Cyprus: Jeep thrills and other pleasures

By Louise Scodie, November 20, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Roman Catholic who became a Jew, whose Jewish daughter then became Greek Orthodox? There's no punchline here. Just a very confusing story, relayed to me by a burly Cypriot during a jeep safari through the Troodos mountains, near Paphos, in Cyprus.


Art is the real gain in Spain

By Julia Weiner, November 13, 2008

The art in Madrid starts the minute you enter the new terminal at Barajas Airport. Designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership, it won the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture in 2006. The building, which is three-quarters of a mile long, is a futuristic revelation, filled with colour and natural light.

It was so big that by the time we made it to the luggage carousel, our suitcase was sitting there waiting for us.


Warsaw: re-birth of a culture capital

By Peter Moss, November 6, 2008

The Polish capital is an utter enigma. Brooding and intense, the largely grey imprint of Stalin is writ large across the avenues and boulevards. Yet it is quite possibly the most fascinatingly, almost beguilingly, re-birthed and culturally rich European capital city.


London draws the art lovers

By Anthea Gerrie, October 23, 2008

Two blockbuster shows of rarely seen work by major Jewish artists provide a compelling reason to travel to the heart of London between now and Chanucah. That's not the familiar and easy-to-reach West End, but the ancient heart of the city, including a significant stretch south of the river which remains a mystery to many North Londoners, let alone out-of-towners. 


Hooray Henley for the perfect weekend

By Elle Jackson, October 17, 2008

Even if we are still choosing to take our main holidays abroad, lots of us are taking weekend breaks in the UK. And with accommodation of the quality offered by chains of chic boutique hotels and the grander country house properties, you can understand why.

One of the "boutique" brands to have revolutionised our weekending habits is the upscale Hotel du Vin chain, sister brand to the Malmaisons.


Bold and beautiful in the Baltics

By Andy Mossack, October 3, 2008

Pastel-pretty Riga is rich in Jewish history. Go, before it gets as popular as Prague.

You know of course, begins the shammas of Peitav, Riga's only surviving synagogue, "that this shul did not get burned down by the Nazis only because the church next door is so close.

"So instead, they used it as a stable for their horses." My gaze followed his pointing finger towards the fabulous gold-embossed Ark: "Luckily, we managed to hide the Ark and all the Torah scrolls before they got here."


Spa-studded and stately

By Gerald Jacobs, August 28, 2008

Budapest is dazzling, but there's more to Hungary than just its capital

Just a block or so from the Astoria Hotel, you can see the city has real character. Along the main avenues, groups of people exchange animated gestures and conversation. Down the side-streets, old men sit on doorsteps, their creased, lugubrious faces veiled by cigarette-smoke. Presiding over all this sits the grand, historic synagogue, one of the most magnificent temples of Jewish worship anywhere on earth.


The Eastbourne supremacy

By Anthea Gerrie, August 8, 2008

The town is fast becoming cool - and it has nothing to do with the climate

It's God's waiting room. People come here to die," grimaces the young heroine of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a new film set in Eastbourne. Hero to heroine: "Really? I heard it was the new Brighton!"

Eastbourne Council could not be more pleased with the line if they had written it themselves, since for years they have been trying to change the view of the resort as the exclusive province of retirees and ageing holidaymakers.


Gleneagles: The hotel that will suit your kids to a tee

By Suzanne Baum, August 1, 2008

We find that Gleneagles's stuffy reputation is unfounded


Staying at one of the world's best hotels with two, lively, accident-prone boys in tow is not everyone's idea of a relaxing break. Especially when the hotel in question is Scotland's renowned Gleneagles, a five-star deluxe property once associated with stuffy opulence and elitist golfers.


The perfect Bordeaux blend

By Seth Sinclair, July 25, 2008

We raise a glass to the charms of France's Bordeaux region


Having introduced viniculture to the Bordeaux region, the Romans regarded the fruit of the vine as so sacred that the theft of a grape was punishable by the slicing off of an ear. I kept this in mind as I held a bunch of ripening Merlot grapes. I chose a plump one to taste, but glanced down the row of vines first, just in case. Standing guard at the head of each row was not a centurion, but a single rose bush.