Silverholme, Graythwaite near Hawkshead, Cumbria & The Lake District (Ref. 927208)
The Hall, Middleton Hall near Belford, Northumberland (Ref. 903958)
Oughtershaw Hall, lOughtershaw near Buckden, Yorkshire Dales - South (Ref. 921374)
Ismere Hall, Blakedown, Worcestershire (Ref. 935950)
This Grade II listed property, built in 1778, boasts many original features such as stone flag floor, pillared archways, deep skirting and wide architraving.
7 nights from Fri 22 Jul - Fri 29 Jul
Bookilber Barn, Settle, Three Peaks Country, Yorkshire Dales - South (Ref. 2986)
Featured in The Sunday Times top 100 cool cottages list and Concept for Living magazine, Bookilber Barn enjoys an enviable hillside position with breathtaking views and fabulous walks in every direction.
Tan Llan, Llanelltyd near Dolgellau, North Wales & Snowdonia (Ref. 921373)
This striking, Grade II listed country house and its neighbouring cottage are set into a gently sloping hillside and have been sympathetically renovated to offer luxurious, spacious accommodation, ideal for a very special family holiday in the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.
Ancarva, Millbrook, Cornwall (Ref. 940934)
In an idyllic location directly on the water’s edge with its own mooring and pontoon, this special property is perfect for a group of friends or a family looking to enjoy a truly memorable holiday.
Winster Hall, Winster, Peak District & Derbyshire Dales (Ref. 30946)
Occupied by the Moore family in the 17th century, the Hall later became a Coaching House and Inn, and in the 19th century, Llewellyn Jewitt, a local antiquary, occupied the Hall and his gravestone can be found in the local church cemetery.
Plas Gwynfryn, Llanbedr near Harlech, North Wales & Snowdonia (Ref. 5051)
A holiday home of true distinction and character that is a fine example of the arts and crafts architecture, this cottage is perfect for a large family celebration or for groups of friends, and was featured in Country Life property review in November 2011.
Suidhe Lodge, Kincraig near Aviemore, Northern Highlands & Cairngorms National Park (Ref. 22429)
This Kincraig self-catering lodge is equal distance from Aviemore to the north and Kingussie to the south and guests will love the traditional features, combined with 'old world charm' and the benefits of modern facilities.
Summer is the time of year that people love to just go out and enjoy vacation time with their family. However, not all vacation destination spots are created equally. Taking a private jet charter to an exquisite location can really help you to have a very memorable trip. Who needs a standard old vacation when you can take a private jet and enjoy a pampered experience in the lap of luxury? To do this, you will need to know the best destinations during the summer months.
1. Necker Island
You may not have even heard of this popular destination. That is because you are only able to access this stunning island by private jet. Necker Island is actually owned by Virgin CEO Richard Branson and is around 74-acres. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands, north of Virgin Gorda. The best part is that once you arrive, you just need to focus on being spoiled whilst taking in the beautiful scenery. Book a Private Jet
If you follow celebrity news, this is a destination you’re going to be very familiar with. This celebrity vacation hotspot offers so much to visitors, whether they want to stay for only a few days or for a few weeks. Ibiza offers gorgeous beaches and a taste of idyllic European scenery, giving you the best of both worlds for your vacation. Book a Private Jet
If you are looking for a more secluded and luxurious location, this is the perfect spot for you. These isolated islands offer you the most luxurious vacation that you may ever experience. If that wasn’t enough, it’s a picturesque island with beaches that are absolutely stunning.
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This is another popular location and is a spectacular place to visit by private jet. It’s not only an incredibly beautiful location, but there are so many different activities that you can take in and enjoy whilst you are here. They have a great nightlife, delicious cuisine, and a kind atmosphere that will result in your never wanting to leave. Book a Private Jet
Not everyone wants to sit around on a beach during their summer vacation. If this is you, then a great option to look at is Patagonia. This is a rugged and beautiful region, where you can take in the breathtaking vistas and stunning mountains, or enjoy wonderful views of waterfalls. A wilderness vacation is sometimes exactly what is needed to get away from your everyday life. Book a Private Jet
Mykonos is arguably the most stunning of the Greek islands. This is the place for enchanting Greek beaches and stunning views of the sea. You can also enjoy fine Greek cuisine and hospitality whilst you are here. Mykonos is also very well known for having some great places to enjoy a beach party, or, if mrore your scene, for being able to island hop at a lesiurely pace on your motor boat.. You will not regret this Greek island vacation. Book a Private Jet
Your Essential Guide to Exciting F1 Monaco Grand Prix
More like ‘why not go?' Monaco at Grand Prix time epitomises everything that’s great about Formula One racing: speed, glamour, passion, noise and a hint of danger because the cars are never too far away from the barriers.
