Europe

Life is suite in a penthouse

By Richard Burton, March 5, 2009

It wasn’t the first time I’d sipped champagne mid-ocean, shaken hands with a captain or made small-talk with a diplomat in a ship’s ballroom. But it was the first time I’d stood there and applauded a complete stranger — just for being rich. Honestly. That’s what I did, mid-Adriatic, one balmy night somewhere off the Italian coast.

The stranger was a Japanese businessman who had just completed — wait for it — more than 250 cruises on the same liner.

More..

Turkey: Enjoy a bazaar experience

By Jenni Frazer, February 18, 2009

How far would you go for a bath? A Turkish bath, that is. If you’re John Travolta, the answer is pretty far. The Hollywood A-lister flew all the way to Istanbul for the opportunity of a shvitz in the Galatasaray Hamam, the city’s oldest Turkish bath, dating from 1481.

More..

Dublin: Enjoy the Wilde life in the Irish capital

By Andy Mossack, February 12, 2009

I have the simplest of tastes; always satisfied with the best.” So said Oscar Wilde, one of Dublin’s most famous residents and an inspired way of encapsulating just what Dublin can offer.

This is, after all, a city where history, culture and partying collide and manage to co-exist in a glorious partnership.

More..

England: Postcards from the North

By Anthea Gerrie, January 29, 2009

Given that Morecambe has the ring of a seaside postcard about it, the image of a forlorn British resort that has seen better days, it is the last place you would expect millions to have been invested in a spectacular hotel aimed squarely at sophisticates.

Yet against all odds, the Midland, which once played host to the cream of British entertainers and socialites, has been restored from derelict shell to its former art deco splendour, and is pulling houses as full as those George Formby, Joe Loss and Alma Cogan once played to in the town’s Winter Gardens.

More..

Portugal: Sunshine with all the home comforts

By Mitchell Symons, January 14, 2009

This was my first visit to the Algarve and my initial impression lingered for the whole of my stay: that the Algarve is abroad for people who’d rather not be abroad.

They go because they want the sun — not because they’re interested in exploring another country’s culture.

And that’s absolutely fine in the Algarve: there’s sun, sea, sand and golf (of which more later) but you can eat familiar food and have your Daily Mail delivered to your room in the morning. It’s even in the same time zone as the UK.

More..

Art and nature: the new way to go Dutch

By Kate Wickers, December 30, 2008

My children were dubious. “Are you sure we can climb on it?” they asked for the second time. Even at the ages of two, six and seven they had learned that art is generally there to be looked at but never touched, let alone trampled over.

We clambered up and they shrieked with delight. Being able to interact with the outdoor exhibits in the Kroller-Mullers’ sculpture garden is just one of the highlights of a trip to the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Netherland’s largest nature reserve.

More..

Vienna's reinvention

By Andy Mossack, December 23, 2008

There’s a square in Vienna’s old city. It’s not a particularly impressive square, nor for that matter especially large, but it is nevertheless a square of great Jewish significance. Judenplatz, as it is called, has come to represent a turning point in the political thinking of Austria, a country which is finally holding up its hands and accepting responsibility for the past crimes of National Socialism.

More..

Join Spain’s green party

By Anthea Gerrie, December 18, 2008

Five hundred years after the golden age for Spanish Jewry
was brought to a brutal end by the Inquisition, it is touching
to find at least one long-gone community immortalised, albeit in pastry.  

In fact, many kinds of pastries and desserts are still being faithfully turned out according to centuries-old Sephardic recipes at La Tafona de Herminia, a bakery in the tiny town of Ribadavia which proudly identifies itself with a Magen David.

Ribadavia is a jewel in the crown of Galicia, a relatively undiscovered province of Spain in the extreme north-west corner of the country.   

More..

Slough’s country retreat – not so far from the Office

By Ivor Baddiel, December 11, 2008

Getting away from it all. It’s the ultimate goal in the travel game. But there’s something particularly appealing about getting away from it all, whilst only being only 45 minutes away from the “all” you’re getting away from.

This was very much the case when I spent a weekend at Stoke Place Hotel, one of six properties in new boutique hotel group, Dhillon Hotels.

More..

Strictly Caribbean and other winter escapes

By Lucy Miller, December 4, 2008
For those craving Caribbean sunshine along with kosher cuisine, USA-based Club Kosher is offering vacations in Punta Cana in the sun-soaked Dominican Republic next month. The holidays — for seven or 10 days from January 15-25 — are based at the Melia Caribe Tropical, a five-star beachside resort which offers, in addition to seven swimming pools, tennis, horse-riding, mountain-biking, windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling and kayaking. There is also a spa, gym, live shows and organized activities for children.

More..