Winter spring newsletter 2014 15

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Winter / Spring Newsletter Elmswell Claydon Hadleigh

Big enough to offer the world, small enough to care

All you need to do is pack ...... leave the rest to us! Travel Stop - for all your travel needs Inside this issue:

A word from Bridget

Hadleigh one year on

Anne sold down the river Bridget’s Belissimo Banchetto Karin slums it in Grenada

Ali Bites the Gulet

Annette does the wall World recipes Anita tackles the big five


Each year, I am always surprised as to how quickly Christmas seems to come round! Here I am, another year on, recapping on the events of yet another year. Our fundraising efforts throughout 2014 have been our best yet, and I would like to personally thank all of you who have supported our endeavours. In total, Travel Stop has raised a total of over £3,000 for the charity ‘Just A Drop’, an international water aid charity. The charity operates with a handful of full-time staff and an army of volunteers, and when I learned that every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water related disease, I found it quite a profound statistic and one that I wanted to support. For Travel Stop, 2014 has been outstanding; while Elmswell and Claydon continue to grow, Hadleigh has had a terrific first year. Maybe that is why I came to the conclusion this year that maybe, just maybe, I could take an extended break in 2015. And the more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I just had to get a few people ‘on side’ with it. That would be the more difficult part – or so I thought at the time! This is how my initial idea came to fruition and it is now that I am going to share with you my plans for 2015. Travelling up an escalator on the London Underground one day in early May, I saw a large advertisement which caught my attention. The seed had been sown. Fast forward to the present day, and I am pleased (and scared, apprehensive, excited .....) to announce that, following the completion of my first of four compulsory weeks of training, I have been accepted on the 2015-2016 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. This is so far outside my comfort zone, I have never sailed before, my body and mind will be pushed to limits I have never yet reached.

Departing in August 2015, I have committed to take part in the full circumnavigation of the world in this most exciting and challenging of ventures, leaving the running of Travel Stop to the committed and dedicated teams at my three shops, and my very understanding husband, who have all agreed to undertake their own challenge of ‘holding the fort’ whilst I take an 11-month break! And they all seem very determined to prove that they will be able to manage without me!

To add another layer of reasoning to take part, I will be also raising money for ABTA Lifeline - a charitable trust set up to help people from the travel industry in times of crisis. Nobody knows what is around the corner. So this time next year, this page in the Winter/Spring newsletter will not be coming from me! So I thought I would take this opportunity to wish you all two very merry Christmases and hope that 2015 and 2016 will prove to be happy, healthy and prosperous! Kind regards

Bridget


Travel Stop Hadleigh one year on! This time a year ago saw the start of the ‘Travel Stop Trilogy’ when the Hadleigh shop was first opened. The first year of Hadleigh’s ‘life’ has been terrific and has far exceeded expectations. We have been delighted with the response we have had from the residents and local businesses in Hadleigh and the surrounding areas, and would like to thank everyone who has used the services of Travel Stop, for their support during our first year. We hope to continue to go from strength to strength and look forward to welcoming both new and returning customers to our shop in the High Street. The fast growth of the business has required us to recruit a third full time member of staff. This, along with Bridget’s forthcoming sabbatical, has initiated somewhat of a restructure within the Hadleigh shop. With Anita’s large following of regular clients and with the new customers she has taken onboard in Hadleigh, she has decided to concentrate on the selling of the long haul and tailor-made market for which she was recognized last year when she was the recipient of the Travel Trade Gazette Travel Seller of the Year Award of 2013, a national accolade. She will now follow her passion in the selling of the luxury and worldwide holidays and concentrate primarily on this area of ‘Specialist Sales’ from the Hadleigh office. As a result of this decision, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Pardy as Manager of the Hadleigh shop. Helen joined us from Thomas Cook where she had accrued 26 years of service, latterly as a cluster manager, responsible for four shops in the region. We are delighted to welcome her to our company.


Abercrombie & Kent China Trip - Annette Ross

We set off from Heathrow flying with Virgin Atlantic to Shanghai. On arrival we transferred to the Waldorf Astoria hotel. A stunning hotel in a perfect location on the Bund, and overlooking the Huangpu River.

