Bring your summer vacation plans into focus by finding inspiration and guidance from travelers in our Travel Talk Forums. The trips they're planning this summer vary widely, from classic road trips, to epic European adventures, to getaways that take advantage of last minute deals or nerve. Which of the following suits your summer?
No Fly Zone: Take a Road Trip
Top Destinations: Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, Santa Barbara and the Central Coast
Tips and Inspiration: Forgotten Classic Road Trips: Route 66, What to Pack on Your Next Road Trip, Renting an RV in Alaska, Scenic Drives in … Read the rest
The Ikusasa School of Cooking has been awarded the BHP Billiton’s Achiever Award in the category - Outstanding Contribution to Skills Development in Tourism.
The Achiever Awards were presented by Achiever magazine at the Skills Development Summit held at the CSIR offices in Pretoria on 6 and 7 September.
"At a time when the shortage of skills has reached almost crisis proportions in a number of areas of the national economy, now more than ever, those who are making a difference by providing South Africa with the necessary skills must be recognised for their leadership and applauded for their … Read the rest
On the road with the Da Vinci Code. Travel the roads taken by characters in the best-selling novel...
"A must-read before a trip to Paris," wrote "Jay" on the Fodors.com Travel Talk forums earlier this year.<="" p="">
Inspired by the comments of Jay and other Da Vinci Code aficionados, we've whipped up a tour of some of the key sights tied to the book. Most can be visited by the average tourist, but a few can be seen only from afar, and one requires thousands of dollars a day to enter.
The Da Vinci Code opens with a late-night … Read the rest
Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, launched the South African National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism (NMSRT) this week, which highlights the role of sustainable tourism practices in creating better places for people to visit, work, invest and live in.
The minister said that the primary objective of the National Department of Tourism is to retain the economic and social advantages of tourism development and growth while reducing the undesirable impacts on the natural, historic, cultural or social environment. The South African National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism serves to:
· Establish a common understanding of the minimum criteria … Read the rest
Livvy Cawthorne is an evangelist for Northumbrian produce and recipes. Not only that, but she's notorious in these parts. "I introduced pesto to Berwick-upon-Tweed," she tells me, with a firm nod.
I'm sitting in her kitchen at a lovely battered oak table and watching in quiet awe as she rustles up not one but three dishes: pan haggerty, pearl barley "risotto" and stovies, all hearty, rib-warming fare, perfect for slow cooking and made entirely from ingredients sourced in the area. The onions come from a farm five miles away, the potatoes from Carroll's Heritage Potatoes, which is six miles … Read the rest
In a move designed to address the challenges presented by the global downturn in the hospitality industry, Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa has opened a new restaurant, Cafe Z. The restaurant is more accessible to locals and visitors.
“We are facing the challenges head-on,” says Pezula chairman Keith Stewart, “by investing in a new and innovative product which we believe will give our guests more flexibility and affordability in this tough climate.”
“We are being innovative in our approach and adding an offering which will suit more pockets,” says Stewart.
chef Geoffrey Murray, who opened Zachary’s fine dining restaurant … Read the rest
Soho Sky Terrace, West End
A bit of a secret spot, the Courthouse DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (19-21 Great Marlborough Street, W1, 020-7297 5555, doubletree3.hilton.com) opposite Carnaby Street, once the courtroom where Oscar Wilde and Mick Jagger faced trial, also has a small roof terrace bar, the Sky Terrace, open 3pm-11pm or later, providing a quiet place to sip outside away from the hectic crowds of the shopping streets below.
Other rooftops in the area include the edgy/glam Sanctum Soho Hotel's (20 Warwick Street, W1, 020-7292 6100, sanctumsoho.com, 8am-midnight for visitors) terrace cocktail bar, and Aqua Spirit (240 Regent … Read the rest
Back in 1983, the liquor industry was going through a series of price wars. Editor of then named Hotelier & Caterer (now Hotel & Restaurant), Bruce Heilbuth, reported on Fedhasa’s suggestion of minimum mark-ups.
Heilbuth said in his Viewpoint: “Earlier this year, Fedhasa made repeated appeals to licensed liquor traders to heed the lessons of the past and try to reach consensus with their colleagues to maintain mark-ups at an acceptable level to stay out of the red.
