Menu
One Venues 3

One Venues 3

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One Venues 2

One Venues 2

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One Venues

One Venues

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One fashtion 4

One fashtion 4

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One fashtion 3

One fashtion 3

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One fashtion 1

One fashtion 1

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One fashtion

One fashtion

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One Club 4

One Club 4

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One Club 3

One Club 3

Pellentesque habitant mor...

One Club 2

One Club 2

Pellentesque habitant mor...

Prev Next
Articles

Articles (9)

Wine in the New World of Chile and Argentina

Wine in the New World of Chile and Argentina 

The vineyards of South America have, by now, well and truly lodged themselves in the world of wine. Where once the Old World of Europe dominated the industry – and came with an elevated reputation – today the viticulture scene has expanded to welcome in the Americas and Australasia. Leading the charge for South America are the nations of Chile and Argentina, producing vintages that can compete with the very best of Europe’s. 

To examine the ascendance of these two wine-making nations, we’ve taken a look athotels in Chile and Argentina that are located in vineyards. This is the kind of vacation destination that forces you to slow down and savor the moments, from the first sip of a new vintage to a gentle walk through vine-covered valleys.Forget tour buses wheeling you around Napa or exploring crowded domainesin Burgundy; stay in the wild landscapes of South America for a flavorsome trip into wine’s brave new world. 

 

Argentina 

The Vines Resort & Spa

One of the chief appeals of Argentina’s wine country, and in particular the region surrounding Mendoza, is that the landscape is as beautiful as the wines it produces. Take the Udo Valley’s Vines Resort & Spa, a collection of villas facing awe-inspiring mountain views. A trip here could involve yoga by a natural lagoon, meals created by world-famous chef Francis Mallman, and private breakfasts as the sun rises over snow-capped peaks. 

You’re most likely to visit, however, for the wine, which is every bit as exquisite as the location. Nearby GimenezRIili winery is a family-run business that welcomes guests to explore its grounds. In the Vines Resort itself, you can help out inseason with planting and punching grapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a guided tasting session in the hotel’s atmospheric barrel room.

 

Algodon Wine Estate

Plan ahead if you want a stay in the Algodon Wine Estate, as this award-winning vineyard has a limited number of rooms. If you manage to snag a spot at this exclusive destination though, the reward is a hotel that combines total luxury, vast grounds to explore, and some of Mendoza’s finest wines. The historic winery is best known for its Malbecs and Bonarda wines; you can sample some of their vintages from the moment you arrive, with a complimentary bottle awaiting you in your suite. Enjoy your glass of red by the edge of the swimming pool or on your private patio, which looks out over the rolling grounds of the estate. There are around 2,000 acres to explore, which you can do from the back of a golf cart during your stay.

 

Chile

 

Vina Vik

Whether it’s down to beginner’s luck or pure talent, Alexander Vik’s first winery is an astonishing success. It seems almost unfair that the multi-skilled hotelier could also turn his hand to viticulture and produce something so impressive, seemingly without any effort. Vina Vik is now steadily producing a stream of delectable wines, focused on Chilean varietals such as Carmenère, with a vineyard hotel to match it for quality and taste. 

The location has been very precisely chosen; the Millahue Valley has a terroir perfectly suited to growing grapes, with mountain views encircling the vineyards. In the middle of it all is the striking Vina Vik hotel, a boutique, modernist venue with one eye firmly on its artistic and architectural value. Chilean architect Smiljan Radic designed the futuristic accommodation, picking a titanium roof as an homage to the work of Frank Gehry. Each of the 22 rooms is unique, with eye-catching artwork and sleek design features to maximize comfort. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of gorgeous wine with expansive views of the glorious valley below.

 

Matetic’s Hotel La Casona

If you prefer something a little more traditional than the Modernist stylings of Vina Vik, head to Hotel La Casona. This is located in the heart of Matetic’s vineyards, the vintner known for creating organic, biodynamic wines, with a particular reputation for their punchy Syrah. The hotel is a stylishly converted estate from the early 20th century, surrounded by elegant gardens and vine-covered valleys. Staying here feels a little like being part of the family, as you observe a working farm and vineyard carrying on with daily life during your stay. 

Your time here includes a trip into the Matetic vineyards to learn about the processes behind creating the company’s acclaimed vintages. Of course, you’ll end the excursion with a tasting session, where you can enjoy samples from their celebrated EQ range.

Read more...

