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ELLIS BRIGHAM LONDON SHOPS

ST. PAUL’S, 6 Cheapside Passage, One New Change, EC2V 6AF t: 0203 170 8746 e: stpauls@ellis-brigham.com

COVENT GARDEN, 10-12 Southampton St, WC2E 7HA t: 0207 395 1010 e: tower.house@ellis-brigham.com

THE NORTH FACE STORE, 5 New Change Passage, One New Change, EC4M 9AG t: 0203 170 8745 e: tnfstpauls@ellis-brigham.com

THE NORTH FACE STORE COVENT GARDEN, 30-32 Southampton St, WC2E 7HE t: 0207 240 9577 e: tnf@ellis-brigham.com

WESTFIELD STRATFORD, 138 The Street, E20 1EN t: 0203 170 5705 e: stratford@ellis-brigham.com

WESTFIELD LONDON, Unit 96 Ground Floor, W12 7GF t:. 0208 222 6300 e: westfield@ellis-brigham.com

THE NORTH FACE STORE WESTFIELD STRATFORD, 139 The Street, E20 1EN t: 0203 170 5706 e: stratford@ellis-brigham.com

THE NORTH FACE STORE WESTFIELD LONDON, Unit 84 First Floor, W12 7GF t: 0208 740 3790 e: tnfwestfield@ellis-brigham.com

KENSINGTON HIGH ST, 178 Kensington High St, W8 7RG t: 0207 937 6889 e: kensington@ellis-brigham.com


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INSTANT ANORAK MEANS OF ESCAPE HEAD TO HEAD JUST LANDED UK MUSIC BREAKS


DEPARTURES

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES: This picture, called Black Kaali, was captured by Elangovan Subramanian at the Dussehra festival, an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Subramanian was part of the celebrations in Kulasekarapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India, which can last up to ten days. During this time thousands of devotees take to the streets, dressing as Hindu deities as a way of honouring them. The photograph was shortlisted in the Arts and Culture category of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.

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DEPARTURES

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Photograph by ###

LEAP OF FAITH: Here’s a tip: don’t try this at home. This photograph, Jump!, shows a young Indonesian man careering through a loop of fire during a traditional Indonesian Bujang Ganong event. The terrifying-looking but compelling shot was captured by Indonesian snapper Aprison Aprison, and was also shortlisted in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Arts and Culture category. See the winning and shortlisted images at Somerset House from 24 April-10 May. worldphoto.org/2015exhibition


They make our lives a little different Leave us a little bit changed So we leave behind proof of the time we spent together Some will show us that we actually like country music Or help us find our favourite Indian food They drag us into their madness Make us heroes in their stories So we let their likes become our likes And the things they share become the things we share They challenge our point of view Push us out of what’s comfortable And we trust them just enough to follow But each changes us, even if just by a little Each shifts the trajectory of our life Simply by being our friend


Instant ANORAK

140,000

Celebrate winter, the freezing cold and all things macabre in Colorado, then pretend you're Alice in Wonderland – just don't be another statistic who forgets Mother's Day

THE DATE IN MARCH WHEN THE CHINESE CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY. THEY PLANT TREES AND REMEMBER FORESTATION ACTIVIST DR SUN YAT-SEN

NUMBER OF PEOPLE HEADING TO DUBLIN FROM OVERSEAS FOR ST PATRICK'S DAY

NUMBER OF LANTERNS RELEASED INTO THE SKY DURING TAIPEI’S PINGXI SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL

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PEOPLE WHO FORGET TO SEND THEIR MUM A MOTHER’S DAY CARD IN THE UK

200,000 40,000

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YEARS SINCE FROZEN DEAD GUY DAYS STARTED IN NEDERLAND, COLORADO. ACTIVITIES INCLUDE COFFIN RACING

NUMBER OF 20-SOMETHINGS RAVING AT CALIFORNIA’S BEYOND WONDERLAND, AN ALICE IN WONDERLANDTHEMED DANCE FESTIVAL

1/20 TWENTY ONE THE NUMBER OF YEARS SINCE DON KU WAS GRANTED A PATENT FOR THE WHEELIE SUITCASE WITH A COLLAPSING HANDLE. GENIUS

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DEPARTURES

WEIRD world Dispatches from the frontline of the bizarre. This month: a model elephant, a naked festival and toilet restaurants NEW JERSEY, USA What makes you buy in a certain area? Good bars? Decent schools? A 65ft model elephant? That was one developer’s priority in NJ, and Lucy the Margate Elephant has been standing proud since 1881, trying to lure investors (and she’s since been used as a hotel and tavern). We’re hoping a giant elephant will pop up in Hackney sometime soon – great pub potential.

MEANS OF ESCAPE Forget gondolas and walking (so pedestrian) – pedal down the Venice Grand Canal instead #17 WATER BIKE IN VENICE Two things are banned in Venice. The first: wheelie suitcases (good move, Venice, no one needs the earth to carry their bags). The second: bikes. So, if you’re keen to see the sights in the Italian city, your options include following throngs of tourists on foot, or forking out for a cringey gondola, complete with a disinterested moustachioed man. That was until eccentric inventor and rule-breaker Roberto Siviero got involved. His creation? The water bike, a handy new way to reach St Mark’s Square without getting that tourist rage. If you’re the type to embarrass easily this may not be for you,

but if you get off on that type of thing, you’ll love pedaling around on what looks like two inflatable bananas. The water bike allows you to navigate the canals of the city, pulling up wherever you fancy for a bellini or a beer (ok, that’s probably not the point, but it is handy). All this fun does come with a bit of a price tag, and to try the water bike in Venice you need to be a guest at the swish Belmond Hotel Cipriani. Bit tight on the old funds? Don’t get that sinking feeling just yet. It turns out you can actually buy your own shuttle bike ‘backpack’ kit, attach your bike and inflate the rafts wherever you fancy. To the Thames!

OKAYAMA, JAPAN 9,000 half-naked men gallivanting in loincloths? Ah, that’ll be the Hadaka Matsuri festival. This naked fest is an eccentric, 500-year-old Japanese tradition, with thousands of semi-robed men grappling to be the proud owner of some shingi, or ‘lucky sticks’. Thrust the sticks upright (oo-er!) and you’ll be blessed with a year of happiness. We’re happy enough already, thanks…

TAIYUAN, CHINA In China, toilet restaurants are becoming bog standard (sorry). In a recently opened toilet-themed eatery in Taiyuan, diners perch on ceramic loos, eat spaghetti bolognese out of bidets, drink coffee from urinals and lean back on poo-shaped cushions. If Taiyuan isn’t on your travel list you could visit branches of popular food chain Modern Toilet in Hong Kong or Beijing, instead.

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DEPARTURES THINK WE’RE WRONG? HAVE YOUR SAY AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

Head to HEAD PALERMO, SICILY Population: 855, 285

PORTO, PORTUGAL Population: 237, 584

La Capitale Arabo-Normanna

The Unvanquished City

INHABITANTS

INHABITANTS

Students, mamas, papas, extended Italian families – all known as Palermitans (or Panormiti if you're feeling cultured). 8/10

Trendy types and oenophiles looking for a bit more grit than Lisbon has to offer, plus a remarkable number of seagulls. 7/10

WHAT TO SAY

WHAT NOT TO SAY

WHAT TO SAY

WHAT NOT TO SAY

"Offal? Veal cartilage? Mmmm, those are my favourites."

"This place is butters. Where can I catch a ferry to Sardinia?"

"The exquisite wine is far superior to Spain and Italy's."

"All these ports taste the same. Have you got any sherry?"

DO

STAY

EAT & DRINK

DO

STAY

EAT & DRINK

Palermo's football team is doing alright at the moment, so for a night of noisy Italian passion, head to the city's first cathedral (aka the football stadium) to see the players wearing their famous pink kit. 8/10

Here it's all about the food, and the boutique Hotel Principe di Villafranca is near some of the best restaurants to be found in the city. Huge, king-size beds make great post-meal crash pads (principedivilla franca.it). 9/10

The city is Italy's street food capital, so take a tour with Marco at Streat Palermo (streatpalermo. it) and try cannoli, arancini and lots of animal innards. Crumbling Piazza Garraffello is perfect for latenight beers. 10/10

Porto is Portugal's second city, but it's the wine capital. It's located in the Douro Valley, which is famous for top-quality port and wine, so take a cellar tour and get sloshed in a slightly more sophisticated setting. 9/10

The Yeatman Hotel is definitely the most luxe option, with a large pool and views over the Douro (theyeatman-hotel. com). To be in the centre of the action, go for an Airbnb in the Ribeira district (airbnb.com). 7/10

Try a francesinha – a hefty pile of wet-cured ham, cheese and bread with a thick tomato and beer sauce. Pinguim is the bar for an after-dark port and Sagres session, and the barman happily takes song requests. 7/10

9/10

AND THE WINNER IS...

Palermo beats Porto, although we do like port

7/10

OLLIE SLEE IS...

THE TOURIST THE FIRST WILD CAMP

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wary of me and my big yellow tent. They had sent 18-year-old Daniel, who could speak a little English, to investigate. Once he was reassured I was just a stupid foreigner trying to play at being an adventurer, he knelt down, shook my hand and wished me a good journey. I learned many lessons that night. e

Illustration by Mark Boardman

“Africa is dangerous.” “Your bicycle will definitely get stolen.” “Be really careful.” These were just some of the many warnings offered by people back home in England before I set off to cycle the length of Africa. So when I found myself alone in the dark on the second day of my trip, trying to pitch my tent by the side of the road in Mozambique, I was scared. I hadn't planned to set up camp, but a broken bicycle and a rapidly setting sun had made the decision for me. By the time I'd dragged my bike and all my gear through the undergrowth beside the road, it was pitch black. Thirty minutes of fumbling later and the tent was up, with me in it. All that work had Formerly a made me hungry, so Portuguese colony, I decided to cook more than 50% of dinner on my brand Mozambicans live on less than $1 a day. new stove. With no

idea how to use it, I soon had fuel leaking everywhere but, desperate for something to eat, I tried to fire it up anyway. Unsurprisingly, everything caught alight – including the fuel bottle. I panicked, kicked it away and threw myself to the ground, ready for a Hollywood-style explosion. Nothing happened. I ran over with my last full water bottle and threw the contents over the flames, which somehow worked. Shaken, I returned to my tent and pulled out a tin of pilchards in tomato sauce. I struggled to prise the lid off, losing my grip and sending the tin flying, covering me in fishy, red liquid. I took my filthy clothes off and climbed into my sleeping bag, still starving. As I began to nod off, I could hear faint footsteps, gradually getting closer and closer and slower and slower, until they stopped outside my tent. All the warnings from home flooded into my head. I prepared for the worst. “Hello?” came a voice from outside. “My name is Daniel, how are you?” I unzipped my tent and peered out, half-naked and smelling strongly of pilchards, to find a torch pointed at my face. Its owner explained that I had camped next to a path leading to the nearby village, and that most of its inhabitants were


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GAME FOR SPAIN BA FLIES TO BILBAO What Bilbao lacks in beauty, it makes up for in character. Handy, then, that this northern Spanish city is the latest to be added to British Airways’ collection of new flight routes. Wander around the Guggenheim (or just marvel at the crazy exterior), and be sure to check out the thronging bars of Casco Viejo, the city’s old quarter. britishairways.com

If you’re going to run more than a marathon, you might as well have something pretty to look at, and the Italian Riviera is just that. It won’t hurt any less, though.

