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CITY BREAKS SPECIAL

Lanzarote,  Spain

Dorset,  UK

Berlin, Germany

Paris,  France

San Francisco, USA

Bwindi,  Uganda

Cornwall,  UK

I s s u e

46 I S S N

2 3 9 7 - 3 4 0 4


Intricately realised, inside and out

Award-winning gin from the Silent Pool in Surrey Now available in Waitrose, Majestic, 31dover.com and UK Duty Free silentpooldistillers.com


Premier adult resort in Vietnam

Located on a private stretch of pristine beach backed by verdant jungle in scenic Ninh Van Bay, accessible only by speedboat from the mainland. Our secluded setting includes natural streams cascading down from the forested mountains behind us while the all-villa resort boasts sweeping ocean views and tropical mountain vistas. Everything about our serene, intimate environment far removed from the everyday lends itself to personal rediscovery. Commune with Nature in the Jungle Spa, set above a babbling brook and surrounded by lush forest. Enjoy the bounty from Nha Trang’s warm waters masterfully prepared by our talented chefs while our dedicated butlers attend to your every whim. For a truly unforgettable getaway or memorable event, it simply has to be An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay.

Address: Hon Heo Peninsula, Tan Thanh Commune, Ninh Ich Ward, Ninh Hoa Town, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam, Tel (+84) 258 390 1000 - Email address for reservations: rsvn.nvb@anlam.com Website: www.anlam.com


ISSUE 46 • ESCAPISM • 9

EDITOR’S LETTER

E D I TO R I A L

EDITOR

Jon Hawkins ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Lydia Winter STAFF WRITER

Tom Powell CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Hannah Summers SUB EDITOR

Victoria Smith

I

DESIGN

ART DIRECTOR

Matthew Hasteley DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR

Ryan Van Kesteren DESIGNERS

Emily Black, Annie Brooks, Nicola Poulos JUNIOR DESIGNER

Louis Moss

CONTRIBUTORS

Laura Chubb, Rob Crossan, Graeme Green, Jordan KellyLinden, Ben Lerwill, Ben Winstanley

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Mark Hedley SALES DIRECTORS

Mike Berrett, Alex Watson PRINT ADVERTISING

SENIOR COMMS MANAGER

Melissa van der Haak DIRECTOR

James Rolph MANAGING DIRECTOR

Sue Bann, Jade Blair, Maria Constas, Charlotte Gibbs, Jason Lyon, Thomas Ryan

Stephen Laffey

LEAD DEVELOPER

CHAIRMAN

AJ Cerqueti

T ALWAYS SURPRISES me a little that the type of holiday Brits take more than any other is the city break. I mean, I really love visiting cities, and I live and work in one, but wouldn’t a load of people who live on a small, rainy, densely populated island rather hang out on a sunny beach somewhere? As it happens – according to ABTA’s annual holiday habits report – beach holidays come second (they were first until 2014, at which point the order reversed), with 41% of people having taken one last year, versus 53% for city breaks. Perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked. After all, cities are largely human places; full of people living, working and holidaying, and equally full of things made by people, like taxis, cathedrals and shops. Even those cities where the natural landscape refuses to be dominated by the urban environment – I’m thinking Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Edinburgh and Venice for starters – would be all but unrecognisable with the human element stripped away. And nothing draws in humans like other humans. I wonder, too, whether many of us increasingly seek out cities because they offer the activity and intensity we and our overstimulated minds now crave; a tidal wave of sights, noise and experiences. Which isn’t to say you can’t relax in a city – in fact, as our guide to the city breaks you need on your wishlist confirms (p46), you can do pretty much anything you like. And of course, that includes lying on a beach. Who says you can’t have it all? ◆

Jon Hawkins, Editor

CEO

Tim Slee Tom Kelly OBE

FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Cole

@EscapismMag

ACCOUNTS

Caroline Walker, Taylor Haynes

@escapismmag

SQUARE UP MEDIA IS A SQUARE UP GROUP COMPANY The Professional Publishers Association Member

Winners!

Contributor Safi Thind won the VisitEngland Travel Article of the Year award for his piece in Escapism on walking from the west to the east coast of England. You can read it at

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46

CONTENTS

29

95

DEPARTURES 15 ◆ Photos 22 ◆ Just Landed 27 ◆ On Location: Westworld 30 ◆ Short Stay: Bournemouth, UK 32 ◆ In Focus: Lanzarote, Spain

64

EXPERIENCES

EXCURSIONS

C OV E R S TO RY

46

City Breaks

This year’s hottest urban getaways, from wildcards to new classics 54 ◆ Paris, France ◆ A city with spirit

Tracing the radical spirit of the ‘68 protests in the French city today 59

Cornwall

Cycling

A bike tour of the Cornish coastline is jam-packed with local produce

64 ◆ San Francisco, USA ◆ The Tenderloin

A fresh look at one of San Fran’s most notorious neighbourhoods 71 ◆ Berlin, Germany ◆ City guide

Currywurst, clubs and less cliché essentials in the German capital

83 ◆ The Checklist ◆ Summer adventure kit, plus luggage 95 ◆ The Intrepid Series: Uganda 106 The Selector: Mediterranean special 114 Rear View

(Czech Republic) Grafissimo / Getty; (aquarium) @jordhammond); (monkeys) Kamili; (beach) Turismo Lanzarote

32


4

FOREVER YOUNG this year, Fjällräven Kånken turns 40. Originally introduced as a schoolbag for Swedish children in the 70s, the bag’s simple Scandinavian design and ultra-robust Vinylon F fabric has made it popular with millions of people all over the world. Used in countless different ways, over the last four decades the

Kånken has made its way from Örnsköldsvik to all four corners of the planet and is showing no signs of ending its journey. Set to continue for at least another 40 years, the Kånken has always stayed Kånken. Forever functional. Forever young. Forever yours – to carry in your own way.

fjallraven.co.uk/storelocator


The place to be in Santorini...

“Best Wedding Hotel in Europe� for 2017

Fira - Santorini - Greece Tel +30 2286024910 - Fax +30 2286024913 www.athinasuites.com - info@athinasuites.com


DEPARTURES

Andrew Burr

30

15 ◆ In the Frame 22 ◆ Just Landed 27 ◆ On Location ◆ Westworld 29 ◆ Hot Shots ◆ Dubai Short Stay ◆ The Green House, Bournemouth 32 ◆ In Focus ◆ Lanzarote


Feel I Taste I Play I Discover... all year round visitportimao.com

/visitportimao


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 15

IN THE FRAME

From tales of #vanlife to cool campfire recipes, new book Homecamp is an incredible ode to a life lived off the beaten track [

PHOTOGRAPHY

]

FASHIONABLY LAKE:

Outdoors chef Kieran Creevy spends his time trekking the Indian Himalayas to cook in ridiculously remote locations like this one. Inspired yet?

500px/Imagefolk


HUT AND BOTHY’D:

You’d be forgiven for feeling a little insignificant waking up in a bivvy in the valley below the 3,724m-high Mount Cook in New Zealand.


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 17

ONE IN-TENTS EXPERIENCE HOMECAMP BY DORON & STEPHANIE FRANCIS Whether you’re a legit digital nomad or just fancy yourself as a VW-driving, warlockbeard-growing hippy, you’re probably going to

like this book. Written by Aussie bloggers Doron and Stephanie Francis, it’s packed with stories, photos and inspiration for life off the grid. Expect open-fire recipes, handy how-to guides and bell tents: loads of them. Available now. £30, Hardie Grant. For more travel inspiration visit homecamp.com.au

Firstname Surname Bec Kilpatrick


SEAL YOUR FATE:

Aussie photographer Brooke Holm travels the globe taking pics that demonstrate the ways in which human life negatively affects the natural world.


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 19

Firstname Surname Brooke Holm


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 21

SAVED BY THE BELL (TENT): Doron and

Stephanie Francis love bell tents so much that their online adventure store Homecamp sells them.

Firstname Surname Andrew Pavlidis


22 • DEPARTURES • JUST LANDED

JUST LANDED From the Cornish town banning plastic in a bid to save our seas to a bevy of new flight routes, there’s big news in the world of travel this month

[

WHAT’S

NEW

IN

TRAVEL

]

PLASTIC NOT SO FANTASTIC

HAVE A HEART

IT’S ESTIMATED THAT THE WEIGHT OF PLASTIC IN THE SEA WILL BE GREATER THAN THE WEIGHT OF FISH BY 2050

REACH NEW HIGHS With WOW air launching new flight routes to some of the most dynamic, up-and-coming US cities, there’s never been a better time to get your ass Stateside to start exploring. Head to Detroit for edgy art and a music scene that saw the birth of Motown and techno; jump on a plane to Cincinnati to scoff pork in all its glorious forms thanks to the city’s porkpacking industry; look to Cleveland, Ohio, for access to the great outdoors and plenty of sport; or book a break in St Louis, Missouri, to hear its worldrenowned symphony orchestra, and get your hands on all the beer you can possibly drink at the home of Budweiser. Flights start from £139.99. wowair.co.uk

(Balkan river) Andrew Burr; (Penzance) Getty Images/Susan Ireland/EyeEm

THERE ARE RIVERS, and then there are the astoundingly wild rivers of the Balkans, home to both a diverse culture and unique ecology. But they’re under threat from more than 3,000 proposed hydropower projects in the area that will destroy this precious pocket of natural beauty. These developments have long been protested by local activists and NGOs – and now gear brand Patagonia is entering the fray with Blue Heart, a campaign, petition and documentary that highlight just why we need to save these incredible rivers. Blue Heart premieres on 2 May at Crate Brewery in Hackney. To sign the petition and to find out more, go to blueheart.patagonia.com/take-action

Water worlds: The rivers in question are crucial for wildlife, and if the dams are built, 30 endangered species and 69 endemic fish species will be at risk.

IN THE UK, we use 38.5 million plastic bottles every day, and 16 million of those end up in the ocean or landfills. Maths isn’t our strong point, but that works out just shy of 500 million plastic bottles a month – and it’s been estimated that the weight of plastic in the sea will be greater than the weight of fish by 2050. That’s why it’s time to act and follow the example of Penzance in Cornwall, which has just been given plastic-free status, with retailers stocking plastic alternatives. The campaign is run by Surfers Against Sewage, and received support from local residents and businesses, who are now swapping their plastic bottles for recyclable containers. We’ll drink to that. sas.org.uk


Lucky Bay, Esperance

Western Australia just got closer Picture yourself sharing Australia’s whitest sands with local kangaroos. Fly Qantas non-stop to Perth and enjoy the city’s laid back lifestyle before hopping over to the turquoise waters of Lucky Bay in Esperance. Book today at qantas.com or with your travel agent. London Heathrow to Perth flights are non-stop, subject to aircraft and schedule changes.


24 • DEPARTURES • JUST LANDED

MOUNTAINS IN THE MIND WHAT DO YOU hope to get out of your next holiday? Relaxation? Time with your family? The chance to change your life and gain mental power? If you answered yes to option three, try Grand Hotel Kronenhof & Kulm Hotel in Pontresina, near St Moritz, Switzerland, which is running a mental coaching programme with mountain guide Thomas Theurillat. He specialises in working in the great outdoors, helping people to confront major challenges. His training works across three levels: a Clarity Chat; a Solution Walk; and a Crown Day, which you’ll spend with Theurillat in nature. Working on our mental health and achieving clarity while being surrounded by beautiful landscapes? We can get on board with that. 28 June-1 July; 2-6 August; 18-21 October. From £130. kronenhof.com

Heights for heads: The Crown Day involves spending a whole day being advised by Theurillat, ideally while immersing yourself in the great outdoors.

BARBADOS IS SIMPLY THE BEST IF YOU EVER needed an extra reason to add Barbados to your must-visit list, this might just be it: the vibrant Caribbean island scooped first place in the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index, as voted for by 70,000 travellers worldwide. It stood out for its beaches, accommodation, cuisine and shopping – which means it ticks all the boxes for our ultimate holiday. And Barbados looks set to have an even better 2018, thanks to new developments like the opening of the St Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway, which means you’ll be able to take a historic rail journey from St Nicholas Abbey up to the picturesque Cherry Tree Hill. Elsewhere, May will see the island celebrate its heritage with a festival fusing Caribbean and Celtic cultures – Bajan haggis, anyone? visitbarbados.org

SHIPS, AHOY

boat builders; charter and sailing companies; cruise ship operators; as well as boat retailers, car and bike manufacturers and dealers, equipment companies and much more. Prices start from £10 for a day pass. To buy tickets, visit londononwater.com

(London On Water) Peter Bryant

While Bangkok has its famous floating flower markets, London has its very own floating boat festival, London On Water. Now in its fourth year, the part festival, part on-water boat show is taking place in St Katharine Docks, which

will be done up to imitate the watery pathways of Venice, complete with a floating village at its heart. This is where the Big-Screen SUMMIT will stage presentations on a wide range of subjects, and you’ll get chance to meet many of the world’s top yacht and

70,000 TRAVELLERS WORLDWIDE HAVE VOTED BARBADOS NUMBER ONE IN THE 2017 DESTINATION SATISFACTION INDEX


We’re here to help you discover the world

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asturiastourism.co.uk


ON LOCATION • DEPARTURES • 27

ON LOCATION

ON THE FLY Introducing the new gear you’ll need for a summer of cycling

While the epic backdrop to sci-fi smasher Westworld is a place where dreams come true, the real-life US state behind it battles an uncertain future for its recreation and public lands

[

UTAH,

USA

OAKLEY FLIGHT JACKET, £185 Oakley’s latest cycling glasses have a huge field of view and great anti-fogging thanks to some clever aerodynamic tricks. Expect to see plenty of these in the pro peloton this summer.

]

oakley.com

L

2016 Home Box Office

OOK AT THIS world, this beautiful world: we built this world together, a world where dreams come true, a world where you can be free. But this world is a lie, this world deserves to die.” Whether it’s sci-fi theme park Westworld or the wild-west US state it’s filmed in, all but the last line of the above quote – taken from the show’s trailer – holds true. That’s unless your name happens to be Donald Trump, who recently reduced Utah-based national monuments Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante by more than half, leaving them open to oil and gas drilling. Yeah, if you’re US president, it’s all true, baby. Sure, the ravaging of US public land is part of a different narrative arc, and one that doesn’t involve Anthony Hopkins,

android cowboys or (as far as we’re aware) a primetime slot on Sky Atlantic – but that doesn’t matter. When you head stateside to Utah classics like Moab, Castle Valley and Dead Horse Point to soak in the sandstone buttes and plains that make Westworld so iconic, make sure you also head to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase while you’re there, because right now we don’t know how long this beautiful world will stay this way. ◆ Westworld is back on Sky Atlantic now

BEST WESTERN: In

spite of its stunning scenery, Westworld is pretty dystopian – and parts of Utah could soon be, too, if the US continues to lose its public land

GO TO BEARS EARS, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE DON’T KNOW HOW LONG THE WORLD WILL STAY THIS WAY

SPORTFUL R&D CELCIUS, £110 The Celcius jersey’s inner mesh construction means it works well in a wide range of conditions, from sun-baked slogs to chilly early starts. And stripes make you go faster, obviously. sportful.com/gb

SPECIALIZED TORCH 2.0, £150 These strike a balance between comfort and performance, with a carbon sole and supple mesh upper. The only question is, are you quick enough for bright-red shoes? specialized.com


INSTAGUIDE: DUBAI • DEPARTURES • 29

DUBAI DESERT

HOT SHOTS

Think Dubai is all luxury resorts, audacious architecture and mile upon mile of swirling sand? Yeah, you’re probably right. Here’s a primer on the city-state from Instagram legend Jord Hammond – follow him @jordhammond for more

[

DUBAI,

UAE

On our last day in Dubai, a friend picked us up in the early hours of the morning and drove us to an abandoned road on the way to Al Ain. As we arrived around sunrise, the sand was drifting and making incredible patterns across the road, so I began shooting it with my drone. As I flew the drone over the road, I noticed a camel herder walking through the desert, and managed to capture the moment.

]

BURJ KHALIFA The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa soars above the Dubai skyline, and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Getting a good vantage point of the building can be tricky, so we opted for a balcony we had visited earlier in the trip to watch the sun set over Dubai. We had been particularly lucky with the weather this trip, and couldn’t believe our eyes when the sky lit up the city below.

ATLANTIS THE PALM @jordhammond

Dubai is known for its incredible shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, and Atlantis The Palm is no exception. I was fortunate to stay at the hotel on my last visit to Dubai earlier this year, and woke up early one morning to shoot the aquarium before the crowds appeared. It was completely mesmerising to watch the rays, sharks and other aquatic life glide past the glass as we were shooting.


SHORT STAY

THE GREEN HOUSE

Take a trip to The Green House, Bournemouth, and its award-winning restaurant, and you’ll find a weekend getaway packed with utterly delicious fish and seafood, the great outdoors and beds so comfortable that you’ll find it hard to leave, says Lydia Winter

[

THE

GREEN

HOUSE,

BOURNEMOUTH

]

COST: From £99

per night ADDRESS:

4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX NEAREST TOWN:

Bournemouth GETTING THERE: You can

get the train from London Waterloo to Bournemouth in around 1hr 45mins, or it’s a 2hr 30min drive via the M3. TO BOOK: thegreenhouse hotel.co.uk

WHAT’S THE SCORE?