Why Your Next Trip Should Be to Costa Rica

Why Your Next Trip Should Be to Costa Rica 

Costa Rica, situated in the heart of the Central American isthmus, is smaller than West Virginia, with an area of about 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers).However, this compact country still manages to be phenomenally diverse in its geography, wildlife, and attractions. Between its two coastlines, you can find awe-inspiring beaches, dense jungles, soaring mountains, and laid-back cities. 

A trip here could involve adventures down white-water rivers or joining in with conservation efforts to help preserve the nation’s rich ecology. Equally, you could just spend your time surfing, sunbathing, and diving on whichever beach appeals to you. Either way, Costa Rica beckons to the intrepid traveler, promising an experience full of wonder and excitement.

 

Wonderful Wildlife

Animal fanatics and environment enthusiasts take note: Costa Rica is a biodiverse marvel. The seas on either shore teem with multicolored marine life, while the interior hosts a vast rainforest, home to big cats, sloth, crocodiles, and exotic birds. Numerous wildlife tour operators can take you into this dense world, making an intimidating landscape accessible to the uninitiated and offering you the chance to spot some rare and beautiful creatures. One of the most exhilarating ways to do this is from the back of a raft; keep your eyes peeled for bright birds perched in the trees and sloths hanging lazily from their branches. Equally, you could visit a local wildlife rescue center to guarantee sightings of ocelots, pumas, and jaguars. 

The stars of Costa Rica’s show are its sea turtles, which glide gracefully through the warm waters and use the beaches for hatching. Help out with the conservation projects that look to protect these magnificent creatures, taking part in beach patrols and night watches to preserve their nesting grounds. Few wildlife experiences can match the thrill of watching hatchlings flop their way into the ocean. Numerous tour operators now organize trips to Costa Rica with an ecological angle, so you can meet these gorgeous animals while helping to protect them for future generations.

 

Beautiful Beaches

Take your pick of coastlines to explore in Costa Rica. It’s a narrow country, so you can travel between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in a day. The latter is more laid-back, the destination to choose if you want to see coral reefs, four different species of turtle (including the endangered green turtle), and restaurants serving up spicy Afro-Caribbean dishes. Chill out in towns such as Puerto Viejo de Talamanca or compact Cahuita for a beach break with nothing but sun, sand, and sea for your entire trip.  

The Pacific Coast is wilder, showing why the peaceful name of the ocean has always been misleading. The waves here make it a dream destination for watersports enthusiasts, who flock to the coast for some of the best surf in Central America. There’s no shortage of wildlife or blissful beaches on this side. Manuel Antonio National Park offers rainforests, white sand, and coral reefs, while the Osa Peninsula is your best place for whale watching. Whichever ocean you visit, you’ll quickly discover why the land was named the “rich coast.”

 

Sensational Cities

Your trip to Costa Rica will probably take you into San José, the capital city in the heart of the country. Don’t rush out of the city to reach your mountain, coast, or forest destination, though, as the charming capital offers an array of attractions for visitors willing to explore its bustling center. 

Begin your journey in the Plaza de la Cultura, in the city’s downtown district. It’s the ideal launching point for exploring the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum and the National Theater. Wander around Barrio Amónto enjoy colonial buildings and popular art galleries, or seek out some of the quieter corners of the city. Parque Morazán, Parque Nacional, and ParqueEspaña create peaceful green spaces and hide attractive architecture within their greenery. Best of all, San José is an increasingly trendy place to be as the night rolls in, with a burgeoning craft beer scene and an enticing collection of restaurants in the Barrio Escalante neighborhood. 

San José isn’t Costa Rica’s only town worth exploring, either. None of the country’s urban areas feel too crowded – even the capital has a population under 350,000 – while many offer amenities and accommodation with quick access to the coasts or forests. Monteverde and Santa Elena are twin towns with numerous ecotourism options for delving into the rainforest, while Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is the place to go for that laid-back Caribbean vibe. 

Read more...

Taking the Road Less Travelled

Taking the Road Less Travelled 

There’s an uncomfortable truth in the world of travel that many tourists are avoiding: some of the most famous cities in the world are simply becoming too busy. Visit Rome’s Vatican Museums, or the Louvre in Paris during July, and you’ll be swept up in a tide of eager tourists that will rush you through these undeniably world-class attractions. That’s why 21st-century travel is all about leaving the well-worn paths behind and seeking out the world’s lesser-known delights. Our planet is full of incredible cities that are yet to hit the tourist mainstream, so we’ve highlighted five below that will seriously reward the curious traveler.