SPLASH-ALUF NEW BEDS IN MALLORCA We had fun in Magaluf in 2003, and the over-18s waterpark at new hotel BH Mallorca is making us want to go back. Magaluf’s not the only place for nightlife on the island: for something more sophisticated, try the boutique 14-bedroom Hotel Cort in Palma. bhmallorca.com; hotelcort.com

ON YOUR TRAIL ITALIAN RIVIERA RACE You’ll always know if a friend has run a marathon, because they won’t stop talking about it, but this is one race to really boast about. Launching this year, the Sciacche Trail is a new 47km run, taking in the best of the Cinque Terre National Park on the Italian Riviera. Not only is the distance 5km longer than a marathon, the course is crazy hilly (especially by London standards). But you can’t fault the views: vineyards, historic villages and blue water, just begging you to finish. sciacchetrail.com

PLASTIC PANTS SHORTS WITH A HEART Do your bit for the world with these boardshorts made from recycled bottles (£85). Once they’re done you can return them for recycling and get 25% off your next pair. Or down a few gallons of Coke and make your own. rizboardshorts.com

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DEPARTURES

LATIN SPIRIT MEXICO COMES TO LONDON 2015 is the year of Mexico in the UK, and you can get a taste of the country without leaving London. Join the celebrations in Selfridges from 9 March, with food pop-ups, chef takeovers and authentic Mexican products – including a rare glimpse of George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila. We’ll drink to that. selfridges.com/mexico

CLIFFTOP NOTCH NEW VILLAS IN GREECE

FROM THE ART TRACEY EMIN HITS VIENNA Oh, Vienna – thanks for giving us yet another reason to visit. This time it’s a brand new exhibition from renowned English artist Tracey Emin, entitled Where I Want to Go. Emin’s latest works can be seen at the Leopold Museum from April to midSeptember. leopoldmuseum.org

If you’re the one who’s always lumbered with arranging trips for you and your mates, let’s make it easier. The Okeanos villas are perched at the top of a cliff on the unspoiled Greek island of Lefkada, and sleep eight people. And for extra brownie points, the villas have their own infinity pools. €350 per night; chicretreats.com

TATTOO AND HOSTEL IN ONE Bespoke spa treatments and pillow menus are old news: what we want from a hotel is a late-night tattoo option. Urban House is a new hostel-hotel in the Danish capital, offering just that. As well as the tat parlour, there are 950 beds, a live stage and a cinema. Their social media urges you to #DoCopenhagen. Go on then! Dorms from £26; urbanhouse.me

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GOOD KARMA SCILLY ISLES HOTEL SPRUCE Remember the Scilly Isles? It’s easy to forget the UK has islands so damn beautiful you’d think they were in the Caribbean, even though they’re really just off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. The tranquil Karma St Martin’s resort is the latest new refurb there, and it overlooks clear seas that are just as good for swimming in as they are to look at. £175 per room; karmaresorts.com

CHILD’S PLAY EDUCATIONAL GAMING FUN Nottingham’s done well for itself: the city has bagged the world’s first cultural centre for gaming. The National Videogame Arcade is a fivestorey space where you can explore the ‘educational benefits of gaming’. If only that excuse existed when we were kids. We’ll be in a Mario Kart tournament if anyone needs us. gamecity.org

Photograph by Getty Images, Westend61 GmbH / Alamy, Rosa Irene Betancourt / Alamy, Didi Lotze

PRETTY IN INK


EVERY DAY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES BEHIND. BE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT, #JOIN THE EXODUS. JOINTHE EXODUS.COM


DEPARTURES

UK TOP FIVE

MUSICAL BREAKS It’s not festival season yet, but a weekend in a city with a few decent gig venues will keep you going until the sun comes out Photographs by (above) Mark Savage, (below) PSN Photography

Newcastle There’s more to Newcastle nightlife than weather-resistant Geordies in miniskirts – the city has a vibrant music scene. BBC Radio 6 Music must agree, because it hosted its annual festival on Tyneside in February. You’ll also find big-name DJs at Digital nightclub, up-and-coming bands in the Cluny (in the gentrified Ouseburn Valley) and top artists over the Tyne at Sage Gateshead. Where to stay: You can’t fault the central location and low prices of Hotel Indigo. hotelindigonewcastle.co.uk

Norwich Yes, that Norwich. Back in the day this notoriously flat city hosted the likes of the Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Today,

it’s on the touring circuit of many of the UK’s younger bands, thanks in part to a healthy student population. With few venues in East Anglia, bands head to the university for gigs. The Brickmakers pub also hosts tribute acts. Maet Loaf? Guns OR Roses? Go on then. Where to stay: The Maids Head Hotel is the oldest in the UK (open for a good 800 years). It has beamed ceilings and serves tasty scones. maidsheadhotel.co.uk

Glasgow If it’s an eclectic scene you’re after, Glasgow is the place. The city is famous for having some of the best venues in the world – Barrowland and 300-capacity King Tut’s are massively respected by touring musicians. Sauchiehall Street is a daytime shopping

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Sage Gateshead hosts big name acts; Bristol’s Lakota is a drum ‘n’ bass mecca; Glasgow’s world-famous Barrowland

street and night-time music hub (try Broadcast and Nice’N’Sleazy), while Bloc+ on Bath Street has Italian trash music and a ‘Blocestra’ jamming session, open to anyone with any instrument. Except that one. Where to stay: CitizenM comes with compact, futuristic-style rooms and is minutes from the action. citizenm.com

Bristol Wine bar by day, thudding club at night – Cosies is the after-hours venue for dub, reggae, dreadlocks and cider. The music’s just as loud elsewhere, and Bristol has earned a reputation as a drum ’n’ bass mecca – head to Lakota to get your fix. If guitars are more your thing, try the Fleece, a former old wool hall that hosts warm-up festival acts and ageing rockers. Where to stay: Boutique hotel Number 38 comes with roll-top baths and mammoth breakfasts. number38clifton.com

Southampton Although it’s often overshadowed by Brighton, Southampton’s music scene shouldn’t be underestimated. The Joiners is a pub and live venue, where old gig posters line the walls (Oasis have played the small stage), while the O2 Guildhall and new Engine Rooms host big-name acts. Try the Talking Heads for anything from dub and folk to karaoke with a live band. Where to stay: Rent an Airbnb apartment with Solent views. airbnb.com

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HOT E L OF THE MONTH

Island Hideaway Why choose between fine food, a beautiful beach setting and a packed line-up of activities when you can have it all and more at Long Beach hotel in Mauritius?

IN A SS O C I ATI O N W I T H

W

hen you’re on holiday, you shouldn’t have to choose between being active or passive – you want a hotel that’s got it all. Enter the five-star hideaway of Long Beach on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, where you can do exactly as you please in an elegant village-like setting. The chic, design-focused hotel – part of the luxury Sun Resorts group, which has a string of modern hotels across Mauritius and the Maldives – brings barefoot, piazza-style living to lush Mauritian coastline. Sea-facing rooms are tastefully decked out in white, with hardwood floors and splashes of colour.

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On the agenda? As much or as little as you want. Days can be spent lazing on one of the largest natural beaches in Mauritius, snorkelling in the clear waters of the ocean, or swimming in one of the hotel’s three pools. For the active, there’s a five-a-side football pitch, a climbing wall and archery – or just drop the children off at the Kids’ Club and escape to the spa. Long Beach has five excellent restaurants, with cuisine ranging from French to Japanese, offering beautiful spaces in which to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. And for later, there’s the lively Shores bar and Bombora nightclub. Who says you can’t have it all?

THE DESIGNFOCUSED HOTEL BRINGS PIAZZA-STYLE LIVING TO LUSH MAURITIAN COASTLINE


P ROMOTI ON

How to Book Seven-night holidays to the contemporary five-star beach hideaway of Long Beach Mauritius on an all-inclusive basis start from ÂŁ1,529per person. For more information and to book, visit ba.com/sunresorts.

THE DEAL

T&Cs apply. Availability may be extremely limited. Price includes return British Airways flights from London Gatwick and is based on two adults sharing for selected travel from 1 May-30 Jun. Book by 31 March.

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The life of luxury. Sun Resorts, Mauritius From excellent service and fantastic hospitality to a wonderful selection of sports and activities, there’s something for everyone at Sun Resorts’ selection of stunning hotels in Mauritius. Enjoy great savings when you book your flight and hotel together. 4★ La Pirogue Mauritius 7 night Half Board holidays from

£1,259pp

5★ Sugar Beach Resort Mauritius 7 night Half Board holidays from

£1,259pp

5★ Long Beach 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£1,529pp

For more information visit ba.com/sunresorts

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. All prices are in in GBP per person and include return flights from London Gatwick. Prices based on two adults sharing accommodation on board basis stated for selected travel between 01/05/15-30/06/15. Prices correct as of 26 February 2015. Bookings must be made by midnight 31/03/15. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.


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ADVENTURE TRIPS WHISTLER SEOUL GOTHENBURG LAS VEGAS WHAT SUP? CARIBBEAN

GIVE IT SOME HELI: Instead of taking on this Icelandic mountain with an uphill slog, we recommend heli-biking – that means taking a chopper up, then rolling down. All the freewheeling fun without the thigh-burn. [p28]

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ADVEN

IT’S

WE’VE GOT IT IN HAND

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ADVENTURE

NTURE Experiences

TIME

Winter’s over, so drop the carbs, get off the sofa and start chasing that adrenaline rush. Instead of camping on the ground try hanging your tent off a cliff, or chasing storms in Oklahoma‌

Photography by David Harrison

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HOW TOUGH CAN YOU GO? Cliff camp in Colorado, USA Think camping in Yorkshire’s Easy Medium Hard an adventure? Pah! Colorado’s where it’s at, and it’s the first US destination to offer cliffcamping – aka casually dangling from a mountain in a make-shift tent. No climbing experience is necessary: a guide will set you up and explain the basics of not having a massive freak-out, before you’re left hanging around on your own overnight. Tents are suitable for one to three people. Three? Bit awkward… HOW: Kent Mountain Adventure offers a night of cliff camping for US$600 for three people. kmaconline.com; colorado.com

Wild swim in Italy We don’t need to tell you that Italy’s northern lakes make nice skinny dipping spots, but no one wants a pale nudey flasher in their Lake Como wedding snaps. For prime wild swimming, head south of Naples to the Sorgenti del Sammaro, or ‘Great Cave’. Hidden near the entrance of the narrow gorge you’ll find deep, blue-coloured water rising from underground springs. Dive in – it’s nippy – before finding a shaded spot on the banks of the River Sammaro for a picnic. Pick up a copy of Wild Swimming Italy by Michele Tameni (Wild Things, £16.99) for more ideas. HOW: easyJet offers flights to Naples from £68 return. Pitch a tent at a campsite nearby. eurocampings.co.uk

CANOEING IS THE BEST WAY TO EXPLORE THE EERILY PEACEFUL LOCHS OF THE HIGHLANDS 30

TOOL STORIES As a no-limits adventurer, we bet you own a tool with at least 400 individual components. But we suspect what you really need is one with the handful of things you'd actually use – one that’s light, compact and doesn’t maim you every time you try to open it. Leatherman’s Skeletool should do nicely. £74.99. ellisbrigham.com

PRoper cutout coming


Experiences

LIGHT IT UP If you like to go hard (and not home), the North Face Oroshi GTX could be your perfect partner – it’s light and compressible, but the GoreTex Active Shell will keep you cool and dry. And you won’t get lost wearing eye-poppingly bright Acrylic Orange, either. £229.99 (men’s & women’s versions available). ellis-brigham.com

Open canoe in the Scottish Highlands

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE: Vertigoconquering (or vertigo-inducing, depending on how you look at it) cliff-camping in Colorado; rickshaw riding in India; canoeing on a deserted loch with Wilderness Scotland

We tried canoeing once and we kept going round in circles (the person at the back obviously wasn’t pulling their weight). Once you master it, though, it’s the best way to explore the eerily peaceful lochs of the Scottish highlands. With Wilderness Scotland you’ll wild camp each night on

ADVENTURE

an isolated island, and canoe through the glacial lochs for seven hours the next day. The trip is graded as ‘difficult’, and we can see why – pitching a tent on the windy bank of a loch is near impossible. HOW: Wilderness Scotland offers sixnight open canoe trips from £795 per person. Price includes food, transport and accommodation (aka tent). wildernessscotland.com

Ride a rickshaw through India According to the Adventurists, “Proper adventure only happens when you do a follow-through fart right in the face of the tourist-trail.” Apt, then, that their latest adventure is through India, where the threat of Delhi belly looms large (sorry). Anyway, you might as well have a laugh while you’re at it, and the Rickshaw Run is just the ticket: for two weeks you can pootle along 3,500km of country roads in India, with just a threewheeled rickshaw, a map and your mates to help you reach the finish line. HOW: Prices start from £1,595 per rickshaw, including insurance, rickshaw driving lessons and pre and post-adventure

Real Americas Real Adventure Small Group Adventures from the American Experts Photograph by Daniel Gambino

Join us on our quest to explore the real Americas. Our tours encompass the most exciting sights and highlights, visits to off -the-beaten-path locations which you wouldn’t find if travelling alone and a whole range of exciting activities. A wide choice of authentic travel experiences Choose from active, discovery, walking, wildlife, family & more

Call 0333 003 8231 USA

Highly trained & experienced tour leaders No single supplements

www.grandamericanadventures.com

Canada & Alaska

Central & South America


Experiences

ADVENTURE

IT’S TIME TO GET THE SACK Something as simple as the bag on your back can make or break an adventure. Mountain Hardwear’s iconic (in the world of rucksacks, at least) Scrambler is now even better than before, thanks to completely waterproof Outdry construction and a trick back panel that conforms to the shape of your back. It helps that the Scrambler 30 OutDry’s nomessing design gives it a look that says: “I’m ready for anything”. Even if the tears rolling down your face are more: “I’m ready for new underwear.” £84.99. ellisbrigham.com

parties. STA Travel can arrange flights and trip extensions. statravel.co.uk

Set sail in Croatia Some places are best discovered by water. Croatia’s coastline is one of those places, and with MedSailors you’re guaranteed fun, discovering the Adriatic’s remote coves by day and dropping anchor in

