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THE FOOD & TRAVEL SPECIAL

Quebec, Canada

Grenada, Caribbean

London, UK

Kentucky, US

Julian Alps, Slovenia

Istanbul, Turkey

Naples, Italy

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Quebec, Canada

Grenada, Caribbean

London, UK

Kentucky, US

Julian Alps, Slovenia

Istanbul, Turkey

Naples, Italy

I s s u e

53 I S S N

2 3 9 7 - 3 4 0 4


THE FOOD & TRAVEL SPECIAL

Quebec, Canada

Grenada, Caribbean

London, UK

Kentucky, US

Julian Alps, Slovenia

Istanbul, Turkey

Naples, Italy

I s s u e

53 I S S N

2 3 9 7 - 3 4 0 4


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ISSUE 53 • ESCAPISM • 9

EDITOR’S LETTER

E D I TO R I A L

DESIGN

EDITOR

Lydia Winter ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Tom Powell FOOD EDITOR

Mike Gibson SUB EDITOR

Victoria Smith CONTRIBUTORS

Barkha Goenka, Zoey Goto, Ally Head, Mollie McGuigan, Lucas Oakeley

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matthew Hasteley SENIOR DESIGNERS

Emily Black, Annie Brooks JUNIOR DESIGNERS

Matthew Franklin, Louis Moss COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

Michael Layefsky/Getty: The beautiful rice terraces of Tirtaganga, Bali; see p40

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jon Hawkins

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Mark Hedley SALES DIRECTORS

Mike Berrett, Alex Watson BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Jason Lyon

PRINT ADVERTISING

FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Cole ACCOUNTS

Jess Gunning, Jenny Thomas MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Melissa Van der Haak MARKETING AND EVENTS

Jo Birt, Ellen Cook, Charlotte Gibbs, Lewis McClymont, Francesca Neal, Seth Tapsfield

Kate Rogan

LEAD DEVELOPER

Tim Slee

JUNIOR DEVELOPER

Tom Kelly OBE

AJ Cerqueti Matt Clayton

I

’VE EATEN AND drunk quite a few unusual things on holiday. Tripe and horse steak in Sicily (an acquired taste); spit-roasted guinea pig and chicha – a musty purple drink made out of fermented corn – in the Peruvian Andes (absolutely delicious); conch ‘pistol’, considered an aphrodisiac in The Bahamas (not quite sure on this one); and raw octopus so fresh it’s still wriggling in my mouth in South Korea (a step too far). And I don’t regret any of them, because eating food that so clearly belongs to its surroundings is what travelling is all about. Of course, holidays aren’t just for trying ‘weird’ dishes – tracking down the finest sushi in Tokyo, after all, is just as authentic as snacking on roasted crickets in Mexico City. But when it comes down to it, there’s only one thing that really matters: whether you’re after gourmet, gutsy or a little bit of both, you need to know exactly where to look. With this in mind, I’d like to welcome you to one my favourite issues of the year, where we give you the inside track on some of the hottest destinations for food and drink. This month, we visit the tiny island of Grenada in the Caribbean (p54), where nutmeg is so important it’s on the national flag; head out on a new hiking trail through the Julian Alps in Slovenia (p48), where the food is good enough to give the jaw-dropping landscapes a run for their money; and go in search of authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples (p73). Pack your stretchy pants: we’re going in. ◆

Lydia Winter, Editor

MARKETING AND EVENTS EXECUTIVE

Amber Ahmad, Emily Fulcher CEO

CHAIRMAN

@EscapismMag

@escapismmag

OFFICE MANAGER

Caroline Walker

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© Square Up Media Limited 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.


73

95

CONTENTS

DEPARTURES 15

24

29

31

32

34

Just Landed On The Fly ◆ Eco sun lotions ◆

Short Stay ◆ Falmouth, Cornwall In Focus

15

EXPERIENCES

In The Frame

Hot Shots Scotland

32

London

C OV E R S TO RY

40

Food & Travel

12 foody, boozy holiday ideas that aren’t to be missed 48 ◆ Slovenia ◆ On the culinary trail

Striking out on a new hiking route through the Julian Alps 54 ◆ Grenada ◆ The Spice Isle

Nutmeg, chocolate and rum on the cool Caribbean island

EXCURSIONS 62 ◆ Kentucky, USA ◆ When the grass is bluer

A road trip around the Bluegrass State, from bourbon to Biblicalthemed attractions 68 ◆ Istanbul, Turkey Uncovering Çukurcuma

Naples

95

A deep dive into Istanbul’s much-loved antiques district 73

83

City Guide

Everything you need to know for a weekend in the home of pizza

The Checklist ◆ Essential gear for autumn adventures The Intrepid Series ◆ A journey into Canada’s far north

108

The Selector Indian Ocean

114

Rear View Thom Hunt

[Naples] iStock / RudyBalasko; [boat] Masoud Ghadiri; [Intrepid] Isabelle Dubois

114


Travel Insurance with you in mind Travel insurance designed by travellers Up to £10M medical expenses Available for UK/EU Citizens if you’re already abroad Cover for cameras and gadgets available Extreme sports and activities covered, including trekking and winter sports

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DEPARTURES

Rome2rio’s new tool offers less-busy alternatives to famous sights, p24

15 24 32

◆ ◆

In the Frame Just Landed

Short Stay 34

Photography Travel News

Merchants Manor, Falmouth

In Focus

London


ALPINE. ASIAN. AUTHENTIC. THECHEDIANDERMATT.COM

THE CHEDI ANDERMATT GOTTHARDSTRASSE 4 CH-6490 ANDERMATT T +41 (0)41 888 74 88


IIN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 15

IN THE FRAME

This year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist has been announced, and the shots are absolutely stellar

[

PHOTOGRAPHY

]

A PIERLESS VIEW:

Marcin Zajac

This abandoned, graffiti-covered pier in Davenport, California provides perfect scenery to showcase the stars in the night sky behind.


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 17

NEVER TOO LAKE:

Lake Urmia in Iran was once the biggest saltwater lake in the Middle East, but due to river damming and climate change, it’s now only 5% of the size it used to be. This ship is stranded 6km from the port, with the Milky Way glowing behind it.

Masoud Ghadiri


TWINKLE, TWINKLE THE INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR This year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist showcases some of the finest dark sky photos on the planet. The exhibition of shortlisted and winning images will run at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich from 13 September, with a book to follow. Find out more at rmg.co.uk/shortlist or follow on social at #astrophoto2019


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 19

FOLLOW THE LIGHT:

This shot of the Northern Lights at Seljalandsfoss in southern Iceland has everything that makes for an epic adventure photo: auroras, a waterfall and a tiny little human for scale.

Firstname Surname Sutie Yang


TIME FOR REFLECTION: The

Milky Way glitters overhead at Mount Hooker in Wyoming, USA, while the shallow lake reflects the beguiling scene with mirror-like precision.


IN THE FRAME • DEPARTURES • 21

Firstname Surname Marco Toso


22 • DEPARTURES • IN THE FRAME

LIGHT THE WAY:

Jason Perry

Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina may only be 48m tall, but from this angle it stretches right up to the Milky Way above it.


G-1000® ECO

Durable, adaptable, timeless Fjällräven’s own fabric. Made from organic cotton and recycled polyester with fluorocarbon-free impregnation. Adaptable with Greenland Wax

nature is waiting The Fjällräven Greenland Jacket

as you’re reading this, the outdoors is ready for you. Limitless skies are expecting you. Fjällräven’s Greenland Jacket was born in 1968 and since then, only three changes have been made. In 1972 it received side pockets due to popular demand, in 2006 it was introduced in a winter version with pile fleece and in 2018, it went from using

G-1000 Original fabric to using G-1000 Eco, made from recycled polyester and organic cotton. It seems that function, comfort and durability don’t go out of style. And neither does the compulsion to wander about in stunning surroundings. Nature is waiting. What are you waiting for?

www.fjallraven.co.uk/storelocator


24 • DEPARTURES • JUST LANDED

SHIPSHAPE AND SHINY

JUST LANDED All you need to know from the world of travel, from cool new cruise ships to gorgeous hotel openings, and how to pick a socially responsible tour operator

[

WHAT’S

NEW

IN

TRAVEL

LAST YEAR SAW Celebrity Cruises launch EDGE – one of the most high-tech ships on the seas. This year, the cruise line is floating something a little different: new 100-berth expedition ship Flora is built exclusively for trips to the Galapagos. Energy-efficient credentials and top-notch research equipment are paired with the luxury you expect from Celebrity – an outdoor deck for glamping and stargazing. Yeah, you can count us in. celebritycruises.co.uk

]

A NEW LEASE OF LIFE OUTDOOR STORE ELLIS Brigham has teamed up with two homeless charities to give your unwanted clothes a new deserving home. The new initiative – called The 2nd Life – aims to match the needs of the homeless in London, as well as stopping clothes needlessly going to landfill. Want to donate? Take your old garments and sleeping bags to an Ellis Brigham store in London. ellis-brigham.com

SKIP THE CROWDS

SEAS OF CHANGE The Greek island of Paros has taken its first steps towards becoming the first plastic-wastefree island in the Mediterranean, with more than 40 local businesses rejecting major sea pollutants like plastic straws, carrier bags, cups and more. The Clean Blue Paros initiative is part of a wider effort by social enterprise Common Seas to help island communities protect their coasts from waste. commonseas.com

rome2rio.com/not-spots

SWAP SHOP: Some of Rome2rio’s suggested swaps include trading the architecture of Barcelona for Bilbao and driving Trollstigen in Norway instead of Iceland

(Paros) Anja Pietsch; (Celebrity cruises) Michel Verdure

FORGET SUFFERING THROUGH the tourist hordes to see the world’s best sights: travel planning platform Rome2rio has just launched a tool that offers travellers crowdfree alternatives to some of the world’s busiest destinations. The new Not Spots platform gives 30 travel swap suggestions, covering everything from road trips and foodie breaks to places to visit for culture.


STYLISH BOUTIQUE HOTEL ON THE DOORSTEP OF QUINTA DO LAGO Escape to the Algarve’s most stylish boutique hotel. Bringing a dose of Miamiinspired kitsch to the Algarve, this latest addition to Quinta do Lago’s hospitality offering dazzles with its neon signage, colourful interiors and sunshine yellow loungers. The hotel offers sleek rooms, suites and charming cottages, an outdoor heated swimming pool, spa, and fresh and tasty cuisine - all within a stone’s throw of the vibrant Quinta do Lago resort and beautiful beaches of the Algarve. Discover The Magnolia Hotel today. Rates from £110 based on a standard room, double accupancy and with breakfast included.

LAST MINUTE SUMMER


26 • DEPARTURES • JUST LANDED

ARRIVALS A quick recap of some of this summer’s most exciting news

FLOAT THE IDEA Sure, you’ve stayed at a hotel, but have you ever tried a floatel? If – like us – the answer to that is no, then you’ll probably want to head to the town of Milford Haven on the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales. This summer, a collection of luxurious floating cabins has been installed on the town’s marina for nautically inspired nights away. Stay from £110 per night. qualityunearthed.co.uk

PEAK YOUR INTEREST Forget climbing Britain’s highest mountains, now you can drink them instead: South East London brewery Brick has just released its own take on the classic Three Peaks Challenge by brewing a beer in collaboration with the nearest brewery to each of the trio of famous British hills: Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales. brickbrewery.co.uk

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: HOTEL ALAIA, CHILE THERE’S A LOT to love about Chile: the busy hum of Santiago, the endless wilds of Patagonia, the heat of the Atacama Desert. One place that’s little slept on, though, is the surfer’s haven of the Punta de Lobos peninsula, about a threehour drive from the country’s capital. Hotel Alaia – a new 12-suite luxury hotel right on the beach – offers you unfettered access to some of the country’s most renowned breaks, and the low-lying modern architecture is a glorious display of minimalism hewn from distressed wood and stone. On bad surf days, you can hit the outdoor climbing boulder and skatepark – or just chill in the hot tub. From £170pn. designhotels.com

TRAVEL RIGHT

company that employs local guides, there are endless options that travellers can choose to ensure their trip is great for both themselves and the local people. It can be tricky to know where the money goes when booking with a travel company, which

is why G Adventures has launched the ‘Ripple Score’ on more than 600 trips, showing travellers exactly what percentage of money spent on services such as accommodation, transport and activities goes into the hands of locally-owned companies. gadventures.com

neste.com/journeytozero

[Travel Right] © G Adventures Inc.

Every issue, we share advice on how to travel more responsibly. Jamie Sweeting, vice president of social enterprise at G Adventures tells us why it’s important to choose the right tour operator

Travel has the potential to benefit communities in the destinations you visit, and if you ‘travel local’ you can make sure the money you spend goes directly into those economies. Whether it’s opting for locally owned hotels, staying with a family in a homestay or picking a

Outward bound: Everything at Hotel Alaia nods to surf culture, from beach shack-style architecture to surfboards and a handy in-hotel Patagonia store.

FLY THE NESTE Renewable energy company Neste has created a carbon neutral island in Sweden as a test of the country’s ambitions to be climate neutral by 2045. From food sourcing to lodgings and power supply, the small island of Lidö is now a fossilfree environment that can cater to holidaymakers, wedding goers and more.


#krone n #krone hofmoments nhofpo n #grand hotelk tresina ronenh of @grand hotelk ronenh of f b.com /krone nhof

kronenhof moments since 1848 Looking for the perfect summer escape in the Swiss mountains? 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!

Immerse yourself in a world full of vibrant colours, lots of sunshine and discreet luxury in one of Switzerland‘s most iconic historic 5-star hotels, located in the very heart of the Swiss Alps, a stone‘s throw from St. Moritz. Let yourself be enchanted by the Engadine’s marvellous mountain summer.

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


ON LOCATION • DEPARTURES • 29

ON LOCATION

From the streets of Miami during Hurricane Irma to the frozen expanses of the world’s largest lake in Russia, new movie Aquarela travels the globe documenting the power of water and the threat posed by climate change

[

AQUARELA

]

ON THE FLY Looking for suncream that’ll protect you and the environment? Give these eco-friendly, reef-safe lotions and after-suns a go on your next break

TROPIC SKINCARE SUN BALM SPF 50 This pocket-sized pot of factor 50 is great for topping up coverage on your face and other easily burned areas when you’re on the go. As with every Tropic product, it’s made fresh in the UK from sustainably sourced ingredients that are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. This clever concoction contains rosemary leaf oil to protect, Polynesian tamanu oil to soothe and repair, and tons of vitamin E to nourish parched skin. 20ml, £16; tropicskincare.com

KORRES FACE & BODY EMULSION 30 SPF Greek beauty brand Korres is known for using some of the finest herbs and botanicals from the Mediterranean’s natural larder in its products. This one uses a true Greek favourite: natural yoghurt. Yes, really. The yoghurt in this 30 SPF lotion gives you protein, minerals and vitamins, as well as increasing the water content of your skin to leave you cool and refreshed. 150ml, £27; korres.com

V

AST WAVES ROLL and crash, ships rock viciously side to side, palm trees bend and break as a storm howls, a car crashes through ice into the depths of the lake beneath it. These are just some of the scenes you’ll see in Aquarela, a new documentary by Russian director Victor Kossakovsky that ruminates on the raw power and sublime beauty of water in 90 plotless, narration-free minutes. Hopping the globe from Greenland to Russia to Miami to the half-amile-high Angel Falls in Venezuela, this is a film that defies genre: part documentary, part action movie, part horror flick, it casts water as its main protagonist, antagonist and love interest, making humanity look minute in scale and incidental to the power of Earth’s most vital element. Free of narrative comment, it brings home truths about the fragility of our place on this planet all the while, too. Aquarela is in cinemas now.

