Europe

How Brighton rocks at festival time

By Cecily Woolf, April 3, 2008

For big-time culture consumers, Brighton not only has the second largest arts festival outside Edinburgh, but lots more to offer the visitor beyond the tourist trail. Brighton itself has been a vibrant town since the days of the Prince Regent, but during the annual Brighton Festival (from May 3 to 25 this year) there is an extra buzz.

More..

Historic Italy, cool for kids

By Jo Carlowe, March 28, 2008

A hotel that is close to perfection for children — and not a bucket and spade in sight

More..

Football, fish and the fast-track to flights

By Kate Collins, March 28, 2008

Heathrow has just become the first city in El Al’s network to permit passengers to check in and print an airport authority-compatible final boarding pass at home. A fast drop-off desk means passengers with luggage can arrive two hours 15 minutes before departure, and those without bags just 90 minutes (www.elal.co.uk; 020 7121 1400).

Good news for fish-eaters going south. Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli is opening two restaurants in Brighton. His latest deli-style Zilli’s Café at the city’s new myhotel opened last week, and in May a 120-seat Zilli’s restaurant, serving modern Italian food, will open in the hotel, with outdoor dining in summer (www.zillialdo.com; 01273 900 300).

More..

Take the plunge on the sunshine coast

By Jan Shure, March 28, 2008

Marbella is one of those destinations that sounds infinitely more glamorous than it actually is. Marbellla’s Old Town is perfectly charming, if in need of some world-class cafés and shops, but it is difficult to maintain the illusion that the town’s Puerto Banus is still glamorous.

Around 15 years ago, in its heyday, you could not open the Daily Mail diary page without seeing cash-splashing sheikhs or an Alaia-clad fake-tanned model/actress/whatever “frolicking” there.

More..

Bubbly Dublin. A bit naughty, very catchy

By Richard Burton, March 21, 2008

The Americans were ladies who lunched: plump as pillows and struggling with bags resembling fridges on wheels as they queued to board the airport bus for the city centre.

The driver lounged in his cab, chin propped on folded arms, thought of his dear old mum back in Limerick, and let his voice fill the bus: “I’m sure there are plenty of foine gentlemen ready to lend a hand,” he said.

More..

Gardens, golf and a Grand Tour for mums

By Lucy Miller, March 21, 2008

If you are heading to Eilat this weekend, you may want to catch a concert during the Eilat Piano Competition. The annual event is sponsored jointly by the Rubinstein International Music Society and the Isrotel hotel chain, which has eight hotels in the resort. This year’s competition, consisting of 11 piano recitals, piano concertos with orchestra, chamber music, a dance performance and even a pop music performance, finishes on Sunday (00972 3 519 7777).

More..

Barcelona keeps its cool

By Peter Moss, March 14, 2008

The influx of tourists have done nothing to curb the quality of this stunning city

Cities are like rock stars. You discover them, you love them, you tell your mates about them, the whole world jumps on board, then suddenly you are not as keen as you once were. It happened 30 years ago with Supertramp and it has happened lately with Barcelona.

I first found my way to Barcelona when Columbus was knee-high to a periscope. Next thing you know, you cannot move for camera clicking cathedral gazers.

More..

Hilton shows how to make an entrance

By Anthea Gerrie and Nathan Jeffay, March 7, 2008

Two new hotels have opened in Manchester in just over a year

Considering it became a landmark within a few months of opening, it seems astonishing there has not been a Hilton in Manchester city centre until now.

But having finally arrived, this high-design hotel is set to give competitors a run for their money in a city which already has more than its fair share of stylish four and five-star lodgings.

More..

Green just got gorgeous

By Robin Mead, December 20, 2007

Lots of hotels in Britain claim green credentials these days, then point proudly at things like notices informing guests that bed-linen and towels will no longer be changed daily to protect the environment.

But conservation-conscious Francis Young is scornful of such gestures. “They do wonders for laundry bills but very little to save the planet,” he says.

More..

Spain: The idyll that time forgot

By Ivor Baddiel, October 10, 2007

We went off the beaten track in the Ambroz valley and were rewarded with peace and quiet

Lets be honest, venturing off the beaten track in Spain is not easy for us Brits. Weve been to and in some cases, appropriated most of it. But just when you think a country has nothing more to offer, a hidden gem pops up that delights as much as it startles. Hervas is such a jewel.

More..