A short taxi ride away took us to the charming french quarter with a great choice of restaurants. The next day after a whistle stop tour of Shanghai we flew to Yichang

to join our boat, the luxurious 'Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer' for a 4 night cruise along the Yangtze River and the 3 Gorges - a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. The cruise included all meals (with wine) and some excursions.

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After reluctantly leaving the river cruise in Chongquing we flew to Xian for our next amazing experience - home to the famous Terracotta Warriors. They have to be seen to truly appreciate this outstanding and remarkable site and hear about their discovery and the history of their construction.


Abercrombie & Kent China Trip - Annette Ross

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In Xian we stayed at the Shangri-La hotel one of my Last but not least we stopped over in Hong Kong staying favourite hotel groups and it did not disappoint. at the amazing Peninsula Hotel - a wonderful combination of genteel, refined antiquity, state of the art facilities, beautiful designs and every mod con going.

From Xian we travelled by high speed (bullet type) train for a 5.5 hour journey to Beijing. Here we stayed at the Peninsula - a quality hotel with a contemporary influence. Here we experienced another highlight the iconic 'Great Wall of China' . Hong Kong was fun with loads to do and see. Enjoyed a trip out on the harbour and up to Victoria Peak and a fantastic meal at the lovely 'Mandarin Oriental' hotel and last minute shopping at one of the markets.

We joined the wall at Mutianyu which is about 1.5 hours from Beijing. I really enjoyed the ascent by chair lift and descending on a toboggan run/slide - great fun! The Wall exceeded all my expectations - words cannot describe how truly incredible and awesome it is to be standing on the wall looking out over the wonderful views to the mountains beyond and the wall winding its Abercrombie & Kent gave me a wonderful insight in to way like a snake in to infinity. China, its people and its history. Their guides were brilliant with a fantastic amount of knowledge and enthusiasm.


MEKONG JOURNEYS

in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos Follow in the footsteps of Sue Perkins through Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos. Choose from escorted small groups of up to 16 travellers or embark on a luxury cruise to experience this beautiful region.

Jayavarman Cruise

fr £2,715pp

Saigon - Chau Doc - Phnom Penh Kampong Chnang - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat Combine an 8 day luxury cruise with a few nights stay in Saigon & Siem Reap to visit the Cu Chi tunnels & the majestic Angkor Wat. Departs 16 Sep ‘15. Alternative dates available.

Small Group Journey

Small Group Journey

Laos Experience w 4000 Islands fr £2,550pp Mekong River Journey - Pak Ou Caves Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Falls - Vientiane Bolaven Plateau - Wat Phou - The 4,000 Islands A tranquil boat journey sets the scene for this 16 day glorious expedition of laid-back Laos. Departs 8 May 2015. Alternative dates available.

Inside Vietnam & Cambodia

fr £2,835pp

Hanoi - Mai Chau - Ninh Binh - Halong Bay Hue - Hoi An - Saigon - Mekong Delta Chau Doc - Phnom Penh - Tonle Sap Angkor Wat - SIem Reap Experience the best of Vietnam & Cambodia on this comprehensive 23 day overland journey. Departs 8 May 2015. Alternative dates available.


Tauck River Cruise on the MS Savor - Anne Fisk Regensburg to Wurzburg – 1st – 5th November 2014

accompanying wines which are all included when you book a river cruise with Tauck. Other inclusions are excursions, drinks in your minibar, exclusive Tauck experiences ashore, such as special dinners and cultural performances, in remarkable venues like palaces and historic sites, all gratuities, transfers, folkloric performances by local artists aboard the riverboat and all meals.

I started my trip flying out of Stansted to Munich airport where I met up with the rest of my group. From there we transferred by coach to the ship which was moored at Regensburg – this took around 90 minutes. The MS Savor which only entered service in June this year is magnificent. It has seven different cabin types ranging from 150 sq ft to 300sq ft for a suite. All have a minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, a private bathroom with The following morning I woke to find we had reached shower and sumptuous toiletries and bedding. another destination, Nuernberg, the second largest city in Bavaria after Munich. After a short coach journey we visited The Zeppelin Field and then on to the Documentation Centre. All entrance fees are included in the cruise. Bamberg the following day was a charming medieval town which is home to lovely gardens and a fourtowered Romanesque cathedral from the 13th century.