SHOT AND AWE:

Shot at 96 frames per second in a ridiculously crisp HD, Aquarela is immensely – and in many cases, scarily – rich in detail

GREEN PEOPLE HYDRATING AFTER SUN Soothing aloe vera, moisturising calendula, cooling peppermint and the richly-scented, anti-inflammatory effects of myrrh come together in this natural and organic post-sun moisturiser from Green People. Not only will it reduce peeling and help kickstart the healing process, it’ll actually prolong your tan by retaining moisture in your dehydrated skin. It works pretty well as a cool and freshfeeling body lotion all year round, too. 100ml, £10.50; greenpeople.co.uk


SCOTLAND • DEPARTURES • 31

GLEN ETIVE, SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

HOT SHOTS

Photographer Sarah Afiqah Rodgers is based in Scotland, giving her easy access to the country’s dramatic, romantic landscapes. Follow her at @theworldwithsarah

[

SCOTLAND

With both snow and great light, I was on the hunt for deer. I had my eyes locked on this guy and placed myself in a bush down low to wait for him to get into a more photogenic pose. The weather began battering down and my lack of waterproofs and hat meant I was getting cold and soaked. The stag clocked me in my discomfort and that’s when he stepped into his majestic power stance to assert his dominance.

]

LOCH CORUISK, ISLE OF SKYE The hike up Sgurr na Stri was rugged and boggy, soaking our feet and challenging our minds. It was one of those hikes where you ask yourself “why?”. But when we reached the top, it was worth it. All of the cold and mud was forgotten and the creativity came flooding in. With the Cuillin mountain range as our view, I knew I had to capture this shot. The backdrop of Loch Coruisk made for the perfect natural frame.

Sarah Afiqah Rodgers (@theworldwithsarah)

RATTRAY HEAD LIGHTHOUSE, ABERDEENSHIRE Rattray Head Lighthouse is one of my all-time favourite places to visit in Scotland. With the sand dunes looming over you and the water creating a perfectly smooth reflection of the lighthouse, this is a scene that never fails to conjure up pure beauty. It is my ultimate escape; a quiet refuge with nothing but tranquillity, and a place where I could sit for hours on end just watching and listening to all the different variables around me.


SHORT STAY

MERCHANTS MANOR

With its sandy beaches and pretty harbour, Falmouth is bursting with Cornish charm. Add a first-rate boutique base in the form of Merchants Manor, and you’re looking at the ultimate West Country escape, writes Tom Powell

[

FALMOUTH,

CORNWALL

]

COST: From

£155 per night ADDRESS:

Western Terrace, Falmouth, TR11 4QJ GETTING THERE:

Trains from Paddington take five and a half hours, or drive in a similar amount of time and explore Cornwall by car while there. TO BOOK:

merchants manor.com

WHAT’S THE SCORE?

Known for its harbour, clifftop castle and creative scene, the charming little town of Falmouth on the south coast of Cornwall is the perfect hub to explore some of the best of the far, far west, from its killer produce to its sprawling surf beaches. Merchants Manor makes for the perfect base, being positioned on a hill overlooking the water about a five-minute stroll from the nearest beach and ten minutes from the town centre. With several bright and airy modern rooms and two luxurious self-

catering residences (complete with a complimentary bottle of locally made Trevibban Mill sparkling wine in the welcome hamper), plus a bar, lounge, spa and indoor pool, you might not fancy heading out at all.

WHAT TO EAT

What you will want to do, however, is visit the hotel’s seasonal restaurant Rastella. Headed up by South African Hylton Espey, it sources much of its produce from within Cornwall, with one starter of hedgerow herbs and sea

BRIGHT HORIZONS:

Interiors at Merchants Manor are bright and breezy, with colour schemes in keeping with seaside surroundings


SHORT STAY: FALMOUTH • DEPARTURES • 33

vegetables even being sourced within the hotel’s TR11 postcode. Each dish is a tribute to the Cornish coast or countryside, from hake, dashi and XO sauce main ‘Through the Gap’ – named after the entrance to Newlyn harbour – to the plate of mushroom, barley and forest greens named after the nearby village of Budock Water. Basically, it’s all the best bits about Cornish food – fresh fish and oysters, grass-fed beef and market-garden veg – but with a little bit of cheffy, wood-fired flair.

MIND YOUR MANOR:

[below, from top] Take time out in the lounge at Merchants Manor; food in the hotel’s Rastella restaurant showcases the best local produce

LOCAL HEROES From beachside feasts to local brews, there’s lots to try in Falmouth and nearby

WHAT TO DO

For a relatively small town, Falmouth packs a hell of a punch: it has two watersports-friendly beaches, tons of cutesy cafés and restaurants, a regular ferry to the remote, rugged Roseland peninsula and one of the UK’s best craft breweries. Find time to chill at Gyllyngvase (Gylly to locals) and hit up the famous Gylly Beach Café for a fire-pit barbecue from 4pm until late during the summer. Alternatively, bar hop the high street, starting at The Greenbank and taking in the Star & Garter, craft beer specialist Hand Bar and bookshop-turned-pub Beerwolf. ◆

EACH DISH SERVED AT MERCHANTS MANOR’S RASTELLA RESTAURANT IS A TRIBUTE TO EITHER THE CORNISH COAST OR COUNTRYSIDE

THE HIDDEN HUT If you’ve got extra time, head to the Roseland peninsula and visit The Hidden Hut on Porthcurnick beach. Once a beach shack, it was taken over by Cornish couple Simon Stallard and Gemma Glass who turned it into one of the best places for lunch with a view in the county. In summer, it hosts Stallard’s famous long-table beach banquets: tickets sell faster than Glasto, though, so act quickly. hiddenhut.co.uk

VERDANT SEAFOOD BAR Based out of an industrial estate on the edge of Falmouth, Verdant Brewing Co has made a bit of a name for itself by making small batches of superjuicy IPA in the American style. While the brewery is too small to have a taproom, it’s recently opened a seafood bar on a side street by the harbour – it’s the perfect place to pair small plates of the day’s catch with the aforementioned ales. verdantbrewing.co

LEARN TO SUP AND SEA KAYAK Because it sits on a sheltered section of the county’s south coast, only big storms draw Cornwall’s famous surf to Falmouth’s beaches. So while you’re better off heading to the far west or more dramatic north for surfable swells, one’s loss is another’s gain, and Swanpool beach in Falmouth is home to a watersports centre that’ll teach you to SUP, windsurf or sea kayak in slightly calmer waters. elementaluk.com


34 • DEPARTURES • IN FOCUS: LONDON

IN FOCUS

From restaurants celebrating regional cuisines to cool new hotels, outdoor adventures and epic events, here’s how to feel like you’ve escaped London without ever leaving zone 4

DO GO ROWING IN FINSBURY PARK

Back in the 18th century, city dwellers would head to Islington and Finsbury to escape the London smog. These days, Finsbury Park is as urban as they come, but you can still get a slice of nature on the park’s lake. Don your eye patch and your pirate’s hat and you’ll get money off your vessel when you head out in Finsbury Park lake for a, er, swashbuckling 30-minute adventure, dodging swans and ducks as you go. Ahoy there, matey. Finsbury Park VISIT LONDON WETLAND CENTRE IN BARNES

[

LONDON,

UK

]

Just ten minutes from Hammersmith but a world away from the dreaded flyover lies the London Wetland Centre: a 100-acre nature reserve with lakes, pools and gardens that’s home to kingfishers, wading birds, otters and more. It’s delightful all year round, but winter is when the prettiest birds come to town. wwt.org.uk; Barnes HIT SOUTH LONDON’S GREEN CHAIN TRAIL

This gorgeous 11-stage route traverses the sights of South East London from Thamesmead to Nunhead Cemetery, taking in the 18th-century Gothic folly of Severndroog Castle, the Art Deco glamour of Eltham Palace, the dinosaur sculptures of Crystal Palace Park, and the impressive taxidermy of the Horniman Museum. It’s an 82km route so there’s plenty of ground to play with and explore, but whether you walk or run is up to you. We know what we’ll be doing. Nunhead

EAT LUCKNOW 49

London’s roster of excellent Indian restaurants keeps going from strength to strength, and among them is Lucknow 49, which specialises in the Lucknowi cuisine found in north India’s Awadhi region. That means fragrant, gently collapsing kebabs; potato and chilli patties; and a condensed milk cake called rasmalai. lucknowldn.com; Oxford Circus ANDINA NOTTING HILL

Jade Nina Sarkhel

Peruvian food is about way more than quinoa and ceviche, y’know, and the best way to discover Andean soul food is at this gorgeous space in Notting Hill. Inspired by the roadside picanteria restaurants found in the Peruvian mountains, food here is hearty: presa Ibérica pork served on creamy mashed potato with fresh green chilli, and corn tamales – a tarted-up take on the staple Latin American street-food snack. andinalondon.com; Notting Hill Gate >


36 • DEPARTURES • IN FOCUS: LONDON

THE STANDARD IS AN ACHINGLY COOL NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL HOUSED IN A CAREFULLY RESTORED 1970S BRUTALIST BUILDING

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

MAREMMA

The Maremma is a coastal area that straddles the southern Tuscany and northern Lazio regions of Italy, made up of blue sea, long beaches, black rock and charming wooded hills. And while you won’t find these landscapes inside the Brixton restaurant, you will find the region’s food in spades. Expect to eat acquacotta, a vegetable broth topped with wobbly poached egg; woodbaked guineafowl; pappardelle with wild boar ragu; and tagliatelle with bottarga, butter and lemon zest. maremmarestaurant.com; Brixton

CARNABY EATS 1-30 SEPTEMBER A month of chef panel discussions, cookbook launches, special menus and much more, all set against the backdrop of Carnaby Street in Soho. carnaby.co.uk/carnabyeats

STAY THE STANDARD LONDON

Run yourself a bubble bath in one of the open-air tubs on the balconies of The Standard’s eighth-floor rooms and you’ll forget you’re in, well, London. Housed in the carefully restored Brutalist Camden Town Hall Annex building in King’s Cross, The Standard is the achingly cool boutique US brand’s first outpost outside the States and it’s gone the extra mile to leave a good impression. There are outrageously good-looking, Seventies-style interiors; rooms specially designed for DJs to stay in after they’ve been working all night; a lobby recording studio for live podcasts and music launches; and a plethora of excellent restaurants – with Isla, a restaurant inspired by the UK’s coast and headed up by Adam Rawson (previously of Pachamama) the pick of the bunch. From £150pn. standardhotels.com; Kings Cross SEA CONTAINERS

Beer, bratwurst, oompah and a huge celebration of Bavarian culture – all without leaving London. Lederhosen optional, but encouraged. london-oktoberfest.co.uk

ART AND SOUL:

Sea Containers’ communal areas have been given some love, too – from new lobby sculptures to cocktail bar Lyaness

JAPAN WEEK 23 SEPTEMBER-3 OCTOBER A citywide celebration of the food, drink and culture of modern Japan, with events, limitededition menus and exclusive discounts. japanweek.co.uk

[Sea Containers] Niall Clutton

With a recent change of ownership, the hotel formerly known as Mondrian London has shaken off that moniker and metamorphosed into Sea Containers London, complete with an updated look and feel. Rooms and suites are cut with clean Nordic lines and bathrooms are hewn from slabs of sumptuous marble. If you can stretch to a suite with a balcony, the view – across the shimmering, twinkling Thames to the lights of the City – is borderline unbeatable. If you do want to venture out, though, you’re in a pretty decent part of town for eating and drinking: the OXO Tower Restaurant is just a few doors up the river, and it’s a pretty short walk up the Southbank to Clink Street and the southern entrance of Borough Market, should you be that way inclined. ◆ From £195pn. seacontainerslondon.com; Blackfriars

LONDON OKTOBERFEST THROUGHOUT OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER


Serving healthy and indulgent dishes

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EXPERIENCES

The verdant hills of the Julian Alps, Slovenia, p48

40 ◆ Food & Travel Special 48 ◆ Julian Alps, Slovenia ◆ On The Trail 54 ◆ Grenada, Caribbean ◆ The Spice Isle 62 ◆ Kentucky, USA ◆ Where The Grass Is Bluer 68 ◆ Istanbul, Turkey ◆ Uncovering Çukurcuma 73 ◆ Naples, Italy ◆ City Guide


FOOD AND TRAVEL • EXPERIENCES • 41

Words by ESCAPISM TEAM

Maremagnum / Getty

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MAKE A MEAL OF IT Whether you’re brave enough to sample beer brewed with whale testicles or simply want to track down the world’s best sushi, there’s no denying that holidays are all about the food. Welcome to our ultimate guide to destination dining...

22,500

Hectares of vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina

26

Oyster farms in the Arcachon Bay, France

254

Bib Gourmands awarded to Tokyo restaurants

STREET EATS: The Japanese capital may have more fine dining than any other city on Earth, but it’s also home to alleyway after alleyway of simple street eateries, too

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HESE DAYS, IF you want to eat an authentic taco in London, you’ve got more than a few choices – Breddos on Goswell Road, El Pastor in London Bridge and several more. For Japanese cooking, there’s Koya on Frith Street; for Portuguese there’s Bar Douro; for Peruvian there’s Andina. Yep, there’s no doubt that London is a hotbed of irresistible global eating, and its restaurants are a small slice of escapism without leaving the city. If you’re anything like us, trying all these cuisines on home turf will have you itching to try the food as it was meant to be eaten. It’s time to upgrade your dinner out to a fullon holiday, and as for where you should go, well, that’s where we come in. There’s only one question: how long have you got? >


A WEEKEND CORK, SOUTHERN IRELAND

Best for: local produce The verdant hills of southern Ireland are a lush and fertile breeding ground for independent farms, the landscape peppered with family-run businesses producing incredible caviar, cheese and more. Get yourself to Cork and strike out on a road trip through the countryside, stopping in at Highbank Orchards Farm for cider, vinegar and vodka; lunch at Knockdrinna Farm; Goatsbridge Trout Farm for smoked, erm,

trout and caviar; and Coolea Farmhouse for its gouda-style cow’s milk cheese, which is so good it’s taking a star turn in some of the best restaurants in London. MUST EAT: Trout caviar at Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, County Kilkenny. STAY: Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork, from £184. hayfieldmanor.ie

GETTING THERE: Ryanair flies from Gatwick to Cork, Ireland, from £33.98 return. ryanair.com

PORTO, PORTUGAL

Best for: the freshest of seafood For the city that gave Portugal its name, Porto can be overlooked as a holiday destination. But there are more than

FOOD IS VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS IN CYPRUS – EVERY OCCASION REVOLVES AROUND TABLES LOADED WITH DISHES THAT SING OF THE SUN


FOOD AND TRAVEL • EXPERIENCES • 43

WESTERN REGION, ICELAND

Best for: food you’ll never forget Iceland is nothing if not infamous for its food culture, being home to many dishes that freak out the British eater as much as they delight their palate: fermented shark? Uh-huh. Smoked puffin? Probably quite delicious once you get over the cuteness of the thing. Beer brewed with whale testicles for a better… mouthfeel? We’re gonna barf. Look beyond the big-ticket dishes and you’re in a place that’s blessed with some of the most remarkable seafood in the world, as well as plenty of pastures for great charcuterie like smoked mutton and superfresh veg. Now that is good. MUST EAT: Scallops and sea urchins on You read that right a fishing cruise in – this is a real beer made annually by Stykkishólmur. Stedji Brewery in the STAY: Hotel Budir, countryside near the from £178. village of Reykholt. Before brewing, the hotelbudir.is testicles are smoked with sheep dung.

