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  • Adam 15:31 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Just back from: the Seychelles, Portugal, Mauritius and Honduras 

    Anse Marron beach is the definition of paradise © Matt Phillips

    At Lonely Planet we’re simply obsessed with travel; rarely a week goes by when someone hasn’t just got back from an epic trip. This month Lonely Planet staff share some of their recent adventures, from fulfilling lifelong dreams in Mauritius to munching a mega sandwich in Porto.

    SCOPING OUT SECLUDED BEACHES IN THE SEYCHELLES

    Having spent a few weeks hopping between the islands of Mahé, Praslin, Desroches, North, Félicité, Silhouette, Fregate and La Digue, I’d thought it wouldn’t be possible to find another beach that would leave me speechless. Yet, after a challenging 1¼-hour journey – part hiking, part crawling, part bouldering, part wading (chest deep with backpack above head) – along La Digue’s stunning southeastern coastline (complete with nesting turtles), I found myself lost for words at Anse Marron.

    An absolute gem of pure solitude (thanks to the effort required to get here), its white sands slid gently into a natural pool of calm, crystal-clear water. Huge granite boulders – looking more like they were spawned from the mind of Antoni Gaudí than from the forces of nature – stood guard over the scene, protecting it from the crashing waves beyond.

    I was soon swimming, sharing the surreal setting with some seemingly translucent fish. With so much to marvel at, both below and above the surface, I was struggling to know where to look. It was simply that beautiful. The hike back out from Anse Marron took me along the southwest shore of La Digue, past Anse Source d’Argent. Despite this being the nation’s most famous beach, I couldn’t help but think that I preferred the perfectly remote sands of petite Anse Marron.

    Matt Phillips, Destination Editor for Sub Saharan Africa. Follow his tweets @Go2MattPhillips.

    Orla tucking in to a traditional francesinha‘Do I really have to?’ – Orla taking one for the team in the name of travel! © Adrienne Pitts / Lonely Planet

    TACKLING ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST SANDWICHES IN PORTO, PORTUGAL

    I’ve never been scared by a sandwich before, but then I’d never encountered the francesinhaPorto’s signature dish, the francesinha is a four-inch stack stuffed with ham, sausage and steak, served smothered with cheese, topped with an egg and generous lashings of a tomato and beer sauce. Having been raised vegetarian, I’m still a little squeamish about very meaty things so didn’t relish the thought of sampling one, but decided in the spirit of culinary adventure that I must.

    Arriving at Café Santiago – regarded as one of the best francesinha joints in the city – I was reassured by the tables full of locals, cheerfully tucking in on their lunch hour. Every chef has their own take on the dish, and clearly this particular sandwich – served, with laughable excess, alongside a portion of fries – had been lovingly prepared. Nevertheless, sawing through five dense layers of protein really took the edge off my appetite. Each meaty forkful only dented it further, until – having made it through a mere quarter – I downed tools. I’d starred in my own personal episode of Man v. Food, but was woman enough to admit that on this occasion, food had won.

    Orla Thomas, Features Editor at Lonely Planet Traveller magazine. Follow her tweets @OrlaThomas.

    Orla Thomas travelled to Porto with support from Visit Portugal. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.
    Dolphins at Black River in Mauritius Dolphins at Black River in Mauritius © shamsheed / Shutterstock

    SWIMMING WITH WILD DOLPHINS IN MAURITIUS

    When I was a kid, I had dreams of being a dolphin trainer. I wanted to go to Florida so badly to see them in the marine parks, but (luckily) my parents didn’t give in. At the time I felt duped, but looking back I realised I would have hated seeing such beautiful creatures cramped in a pool, forced to perform tricks. On a recent holiday to Mauritius I was still keen to swim with dolphins, but in the wild and on their terms. We found a great company run by knowledgeable (and most importantly, responsible) locals at the mouth of the Black River.

    Every morning, pods of dolphins swim out to the reef to feed and play. Our captain was careful not to hound the pod (this is where it pays off to pick a responsible company); we moved away from the other boats and waited until the pod came to us. Dolphins are incredibly fast and never stop moving so we donned snorkels and paddled as fast as we could, whilst still giving them plenty of space. The experience was incredible. The dolphins were so curious and it was such an honour that they came so close. I got to achieve my dream with zero Blackfish guilt.

    Lottie Bell, Key Account Manager. Follow her on Instagram @mrslottiebell.

    A view across Lake Yojoa A view across Lake Yojoa © Alicia Johnson

    TAKING A BEAUTIFUL BOAT TRIP ON HONDURAS’ LAGO DE YOJOA

    With a belly full of chicken, rice and fried banana, hopping on a speedy boat didn’t seem like the wisest decision. But there I was, front seat, swift breeze in my face and in utter awe of Honduras’beautiful mountainous landscape. Lago de Yojoa, nestled between forested mountains and lush rainforests, is Honduras’ largest lake. It lies in a depression formed by volcanoes, and on this particular December day the blue waters glistened under the early afternoon sun.

    My quick boat tour took me to the centre of the lake where I saw a pair of tilapia fins (Honduras’ famed freshwater fish). Truth be told I didn’t see any of the other fish my guide pointed out, but the opportunistic birds hovering above sure did. Between the full stomach and stunning landscape, my first trip to Honduras began in grand fashion.

    Alicia Johnson, Destination Editor for Central America and the Caribbean. Follow her tweets @Ajgoin places

    Alicia Johnson travelled to Honduras with support from Honduras Tourism Board. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.
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  • Adam 15:30 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    The Valley of Waterfalls 

    There are several regions throughout the world that would certainly qualify as valley of waterfalls.

    Yosemite Valley in California, Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland and the area around Milford Sound in New Zealand are well known examples. For obvious reasons however, these places also tend to be a bit crowded – especially during the high season.

