Posted November 30, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Malmo has shed its dull, industrial image and transformed itself into a dynamic, cultural destination. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Sweden, and this diversity is reflected in the range of food available here. Mollevangstorget is full of cheap, tasty Thai, Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants, while Lilla Torg is ringed with cool, casual places offering Swedish, Japanese and European meals. Discover up-and-coming designers and quirky shops around Fersen and Davidshall. Malmo’s long history can be seen in the wonderful old buildings around the city. St. Peter’s Church and Malmo Castle are both popular attractions, while Malmo’s Old Town houses many historic buildings.
Hotel Master Johan – The rooms in the Hotel Master Johan are bright and airy, with a clean, classic Scandinavian style. It is a great base for first time visitors to Malmo, with its convenient location just off Lilla Torg. Get yourself ready for a busy day of sightseeing with their tasty breakfast buffet – enjoy fresh bread, thirst-quenching juices and hot dishes straight from the hob. Room rates start from £170.
Mando – Vintage is all the rage these days, and if you’re a fan of the 1970s, why not complete your journey through time with a trip to Mando, where the menu has famously remained unchanged since 1975? The menu is straight out of the ‘70s, but that’s no bad thing if you’re hankering for a satisfying meal. The starters are forgotten classics like prawn cocktail and escargot provencale, but steak is the real highlight here. Enjoy pepper steak, filet mignon, hamburgers, or the Mandoburger, topped with pineapple, cheese and pepper salad.
Ribersborg Kallbadhus – Take a break from sightseeing to relax at ‘Ribban’ – soak up some sun on the wooden deck, or even take a dip in the sea if you’re brave enough. The two-mile long stretch of sandy beach here is entirely man-made and very popular with locals during the summer months. Spa treatments are also available in the historic wooden bathhouse here, with a casual little cafe beside it.
Check here for Malmo travel information.
Posted November 26, 2010 by BookingBuddy
The cold, dark nights are starting to look magical at this time of year, with festive twinkling lights brightening up many homes and High Streets in December. Finding your clothes a little tight after indulging in mince pies and Christmas pudding (topped with brandy butter)? Work off the calories with a few rounds in the ice-skating rinks.
25th November – 2nd January 2011 – Lincoln on Ice, Lincoln
Lincoln is transformed into a winter wonderland with the addition of an ice rink in the centre of town. Get your skates on and enjoy a day around the rink, and warm up with a panto performance afterwards, at the Lincoln Drill Hall. Tickets can be bought online, or at the ticket off.
3rd – 8th December – Clothes Show Live, NEC Birmingham
Not quite sure what to wear to your office Christmas party? Get some inspiration from this popular fashion extravaganza. Fashion gurus Caryn Franklin and Gok Wan will be appearing at the show, while boyband Inju5tice provides the entertainment. Pick up some fancy footwork at the Dance Show, and enjoy spectacular performances by talented dancers.
18th December – Santa Skate, London
Think Santa only gets about using his sleigh and a team of reindeers? Well, think again, as Santa has found an alternative mode of transport. Santa Skate sees up to 500 people dressed as up as Santas of all shapes and sizes skating their way through Central London. The fun starts at Hyde Park Corner, and goes through some of London’s most popular sights, with a break at Trafalgar Square.
Posted November 24, 2010 by BookingBuddy
You’re never far from good food and great wine when you enjoy a break in Bordeaux. While Bordeaux may be almost synonymous with wine these days, it is certainly not that only attraction here. You’ll find a wealth of beautiful, historic buildings, lush gardens, and a lack of skyscrapers that block out the light. The pedestrianised Rue Sainte-Catherine is the longest shopping street in Europe, and you’ll find it crowded with high-end boutiques, dusty antique shops and quirky independent boutiques. Shopaholics will have a field day here.
Place de la Bourse – The Place de la Bourse sits on the banks of the Garonne, and is probably one of the most photographed sights in Bordeaux. This magnificent square houses the Bourse (Stock Exchange), the Customs Museum, and two hotels. The Miroir d’eau (Water Mirror) is a beautiful spot to cool off or just to peoplewatch. It is covered by an inch of water, and a cloud of mist rises from it intermittently, giving the square a romantic, mysterious appearance.