IF YOU FANCY YOURSELF AS MORE OF A SAILOR THAN A SUNBATHER, THEY’LL SHOW YOU THE ROPES 32

Hvar for nightlife after dark. The yachts come with a pro skipper, but if you fancy yourself as more of a sailor than a sunbather, they’ll happily show you the ropes (quite literally). HOW: MedSailors offers week long trips from £423 per person including skipper, breakfast and lunch (and the price drops to £411pp if you book the whole boat for you and your friends – bonus). medsailors.com

Cycle and kayak in the Ardeche, France We often get called a legend, but it doesn’t really count when it’s our nan telling us, does it? This new trip from Legends Tours is a way to really earn the title. Clip in and take on the vertiginous road bike climb of Mount Ventoux, before shifting the effort to your arms with a 45km jaunt by kayak on the Ardeche river the next day. There’s a surprise at every meander, and participants are warned to prepare for the unexpected… HOW: The next five-night trip departs 28 May, costing £750 per person including accommodation, Nicknamed the meals and equipment; 'Beast of Provence', excluding flights. the peak features in legendstours.net

the Tour de France

Raft the Franklin river in Tasmania Adrenaline junkies are always seeking out

their next white-knuckle experience. A day-long rafting trip is all fine and dandy, but for serious adventure, how about a tenday white-water rafting trip along Tasmania’s Franklin river? Put yourselves in the hands of capable guides, and prepare to be hurled around rapids like Nasty Notch. Nasty’s an understatement, this is treacherous stuff, so take the advice on the signs: “Do not exceed your paddling ability; be honest with

ABOVE: Kayaking along the Ardeche river is a little bit tougher when you’ve ridden up Mont Ventoux the previous day. BELOW: riding the corkscrew on the Franklin River in Tasmania as part of a ten-day tour


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Experiences

ABOVE: A group of mountain bikers peering over the edge of the ‘death road’ near La Paz, Bolivia. BELOW: Chihuahuan Desert, Texas

yourself.” Crikey – sounds serious. tours cost from £1,510 per person, including equipment, food and camping accommodation. franklinriverrafting.com; Qantas offers return flights to Melbourne for £950. Onward returns to Hobart, £120. qantas.com HOW: Ten-day

Cycle in the Bolivian mountains

Photography by Ville Palonen/Alamy; Luc Novovitch/Alamy

On Bolivia’s ‘Camino de la Muerte’, which, reassuringly, translates as ‘death road’, you’ll share the downhill route with chicken-stuffed lorries intent on scaring the bejesus out of you as they emerge from the fog, honking a "hello" or "get the F out of my way". It’s treacherous stuff for both cyclists and drivers – gravel tracks wind through the mountains, with a sheer drop on the side. You’ll emerge dusty and claw-handed at the end, thinking the worst is over. Nope. You have to travel back up the narrow route by bus, the road scattered with lorries vying for space. It’s great fun, though. Honest. HOW: La Paz is full of options for the ‘death road’ experience – Gravity Bolivia is one of the best. gravitybolivia.com; Iberia offers return flights to La Paz from £550 return. iberia.com

Clamber along Russian rooftops in Saint Petersburg Cities don’t often lend themselves to adventures (unless you count trying to cross

the road in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), but BeAbo’s Saint Petersburg’s rooftop tours are an urban challenge like no other. Tapping into the trend of youths loitering on roofs drinking, this urban circuit has you shuffling past chimney pots and sliding along narrow tiled ‘paths’ to see the city skyline. Those suffering from vertigo or poor balance should probably stick to terra firma. HOW: BeAbo charges £20 for a 90-minute tour. b-abo.com; easyJet offers return flights to Saint Petersburg from £60. easyjet.com

ADVENTURE

HORSEBACK RIDES IN TEXAS ARE A LEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY TO WEAR THAT CHECK SHIRT. YEEHA! Saddle up in Texas, USA If you’ve always fancied yourself as a cowboy, then you might as well give it a go in proper cowboy territory. Horseback rides with Big Bend Adventures take in the staggering, multi-coloured landscapes of the Chihuahuan Desert. And it’s a legitimate opportunity to wear that check shirt, of course. Yeeha! HOW: Big Bend Resort and Adventures offers half-day rides from £50. traveltex.com; American Airlines offers return flights to Dallas from £650. aa.com

CAM I KICK IT? In these ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ times of ours, bring your anecdotes – like the one about the time you climbed El Capitan onehanded and blindfolded – to life with GoPro’s Hero4 Black. It’s simply the best pound-for-pound action cam on the planet, thanks to 4K30 and 1080p video, and wi-fi connectivity. £409.99. ellis-brigham.com

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Experiences

THIS TOBOGGAN RUN IS SO STEEP THE RULES FORBID YOU TO ‘DRINK AND SLIDE’ Ride a toboggan in Switzerland Big Pintenfritz may sound like the stage name of an Austrian porn star, but it’s actually a 15km-long toboggan run, so high and steep that rules forbid you to ‘drink and slide’. Drag your chariot up to the 2,681m peak (it’s worth every drip of sweat), before you snake way your way back down the mountain, crisp Swiss wind in your hair. HOW: A two-day hiking and toboggan pass costs £70. Toboggan hire costs from £10 a day. grindelwald.ch; easyJet offers return flights to Zurich from £60. easyjet.com

Surf and drive through Mozambique Where’s the surf at? Not in Australia, but on the isolated white-sand beaches of south-

ADVENTURE

ABOVE: Heli-biking down one of Iceland’s many mountains. BELOW: Riding the waves in the very surfable waters off Mozambique

east Africa. Ticket To Ride’s trip to the azure waters of Mozambique is a dream for the more adventurous surfer, plus it’s cheaper than the US and Oz. Paddle through clear lagoons, ride world-class breaks, then travel by 4x4 up the breathtaking coast to catch your next big wave. HOW: Surfing adventure specialist Ticket To Ride offers three-week trips from £1,850 per person, including accommodation, surf coaching, yoga and whale shark diving. ttride.co.uk

in the continent. A ten-day hike along the Roof of Africa involves trekking through the dramatic landscape of Simien Mountains National Park, before scaling all 4,620 metres of Ethiopia’s highest mountain. Troops of gelada baboons (only found in the Ethiopian Highlands) are just one part of the epic wildlife and scenery. HOW: A ten-day trip with Discover Adventure costs from £1,999 per person, including return flights, accommodation, meals, support team and entry fees. discoveradventure.com

Chase a storm in Oklahoma, USA Oklahoma boasts tonnes of outdoor adventure opportunities, but they’re nothing compared to storm chasing in Tornado Alley. This isn’t an alley to loiter in: the folk at Storm Chasing Adventure Tours are experts at identifying severe weather patterns, teaching you to look for clues in the sky, analyse weather data and get chasing. Forget those dry geography lessons from school: meteorological patterns finally got interesting. HOW: Storm Chasing Adventure Tours offers day chases from £1,800 per person. stormchasing.com; US Airways offers return flights to Oklahoma from £650. usairways.com

Trek the ‘roof of Africa’ in Ethiopia Ethiopia may not be the most obvious choice for hiking, but the country has the largest tract of high-altitude land

Heli bike in Iceland The problem with cycling is all those hills. Sure, avid cyclists will disagree, but not everyone gets off on the pain

WATCH WHAT YOU’RE DOING Knowing the time’s great and all that, but you’ll need to come armed with more than that to impress us. GPS, heart-rate, altitude, speed, weather and push notifications? Now we’re talking, with Suunto’s Ambit3 Peak (HR). £409.99. ellisbrigham.com

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Experiences

ADVENTURE

BOOT’S ON THE OTHER FOOT Gore-Tex laminate outer + Vibram sole + high-abrasion reinforcements = just about the best technical approach shoe your foot can become acquainted with. In stealthy black, the Arc’teryx Acrux FL GTX will help you avoid radar detection, too (possibly). £179.99, ellisbrigham.com

HOW: IceBike Adventures offers day trips starting from £170 per person. icebikeadventures.com Iceland Air offers return flights to Reykjavik from £120. icelandair.com

Track pumas in Chile of throbbing quads. Luckily you can remove all that uphill faff with a heli-biking expedition in Iceland. A chopper deposits you at the top of a mountain, and you make your own way back down, discovering uncharted territory on two sturdy wheels. Day trips are available, along with overnight expeditions that allow you to venture even further off the beaten track.

FROM TOP: Pumas and other big cats can be found in South America; the, er, massive peaks of the remote Paine Massif mountain range in Chilean Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park – 2,850m above sea level; a canyon in the arid Sinai peninsula, Egypt

naturalworldsafaris.com

level.

Desert Camp in Egypt The goal of this 220km camelsupported expedition is to get back to basics. That means minimalist desert camping and the chance to see jawdropping canyons and dunes, while also experiencing the solitude of the Sinai. It’s a one-off adventure from Secret Compass, and only two crossings of this region have ever been recorded. HOW: Secret Compass is offering a 15-night expedition from 10 October for £1,999pp, excluding flights. secretcompass.com e

Photograph by Mark Hulbert

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A CHOPPER DEPOSITS YOU AT THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN AND YOU COME DOWN ON WHEELS

If elusive cougars are your thing (not older women, although they’re great too), then you might like tracking big cats in remote South American territory. In Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park you’ll explore the ancient paintings and headspinning landscapes of the country’s deep south, while keeping an eye out for the region’s most famous animal. Don’t worry, if the pumas are playing hard to get, – the park is also famous for geese and ducks… HOW: Natural World Safaris offers an Ultimate Patagonia The Torres del Paine Puma Tracking tour are the distinctive from £5,700 per three granite peaks of the Paine person, including mountain range. flights, meals and They jut into the sky, lux accommodation. 2,850m above sea


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Domin ic Bliss s the fas test bo lides down bsle in the w orld an igh track d up his chance weighs sa inoppo rtune a gainst an va snowy Whistle lanche on r Black comb

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Experiences

WHISTLER

Photograph by ###

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Experiences

W 42

HIS JOB IS TO DROP EXPLOSIVE CHARGES ON PRECARIOUS SLABS OF SNOW FROM HELICOPTERS

charges out of helicopters onto precarious slabs of snow, and shooting missiles from what are known as avalaunchers. It’s a dangerous profession but one that keeps skiers safe. Thankfully Nigel’s safety record is almost unblemished. In the 20 years he has been working at Whistler (on its sister mountain Blackcomb), there has only ever been one skier death from an avalanche – the victim had strayed out of bounds into a high-hazard area. In fact, the only skiers Nigel has had to dig out of an avalanche were his co-workers when a training session went awry. And in the late 1990s Nigel himself once got buried waist-deep in an avalanche, stuck in cold, white cement. He emerged unscathed. “Humbling, but the The lifts at Whistler best scenario you Blackcomb haul could hope for,” is skiers up to pistes of how he describes it. all levels, with the highest lift-accessed Much more elevation reaching common than 2,284m. And the avalanches are highmountain gets 12m of snow per year. speed crashes.

Photograph by Mike Crane

e haven’t lost a life yet,” says my heli-skiing instructor. “Although we did once have to dig out a skier after he got buried by an avalanche.” The safety regulations in Whistler – one of North America’s largest ski resorts – are pretty stringent. But still, lurking at the back of my mind is the thought that later today I might possibly come to a sticky end beneath tons of falling snow. I’m sitting in one of the Canadian resort’s heliports looking out at a curtain of fog. Fog and heli-skiing do not mix. My fingers are crossed that the weather will improve, otherwise my helicopter flight to the top of the mountain, and my maiden heli-skiing trip, is going to get cancelled. Earlier I’d met Nigel Stewart, one of Whistler’s ‘avalanche forecasters’ and an expert in avalanche rescue and mitigation. His job involves practising dog rescues on backcountry skiers, dropping explosive

WHISTLER


Experiences

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Fresh lines among trees on Whistler Mountain; bobsleighing at the Whistler Sliding Centre; Whistler village

I FOUND MYSELF IN A FOUR-MAN BOBSLEIGH, WAITING TO DESCEND THE FASTEST TRACK ON THE PLANET

One winter sport that’s never affected by the weather is the bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre. The following day I found myself sitting in the rear of a four-man Olympic bobsleigh, waiting to descend what is officially the fastest bobsleigh track on the planet. This was the venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and where Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili tragically died after crashing on the final turn during a test run. No wonder our pre-slide safety lecture and (yet another) waiver-signing had been so vigorous. Crammed into the sled with me was a professional bobsleigh pilot called Pat Brown (once the real-life coach of Jamaica’s Cool Runnings bobsleigh team), plus a Canadian firefighter and his wife. Being rookies, we were spared a running start from the top of the 1,450m track, and instead, we were given a seated start from a quarter of the way down the track. At first the going was fairly gentle, our first corner (Lueders’ Loop, named after a Canadian bobsledder who involuntarily exited the track here in 2008) was mercifully slow. But then gravity took her vicious hold, and the acceleration and G-force