Public spaces include Arthur’s, a casual dining area with a 180 degree opening glass wall, the Panorama Lounge and the main dining room, The Compass Rose.

Visiting Rothenburg, one of the oldest towns on the Romantic Road was the highlight of the trip. Overlooking the Tauber River the town is both picturesque and unspoiled. It is like stepping back in time in a fairytale. Before returning to the ship we were given a private tour of an amazing wine cellar located in the basement of the Residence Palace in Wurzburg, the corridors and vaulted ceilings are lit by 400 candles – we were given four local wines to sample whilst being surrounded by wooden casks that can hold up to 1500 bottles of wine. After a walking tour around Regensburg itself, which we were able to do straight from the ship, we enjoyed a The whole trip was a very pleasant experience which cocktail reception followed by a six course dinner with was made even better by the quality and service received on board.


Italian Cookery Group - Bridget Keevil Al Vecchio Convento, Portico di Romagna - Italy An early start and a miserable and cold day for the Travel Stop Group to leave the UK – raining, dreary and windy. After a two hour flight we arrived into Bologna – and it was 25 degrees when we landed. Beautiful! The first part of the journey was through very flat but very rural countryside. Lots and lots of grapevines, peach trees and other crops that were in full bloom. After about forty five minutes we started to get into hill territory. The scenery changed dramatically – it was absolutely stunning. Lush green rolling hills, and quaint little villages with an odd fort or two thrown in. The temperature was now up to 28 degrees.

Page 1 of 2 into a room that had nine tables laid with large wooden blocks on top, a huge three foot rolling pin, flour and eggs. We first had a little lecture about how good pasta is made – and only with the best ingredients. We first had to knead the dough with the heel of the wrist. We were making ravioli and tagliatelle, with the filling from home made ricotta cheese, spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg. No machines like on Masterchef here! Everything made by hand.

We arrived at Portico di Romagna and the hotel Al Vecchio Convento, a converted convent, extremely old with beautiful flowers and seats outside the front door. The “mamma” of the hotel, Marissa, came out to meet us and we were all shown to our rooms – basic but functional, with ensuite facilities in every room. In the afternoon we visited a small winery, owned and run by Emilio Ploacci, who produced some fantastic wine - which we tested and enjoyed immensely.

A lunch was set out for us in a beautiful courtyard garden. A starter of roasted vegetables, with home made bread. Then came the pasta dish – I thought this was going to be a light lunch! The chef was the son of the owner, and came out to make sure everything was OK. He said he was going to be showing us how to make pasta tomorrow – if it tastes like this I think I might be trying it when I get home. The cookery lesson next morning started at 10 o'clock, so we met for breakfast at a very civilised 9am and what a fantastic array of breakfast choice. The strawberries that I put on my granola were of the sweetest variety that I have ever tasted. All of the cheese, bread, honey and everything else is all made in-house by the family. There is the mamma and papa, two sons and their wives, the 96 year old mamma’s mama and I am sure a few cousins thrown in as well. The “Father” of the village popped his head around the door to say good morning – he apparently comes here for breakfast on a Sunday. One of the sons was taking the pasta making lesson this morning. We all were issued with our own souvenir aprons, and went

The next day we went truffle hunting with two dogs. The dogs have a good look round and when they start to dig, it indicates that there is a truffle there - you need to be quick before the dogs eat it. After a mile or so, we find five and a half truffles – the dogs got to eat half before we could get to one of them! To walk back, we came out of the woods, along the edge of a beautiful grassy meadow overlooking the valley. The views were magnificent. This area is just so unspoilt and peaceful.


Italian Cookery Group - Bridget Keevil

Page 2 of 2 Next morning we headed to Ravenna, a famous town historically, but now it houses some of the most important mosaics left from Byzantine times. The old city is like Venice and apparently the main street used to be a river.

This afternoon we were cooking our own four course meal. First course was Melazane alla Parmigiana, the second was Pesto Genovese to go with the tagliatelle we made yesterday, the third was Pollo alla Cacciatoria and the pudding was Lemon & Ginger Mousse.

Next day we went to a farm that makes cheese then on to Faenza – which turned out to be the most beautiful town. The main square was amazing – and the cathedral quite large for what I thought originally was a small town.