GETTING THERE:

Icelandair flies from London to Reykjavik from £144 return. icelandair.com

BORDEAUX, FRANCE

(Melbourne) David Hannah; (Porto) Diogo Rocha

a few reasons to swap Lisbon’s highly Instagrammable hill trams for Porto’s cobbled back streets: saccharine-sweet bolas (doughnuts of all shapes, sizes and flavours), the glorious 14th-century church of São Francisco, and the opportunity to spend an evening (or, if you ask us, a day) in one of Porto’s many wine cellars, with a glass of ice cold, Douro Valley wine in hand. MUST EAT: Bolas de berlim (cream-filled doughnuts) at Confeitaria Serrana. STAY: Torrel 1884, Porto, from £201. torelboutiques.com GETTING THERE: British Airways flies from Gatwick to Porto, from £141 return. britishairways.com

Best for: wining and dining While Paris will always be France’s capital for food (and, you know, all the other serious stuff), when you venture south west to the city of Bordeaux you’ll find the French capital of wine. But here’s the thing: with all things oenological front and centre, Bordeaux’s food scene has been left to bubble along in the shadows. Until recently, that is, because a clutch of brilliant new restaurants are stepping up to the plate. And it’s about time, too: the area is home to some of the finest produce on the planet. There are Arcachon oysters – head to the villages along the Arcachon Bay to try them fresh off the boat – plus caviar from Aquitaine, and deliciously fleshy cep mushrooms. And if you fancy a glass of delicious Bordeaux wine to wash it all down with? Well, needless to say you’re in the right place. MUST EAT: Arcachon oysters with red wine vinegar and chopped shallots. STAY: Les Sources de Caudalie, from £220. sources-caudalie.com GETTING THERE: easyJet flies from Luton to Bordeaux from £37 return. easyjet.com

A WHILE TORONTO, CANADA

Best for: late-night snackbars Toronto is cool. And not only because it’s home to our sister titles foodism and escapism Toronto. Wherever you go, there’s a gentle buzz – and a new restaurant opening here, a bar launch there. There are several different neighbourhoods to explore, each with their own vibe, but if you have to pick >

AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE: [clockwise from main] Soaking up café culture in Melbourne’s Federation Square; fine food in Porto; a Balinese street market


44 • EXPERIENCES • FOOD AND TRAVEL

> one, we’d go for Ossington: a three-block radius with trendy restaurants and bars aplenty. Stop in at un-signed Hanmoto (follow the red lights where Dundas St W meets Lakeview Avenue) for Dyno Wings – chicken wings stuffed with a pork dumpling. MUST EAT: Dyno wings at Hanmoto. STAY: Bisha Hotel, from £212pn. bishahoteltoronto.com GETTING THERE: WestJet flies from Gatwick to Toronto from £515 return. westjet.com

LIMASSOL, CYPRUS

Best for: sun-soaked eating Food is serious business in Cyprus, where any occasion revolves around tables loaded

VINE BY ME: [top to bottom] Argentina’s Mendoza wine region packs great mountain views; fire cooking at Gubbeen Farmhouse in County Cork, Ireland

with dishes that sing of the sun. Mezze platters are piled high with halloumi and densely packed vine leaves; charcoal-grilled meats are stuffed into pillowy pittas; and you can test the limits of your waistband with pide, the boat-shaped pastry stuffed with cheese and other delights. Scout out your local taverna for the most authentic, meals, and make sure you stop in at a bakery, because Cyprus’ pastry game is strong. MUST EAT: Loukoumades, deep-fried dough balls soaked in honey and coated in crushed nuts, sesame seeds and cinnamon. STAY: The Library Hotel, from £74pn. libraryhotelcyprus.com GETTING THERE: Wizz Air flies from Luton to Larnaca from £90 return. wizzair.com

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Best for: high-low dining Moscow is a city of the haves and the

have-nots. It’s worth remembering when you’re scuttling about the capital that the richest 3% of Russians hold 90% of the country’s financial assets. And that disparity is reflected in the food you can find there: the finest of fine-dining restaurants (like the iconic White Rabbit) rub shoulders with more rough-and-ready stolovaya canteens. All of it, however, is worth your attention. Bronzed pastries such as pirozhok and hearty pierogi dumplings sit pretty next to brightred and super flavoursome bowls of borscht soup – all excellent ways to keep up your spirits no matter what the extreme weather is saying. MUST EAT: Beef Several hundred stroganoff. Whether of these canteens were opened cooked by a Michelinacross Russia in the starred establishment communist era to or a traditional help feed workers. These days, they still Russian nonna, this offer cheap, simple sautéed beef dish is and traditional eats. hard to turn down. STAY: Bulgakov Mini Hotel, from £117pn. bulgakovhotel.com GETTING THERE: airBaltic flies from Gatwick to Moscow via Riga from £130 return. airbaltic.com

FEZ, MOROCCO

(Mendoza) Picasa

Best for: An undiscovered culinary capital With supremely melty lamb, sweet apricots and delicate spices, tagine makes for a comforting, fragrant hug of a dish. And to sample it at its absolute best, you really need to go on a pilgrimage to Fez, Morocco’s unsung culinary capital. The city is emerging as an alternative to Marrakech’s touristladen streets, its elegantly crumbling courtyards and gorgeous archways still a relatively safe haven from the masses that descend on the souks and riads elsewhere. Which should give you all the more time to wander around, mouth open, stuffing yourself with properly good shakshuka and delightfully moreish (or should we say Moorish?) maakouda fritters. MUST EAT: Almond briwat, fried filo pastry stuffed with buttery almonds, sugar and cinnamon and dipped in honey. STAY: Riad Laaroussa, from £100. riadlaaroussa.com GETTING THERE: TAP Portugal flies from Heathrow to Fez via Lisbon from around £220 return. flytap.com >


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46 • EXPERIENCES • FOOD AND TRAVEL

TAKE IT AS RED: [from top] The winter market in Moscow’s Red Square; fishing for scallops and urchins in the fjords of Snaefellsnes, West Iceland

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

Best for: a foodie, boozy road trip Come for the malbec, stay for an expansive range of grapes that are shamefully overlooked on UK shores. The best way to discover them? A road trip from Salta, an emerging destination for incredible vineyards, all the way down to better-known Mendoza. Along the way, you’ll find a clutch of incredible boutique wineries, as well as pre-Hispanic ruins, historic sites, and more jaw-droppingly gorgeous natural beauty than you can shake a wine glass at. MUST EAT: Asado or steak. With wine, natch. STAY: Lares de Chacras, from £140. laresdechacras.com GETTING THERE: Norwegian flies from Gatwick to Mendoza via Buenos Aires from £804 return. norwegian.com

UBUD, BALI

Best for: ‘healthy’ eating In Bali, the day starts with nasi campur, a plate of aromatic banana leaf rice, fiery chilli sambal, chicken satay, steamed green beans, cassava leaves, tempeh topped with bean sprouts, fried mini anchovies, shredded coconut and fresh chillies. Enough said. But if you need more, ‘Ubud’ comes from

the Balinese word Australia has some ‘ubad’, which means of the best coffee shops in the world medicine – with the – we have them to result that the local thank for the flat cuisine is packed with white, the growth natural remedies. For of single-origin filter coffee and (less so) a little more medicine, beardy hipsters. go to Ubud market and dive face first into babi guling, a saddleback ham hock roasted with ginger, garlic, galangal and shallots. MUST EAT: Babi guling. STAY: Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa, from £132pn. plataran.com GETTING THERE: Garuda Indonesia flies from Heathrow to Denpasar via Medan from £623 return. garuda-indonesia.com

TOKYO, JAPAN

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Best for: vegans It can be hard finding places to eat abroad when you’re vegan. Not so in Melbourne, where plant-based restaurants abound, alongside the famously good Aussie coffee shops. You won’t find bean burgers here. No, my friend, you’ll get aubergine schnitzels and vegan ‘chicken’ parmigiana. In fact, the vegan offering in Melbourne is so good that it inspired Meriel Armitage of Club Mexicana to bring inventive animal-free cooking to London – so you know it’s going to be good. MUST EAT: Ribs with slaw and mac ’n’ cheese from Smith & Daughters. STAY: Ovolo Laneways from £99. ovolohotels.au GETTING THERE: Emirates flies from Gatwick to Melbourne via Dubai from £677 return. emirates.com ◆

(Moscow) Tara Kennaway

Best for: Michelin-starred restaurants Tokyo has a whopping 230 Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as 254 Bib Gourmands (places that serve exceptionally good food at moderate prices). That’s more than London, more than New York, and more than Paris. What’s more, Tokyo is holding the 2020 Olympics. What could possibly be better than watching other humans perform

heroic feats of strength and endurance while pigging out on world-beating sushi and ramen? Not very much, that’s what. MUST EAT: Fugu, the (potentially) deadly fish. STAY: Claska Hotel, from £211pn. claska.com GETTING THERE: ANA flies from Heathrow to Tokyo from £1,435 return. ana.co.jp


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JULIAN ALPS, SLOVENIA • EXPERIENCES • 49

Words by MOLLIE MCGUIGAN Ales Krivec

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BLAZING A TRAIL The wild natural beauty of Slovenia’s Julian Alps is fertile ground for incredible produce – and now, a clutch of worldclass restaurants. We head out on a new hiking trail to find out more...

2 hrs

Flight time from London

14°C

Average temp in September

2,864m

Highest point in the region

TAKE A PEAK: Head out on an adventure through the Julian Alps and you’ll find killer views and incredible food vying for your attention

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WENTY FOUR HOURS in Slovenia’s Julian Alps and I’m already guzzling water from streams and scrabbling up vertiginous tracks like a mountain goat. This slip of a country, wedged between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, doesn’t just invite you to marvel at its scenery – it hauls you in by your collar and immerses you in its landscapes, its culture, and, most importantly, its food. From September, Slovenia’s mountain ranges in the country’s north-west corner will become a little easier to explore thanks to the new Julian Alps Trail. The 270km route connects old and new paths to make one continuous track through this chunk of alpine beauty, home to the country’s highest peak, the 2,864m-high Mount Triglav. The >


> route begins in the ski resort of Kranjska Gora near the Italian border, heading southeast to the picture-postcard lakes of Bled and Bohinj, before swinging west across scenic valleys and forging north into Italy, eventually dropping back into Slovenia. It’s a stunning route, with each of the trail’s 17 stages – ranging from 5km to 22km –

linked to local hotels that will transfer your luggage to your next stage, and every section is accessible by train, shuttle bus or a transfer handily arranged by your hotel. All you have to do is walk. The best way to explore the route is to tag together a few stages and combine them with the region’s other star attraction: food.

THE JULIAN ALPS ARE HOME TO SOME OF THE COUNTRY’S FINEST PRODUCE, FROM HONEY AND CHEESE TO WILD TROUT AND GAME

From honey and cheese to wild trout and game, the Julian Alps are home to some of the country’s finest produce – and most stages on the new route finish close to a topnotch restaurant where you can experience dishes made with ingredients from the very land that you’ve just hiked. My weekend begins in Jesenice, north-east of Lake Bled, and the start of stage three of the Julian Alps Trail. The 17km hike loosely follows the upper Sava River – famous for its grayling, rainbow and brown trout – before heading up a literally breathtaking scree path to the 15th-century Church of St Peter, and panoramas of the Begunjščica mountain ridge and Lake Bled. After a zippy descent


JULIAN ALPS, SLOVENIA • EXPERIENCES • 51

PASTURES NEW: [clockwise from above] The tranquil expanses of the Julian Alps; rabbit stew at Vila Podvin; the trail winds its way past Lake Bled

[Lake Bled] Jost Gantar

through lush carpets of sorrel, wild garlic and salvia, it’s time for my first experience of Slovenian fine dining. Vila Podvin is a ten-minute drive from the end of stage three, on the outskirts of Radovljica. Head chef Uroš Štefelin is still buzzing from news of its place in the first Slovenia edition of lauded restaurant guide Gault Millau. My hiking gear goes unobserved by the chatty mix of locals and European tourists – probably because all attention,

rightly, is on the food, a stellar tasting menu where Slovenia’s most beloved ingredients are transformed into works of art. Plump Arctic shrimps are dressed with foraged sorrel, clover and slender wild asparagus. A dainty fillet of Sava-caught barbel is intensified with a dash of wild garlic oil. The star of the meal is a wedge of panfried tripe, so prettily decorated with forgetme-nots and sweet woodruff that it could pass for a dessert. After a long afternoon, I happily waddle to a taxi and head to Hotel Ribno, a collection of rooms and log cabins with private hot tubs near Lake Bled, and nod off to the sound of the nearby Sava Bohinjka river. This blockbuster lake is one of The following Slovenia’s most morning, as my iconic attractions luggage makes its way and comes complete with its own island to my next hotel, I housing a fairytale strike out on today’s church. Instagram 21km hike, stage five at the ready… of the Julian Alps Trail. The route heads north-west towards Pokljuka Gorge and its caves, before a steep climb takes me into Triglav National Park. If there’s an area that shows off Slovenia’s pantry, it’s here. From the ground littered with fat, fleshy mushrooms and clumps of mint, sage and thyme, to woodland bristling with leaping red deer and chamois, it’s no surprise Slovenians flock here to forage and hunt. Luckily, I don’t need to forage a thing. Instead – after a quick sauna at tonight’s digs, Bohinj Eco Hotel – I head to Pension Resje, a restaurant located on the edge of the national park which prides itself on sourcing its ingredients from the local countryside and serving them up in endlessly inventive ways. Owner and head chef Jože Godec switched from a traditional à la carte menu to a seven-course tasting menu last year. It’s a killer of a menu. My starter of smoked trout – caught from the Sava Bohinjka that trundles close to the restaurant – horseradish, ginger and barley arrives on a slab of curved cherry wood. It’s gone in a flash, as is a chunk of venison with raspberry sauce and fried asparagus. The Julian Alps aren’t ripe for wine making so Resje’s cellar is sourced from the country’s three main winemaking areas –

Primorska, Podravje and Posavje. Slovenian wines are extraordinary, benefitting from a similar climate to Italy and mineral-rich soil, with a fast growing natural wine movement. So little of it is exported, you’d be wise to drink as much of it as possible – but be warned: my glass of crna rebula – a plummy red grape cultivated from near extinction by the Erzetič vineyard in Primorska, near the Italian border – was such a knockout that I missed my alarm the following morning. My final day begins in Bovec in the Soča Valley, at the start of stage 14. The 12km route hugs the dazzlingly blue Soča River, which connects several tributaries home to the country’s finest stocks of rainbow and marble trout. The land around the river is a herbivore’s dream, bursting with linden trees, elderflower, juniper, horseradish, mushrooms and hazelnuts. Technical terrain forces us to pick our way, single file, along skinny mountain >


52 • EXPERIENCES • JULIAN ALPS, SLOVENIA

> paths, with the thundering river only a stumble away. Just as I think my legs might give way, I come to a stall selling honey, with a set of buzzing hives in the distance. This is the nectar of the Carniolan honey bee, a species native to Slovenia and the ancient region of Carniola, which partly falls in the Julian Alps. I might just have found the most remote honey shop in the world. I finally arrive at my cabin at Kamp Koren with just enough time for a shower before I head out for tonight’s final dinner, where the very produce I’ve been plodding past has been thrust into the international limelight.