The Green House occupies a beautiful Grade II-listed Victorian villa a street back from Bournemouth beach. But for all that heritage, the hotel is extremely forwardthinking – some serious sustainability measures have seen it become one of the world’s top eco-hotels, attracting green-minded travellers with its deeply comfortable guest rooms, award-winning food, and access to both the beach and the New Forest. Scoffable grub, the great outdoors and top environmental credentials? Count us in.

WHAT TO EXPECT

There’s a certain amount of nostalgia when it comes to a British seaside break, which always seems to involve penny machines on the pier, Victorian townhouses, seagulls and inevitably bad weather. On our visit, Bournemouth had all of this in spades – but The Green House proved to be a shining beacon of warmth, hospitality and excellent food in the midst of the drizzle. We’d give it top marks for the satisfyingly sink-in-able beds alone (not to mention the Soil Association-approved

Bathe: Sustainability and an eco-friendly ethos run throughout everything at The Green House, from the food in the restaurant to the cosmetics you’ll find in the bathrooms.


SHORT STAY: BOURNEMOUTH • DEPARTURES • 31

bath mats), but a gorgeous bath – in my case confusingly located in the bedroom rather than the, er, bathroom – complete with fully organic toiletries certainly helped.

WHAT TO EAT

The Green House’s restaurant, The Arbor, occupies a space that feels comfortably like someone’s dining room, but don’t let that fool you: it churns out seasonal, locally sourced food that proves exactly why it earned two AA Rosettes. It does a superb breakfast, but the dinner menu’s no slouch, either – it’s the place to get your chops around local seafood like lemon sole, served with caper butter, new potatoes and seasonal greens. Oh, and don’t skip the bar, seemingly open for coffee, wine, whisky or cocktails at any time of the day or night.

Local Roots: Astonishing levels of care and attention are given to sourcing ingredients to use in The Arbor, with a firm focus on local, sustainable seafood.

WHAT TO DO

(The Green House) Howard Lucas; (West Beach) Andrew Tindall; (Hengistbury Head) CT Aylward/Getty; (Russell-Cotes) VisitBritain/Rod Edwards

While Bournemouth itself is nice enough for an afternoon pottering about, what you really want to do is get yourself into the great outdoors. You’re a stone’s throw from the lush greenery of the New Forest – unmissable for keen walkers, cyclists and pony lovers – but you can also visit Brownsea Island, easily reached thanks to a day trip service that runs from Bournemouth Pier. It’s got everything: pinewoods, heathlands and a lagoon occupied by waders and other sea birds, and has been home to everything from an Edwardian country estate to a Victorian pottery. ◆

THE GREEN HOUSE IS SO SERIOUS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY IT’S BECOMING ONE OF THE TOP ECO-HOTELS IN THE WORLD

LOCAL HEROES While you’re in the area, here are three more places to put on your Bournemouth to-do list

EAT AT WEST BEACH Take a stroll down the beach to this seaside restaurant for some of the best seafood you’ll eat in Bournemouth – which is saying something, given the area’s full of the freshly caught stuff. Our choice? A generous tranche of perfect turbot, served atop a scoop of creamy, caper-laden orzo, or juicy seared scallops offset by sharp pickled fennel and peppery celeriac purée. west-beach.co.uk

HIKE AROUND HENGISTBURY HEAD Heathland, grassland, scrubland, woodland, freshwater wetland, coastland… When it comes to, er, lands, there ain’t much that Hengistbury Head, not far from Bournemouth’s city centre, hasn’t got. Head here for wildlife, archaeology, beautiful beaches and incredible coastal views as you hike or bike around. hengistburyhead.co.uk

VISIT THE RUSSELL-COTES ART GALLERY The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is as eccentric as you’d expect from its fairytale-like exterior. But that doesn’t mean its exhibitions carry any less weight – one to look out for is a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy. We’d recommend parking up, checking out the museum and then wandering down to the promenade to hoover up fish and chips and hit the penny arcades. russellcotes.com


IN FOCUS

Forget what you think you know about Lanzarote. The easternmost Canary Island is packed with great architecture, otherworldly volcanic landscapes and a surprisingly vibrant winemaking scene, says Jon Hawkins

[

LANZAROTE,

SPAIN

]

SEE THE VOLCANIC LANDSCAPE

If you’ve never been to Lanzarote, there’s every chance you’re picturing it like your standard Spanish resort island – parasols dotting the beaches, whitewashed Lego-brick hotels, coastal promenades thronging with tourists – and to some extent that’s true. But imagine all that dropped into an otherworldly volcanic landscape that looks in parts like it could barely sustain life at all, let alone the millions of visitors that pass through each year, and the easternmost of the Canary Islands becomes a lot more strange and interesting. CÉSAR MANRIQUE FOUNDATION AND HOUSE

Much as the fiery actions of the Earth and several decades of tourism have shaped the identity and appearance of Lanzarote, one individual is more responsible than any other for many of the man-made things that make the island such a fascinating and appealing place to travel to. Artist and architect César Manrique was born and died on the island (in 1919 and 1992 respectively) and his legacy is everywhere – as much in what you can’t see as what you can. His former residence in Tahiche, on the east side of the island, is now home to the Fundación César Manrique. Apart from allowing visitors to access this extraordinary building, this not-for-profit works tirelessly to ensure the island remains largely free of high-rise architecture. The Foundation itself, where he lived between 1968 and 1988, is part homage to the traditional houses of the island, part swooping architectural experiment, and part paean to the basalt lava fields that surround the property and are, in places, integrated into the design. Further north, you can also visit the smaller, quieter César Manrique House Museum in Haría, where he lived from 1988 to his death in a car accident in 1992, and the Mirador del Río, a spectacular viewpoint and bar built into a cliffside. The views across the extreme tip of Lanzarote are, as you’d imagine, well worth drinking to. THE HOUSE A CELEBRITY LOST IN A CARD GAME

For another unique taste of Manrique’s legacy, wind your way through the backstreets of the small town of Nazaret – once a popular hideout for bohemians and celebrities – to find LagOmar. The artist helped conceive this warren-like home built into the cliffs, but it was designed by another Canarian artist, Jesús Soto, and made famous by the actor Omar Sharif. The Doctor Zhivago star bought LagOmar (geddit?) in the ’70s and later lost it in a game of bridge – allegedly. There’s a restaurant on site, plus a bar-come-shop where you can taste local wines and load up on souvenirs.


LANZAROTE, SPAIN • DEPARTURES • 33

THE DRIVE TO PUNTA DEL PAPAGAYO TAKES YOU DOWN A TOOTH-RATTLING DIRT TRACK THAT SEEMS TO GO ON FOREVER

(Buildings and volcano) Andreas Weibel; (Beach) Turismo Lanzarote

DO

on the southeastern tip of the island. Reached by a tooth-rattling dirt track (with a toll) that seems to go on forever, these six beaches aren’t exactly people-free, but they’re far enough away from the hubbub to offer an authentic slice of pristine Lanzarote coastline – not to mention a hefty dose of weirdness. The west coast, on the other hand, is a magnet for surfers – try Famara and La Derecha for the prime spots, ideally between October and April when the swell’s most consistent.

VISIT THE TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK

GET ON YOUR BIKE

Even César Manrique didn’t have a hand in the creation of Lanzarote’s most valuable asset, the Timanfaya National Park in the west of the island, though he did design its emblem, ‘El Diablo’. This remarkable (and active) volcanic landscape is brutally stark and wild – and as a result fiercely protected – though it’s possible to take a coach journey through la Ruta de los Volcanes and eat food cooked over geothermal heat at its restaurant, El Diablo. There are two walking routes, too, if you’d rather trundle or race along at your own pace.

Like several of the other Canaries, Lanzarote is increasingly popular with cyclists – presumably more for the year-round balmy conditions than the short, very sharp climbs and exposed volcanic flats where winds whip across sparse, plantless stretches of basalt. If you’re really keen (and really fit) the island’s Ironman triathlon in late May is one of the tougher endurance events out there. If you don’t fancy flying your own bike over, there are several good rental shops on the island.

EAT & DRINK

HIT THE BEACH

Though the average temperature dips (and rainfall rises) a little during winter, variations aren’t wild and it’s therefore possible to take a dip in the sea year-round. Luckily there are plenty of places where you can do that, with a clutch of sandy beaches in the resorts of Puerto del Carmen in the south east, Playa Blanca in the south and Costa Teguise in the east. Of course, hiring a car (which tends to be relatively good value in the Canaries) gives you access to beaches that are further off the beaten track, like those clustered around Punta del Papagayo

WINE

DOWN THE ISLE:

(left) Yaiza, in the south, has a spectacular backdrop; (right) Punta del Papagayo on the south coast

It must have been some kind of visionary who looked at the empty, volcanic south of the island and thought about planting vines there. But that’s exactly what they did, and the result is a growing industry and wines that are starting to make ripples beyond their native Canary Islands. There’s no getting away from the fact this is winemaking on the edge – the black soil presents a unique challenge to winemakers, plus harsh winds mean many vines are →


34 • DEPARTURES • LANZAROTE, SPAIN

THE ROAD THAT CUTS THROUGH THE PROTECTED LA GERIA VALLEY IS DOTTED WITH AWARD-WINNING WINERIES → planted in unique divots, creating a strangely beautiful spectacle. The subtropical climate means the harvest takes place in July, among the earliest in Europe. One way of looking at this, of course, is that no one would bother if the wines weren’t worth it, and many of the wines – dry, sweet, sparkling and even a few reds – genuinely are. Most of the wineries are in the centre of the island, and the road that cuts through the protected La Geria valley is dotted with them, many with tasting rooms and a chance to find out more about production. Bodegas La Geria, El Grifo and Rubicón are among the better known, and all three have won international awards for their wines. SEAFOOD

Unsurprisingly given the quirks of its natural environment – not to mention its aboriginal Berber and Spanish heritage, and the 18th-century volcanic eruption that dramatically reshaped the island – Lanzarote has developed a unique cuisine. Along with the Canaries’ famous mojo sauces and wrinkled potatoes (boiled in heavily salted water), you’ll find excellent artisan cheeses and native breed meat like that of the black pig. The island’s seafood, though, is predictably excellent, and while you’ll find it everywhere, coastal towns like El Golfo in the central west – with its waterside fish restaurants and distinctive pea soup-green lagoon – La Santa in the north west and the port-city capital, Arrecife, in the east, are all excellent places to try tuna, sea bream, prawns, squid, sardines and winkles all hauled out of the surrounding ocean. In short, come hungry. ◆

A WHOLE LOTTA LAVA: Vines in

Lanzarote’s wine regions are often planted in sheltered divots to protect them from the wind

STAY Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Playa Blanca

(vineyard) Turismo Lanzarote

Lanzarote’s south coast is undoubtedly one of the island’s best assets, with spectacular sandy beaches, volcanoes looming in the background and views across to neighbouring Fuerteventura. Five-star suite hotel Princesa Yaiza occupies a large slice of southern real estate just outside the buzzy beach town of Playa Blanca and offers a vast and varied array of facilities that’s made it a tried-and-tested go-to for families and couples alike. Though it’s undoubtedly a big hotel, the design and architecture throughout is of the comfortably luxurious kind, with nods to traditional Spanish style and even crisp, Saint Tropez sophistication. The whole complex – from the soaring ceilings of the lobby to the quiet, shaded plaza that opens out onto the seaside promenade – has the feel of a small village rather than an overwhelmingly massive resort. The main building, where you’ll find most of the restaurants (there are eight in total), reception, shops, the main pools and that plaza, connects to the family complex via an underground passage. Be warned: the latter is lined with large tanks teeming with tropical fish, which, if you happen to have kids, will make the journey a little longer than you may have intended. The family complex houses large, thoughtfully appointed suites, a huge variety of kids’ clubs and activities at Kikoland, a family pool and poolside restaurant, and the hotel’s sports centre. Whatever your age, you won’t run out of things to do, whether you’re looking for an active break or a rare chance to chill. Princesa Yaiza’s eight restaurants are as varied as you’d hope, from simple but tasty Spanish and Italian cuisine at +Tapas and Don Giovanni to Japanese teppanyaki show-cooking at Kampai. There are three buffet restaurants, too, each packed with a bewildering and constantly changing array of international food, plus high-end gastronomy at Isla de Lobos, where hotel residents and non-residents can taste locally sourced cuisine cooked with imagination and flair. Rates for a Basic Superior Room at Princesa Yaiza start from €195 per night including a buffet breakfast, based on two sharing. For further details or to book visit princesayaiza.com or call +00 34 928 519 300. Norwegian flies from London Gatwick to Lanzarote from £49.90 one way. norwegian.com


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[INSIDER’S GUIDE]

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

In association with


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a city, slicker With plenty of arts and culture, a flourishing food scene and a bustling Downtown district, there’s plenty to discover in Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania. Spend a day exploring the Andy Warhol Museum, or hop on a bike and work up a sweat cycling the Great Allegheny Passage before refuelling with one of the city’s famous Primanti sandwiches. Whatever you’re after, Pittsburgh has it in spades – and it’s now easier to reach than ever thanks to WOW air’s flights from London Gatwick via Reykjavik, flying four times weekly in winter and five times weekly in summer. For more information on holidays to Pittsburgh, head to visitpittsburgh.com

BUTLER COUNTY

(Butler County) Douglas Sacha / Getty; (Downtown) Firstname Surname Travis Houston / Getty; (Great Allengheny Passage) Tom Uhlman / Alamy

New York Pittsburgh

DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH

Washington, DC

GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE


S P O T L I G H T P I T T S B U R G H , P E N N S Y LVA N I A

Your PitTsburgh Top ten Just a hop, skip and a jump from New York and Washington DC, Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania is a US city you need to add to your hit list, thanks to its art, culture, food and access to the great outdoors Whether you’re a culture vulture, an art obsessive, a food lover or a sports fan, the city of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania has everything you need for the perfect city getaway and then some. But with such a wide range of activities on offer in one place, how do you know where to start? Here’s a taster of ten unmissable things to do while you’re there. You’re welcome. 1. The Frick Pittsburgh One of the best-preserved Gilded Age mansions in the US, this complex of

museums is housed in what used to be the family home of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, whose name you might recognise from The Frick Collection in New York. It’s the place to find a selection of fine European art alongside historical cars.

3. Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh is the iconic artist’s birthplace, so it makes sense that it has a museum devoted to his life. Housing more than 4,000 pieces relating to him and his work, it also runs exhibitions on boundary-pushing artists.

2. ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Food Tour The best way to learn about a new place is through its food, and this particular tour will teach you about Pittsburgh’s history as you explore on foot or bike, making pitstops at shops and restaurants along the way.

4. PNC Park No trip to the US is complete without sports, so make sure you visit PNC Park, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. Not playing? Not a problem – a tour will still give you access to views of the city’s skyline.


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cop an eyeful of one of America’s best views with a trip up to pittsburgh’s observation deck 5. Unwind in Butler County Once you’ve had your fill of Pittsburgh’s urban bustle, head to the bucolic Butler County. Just an easy hour’s drive away, its rural landscape is home to farms, birds and brewpubs aplenty, and makes for a perfect tonic after an action-packed city break.

8. Duquesne Incline Cop an eyeful of ‘one of the ten most beautiful views in America’, as voted by USA Today, when you ride a 140-year-old incline car up to the Observation Deck. For a truly special evening, there are plenty of restaurants here, too.

6. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House Design buffs, take note. Just an 80-minute drive from the city, Fallingwater is the only house by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright left standing in its original setting, complete with original furnishings.

9. Carnegie Museum of Art Considered to be one of the US’s best museums of contemporary art, the Carnegie holds a whopping 30,000 objects, as well as offering studio art classes and programmes.

7. Randyland For a completely different kind of art, head to the colourful landmark of Randyland, an outdoor studio where artist Randy Gilson has turned the walls into vivid, eye-catching murals. Bonus – it’s free.