Photograph by Mike Crane

“Every season we see some big trauma deaths,” Nigel says. “It’s generally highvelocity into trees, rocks, other skiers or falls from a cliff. But you’d be surprised how much people get away with. For every one horrible trauma, there are 20 other skiers who crash through trees and don’t hit a thing, or who fall off 25m cliffs and land in the one patch of snow in between all the rocks. They get up, dust themselves off and ski away.” Whistler Blackcomb (to use its full name) certainly has plenty of runs to ski away on. Often ranked the number-one resort in all of North America, this British Columbian town in the Coastal Mountains hosted the alpine, Nordic and sliding events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Thirtyseven lifts serve more than 200 pistes across two mountains and 3,300 hectares of skiable ground. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, winter sports include heliskiing, cat-skiing, bobsleigh (more of that later), skeleton, biathlon, dog-sledding, iceclimbing and snowmobiling. There’s even glacier-skiing on Blackcomb in summer. To help me get an idea of Whistler’s immensity, I was offered the services of a ski guide. After Whistler and signing my life away Blackcomb are two on a waiver form separate mountains, (this happens a lot connected by the 4.4km Peak 2 Peak on Whistler, probably gondola. It has the because of all the longest unsupported litigious American span in the world at visitors), we headed 3.024km. out for a morning on the mountain. The weather was foggy and too mild, making for slushy patches, yet we managed to cover lots of terrain: fast, twisty black runs through spruce forests, easy blues, and the endlessly amusing freestyle terrain park with its various jumps, boxes and rails. If I caught any air, it certainly didn’t impress the locals. Not that there were many locals around to be impressed. Despite being the weekend, Whistler was thankfully uncongested. Not once all morning did I lift-queue for more than three minutes. Without exception, the lift staff were all friendly in that delightful Canadian way. They even load and unload your skis for you. Posted everywhere are signs reminding skiers that neither smoking nor “foul language” will be tolerated. You can tell this is North America, not the Alps. Unfortunately, being mid-December and still mild, only a small number of the lifts were open, so I didn’t get to experience the full elevation of Whistler’s uppermost slopes – a mile above sea level at the summit.

WHISTLER


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Experiences

WHISTLER

NEED TO KNOW Dominic Bliss stayed at Whistler (whistler.com) courtesy of Erna Low (ernalow.co.uk) and Air Canada (aircanada.com). Erna Low offers ten nights in the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa from £1,795 per person (based on two people sharing). Price includes return flights from London Heathrow with Air Canada, shared shuttle transfers to the resort and one night’s accommodation free of charge. Air Canada offers more daily flights from the UK to Canada than any other airline. Return economy/premium economy flights from London Heathrow to Vancouver start from £778/£1,177 including taxes.

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occur, it’s then crucial to use your hands to create an air hole in front of your face. That air hole could keep you alive for valuable minutes while your colleagues dig you out. Still the heliport is enveloped in thick fog, preventing us from taking off. Eventually our instructor reluctantly breaks the news that there will be no heli-skiing, neither that day nor the rest of the week. With my group I head back to town for an early après-heli-ski of more beer and poutine. We all vow to return another year to cash in on our promised heli-skiing. e

ABOVE: Powder Mountain off-piste skiing. BELOW: Whistler village a feels a long way from the vast, natural expanse of backcountry

Photograph by ###

IF OVERRUN BY FALLING SNOW, USE A SWIMMING MOTION TO STAY ON THE SURFACE

thanks to their running start and expert skill, travel at least 15mph faster, with the extra G-force associated. Finally, after 42 seconds of screaming into my helmet visor, we thankfully came to a rest at the end of the track. That evening, as I tottered with aching back and cramped legs through Whistler village, I appreciated what a hardcore sport bobsleigh can be. Refreshingly, Whistler village is carfree. I enjoyed après-ski beer and poutine (a Québécois fast food comprising chips, gravy and cheese curds) at an Irish pub, and then a pricey but wonderful dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro. The latter included a visit to the wine cellar (allegedly the biggest in western Canada), where I sabred the top off a bottle of bubbly, and a vodkatasting session in the restaurant’s new -32°C ice room. Days later, back at Whistler’s heliport, still waiting for our heli-skiing trip to begin, we are being coached in the fine art of avalanche survival. Each one of us is equipped with shovels, probes, and transceivers. We learn that, should we find ourselves overrun The Bearfoot Bistro by falling snow, we wine cellar has should immediately more than 20,000 jettison ski poles and, bottles. Its confit quince and ice apple using a swimming cider millefeuille motion, fight to with salted caramel stay on the surface. chiboust cream is worth a taste. Should submersion

Photograph by Mike Crane

kicked in. While rounding the subsequent corners, as we banked high up the side of the track (at 75mph, I later learn), I could feel the centrifugal force pulling me away from the centre of the track, forcing pressure down my spine towards my nether regions. At first it felt very strange, then very painful as the bumps of the track hammered into my coccyx and lower back. Full respect to the pros who slide the entire track and,


25 – 28 JUNE

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LIFE

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Experiences

SEOUL

D

Photograph by Sean Pavone, Alamy

OUL

Rob Crossan looks up at the dazzling lights of the South Korean capital – a city that doesn’t like to rest and is responsible for catchy K-pop, technology to rival that of Japan and all the spicy pickled cabbage you can eat 49


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which, when they are swiped, expand into billboard-sized images on another screen above. The sugar in the bubblegum of K-pop may be a tad oversweet for my tastes, but, to fully appreciate the South Korean capital, I am quickly finding it necessary to flow between the naff and the nuanced at lightning speed. Cheaper than Tokyo, more sophisticated than Taipei, more glamorous than Beijing: Seoul is a city ridden with paradoxes. A place where Confucian devotion to etiquette and morality sits alongside the most heavily militarised border point in the world to North Korea. A city where shopping malls shaped like curvaceous spaceships stand blocks away from the ancient burial grounds of dynastic kings. Fuelled on karaoke and kimchi (the ubiquitous pickled cabbage served with every – and that really does mean every – meal), this is a metropolis that went from a scorched earth ruin in the middle of the

20th century to a high-rise, neon-splattered, high-tech city of colossal mercantile power in barely two decades. How did Seoul do it? Seemingly by entirely foregoing the concept of sleep; it isn’t a city that does downtime. And it’s not a city that really understands the concept of half-days (it’s completely normal for Korean workers to graft from 6am to 1am the next day) or holidays – the majority of locals here get barely a week off a year. Encircled by mountains with peaks like the back of a stegosaurus, Seoul’s rapid rebuilding project, which commenced after the city was all but destroyed in the Korean War of the early 1950s, meant the city’s architecture was more functional than flamboyant. But this is changing fast – nowhere more so than in what, at first glance, looks to be a cross between an asteroid and a gargantuan egg laid by a visiting extra-terrestrial. This is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, the brainchild of British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Photograph by (clockwise) Top Photo Corporation, Nigel Hicks, Cubo Images srl, Sean Pavone. All Alamy

I

’ve already seen Buddhist temples, bijou churches and Confucian shrines today but, amid a blaze of coruscating white lights I feel I’m only now getting to gaze at the true religion of Seoul. And it’s wrapped in plastic, wearing a lot of hair gel, and standing on an alter-like shelf on the top floor of a shopping mall. Gazing back at me at Lotte Fitin fashion mall in downtown Seoul – with ruler-straight teeth, a grin wider than the East Sea and photographed through a smear of Vaseline – is a shot of one of the lead singers of Super Junior, one of the biggest bands in K-pop. But his face isn’t just encased in shrinkwrap, it’s also presented in hologram form. And there are also Psy’s Gangnam Style 3D digital images of helped propel it to him, which you can the mainstream, be photographed but Korean pop, in all its colourful, with, and a rolling eccentrically dressed touchscreen showing splendour has pictures of the band had a UK fan base since the 1990s. in various poses


Experiences

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: K-pop boyband Super Junior; lights outside bars and nightclubs; sculptures at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza; the city skyline, with the 236m-high N Seoul Tower in the background

Making Bluewater look like a Moldovan soup kitchen, Dongdaemun is like no other retail experience on earth. Situated on the site of a former baseball stadium, the sleek, curved, biomorphic forms illuminate at night, making the structure appear to throb beneath the inky Korean skies. Visitors enter through a glass-floored drawbridge, and inside is an open-plan, soft-carpeted, hushed space filled with cutting-edge designs. Never mind finding a cheap iPhone, this is the place to find the most weird and wonderful in contemporary Korean design. There are chocolates that you can have topped with high-res images of you and your loved ones, bespoke phone cases with locally made animated designs, docking stations shaped like music-hall era microphones and gleaming stainless-steel chopsticks. I reluctantly have to leave to avoid spending to the point where scorch marks appear on my credit card. Achingly fashionable the average Seoul denizen may be, but this is a city that doesn’t just revolve around surface glitter. As the amber-coloured sun begins to sink behind those mountains, I take a dirt-cheap metro train to the Jongmyo shrine, a resting place for the spirits of Joseon Dynasty kings, who ruled South Korea for centuries until the Japanese Jongmyo, the oldest invaded in 1910. It remaining Confucian was an occupation royal shrine, hosts a that lasted until the ceremony each year in May, when deend of the Second scendants of Joseon World War, and still Dynasty kings pay fuels anger among tribute with solemn music and dance. South Koreans today.

SEOUL

THERE ARE CHOCOLATES YOU CAN HAVE TOPPED WITH HIGHRES IMAGES OF YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS An oasis of pine trees and spongy grass, there are no actual tombs here. Rather, the raised stone pathways are reserved for the spirits of the dead kings to walk across. At one end of the park are a series of long, single-storey halls with huge bolted padlocks obstructing entry to a series of rooms. Inside here lie the stone tablets in which the spirits are said to reside. Dating back to the 1300s, the rooms themselves remain locked except on one day of the year in May; yet to walk along these

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Experiences

SEOUL

ABOVE: Lanterns at night at the Toson Sa Temple during a festival to celebrate the birth of Buddha; BELOW: Traffic speeding through an intersection in the high-rise, up-market shopping area of Gangnam, which has been dubbed Seoul’s answer to London’s Mayfair

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girls teach me how to apply the paste and use the chopsticks to stir the mixture into a tingling hot, viscous concoction before introducing me to makgeolli, an alcoholic rice wine with the colour and complexion of diluted milk. Once considered a drink for pensioners, over the past decade it has become fashionable again among hip locals. “I don’t think people know much about Korean food in the rest of the world,” says Jimin, pouring me another glass. “People just think our food must be like Japanese. But it’s completely different – spicier, usually with more meat, and totally different to anywhere else. I still love a pizza now and again but our own food is something most locals never get tired of.” Outside, as neon signs whirl and spin around me and glammed-up locals walk hand in hand past wine bars, cafés, street food stands and karaoke bars, I spot a small crowd gathered in a circle. Peering in I see a local man dressed in full 1950s biker regalia, juggling oranges while a small speaker blasts out Gangnam Style, the ubiquitous song named after one of Seoul’s glitzier southern neighbourhoods. The crowd applauds as if this were the most natural sight in the world, and I’m more confused than ever as to why this city is still rarely visited by Brits. Seductive, friendly and more than a tad bizarre, it’s easy to understand the meaning of the word Seoul. Translated into Chinese script it means ‘best of the best’. It’s hard to argue. Even if you can’t quite handle a K-pop hologram. e

A MAN IN 1950S BIKER REGALIA JUGGLES ORANGES TO GANGNAM STYLE GETTING THERE Korean Air operates daily flights from Heathrow to Seoul. Economy fares from £615 (020 7495 8641 or koreanair.com). For more information on South Korea visit the Korean Tourism Organisation at gokorea.co.uk

Photograph by (above) Stock Connection Blue / Alamy, (below) Vincent St. Thomas / Alamy

ancient structures as the trees rustle is an atmospheric experience, heightened by the sight of the looming forest of skyscrapers on the skyline. An hour later and I’m greeted by two local girls, Jimin and Haeun, who beckon me to join them at their table at Gogung, a restaurant in the Insadong district. It specialises in the Korean staple dish bibimbap, a Despite associations blend of roots, leaves, with moonshine, vegetables, egg, meat Korea’s oldest and spices, served in alcoholic drink makgeolli is said a large hot stone bowl to have anti-carceon a bed of rice, with nogenic properties, a side dish of spicy and, as booze goes, it’s low in calories. red pepper paste. The


Travelling to the East, Australia or New Zealand? Then stopover in Seoul, Korea’s iconic capital, where cutting edge 21st century technology merges with 5,000 years of history. Visit for the culture, cuisine, nightlife and shopping. Seoul is much more than you might imagine...