 

Columbus, Indiana

In 2017, a micro-budget independent film named Columbus was released and was beloved by the audiences that managed to catch it during its short time in movie theaters. It was, among many things, a love letter to the enchanting American city of its title. Not many cities get films named after them, but this off-the-radar destination in southern Indiana, with a population of only 45,000, is fully deserving of artistic admiration. Why? Because it’s one of the most architecturally diverse cities in the country. I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, Deborah Berke and Richard Meier are just a few of the superstar architects that make Columbus such an aesthetically bold city. Take an architectural walking tour of the city and marvel at the striking Modernist buildings. Here, the libraries, schools and churches all showcase remarkable 20th-century designs.

 

Trieste, Italy

Trieste doesn’t try to compete with other cities in Northern Italy for attention. It would be hard to challenge Venice, which is only 100 miles away andbrings in a non-stop flow of visitors to its gilded canals. Yet that just makes it more of a treat for the people who do venture a little further east to this isolated city. Come here to sip on delectable espressos in cafés to rival the famous coffee houses of Vienna. Throughout its history, Trieste’s strategic location meant that dozens of different nations occupied it, leading to an intoxicating mixture of buildings from different nations and eras scattered throughout the city. The highlight is the sea-facing Piazza dell Unitàd’Italia, where you won’t be troubled by tourists as you gape in awe at the 19th-century Palazzo del Municipio.

 

Toulouse, France

France just has too many incredible places to visit. When so many travelers put Paris, the Côte d'Azur and the chateaux of the Loire Valley on their itineraries, few people spare a thought for somewhere as joyful and scenic as Toulouse. All the better, then, for the people who do make the trip to this picturesque city. Parts of its historic center look like an impressionist painting, with its pastel-pink façades and its canal running through tunnels of trees. The Basilica of Saint-Sernin, meanwhile, is a medieval architectural marvel, while its art galleries hold multiple works by European masters. 

 

Cadiz, Spain

Bleached white buildings roll down the edges of dusty cliffsides in scenic Cadiz, a town so often overlooked in favor of Spain’s big hitters. It’s baffling that this ancient marvel of a destination, which sits on a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic, remains largely undiscovered by tourists. Over 3,000 years of history have shaped the town, which seems sleepily reluctant to leave its past behind. For a European escape where there is never a pressure to do anything or be anywhere, head to thecobbled streets of Cadiz to spend your days feasting on seafood and enjoying the remarkable views. If you do find that you need to scratch that sightseeing itch, there are cathedrals, castles, and theaters to suit even the most avid culture vulture.

 

Gothenburg, Sweden

Sweden’s second city may not be as famous as Stockholm, but it has a punky, post-industrial edge that has seen it grow in popularity as a tourist destination in recent years. Catch it now, while it’s still sufficiently off the beaten track, and enjoy its laid-back atmosphere and hipster charm. It’s easy to fill your hours here with sightseeing; the Museum of Art and the City Museum offer history and fine art in equal measure, while RödaSten and the Röhsska Museum showcase modern Sweden as a center of design and fashion. Kids, meanwhile, will love the interactive joys of the Universeum, a sprawling science museum on the outskirts of the city. Don’t spend all your time hopping between the sights, though. Make sure you find time to pause for a coffee break, or fika, in a trendy neighborhood like Haga, where the historic streets buzz with students and workers slowing down to appreciate the old-world ambience.

Read more...

Swimming in Infinity

Swimming in Infinity 

Is there anything that so effortlessly conveys peace and luxury as an infinity pool? This increasingly popular feature in hotels and vacation properties is characterized by a dropped wall facing outwards, allowing you to rest your arms up against the edge of the water with uninterrupted views of whatever landscape unfolds in front of you. 

Infinity pools create such an ecstatic feeling that the travel industry is swiftly adding them to properties all around the world. New pools pop up regularly, often in locations of spectacular natural beauty, while many hotels now put their pools in the front and center of their marketing. We’ve collected a list of tenof the most scenic swimming spots around the world: in hidden ruins; facing open seas;tumbling into dense forests. So,plunge into our list to discover some of the finest infinity pools that the planet has to offer.

 

Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore

Perhaps the most famous infinity pool of all sits at the top of the Marina Bay Sands tower, in the aptly named Skypark. You’re 57 levels up, with uninterrupted views of the immaculate and exhilarating city of Singapore. To us, that makes it the best place to be as the sun begins to set over its glistening, glass skyscrapers.