The Principality has a lot of history in its own right, with the Grimaldi Family having reigned supreme since 1297. In a Formula One context, the track is one of the greatest challenges on the calendar; it staged its first (pre championship) Grand Prix in 1929 and has remained largely unchanged ever since.
Did you know?
Monaco enjoys an average of 300 days' sunshine per year.
Celebrities flock to the race like bees to a honey pot because it’s the world’s most glamorous sporting event. To name a few that have visited in recent years: actors Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley, soccer star Roberto Carlos and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
“There are too many things to do in Monaco to fit them into 24 hours,” says David Coulthard, who has been a resident in the Principality since 1994. “However, I can suggest a good night out.” (see ‘Where to Go?’ below)
The nearest international airport is Nice in France. The most hassle-free way to enter the Principality from there is by train, with the journey taking around 40 minutes. Alternatively, it’s a 40-minute drive via the autoroute, or an hour if you take the more picturesque coastal road. Bear in mind, however, that parking in Monaco over the race weekend is very difficult, to say the least.
If you want to treat yourself, you could always catch a helicopter from Nice. The views are spectacular and 15 minutes after take off you can be dining by the harbour.
The first thing to remember is that the on-track action starts a day early. Unlike every other race on the Formula One calendar, the first day of practice at Monaco is on Thursday. Friday is traditionally a rest day - ideal for some leisurely sightseeing. There is no such thing as general admission in Monaco because it’s not possible to walk from corner-to-corner. You have to book a grandstand seat, with the cost reflecting the vantage point around the lap.
Unlike in neighbouring France, tipping (‘pourboire’) is not the norm because most restaurants and taxis add 10 percent onto their bills as a matter of routine.
Where to go?
You can take a stroll by the harbour, visit the Jardin Exotique (home to more than 7000 varieties of cacti alone) or walk around the Palais du Prince, the Grimaldi’s official residence for 700 years.
For more of a party weekend, try Colombus Hotel owner David Coulthard’s suggested itinerary: “Arrive into Nice airport in the evening and go straight to the Columbus. Once you’ve checked in, head for dinner at the SAS cafe and, from there, head to the Amber Lounge and dance your ass off. Knackered and hungry? Head for the Tip Top bar for one of their all-night breakfasts.
“In the morning, the Cafe de Paris does the best Bloody Marys around and, your hang-over cured, go to the Casino and lose whatever money you have left!”
Where to stay?
If you have the cash, nothing beats the glamour of staying in Monaco itself. The closer you are to the track, the higher the price and most hotels are booked out months in advance, so plan ahead. Coulthard’s Colombus Hotel is just one of the stylish options available. A more cost-effective choice is to stay along the coast in one of the quaint seaside towns such as Beaulieu Sur Mer. Hotel rooms often cost a fraction of those in Monaco and it is only a short commute by train into the Principality.
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Sickly members of the English and French aristocracies used to travel to the south of France ‘to take the air and recuperate’. While the Cote d’Azur may no longer be the exclusive destination of the rich, there is still something magical - even medicinal - about the air and scenery.
Beaches and mountains are both within easy reach of Monaco. The Alpes Maritimes line the coast and are a great challenge for walkers and cyclists alike. Cannes is a stone’s throw to the west and Nice is linked to Paris by the high-speed TGV train, so you can be in the capital in no time.
“If I have a few days to kill,” says Coulthard, “I hire a boat and head for St Tropez. The beaches there are beautiful and there are some fantastic restaurants too.”
If you fancy Monaco in January, don’t miss the Monte-Carlo Rally. If, however, you prefer circuit racing, the former French Grand Prix venue of Paul Ricard is only a couple of hours away.
Or you can stay on the coast and watch some off-shore power boating, which takes place on a regular basis throughout the summer months.