Well it was a lovely meal, even though I say so myself. The pasta with the pesto sauce we had was fab, the chicken was tasty and the lemon mousse was just divine. I wonder how many pounds we have put on now! Today we made potato gnocchi with Lamb Villeroy. A roux was made for the lamb. The chops had been seared in a hot pan, cooled, then the roux was spooned on to the top. This was then cooled, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs ready for frying later.

Our last day and we had to report for bread making at 9.30am. We all had boards and bowls of flour and we were making the seven cereal bread that we have had every morning for breakfast. Once readied the bread was put in an external brick oven with a large metal Fish day today – We had clams, mussels, shrimps, a paddle to bake which we took home to eat. large fish that looked like a bream and anchovies. We To sum up this holiday, if you can get past the quirky filleted the anchovies which were then soaked in salt hotel, the family will give you the warmest Italian and vinegar to “cook” for half an hour. We then had to welcome you will find in all of Italy. Marissa's vibrancy fillet the fish. Nothing wasted – the bones and head went and the whole family's love for this area is apparent in into a pan to make the fish stock. Then we wrapped the everything they do. If you love being one of the very few fish in foil with a topping of potato, celery, onion and tourists in the village, you will fit in well here. tomato, ready for the oven.


World Recipes - Spain - Seafood Paella 1 large onion, finely chopped 5 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped 1 tsp each sugar and salt 1 tsp sweet paprika A good pinch of saffron threads 4 small squid, cleaned, bodies sliced and tentacles left whole 400g Spanish risotto rice 750ml fish or chicken stock 250ml dry white wine 12 raw king prawns in their shells 16 mussels or clams, cleaned Fry the onion in the oil in a 40cm paella pan over a low heat until soft, stirring often. Stir in the garlic, and before it begins to colour add the tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt, paprika and saffron, stir well; cook over a medium heat until the tomatoes are reduced to a jammy sauce and the oil sizzles. Add the squid; cook, stirring for a minute or so, then add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated. Bring the stock and wine to the boil in a separate pan, pour the mixture over the rice, then add salt to taste. Stir well and make sure the rice is evenly distributed in the pan, then do not stir again. Cook the rice over a low heat for 18-20 minutes, moving the paella around on the hob so that it cooks evenly. Lay the prawns on top of the rice after 10 minutes and turn them over when they turn pink on the bottom side. Add a little more hot stock towards the end of the cooking time if the rice seems too dry and you hear crackly frying noises from the bottom of the pan before it is done, and cover the pan with a large piece of foil. Steam the mussels in a pan with a tight-fitting lid with a finger's depth of water. As soon as they open they are cooked. Throw away any that have not opened and arrange the ones that have on top of the rice, then serve straight away.

World Recipes - Thailand - Choo Chee Pla (Fish in red Curry) 2 tbsp soybean oil 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste or choo chee curry paste 1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk 1/3 cup fresh sweet basil leaves 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced finely 2 tsp Thai fish sauce 1/2 tsp palm sugar 1/2 tsp ground Thai white pepper 1 cup bite-size pieces of fresh white fish fillet such as cod, sea bass or red snapper Fresh basil and fresh red chili for garnish Preparation Heat wok over medium heat and add the oil. Stir in the curry paste and cook until fragrant (use more or less curry paste to taste). Add half the coconut cream (or milk), fresh basil leaves, fresh kaffir lime leaves and stir-fry about 1 minute. Add the remainder of the coconut cream or milk, fish sauce, sugar, ground pepper and the fish. Stir gently to avoid breaking up the fish. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot, garnished with sweet basil and fresh red chili slices.


