Article: Tonie Pepperstreet
Photography: Elena Florence
After many months muddling my way through lockdown I, like many others, began to feel the need to explore, or wanderlust. The days of English summer sun were numbered and my patience for long queues, clad in a mask, outside the supermarket wore thin. It just so happened that my restlessness coincided with the final weeks of my rental contract, so instead of doing what any organized adult would do and find my next home, I booked cheap flights, stuffed a suitcase with just about every piece of clothing I had and was off. Destination: Italy.
I touched down in Milan and spent days immersed in fashion, food, and sophistication. While this was a much-needed relief from a dreary London Lockdown, it did not quite provide that. whatever the Italian for je ne sais quoi is… since then I moved onto Venice, Verona, Rome & Bologna all of which deserve their own piece to extoll their beauty, charms, and FOOD.
However, there is one city which has captured my every attention and I quite simply do not possess the will power to move on from here. The beauty, the culture and the romanticism of this city have incited a rush of life & creativity in me and I would be lying if I did not say it is thanks to everything about Florence itself.
There is a magical energy in Florence, one which flows through every crack and crevice of each Perforate stone that makes up this city. I am, quite frankly, addicted and, as of today, have overstayed my planned trip by three weeks…
Piazzale Michelangelo. “Only 15 minutes’ walk,” the charming Italian barista told me as I paid for my morning cappuccino (read heaven). Well, anyone who has been to Florence will know that this mere 15 minutes from Ponti Vecchio Bridge,
is up an incline set to rival any of my gym treadmills best effort and, after weeks of Italian dining, not quite the simplest trek. Despite the unexpected glute work-out, this tourist hotspot has topped my list of places to see in this city; It is the perfect spot for self-reflection, imagination and, obviously, scenic photos.
While you would be forgiven for thinking, as the name may suggest, that Piazzale Michelangelo is a work of the great artist himself, it is in fact a homage to him: a space to provide a showcase of Michelangelo’s work, David, who stands proudly? Casually? I can never really decide, on a podium there. There was even a museum built by Poggi to host more works of the artist, one which never did fulfil that purpose but, I will add, is now home to La Loggia, a restaurant with a wonderful coffee shop and panoramic views.
I have frequented this spot more than I can count, turning up in the early morning hours to watch the day begin for the rest of the city, as well as in the evening as the Florence night-life starts and the locals wind down. One thing is for sure, you could arrive at any time day or night and the view would never fail to steal the breath from you.
3 top restaurants.
Serre Torrigiani - Beautiful restaurant in a secret garden atmosphere.
Il Pizzaiuolo - Real authentic Italian Pizzeria where only Italians go.
Brucia Tegami - Esquite food on the outskirts of Florence
FORGET ALL YOUR TROUBLES IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
BY SARA DARLING
If you are seeking some r & r after the stress of lockdown, the recently refurbished Maison ilā in Languedoc-Roussillon, southern France, may be just what you need for your first vacay away. Referred to informally as "the Languedoc", this tranquil region extends from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and borders Spain, so offers a perfect blend of nature, history and culture, and ilā is a hidden treasure, tucked away from the crowds.
Managed by British couple Denise and her husband John, who relocated to the sun-baked region, which is best known for its vineyards (producing a third of France's wines), and its popularity with the locals who flock to the beaches which sprawl along its Mediterranean shore. They saw something magical away from the crowds, and wanted to share the green scenery of gorges, forests and the surreal moonscape plateaux with other kindred souls.
The enchanting setting was chosen for the launch of organic skin and spa brand ilā’s first permanent wellness retreat ‘Maison ilā’. A former Chambre d’hôtes, the original stone, seven-bedroom property includes a communal dining space, snug, treatment room plus a yoga and sound healing studio. Surrounded by blooming gardens- including a soul garden full of healing herbs and plants, which are used in the Maison’s kitchen to complement the mostly plant-based menu, the location is a low key base for those interested in spirituality and healing.
The accommodation is thoughtfully laid out, offering privacy and space for every guest along with optional communal activities, which include daily yoga practise, meditation, sound healing or wild swimming in neighbouring natural pools. Or you can just enjoy the peaceful surroundings with a book and experience your own personal journey.