Circuit de Monaco
Automobile Club de Monaco
23 Boulevard Albert 1er
98000 MC Monaco
Courtesy: Formula One
Your essential Spanish Grand Prix Destination Guide
Barcelona has something to offer everyone, which is why it’s now one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. The narrow, Gothic streets of the old town offer mystique and history, while the modern Eixample district, is full of the latest shops and businesses. In the past three decades the city has gone from strength-to-strength and developed a unique identity within Spain. The Catalan language differentiates the spoken word and the architecture sets the city apart as well.
Barcelona's El Prat de Llobregat airport is 12 kilometres southwest of the city and has connections to all major European destinations. There are trains, buses and taxis connecting the airport and the city. The efficient Metro system provides an easy way for getting around the city centre.
The track is a half-hour drive north of Barcelona. If you're not driving, you can take the train to Montmelo station, which is a half-hour walk from the circuit.
Alonso-mania has hit Spain, with the result that the track is packed every year. However, to meet demand, the organisers have increased grandstand capacity and split ticket prices into four groups.
For food lovers, no stay in Catalunya is complete until you’ve tried ‘Crema Catalana’, the region’s famous egg-based dessert.
Where to go?
The Picasso Museum is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Its collection of the Spanish artist’s work houses is the most extensive in the country and one of the most notable in the world.
The city boasts many other museums - the Nou Camp's Football Museum is a must for soccer fans - and for the best sights, start in the ninth century Old Town and walk, looking out for Gaudi’s architecture, the Gothic Monastery in Pedralbes, the Placa de Catalunya, the Olympic Port and Las Ramblas.
Where to stay?
“For me,” says Alonso, “it has to be the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos. It’s beautiful and very comfortable.” It was built in 1992 to put up the Olympic Committee during the Games and its prices reflect that fact.
There is accommodation to suit all budgets, however. Most of the more affordable hotels are located in the Gothic districts, with the pricier places located in the Eixample.
There is everything you could want in Barcelona. As well as the many tourist attractions in the city, you can head to the beach. There is a four-kilometre stretch of coastline within the city limits, most of which is sandy.
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1. Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas, Los Angeles, California, US
Spotted: Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Miranda Kerr, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola
Nestled in the quiet tree-lined backstreets of West Hollywood just off L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip is where you’ll find the Sunset Marquis Hotel. This classic Hollywood hideaway has been welcoming all sorts of La La Land luvvies, including writers, actors and fashion designers, since 1963. Perhaps its most famous guests, however, have been the kind hoteliers fear the most: party-hard rock stars. The hotel’s most famous, and surprisingly well-behaved, musical check-ins have included The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones and Sheryl Crow. The staff at the Sunset Marquis are famously discreet, which must come in handy when you’re dealing with rock royalty, and the stars keep coming back to enjoy their own private villa and a day in the hotel spa. And if they can’t bear to be parted from their work, there’s an on-site recording studio in which they can blast out their next chart-topper.
2. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
Spotted: Selena Gomez, Roger Federer
From big screen sirens to famous athletes, the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel, is the ultimate in luxury A-list living. Catwalk superstars Claudia Schiffer and Gigi Hadid, as well as tennis ace Roger Federer and actress Selena Gomez, are just a handful of the many celebs to have stayed in this iconic sail-shaped building while holidaying in Dubai. Built on an artificial island, it’s about 300 metres from Jumeirah Beach and connected to the mainland by a private bridge. From the surreal to the sublime, resort facilities include a gold-plated iPad upon check-in, use of a chauffeured Rolls Royce for the duration of your stay and a private reception on each floor. With a staff to suite ratio of eight to one, there are plenty of white-gloved butlers on hand to help make your stay unforgettable. The hotel’s most opulent accommodation is the Royal Suite, situated on the 25th floor, complete with a cinema room, private dining space for twelve and a library – at almost £5,500* a night, you’d have to be royalty to afford a night’s kip here!
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3. Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spotted: Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber
Whether they’re there to party at the carnival or sun their hot bods on Brazil’s beautiful beaches, when the rich and famous head to Rio the Belmond Copacabana Hotel is their preferred holiday residence. This is where Will Smith likes to spend his summertime – take time to sit back and unwind in the designer Louis Vuitton lobby, or chill out in one of Rio’s largest swimming pools. Other famous faces who have stayed in this lavish Art Deco hotel include Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and Helen Mirren. Naturally, their room of choice is usually the penthouse apartment on the sixth floor, which overlooks Copacabana Beach and comes with marble bathrooms, a private pool and butler service included in the room price. To book these swish suites, you'll need to call for a quote.
4. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
Spotted: Colin Firth, Cate Blanchett
Celebs looking for a slice of sophisticated south-of-France chic flock to this elegant retreat set in secluded Riviera parkland. The 117 suites, spread across the main hotel, the original Villa Soliel, the Eden Roc Pavilion and Les Deux Fontaines Residence, are all finished to the same flawless standard, with spectacular views across the sparkling waters of the Cote d’Azure or the sweeping vistas of La Grande Allée. This time of year is possibly one of the busiest for the hotel, which hosts many of the stars attending the Cannes Film Festival – you can easily get from your private terrace to the red carpet across the Croisette by speedboat. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to spot Colin Firth, Johnny Depp or Jennifer Lopez lounging in the hotel bar, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is soon to hit the big screen in the upcoming film Miss Dior, starring Natalie Portman.
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5. Hassler Roma, Rome, Italy
Spotted: Victoria and David Beckham
Right in the heart of Rome, Hassler Roma is the five-star city break stay of choice for the Beckhams, who were spotted here while visiting the Italian capital for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding in 2006. The Hassler has 82 rooms, the most luxurious being the penthouse suites on the seventh floor, which are lavishly decorated with floral fabrics and plush 18th-century furniture. The interiors are great, but what really makes this place is the setting; at the top of the Spanish Steps you’re within spitting distance of the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. Celebs not wanting to be papped while stuffing their faces with all of the delicious (but figure killing) carbs Italy is famous for need not worry – the hotel houses its very own Michelin-starred restaurant, Imàgo. Head chef Francesco Apreda makes sure the kitchen turns out the best bowls of risotto and parmesan cheese ravioli in the whole of Rome.
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6. St. Regis Hotel, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Spotted: the Kardashians, Eva Longoria
Once you’ve seen the overwater love nests and palm-fringed shores of the turquoise lagoon on which the 44-acre resort sits, you’ll understand why this is the hottest celeb spot south of the equator. This Polynesian paradise was Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s honeymoon destination back in 2006; other famous guests include Eva Longoria and the Kardashians. When you’re sick of sunning yourself on your own private terrace overlooking neighbouring islands Raiatea and Taha’a, head to the hotel’s luxury Clarins spa for a spot of South Pacific pampering. Standard amenities in all of the five-star suites include Bose DVD and CD sound systems, 24-hour room service and in-room massage on request. With several dining options, from an American-style buffet breakfast to an on-site sushi restaurant, you’re not likely to starve on this luxury castaway island.
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7. Huka Lodge, North Island, New Zealand
Spotted: Kate Winslet, Michael Douglas, Diana Ross
Nestled on the quiet banks of the Waikato River in New Zealand’s South Island, this super-secluded hotel appeals to celebrities wishing to escape the limelight – although if you’re after full disclosure, Huka Lodge proudly lists their famous check-ins on their website. Seventeen acres of well-manicured gardens help to provide some privacy for guests staying in one of the 25 suites available at the Lodge. A-listers love the Owner’s Cottage; built in 1937, it’s tucked away behind a copse of pine trees, downstream from the spectacular Huka Falls. With a den, a personal chef and a heated spa pool, this is the retreat of choice for the likes of Diana Ross and Michael Douglas. The Junior Lodge Suite starts at about £327* per person per night, while the going rate for one suite (sleeps two) in the Owner’s Cottage is £870 a night.
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8. The Lanesborough, London, UK
Spotted: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West
Hang out with the Sloanies and socialites at the Lanesborough hotel, which overlooks London’s Hyde Park in the affluent area of Knightsbridge. Newly refurbished, this hotel reopened in spring 2015 under the management of the Oetker Collection, who also look after number 4 on this list. The iconic London landmark has been frequented by many famous faces, including Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kanye West, and it mixes Georgian grandeur with 21st-century technology – so you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in The Garden Room before catching up on the headlines with your in-room Sony tablet. All the rooms are fitted with Italian marble bathrooms and come with free WiFi.