“The warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears and the lunacy of price wars continues in many parts of the … Read the rest
On the road with the Da Vinci Code in London, where the trail takes us to Fleet Street and Temple Church...
Another Cryptex, Another Clue
Realizing that the clue to the cryptex might not be in France but in England, Langdon, Neveu, and Teabing board Teabing's private plane for London. In midair, the three manage to open the cryptex, but the contents, instead of revealing the secrets of the Grail, yield only another clue wrapped around yet another cryptex. Once on the ground, the threesome, hastily interpreting this latest clue, make a mad dash down Fleet Street to a … Read the rest
Europhiles who bemoan the lack of sophisticated food and wine in America have nothing to complain about in San Francisco, where you can find shockingly delicious osso buco and mouthwatering sushi sometimes on the same corner. As in many cities, great new restaurants open each year in San Francisco, but unlike Los Angeles and New York, quite a few of them last longer than a year, and many last a decade or longer. Here are ten classics that consistently make the grade:
Okay, it's across the Bay Bridge in Berkeley, but foodies shouldn't miss the place that … Read the rest
First, a caveat, a confession. I was given the penthouse. It is not a word I expected to hear at a country inn, on the Fylde peninsula, halfway between Preston and Blackpool, but it is a fitting term for this enormous, open-plan, ?200-a-night doozy. It looks like a magazine feature, with its walk-in shower, freestanding bath beneath a huge Velux window, wall-mounted Bang & Olufsen iPod dock, and terrace overlooking the River Wyre. Half the space is, essentially, a wet room.
The rate is steep, but if you had reason (anniversary, honeymoon, lottery win), you would struggle to find … Read the rest
Costa Rica continues to be one of the world's top tourist destinations, and there's little wonder why. The country has almost 800 miles of coastline, some of the world's largest rain forests, and at least 300 volcanoes, five of them active. There are raging rivers, no end of mountains, and if bird-watching is your thing, Costa Rica is home to 876 bird species.
But most of all, Costa Rica is just plain gorgeous. Whether you're visiting the tropical jungles of the Caribbean coast, the cities of the Central Valley, or the mountains and beaches of the Pacific, Costa Rica's … Read the rest
Broadgate House, Broughton-in-Furness
One for those who aspire to a grand country house hotel but don't quite have the funds to match, the five bedrooms at this stately Georgian B&B are dressed with antique beds, rocking chairs and chests of drawers and lined with comfortingly chintzy wallpaper. None is en suite but, with access to several private bathrooms, no one has to share unless they opt to (owner Diana only lets out all the rooms if their occupants are well-acquainted enough to share a loo). The other big attraction here is the garden, a huge 300-year-old affair that overlooks … Read the rest
Brixton Ice Arena
It's a bit surreal walking along Brixton Station Road with the heady waft of jerk chicken and the deep rumble of reggae drifting over from the market, knowing you're about to walk into an ice rink. But it's this cultural mismatch that makes it such a cracking day out. Brixton Ice Arena is a temporary space with all the charm of a portable warehouse, but once inside it covers the basics. After you're done practising axel jumps, head to Brixton Village for cafes offering everything from Beijing street food to Colombian cantina staples.
• 49 Brixton … Read the rest
Visit Mirehouse, Keswick
Take spare clothes on a visit to this 17th-century manor house on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. There are so many natural play areas concealed within its wooded grounds that children will slip from one messy adventure into another. From the walled Bee Garden, with its heather maze and sheltered dens (perfect for picnics), you can hear shrieks coming from the adventure playground, where a zip-wire, rope climbers and balance bridges crisscross a gushing stream. The rhododendron-lined footpath passes a play fort and steeplechase, before crossing woods and fields to reach the lake shore. Leave time … Read the rest
Kauai, a leader in the fast casual health food sector, turned 15 years old this April and has just opened its 100th store.
Owned by franchisee Wayne van Bloemenstein, who already has one other Kauai store at Bayside Mall in Cape Town, the new store is at Eden on the Bay Mall in Big Bay, Blouberg.
John Berry, founder and chief innovations officer of Kauai, says: “100 stores is quite a milestone for us as a brand. It’s awesome to realize that it was just a thought or figure in our imagination when we started. It has taken an … Read the rest
Posh, Duke Of York's Theatre, WC2, to 4 Aug, royalcourttheatre.com Laura Wade's pre-general election play set at a club for upper-class boys at Oxford is still timely.