    For those who’d like to avoid the crowds and still enjoy breathtaking waterfalls, there is an alternative. In Peru’s Bongará Province, an area just about the size of Rhode Island, you can find some of world’s highest and most stunning waterfalls within a few kilometers of each other. Here you’ll not only find very high waterfalls like Gocta Falls or Yumbilla Falls but also hidden gems of smaller waterfalls like Chinata Falls, Aspachaca Falls or Lindapa Falls.

    In addition the waterfalls and many hiking trails, this region offers a great scenario for birdwatchers. The Andean Cock-of-the-rocks and the Spatuletail Hummingbird are just two of the many exotic birds that can be found in the cloud forests surrounding these waterfalls.

    The visit to each waterfall requires a hike through the mountainous jungle of North Peru – some relatively short and easy, others quite long and strenuous. The hike to Gocta Falls can be done (partly) on horse but generally, this area is suitable for people who like to hike, enjoy nature and possess a good level of fitness.

     

    GOCTA FALLS: THE CLASSIC

    Out of all waterfalls in Bongará Province, this is the most famous one. This two-tiered waterfall is 771m high and can be observed from several vantage points in the region.

    It was from one of those vantage points that German national Stefan Zimmendorf first noticed it in 2006. He didn’t actually discover it – it had always been known to locals – but rather made it known to a wider, even worldwide audience. He was one of the driving forces behind the measuring of Gocta Falls that eventually led to its registration as one of world’s highest waterfalls and to the touristic development of the valley and waterfall.

    Today, you can visit this breathtaking waterfall through a 5km hike from either Cocachimba or San Pablo de Valera. Both starting points will get you to the waterfall but each route will lead you to a different finishing point. If you start in Cocachimba, your path will follow a trail on the right side of the valley and bring you to the bottom of the second and taller drop of the waterfall (540m). If you start in San Pablo, you’ll follow a trail high up on the left side of the valley and finish your hike at the bottom of the first and smaller drop (231m). Needless to say, the views of the valley and Gocta Falls are spectacular from both hiking trails.

    The 10km return trip may seem like an easy hike but the many turns of the paths and constant ups and downs make it quite strenuous. You are well advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring enough water and snacks to last you through this 5hr hike. For those not so good on their feet, there are horses with guides for hire at both locations that will bring you at least part of the way. If you choose so, you can also hire a local guide for orientation and more information. The entrance fee for either trail is 10 Soles per person.

     

    YUMBILLA: THE OTHER

    Although not as famous and as visited as its sister waterfall, this four-tiered waterfall is even higher than Gocta Falls and stands at a total of impressive 896m.

    The starting point for a visit to Yumbilla Falls is the small village of Cuispes. After paying your entrance fee (10 Soles) at the local tourism association, you’re free to undertake this venture on your own or hire a local guide.

    The trailhead is about a 10 minute moto taxi ride from the center of Cuispes. From there it meanders for 3km through lush cloud forest and along the side of the mountain. Several lookouts along the way offer a view of the valley and the waterfall. Plus, there are more waterfalls along the way that can be reached by short side trips. One of them, Pabellón Falls, stands at almost 400m. This might seem small compared to its tall neighbor but in many places this would be a very high waterfall.

    The trail ends at the bottom of the last – and especially impressive – drop of Yumbilla Falls. It is a great spot to rest and enjoy the scenery before heading back up to Cuispes. All in all it should take you about 3 hours to complete this hike.

     

    CHINATA: THE HIDDEN

    Although this waterfall can be seen from different lookouts in the area, few people have actually visited it. It is a multi-tiered waterfall and reaches a total height of 580m.

    You can choose to hike to this marvel from either the village of Cuispes (6km one way) or San Carlos (12km). Unlike Gocta Falls and Yumbilla Falls, this is a sparsely visited waterfall and the trails aren’t used much – if they exist at all. The best way to reach Chinata Falls is to hire a local guide who knows the way and who’ll be able to clear a path through the thick vegetation of the cloud forests.

    This is definitely an off-the-beaten path experience and only suitable for people with a sense of adventure. Not everyone can handle walking through dense vegetation on non-existent muddy paths.

     

    ASPACHACA: THE SHORT

    With a total drop of 50m, this waterfall is definitely one of the smaller ones in the area. It can easily be reached through a short but steep uphill hike.

    Located near the village of Churuja, pretty much in the middle between Gocta Falls and Yumbilla Falls, you’ll find this hidden gem of a waterfall. The upper part of the waterfall can be seen from the village but you can only appreciate it in its totality once you reach its bottom. The water falls in the middle of a beautiful natural rock amphitheater and forms a large pool that is perfect for swimming on a hot day.

    The trail up to the waterfall is steep but not very long. It’s a 4km return trip that will take you no more than an hour to complete – swimming and resting time at the waterfall not included.

     

    LINDAPA: THE ABANDONED

    The highest of this triplet of smaller waterfalls – 20m or 30m each – once was a resting point on the trail between San Pablo and San Carlos but has since been forgotten by all but the local population.

    As this hiking trail is unmarked and there are many turn-offs that lead into the fields, it is highly recommended hiring a local guide for this trip. From the village of Churuja, the trail leads through fields of coffee and dragon fruit until you reach the grassy heights that provide an excellent view of the Utcubamba Valley. From there it’s only a short distance to the first and highest of the three waterfalls.

    Just before reaching it, you can see an old stone bridge crossing the stream. This was part of the old network of trails that people used before the main road in the valley was built. There are also leftovers of an old Tambo – a resting point for people passing through.

    After visiting the highest waterfall, you have to retrace you steps and walk down to visit the other two waterfalls. Here also, you’ll observe abandoned structures like benches and handrails at the lookouts. Any waterfall provides a good location for a picnic or even a swim in hot weather. All in all, it’ll take you about two hours to hike the 3km of trails.

     

    MORE WATERFALLS

    There are just five of the many waterfalls in this province. There seem to be hundreds of them scattered throughout the valleys of the region. Some of them can be seen from the villages, some are hidden in remote locations and known only to insiders, some are famous and yet others are dwarfed by their tall sisters and remain forever unnamed.

