Category: Arts and Culture

Taste of Norway

There’s a quiet culinary uprising catching on in Norway; a new-found pride and a change in attitude towards food traditions. This has given rise to the production of local and organic produce which people in the know claim is the result of their climatic conditions and landscape. To find out what makes fjord food so distinctive, I sought the advice from food producers, chefs, artisan bakers and farmers.

From Cheese…

Following a brief ferry trip …

Austria’s Grand Park Hotel: Snow, Spa and Cuisine at Its Finest

If you are bored with the uniformity of five-star hotels and prefer personalized treatment, a daily gourmet food experience, sport followed by wellness to recover, you want to read on.
The 89-roomed Grand Park, with its understated elegance and obliging service staff, is Bad Hofgastein’s only five-star hotel. Its location is perfection, in the midst of the Alps, the gateway to world-class hiking and skiing. The hotel itself, Georgian in style, is located well for …

Grossarler Hof: Austria’s Winter Sports Hotel

Fifty-two miles south of Salzburg, surrounded by the imposing Austrian Alps, with their broad slopes and wide runs, is the piste-perfect ski resort of Grossarl – an idyllic winter sports mini break in a picture postcard setting.

The hotel to call home is the 4 star-superior Grossarler Hof, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. They opened in 2009 and already have a host of awards and accolades.

Committed to nature

Flachau: Austria’s Ultimate Winter Sports Destination

In the 19th century, Flachau was Austria’s regional centre of iron smelting. Now though, it’s one of the largest ski resorts in Ski amadé with 270 lifts and 760km of slopes, snowboarding, tobogganing, tubing, cross-country and downhill skiing. The village has combined technology with top-class ski facilities and has modern lifts sweep skiers above manicured slopes, whisking them to the top of the mountain. Long quiet runs cater for everyone – from beginners, to connoisseurs, …

Austria’s Gastein Valley: Three Villages, One Valley

Considered the jewel of the Austrian Alps, the Gastein Valley lies an hour south of Salzburg, in the heart of the majestic Austrian Alps. Other than the fantastic thermal spa and panoramic views of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the mountains surrounding Gastein are what it’s all about.

From the west side of the valley, cable cars rise two miles to the summit of Stubnerkogel. From there, a variety of ski runs and several lifts …

Austria: Sensational Skiing

Austria’s Ski amadé is a sensory experience; a colourful explosion of blue sky, white snow and emerald green trees; interspersed with aromatic aromas of local cuisine and the silken taste of Austrian wine (their secret weapon!). It sharpens your senses – it’s chaotic, intoxicating, raw, in-your-face and utterly exciting.

Like the perfectly groomed pistes which give you access to viewpoints such as the Kraftorte recovery point, where nature comes into focus and opens up unexpected …

A Walk Through Sussex, England’s Wine Country

Now is the time for wine and nature lovers to rejoice; not only do Sussex vineyards produce beautiful wines, they also provide opportunities to sample, tour the vineyards and meet the Vintners.

Fizz On Foot, who offers guided walk and wine tasting tours, combine the great outdoors with walks through great British wine country. From a one-day buffet lunch and wine-tasting tour to a four-day, several vineyards trek, you’ll see the spectacular Sussex countryside as …

Europe Through the Windscreen (Part Two)

DEAL (COUNTY KENT) & BENTLEY

Like all of England, the rural landscape is manicured, clean and precise – the habits of an old and fastidious land where the great British tradition of an afternoon tea in a quirky worn-around-the-edges Tea Room is a prerequisite. Driving a Bentley Continental GT Speed (Conti Speed) through the rolling vastness of Kent’s achingly beautiful countryside, I head to Deal and the promise of finding one such remote temple to great …

Europe Through the Windscreen (Part One)

WALES & LOTUS

Wales is home to Tom Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, the world’s oldest language and more castles per square mile than any other place on Earth. It’s an old and fastidious land of charmed, dreamy landscapes; farmhouses and snug villages tucked away amongst deep woodlands in the most inaccessible lush places.

At Heathrow Airport, Bespokes Car Hire handed me the keys to a Lotus Evora, a 3.5-litre V6 missile. With its …

British Blooms at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

My plan, upon finding myself in London with a day off, was to indulge my inner Downton Abbey fan with a trip to Highclere Castle. The Jacobethan “country home” that housed the fictitious Grantham clan was, however, closed until spring so I decided to trudge from my friend’s flat in Barnes along the Thames footpath to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew instead.

As devoted anglophile, I hoped to find the sort of quintessential Englishness …

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Hamilton tickets have become one of the most coveted cultural commodities of our day, but a timed pass to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) comes in a close second. This is in part because the museum, which opened on September 24, 2016, has fallen victim to its own success.

The average “dwell time” for most museums, which describes the length of an average visit, ranges from 75 minutes …

Kensington: How to Spend a Rainy Day in London

If you know better, you avoid London’s Victoria and Albert Museum like the plague when it rains, especially if that rain happens to be falling on a Sunday afternoon when most of the world finds itself at the start of Spring Break. You especially avoid the V&A if a new exhibit has just opened up, all the more so if it’s an exhibit that’s going to be popular with artist-types and design students who are …

Five Carnivals Around the World

People from all over the world tend to seek out vacations where they can bask in the sun and enjoy a climate that’s much hotter than then they are used to on a daily basis. But how about you double your pleasure by visiting your chosen destination when they celebrate carnival? Carnival around the world is one of the biggest street parties at any given destination. People flood the city streets in colorful costumes that …

Celebrating Portland’s Summer Festival Season

While one can find Portlanders coming together regardless of the weather, the city bursts to life once the gray clouds subside. The city’s summer season represents an overabundance of activities celebrating the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

 

Cheers to Beer Festivals

According to Travelocity’s first Beer Tourism Index, Portland is the #1 large metro area for beer. Every year, over 80,000 pilgrims converge at the Thom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland for the …