Hiša Franko is so esteemed its chefpatron Ana Roš bagged an episode of Netflix documentary series Chef’s Table. Set in a country house in rural Kobarid, the restaurant is so popular it’s booked up three months in advance. It’s Slovenia’s answer to The Fat Duck, with a 21-course tasting menu of the region’s bounty in clever combinations. Roš, a local self-taught chef, is devoted to showing off Slovenia’s produce. She and her husband Valter, a sommelier, were the first to take tolminc cheese, a protected hard cow’s milk cheese, and age it. A local forager sources the wildflowers and herbs that

feature on every plate, and the meat is reared by farmers in the Soča Valley. Roš creates food with ceremony, from the potato in a hay shell that must be cracked open and dipped in fermented cottage cheese and smoked chocolate, to a three-part dish of pork and parsnip dumpling, a whisky cocktail and pork crème brûlée. It’s a magnificent way to end three days of dawn hikes and late-night feasts. In Slovenia, it seems, the adventure extends all the way from its incredible landscapes to its cooking – and both are as beautiful and breathtaking as each other. ◆ Wizz Air flies from Luton to Ljubljana from £69.98 return, wizzair.com. More information on the Julian Alps Trail and accommodation along the route can be found at julian-alps.com

Daniel Ernst

IN SLOVENIA, THE ADVENTURE EXTENDS ALL THE WAY FROM THE LANDSCAPES TO THE COOKING – AND BOTH ARE BREATHTAKING

FORCE OF NATURE: Views aren’t just pretty – they’re knock-your-socks-off amazing, from jagged peaks to hillsides carpeted with wild flowers


CAMPING KOREN The first Slovenian eco camping connects Triglav

National Park and Soča, one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers. The Soča valley offers numerous possibilities for sport activities in the mountains, in the sky or in the water. Only 500 meters from the centre of Kobarid, a town of history and a place of excellent cuisine. You can stay in the campsite with your own equipment, or choose between eco chalets and glamping huts. The camping also has sauna, salt room, hall, gym and sport equipment to rent. Kamp Koren Kobarid Ladra 1B, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia T: +386 (0)5 389 13 11 E: info@kamp-koren.si W: www.kamp-koren.si Operating times: 1.1.-31.12.


GRENADA, CARIBBEAN • EXPERIENCES • 55

Words by MIKE GIBSON

Slawek Kozdras

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THE SPICE OF LIFE Grenada grows so much nutmeg that the spice is featured on the national flag, but this beautiful island is bountiful in more ways than one. We get to know a tiny Caribbean nation that’s bursting with resilience and pride

10hrs 35 Flight time from London

27°C

Average temp in September

121km

of coastline to explore

COOL BEANS: Along with flavour-packed spices, Grenada also grows a lot of cocoa, used to make chocolate. Here a woman sieves cocoa beans at an artisanal factory

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N THE LUSH forests that cover much of Grenada, there is a particular tree that stands out. It’s tall, with sprawling branches – more akin in look to an English oak than the ubiquitous coconut palms that span the length and breadth of this tiny Caribbean island, but it’s not its appearance that differentiates it from the other trees. Its bountiful leaves conceal a hidden treasure. Look closer, and you’ll see fleshy pods clinging to its branches. Open one up and, caged within a protective layer of webbing, you’ll find a nutmeg. Crack open the shell – known to you and me as mace when it’s dried and ground – and there it is: a humble seed, about as big as a 10p coin, >


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PORT OF CALL: [above] The picturesque harbour at St George’s, the capital city; [right] World-class diving at the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park

REGGAE TUNES FLOAT LAZILY THROUGH THE AIR AND STALLS HEAVE WITH CINNAMON, CLOVES, JERK SPICE MIX AND CHOCOLATE

(landscape) Dietmar Denger ; (diving) Orlando K Romain

> whose cultural significance is far greater than its size suggests. Because this is Grenada, a nation that loves its chief export so much that a nutmeg adorns its blue and yellow flag. Perhaps most strangely of all, it’s not actually indigenous – it was brought here from Indonesia in the 1840s – but this Caribbean nation now produces between 20-40% (depending who you believe) of all the nutmeg in the world. It’s a statistic put into perspective when you travel around the island, purely because this is, even by the Caribbean’s standards, a tiny nation. Home to just under 110,000 people across its 345sq km, the island is easily traversed pretty much in its entirety in a couple of days. And that’s what I’m trying

to do: I’m venturing out from the beautiful Sandals Grenada Resort and Spa (the country’s second-largest employer, just after the university) on a day trip to find out what makes this country tick beyond its pristine beaches and luxury resorts. We start the day driving towards the capital, St George’s, down Maurice Bishop highway, the longest road on the island, drenched in sun even in October. Passing through a tunnel cut out of the mountains, flat roads turn to the sharp inclines and crowded streets of a harbour town built on a series of impossibly steep hills. As

well as the aforementioned nutmeg and mace, there’s plenty to be had at the stalls in the town’s main market. Reggae tunes float lazily through the air, and stalls – like Margarets, where we leave with a shopping bag full of spices for less than $20 – groan with cinnamon and cloves, pimento and ready-made jerk spice mix, as well as brightly coloured fabrics and chocolate. After this, we drive up to the top Every August, of the town, and Grenada’s capital plays host to the once we’re there, the two-day long vista is spectacular: Grenada Carnival terracotta roofs of Spicemas, a colourful celebraSt George’s hint at a tion of the island’s French colonial past, culture. and the town sweeps down the hill to meet the sparkling blue waters off the harbour. After leaving St George’s, the scenes turn more typically Caribbean: we swap between roads tucked right up to the shores of the island and greener roads higher into the mountains. The country is, largely, incredibly lush and verdant, and banana trees are ubiquitous outside porches in mountain townships. At Charlie’s Bar, a tiny roadside venue a few miles from the capital, old tyres are stacked up against the other side of the road and painted in that vibrant Caribbean triumvirate of red, yellow and green, >


58 • EXPERIENCES • GRENADA, CARIBBEAN

THIS IS A COUNTRY FUELLED BY EXOTIC SPICES, BY SOCA AND REGGAE, TROPICAL WEATHER, GOOD RUM AND CHOCOLATE > with messages and historical timelines. Elsewhere, murals of recent prime ministers including Maurice Bishop hint at past wounds that are still being felt. Because Grenada is a nation scarred by history. Like many of the Caribbean nations, it has been occupied by many different rulers, including the French and the British, and there’s bloodshed in its recent timeline, too: in 1983, deputy prime minister Bernard Coard attempted a coup on the hugely popular Bishop. After a tussle for power, Bishop was executed by firing squad, and the country mourned a prime minister who had ushered in momentous advances in infrastructure, including what would become its international airport. The response of the US to this development was to forcefully occupy the country for two months, a move condemned by many UN states. Two decades later, after a period of relative political peace, emotional wounds would become physical ones: in 2004, after half a century hurricane-free, the

island was hit by the catastrophic Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed a staggering 90% of its homes and almost all of its infrastructure. It’s for this reason that the disposition of almost every Grenadian I meet – from a taxi driver who grins as he tells me he was “born, bred and buttered” here, to Margaret at St George’s market, countless staff at Sandals, people on the street, my tour guide and more – is so surprising. But this is a country that runs on exotic spices, by soca and reggae, tropical weather, fresh seafood, good rum and chocolate, so perhaps What’s in a name? it shouldn’t be. Quite a lot… Gouyave was once known I find the latter at as Charlotte, after the lush Diamond Queen Charlotte of Chocolate Factory Britain, but renamed Gouyave by the site, a couple of French thanks to its miles from the guava trees. sleepy fishing village of Gouyave, home to chocolate manufacturer Jouvay. As is probably natural for a nation too small for

large-scale industrial manufacturing, the chocolate scene in Grenada is artisanal – factories are small, traditional-looking and run by people – and flavour is king. After meeting a guide among its lush nutmeg groves, we head into the small factory to see fresh cacao being fermented, dried and processed by hand, and try some of Jouvay’s chocolate in the tasting room after. It’s just as craft chocolate should be – bittersweet, with notes of dark berries and a fresh, lively aroma. Down the road in Gouyave is one of the island’s processing stations for nutmeg. It’s a sight to behold – still largely handprocessed, without the need for too much industrialisation, and breathtaking in its speed and efficiency. A team of women sit at tables shelling the fruits and separating them from the seeds, before putting them in rough hessian sacks which are then marked according to where they’re going. No part of the nutmeg is wasted: the webbing becomes mace, the fleshy pod is cooked and used in syrups – some of which are available in the factory’s shop – and the shells are dried, crushed and used to line paths like those >

PUSH THE BOAT OUT: [left] Sunset at Carenage in St George’s; [right] The best place to find flavoursome Grenadian produce is at a local market

(boat) Dietmar Denger ; (market) Orlando K Romain


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rum made from molasses, and its Old Grog, an aged variant that’s golden brown in appearance, with big notes of banana and caramel. Westerhall No 10 is another aged rum that brings with it hints of ginger snap biscuits and a touch of coconut, while the 2004 vintage from the excellent – and very well-thought-of – expert blender Plantation is full-to-bursting with the flavours of juicy stone fruits and toffee. It’s a great tasting, partly because it

STAY AT SANDALS Built around the gorgeous Pink Gin Beach, Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa comprises 12 diverse restaurants, three bars, two pools (one with the aforementioned

swim-up bar, the other next to the strip of the Pink Gin beach), a spa, and more besides across its distinct areas, each with its own village-y feel. It’s got a full line-up of events, and three classes of room: Luxury (the entry level, still totally all-inclusive), Club, and Butler. But whatever you go for, needless to say you’ll be utterly spoiled for choice... A seven-night stay for two at Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa in a Lover’s Lagoon Hideaway Walkout Junior Suite starts from £2,130 per person. Price includes Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) accommodation, return economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and resort transfers. 2019. To book or for more information on Sandals Resorts visit sandals.co.uk. Price subject to availability and may change

(landscape) Dietmar Denger

> that weave among the cacao groves at Jouvay. With the edible parts of the tour done and dusted, the final stop is the Rumboat Retreat, another few miles away. As the name suggests, I’m here to taste rum – although the retreat also functions as a boutique B&B. Its owner, Lisette Davies, a second-generation Grenadian who was born and raised in Notting Hill, moved to Grenada a few years ago after years spent working in the drinks industry, and her knowledge of rums from Grenada and the rest of the Caribbean is second to none. The retreat is beautiful – lemon-yellow walls and red roofs give way to breezy kitchens and bedrooms, and the view over a section of forest and out to the ocean. After a three-course lunch cooked by Davies it’s At over 70% ABV, this potent rum is on to the tasting, and too strong to fly today she’s aiming to because there’s a give me a complete risk of it exploding picture of Grenada’s in transit – although given its strength, rum scene. We start that’s probably with the overproof for the best… (an eye-watering 75% ABV) Rivers Rum, a little like a rhum agricole, distilled from sugar cane juice rather than molasses – jagged and sharp, but with some fruity flavour notes to it, too. Distiller Clark’s Court is featured twice, in its Original, an unaged

shows such a diverse range of styles, from the rough-and-ready – the type drunk quickly and without too much thought in beachside bars in towns like Gouyave by locals – to the kind that hoover up titles in world spirits competitions, and lots in between. And it’s also a great reminder that, while spices, chocolate and rum might be made, bought and sold across the Caribbean islands, homogenising them would be a huge mistake. There’s kinship in the Caribbean, of course – a shared love of music; commonalities in its food and drink, carnivals and soca; red, yellow and green – but each is as distinct in its way as European or South American countries are to each other. In its beautiful holiday resorts, Grenada is about piña coladas on pristine beaches; boat trips along Grand Anse beach; jerk spices and fresh seafood. But at its heart, more than anything, Grenada seems to me to be about making the most of what it’s been blessed with; about being “born, bred and buttered” here; about patriotism created through past political trauma; of rebirth coming after destruction; about a natural larder that gives way to a few products that distil that essence into the edible and drinkable. And while the islands of St Lucia, Trinidad, Antigua and further out to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica remain beautiful, vibrant destinations in their own right, Grenada’s beating heart is a tiny seed so important it’s on the flag, and one that’s all of its own. ◆


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WHERE THE GRASS IS BLUER Bourbon, bluegrass, beer and… a Bible-inspired theme park? There are some things you may already know about Kentucky and there are some you may not, but prepare to be dazzled by an old-school state that’s full of surprises

11 hrs

Flight time to Louisville from London

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157,000

People attend the Kentucky Derby annually

HIS KENTUCKY TRAVEL story could easily have been about horse racing and bourbon. As home to the Kentucky Derby and maker of 95% of the world’s bourbon, these are its two major exports and two major reasons to visit. However, a recent trip to Kentucky threw me a curveball, seducing me with its nostalgic small towns, unique attractions, hip restaurants and legendary music scene. So this is the story of another Kentucky – a quirky state that offers up proper, old-time Americana in spades. Until recently, the idea of a holiday to Kentucky may have raised a few eyebrows. >

5.6 Million Barrels of bourbon ageing in the state

Words by ZOEY GOTO

Sean Pavone/Alamy

BIG HITTER: Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky and birthplace of Muhammad Ali. Put his eponymous museum on your must-visit list


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64 • EXPERIENCES • KENTUCKY, USA

Owensboro to the There’s plenty to see west, a land that’s in this city if you’ve got time to spare – sacred for bluegrass from the Kentucky music lovers. Science Center to When I arrive in the Louisville Slugger Museum, where Kentucky, it greets me they make the iconic with a slightly bizarre baseball bats. handshake. On our first morning I find myself sat on a disgruntled camel behind a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, while people zip-wire overhead. This is not a surreal, jet-lagged hallucination – I am at the Ark Encounter, which at 510ft long is the world’s largest timber-frame structure. The camel

AMUSEMENT ARK: [above] The jaw-dropping main attraction at Kentucky’s Ark Encounter

is part of a small adjoining zoo (with two of each animal, naturally) and the zip-wire is an unexplained add-on for the one million people who visit the Ark each year. This kind of quirky, biblical-themed attraction is exactly the sort of thing you can expect to find in Kentucky, which sits at the top of the American Bible Belt. Having gratefully dismounted the camel, I head into Louisville to explore the six-storey museum dedicated to the city’s most >

(ark) Paul DeCesare

> The image was of industrial towns and rural farming, and it lacked the kudos of being one of America’s big-ticket states. But as luck would have it, Kentucky’s resistance to modernisation has become its USP. The state now boasts a flourishing tourism industry worth over $15bn annually, attracting visitors interested in discovering a more authentic version of American culture. As a lover of all things Americana and an amateur banjo player, I dusted off my country and western shirts and headed over to the Bluegrass State, travelling by road from its largest city Louisville up into the north of Kentucky, before finishing in


KENTUCKY’S RESISTANCE TO MODERNISATION HAS BECOME ITS USP – IT NOW BOASTS A TOURISM INDUSTRY WORTH $15BN A YEAR

BBQ AND BLUEGRASS: Kentucky is home to mouthwatering American BBQ and a roaring bourbon industry, which together go perfectly with the state’s Bluegrass music scene