 

Playa Vik, Uruguay

Experience the giddiness of defying gravity by swimming to the edge of Playa Vik’s famous infinity pool. It juts out from the edge of the hotel, apparently hovering over the landscape below, giving the water the appearance of flowing straight into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Four Seasons, Serengeti

Wildlife watching isn’t always about taking a drive into the wilderness. At the Four Seasons in the Serengeti, you can safely watch some of Tanzania’s most glorious creatures from the cooling comfort of its infinity pool. Simply dive in and watch as elephants, giraffes, and more come to drink at the watering hole, which is convenientlylocated opposite the hotel.

 

Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

Some say this is the best pool in the world and it’s easy to see why. Two tiers of elegant, curved pools seem to cascade like a waterfall into the forest below. The hotel is located in the remote mountains of the island of Bali, so you can cool off in total serenity. Even better: each villa has a private infinity pool, too.

 

Anantara Golden Triangle, Thailand

The “golden triangle” of the hotel’s title refers to the three countries that you can see from the vantage point of the pool. Drift gracefully up to its dramatic edge and look out over the verdant forests stretching out in front of you, which hide the borders between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

 

Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are undeniably awe-inspiring, a haven of weird and wonderful wildlife preserved from the outside world by the ocean. Explore these unforgettable islands, then cool off in the infinity pool at Pikaia Lodge, which offers panoramic views of the National Park as its dramatic backdrop.

 

HuvafenFushi, Maldives

As the demand for infinity pools grows, so too does the innovation in their design. This lagoon-facing resort comes with an eye-catching feature that is best appreciated at night – the infinity pool glows with the lights of fiber-optics, creating an ethereal atmosphere to make you feel like you’re swimming in the stars. Uninterrupted views of the archipelago only enhance the experience.

 

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona

Cool off from the Catalonian sun by taking a dip in the rooftop plunge pool of the Grand Hotel Central. As the name suggests, it’s located in the heart of Barcelona, so from this atmospheric spot you can swim with unbeatable views of the historic Born district and the rest of the city unravelling in the distance.

 

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Paradise is an overused word when it comes to tropical islands, but you’ll struggle to think of any more appropriate descriptions when swimming at Jade Mountain. As you rest your arms on the edge of the pool and drink in the view, you’ll drink in incredible views of the green peak of Petit Piton dropping into the rich, blue waters of Soufriere Bay below.

 

The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden, Switzerland

If you prefer mountains to beaches, then the Cambrian Hotel has the infinity pool for you. The vista from it tranquil turquoise waters is a knockout, as you see snowcapped peaks and ridges plunging into a forested valley. The hotel is located near some of Switzerland’s most thrilling pistes, so where better to unwind after a day on the slopes?

Read more...

Modern Metropolises of the East: Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur

Modern Metropolises of the East: Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur  Stylish Singapore

The concept of a city break has been revolutionized by the ultramodern metropolises of Asia and the Middle East. Few cities have embraced the future of urban spaces as wholeheartedly as Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.Picture one of these cities and you’ll immediately know what we mean: awe-inspiring steel and glass skyscrapers refracting sunlight onto city centers buzzing with life; innovative green spaces breathing fresh life into the area; leisure-seekers thronging to megamalls or finding unexpected attractions. 

If you’re looking for a city break that dazzles you with each new sight and where boredom is never an option, these three destinations share the same aspirational attitudes, gravity-defying skylines, and irresistible cultural dynamism.

Stylish Singapore

Sample image

Not many cities can match Singapore for its immaculate cleanliness and constant innovation. Take the Gardens by the Bay, a “forest” of synthetic trees with greenery climbing up the side of each purple trunk. It represents the best of Singapore, combining cutting-edge architecture and eye-catching designs with a dedication to bringing nature into the heart of the city. 

You’ll see the same blend of ideas in popular attractions such as the Marina Bay Sands, a resort combining museums, hotels, and shopping malls in strikingly designed buildings. Families will undoubtedly be enchanted by attractions such as the Night Safari – a zoo of nocturnal animals – and Universal Studios Singapore. 

One of Singapore’s most appealing features is its open embrace of multiculturalism. The neighborhoods of Little India and Chinatown transport you to different corners of the planet, while the flavors of Singapore are equally global. Stroll around one of the night markets or glistening malls to pick up snacks and meals from all around the world.  

Dazzling Dubai

Dubai is a city for dreamers, where if you have the idea of creating an entirely artificial island or skiing in the deserts of the Middle East, you can make it happen. The results of Dubai’s ambitions can be seen everywhere you look, from possibly the most luxurious hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab, to its tallest building, the BurjKhalifa. Dubai’s growing significance as a global financial hub has been matched by its increasing popularity as a vacation destination; the city’s effortlessly efficient tourism infrastructure means that sometimes it can feel like one big playground. 