Timon Of Athens, Olivier Theatre, South Bank, SE1, to 31 Oct, nationaltheatre.org.uk Simon Russell Beale stars in Nicholas Hytner's timely production of Shakespeare's drama of debt and ruin.
Ellen Gronemeyer, Greengrassi, SE11, to 28 Jul, greengrassi.com Densely-wrought paintings of acrobats mix cartoon exuberance, fairytale whimsy and darker notes.
The Politics Of Sport, South London Gallery, Peckham, SE5, to 14 Sep, southlondongallery.org Artists explore the hidden desires, fears and personal victories that … Read the rest
The local travel and tourism operators remain somewhat optimistic of an improvement in business performance levels for the next quarter of 2011, in spite of prior performance expectations not having been met. However, 2012 performance is still not expected to reach normal performance levels. This is according to the results of the third quarter edition of the TBCSA FNB Tourism Business Index (TBI).
The TBI is an initiative of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) and compiled by Grant Thornton. The index provides a national indication of the current and future … Read the rest
In an agreement between South African Tourism (SAT), German tour operator Wikinger Reisen and German-based outdoor gear retailer Globetrotter Ausruestung, shoppers will engage with destination South Africa like never before.
The partnership, running throughout the month of October, will see five Globetrotter stores transformed into a truly encompassing South African experience, complete with full window dress, multi-sensory video shows and authentic South African culinary treats and experiences.
Theresa Bay-Muller, SAT’s country manager in Germany, is confident that the activation will expose the outdoor exhilaration of South Africa to a captive audience. “Globetrotter consumers are already actively pursuing their outdoor … Read the rest
Eating belowground is not a new idea. Germany and Austria are famous for their gemutlich wine cellars, and nothing typifies New York's Greenwich Village like its basement bars and restaurants. But perhaps only in London has eating in the crypts of ancient churches gained wide appeal.
Mostly self-service and in some cases open only for lunch, London's crypt caf s are a good option for sightseers with heavy feet and light purses. And children tend to be impressed by the subterranean surroundings.
The church of St. Mary-le-Bow (Cheapside, The City), designed by Christopher Wren in 1673, was built on … Read the rest
“At the risk of being accused of repetition, Hotel & Restaurant believes, as we said at the end of last year, hoteliers and restaurateurs who wish to survive should look closely at the local and African markets in the short term,” said editor Andrew Moth.
He was responding to the general belief held at the time that the collapse of the rand would mean floods of international tourists. Instead, it pushed up the price of imported goods and local producers soon starting looking to export their goods or charge the prices they could get overseas.
Moth also examined the … Read the rest
Start National Trust car park, grid ref: SD450774
Distance 2 miles
National Trust downloadable route and map
A distinctive part of the north west countryside, Arnside Knott is an imposing Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with spectacular views of the Lake District and Morecombe Bay from the summit. If you time your visit carefully, you may witness the impressive spectacle of the tidal bore rushing in across the vast Bay, where the tides are said to run faster than a galloping horse and the quicksands can be deadly. This pretty walk to the top takes you through … Read the rest
Brasserie cuisine continues to enjoy a vogue among U.S. diners, which explains why so many restaurants showcasing the cuisine are opening on the West coast. The new kid on the brasserie block is Currant, which is scheduled to open in late September on the ground floor of San Diego's new Sofia Hotel. Critics are lining up the superlatives for superchef Jonathan Pfleuger's latest endeavor. The 85-seat Currant does an international spin on brasserie dining with dishes like the Sweetbread Club with foie gras mousse, nueske bacon, red onion, and sherry jam; and the Grilled Hanger Steak, served with herb … Read the rest
Winners of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) Awards for Excellence in Franchising 2011 are:
From the early days when a handful of franchisors got together to lay down the business ethics that form the foundation of the local franchise sector, the FASA has been honouring its members with the FASA Awards for Excellence in Franchising. The FASA annual awards held last week celebrates its 21st anniversary.
The awards highlight those franchisors and franchisees that choose to be members of FASA and uphold the association’s high ethical standards as well as the contribution that the sector makes to … Read the rest