Fernand – With a welcoming, rustic interior, you’ll feel right at home in Fernand as you tuck into the hearty dishes on offer. Starters range from simple fare such as eggs in mayonnaise and a herring, anchovy and potato salad, to richer items like the homemade foie gras, and foie gras filled duck terrine. Tuck into goose confit, scallops, or a seafood platter filled with clams, whelks and more.
Seeko’o Hotel – In the heart of Bordeaux’s historic quays district lies a futuristic white structure – the Seeko’o Hotel. This boutique hotel offers airy rooms with balconies and views over the river Garonne and World Heritage-listed quays. You’ll find a very convenient tram stop just outside the hotel, as well as a Vcub station not far away, where you can rent a bike to take you around Bordeaux. Room rates start from around £150.
Check here for Bordeaux travel information.
Posted November 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Jump on a cheap flight to Rovaniemi and visit Santa Claus on his home turf. The Santa Claus Village is undoubtedly the main attraction for many visitors here, and there’s also SantaPark for those who can’t get their fill of the bearded old gent. Tear yourself away from Santa’s workshop to take in the beautiful, unspoilt great outdoors. Ounarsvaara, a hill just outside the Rovaniemi’s centre, is perfect for sporty types. There are hiking trails that crisscross the hill, as well as a golf course and a resort where you can ski, snowboard and enjoy other winter sports.
Scandic Rovaniemi – Behind the Scandic Rovaniemi’s stark square facade lies a pleasantly welcoming hotel with spacious rooms decorated in a minimalistic Scandinavian style. Kickstart your day with a delicious buffet breakfast of freshly baked bread, healthy cereals, organic fruits and Fairtrade coffee. The hotel is located in the city centre, and is only a short walk away from transport to the Santa Claus Village. Room rates start from about £125, and include breakfast.
Lordi’s Rocktaurant – You may not be a huge fan of their music, but what about their food? The restaurant is everything you would expect from the pantomime-rock former Eurovision winners – lots of black paint, coffin-shaped chairs and a general Dungeons and Dragons vibe. The food is your standard after-gig fare – burgers, pizzas and kebabs, with some healthier options such as salads and stirfries. However, if you’re here, it’s probably not for the food, but for the kitschy, over-the-top atmosphere, completed by life-sized mannequins of the band members dressed up in their best stage outfits. Don’t forget your camera!
The Arktikum – Housed in a marvellously striking building, the Arktikum is a museum dedicated to showcasing life, history and culture in Lapland. Experience the aurora borealis in the Northern Lights Theatre, and learn more about Samí culture in the permanent exhibitions. The Arktikum also hosts a series of temporary exhibitions, and houses a library that is open to the public.
Check here for Rovaniemi travel information.
Posted November 18, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Muscat is small in size, but it’s certainly big on fun. The attractions in Oman’s capital range from historic ruins, to bustling souks, beautiful wadis and more. Escape to the Corniche to enjoy cool breezes blowing in from the sea, enjoy a cup of tea from a cafe, or even pick up some fresh seafood from the merchants lining the promenade. Muttrah Souk and Sabco Centre are both great spots to if you’re keen to pick up some Omani handiwork, or souvenirs for those back home. Cool off with a dip in the refreshing emerald pools of Wadi Shab, or head to Qurum National Park and feast your eyes on lush greenery.
Nakhal Fort – Nakhal Fort is a dramatic sight, and certainly worth the 40-minute drive from Muscat. First built in the 17h century, Nakhal Fort has been wonderfully restored, and backs onto the foot of the Jebel Akhdar Mountains. Climb up to the flat roof for beautiful views over oasis and desert surrounding it. Rooms have been decorated with ornate Omani rugs and striking artefacts, to give visitors a glimpse into life at the fort.
Mumtaz Mahal – The Mumtaz Mahal sits on a hill just above Qurum National Park, and the view from the restaurant is impressive, especially when night falls and twinkling lights cover Muscat. The menu has a range of Indian dishes – tandoori chicken, spicy curries and biryani rice with different kinds of meat. Other dishes to try include Machli Masaledar (spicy fried fish fingers), Murg Angaarey (garlicky chicken pieces), and the restaurant’s ‘homemade’ ice creams.