Megamalls such as the Dubai Mall or the Mall of the Emirates bring in the crowds seeking high-end shopping, hours of entertainmentand, yes, an afternoon of skiing on snowy slopes. Parks such as the Miracle Garden and Zabeel Park cheerily defy their desert location by staying resolutely green and colorful. The beaches of Dubai are equally enticing, offering waterparks, sunbathing, and swimming in safe, clean water. 

If the hypermodernity of Dubai can feel overwhelming, you’re never too far away from the traditional side of the nation. The city’s souks, running along the edges of Dubai Creek, feel a world away from the megamalls, packed into narrow alleyways where the air is filled with the smell of spices and the sound of haggling.

Charismatic Kuala Lumpur 

Sample image

Kuala Lumpur – or KL as its fondly known by its residents – may feel a bit more chaotic than Dubai or Singapore. Yet the louder, busier atmosphere here only enhances the restless energy of Malaysia’s exhilarating capital. Like those other two futuristic destinations, KL has an abiding affection for cloud-piercing skyscrapers and sleek, multifunctional malls. Its skyline is instantly recognizable by the two Petronas Towers, among the tallest in the world and linked by a dizzying skybridge. 

It’s also a city that has carved impressive amounts of space out of its bustling center to make room for peaceful parks. Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, for instance, is a maze of walking trails through tranquil greenery, with botanical gardens, beds blooming with orchids, and even two of the city’s finest museums. The Batu Caves, in the north of the city, are rich with history and culture – and are also home to a gang of mischievous macaques who will look to poach your lunch. 

The primary appeal of KL, however, is probably its mouthwatering food scene, where delicious dishes are only ever a few paces away. “You can head out and find food 24 hours a day – even on a public holiday,” explains Pauline Lee of Simply Enak, who take visitors on food tours of the city. You could be snacking on street food in a night market one moment and dining on Michelin-starred dishes the next. Don’t miss the chance to try nasi lemak, Malaysia’s delicious national dish of coconut milk rice served with fried fish and beans.

Read more...

Retro Beach Chic in Finolhu

Retro Beach Chic in Finolhu 

The Maldives, an archipelago of miniature, picture-perfect islands, keys, and atolls, is home to some of the most heart-stopping, book-your-vacation-now beach resorts in the world. It’s amarket crowded with excellence, where unbelievably beautiful villas, huts, and hotels perch on the edge of golden beaches and glistening, aquamarine waters. Into this competitive world of high-end oceanic elegancestepsFinolhu, a luxury beach resort with a resolutely retro vibe. It’s a 21st-century development, but the atmosphere feels like a return to an earlier, halcyon era of island vacations.

 

Reimagining Retro

Located on the compact Baa Atoll near the port island of Hithaadhoo, Finolhu is a relative newcomer to the scene. It opened in the summer of 2016, created by The Small Maldives Island Co., the team behind AmillaFushi. This isn’t your typical Maldives beach destination, though. Far from blending in with the crowd of vacation villas in the island nation, this resort opened with a distinct sense of trend-bucking. While Finolhu is undeniably ultramodern in its facilities and accommodation, the ambience is irresistibly timeless. 

You’ll experience this atmosphere in its seven different styles of villa, which are laid out to follow the curve of the long, thin island. Choose a hut on the beach, out on the water, or by the lagoon, either with or without a swimming pool. Each house is decorated immaculately and eclectically, with an eye on keeping things ageless. Straw roofs, wooden feature beams, and bold colors hark back to a different era of beach villas, recalling the international travel boom of the mid-20th century. The chic, playful stylings belie the wealth of modern features in the villas. Expect organic body products stocked in every sleek bathroom, plus the latest in Hi-Fi and Wi-Fi.

 

Relax and Revitalize

If the private areas are appealingly styled like the beach huts of the 1960s and 70s, then the communal spaces only double down on this aesthetic. Spa and wellbeing center The Cove continues the retro revival, with pastel-colored huts inviting visitors to unwind beneath the experienced palms of masseurs and therapists. Each hut celebrates an iconic diva from the era. The Cove also features hair salons for men and women, as well as saunas, beauty parlors, and yoga areas for a holistic approach to ensuring your wellbeing while you’re staying in Finolhu. 