However, healing from the inside is the basis of Maison ilā’s core beliefs, so there are plenty of options to consciously relax the body, soul and mind. With a curated menu of face and body therapies as well as shamanic journeys (including Flexbeam red light therapy), the Maison has just launched its own CBD Therapy products. These include body balm, massage oil, hero salve and bath salts which are used in body wraps, facials, hot stone and deep-tissue massage, and have protocols which energize, nourish and address health concerns such as poor sleep, low mood and stress.
Whether you are just looking for some ‘you time’ or have a particular issue you would like to address, Maison ilā will give you a chance to disconnect from the rest of the world to rebalance and reconnect to your inner essence. Alternatively, check out the programme of expert practitioners and movement workshops which are taking place throughout the year to enlighten and educate the soul.
Find out more here
20 Place de l'Église
11230 Sonnac-sur-l'Hers, France
04 68 31 73 01
+44 7976 353 668
THE LATEST LUXE HOTEL IN MOUNT FUJI IS WORTH A VISIT FOR THE VIEWS ALONE
BY SARA DARLING
Japan has had a tough year with the pandemic.
What could possibly be better than enjoying an open air hot tub, containing crystal clear, mineral-rich, rain and snow water, with an unobstructed view of its source, Mount Fuji (don’t answer that!)
At only 1 hour 45 minutes from the Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyo (shorter by train), it is possible to plan a dual aspect trip, to really appreciate Japan’s natural phenomenon. From the bright lights of the big city, the natural landscape of lakes, forests, waterfalls and hot springs are the perfect antidote. Or you may feel inspired to do more shopping in the supersized Gotemba Premium Outlets shopping mall, which mimics those in North America- be sure to take a map and comfy shoes!
Depending on the time of year you visit, you can get a heatwave during the summer or go skiing in the spring. Once the snow has thawed, is the perfect time to explore the scenery, which includes acres of flowering cherry blossom trees- for which the region is famous. Arakurayama Sengen Park is located halfway up Mount Arakura in Fujiyoshida City of Yamanashi and offers a panoramic view of the city, and is a famous spot for the picturesque cherry trees.
But the main draw of the region is the imposing Mount Fuji complete with its exceptionally symmetrical, photogenic cone. This cultural icon, with its snow capped peak is a recognised symbol of Japan, and is a pilgrimage for international sightseers and climbers.
As one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains" along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, Fuji is crowned a special place of scenic beauty and one of Japan's Historic Sites. It was added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site in 2013, and makes Mishima a sacred place.
So imagine that as your vista for an out of this world hot tub experience! The Tokyu Hotel Group has just arrived in Mishama, and has been specially designed to take advantage of its location.
With a unique vantage point at the base of Hakone and Suruga Bay, clients who visit at any season can enjoy Japan’s impressive scenery from the hotel's large windows. The luxury hotel is the ideal base for exploring the area, and actively encourages recycling and restoration.
The Hotel group is part of the Green Coin programme, which aims to lower the damage to the global environment by decreasing the number of one use plastic toothbrushes and razors. Guests who bring their own supplies, can return their green coins which will be donated in forestation activities- so far the Children's Forest Program and the Tokyu Hotels Green Coin Forests located in Tabayama village, Yamanashi Prefecture, have benefitted from the scheme.
Along with bicycles to hire, the hotel’s restaurant serves freshly caught seafood from nearby fishing ports along with locally grown produce to create a healthy taste of Japan, with all dietary requirements catered for, with advance notice.
Whether you book this as an add on, or as a destination in itself, the Fujisan Mishima offers five star comfort in a state of the art setting, and is great place to explore the area’s hot springs at Oshino Hakki, go hiking around Lake Kawaguchiko, investigate the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum or enjoy outdoor festivals in the summer.
For more information, check out the Fujisan Mishima Tokyu Hotel
17-1 Ichiban-cho, Mishima-shi, Shizuoka, Japan
This hidden region of Italy is rich in culture, history and endless beauty throughout its towns, people, and diverse landscapes.
Article - Photography: Christopher George
More off the beaten track, this region of Molise is ripe for discovery and adventure, without the overload of tourism that much of Italy suffers from. Molise retains its heart, soul and charm. Something that is hard to find elsewhere in Italy with much overpopulation and tourism.
The landscape of Molise is vast and diverse; from the coastal town of Termoli with its wide golden sandy beach, to the staggering mountains, where hundreds of isolated villages, some dating back over 500 years, perched on the sides of unique mountain ranges, as unique as each historic village set amounts the cliffs. Driving around Molise and viewing the mountain villages is breathtaking. Spending time to discover them is a real adventure to cherish.