World Recipes - Morocco - Lamb Stew ½ teaspoon cumin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 3-4 small dried chillies 1 small bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled sea salt freshly ground black pepper extra virgin olive oil 4 smallish quality neck fillets of lamb 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2.5cm dice 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 12 ripe plum tomatoes, each cut into 8 pieces 1 stick cinnamon 2 bay leaves 1 handful dried apricots 285 ml boiling water 350 g couscous a little wine vinegar 1 large bunch fresh coriander 4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt Moroccan Lamb Stew - as told by one who knows! I made this dish up the other day on a kind of Moroccan vibe, when I was mucking about with ways of marinating and tenderizing a neck fillet of lamb, which is a really tasty and cheap cut of meat. I trimmed the meat of all sinews, bashed it flat using a rolling pin, and made 2 incisions down the length of each fillet, but not quite to the end, so it looked almost like a tripod. I then marinated it with lots of spices and herbs and plaited it, to give a contrast between crispy and soft meat which I thought would be interesting. You don't have to plait the meat but it does increase the surface area, meaning the marinade can get right in there. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Pound up your cumin, coriander and fennel seeds with the dried chillies, rosemary, ginger and a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Smear half of this marinade over your lamb before you plait it. Rub and massage it in, then put the meat to one side while you mix the rest of the marinade in a bowl with the sweet potatoes, onions and garlic. Brown your 4 marinaded pieces of meat on both sides in a pan with a little olive oil. Add the sweet potato mixture to the pan and remove the lamb to the empty bowl while you fry your veg for about 4 minutes until the onions are slightly soft. Add your tomatoes, give the pan a shake and place the meat on top. Add 3 wineglasses of water, the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and dried apricots, and braise in the preheated oven (I suggest you do this with the lid off to give it a little colour) for 1 hour 15 minutes. Now pour the boiling water over the couscous and allow it to be absorbed. Then fork the couscous through, season with salt, pepper, a lug of olive oil and a swig of wine vinegar, cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for 5 minutes to steam. Roughly chop the fresh coriander and stir it through the stew just before serving. Divide between 4 plates with the couscous and spoon over a good dollop of natural yoghurt.


ITC Luxury Travel Educational to Grenada – Karin Henry

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22 June 2014 This morning we were shown around the resort. The pool, fitness room and spa were all of a good standard. We were then taken to view the villas. These are beautiful and well appointed with views to die for. They are great for families and groups. This afternoon we had lunch and a site inspection of Sandals La Source.

21 June 2014 I arrived at the British Airways check-in desk at Gatwick North Terminal where I was thrilled to learn we were travelling Club Class. I haven’t done this for several years and looked forward to trying out the flat bed. The flight was excellent, very comfortable with a good food and drink service and a great choice of in-flight entertainment. After a smooth transfer of only ten minutes I arrived at The Calabash Hotel Resort and Spa where I was shown to my pool suite overlooking the gardens and sea.

We were shown every room type and from the lead in room to the butler suites, they are all of a very high standard, many with large bath tubs on the balcony. I loved the décor and soft furnishings. The public areas are also of an excellent standard and it is located on a lovely beach. Parts of the hotel overlook the runway, however this is not a problem as Grenada Airport is not that busy and it makes for a very short transfer. Dinner tonight was at the Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club. After a rum punch or two we were shown how to make a mojito and were then let loose to produce our own pre dinner drink before being treated to fine dining in the well-appointed restaurant. 23 June 2014 After breakfast on my terrace at The Calabash we enjoyed a relaxed morning on the beach before checking out after our two night stay and heading to Coyoba Beach resort for a site inspection and lunch, then on to Spice Island Beach Resort for a two night stay. On arrival, after a rum punch, of course, we were shown around the hotel. As soon as I arrived at Spice Island the luxurious ambience was apparent and being set on a beautiful stretch of Grand Anse Beach only added to its appeal.

My suite had a good sized lounge leading to the bedroom and an ample bathroom. It was nicely furnished and had a comfortable homely feel to it. The terrace at the back was really peaceful and the plunge pool was a good size. There were comfortable sun loungers and a table and chairs. The hotel is most suitable for couples, and single travellers would feel at home here too. The breakfast served on your own terrace each morning is a nice touch. There are a range of suites to suit both couples and families alike, many with ocean views. I particularly liked Dinner was in the Calabash’s signature restaurant, the private pool suites which are located in the gardens Rhodes, overseen by British chef Gary Rhodes, serving as they did feel very private and are great for couples excellent food with a good and varied menu. and honeymooners.


ITC Luxury Travel Educational to Grenada – Karin Henry

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Next we drove up to Grand Etang National Park. Serious walkers can trek deep into the forested interior, however we opted for an easy half hour stroll around Grand Etang Lake, the centrepiece of the National Park. We would usually be taken to Seven Sisters Falls but due to an extended dry season it was not felt worthwhile as it had been reduced to a trickle. This would be rectified as soon as the rains arrived.

