip with your missus, as this review proved.

Click here for our full guide to cheap lads holidays in Reykjavic, Iceland

3) Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

A short flight of less than three hours from the UK and you’re in a sun-drenched party paradise, with stunning women, bars, entertainment, beaches – oh, and of course an half-decent football team too. Few better places for a weekend away with the lads – or the missus. Tapas galore to be had and you won’t blow the bank (unless you stay at the W).

Click here for our full guide to cheap lads holidays in Barcelona, Spain

2) New York, USA

More New York Tourist spots with Lee Walpole and Luke Butler

We could write a list of amazing lads holiday destinations across the USA – think Las Vegas, Miami, Austin – we could go on. Or you could follow our Adam Richman Man Vs Food map and eat your way across the States. But for 2016 we recommend a trip over to New York City. The Big Apple has always been a big draw but with flights cheaper than ever with airlines upping their routes between the UK and NYC (British Airways alone fly 12 times A DAY now) we reckon it’s closer than ever to get yourself out there. Read our recent review of New York at Christmas to find out what you could be getting up to, featuring sexy Santas, the best cocktail bars and a few ideas for your next visit in 2016.

Click here to read our full guide to a cheap lads holiday in New York City, America

1) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 09.51.14

Ok, this isn’t the most glam place to go – but for a lads trip abroad with a short flight, cheap booze and accommodation, you’d do well to beat this place in 2016. You’ve probably seen it on the telly with ‘Whatever Happens in Sunny Beach’ – well, that’s pretty much the deal. Expect bonkers behaviour from both sexes, bar promotions, party games with the opposite sex – the lot. But don’t go too early in the year as it’s cold! Book a cheap deal now for June time when the temperatures crank up – it’ll give you and the boys something to look forward to.

Click here to read our full guide to a cheap lads holiday in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Travel Blog

Our drunken blogger breaks breathalyser

Touring a distillery, sampling local wine and scoffing incredible food in sleepy villages of Cognac, France

“Just blow in the slot…keep blowing…keep blowing…” They’re the words you fear a copper will one day bellow into your ears after pulling you over after a few too many shandies as the designated driver.

Only in your dreams might that machine break and leave said plod tapping and shaking his gadget like a pensioner trying to use a mobile.

But for Lads Holiday Guide’s Lup Fun Yau, his boozy breath managed to do just that this week on a tour of the Baron Otard Cognac distillery in Cognac itself, in the south-west France.

After downing nine sample shots on top of a day of boozing on the local XO beer, our man was rather battered and was probably the worst volunteer to try out the machine at the factory at the climax of our wander around.

Cognac France

Cognac is the home of all the top boys when it comes to the drink: Hennessy, Rémy Martin, Courvoisier – they’re all based there. Well, they have to be to call their tipple the C word.

Lads Holiday Guide was in the region to stay at an old farmhouse an hour or so down the road, deep in the sticks of Jonzac. Not heard of it? Don’t worry, neither had we. It’s a sleepy little village tucked away about an hour from La Rochelle airport. Not heard of that either? Don’t worry, neither had most of us.

Cognac France

Jonzac and all of the other little villages around that way are much of a muchness – cute little spots with dozens of bars and restaurants serving incredible wine and cognac for next to nothing.

The area is renowned for its wine and cognac production, so when Lads Holiday Guide was invited over to sample the local delights for an off-the-beaten-track stay, we thought ‘sod it – why not!’ And we weren’t disappointed.

Now first off, this isn’t the kind of place to have a stag do. No way. But who goes on their stag to anywhere in France other than Monaco? A Paris stag? You need help.

No, trips to this part of the world are for the older chaps – think 30s up. Think married men or confirmed bachelors looking for a chilled out trip away where they can feel grown up and eat cheese and sip wine and moan about how much more we pay for it at home.

Cognac France

If you’ve ever seen the 2004 film Sideways, above, you’ll have an idea of what you’re in for. The movie stars Paul Giamatti and sees two middle-aged pals touring California on the sauce, downing wine and generally having a crisis.

We didn’t have so much of the crisis stuff but we certainly flew into the booze and food as good as we could.

The first night of our whistle-stop three-dayer was spent wining and dining in Jonzac’s Le Coq d’Or bistro restaurant run by the lovely couple Alexis and Séverine. It’s slap bang in the main square right near the Castle of Jonzac and also has a hotel upstairs. It’s serves traditional French fare – but is good enough to appear in the Michelin Guide. And we wasn’t disappointed.

