Category: All Natural Blog

Stress-free Seattle: Uncover the charms of a coffee city

  • The biggest city in Washington state is a must-see for fans of urban America
  • Virgin Atlantic has just launched direct flights to Seattle from London Heathrow
  • The city is home to museums and markets, but also framed by volcanic scenery 

Seattle may not have the iconic sights of New York or the glitz of Los Angeles, but nor does it have the frenetic pace and brashness.

Known as the U.S.’s tech capital (Microsoft and Amazon are based here), it also has the terrific backdrop of the Mount Rainier National Park, home to the famous 4,392m-tall snow-capped peak. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

In search of a Swiss master: On the trail of Giacometti

  • Alberto Giacometti was one of Switzerland’s foremost 20th century painters
  • He is the subject of a detailed exhibition at Tate Modern until September
  • His home area of Bregalia, near the Italian border, is a fine place for a holiday 

Alberto Giacometti was a mountain goat. As a boy he disappeared into the meadows above the village of Stampa in Bregaglia near the Swiss-Italian border.

When the sun was high he daydreamed in a cave in the hillside. A farmer tried to employ him in the fields but the future painter and sculptor just gazed at the sky. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

Jeremy Clarke takes a rail trip through Europe

  • The Daily Mail’s Jeremy Clarke toured Europe on a 30-day Eurail pass 
  • Stops included Barcelona, Alicante, Granada, Seville, Madrid and Marseille 
  • Jeremy, aged 60, stayed at various budget youth hostels along the way

‘Hallo! Yes you my friend! Do you want some drugs?’ said a cheery teenage narcotics salesman.

‘No!’ I said, standing in the sunshine outside Marseille St Charles railway station contemplating the city rooftops while waiting for a train. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

How to see Europe’s key cities without breaking the bank

  • The euro is still strong against sterling, but cheap weekend breaks are possible
  • Cities such as Dubrovnik, Riga and Budapest can all be enjoyed on a budget
  • Several museums in Lisbon offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month

Exploring some of the top sights in Europe need not cost a fortune.

A two-night city stay, flights and even an activity can come in at around £300 for two, sharing a room. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

How the city now known as Kolkata beats its shabby image

  • A place of scale and scope, Kolkata is India’s third most populous city
  • Formerly known as Calcutta, it is the capital of the state of West Bengal
  • Attractions include the Victoria memorial, often mistaken for the Taj Mahal 

Kolkata is a slow-burner.

At first glance, the Indian city, formerly known as Calcutta, is a haze of pollution, incessant honking of horns and half-built skyscrapers with bamboo scaffolding hanging off them like cobwebs. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

Magical Milan: How to enjoy Lombardy’s grand capital

  • Milan is known as an epicentre of fashion, but it also revels in artistic treasures
  • Leonardo Da Vinci painted The Last Supper inside Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • The masterpiece was damaged during the Napoleonic era, but is still majestic 

Home to luxury labels such as Prada, Versace and Armani, Milan regards itself as not only the fashion and design capital of Italy, but also the world.

This city of 1.3 million in Lombardy fizzes with energy. Rome may be revered and Florence feted, but it’s this spirited northern powerhouse that dominates Italy’s commercial and cultural life. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

Steaming waters still draw beauties to Bath

  • Bathing in Bath’s thermal waters has been popular since the Roman times
  • At The Gainsborough hotel, you can wallow in it at the spa or even in a suite
  • But there’s more to the city than its springs — and it’s a perfect weekend break

People still come to Bath to bathe. There’s a queue outside the Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy the steaming waters and city skyline.

Our hotel, The Gainsborough, is the only hotel in the city to pipe the thermal waters into its spa and suites. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

A carnival in the Canaries: Party on in Gran Canaria

  • Very few tourists consider the Canary Islands for a dose of February Mardi Gras
  • But Gran Canaria, the third largest of the Spanish isles, has a carnival culture
  •  Its capital city Las Palmas reverberates to drums and dancing every February

On Canteras Beach in Las Palmas, capital of Gran Canaria, a bizarre funeral is taking place. Women dressed in widow’s weeds are wailing in Oscar-worthy displays of grief. They are crying about the death of a sardine. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

Make a pig of yourself in succulent Segovia

  • The Spanish city of Segovia is known for the fattening dish whole suckling pig
  • But visitors can work off the calories on a selection of steeply slanted streets
  • Attractions include the wonderful Alcazar fortress, which rears on its hilltop

How do you work up an appetite for a whole roast suckling pig?

You can imagine the dish — cochinillo asado — being eaten by peasant farmers who would plough and heave the earth in fields around Segovia from before dawn until after dusk. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog

Russian revolt! Visit St Petersburg a century on

  • Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 is at London’s Royal Academy until April 17
  • Those who are inspired should make fascinating St Petersburg their next trip
  • Former home of the Romanovs The Winter Palace is the spot where it all started

Adventure it was, and one of the most marvellous mankind ever embarked upon, wrote the American journalist John Reed.

His eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Ten Days That Shook The World, told the gripping story of the Bolshevik revolt against the tyranny of the ruling Tsars. read more

No Comments All Natural Blog