We looked at one of their three largest oceanfront suites – Saffron Suite and were told that Princess Anne had stayed there. It certainly is fit for royalty with a spacious lounge/dining room and bedroom, both leading onto a spacious terrace which leads directly onto the beach. The beautiful bathroom with its large heart shaped bath and walk in shower is huge! We were told that one of us would be staying in this suite type and lo and behold when the keys were handed out that someone was me! I walked around feeling a bit lost in such a spacious suite on my own, however I soon got used to it. 24 June 2014 Today we were off on an Island Tour. We headed up to Fort George and after a short climb we were rewarded with fabulous views of the capital, St George, below us and country views from the other side.

We then visited Laluna for a site inspection, a relaxed spa hotel on a beautiful beach, suitable for couples. Back at the Spice Island Beach Resort we got ready for the owner Sir Royston Hopkin’s cocktail party which he hosts for all his hotel guests every Tuesday. Every other Tuesday it is held at his family home and the hotel guests are given a courtesy transfer to attend. Our dinner at the hotel was hosted by Sir Royston and his wife. It was fine dining at its best with outstanding service. 25 June 2014 After breakfast we had a morning at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the Spice Island Resort which included a complimentary neck and back massage at the spa.

At a certain point we were able to walk up a flight of steps where the full force of the trade winds could be felt. Lunchtime took us in to the capital St George, a picturesque city and one of the nicest I have been to in the Caribbean. Lunch was in a local restaurant named BB’s Crabback Caribbean Restaurant owned by Brian A relaxing morning was spent on my terrace and in my and Anna Benjamin who were great hosts. Our table hammock by the beach, then lunch and it was time to had a lovely view over the water and the curried goat, head for the airport and a comfortable club class flight peas and rice was to die for. with British Airways back to London.


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INCLUDES FLIGHTS FROM GATWICK OR NORWICH

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12-DAY CLASSIC ROUND VOYAGE Bergen – Kirkenes – Bergen Selected dates April – October 2015

from £1189pp including full board, flights and lounge access at Gatwick*

Also available voyage including flights from Norwich from £1275pp**

THE MIDNIGHT SUN AT NORTH CAPE

SPECTACULAR WILDLIFE

VISIT UP TO 34 CHARMING PORTS

PICTURESQUE FJORDS

EXCITING EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE

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*Price shown based on two people sharing a twin inside cabin on a full board basis traveling on selected April 2015 departures including flights from Gatwick, airport lounge access and transfers. **Price shown based on two people sharing a twin inside cabin on a full board basis traveling on 27th July 2015 including flights from Norwich and transfers. Other cabins and select April – October 2015 departure dates available at applicable prices. Not included: optional excursions and travel insurance. Offer is subject to availability and Hurtigruten’s normal booking conditions.


Westminster Classic Tours – Turkey Luxury Gulet Trip - Ali Smith We had a tour guide with us, James, who read Classics at Oxford University and his knowledge and enthusiasm was infectious, he had the knack of appealing to all levels of traveller (even down to lectures before dinner)! We visited Knidos, an ancient archaeological site which was fascinating, and in true Turkish style all very accessible as you can literally walk on the roads and climb the walls that were built all those years ago.

We arrived in to Bodrum on the evening of 2 May and were taken straight to the MS Zephyria II for dinner before spending the night on board. Built in Turkey to traditional designs, the graceful, 26-metre wooden motor yachts are known as ‘gulets’. These two-masted sailing boats are fully equipped to take advantage of favourable winds but powered by modern diesel engines if necessary - I now know what is meant by the WOW factor! We then journeyed on to Datca to get our passports stamped to enable us to leave Turkish waters as our next port of call was the lovely Greek Island of Symi.

After exploring Symi and following various stops in secluded coves to swim, sunbathe or make use of the kayaks or snorkels kept on board we ended our amazing The gulet was immaculate with big white lounging sofas trip in Marmaris. at the back of the boat and a dining table that you could see your face in. The cabins were all ensuite, extremely well equipped with an amazing amount of storage.

The crew onboard were absolutely fantastic, nothing was too much trouble and they seemed to almost know what you were thinking before you did, I also have no idea how they managed to produce truly stunning food in such a small galley. This was a trip that I will never After a delayed departure from Bodrum due to rain and forget and one that I was very lucky to experience – wind, the sun came out and we set off. I would highly recommend it.