Featured Tour Operators

For the full list of UK Tour Operators offering the best Seoul Stopovers, Holidays and Tours to Korea see;

www.GoKorea.co.uk 020 7484 3328 www.viajapan.co.uk

020 7725 6760 www.peoples.travel

Email: London@GoKorea.co.uk Tel: 020 7321 2535


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Experiences

GOTHENBURG

There’s nothing like a dip in the North Sea to bring you round the morning after one of Europe’s hippest festivals. Cathy Adams finds beats, bass, beaches and a dangerously heavy dose of Scandi cool in Gothenburg

Photograph by ###

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met a guy from Gothenburg once. He was more than six feet tall, dressed like he’d slid off the pages of some magazine I’d never read and listened to bands I’d never heard of. He wasn’t interested, but he did spend a long time wanging on about how great his hometown was, and why we should all sack off Stockholm for a weekend in Sweden’s second city. Eight years later, I’ve finally got around to visiting – shamefully with two trips to Stockholm and Malmö in between – but Gothenburg doesn’t care. It’s too busy scrambling up the social ladder to notice, cementing itself as Stockholm’s younger, more hipster cousin – filled with fresh food, beautiful people and summer festivals. Gothenburg is more like an enlarged town – around 550,000 call it home – but it’s got that louche vibe, like Being by the North that kid at school Sea, Gothenburg is who didn’t give a famous for seafood. fuck. I’m banking The Feskekôrka, which translates on its self-assurance to ‘fish church’, just rubbing off on me so happens to be during the 76 hours I a fish market that resembles a church. spend in its clutches.

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It’s Sweden’s city of the moment, and if you haven’t already been, you probably should be planning a trip. Here’s why…

It’s got great food Gothenburg may not have as many Michelin stars as nearby Copenhagen (it has four to Copenhagen’s 15), but its local delis

THIS ISN’T YOUR TYPICAL MUD-CAKED TENT AND TRENCH-FOOT FESTIVAL

and restaurants warrant a visit for their super-fresh seafood and traditional Swedish dishes. Try Smaka, which does piles of meatballs in a bistro-like setting, and Norda Bar & Grill (nordabargrill.se), with a playful New York-inspired menu and, oddly, the largest collection of Oregon wines outside the state. If you can pry yourself away from the hipster restaurant scene, visit Gothenburg’s old districts too. Charming shopping street Haga Nygata has plenty of cafés in vintage wooden buildings serving traditional fika – basically coffee and cake.

It’s got fun nightlife If you’re staying in the Clarion Hotel Post (if you’re not, you should, as it’s maximally decked out with a huge glitterball and a rooftop pool) start at the in-res Norda Bar terrace, watching the sun set with a happyhour drink as the trams clatter in and out of Drottningtorget Square. Most of the city centre’s streets are packed with openair bistros and bars (and Gothenburgers drinking on the street during the summer), or try the streets around nearby Järntorget and Långgatorna for some alternative bars and clubs such as Pustervik – a live music


Experiences

CLOCKWISE: Röyksopp and Robyn at Way Out West; festival-goers; overlooking the city; Gothenburg is a seafood lover’s paradise

venue in a former theatre. We ended a particularly aggressive Friday night dancing to techno downstairs in the cavernous Nefertiti club, usually Gothenburg’s best jazz venue, in the middle of a residential square. Upstairs, its open-air bar was strung with dreamcatchers and plants, with a DJ playing 1980s power ballads while we downed shots of Gammel Dansk, a bitter herbal liquor that tastes worse than Jägermeister. (Our excuse? Everyone else was doing it.)

It’s got Way Out West

Photograph by Beatrice Törnros

The annual Way Out West festival (13-15 August 2015) in the city’s Slottsskogen park (translation: ‘castle forest’) has that music-festival-in-your-back-garden feel, with stages and stands buried between thick green trees. This isn’t your typical mud-caked tent and trench-foot festival – it’s slick and civilised, albeit a little worthy and kitsch, with a progressive approach to sustainability. Way Out West went meatless a few years ago, and food stalls serve dishes that range from chickpea burgers to chips and tofu (not exactly standard festival food, but apparently it’s what the young Gothenburgers are into). The main bars are

fenced off from the main stages, and some are just tiny marquees hidden among the trees of the park, dotted with ramshackle furniture. I didn’t spot anyone sitting up a tree necking a biodynamic beer and munching on a bag of carrots, but if I did, I wouldn’t have given them a second glance. That doesn’t mean it’s not a smasher of a weekend, though. Last year’s festival (and its thankfully less virtuous and more drunk nightclub after-party buddy, Stay Out West) was studded with an eclectic selection of artists – highlights included Outkast, with André 3000 parading about in a gold jumpsuit, and Scandi acts Röyksopp and Robyn – and this year Beck and Florence and the Machine are among the line-up. Uniquely, Stay Out West makes sure the festival continues in central Gothenburg, where major DJs and acts play into the early hours at venues such as Nefertiti. As we were leaving, en route to see somebody perform at Stay Out West (I can’t remember who, I’d had too much organic prosecco) we ran into handfuls of groups drinking and dancing outside the giant floral Way Out West letters at the entrance. Underneath a canopy of fairy lights in a tree, some dude had set up a huge speaker and had a small group of followers grinding to EDM in a circle, welcoming anyone to join. Even after a couple of days in this hipster city, I wasn’t down enough to bump body parts with people I didn’t know. Car-free Vrångö takes around 30 minutes to get to by ferry, and is known for its seafood cafés and swimming. The island has 365 permanent residents and one shop.

GOTHENBURG

NEED TO KNOW Rooms at the Clarion Hotel Post start from £90 per night. clarionpost.se Weekend tickets for Way Out West start from around £154pp. wayoutwest.se Flights to Gothenburg from London start from around £60pp with British Airways, Norwegian Airways, SAS and more. For more information on Gothenburg and the Gothenburg City Card (from around £20 for 24 hours), which includes free public transport, entry to museums and shopping discounts, see goteborg.com.

It’s got an archipelago

If you’ve maxed out on Gothenburg’s selfconfidence, escape the city for the archipelago. A short boat ride away from the city are hundreds of tiny islands – some too small to note, but others large enough to explore in an afternoon. Catch a ferry from Saltholmen, at the end of the tramline, to the southernmost islands, which make prime spots for swimming, cycling and lazing. We docked at Vrångö one Sunday afternoon, basking in the sun on flat rocks, clambering over cliffs and taking a bracing, hangover-curing dip in the North Sea. But had I metamorphosed into a hipster? Debatable. It was only when I got back to London that I realised I’d confused Swedish Robyn with Robin S of Show Me Love fame, which is a shame as that’s the tune I was most looking forward to at Way Out West. Gothenburg – let’s try again? e

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Illustration by Ben Tallon

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Experiences

LAS VEGAS

Cathy Adams swaps the slots for wagyu steak at Vegas Uncork’d food festival, proving Sin City has a lot more going for it than gaudy casinos, blackjack and Elvis tribute acts 59


M

y conversation starter is not original, but it’s the best I’ve got for my Lincoln Town Car chauffeur after a tenhour flight that ran out of alcohol a few hours in. I don’t even have to worry about an awkward silence, since he reels off about 20 different places to eat as soon as we leave the airport, and is still whirling through dishes I have to try as I’m attempting to remove myself from the car’s pleather clutches outside the Bellagio. Turns out Las Vegas isn’t just for Bradley Cooper, non-stop slots or showgirls. With so many dollars sloshing about on the iconic Strip, it’s no surprise the Nevada playground is one of America’s greatest cities for food – it’s just finally saying something about it. All the shouting’s coming from the annual Vegas Uncork’d food festival by

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Bon Appétit, which has been fattening up international foodies for almost a decade. In traditional Vegas style, it’s a coruscating line-up of tastings, cooking classes, dinners and drinks up and down the Strip, and each year the city becomes the brilliant party host for an array of celebrity chefs and personalities – including Michael Mina, Guy Savoy, even our very own Gordon Ramsay – in a four-day foodie blowout. Over a single long weekend I learn how to ice cupcakes with Buddy Valastro at The Venetian, tuck into Mina’s hog roast by the poolside at the MGM Grand and eat US celebrity chef miniature everything Buddy Valastro at Caesars Palace. (aka the Cake Boss) Vegas’s charm lies and his family own the Strip’s renowned in knowing exactly Carlo’s Bakery, what it is, and not serving old-school giving a roulette chip Italian pastries and cakes. what others think

LAS VEGAS KNOWS WHAT IT IS, AND IT DOESN’T GIVE A ROULETTE CHIP WHAT OTHERS THINK


Experiences

CLOCKWISE FROM THIS IMAGE: The Strip at dusk; chicken and waffles from Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace; Bacchanal Buffet

about it. You’re just as likely to scarf your way, blind drunk, through a mega hotel buffet at 2am as you are at 4pm; Michelinstarred restaurants sit cheek-by-jowl with roulette tables; and one of the more bizarre food

experiences is Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings, where, like a fat Henry VIII, you eat meat and potatoes with your fingers while watching medieval jousting. This is a place where anything goes – and luckily that’s the kind of eating I’m into. Las Vegas’s gastro net is cast wider than the mega resorts and casinos lining the glitzy Strip, though. Downtown Las Vegas has amped up its appeal with the Fremont Street Experience and attractions such as the high-rolling Slotzilla, which involves being shot out of a giant slot machine on a zipline (really). There’s also Inspire, which puts on talks, films and has a mean cocktail bar in 365 Tokyo, which is suspended in a glass box over the street. Back at ARIA for Uncork’d, I’m getting valuable intel about the best places to eat in the city – both on and off-Strip – from a local journalist at a Sunday morning brunch at Sage. While tucking into ceviche, ribs and champagne during a four-course meal from four different acclaimed Vegas chefs, he whispers to me conspiratorially about the best places to eat that I definitely won’t have heard of already. First on his hit list is Raku, a Japanese charcoal grill well away from the sins of South Las Vegas Boulevard – “it’s where all the chefs eat”, he tells me. Then there’s Lotus of Siam, in a dusty old strip mall, where every dish is incredible and draws queues out of the door; and The Palazzo’s Carnevino, where steak isn’t cheap but is apparently the best you’ll ever have. That’s the problem with Vegas. There’s always more, more, more – this is a city that’s never going to be sated, no matter how many wagyu beef sliders it The famous steaks at Carnevino are dry puts away. aged in Vegas, then rubbed with sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary. Side dishes are inspired by street food found in Naples.

LAS VEGAS

THIS CITY WILL NEVER BE SATED, NO MATTER HOW MANY WAGYU BEEF SLIDERS IT PUTS AWAY Bacchanal – there are over 500 different dishes each day, with top choices ranging from fried chicken and waffles to lobster benedict (in Vegas, it’s a thing). caesars.com RAO’S, CAESARS PALACE

Right opposite the queues for Bacchanal is Rao’s, a family-run Italian that first opened in New York more than a century ago, and remains one of the oldest restaurants in the city. If you can’t get a table in NYC (there are only 12, and it’s notoriously difficult) head to Caesars – despite being in the

Where to eat on the Strip YUSHO, MONTE CARLO

Photograph by ###

Japanese street food in the US doesn’t come fresher than Yusho. Sake comes in vintagelooking cans, the ramen is bigger, better and tastier (try the Monster Ramen with maitake mushrooms and shrimp) and the grill turns out all kinds of steaks from tofu to wagyu beef. montecarlo.com

BACCHANAL BUFFET, CAESARS PALACE

There’s a reason this buffet is one of the best in Sin City, and even more of a reason why it’s called

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Experiences

LAS VEGAS

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hakkasan at the MGM Grand; Joël Robuchon; Yusho

midst of the huge resort, it’s got a cosy, intimate feel to it. The divine veal chop and lemon chicken won’t exactly send you running for the streets of Manhattan, either.

view of the kitchen. This place is so serious about food that Savoy tells his staff not to wear perfume in case it messes with the aromas. (Although smelling like cash? That’s mandatory.) caesars.com

SAGE, ARIA

THE VENETIAN AND THE PALAZZO

FLEUR, MANDALAY BAY

American classics are on the menu at this slightly garish purple and gold-clad restaurant. Headed up by Chicago chef Shawn McClain, the wildly popular Sage turns out traditional dishes such as strip

The gaudy mock-Italian Venetian (complete with canal and gondolas outside) and its neighbour the Palazzo at the end of the Strip do two things really well: gambling, and food. They have the most star-studded line-up of chefs that you’ll find in the whole town, and are home Between The Palazzo to 15 restaurants run and The Venetian by celebrity names there are 38 different you’ll recognise: restaurants ranging from Sushisamba’s Daniel Boulud, Japanese-BrazilWolfgang Puck and ian-Peruvian food to Canyon Ranch Café’s Thomas Keller among ‘healthy spa cuisine’. others. venetian.com

Fleur in the Four Seasons Mandalay Bay might get overshadowed by surrounding restaurants, but its small plates of perfectly masterminded global cuisine stand up for themselves. Try the tangy mini tuna tacos, meaty grilled octopus with patatas bravas or green papaya carpaccio with wagyu beef.