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9. Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia
Spotted: Rhianna and Zac Efron
You won’t get a room with a better view than at the Park Hyatt in Sydney. Its 155 spacious suites feel more like city apartments, and because it overlooks the harbour, it offers some stunning panoramas of the Opera House lit up at night or surrounded by luxury yachts cruising the harbour by day. This must be what attracted Rhianna, Lady Gaga and Chris Hemsworth – just a few of the celebs who’ve stayed here. It could be the views, but it could also be something to do with the rooftop pool, the 24-hour butler service or the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, The Dining Room, which serves Aussie classics like kangaroo steak and bluefin tuna. The Park Hyatt turns 25 this year, so look out for some celebratory promotions and discounts on accommodation from now until the end of July.
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10. Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
Spotted: Sarah Jessica Parker
Sex in the City fans will recognise this extravagant Art Nouveau abode from the final episode of the hit TV series – it would seem that SJP’s love for the place is as enduring as Carrie and Big’s romance. Since filming there, this famous fashionista has become the hotel’s biggest ambassador, using her own unique, haute couture style to help promote it. Since opening in 1913, guests have enjoyed Michelin-starred al fresco dining in the hotel’s charming courtyard, exclusive spa treatments in the Dior Institute, as well as dramatic views over the Eiffel Tower from the comfort of their superior suite. Top tip: save a few euros and swap the Royal Suite for the eighth-floor Signature Eiffel Suite, which is smaller but has much better views of the city at a fraction of the cost.
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11. One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Spotted: Lewis Hamilton; Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
Legendary talents looking to let their hair down in Los Cabos have been coming here since 1956, including John Wayne and Bing Crosby, and when love’s young dream (well, more cougar crush) was still flourishing, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore came here for a romantic holiday. Not even the most cunning paparazzo can creep up on guests staying in One&Only’s exclusive accommodation, the Villa Cortez. This modern hacienda hideaway is located on its own private beach, with a private infinity pool, four bedrooms, a gym and a 12-seater cinema room. With a round-the-clock butler – you’ve got an in-room iPhone to beckon them – there’s no need to lift a finger, not even to unpack your luggage, as staff will take care of this for you upon arrival.
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12. The Clarence, Dublin, Ireland
Spotted: Bono and The Edge from U2
Get in bed with Bono, or at least a bed he owns. Dublin’s most rock ‘n’ roll hotel, The Clarence, is owned by the Irish frontman and his U2 band mate, lead guitarist The Edge. Unlike the others on the list, this city hotel is a four star (how could you reduce yourself to such a low!) boutique hotel, rather than a grand affair. Nonetheless, it’s a modern, stylish bolthole in the heart of Dublin. The interiors were custom designed by local Irish artists, featuring rich carpets and heavy drapes. Each of the 50 bedrooms and suites comes with WiFi and a flat-screen TV as standard, but it’s the penthouse that has the greatest celebrity appeal. Let your inner Mozart loose on the baby grand piano in this two-storey apartment, or spend the morning admiring the views across the city after waking up in your super-king-sized bed and sipping fresh coffee courtesy of the in-room Nespresso machine. If the €899 (£638)* a night price tag puts the penthouse out of your rice range, then the classic room is more affordable at €129 (£91) a night based on two people sharing one room.
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13. The Carlyle, New York, US
Spotted: Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge
A Rosewood Hotel, The Carlyle is a classic sleep in New York City. It’s another that has featured on the Beckham’s holiday hit-list, and other celebs who have graced its elegant suites include Mick Jagger and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this sophisticated 193-room property was named after the British essayist Thomas Carlyle, and it remains popular with Brits visiting the Big Apple. It’s the perfect base for exploring some of NYC’s iconic landmarks; the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Plaza are all within walking distance. That is if you can tear yourself away from your hotel room – with luxury interiors, complimentary Kiehl’s toiletries, an iPod docking station and cable TV, you might struggle. If you don’t fancy going far, then the hotel’s restaurant, café and bar serves delicious international food and some of the finest Manhattan cocktails in New York.
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Sochi 2017 Grand Prix Destination Guide - April 28 - 30
Unofficially nicknamed ‘the summer capital of Russia’, the city of Sochi usually enjoys 200 days of sunshine a year, well into October, and is characterised by a unique blend of beautiful scenery, the warm azure waters of the Black Sea and high mountains of the Caucasus, all of which will provide a distinct and spectacular setting for the Grand Prix.
Did you know?
Sochi is home to the northernmost tea plantation in the world, a product of the city’s unique climatic conditions.