There is so much to discover in Molise, along with the authentic people, rich classical history, local food, wines and recipes that are unique and steeped in tradition. The foods of the region are simple and delightful, with Molise priding itself on a healthy diet and environmental methods of farming and sustainability. Many of the industries here are working together to produce foods and ingredients locally, keeping sustainable and seasonal dining as it has been for thousands of years.
With our ability to be mass consumers of unhealthy foods, it was an awakening to visit hotels and restaurants that take pride in local fresh and traditional menus that work much to seasonal produce.
Molise is a real break from the crazy life we all get caught up in when living in the cities and towns dominated with globalisation. This region of Italy has been crafted over centres, and has now started opening up to future generations and growing tourism, discovering its historic legacies and unique charm.
With ‘The New York Times’ citing Molise as one of its top 50 destinations to visit in 2020. Now is the time to discover the charisma and charm of this loving region of Italy.
To experience a region can be tricky and complicating. This is why Molise has collaborated on a joint venture to showcase the heart and soul of this precious part of Italy.
Molise is easy with the Moleasy Partnership
Moleasy is a group of four unique and independent hotels and SPA resorts, offering the authenticity of the Molies region. With all the hotels located in different parts of Molise, this is a great way to visit the landscape of this historical region and sample all its divine attractions and cuisine.
With the Moleasy partnership, they can organise tailor-made tours for small to large groups, leaving all the travel arrangement worry free. With the Moleasy organised tours, you get the authentic journey, visiting places that may be difficult to research and locate, allowing your travel time to be relaxed, comfortable, informative and productive. This means more time to spend enjoying a unique experience.
Over recent years there has been an influx of activity and restoration throughout Molise, rediscovering some to the forgotten and abandoned villages, buildings and areas, cuisine and farming. 3 of these particular developments that we visited are all of extreme historical importance for different reasons. Over several years they have been brought back to life as unique accommodation for the travellers searching rich culture and individuality.
Albergo Diffuso BorgoTufi - Castel del Giudice
The first place we visited was BorgoTufi, a historic village and architectural project scattered over several locations serving as a hotel set in a traditional mountain village. BorgoTufi - Castel del Giudice is a commune in the Province of Isernia Molise, located about 50 kilometres northwest of Campobasso and about 30 kilometres north of Isernia.
Not just a tourism project, but also a project within the community and territory, working in partnership with the locals, private investors and the local council. Abandoned farmland and houses have been brought back to life using local stone and wood, employing craftsman and workers from the area, reviving this picturesque village and its surrounding natural beauty.
The hotel consists of a 5 star restaurant and bar, pool, spa and treatment rooms, along with 35 small traditional houses set around a typical village square. It is like a film set, being all so perfect and maintaining the traditional style, all set within the small existing village and overlooking incredible views of the landscape.
After a peaceful sleep in one of the rustic houses, I took a 7am jog around the village of narrow streets to the top of its hill as the sun was rising. I then jogged back to the hotel, jumped in the pool and had a sauna before breakfast. Something I would never do in London!!
The whole area of BorgoTufi is a sleepy quite traditional mountan village. Taking a town house you have privacy to rest, or work mobile if you need to, walk and take some sports while always having 5 star restaurants and spa at arms reach. This is the place you can begin that book you’ve been meaning to start writing, or taking to canvas and painting those landscapes.
A totally subversive environment where you could spend time with family and friends, but still have privacy.
For full details visit:
Albergo Diffuso BorgoTufi
The costal town of Termoli and its beautiful wide and long sandy beach that are overlooked by Termoli Cathedral built in the 11th century. Here the bones of Saint Timoteo were discovered, Saint Timoteo being a disciple of St Paul, making Termoli an incredibly important spiritual town.
Not being a religious person, I could still feel the significance of its spirituality around the cathedral area, with its small medieval streets and tiny shops. A very beautiful and calm place to wander and hide from the sun, as the narrow streets create shade and breeze. The inhabitance during the year is around 30,000. But during the summer this doubles, so there is a real buzz of activity.
This once rural fishing and agricultural village has become a destination for food and wine lovers. It is a very popular resort for Italians during the summer, capturing much of its charm and Italian style
One of the most popular restaurants is Salsedine which is set directly above the beach, offering uninterrupted views over the Adriatic sea, easy access to the sand and a wonderful large terrace to have lunch outside and enjoy local cuisine of fish, pastas and wine.