STAFF CAN’T WEAR PERFUME IN CASE IT MESSES WITH THE AROMAS OF THE FOOD 62

RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY, CAESARS PALACE

If you really want to go all out (you’re in Vegas, after all), head to Guy Savoy’s eponymous joint in Caesars Palace. It’s the proud owner of two Michelin stars, and you’ll understand why the moment you order – expect copious quantities of foie gras, artichoke and black truffle oil soup – while the Krug tasting room gives a closer

hubertkeller.com e

NEED TO KNOW Rooms at the Bellagio start from $187 (around £120) per night. bellagio.com British Airways flies direct to Las Vegas from Heathrow and Gatwick from £575 return. ba.com Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit takes place from 23-26 April across a number of Las Vegas resorts. Details on demonstrations and tastings can be found at vegasuncorked.com. Tickets start from $110. For further information on Las Vegas, go to visitlasvegas.co.uk

Photograph by (previous spread) Brian Jones, (this page) Scott Frances, Ryan Forbes / Avablu

caesars.com

steaks and bone marrow alongside lobster and wagyu short ribs. There are ten different kinds of absinthe too, so go easy if you’re planning on heading back to the slots… aria.com


COMPETITION

EAT, SHOP & DANCE Fancy yourself as a high roller? Here’s your chance to shop, dine and play in the bright lights of Las Vegas

I

f Las Vegas is a city on your bucket list, then we’re here to help. We’re offering the chance to win a trip to the dazzling lights of the Strip, on a holiday that’ll have you shopping and dining in sophisticated style. For four nights you could be staying in The Venetian | Palazzo Resort, the city’s most luxurious all-suite accommodation choice. Rest up, because it’s time to hit the shops, and this prize comes with a $1,000 shopping spree at Fashion Show and Grand Canal Shoppes – Las Vegas’ very own shopping mecca, with 400 shops and designer boutiques to indulge in. There’s help at hand, too: you’ll be treated to a champagne-accompanied personal shopping session at Saks Fifth Avenue, where floors are crammed with designer essentials hot off the runway. And that’s just for daytime. After dark the

Fashion Show and Grand Cannal Shoppes are buzzing with Vegas energy. Options are endless, but save time for the city’s best party – because you’ll have two tickets to the Rock of Ages musical, where big hair and big songs combine on the stage. Delicious food is included, too, and you’ll have the chance to sample fine modern American cuisine at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio restaurant, with views over lively St Mark’s Square – Las Vegas’ answer to Venice. Finish with VIP passes to The Venetian’s worldfamous TAO Asian Bistro and Nightclub, for the perfect end to the perfect Las Vegas trip.

HOW TO WIN To win a four night stay at The Venetian | Palazzo Resort complete with musical tickets, shopping credit and delicious meals, just answer this question: in which US state is Las Vegas? To enter visit escapismmagazine.com/ competition/shoppingvegas See the website for T&Cs and info.

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SADDLE UP FOR TEXAS

Unleash your inner cowboy and win a wild Western adventure in the vibrant city of Fort Worth, Texas

F

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just around the corner: country and western sessions await at Billy Bob’s Texas. Also boasting year-round rodeo, and a twice-daily cattle drive, Fort Worth is the city for unrivalled Texan culture. So unleash your inner cowboy and experience a genuine Western adventure, packed with authentic Texan flavour.

THE PRIZE For a chance to win this incredible western adventure in the City of Cowboys & Culture, head to HowdyFortWorth.com and enter your details. The prize for two comes complete with return flights, six-nights accomodation, and the best of Fort Worth’s restaurants and activities. See HowdyForthWorth.com for full terms and conditions

Book your tailor made holiday to Fort Worth with Hayes and Jarvis. Visit hayesandjarvis.co.uk or speak to one of our Destination Specialists on 01293 733773

Rockin’ the River photograph by Aspen Productions

or a true Texas experience packed with BBQ, rodeos and Western saloons, you can’t beat the City of Cowboys and Culture, Fort Worth. Where adventure abounds, cattle drives are a twice-daily spectacle, and food is heartily celebrated – it’s the Texan town where the American west begins. And one lucky pair has the chance to embark on an incredible Texan trip, with a six-night holiday for two up for grabs, thanks to the Fort Worth Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Return flights, accommodation and a whole herd of activities and dining possibilities make it the wildest western adventure imaginable. This is a trip where cowboys and culture merge in one vibrant destination – Fort Worth is a friendly city with something for everyone. Soak up the rich western history of the state in the Stockyards National Historic District; in the city’s thriving Cultural District, explore world-renowned museums crammed with impressionist masterpieces and contemporary wonders. Sport enthusiasts won’t be disappointed, either: Fort Worth is home to the Texas Motor Speedway, host of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And the city isn’t short of postsport drinking dens either: you can grab a drink in an authentic Western saloon, or sample the generous BBQ specials in one of Fort Worth’s outstanding restaurants. Music lover? The world’s largest honky-tonk is


COMPETITION

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Fort Worth Stockyards are a slice of Texan history; rodeo riders use the skills of the original cowboys; summer fun at Rockin’ the River; BBQ is king in Fort Worth; Sundance Square Plaza

FORT WORTH HAS THE BEST OF TEXAS: A YEAR-ROUND RODEO AND A FAMOUS CATTLE DRIVE

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3,000 M 50FT W 1 PADD 66


Experiences

CHARLIE HEAD

MILES WAVES DLE Photograph by ###

Stuntman Charlie Head is planning to cross the Atlantic on a stand up paddleboard – solo. Hannah Summers finds out why and how 67


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Experiences

B Photograph by Kiko Matthews

itter Atlantic winds, 3,000 miles of raging seas, 30ft waves and two months of relentless, painful paddling. These are just a few of the challenges Charlie Head will face when he sets out to be the first person to stand up paddleboard across the Atlantic Ocean later this year, with no support boat, no company and no precedent. It’s just one man, a strong pair of arms and a lot of guts. “I’d like to do it in 40-60 days, and the majority of the time I’ll be going with the tradewinds,” the 36-year-old tells me, explaining how the Atlantic weather systems should help push him west. From his starting point on the Canary Islands, Head will be paddling for up to ten hours a day, and his next glimpse of land – if all goes to plan – will be when he arrives in the Caribbean, physically and emotionally depleted. Currently embroiled in the planning stages of the crossing, Head is working towards his November start date by building his body strength with ad-hoc work as a stuntman. “The one with the tanks” (or Brad Pitt’s Fury) is his An unnamed latest, and he’ll soon stuntman was be making his pirate rushed to hospital in debut in Peter Pan. Oxfordshire after he was accidentally The Brit doesn’t stabbed with look like your a bayonet while average stuntman, filming a fight scene for Fury in 2013. or adventurer for

that matter. His eyes are kind, his voice soft, his manner gentle – but his ambition is fierce and his thought process seems clear. There’s no doubt in his mind or uncertainty in his voice when he tells me the Atlantic has “just got to be conquered”. The crossing will demand not only a mammoth amount of courage but, faced with unpredictable weather patterns with the potential to blow him miles off course, he’ll also require enormous patience. It’s a characteristic he offers in bounds: ten years on the Isle of Wight helping children slowly master the basics of water sports has made him effortlessly tolerant. But he just can’t fight his natural inclination to explore. “I had cabin fever on the island, so in 2011 I ran out of there, jumped on my paddleboard and disappeared.” Head’s first long-distance mission came soon after, when he paddleboarded around the Isle of Wight – a route notoriously difficult even for boats, due to the Solent’s tidal rips. That was just stage one, and the next challenge was a 500-mile stand-up paddling mission from Penzance to London, carrying just his rucksack on his board. Head found accommodation in friendly strangers’ sheds, and his journey made headlines when he rescued a dog that had become stranded on rocks at high tide. “This furry little shih tzu looked like it had never left a woman’s handbag. He’d escaped on a walk and bolted – what a little adventurer!” Balancing him on

CHARLIE HEAD

his carbon board, Head paddled him to land, reuniting him with his owner. Taking on an environment as unpredictable as the Atlantic has meant that, this time round, Head’s transport is much more sophisticated. Purpose built for the expedition, and costing more than £30,000 to manufacture, the board is designed to deal with the 30ft waves and 50mph winds Head is likely to face. “I’ve basically looked at

THERE IS NO UNCERTAINTY WHEN HE SAYS THE ATLANTIC HAS “GOT TO BE CONQUERED” 69


Experiences

“TAKING ON HEAVY SEAS IN THIS TINY LITTLE BOX IS GOING TO TEST ME QUITE A LOT”

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While Head is focusing on planning for the things he can control, he admits there’s one element he just can’t forecast. “It’s all down to the weather,” he admits, matter-of-factly. “Taking on heavy seas in this tiny little box is going to test me quite a lot. And staying standing up in some of the conditions will be pretty hard.” “You have all these different aspects enabling you to survive,” he tells me. “And if you lose one of them, it changes the whole thing.” It doesn’t faze him, though, and his attitude remains relaxed. “I’m happy to deal with issues as they happen,” he tells me. Head may not be able to predict the weather, or his body’s reaction to relentless paddling, or even his head space after two months alone at sea. But he won’t let that stop him. “Sometimes you just don’t know how you’re going to react to certain situations. That’s the journey you have with yourself on an adventure. It can either make you, or break you.” e

THE BIG STAND Head is co-founder of the Big Stand, a charity with a mission to connect young people to their environment through adventure. The aim of his crossing is to raise awareness and support for the charity. thebigstand.com

Photograph by Kiko Matthews

all the ocean craft that have crossed the Atlantic, from sailing boats, to ocean rowing boats, and I tried to design a craft I can paddle. Then I enlisted the help of a friend who’s a German naval architect.” The result is an entirely self-sufficient stand up paddling boat, similar to an ocean rowing boat but significantly smaller. “It hosts all the equipment and facilities I’ll need to survive on my own out there: solar panels for my energy, water makers for converting salt water into fresh, and navigation equipment. It’s quite a heavy thing to paddle, but it’s possible.”

The meticulous design of the craft will help Head handle some of the logistics of the crossing, but not all of them. Many people who have successfully crossed the Atlantic have been part of a larger team, with shift work enabling them to dry off, sleep, dress their wounds or soothe their salt rash. With no one making the crossing with him to share the hard graft, Head’s sleep will be nothing more than an hour or two here and there, in a space he likens to a “dynamic coffin”. When he’s not recuperating at night he’ll be paddling in pitch black, fighting fierce winds and swells from every direction, while negotiating one of the biggest shipping routes in the world. “I’ll have GPS and satellite navigation, so I’ll know every detail of where I am. And so will the tankers, hopefully,” he adds, laughing. Head is readying himself to deal with every eventuality, which also involves physically bulking up before he goes. The board will be loaded with 80 days’ worth of food, but he still expects to lose more than 20% of his body mass, meaning “more ribs, less six pack” by the time he arrives. “The paddling is all endurance,” he tells me, and his training already involves swimming, boxing and core work to strengthen his body. But no amount of physical preparation will equip Head for two months alone at sea with no support team and no camaraderie. “Most of it’s mental,” he tells me. “You can’t really prepare too well for that stuff. And just going along all by myself, that’s really it – the vulnerability of it. But it’s a mind game – keep going, crack on.”

CHARLIE HEAD


P ROMOTI ON

Beach Life Why restrict yourself to one resort on the idyllic Caribbean island of St Lucia, when with Sandals you can have three?

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nly Sandals gives you three holidays in one, with its exclusive Stay at 1, Play at 3 exchange programme in Saint Lucia. Each of Sandals’ three Saint Lucian properties has its own unique personality, and guests can experience them all for the price of one. Enjoy three times the fun with more land and water sports to choose from, such as

YOU’LL HAVE 23 RESTAURANTS TO TRY, FROM TEPPANYAKI TO CARIBBEAN

golf, tennis, paddle boarding and snorkelling – or extend your diving experiences to exotic underwater playgrounds at two additional resorts. Expand your dining options with 23 restaurants to indulge at, from Italian, French and Mediterranean cuisine to Japanese teppanyaki, sushi and Caribbean fare. Along with this there are more bars serving premium brand drinks and entertainment that changes from night to night. So whether it’s a round of golf you’re after, a trip to the Red Lane® Spa, or simply a swim in a different pool, Sandals expands your horizons even further with more quality inclusions than any other resorts on the planet. ◆ sandals.co.uk

Sandals in Saint Lucia SANDALS REGENCY LA TOC

With a half-mile crescent of beach, sheltered by lush green bluffs, the 210-acre La Toc Estate and Golf resort combines natural beauty with top-tier luxury. There are endless activities on offer, from golf and water sports to gourmet dining with ocean views. SANDALS GRANDE ST LUCIAN

Enjoy elegant seclusion at Sandals Grande St Lucian, located on a peninsula jutting out into the calm, clear waters west of Rodney Bay. Four pools, six bars, a Red Lane® Spa and eight fine-dining options accompany the resort’s stunning natural beauty. SANDALS HALCYON BEACH

If your vision of paradise is one of swaying palms, azure seas and total relaxation, you’ll find your perfect match in Sandals Halcyon beach. Exotic gardens cover the landscape, hiding away two pools with swim-up bars, six fine dining options and unparalled levels of service, so you’ll leave without a care in the world.