The whole atoll contributes to this feeling of revitalization, thanks, in part, to the effortlessly laid-back ambience. Palm trees and calm waters are the natural charms of the island, but the manmade additions only enhance the chilled-out atmosphere. Take one of its dining destinations, the Fish & Crab Shack, where the service is quick but the pace of life is glacial. Sit back, feast on perfectly prepared shellfish, and watch the crystalline waters of the lagoon lap against the sand. Foodies will fall hard for Finolhu – acclaimed chef Luke Mangan oversees the dining on the island, with restaurants serving Australian barbecue, Asian fusion and more. 

Cocktails are always in plentiful supply, served in the Baa BaaBeach Club while you dance to popular DJs at themed parties. 1 Oak Beach Club is situated in the heart of the island, offering an exhaustive array of evening activities. The cinema here screens, you guessed it, classic movies (as well as the occasional major sporting event), and a gaming arcade promises an entertaining nostalgia trip for anyone with fond memories of Pacman. You may not want to leave your luxurious villa and that’s cool, too. Simply order in cocktails and watch the sunsetting over the sea from your private balcony.

 

Exciting Entertainment

When you do want to pick up the pace a little bit and experience some high-speed thrills, Finolhu offers some very 21st-century options. There’s nothing retro about jet-skiing, wakeboarding or wind-surfing. The Marine HUB on the island also offers dive trips for intrepid underwater explorers; the Baa Atoll is a UNESCO-protected biosphere, teeming with diverse sea life. Of course, Finolhu never truly leaves its love for the past behind – one of the HUB highlights is taking a sailing excursion on a traditional sailing boat, the Sloop John B. 

Children are more than welcome in this relaxed resort. The Oceaneers Club is tailored to kids, with a range of activities to suit their particular tastes. There are pools with water slides, cooking classes for future chefs, and craft activities for the creative kids. Older children can even don a snorkel and goggles for a trip into the lagoon, where they can experience the wonderful underwater world of the Indian Ocean.

 

 

Read more...

Cocktails and Cityscapes in London

Cocktails and Cityscapes in London 

London has more than one iconic skyline. The City of London financial district is a strange array of disparate skyscrapers, from the gorgeous (the Shard) to the unusual (the Walkie-Talkie). Big Ben and the London Eye lie further west along the bend of the Thames, while if you head east you reach Canary Wharf and the O2 arena – another instantly recognizable corner of the city. 

The best way to see the cityscapes of London is from high up in the air, where you can take in all of the sights at once. Unless you’re working in an office block or flying over the city, your best chance at achieving a raised vantage point is visiting one of the many rooftop or skyscraper bars that offer a drink with a view. So, to help you find the ideal place for appreciating London’s landmarks, we’ve picked out some of the best spots that combine sundowners and scenery.

 

Bar Elba

Waterloo is perfectly positioned on the bend of the river for views in different directions of London. That means you’ll be able to see the city’s skyscrapers to the north, the houses of Parliament to the west, and the Shard to the east. The bar itself has a laid-back, colorful atmosphere with long communal bencheswhich encourage friendliness and interaction between the patrons. The only challenge is choosing from its extensive and mouthwatering cocktail menu.

 

Rumpus Room

London City’s financial district provides the dramatic backdrop to an evening in the Rumpus Room. This stylish bar is situated right on the edge of the Thames, with a glass interior and a balcony that’s often buzzing with activity. Enjoy expertly prepared cocktails dreamt up by some of the best in the business, listen to live music every Wednesday, and gaze out at iconic landmarks such as the Gherkin and St. Paul’s.

 

Heron Tower

Snag yourself a window seat in one of Heron Tower’s two sky-high bars and you’re in for a treat. This imposing skyscraper is right in the heart of London City, hosting a concert hall, theater, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on its lower floors. Head up to the 38th floor for Sushisamba, an elegant restaurant with a tree offering shade over the bar area. Climb two floors up for the Duck and Waffle, a sophisticated British restaurant with dizzying views. Dress smartly if you want to bag a spot in this high-end, high-altitude spot. 

 

Capeesh Sky Bar

If you’re in Canary Wharf for business or just dropping by the nearby museums, pay a visit to Capeesh Sky Bar. Your views of the Docklands, Greenwich, and the Thames are complemented by quality cocktails and delicious snacks. Amazingly, it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag to match its impressive vistas.

 

Radio Rooftop Bar

The exclusivity and higher prices of the famous Radio Rooftop Bar are enough to put off many potential customers, but those who do venture here are rewarded with unparalleled views of central London. You’re positioned perfectly between the river, the West End and London City, so there’s something to see in every direction.