Sochi's primary gateway is Sochi International Airport, which is situated just 7 kilometres from the circuit. As befitting a major sporting destination, the city is well served by public transport. To get from the airport to downtown Sochi or the Olympic park, you can take a shuttle bus or travel on the newly-constructed Sochi Aeroexpress railway. Hire cars and taxis are also readily available, though Sochi's numerous parks, beaches and architecture also make it a pleasurable city to walk around.
Don’t forget your swimming costume - or your skis! Sochi’s unique subtropical climate and October race date mean that, in theory, it’s possible for visitors in town for the Grand Prix to be able to both swim in the sea and go skiing in the mountains. Typically the water is warm enough to take a dip between April and October, whilst the skiing season runs between October and May.
It’s worth noting that foreign citizens are required to have a visa to enter the Russian Federation, although a visa is not needed for the tourists from the countries with which the Russian Federation has established a visa-free entry agreement. See the Visa/Passport requirements link at the top of the page for more information.
Where to stay?
As the hub of the so-called ‘Russian Riviera’, Sochi is home to hundreds of hotels and several campsites. In general, Lazarevskoe district offers cheaper accommodation, while Central Sochi and Adler have more expensive options. And don’t forget, Sochi is also famed as a health resort and boasts numerous spas situated around healing mineral springs.
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The Arboretum and Riviera Park are among the city’s most popular destinations. It’s not for nothing that Sochi was awarded the Winter Olympics, and tourists arriving in the region have the option of skiing and snowboarding on the same slopes used in the Games by visiting the world class ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana, just 40 kilometres outside of the city in the magnificent West Caucasus mountains.
The Western Caucasus also contains the Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site that is described as ‘the only large mountain area in Europe that has not experienced significant human impact’. The area includes large tracts of undisturbed mountain forests which are inhabited by numerous wild animals, including bears, wolves and the recently reintroduced European bison.
Closer to the city there are numerous parks, beaches, caves and lakes to explore, all of which are well worth a visit.
There are several other race tracks in Russia, but the only other international standard facility is the Hermann Tilke-designed Moscow Raceway which was opened in 2012 and situated just outside the capital city. Other tracks include the Smolensk Ring and the NRING circuit, both of which are in the west of the country.
354000 Russian Federation
Courtest: Formula 1
Lots of shiny new skyscrapers means that diners in the capital are increasingly looking up, or rather down, out over London, cocktail in hand. We’ve toured the best tables with a view in London to bring you the top spots.
1. Searcy’s The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP
Instantly recognisable, The Gherkin is the world’s most famous pickle and a short stroll from Aldgate tube station in London’s financial district. Book a table at Searcy’s, located on the 39th floor beneath The Gherkin’s domed top, and enjoy romantic views through its triangular windows over the City of London, Tower Bridge and across to the Shard. You might find that the food isn’t quite as imaginative as the building itself: expect finely executed modern British dishes such as crispy pork belly and Gressingham duck breast on the three-course set menu (£45 per person). Ask the sommelier to match wines to what you order, he has some bold choices that are sure to prove an education to even the most knowledgeable oenophile.
2. Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Where do you find the poshest 3am drunk food? It’s never too late (or too early) for Duck and Waffle, one of London’s few 24/7 restaurants. The dining room is on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, which makes it the highest (just) in the UK, with sweeping views across the City of London. Ideally you’re after a table by the window, rather than one of the larger ones in the centre, and most of these tend to be set for two. Chef Daniel Doherty has put together an eclectic, creative menu – try a selection of the small plates, which range from heritage tomatoes (£9) to Dorset crab (£15) or go all out and order the whole roasted chicken, served with truffles (£35 for two people). The eponymous duck and waffle, a crispy duck leg confit served on a waffle with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup, is available all day but perhaps best suited to brunch.
3. Aqua Shard, Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9RY
The Shard’s restaurants are not at the top of the building (so you will have to pay the £25.95 entry fee to View from the Shard and get up there) but Aqua Shard remains well worth a visit for its views northwards across the city. Because you’re not in among the rest of the skyscrapers, you can actually see them all, as well as St Paul’s Cathedral, the BT Tower and Tower Bridge. A better view would be hard to find, and the interior is sleek and understated. The grub isn’t half bad either, from roasted black cod with Welsh rock samphire and pink grapefruit (£36) to twice-roasted Blythburgh belly of free range pork (£28). Aqua Shard also serves afternoon tea from Monday-Friday for £42 and breakfast from £9, making it a great place for birthday treats or just general splurging.