Cognac France

We all went for the lamb chops, above, served pink with perhaps the best dauphinoise potato pile i’ve ever tucked into, washed down with a fine bottle of local red. The total bill for beers, wine and three courses came to just £50 a head. Amazing value.

The second day of our stay we jumped in our hire car – just £100 for three days – and whizzed over to the beach at Royan. Everything seems to be one hour away in that part of the world and this was no exception.

Cognac France

After what felt like miles of vineyards we emerged into a seaside town, complete with tourist trap restaurants and nicknack shops – including the all-white store, above – with a beach which went out for what felt like miles. We arrived around 10am and had the harbour to ourselves with it being off-season.

But by lunchtime on the Sunday, the place was rammed with locals taking to the sands and the surrounding quayside for a leisurely stroll and a bite to eat.

We headed into La Siesta – the smartest looking of the seafront eateries – which sits at the top of the slope all in black. Stepping inside we were met by the magical Sunday buzz. The place was heaving with families and couples tucking into top notch grub.

We ordered starters of a dozen oysters and a brilliant bacon, cheese and garlic bruschetta, below, which was sliced into slithers ready for munching. The salmon main with pasta was also a dream, served with hollandaise sauce.

Cognac France

Fully fed and watered once more we shot back to our farmhouse and spent the night watching movies on a projection. The owner said in summer they usually screen films beamed onto a white sheet hung between the trees as the sun goes down. But with it being chilly October, we went inside instead and stocked up the fire with piles of wood.

Our final day was spent in Cognac itself where we tracked down a distillery tour via the local tourist information centre after drawing a blank going direct to the brands themselves. For £20 each we had an hour browse around the barrels before sampling the full range.

I’m not a huge fan of the stuff but let me give you this tip passed to me by the guide: forget the traditional mixers…chuck BITTER LEMON in with your cognac!! I screwed my face up when she said it almost as much as i did when i tasted the stuff straight, but once she splashed a bit of the green stuff in, it was transformed.

Being our driver for the day, i stopped my boozing here and allowed our man Lup to down mine before stepping up to break the place’s breathalyser.

“We’ll have to get somebody to look at it,” said our guide as she tried switching it on and off again, likely feeling light-headed herself at breathing in our man’s drunken breath.

Oh, and of course we found time for a little gamble. The French love a wager and have Keno running in lots of bars, as well as at their Jonzac’s casino, so on the way back we popped in and lost most of our remaining Euros on roulette. Easy come, easy go.

Cognac France

The next morning we stopped for cakes and coffees in Jonzac before packing our bags and flying home – yep, you guess it, took one hour – with RyanAir. Flights were about £50 return from London Stansted.

All said and done, we’d enjoyed a great weekend away sipping great booze, scoffing excellent grub and generally having a chilled out laugh.

It’s definitely a destination for the more discerning Lads crowd – but one that will never get old.

Lads holiday Memes

Lads holiday memes: 7 pics which sum up your holiday

Nothing says you're going on a lads holiday like a perfectly-timed meme dropped onto your timeline.

They can also work for banter with the boys and winding up anyone who puts a food wrong.

Oh – and for giving people a kick up the a*** when it comes to nailing a booking.

Luckily you don’t need to knock them up yourself because the internet is full of them.

They feature movie stars like Doctor Evil from Austin Powers alongside random nerds whose photos have gone viral online.

And of course there’s a Ron Burgundy in there. There had to be.

So anyway, below we’ve picked seven of our favourite lads holiday memes which have caught our eye…

1. Waiting for the last lads to book/wire their money

Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday

 

2. When it’s finally confirmed 

Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday

3. Pre-holiday Nando’s at the airport – and don’t forget Nando’s Gatwick does breakfast!

Lads holiday memes: 7 pics which sum up your holiday
Lads holiday memes: 7 pics which sum up your holiday

 

Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday

4. Off we go, boys!

5. Gives it all the talk…

Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday
Lads Holiday Memes: 7 Pics which sum up your holiday

6. Some boys just have no standards on holiday

7. And when you get home it all goes to sh*t

Lads holiday memes: 7 pics which sum up your holiday
Lads holiday memes: 7 pics which sum up your holiday
Way to DWay to Doritosoritos

Two lads take Doritos' 12hr Ibiza holiday challenge

Doritos set Lad Bible fellas challenges in party island to complete in a day

We all sit at work daydreaming of packing our bags and flying off on holiday at the drop of a hat – but for most of us that’s where the idea fizzles out.

