IS R E SU D E
A 2 UTU 0 M 1 N 3 H
PARIS STREET ART + THE MAN CYCLING TO OZ + SUN, SEA & SHEIKHS IN DUBAI
TIME TO WORK ON YOUR GOGGLE TAN
www.killy.com Photo credits: Arnaud CHILDERIC - Kalice
DEPARTURES What’s hot this month: from Cambodian commuting to Mexico City 10 Photography 14 Go With The Flow 15 Winging It 16 Instant Anorak 19 The Itinerary 20 Checklist 26 In Brief: St Lucia 28 The Tourist 31 Head-to-Head 32 Top Scottish Trips 36 High Living
“The town of Soufrière is home to the world’s only drive-in volcano”
St Lucia, Caribbean
Get planning your next epic trip as we take you from the Alps to Australia
“See the amber nectar make its journey to the whisky bottle”
42 Hello Winter The best places to hit the slopes this season
58 Art Of The Matter Take a street art tour of inner city Paris
66 On A Mission Adventurer Tim Moss on cycling to Australia
”Kids are practising with spray cans, watched fondly by their parents”
70 Dubai Surprise A fresh look at the city
“Red sand stretches into the distance, like a Martian landscape”
Get a taste of adventure without even leaving London, and win incredible trips 78 Escapography 83 Ask The Experts 86 Culture Fix 90 WIN Holidays 98 The Rear View
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ED I TOR ’ S WO R D A
terrible thing happened earlier this year: I didn’t ski. I appreciate that, in the grand scheme of bad things, this comes pretty low down the list, but if you’re a skier or snowboarder I think you’ll know what I mean. I missed that feeling when you clip in for the first time in months, point down the mountain and take those first few slides in a sort of trust exercise with yourself, hoping you remember how to turn before you shoot off the edge of the piste into a crevasse or a group of schoolchildren. I missed the wave of disgust that hits every time you hand over two years’ earnings for a bowl containing about seven lukewarm yellowy fingers supposedly called ‘frites’, and then the utter bliss as you shovel them into your gob while sat on the piste edge under icy blue skies. I missed racking up my skis and heading into a bar, then coming out a few hours later and forgetting where I put them and what they look like. (Though I didn’t miss the time I came out and some snow-urchin had pinched my new twin tips. Thanks again for that, by the way.) Needless to say I won’t make the same mistake this season, and you don’t have to either if you follow our guide to all things ski and snowboard, from where to stay to EDITORIAL DIRECTOR EDITOR Mark Hedley Jon Hawkins what to wear [p42]. And once you’ve been, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR ART DIRECTOR don’t forget to tell us all about it. Mike Gluckman Matthew Hasteley SALES DIRECTORS ASSOCIATE EDITOR We also want to know what you think of Mike Berrett, Alex Watson Cathy Adams SALES MANAGER SUB EDITORS escapism so we can make it even better. Will Preston Oliver Pickup, Chris Borg Go to escapismmagazine.com/survey. e PRINT ADVERTISING SENIOR DESIGNER
I MISSED THAT FEELING OF CLIPPING INTO THE SKIS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Abigail Robinson JUNIOR DESIGNER
WRITER & VIDEOGRAPHER
Matthew Huckle CONTRIBUTORS
Sophie Cater, Helen Elfer, Lucy Fry, Laura Millar LEAD DEVELOPER
MARKETING & PR ACCOUNTS
Steve Cole, Charlene Smith CEO
Tim Slee CHAIRMAN
Tom Kelly OBE Members of the Professional Publishers Association
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3 Lucy Fry is one of those foolish journalists who says yes without thinking. As a result, her travel assignments tend to involve one of three things: heights, water and exercise-induced exhaustion. Four years in the job and two of those still terrify her. She puts her fear behind her to tackle ice climbing in La Plagne.
15 DAYS IN NZ!
Krista Faist, Danielle Kent
2 Helen Elfer is never happier than when demolishing cheese plates, cycling (downhill) or drinking unpronounceable spirits somewhere hot and exotic. She usually fills the time in between writing up her travels from her houseboat in London. In this issue she travels to Paris to check out some of the street art.
Fairlie Hamilton, Sophie Spencer
1 Matt Huckle struggles to say no, and as a result has entered skiing races on a whim and tagged along with professional sailing teams. At weekends you’re likely to find him at MMA and kickboxing shows. In this issue he writes about how to live like the landed gentry.
© Square Up Media Limited 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.
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Portraits by Mark Boardman
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sw i T Z e r l aND
VERBIER - VILLARS a Us T r i a
ST.ANTON - LECH
www. b r ambleski .com
PH O TO G RA P H Y B Y Y V ES G AR N E A U
REDEFiNiNG THE LUXURY CHALET EXPERiENCE
CHALET mONTANA - VERBi ER - SLEEPS 11
14 GO WITH THE FLOW 15 MEANS OF ESCAPE & WINGING IT 16 INSTANT ANORAK 19 THE ITINERARY 2O CHECKLIST: STYLE 26 IN BRIEF: ST LUCIA 28 THE TOURIST 31 BERLIN V BUDAPEST 32 FIVE BREAKS: SCOTLAND 36 HOLIDAY LIKE AN ARISTOCRAT
ABOVE: Łukasz Božycki’s Eye of a Toad was shot near his home of Warsaw, Poland, as he sat in a pool with mating toads. See it at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition from 18 October
DUGONG FISHING: Douglas Seifert (USA), The Pull of a Dugong in the World in Our Hands category
YOU WILD THING WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR EXHIBITION Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which showcases the best wildlife pictures from around the world, gets no less dramatic and mystical. This year’s exhibition, held at the Natural History Museum, includes this image of a dugong and its human and aquatic admirers by Douglas Seifert. More than 100 images are on show at the exhibition – chosen from thousands of entries – which kicks off on 18 October and runs until March. The competition, which is coowned by BBC Worldwide and the NHM, attracted a wide range of entries this year, including an image of a bear grappling with a fish, Indian monkeys, and a field mouse from Switzerland. If you fancy yourself as a budding wildlife photographer, watch out for details of the 50th year of the competition – they’ll be released soon. Or, enter our photography competition on page 78 for a chance to get your mitts on a Sony HX50 digital camera. e See nhm.ac.uk for more details
SEE MORE ASTONISHING SHOTS AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
Go with the flow Navigate your way through this month’s top global events… S TA RT HELL YES
LIKE TO PARTY?
S OME THING MOR E CULTUR A L ?
D O YO U OW N L E D E RH O S E N ?
SOM E T HI N G MOR E SP I R I T UA L ?
O NLY D RI NK OUT OF A S TE I N ?
S IT BACK OR GE T INVOLVE D?
WATCH OR L IS TE N?
A F R A I D OF T H E DA R K?
Travelling is thirsty work, but it’s worth it if you’re heading to Oktoberfest, the 16-day beer festival held in Munich. Beer served has to be brewed within the city limits and be a minimum of 6% ABV, so try not to get too carried away.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated across the world – but India is the best place to experience it. Head to Karnataka to celebrate the victory of good over evil, which in practice means fireworks and lots of really good food.
If you’re going to celebrate Halloween, you should really be in America. New York’s Halloween parade draws around two million spectators each year, and 50,000 participants. Bring a Frankenstein’s monster mask and get stuck in.
October marks the 26th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival is one of Asia’s biggest and the Sakura Grand Prix, for best film, is highly coveted. Cheer on The Double, directed by Brit Richard Ayoade.
The Iceland Airwaves music festival focuses on new sounds. This event started as a one-off show in an airport hangar, but has since become an annual fixture due to its popularity. Perhaps people are hoping they’ll find the next Björk…
Winging it An instant guide for the lazy traveller. This month, we head to Mexico City
MEANS OF ESCAPE The Cambodian Norry train makes us count our blessings for the daily London commute #3 NORRY TRAIN
Photograph by TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images
In the event of an apocalyptic meltdown of London’s rail system – a frighteningly real prospect at times – what would you do? Perhaps you’d dig out your rusting heap of a bike, pump up its spider’s web-encrusted tyres and head for the open road. Maybe you’d put on some battered running shoes and stagger down a couple of streets before collapsing in a Lucozade-soaked heap. Or you could find an old waterpump or ancient engine, attach it to a couple of wheels and some bamboo and reclaim the rails, which is exactly what resourceful Cambodians did in the early 1980s as the country began the lengthy
process of post-Khmer Rouge rebuilding. Using abandoned tracks, their makeshift ‘Norry’ trains enabled them to hurtle along – brakeless – at up to 30mph, and they’ve been doing so ever since. Using the railway’s single-track line becomes a little problematic when two Norries come face to face with each other, but there’s a simple solution. The train with the least passengers cedes priority, its occupants disassemble it, move it off the track and give way to the oncoming traffic. It’s probably not advisable to give it a go at Clapham Junction at rush-hour. Complete shutdown of the rail network apart, obviously.
1. DO: Day of the Dead, 1-2 November ‘Day of the Dead’ doesn’t have the most promising ring to it, but Chilangos – that’s residents of Mexico City – know how to remember the deceased properly. Look out for dayglo altars in the cemeteries and the huge Zócalo square, and watch the Dia de los Muertos parade. Don’t die though – it’s bad luck (probably).
2. STAY: Condesa DF U2 and Paris Hilton have stayed at this boutique hotel in boho Condesa, but don’t let that put you off. If you’re too late to get a reservation, grab a cocktail in the rooftop bar and pretend you’re staying there rather than at a gloomy hostel with a dead-eyed bunkmate who keeps asking if you’re warm enough. condesadf.com
3. EAT: Tacos al pastor Going to Mexico City and not eating tacos is like going to Bangkok and not coming back with a tattoo of your name in dubious Thai script; you just don’t do it. The original El Huequito at Ayuntamiento 21 in Centro is the place to go for tacos al pastor – cut straight from a vertical spit. elhuequito.com.mx
4. MOVE: Ecobici Getting around Mexico City’s crowded roads used to be about as stress-free as co-ordinating a space shuttle launch, but a massive infrastructure overhaul has brought big changes. The Boris bikealike Ecobici programme is a brilliant way to get under the city’s skin without the nagging sense that you’re an unwitting pawn in a golden retriever-haired overgrown public schoolboy’s plot for world domination. ecobici.df.gob.mx
Instant Anorak 3.1 DEPARTURES
Featuring a load of hot air, the World Conker Championships and a few million turkeys ripe for the plucking...
▲ THE NUMBER OF TURKEYS THAT ARE EATEN ON CANADIAN THANKSGIVING, WHICH IS ON THE SECOND MONDAY OF OCTOBER
◀ THE NUMBER OF HOT AIR BALLOONS THAT ARE FLOWN AT THE ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA IN NEW MEXICO EVERY OCTOBER
120,000 LITRES THE AMOUNT OF BEER THAT WAS POURED AT OKTOBERFEST’S 100-YEAR ANNIVERSARY IN 1910
The number of ghosts that feature in London’s Halloween Ghost Walk
THE PRICE OF AN ICELAND AIRWAVES FESTIVAL TICKET IN REYKJAVÍK IN OCTOBER
M ADMIT ONE
▲ needed in the World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire, held on October 13
◀ THE YEAR OF THE FIRST KNOWN TRADITION OF DRESSING UP FOR HALLOWEEN, IN SCOTLAND. THE MASQUERADERS GATHERED FRUIT, CAKES AND MONEY IN UPTURNED HOLLOW TURNIPS
THE DATE OF ‘HEALTH AND SPORTS DAY’ IN JAPAN, WHEN THE COUNTRY HAS MOCK CAVALRY BATTLES, INCLUDING FIGHTING WHILE ◀ TH ON PIGGYBACK
◀ THE HOTTEST OCTOBER DAY EVER, RECORDED IN GRAVESEND, KENT, IN 2011
The Art of Swiss Culture
As the British nights draw in, escape the cold with a cultural city break in Zürich. With more than 150 galleries and museums, there’s more to the city than first meets the eye
nown for its wealth of banks and its proximity to the snow-capped Alps, affluent Zürich might not immediately jump to mind when thinking of Europe’s best art capitals. But the trendy Swiss city is fast putting itself on the map as a culturally rich city. Not only is it the birthplace of the Dada movement – founded in 1916 on Spiegelgasse and now celebrated by the Dadahaus – but it is home to more than 100 art galleries and 50 museums.
Visit the cultural centre for less BOOK A ZÜRICH CULTURE BREAK AND GET A FREE ZÜRICHCARD
Don’t miss out on your own cultural break in Zürich from only £295 for a 72-hour city break including flights. Visit stc.co.uk/culturalzurich or call 020 7420 4934 to book. Remember to pick up your FREE ZürichCARD.
The richness of Zürich’s art scene is demonstrated by its roaring art trade in the trendy districts of Rämistrasse and the former grounds of the Löwenbräu brewery, where many art galleries sit side by side, and in the up-andcoming cultural quarter of Zürich-West. Art enthusiasts should head straight to the Kunsthaus Zürich, one of the leading art galleries in the city. It houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions that change month to month. Meanwhile, fans of modern art will love the Zürich Museum of Design and the Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst and the Kunsthalle Zürich. But there’s more to Zürich’s cultural scene than just its excellent art galleries. The Swiss National Museum offers a fascinating insight into the country’s cultural history, and the building itself dated back to the 19th century and is reminiscent of a castle. For a proper immersion in this arty city, why not eat among masterpieces? The Restaurant Kronenhalle, once a bohemian meeting point for the literati and artists, is now a popular haunt as you can dine under genuine Chagalls, Picassos and Miros. And after a relaxing day soaking up Zürich culture, head to an art-focused hotel for the ultimate in cultural chilling out. The Hotel Widder has just been totally renovated to integrate ancient stone walls of historical Old
Town buildings into one single hotel. And for the best discounts to the museums and galleries, check out the ZürichCARD; it not only offers unmissable discounts on restaurants and free entry into museums and galleries, but you’ll also benefit from unlimited use of public transport for either 24 or 72 hours.