South Africa with African Pride – Anita Crowson

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South Africa – African Pride – November 2013 South Africa is often described as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, due to its many diverse cultures and lifestyles. It has something to offer everybody with great weather, stunning scenery, outstanding wildlife, delicious food, fine wines and a vast range of adventurous activities. On my flying visit last November I visited Cape Town and the Wine Region before embarking on the famous ‘Garden Route’. I then ended my stay with a one night stay at Pumba Private Game Reserve. This was my first The Western Cape taste of a safari and I can only say that it has left me Not only are the areas around Gansbaai and Hermanus hungry for more! populated with wine estates, they are also famed for being the ‘Great White Shark Capital of the World’, with Cape Town and Surrounds shark cage diving a popular pursuit. From July to Consistently ranked amongst the world’s top cities, November there is an opportunity to see Southern Right Cape Town is South Africa’s most culturally and visually whales as they gather to give birth to their young just offshore. diverse city. The Garden Route Stretching from Mossel Bay to Tsitsikamma Forests, the Garden Route got its name from the surrounding lush vegetation and scenery. Featuring lakes, mountains, indigenous forests and golden beaches all interspersed by some of South Africa’s most charming towns. George is the gateway town and a golfer’s paradise. Knysna is one of the Southern Cape’s best known holiday destinations. It is an attractive town with a range of shops, fine restaurants serving locally grown fresh-water oysters and a good selection of quality accommodation. It is also known for ‘Knysna Head’ – two great sandstone cliffs that guard the mouth of the beautiful Knysna Lagoon. Nearby you will find Plettenburg Bay Spreading out below Table Mountain, its attractions include the designer shopping malls of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, flower and craft markets, a wealth of museums, excursions to Robben Island and the revolving cable car to Table Mountain. Relax on the magnificent beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, visit Penguins at Boulders Beach, or explore the nature trails of Cape Point and the vineyards of Constantia Valley. The Winelands Situated just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands provides magnificent wine farms, stunning scenery, attractive towns rich in South African history and the title of ‘Culinary region of South Africa’. The two main towns are Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Stellenbosch, South Africa’s oldest university town has a Dutch influence, offering quaint shops and art galleries. Franschhoek is known as the gourmet capital of South Africa. Each of the towns has developed a series of wine routes which encompass the best vineyards each region has to offer and will help you appreciate the beauty of this area. Day tours can be arranged so that you are able to enjoy the wine tasting experience to the full!

‘Jewel of the Garden Route’. Aside from the three beaches, Central, Robberg and Keurbooms, there are many other activities on offer such as deep sea fishing, dolphin cruises, diving and horse riding. The Tsitsikmma National Park has ancient forests stretching down to one of the largest and oldest Marine National Parks in Africa. A range of activities are available, including tree top walks, zip wiring, mountain biking or the highest bungy jump in the world at 216 metres.


South Africa with African Pride – Anita Crowson Pumba – Eastern Cape (Malaria Free)

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waterhole and plain. Game viewing was with a knowledgeable ranger and we got to see 4 of the big 5.

Pumba Private Game Reserve is set in an area that covers 6,000 hectares of savannah, grassland, fynbos, thicket and forest. This variety of vegetation supports an abundance of wildlife, including the Big 5.

A self-drive tour is one of the best ways to see this wonderful country. As in the UK driving is on the left hand side. The majority of the roads are wide and in good condition. Road signs are in English and the attractions are well signposted. South Africa offers a whole range of accommodation from boutique bed and breakfast to luxury resort style hotels. My personal preference was for the boutique bed and breakfast style accommodation. My top 5 reasons to visit South Africa (in no particular order!) 1.

The beauty

2.

The wildlife

3.

The people/culture

4.