     

    MORE INFORMATION

    The Valley of Waterfalls is located in the province of Bongará in Peru’s Amazonas region. It is best reached by flying from Lima to Chachapoyas or Jaén and then taking a bus, minivan or taxi to reach the region. Either way, it’ll take you half a day to reach your destiny.

    As for accommodation, you can choose to stay in one of the villages closest to the waterfalls or base yourself in the city of Chachapoyas and do day trips. Both options work great since distances are short and travel times to the trail heads never more than 1 ½ hours.  You can find any of accommodation to suit your needs and budget – from luxury bungalows to simple rooms offered by the locals.

    Remember, this is a cloud forest region where it can rain even in the so-called dry season. The wet season with heavy rains is December through March.

     
  • Adam 15:28 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    5 Budget Tips for Travel in Europe 

    Whether you’re a student on a budget, a family with children, or a travel aficionado, spending a summer abroad in Europe can easily create a large dent in your finances.

    However, with a little bit of planning and the use of alternative travel methods, making your way around Europe does not have to necessarily break the bank.

    Let’s look at five major ways on how to travel Europe cheaply.

     

    5 Budget Tips for Summer Travel in Europe

    EAT LOCAL FOOD FROM NON-TOURIST RESTAURANTS

    If you are in a big city and see a restaurant with a sign that says, “We speak English” you will most likely pay for this convenience, one way or another. Such tourist-friendly restaurants cater to foreigners who don’t really know a fair price for food and most likely chalk up an expensive meal as an “authentic European experience”.

    You will find great reward in bypassing these familiar-feeling restaurants for locally owned cafésand hole-in-the-wall places that may speak only broken English. Off the beaten path, these eateries offer fresh, traditional cuisine at a fraction of the cost. The staff is usually made up of lively family members who pride themselves on their homemade food, which is created from produce that was hand-selected at the local market that morning. Plus, if you choose a meal with ingredients that are in season, your plate is likely to be even more inexpensive.

     

    RESEARCH FREE ACTIVITIES IN THE AREAS YOU ARE VISITING

    Although notoriously an expensive city, Paris, France offers free admission into the Louvre and other museums on the first Sunday of every month. Major cities, such as London, Paris, Barcelona, and many others have free walking tours. Even without the official tour group, walking around is often the best way to explore hidden gems of the city. Depending on the area in Europe, your most exciting adventures could be found at the beach, on hiking trails, or browsing storefronts in the heart of the city.

     

    TAKE BUDGET-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION

    Consider all of your options: planes, trains, buses, boats, car share rides, bike riding, and yes, hitchhiking (although the latter is only advised in extreme situations). Fortunately, there are several budget airlines available in a wide variety of European cities, and a one-way trip can be as cheap as $20 Euro if you travel with a carry-on bag only. Warning: budget airlines are known for charging extra fees, so be sure to follow all regulations. Some airlines will have a lot of instructions, such as printing your own ticket beforehand, so be prepared to put in a little more work if you want to save a few bucks this way.

    Thanks to the infrastructure in Europe, trains are also a cheaper option, especially with a Eurail pass, plus a student or family discount. Eurail is the leading train transportation company that connects people to cities all over the European continent. They provide several different train pass options—from weekly and monthly passes, to passes that work exclusively in chosen countries—in order to give you the best value for your dollar. Also think about taking buses for long-haul rides. Companies like Megabus and Eurolines provide reclining seats, air conditioning, beverages, and other amenities for your enjoyment as you travel across Europe. Take advantage of their low fare which can be as cheap as just a few Euros per ticket.

    For more local transportation, don’t forget about taking the metro, riding city buses, using phone apps to initiate car share rides, and biking around town for the more scenic route. Quite honestly, anything will be cheaper than a taxi cab.

     

    BOOK ALL OF YOUR TRANSPORTATION IN ADVANCE

    This is definitely not advised if you want your trip to Europe to be full of spontaneity. However, it should be noted that more often than not, plane and train rides, when booked at the right time in advance (typically six weeks before departure), can save you hundreds of dollars per ticket.

    Knowing how to price shop these tickets helps, too. When looking for the best airline prices, search through Skyscanner.com. This search engine allows you to view the most affordable prices from different airlines available. You can even see if changing the date or airport departure aids in lowering your overall ticket price.

    According to Tom Allen of WizEssay, “Planning your trip ahead of time can save you thousands of dollars over the course of a long-haul trip. When you factor in flights and boarding that can be booked months in advance, why wouldn’t you want to make arrangements that lower your budget?”.

     

    AVOID HOTELS AS HOUSING

    Yes, hotels deliver a luxurious experience with tons of amenities—but they also come at a price. Try staying in Europe with more affordable housing through hostels, AirBnB roomscouchsurfing, house sitting, HomeExchange, or even WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and Au Pairing. Of course, WWOOFing and Au Pairing are a bit different; they are an exchange of a few hours’ work per day for free housing and meals. This would be great for a single person who wants an authentic, long-term experience. House sitting is usually also free—and sometimes, they pay you.

     

    All in all, traveling across Europe doesn’t have to be full of large expenditures. With these simple tips, the bulk of your budget will now be more on the thrifty side. When it comes down to it, all you have to remember is to live like the locals do.

    This way, you will be saving money and you’ll get to have a much more fulfilling experience.

     
  • Adam 15:27 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Great Adventures for Solo Travelers 

    Hardly anything compares to plunging into the unknown by yourself.

    Too often do we associate traveling with group activities, family obligations and collective endeavors. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you can hardly call yourself a hardened globetrotting adventurer if you’ve never gone on a trip all by yourself.

    It gives you a chance to reflect on and reassess your life, not to mention the fact you can truly meet new people without being constrained by the group. If you’ve ever felt that itch to travel alone, here are some great adventures for solo travelers.