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Think the Caribbean is all about lying on the beach drinking cocktails? Wrong. We’ve rounded up dozens of ways to get the best out of the region, from zip-lining and surfing to kicking back

ADVENTURE

SPORT

MUSIC

If you’re looking for blazing sunshine but don’t want to just lie on sand all day, Nicaragua is a great bet. The beaches on the country’s Caribbean coast are rarely visited, and boast wild natural beauty and raw culture. Exploration opportunities are endless: pull on your boots for epic jungle treks, or go diving at one of the 70 Corn Islands (Little Corn is our favourite). It’s the place to get back to basics: try fishing in the mangroves, then head back to a local restaurant for rondon – a slow-cooked coconutbased soup.

St Lucia’s lush green hills make it an ideal playground for sports enthusiasts. You can try anything during a holiday on this island – ziplining if you’re feeling a bit tame, or mountain-biking for something much sweatier. And that’s no problem: the beaches are just the place to cool off. We’re not talking about sunbathing, obviously – get in that sea, because there’s kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding and more to try. Tired yet? You’ll find some cool little places to relax after all that exertion: head to the southern end of Reduit Beach for lively drinks with locals.

Of all the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is the place to go for music. It spawned reggae, dancehall and ska, all of which made their way to the UK and the US, but it’s also home to roots Caribbean styles such as calypso and mento. Today, the scene in Jamaica is completely eclectic, and the best place to go to experience as much of it as you can is a music festival. The biggest is Montego Bay’s Reggae Sumfest (reggaesumfest.com), which takes place every July and features a huge line-up of acts from Jamaica and beyond. Irie.

NICARAGUA

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ST LUCIA

JAMAICA

Photographs by (background) Novarc Images; (from top) Hemis, George H.H. Huey, Robert Harding World Imagery, Hemis, Vilainecrevette/Alamy

SEA LIFE


Experiences

CARIBBEAN

Dominica is famous for forests and waterfalls, such as this one – Trafalgar Falls in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It also has a natural pool at the bottom.

AUTHENTICITY DOMINICA

Dominica doesn’t boast those pristine white sand beaches you might expect from the Caribbean. But what it does offer is a really genuine insight into laid-back island life. Portsmouth Beach is the best on the island, but we also love Mero Beach where you can kick back in a seaside shack with freshly caught fish and a chilled Kubuli – the local ambercoloured beer. The island’s capital, Roseau, also demands a visit – streets are crammed with rowdy markets and lined with quaint, colourful buildings.

PARTYING TRINIDAD

Photograph by ###

Good news for all you party animals: Trinidad has a lively casual drinking culture, from small roadside bars to a rapidly emerging pub, bar and club scene. The St James district in the capital Port of Spain is the place for all-night partying, and the Ariapita Avenue strip is home to casinos, hotels, bars and clubs, most of which roll out live music and entertainment along with beer, cocktails and wine. If you want an all-out blowout, the country-wide Carnival is a feast for the senses, as revellers line the streets decked out in brightly coloured clothes and ‘wind’ until the sun comes up.

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Experiences

CARIBBEAN A pair of New Yorkers gave up the city for a jungle road along the Caribbean Sea, opening up Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico, and serving dishes such as this fresh jicama salad.

FOOD

MEXICO

SURFING COSTA RICA

CULTURE ST KITTS

Unspoiled Playa Cocles, south of Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, has laid-back beaches with fun, approachable surf and friendly locals

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If history is your thing, get even more clued up on the island of St Kitts. It’s not boring text book stuff either – much of the island’s story hinges on its formerly rich sugar plantations, which were once considered the gateway to the Caribbean. The pristine Brimstone Hill Fortress is one of the best preserved in the Americas, and offers great views over the island. Squint, and you might see Nevis.

Here’s something you might not know: Costa Rica is home to more than 730 miles of coastline. And what’s more, it’s in a unique position, with beaches located next to the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Pacific on the other. Each has its own characteristic feel: the Caribbean side gets huge swells at the right times in the season, while the Pacific is a bit calmer but more consistent throughout the year. You don’t have to choose, though – Costa Rica’s not enormous, so you can start the day on one side and drive for a few hours to the other if you fancy mixing it up.

Photographs by (background) adrian hepworth; (from top) Robert Harding World Imagery, Nicholas Gill, Nicholas Gill/Alamy

Mexico’s sheer size means its cuisine ranges massively as you travel through the country. The Caribbean coastal city of Cancún may be famous for Spring Break holidays and American fast food, but head downtown and you’ll find locals serving up authentic Mexican tortilla at kerb-side street stalls. The beach here is one of the best you’ll see, but it is tourist central, so head along the coast to Tulum and pitch up in a hut on the sand. Here you can try every tequila going, and margaritas come in handy cans. Yes please.


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Love Is All You Need Call 0800 742 742 | Visit sandals.co.uk See your local travel agent *Mandatory caddies at cost. **For certified divers. ^At selected resorts. †Minimum 3 night stay. Gov & Administration fees apply.


Breathless Resorts & Spas

The Caribbean

Sun & Style The all-inclusive AMResorts Collection can offer both adults-only seclusion and luxury adventure for all the family

H

ome to a lively culture, world-class resorts and some of the best beaches on earth, the Caribbean and Central America should be at the top of your bucket list. Luxury appeal comes as standard, with secluded beaches, lush greenery and azure seas. The AMResorts collection offers the best of this beautiful region with its collection of all-inclusive luxury hotels in locations across Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. There’s something for every taste, whether you’re looking for adults-only luxury, a boutique

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hideaway or a family-friendly adventure. And with Unlimited-Luxury® and Endless Privileges®, you can guarantee effortless luxury and unparalleled levels of service. All you have to do is pick the perfect spot, then kick back and unwind with first-class comforts in exquisite surroundings.

In association with

Take your holiday up a gear with adults-only Breathless Resorts & Spas – ideal for unwinding with friends (and making new ones) in a hip, gorgeous location. At Breathless Resorts & Spas’ unique, contemporary resort in Punta Cana, stylish restaurants, buzzing nightlife and pristine beaches come as standard. It’s everything you need to have an unforgettable holiday.

Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic You’ll feel like a superstar the moment you walk through the doors of Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa – it’s a hotel where a sociable, hip vibe is top of the agenda. Think ultramodern suites with private terraces and free minibars, gourmet dining and nine bars and lounges for you to unwind in with friends, as well as its own slice of Punta Cana beach where you can continue the party after hours… THE DEAL

£969

British Airways offers 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis from £969pp. For more information and to book see ba.com/amresorts.


P ROM OT IONAL F E ATU R E

Now Resorts & Spas

CLOCKWISE: The beach at Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa; Bavaro beach at Now Larimar Punta Cana; relax at Now Jade Riviera Cancun; a Preferred Club Master Suite at Now Larimar Punta Cana

Why settle for either luxury or adventure when you can have both at Now Resorts & Spas? The collection, strung across some of Mexico and the Dominican Republic’s finest beaches, is perfect for an active family break. Escape the everyday with innovative dining experiences, luxury spas and watersports.

Now Larimar Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Now Larimar Punta Cana, on the white sands of the Dominican Republic’s palm-studded Bavaro beach, combines a host of activities with Now Resorts & Spas’ trademark luxury touches such as inroom Jacuzzis. Explore wider Punta Cana on a range of excursions, unwind on the sugar-white private beach, or leave the children in dedicated kids’ and teens’ clubs while you indulge in the resort’s impressive range of spa treatments. One thing’s for sure: you’ll enjoy every minute. THE DEAL

£849

British Airways offers 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis from £849pp. For more information and to book see ba.com/amresorts.

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The AMResorts Collection Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Discover a new kind of experience with the The AMResorts Collection. From adult only seclusion to boutique retreats and child friendly resorts. Revel in Unlimited–Luxury® & Endless Privileges® where everything is included with no restrictions, no worries and no wristbands. Enjoy great savings when you book your flight and hotel together. 4.5H Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£839pp

5H Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana (Adults only) 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£1,009pp

5H Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£1,479pp

For more information visit ba.com/amresorts

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. All prices are in in GBP per person and include return flights from London Gatwick. Prices based on two adults sharing accommodation on an All Inclusive board basis for selected travel between 29/08/15-15/10/15. Prices correct as of 24 February 2015. Bookings must be made by midnight 31/03/15. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.


P ROM OT IONAL F E ATU R E

Dreams Resorts & Spas For a luxurious escape tailored to all ages and interests, look no further than Dreams Resorts & Spas. Families, couples and singles alike will each discover the indulgent holiday of their dreams – complete with gourmet food, natural beauty and world-class accommodation.

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, Mexico Discover history mixed with tropical paradise at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa in Mexico, where ancient Mayan ruins frame white sands and lush greenery. Kids will love the Mayan-themed Explorers’ Club, while adults can relax at the Dreams Spa by Pevonia – or why not just enjoy time with loved ones on the beautiful beach?

THE DEAL

£999

British Airways offers 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis from £999pp. For more information and to book see ba.com/amresorts.

FROM TOP: Choose from pool or ocean at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa; The Mayan-themed Explorers’ Club at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a kids’ dream; Zoëtry Villa Rolandi sits on the beautiful Isla Mujeres

Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts Escape the stresses of city life at a boutique Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resort, where your journey back to wellbeing is woven into the hotel’s unrivalled luxury. Expect calming spa treatments, healthy dining options and Endless Privileges® including complimentary wellness consultations – all bracketed by the beautiful views.

Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun, Mexico Found on a private cove fringed by warm Caribbean waters, Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun promises wellness, serenity and romance. Spend days enjoying sunsets from ocean-facing rooms, indulging at the Thalasso Spa or relaxing with yoga, fitness or culinary classes. The resort is home to the famed Casa Rolandi, serving Swiss/Northern Italian cuisine in a spectacular setting. THE DEAL

£1,529

British Airways offers 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis from £1,529pp. For more, see ba.com/amresorts.

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P ROM OT IONAL FE ATU R E

Secrets Resorts & Spas Enter a luxurious, adults-only world with Secrets Resorts & Spas, where fine dining, sumptuous spas and a sophisticated vibe come as standard. With hotels in Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, each of the Secrets Resorts & Spas offers an elegant, child-free haven where romance, adventure and great company come together in a breathtaking Caribbean setting.

Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, Mexico Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is a luxurious sanctuary on Mexico’s beautiful Caribbean coast. The hotel boasts spectacular views over the magnificent beach from its suites, a Secrets Spa by Pevonia and no fewer than 13 pools, including an infinity pool with views over the blue Caribbean Sea. The only drawback? You might never want to leave its opulent clutches.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Choose from ocean or jacuzzi at Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun; sunrise over the pool; al fresco dining is a highlight; luxury, privacy and comfort go hand in hand

THE DEAL

£1,299

British Airways offers 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis for £1,299pp. For more, see ba.com/amresorts.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Terms and conditions apply. Availability may be extremely limited. Price includes return British Airways flights from London Gatwick,based on two adults sharing for selected dates between 22 Aug-31 Oct.

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The AMResorts Collection Riviera Maya and Cancun, Mexico Indulge yourself in an Unlimited–Luxury® board basis with world class facilities, sensual spas, luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining and more. Located in some of the world’s most stunning natural locations, The AMResorts Collection provide something for everyone. Enjoy great savings when you book your flight and hotel together. 4H Now Jade Riviera Cancun 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£969pp

5H Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£1,029pp

5H Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort (Adults only) 7 night All Inclusive holidays from

£1,249pp

For more information visit ba.com/amresorts

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. All prices are in in GBP per person and include return flights from London Gatwick. Prices based on two adults sharing accommodation on an All Inclusive board basis for selected travel between 29/08/15-16/10/15. Prices correct as of 24 February 2015. Bookings must be made by midnight 17/03/15. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.


