Slick city breaks

By Jan Shure, May 15, 2008

Specialist singles travel operator Friendship Travel is offering an extended choice of city breaks this spring and summer, including Berlin, Nice and Milan. A three-night break in Germany’s federal capital, departing on May 23 and August 8, costs from £388 per person, while a two-night break to Milan, departing on July 25 or October 17, costs from £278. Three nights in Nice, departing June 27 and September 5, costs £380. All prices include accommodation with breakfast, return flights, transfers and the services of a Friendship Travel host (0871 200 2035).

If you have ever wanted to book a holiday home for your entire extended family, Helpful Holidays now has nearly 40 properties throughout the West Country for upwards of 14 guests, with the largest — Colehayes Park, a Grade II-listed country house in Devon — sleeping up to 70. Ideal for family gatherings, celebrations and friends taking a New Year holiday together, many can also offer professional catering and maid services. Options include ancient farmhouses, historic manors, converted barns, seaside mansions and grand family houses, with prices from £85 per person per week. One of the most spectacular is Casa del Rio, built in 1935 and modelled on Pickfair, the Hollywood home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Standing in terraced gardens which lead down to the river and a quay with two boats, it also has a heated indoor pool, and cinema. It costs from £175 per person per week based on 16 sharing. Some short breaks available in winter (01647 434063).

Anyone heading to Paris next month may wish to take a look at a new exhibition at the city’s excellent (Jewish Historical Museum located in rue du Temple, on the edge of the buzzy Marais. The exhibition on looted art and restitution focuses on the 60,000 works of art stolen from Jewish families during the occupation of Europe, and particularly France, during the Second World War. Running until September 28, it will include works loaned by individual collectors and museums, including the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and will feature paintings by Cézanne, Delacroix, Matisse, Monet and Seurat (0033 1 53 01 86 53).

If you have enjoyed a recent JC travel feature on Slovenia by Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, you may want to visit the Lake Bled, tucked away amidst the Julian Alps, an hour’s drive from Ljubljana. Specialist operator Black Tomato is offering three nights in the Relais & Chateau Vila Bled Hotel, with its own private lido and “wellness” spa, and located by a lake and against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.The package costs from £499 per person, based on two sharing and includes breakfast, flights and private transfers (020 7610 9008).

Last updated: 3:35pm, September 10 2008