10. Cool new hotels The cherry on the cake is a clutch of new hotels opening this year, from the boutiquestyle AC Hotel to the entertainment-packed Rivers Casino Hotel on the North Shore. For more information on holidays to Pittsburgh head to visitpittsburgh.com ◆

(Colourful house) Philip Scalia

PARK LIFE: [clockwise from main] Catch a baseball game at PNC Park; a colourfully painted house in Randyland; a view across Pittsburgh’s skyline


S P O T L I G H T P I T T S B U R G H , P E N N S Y LVA N I A

outdoor odyssey The USA is pretty famous for its epic outdoors, and Pittsburgh is no different – whether it’s city cycling or hitting the trails, you’re sorted

Picture the scene: you’re floating serenely down the Allegheny River, the main waterway that cuts through the heart of Pittsburgh. It’s the middle of the afternoon, you’ve not long jumped in a kayak on the city’s trendy North Shore and you’re soaking up some of Pittsburgh’s most iconic architecture from an alternative angle, just watching as the skyline rears up on you from each side of the river as you paddle. You begin to feel more and more relaxed with each dunk of the paddle, and this gentle afternoon’s splash through the water is a great way to relax after spending the morning cycling the city’s hottest sights. This is the sort of adventure you can have every day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and what’s even more amazing is that it’s the sort of adventure you can have without ever getting close to the city limits. Whether you’re an all-out action hero, or just fancy seeing a classic American city

holiday with a trip to two classic US cities. Whether you choose to hike or bike, you’ll soar over valleys, wind around mountains and follow three rivers as you pass through the C&O Canal National Park, cross the Eastern Continental Divide and worldfamous Mason-Dixon Line. If the full length of the trail sounds a

OAR-INSPIRING VIEWS: [clockwise from main] Rent a kayak and get a brand-new perspective on Pittsburgh’s skyline; explore Pittsburgh by bike

(Kayaking) Jim West/Alamy; (bikes) Amy Cicconi/Alamy

in a cool new way, there are tons of options when it comes to exploring the outdoors in Pittsburgh, from chilled-out afternoons of biking and kayaking in the centre, to hitting the trails and heading out of town. There’s something for every kind of traveller. If you jump straight off the plane hungry to see all the sights, there's no better way to get started than by booking yourself a place on the Golden Triangle Bike Tour: just $8 per hour for adults and $5 per hour for kids, it's the perfect way to take in the city centre, picking up history and local knowledge as you go. What's more, if you want to take things at your own pace, you can just rent a bike and self-guide, hitting the city's trails and going wherever catches your fancy. If you’re the kind of traveller who likes to follow their stomach, meanwhile, you should skip breakfast and jump on the ’Burgh Bits and Bites Tour – a food-focused walking tour around some of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighbourhoods that’ll teach you everything you need to know about the city’s celebrities, architecture and street art while stopping at iconic eateries along the way. Then, when you’re done, you can take a relaxing ride along the city’s waters by kayak – and with three different places to rent a kayak throughout Pittsburgh, there’s an option for everyone, from the classic views of PNC Park, the Point and Heinz Field off North Shore to the more secluded scenery of North Park, where you can get a taste of the city’s more natural side. Speaking of nature, the country around Pittsburgh is absolutely packed with it, and one of the best ways to get a feel for it all is by heading out on the Pittsburgh to DC Rails To Trails tour. Taking eight days and traversing all 335 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath between Pittsburgh and Washington DC, it’s the ideal way to combine an active outdoors


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little bit too intense for a holiday, the Great Allegheny Passage is easily accessible from central Pittsburgh, too, making it ideal for an escape from exploring the city streets. Also on your doorstep when you visit Pittsburgh is the epic outdoors of Butler County – just an hour’s drive from the city, and home to incredible places for adventures all year ’round. Come summer, the place to visit is Moraine State Park, where you’ll find 16,000 acres, 71 miles of trails and 42 miles of lakeside shoreline for watersports, fishing and wildlife watching. Come winter,

An afternoon on the city’s waterways is the perfect way to relax after seeing sights by bike meanwhile, there’s skiing for all abilities in Pleasant Valley, and ice-fishing from January to March in the county’s Game Propagation Area, which is a truly unique experience. From city to country, summer through

winter, Pittsburgh is an epic escape for lovers of the outdoors. Now you just need to get out there and discover it for yourself. ◆ For more information on holidays to Pittsburgh head to visitpittsburgh.com


S P O T L I G H T P I T T S B U R G H , P E N N S Y LVA N I A

Get to the art of the matter Vibrant Pittsburgh has great sport, outdoors and delicious food aplenty, but museums and galleries are where the city really shines – it’s the ideal destination for both art lovers and culture vultures alike There's a lot to love about under-therader Pittsburgh – the buzzing local culture, a welcoming atmosphere and a burgeoning food scene are just a few places to get started. And despite its urban feel, you might even spot people taking time out from urban bustle by kayaking down one of its three rivers, Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. But there’s another reason why this dynamic US city should be on your mustvisit list: even though its history lies in steel

manufacture, Pittsburgh has developed into a centre for world-renowned art and culture. First up are the galleries. The Carnegie Museum of Art is home to an absolutely outstanding collection of contemporary art that ranges from late 19th-century American and French Impressionist paintings to modern film and video works, as well as decorative arts that span from the 17th century to the modern day. Elsewhere, the Andy Warhol Museum

is a must-see. Despite his links to New York, Pittsburgh is the legendary artist’s birthplace, and this museum is the best place to learn about his hugely influential work. It’s the most comprehensive museum dedicated to a single artist in the whole of

THE WRIGHT STUFF: [clockwise from main] Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is an 80-minute drive from Pittsburgh; the Andy Warhol Museum


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INSIDER’S GUIDE

WIN three nights in Pittsburgh Fancy exploring Pittsburgh on a ‘Burgh Bits and Bites food tour, kayaking on the Allegheny River or soaking up some culture at the Andy Warhol Museum? You’re in luck, because we’ve teamed up with VisitPITTSBURGH and WOW air to give one lucky reader the chance to win a three-night stay for two at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel in Pittsburgh, including return flights from the UK with checked luggage. That means you could be enjoying the best of vibrant Pittsburgh on your next city break. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is head to our website and answer one simple question. Good luck. To enter and to read full T&Cs, head to escmag.co/pittsburgh

Getting to pittsburgh

(Andy Warhol) Philip Scalia / Alamy

WOW air currently flies from two UK airports, London Gatwick and Edinburgh, with flights from London Stansted launching in April 2018. To make transatlantic flying on a budget even more flexible, the airline has launched tiered travel bundles allowing travellers to choose from three different packages: WOW Basic, WOW Plus and WOW Biz. WOW air operates four flights a week in winter and five flights a week in summer to Pittsburgh via Reykjavik, starting at £139.99 one way on the WOW Basic package. For more information or to book, please visit wowair.co.uk

the USA and houses 900 paintings and more than 4,000 photographs and films. The Frick Pittsburgh is an essential visit, too. The complex of museums and landscaped grounds includes Clayton – the former home of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, it’s now one of the USA’s bestpreserved Gilded Age estates. Today, the museums house Helen Clay Frick’s huge collection of fine and decorative art, a car museum, a greenhouse and an awardwinning café – perfect for refuelling after a morning on the hoof. Design enthusiasts should check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Just an 80-minute drive from the city, Fallingwater is one of his most iconic buildings, while House on the Kentuck Knob and Duncan House are two Wright-designed houses that you can actually stay in. But Pittsburgh has plenty of quirk to it. One of its best-loved museums is the Senator John Heinz History Center. It’s home to the Heinz Room – dedicated to showcasing the history of Heinz baked beans and tomato ketchup, complete with original adverts that are shown on vintage TV sets. From classic culture to offbeat history, Pittsburgh has it all and then some. ◆ For more information on holidays to Pittsburgh, head to visitpittsburgh.com


kronenhof moments since 1848 Are you already planning your summer holidays? The combination of magical moments, the wild yet accessible nature, a plethora of activities ranging from sports, relaxation and culture to savoir vivre or mountaineering create memories that last a lifetime and guarantee true recreation!

From 15 June 2018, immerse yourself in a world full of vibrant colours, warming rays of sunshine, gentians and alpine roses and let yourself be enchanted by the Engadine’s mountain spring. 2 nights from CHF 395 per person, including free access to the Upper Engadine mountain railways

Grand Hotel Kronenhof · 7504 Pontresina/St. Moritz · Switzerland T +41 81 830 30 30 · info@kronenhof.com · www.kronenhof.com


EXPERIENCES

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46 ◆ City Breaks Special Paris, France ◆ Searching for the spirit of ‘68 59 ◆ Cornwall, UK ◆ A wine tour by bike San Francisco, USA ◆ Discovering the Tenderloin 71 ◆ Berlin, Germany ◆ City guide


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MAKING A BREAK FOR IT From walkable wonders to sprawling giants and places you’ve never even heard of, we’ve found cities that’ll tick all your holiday boxes. Your next city break? Sorted

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ITIES COME IN all shapes and sizes. There are vast cities with plenty of urban grit; there are pretty hilltop cities full of history and romance; there are seaside cities that are home to both some of the best surfers on the planet and a world-class food scene. And the thing about cities is that there’s usually a hell of a lot going on in them, and much of it’s hidden from view. That’s where we come in – we’ve picked our favourite cities for romance, food, culture, outdoors adventures and beaches, with great new ideas for places you’ve probably been to, and plenty of places you almost certainly haven’t…

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Pubs and bars in Brighton

Words by LYDIA WINTER

Reynold Mainse / Design Pics

GO FIGURE: These statues in Athens are called caryatids, named for the village of Karyai. They’re beautiful but functional, supporting the building’s structure


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CITIES FOR ROMANTICS THE LITTLE WONDER

Bergamo, Italy You’d be hard-pressed to find something more, well, lovely than ambling around the hilltop city of Bergamo, which lies about an hour’s drive from Milan. Hop straight on the funicular to the Città Alta, where you’ll find Renaissance-era houses with wrought-iron balconies, beautiful Baroque basilicas, and the Piazza Vecchia, a restaurant-lined square that’s practically made for an evening of aperitivi. Don’t miss exploring the cobbled paths of the botanical gardens either – grab a gelato and sit a bench among the blooms to watch dusk fall over the surrounding hills. STAY: Re-enact Rapunzel with a stay at GombitHotel, housed in a 13th-century tower. From £133. gombithotel.com GETTING THERE: Flybe flies from Southend to Milan from £50 return. flybe.com

Once the city’s political centre, the Piazza Vecchia is now full of restaurants and cafés. For something special and traditional, try Ristorante Colleoni dell’Angelo.

THE BIG SMOKE

Marrakech, Morocco With rooftops, riads, and magenta-hued bougainvillea galore, this Moroccan city sure knows how to lay on a romantic spread, made all the more tempting by moreish (and Moorish) Middle Eastern cooking. Instead of paying a premium for a rooftop meal watching the sunset, head to the Amal Center, where your bill goes towards working to support women in need. You can also do a cookery masterclass here – perfect for keeping the romance alive when you get home. STAY: With antique brass beds and views over the courtyard, Riad Al Moussika is so gorgeous you’ll never want to leave. From £130. riyad-al-moussika.com GETTING THERE: British Airways flies from Gatwick to Marrakesh Menara from £262 return. ba.com

NOT-SO-SECRET GARDEN : [clockwise from main] Marrakech’s Menara gardens; the Charles Bridge in Prague; the pretty streets of Jerusalem

THE WILDCARD

Torshavn, Faroe Islands Torshavn: home to cottages, an Irish pub and… you. Although it’s the capital of the Faroe Islands, this city is as small and sleepy as they come. So what can you actually do? Visit the Føroya Fornminnissavn museum to see artefacts from the Viking Age; explore Tinganes, the city’s historic centre; go hiking and birdwatching. And then you’ve ticked pretty much everything off, which means you can spend the rest of your trip canoodling in your hotel room. How’s that for romance? STAY: Hotel choices are limited, but at Hotel Havgrím you can order champagne to your room. From £234. hotelhavgrim.fo GETTING THERE: SAS flies from London to the Faroe Islands via Copenhagen from £340 return. flysas.com


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IN BRIGHTON, YOU’LL FIND HUNGRY PUNTERS (AND SEAGULLS) DIVE-BOMBING EVERYTHING FROM STREET FOOD TO FINE-DINING DISHES CITIES FOR FOODIES

benches. From £73. college-hotel.com GETTING THERE: easyJet flies from Gatwick to Lyon from £53 return. easyjet.com

THE LITTLE WONDER

THE WILDCARD

(Morocco) Peerakit JIrachetthakun/Getty; (Prague) Grafissimo/Getty; (Jerusalem) Elad Matityahu

Brighton, UK For boundary-pushing grub that’s closer to home – and cheaper – than New York City, make tracks to Brighton, where you’ll find hungry punters (and seagulls) dive-bombing everything from street food to fine-dining dishes. The city is one of the leading lights of the vegetarian movement; we like the rather special Terre à Terre, with flavourpacked meatless cooking seen in dishes like Korean-fried cauliflower. Elsewhere, ride the Mexican wave with tacos and burritos (veg and non veg) at the fast-casual but oh-sodelicious La Choza. The city is also a haven for coffee lovers (it’s all about small-batch, natch), or for something a bit stronger, look to The Mesmerist, a cocktail bar/club playing jazz and swing. Want some live music? Check out Green Door Store. STAY: Plush Victorian-era luxury gets the boutique treatment at Blanch House. From £153. blanchhouse.co.uk GETTING THERE: Southern Rail goes from London Victoria to Brighton from £36.40 return. southernrailway.com

THE BIG SMOKE

Lyon, France For the crème de la crème of French cooking, head south east to Lyon, the true capital of cuisine à la française without any of the Parisian pretension. Local specialities include sausages, paté en croute and, erm, tripe, served at traditional bouchons, but a new wave of innovative chefs is putting a mouthwatering modern spin on the classics – Mathieu Rostaing-Tayard of Café Sillon is definitely a name to watch. As for nightlife, the city is known for its electronic music: try Le Sucre, an eyrie-like venue on the roof of a sugar factory-turned-arts centre. STAY: Go back to school at Collège Hotel, where rooms feature old wooden desks and

Jerusalem, Israel Hummus: creamy, comforting and very moreish. But we’ve got news for you, because those sad little pots you ‘accidentally’ eat in one sitting don’t even come close to the real deal, which you’ll find being sold in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda food market. Here, it’s silky-smooth, served simply or topped with zhoug spice mix, spiced meat or an egg. One tip: you would never, ever dare to approach this magical stuff with soggy

sticks of carrot or cucumber. After dinner, check out nearby Haschena Bar, where you’ll find all the pretty young things dancing till the early hours – although note that Jerusalem’s BNOs (Big Nights Out) are on Thursdays and Saturdays. STAY: The gorgeous Alegra hotel sits in the beautiful Ein Kerem neighbourhood. From £172. hotelalegra.com GETTING THERE: Wizz Air flies from Luton to Tel Aviv from £255 return. wizzair.com

CITIES FOR CULTURE VULTURES THE LITTLE WONDER

Prague, Czech Republic In a city that’s famed as much for Baroque architecture as it is for beer, swerve the louty, shouty stag parties and visit the Czech Museum of Cubism at the House of the Black Madonna instead, then download the >


> map of Prague’s Cubist architecture that’ll take you on a tour of the city centre (which we’re sure you could turn into a pub crawl if you really wanted to). Elsewhere, head to MeetFactory, founded by eminent Czech artist David Cerny, which has a cinema, a gallery and a host of other cultural events. STAY: The wittily named Czech Inn will give you a decent amount of bang for your buck. From £46 for a private room. czech-inn.com GETTING THERE: Czech Airlines flies from Gatwick to Prague from £216 return. csa.cz

INTO THE BLUE: [clockwise from main] An island in the Stockholm archipelago; the beautiful beaches of Galway, Ireland; go on a desert safari in Dubai

Sculptor Cerny specialises in witty, subversive creations that you’ll see scattered around Prague. Meet the man himself at, er, MeetFactory, where he often hangs out.

