Europe

Comeback for a faded French star

By Anthea Gerrie, August 20, 2009

For all those nursing fond memories of Juan-les-Pins, that old favourite holiday playground of Anglo-Jewry — as well as for a generation which may not yet have discovered this frenetic but charming little resort — there are three new reasons to visit.

First, the town is home to Europe’s oldest jazz festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary next July. There cannot be anywhere more sublime to listen to good music than the intimate little stage in a pinewood sloping gently down to the Med.

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Cyprus: A hot island with a very cool hotel

By Gideon Schneider, August 13, 2009

Philip Green’s wife apparently spent £5 million at the Anassa on hubby’s 50th birthday, taking over the entire hotel and flying in guests — among whom were Kevin Costner and Prince Albert of Monaco — to this corner of south-west Cyprus. Apparently Rod Stewart, George Benson and Tom Jones performed there.

A neighbour who had taken her family there some time ago had also been impressed by their “Baby Go Lightly” service which meant there were lots of baby items she didn’t have to pack.

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France: Where camping is pitch-perfect

By Karen Glaser, July 23, 2009

‘Fab place — sort of kibbutz in the Breton countryside. Swimming and cycling, communal barbecues. Kids insanely happy. Am reliving those long childhood kibbutz hols!”
That is the text I sent my parents at the start of what turned out to be a wonderful week at a self-catering holiday park in southern Brittany.

Yes, of course, I was being fanciful. Very. A holiday park in France is hardly an exercise in Zionism and Socialism or, indeed, any ideology except, I suppose, mild hedonism.

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Greece: Roll up for summer infant class

By Simon Round, June 25, 2009

Holidays, as all parents can confirm, are for people without young children. For those with little ones it is perhaps more accurate to classify vacations as childcare in a scenic environment.

Crete is very scenic — it is also warm. But more than that, the island offered the tantalising prospect of a holiday that the children would enjoy and would count as a break for their daddy and grandma, too.

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Hotel Review: Villa D’Este, Lake Como, Italy

By Jan Shure, June 17, 2009

George IV is indirectly responsible for much of the sheer fabulousness that is Villa D’Este, the legendary Italian hotel on the shores of Lake Como. If, as Prince of Wales in 1795, he had not rejected his bride, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, within months of their wedding, his neglected wife would not have sought solace at this ravishing spot where the Dolomites meet the most northerly of Italy’s shimmering lakes.

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Spain: The smart money goes to Mallorca

By Jan Shure, June 4, 2009

If you were looking for empirical evidence that Mallorca has totally reinvented itself, Palma Airport is the place to look. Of the 200 people who were disgorged from an early-morning easyJet flight from Stansted to the island’s airport, a majority were either men on golfing weekends, Boden-catalogue families heading for a pre-half-term sunshine break, or the kind of linen-clad travellers who have Tania Plage kaftans and Vilebrequin trunks stashed in their suitcases and deem the sun-drenched Balearic island one of the Med’s smartest.

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Malta, islands with an English accent

By Gideon Schneider , May 28, 2009

It must be a nightmare trying to dust in here, I heard someone say as I gawped at the intricate stone-carved walls of St John’s Co Cathedral. The exterior may look more like an old army barracks than a house of worship, but inside it is breathtaking. You don’t need to be Sister Wendy to appreciate Baroque artist Mattia Preti’s gilded carvings of foliage and flowers that stretch up to the vaulted ceilings, where painted cherubs flit between scenes from the life of John the Baptist.

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Slovenia: Venetian class in the old Yugoslavia

By Peter Moss, May 21, 2009

At the time the old Yugoslavia was carved up 15 or so years ago, Slovenia emerged with the thinnest end of a pretty fat wedge —- a country the size of Wales with a measly 25 miles of coastline. But what a 25 miles they are.

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Hidden assets in your break for the border

By Robin Mead, May 7, 2009

Surprisingly, even in crowded Britain, there is still one relatively quiet road that can be explored at leisure. It’s called the Hidden Highway, and it follows roughly the line of the Anglo-Welsh border, all the way from Chepstow to Chester. The road — or more properly a series of A-roads zig-zagging their way through some of the nation’s most glorious countryside — has retained a semblance of isolation and secrecy because, today, there are newer and faster routes between North and South Wales.

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Ireland: Making a reel song and dance of it

By Dana Gloger, April 30, 2009

Despite being so close to home, Ireland is one of those places I have never quite got around to visiting, so the Galway Arts Festival seemed like the perfect excuse to take a trip to the republic.

Two weeks of theatre, dance, comedy, music, parades, and with a chance to sample the west coast of Ireland struck me as an ideal way to spend a long July weekend.

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