For further information on Zurich, please visit zuerich.com/wknd
CHEMMY ALCOTT The Team Great Britain skier reveals her adventurous side, sets her sights on the Holi festival of colour in India, and is on the prowl for a honeymoon safari… ACTION WOMAN: Alcott likes to get as much out of every day as possible, and finds relaxing boring
Beach v city
Stuff v bare essentials
I’m a total water baby, which can be tough when spending all my time in the mountains. Saying that, I have been known to find glacier lakes and use them for hydrotherapy and recovery, so I will definitely say the beach – but a combination of the two is nice so you can satisfy your cultural side. The other sport I’ve got into in the last ten years is surfing. Like skiing, you are out in nature doing something physically demanding and very technical, but most of all it’s a lot of fun when you get it right.
I would love to be able to travel light, but because my fiancé Dougie and I are always searching for adventures and activities we tend to have a lot of kit.
A SKI FOLLOWED BY SURFING AND THEN BEACH VOLLEYBALL AT SUNSET IS IDEAL
Rave v relax Neither: I am definitely a day person rather than a party girl, but I find relaxing boring. I like to fill every second of every day.
Resort v roughing it A combination. Sometimes at the end of a tough skiing season, it is nice to be able to go luxe and have a bit of a pamper – but I would choose a shack over an all-inclusive resort most of the time as I like to get out and get a local feel for a place, which is something you don’t always get in resorts.
Sun v snow Both. My ideal day would be skiing in the morning, surfing in the afternoon then beach volleyball at sunset.
Family v friends Life is pretty hectic with my family, as all my brothers have kids, and because I can’t
stop playing with them it’s sometimes really exhausting. My ideal holiday partner is Dougie, as we are the perfect match and always want to do the same thing. Having said that, a day at the beach with my family is often my favourite kind of day.
East v West I really want to go to the Holi festival of colour in India – it always looks so alive and vibrant. Sadly, it’s at the end of February, so right in the middle of the ski season. Hopefully, if Dougie and I manage to plan our wedding for next year, we will go on safari for our honeymoon as it is something we have both always wanted to do and never managed to so far.
Plane v train I am a great traveller and try to use my journeys as proactively as possible – shopping, eating good food, resting and catching up with gossip for example – so planes are great. Being sponsored by Monarch last year was fabulous too, because I felt part of a company that brought so many people joy by taking all these happy faces on their holidays! e
THE JACKET ARC’TERYX CERIUM LT HOODY, £260. The Canadian brand has an obsessive approach to designing outdoor gear, so it’s no surprise that Arc’teryx’s new down jackets are the lightest, warmest and best looking around. arcteryx.com
1 FINISTERRE, Portland merino t-shirt, £45. Made from superfine merino wool to keep you cool whatever conditions you’re in. finisterreuk.com 2 GOODYEAR, Maine brogue boots in tan, £74.99. Winterised boots with a durable, high-traction sole built for style and function. debenhams.com 3 SUUNTO, Ambit2 HR, £499. Perfect for wintersports and multisports, the Ambit2 is loaded with functions for adventurous travellers. suunto.com
THE SUNNIES TAYLOR MORRIS YELLOW GOLD R.J MITCHELL SUNGLASSES, £145. The curvy design of these sunglasses is inspired by the Supermarine Spitfire. Stick a pair on and you’ll almost feel like a pilot. taylormorriseyewear.com
1 ACNE, Black clover flat ankle boot, £420. This casual jodhpur boot is ideal for easy weekends or low-key evenings out. my-wardrobe.com 2 BALENCIAGA, Voyage 24H grained leather holdall, £1,215. Stylish and hard wearing, perfect for looking good on the move. brownsfashion.com 3 BARBOUR, Red International Polarquilt jacket, £179. With a fleece lining, this bright red jacket is perfect for autumn trips. my-wardobe.com
Gear THE BAG TUMI VAPOR, £495. This suitcase’s polycarbonate shell makes it rugged and hardwearing, while still light enough to whizz through the airport in a hurry. tumi.com
NIKON AW1, £750. The first underwater camera with interchangeable lenses means no more compromising on quality, even when shooting below the surface. nikon.com
AMAZON KINDLE PAPERWHITE, £109. The new-generation Kindle’s high-contrast display and backlight means effort-free reading in any light. It’s faster and ‘whiter’, too. amazon.co.uk
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news NEW ALPS SKI RESORTS
e bet you can’t point to St Lucia on a map – it’s one of those small islands in the arc from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. Much like the neighbouring Windward Islands, it’s green and lush, with long stretches of blonde beaches, palm trees and warm temperatures. But unlike its nearest neighbours (Barbados, Martinique, St Vincent and the Grenadines, in case your geography isn’t quite up to scratch), St Lucia is home to the Pitons, a couple of volcanic peaks that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as being the mainstay of holidaymakers’ postcards. St Lucia is Coral reefs cover separated from its more than half the Caribbean cousins marine area of the by the Pitons, which Pitons volcanic complex, with were created when surveys showing a volcano erupted that the area is home to 168 different some 35m years ago. species of fish. These twin peaks,
Cathy Adams finds volcanic peaks and parties on an island known for friendliness
visible from every part of the island, belong to the town of Soufrière, also home to the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. St Lucia also has a well-deserved reputation for being home to some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean (they’re known as ‘Looshans’), and it boasts a stellar carnival atmosphere that is worthy of any Atlantic isle. The annual headline jazz festival and the legendary, reggae-fuelled Friday night street parties make a trip across the Atlantic worthwhile. e
NEED TO KNOW British Airways offers seven-night holidays to St Lucia from £749 per person, based on two adults sharing three-star accommodation on a room-only basis at the Bay Gardens Hotel, including flights. See ba.com for more details.
Peak Retreats has launched a new resort for this season – Tignes Les Boisses, in the French Alps. Newly renovated to the tune of several million euros, it accesses the Espace Killy via a high-speed lift. Peak Retreats also has new residences in the resorts of Chamonix, Aussois, Châtel, Les Deux Alpes, Morillon 1100, Saint Sorlin d’Arves and Val Cenis. peakretreats.co.uk
CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD This year’s Clipper Round the World race set off last month from St Katharine Docks, with 12 yachts sailing 40,000 miles around the globe in 11 months. You can follow progress online as the 70ft boats do battle across the world. Better still, applications are open for the 2015-16 race, if you’ve got £45,200 and nerves of steel... clipperroundtheworld.com
WORLD FOOD FESTIVAL, ROTTERDAM Holland’s second city puts on an impressive world food festival in October, with top producers, restaurants and chefs showcasing the culinary treats Rotterdam has to offer. Think markets, tastings, workshops and harbour excursions, all reachable by just a short flight from London with CityJet. The festival runs until 27 October, throughout the city. cityjet.com
’AV A BUTCHER’S
was uncool at school. I was the only one wearing Clarks moccasins and an oversized M&S anorak, hanging on the fringes of the school disco watching others twerk to Whigfield’s Saturday Night. To counteract my eternally untrendy youth, I now spend the weekend trolling London’s pop-up restaurants, cooing about how postmodern the no-reservation trend is but actually wishing I were at home watching Breaking Bad. In my quest to be on-trend, I’ve chosen cool Copenhagen – the fag end of Scandinavia, the so-called Shoreditch of northern Europe – for the August bank holiday. It’s the home of the bike, of overpriced pints of Tuborg and of stag dos trying, unsuccessfully, to mix the two. Oh, and of Noma: once the best restaurant in the world, it earned CPH the unforgiving moniker ‘a foodie city’. Owing to my reluctant lust for restaurants with a healthy dose of pretension shot
WHERE TO GO It’s possible to have a brilliant time in Copenhagen too, obviously. Try these for size: ◆ Torvehallerne food market is
like Borough Market, but full of Danish delicacies. ◆ Head to Tivoli Gardens – an adult fairground with rides to make your hair stand on end. ◆ Have a beer at Nyhavn, the strip with the famous coloured houses.
Cathy Adams joins the decapitated pigs in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District and finds it all bloody expensive…
through them, Noma was first on my Copenhagen bucket list. Trouble is, getting a table at Noma on a Saturday night is as likely as sneaking your kitchen sink and a litter of puppies onto a Ryanair flight. Oh well – there’s always the hotdogs. Chef René Redzepi’s two-Michelin-starred eatery, which means ‘Nordic food’, was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the San Pellegrino Awards.
After scoffing more hotdogs than I care to remember, we book for dinner at Kødbyens Fiskebar in the meatpacking district – second to Noma, if you believe everything you read on the internet. We find ourselves in a car park at the dodgy end of the station, outside a bleak breezeblock building opposite what looks like a butcher’s cash’n’carry. Yeah, in CPH they’re still packing meat in the meatpacking district, and the shop windows have the severed pig heads to prove it. It’s not looking hopeful as we queue up behind a computer and a haughty-looking blonde. Copenhagen is so aware of itself that the no reservation guff you find at every pop-up Soho steakhouse is out – we’ve booked onto a waiting list for the waiting list and have been usurped in the queue by a kid dressed in a long hydrofoil jacket and orange Nike Airs. We’re left to wait mournfully in the car park alongside the other urbane London foodies caught between slipping the blonde a twenty or
giving in to the hotdogs again. When we’re allowed in, we’re seated at the bar – for which, it turns out, you don’t even have to be on the waiting list for the waiting list. Whatever, we’re in. It’s so dark that every flash of an iPhone Instagramming the bowls of moules frites bounces off the mirrored walls and smeary fishtank while, in the dimmest corner of the restaurant, a Chinese granny is using her digital camera light to see where her dinner is. All I can afford is a middle course of fish and chips served in a greasy bit of an Englishlanguage newspaper, which happens to be a feature about the changing laws around slaughtering cows. Reading this is the most fun I’ve had all night. All this trend hoo-ha isn’t as fun as it looks – it seems you’ve only made it in Meat Town once you’ve been ripped off and walked past a pig’s head on the way back to watch pay-per-view hotel TV. Much like London, then. e
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EscapE to EuropE from thE hEart of London. Return fares from London City Airport
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Luxembourg £99 Paris £109 Antwerp £119
Florence £129 Nuremberg £129 Dresden £129
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Head to Head
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It’s a battle of two über-cool European capital cities. But which one wins? German contender Berlin, or Hungarian upstart Budapest?
BERLIN Population: 3,292,365
BUDAPEST Population: 1,740,041
Location name: The Grey City
Location name: Spa City
Like West Side Story, cool cats rule the streets in Berlin. It’s even more funky-fresh than Shoreditch. 8/10
Partygoers and intellectuals dominate Budapest. Sadly, it’s outdone by Berlin in the cool stakes. 7/10
WHAT NOT TO MENTION IN BERLIN The war
WHAT TO SAY IN BERLIN
WHAT TO SAY IN BUDAPEST
WHAT NOT TO SAY IN BUDAPEST
”Ich bin ein Berliner!” (no, really)
“Come on, let’s all go to a spa party!”
“Which half’s Buda and which half’s Pest?”
Graffiti, odd architecture and every shade of grey gives the city an industrial starkness, but there’s plenty to see. Catch the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery (eastsidegallery.com) in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which has the only graffitied part of the wall. After a heavy night, head to the Badeschiff (arena-berlin.de), an open air pool in the River Spree. 7/10
Get lost in the streets of Óbuda around the main square, where buildings date back to the 18th and 19th centuries (they were restored after the war), or find a music festival – there’s nearly always one on the go. Bathing is a serious business in Budapest – head to Gellert (gellertbath.com) for a fancy experience, or to Rudas (rudasfurdo.hu) for a more local dip. 6/10
Propeller Island City Lodge’s (propeller-island.com) rooms are themed art installations that you feature in, including a floating bed and a bouncy floor. If this sounds all too wacky, opt for somewhere like boutique B&B Linnen (linnenberlin.com). 8/10
The bohemian Brody House (brodyhouse.com), next to the must-see ‘ruin-pubs’ (refurbished ex-factories and houses), is more than a boutique hotel – it’s also a mini art gallery. Or blow the budget at Boscolo Hotel (boscolohotels.com). 8/10
EAT & DRINK
EAT & DRINK
Try Currywurst at Konnopke Imbiss (konnopke-imbiss.de) or The Central Market Hall – Központi Vásárcsarnok – is the place Curry 36 (curry36.de), or a sit-down affair, head to Napolean for traditional meats, cheese and pastries, but for Hungarian haute cuisine try dining institution Kárpátia and Beethoven’s former haunt Zur Letzten (karpatia.hu). For drinking, Budapest Instanz (zurletzteninstanz.de). You can find beer in the city’s oldest pub, trumps Berlin with Unicum, a herbal AND THE WINNER IS... Wilhelm Hoeck (wilhelm-hoeck.de) on liquor that tastes as bad as it sounds. Take it along to a spa party, held in the Wilmersdorfer Straße, or head to the A weekend in Berlin wins by a whisker city’s baths. Strip off and, er, enjoy. 8/10 trendy east side for a modish drink. 8/10
...SCOTLAND Whether you want to chill out on the banks of a loch, put on your skis, go mountain biking, hit the town or just savour the delights of a dazzling array of internationallyrenowned whiskies, Scotland has it all, says Cathy Adams 32
Photograph (top, left, above right) by: visitscotland.com
5 BREAKS IN...
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN IMAGE: The view seems to go on forever on a snowy day in the Cairngorms, a popular destination for skiers from December; tranquility on the banks of Loch Ewe, near the village of Poolewe; and visitors enjoy the summery side of the Cairngorms National Park – a perfect location for mountain biking
Despite falling temperatures in the Highlands in the autumn, the region remains one of the most picturesque and tranquil places in the whole of Scotland. Expansive lochs and staggering mountains abound, and it is a perfect place to kick back and spend the days meandering slowly around. Add to the mix a number of peaceful retreats – the Pool House in the Western Highlands gets our particular stamp of approval – and you’ve got little more to do than sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. Many residences can be completely booked out for you and your party (Ackergill Tower is our recommendation) – so either use them as an isolated bolthole or the base for a relaxed and relaxing family celebration. Stay: Pool House, near the village of Poolewe, is one of the more luxurious residences in the Highlands. From £295 per night. The spectacular Ackergill Tower overlooks the North Sea. pool-house.co.uk ackergilltower.com
From the rapids of the River Tay in Perthshire to gorges south of Fort William and snowboarding on the Lemming Ridge, Scotland is the ultimate adventure destination. The Scottish ski season proper kicks off in December, and for aficionados after a low-key weekend snow adventure, the Cairngorm mountain range is the best bet. But even outside the ski season, there’s plenty to keep adrenaline junkies amused. At the more relaxing end of the scale, there’s hiking in the Cairngorms National Park – or the park’s rugged terrain makes it an ideal place to go mountain biking. If you’re after a proper adventure, why not go one step further and climb Ben Nevis, just outside Fort William, which is the tallest mountain in the UK? Stay: The Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore is a relaxed boutique hotel. From £52pp based on two sharing. cairngorm.com
Yes, the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, is one of the most remote places in the UK, but it’s also one of the most beautiful and outdoorsy and is ideal for a unique family escape. You’ll come to Skye for the walking but stay for the staggering beauty of the place – and, of course, the abundant wildlife. Older children will love searching for seals and dolphins around Loch Dunvegan, while the waters around Skye are also home to whales. Or, if your family is aching for more than just seal-spotting, head to the even more isolated Isle of Raasay, a 25-minute ferry journey from Skye. There’s a mixture of cliff jumping, abseiling, archery and deer-watching – younger kids can watch their elder siblings abseil down a cliff face. Stay: Greshornish House has walking and wildlife on its doorstep. Doubles from £100 per night. greshornishhouse.com
Glasgow might offer a rocking night out with its clutch of grungy and glitzy bars, but it’s the smaller (and often quieter) Edinburgh that will see you through to the wee hours in style. Not only does it play host to the UK’s top New Year’s Eve party, Hogmanay, but it also has more than 15 different festivals going on throughout the year. The Royal Mile – a strip through the city centre – is full to bursting with old-school pubs, but if you want anything more fancy there’s cocktail bar Bramble and a smattering of bars and clubs along trendy George Street. Just watch out for the hordes of students who also think that the quarter is a pretty good place to hang out and party. Stay: You’re spoiled for choice in Edinburgh, but boutique hotel the Glasshouse has views of Calton Hill and the city’s new town, and blends old and new design. From £195 per night based on two sharing. theglasshousehotel.co.uk
FOOD & DRINK
Photograph (top) by: visitscotland.com
You won’t be surprised to hear that Scotland is awash with whisky ‘experiences’. The spirit has been distilled in the country since at least the 15th century, and is about as Scottish as tartan and haggis. A typical itinerary would start at the famous Glenlivet distillery in Banffshire and wind its way to Dufftown’s Speyside Cooperage – not forgetting to stop off at the Cardhu Distillery in Knockandu on the way. Seafood fans’ bases are well-covered in Scotland, too – in some coastal towns you can watch the catch of the day brought in from the boats. Stay: Craigellachie is an imposing hotel in Speyside, with 650 varieties of whisky from £3 to £275 a nip. bespokehotels.com
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A 15-DAY HOLIDAY TO NEW ZEALAND Text 'Escapism' and your email address to 61211 to be entered automatically SMS inbound text service will be charged at your standard network rate. See page 38 for details of the competition. By texting this number you will automatically be entered into the Round The World Experts competition, and will be signed up to its email marketing.
AN ARISTOCRAT Cathy Adams wants to live in a house – a very big house – in the country. Until then, though, she’ll gladly settle for a room at Lucknam Park. Or, better still, all 42 of them…
t takes a full five minutes in the taxi to bump our way up a mile-long avenue, flanked by beech and lime trees, to the turning circle in front of Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, outside Bath. The hotel is almost completely invisible, hidden by foliage for much of that journey, leading me to gurn impatiently, wring my hands and watch the taxi meter ticking along. It’s not surprising that Spitfires and Hurricanes were once hidden down this driveway – the trees provide the perfect canopy. On arrival at the hotel entrance, we step gingerly out of the battered Vauxhall Astra we’ve turned up in (trying to ignore the Porsche parked conspicuously by the house) with the help of a doorman. And so begins our immersion into Lucknam Park. This is a place where you feel immediately at home and never want to
3 OF THE BEST, BY MATT HUCKLE 1. MAKE LIKE ANNE BOLEYN
2. MAKE LIKE THE QUEEN
3. MAKE LIKE AN AMERICAN GI
The Manor, Weston-on-the-Green You can almost pretend The Manor is your home as you wander the – sorry, your – house and grounds. With a 900-year history (previous owner Sir Henry Norris was allegedly one of Anne Boleyn’s lovers), its atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed that it’s hard not to. The hotel has recently appointed a new executive chef, so now is a great time to visit. And the other guests? Just pretend they’re your staff or something. PRICE: A standard room in the coach house starts at £205 a night. HOW TO GET THERE: The Manor is within easy reach of the M40. The closest railway station is Bicester North.
Luton Hoo, Luton It only takes a minute for memories of the outside world to fade when you roll up outside this spectacularly restored mansion. Luton Hoo is so good it has a Royal seal of approval: the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh spent part of their honeymoon here in 1947, and they’ve even returned for anniversaries. The hotel has 1,000 acres of parkland to get lost in, and it’s so big there’s a fleet of London taxis to cart you around. Fortunately, unlike their city counterparts, they’re free. PRICE: Rooms available from £280. HOW TO GET THERE: Luton Hoo is easily reachable by train from St Pancras, and is also a short drive from the M1.
The Manor Hotel, Killadeas, NIR It’s the views of Lough Erne you notice first at the Manor Hotel in Killadeas, Northern Ireland, followed by the tranquility of the Fermanagh Lakelands. This property has a history dating back to the 17th century and has seen its fair share of excitement. From 1939-45, it was requisitioned by the government and used by the American forces for a time. The house itself was used as an officers’ mess, but we’re pleased to say they’re a little more relaxed about what time you come down for breakfast now. PRICE: Bed and breakfast from £84. HOW TO GET THERE: The Manor Hotel is just under two hours’ drive from Belfast.
leave – unless, of course, you have your own alfresco spa facilities and 500 acres of parkland to run amok in at home. It’s the ultimate country house hotel, with an impressive history. The house dates back to Saxon times and played a key role in the second world war, with the driveway hiding those fighter planes and the building housing evacuees – and what a home it would have provided for them. With 42 rooms (13 of which are suites), ivy-covered Lucknam has an intimate feel. If your wallet can take it, book a Grand Suite: as well as having four-poster beds, they overlook the grounds at the front. Sitting on the suite’s wide window ledge, watching the sun go down behind the beech trees while enjoying glasses of complimentary champagne and homemade chocolates is surely how the upper classes do things. I
swear my accent even aligned itself closer to Received Pronunciation at times. Pre-dinner drinks are held in a large, bow-fronted drawing room overlooking the estate, while dinner is served either in the more casual brasserie, adjacent to the spa, or The Park restaurant – where chef Hywel Jones has held a Michelin star since 2006 – the jewel in Lucknam’s crowded crown. A proper old-school, fine dining restaurant (it demands ‘proper’ dress, too – no jeans and trainers here), The Park is one of those places where you feel you’re being invisibly looked after. Napkins are re-folded and stealthily laid on laps, cutlery disappears and then reappears just as you reach for it. Of course, the food is exceptional: a tower of juicy pork belly came paired with the creamiest mashed potato. And don’t get me started on the warm bread… As befits a five-star hotel, Lucknam’s spa is no less special. It’s home to the highlight of my weekend, a walk-through alfresco pool which, apart from the Japanese salt room, was about the only thing that could drag me off my spa lounger. Not a fan of a spa? A) you fool; B) try horse-riding or walking around the grounds, or even venturing into Bath if you really must leave the bosom of Lucknam Park. But if you fancy gadding about like someone from a period drama, this is the place for you. e
Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire, SN14 8AZ For more information, see lucknampark.co.uk
15 DAYS IN NEW ZEALAND Round The World Experts and Tourism New Zealand are offering one lucky couple a two-week trip to explore this stunning country…
ew Zealand is undeniably one of the world’s most incredible countries – and a holiday there has to be on most bucket lists. With our exclusive competition, we’re offering the chance to take two of you out there for the trip of a lifetime. We’ve teamed up with Round The World Experts, the UK’s biggest global travel specialist, to offer a 15-day trip to New Zealand. Round The World Experts are specialists at putting together long-haul itineraries travelling to more than one destination, but none come more beautiful than the magical New Zealand. This picturesque land is one of the most captivating places on the planet and oozes stunning landscapes on both islands. Gentle green hills in the north, miles of empty beaches and tranquil bays to alpine splendour in the south. A safe country with
friendly locals, you’ll feel welcomed and immediately at home – they even drive on the same side of the road. The ‘Best of Both Islands’ Classic Journey will take you to all corners of these fascinating islands. It’s a self-drive holiday so you’ll get the freedom to do things at your own pace. Explore the tranquil waters of the Bay of Islands and the geothermal Maori heartland of the north to the aweinspiring glaciers and adrenalin-inducing activities of the south – you can even visit the Hobbiton Movie Set. You’ll spend each night in a handpicked four-star hotel topped by the wonderful five-star Peppers Bluewater Resort at Lake Tekapo. To win visit escapismmagazine.com. To start your own Classic Journey, visit rtwexperts.co.uk/classicjourney or phone 0844 477 6554
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Beautiful Lake Tekapo is on the lucky winners’ itinerary; the waterfront in Auckland, or ‘the city of sails’; a traditional Maori warrior; New Zealand’s dramatic landscapes make it the ideal holiday destination
HOW TO WIN To win this once-in-a-lifetime holiday, worth more than £4,000, answer one question. Which three-part movie has recently been filmed in New Zealand? To enter visit escapismmagazine. com/competition/NZ. For more information and full terms and conditions, see the website.
THE ITINERARY Your New Zealand Itinerary Day 1, Auckland – The City of Sails: a stunning harbour, many great cafes and restaurants and quirky neighbourhoods. Days 2-3, Bay of Islands – The tranquil bay is dotted with almost 150 islands. Take a scenic flight or a cruise from Paihia. Days 4-5, Auckland & Rotorua – Explore the geothermal and cultural attractions on offer in Rotorua and try a traditional Maori feast. Day 6, Taupo – A picturesque lake with incredible views across to the volcanoes of nearby Tongariro National Park. Days 7-8, Wellington – Check out Te Papa, New Zealand’s stunning national museum; enjoy great bars and restaurants or the famous botanical gardens. Day 9, Kaikoura – The whale and dolphin watching capital of New Zealand. Day 10, Lake Tekapo – A place of breathtaking natural beauty and striking landscapes. Days 11-12, Queenstown – The beautiful Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. Adrenaline-filled activities include the highest bungy jump in the country and canyon swings. Day 13, Franz Josef – Glacier country: take a helicopter flight or enjoy a guided walk to see the very best of this dramatic region. Days 14-15, Christchurch – Your journey ends with one night in Christchurch, The Garden City.
Photo: David Loftus
…Every one of our exceptional ski holidays is tailored to the most exacting standards – yours! Summit Retreats is a specialist ski travel agency, focusing on luxury bespoke alpine holidays. Whether your search is driven by price, resort, the level of service, or something a little different, we will guide you through the vast number of properties on offer, and help you build your perfect alpine holiday. Web: www.summitretreats.com Phone: +44 (0)1985 850 111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BELOW: Snowboarder Diego Ceron performs in the Red Bull Powder Escape at El Colorado in Santiago, Chile, in August. Space helmet: optional. Clothes so baggy you could fit several friends in them too: essential
Photograph by Juan Luis De Heeckeren/Red Bull Content Pool
42 THE BEST SKI RESORTS & GEAR 54 ICE CLIMBING IN LA PLAGNE 58 STREET ART IN PARIS EXPLORED 66 THE MAN CYCLING TO AUSTRALIA 70 FUN & FRIVOLITY IN DUBAI
OAKLEY Crowbar JP Goggles, ÂŁ130, ellis-brigham.com
S ’ T I
W O N S . . . E M I T Hit the powder in style with our guide to the ten best resorts and the hottest new gear…
KILLY Spartacus Jacket, £849, killy.com
PHOTOGRAPHY by David Harrison; make up and hair by Julia Wren, using Clarins & Bed Head; Model, Ben Cook at MOT Models
BEST FOR BIG GROUPS
Val d’Isère, France
It’s no accident that Brits flock to Val d’Isère like moths to a flame. Not only is the Espace Killy one of the world’s great ski areas, with abundant runs ranging from the leisurely to the fearsomely tricky, but its nightlife and accommodation leaves other resorts trailing in its snowy wake. The sheer scale, breadth of difficulties and availability of places to stay also marks it out as the perfect choice for large groups with members of all abilities and interests. If you’ve got one eye on the slopes and the other on luxury, there are few better options than the five Le Chardon Mountain Lodges. The biggest of the lot – called Le Chardon, naturally – sleeps 20 in the sort of elegant sophistication you’ll be crying out for after ripping it up on the slopes (from £19,900 per week, catered, for the whole chalet). Not only does it have two outdoor hot tubs, an 18ft swimspa and its own sauna, but it’s a true ski-in-ski-out chalet, with rapid access to the piste and its own boot room with warmers. lechardonvaldisere.com
HORIZON FESTIVAL IS A SIX-DAY SNOW/DANCE PARTY AMONG THE PEAKS BEST FOR FESTIVAL LOVERS Horizon, Bulgaria
If you fancy somewhere off the beaten piste, Bansko in Bulgaria is up-and-coming, cheap, and home to Horizon festival, a six-day party among Bulgaria’s Pirin peaks that offers snowsports and live European house music in equal measure. Stages range from the Ibizan Euphoria to the Medieval Banquet Hall (because nothing goes with house music like whole wild boars and tankards of warm mead). Horizon bridges the gap between luxury ski holidays and European music festivals, and with packages starting from £279, it could be better than both. horizonfestival.net
FROM TOP: Courchevel is where the elite go to play in the snow, and with good reason; Horizon festival in Bulgaria combines ski and beats to winning effect; if you love epic backcountry served up with a hefty dose of luxury, Verbier will be right up your piste
Bobsledding was invented in the 1870s in St Moritz by a hotelier. He put tourists on crates and sent them through the town streets
GET PISTE UP Once the day’s skiing is done and you’ve managed to get some feeling back into your toes it’s the perfect time to seek out the après-ski. If it’s a good old knees up you’re looking for then Dicks Tea Bar in Val d’Isère won’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for a couple of relaxing drinks or a full on night out this is one of the best bars across the whole of the Alps. Just don’t come crying to us when your legs are too stiff from dancing to hit the slopes the next day... dicksteabar.com
ATOMIC XTO 14 Skis and Bindings, £580, ellis-brigham.com
SALOMON Quest Ski Boots 120, ÂŁ130, ellis-brigham.com
EIDER Red Square Jacket, £300, eider.com
KILLY Cirrus Pant, £450, killy.com
KILLY Cirrus Pant, £450, killy.com
BEST FOR BLOWING THE BUDGET Courchevel, France
This French resort, part of Les Trois Vallées, is often called the Saint Tropez of winter sports, and for good reason. If your wallet can handle it here you can mingle with the stars and, thanks to its exclusivity, you can revel in Courchevel’s excellent lift system, which is usually queue free, even at peak times. Those snapped on the pistes here include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Beckhams, Roman Abramovich, George Clooney and, er, Geri Halliwell, who we’re told took the slopes gingerly (sorry). Newly built Chalet Edelweiss, which sleeps 16, is rather magnificent and will set you back almost £10,000 per person per week. For that you get seven floors of luxury, eight en-suite bedrooms and plenty of luxe extras. You’ll want to make the most of the spa and wellness area, which has its own dedicated floor, and there’s a gym, heated indoor swimming pool, a sauna, indoor hot tub and two massage rooms. Want more? The chalet also has its own cinema and nightclub. summitretreats.com
BEST FOR FAMILY Obergurgl
It might sound like a brand of mouthwash but Obergurgl, found in the Ötztal Alps in Tyrol, is a welcoming resort that has mushroomed in recent years as it’s ideal for kids, and adults, to learn here. Being the highest mountain in Austria, it is usually covered in a blanket of snow. With more than 110km of immaculate pistes and award-winning ski schools, it offers
EIDER Manhattan Jacket Girl, £140, eider.com
KILLY Nymphe Jacket, £550, killy.com
‘Ski’ comes from the old Norse word ‘skio’, meaning a split piece of wood
PH OTOG R A PH Y BY Y VE S GA RNEAU
The finest collection of chalets in the world
CHALET TROIS COURONNES, VERBIER, SLEEPS 15 www.hautemontagne.com
LINE Sick Day Skis, £450, ellis-brigham.com
superb conditions for both beginners and intermediates, with a range of routes. Much of the accomodation has family friendly ski-in, ski-out facilities, and The Chalet at 11° East – the resort’s first boutique digs – is a great option, from £1,400 per person per week. It caters for ten in luxurious en-suite bedrooms and is located on the piste next to the ski school. A log fire, home cinema and a Wii will keep your kids toasty and entertained after school’s out. summitretreats.com
BEST FOR TREE-LINED RUNS Beaver Creek
There is treasure to be found between the trees, as any experienced skier will tell you, and the best place to experience it is Beaver Creek. Close to Avon, Colorado, this US resort comprises three villages and four mountains. It’s not the cheapest place to ski – a seven-day lift pass will set you back almost £350 – but it has a skiable area of 1,832 acres and 150 trails in total. You can’t put a price on beauty, though, and in Beaver
SKI AND SNOWBOARD SHOW ATOMIC XTO 14 Skis, £580, ellis-brigham. com
SALOMON Enduro XT800 Skis, £545, ellis-brigham.com
If you’re looking for top tips then head to the Ski and Snowboard Show at Earls Court from 30 October to 3 November. Look out for us; we’ll be with the Aosta Valley tourism board and we’ve got exclusive competitions and prizes for people who come and say hi. You might even get the inside scoop on the best place to go off piste… skiandsnowboard.co.uk
COURCHEVEL – PART OF THE TROIS VALLÉES – IS CALLED THE ST TROPEZ OF WINTER SPORTS
Creek you’e guaranteed that in winter, as well as plenty of white stuff: the average annual snowfall is almost 8m. Once you’ve had enough of the snow, there’s plenty to do in the village – from art galleries and shops to top-notch restaurants and an ice rink – and you’ll be unsurprised to hear there are a number of luxury spas where you can ease aches and pains. Bespoke ski company Frontier Travel can put together packages and itineraries to suit your needs. frontier-ski.co.uk
BEST FOR HARDCORE OFF-PISTE Verbier
For the hardened snow adventurer it’s all about the off-piste action, and in the Alps the go-to resort is Verbier. Seek out routes like the backside of Mont Fort, Stairway to Heaven, The Rocky Garden, The Hidden Valley and Col de la Banana – but don’t forget to check the avalanche reports. For those looking for virgin snow the other side of the piste posts you could do a lot worse than stay at Virgin honcho Sir Richard
FROM ABOVE: Japan is a notorious haven for powder-hounds, but the tiny Green Leaf Village in Niseko adds relaxation to the mix; you can’t be on the slopes all the time (though you can try), and Obergurgl’s a great place for the family to kick back
ATOMIC Vantage Pole, £30; BURTON Pyro Glove, £45, both from ellis-brigham.com
“Verbier is the best spot for adrenaline junkies, with challenging runs and off-piste areas to explore” – Chemmy Alcott Branson’s digs, The Lodge. Found only 250m from the main lift station, here you can luxuriate in this stunning nine-bedroom chalet, which boasts an indoor heated pool, outdoor Jacuzzis, in-house chefs and a private ice rink, from £2,700 per person per week. Just mind how much of the house champagne you imbibe before giving your Dancing on Ice impression. summitretreats.com
BEST FOR A FAR-FLUNG ESCAPE Niseko, Japan
FROM TOP: Le Chardon in Val d’Isère has two outside hot tubs; skiing in South Korea? You’d better believe it, and Yongpyong resort is a winner; Sainte Foy may not be one of the best known resorts in the Alps, but that equals quiet pistes and great bang for your Euro
BACK TO PLANK Going skiing but haven’t ever been up a mountain let alone tried to hurl yourself down one? Don’t politely decline and hang around the bar all day, strap on a pair (of skis) and learn. Check yourself into Oxygene Ski & Snowboard School and you’ll soon be carving up the pistes with the best of them. Classes are tailored specifically to your skill level so everyone from total beginners to good skiers looking to dust off the cobwebs are catered for. Sign up and you’ll be a mogul mogul in no time… oxygene-ski.com
Travelling a few hundred miles and still feeling at home is nice. Travelling 6,000 miles to ski in a tiny Japanese hot spring town, though, is an altogether different beast. Niseko, Hokkaido, has a population of just 5,000 – perfect if you’re all-toofamiliar with bustling European and North American resorts, and the tiny Green Leaf Niseko Village is the jewel in its crown. This gorgeous hotel is kitted out with natural onsen (hot spring) facilities and a spa, but this is still authentic Japan – the hotel features art and design straight from the town community, and the restaurant serves local Hokkaido produce. Inside Japan offers seven nights (including one in Tokyo) bed and breakfast, return flights with Virgin, transfers and a six-day mountain pass for £1,928 per person (based on two sharing). insidejapantours.com
BEST FOR ROMANTICS Sainte Foy, France
If your idea of a ski break is spending a day on uncongested slopes before curling up in front of a log fire, then Sainte Foy is for you. The uncrowded slopes cater for all skill
the mountain is eVerything Weâ€™ve got it covered
St Anton | Tignes | Whistler | Cervinia | Pas de la Casa | La Plagne and loads more
Visit crystalski.co.uk to find your next ski trip atoL protected. For info please see our booking conditions.
LEFT TO RIGHT: SALOMON X Pro 80 W, £230; ATOMIC Waymaker Carbon, £320; ATOMIC Live 130, £280; SALOMON X Pro 100, £290, all available from ellis-brigham.com
levels so you can stick to stick to the wide open courses while your partner hurtles down the notorious Crystal Dark black run, or visa versa. When it comes to kicking back and warming those chilled bones, the luxury Premiere Neige catered chalets (from £745 per person per week) are a welcome place to switch off. And you’ll be getting much better value for money than at resorts like Val d’Isère and Tignes, with none of the sideshow; Sainte Foy is an unabashed skier’s resort, and all the better for it. premiereneige.com
GRAHAM BELL ON HELI-SKIING “The search for helicopter access off-piste drives skiers to the far ends of the world, but one of the best heli-drops is close to home. Champoluc in Italy’s Aosta Valley accesses the Monte Rosa, with some incredible big mountain terrain at over 4000m. Those with a brave heart and strong legs can ski the massive Gorner glacier down to Zermatt in Switzerland.“ Graham Bell is the presenter of BBC Ski Sunday. graham-bell.com
BEST FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT Yongpyong, South Korea
South Korea: famous for its food and longtime spat with neighbour North Korea. Ski? Not so much, at least not yet. Around 70% of the Korean peninsula is covered in mountains, and the country’s hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Yongpyong resort is only a three-hour drive away from Seoul and provides some decent powder for skiers looking to escape the usual suspects. The 28 slopes here – all pitched at different levels – offer plenty of variety and challenges; the mountains aren’t known as the ‘Alps of Korea’ for nothing. Get there by flying direct to Seoul from London with Korean Air, with prices from £630. koreanair.com
SOUTH KOREA IS HOSTING THE 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS BEST FOR SNOWBOARDERS
Hemsedal, Norway There’s no reason why snowboarders and skiers can’t just, like, get along, but some resorts are undeniably better than others if you prefer one plank to two. Hemsedal’s world-class freestyle park and epic backcountry make it a snowboarder’s dream, with the added bonus of a long season and a laid-back Nordic vibe. From December to April you can ski under floodlight four nights a week. The Hemsedal Cafe Lodge currently has fully equipped two-bed appartments from £62 per night. e dvgl.no
A HEADCASE FOR HEIGHTS Once you’ve had a couple of lessons on the nursery slopes and tested out your skills on some cruisey blues, you’ll be ready to hurl yourself off the side of a mountain and carve down near vertical, avalanche-prone rock faces*. Here’s Spiro Razis doing just that during the Red Bull Powder Escape in Santiago, Chile in August. Thinking about it, he might have had more than a couple of lessons… *No you won’t
Snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice climbing – jaded skier Lucy Fry discovers a wealth of alternatives as she abandons the traditional skiing holiday
Photograph by ###
s a child, I was one of those skiers who had to be dragged, boots first, off the slopes in the evening and was ready to go when the first lift opened the next day. But over the years my enthusiasm for whizzing downhill has waned. A penchant for lie-ins and hot cheese has taken its place, and I’ve become – shock horror – a bit bored with the average ski holiday, mostly because my skill level has plateaued at ‘intermediate teenager’. The time has come, I finally decide on a recent trip to La Plagne in France, to either go up a gear and focus on my technique (unlikely; I can barely afford the holiday, let alone lessons), or to change gear completely. I plump for the latter and make it my mission to try as many non-ski or snowboard activities as possible. My friends are flabbergasted; here we are with the vast Paradiski area to play in. That’s 425km of pistes, 235 downhill runs, three snow parks, three boarder cross areas, four boardergliss, two half pipes and two big airbags, all of which I won’t be using. Thus far, my experience of staying in a ski resort and not spending most of the day on skis is confined to one humiliating afternoon’s snowboarding and one morning in bed courtesy of the local tipple, Genepi. So it’s best to start with something relatively sedate, and I embark on a half day’s showshoeing in Peisey-Vallandry. Day one comes to a close, and – reunited with my speed-demon friends, who lounge in the hot tub of our affordably indulgent Au Mont d’Eden chalet in Montchavin Les Coches, overlooking Mont Blanc – I report back. But they are hardly enthralled by my description of a guided trip through the woods, far away The mighty Mont from the frenetic Blanc – meaning slopes and back to ‘yellow hump’ an era, before cars or – is the highest mountain in the snowmobiles, when Alps and in western locals strapped these Europe. One of those large soles to their facts may have been a lie. Sorry. feet and just walked and walked and walked. Perhaps they’ll be more impressed by speedriding, I suggest, explaining that the
snow sport (developed in 2005 by Les Arcs local Francois Bon) involves off-piste skiing with a parachute and potential speeds of up to 75mph. Yes, they like the sound of that, apparently. But there are two problems here. Firstly, speedriding is aimed at very capable skiers with a good understanding of off-piste technique; secondly, it doesn’t exactly fit with the ‘non-skiing’ challenge I’ve set myself. And besides, speedriding is a serious business that requires both time and money. Tuition and the hire of kit starts at €90 for a half day. Really, a five-day course and total immersion is best – but I’m after a quicker fix. I want something that’s good value, but more exhilarating than yesterday, so decide on Les Arcs’ 3,000 metre-long toboggan run which, The Paradiski area at €7.50 a go, is of the French Alps significantly cheaper is one of the largest than speedriding, ski areas in Europe, and offers visitors but is also far less uninterrupted skiing peaceful. I’m run between Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and off the tracks by La Plagne. squealing children
LOOKING ACROSS AT THE SNOWDAPPLED PEAKS ALL AROUND, I TAKE A DEEP BREATH 55
WHERE TO ICE CLIMB
with no respect for their elders, who laugh as I smash, several times during the 400-metre descent, into thick walls of snow. Sod sledging, I decide, and that afternoon go to test the big daddy of all tobogganrelated contraptions, the airboard. Lying face-first on an inflatable board a bit like a lilo and pointing yourself down the slope, airboarding is a big kid’s dream. It also sounds more dangerous than it is – one foot firmly in the ground and you’ll stop – though shooting down empty slopes after the final lift has shut doesn’t feel that easy. When hot tub hour arrives on day two, my chat thankfully raises a few eyebrows, and by the third evening there’s even a hint of jealousy amidst the bubbles; this time I’ve been on a bobsleigh in nearby Albertville. “It was just brilliant,” I tell my friends, casually, hoping they can’t see the terror I’m feeling as I recall the 90-second ride down the 1,500-metre track (€41 per person), at speeds of up to 50mph that left me and the other three in our four-person bob raft screaming for it to stop. “I might try the speedluge next time.”
GETTING THERE Chambéry airport is 45 minutes from La Plagne (British Airways operates regular flights from London City); Grenoble is one hour; Geneva and Lyon two hours (serviced by budget carriers). More information: paradiski.com laplagnet.com en.lesarcs.com/the-ski-area peisey-vallandry.com
FROM TOP: Speedriding involves off-piste skiing with a parachute at up to 75mph; Ice climbing is a nerve-shredding thrill
But now I’m worried because (I think we all know, really) there’s no way I’ll be doing that (it costs €107 and hits speeds of 90mph), and we’re approaching the end of our short trip. I need to up the ante. After some deliberation – there are still the options of dog-sledding or dining (€49) and sleeping (€99) in an igloo village – I decide on the next activity: ice climbing. The 45-minute journey down the mountain to the Champagny en Vanoise National Park is fraught with nerves. I’m less concerned with the act of climbing itself than with my tricksy, vertiginous head. And now a 22 metreOn a cross between a high, man-made ice bobsleigh and a luge, tower awaits and I’m you’ll be half-sitting clad in boots with and half-lying as speedluge provides crampons, a helmet, you with an exhilaharness, gloves and rating descent at up told to do whatever to 90mph – and an incredible view. my guide, Damian,
The ice tower in Champagny en Vanoise opens in mid-December and costs €38 per two hours, including equipment hire and instruction. For an alternative, natural climb, the head of Gavarnie Mountain Guides, Jean-Denis Prissé, will take climbers of all levels up the rock face in Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrénées. An introduction to the equipment and basic skills costs £58pp (3-6 people per group) and a full-day climb £235pp (three maximum). champagny.com
says. He doesn’t say much, if truth be told, but he’s strong, steady and promises he’s holding that rope (and the belay) really tight as I set about climbing the very wall that will host stages of the Ice Climbing World Cup next year (as it did in 2012). Hack into the ice with your pick. Kick into the wall with your boots, and use your legs much more than Digging a pick into your arms – these the face of an ice are the instructions wall helps provide I’ve received. leverage to scale its surface – but the Surely it can’t be so main momentum is difficult? But, ten provided by the legs, jittery minutes later, and the use of boot crampons. my muscles ache, everywhere. My heart is pumping, too, but it’s my mind that’s really causing problems. What if I crack my knee against the ice? What if Damian stops concentrating just at the moment when I falter? Halfway isn’t so bad, I reassure myself. After all, the two others in our group have tried, and failed, to reach the top. What would be the harm in calling it quits? But one thought of the hot tub, and my friends’ faces if I tell them I only got halfway, and my legs begin to move again. I gather momentum, moving up and up until finally I can touch the top. Looking across at the snow-dappled peaks all around, I take a deep breath before abseiling joyfully down. Then it’s time to try it again, this time on an adjacent, slightly trickier, face. It’s much tougher, but I make it. This story is a keeper, I think, grinning. It’s the summit of the wall, the peak of my non-ski achievements – and the definite high point of my hot tub conversations. e
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LE STREET C ’ E S T C H I C 58
France’s capital – especially in the east – is awash with ever-changing graffiti, more so now than ever before. Helen Elfer heads to the city of lights to meet an artistic knight and take an illuminating urban tour
e’s seen me before I’ve seen him: the glowering, heavilybrowed eyes of wrestler André the Giant stare down from the wall top. This black-and-white stencil, designed by Shepard Fairey, is part of the decades-old ‘OBEY’ street-art campaign, one of thousands of identical stickers and posters that have been plastered across the globe in recent years. I’m gazing back up at this particular iconic face from the run-down streets of the Belleville neighbourhood in east Paris. Belleville is one of the city’s edgiest districts. Traditionally a working-class area, it has become a haven for musicians and artists who can afford the cheaper rent. Being here makes me feel as though I’m standing in the middle of an open-air gallery, because there’s street art everywhere I look – from sophisticated brushworks to wheat-pasted posters and spray-painted tags coating countless walls. As Demian Smith, of Underground Paris, puts it: “It’s like Brick Lane 15 years ago: gritty, creative, up-andcoming, and still unspoilt by bobos [bourgeois bohème]." Smith, a one-time graffiti artist and the unofficial docent of Belleville, is taking me and a small group on a tour of the area. Leaving André behind, we stroll up Rue Oberkampf, snapping
pictures of pieces by some of the scene’s other big hitters. Tiny tile mosaics inspired by the retro video game Space Invaders brighten up the odd concrete corner – there are thousands of these cheeky, practically indestructible characters daubed across the capital. A winking, pouting girl, thumbs hooked saucily in the band of her pants, is roughly sketched on one wall. Across another stretches Parisian phenoman enormous beast enon le Chevalier’s with paws, a beak, last show, and first solo show, sold out eyes and a snout, in under an hour. delicately brushAnd when caught by painted by Italian police he was patted artist Never2501. on the back rather than fined or worse. We stop at Avenue Jean Aicard to examine posters of four solemn black-and-white figures, their electric red lips the only lick of colour. The clean lines of the drawings contrast with the disintegrating posters’ edges, giving them a beautifully fragile, ephemeral appearance. “The characters represent chivalry, love and positivity” says Demian. They’re the work of artist Fred le Chevalier, whose style has captured the attention of the Paris art world. A prolific worker, he has pasted
BELLEVILLE, IN EASTERN PARIS, IS EDGY AND A HAVEN FOR ARTISTS AND MUSOS
Photograph by Demian Smith
ABOVE: Here’s looking at you: Demian Smith’s tour snakes though Belleville and nearby Ménilmontant, where Fred le Chevalier lives
GRAFFITI STAR LE CHEVALIER (‘THE KNIGHT’) IS THE MAN TO UPDATE PARIS’ CLICHÉ AS THE CITY OF LOVE 60
thousands of pictures around the city’s streets and, more recently, has been holding gallery-based shows too. If the old cliché of Paris as the city of love needed updating, then Fred le Chevalier (meaning ‘Fred the Knight’, a suitably romantic pseudonym) is certainly the man to do it. He began pasting drawings up as ‘gift’ for a woman he had fallen head over heels for, leaving them to surprise her in places where he knew she would see them as she went about her daily routine. “At the beginning I was only drawing one character, my ‘alter ego’ with a sweet message,” Fred tells me in an email. “Life is hard, life can be dark but there’s a will to go on, find the light. I always try to put feelings in my drawings, feelings connected to characters who are women or men, most times androgynous, not adults, not children, so everyone can relate to them. I am connected with the usual themes –
life, death, love, hope, despair – and try to represent them in a sweet way.” Many of Fred’s images look as innocent as they would if they’d been lifted from the pages of a children’s story book. It seems as though the characters are in the middle of a fantastical adventure – carried along by a pinwheel, riding a flying horse, held by a bear or sharing a cute kiss. “Sometimes there is a story, but I am more interested in Ménilmontant is letting people create found in the French capital city’s 20th their own stories arrondissement and than to trap them into its name is believed mine,” he continues. to derive from “It's always very ‘Mesnil Mautemps’, which means ‘bad exciting to put up weather house’. a new one. I feel different when it's something new, but I feel happy each time I go out with my paper, each time I draw something new.” He says he finds this part of town a natural home for his art. “I’ve lived in Ménilmontant, close to Belleville, for a year. I choose to live here because this place is full of life, with many different people – black, white, Chinese, rich, poor. It's a quiet place without the tension you can feel sometimes in Paris where everyone rushes, so it's a very appropriate place for my paper characters.” In keeping with his gentle style, Fred is no clandestine stick-and-dash-by-night
PARISIANS HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR STREET ART AND EVEN THE MAYOR SUPPORTS IT artist, preferring to take his time pasting up in broad daylight. Despite the fact that his work is technically The French version illegal, he rarely runs of Boris Johnson, in to any trouble. the Mayor of Paris Many Parisians have is Bertrand Delanoë, who has been in a real soft spot for the role since 2001. street art and even However, Delanoë’s the Mairie de Paris, term is due to end next year. despite regularly
LEFT: Locals mill about as the Paris Street Art Walking Tours party takes in the district RIGHT: A large-scale work by Jef Aérosol, a French stencil graffiti artist, makes a loud impression on the side of a building
Photographs by (below and previous pages) Demian Smith
clearing some of it, is actively supportive of urban culture. In fact, Belleville’s street art pièce de résistance, Le MUR project, is funded by the mairie. The large billboard on Rue Oberkampf was once used by highprofile multinationals for advertising but – to their fury – the tempting canvas was constantly being covered in graffiti. Rather than launching a crackdown, the mairie resolved the issue in 2007 by buying it outright and now, every fortnight, the Le MUR project invites a new street artist to cover it with their work. “To be chosen is considered a great honour,” says Smith. However, it’s at Rue Dénoyez that the street art activity reaches fever pitch. Every inch of every wall, window frame and metal shutter is covered in paint and posters; even the plant pots have faces painted on the sides. Studios line this narrow lane, with doors wide open and artists busy inside, while outside a couple of kids are practising with spray cans. They’re watched fondly by their parents, who are drinking wine on the sunny pavement terrace of Café
RUE DÉNOYEZ HAS PAINT AND POSTERS COVERING EVERY WALL INCH... AND EVEN THE PLANT POTS LEFT: As the tour skips along you might see work by Bristol-born Nick Walker – one of Banksy’s key influences; or BELOW: Da Cruz
WHERE TO STAY Ah, Montmartre – permanently committed to French celluloid in the seminal Parisian film Amélie. As well as housing picture-postcard cafés and bars, it’s also a pretty cool place to lay your head. GowithOh, which hooks you up with apartments in top European cities, recommends the Duhesme apartment in Montmartre, which is just a short hop to the street art of Belleville. Plus, it’s got a terrace with great views over the 18th arrondissement. The apartment, and many, many more in Paris, can be booked through gowithoh.co.uk.
STREET ART ON BIKE AND FOOT
ABOVE: Take a walk – with your dog if you want – on the east side of Paris. BELOW: Get on your bike for a street art tour on Sundays
YOU ARE FORCED TO APPRECIATE THE STREET ART AS TOMORROW IT COULD BE GONE FOR GOOD
Photographs by (top) Getty Images and (left) Demian Smith
Aux Folies, a favourite haunt of singer Édith Piaf in the 1960s. It’s a completely unpretentious scene, and Demian says: “It’s still unaware of itself: a young set drink here, but no one is posing.” We wrap up our tour here, but I return the following afternoon to take more pictures and am staggered to find that it’s a completely new sight already. The wall the kids were tagging has been covered over by a huge Lichtenstein-esque painting of a couple locked in a dramatic kiss (a French kiss, naturally: their swirling tongues are the centre of the piece). It’s a fitting reminder of how transient street art in the French capital really is. This fast-paced, surreal, captivating world grabs your attention and forces you to appreciate it the moment you see it, as tomorrow it’ll be gone – disintegrated, faded, taken down New York-born Roy by the authorities or Lichtenstein, who buried underneath died aged 73 in someone else’s 1997, was famed the world over for his new work. comic strip, pop-art You could call it creations, equipped a case of street art with speech bubbles, in the 1960s. imitating life. e
Obviously, you can track down the city’s street art under your own steam – but for an expert-led, up-todate and knowledgeable insight into Parisian street art, Alternative Paris runs walking tours twice a week and bike tours every Sunday. The walking tours depart from outside Café Place Verte on Rue Oberkampf on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11am. Bike tours start at 10am on Sundays from near the Richard Lenoir Metro station, and have an optional second part that takes in the south of the city. Whether by bike or on foot, you’ll see some of Paris’s best works of urban art, learn about the underground culture that spawned them, meet some of the artists and visit a street art gallery. For a more hands-on approach, stencil and graffiti mural workshops are available, too. As you’d expect, the tours are constantly changing as new works are introduced and existing works are taken down or added to, so each tour is different to the last. Profits from the tours are reinvested in Alternative Paris’s documentation of the city’s street art, graffiti and fringe culture. The Alternative Paris street art walking tour costs €20. Bike tours are €20 plus €12 for bike hire from Paris à Vélo c’est Sympa.To reserve a place on either tour, go to alternativeparis.org or email email@example.com
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T I M M O S S L I V E S H E R E * 66
Cathy Adams meets Tim Moss, a boys’ own adventurer whose latest trip led him to collect his P45 and cycle Down Under with his wife
*OK, SO NOT ALL THE TIME. HE’S USUALLY ON HIS BIKE…
ot many people can lay claim to being the first to climb a dangerous peak. Especially not if they work a nine-to-five job, and the peak happens to be in the Russian Altai mountain range in Siberia, the coldest place in the world. But Tim Moss isn’t your typical holidaymaker. Instead of heading to a Thai beach to get glassy-eyed at a Full Moon Party post-graduation, his first trip was to climb Peak Gorky, in the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan, aged just 21. “We didn’t really know what we were doing and had never really heard of Kyrgyzstan, so we decided to go there but we got out of our depth,” Moss tells us. “We ran out of food and kept tumbling down mountains, never really getting to the top of anything. Friends thought we were really cool when we got back, even though we hadn’t actually climbed to the top of any of the peaks. It didn’t really occur to us to refer to it as a failure as we had such an eye-opening time. But that trip gave me the taste of some of the adventures that I’d like to be doing. It was more the idea of having a project and having something that was completely different from normal life.” Moss has taken on other expeditions, including a three-day trek across the Wahiba Sands in Oman over a bank holiday weekend, which was a “good example that you can still do expeditions without taking a lot of time or money”. He recalls: “We just started walking east until we ran out of sand, but it was a tough trip and very hot.” And have there been any hair-raising moments? “Definitely in Kyrgyzstan. There were times where we were climbing up the mountain, and one of us would take a fall and pull down the other, or we would both take a tumble. I was only young, and neither of us realised how risky it was, but obviously we learned from it.” Other adventures Tim can boast about include travelling around the world using as many types of transport as possible – using just a video camera and a top hat “to
see if people would give us a free ride on their seven-seat bicycle or their camel for the afternoon”, and he holds the Guinness World Record for travelling the furthest on a rickshaw (1,000 miles across the UK). He’s run all the Tube lines (not all at once), walked across Patagonia’s glaciers, swum the length of the Thames – well before David Walliams dreamed of it – and hiked around the UK using a £100 budget and a whiteboard. Oh, and after a climbing trip to Norway he decided he couldn’t be bothered with the flight and cycled home instead. But as you read this, Moss will be cycling across Bosnia. Or Turkey. Or even Iran, if he’s well ahead of schedule. Moss and his wife, Laura, departed Hampton Court in the middle of August with just a couple of bikes to their name. But their destination wasn’t the usual commute into London. They were headed 1,000 miles to Australia – and they have set themselves a year to complete it. “When Laura and I first got together, we actually joked about cycling around the world together one day,” Moss says. But it didn’t feel real until they eventually decided on a date, started to save up and handed their notices in at work – Laura to a City law firm, while Tim had just trained as a teacher. From the starting point at Hampton
WHEN LAURA AND I MET WE JOKED THAT WE’D CYCLE AROUND ALL THE WORLD 67
Court, Tim and Laura are cycling across quite the roll call of countries. The pair are first heading across central Europe – “we’ve got a big party in Paris planned”, Tim says – to Turkey and Iran before entering the Stans and China. Then the palm-fringed beaches of south-east Asia beckon, before either getting a boat or a plane over to Melbourne, their expected finishing point, for a massive celebration. And if that weren’t enough, the indomitable husband-and-wife team might even continue across North America, if they’re both up for it – these two are not your average pair of London cyclists. Moss originally wanted to go through Pakistan and India “but people keep getting kidnapped and shot in Pakistan” so the route changed through central Asia and China before cutting down to Malaysia and Singapore. Geopolitics is something the pair are acutely aware they will have to be
ABOVE: Adventure junkie Tim Moss spent three days trekking across Wahiba Sands in Oman. “We just started walking east until we ran out of sand,” he recalls. INSET: Moss waves from Huayna Potosi, a 6,088m peak on the outskirts of Bolivian capital La Paz. He’s currently en route to Australia on his bike
mindful of. “We don’t mind hardship but that kind of danger is of no interest,” he says. Their plan wasn’t always to cycle Down Under. Originally, they were going to cycle straight to Cape Town, but they settled for Australia after hearing about a friend’s cycle ride through Africa and deciding that it “looked really scary”. “In some senses, it’s a massive change as it’s a totally different destination and a load of different continents, but equally, it’s about going on a great long journey on bikes,” Moss says. “We will just take it as it comes, even if we take a right and go through Cape Town or end up going through Russia.” The brave pair, as regular cyclists to and from work, “haven’t done a huge amount” of physical preparation, despite the fact that
Tim and Laura are fundraising for diabetes charity JDRS. For more information on their Australia cycling challenge and other expeditions, see thenextchallenge.org
Photographs by Laura Moss
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING ON A SHOESTRING – EVEN LITTLE ADVENTURES AFTER WORK
they’ll be battling against the elements in a freezing cold central Asian winter. The temperatures up in northern Kazakhstan in winter, if they end up going that way, could tip minus-30 degrees. One thing they’re definitely prepared for is a bitter winter to kick in between Turkey and Iran. But Moss says optimistically they will “just see how they get on”. But it’s not just adrenaline-pumping adventures that get Tim excited. Spurred on by Alistair Humphreys, who pioneered the ‘microadventure’, he’s hell-bent on taking the route less travelled, even if that just means walking to work a different way, or camping in your lounge. “Barriers do always seem to come up like ‘I don’t have the time or the money’ and ‘I can’t climb mountains like you can’. But you realise more and more that none of those things matter; you can do anything on an absolute shoestring, even little adventures on the weekend or after work,” he says. “You don’t have to be Bear Grylls or have Richard Branson’s bank account, but actually, you can do all these things, no matter who you are.” e
GREAT ATHLETES RIDE TREK
THIS USED TO BE A FISHING VILLAGE Laura Millar finds that looking beyond the glitz, glamour and sparkling skyscrapers reveals a different, gentler side to Dubai
Stick these in your calendar… ◆ 15 November: Grammy winner
Alicia Keys brings her ‘Set the World on Fire’ tour to the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. ◆ 14-17 November: Europe’s top
60 golfers battle it out in the DP World Tour Championship for a share of the staggering $11.75m prize money. ◆ 17-21 November: The Dubai Air
Show returns for the 24th year with more than 130 planes from all over the world. ◆ 28-30 November: Emirates Airline
Dubai Rugby Sevens, the largest annual sporting event in Dubai, is back for its 44th year. ◆ January-February 2014: The
annual Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the best shopping experiences in the world, with hundreds of activities ranging from international concerts, musicals and shows to sports, outdoor and fashion events, awaiting keen shopaholics. dubaicalendar.com
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO UNDER $1 Dubai might be an expensive city, but there are also plenty of activities that won’t burn a huge hole in your wallet. Here’s our pick of the top ten things to do in the city for under $1. ◆ Cross Dubai creek in a traditional
wooden abra. ◆ Eat a shawarma – a traditional
snack in Arabia. ◆ Visit the gold and spice souks in
the old town. ◆ Visit the Dubai Museum. It
◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆
showcases the traditional way of life in the emirate and is the oldest building in the city. Hang out at one of Dubai’s stunning beaches. Watch the Dubai Fountains outside the Dubai Mall. Ride the front seat of the Metro. Smoke a shisha pipe. Wander through Bastakiya, a historic area. Watch the sun go down.
FROM TOP: The Raffles pool is as glamorous as you’d expect; the discovery of oil in 1966 turned Dubai from port to powerhouse
Photograph (below) by Getty
had come to Dubai, as many people do, on a stopover. With a time difference of only three hours and a permanently hot climate, it’s a perfectly placed destination in which to spend a couple of days relaxing and exploring the wide array of activities on offer before jetting off somewhere else. And when the sun sets on our very un-British summer, Dubai is just (metaphorically) warming up. Through what we call winter, the emirate cools down to around 25 degrees – and, as the locals will tell you, that’s when the real fun starts. ‘Locals’ might be slightly misleading. In general, Dubai is a transitional place; only 10% of the population are locals thanks to a massive expat drive. And like other expat cities – think Hong Kong, Singapore and New York – it is thriving and prosperous. Sure, Dubai is still known for its love of superlatives (if it ends in ‘-est’ – tallest, longest, fastest – then the city has probably got something to do with it), but there’s definitely more here than meets the (I’ll admit, untrained) eye. For example, Dubai currently boasts more than 100 Guinness World records, including one, amusingly, for the world’s biggest kebab. As the heat cools, Dubai comes alive and the festive spirit means you can explore the emirate without constantly needing to be near an air conditioning unit on full blast. Typically, Dubai-dwellers will divide their time between the beach and the shopping malls by day, sip cocktails in hotel bars by night and indulge in allyou-can-eat-and-drink brunches at the weekend. You can have the best steak of your life at a restaurant called Fire and Ice, or have afternoon tea with cakes in the shape of shoes at Raffles. You can observe the Bellagio-style The Dubai Mall was fountains every opened in 2008, and night at the colossal its aquarium has Dubai Mall (the the world’s largest viewing panel. If world’s biggest by you’re hungry, the area, with some 1,200 complex has a choice shops set over 12 of no less than 120 places to eat. million square feet – beat that, Westfield) or do some indoor skiing on real snow at the Mall of the Emirates. In short, you can have almost anything you want here (the ruling Sheikh family, the Al Maktoums, even keep lions and tigers as pets in their palaces, as you do). The scene is slick, shiny and hedonistic. But if you scratch beneath the surface, there’s more to Dubai than the glitz that is first apparent.
PYRAMID SCHEME: Eastern style meets Egyptian grandeur at Raffles. It’s located close to the magnificent Khan Murjan souk
THE OLDER PART OF THE CITY OFFERS A GLIMPSE OF HOW LIFE USED TO BE Five years ago, the skyline was dotted with cranes creating ever bigger, taller buildings and developments – who can forget the Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest artificial island, shaped like a palm tree? Or The World, another impressive project. The ambition has paid off, and now the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – stands proudly, thrusting into the atmosphere like a silver spear. The fact this was named after Abu Dhabi’s sheikh as a
thank you for bailing Dubai out only made me warm to the city even more. For a first-timer in the Middle East, digging into the emirate’s history reveals a quaintly endearing city. Essentially, Dubai as we know it didn’t really exist until 1971, when it joined six other emirates to form the federation of the United Arab Emirates. Five years previously, in 1966, oil had been discovered in Dubai, triggering the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into the sprawling powerhouse it is today. Exploring the Historic Bur Dubai, older part of the on the western side city offers a glimpse of Dubai Creek, is of how life used to home to the Grand Mosque, which has be, and provides an the city’s tallest affordable day out minaret, and the on which the soles deep blue-fronted Iranian Mosque. of your feet won’t be burned by the steaming summer streets. Dubai Creek runs through the city on its way into the Persian Gulf and divides it into two sections: Deira and Bur Dubai. A natural saltwater creek, in the early 20th century it served as a minor port for vessels which came to trade from as far away as India or East Africa. Pearl divers plied their business here (the pearling industry used to be the backbone of Dubai’s economy), and fishermen in small dhows plundered it for prawns, cod, or lobster. In the 1970s, the creek was dredged to make it wider and more accessible for big ships. Souks lined the creek, and still do. On the Deira (east) side, reached by traditional wooden abra – a local passenger boat service – you’ll find the spice souk, selling everything from ginger, saffron, dried lemons and rosebuds to frankincense and myrrh. Men in traditional kandura – the ankle-length, long sleeved white robe also
FAMILY DUBAI From the fountains and aquarium of Dubai Mall and the crazy water slides of Atlantis to various activities in the desert such as dune bashing or surfing, there’s enough to keep children entertained. Kids will love the gargantuan indoor ski slope, or just chilling out on the beach and splashing about in the sea. uk.definitelydubai.com
GETTING THERE Return flights to Dubai from London with Emirates start from £530. Flights are also available from UK regional airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow – regional supplements and weekend supplements apply. All subject to availability at the time of booking. Raffles Dubai offers rooms from 1314 AED/£233 per night, based on two sharing. Or you can book a package via Elite Vacations: three nights in a Signature Room at Raffles, Dubai on a B&B basis, including return Economy class flights with Emirates from Gatwick and private car transfers for £849* per person [*based on an October departure]. To find out more about visiting Dubai, go to uk.definitelydubai.com
known as a dish-dash – and keffiyeh on their heads haggle enthusiastically, while women in flowing burqas, some exquisitely trimmed with lace, sequins or feathers, gossip over coffee with girlfriends or shop at the fish market for that night’s dinner. What Dubai has in abundance (as well as height and glitz) is sand, so I sign up for a dune safari, followed by a traditional-style dinner in the middle of the desert. Around 70km out of the city, red sand stretches as far as the eye can see, like a Martian landscape. Bouncing around the dunes in a 4x4 is alternately exhilarating and queasiness-inducing. Then, as the sun sets, we head for what looks like an old-style Bedouin settlement, organised for tourists’ enjoyment, with a stall serving grilled meats, pittas and salads, a belly dancing performance, shisha pipes, and more. As the desert sky darkens and the lanterns dotted around light the scene atmospherically, it’s a totally different Dubai to the one that most people know or imagine – and it hasn’t cost the earth. That said, if anybody needs any help drinking the world’s most expensive cocktail ($7,400 at the Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab), then I’m definitely there. e
the home of
Trinidad & Tobago Even more colourful when you get here www.gotrinidadandtobago.com
EXCURSIONS Photograph by James Cooper
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ABOVE: Reader James Cooper took this shot of a little girl in an orphanage in Mombasa, Kenya. As a treat, kids were given sweets and Coca Cola. See over the page for our winning shot â€“ a dramatic image of the Petit Dru in the French Alps (p78)
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PETIT DRU, CHAMONIX Kamil Daniel Jutkiewicz This dramatic shot shows the Petit Dru peak in the French Alps. The Petit Dru is the smaller of the two peaks of the Aiguille du Dru. Kamil took the shot in early March when hiking along the Mer de Glace glacier alone after his partner cancelled on him. At least he had his camera and some jagged rocks for companyâ€Ś
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Monks in Ayutthaya, Thailand, by Jaturong Charlanawat; the boats at the Sea Festival at Ílhavo in Portugal, by Mafalda Branco; a young African girl at an orphanage in Mombasa, Kenya, by James Cooper
A SONY HX50 Send your best travel shots to firstname.lastname@example.org to win a Sony HX50. The Sony HX50 is a small camera with 30x optical zoom capability. With its 20.4MP Exmor R™ CMOS sensor and powerful BIONZ processor the HX50 captures the colour and life of wherever you are – even in low-light conditions. Images must be a 300dpi high-res JPEG or TIF file.
More to Tunisia Than Sun Tunisia might be known for its stunning beaches and resorts, but it’s the wide range of golf courses that will keep you coming again and again
n the southern Mediterranean, Tunisia is well-regarded for many things – year-round good temperatures, wellappointed resorts and with 3,000 years of history, it has a warm and welcoming culture towards visitors. Plus, Tunisia is ranked the second Thalassotherapy destination in the world with its 48 internationallyrenowned centres. But you may be surprised to know that the nation is also very well-established on the international golf circuit, enjoyed by professionals and amateurs alike. With ten championship golf courses, Tunisia is fast becoming a hotspot for golfers thanks to a warm and sunny climate that makes the country a year-round golf destination. Over a distance of 100km, from the cities of Hammamet to Monastir, there are seven 18-hole courses. These include the Golf de Carthage in Tunis, the Djerba Golf Club on the island of Djerba, the unique Tozeur Golf Course, woodland course Tabarka, Port El Kantaoui in Sousse and Flamingo and Palm Links in Monastir. Designed by renowned architects, these spectacular courses are often complemented by mini-courses, practice areas and golf academies. Suitable for both beginners or more experienced players, the Tunisian courses have been constructed to satisfy golfers of different levels thanks to multiple starting points. Here, we round up the main golf courses that you shouldn’t miss out on…
The Golf Citrus course in Hammamet makes full use of the natural characteristics of the area, with winding fairways that span the undulating ground of the olive groves. It was the first 45hole golf complex in Tunisia, created around seven lakes in an area of 173 hectares. The internationally renowned Yasmine golf course provides players with a unique experience, featuring dramatic bunkers and an imaginative (and challenging) use of water hazards.
Specific attention has been given to the layout of The Residence golf course in order to respect the natural landscape, and create not only one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Mediterranean but also one of the most environmentally friendly. As you would expect from a The Residence property, facilities are world class and luxurious.
The Tabarka Golf Course
The Tabarka Golf Course is as picturesque as they come, stretching between Mediterranean ocean views and a forested landscape. It’s a unique seven-hole course, extending along the seaside around the Gulf of Tabarka, and flanked by luscious pine groves.
The Djerba Golf Club
The Djerba Golf Club is a 27-hole course that combines an 18-hole course with a nine-
hole links course. The club also has a David Leadbetter Golf Academy where visitors can practise and analyse their swing. Surrounded by hotels and giving easy access to golfers, the club is ideally located.
Tozeur Golf Club
Located in the Palm Oasis of Tozeur, the desert landscape of Tozeur Golf Course is truly unique. It uses specially designed grass and is surrounded by palm trees with tricky rock wall obstacles ready to catch out the unwary. It’s truly an emerald jewel in the Tunisian Sahara desert. To plan your golf holiday, see cometotunisia.co.uk
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TRAV E L G U RU Insight Guides and their team of learned travel experts are here to make your next trip an epic one I’m off to Tokyo in the autumn to visit a friend. What sites should I not miss out on seeing? Lucy Carter Dear Lucy, Probably the most obvious place to start is the Imperial Palace, which was once the largest fortification in the world. Many old buildings survive and there are formal gardens to stroll through. Asakusa Kannon Temple (Senso-ji) in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa neighbourhood is at the heart of Edo culture and should definitely be on your list. You can get there via ferry on the Sumido River from Hinode Pier. Ginza is Tokyo’s premier shopping area, with its eyepopping facades and luxury stores. The best times to visit are dusk, when the neon lights start to come on, or Sunday afternoon when the main avenue is pedestrianised. One of the city’s newest attractions is the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower and the centerpiece of a complex including shops, restaurants and an aquarium, as well as observation decks. For more amazing views over Tokyo, whizz up to the 45th floor of City Hall in West Shinjuku. Try to catch some sumo – watch the battles of the giants at the Kokugikan, the National Sumo Stadium. Tournaments are held in mid-September. For a fascinating slice of Tokyo life away from the city centre, the Tsukiji Central Wholesale Fish Market is unbeatable. You have to get up early (be there by 9am), and don’t wear your best shoes! It’s relocating in 2014, so this could be your last chance. There are several essential sights outside Tokyo: Mount Fuji and the surrounding national park and lake are breathtaking; and in Kamakura, the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) is probably the most photographed image of Japan after Mount Fuji. Rachel Fox is head of content at Insight Guides
ABOVE: A surreal night-time view of Yokohama, with Mount Fuji looming large on the horizon
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I am travelling to New York in December, and I am keen to go and see some American sports. Where is the best place to purchase tickets for basketball, ice hockey and American football? Nat Kerr Dear Nat, Tickets for ice hockey and basketball are fairly easy to obtain, but football tickets are very hard to come by, so we suggest you look into this as soon as possible.
One website is stubhub.com, where fans sell unwanted tickets; also try newyorkcity.co.uk; this offers tickets for all major spectator sports in the city. Ice hockey: the New York Rangers (rangers.nhl.com) play at Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan and the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. For basketball, the New York Knicks play between October and May at Madison Square Garden (nba.com/knicks). Tickets are not expensive. You could also try catching a college team match; their
SAUCHIEHALL STREET IN GLASGOW GETS MOBBED BY A YOUNG AND UP-FORIT CROWD AT WEEKENDS house and techno fest. If your hangover can take it, there’s plenty to enjoy during the day too. Glasgow is great for shopping – choose from swanky designers at Princes Square or one-off boutiques in the Merchant City and West End – or for a culture fix, the Glasgow School of Art and assorted galleries – such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery – give the city a vibrant modern art scene. e
ABOVE: The bright lights of NYC are a big draw; add a sporting event to your trip to go even bigger
schedules are listed in the daily papers. For American football, both the New York Giants (giants.com) and the New York Jets (newyorkjets.com) play at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. You can reach the stadium by shuttle bus from The Port Authority or by train from Penn Station (which is below Madison Square Garden). Rachel Fox is head of content at Insight Guides
My girlfriends and I are looking for a weekend away somewhere in the UK. It’s for a birthday, so we want a city with good nightlife, but is still budget friendly. Suzie Leicester Dear Suzie, We suggest you head north to Glasgow, where you’re practically guaranteed a great night out that shouldn’t break the bank. For sophisticated drinking and eating, head to the Merchant City. Sauchiehall St
is mobbed by a young, up-for-it crowd at weekends. The West End is popular with students and arty types. Some of the best venues include Babbity Bowster at 16–18 Blackfriars St, home to a heaving bar that attracts an eclectic mix of media types and local worthies, and Blackfriars at 36 Bell St, which has a friendly bar and is a comedy club and music venue at night. If you and the girls want to give traditional Scottish whiskies a go, try DRAM! at 232–246 Woodlands Rd, with more than 75 varieties on offer. After a few pre-drinks it’ll be time to try Glasgow’s eclectic club scene. The Arches (253 Argyle St) offers big-name DJs, while The Buff (142 Bath Lane) hosts an eclectic mix of music from indie to Motown. The Flying Duck (142 Renfield St) is the spot for indie club nights, oddball cultural gatherings and gigs, and the Sub Club (22 Jamaica St) is the home of various club nights including Subculture, Saturday night’s
Tom Stainer is UK editor at Insight Guides. Insight Guides have more than 40 years’ experience of travel guide publishing covering more than 200 world destinations. To plan your perfect trip, visit insightguides.com
ASK US Every month we’ll be giving away an Insight Guide for each question answered – this month, it’s Insight’s October destination of the month, Australia. Got a question? Email experts@ escapismmagazine.com or tweet us @escapismmag.
Relax and indulge… in a pampering weekend in Geneva www.geneva-tourism.ch
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CULTURE Run out of holiday? No problem. Get a taste of international culture without even leaving London…
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1:54 AFRICAN ART FAIR You can always count on Somerset House to put on a good show, especially during Frieze week. Running the full gamut from contemporary sculpture to photography and painting, 1:54 – the first international African Art Fair – showcases modern African art. The name of the fair represents the 54 countries on the continent, reflecting the varied and extensive collection of art on show. There will be lectures, films and debates to accompany the more visual side of the fair. If you’re left wanting more pop over to Frieze, in Regent’s Park. 16-20 October, £12 somersethouse.org.uk
Photograph (left) copyright 1:54, (top) British Museum, (top right) The estate of Mira Schendel, (bottom right) DACS 2013
The British Museum might not be anyone’s usual port of call for steamy international erotica, but from 3 October it hosts Shunga, an exploration of sex and pleasure in Japanese art. Though banned in Japan for much of the 20th century, shunga was enjoyed by all classes from 1600 to 1900 and has inspired contemporary Manga, anime and tattoo art. From 3 October, £7 britishmuseum.org
B EST T R AVEL R EAD S P OL I CE
MIRA SCHENDEL If the name Mira Schendel doesn’t mean anything to you, Tate Modern’s retrospective of one of Latin America’s most important post-war artists should put things right. The exhibition draws on her life on the road – Schendel fled Italy for Brazil aged 30 – and brings together 250 of her startling, modernist works. Until 19 January 2014, £11 tate.org.uk
Jo Nesbo, Vintage Digital, £18.99
AUSTRALIA If your knowledge of Australia barely extends beyond the entrance to the Shepherd’s Bush Walkabout (which, by the way, doesn’t count), it’s time to widen your Antipodean horizons. A landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts shows the intense social and cultural development that the Aboriginal people and settlers have experienced since 1800. Paintings, drawings and photographs provide snapshots of life on the giant island since colonisation. Until 8 December, £14 royalacademy.org.uk
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON Like Father, Like Son is a tender Japanese film revolving around the family unit and, er, a babyswap storyline. The latest film from director Hirokazu Koreeda (I Wish, Nobody Knows), it debuted at Cannes this year and features J-pop star Masaharu Fukuyama. Out in October
Set in the dark streets of Oslo, author Jo Nesbo’s rough-andtumble thriller sequel follows the brutal deaths of police officers and an unresolved murder. There’s no respite for retired investigator Harry Hole, who is still torn between his home life and his work life in Nesbo’s latest work. Fans of the series will know what to expect, and won’t be disappointed.
T HE L OWL AND Jhumpa Lahiri, Bloomsbury, £16.99 Two brothers spend their days wandering the streets of Calcutta. Subhash is the eldest, and Udayan the younger more impulsive and passionate one. When the communist Naxalite movement sweeps through Calcutta, it takes Udayan with it. Jhumpa Lahiri walks us through the stages of hardship and tragedy that falls on the family’s shoulders, all in the name of idealism and an unbreakable belief.
S OL O: A JAMES B O N D NOVEL William Boyd, Jonathan Cape, £18.99 Next year is the 50th anniversary of Bond author Ian Fleming’s death, but his creation lives on. This time William Boyd (Any Human Heart, Restless) tries his hand at a new 007 novel. Solo finds Bond going rogue on an unauthorised mission (and drinking martinis, driving fast cars and womanising, natch).
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RAW D E AL Move along, sushi – there’s a new raw fish dish in town. Robert Ortiz, head chef at Michelin-starred Lima, gives his take on a cool South American classic
eviche is a really versatile dish. It can be made with many types of raw fish, such as sea bream, sea bass, tuna or salmon, or alternatively with vegetables such as asparagus or tomatoes, or grains like Andean quinoa. It is prepared using a blend of lime juice, chillies and coriander known as leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, and the key point is that the ingredients must be very, very fresh. It’s ideal accompanied by fried Inca corn, which gives an added crunchy texture. At Lima, we also serve hot ceviche, using ají amarillo and rocoto which are hot, flavoursome peppers.
CEVICHE IS PREPARED USING A BLEND OF LIME JUICE, CHILLIES AND CORIANDER KNOWN AS TIGER’S MILK
HOW TO MAKE IT
1 The day before you serve the dish, prepare a stock syrup with 1kg water to 1.2kg sugar. Boil and cool. Macerate the red onions in the mixture overnight. Drain and deep-fry in hot oil until crisp. 2 To make the tiger’s milk, put the celery, onion, ginger, garlic and fish stock into a blender and liquidise. Pour into a container and stand for 20 minutes. Add the coriander, lime juice and chillies and stand for another 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve and chill. 3 For Inca corn, fry it in a shallow pan with a lid, or a fryer, at 140 degrees until it pops – usually six to seven minutes. Drain and season with salt. 4 Sprinkle the fish with a little salt and mix with the rocoto pepper. Place in a chilled glass bowl, pour over the tiger’s milk and let it stand until the flesh turns white and appears ‘cooked’. 5 To serve, sprinkle over the fried onions and finish with the shiso leaves and corn. e
LIMA LONDON SEA BREAM CEVICHE WITH WHITE TIGER’S MILK, CRISPY SWEET ONIONS AND INCA CORN [Serves two] Ingredients ◆ Two red onions, shredded ◆ Four to six tbsp Inca corn ◆ 200g sea bream, filleted, trimmed
and cut into 1cm cubes ◆ Salt ◆ Two rounded tsp rocoto pepper,
blanched and diced finely (can be substituted with regular red chilli) ◆ 200ml tiger’s milk (ingredients below) ◆ Red and green shiso leaves TIGER’S MILK (ONE LITRE) ◆ Two sticks of celery (using the white flesh only) ◆ 100g onion, finely diced ◆ 50g ginger, peeled and chopped ◆ Four cloves garlic ◆ 150ml light fish stock (freshly made) ◆ A small bunch of coriander leaves ◆ The juice of nine limes ◆ Two ají limo chillies, split (can be substituted with regular hot chillies)
Mauritian Island Remedy
Leave your urban existence behind with a wellness break to the sparkling waters and palm-fringed beaches of Mauritius, the Indian Ocean’s ultimate tropical hideaway
elcome to Mauritius, a sparkling crystal in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Located off the south-eastern coast of Africa, Mauritius is a tropical hideaway of renowned beauty. Soft, ivory sands are kissed by the azure Indian Ocean along the island’s 205 miles of coastline encircled by the coral reef a few hundred metres off the shore. With swaying fields of sugar cane, the interior rises into dramatic volcanic peaks dressed with verdant mountain forests. The island is home to a mélange of influences with Indian, African, Asian and European traditions blending to create an enchanting and multicultural society. Above all, Mauritius is known for its outstanding service standards, top luxury resorts and the warm and friendly nature of its people.
The island’s eclectic mix of cultures has inspired not only the food and dance of Mauritius, but also its spa and wellness offerings. Visitors can experience locally sourced products made from ingredients such as Mauritian sugar or coconut
oil as well as leading international brand name products. From Ayurvedic massages to age-old African and Creole remedies of local herbs and flowers, the spas of Mauritius offer a range of wellness treatments to experience. The key to Mauritian relaxation is the setting. Tranquil surroundings and attentive service help you release your everyday stresses. In Mauritius, wellness can be woven into your whole holiday experience. Try yoga sessions by the beach or meditation under the palm trees to reset and revive yourself.
Wellness can be woven into your whole holiday experience
Emirates Holidays At Emirates Holidays, we create the finest travel experiences to a wide variety of resorts and beautiful locations worldwide, all wrapped up with flights on award-winning Emirates. Throughout your journey, you can look forward to the same expert level of personalised service that is the hallmark of the Emirates Group, whether on the ground or in the air. From a relaxing spa escape in Mauritius to a fun-filled family holiday in Dubai or an adventure through incredible landscapes, the world is yours to discover. Whatever you choose, our experienced travel consultants are on hand to take care of all the details so you can relax and concentrate on the important business of enjoying your holiday.
Mauritius at the May Fair Hotel The May Fair Hotel in partnership with the Mauritian Tourist Promotion Authority invites you for a taste of Mauritius in London this October. Join the May Fair Spa therapists for a Mauritian Sensation or a Mauritian Delight treatment – relax and revitalise your body and soul with organic sugar scrubs and exotic oil body massages. After your massage why not unwind with a vanilla Mauritius inspired cocktail in the May Fair or Quince Bar? For more information please visit
With its crystal clear waters, coral reefs and abundance of colourful tropical sea life, Mauritius is one of the top diving destinations in the Indian Ocean. There are more than 50 diving centres around the island where you can gain your PADI certification to delve beneath the waves. If you would rather ride on top of them, you can try surfing, sailing, kite surfing, kayaking, deep sea fishing or one of the many other water sports on offer. Venturing inland offers even more to see and do. Visit the markets of Port Louis for an immersion in the local colours and flavours, or hike through the lush Black River Gorges to visit some of the world’s only remaining ebony trees. The island offers an array of activities for adventurers, culture vultures and families alike. For those who wish to practise their swing, Mauritius has eight world-class 18-hole golf courses on the island. These have been designed by some of the greatest names in the golfing world, such as Ernie Els and Bernhard Langer. The courses use the island’s natural geography to create stunning backdrops to your game.
The island of romance
There is no better place to start a new life together than the idyllic shores of Mauritius. Mauritius remains one of the top Indian Ocean destinations for weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries, in part because of the first-class offerings of the hotels and resorts on the island. Experienced wedding coordinators make the
Special Offers ONE&ONLY LE SAINT GÉRAN
ceremony as smooth as possible, and stunning natural surrounds create the perfect backdrop to your romantic life. Many hotels even offer complete wedding and honeymoon packages with special spa and beauty treatments for the bride and groom. Whether your perfect experience is a honeymoon catamaran cruise at sunset, or saying ‘I do’ on a petal-lined jetty under the stars, Mauritius can make your dreams come true. And it couldn’t be easier – Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority has teamed up with Emirates Holidays to bring you three special promotional offers. We look forward to welcoming you to Mauritius. tourism-mauritius.mu
Stay seven nights, pay for four at the One&Only Le Saint Géran, plus receive one complimentary spa treatment per stay. Seven nights from £1,599 per person, saving up to £1,710 per couple, for stays 27 April to 30 June 2014. Offer includes return Emirates Economy Class flights, seven nights in a Junior Suite on a half-board basis and return resort transfers. SHANTI MAURICE - A NIRA RESORT
Receive a 40% discount on accommodation at the Shanti Maurice resort, plus a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival. Seven nights from £1,989 per person, saving up to £2,165 per couple, for stays 15 January to 31 March 2014. Offer includes return Emirates Economy Class flights, seven nights in a Junior Suite Ocean View room on a half-board basis and return resort transfers. LUX* BELLE MARE
Stay seven nights, pay for five at the LUX* Belle Mare resort, and receive a two-hour LUX* Me Experience Spa Package. Seven nights from £1,499 per person, saving up to £790 per couple, for stays 17 May to 11 July 2014. Offer includes return Emirates Economy Class flights, seven nights in a Junior Suite on a half-board basis, the LUX* Me Experience including a functional movement screen massage, a scrub, a wrap and a facial and return transfers. For terms and conditions and to book, visit emiratesholidays.co.uk or call 020 7590 1482.
For further information on Mauritius visit
A WEEK IN THE CARIBBEAN! We’ve teamed up with the Trinidad and Tobago Tourist Board and Caribbean Airlines to offer one lucky couple a truly memorable seven-night holiday...
he islands of Trinidad and Tobago, considered one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean, offer a wide range of experiences for the keen traveller. From sun-kissed, secluded beaches, canopied mountain ranges and rugged wildlife, to an array of adventure activities, multicultural offerings and a plethora of personalities; there is something for everybody. The islands also offer the nature lover a myriad of sights and sounds with its verdant protected rainforests, annual turtle hatchling season and teeming coral reefs.
Your holiday will start in luxury onboard Caribbean Airlines, the national carrier of Trinidad and Tobago, with some fantastic Caribbean inspired cuisine. The airline flies three times a week from Gatwick Airport. You’ll spend three nights at the elegant Courtyard hotel by Marriott, Port of Spain, ideally located for culture and heritage activities and close to a number of shopping and nightlife attractions. You’ll then be whisked over to Trinidad’s sister island, Tobago, on a short flight before relaxing in a luxury villa at the Villas at Stonehaven, which features an infinity pool with spectacular ocean views. Happy holidays! ◆
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Trinidad and Tobago’s sweeping beaches are postcard-perfect; the Caribbean islands are famed for their teeming reefs; revellers in traditional carnival dress; the Marriott Courtyard hotel in Trinidad is where you’ll be staying; the infinity pool at the luxury Villas at Stonehaven
HOW TO WIN To win a seven-night holiday to Trinidad and Tobago, answer one simple question: which airline will you be flying with? To enter, visit escapismmagazine. com/competition/trinidad. For more information and full terms and conditions, please see the website. Good luck!
The 4 nights
Great Aurora Hunt
£1995 with flights £1575 without flights
Experience the world’s most sought after celestial display in the stunning
Lofoten Islands with
award-winning Aurora photographer Andy Keen.
Small groups max From 30 Se Sea Eagle and Nature Safari - 21 M Norway’s most dramatic landscape
Unleash your sense of adventure. twitter.com/Taberholidays facebook.com/taberholidays Unleash Scandinavia. Visit our website at: www.taberhols.co.uk Or call: 01274
875199 for your free Nordic Only brochure
Exclusive to Taber Holidays Specialist photography trip Small groups maximum 12 From 30 September 2013 - 21 March 2014
Trym Ivar Bergsmo/Finnmark Reiseliv
Terje Rakke/Nordic Life/www.visitnorway.com
YOU CAN: CHARGE CAMERAS IPADS IPHONES MOBILE & SMARTPHONES GPS E-READERS AND MORE
This is power without boundaries. When your batteries fade or you find yourself way off-grid, the award winning powermonkey extreme gives your devices the power to keep on going. With Powertraveller, you can at www.powertraveller.com iPad, iPhone and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries
In the sea, off Portsmouth A four-star luxury resort in South Iceland. The location of Hotel Rangá is excellent for viewing the Northern Lights, which has become our trademark. Hotel Rangá is perfectly located to discover everything South Iceland has to offer.
Win the ultimate lunch experience! Spitbank Fort is surely the most unique venue in the world and will play host for the lucky prize winner.
Your voyage begins with an arrival drink at our departure lounge, before a champagne reception on the Fort. You can then enjoy a guided tour and get an insight into the Fort’s remarkable history, before tucking into a 3 course lunch. You will then have time to enjoy a drink overlooking the stunning sea views, there simply is no better place to escape. Voucher is valid for one year, however, we doubt you will be able to wait that long! It will surely be an unforgettable experience so don’t forget your camera!
For more information visit http://escmag.co/amazing-venues
Hotel Rangá · 851 Hella · Tel. +354 487 5700 Fax +354 487 5701 · firstname.lastname@example.org · www.hotelranga.is
legen llegendary ndary experiences...spectacular e eri exp e ien nces ..spect e tacular locations loc catio ons Weddings ◆ Celebrations ◆ Corporate ◆ Themed Events
THE REAR VIEW An alternative look at the world…
Photograph by Eduard Bonnin, Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Rule number one of skydiving: remember to wear your parachute. At first glance, this lunatic appears to have failed to heed this important advice – but worry not, it’s all an illusion created by Barcelona-based photographer Eduard Bonnin on location in the French Alps. That green mountain below our airborne hero’s feet? It’s a rock, and he’s barely more than a few feet off the ground. Still, it’s one of the best mid-air eagle impressions we’ve ever seen. Top marks. e
SYD DYR AKL HNL ANC LAX DEN ORD JFK LAP GIG RAI LHR ZRH CPT KWI DME KHI BKK HKG CHRISTOPHER WARD’S NRT BNE NEW WORLDTIMER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTOPHER WARD C900 WORLDTIMER, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ANSWER THIS QUESTION… WHAT’S THE NAME OF CHRISTOPHER WARD’S WATCHMAKER, WHO HAS CREATED THE UNIQUE BESPOKE MOVEMENT FOR THE C900 WORLDTIMER?
TO ENTER GO TO ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM/COMPETITION/WATCH FOR FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS, SEE ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM
SYD DYR AKL HNL ANC LAX DEN ORD LHR LAP JFK RAI LHR ZRH CPT KWI DME KHI BKK HKG NRT BNE C900 WORLDTIMER THE BACK-PLATE LISTS, IN TIME-ZONE SEQUENCE, THE CODES OF THE MAIN AIRPORT IN EACH OF THE 24 DESIGNATED CITIES. THE BESPOKE MOVEMENT CAN BE OBSERVED THROUGH THE CRYSTAL WINDOW.
Escapism Magazine - Issue 3 - Snow Sport Special