     

    Great Adventures For Solo Travelers

    CHINA’S “THE BIG ONE”

    Solo travelers will particularly enjoy trips to the faraway mountain slopes of ChinaLush landscapes, rocky hills, historical monuments and bustling cities are an exceptional treat packed into a 28-day long journey known as “The Big One”.

    It is an in-depth experience of the great country that will immerse you into the rich history of the country. It truly cannot quite compare to anything else, and it’s bound to leave you changed forever (for the better, of course). Of course, you will get a chance to see the Terracotta Warriors with your own eyes and step onto the Great Wall.

    CYCLE THROUGH MOROCCO

    There is no better way to meet new people than on a cycling adventure through Morocco. You’ll get a chance to explore wondrous orange landscapes of the Atlas Mountains as they stretch into infinity and disappear in the blue haze.

    Along the way, you will be accompanied by other solo travelers, since the setup has been mostly created with one-man adventurers in mind. If you’d like to marvel at palm groves, arid slopes sculpted by time and incredible Atlantic sunsets, this is a perfect adventure for you.

    SAIL A SHIP WITH YOUR OWN HANDS AROUND THE CANARY ISLANDS

    Boarding a fun-filled cruise ship is easy. How about a real, gritty seafaring experience that puts you in the thick of it?

    Believe it or not, you can spend a whole week on the open sea under the command of a captain, with a merry crew of sailors. The name of the ship is Morgenster, and it will take up to 24 inexperienced sailors on an adventure around the Canary Islands.

    The crew is there to mentor the newcomers, but don’t worry – the work isn’t excruciating. You’ll get plenty of time to sunbathe and explore tropical shores. Just be a good sport and listen to the instructions of your skipper, and if this is your first time sailing, get a funky Go Travel Acustrap that will reduce nausea and make your journey a dream.

    THE EPIC TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY JOURNEY

    Orient Express is out of commission? No problem!

    An epic journey on train tracks still awaits you on the Trans-Siberian Railway that goes from Beijingto Moscow. This is a perfect adventure for people who really want to enjoy some contemplative solitude. There is hardly anything more meditative than sitting in your comfortable compartment with the sound of moving along the train tracks in your ears and incredible, untouched landscapes moving past you. Depending on what package you choose, the journey can take up to 20 days.

    COLOMBIA FOR COFFEE JUNKIES

    Visiting the far-side of the South American continent sounds like an amazing idea, but if you are a true coffee junkie, this trip is pure heaven.

    You’ll journey directly into the Colombian highlands and walk through real coffee plantations. Not only that, but you’ll also get a chance to learn more about the process of making coffee and you’ll be able to visit local roasteries too.

    GET FROSTY IN FINLAND

    If you want to battle the elements and witness some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes, Finland is the right step on your solo journey.

    The birthplace of Santa Clause fully justifies its honorary title once the winter months come. You have an opportunity to join a dog-sledding team and try all snow-related activities under the sun, including skiing and riding a snowmobile. However, the biggest treat on this vacation is definitely seeing the Northern Lights for the first time.

    SAIL ALONG THE SHORES OF THE BALKAN

    The Adriatic Sea is a small and charming stretch of the Mediterranean tucked comfortably between the Italian and Balkan Peninsula. However, solo travelers tend to prefer sailing along the epic shores of the Balkans and enjoying the dramatically harsh mountain ranges that tower over picturesque coastal towns.

    You’ll get a chance to stay in several urbanities of both Croatia and Montenegro, and you’ll definitely visit the legendary Dubrovnik, Split and Kotor.

    THE MAGIC OF OMAN

    It seems the Arabian Peninsula is embroiled in perpetual conflict which is unfortunate for countless reasons, but one of the major ones is definitely the fact that the rest of the world does not get a chance to truly grasp the captivating beauty and ancient history of the region.

    Thankfully, we have countries like Oman – the most welcoming out of the bunch. Go on a solo adventure of self-discovery as you follow the very steps of T.E. Lawrence, through mesmerizing deserts, enchanting oases and mystifying Bedouin villages.

    If there has ever been a time to go on a solo adventure, it’s now. Believe it or not, there’s a growing demand for solo traveling around the globe, and traveling companies are eagerly tapping into that trend.

    After all, it’s not that hard to understand why we have become so enamored with the idea – we live in a world overstuffed with people, opinions and scrutiny over social media and entertainment platforms. It is only natural that, every now and then, a modern person needs to clear their head and enjoy a bit of solitude.

     
  • Adam 15:15 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    16 states sue Trump over national emergency declaration 

    A coalition of 16 states, including California, New York, Maryland, and Illinois, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday over President Trump’s attempt to use emergency powers to build a wall along the souther border.

    In the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the states argue that Trump cannot construct the wall without permission from Congress, and it is unconstitutional for him to divert money designated for other purposes. The suit also states that the “federal government’s own data prove there is no national emergency at the southern border that warrants construction of a wall. Customs and Border Protection data show that unlawful entries are near 45-year lows.”

    The additional states involved in the suit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia. All have Democratic governors, with the exception of Maryland.

     
  • Adam 22:12 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: венеция, италия   

    Парад гондол открыл карнавальный сезон в Венеции 

     
    • Tressa 08:19 on 19.02.2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
      Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog
      and would like to find out where u got this from.

      thanks

      Like

  • Adam 21:10 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Things To Do In London This Weekend: 23-24 February 2019 

    All weekend

    Children’s author Cressida Cowell appears at Southbank Centre

    HALF TERM: Running out of ways to keep the kids busy as half term comes to an end? Take a look at our family-friendly events guide — there’s still plenty going on including a family fun day, a Lego exhibition and a chance to see vets in action.