The mountain region is so close to the sea, and Termoli has for centuries produced excellent wines enhanced and seasoned by the natural sea air during their growth.
A really beautiful costal town to explore, relax, sightsee, and highly recommended Salsedine for food, wine and relaxation.
Residenza Sveva Hotel
Residenza Sveva is a popular hotel in the historical centre of Termoli with 23 rooms. It is a horizontal structure in the sense that it is spread over several buildings that provide hotel services. The mission is to bring the life of the village as a resident to the tourist visitor. The streets of the village are the corridors of the rooms. Located within the walls of the old town of Termoli, this beautiful old residence offers individually designed rooms, some with a view of the Adriatic Sea. In addition to the antique furniture that decorate the rooms, the hotel offers an elegant breakfast room as well as a lovely terrace to relax and enjoy to food.
Residenza Sveva Hotel
Albergo Diffuso La Piana Dei Mulini - Colle d’Anchise
La Piana Dei Mulini once an important water mill during the 16th century, and in more recent history was reshaped into a hydro power station for water energy until the 1950s when power in Italy became nationalised. Like many buildings in Molise, it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Its historical importance created local investment, bringing love and local development back to the several building and its surrounding area.
This has become another community project for the region, supporting local industry, farming and production. Set on the side of a river, the adjacent land is ripe for truffle hunting, and its a little know fact that 60% of all truffles are sourced from Molise.
With much investment and interest in this area, it has become a tricky balance between creating a more populated thriving community, and retaining its beauty and natural resources.
Rooms at the hotel are comfortable and modest with its restaurants cosy. Set in beautiful natural surroundings just on the banks of the river, this has also become a very popular locations for weddings and large functions due to its banquet hall.
La Piana Dei Mulini
One of the most enchanting outings and explorations during our time in Molise was to the archeological sight of Altilia and settlement, which is close to La Piana Dei Mulini. This Samnite settlement dating back 500bc was a strong hold of the Samnite, and for centuries constantly under attack from the Roman empire. The Samnite resistance was legendary, so much so, the romans attempted to completely eradicate the Samnite from history.
The romans defeated the Samanite eventually after a century, but we still have the settlement here in Molise. It’s impossible to relay the atmosphere of this area without being here. Like Pompei, its mysterious and ghostly surroundings relay the lives and culture of this long gone bustling town.
Domus Hotel Spa Bagnoli del Trigno
For some relaxation we visited the 4-star Domus Hotel, this being the perfect place to stay while visiting the mountan town of Bagnoli del Trigno and its Castle.
Having all the luxuries of a 4 star hotel with pool, spa and treatment rooms, along with a wonderful restaurant for fine dining.
Many of the hotel rooms along with its restaurants and spa look directly out over the mountain town of Bagnoli del Trigno: a spectacular view. Relaxing in the spa pools was bliss, and meals from the restaurant delicious.
It’s a 10 minute drive from the hotel to Bagnoli del Trigno, and the old castles perched at the top of the mountain with views back over the hotel and for miles around the surrounding area. The town around the foot of the castle is intriguing and worth spending some time to wander around the quiet streets and steep allies. Part of the the town is still inhabited, and part seems to be derelict awaiting redevelopment. It is a fascinating place to explore.
Throughout the region there are great photo opportunities, especially in the small towns where life seems to have vanished and nature is taking over once again.
Domus Hotel Spa Bagnoli del Trigno
The town of Agnone is a more bustling and cosmopolitan centre, still retaining all the historical charm of Molise but with more shops, restaurants, bars and the famous historical Pontifical bell foundry. It’s the oldest bell foundry in the world dating back to 1300, and still owned by the Ettore family.
This business has for generations been manufacturing bells of all sizes and is a fascinating visit to see the historic collection of bells in the museum, and witness the history and methods the family business have been using for centuries.
Taking 3 months the produce a bell, it is fascinating how they create the perfect sound. The bell foundry is at the heart of town and is still run by the same family as it was over 600 years ago. Guided tours are highly recommended.
At the heart of Agnone are family businesses and many have been in operation for hundreds of years, and like Molise, food is a central focus.
The Caseificio Di Nucci cheese business founded in 1662 is another one of these heart warming family enterprises. Still owned and run by the same family, this small shop is busy producing its cheeses and open to the public daily.
Along with bars, restaurants and cafes; this historic town is a great place to explore, with lots of architecture to view while sampling its delightful foods.