> famous son, the boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Opened in 2005, the museum was cofounded by Ali to preserve his legacy, both inside and outside of the ring. The affection that the local people have towards Ali is palpable. Our tour guide Kathy reminisces fondly of the times she met Ali while growing up in Louisville, and of Ali’s natural ability to unite the community, especially during times of racial conflict. Kathy guides us through the vast gallery space, divided into the key principles that shaped Ali’s life – confidence, spirituality, dedication, conviction, respect and giving – before ending our tour out on the sidewalk, where in 2016 thousands of fans lined the road, chanting Ali’s name as his funeral procession took the symbolic journey from his modest childhood home, right past the distinguished museum that now bears his name. That afternoon we drive for two hours up to northern Kentucky along a snaking road that hugs the mighty Ohio River. We’re greeted by the charming town of Covington, looking like the set for a mid-century The trail links 36 technicolor movie. bourbon distilleries across the state – Our hotel for the many of which give night is the Hotel tours and tastings. Covington, a former You’ll find both new department store producers and wellknown classics like transformed into a Bulleit Distilling Co. boutique hotel that still retains an aura of bygone glamour. In the evening we wander the streets of the nearby Mainstrasse historic district, lined with strings of lights and murals, past speakeasy-style bars in former townhouses, to find out more about another of the state’s principle attractions – its food. Sandwiched between the Midwest (Ohio and Indiana are above) and the Deep South (Tennessee sits below) Kentucky’s cuisine blends Southern classics with influences from its German settlers. A classic Old South dish is fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and grits, washed down with some cool sweet tea, which we devour at Tousey House

Tavern, a restaurant housed in a former federalist-style homestead. From there, we continue south to Georgetown for a dose of Kentucky’s famous horse country. The state became linked with horses over a century ago, when it was one of the few places you could legally bet on a race. The horse is still king of Kentucky, and the region is packed with picket-fenced fields filled with handsome thoroughbreds, all primed for breeding or the next big meet. We stop off at the picturesque Old Friends Farm for Retired Thoroughbreds. The old horses’ home was started by Michael Blowen, a former film critic who was once stablemates with Jack Nicholson, and has now retired alongside his beloved horses. Strolling through the rolling fields to feed the handsome Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, Blowen explains that he is resisting society’s notion that one is only valuable while they are earning money. There’s something quietly dignified about both Blowen’s farm and his outlook. From retired careers to young entrepreneurs: just down the road we are introduced to Daniel Harrison, co-founder of Country Boy Brewing. The native Kentuckian developed a taste for craft beer while travelling Japan, and returned to Georgetown to set up his own brewery, which in a few short years has become a local hotspot, with a bar out the front that hosts local bands. Start-ups are making their mark on Kentucky’s food and drink scene, with restaurants opening up in disused warehouses and artisan alcohol brewed in farm outbuildings. The state supports many of these young enterprises, adding independents to its Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which has become a major tourist attraction. The next day we continue our road trip, stopping to admire the vintage signage and street art in Lexington, then on to Bardstown, considered one of America’s most beautiful small towns due to its quaint architecture. In Owensboro, our final destination, we find a mecca for old time music lovers, with


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NEED TO KNOW WHEN TO GO Kentucky’s weather tends to be extreme, so go in spring or autumn which are the mildest times. Music lovers should head to Owensboro in June for their Romp Festival, where world-class musicians such as Alison Krauss and Sam Bush play al fresco in the Yellow Creek Park.

(BBQ) Zoey Goto; (music) Sam Bush; (Bardstown) Zoey Goto

THE AMERICAN DREAM: Dubbed ‘the most beautiful small town in America’, Bardstown is a pretty little place with plenty of Southern charm

the opening of a new $15m Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum. Bluegrass music has deep roots in Kentucky: Bill Monroe, the genre’s founding father, whose sentimental songs and lilting mandolin playing made him a star of the 1940s, was born locally. Much like any other folk art form, bluegrass is now a niche, kept from becoming obsolete by an enthusiastic few and the new bluegrass museum’s focus is on making the genre accessible to a new generation. As Chris Joslin, the museum’s executive director

notes, “You don’t have to be a bluegrass junkie to appreciate this place.” Visitors can even test out their banjo skills in the museum’s pickin’ parlor – but be warned, as locals set the bar intimidatingly high. For our last stop, we drive out to the boyhood home of Bill Monroe to pay our respects. As we approach the cabin, the local band on the porch struck up a song – Monroe’s famous ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’. With the little wooden house as a backdrop and bluegrass music drifting out into the forest, you’d be hard pressed to find a more perfect Kentucky moment. ◆ British Airways flies from Heathrow to Louisville via Chicago from £784 return. britishairways.com

WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK FRIED CHICKEN: Forget Colonel Sanders, this national dish has been taken to fine dining standards by many restaurants throughout Kentucky. BBQ MUTTON: BBQ is a big deal in Kentucky and it stands apart from the other southern states by using mutton. Head to the Moonlite all-you-can-eat in Owensboro (moonlite.com) to see why they serve up 10,000lbs of mutton every week to hungry customers, alongside corn muffins and banana salad. BURGOO: It’s Kentucky’s celebrated meaty stew, best eaten down by the track at Keeneland racecourse (keeneland.com) for a properly authentic Southern experience. GOETTA: This German-inspired meat and grain flat sausage was brought over by the early settlers and is a popular dish in northern Kentucky. MINT JULEP COCKTAIL: The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, a mint julep is a serve made with a big splash of a high rye bourbon like Bulleit, plus mint sprigs, ice and a dash of syrup.


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CURIOSITY SHOPS Istanbul’s Çukurcuma is a neighbourhood defined by ramshackle streets lined with antique shops, but they’re not just places to browse bric-a-brac – they offer a glimpse into the past of one of the world’s most intoxicating cities

3hr 50min

Flight time from London to Istanbul

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21°C

Average temperature in September

EVEN YEARS AGO, when I last went rummaging through the antique shops of Istanbul’s Çukurcuma quarter, I ended up with a Nazi passport in my hands. I wrestled internally about whether or not I ought to buy it, and ultimately decided that it wasn’t something I wanted to own. It’s an experience that’s stayed with me. There I was, casually browsing one moment, then up close to an object with such a searing history the next. It felt like it should to held inside a glass case, and not by my bare hands. Discoveries like this are beauty of Çukurcuma, and of Istanbul. Poised where >

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Displays in the Museum of Innocence

Words by ROSE DYKINS

Shutterstock/Iremt

STREET SMART: Çukurcuma’s cobbled streets are flanked by pretty townhouses, some of which have been transformed into boutique hotels


ISTANBUL, TURKEY • EXPERIENCES • 69


> Europe meets Asia, as a former gateway for global trade, and a pitstop along the Silk Road, Istanbul has been crosspollinated by influences – Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Ottoman, Byzantine. Some of the spoils of this rich history have trickled down into the curiosity shops lining the hilly cobbled streets of Çukurcuma, tucked away on the city’s European side. These snoopers’ paradises are unofficial museums, their nobler treasures sitting beside driftwood of everyday life.

Today, I set out on a misty morning in Istanbul to see if I can find something equally as astonishing as I did seven years ago in one of Çukurcuma’s treasure troves. Traipsing over rain-speckled cobblestones, I pass neoclassical terraces and humbler wooden cottages splattered with street art. Boutique hotels have popped up in some townhouses, such as the The Stay Galata, which has kept the original winding central staircase and inlay floors, and added a few airy, contemporary touches.

SOME OF THE SPOILS OF ISTANBUL’S RICH HISTORY HAVE TRICKLED DOWN INTO THE CURIOSITY SHOPS OF ÇUKURCUMA

ALL OVER THE SHOP: [clockwise from above] One of Çukurcuma’s famed vintage stores; the Museum of Innocence; signature cobbled streets

I stop for a grainy black coffee in the cosy Ara Café, where monochrome photography of Istanbul scenes captured by Ara Guler hang on warm yellow walls. I browse book stores, whiling away my time on the swing seats inside Filbooks, and narrowly resist the urge to buy turquoise earthenware espresso cups from the studio of ceramicist Birsen Canbaz and bold West African print cushions from 3rd Culture. But despite its trendy new residents, a gritty, ramshackle vibe resides in Çukurcuma, and there’s a sense that it’s still piecing itself together after decades of neglect. A strange vacuum was created here in


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(main) Gorodisskij/Shutterstock; (street scene) Gary Yeowel/Getty

the 1960s, when 12,000 Greek citizens were deported from Istanbul during the Cyprus dispute (many of whom were Çukurcuma residents). Shortly afterwards, a large number of locals moved away from Çukurcuma, favouring modern housing in the suburbs over the area’s ‘old fashioned’ 19th-century townhouses. After decades of being left, the area fell into destitution, with rubbish piled in its derelict streets. It wasn’t long before collectors turned their attentions to the area and its abandoned treasures. Çukurcuma became known for its flea markets, and people began to fall in love with its vintage charm. Fuelled by nostalgia, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who had grown up in the area, was inspired to create a completely new kind of attraction, a love letter to the place of his childhood – and the fruits of his labour are the next stop on my tour. Housed in a maroon house on Çukurcuma Caddesi, the Museum of Innocence’s exhibits are created entirely from the bric-a-brac of Istanbul’s recent past. Each exhibit represents a chapter from Pamuk’s Nobel Prize-winning novel of the same name (written in sync with the museum’s creation). You walk through a series of wooden cases filled with everyday objects (newspaper cuttings, hair clips, cigarette butts) and the story, chronicling the changing face of Istanbul in the 1960s, unfolds before your eyes. It’s easy to lose an entire day in here. This enchanting space takes the traditional concept of a museum and turns One of the glass it completely on its cases in the museum contains a whopping head. It’s similar to 4,213 cigarette an immersive theatre butts, representing experience, each prop those smoked by carefully chosen and the female half of the novel’s central presented to unfold couple. the narrative of this love story between two characters. The sheer amount of objects that have been collected make it seem like they are the catalogue of real people’s lives, and you start to doubt whether the lovers, Kemal and FÜsun, are actually fictional. By presenting a city’s history in the form of a novel you can physically walk through, the museum makes visitors empathise with the harsh realities and emotional dilemmas of

the specific place and time it’s presenting on a deeper level. It resonates with me far more than any museum I’ve ever visited before. Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Museum of Innocence has developed a cultlike following. This has not only fuelled the regeneration of Çukurcuma, but encouraged more antique shops to open up. Densely packed with all manner of who-knows-what, they mimic the randomness of the Museum of Innocence in their presentation (it’s fair to say Marie Kondo wouldn’t be a fan). To me, they offer the promise of a vintage find – be it a cute spoon or a golden gramophone. And now, I’m back to explore their barely organised chaos once again, and see what else lies hidden in the battered suitcases, boxes of sepia photographs and bundles of objects separated from their families. With my lira at the ready, driven by the knowledge of what I found before, I’m ready to rummage. It feels criminal that some of these elaborate objects aren’t proudly on display in someone’s living room, but at the same time, it’s hard to see the majority of them fitting into a new home. Not just the endless piles of cyan and white Ottoman crockery and

calligraphy tiles, ivory-rimmed binoculars – heirlooms that are too specific for most tastes, and that look strangely less precious when they’re en mass like this. But it’s heartbreaking that some things have ended up here, especially the black and white family photos lovingly secured in sliver frames. And it’s even more bizarre that they sit sideby-side with plastic toy karaoke machines, mobile phones the size of bricks, door hinges and empty glass bottles of mouthwash. DO I SEE ANYTHING THAT RIVALLED MY NAZI PASSPORT FIND ON MY SECOND TIME IN ÇUKURCUMA? Not quite. But I’m tempted to

adopt a mini fruit machine, an old camera, a typewriter and several rusty-looking iron keys. I make a mental note to return next time with a specific purchase in mind – a new lamp, glassware, a trinket to hang on my bedroom wall. Because all manner of life’s treasures and tools are here, waiting to be found. Calling out for sentimental types who hate to throw anything away; who see the beauty in ordinary things. ◆ Pegasus Airlines flies from London Stansted to Istanbul from £64 return. flypgs.com. Stay at The Stay from £144pn. thestay.com.tr

TOP SHOPS FOR CURIOUS TYPES IN CUKURCUMA ◆◆ A La Turca; alaturcahouse.com ◆◆ Karadeniz Antik; Kuloğlu Mh,

Cukurcuma Caddesi ◆◆ Mozk; mozk.co.uk ◆◆ By Retro; Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi


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GRAB A SLICE OF THE ACTION Overlooked by an active volcano, perched on a port, and full of shabbily beautiful streets housing ancient pizzerias and buzzing bars, Naples is a real one-off. Here’s our guide to the city’s best bits (including where to go for €2 spritzes)

2hrs 45

Flight time from London to Naples

22°C

Average temperature in September

PORT OF CALL: The Bay of Naples and the city beyond it are overlooked by Mount Vesuvius, mainland Europe’s only active volcano

75

Years since Vesuvius last erupted

Words by LYDIA WINTER Rudolf Balasko / iStock


NEED TO KNOW Original Travel (020 3582 4990/ originaltravel.co.uk) offers a four-night trip to Naples and the Amalfi Coast starting from £2,665 per person. Price includes flights, transfers, accommodation and a private guided tour of Naples and Pompeii.

WHAT TO DO TAKE TO THE STREETS

Naples’ scruffily beautiful streets are refreshingly ungentrified: no chance of finding a chain coffee shop here. Every nook and cranny holds a baroque courtyard or a lush, leafy garden, and walls are adorned with cool street art, posters advertising all-night parties in tumble-down abandoned renaissance prisons or a flyer letting the

community know a loved one has passed away. But you’ll miss these gems without a proper guide, so enlist the help of Original Travel’s brilliant Local Concierge service. Sophia Seymour is an all-round Naples encyclopedia, can organise a personalised itinerary and knows all the hidden corners where you can find Naples’ best bits (and bites). If you’re a fan of Elena Ferrante, Sophia also offers Looking For Lila tours that take a deep dive into socialist Naples in the 1950s, too.

DO THE HISTORY BITS

One of Naples’ primary attractions is Pompeii, easily reached by the Circumvesuviana train that picks you up at Naples Centrale station. Book your tickets online in advance to avoid queues, and either enlist a tour guide at the entrance or bring a guidebook with you. While it goes without saying that Pompeii is a must-see, there’s plenty of history to be found within the Naples itself. For more on the city’s Roman and Greek past, visit the National Museum


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Atlantide Phototravel/Getty

of Archaeology and its Gabinetto Segreto (home to some of Pompeii’s naughtier artefacts), although we recommend getting an audio guide. Elsewhere, Napoli Sotterranea is unmissable: a tour that’ll take you through a hatch underneath a bed in a normal house and through to the ruins of an ancient theatre where the Emperor Nero performed in the first century AD. Buy Pompeii tickets at tiqets.com; museoarcheologiconapoli.it; napolisotterranea.org

GO SHOPPING

Instead of Zara and Mango, Naples is jam-packed with independent shops full of one-of-a-kind beauties. Kiphy, a soap emporium near the famous pizza pioneers Sorbillo (more on that over the page), is a luxuriously fragranced hideaway filled with beautiful bars of soap handmade by owner Pina Malinconico, all made with organic, Fairtrade ingredients and wrapped as preciously as expensive jewellery. Elsewhere, on the main road down to the port, lies

Retrophilia – a treasure trove of vintage clothing where you’ll find Missoni cardigans, YSL beach cover-ups and a lot more besides. And you might not expect it, but Naples is home to a clutch of independent record shops that are bringing new- and old-school Neapolitan funk, jazz and folk to the wider world. Vesuvius Soul Records, to the city’s south-west, is achingly cool and regularly holds its own events. kiphy.it; @retrophilia_vintage_clothing; @vesuviussoulrecords


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EAT AND DRINK EAT PROPER NEAPOLITAN PIZZA

A true Neapolitan pizza meets a strict criteria: toppings are kept simple (only San Marzano tomatoes grown on Mount Vesuvius and basil on la marinara, while la margarita has cheese); the crust needs the perfect amount of char; and the middle must be soft and sloppy. Go to L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele or Di Matteo for the authentic classics, or if you like your pizzas a tad more fancy, try Sorbillo, where the Elena, with smoky provolone cheese and artichoke, is an absolute banger. Make sure you get there for 6pm to avoid queues, although if you do end up having to while away an hour or so, get yourself a few bottles of Birrificio Antoniana keller beer and some moreish savoury fennel taralli biscuits from the shop across the road to tide you over while you wait. damichele.net; pizzeriadimatteo.com; sorbillo.it

DRINK APEROL SPRITZ

Make sure you pack your aspirin, because you can pick up a good Aperol Spritz in Naples for as little as €2, if you know where to look. And that happens to be the vibey Piazza Bellini in the city centre, where people flood the streets in the evenings to drink, chat and drink some more. There are loads of different bars pouring spritzes by the literal bucketload, but king of them all is Caffè dell’Epoca, where the bar itself is basically a conveyor belt churning out whatever spritz you happen to fancy. Sure, they’re served in plastic cups but at this price, does anyone really care? And if you’d rather plonk yourself down somewhere fancy(ish) for your evening drinks, duck into the Palazzo Venezia, where you head up some stairs and emerge into a secret courtyard. Lush and verdant, it’s a world away from the city’s slightly gritty-feeling streets, and you can get a mean Aperol along with some nibbly bits. palazzovenezianapoli.com

AND EVERYTHING ELSE...