    IMAGINE FESTIVAL: It’s the final weekend of Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival, which celebrates kids’ literature, theatre and music though talks, workshops and performances. See the full programme here — highlights from these final two days include a reading of How To Train Your Dragon and a book signing with the author, Cressida Cowell. Southbank Centre, various times and prices, until 24 February

    LAST CHANCE TO SEE: Two big exhibitions close this weekend — and we expect them to be busy. V&A’s Videogames is aimed at gaming aficionados, with a detailed look at the design and creation of games (£18, book aheaduntil 24 February). Lost Treasures at Strawberry Hill House is an impressive gathering of some of the objects owned by the house’s original owner, Sir Horace Walpole. They were sold off after his death and haven’t returned to the house, until now  (£16, book ahead, until 24 February).

    WALES WEEK: In advance of St David’s Day, Wales Week is actually a fortnight of events celebrating all the great things about Wales and being Welsh. A full programme is available here, and includes a celebration of Welsh food and drink at Borough Market, a St David’s Day dinner, and a concert by the London Welsh Male Voice Choir. Various locations, times and prices, 23 February-9 March

    CULTURAL REVOLUTION: On tour from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, Cultural Revolution is an exhibition of Chinese state graphics from the 1960s and 1970s. The colour red — the colour of the revolution — features heavily in the propaganda posters, as do images of then state leader, Chairman Mao Zedong. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), suggested donation £5, just turn up, 23 February-27 May

    PHYLLIDA BARLOW: Work by British sculptor Phyllida Barlow goes on display throughout the Royal Academy’s new galleries. She’s reinterpreted the space as a residential cul-de-sac, with colour used as a key theme. Royal Academy (Piccadilly), £14, book ahead23 February- 23 June

    Saturday 23 February

    Bag a bargain at The Big London Flea

    COCKPITS AND CABINS: There’s a rare chance to climb inside the cockpits and cabins of some of the RAF Museum’s most fascinating vehicles, and get an idea of what it would have been like to drive or fly them. Vehicles open for business include the Sea King helicopter, the Phantom plane, and the K2 ambulance. RAF Museum (Colindale), £15, book ahead11am-3pm

    BIG LONDON FLEA: Get your rummaging skills ready and head to the Big London Flea, where you might pick up anything including furniture, homewares, vintage clothes and unexpected oddities. Stallholders range from vintage experts to locals having a clear out, so you’re bound to find something, whatever your budget and taste. Earth (Hackney), £1 entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

    ART 50: Barbican celebrates all things British at Art 50, a day of performances, dance, music, photography and film. Artists from all walks of life where asked to create something which showcases what national identity means to them in 2019. Barbican, free, just turn up, 12pm-8pm

    FETISH COLLECTION: Bishopsgate Institute is home to the UK Leather and Fetish Archive, a national collection documenting the history and heritage of the leather, rubber, BDSM and fetish communities. Today, the archive is open for anyone who wants to drop in and see the magazines, pamphlets, posters, ephemera, t-shirts and artefacts. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), free, just turn up, 1pm

    QUEER UTOPIAS: With London nightclubs closing at an alarming rate, there are concerns that LGBTQ club culture is under threat in the capital. Hear a panel of experts discuss why nightlife — and particularly LGBTQ dancefloors, which are considered a utopian safe space — and important, and how they can be saved. The British Academy, free, just turn up, 2pm-4pm

    SPACEBALLS: Where better to watch a space-themed sci-fi film that in the Royal Observatory? 1987 film Spaceballs, a Mel Brooks comedy which offers a pastiche of the original Star War trilogy, is screened, followed by a talk on the science of ‘ludicrous speed’ by a Royal Observatory astronomer. Royal Observatory (Greenwich), £10.30/£8.20, book ahead6.45pm-8.45pm

    FROMAGE ON ICE: If you like your music cheesy and your dance floor slippery, head to Club de Fromage On Ice. It’s 90s versus 00s night, so dance the night away to the best (and worst) tunes from both decades, all on an ice rink. Choose your dance moves very carefully. Alexandra Palace, £10/£9, book ahead8.30pm

    SHEEPS: It’s the final performance of Sheeps’ run at Soho Theatre. The comedy sketch trio trot out their new work in a show encompassing selfie sex and Harry Potter. Soho Theatre, £14-£19, book ahead9.15pm

    Sunday 24 February

    The Denim Juniors come to Islington.

    HALF MARATHON: Run a 13.1 mile course around Richmond Park, starting and finishing at Sheen Gate and taking in impressive views along the way. Not much of a runner? Go along and cheer them on. Richmond Park, £35-£37 to participate (booking required) or free to watch, 10am

    ANTIQUES FAIR: Browse antiques being sold by 140 antiques exhibitors and experts from all over Europe at Adams Antiques Fair. Early arrival is recommended as queues tend to form later in the day. Royal Horticultural Halls (Victoria), £4, booking recommended10am-4.30pm

    TEDDY FESTIVAL: Teddy bear lovers and traders from all over the world descend on Kensington for Hugglets BearFest. Add to your new collection with prices ranging from a few quid to thousands, pick up accessories for your ursine friends, or learn how to care for them and make any much-needed repairs at the  teddy bear hospital. Kensington Town Hall, £4, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

    DENIM JUNIORS: Suitable for all ages, The Denim Juniors is a drag pop concert aimed at kids and their families, with impressive costumes and plenty of familiar hits to sing along to. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £12/£10, book ahead2pm

    ART OF BURIAL: Join Footprints of London guide Marilyn Greene for a tour of the V&A, focusing specifically on burial practices. Learn about imagery and representations found in tombs around the world, some of which date back thousands of years — including a couple of archaeological discoveries from the London area. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £12/£9, book ahead3.45pm-5.15pm

    DRUNK WOMEN SOLVING CRIME: Popular podcast Drunk Women Solving Crime is recorded in front of a live audience. It does exactly what the title suggests — comedian hosts Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn are joined by a boozed-up panel in an attempt to personal crime stories and true crime cases. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10, book ahead6pm