4. Craft London, 1 Green Pl, SE10 0PE
The City isn’t the only part of London to have fantastic, stylish restaurants with a view. This brand new restaurant and cocktail bar, out east on the Greenwich peninsula, was built with the view in mind and is entirely made of glass for a 360-degree view. Settle in on the first floor for panoramas over the river, The 02 and Canary Wharf and order from the thoroughly contemporary menu – the product of a kitchen garden, plenty of fish smoking, bee keeping and meat curing. Dishes are creative, with starters including a scallop, mussel and clam porridge (£14) and charred cabbage sprouts (£8), while mains run the gamut from ash roasted squash (£18) to clay baked duck with honey, broad bean and barley miso and brine-picked carrots and cabbage (£75).
5. Babylon, 99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Kensington’s worst kept secret is the gorgeous Kensington Roof Gardens on top of Art Deco 99 Kensington High Street. Wander the Spanish Garden, its Moorish design based on the Alhambra, and the Tudor Garden, before settling in at Babylon for dinner overlooking the English woodland, and the city skyline beyond. You’re only on the seventh floor but you’ll easily make out the Royal Albert Hall and the top of the London Eye as you dine on contemporary British dishes, such as treacle cured Loch Duart salmon and Cornish crab pasta. Friday and Saturday dinner is £41.50 for two courses, Monday-Thursday you’ll pay à la carte prices, which means £8.50–14 for a starter, £18-33 for a main course.
6. Strada, 2 Tower Bridge House, St Katharine's Way, E1W 1AA
Ok, it’s technically not in a skyscraper, but this place proves that dinner with a view needn’t come with a hefty price tag; one of the best views from any London restaurant is from Italian chain restaurant Strada at Tower Bridge. Here, the famous river crossing practically shoulders its way into the restaurant, catching your eye each time you turn your head and reflected back by large mirrors along the interior wall. Sit outside if it’s warm enough and order Italian classics such as caprese salad (£4.95) followed by a seafood risotto (£13.50) or veal Milanese (£14.95). At weekends you can eat here for under a tenner: the chargrilled chicken and seafood linguine are just £9.95 from 12-6pm Saturdays and all day on Sundays.
Easter 2017. Regularly one of the busiest weekends of the year, we often see a surge in interest as people all over the world look to enjoy the first substantial break of the working year by escaping abroad for a well-earned break. This includes families planning holidays with children freshly home from school, those working in a corporate environment looking for a rest after the busy end of the financial year, and individuals looking to make the most of any remaining snow in the Alps before packing their skis up for the season.
It’s an interesting time of year, with many seeing Easter as the point at which winter transitions to spring, and we can all begin to look forward to the long, warm summer months ahead and put those cold dark evenings behind us. This sense of transition is emphasised by the varied enquries we regularly see for the Easter break.
As mentioned, many are clinging on to the prospect of one last hurrah with a trip to the ski resorts of Switzerland, Austria and France, whilst others are determinedly looking forward, throwing off the shackles of winter as soon as they can and heading to the sunnier climes of the Cote d’Azur, the Costas and Balaerics, or the dusty yet enchanting Marrakech.
Given the high demand commercial airlines see at this time of year, with millions heading through Europe’s major airports, prices for any remaining seats – even on budget airlines – are often measured in the many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
Chartering a private jet for the Easter weekend is therefore a very realistic and viable alternative, with any discrepancy in price more than compensated for by the speed, efficiency and comfort offered, as well as the ability in most cases for private jets to travel direct to airports much closer to your final destination, and to which commercial airlines are simply not able to go.
This is even more so the case if one is able to take advantage of any empty leg flights that we are able to offer (see our regularly updated schedule of available empty legs here..)
So if you are planning a last minute break this Easter, please get in touch with us at Villiers for a quote.
It’s not just for spring-breakers. Cancun, with its golden beaches and perfect climate, is the premiere coastal destination in Mexico. And while there is certainly a 365-day party available for college students, resorts cater well to families and to those seeking solitude. This Yucatan paradise is also the gateway to the ruins of Tulum and Chichén Itzá. Save up to 30% on Smart Deals.