Now those tasty crisp people at Doritos have made the dream a reality for two funny fellas over at the website The Lad Bible.

Lad Bible and Doritos in Ibiza
Lad Bible and Doritos in Ibiza

The idea was they had from 9am to fly out to the White Isle and take on challenges which had been set up for them, from finding a swimming pool to bomb to building a human pyramid on the beach.

The whole thing was played out live on Twitter so followers could look at home, feeling jealous as hell. Watch the vid of their mad adventure below…

Ooooh Samui!

Conrad Hilton in Thailand's Koh Samui island is nothing less than amazing

Three and a half seconds. That’s how fast I could be out of bed and into our private infinity pool. Pure heaven.

THREE and a half seconds.

That’s how fast I could be out of bed and into our private infinity pool, ready to watch the warm sun rise over the Gulf of Thailand.

But I needn’t have rushed around our private paradise villa on the island of Koh Samui.

As I learned, life there is all about taking it easy, relaxing, enjoying the local food and snoozing in the breeze. Quite simply, it’s heaven.

Even the fleet of golf buggies which chauffer guests up, down and around the brand new 25-acre cliff-side retreat have to stick to a gentle speed limit.

Conrad Koh Samui Thailand
Conrad Koh Samui Thailand

Conrad is the little-known luxury arm of the Hilton group which gets its name from the firm’s original founder and heiress Paris’ great-grandad Conrad Hilton – but the brand is set to double in size by 2015 with 18 new sites around the globe, including New York and Dubai.

Eighty luxurious and modern private villas, each with their own 10m pool, have been built on huge concrete stilts into the cliffs on the island’s south-western tip, giving perfect and unobstructed views out beyond the white sands of Aow Thai beach.

It’s a work of engineering genius which has taken four years to construct after further three in the planning – but wow has it been worth the wait.

Conrad Koh Samui Thailand
Conrad Koh Samui Thailand

By day, the sea views were amazing. Smaller uninhabited islands are all that pepper the skyline between the swaying palm trees.

Then as darkness  falls, the west-facing properties are bathed in bronze as the sun goes down on the Phang Ka Peninsula.

We found the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the view while sipping cucumber cocktails high above the waves in the Glow Lounge bar.

With the flicker of flames and the delicate Asian tinkers of the traditional Khim stringed instrument being played, it was like something out of a movie.

The resort has three wonderful dining options once you’re ready to eat out, each as exciting as the next.

The jewel in the crown being the 28-seater Jahn restaurant, which translates as moonlight in Thai and is the highest of the eateries.

Conrad Koh Samui Thailand
Conrad Koh Samui Thailand

It offers a mix of Thai and Pan-Asian specialties, with a bright green lemongrass rice which blows away any rice I’ve ever tried in my life.

Chef Konrad, who worked in London for 15 years, explained it takes some seven hours preparation and 8kg of lemongrass to create the uniquely Thai dish.

Less formal dining can be enjoyed beside the communal yet stunning infinity pool, which has part submerged loungers to help sunbathers keep cool and is just a stone’s thrown from the site’s 130m long private pier.

The Azure Bar is perfect for families and couples alike, with a mix of BBQ-style grub, from glazed chicken to chili calamari and clementine salads.

Conrad Koh Samui Thailand
Conrad Koh Samui Thailand

But we experienced the ultimate in private dining on our final night when we were booked in at the exclusive underground ‘Cellar’.

It seats just ten people in a small candlelit wine cellar, surrounded by some 300 bottles of plonk from around the world, for a stunning seafood menu including giant lobsters and spicy oysters.

And if that wasn’t enough, when we returned to our villa, our butler ‘Koh’ had readied a hot champagne bath for us, covered in rose petals with a plate of chocolate strawberries and a chilled bottle of champagne waiting on the side.

Conrad Koh Samui Thailand
Conrad Koh Samui Thailand

As all villas face out to sea, it’s beautiful to be woken in the mornings not by an alarm but by the sunshine.

You can sleep, shower and bathe with your blinds open as all of the properties face out to sea and aren’t overlooked at all.

The only time we pulled our blinds closed was for the in-room couples’ spa treatment, which is a must.

We opted for a Thai head and scalp massage, which lasted 45 minutes but certainly helped us relax even further.

There’s also a spa complex with a private, glass-walled sauna looking out over the sea.

It’s easy to nod off while you’re being given a massage but when you wake up you’ll feel you’re still dreaming. That’s how incredible Conrad Koh Samui is.

For more info click here to visit the Conrad Koh Samui website