THE BIG SMOKE

Athens, Greece The Acropolis? Check. The Parthenon? Check. The temples? Been there, got the t-shirt. But there’s far more to Athens than all that old stuff: the city has an urban, gritty, and distinctly modern culture that covers everything from art to music. So once you’ve ticked off the ancient sights, work your way towards modern times with a visit to Cine Paris, a rooftop cinema that was set up in the ’20s, and trendy contemporary galleries like The Breeder. Housed in an old ice cream

factory, it promotes emerging Greek artists like Andreas Angelidakis, who experiments with videos and 3D printing. STAY: Relax by a rooftop pool overlooking the Acropolis. #Winning. From £99. freshhotel.gr GETTING THERE: Ryanair flies from Stansted to Athens from £230 return. ryanair.com

THE WILDCARD

Dubai, UAE On the surface, Dubai might look like it’s all shopping malls, never-ending Friday brunches and sun-drenched beaches, but dive underneath the dazzling modern architecture and you’ll find deeply rooted traditions and a burgeoning local cultural scene. Yes, it’s the perfect destination for


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(Stockholm) Maria Swärd/Getty; (Ireland) Christian McLeod/Tourism Ireland

kicking back and topping up your tan, but you can also venture out into the desert on a Jeep trek to see traditional belly dancing, try a shisha pipe, and get your chops around Middle Eastern cuisine at a giant barbecue. Sounds like our kind of party. Then swap the sand for an afternoon of sophistication at one of Dubai’s many contemporary art galleries, like the cutting-edge Third Line, which has played a significant role in helping to grow the city’s art scene. STAY: Keep the sophistication levels high by staying at the Grosvenor House Hotel in the iconic Dubai Marina. From £105. grosvenorhouse-dubai.com GETTING THERE: Emirates flies from Heathrow to Dubai from £387 return. emirates.com

CITIES FOR ADVENTURERS THE LITTLE WONDER

Girona, Spain Perched in the stunning scenery and enviably mild climate of the French Pyrenées, the medieval town of Girona has become a mecca for pro cyclists. Get the inside scoop on the best routes, not to mention a banging brew, with a coffee at La Fabrica Girona, set up by cyclist Christian Meier and now a popular local cycling hangout. Elsewhere, there are heaps of other outdoors activities to get your teeth into, from skiing to hiking. And if you’re not on the, er, active side, soak up the city’s history at the museums and galleries, or sit down and scoff plates and plates of tapas. But, really, the best bit is that in Girona you can easily do all three. STAY: Make the most of the old town at the cyclist-friendly Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona. From £185. llegendeshotel.com GETTING THERE: Vueling flies from London Gatwick to Barcelona from £87. vueling.com

THE BIG SMOKE

Stockholm, Sweden Sweden has something called the epically named ‘Freedom to Roam’, which gives everyone access all national land, whether that’s Swedish Lapland, the mountains or the archipelagos. So after you’re done soaking up Stockholm’s hipster culture, jump into a kayak and explore the inlets, then wild camp on one of the islands. If you’re anything like legendary Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt, your campfire-cooking efforts might inspire you to set up one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. STAY: Scandinavia can be expensive, so save dollar by booking into Generator. From £76. generatorhostels.com GETTING THERE: Norwegian flies from Gatwick to Stockholm from £85 return. norwegian.com

THE WILDCARD Firstname Surname

St John’s Newfoundland, Canada Hold on. A city break all the way in Canada? No, we haven’t gone

One of the biggest names in world-famous New Nordic Cuisine, Niklas Ekstedt found the inspiration for his own brand of cooking while wild camping in Sweden.

mad; Newfoundland’s 29,000km of coastline and wild tuckamore forests are just a five-hour flight from London. And as you’d expect from a trip to a country known for its incredible landscapes, you’ve got more outdoors adventure than you can shake a stick at, with glaciers, tundra and mountains aplenty, if that’s your sort of thing. Time your visit with iceberg season and gawp at hulking chunks of ice as they travel past, venture out on a whale-watching trip, or explore the pathways of the East Coast Trail. STAY: Combining groundbreaking modern architecture and a stark landscape, the Fogo Island Inn makes for an extraordinary (and spenny) stay. From £961. fogoislandinn.ca GETTING THERE: WestJet flies from Gatwick to St John’s from £393 return. westjet.com

CITIES FOR WATER BABIES THE LITTLE WONDER

Galway, Ireland Galway: known for cream tea, girls that are sung about by Ed Sheeran and… monster swells and sandy beaches. Yep, that’s right: >


52 • EXPERIENCES • CITY BREAKS

> the city has some of the best surfing in Ireland, along with blue-flag beaches and temptingly swimmable – if a bit chilly – waters. Amble along the promenade and you’ll find the three postcard-worthy beaches of Salthill, as well as a diving board at Black Rock. Winter brings bigger waves, while summer is the perfect time for novices. What’s Irish for gnarly again? STAY: Whether you’re after a guesthouse, a houseboat or rooftop views, you’ll find something to suit you on Airbnb. From around £76. airbnb.co.uk GETTING THERE: Ryanair flies from Stansted to Shannon from £50 return. ryanair.com

THE BIG SMOKE

Porto, Portugal There’s more to the medieval city of Porto than, er, port. Magnificent churches, for example; a buzzing food and drink scene; and, which might be more surprising, a

clutch of rather lovely beaches. Because what you could, but shouldn’t, forget in the face of all that bustling city life, is that Porto lies on the Costa Verde, complete with secluded coves, spectacular cliffs and, yes, endless stretches of beaches that are Unsurprisingly, primed for sleeping the Costa Verde is named for its lush off port-induced greenery. Its rolling hangovers, sunbathing landscapes are and frolicking in the home to unusual sea. Praia do Carneiro flora and fauna, which has given it lies within the city protected status. limits, but we’d make the extra effort to go slightly further afield to the golden sands of Praia de Matosinhos instead, only a 15-minute metro ride from the city centre. STAY: With walking tours and home to local art, Gallery Hostel is entrenched in Porto’s cool cultural scene. From £100 for a private room. gallery-hostel.com

GETTING THERE: TAP flies from Gatwick to Porto from £180 return. flytap.com

THE WILDCARD

Asbury Park, NJ Beaches, beer and… the Boss. If you’re more about urban grit than white picket fences, skip the pristine lawns of the Hamptons and head 60 miles south of New York, to Asbury Park, the tiny New Jersey city mainly known for having spawned Bruce Springsteen. Now, though, it’s the go-to for cool New Yorkers in the know, who come in search of sun, sea and sand. While things have been slow to pick up, it’s home to a boardwalk, boutiques and beer festivals, not to mention a burgeoning music scene, as well as plenty of food trucks dishing up everything from tacos to ceviche. What more could you possibly ask for? STAY: The funky colours and sleek design of The Asbury will put a spring in your step. From £244. theasburyhotel.com GETTING THERE: Virgin Atlantic flies from London Heathrow to New York from £450 return. virginatlantic.com ◆

Daniel Rodrigues

THE COSTA VERDE HAS ENDLESS STRETCHES OF BEACH THAT ARE PRIMED FOR SLEEPING OFF PORT-INDUCED HANGOVERS

PORT-O-COOL: You’ll already know Porto for its oodles of mouthwatering food and drink, but nearby are great beaches that are popular with surfers, too


Next stop: Italia.


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VIVE LA RÉVOLUTION In May 1968, the beautiful, tranquil streets around the Sorbonne in Paris descended into chaos thanks to a group of radical dreamers. Half a century on, it’s still possible to walk in their shoes, if you use your imagination…

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EVER MIND A revolution. You can’t even smoke in here.” Such are the rules that patrons of Café de Flore must abide by according to my waiter, an expert in the timeless Parisian art of wearing crisp uniforms while displaying mild hostility. Rivulets of rain spit and bounce against the glass windows of this corner brasserie. Inside, the red leather banquette next to me is occupied by a crop-haired solo female diner in black chiffon drinking even darker coloured coffee and scowling at a damp Le Monde. Next to her are a group of three men, all with Francis Bacon-style swept-back quiffs, drinking pastis and discussing a lecture they went to last night. One of them begins a sentence with ‘if essence precedes >

2.5 hrs

Train journey from London

Words by ROB CROSSAN David A Barnes/Alamy

RUNNING RIOT: The Sorbonne, once home of the University of Paris and where the riots of 1968 began – students occupied the building and teaching ceased


PARIS • EXPERIENCES • 55


> existence’. This really isn’t a place you could ever confuse with Starbucks. Half a century ago, the patrons here may have had the same intense intellectual rigour as today. But they were infinitely more likely to be reeling through the doors suffering from the effects of tear gas. Or they might have been plotting what they would do when president de Gaulle realised that he’d forfeited control of France to a motley gang of students, surrealists, artists and philosophers – the most unlikely revolutionaries of modern times. Half a century on from May 1968 and it all seems just as unbelievable now as it must have done then. This is a raffish, bohemian corner of Paris, where the portentous, butterscotch-hued stone dimensions of the prestigious Sorbonne university are encircled with academic and antiquarian bookstores, bijou art-house cinemas and cafés dripping with coffee and culture. How could this turn into a raging battleground of burning barricades of 2CVs, smashed chairs and ripped up cobblestones? The mundane answer lay with university accommodation rules in the Sorbonne. It was spring 1968 and France was in its most contented, passive state for centuries. The scars from the independence of former colony Algeria earlier that decade had begun to heal and the economy was booming. There was a problem, though. ‘France is bored’ stated an editorial in Le Monde – then, as now, the nation’s most influential newspaper. Even President de Gaulle admitted that he was no longer enjoying the job: “It’s no fun anymore, everything is easy, and there are no more heroic tasks”, he’s said to have remarked. In theatres and cinemas around the Sorbonne, such as the still-standing Cinema Racine and the Odeon theatre, young creative thinkers flocked to see works by the likes of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco, filmmakers and playwrights who railed against materialism and parodied the

absurdities of mundane modern life. Today, as I walk past the cinema, the roster of films is culturally confusing. Yes, there’s a vintage Charlie Chaplin movie and a documentary about the Japanese avantgarde dance scene. But there’s also The Gruffalo. If Racine is intentionally aiming for continuing the theme of absurdity, then it appears to be succeeding. On 6 May frustrations among Sorbonne students reached boiling point. Angered at not being able to have mixed-sex dormitories or play music late at night, their polite protests were disturbed by a small, nominally right-wing group who launched a counter protest, distributing leaflets stating that students should be hanged. Within an hour, the resulting skirmish turned into major street battle. Café chairs were smashed and the legs used as clubs and the seats as makeshift helmets. Police charged the students but over the

YOUNG THINKERS, POETS, ARTISTS AND LOVERS SLEPT ON BENCHES, SPRAY PAINTED OVER PAINTINGS, AND ENGAGED IN DEBATES

following nights the rioting only grew more intense while the uniquely intellectual stance of the protestors was manifested in graffiti and posters hastily pasted up across the city. ‘Never work’ was one slogan. ‘Power to the imagination’ read another. And most provocative of all was one that declared, ‘Under the paving stones, the beach’ – hurl it at a copper to find a perfect, romantic world. Amid the 10ft-high barricades of burning cars, the floored lamp posts and the burning rubbish and rubble, an increasingly frantic ‘scorched earth’ revenge policy was ratcheted up by the In total, the strikes police and right-wing that took place groups, both groups over the two weeks determined to destroy involved around everything that 11 million workers, which was more these fringe creative than 22% of the insurrectionists total population of stood for. France at the time. Workers from car factories on the outskirts of Paris downed tools, occupied their assembly lines and joined in with the students and revolutionaries as a general strike was declared on 13 May. The underground metro stopped running. Garbage stopped being collected. Undertakers refused to bury bodies. Petrol


PARIS • EXPERIENCES • 57

TODAY YOU HAVE TO LISTEN HARD TO HEAR ANY KIND OF MODERN REVOLUTIONARY HEARTBEAT AROUND THE SORBONNE

CAFÉ CULTURE: [above] Café de Flore, which was frequented by the intellectual elite around the times of the riots; [below] rioting students take to the streets

(Café de Flore) Garden Photo World/Alamy; (riot) Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy

stations ran out of gas. Rats ran amok in the old Les Halles marketplace. Even de Gaulle himself disappeared, rumoured to be in Romania. Just for a few days in mid-May, it seemed like this most unlikely group of rebels was about to seize France. Love flourished amid the barricades. The pill had just become available and for 34

days young thinkers, poets, artists and lovers slept on benches, spray painted over oil paintings of former faculty presidents in the hallways, engaged in 20-hour-long debates and talks at the Odeon Theatre and played a grand piano that was dragged out of the university and into the street. Even Jean-Paul Sartre, the most famous French philosopher of the 20th century, turned up to one of the talks. He was instructed, politely but firmly, to wait his turn before he was allowed to speak. “Tremble Eurocrats” shouted one speaker from a makeshift podium during those debates. “We are now in power”. But not for long. The end came not with a grand bang but with a pained whimper. The crackdown began on 30 May after the weary bourgeoisie of Paris gathered in their thousands at the centre of the Place de la Concorde. Chanting fervently for de Gaulle to return and restore law and order, the impression it left on one observer was that ‘utopia looked frightening to the ordinary people of France’. Returning from his mysterious exile, de Gaulle suddenly re-enacted a law from the 1930s banning demonstrations. The police attacked the occupied factories and cinemas with renewed ferocity. This, combined with bickering and infighting between the striking

workers and the student radicals over what their demands should be, meant that, by the end of June, Paris was back to work. ‘Be realistic, demand the impossible!’ read one poster. Yet the realistic had, it seemed, become sadly inevitable. Today you have to listen hard to hear any kind of modern revolutionary heartbeat around the Sorbonne. The left-leaning bookshops are still extant. The air of a city that encourages free expression and thought hasn’t died. But the idea of bringing down the state through a melange of theatre, surrealism and poetry seems as far away as ever. “This is a piece of genuine secret history you can explore on foot,” says Marie Martin, a lifelong resident of Paris who was a student at the Sorbonne in the spring of 1968. Now 74 and housebound, she blows smoke down the phone line as she speaks: “When Sarkozy was president a decade ago, he said that he wanted to ‘liquidate’ the legacy of May 1968 and everything it stood for. As far as I know there are no plaques, no walking tours, no galleries devoted to what happened. If you want to find it, you have to walk and use your creative instincts.” Half a century on and perhaps this scenario would not have displeased those dreaming revolutionaries. Once more, in 2018, to get a glimpse of a vanished revolution and a Paris awash with free love, you have to use your feet and hefty dose of imagination to – maybe, just maybe – see a piece of that beach underneath the cold grey paving stones. One slogan from those far off times still resonated with me as I fought my way through the chain stores and coffee shops back at the Gare du Nord later that day. ‘Real life is elsewhere’, one memorable message, plastered across a shop window, read. ‘Let’s go and find it’. ◆ Eurostar runs trains from St Pancras to Gare du Nord from £29 each way. eurostar.com; Paris Opera Hilton is ten minutes’ walk from the locations of the 1968 protests with double rooms from £199. hilton.com


2-for-1 SHOW TICKETS

£10

R

2018 londononwater.com

LONDON’S SPECTACULAR & ON-WATER BOAT SHOW Thursday 10th - Saturday 12th May 2018 St Katharine Docks, London (Next to Tower Bridge) www.londononwater.com


CORNWALL • 59

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TOAST OF THE COAST A cycling trip through Cornwall is more than cliffs, coves and cracking countryside – it’s an epicurean journey, too. We hit the road and work up an appetite for local delicacies, from pasties and seafood to gluggable local booze

5 hrs

drive from London

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Average temp in May

LOWLY, QUIETLY,” COMES the whispered instruction from up ahead. I cycle cautiously up the path as Andrea, my girlfriend and fellow cyclist, signals towards the trees. A large bird of prey takes flight, giant brown wings beating through the forest. At first, it looks like a hawk or harrier, but as it reaches open land, we realize it’s a buzzard. We watch for a while as it soars back and forth along the Cornish countryside, scouring the ground for something tasty to eat. In famously foodie Cornwall, we have no such hardship. On a new self-guided food and drink cycling tour around the county, from Wadebridge all the way down to Land’s End and around the coast to St Ives, every few miles pedalled seem to bring new >

697km

of coastline to explore

Words by GRAEME GREEN Ray Bradshaw/Getty

WINE, DINE AND... MINE?: Tin mining was once Cornwall’s biggest industry, but now it’s the county’s impressive winemaking that’s on the up


> foodie treats. From the UK’s best fish and chips to Cornish ice cream, there’s plenty of bike ‘fuel’ beyond the famous pasty (though they’re pretty good, too). Most interestingly, Cornwall has a little-known wine scene, producing some of the UK’s best wines. “People who come here are really interested in the food stuff,” says Lanyon Rowe from Cornish Cycle Tours, as he talks us through the route maps and bikes (one pedal-powered, one electric). “People have heard how good the food is in the South West; Rick Stein, Padstow, all the restaurants at Porthleven, and the Camel Valley winery.” There’s a note of warning, too. “You’re in for a challenge. Cornwall has some big hills.”