 

Madison

London’s most famous cathedral, St. Paul’s, is the star attraction in Madison. You’ll find this reasonably priced bar on the top floor of the shopping center One New Change, with a dream location opposite the iconic domed church. If you’re just here for the views, skip the bar and head straight to the roof; and remember to bring your camera.

 

Frank’s Café

Eschewing the dress codes and sophistication of central London’s rooftop bars, Frank’s is all about low-key vibes. This popular Peckham establishment still comes with great views – almost the entire skyline is visible from this South London spot – but it’s situated on top of a car parking lot. The converted space is simultaneously edgy and welcoming as a result, with a crackling atmosphere on hot summer nights.

 

Coq d’Argent

With the French word for “money” or “silver” in the name, you can expect to spend a little more in this central London location. Splash out and the rewards are significant. Elegant rooftop gardens in the very heart of London and delectable French cuisine make this a desirable destination, ideal for a date or wowing business clients.

 

The Shard

It makes sense that the tallest building in London has some of the best views. Book ahead for a spot in the Gong, the highest of the Shard’s three bars, and settle in for some delicious cocktails while gazing out at the rest of London. The only catch? You can’t see the Shard from the top of the Shard.

Read more...

Halotherapy and Wellbeing

Halotherapy and Wellbeing – or How Salt Improves Your Health 

Salt is often thought to be an enemy of good health. Dieticians treat table salt with suspicion and warn against overconsumption. But for as long as minerals have been coursing through the water systems, people have recognized that salt has healing properties too. Halotherapy – the use of salt medicinally – is an age-old form of treatment that appears in records dating back to the lifetime of Hippocrates. In fact, Hippocrates himself recommended inhaling steam from salt-water to help with breathing. This isn’t some ancient and defunct cure, though, as it has re-emerged time and time again, gaining particular popularity in the mid-19th century as an aid to respiratory problems. 

Recently, salt therapy has re-emerged as a medical aid, particularly targeting breathing and skin problems, while some claim that it has positive effects on mental health, too. It’s drug-free, which many find to be an enticing aspect of the treatment; usually the only ingredients involved are air and salt, so you can be confident that the process is natural. You might sometimes hear it referred to as speleotherapy, a name that comes fromthe healing properties of going underground. Numerous salt caves are subterranean, separating you from the polluted, noisy and stressful world above the surface. 

The wellbeing and travel industries have responded to this growing trend by opening up halotherapy centers around the world. Some use abandoned salt mines, while others create artificial rooms where microscopic salt particles waft through the controlled air. Below, we’ve highlighted somepopular halotherapy spots around the world, so you can try it out on your travels. Speak to your doctor if you’re looking to try out halotherapy in conjunction with your usual treatments.

 

Healing Salt Caves, Niagara Falls, Canada

Relax in atmospheric artificial salt caves where Polish pink salt seems to drip from the walls like candle wax, just moments away from one of North America’s natural wonders. Take a seat in the main cave, where the orange light glows softly, and feel your body begin to unwind. This is one of only a few salt caves that uses licensed medical devices, creating a tightly controlled microclimate in the cave to allow the free flow of salt particles through the air. You’ll want to take your shoes off, too, as the ground is made up of fine, pink sand that further enhances the tranquility of the underground spa.

 

The Salina Turda Salt Mine, Turda, Romania

The vast mines of Salina Turda are awe-inspiring. You don’t even need to havea spa treatment to experience this abandoned salt mine complex, which has been transformed into a subterranean amusement park. While you’re underground, the salty walls will fill the air with a natural kind of halotherapy, even if you’re just here to play mini golf or to explore a recreated salt mine. There is a spa on site, however, complete with gym and pool facilities.

 

The Salt Caves, United Kingdom

This chain of wellness centers has made salt therapy its main event, creating peaceful, artificial salt caves in several cities around the UK. Everything is crafted to serve the visitor, ensuring total relaxation by providing toys for your children and a tranquil ambience in meticulously controlled microclimates. The Salt Caves’ tech is among the best in the business, andit is the only halotherapyprovider in the UK to employ the Breeze Tronic Pro device to recreate the sensations of being in a naturally occurring salt cave.

 

5-Star Salt Caves, Denver

Stepping into these Colorado salt caves feels like visiting another planet. Dusky pink bricks create an otherworldly glow, while the ceiling is shaped into natural ripples of pink salt. Leave behind all of your tech when entering – not only are they a point of distraction and stress, but phones and tablets release the kind of ions that salt therapy aims to counteract. There’s a refreshing simplicity to the 5-Star caves. Here, it’s just you, your thoughts, and a room of calming pink salt.