The food & wine

5. Affordability – good value for money. The reserve has two lodges and Msenge Bush Lodge is where I stayed in a spacious glass walled chalet that naturally fitted into the African bush. The luxury bedroom opened onto a private timber deck compete with plunge Remember: - South Africa is only a night flight away! pool and outdoor shower. I had a stunning view over the


016136 Luxuria Advert A4_Layout 1 13/11/2014 15:21 Page 1

Experience the very best of Europe the easy way ...with

NEW FOR 2015... INTRODUCING ...WELCOME TO THE COMFORT ZONE!

uxuria

NEW for 2015 we are proud to launch our new and innovative L coach. In 2003 when we first introduced Silver Service we set the standard for added comfort and style when travelling across Europe. Many of you have been asking – the next level in escorted touring travel. “What next?”… the answer is L

uxuria

Luxuria features deluxe armchair-style seating with retractable calf rests. Every seatF has its own,

fully-interactive touch-screen T.V. offering a wide choice of movies, T.V. programmes and music so you can control what you want to watch and when. Armchair-style seats Central arm rests with cup holders

Our brand new

uxuria

L

coach hits the road in March 2015!

Our new and innovative

Luxuria coach, featuring...

• Only 31 seats in a single and double configuration meaning wider seats and • • Deluxe armchair-style seats with retractable calf rests Fully interactive T.V. screen at each seat with a wide choice of movies, T.V. • programmes and music Four individual seats face-to-face with table

Great Valunely from o

*

£159 n per perso

• USB points at each seat so devices can be kept fully charged .

Available on a selection of tours including... • Paris & Versailles ........................................................................5 days from £419 • The Enchanting Black Forest & Rhine Valley ..............................5 days from £669 • Lake Garda, Venice & Verona ....................................................9 days from £769 • Picturebook Italy ....................................................................12 days from £1019 FScreens on face-to-face seats will be mounted on swing-out arms and not in a seat back. These seats are forward and rear facing with a table and will not have a calf rest. *Price shown includes early booking special offer.

30 NEW tours 016136

more space around each individual traveller


2015 Lunch Club Presentations We are delighted to confirm that our Travellers’ Lunch Club will continue to take place every month throughout 2015 at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club. Two course lunch £14.95, three course lunch £17.95. The presentations and lunch are on every second Wednesday of the month as follows: 14th January

Seabourn Cruise Line - Luxury Cruise

11th February

Titan Tours River Cruising

11th March

China Links

8th April

Kirker Holidays - Luxury Short Breaks and Holidays

13th May

African Pride

10th June

Visions Holiday Group

8th July

Prestige Holidays - Canada August onwards to be confirmed N.B Dates are subject to change upon final confirmation of presenters.

You have helped us to grow with Travel Stop’s customer reward scheme

“TRIP”

(Travellers Reward Incentive Program)

Join the club and recommend a new customer and we will reward you with points when they book. For example:An average family summer holiday will earn you 300 points. A luxury India tour will earn you about 1000 points. A Silversea cruise to the Caribbean will earn you about 1500 points. Rewards start with a bottle of Jacobs Creek for 100 points afternoon tea at Hintlesham Hall for 150 points an airport lounge pass for 200 points a set lunch at Gordon Ramsey’s for 500 points and a spa day at Clarice House for 1000 points. We have already rewarded customers with wine, champagne, afternoon teas, airport lounge passes, theatre tickets, holiday vouchers and weekends away in the UK. More details on our website - www.travel-stop.co.uk/trip.htm Terms and conditions apply


Going abroad? Need currency? We sell all currency commission free. Our exchange rates are updated every day and are very competitive. We stock Euros and American Dollars, and often next day delivery on other currencies. Book your holiday with us and receive an enhanced rate deal on your currency!

Christmas and New Year Opening Times 22 December - 9am - 5.30pm 23 December - 9am - 5.30pm 24 December - 9am - 1pm 25 December - Closed 26 December - Closed 27 December - 9am - 5:30pm 28 December - Closed 29 December - 9am - 5:30pm 30 December - 9am - 5:30pm 31 December - 9am - 4pm 01 January - Closed 02 January - Open as usual

To celebrate the festive season the team at Travel Stop invite you to join them for sherry and a mince pie from Monday 22nd to Wednesday 24th December

The Railway Station, Elmswell IP30 9HA Tel:01359 242555

elmswell@travel-stop.co.uk

1-3 Ipswich Road, Claydon, Suffolk IP6 0AA Tel:01473 832111 claydon@travel-stop.co.uk 57 High Street, Hadleigh, Suffolk IP7 5DY Tel:01473 828728

www.travel-stop.co.uk

hadleigh@travel-stop.co.uk

facebook.com/travelstop