Rolling downhill Not only is Camel from our Wadebridge Valley Cornwall’s largest vineyard, it’s B&B, we pick up the also the oldest – the Camel Valley trail first vines were and follow a flat old planted in 1989. railway line through A sunny riverside setting makes it sunny countryside. well worth a visit. A slow-flowing river trickles alongside banks filled with bright daffodils and buttercups. A few miles down the track, we turn into Camel Valley Vineyard, Cornwall’s largest vineyard, with a reputation as one of the UK’s best wine producers. Bikes parked, we take a seat with a view over the vines, as

THE NUMBER OF WINEMAKERS IN CORNWALL IS STEADILY INCREASING, WITH THREE NEW VINEYARDS PLANTED OVER THE LAST DECADE

wine expert Samuel Fishlock pours flutes of ‘Cornwall’ brut, pinot noir rosé brut and more. There are probably worse ways to take a break from the cycling. “People still have a downward view of English wine, that it doesn’t compare to anything from France,” he tells us. “but I genuinely think our sparklings are some of the best in the world.” Others agree: in 2010, Camel Valley won the International Wine Challenge trophy for ‘best sparkling rosé in the world’, beating champagne producers including Bollinger. When it comes to the UK’s increasingly celebrated wine, the South East, around Sussex, tends to get most attention. But the number of winemakers in Cornwall is increasing; three new vineyards have been planted in Cornwall over the last decade. As elsewhere in the UK, it’s mainly whites and rosés that are making waves, the main grapes down here including bacchus, seyval blanc and rondo. “We’re where Champagne was ‘geographically’ in


CORNWALL • EXPERIENCES • 61

POINT OF VIEW: [clockwise from main] Exploring by bike means you get up close to the best Cornish coastal views; Land’s End; an Eden Project biome

the 1960s, in terms of average temperature, but damper,” Fishlock explains. “We’re in the sweet spot for making wine right now.” Reds still have a way to go, though, as conditions aren’t quite right. We cycle beyond the Camel Valley trail to climb hills with views of Bodmin town and ride through the cool shade of woodland, stopping for the night in Charlestown. Next day we explore the nearby Eden Project where, happily, entry is cheaper for cyclists and other ‘green travellers’. Big futuristic ‘biomes’ (bio domes) are filled with colourful plants from around the world, including a ‘Rites of Dionysus’ display of grape vines from South Africa to Australia, as well as ideas for greener living. If you haven’t ever From the future visited the Eden Project, be sure to we travel, via country stop by – it’s totally lanes and trickling unique and houses rivers, to the past: more than 135,000 plants. There’s an the Lost Gardens on-site hotel in the of Heligan, where pipeline, too. statues of a giant’s head half-submerged in the ground and a sleeping mud maid are scattered around the atmospheric woodland. We see another buzzard, an infant, taking flight next morning as we ride past Caerhays Castle. It’s a tough day of cycling, Andrea on her e-bike zooming by me as I grind my way up steep hills. But the effort is rewarded with fast, fun descents and the sea to our side,

Graeme Green

painted in vivid blue stripes by the sun. We spend the night at The Nare, a considerable splurge compared to the B&Bs throughout the rest of the trip. It’s the ideal place to relax after a sweaty ride with an oldschool cream tea in the traditional country house overlooking shining Gerrans Bay. Swallows swoop over the ocean and a pair of horses gallop across Carne Beach below the hotel as we wait for sunset. Afterwards, we load up with more ‘fuel’ than is purely necessary in The Nare’s excellent restaurant, with a five-course dinner, including scallops, sea bass, and a bottle of red. The dessert trolley is splendid, only being beaten by the mother of all cheeseboards. We get every chance to burn it off next morning with some of the trip’s hardest, longest climbs around St Just in Roseland. A ferry carries us from St Mawes across the glistening Carrick Roads to Falmouth and straight off the boat into Harbour Lights, a chippy named Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year in Seafish’s 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, for lunch. By evening, we’re in foodie Porthleven with its harbour surrounded by restaurants, including one of Rick Stein’s. The next day brings several trip highlights, one after another, including a flat stretch of riding from Marazion with the ocean by our side and St Michael’s Mount silhouetted against the sunlight. Gulls, dogs and their owners walk along the broad beach. >


62 • EXPERIENCES • CORNWALL

WE MARK THE END OF OUR CYCLING TRIP WITH CORNISH BEERS, TERIYAKI-MARINATED CRAB CLAWS AND RUM-PACKED COCKTAILS

BREAK THE JOURNEY: [from top] Refuel with local cider and cheese at Vine House Kitchen; The Lost Gardens of Heligan make for a tranquil pit stop

> At Penzance, we turn inland to Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard. “We’re improving what we’re doing with wine all the time,” owner John Coulson tells us, pouring their bacchus to sample. “We have fantastic produce in Cornwall: meat, fish, cheese, cream, wine, cider – and it all works together.” They don’t just make great wine; their sparkling cider is crisp, clean and refreshing. We order a bottle to drink over lunch at their

café, Vine House Kitchen, along with fresh crab sandwiches and local cheese. The afternoon takes us into the traffic-free roads of England’s remote southern tip, with a sense of space and freedom, as well as a series of testing hills. We reach the signposts of Land’s End, then follow a narrow trail After exploring that hugs the blustery the pretty cobbled coast to a high streets of St Ives, viewpoint overlooking you’ll understand exactly why it draws the curved bay of so many artists… Sennen Cove, our and tourists. Be home for the night. prepared to work the crowds. Mist is draped over the ruins of old tin and copper mines, obscuring views of the coast and ocean next day, as we travel to our final stop: St Ives. Out of the Lycra, we wander around art galleries

and studios in the backstreets and check out Tate St Ives before making our way into The Rum & Crab Shack, taking a table overlooking the harbour and lighthouse. Normally, I’m happy to mark the end of a ride by sinking a few cold pints. Here, though, it’s a bit more special: there are Cornish beers, teriyaki-marinated crab claws, rum-packed cocktails and Cornwallproduced gins. It’s going to be a long, wellearned and very good night. ◆ Cornish Cycle Tours’ seven-day self-guided Food and Drink Tours start at £775 per person including B&B accommodation. Bikes are available to hire at an additional cost. See cornishcycletours.co.uk. Rooms at the The Nare cost from £290 per night. narehotel.co.uk; for more on Cornwall’s wines, go to camelvalley. com and polgoon.com, and for more info on the Eden Project, visit edenproject.com

Graeme Green


SAN FRANCISCO • 65

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LOVE ME TENDER Most visitors to San Francisco give the Tenderloin a swerve, but a closer look reveals a neighbourhood full of promise, and a community dedicated to helping it thrive

884,363

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Average temp in May

N DOWNTOWN SAN Francisco, a block can make a big difference. Walk just five minutes from Union Square and its palm trees and open-top tour buses; past designer shops and cable car stops; beyond the Hilton, the car hire storefronts, and where you rent bikes to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. Then O’Farrell and Taylor streets meet. And San Francisco as you knew it disappears. Welcome to the Tenderloin: the city’s most notorious neighbourhood. Clusters of homeless people crowd pavements; others lie passed out in the street. Drugs are dealt in broad daylight. It’s even said the Tenderloin’s sketchy reputation gave it its name: that police officers were paid >

11 hrs

Flight time from London

Words by LAURA CHUBB

Shutterstock/Karlis Dambrans

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS: Of all San Francisco’s neighbourhoods, the Tenderloin has the worst rep, but things are changing in the area


THE AREA’S REPUTATION MEANS IT’S THE CITY’S LAST BASTION OF AFFORDABLE RENTS, WHICH IS ATTRACTING COOL NEW BUSINESSES > more to brave working here, and so could afford better cuts of meat. The typical hotel concierge will cross it off your map – perhaps even in histrionic red ink. This might not seem like the obvious choice for a rapid new influx of hot boutique hotels, restaurants and bars. A courageous few arrived early: Brenda’s French Soul Food, easily San Francisco’s best brunch spot, with the queue to prove it; Whitechapel, a London Underground-themed gin bar; and Jessica Silverman Gallery, an airy, all-white contemporary art space occupying the ground-floor of low-income housing. Now, they’ve got company. Most recently, Gibson appeared on Eddy, one of the Tenderloin’s seediest streets. The Art Deco-style restaurant serves oh-so-on-point sharing plates like warm bone marrow flan with wild nettle, and smoked duck with huckleberry. But this isn’t a gentrification story. Not in the sense of Brooklyn or East London, where the existing residents are pushed out to less-desirable fringes, dispossessed of their new-and-improved neighbourhood. In the 1980s, activists fought for laws that decreed the Tenderloin’s low-income housing can never be torn down or snapped

up by greedy luxury developers. Today, around 25% of housing here is run by nonprofits. This is where San Francisco’s dependent poor, senior and disabled people live. And they can’t be kicked out. They would, however, probably appreciate a reinvigorated place to live.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

The Tenderloin is both as bad as, and much better than, is commonly believed. Popular discourse paints it as riddled with violence and crime. But, truth be told, I’ve never felt unsafe here. You are more likely to feel dispirited than scared. Mental illness, poverty and squalor are rife and apparent. Fuelling this rot is that it’s an open-air drug market. I’ve seen addicts shoot up in sun-lit doorways; walked past people openly arguing the price of a rock on a warm afternoon. “No city official, including the Chief of Police, will acknowledge they’re doing anything to keep drugs in the Tenderloin,” says Randy Shaw, a fixture around these parts. He’s worked in the Tenderloin for the best part of 30 years, after graduating law school and winning a grant to litigate for the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. “And yet, when

you say, ‘Gee, why is it that you don’t see this in Noe Valley?’, they just shrug,” he adds, pointing out San Francisco’s other, upscale neighbourhoods don’t suffer the same problems. “It’s just wrong.” It would be hard to argue city politicians aren’t aware of what goes on in the Tenderloin – after all, everyone else is. And the theory it’s allowed to happen because its residents are low-income, and it can’t be sold off to developers, is equally tough to disprove. But the beginnings of hipsterfication here might offer a new option. The area’s reputation means it’s the city’s last bastion of affordable rents. This is what is attracting cool new businesses that could put it back on the map. And making the Tenderloin visible, instead of San Francisco’s dirty secret, could obligate officials to clean it up.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

“If the city isn’t going to do anything about the neighbourhood, we will,” declares Stephen Yang. The young hotel developer is dressed according to San Francisco tradition: jeans, t-shirt, trainers. Yang recently transformed a fading old Tenderloin hotel into its first boutique one, The Tilden. We’re sitting in the bright, leafy lobby, which he hopes will bring new energy to the area: laptop-tapping freelancers are encouraged to park up on the velvet sofas and use the free wifi, as well as the adjoining café’s Equator Coffee (a local indie roaster, natch). The Tilden’s cocktail lounge The Douglas Room is the work of Mo Hodges, a local bar owner, complete with cap, glasses, nose-ring and beard. He also says it’s new businesses that will clean up the mess the city has been sweeping under the carpet. “We are taking back a part of San Francisco that our city’s leaders have neglected for too long,” he tells me. “We don’t see it as gentrification; we look at it as restoring it to its former glory.” And there are former glories. The Tenderloin is a big part of San Francisco’s story, but it’s not one any tourist board promotes. So, in 2013, Shaw founded the plucky little Tenderloin Museum, right in the heart of the neighbourhood, to tell it instead. Here, I learn the Tenderloin has been pissing city officials off for more than 100 years. In the early 1900s, its dance halls, bars and brothels bred moral panic; come 1920, this


SAN FRANCISCO • EXPERIENCES • 67

TRY THE TENDERLOIN’S SIGNATURE DISHES Both the Tenderloin and its slightly more salubrious sister ’hood, the Tendernob, are worth visiting for the food alone. Here are the must-eats:

BRENDA’S CRAWFISH BEIGNETS It’s tough to choose one item from Brenda’s Cali-Cajun soul food menu, but this twist on the French Quarter beignet is a classic: doughnut-like fritters are stuffed with crawfish, cheddar and spring onions, then dusted with cayenne. frenchsoulfood.com

PERFECTLY TENDER: [above] Pastries from Mr Holmes Bakehouse; [opposite page, left to right] a signature serve at Gibson on the notorious Eddy Street; The Tilden hotel’s bright and airy lobby

(Mr Holmes) Jakob Layman; (Gibson) Alison Christianae

sordid rep saw it flourish under Prohibition, packed with illegal speakeasies and gambling dens. In the 1930s, Sally Rand performed naked fan dances at the Music Box theatre; in the 1940s, Black Hawk nightclub was a world-class jazz hub played by everyone from Miles Davis to Thelonious Monk. In 1969, the first porn film legally shown in the US premiered at the Screening Room on Jones Street, reinventing the Tenderloin as a premier den for blue movies, lit up by adult cinemas, strip clubs and massage parlours. Much of the city’s proudly progressive politics can be traced here, too. Its apartment blocks, rather than family homes, drew single working females who helped California women win the right to vote. In 1963, the Glide Memorial Church appointed a young African-American minister, Cecil Williams, who made a point of welcoming hippies, homosexuals, prostitutes and drug addicts. (Glide remains a major provider of social services today.) And when, in 1966, a group of transgender women rioted against

mistreatment by police on Turk Street, it was the nation’s first gay militant uprising.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

There is, Shaw of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic says, a silver lining to decades of neglect. “We don’t have chains because we didn’t get that investment,” he explains. This makes the Tenderloin ripe for independent business. And contrary to the rest of San Francisco, where wealthy residents tend to commute out to Silicon Valley or the Downtown Financial District, people both live and work here. “It’s like a little village,” says Shaw, “you always run into people you know.” The Tilden’s Yang agrees; the business community, he says, pulls together: “We send each other customers, help each other out.” Other businesses go further. A few blocks up from the Tenderloin, before you reach affluent Nob Hill, you’ll find disputed territory: some call it ‘Tenderloin Heights’, others ‘Lower Nob Hill’. Truly, it’s a mix of the two; grit and grime, design shops, expensive restaurants. The unfortunate compromise: ‘Tendernob’. Here, fashion boutique Hero Shop occasionally donates a portion of its profits to specific local services – like Raphael House, which helps low-income families >

SING SING’S BANH MI There’s much debate about the best banh mi in Little Saigon, but Sing Sing Sandwich Shop really is a taste of Vietnam. Expect Vietnamese talent shows on the TV and dodgy-looking Vietnamese gangster types hogging the scant plastic chairs. You can’t beat $3.50 for a crispy rice-flour baguette packed with mayo, pork belly and paté. 309 Hyde Street THE CHAIRMAN’S BAO No seating, but who cares when you can order a Coca Cola-braised pork bao? hailthechairman.com CRUFFINS AT MR HOLMES BAKEHOUSE This muffin/croissant mashup might not attract lines as long as NYC’s Cronut, but there’s a queue nonetheless, and punters are limited to two each. Flavours change often; recent entries include blackberry port. mrholmesbakehouse.com $4.50 TOAST AT JANE Yes, Jane on Larkin charges $4.50 for toast. But what toast! Housemade bread is topped with the likes of sour cherries and cream cheese. itsjane.com BEEF TONGUE BUNS AT LIHOLIHO YACHT CLUB Good luck getting a reservation at this hot Cali-Hawaiian fusion joint before 10pm. But the kimchi-spiked beef tongue in poppy seed steamed buns is worth the late-night dinner indigestion. liholihoyachtclub.com


68 • EXPERIENCES • SAN FRANCISCO

TOP TENDERLOIN BARS The Tenderloin has been the place to go carousin’ and boozin’ since the early 1900s. Here, bar owner Mo Hodges guides us through the perfect bar crawl.

MIKKELLER BAR This beer haven is a mecca for the after-work happy hour. Order a Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse Pineapple – a tart wheat ale that’s brewed with plenty of tropical fruit. mikkellerbar.com BENJAMIN COOPER OK, I own this place, but it’s my favourite room in the city. Find it tucked away behind an unmarked door. My go-to order is an Old Raj dry gin martini with a mixed dozen of West and East Coast oysters. benjamincoopersf.com PACIFIC COCKTAIL HAVEN The team here are fantastically creative barsmiths. Get the Suntory Toki Japanese whisky hi-ball on tap – you simply cannot beat it. pacificcocktailsf.com KEY TO THE CITY: The Tenderloin Museum tells the area’s story, from its dance halls in the 1900s to its role in the city’s proudly progressive politics

> with housing, education and job skills. Its owner, former US Vogue staffer Emily Holt, tells me: “If you’re going to have a business here, you have to love and believe in it. It’s important not to exist in a bubble.” Gallery owner Jessica Silverman agrees: “What we do is so different from the lives of people around us.” In acknowledgement of that, she feels a responsibility to help. A member of the Tenderloin Museum board, Silverman praises the way the organisation’s

screenings, talks and tours coax bubbledwellers to look, learn and engage. She and Holt also plan to put on tours of the neighbourhood, bouncing guests from cool new venue to cool new venue. She admits to being shocked by the scale of the Tenderloin’s problems when she opened her gallery in 2013. “I went into it a little bit blindly,” she says. “But there is promise in persisting.” And there is promise in the Tenderloin’s new formula for reinvigoration: one where no one, besides drug dealers, loses out. Maybe San Francisco’s dirty secret will someday be its shining achievement. ◆ United flies from Gatwick to San Francisco from £703 return. united.com

THE TENDERLOIN IS LIKE A LITTLE VILLAGE. YOU ALWAYS RUN INTO PEOPLE YOU KNOW, AND THE COMMUNITY PULLS TOGETHER

ELEPHANT SUSHI Grab dinner at this 12-seat sushi bar – Chef Tamir gets the freshest fish in town – and get a bottle of Junmai Daiginjo sake to go with it. elephantsushi.com RYE For a post-dinner digestif, request a healthy pour from this bar’s immense selection of amare. ryesf.com BLACK CAT Food upstairs, jazz and whisky downstairs. This place really shows what repurposed spaces can do for a not-so-great street corner, and they do a superbly made vieux carre. blackcatsf.com THE DOUGLAS ROOM My place at The Tilden hotel is quickly becoming the new cheers in the Tenderloin. We provide great spirits, conversations and food until late. thedouglasroom.com


THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Imagine eating incredible food seated 100ft in the air above London, with menus designed by three of the capitals best chefs: Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon, Robin Gill of The Dairy or Lee Westcott of Typing Room

AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT Drink in the capital’s stunning skyline while savouring an unforgettable meal at one of our three unique Sky Tables, being served by a head chef and waiting team. It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic occasion

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DATE: 5 – 15 JULY VENUE: UPPER GROUND RD, SOUTH BANK, LONDON, SE1 9PU

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PARTNERS


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FOR BETTER OR WURST Es s e n t ia ls gu ide: B erlin, germa ny

Turbulent history, techno clubs and currywurst: no matter what kind of tourist you are, you’ll find something to suit in Berlin. Here are our best bits of the German capital…

1 hr 40

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NEW HEIGHTS: The roof of the Sony Centre, a shopping hub built on a site in Potsdamer Platz that was destroyed during the Second World War

Flight time from London

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museums in the city


EAT & DRINK HUONG QUE

A deal between East Germany and the Communist government of Vietnam in the 1980s, as well as south Vietnamese seeking refuge from the Vietnam War in West Berlin, means Berlin has a flourishing Vietnamese population, and plenty of Vietnamese restaurants to show for it. Head to Huong Que in trendy Kreuzberg, an intimate space serving up oodles of noodles. In keeping with the city’s rep for great vegan food, there are plenty of animal-free options that don’t compromise on flavour. Bergmannstrasse 96, 10961

CURRY MITTE

Scoffing currywurst while on the hoof in Berlin is a cliché, but when you know you’re going to do it anyway you might as well get it right – and it’s all about finding the perfect balance between the sausage, the sweet, tangy sauce, and the dusting of spice. We like Curry Mitte in all its neon-lit glory because you can get wurst made with both organic beef and pork, the chips are always fresh, and you can also get a pint of Berlin’s finest in a meal deal that’ll set you back less than a fiver. Oh, and here’s another tip: if you didn’t get your fix while out and about, the currywurst stand at the back of Tegel airport is great for a pre-flight snack. Torstrasse 122 10119; currymitte.de

KATER BLAU

Kater Blau is a cooler-than-cool riverside bar during the day and a nightclub by, er, night, with a vast outdoor space that makes it the ultimate summer hangout. Kick back with pizza, beers and cocktails as you watch the ducks and hipsters basking in the sun, or head to its two indoor dancefloors for a brilliant music roster with some of Berlin’s best DJs. There’s even a wooden boat that doubles as a chill-out area. Like most clubs here, the bouncers can be picky – we’d recommend starting your night at FAME, the site’s restaurant. The food’s surprisingly decent, and it may well make it easier to get into the club later. Holzmarktstrasse 25, 10243; katerblau.de


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NEED TO KNOW

Getty Images/EyeEm

Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Berlin Schönefeld from £55 return, see ryanair.com for details, or fly with easyJet from London Gatwick from £46.93 return. See easyjet.com. British airways flies from London Heathrow to Berlin Tegel from £157 return, see ba.com for details.