See the iconic highlights of Japan on a 3-day guided tour to Mt Fuji, Kyoto and Nara. Visit revered Mt Fuji, take a boat cruise on Lake Ashi and an aerial tram ride up Mt Komagatake. Head to Kyoto on the bullet train and take in the beautiful city on a morning tour to the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Then see Nara’s famous sites including Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and Nara Park (Deer Park). Stay two nights in Kyoto with optional return to Tokyo.
What to Expect
Your 3-day tour includes all transportation, two nights in Kyoto in your choice of tourist class or first class accommodations, a professional guide in the daytime, and the evenings free to spend at your leisure. Your guide and hotel are happy to offer recommendations for restaurants and other places to see in your free time. Have the option to return to Tokyo late on the third day or remain in Kyoto, the choice is yours.
Occasionally weather conditions at Mt Fuji may necessitate itinerary changes. If an activity is not possible, a substitution will be provided. If any sites in Kyoto or Nara are closed on the day of your visit, a substitute site will be visited. Both cities have a wealth of amazing places to see.
Pickup is available at the following select locations in Tokyo:
ANA InterContinental Tokyo, Cerulean Tower Tokyu, Courtyard by Marriot Tokyo Ginza, Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal, Hyatt Regency, Keio Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Tokyo in Ikebukuro, New Sanno (pickup service is only available for guests staying at the hotel), Tokyo Dome Hotel, New Otani Tokyo, and Tokyo Station
Concludes at Tokyo Train Station between 9-10pm or in the morning at Kyoto (depending on option chosen)
Day 1: Tokyo – Kyoto (L)
After morning pickup, enjoy a scenic 2.5-hour drive by deluxe coach to the Mt Fuji. Spend approximately 20 minutes learning from your guide about the history and geological details of Japan’s highest mountain. Browse informational displays about the revered mountain and get amazing views from the second floor observation deck.
Then continue halfway up the mountain to Mt Fuji’s 5th Station at 7,545 feet (2,300m). Follow your guide on a stroll around the area’s shrines, torii gates and souvenir shops as you take in more views of Mt Fuji and nearby lakes (visibility is weather dependent). Afterward, enjoy a typical Japanese-style lunch at a restaurant that looks out on Mt Fuji.
Continue to nearby Lake Ashi in Hakone National Park for a boat cruise on a pirate ship! Relax as you glide across the water, taking in views of Mt Fuji, Mt Komagatake and other mountains that surround the lake. Then, take the Hakone Ropeway, an aerial tram with amazing vistas over sparkling Lake Ashi, the Izu islands and majestic Mount Fuji.
After visiting Hakone, your guide transfers you to a Shinkansen train (bullet train) bound for Kyoto. When you arrive in Kyoto, a driver takes you to your hotel where you have the evening free to spend at your leisure.
Overnight: Kyoto (tourist class: New Miyako Hotel, Rihga Royal Hotel or similar; first class: Kyoto Hotel Okura, Hotel Monterey Kyoto or similar)
Day 2: Kyoto and Nara (L)
After morning pickup from your hotel, experience Kyoto on a guided morning tour of the highlights of this beautiful city. First, stop to peruse Nijo Castle, built in 1603 for the Tokugawa Shogun. Continue to one of the most popular Kyoto temples, Kinkakuji Temple, where you see the celebrated Golden Pavilion and exquisite gardens. Then head to the ancient Kyoto Imperial Palace and learn from your guide about the architecturally stunning complex where the Emperor of Japan once lived with his family.
Have a Japanese-style lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Center before proceeding to Nara, where the first permanent capital of Japan was established in 710. Visit one of Japan’s most beloved and historically significant temples, the 8th-century Todai-ji Temple. Follow your guide to the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall) and marvel at the enormous bronze Buddha statue. Next, visit Kasuga Taisha Shrine, a famous Shinto shrine with 3,000 glowing antique bronze and stone lanterns. Wrap up your afternoon at the Nara Park (Deer Park) where hundreds of tame deer freely roam; you can even feed them if you wish! Then return to your Kyoto hotel for an evening at your leisure.
Day 3: Kyoto – Tokyo (optional return)
Spend the day sightseeing at your leisure and return to Tokyo by bullet train in the evening, or choose to stay on in Kyoto. If you choose to return to Tokyo, your train arrives into Tokyo Station in the late evening. Please see Additional Info for details.
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