    OF LOVE & LAW: Documentary Of Love & Law is the story of openly gay Japanese laywers Kazu and Fumi, who have taken on cases such as a woman who was born outside of the traditional family structure, so doesn’t legally exist, and a teacher fired for not standing during the national anthem. This screening is followed by a Q&A with the director. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead6.30pm

    COMEDY SKETCH OFF: See some of the UK’s best up-and-coming sketch artists and character comedians go head to head in the fourth annual Sketch Off. Tonight’s the grand final, so the cream of the crop are performing in a bid to win a cash prize and their own comedy showcase. Leicester Square Theatre, £16.75, book ahead7pm

     
  • Adam 21:08 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    London’s Best Year-Round Rooftop Bars 

    Image: Madison

    Us Londoners love a rooftop bar. From spring’s first rays right through to summer’s dying embers fading into autumn, we’ll find any excuse to head up high for a pint or Aperol Spritz and enjoy the sun. Then, when winter rolls around, we chuck on a couple of extra layers, offer up a quick prayer to the gods of patios heaters, and do it all again, switching that Spritz for a mulled wine.

    London’s rooftop bars know that we love them, and they fully play up to it, serving up up a permanent rotation of menus, themes, and even igloos, dotted all across London’s skyline. Here are a few of the best, whatever month it is.

    Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop bar

    The summer 2016 incarnation. Photo: Queen of Hoxton

    Marketing itself as a playground for adults, this east London party venue doesn’t take itself too seriously. It might sit right on the edge of the Square Mile, but its heart and soul are firmly in Shoreditch — and thankfully, so are the drink prices.

    The rooftop has a makeover and a new theme every season, although the wigwam is a permanent fixture. In recent years, Moulin Rouge, Dr Strangelove and Valhalla themes have come and gone, each incarnation bringing with it a themed food and drink menu, Instagrammable decor and a full programme of events.

    If it’s views you’re after, Queen of Hoxton has limited eyeline, due to its position right next to the Broadgate towers. But, there’s usually so much going on — think life drawing classes, drag bingo, hip hop karaoke — you barely notice.

    Oxo Tower, Bankside

    It’s cheating slightly, calling the Oxo Tower venue a ‘rooftop bar’ as it’s not strictly on the building’s roof (how long until someone does open a venue on top of that famous tower though?). What it is, is a restaurant, bar and brasserie all in one, 10 floors above London, with a stunning terrace that offers views all the way along the river, and over towards St Paul’s and beyond.

    Even in bad weather, the venue is a decent option for after work drinks or a pre-theatre meal — provided you’ve booked a table. But it comes into its own when the sun is shining, and those floor-to-ceiling glass doors are wedged open, given the entire venue the feeling of being outdoors.

    The Trafalgar St. James

    See eye to eye with Nelson (well, almost), high up on his column, at what must be London’s most central rooftop bar. The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St James is open to non-residents of the hotel, although opening hours are restricted, particularly in winter, so do check before you go.

    It offers both covered and open-air seating areas, and we’d recommend braving the elements for the best view of the masses snapping selfies in Trafalgar Square below — fear not, blankets and heaters are provided in the chillier months.

    The menu includes classic and signature cocktails — with some warmer ones in the winter — plus spirits, wine, beer and an impressive tea list. Bar nibbles take the form of edamame beans, breads, baby ribs, chicken skewers and the like, although the menu is liable to change seasonally.

    We’re all for being sociable, but can someone just reserve us a front row seat, hand us a bottle of wine and a plateful of snacks and leave us alone to people-watch for hours on end?

    Radio Rooftop at ME London

    Look east to the skyscrapers of the City, west to central London… or down for views straight into the courtyard of Somerset House. Radio Rooftop, above the ME London hotel,  has undergone several transformations in recent years, but it’s finally found its mojo as a rather hip year-round hangout.

    These days, food is as much of a priority as drinks are, with an impressive menu running through breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and all-day dining. Dress code is ‘smart and glamourous’, and the drinks menu depends on what the current pop-up is — for winter 2018, Grey Goose Vodka cocktails were the speciality, served up in  a Nordic-style winter hideaway.

    Madison, St Paul’s

    Image: Madison

    For the WOW factor, head up to Madison. It’s located on the eighth floor, above One New Change shopping centre and offices, which doesn’t sound all that romantic, but the views are impressive (it’d make for an epic first date venue). You’re practically nose to nose with the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, meaning you’re not just gazing out at the London skyline… you’re in it.

    The vibe is a chilled out one, with comfy sofas and low tables that wouldn’t look out of place in an Ibiza beach bar. The bar and seating area is covered, but the terrace area with the best views is open to the elements, making summer the optimum time to visit. Be warned though, in peak months, you’ll be queueing even to get in the lift.

    Of course, you *could* come up here during the day and visit the roof terrace for free, but then you wouldn’t have a cocktail in you hand, would you?

    Coq d’Argent, Bank

    Some people call it a banker’s haunt. We call it the Bagpuss building, on account of its stripes. Either way, Coq d’Argent is a surprisingly large venue, the restaurant mainly tucked away inside, serving up contemporary French cuisine.

    Outside on the rooftop terrace, meals from the grill menu are served during lunch time, but in the evening, focus is firmly on spirits and cocktails, with bar snacks offered as a stomach-lining option.

    The space is a variety of covered and open-air, with various pop-ups throughout the year, including the annual winter Lodge d’Argent, dressed to look like a ski lodge with food and drinks to match. Heaters and blankets are plentiful, but Coq d’Argent’s terrace really comes into its own in the summer, when those luscious (fake, we assume) green lawns give way to sunkissed views of the City skyline.

     
  • Adam 20:55 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    U.K. committee says Facebook ‘intentionally’ violated data privacy laws and behaved like ‘digital gangsters’ 

    Facebook should be subject to new regulations so that it can not be allowed to behave like “digital gangsters,” a U.K. parliamentary committee’s report has concluded.

    A report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which was issued Monday after an 18-month investigation, said that the social media giant “intentionally and knowingly” violated data privacy and competition laws, The New York Times and CNN report.

    The committee had examined Facebook’s internal emails as part of the investigation, and it recommends a watchdog be set up for the technology industry, as well as for Facebook and other companies to be legally compelled to remove harmful content.

    “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” the report reads, CNN reports. The report also criticizes CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he showed “contempt” for the committee by refusing to appear before them and accusing Facebook of deliberately sending witnesses who weren’t briefed on key issues.

    Facebook expressed openness to “meaningful regulation,” The Times reports.

     
  • Adam 20:52 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    10 things you need to know today: February 18, 2019 

    1.

    President Trump is prepared to issue a veto if Congress votes against his declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller indicated on Sunday. “The president is going to protect his national emergency declaration,” Miller told Fox News Sunday. Asked if that meant Trump would veto a resolution of disapproval, Miller said: “He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed.” Democrats, who say Trump is exceeding his authority by going around Congress to fund his border wall, are planning to introduce a resolution of disapproval. Several Republican senators already have indicated they would support it. Public Citizen, a progressive advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of overstepping his constitutional authority. California also plans to sue to block the order. [The Associated Press]

    2.

    Activists across the nation have planned Monday protests against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, which he plans to use to free up $8 billion in funding for 234 miles of border wall. Protests are scheduled from New York to California, and from North Dakota to Texas. “We are mobilizing nonviolent rapid-response events to stand up against Trump’s #FakeNationalEmergency to defend our democracy and immigrant, Muslim, black, and brown communities from Trump’s dangerous national emergency power grab,” MoveOn.org said on its website for the nationwide events. In Atlanta, the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice organized a Presidents Day protest outside the offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, because that agency would be “charged with patrolling this ridiculous wall.” [USA Today, WSBTV]

    3.

    France’s justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said Monday that her government would not immediately act on President Trump’s call for European allies to bring home and prosecute hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured in Syria. Trump on Saturday demanded that France, Britain, and Germany repatriate more than 800 ISIS fighters who are from European countries. French policy has been to refuse to take back fighters and their wives, on the grounds that they are “enemies” of the nation who should face justice where they are. The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are holding 150 French citizens, many of them children, in northern Syria, and their status is in question following President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. [Reuters]

    4.

    Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday that “a crime may have been committed” if President Trump was trying to obscure his campaign’s ties to Russia and derail the Russian election meddling investigation when he fired then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017. McCabe was ousted in March 2018, 10 months after opening two investigations into Trump that he said led to his firing. The White House said in a statement to CBS News that McCabe opened “a completely baseless investigation into the president,” and has “no credibility.” McCabe’s book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, is being released Tuesday. [The Associated Press, Politico]

    5.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said he would investigate former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other top Justice Department officials to determine if they plotted an “attempted bureaucratic coup” against President Trump. Graham made the statement on CBS’ Face the Nation in response to McCabe’s comments in a CBS 60 Minutesinterview that Justice Department officials had discussed the possibility of asking Cabinet officials whether they would support using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. McCabe corroborated reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had suggested wearing a wire in a meeting with Trump. “We will have a hearing about who’s telling the truth,” Graham said. [The Huffington Post]

    6.

    Iranian and Chinese hackers appear to have resumed attacks on U.S. businesses and government agencies, The New York Times reported Monday. The recent targets of Chinese spies included Boeing, General Electric Aviation, and T-Mobile, according to an intelligence briefing summary read to the Times. Security experts believe that the hackers stepped up their efforts after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal last year, and as trade tensions escalated with China. Iran’s recent attacks have been broader than previously reported, targeting U.S. banks, businesses, and government agencies and prompting the Department of Homeland Security to declare an emergency order during last month’s government shutdown. [The New York Times]

    7.

    The Trump administration has blocked a United Nations agency’s attempts to reopen North Korean airspace to international flights, Reuters reported Sunday, citing three sources familiar with the matter. One of the sources said the U.S. move is part of an effort to maintain sanctions against Pyongyang as a negotiating tactic ahead of President Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February. The U.S. is trying to get North Korea to take concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments to dismantling its nuclear and missile programs. The U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization has been working with North Korea to reopen an air route over its territory. Foreign airlines now fly around the country due to the threat of unannounced missile launches. [Reuters]

    8.

    Chinese stocks soared on Monday ahead of a new round of high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China in Washington. The Shanghai composite index surged by 2.7 percent, while the Shenzhen composite rose by 3.7 percent. Both countries said last week’s talks in Beijing had resulted in significant progress. President Trump said the world’s two biggest economies were closer than ever to “having a real trade deal,” adding that he would be “honored” to remove new tariffs if the “very complicated” talks yielded an agreement. He also reiterated that he would consider extending an early March deadline and further delaying tariff hikes on Chinese goods if a deal is near. U.S. markets are closed Monday for Presidents Day. [CNBC]

    9.

    Denny Hamlin won his second Daytona 500 on Sunday after a late 21-car crash delayed the finish of the 61st running of NASCAR’s biggest and season-opening race. Hamlin was one of just 14 drivers to finish on the lead lap, after a series of crashes late in the race. Nineteen cars, out of a field of 40, were able to complete an overtime period that added 17.5 miles to the race, the lowest number to finish since just 18 got through the race in 1985. “It’s incredible to me how many times we were able to crash in the last 10 laps,” said Jamie McMurray, a former Daytona 500 champion involved in the night’s final wreck. “When the Daytona 500 is on the line, people are willing to take big risks.” [USA Today]

    10.