DO EXPLORE POTSDAM

Potsdam is technically another city on the outskirts of Berlin, but it’s easily reached by S-bahn in 40 mins. The area’s lush woods and lakes made it a summer playground for Prussian royalty and its islands are home to many of the kings’ summer palaces. Visit the opulent Sanssouci palace, built to rival Versailles; feast your eyes on art at the swish new Museum Barberini; or head to Alexandrowka, a rural Russian village that’s made up of 14 farms and an orthodox church but still sits in the middle of town. Weird, but we like it.

GO SHOPPING

You’ve gone to Berlin, now it’s time to get the t-shirt – or in this city’s case, a set of garms that’ll make you look effortlessly cool, even if it took you hours to achieve. Enter Bikini Berlin, a 1960s high-rise next to Berlin Zoo that’s been turned into a hub for shopping, food, workspaces, a cinema and other recreational facilities. Think along the lines of a hipper, more German version of Boxpark and you won’t be far off the mark. It’s the place to hit up permanent boutiques or explore pop-ups from upand-coming new brands before sitting down to hoover up a merguez hot dog topped with pear and gorgonzola. Budapester Str 38-50, 10787; bikiniberlin.de

MUSEUM DER DINGE

If you’re a hoarder, boy have we got a treat for you. Berlin’s Museum der Dinge, or ‘Museum of Things’, is essentially a giant room filled with, well, stuff, ranging from Siamese catshaped salt and pepper shakers to a Sony Ericsson mobile phone from 2006. Sounds weird, yes, but start reading the lengthy wall texts and you’ll find yourself sucked into a story of good and bad design that’s given moral and political context. Quite frankly, it’s fascinating, and it’ll make you look at everything you own – and everything you want to own – in a whole new light. Oranienstraße 25, 10999; museumderdinge.org


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If your trip to Berlin is going to involve more refined activities than dancing till the early (or late) hours, look to this plush, Wes Anderson-esque hotel located in the sophisticated Charlottenburg neighbourhood, formerly – and still – home to the city’s most affluent residents. It’s got all the parquet floors and stucco work that are characteristic of Berlin interiors, but they’ve been given a 21st-century lift by white walls and some seriously comfy soft furnishings. In a nice touch, the hotel serves abendbrot – a typically German dinner of breads, dips and snacks that’s included in the room rate – although you do have to pay extra for the excellent breakfast spread that’ll set you up for a day’s exploring. From £95. Meinekestrasse 9, 10719; henri-berlin.com

THE WEINMEISTER

If this hotel’s name makes you think you’ll be glugging bottles of the good stuff, well, you’re wrong. Sorry. But that’s not a bad thing – it’s actually a reference to its location on a street in the downtown Mitte district, close to key tourist sites like Musee Insel, an island in the middle of the Spree river that’s home to the city’s main museums and galleries, and the DDR Museum, which explores what life was like in former East Germany. The Weinmeister, adorned with street art-style murals, is part edgy art stay, part pristine boutique hotel at a great price, but what really makes it a good choice is the surrounding neighbourhood and easy access to the rest of the city. From £85. ◆ Weinmeisterstraße 2, 10178; the-weinmeister.com

diephotodesigner.de

Tongue-in-cheek creativity reigns supreme at this unique hotel in Friedrichshain. Its rooms range from Cosy – meant for one, or a ‘couple in love’ – to The Big One, which has six single beds and is ideal for families or groups. We particularly like the Band suite, which has four single beds arranged around a structure that looks a bit like an indoor house. The hotel also has a bar, a courtyard that holds events, a decent restaurant, and is ten minutes from the infamous Berghain, perfect for when you inevitably don’t get past the bouncers at 5am. From £70. Warschauer Str 39-40, 10243; michelbergerhotel.com

HENRI HOTEL


Escape to another world For 100 years now, the Palast Berlin has been known as Berlin’s No. 1 address for glamorous show entertainment. Don‘t miss the chance to see our best-selling show ever…

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www.palast.berlin | Tickets from €19.80


COMPETITION

explore costa rica: pura vida, forever Costa Rica is the perfect place for luxurious beach breaks, cool city escapes and diverse wildlife watching, and one lucky reader is about to win a trip to see it all, as well as a £595 Tumi Latitude carry-on

The phrase ‘pura Vida’ is something you’ll hear quite a lot in Costa Rica. In English, it means ‘pure life’, but it’s a whole lot more than just a saying: for Costa Ricans and the travellers who visit this gorgeous Central American country, it’s a way of life. From the stunning, wildlife-filled national parks to the warm seas and vast beaches on the country’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, life here is peaceful and supremely relaxing. And it’s this chilled-out living – as well as the year-round tropical climate – that helped get Costa Rica recognised as one of the most positive and happy countries in the world by the Gallup World Index and Happy Planet Index in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2018. But this is a holiday destination with

way more than just good vibes: ‘Pura Vida’ extends to wellness and mindfulness, too. One-of-a-kind volcanic-mud treatments, digital detoxes and rainforest treks are par for the course here, and they all contribute to making Costa Rica one of the world’s leading destinations for spa relaxation and luxurious sustainable retreats. Here, you can stay in a luxury eco lodge with all the comforts of a five-star hotel, but none of the guilt of harming the beautiful, biodiverse land and wildlife that lives there.

DIVE ON IN [CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN]: Volcano views in Costa Rica; indulge in a traditional coffee spa treatment; the luxurious Tumi Latitude range


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(Volcano views) Miles Photography

Sustainability doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style and comfort, either – this is a place that suits the luxury traveller just as well as the road-tripper. From the cities to the cloud forests, you’ll find luxurious lodgings, spas and high-end restaurants serving delicious local dishes like gallo pinto, ceviche and juicy tropical fruit. What’s more, with BA’s new direct flights from London to the Costa Rican capital of San José, the country is more accessible than ever. Add to this regular flights to Liberia direct with Thomson and non-direct with Air Canada, Delta, KLM, Avianca, Air France, Aero Mexico, American Airlines and United, a luxury beach break that’s packed with ‘Pura Vida’ is much closer than you’d think. Because a paradise like this is worth sharing, we’ve teamed up with Visit Costa Rica and luxurious travel and lifestyle brand Tumi to offer you the chance to win an eight-

day holiday to Costa Rica for two, plus a £595 carry-on case from Tumi to take on your trip. Tumi has been making high-quality luggage for travellers since 1975. And with more than 125 patents to their name, it’s clear that innovation in travel is the name of the game. Whether it’s the company’s meticulously tested rolling luggage, its topof-the-line travel clothing or its high-tech accessories, you can be sure that Tumi gear will perfect your journey. While you’re away you’ll split your time between inland and coastal destinations, experiencing ‘Pura Vida’ with the perfect blend of sun-soaked relaxation and stunning scenery. So what are you waiting for? An eight-day luxury getaway could be just around the corner. See right to enter. ◆ For more information on holidays to Costa Rica, head to visitcostarica.com; to shop Tumi’s range of travel gear, visit tumi.com

How to win Like the sound of an eight-day trip to Costa Rica for two? Good, because you could be about to win just that. The prize includes flights, local transfers and B&B accommodation, as well as a Latitude carry-on case from Tumi for the trip. The tour will start and end in the capital city of San José, and will balance sightseeing with spa relaxation. To enter and to read full terms and conditions, head to escmag.co/costarica


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Bwindi, Uganda

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The Intrepid Series

Mediterranean breaks 114

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IN ASSOCIATION WITH ELLIS BRIGHAM MOUNTAIN SPORTS

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UMMER HOLIDAYS ARE great, aren’t they? Sun-drenched coastlines, lobster-pink Brits, melting ice cream… We love it all. Flip the page for all the essentials you'll need to power through any summer adventure, from emergency rain jackets to portable coffee makers. Then there are the surprisingly capacious cabin-size bags you'll need to carry all your kit with you, like the Tumi Latitude International carry-on above, which is more than just a pretty, er, case. ◆

With more than 80 years of experience kitting out travellers for adventures at home and abroad, Ellis Brigham is the perfect place to get your outdoors gear, regardless of pursuit, destination or season. The outfitter’s knowledgeable team of adventure experts have all the experience and know-how to help you travel further and faster in complete comfort. From hikes, runs and days out climbing to action-packed multi-day treks, the spring/summer range is packed with essentials from some of the biggest brands in the industry. It’s about time you got exploring. For more information, visit ellis-brigham.com


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◀ THE NORTH FACE

APEX FLEX GTX 2.0 JACKET, £250:

Serious all-weather protection in a hoodie-like package – the Apex Flex GTX is a year-round essential. thenorthface.co.uk

Whatever you’ve got planned, boss your summer adventures with our pick of the coolest new kit, from shorts you can swim in to a water bottle that folds up, and the sexiest carry-on cases for holding all your gear

▲ ORLEBAR BROWN

KLINE RASH GUARD, £145: A rashie is the

ultimate top for sand or sea, and no one does it with more style than Orlebar Brown. orlebarbrown.com

▲ SAUCONY

GUIDE ISO, £120:

There are few better ways to see a place than on a run. Saucony’s Guide ISO is a versatile stability shoe that’s perfect for active trips. saucony.com

▲ MATADOR

POCKET BLANKET 2.0, £29.95: Meet

your new best friend. This pocket-sized, water-resistant blanket is perfect for beaches, festivals and hikes. bearandbear.com

▶ ORLEBAR BROWN

BULLDOG ADVENTURE SHORTS, £195:

Swim shorts you’ll want with you on every adventure this summer, whether you’re in or out of the water.


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▶ PASSENGER HIGHBANKS CAP, £23.99: Stamped

with the New Forest-based adventure brand’s logo, this trucker hat will cap off your look. passenger-clothing.com

▶ QUE

COLLAPSIBLE WATER BOTTLE, £25:

Leak-proof, shockproof and collapsible, this is the water bottle you never knew you needed. bearandbear.com

▶ TEVA

MIDFORM UNIVERSAL GEOMETRIC SANDAL, £60: Pat-

terned leather and a mid-height sole will see you on long walks to the pub. teva.co.uk

ONE-STOP KIT SHOP The days are lighter, the birds are singing, it’s (a little bit) warmer… Could that be a whisper of summer in the air? It might just be, which means it’s time to start planning adventures, whether that’s surfing in the South of France or dancing in the rain at a festival in deepest, darkest Wales. But as we Brits know only too well, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can predict what conditions you’ll be facing. That’s why we’ve found you all the kit that’ll make sure you’re prepped for everything from sudden showers to bursts of brilliant sunshine, and will make sure you look good while you’re at it, too. You are very welcome.

▼ ICEBREAKER CORIOLIS WINDBREAKER, £190: Wear this

good-looking, high-performing jacket and you’ll be ready for anything. icebreaker.com

▼ THE NORTH FACE

▲ YOGO

ing, non-creasing, extremely lightweight. Check, check and check. ellis-brigham.com

Don’t slack on your workouts while you’re away with this super-grippy folding yoga mat. bearandbear.com

APHRODITE SHORT, £34.99: Quick-dry-

ULTRALIGHT TRAVEL YOGA MAT 2.0, £65:


▲ TUMI

▲ FILSON

Tough, lightweight and super smooth as you waltz through the arrivals hall. uk.tumi.com

design? Check. 1,000-denier ballistic nylon outer? Check. Lifetime guarantee? Oh, you betcha. filson.com/uk

LATITUDE INTERNATIONAL SLIM CARRY-ON, £595:

DRYDEN CARRY-ON, £290: All-American

◀ FJALLRAVEN

▲ ORTLIEB

This backpack unzips like a suitcase, and is made of eco-friendly, water-resistant G-1000 fabric. Not half bad. ellis-brigham.com

waterproof for up to 30 minutes when dunked in a metre of water. Try finding rain that bad. ortlieb.com

SPLITPACK, £149.99:

DRY DUFFLE 40L, £130: This bag is fully


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▶ EASTPAK TRAF’IK, £85: With classic Eastpak looks and about as many pockets as a snooker table, this is a perfect case of style meets function. eastpak.com

▶ EAGLE CREEK

GLOBAL COMPANION TRAVEL PACK 40L, £170: Has

a shoe compartment and a clothes-drying hook. These guys think of everything. eaglecreek.eu

▶ HORIZN STUDIOS

MODEL M, £249.99:

Aerospace-grade polycarbonate and a detachable power bank take luxe luggage up a notch. horizn-studios.co.uk

▶ ANTLER

JUNO II, £145: Antler has been making hardy luggage for more than a century. This is as dependable as ever (but it’s a bit more colourful). antler.co.uk

CASE ON POINT When it comes to vfitting everything you need into a cabin bag, it’s not about packing light, it’s about packing right. And thanks to the clever little bits of travel tech in each of these carry-ons, packing right just got a whole lot easier. Whether you want phone-charging smart luggage or a waterproof expedition duffel, you’ll be pleased to know we’re on the case.


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THE CREMA THE CROP WACACO NANOPRESSO PORTABLE ESPRESSO MACHINE, £59.99: No, you’re not looking at a portable fire hydrant for camping trips and wilderness escapes. This is the Nanopresso, one of the world’s tiniest and most powerful coffee makers. It’s a little miracle that somehow manages to pack 18 bars of pressure – enough to make rich, creamy espresso on the go – without the need for electricity or nitrous oxide cylinders. All you need to do is add up to 80ml of hot water to 7g of ground coffee and pump the piston until you see the crema. Yep, you’ll never have to join the coffee queue at a festival again. bearandbear.com

We seriously dig the Nanopresso in limited-edition red, but it also comes in yellow, orange and black. You can get an adapter that makes it compatible with capsules, too. Fancy.