The Chedi Muscat – The Chedi combines traditional Omani architecture with cutting edge design, all to great effect. The stark white buildings lie in the midst of an oasis-like setting, and the rooms within are designed to make the most of the breezes blowing off the Gulf of Oman. The spa, with seven treatment rooms, is an indulgent retreat after a day of sightseeing in the arid desert climate. Room rates start from about £290.
Check here for Muscat travel information.
Posted November 17, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Sir Richard Branson may think he has what it takes to run an airline, but can he do it in high heels and a form-fitting red suit? This may just be the Virgin Atlantic head honcho’s new uniform when he shows up for his shift as AirAsia’s newest recruit.
Branson, who also owns the Virgin Racing team, had recently bet AirAsia’s boss Tony Fernandes (owner of the Lotus F1 team) that the loser would have to be a stewardess on the other’s airline. The Lotus team was placed ahead of Virgin Racing, leaving Branson on the losing end.
Seats on a special AirAsia Kuala Lumpur to London flight will be auctioned off soon, with the proceeds going to charity. The charity will be chosen by Branson. Fernandes is said to have presented Branson with AirAsia’s fire-engine red uniform a few days ago.
If you fancy watching Branson totter down the aisle pushing a trolley loaded with snacks and drinks, then you may want to consider bidding for a seat on the flight. Just don’t be surprised if Branson offers you some ‘Coffee, tea or me?’
Posted November 16, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Enjoy an action-packed break in the beautiful city of Interlaken. Situated at the foot of soaring mountain peaks, Interlaken is one of the most popular resorts in Switzerland. Many come here to ski and snowboard down the nearby mountains, but if you want to really get your heart pumping, then skydiving trips are available too. Not an adrenaline junkie? Rent a sailboat and float around Lake Thun for a few hours, or head to Burgseeli and splash about in the clear waters of Lake Brienz. Enjoy a relaxing stroll down the Hoheweg, with its quaint old buildings and pick up some souvenirs for those back home.
Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage – The Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage lives up to its name, with its imposing, grand facade and classically pleasing interior. A short walk from the Hoheweg, this elegant hotel offers delightful views of the Jungfrau, as well as the jade-green River Aar. Start your day off with a selection of cheeses, fresh baked bread, cereals and cured meats from the breakfast buffet. If you’ve had a tiring day exploring Interlaken, a visit to the hotel’s spa will help you unwind and feel brand new again. Room rates start from £160 and include breakfast.
El Azteca – If you need a break from traditional Swiss fare such as fondue and raclette, head for El Azteca in the tiny Hotel Blume. You may be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed in Mexico by mistake – this colourful restaurant offers hearty Mexican dishes to warm you up from the inside. Enjoy fajitas, enchiladas, chilli con carne, tacos and more in ‘the only real Mexican restaurant in the Bernese Oberland’.
Unterseen – Visit the nearby town of Unterseen for a pleasant daytrip capped off with dazzling views of the Eiger and Jungfrau mountains. The main square – Obere Gasse – has recently been restored to its original condition, and is surrounded by rows of postcard-perfect old houses. An imposing clock tower looms behind the main square – this is connected to the old church which dates back to the mid-15th century. While the church’s interior has been rebuilt several times over the centuries, the church tower has remained unscathed since 1471.
Check here for Interlaken travel information.
Posted November 11, 2010 by BookingBuddy
With just over a month left until Christmas, it may want to get a start on your Christmas shopping, (unless you fancy getting into a fistfight over the last PSP left in Curry’s). Sites like eBay and Amazon may make Christmas shopping easy, but they take all the fun out of actually choosing the perfect gift. This year, if you’d like to get a gift that’s just right for that special someone, why not visit check out these Christmas markets and fairs instead? Enjoy some Christmas treats, have fun and search for that perfect gift while you’re there.
12th November – 19th December - Christkindelmarkt, Leeds
This hugely popular Christmas market takes place in Millenium Square, which is transformed into a German-style market for the duration. The wooden chalet house stalls selling products from German traders – jewellery, handmade toys and cards, as well as Christmas decorations. Feast on gluhwein, bratwurst, stolen and warming soups.