Villaggio Rural Le Sette Querce - Sesto Campano
The owner of this town Rocco Peluso was born and raised here, and has been restoring it for over 20 years. He and his brother would go to school on a donkey, so the significance of the 25 donkeys living here was beautiful.
Rocco Peluso left the town as a young man to study architecture, and after a successful career he returned to the town and bought it completely as it had fallen into disrepair.
Over a 20 year period of development, the town has been transformed and expanded from the centre out, restoring the buildings into comfortable houses for guests, full of character and traditional style.
This village is a total escape, surrounded only by mountains and nature. Each house is set on the foot print of original houses that were here. The village has a fully functioning farm producing much of the produce for guests, along with the developers mother Filamina who has lived in the village all her life, and now in her 80s still farms the land, and makes the very cheese you eat in the restaurant.
The area supports the local donkey population, and you will see them freely wandering around the land. They don’t stray away from this area as it is their home, so you may well find one of them grazing outside your house.
One of the original houses still exists in its original style along with the furniture for guests to visit as a museum, but also it can be booked as a place to stay for the night.
Anyone who likes natural beauty will find it heavenly here. And like all the places we have visited in Molise, this is a place to lose your self in nature, take inspiration for writing, painting, relaxing or some sport.
The farm is producing cheese, meat and herbs throughout the year. This is a sustainable venture employing a 10 person team, along with the beautiful 87 year old Filimina who doesn't look a day over 60, marching over fields herding sheep.
Our trip to Molise has been beyond fascinating, inspiring and educational. it has also touched our hearts with the people we have met, the stories we have listened to, and the love and hospitality shared with us.
Villaggio Rural Le Sette Querce
For full package details and information on tours & accommodation visit:
A TASTE OF SUNSHINE
By Sara Darling
If you need some winter sun, Mallorca might be just what the doctor ordered. The atmospheric island in the Balearics is regarded as a perfect destination all year round. With the temperature dipping to the teens, you may not be swimming in the sea in December but the surroundings, walks and nature are a welcome break during the unpredictable weather in the UK.
Bringing a ray of sunshine to brighten our long dark days, the Mallorcan tourist board celebrated everything Mallorca at the stunning Spanish eaterie Hispania- which is also the largest and most accomplished and ambitious project devoted to Spanish gastronomy in Europe. Located over two floors in the iconic inside-out Lloyds Bank building on Lombard Street, it offers inventive cuisine from some of London’s top chefs. With a range of tapas, fine dining, private dining and a takeaway available, the atmosphere is buzzy- whether you want to enjoy a lazy lunch or after work drinks and snacks.
Guests at the Mallorca event enjoyed the Michelin-star restaurant experience, with a menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Marcos Mora. Using typical Spanish ingredients, the tapas included Jamón ibérico, Ensaladilla, Asparagus with Hispania mayonnaise, Padrón peppers, Croquetas and a selection of cheeses, washed down with typical wine or beer.
Masterchef Spain winner, Vicky Pulgarín did a live demonstration of some of her easy to follow recipes, which went down a treat with the eager crowd who got to taste them.
And Mallorcan based novelist, Anna Nicholas was on hand to talk about her fictional novel, ‘The Devil’s Horn’ - a debut crime caper featuring detective Isabel Flores Montserrat- which is bound to make you chuckle.
With plentiful wine, music and tropical scented air, guests mingled at communal seating and for one night only got transported to the sunny isle of Mallorca, with its citrus orchards, Roman and Moorish remains and laid back vibe, the largest island in the Balearic Islands is tempting at any time of year.
BY SARA DARLING
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY
Keeping up with its reputation as a city of weirdness, creative heads flock to Portland Oregon for the annual winter lights festival which is taking place next February.
Artists from around the world will showcase an inventive collection of light based installations around the city, which range from immersive shows, moving processions and immersive art pieces, which will shine from dusk til late.
2020 is the fifth anniversary of the event, which will showcase over 200 designs, along with music, circus and cultural performances.
With over 150,000 visitors, the city will truly be buzzing with light and energy.
Portland Winter Lights Festival, 6-8 February 2020
MADRID COMES ALIVE WITH MENINAS
By SARA DARLING
Madrid is buzzing with culture at any time of year, but if you visit this November, you can join the hunt to find the eighty, 1.8-metre-tall figures, which have been commissioned to form an open air gallery around the city.