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COMPETITION

Daios cove: AN Island PARADISE To celebrate the redesign of its much-loved restaurant and an update to its gorgeous new spa, Daios Cove is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a luxury five-night break on the island of Crete Located in the privacy of its own beautiful secluded bay on Crete’s northern coast, Daios Cove Luxury Resort is the ultimate getaway for travellers wanting to experience the ultimate five-star holiday. Daios Cove Luxury Resort occupies an exclusive lagoon a few kilometres east of Agios Nikolaos on Crete’s coast. The unique location, combined with the resort’s striking architecture, has created a place of incredible beauty and serenity – the perfect

destination to get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. What’s more, this year there’s even more of a reason to take a trip to Daios Cove than ever before. 2018 has seen a stylish redesign of the resort’s much-loved international restaurant, Pangea, which has two spacious outdoor areas showcasing spectacular views across the cove. Within the restaurant space, temperature-controlling floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors mean you can eat alfresco

throughout the season. A new open-air kitchen will allow diners to watch the resort’s talented chefs cook up a storm over natural wood fires, while an additional buffet menu will cater to all tastes and dietary requirements, from gluten and dairy-free to vegetarian and vegan – all without compromising on flavour and creativity. And that’s just one of the resort’s six restaurants and bars, which offer everything from delicious nouvelle cuisines


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The resort’s stunning restaurant pangea has just been redone, with two new outdoor spaces to traditional Cretan delicacies with a slick modern twist. The only problem will be deciding where to eat next. Elsewhere, Daios Cove has teamed up with a new partner, GOCO Hospitality, at its 2,500 square-metre spa, which features eight treatment rooms, two private spa suites and a dedicated Thai massage room, two indoor pools, a thermal spa suite with a Finnish sauna and a fitness and movement studio. A yoga master will provide daily yoga and meditation, while Thai massage therapists will deliver classic eastern treatments. With such luxury on offer, we can almost guarantee you’ll be able to unwind in style. This all comes on top of Daios Cove's brilliant facilities. The resort boasts a heated sea water infinity pool, a water sports centre, tennis courts and excursions to Crete's hotspots and historical sites. Whatever you’re after, you’re sure to find it at Daios Cove. So what are you waiting for? Get booking – or enter our competition to be in with a chance of winning a luxury escape. ◆ For more information and to book, visit Daios Cove’s website: daioscovecrete.com

enter to win If you like the sound of all this, you’re in luck. We’ve partnered with Daios Cove Luxury Resort to offer one lucky reader an incredible five-night stay in a deluxe sea-view room. The stay is on a half-board basis for two adults and up to one child, including breakfast and dinner in the international buffet restaurant. Subject to availability. To be in with a chance of winning and to see full T&Cs, go to escmag.co/daios

Heinz Troll


Stylish and elegant. Hotel Diplomat, is a luxury hotel located on Strandvägen in the heart of Stockholm. Perfectly positioned to explore the green scenery of Djurgården and the vibrant city center. The unique Art Nouveau palace with stunning views over Nybroviken and Stockholm’s waterfront offers a luxurious hotel experience. diplomathotel.com +46 8 459 68 00


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COMPETITION

get into the spring of things This spring, we’ve teamed up with outdoor retailer Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports to give you the chance to win an Osprey backpack for exploring the outdoors. It’s about time you hit the trail... kitting out travellers for adventures since 1933, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports is the go-to stockist for all things outdoors. Whether you’re looking to gear up for hikes, climbs and trail runs this spring and summer, or need top-of-the-line kit for snow sports breaks and alpine pursuits come wintertime, the team at each of Ellis Brigham’s 23 UK stores have the expertise, experience and know-how to make sure you’ve got the right equipment for whatever your trip throws at you. Just in time for you to hit the trail this spring, we’ve partnered with Ellis Brigham to offer one lucky reader the chance to win

an Osprey Talon 33 or Tempest 30 backpack worth more than £100. Super light, supremely comfortable and versatile enough for all kinds of mountain activities on seriously tough terrain, both packs are firm favourites with Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports’ adventure experts, making them the perfect companion for trips into the great outdoors this spring and summer. Whatever adventure awaits, you can count on Ellis Brigham to kit you out. For competition details, look right. ◆ For more information on Osprey packs and to shop the full range of gear at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, visit ellis-brigham.com

Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports is the go-to stockist for all things outdoors, from hiking to skiing

how to win Get your hands on an osprey backpack for spring Fancy hitting the trail with a brand-new backpack this year? Good, because we’re offering one lucky reader just that. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is head to the escapism website via the URL below and answer one simple question. If you’re lucky enough to win, you’ll have the choice of either an Osprey Tempest 30 in mystic magenta or an Osprey Talon 33 in red or black. Good luck. To enter the competition, and for full terms and conditions go to our website: escmag.co/ ellisbrigham


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HE INTREPID SERIES is the part of escapism where we put our writers

to the test, pushing their minds, bodies and – if you’re a believer in that sort of thing – souls to the bitter, twisted limit. With that in mind, it probably makes sense that a place like the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda should make the cut, it being a dense, mountainous forest with the word ‘impenetrable’ in its name, after all. This month, we sent Ben Lerwill deep into

the forest, as well as the mountain villages around it, to see just how impenetrable Bwindi National Park actually is. What did he find? Lots of foliage, naturally. But aside from that it was an all-action walk-through some of East Africa’s most incredible history and wildlife, from the Batwa – an endangered group of tribespeople who’ve lived in the jungle for hundreds of years – to the region’s rich biodiversity and world-famous population of gorillas. Flip the page to join the hike. ◆


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THE INTREPID SERIES Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a wilderness that lives up to its name. Ben Lerwill braves the jungle to discover its history, local life and world-famous resident gorillas


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(football) Ben Lerwill; Firstname (Gorilla) Kamili Surname

has been a national park since the early 1990s, and is chiefly known for its mountain gorillas. Around 99% of tourist visits here incorporate some form of gorilla experience, but more on the park’s limelight-basking super-simians later. I’m staying in the area for the next four days to see what else its primeval hills have to offer. Plenty, as it turns out. I’m beginning with a hike through the western portion of the rainforest, a long bush yomp between the villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo. As well as Assu, I’m with Richard, a local >

MATCH DAY: [left] Local villagers playing football – as important a pursuit as wildlife-watching, some might say; [above] a baby gorilla in Bwindi

INTREPID

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E’RE ABOUT TO take a walk in the woods. Assu is carrying an AK-47 in case we’re charged by forest elephants. The morning is heavy with tropical heat – a close, sweaty brew of vegetal scents and cicada-drone – and we have a six-hour jungle hike ahead of us. Assu slings his gun across his shoulder, starts walking and tells me that he’s an Arsenal fan. Insert your own joke about the quality of his shooting here. I’ve come to the excellently named Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda’s southwest corner, a rainforest-smothered chin of land that juts up against Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi


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VISTA RIGHT: [right] Guide Richard leads the way on a trek from Buhoma to Nkuringo [below] resident monkeys and a baboon in Bwindi

> guide who proves his credentials within minutes by mimicking the call of a whitetailed ant thrush, hidden somewhere in the dense canopy. It whistles back. “Bwindi has 350 different types of birds,” he tells me, casually. “Maybe even more. This jungle has been here forever.” He’s not far wrong. By most reckonings, Bwindi has several million years under its belt, and its thick tangle of lost-world peaks gives the impression of a landscape entrenched in a different time. It’s a feral cosmos of its own, 128 square miles of wild contours, misty slopes and a knotted infinity of tall, shaggy trees. There’s a darkness to it, even during the day. Impenetrable? Put it this way: you wouldn’t want to get lost here. We’re following a marked trail, a dirt path that snakes its way through the rainforest. Shortly after setting off, the jungle totally hems us in. The views won’t re-emerge for several hours, but there’s much that does appear: red-tailed monkeys teetering in the fig canopies; blue butterflies spilling across the path; laddish baboons watching with disdain as we pass by; a duiker antelope skipping delicately over a stream. In the depths of it all, we meet a local man heading the way we’ve come, carrying a colossal sack of passion fruits on his head. Walking becomes the theme of my time in and around Bwindi. I’d been expecting the focus to be squarely on the rainforest,

Made up of just 12 but over the following cottages, this lodge two days the emphasis is a tranquil place, shifts onto the and makes the most communities that of its impressive location. As well as live in the mountain gorilla watching, it’s a villages that are great base for hiking situated around the and birdwatching. park. I’m staying at the Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, a carbon-neutral, locally


THE INTREPID SERIES: UGANDA • EXCURSIONS • 99

owned, solar-powered retreat looking out towards the volcanoes of Rwanda. In the dust of the afternoon, their silhouettes come and go like ghosts. The next day, a long walk down to Lake Mutanda with Richard takes us through a succession of villages along the valley. It’s the end of the dry season, and the hills swell out of the landscape in yellows and pale greens. The area is alive with family smallholdings, ambling goats and children tirelessly greeting us as we pass. We catch a church service in full song; watch a football game that’s being played on a hilltop; see chameleons tight-roping along the slenderest of branches. When the lake arrives, it’s as a hazed vision of reflections and islands. An hour in a hollowed-out eucalypt boat brings us to the far shore. The town of Kisoro is in full market-day madness:

battalions of honking mopeds, scrums of shoppers, mighty mounds of tomatoes. The whole day – hills, lake, market and all – is a rich whirl of moments, but tough too. I don’t once feel unsafe (unless you count being mobbed by sweet-demanding toddlers), but the realities of life here, the disparities between the haves, the have-nots and the have-nothings, are sobering. One of the clearest ways in which travellers can help, of course, is simply to be here, buying from locals, putting money into the community. The trickle-down effect of the tourist dollar is in evidence twice the following day, firstly on a hike to a towering forest waterfall – somehow hidden from view until a banknote to a local farmer ushers us to its beautiful base – and secondly on a guided tour of a reimagined Batwa, or pygmy, forest village. >

Ben Lerwill; (baboon) Kamili

THE JUNGLE TOTALLY HEMS US IN, AND THE VIEW WON’T RE-EMERGE FOR HOURS, BUT WE DO SEE BUTTERFLIES, BABOONS AND ANTELOPE


100 • THE INTREPID SERIES: UGANDA

INTREPID NEED TO KNOW Explore (01252 744 823; explore.co.uk) offers a 10-night Gorilla and Chimp Safari tour in Uganda that includes Bwindi National Park , Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Mburo. From £3,855 per person including flights, 10 nights’ accommodation with most meals, and an Explore Tour Leader throughout. For those travelling independently, Explore can arrange other activities in and around Bwindi, including those detailed in this feature.

> This is cleverly done, and poignant. Until the early 1990s, the diminutive Batwa lived here in the jungle as they had done for centuries. When Bwindi was awarded National Park status they were compulsorily and controversially evicted, having to largely abandon their way of life. That the timescale is so recent makes this Batwa-led tour, which covers everything from hunting methods to shelter-building, all the more important. “Elephants were a problem, and buffalo were too, but we never had a problem with gorillas,” an elderly Batwa man tells me. “We saw them as our cousins.” Which brings us back to the poster-boys of the region. I join the rangers just after dawn the next morning. There’s an hour of climbing, lots of machete-hacking, then – thrillingly – the gorillas appear, monoliths black-as-coal in the deep green belly of the jungle. They grunt. There are around They strut. They 340 mountain stuff their mouths gorillas in Bwindi Imwith foliage. They penetrable National are swaggeringly Park, which is almost half of all the nonchalant and mountain gorillas enormous. in the world. None At one point there’s exist in captivity. a reclining, 200kg

silverback lying so close that I can see the individual marks on his fingernails. Resting on shaggy Popeye arms and staring into the middle distance, he looks like he’s pondering some desperately profound truth. I daresay he is. There are fewer than 1,000 mountain gorillas left on the planet: to see them here – or anywhere at all, for that matter – is no

ordinary wildlife experience. The hour in their company goes too quickly. It zings with life, this far-flung pocket of East Africa, and it bowls you over. As I head north the following day, I recognise Assu at the roadside. “Hey!” he shouts, before again bridging the miles between Bwindi and Britain. “Arsenal! Arsenal!” And maybe, all things considered, it’s not so far-flung after all. ◆

Ben Lerwill

AT ONE POINT A RECLINING, 200KG SILVERBACK GORILLA IS LYING SO CLOSE TO ME THAT I CAN SEE THE MARKS ON HIS FINGERNAILS

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: Villagers make their way through the foliage-clad terrain of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park region


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SEYCHELLES • PROMOTION • 103

PROMOTION

all for fun and fun for all Long known as a playground for the rich and famous, Seychelles has become more accessible than ever thanks to new direct flights – making it the ideal holiday destination for families, says Glynn Burridge Sat in the sparkling azure waters of the Indian Ocean, far removed from the stresses of modern life, the 115 Seychelles Islands are legendary for their beauty. An increasingly popular tourist destination, Seychelles benefits from regular flights with the likes of British Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and more, making it easy to get to from almost anywhere. More accessible and affordable than ever before, Seychelles is a great place to spend quality time with the family. No visas are required by any nationality and you can stay up to a month without extending your visit. It’s also considered to be the ‘land of perpetual summer’, with temperatures rarely going below 24°C or reaching above 32°C.

And what’s more, there’s a great range of accommodation. If you plump for the ultimate in tropical pampering at one of the archipelago’s five-star resorts, no effort will be spared to cater to your family’s every whim. If that’s not your style, the Seychelles Secrets hotel portfolio is the place to go for the best of island-style living, bringing together establishments that have been vetted to provide a blend of excellent facilities and value for money. One of the best ways to discover everything that Seychelles has to offer is island hopping. It’s easy, too – the islands of Praslin and La Digue are just 15 minutes away by plane, or an hour by catamaran. They’re the ideal place to introduce your

the seychelles are the ideal place for introducing your family to very rare flora and fauna

TRUE BLUE: The 115-island-strong Seychelles archipelago sits in the middle of the beautiful, pristine azure waters of the western Indian Ocean

family to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and rarest flora and fauna. The islands also have excellent swimming, snorkelling, diving, hiking, horse riding, golfing, sailing, fishing and more. Seychelles is the place to treat your family to a once-ina-lifetime holiday, where welcoming smiles, a safe, pristine environment and plenty of entertainment will give you memories that you’ll never forget. ◆ British Airways now offers twice-weekly direct flights to Seychelles from London Heathrow. ba.com; for more information about Seychelles, please visit seychelles.travel


The Great British Escape Stoke Park is a luxury 5 AA Red Star Hotel, Spa and Country Club set within 300 acres of beautiful parkland and offers world-class sporting and leisure facilities.

Facilities Facilitiesinclude: include: include: Facilities 49 Bedrooms Bedrooms and and Suites Suites • •• 4949 Bedrooms and Suites Award Award winning winning Spa Spa • •• Award winning Spa 27 hole hole Championship Championship Golf GolfCourse Course Course • •• 2727 hole Championship Golf •• 33 Restaurants Restaurants and and Bars, Bars, including including Humphry’s Humphry’s (3 (3 AA AA Rosette, Rosette, fine fine dining) dining) •• 13 13 Tennis Tennis Courts Courts (indoor, (indoor, grass grass and and artificial artificial clay) clay) •• Indoor Indoor Pool Pool •• State State of of the the art art Gym Gym with with Fitness, Fitness, Hot Hot Yoga Yoga and and Spinning Spinning Studios Studios Hot Yoga and Spinning Studios hosting hosting up up to to 50 50 classes classes per per week week hosting up to 50 classes per week •• Crèche Crèche • Crèche •• Games Games Room Room • Games Room •• Playground Playground • Playground

Situated 35 minutes from London and only 7 miles from Heathrow Airport makes Stoke Park an ideal location and perfect setting for stopovers and luxury breaks. For more information or to book, please contact our Reservations Team on 01753 717172 or email reservations@stokepark.com For Membership enquiries please contact our Membership Team on 01753 717179 or email membership@stokepark.com www.stokepark.com


BARBADOS • PROMOTION • 105

PROMOTION

barbados: A culinary Capital Barbados has sun, sea and sand aplenty, but there’s more to the tropical isle than that: it’s home to mouthwatering cuisine, vibrant culture and adventure that will satisfy the most intrepid traveller, too If you’re anything like us, you’ll travel with several things in mind: warm weather; colourful local culture and history; and perhaps most importantly – plenty of utterly delicious food and drink. For a destination that has it all in spades and then some, look to Barbados, the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Aside from excellent restaurants serving up everything from street food to fine dining in luxurious surrounds, it’s also home to world-renowned foodie events. 18-21 October will see the island host its annual Food and Rum Festival, which is one of the best ways to get your tastebuds acquainted with local cooking. The four-day event is

jam-packed with food and drink experiences, from the Oistins Bay Gardens Cook Off to the Signature Rum Event with food and rum pairings and more, and is sure to whet your appetite for Bajan cuisine. Another date for your diary is Barbados’ annual Crop Over festival. It all boils down to a five-week-long party that celebrates the island’s history. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780s, when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar, and today it’s a brilliant way to experience the warm and friendly culture of the Bajan people. But there’s plenty more to do in Barbados. For starters, it’s one of the best places to bask in luxury and soak up the local

Crop Over festival is the best way to experience the welcoming culture of the bajan people

BEST BITES: [l-r] An example of Barbados’ exquisite dishes; a chef cooking up fresh local seafood at the annual Food and Rum festival

atmosphere as you cruise around on a yacht. What’s more, if going on an active adventure is just as important to your holiday relaxation, there’s the Cycling Festival in September, a six-day event when cyclists of all abilities can discover the island from an unparalleled perspective; the Beach and Wellness festival, with yoga, meditation and chefs cooking healthy Caribbean-influenced dishes; and the Open Water Festival, when hundreds of swimmers come from all over the world to enjoy Barbados’ crystal-clear waters – and all this just scratches the surface. What are you waiting for? Dive in. ◆ Go to visitbarbados.org for more on food, luxury and adventure in Barbados


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t ips a n d t r i p s f o r yo u r n ex t b r ea k With summer in sight, we bring you this year’s essential Mediterranean holiday ideas, from under-the-radar beaches to luxe resorts, foodie breaks and adventures

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be achin g to t h e c o n v ert ed Looking for a little more space to sling down your towel? Try these beautiful under-the-radar Med beach escapes

2] PUGLIA 1] SPETSES GREECE

Imagine that Greek island holiday: the beautiful coastline, the characterful harbour towns, the top-notch waterside restaurants. Now

imagine it without the crowds. You’re thinking about Spetses, a small (and almost car-free) island less than a two-hour ferry west of Piraeus, which somehow manages to balance old-town charm and rustic ‘Greekness’ with bags of beaches in

walking distance and an unbeatable food and drink offering. STAY: Poseidonion Grand. From £141.35. poseidonian.com GETTING THERE:

Aegean flies from Heathrow to Athens from £147 return. Piraeus to Spetses ferry from £72 return. hellenicseaways.gr

ITALY

You’ll find some of Spetses’ best restaurants in the Old Port area to the south of the island’s only town. Try Tarsanas for seafood, Londou for small plates and Orloff for sea views.