    Team LeBron came back from a 20-point second-half deficit to beat Team Giannis 178-164 in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the second-straight win for LeBron James’ team in the captain’s-choice format. Warriors forward Kevin Durant earned MVP honors, scoring 31 points for Team LeBron. LeBron James finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. First-time captain Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 38, hitting 17 of his 23 shots for the team he drafted. Team Giannis also got 20 points from Paul George and Khris Middleton, and another 17 points apiece from Stephen Curry, who was Antetokounmpo’s first draft pick, and Russell Westbrook. [CBS Sports, The Associated Press]

     
  • Adam 20:47 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    £10 0FF PASTA EVANGELISTS 

    Pasta through the post? Yep it’s a thing thanks to Pasta Evangelists, who deliver fresh, artisanal pasta and sauces direct to you door, meaning you can whip up an authentic Italian dinner in just five minutes.

    Each box contains fresh, handmade pasta and a sauce – both made in London using seasonal ingredients – plus garnishes and instructions on how to bring the dish together. The menu changes weekly, with eight options to choose from but don’t go expecting spag bol. As well as the likes of crab tortelloni with a crustacean bisque and pappardelle with pork stracotto and cavolo nero, Pasta Evangelists likes to feature lesser-known regional Italian specialities like pesto trapanese from Trapani and malloreddus from Sardegna.

    GBBO judge Prue Leith and food critics Giles Coren and William Sitwell have given their seal of approval , so if you wanna get in on the pasta action, you can get £10 OFF your first order.

    USE code LOTI10

    pastaevangelists.com

    Terms & Conditions
    £10 off a £13 minimum spend.
    Offer valid to new customers only.

    The post £10 0FF PASTA EVANGELISTS appeared first on London On The Inside.

     
  • Adam 20:42 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Best New Hotels Around the World for 2019 

    Although London is where our heart is, we do love travelling the world doing much the same things we do in London: seeking out amazing food and experiences. Hotels are a crucial part of that experience too and following on from our round up of London’s most exciting hotel openings for 2019, here’s a global edition of the best new hotels for 2019 to look forward to.

    Aman Kyoto

    1. Aman Kyoto

    Super luxury hotel group Aman is opening its third hotel in Japan, this time in Kyoto. Japan and Aman is a dream combination and the design of their latest, a high end ryokan with sleek minimalist materials and traditional touches, looks like the kind of place you’d have to be dragged away from with tears in your eyes. Located on the outskirts of town it will have a beautiful setting surrounded by temples and mountains, plus the usual top-notch Aman spa experience and a traditional Japanese restaurant. Opens: November

    http://www.aman.com/resorts/aman-kyoto

    2. Six Senses Bhutan

    Six Senses don’t half know how to pick a location. As well as opening a resort on Cambodia’s tiny Krabey island in March it has a stunning new property in Bhutan slated to open in May. Located in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the hotel is actually made up of five separate lodges spread across the western and central valleys. This means you can essentially hop across the country while bedding in for the night at a different Six Senses lodge, with a range of itineraries on offer.  There will be a total of 82 suites divided between the lodges with the first three due to open in May and the rest by the end of the year. This one looks very special indeed. Opens: May

    http://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/bhutan/destination

    Rosewood Hong Kong

    3. Rosewood Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is no stranger to luxury hotels in skyscrapers but even so, the arrival of Rosewood’s latest is likely to set a new bar. Occupying 43 floors of a 65-storey tower in Kowloon, it will have 322 rooms and 91 suites, the most ridiculous of which will have landscaped gardens, sun decks with private pools, and wraparound terraces. There’s also going to be a spa and EIGHT restaurants, and if you’re having a really good time you can move in to one of the private residences upstarts. Opens: March

    http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/hong-kong

    Singita

    4. Singita Safari Lodge Rwanda

    Singita is opening a new lodge in Rwanda, set on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, home to one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Besides gorillas, there’s loads to see and explore, from the Afro montane forests of Nyungwe National Park to the capital city, Kigali. Singita Kwitonda will offer 8 suites and a villa with views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes, all designed with locally sourced and produced materials. Luxury African adventures don’t come much better than this. Opens: winter

    rwanda.singita.com

    Sonop

    5. Sonop, Namibia

    Zannier Hotels already have one property in Namibia, the luxe game reserve Omaanda, and in 2019 it’s adding another, Sonop. It’s camping, but not really, with ten tens set in a huge private dessert reserve featuring infinity pool, four posted beds and copper bathtubs. Pure luxury. Outside you’ll be able to go on dessert rides by horseback or 3-bike where hyenas, leopards and oryx can hopefully be spotted. Opens: August

    http://www.zannierhotels.com/sonop/

    Life House Little Havana

    6. Life House – Little Havana and South Beach, Miami

    A new boutique hotel collection, Life House, is off to a strong start this year opening not one, but two hotels, just a few months apart, in Miami. First up is Life House Little Havana in March, a 33 room hotel located in a 1920s mansion in Miami’s Cuban heart. The interiors will be a mix of art deco and Cuban cool, with a living room library and gallery all squeezed in to the building. This will be followed by Life House South Beach in May, a beach cottage retreat set right on the ocean. Opens: March (Little Havana); May (South Beach)

    http://www.lifehousehotels.com

    The Hoxton Chicago

    7. The Hoxton Chicago and LA

    Following openings in Brooklyn and Portland in 2018, The Hoxton continues its march across America with two new hotels, in LA and Chicago. Both properties will have a rooftop pool (a first for The Hoxton) and the usual Hoxton-style smart design and welcome public spaces. In Chicago there’ll be new restaurants run by local heroes Boka, with the LA food and drinks programme soon to be announced. Opens: summer

    thehoxton.com/illinois/chicago/hotels

    Artist Residence Bristol

    8. Artist Residence Bristol

    We’re big fans of Artist Residence and its latest, due to open in Bristol in March, looks like a stunner. Set in a Grade I listed former boot factory it will have 27 bedrooms, cafe, bar and events space. Given the building’s heritage it’s set to look pretty stunning once given the Artist Residence touch: smart design and filled with contemporary artworks. Open: spring

    http://www.artistresidence.co.uk

    The post Best New Hotels Around the World for 2019 appeared first on London On The Inside.

     
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