This street museum comes with an interactive map, so visitors and art-lovers can explore new areas of the city, whilst tracking down the impressive sculptures, which each have a QR code that can be scanned with a mobile to explain the concept of the work.
Titled “The Meninas Art Gallery”, the artworks are inspired by the iconic Diego Velázquez painting, Las Meninas (Ladies in Waiting) which was created in 1656. The painting is one of the star attractions of Madrid’s Prado Museum, and depicts the young princess Margarita Teresa surrounded by several members of the court, including her ladies in waiting, dwarves and, in the background, Velázquez himself.
Taking inspiration from the characters in the art work, these large statement pieces have been commissioned to bring classical art to a new audience. Each Menina has a different theme- including one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the TV series Friends, placed next to an imitation of the Central Perk sofa, whilst others will be auctioned for charity.
With Meninas designed by notable Spanish figures including actors, designers, celebrities and athletes including Rafael Nadal, Rosana, Dani Rovira, Ouka Leele, Samantha Vallejo-Nágera, María Pombo and Quique Dacosta, the city will be filled with art lovers getting a selfie with their favourite.
Book a room at the art-lovers VP Plaza España Design 5* and you will be part of the exhibition. The luxury hotel offers a non-stop cultural agenda from art and culture to fashion and gastronomy, and will be home to the ‘Menina Lustre de Mar’ which is considered the most valuable and exclusive of the Menina in the collection, made with precious stones, gems and diamonds. Located in the Salamanca district, it is also the ideal spot to snap a pic by the creations in the bustling Puerta del Sol to the Plaza Mayor, the city's grand central square.
The stylish hotel is also footsteps from the famous Prado Museum so guests can visit the original Velazquez painting to see the actual inspiration. The stylish hotel offers 111 rooms, rooftop pool, bowling alley, spa and gym, which is designed with the concept of Hedonist Luxury.
Treat yourself this autumn and soak up Madrid's finest at the VP Plaza Design Hotel 5*.
ABU DHABI WELCOMES ART FOR THE ELEVENTH YEAR
BY SARA DARLING
Think of Abu Dhabi, and contemporary art might not be the first thing that springs to mind. However the ultra modern skyscrapers, mega shopping malls, and the vast Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, sheltered beneath white-marble domes, featuring an immense Persian carpet and crystal chandeliers- demonstrates it is a country that is not shy of expressing itself.
This November sees the eleventh art fair, which takes place across the city. More than a traditional art fair, the local culture is celebrated and there is an emphasis on contemporary and emerging local artists- with workshops, talks and events, to celebrate this unique and fast-changing city.
The annual showcase presents both contemporary and established artists from more than 40 international galleries and the 2019 edition will include Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, who will be leading the Beyond: Emerging Artists programme; Paolo Colombo, the internationally renowned curator of Gateway programme; Dr Omar Kholeif, who will return to Abu Dhabi Art to curate the Focus sector for the third year; Jerome Sans who will curate a new section called New Horizons China, as well as gallerist Ashwin Thadani who will introduce new galleries from India to Abu Dhabi for the first time, in New Horizons: India.
With Abu Dhabi Art’s participating galleries showcasing photography and paintings by emerging artists- as well as limited edition prints by established artists; There will be a range of workshops offering an introduction for first time art buyers, which offer an accessible way for interested parties to discover and engage with the art world.
Outside of the main show space, there are site specific installations commissioned around the city. Oliver Beer and Leandro Erlich are two artists who have produced site-specific contemporary art to attract new audiences to historic sites in Al Ain.
There will also be After Dark nocturnal robots, which will leave Europe for the first time, and enable web users anywhere in the world to control and roam Abu Dhabi Art after it has closed to visitors.
The show takes place across the city from
Thursday 21 November to Saturday 23 November 2019
Venue: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District
CHEF DANIEL JOINS THE MARIGOT BAY
BY SARA DARLING
Not only a slice of paradise with its stunning scenery, the Marigot Bay resort in St Lucia is now celebrating the appointment of Daniel Echasseriau as Director of Food & Beverage and Culinary Operation.
A native of Brittany, France, and the youngest of five siblings, Daniel began his culinary career at 17 years old - inspired by his upbringing on a farm in the medieval town of Sévérac-le-Château, in NW France, where his mother made meals using the daily fresh produce.