 

Salt Rooms Australia, Bondi Junction

Halotherapy is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, too, as people seek out the medicinal properties of salt. Grey salt walls and luxurious chairs in secluded booths create an atmosphere where you can unwind by yourself; part of the appeal lies simply in cutting yourself off from the rest of the world for a time. The Salt Rooms then diffuse dry salt aerosols into the room, which have hypo-bacterial properties to help clean out your airways. Feel free to bring your kids to the Salt Rooms Australia – there’s a therapy room with toys and brighter colors to keep younger visitors engaged.

Read more...

Around the World in Seven Seafood Dishes

Around the World in Seven Seafood Dishes

Every coastal country seems to have its own seafood specialties, dishes crafted from mouthwateringly fresh fish and cooked with enticing local flavors and spices. Think sushi, calamari, oysters,and more. A foodie could travel around the world and learn something important about each area just by sampling its seafood. We’ve highlighted seven different restaurants from different regions around the planet, each serving the freshest catches with the most delicately realized flavors.

 

North America – The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle, USA

Wander around Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market to get an idea of the abundance of seafood options available in the Pacific Northwest. Stalls overflow with fresh crabs, salmon, lobsters, and, of course, oysters. These delectable, locally sourced shellfish have become the stock-in-trade for the celebrated Walrus, which offers full meals or just the chance to shuck and snack on these tasty morsels.

 

South America – La Mar CebicheríaPeruana, Lima, Peru

Ceviche is next on your global tour and La Mar is one of the best places to sample it. Each course is rooted in Peruvian flavors, but you can sample these internationally acclaimed dishes in La Mar offshoots in four other South American cities, as well as in Miami and San Francisco. For the original La Mar experience, however, head to Lima. The flagship restaurant is located moments from the Pacific Ocean. Come here for lunch – the only time you can just stop by – to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and wholesome, expertly prepared dishes.

 

Europe – Bar Txepetxa, San Sebastian, Spain

Spanish cuisine is almost synonymous with seafood, and the Basque region of the northeast is particularly famed for its pintxos – a local spin on tapas. Bar Txepetxa is small but packs a punch, having become justifiably famous for its numerous anchovy dishes. Forget your imagined version of anchovies; San Sebastian’s snack-sized treats are succulent, marinated perfectlyand served with a variety of delectable, complimentary garnishes.

 

Africa – La Colombe, Constantia, South Africa

La Colombe has garnered so many awards you might wonder if its chefs feel embarrassed by all the accolades. This scenically situated restaurant lies just outside Cape Town’s charming Constantia neighborhood, between two nature reserves. Expect a menu of classic South African ingredients cooked with a French twist. Tuna and langoustines are regular features on the menu, but make sure you try the ubiquitous kingklip, a local favorite arriving straight onto your plate from nearby fishing ports such as Kalk Bay and Hout Bay.

 

Southeast Asia – Five Oysters, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Take your pick of Vietnamese seafood dishes at one of Ho Chi Minh’s most celebrated dining destinations. As well as the oysters that give the restaurants its name, you can feast on Mekong Delta crabs, steamed shrimp with fresh coconut, and grilled octopus with chili oil. This isn’t haute cuisine, but the low-cost, high-quality dishes are not to be sniffed at –the Five Oysters serves authentic local cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere. If you’re traveling with seafood skeptics, the restaurant also offers a tasty range of meat and vegetarian options.

 

East Asia – Irifune Sushi, Tokyo

No seafood tour of the world is complete without a sample of sushi, Japan’s world-famous delicacy. A trip to Tokyo provides you with hundreds of opportunities to try out nigiri, sashimi, and maki all over the city. Irifune Sushi, situated in the Okusawa district of southern Tokyo, is famed for its tuna dishes. The staff pick up the finest cuts of fish from the manic tuna auction at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market (which spectators can come and watch if they’re up early), then serve it in different cuts. This ranges from the redder, leaner akami to the luxurious, soft cuts of otoro. Pick up a magurozukushinigiri platter for 18 different samples of tuna morsels.

 

Australasia – Flying Fish, Sydney

Sydney Harbor is a hub of culinary activity, the local fish market alive with oysters getting shucked and catches being sold to local chefs. There’s even a nearby school for cooks wanting to improve their fish dishes. One of the best places to sample the catch of the day is at the Flying Fish, an acclaimed restaurant that prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients. Try the market fish of the day or savor inventive taste combinations such as baby octopus cooked in squid ink and John Dory served with lobster yuzu butter. Best of all, your meal comes with stunning waterfront views of the harbor area.

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed