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What To Do In The UK – March

Posted February 24, 2011 by BookingBuddy

 


19624qorqdmu08l Now that the days are getting longer and the air is warming up, there’s hardly any excuse for you to stay cooped up inside all the time! There’s no shortage of events this month that will entice you to come out and enjoy some sun.

 

6th March – Maslenitsa Festival, London

Kickstart Spring with a dose of Russian flavour at this festival in Trafalgar Square. The Maslenitsa event will feature live bands and choirs performing traditional Russian music on stage. There will be a range of kiosks and food stalls around Trafalgar Square, serving up an array of Russian delicacies such as blinis and borscht.

 

17th – 20th March – Antiques For Everyone Fair, Birmingham NEC

Ever dreamt of making a fortune from a dusty little ceramic vase – like those folks on the Antiques Roadshow? Visit the Antiques for Everyone fair and you may just pick up a few tips and some valuable antiques at the same time. The fair is crammed with over 400 dealers and millions of pounds worth of items ranging from teddy bears and textiles to kettles.

 

25th – 17th March – Hawick Reivers Festival, Hawick

The Scottish town of Hawick steps back in time this weekend, to commemorate the town’s turbulent and colourful history. A concert kicks off the proceedings, followed by a parade through town. Actors dressed in 16th century costumes will re-enact a series of trials on Saturday, with workshops, lectures and performances taking place throughout the weekend. 


(Photo: Rob Wiltshire)

 

What To Do In The UK – February

Posted January 27, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Scallop+race+002 With lengthening days ahead, there’s plenty to keep you entertained this month. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so make sure you get some chocolates and roses ready for your loved one. Of course, if you find the lovey-dovey stuff a little sickly, just focus on football or rugby matches instead, or head to York and pretend you’re a Viking!

 

6th February – Clown Service, Holy Trinity Church, London

The annual Clown Service takes place in the Holy Trinity Church today, in honour of Joseph Grimaldi. Grimaldi was one of the most famous English clowns in the 18th-19th century, and is buried in nearby Joseph Grimaldi Park. Stay around after the service, as attending clowns often put on performances for the public. Those of you with a case of coulrophobia – that’s a fear of clowns – may want to stay away from the place.

 

12th – 20th February – Rye Bay Scallop Festival, Rye

The pretty seaside town of Rye is awash with scallops this month, as the Rye Bay Scallop Festival gets underway. Restaurants throughout town will be offering mouth-watering scallop-based dishes, and there will be scallop cooking demonstrations throughout the week. Cap off the week with a scallop race – roll up your sleeves, grab a wheelbarrow and join in the ‘What A Load of Scallops’ race for a chance to win the coveted plaque!

 

26th February – 6th March – Bath Literature Festival, Bath

The Bath Literature Festival returns to the historic cobblestoned streets of Bath. There will be a series of free poetry readings and storytelling sessions around the city, a ‘Writer’s Surgery’ for those who are stuck on their latest projects, as well as a poetry pub crawl! Writers appearing at the festival include Dr. David Starkey, Polly Toynbee, Kazuo Ishiguro and Jane Shilling.

 

(Photo: ryebayscallops.co.uk) 

 

Fit or Flab? Enjoying a Healthy Holiday

Posted January 13, 2011 by BookingBuddy

DSC09027 You may have spent hours in the gym in order to look good in that teeny-weeny bikini, but all that hard work may be wasted as soon as you leave the office to go on holiday. It’s no surprise that many people find they’ve put on weight after their break. Once the ‘holiday mentality’ kicks in, you may find yourself eating unhealthily or cutting back on exercise. However, there’s no need to let all that workout time go to waste. Here are some simple tips to keep the pounds from piling up.

 

Look for healthy options at the airport. The fast food available at airports may help fill you up before your flight, but many choices can be highly calorific. Skip that burger and chips, and opt for a sandwich instead. Even a seemingly innocuous latte can be surprisingly high in calories.

 

Walk around. It can be tempting to hop into a cheap taxi or hire a car to take you around, but it won’t keep the holiday weight off. Bring along some good walking shoes, and explore the place on foot instead. You’ll also be able to see much more of your destination this way. Some cities are also bicycle-friendly, so rent a bike from the nearest outlet and start zooming around while getting a good workout at the same time!

 

These easy tips may not help transform you into a triathlete, but at least you won’t have to give up the yummy local dishes for fear of piling on the pounds. 

 

(Photo: Joyce Wan)

Holidays in Malta

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

A mere 56 miles from Sicily and just 180 miles north of Africa, the easily accessible Mediterranean island of Malta reflects the influences of its Phoenician, Roman, Arabic, British, and French roots. All five diverse cultures have occupied the island at one time or another over its 7,000-year history, and the result is an energetic urban island at the heart of the Maltese archipelago (which also includes the smaller and sleepier islands of Gozo and Comino, both wonderful day trips by ferry from the island of Malta).

 

Eat

There's no better restaurant in all of Malta than the de Mondion restaurant at The Xara Palace in the walled city of Mdina. You'll enjoy it for both the atmosphere—it's situated atop the city's centuries-old fortifications and boasts a full 180-degree view of the island—and for the seasonally fresh Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Stay

Located near the heart of Malta's tourist center in Valletta, the five-star luxury Hotel Phoenicia commands stunning views of the island and is quite an architectural gem in and of itself. When you stay there, you'll live like a prince or princess—literally, since you'll be staying in the same hotel that once paid host to Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth. 

 

Shop

Take a day trip by ferry ride to the nearby island of Gozo and enjoy shopping among the open air markets located at the foothill of the Citadel. This is the main shopping district, so in addition to stalls and street vendors you will also find many of the island's best shops as well. There you can browse everything from clothing and handbags to music, toys, and souvenirs. As no trip to Malta is complete without taking home some genuine Maltese sea salt (still gathered from the same salt flats used by the Romans), be sure to pick a bag of sea salt from one of the local vendors.

Holidays in Athens, Greece

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Once the center of the civilized world, Athen has seen it all: the rise and fall of empires, the Renaissance, the modernization of our contemporary society. Visitors to Athens, Greece, then, are treated to a broad scope of human history, from the Acropolis, crowned by the sun-bleached marble of the Parthenon, to the elegant, exceedingly modern stadium and structures constructed for the 2004 Olympics. Between it all, Athens buzzes with life, its citizens bustling to and fro, gossiping over frappes at outdoor cafes, and holding tight to traditions that have survived millennia.  Best of all, holidays in Athens can often be found at very reasonable rates, including flights from the UK and it is easy to travel by ferry to visit the Greek Islands, like Mykonos, from Athens.

 

Stay

Athens Gate Hotel: Located across the street from the Temple of Zeus, and just steps from the slopes of the Acropolis, this Athens hotel puts travelers right in the heart of historic Athens. The hotel was renovated in 2007, and travellers can enjoy breakfast on the rooftop deck overlooking the Temple. The hotel is located near the Acropolis stop on Athens' metro, as well as the new Acropolis Museum. Rates start at around €100 per night.

 

Eat

Strofi: Come for the view, stay for the food. Strofi, located just blocks from the Acropolis, seats customers on a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Parthenon and … well, not much else! But even though your neck may be craned in the direction of the Ancient Greeks' most famous building, do pay attention to the food, which favors traditional Greek tavern fare. Prices are reasonable, considering the view, between €8 and €20.

 

Shop

Monastiraki Flea Market: On Sunday mornings, the normally busy Monastiraki market turns into a chaotic bazaar, bursting at the seams with people and items for sale. Monastiraki is worth a visit any day of the week (and it's open every day of the week), but go on Sundays to get the full experience. Is it a little touristy? Of course. But it's also full of locals negotiating in Greek over the price of this or that, as they've been doing for years. The market features numerous cafes, perfect for taking a break and watching the hustle and bustle pass by. Be warned, though: Arriving early is key, especially on Sundays, before the crowds get too big.

 

Compare cheap flights to Athens from airports in the United Kingdom.

Holidays in Bodrum, Turkey

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Located more than 500 miles south of Istanbul in the southwestern Aegan region of Turkey, Bodrum offers an idyllic getaway along the coast. The port town sits on a peninsula that is flanked by two main bays, and is well known for its lively nightlife. The Bodrum Castle, built in the 15th century, sits high above the harbor, and is a popular stop for tourists.  Bodrum holidays are popular for travellers because of the variety of affordable holiday package deals available with flights from airports in the UK.

 

Eat

Erenler Sofrasi: With a name that is derived from the Sufi tradition of welcoming guests, Erenler Sofrasi serves Mediterranean-fusion dishes prepared with fresh and mostly wild-grown vegetables. Cooking classes are available, which include shopping for ingredients at the local market before preparing a three-course lunch.

 

Stay

Aegean Gate Hotel: Nestled in the quieter Kumbuche region, the Aegean Gate Hotel is only a short distance to the excitement of the downtown area of Bodrum. The hotel offers views across the Aegean Sea to the Greek Isle of Kos, and is the perfect spot to relax. Rooms start at €90 for double occupancy, and a two-night minimum is required.

 

Shop

Bodrum Market: Though there are plenty of shops lining the streets in the downtown center, the Bodrum's weekly farmer's markets are a fun way to experience the local culture and a great place to find unique gifts. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you'll find local vendors selling handmade goods, produce, and traditional foods.

 

Compare cheap flights to Bodrum, Turkey from airports in the United Kingdom.

Holidays in Cairo, Egypt

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

For more than 10 centuries, Cairo has been a welcome sight for weary travellers, and this still holds true today. The city has become a bustling metropolis, with a wide range of fine dining, luxury hotels, and cultural activities. Cairo is also a favorite stop on a visit to the nearby pyramids.  Flights to Cairo can be affordable with a variety of air carriers offering daily flights from the UK.

 

Eat

The Bird Cage: Though Thai food may seem like a strange recommendation of where to eat in Cairo, Egpyt, it all makes sense after one eats at the Bird Cage. As the name suggests, caged birds sing as you eat an array of Asian-inspired dishes brought to you by kimono-clad waiters. The atmosphere may be a bit theatrical, but the food is the main event. 

 

Stay

Mena House Oberai: Located within 40 acres of gardens and nestled in the shadows of the Pyramid of Giza, Mena House Oberai offers a stay unlike any other in the world. The palatial hotel provides amenities fit for a king (or queen) in  luxurious surroundings. Rooms come equipped with personal bar, 24-hour in-room dining, broadband Internet access, and satellite TV.  Be sure to compare Cairo holiday packages that include flight plus hotel to ensure you get the best deal for your holiday in Cairo.

 

Shop

Khan el-Khalili: This bazaar has been the place to shop in Cairo since the 14th century, and is considered one of the most historic marketplaces in Egypt. Today, you can find everything from traditional crafts to spices and antique trinkets to fine jewelry in the Khan. 

Holidays in Florida, USA

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

There's a reason Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and it goes far beyond the weather. This southeastern state provides a wide variety of activities, entertainment, and natural beauty that is sure to make you smile. From the excitement of theme parks to the relaxing atmosphere of secluded beaches, Florida offers something for everyone and is a prime vacation spot.  There are many cities that thrive on tourism in Florida, so be sure to shop around before choosing your destination, including checking out deals for flights to Orlando, Miami or some of the smaller, ocean side cities like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale or Naples.

 

Eat

Michael's Genuine: With a seasonal menu that changes daily, Michael's Genuine in Miami provides a taste of the local culture. The bistro-style restaurant serves contemporary American dishes and offers 90 indoor and outdoor seats in a laid-back atmosphere perfect for a relaxing meal. Dinner entrees start at about $20 per person.  Be sure to compare Miami holiday packages to save on flight plus hotel deals.

 

Stay

The Breakers: When it comes to seaside luxury, very few hotels can compete with the Breakers in Palm Beach. Serving guests for the last two centuries, the hotel has recently undergone a major renovation and now brings elegance to a new level. Here, you can enjoy the 140 acres of beachfront property by taking a dip in one of the five pools, lounge in one of the 20 daytime beach bungalows, or dine at one of the nine restaurants. 

 

Shop

Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall: Florida is known for its outlet shopping, and Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise just happens to be the largest outlet shopping mall in the U.S. With more than 350 brand name stores and restaurants, the mall is a bargain-hunter's dream. Retailers include Brooks Brothers Factory Outlet, Barney's New York Outlet, and A/X Armani Exchange, among others.

Holidays in California, USA

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

As the third largest state in the U.S., California offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for the bright lights of Tinseltown or a wine-tasting excursion, you're bound to find it here, as the Golden State offers an eclectic mix of attractions, activities, and historic sites. The Pacific Coastal Highway, which runs along the coast, is considered one of America's most scenic drives, and is worth a visit.  Find deals on holiday packages to California from the UK and save with flight and hotel packages.

 

Eat

The French Laundry: Nestled among the natural beauty of Napa Valley, the French Laundry seamlessly marries French cuisine with American flair. Thought by many as a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, with a price tag to boot, the restaurant provides a great deal more than simple sustenance. In fact, Chef Thomas Keller is renowned worldwide for his innovative dishes, which you can sample in the two unique nine-course tasting menus that are offered nightly.

 

Stay

Elan Hotel: Located between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, the Elan Hotel is in a prime location for a visit to the city, and won TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice Award for 2010. The boutique hotel offers 49 rooms, which come equipped with robes, LCD flat-screen TVs, in-room gourmet coffee, and an honour bar.

 

Shop

Haight Street, San Francisco:  Once the epicenter of hippie culture—local residents included the likes of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin—Haight Street combines a glimpse into a groovy era while offering a unique shopping experience. The street is lined with an eclectic mix of shops, selling everything from high-end vintage clothing to handmade crafts.

Holidays in Costa Brava, Spain

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Once home to the world-famous artist, Salvador Dali, Costa Brava is a painter’s paradise in the Mediterranean. Along this “Wild Coast,” you’ll find endless beaches, coves, cliffs, and mountaintop vistas, as well as numerous golf courses. Many small villages are found along Costa Brava, which encompasses 37 miles between Blanes and the French border. Get a cheap flight to Girona to enjoy all that the Costa Brava area has to offer.

 

Eat

Pasco’s Balkan Grill: As the only restaurant along Costa Brava specializing in “Balkan Grill,” Pasco’s Balkan Grill in Roses provides a unique experience. The menu is filled with tapas and barbecued meats, made from local ingredients and spices shipped directly from the Balkans.

 

Stay

 Aigualclara Hotel Restaurant: This boutique family-run hotel is located in a historic colonial-style building, also known as the “Begur Mansion 1866,” in the center of Begur. Aiguaclara offers double rooms and suites, and has several gathering places for guests to relax, including an Honesty Bar, Reading Room, and a Patio Terrace. An on-site restaurant also provides a great place to grab a drink or a snack during your stay. Rooms start at €85 per night. Be sure to also compare holiday packages in Costa Brava to ensure you've gotten the best deal for your trip.

 

Shop

El Barri Vell, Girona, Spain: The shops in the old quarter of Girona provides something for everyone, as modern shops sit side-by-side with traditional retailers. The pedestrian areas allow for a relaxed shopping experience, and you’ll find all types of establishments, ranging from a perfumery to a designer clothing store, here.

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