Having worked as a chef and consultant for over 26 years, Echasseriau's appointment at Marigot Bay will combine his love of simple ingredients with lots of flavours, local vegetables, herbs and spices in a unique range of recipes, adapted from his childhood.
The hotel offers numerous dining options, including intimate treehouse dining to The Grill at 14°61° which features an open-plan show kitchen with hand-crafted wood-burning grill, the menus will be overseen by Echasseriau and will be sure to cater to every palate.
Breakfast is served overlooking the infinity edge pool and the Brut Bar features a selection of local ceviche, sushi plates, salads and seafood dishes along with burgers and sandwiches.
Whilst the Rum Cave offers special tasting and blending sessions for novices and connoisseurs alike to enhance their "rum experience'. In the evening, diners enjoy a quiet drink and dessert in the open-air lounge, whilst the Hurricane Hole is the place to party, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails designed by the resort's expert mixologist.
Take your bikini, as you are bound to eat. Alot!
CALIFORNIA'S HIDDEN GEM
BY SARA DARLING
Huntington Beach is one of those cool Californian cities, situated south east of Los Angeles. It's known for its ten miles of sandy city beaches, stuffed to the brim with sun kissed surfers, families and beautiful people roller skating along the promenade. It also has a sprawling Central Park with plenty of secluded spots for picnicking, stunning flora, boating lakes and shady gardens plus an equestrian centre if you fancy a canter.
The charming seaside town is not as small as you may think- taking up 32 square miles - including 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline; It is home to eight distinct neighbourhoods which fuse culture, inventive food and nightlife. You could easily kick back and spend all your time on the beach, but there is plenty more to entertain you in the Orange County.
THINGS TO DO
This coastal location has an active local community and vibrant outdoor lifestyle, so activities are at a premium. Enjoy a gondola ride in Huntington Harbor, and soak up the sunset cruising through the picturesque islands, inlets, and canals or go whale and dolphin watching. Visit iconic local landmarks including the Beach Pier or the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, and get your culture fix at Newland House Museum.
The surf city is a major player in the craft beer industry with several local bewers offering an exciting range of flavours including the family run Four Sons Brewing.
Riip Beer Company is a local institution, and has grown hugely since it started selling beer from a truck on the beach.
Golden Road Brewery has 30-40 different brew options, and will open its first pub, Peter’s Landing by the end of the year.
But the original independent craft distillery, Surf City Still Works stocks local whisky, spirits and beers, and is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you prefer German beer, head to Old World Village, which is the region's largest Oktoberfest. Offering authentic German food and plenty of beers it takes place September 8- October 27.
If you like your wine crispy and dry, fruity or well-rounded- the California Wine Festival which is held at the Pasea Hotel & Spa should not be missed. Taking place over the weekend of October 25 - 26, the best Californian wines and regional craft beers will be on offer; Alongside a range of artisanal foods, including cheese, bread, olive oil, local shellfish and hand made chocolates to soak up the alcohol! Purchase tickets here.
‘NOOD BEACH’ FESTIVAL is not a spelling mistake! It is a spinoff of Foodbeast’s “Noods, Noods, Noods” event, which focuses on the versatile world of noodles. With a huge selection of zingy spaghetti, rice and udon noodles dished up in all manner of inventive ways, visitors can fill up before getting into the party spirit, or enter the Foodbeast Challenger League, where vast quantities of noodles are consumed.
With live music performed by Yachty by Nature, Sega Genocide and Coast Club, tickets are $40 for general admission and $80 for VIP and can be purchased by visiting nood-beach.com. Taking place on September 1st
You can’t go to Surf City without getting mesmerised by the boardwalkers, but if you time your visit right, you will be able to see a man's best friend alongside him (or her), riding the waves.
On Saturday September 28, the annual Surf City Surf Dog competition takes place from 8am– 2.30pm on Huntington Dog Beach.
HIGH IN THE SKY
Returning after 11 years, The Great Pacific Airshow is only beachfront airshow to take place on the West Coast. Promising dramatic air acrobatics by the Red Arrows, bring your ear plugs for a fun-filled weekend of high jinks. Taking place on Oct. 4 – 6, 2019
SEE SANTA SKYDIVING
If you don’t believe in Father Christmas, you might not believe your eyes if you are in Huntington Beach on 23rd November. Head to the beachfront in front of Pacific City, and witness the man himself and two of his elves skydive to solid ground with sacks of pressies, and join the party spirit- even if it is 30 degrees!