People visiting Italy for the coast often don’t get much further than the Amalfi. More fool them. In Puglia, the heel of the boot, you’ll find dramatic coastline, near-guaranteed sunshine and

three gorgeous cities to explore by way of Bari, Lecce and Brindisi. That’s if you ever want to drag yourself away from those beaches. STAY: Villa Plus offers villas in Puglia from £549 per week. villaplus.com GETTING THERE:

Ryanair flies from Stansted to Bari from £52 return. ryanair.com


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SI NE LT ER CE TPOI DR

3] MALTA

4] FORMENTERA SPAIN

(Formentera) Mateu Bennassàr; (Cassis) Tobi 87; (Spetses) Christos Drazos; (Spain and Morocco) 2014 Rey Perezoso; (Malta) Beautiful Destinations; (Puglia) Paolo Petrignani/viaggiareinpuglia.it

Malta gets 300 days or more of sunshine every year. Not enough to get you hunting for flights? OK, well its capital city, Valletta, is European Capital of Culture for 2018, too. Beyond that, there’s tons to explore across the country’s three islands, from the iconic St Peter’s Pool on Malta, to Blue Lagoon in Comino as well as lots (and lots) of sand. Dive in. STAY: Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour. From £171. cugogranmalta.com GETTING THERE: Air Malta offers return flights from Heathrow to Malta from £137. airmalta.com

Ibiza gets three million tourists a year, 250 times the 12,000 people who live on Formentera, an idyllic island just a 30-minute ferry away from the beating heart of the Balearics. Here, there isn’t a whole lot more to do than eat, sleep and soak up the rays, which – funnily

enough – makes it an absolute paradise for sun worshippers. Aaand… relax. STAY: Gecko Hotel and Beach Club. From £170. geckobeachclub.com GETTING THERE:

Formentera is often compared with the Caribbean for its turquoise waters and white-sand beaches. And the most jaw-dropping is the long sandy spit of De Ses Illetes.

Thomas Cook Airlines offers return flights to Ibiza from £111. thomascookair lines.com; Return ferry from Ibiza to Formentera from £34.50. trasmapi.com

Sometimes an adventure is as much about where you are as the activity you’re doing, and this tour of the Med’s most western reaches is a winner. Exploring southern Spain and Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, on this tour you’ll spend a few days discovering the Islamic history of Malaga and watching wildlife

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5] CASSIS FRANCE

The following three things are true: Provence is gorgeous, the French Riviera is expensive, and rosé tastes better in summer. Luckily, by setting up camp in Cassis,

These breaks are about more than sunbathing – they’re for the people who need an extra dose of adventure

1] GET CULTURAL IN SPAIN AND MOROCCO

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a small town east of Marseille on the southern French coast, you’ll be able to get the best of both rosé and Provence without spending an absolute packet. As well as absolutely gorgeous beaches, you’ll also have easy access to the calanques, a series of mountainous coast-

A dv en t u re t im e

al creeks that are great for days out by boat or afternoons of rock climbing. Take your pick. STAY: There are plenty of homes in the area available to rent on Airbnb. airbnb.com GETTING THERE:

Easyjet flies from Gatwick to Marseille from £46 return. easyjet.com

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near Cadiz, before taking a 30-minute ferry to Morocco from Gibraltar and discovering art, culture and surfers’ havens on the coast of North Africa. NEED TO KNOW:

Rug & Rock offers nine-day tours from £936. rugandrock. com; Ryanair flies to Malaga, Spain and Fez, Morocco from £55 round-trip. ryanair.com


4] DISCOVER PORTOFINO IN A KAYAK

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The pretty fishing village of Portofino in north-west Italy gets much more than a million visitors each year. Wanna know how to escape them? Get in a kayak, duh. On tour with Outdoor Portofino, you’ll get to grips with sea kayaking, as well as feasting your eyes on an all-new view of Portofino, Cinque Terre and the rich wildlife of Liguria. Sucks to be you, landlubbers. NEED TO KNOW:

Also known as ‘the mountain in the sea’, Corsica is the perfect place for balmy sun, cool coasts and challenging cols to take on by bike. On this particular tour, you’ll get a bit of all

3] BE AN ACTION HERO IN CROATIA Firstly, if you’ve got an equal level of love for kayaking, mountain biking,

NEED TO KNOW:

Europe Active offers six-day tours starting at £651. europe-active.co.uk easyJet flies from Gatwick to Bastia from £84 return. easyjet.com

wakeboarding and climbing, well done, you’re fitter than us. And secondly: we reckon you’ll love Alana Beachclub on Croatia’s Northern Dalmatian coast, where you can have a crack at the lot – all included in the

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Don’t worry, if you think you’ll need some post-ride pampering you can upgrade your itinerary from budget gîtes to some of Corsica’s best high-end hotels.

5] TREK DUBROVNIK TO ATHENS

cost of your stay. Don’t worry, there’s a pool and spa, too. NEED TO KNOW:

Neilson offers seven-night stays at Alana Beachclub from £609pp including flights and transfers. neilson.co.uk

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If you want to tick off classics and under-the-radar spots in one swoop, this tour is for you. You’ll travel from the Croatian gem of Dubrovnik to the Albanian capital of Tirana before things all get a bit Levison Wood, when you’ll sail across Lake

Ohrid, check out the blocky architecture of Skopje and wander the mountains of Pelister National Park in Macedonia before crossing into Greece for Mount Olympus and two days in Athens. NEED TO KNOW:

Intrepid Travel offers 15-day adventure tours from £1,588. intrepidtravel.com; BA flies from London to Dubrovnik and Athens from £128 round-trip. ba.com

(Montenegro) Intrepid Travel; (Corsica) Ferenc Horvath; (Portofino) Picasa; (Croatia) Mark Bader; (Amallfi Coast) Capodilupo

2] CYCLE THE LENGTH OF CORSICA

three – but mainly the cycling – as you pedal 125km a day, passing cute chapels, olive groves and roaming farm animals as you go.

Outdoor Portofino offers single and multi-day tours from €98. outdoorportofino.com; Alitalia flies from Heathrow to Genoa from £120 return. alitalia.com


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lim it l ess luxu ry Seeking summer sun and don’t care about the price tag? Ben Winstanley has you covered with these luxury escapes

1] AMANZOE

2] HOTEL NAVIS

Porto Heli on the northeastern Peloponnese coast isn’t known as the Greek Riviera for nothing. Its spectacular sheltered coves and crystal-clear sea have drawn Greece’s high society for decades, but the rest of the world has finally cottoned on to its charms. The jewel in its crown is the Amanzoe resort where, for a super spenny room rate, you can enjoy an experience as close to living life as a Grecian god as you can get. STAY: From £767. aman.com

Hidden behind the boot of Italy, Croatia is a sleepier Mediterranean destination that needs your urgent attention – fewer crowds and better bang for your buck make it a must-visit right now. Hotel Navis is a modern and oh-so stylish take on the luxury hotel. There’s a private pebble beach for sunbathing and a well-equipped spa for those hungry for further relaxation. If this is the face of budget luxury, we’re ready for our close-up. STAY: From £109. hotel-navis.hr

PORTO HELI, GREECE

GETTING THERE:

Wizz Air flies from London Luton to Athens from £130 return. wizzair.com

VOLOSKO, OPATIJA, CROATIA

By Ben Winstanley, associate editor of our sister title Square Mile. Find out more at squaremile.com

SELECTOR

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3] IL SAN PIETRO DI POSITANO

4] HOTEL DU CAP-EDEN-ROC CAP D’ANTIBES, FRANCE

AMALFI COAST, ITALY

The Cote d’Azur is a go-to destination for Mediterranean luxury, not least because it’s home to the sumptuous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. This grand 19th-century mansion takes the phrase ‘gilding the lily’ and throws the (golden) kitchen sink at it. But the treat really comes when you leave your room: 33 seafront cabanas for private lounging in the sun and nine acres

The Amalfi Coast is Hollywood glam at the best of times, but if you really have A-list aspirations there’s one Italian blockbuster not to be missed. Carved out of a rocky promontory, Il San Pietro is a breathtaking cluster of bedrooms and suites looking out towards the deep-blue sea. There are few hotels in the world with views this good. STAY: From £537. Ilsanpietro.it GETTING THERE:

easyJet flies from London Luton to Naples from £83 return. easyjet.com

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GETTING THERE:

easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Pula from £255 return. easyjet.com

5] HILLSIDE BEACH CLUB

MUGLA, TURKEY

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Yes, Turkey does high-end luxury just as well as it does your Aunt Doreen’s package holiday sunburn fest. It’s home to the unspoilt

Aegean coastline for a start, but also a crop of the most underrated luxury hotels in the Mediterranean, including Hillside Beach Club. Hidden among fragrant pines, the resort’s all-white spacious rooms look out onto the sapphire-blue waters of Kalemya Cove, while

several secluded beaches wrestle for your attention with tempting spa and wellness packages. STAY: From £1,560 for four nights. hill sidebeachclub.net GETTING THERE:

Thomas Cook Airlines flies to Dalaman from £200 return. thomas cookairlines.com

of landscaped gardens create a five-star bubble you won’t want to leave. STAY: From £506. oetkercollection.com GETTING THERE:

easyJet flies from Gatwick to Nice from £55 return. easyjet.com


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Wel l f e d, w el l m ed Are you the kind of traveller who follows their stomach instead of their head? These are the spots for you…

1] PALERMO ITALY

FRANCE

Shun the crowds of the Cote d’Azur and head south west to the coastal town of Sète for shedloads of the freshest fish and seafood you could possibly get your grubby little mitts on. It’s a proper working port, with fishermen going out in search of glorious turbot each day, while the Thau lagoon is home to oyster and mussel beds. It helps, of course, that Sète is also home to

the finest unsung beaches of France’s southern coast. Nothing to do but eat and sunbathe all day? Sounds like our perfect holiday. STAY: Les Méditerranéennes offers villas from £149. my boutiquehotel.com

3] CYPRUS

GETTING THERE:

Ryanair flies from London to Beziers from £80 return. ryanair.com

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You’ll be able to try a few of these local specials at the two new food markets in Palma: Mercat 1930, which debuted last year, and Mercado de San Juan, which opened back in 2015.

5] PALMA DE MALLORCA SPAIN

As you’d expect from a Spanish island, you can easily eat your bodyweight in classic tapas and paella here. But as

What do you get when you throw together European, African and Asian cultures with flavoursome ingredients that sing of Cyprus’s sun-soaked climes? The recipe for a rich, varied and totally tasty food culture. Start with what you know – oozy grilled halloumi and stuffed vine leaves – before dabbling in local specialities like loukoumades: deep-fried dough balls soaked in honey. STAY: Casale Panayiotis offers Farm to Fork packages from £155. casalepanayio tis.com GETTING THERE: Fly from Stansted to Larnaca from £154 return. jet2.com

delicious as that is, you’d be doing yourself – and the island – a serious disservice. Look instead to the heaps of regional specialities that hinge around flavour-packed local produce. We love sobrassada, a softer, spreadable take on chorizo, and ensai-

4] CRETE GREECE

Cretan food is considered to be the pinnacle of Greek cooking. What to eat? Make time for creamy young cheeses made from sheep or goat’s milk; lamb sauteed in olive oil and oregano; and sfakia pies, pancake-like treats that contain the infamously potent local liquor raki. STAY: Daios Cove Luxury Resort. From £650. daioscove crete.com GETTING THERE:

Thomas Cook Airlines flies from Gatwick to Crete Heraklion from £164 return. thomas cookairlines.com

mada, a delicate flakey pastry stuffed with everything from custard to spicy sausage. STAY: Hotel Tres. From £148. hoteltres.com GETTING THERE:

easyJet flies from Gatwick to Palma de Mallorca from £104 return. easyjet.com

(Sète) Atout France; Nathalie Baetens; Greece National Tourist Office; (Mallorca) @enelsanjuan

Street food is king in the Sicilian capital, where local dining is gritty and relies heavily on… boiled meat. But we can assure you that frittola – veal fat and cartilage, boiled, fried and sprinkled with lemon juice – is actually pretty tasty. STAY: Hotel Principe Di Villafranca, from £200. principedivilla franca.it GETTING THERE: Fly Stansted to Palermo from £148 return. ryanair.com

2] SÈTE

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The landscape hotel where nature and imagination run wild

TREEHOTEL | +46 (0)928-103 00 | BOOKING@TREEHOTEL.SE

Photography by: Johan Jansson

Experience our surroundings no matter what season it is. Regardless of whether you have a need for speed and adventure, or if you’re looking for tranquility and a time for reflection, let Treehotel help you discover the charm of the North. We have an array of seasonal packages to exceed your needs and expectations. From Western horse riding in summer to forest skiing in winter, our activities are designed to capture the time of year and boast the beauty of our unique nature in this part of the world.


Photography by: (Watch & Chef) David Harrison

Located in Clapham Old Town, Tun Yard Studios provides a bespoke environment for studio work. T: 020 7819 4191 | W: tunyardstudios.com | E: caroline.walker@tunyardstudios.com


MALTA • PROMOTION • 113

PROMOTION

Malta: here comes the sun Just a three-hour flight from the UK, Malta is the perfect year-round escape for beach lovers, cultural explorers and city breakers who want an English-speaking holiday in the warm Mediterranean sun What if we told you there was a place that gets year-round sunshine? A place with a miles of Mediterranean coastline, and a capital city that’s compact, walkable and easy to explore in a single weekend? A place that’s predominantly English speaking, and just three hours from the UK? Sound too good to be true? Well, that place does exist. It’s called Malta, and its capital city, Valletta, is European Capital of Culture 2018, meaning there’s never been a more exciting time to visit. Whether you’re travelling to soak up sights like St John’s Co-Cathedral and Valletta – an Unesco World Heritage Site, or just fancy checking out some of the city’s waterfront restaurants, boutique hotels and fun-filled festivals, Valletta is the perfect European city break, no matter your age.

But there’s so much more to see beyond the city. Malta is made up of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino – and on a longer stay, you’ll have time to explore them all. From swimming, scuba diving, jet skiing and kayaking off each of the islands’ gorgeous coasts to cycling, taking a quad bike tour of Gozo or self-driving your way around Malta’s gorgeous ‘Three Cities’ in an electric car, this is a sun-soaked Mediterranean destination that’s absolutely bursting with potential. Now all you need to do is get over there and explore it. ◆ For more information visit maltauk.com

Beautiful Destinations

malta is a sunny mediterranean country bursting with potential

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Exploring the culture-packed city of Mdina; yachting at Blue Lagoon in Comino; the country’s stunning coast


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HINK OF THE Turks and Caicos Islands and you probably think of big ol’ beaches, straw parasols and super-highend luxury holidays. Fair enough, but from now on we implore you to consider this blue-hued beauty, too. It was taken one night at Indian Cave, a single gallery rock formation located on Middle Caicos, the archipelago’s largest

island. The cave’s ceiling is riddled with dozens of openings and so-called skylights, which were formed over thousands and thousands of years by slightly acidic rainwater eating away at the roof. The jury’s out as to whether people lived there in the period before Christopher Columbus discovered the island, but we figure Velux windows owe them big time. ◆

Matt Anderson/Getty

REAR VIEW

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Explore the planet with French Learn French with Babbel and unlock authentic travel experiences in destinations such as Morocco, Canada, or Africa

Haggle over spices in Fez

Superbe !

Come back home with a bag full of Moroccan flavours after exploring the famous Fez spice market. Say ‘trop haut’ (‘too high’) about three times before you decide to shake hands.

Make new friends in Old Québec Your Instagram feed would love a pic from this UNESCO world heritage site. Try asking a French-Canadian for insider tips on the best taverns in the area. Some of them are over 400 years old!

Meet a birdwatcher at Waza National Park Hundreds of bird species can be found in Cameroon’s famous safari. Speaking French will help you land the most experienced guides. They practically chat with the birds and can get you as close as a selfie with some of them.

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Escapism – 46 – The City Breaks Special