Fried courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta and anchovies, hot’n’gooey arancini and other tasty treats can be picked up from various holes in the wall all around the city and are best eaten hot, straight from the paper bag while on the hoof. For a sit-down lunch, try trendy L’etto on the aforementioned Piazza Bellini, where you can load fresh, flavour-packed salads and Neapolitan classics onto your plate and pay by weight. At the non-trendy end of the scale, there’s rustic, cheap-as-chips trattoria Mangia e Bevi for salsiccia (sausage) and friarielli (a local variety of broccoli). Most importantly, pastry is big in Naples – by which we mean it’s a ‘thing’, and there’s a lot of it. Bakeries stay open until late in the evening so you can get your sugar fix, and most eminent of all the treats is the sfogliatelle, which looks a little like a smaller, crispier version of a croissant, and is bursting with sweet ricotta. ettoristorante.it

Juan Monino/iStock


A true local e xpe ri e nce for i nspi re d e xpre ssi ve s.

andazviennaambelvedere.com


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WHERE TO SLEEP ROMEO HOTEL

glittering sea, and hulking Mount Vesuvius beyond; rooms at the back are still lovely, but the view is strictly urban. The location is ideal, with the city centre an easy 10-15 minute walk away. The best bit, however, is the pool, a bathwater-warm square of blue that overlooks the bay for prime Insta gains, while ROMEO’s Michelin-starred restaurant – the gloriously glitzy Il Comandante – is a proper special-occasion spot. ◆ Romeo Hotel, from £203pn. romeohotel.it

Richard Bryant

ROMEO is located in Naples’ gritty, busy port, but don’t let that fool you: step into its cool and peaceful foyer and you’re transported to another world, one filled with marble, gushing fountains and modern Italian design accents. The swish hotel occupies the former offices of the Lauro

shipping empire, which were transformed by late Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. As such, the building is an homage to JapaneseItalian design, seen in sleek, dark-wood furnishings and a collection of modern art. It’s a bit of a stark juxtaposition with the faded grandeur of Naples’ streets, yet it still has a Neapolitan air – simply because the whole thing feels endearingly over the top. Bag a room at the front to get views over the admittedly insalubrious port, the


www.dhigali.com reservations@dhigali.com +960 6586060


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An icy adventure in Canada’s far north, p95. Isabelle Dubois

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Essential Adventure Gear

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The Intrepid Series

Indian Ocean

The Selector

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Rear View

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9 & 13 NEWBURGH STREET, LONDON, W1F

FILSON.COM/UK


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Louis Moss

THE CHECKLIST This season’s essential travel kit

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ADIES AND GENTLEMEN, we’ve got some bad news for you: the British summer is on its outward ebb. The days are getting shorter, the weather’s getting scattier and – if you’re anything like us – your holiday allowance is probably dwindling closer and closer to breaking point. Thankfully, your chances of having plans aren’t disappearing, because we’ve got you covered for all the kit you’ll need on your next break, whether that’s a quickfire weekend at the coast or a full two weeks

somewhere the sun’s still shining. Flip the page and you’ll find our recommendations for the best beachwear to see you into the early autumn, from super-versatile beach shoes [pictured] to wetsuits and rashies that’ll keep you warm as the water gets cooler. On top of that, there’s the very best kit for making your next holiday a breeze, too: think eco-friendly mini toiletries, a high-tech suitcase and a camera that’ll help turn even the least experienced of photographers into a pro. ◆


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THE CHECKLIST Whether you’re planning a week-long getaway or a day on a UK beach, here’s everything you could possibly need for your next adventure, from wetsuits to washbags

▼ BEATNIK

▼ PROTEST

honey-coloured pair of sunnies from upstart Swedish brand Beatnik. iambeatnik.com

all profits from this bikini to a charity that teaches kids with ADHD and autism how to surf. protest.eu

CLOUDY WHISKEY SUNGLASSES, £68.99: A warm,

PRUNELLE BIKINI, £49.99: Protest gives

▲ FINISTERRE X VIVOBAREFOOT

▲ BODY GLOVE

▲ PATAGONIA

trail shoes with super-minimal soles that are perfect in and around water. vivobarefoot.com

microfibre shorts work perfectly as a cover-up after swimming, but can be worn in water, too. bodyglove.eu

prene-free shorty that’s perfect for British waters come summertime. eu.patagonia.com

PRIMUS TRAIL FG, £125: Fast-drying

SIMPLY BOARDSHORT, £40: These

R1 LITE YULEX SPRING JANE WETSUIT, £100: A neo-

▲ DICK PEARCE

SURFRIDER BELLYBOARD, £60: This

hand-shaped and retro-looking board rips way better than any flimsy piece of polystyrene. dickpearce.com


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◀ PASSENGER FINN CAP, £25: A classic five-panel cap by the New Forest-based outdoor brand. Made of organic cotton. passengerclothing.com

▲ PICTURE ORGANIC CLOTHING

OCEAN HYBRID 1.5 WETSUIT, £89.99: A

super-comfortable wetsuit top for chillier surf days. picture-organicclothing.com

▲ REEF

SMOOTHY FLIP FLOPS, £20: An

old-school pair of flip flops with a vintage-style strap and a cushy arch-support footbed. reef.com

▼ MIKE STEWART

VIPER SWIM FINS, £55: A pair of

Louis Moss

flippers that gives you great power and acceleration when out swimming in open water. dickpearce.com

▶ PICTURE ORGANIC CLOTHING

NEO 20” BOARDSHORTS, £84.99:

Fast-drying, stretchy and made from recycled fabric. picture-organicclothing.com

INTO THE SEA, YOU AND ME Not all beachwear is created equal: some of it just looks gorgeous, some of it makes surfing and swimming a breeze and some of it gives a little bit back through sustainable and socially responsible initiatives set up by the people who make it. This little lot does a great mix of all three. Whether you’re looking for a recycled rashguard that’ll keep you warm as the water cools down or a bikini that helps teach kids how to surf with charity donations from its profits, we’ve got you covered. Ladies [to the left] and gentlemen [to the right], it’s time to don your flippers and paddle out to sea.


◀ LEFRIK

▼ FJALLRAVEN

▼ REN

washbag has several removable velcro compartments for customisation and is made from recycled bottles. lefrik.com

day-friendly 2.5-litre cool bag that’ll keep fresh food either hot or cold when you’re on the hoof. fjallraven.co.uk

REN travel essentials in handy, cabin luggage-friendly miniatures. johnlewis.com

WASHBAG, £30: This

KANKEN MINI COOLER, £55: A mini, holi-

CLEAN GETAWAY TRAVEL GIFT SET, £35: A six-pack of

▼ HORIZN STUDIOS

H6 SUITCASE, £340:

A durable polycarbonate case on smooth spinner wheels with a built-in USB charger. horizn-studios.co.uk

JUST IN CASE Packing for a long break is difficult. You need your nailed-on essentials, plus plenty of room for things – like those ten hardback books – that you for some reason deem essential the day you pack. Fear not: with these high-tech solutions, you’ll be able to head off on holiday with ample space for the kitchen sink and more. From phone-charging, lockable luggage to washbag minis and a pong-free T-shirt, we’ve got you covered wherever you go.


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◀ SMARTWOOL

MERINO SPORT 150 TEE, £54.99: This

new range of sports t-shirts is great in sticky conditions and will stay whiff-free for up to five days. Try it, we dare you. smartwool.com

CHECKLIST

◀ PASSENGER

◀ LARQ

This tote is made from excess jacket lining as part of a zero-waste initiative. passengerclothing.com

your water on the go in just 60 seconds using this bottle’s built-in chargeable UV-C light. livelarq.com

OREGON PACKAWAY TOTE BAG, £15:

SELF-CLEANING BOTTLE, £95: Purify

Louis Moss


88 • EXCURSIONS • THE CHECKLIST

CALL THE SHOTS

CHECKLIST

CANON EOS RP WITH EF 24-105MM LENS, £1,559.98 Introducing the latest mirrorless camera in Canon’s much-loved EOS range: a slick, technically capable camera with all of the features you’d expect from a mid-range Canon DSLR, and one that’ll be just as adept in the hands of a total amateur as a seasoned pro. It’ll deliver pin-sharp photos without undue motion blur, and won’t falter into graininess in low light. It’s compatible with all Canon lenses, and shoots 4K video (and Hollywood-style slow-mo), too. canon.co.uk

The new breed of mirrorless cameras do away with the chunkiness of older DSLRs by removing mirrors (and their accompanying bulk) from the body, giving you superior shot-taking at a much more travel-friendly weight.

Louis Moss


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PROMOTION

want to be more japan? Far more than just a guidebook, Be More Japan is the latest release from DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. Inside you’ll find holiday ideas, photography, and tips on how to bring Japanese culture into your life

[lake] Sean Pavone 2015; [geisha] ©RazvanPhotography

Whether you already love Japanese culture or are just setting out on your journey to find out more, Be More Japan is the book you need to add to your reading list. This unique guide touches on everything you want to know about Japan, from the art of Japanese living to Japanese wisdom you can use in everyday life. The book itself is innovative in the way it presents Japanese culture. It kicks off with an overview of the four seasons,

demonstrating how the island nation changes throughout the year with its flora and fauna, food and cultural celebrations. Elsewhere, there’s a section on soundscapes, illustrating how important sound is to Japanese culture – so much so that the country is a pioneer when it comes to aural art installations. The Japanese are also famed for their ability to turn something mundane into something beautiful – best seen in Japan’s

this unique book is innovative in the way it examines japanese culture through the seasons

decorated manhole covers that have gone on to become a source of national pride. Be More Japan contains a section devoted to these amazing works of art. Another chapter to look out for is ‘Enjoying the Onsen’, which explores the ancient Japanese custom of visiting hot springs for health and socialising. And what’s more, the book also contains tips on how to bring a bit of Japan into your life wherever you are, from where to find traditional Japanese tea in the UK to visiting the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in France. ◆ Be More Japan is available from Amazon now


92 • PROMOTION • HOTEL & SPA DES PECHEURS

PROMOTION

keep calm and carry on If you’re looking for tranquility, beauty and an exclusive place to stay in a secluded European island setting, look no further than Hotel & Spa des Pêcheurs on the island of Cavallo, just south of Corsica

imagine a place where you can kick back on an enchanted island surrounded by blue skies and turquoise waters; where you can eat the best of both French and Italian cuisine in a choice of two haute restaurants; where you can spend your days pampering yourself in the spa, heading out diving, going for a round of golf or checking out live music over cocktails in the hotel bar. Well, we have

news for you: that place exists – it’s called Hotel & Spa des Pêcheurs, it’s based on the idyllic island of Cavallo to the south east of Corsica, and it’s one of the most beautifully sited hotels in the whole of the Med. The hotel is exclusive luxury at its finest: positioning you right on a sheltered beach among dramatic rock formations. By day, you'll be chilling by the pool or indulging

[Sunset] Gabriele Sotgiu

hotel des pecheurs is one of the most beautifully sited hotels in the whole of the mediterranean

in a treatment at the spa, where a team of wellness experts can create a personalised wellbeing program for you during your stay, taking in everything from yoga and massages to seawater thalassotherapy. By night, meanwhile, you can watch the sunset from either of the hotel’s restaurants, before heading back to the sumptuous comfort of your room. Perfection? Yeah, this is it. ◆ Find out more and book your stay at hoteldespecheurs.com, call +33 495 703639 or follow on Facebook at @hoteldespecheurs or Instagram at @hotel_des_pecheurs


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LAP OF LUXURY: Everywhere you look, The St. Regis Bali overflows with sumptuous detail. From swimming in perfect pools to dining in the finest restaurants, a holiday here is one to remember

into the wide blue yonder With jaw-droppingly beautiful villas and unfettered access to the deep azure waters of the Indian Ocean, The St. Regis Bali is one of the best-looking resorts out there – and now’s the time to dive in

There’s no doubt that Bali is up there as one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, with watersports, eco adventures, more than 10,000 Hindu temples, majestic volcanoes and verdant rainforest in abundance. And the best way to make the most of it? With a stay at The St. Regis Bali. This is a place where you can truly sit back and soak it all in from the gorgeous surrounds of your room thanks to St. Regis’s unparalleled villa and residence experiences. For the ultimate desert island holiday, book into one of The Strand Villas, which gives you direct access to the ocean, with

split-level tropical gardens and private pools. Elsewhere, the Lagoon Villas look over a tiled blue lagoon at the resort’s centre. But to really knock your holiday out of the park, reserve The Strand Residence, a two-storey, three-bedroom villa, complete with the option of a live-in butler. And if you can bear to tear yourself away, there’s a spa, the beach, and six bars and restaurants to choose from – meaning this is the place to dive face-first into Bali’s renowned local cuisine. Savour authentic Asian delicacies and mind-blowing views at Kayuputi, or enjoy Indonesian classics from

Ralf Tooten

A strand villa gives you direct access to the ocean, as well as your own tropical garden

a colonial-style gazebo at Dulang. The St. Regis Bali really is a hotel with it all. ◆ For more information or to make a reservation, call +62 8478 111, email bali.reservation @stregis.com or visit stregisbali.com

exclusive offer An impeccable escape awaits. Book your holiday 14 days in advance and you’ll get up to 20% off your stay. What’s more, this package includes: • Sumptuous daily breakfast for two at the hotel’s Boneka restaurant • Luxury round-trip airport transfer • Complimentary St. Regis-designed beach bag and His & Hers beach hats • 24-hour Fitness Center access • St. Regis Butler Service


SKi.

LIVE. BREATHE. EXPLORE. LONDON SHOPS: COVENT GARDEN, KENSINGTON HIGH ST, ONE NEW CHANGE ST.PAUL’S, WESTFIELD STRATFORD

ellis-brigham.com


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INTREPID

QUEBEC, CANADA

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ELCOME TO THE Intrepid Series – the part of escapism where we send our writers to some of the most rugged, unforgiving environments on Earth to meet the people that live in them, learn the tricks of the trade and (if we’re lucky) find buried treasure. OK, we lied about that last bit, but we did learn the ways of the Inuit people this month when we sent Tom Powell to the northernmost region of Quebec in Canada. Sandwiched between the frozen Hudson

Bay, the expanses of the Arctic (hello, polar bears) and the freezing cold seas out towards Greenland, you have to be clued up and tough as nails to survive. Luckily, we learned from the best – a group of native elders who grew up in igloos and learned to hunt caribou, seal, walrus and more for food from the very first years of their lives. A lot has changed in the Inuit world since back then – there are now towns, TVs and regular flights. But one thing’s for sure: it’s still one of the coldest places on the planet. ◆


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THE INTREPID SERIES The vast plains of northernmost Quebec, Canada may feel relatively untouched, but influences from further south are creeping in. Tom Powell travels to Nunavik to learn how the region’s Inuit people are striving for cultural survival


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ON A CLEAR NIGHT I COULD SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, ON AN UNLUCKY NIGHT I COULD COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH A POLAR BEAR

Friedrich Stark / Alamy

SLEIGH OF THE LAND: Dog sledding is one of the only ways to get around in the Nunavik region

morning?” from somewhere out in the snow. I respond with a faint “Morning,” then slump back into my sleeping bag. It’s -19°C out there, but the windchill takes it to almost -30°C; I’m lying on broken-down cardboard boxes; the tea isn’t quite boiled yet and the stove isn’t doing a very good job of heating us up. What’s more, today is the only day in my life that I’ve ever had a lie-in in an igloo – I’m staying in bed for a bit. For the last 24 hours, I’ve been in a makeshift camp learning cold-weather survival techniques from Inuit elders in Nunavik, the northernmost region in the Canadian province of Quebec. We’re stationed about five kilometres outside of the village of Puvirnituq on an island next to the mouth of the Povungnituk River, and a couple of miles from the wide expanse of >

INTREPID

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T’S 7:15AM ON Sunday morning and I wake with a start. There’s a dusting of ice on my sleeping bag and the tarpaulin above my head is whipping in the cold morning breeze. I blink and rub my eyes, a blinding white sky shining through gaps in the tarp’s thread and forming a vivid turquoise glow between the wall of ice blocks below. My fellow campers stir as the low thrum of a snowmobile gets louder and louder outside, my guide Peter Boy Itukalla yawning loudly, then stretching his back and sides as he fires up a gas stove a metre or so from my feet. His 19-year-old son Eric remains out like a light, snoring gently and releasing a thin plume of steam with each outbreath. Suddenly, the snowmobile’s hum cuts out and from just beyond our sealed-in cocoon I hear a muffled shout of “Hello! Good


> the Hudson Bay. The word “bay” is a little strong, though: from roughly October to June each year much of the water is frozen, and right now in early April it’s a 470,000sq mile block of ice that connects the shores of the Canadian provinces of Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Put simply, I’m north – a long way north. Not as far north as the Arctic Circle, but pretty damn close. On a clear night I could see the Northern Lights, on an unlucky night I could come face to face with a polar bear, and on a spring night like last night I could easily find myself sleeping in an igloo. Sitting on Quebec’s north-west coast, Puvirnituq is about 60 miles from the village

of Akulivik to the north and 100 miles from the town of Inukjuak to the south. A journey to either is difficult, too: the roads run out almost 430 miles to the south in La Grande Rivière, and the only means of transport between communities is by snowmobile, dogsled or a hopper flight along the Hudson Bay coast with Air Inuit. The latter is exactly what I did the day before, the front half of the flight from Montreal loaded with cargo for co-op stores in the communities around Nunavik, and Inuit passengers’ bags packed to the brim with food, clothes and gifts that are cheaper and easier to get hold of by travelling 1,000 miles south to Montreal. Setting off by husky sled and Ski-Doo

after breakfast on our first morning, we head out on the land to experience the tundra and learn the old ways of the Inuit people. We roll through the town – teenagers are wandering around in implausibly few layers for the -20°C air temperature, many people ride snowmobiles with shopping bags hanging off the handlebars, and cars are buried under a winter’s worth of snow – before tacking west along the river mouth by following vague landmarks along the coast. My toes, wrapped in three pairs of socks and Arctic-grade boots, freeze sore to the bone as the snowmobile flies from point to point, my sunglasses steaming up under my helmet and freezing within seconds as I duck


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INTREPID

ICE GUYS: [clockwise from above] Qalingo and Inukpak in the igloo; plains of frozen water outside the village of Puvirnituq; the huskies take a break (main) Isabelle Dubois; (dogs and ice) Tom Powell

my head and cling to the back of my guide Sean’s bright-red parka. After about 40 minutes of flying through cold-to-the-bones windchill, we find a spot in the lee of the breeze and Peter starts slicing at the ground with a long snow knife called a pana. He inserts the blade deep into the snow, slashes forward one way and back the other, then stands up: “Not good enough”, he says, getting back on his snowmobile without another word and

heading 200m further north, where the snow is deeper, older and better packed – perfect for turning into bricks for an igloo. This time, when Peter carves his pana through the ground, he can pull up a twofoot-long cuboid of solid snow, which he places next to the hole before climbing down and slicing another block. This is how the physical and laborious process of building an igloo always starts, digging yourself a foot or so into the ground and gradually building a wall around yourself. After five minutes of carving, chiselling and lifting, Peter has overheated and thrown off his parka, hacking deeper and deeper into the snow in a hoodie and a camo baseball cap. It’s repetitive, incredibly calculated and slightly mesmeric: he carves a block from the floor beneath him, gets someone to hold it up and help him place it, then he chisels it deftly into

shape with his pana until it sits firm. He then repeats the process over and over again, spiralling the walls slowly upwards like a snail’s shell until a keystone or tarpaulin can be placed over the hole at the top. Usually, he tells me, it would take a group of four physically fit Inuit about two or three hours to build an igloo. Today, it takes us five: Peter has just got back from a 500-mile husky-sled race with an injured shoulder, and we’re pretty clueless accomplices. In that time, we take shifts dipping in and out of a temporary tent to drink tea from the stove, spend time walking around the camp to keep our toes from getting frostbitten, and enjoy being in this most extreme of places, standing with one foot on land, one foot on two-metre-deep ice over the easternmost edge of the Hudson Bay – each of us nearly unrecognisable from the next in >

WE WALK AROUND THE CAMP TO KEEP OUR TOES FROM GETTING FROSTBITTEN AND I STAND ONE FOOT ON LAND, ONE ON TWO-METRE-DEEP ICE


100 • EXCURSIONS • THE INTREPID SERIES: QUEBEC

CATCH OF THE DAY: [above] Traditional fishing; [below] a husky sleeps after a long day in the snow; [right] ice sculptures at the Puvirnituq Snow Festival

> our balaclavas and huge hooded parkas. In the late afternoon we take a 300m Ski-Doo ride over the shoreline with Eric to chisel a hole through the thick ice, through which he can fish for cod and char to boil in snowmelt for dinner later that evening. He stabs away with a long, sharp iron rod for 15 minutes until the ice breaks with a plop and water surges to the top of the hole. He drops a weighted hook down and almost immediately lifts out a small cod. Eric kills the fish with one stout tap of his line handle, and within five minutes it’s curled back on itself, frozen solid in the freezing cold air. By the time we return to the camp, Peter and his brother Inukpak have almost completed the structure of a second igloo, the latter leaning over his shovel and panting

through a toothless grin, his snow goggles – a small, slitted pair of glasses carved from caribou antler – tied tight across his forehead. As I join them, Inukpak hands me the shovel and gestures to a little hole in the side of the igloo. Sliding through on our bellies, we enter a magnificent carved out dome that glows ice blue. At Inukpak’s request, I start using the tip of the shovel to carve at the edges of the dome, digging us deeper into the ground for better insulation and making more room for beds at floor level. Within two minutes I’m in a pool of sweat, chiseling the side, lumping the excess snow into a pile behind me and compacting it into a foot-high sleeping step across the middle of the igloo that’ll be flat enough to sleep on for the night. By the time I’m

(fishing, husky) Tom Powell; (sculptures) Isabelle Dubois


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INTREPID

done it’s dark, and outside there’s no light but the gentle glow of Puvirnituq over the crest of a small hill to the east. Everyone is inside except Eric, who’s feeding the dogs with chunks of a frozen walrus he hunted up north inside the Arctic Circle and flown down (completely legally) in his hand luggage on Air Inuit. It was his first walrus kill from a hunting trip last summer, and he’s so proud of it that he’s kept the animal’s penis bone as a memento: “It’s the size of a baseball bat,” he chunters as we walk back to the igloo. Inside, we eat, clamber into our sleeping bags and Peter seals the doorway with a huge block of snow. I wake with a start to the sound of Sean’s snowmobile outside the following morning. A day like the one I’ve just described – spent on the land in the frozen tundra of the far north – is fast dying out among the Inuit of Nunavik. Although Peter was born and then raised in an igloo for the first decade of his life, his wife Winnie was Much of Nunavik among the first to falls within Canada’s Arctic Tundra – a live in the comfort of terrain that’s too a permanent house harsh and cold for in Puvirnituq, and trees to grow. The nearest forest is coming out of the more than 200 miles igloo that Sunday south of Puvirnituq. morning I was greeted by 24-year-old local Qalingo Sivuarapik standing on top of the igloo he helped build next to mine, posing with pana in hand for a photo to commemorate his first night out on the land. “In the past, we were able to have better connections with our families,” says former president of Nunavik’s co-ops Aliva Tulugak, giving us a primer on the town’s history back at the co-op-run hotel that evening – “when I grew up there were no rules: we grew up in one shack and you respected your parents and grandparents. Teachings from the south are having a bad effect up here.” Until the 1950s, Puvirnituq was little more than a trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. When they opened a general store in 1951 and closed stores in other villages, an influx of Inuit moved close by. In the following 20 years, regional police used a loophole in an agricultural law to slaughter thousands of sled dogs – a vital tool for travel, hunting and nomadic life – effectively forcing Inuit people to settle in fixed

THE NORTH IS AN INCREDIBLY HARSH PLACE TO INHABIT, SO WE HAVE TO LEARN TO WORK TOGETHER HERE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE locations around the north coasts of Quebec. Today, the town is swelling, and has grown by several hundred since the last census in 2011. There’s a whole new housing development since Sean last visited, and the village now has a restaurant for the first time, too. The tendrils of the modern world are reaching Puvirnituq, and they’re getting in the way of its history – from kids sitting inside watching TV or playing games on their phones (there’s no signal up here to actually

call anyone) to the old ways being forgotten due to the proliferation of Western societal norms, there’s something of a cultural crisis. The fight for the culture’s survival is on, though: several events across Nunavik celebrate the most important aspects of Inuit culture, from feasting and throat singing to dog sledding. Later that Sunday we trade our the igloo for Puvirnituq’s cavernous gymnasium, where a feast is being held for residents who competed >


102 • EXCURSIONS • THE INTREPID SERIES: QUEBEC

INTREPID ICE JOB: Peter and his brother Inukpak stand in front of the finished igloo, which took five hours to build with the help of Tom and his group

A LOCAL SINGER DEMONSTRATES INUIT THROAT SINGING, MIMICKING THE HARSH WINDS, THE HOWLS OF HUSKIES AND THE CRACKING OF ICE greaseproof paper are unfurled with whole fish and frozen joints of caribou meat laid out from the town’s communal freezer ready to be carved into super-tough chunks to chew ice-cold and raw. Children run around the hall as adults gather on the floor with caribou stews, salads and oily, fishy seal meat brought back from trips further north. The town’s deputy mayor steps up to a microphone

Tom Powell

> in the Ivakkak dog sled race – Peter and Eric, who finished third on the podium this year, among them. The ten-day, 500-mile point-to-point race is a celebration of the pure-breed husky dog, a species that rapidly dwindling towards extinction in Nunavik at the beginning of the 21st century. Under the flashing LEDs of a basketball scoreboard, three 25m-long rolls of brown

and addresses the room in the Inuktitut language, celebrating the winners, drawing a raffle and saying grace ahead of the meal. “Our language is still strong here because it is still taught in our school and used administratively in our government,” says Inuktitut is spoken Aliva. “Further up by roughly 39,000 north in the province people across the of Nunavut, people far north of Canada and Greenland, and are speaking only it’s said that the in English.” language has more It’s not the only than 100 different words for snow. language, either. After dinner at the Puvirnituq restaurant renowned performer and local Akinisie Sivuarapik demonstrates throat singing, an age-old form of Inuit music that mimics the harsh northern winds, the howls of husky dogs and the cracking of the ice. Once a form of entertainment for Inuit women while men were out on the hunt, today it’s a niche skill, but one Akinisie travels the world to demonstrate and run workshops on, trading a deft and ever-evolving pattern of guttural breath rhythms and voiced yelps with a partner in a looping and hypnotic wave of call and response. “The north is an incredibly harsh place to inhabit, so we have to learn to work together here in order to survive,” says Aliva, back in the hotel after dinner. And whether that’s a trip out on the land to teach heritage and survival to young people and outsiders like me or a sled race, feast or throat singing demonstration, community may never have been more important to the Inuit than now. Survival might not mean life or death anymore, but a culture needs its traditions if it wants to remain as strong, undiluted and intoxicating as the pull of the far north. ◆ Inuit Adventures offers four-day Ways of the Inuit tours from £2,928 including all meals, activities, return flights from Montreal to Puvirnituq and clothing for the extreme weather. aventuresinuit.ca; find out more about Nunavik at nunavik-tourism.com and quebecoriginal.com; Air Canada flies from London to Montreal from £458 return. aircanada.com


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104 • PROMOTION • KEMPINSKI SEYCHELLES RESORT BAIE LAZARE

PROMOTION FROM MAIN: Whiling away the day from the comfort of a glass-bottomed kayak; a group taking part in the resort’s famous hilltop yoga classes

see paradise in the seychelles Nestled at the exclusive southern end of the Seychelles’ main island of Mahé, Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare is the ideal destination for romantics, sun worshippers and adventure lovers alike

Described as “the original Garden of Eden”, the Seychelles is a leading luxury destination for sun loving travellers the globe over. It doesn’t matter if you’re more of a sit-on-the-beach-and-read Adam or an adventure-mad Eve, we’re sure you’ll find something in this iconic Indian Ocean archipelago that takes your fancy. After all, it only takes one glance at

the country’s breathtaking landscape and crystal-clear waters to understand why a stay in the Seychelles should be next up on your travel agenda. Snorkelling in the afternoon sun while your partner enjoys a spot of hilltop yoga? That sounds like heaven to us, and Kempinski is inviting you to experience a slice of that paradise in a setting of understated opulence when you stay at

Dazzling surroundings of untouched natural beauty make this a beachfront paradise

Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare. Located directly on a secluded beach at the exclusive southern end of Seychelles’ main island of Mahé, Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare is ideally placed for both whistlestop visits and longer stays, yet also offers exclusivity and privacy for those looking to get off the tourist trail. Dazzling surroundings of untouched natural beauty make this beachfront paradise a perfect haven for the romantics out there as well as an ideal base camp for an active getaway. After all, where else can you follow up a long morning walk seeing the sea shells on the shore of the Seychelles with an afternoon surfing some of the archipelago’s highest quality waves? ◆ To book, visit kempinski.com/seychelles


EscOaprdeinthaery NEW

TRANSPORTER PACKS ADVENTUREPROOF PACKS Discover an island of outstanding beauty with no crowds, no queues and no traffic jams. Alderney is often described as the ‘hidden gem of the Channel Islands’. Just a stone’s throw from the south coast of England, our little island offers a perfect escape from everyday life.

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106 • COMPETITION • BERONIA

WIN COMPETITION

Beronia: a barrel of laughs Tick txoko, it’s wine o’clocko. Enter now for your chance to win a whole year’s supply of fantastic, award-winning wine from one of the finest wine producers in the Spanish Rioja region: Bodegas Beronia award-winning Rioja and Rueda winery, that was named the 2018 IWSC Spanish Wine Producer of the Year. Not a bad effort from a bunch of friends looking for a good time, if you ask us. The winery still encourages big get-togethers through its Beronia Txoko Club, so after you’ve entered this competition to win a year’s supply of Beronia wine, why not hop over to beroniatxoko.co.uk to check out events and grab recipes and inspiration for organising your own Basque get-together? This sounds like the perfect kind of evening to us. In fact, we might just call our friends and share the enjoyment of preparing delicious food together and wash it down with superb Spanish wine. ◆ For more info on recipes, events and how to visit the Beronia winery when you’re in Rioja, head to beronia. com/ en/wine-tourism

How to win

Want to win a year’s supply of Beronia wine plus a Txoko kit of your own? Of course you do! And entering couldn’t be easier – all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer a simple question. The prize includes 12 x 6 bottle cases of the finest Beronia wines, plus everything you’ll need to host an authentic Basque evening. For a full list of T&Cs and to enter, go to escmag.co/beronia

Thomas Alexander Photography

In Northern Spain, there’s a longstanding tradition of gastronomic societies (or dinner clubs, to you and us). Known as txokos, these gatherings are a place where friends meet to cook and, er, Basque in their love of all things food and wine. They’re like gigantic dinner parties, but with even better food and the odd song. The history of txokos (pronounced: chockoh) goes way back to the first of its kind in 1870 in the city of San Sebastián. But the story you should really be interested in is the one which led to the creation of Beronia – wine producers extraordinaire and the team behind this wonderful competition. In the 1970s, the founders of Beronia formed a txoko of their own in the small town of Ollauri in Rioja Alta. Unsatisfied with the quality of wine they could get their hands on at the time, they decided to produce their own premium wines to pair with their delicious culinary creations. Out of this came Bodegas Beronia, a now multi-


RESORT AND RESIDENCES BA A AT O L L | M A L D I V E S

DISCOVER AN ISLAND OF BLISSFUL SERENITY WHERE NATURE ROAMS FREE. AMILLA IS AN IDYLLIC ESCAPE FULL OF RICH EXPERIENCES – A SIMPLY STUNNING HOME TO CALL YOUR OWN.

A LOYALTY PROGRAMME FOR MALDIVES AFICIONADOS We are proud to present the Maldives Aficionado programme to our valued guests. It is our goal to craft truly memorable experiences for those who stay with us, and we developed this loyalty programme as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your belief in The Small Maldives Island Co (TSMIC). We hope to join you in creating many more special memories at our resorts. For more information, please visit http://www.tsmic.mv/aficionado or scan the QR code to download the Maldives Aficionado app.

PLAY IT YOUR WAY

FOODIE

RELAX

ADVENTURE

ENTERTAINMENT


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i n d i a n o c ea n From barefoot luxury and romantic retreats to underwater adventures and bootcamps on the beach, you need these Indian Ocean breaks in your life

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all l ove d up Calling all lovebirds: crank up your canoodling with these ultra-romantic escapes and stays

1] SPEND THE NIGHT STARGAZING MALDIVES

It’ll be you, your boo and the wide night sky when you book in for the stargazing experience at Anantara Kihavah Villas over-the-wa-

ter observatory in the Maldives. Oh, and a third wheel in the form of the resort’s sky guru Ali Shameem, who loves astronomy so much that he spent his childhood mapping constellations from the island where he grew up. The Maldives are so close to the equator and have such min-

imal light pollution that you can see 15,000 stars without a telescope – when you aren’t staring into your loved one’s eyes, that is. NEED TO KNOW:

From £1,306pn. anantara.com; Turkish Airlines flies from Heathrow to Malé via Istanbul from £564. turkishairlines.com

2] ASK THE EXPERTS MAURITIUS

When it comes to romance, the devil is in the details. But sometimes the details can be, well, a bit difficult to sort out. To get the experts involved, book you and your partner in at Beachcomber’s Trou

aux Biches resort in Mauritius. For starters, the whole place is primed for mindblowing sunsets and candlelit dinners, and if you need a little bit more help, the hotel offers packages that up the romantic ante. NEED TO KNOW: From £222pn. beach comber-hotels.com;

British Airways flies from Gatwick to Mauritius from £686 return. ba.com


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SI NE LT ER CE TPOI DR

3] TOUR THE TEARDROP ISLE SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka – home to canoe trips, fiery sunsets, glorious ancient ruins and more romantic feels than you can shake a candlestick at. The teardrop-shaped isle has romantic drama in spades, from the 19th-century splendour of the Royal

4] MAKE A FLYING VISIT REUNION

Situated about 430 miles off the east coast of Madagascar and 110 miles from Mauritius, the French department of Réunion takes some getting to, but boy is it worth it. Formed around the vast, wooded caldera of a volcano, it’s part island paradise, part tropical wilderness. Our tip? Check

Botanical Garden of Peradeniya in Kandy to the swimming elephants of Gal Oya and the slinky leopards of Yala National Park. On a tour with Vivid Travel, you’ll see it all in a twoweek journey west to east, taking in coast, jungle and all kinds of adventures along the way. NEED TO KNOW:

Vivid Travel offers 14-day tours from £2,145pp including flights. vivid.travel

into LUX* Saint Gilles – the island’s only five-star resort – then get your bearings by heading out on a helicopter tour of the island’s mountains and waterfalls. Even if you spend the rest of your holiday canoodling in your absolutely gorgeous villa, you can still say you saw the whole island.

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NEED TO KNOW:

LUX* Saint Gilles offers six-night hotel and flight packages from £3,350pp. luxresorts.com

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5] ESCAPE IT ALL ON A YACHT MALDIVES

(Beachcomber) Edward Groeger

If kicking back on the beach, chilling in the infinity pool of an over-the-water villa and fine dining the night away isn’t enough to get you feeling loved up, Kudadoo Maldives’ new private-hire yacht might just do the trick. Available for half-, full- or multi-day charter from the resort to any destination in the Maldives, it’s

the perfect way to get away from it all. Sunbathe on the top deck, sip bubbly in the panoramic-windowed cabin and hop to any island, sandbank or faraway atoll you please. Or, if you’re feeling really fancy, make your entrance by private yacht and forget the fuss of waiting around for your transfer. NEED TO KNOW:

One-bed villas from £2,800pn. kudadoo. com; Etihad flies from Heathrow to Malé via Abu Dhabi from £696 return. etihad.com


drop in t he o c ea n Dip a toe in the Indian Ocean’s sea life-filled waters, from freediving to open-water kayaking

1] LEARN TO FREEDIVE MADAGASCAR

One of the resort’s breaks is just at one end of the island, while the other takes a ten-minute boat transfer to a reef break at the edge of a nearby lagoon.

On this trip with diving specialist IAMWATER, you’ll snorkel seagrass beds off the coast of Madagascar looking for green turtles, have a crack at yoga

and – perhaps most excitingly – learn the skilful and meditative art of freediving, which’ll get you up close and personal with whale sharks, reef fish and dolphins under the water’s surface. Then, once you’ve towelled off, you’ll get to spend your evenings enjoying huge sunsets over the ocean from remote, rustic lodgings. Count us in. NEED TO KNOW:

IAMWATER offers annual seven-day trips to Madagascar from £4,600pp. iamwaterocean travel.com

2] SURF IN PARADISE

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MALDIVES

Newsflash: surfing doesn’t have to mean donning a hired wetsuit, grabbing a foamie and getting pummelled by cold in the far west of England – it can be luxurious, too. Trade Cornwall for the Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives and you’ve got two uncrowded natural breaks that offer consistent surf in warm water just minutes from your villa. Add to that everything you’d expect from a luxury resort – the multiple sumptuous restaurants, the high-end villas and the spa – and you’re in for a surf getaway like nothing else.

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NEED TO KNOW:

From £501pn. niyama.com; Alitalia flies from Heathrow to Malé via Rome from £626 return. alitalia.com

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3] DIVE FROM A LIVEABOARD SEYCHELLES

Want to know how to maximise your chances of seeing the finest sea life in the Indian Ocean? Start by spending the best part of your

break in the water. On this liveaboard break with Dive Worldwide, you’re only ever a few feet from fish for your whole trip, taking up to eight dives in seven days, and sailing with an expert crew trained to seek out the very best diving conditions. Not sold yet? You can choose

to hit the seas on either a luxurious modern yacht or a historic Dutch sailing ship. Yep, we’d be taking those Dutch pirate feels, if you’re asking us. NEED TO KNOW: Dive Worldwide offers nine-day tours including return flights from £2,475. diveworldwide.com


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4] ISLAND HOP IN A DHOW MOZAMBIQUE

This tour with Steppes Travel will see you take a short hop across the border from South Africa to explore the beaches and bays of Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago by traditional dhow boat. It’s the

5] EXPLORE UNDERWATER MALDIVES

[Freediving] IAMWATER/Peter Marshall; (Thailand) Kiattipong Panchee

If seeing show-stopping sea creatures without hours and hours of effort is your mission, head to Dhigali in the Maldives’ incomparable Raa Atoll. The resort’s house reef starts just four metres from the shore and reaches depths of 25m, showcasing wild coral and beautiful

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perfect way to experience the Indian Ocean: spot birdlife from a sea kayak, camp out on a desert island or pull up to an untouched sandbank for an afternoon’s snorkelling – the choice is yours. NEED TO KNOW:

Steppes Travel offers ten-day tours from £2,995. steppestravel. com; Air France flies to Johannesburg from £475 return. airfrance.co.uk

drop-offs housing shoals of colourful fish. For the more intrepid, you can also head out on day tours to the Unesco biosphere reserve of Hanifaru Bay – often home to more than 100 manta rays and numerous whale sharks thanks to its abundance of plankton. NEED TO KNOW:

Kuoni offers seven nights at Dhigali (dhigali.com) including flights with SriLankan Airlines from £2,316pp. kuoni.com

a liv e a n d well Come home feeling fresh with these top-notch fitness and wellness escapes

Older than the Himalayas, this mountain chain is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, and is home to more than 325 threatened species of mammal, bird, fish and plant.

1] UP YOUR YOGA GAME THAILAND

The Thai islands around Phuket offer rugged beauty and tropical tranquility in equal measure. And as it turns out, they do a great line in yoga retreats, too. Check into Six Senses Yao Noi for a week-long break

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and you can build a personalised programme of yoga and meditation to loosen your body, open your mind and put you on the path to yoga mastery. NEED TO KNOW:

Healing Holidays offers seven-night yoga retreats from £3,125pp. healing holidays.co.uk; Thai Airways flies from Heathrow to Phuket from £525 return. thaiairways.com

2] HEAD OUT ON TWO WHEELS INDIA

This tour of India’s rustic south-western province of Kerala trades traditional wellness – sunrise yoga, spa pampering and all that jazz – for an eight-daylong meditation on the seat of a bike. You’ll cycle on quiet roads sandwiched between the golden sands of the Arabian Sea and the verdant forests of the Western Ghats, seeing wildlife all the way. NEED TO KNOW:

Intrepid Travel offers eight-day tours from £693. intrepidtravel. com; Kuwait Airways flies to destinations in Kerala via Kuwait from £600 return. kuwaitairways.com


INDIAN OCEAN

CARIBBEAN

ASIA

MIDDLE EAST

USA

EUROPE

Holidays from £535 per person

020 7749 7309 kenwoodtravel.co.uk Terms & conditions apply

The Travel Association 7456X


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3] GO ON A BOOT CAMP SRI LANKA

We can think of worse places to binge on exercise than the windsurfing hotspot of Kalpitiya on Sri Lanka’s

west coast. Check in at eco-wellness camp The BNKR and you’ll split your time between riding the waves and working out at the resort’s on-beach gym. Your package includes nine hours of windsurfing lessons, unlimited gym classes, sports massages

and a personalised programme to take home. Sweaty. NEED TO KNOW:

The BNKR offers seven-night Surf & Turf camps from £1,479pp. thebnkr. life; SriLankan Airlines flies from Heathrow to Colombo from £530 return. srilankan.com

5] GET OUTSIDE MAURITIUS

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4] GRAB SOME SERIOUS R&R MALDIVES

If the dose of sun, sand and incredible ocean you’ll get staying at Amilla Fushi doesn’t de-stress you, the retreat’s Sensora (Sri Lanka) Alexandru Baranescu

Sega music and dancing originated among the slave populations of Mauritius as a response to subjugation. These days, it’s a joyous expression of Mauritian identity.

treatment probably will. Using one of the most advanced coloured-light systems in the world, it stimulates your senses with a bespoke sequence of light, colour and vibration. The treatment is clinically proven to help with everything from depression and insomnia to chronic pain and stress.

With miles of rugged (but nonetheless gorgeous) coast and mountains to explore inland, Mauritius is the Indian Ocean island with the great outdoors in spades. And SALT of Palmar – a sustainability focused beachfront resort that opened last year – is the perfect place to head if you want to explore it. You can read up on local hikes, join a sunrise run club, learn the local art of sega dancing, hire a bike for exploring or go and practice shinrin yoku (the Japanese art of forest bathing) in the woods on the hotel site. Not doing it for you? There’s a plush spa, too, obvs.

NEED TO KNOW:

NEED TO KNOW:

Residences from £864pn. amilla.mv; Qatar Airways flies from Gatwick to Malé via Doha from £618 return. qatarairways.com

From £100pp per night. saltresorts. com; Emirates flies from Heathrow to Mauritius via Dubai from £627 return. emirates.com


114 • EXCURSIONS • REAR VIEW

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REAR VIEW Woodsman Thom Hunt gives us a crash course in the great outdoors, from the importance of fire to wild food foraging

REAR VIEW

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As an all-round skill I’d say making fire is one of the most important things there is. In evolutionary terms we saw massive advances in our species after learning how to master fire. Tribally, it’s where the food was cooked, where the parties took place and where disputes were settled. It’s absolutely key to us as humans and the reason everyone, to this day, is still mesmerised by a live fire and flame. When foraging, the first thing to look out for is the dangerous imposters. Do your homework properly, build up your experience one item at a time and go out with knowledgeable people; there’s only so much you can learn from a book. Brush up your cooking skills first though: if you’re going to spend years finding where to source chanterelles and hand-dive scallops you don’t want to ruin it all in the kitchen.

A few years ago I trekked across the western Sahara desert with Berber nomads. We walked between 20 and 40km across the dunes each day. We travelled a lot at night, using the stars for navigation, but I still ended up with deep blisters and pretty bad heat stroke. Then I drank water from a village well and got seriously ill. How do you get through it? You just do. What other choice is there? If you’re not dead, you just have to keep on going. Trying not to be defeated mentally is absolutely key in extreme situations. So is remembering why you ended up there. For me that’s what defines adventure: that you step into the experience, take the rollercoaster of highs and lows and embrace them all. An adventure that only has upsides? That’s just having a nice time, not a real adventure.

Filson/Mick Kirkman

HERE’S TOASTING MARSHALLOWS over the campfire, then there’s cooking outside and washing in a river every day for three years, all while converting an abandoned woodland cottage into one of the UK’s leading wilderness camps. Yep, as an adventurer, outdoorsman and owner of Cornwall-based outdoor centre 7th Rise, Thom Hunt probably does camping better than you. From staying with the Sámi people of Arctic Norway to trekking 40 miles a day across the western Sahara and foraging his way across South West England, Hunt has built up some pretty in-depth knowledge about what it takes to survive on limited resources in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. He tells us about the search for adventure, cooking over fire and using fields and forests to source food. ◆ Thom Hunt is an ambassador for Filson. Find out more at 7thrise.co.uk and filson.com/uk


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Escapsim – 53 – The Food & Travel Special  

Escapsim – 53 – The Food & Travel Special – Cover Wrap

Escapsim – 53 – The Food & Travel Special  

Escapsim – 53 – The Food & Travel Special – Cover Wrap