19th November – 4th January - Winter Wonderland, London
Hyde Park is transformed into a – you guessed it – winter wonderland for this Christmas extravaganza. There will be over 100 craft stalls here, as well as food and drink stalls and cafes. Take a break from shopping and show off your skills on the ice-skating rink, or enjoy a ride in the huge Ferris wheel. You’ll also find a number of rides here, from hair-raising thrill rides to more sedate carousels. Don’t forget to visit Father Christmas in his grotto before you leave!
3rd – 19th December - Dickens Christmas Market, Rochester
Immerse yourself in a Victorian-style Christmas market on Rochester’s High Street. Actors dressed in period costumes stroll through the streets, while carollers entertain passersby outside the market. The market stalls offer a variety of unusual items such as candy bouquets, juggling equipment, stuffed toys and handmade candles. Treat yourself to goodies like waffles, roast chestnuts, hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Posted November 10, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Discover sunny Queensland when you take a break in Cairns. This little city in Northern Queensland is the perfect jumping off point for those who want to explore the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, and Daintree National Park. While there are no beaches in Cairns itself, the main promenade does have a very popular artificial lagoon where you can have a swim, or simply catch some sun. Bring some food along and enjoy a barbecue on the promenade at the same time. Catch a bird’s eye view of Cairns on a balloon trip around the region. You can indulge in a champagne breakfast in mid-air, while taking in the spectacular scenery.
Cairns Wildlife Dome – Haven’t got time to get out to the rainforest while you’re here? Then let the rainforest come to you! The colourful flora and fauna of the rainforest can be seen in this enclosed 20-metre glass dome, perched on top of the Reef Hotel Casino. Walk through the dome while lorikeets and cockatoos fly about. You’ll also be able to come (almost) face-to-face with crocodiles, pythons and turtles.
North Food and Wine – Located at the Shangri-La Hotel, North Food and Wine offers beautiful harbour views to accompany the dishes on its menu. Traditional favourites have been given an Australian twist here. Tantalise you tastebuds with some crispy salt and pepper squid on a coriander salad, or experiment with a crocodile and pork spring roll. Salads range from the traditional Greek and Caesar offerings, to a spiced duck salad with blood orange and tamarinds.
The Lakes Cairns Resort and Spa – Enjoy a relaxing holiday at this family-friendly resort, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Guests stay in roomy apartments equipped with cooking facilities and balconies. The resort is close to the Cairns Flecker Botanical Gardens and Centennial Lakes, and is only three kilometres away from the centre of Cairns. The resort itself has everything you need for a comfortable stay if you don’t fancy going out to town – a restaurant, resort shop, playgrounds and swimming pools. Room rates start from £75.
Check here for cheap flights to Cairns.
Posted November 9, 2010 by BookingBuddy
Fly out to Port Elizabeth for a fun-filled beach break, or just to escape the dreary weather. Located on the South African cost, Port Elizabeth is graced by an enviable series of beaches, perfect for swimming, surfing, and other watersports. If getting wet isn’t your thing, head to the huge Maitland Dune to try out sandboarding instead. The Donkin Reserve, with its pyramid-shaped memorial, is a very popular attraction here. The Reserve also houses the Opera House and a lighthouse which is open to the public.
Kragga Kamma Game Park – Get up close to South Africa’s impressive wildlife at the Kragga Kamma Game Park. The forest and grasslands within the park houses buffaloes, white rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes and many other creatures. You can explore the park in your own car, or join a two-hour guided tour and get really close to the animals.
Ginger Restaurant – The elegant yet relaxed dining room at Ginger Restaurant is a reflection of what’s on the menu – traditional dishes, updated for the modern diner. Start with a refreshing chilled cucumber and avocado soup, snails in phyllo pastry, or some chilli battered prawn tails. More substantial dishes here include scampi linguine, served in a creamy tomato sauce, ostrich fillet topped with a black cherry reduction, and vodka prawns with a peri peri and white wine sauce.
Dolphin Dance Lodge – Enjoy a comfortable, home-away-from-home experience, with the added bonus of great views, when you stay at the Dolphin Dance Lodge. The bright, spacious suites here over the sea, and is only a short walk from the beach. The Lodge also has a number of self-catering suites, equipped with fully-fitted kitchens so you can enjoy homecooked meals. Guests are also welcome out rent a barbeque unit for an informal, relaxing meal. Room rates start from about £60.
Check here for Port Elizabeth travel information.