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P ROMOTI ON

Keep a little bit more for that escape

It’s Crew Love

Dive in for a swim, relax with a beer or sunbathe with a book: charter a crewed yacht with The Moorings and the only thing you need to worry about is where to drop anchor

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f you’re looking for a stress-free getaway involving swimming, sunbathing and relaxing, how about chartering your own crewed yacht? With The Moorings you can do just that: accompanied by a private captain, gourmet chef and dedicated hostess, a crewed yacht is the blissfully simple way to holiday at sea. The Moorings offer sailing trips in a variety of destinations, from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the Mediterranean’s

DIVE IN FOR A LEISURELY SWIM AS YOUR CREW TAKE CARE OF THE REST

historic shores. What’s more, absolutely no boating experience is required: on The Moorings’ custom-designed yachts you just need to sit back, relax and enjoy the spacious accommodation and sundeck. For the ultimate sailing experience, the Moorings 5800 is unmatched. Paired with the azure waters of the British Virgin Islands, this spacious sail catamaran is the ideal platform for island-hopping in paradise. Wake up in one of five en-suite guest staterooms, starting the day with a fresh coffee, eggs or pancakes prepared exactly as you like. Dine with friends on the deck, enjoy views from the cockpit or make the most of the boat’s own premium entertainment centre. Each day you can have a chat with your captain and decide where to sail to. Dive in for a swim, read on the deck or explore the local landscape while your crew takes care of the rest. As the day winds down, head up to the 5800’s huge top-level living area for sunset

Get there Visit moorings.co.uk/escapism or call a holiday planner on 020 3051 4558 to learn about chartering your own Crewed yacht in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and beyond.

views, beer or cocktail in hand. Let your expert chef prepare a gourmet meal of freshly-caught lobster or steak, or venture on shore for a taste of the local cuisine. The choices are endless on a crewed yacht charter with The Moorings. But one thing’s for certain: it’s an unforgettable sailing trip.◆

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CHECKLIST 86 88 90 92

STYLE FOR GUYS STYLE FOR GIRLS HEADPHONES BEAUTY

LOOK MUM, NO LEGS: We’ve found the holy grail of footwear for the man on the move. Oliver Sweeney’s brogues are smart enough for the bar, comfy enough for pounding out the miles and tough as, er, new boots. [p86]

GET MORE ADVENTURE AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

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CHECKLIST ★ G U YS ★

1 A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS Want to dress for town and country without looking like you’ve been kidnapped by minor aristocracy and bundled up in tweed? Good luck with that. Or, rather, just follow our cue…

1. PEREGRINE, Waxed blazer in olive, £189. Whether you’re a cityboy, a hipster or a countryside dweller, a waxed blazer is equally on-trend. This one has a neat throat latch to keep your beard area toasty. peregrineclothing.co.uk 2. POLER, Rolltop backpack in olive, £80. This classic take on the rolltop is big enough for your laptop or your wellies,

although we wouldn’t recommend putting both in at the same time. flatspot.com 3. OLIVER SWEENEY, Walberswick in chestnut, £259. The last thing you want on a countryside jaunt is soggy toes. These sturdy brogue boots will keep you stylishly dry. oliversweeney.com

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Photograph by David Harrison

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CHECKLIST

6. HARRY STEDMAN, Vintage stripe shirt, £159. This striped Oxford-style shirt has a vintage twist to prevent your English gentleman vibe going too Hugh Grant on you. harrystedman.com

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7. KIRK ORIGINALS, Clarke sunglasses in Molten, £255. That sunshine’s coming soon enough, so pack your shades. This tortoiseshell pair channels the 1980s in a good way, not a Chesney Hawkes way. kirkoriginals.com

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8. SEIKO, SMY141P1 Kinetic watch, £189. This khakistrapped watch is perfect for busy actionmen: it’s powered by kinetic energy, so you’ll never need to change the battery. You will need an excuse if you’re late, though. seiko.co.uk 9. PEREGRINE, Merino crew jumper, £89. Throw this cosy woolen jumper over your t-shirt when the sun goes down. And feel smug in the knowledge that, as you sip on that comforting glass of red, your tipple matches your outfit. peregrineclothing.co.uk

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Photograph by ###

4. LEVI’S, Made & Crafted chinos, £145. These slimfit, tapered chinos will look smarter than jeans, and the stone-grey colour wash adds a preppy twist. levi.co.uk 5. BOXFRESH, Looverix t-shirt, £35. Every man needs a smart t-shirt for spring, and no, your

faded old Joy Division Tee isn’t good enough to wear outside. This palm tree design by Boxfresh has a summery, rock ‘n’ roll vibe – without making you look like an ageing roadie. boxfresh.com

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SEE MORE TRAVEL GEAR AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

★ GIRLS ★

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2. DANIEL WELLINGTON, Classic Glasgow Lady watch, £129. We’re told it’s great for a game of tennis or a day at the country club. Works well for everyday use, too. danielwellington.com

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3. COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS, Coated skinny jeans, £110. Not everyone can pull off white jeans, but if you can, you should be wearing them with pride. comptoirdescotonniers.co.uk 4. LEVI’S, Boyfriend Trucker, £80. It’s all about manly style with this jacket from denim dons Levi’s, and the loose style allows more layering. levi.co.uk

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Photograph by David Harrison

1. NICCE, Big print unisex t-shirt, £27.99. Travelling light? This oversized t-shirt suits men and women, so in theory you could buy several and share all holiday. Or not. nicceclothing.com


CHECKLIST

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5. BRIC’S, 22in Cargo Duffle, £375. Pile all your weekend essentials into this stylish bag from Italian designer Bric’s. Also available in bright pink. brics.it 6. ERIC BOMPARD, Jungle square scarf, £170. Inject a jungle vibe with this 100% cashmere bright scarf. It’s an ideal cover up for windy boat trips and, er, churches. eric-bompard.com 7. GESTUZ, Talia cropped pullover, £109.95. This delicate cropped knit provides warmth and style. gestuz.com 8. SEVEN BOOT LANE, Daphne flatforms, £120. These leopard print flats/platforms add some height and transition nicely from day to nightwear. Also available in charcoal suede if the leopard print is a bit too wild. sevenbootlane.com 9. URBAN OUTFITTERS, Impossible refurbished 1980s‑style Polaroid 600 camera, £160. It’s not the most compact camera you’ll ever carry, and the selfie potential is limited, but it’s pretty damn cool, and takes great shots. urbanoutfitters.com

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★ GEAR ★

2 The B&O BeoPlay H2s have super-soft lambskin pads and a wide range of movement, so they sit comfortably and securely on the ear and isolate sound really well.

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RIGHT EAR, RIGHT NOW

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Photograph by David Harrison

We’re all about getting away from it all, but we still like to take a little bit of home on the road – specifically, our favourite tunes. And we’re not about to entrust them to any old headphones, so here’s our pick of the on-ear crop.


CHECKLIST

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1. B&O BEOPLAY, H2 in Silver Cloud, £169. All the design and audio brilliance you’d expect from Bang & Olufsen, with individual looks and all-day comfort. beoplay.com

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2. MONSTER, N-Tune in Cherry Red, £99.95. Distortion-free sound with bomb-proof build – and a detachable, tangle-free cable. shopmonster products.co.uk 3. HOUSE OF MARLEY, Liberate Saddle, £99.99. Slick, drilled stainlesssteel headband with wood and fabric accents and punchy sound. thehouseofmarley.co.uk

Photograph by ###

Bloc & Roc’s eye-catching speaker chambers are each machined from a single billet of aerospace-grade aluminium, with memory foam and leather cushions.

4. BLOC & ROC, Galvanize S1 Grey, £129.95. Serious-looking, beautifully made cans with great detail. Also available in 24ct gold… blocandroc.co.uk

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CHECKLIST

★ S K I N CA R E ★

2 SLATHER ME SMOOTH The only thing that should be dry is your sense of humour, so daub yourself up with one, or all, of these products for skin that’s fresh, perky and springlike all over.

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1. SCARAMOUCHE & FANDANGO, Hydrator, £10. This long-lasting moisturiser for men comes with handy anti-fatigue properties. scaramouche andfandango.com 2. TED BAKER, Cremsha, £8. Wake up and shape up with this menthol-infused shave cream. Smooth finish guaranteed. tedbaker.com 3. BAMFORD, One Morning body splash, £75. With delicate violet leaf and vanilla, once you’re all moisturised this body splash will keep you fresh all day. bamford.co.uk

5. SOPHIE LA GIRAFE, Protection Cream, £14.00. Ok, so it’s for babies. But they know plenty about smooth, soft skin. sophielagirafe cosmetics.com

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4 With more than 190 bioactive ingredients, this zero-shine moisturiser includes Japanese sea buckthorn extract, which is said to restore, revitalise and protect skin.

Photograph by David Harrison

4. CLOSED ON MONDAYS, Matte Moisturiser, £22.50. This is not your time to shine, guys. If luminous face is a problem for you, this mattifying cream will help. closedonmonday.co

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Itinerary: Southampton > Bruges (Zeebrugge) > Berlin (Warnemunde) > Tallinn > St Petersburg (overnight on-board) > Helsinki > Stockholm > Copenhagen > Southampton

Itinerary: Venice > Dubrovnik > Ephesus (Kusadasi) > Mykonos > Corfu > Venice

Itinerary: Rome (Civitavecchia) > Santorini > Ephesus (Kusadasi) > Istanbul (overnight on-board) > Mykonos > Athens (Piraeus) > Naples > Rome (Civitavecchia)

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Prices correct at time of going to print 26.02.2015. The upgrade, free flights and free car parking promotions are applicable to new bookings made between 2nd - 31st March 2015 (OF & BK Status) and are subject to availability. The free car parking promotion is limited to one car parking space per booking. Cruise118.com wine promotion is not combinable with any other offer or discount and cannot be substituted for anything else. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Wine gift provided in return for customer’s details. Minimum spends apply. An administration fee of £29.50 applies to all telephone bookings. A credit card change of 2.5% applies. For more on what’s included and full terms and conditions please refer to Celebrity Cruises’ latest brochure or website. Cruise118 (ABTA L3743 & Y6059 ATOL 5534). Errors & omissions excepted.

ABTA No.L3743


COMPETITION

SPIRITED AWAY

With horses, adventure, culture and almost all the world’s bourbon, Kentucky is a true one of a kind – and you could win a trip for two to experience it all first hand

T

here’s a reason they say ‘there’s only one Kentucky’. Certainly, there’s only one Kentucky Derby, and only Kentucky can call itself the horse capital of the world. But there’s a lot more that makes Kentucky unlike anywhere else in the world. Almost all bourbon in the world is produced in the state, and the distilleries in Bourbon Country, including those along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, offer distinctive tastes and tours. Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail takes in 30 restaurants and bars, all offering more than 50 different bourbons, with trained staff who can explain the nuances and tasting notes of each brand. Natural beauty here is unsurpassed, from the Land Between the Lakes National

Recreation Area in the western lakes to climbers’ favourite Red River Gorge. There’s even the world’s longest cave system, in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park. History, arts and culture also distinguish the Bluegrass state. Kentucky is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, along with Muhammad Ali and the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. And of course, Colonel Sanders launched his global fried chicken empire from a café you can still visit. There’s only one Kentucky, with an endless list of things to see and do, and it’s waiting for you to discover it. Find out more at kentuckytourism.com

THE PRIZE To win a trip for two to Kentucky, including return flights courtesy of TheInternetTraveller.com, car hire courtesy of Alamo and five nights’ accommodation courtesy of Kentucky Tourism, go to escapismmagazine.com/ competition/Kentucky. Explore Kentucky with TheInternetTraveller.com with a £200 discount and free car hire (including satnav). For more: theinternettraveller.com/multicentre-holidays/best-kentucky

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WEEKEND ESCAPISM CENTRAL LONDON WEEKEND BREAKS FROM ONLY £209*

Whether you are looking for a romantic city escape, a family break or simply feel like a weekend of London culture, St. Ermin’s makes the perfect base. This four-star deluxe hotel is located at the end of a tree-lined courtyard in Westminster, next to St. James’s Park tube station and just a few minutes walk from Victoria and Westminster Stations making it ideally placed to enjoy London’s top tourist attractions, theatres and shopping districts. The hotel boasts 331 comfortable rooms & suites, an afternoon tea lounge, an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining and is also home to the ‘Adam Handling at Caxton’ restaurant which has recently been awarded three AA rosettes.

St. Ermin’s Hotel is part of the Autograph Collection, which means that you can earn Marriott Rewards points, to redeem on accommodation or air miles, every time you stay or hold an event.

St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street, London SW1H OQW Tel: + 44 (0)20 7222 7888 *From price, per room per night based on two people sharing a superior room.

www.sterminshotel.co.uk


CHALLENGE YOURSELF,

INSPIRE YOUR TEAM Leave your comfort zone in the office. Take personal development and team motivation to new terrains with a challenge tailor made to your requirements. CYCLE – TREK – SAIL – MULTI ACTIVITY From the Boxhill zigzags and Tour de France cols by bike to the top of Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp by foot, now is the time for your challenge. Whether you’re looking for a personal test or a bespoke corporate event, join us now on a UK, European or overseas outdoor experience.

KNOW NO LIMITS. DISCOVER ADVENTURE. www.discoveradventure.com | challenges@discoveradventure.com

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27/02/2015 13:08


SKYFALL

REAR VIEW

An alternative view of the world Overlooking the Capital Wind Farm in New South Wales, Australia, this image depicts the power of the wind and motion of the sky, shown by the ‘falling’ star trails. The shot secured Matt James the runner-up spot in the Earth & Space category of the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year awards. rmg.co.uk

Photograph by Matt James

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Profile for Square Up Media Ltd.

Escapism - 17 - The Adventure Issue  

Escapism Magazine - Issue 17 - The Adventure Issue

Escapism - 17 - The Adventure Issue  

Escapism Magazine - Issue 17 - The Adventure Issue