We stayed in the St Georges quarter, a stone throw away and bedroom window view from the famous Moulin Rouge. Pose outside for a quick snap, but the main street full of sex shops can be avoided in a hop skip and a step towards the Sacré-Cœur. With streets full of quaint french buildings and cobbled streets, you’ll find boutiques for everything, including those all expected Parisian vintage shops. The streets are full of authentic restaurants, and of course that all essential Irish Bar! Whether you’re the healthy Brit abroad, juice shops are on most corners, or you're looking for a weekend escape with your head in several glasses of french wine, this quarter of paris has streets full of those essential non-tourist jaunts for watching the world go by whilst sipping on your favourite tipple.
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For some growing up, family car journeys would take you to the south of France, but for us, it was a 2 hour flight to unspoilt, idyllic Menorca. It was the first holiday abroad we’d ever had, as long-haul flights and two younger brothers wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours on a plane without upsetting every other passenger in hearing distance! It’s the perfect family holiday destination and perfect for visiting between May and October. Outside its hottest months of July and Augusts, all of the Balearics are perfect for activity-filled holidays, with plenty to see and do for couples and families alike.
Sardinia was a holiday I first enjoyed young, a holiday I totally unappreciated the islands true beauty and only took advantage of the hot summer days and a memory of an indulgent orange flavoured chocolate dessert at a restaurant I can't even remember the location of, let alone the name. Head back a few matured years later and Sardinia is an island that's love at first sight (at least first sight in my twenties).
Lanzorote has received some bad rep over time, but do not be deceived by the prospect of grotty nightclubs and cheap eats. It might surprise you, but Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is turning into a rather upmarket destination. The black-beach island, with all-year round sun is the perfect spot for a family get away or an adults only relaxing week in the heat. Playa Blanca, a 20 minute drive from the airport has it all on offer; authentic restaurants, boat life, shops, black beaches and cocktail bars for the party-goers. For an adults only boutique hotel experience, book in at H10 White Suites, with an Ibizan inspired pool area, cocktails on tap and a great selection of cuisine...
Dinner where only the rich and famous go….
Water, water everywhere provides some of the best seafood in Europe. Indulge in a seven course tasting menu, paired with fine wines at Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s resident restaurant, Oro. Located at the tip of the Giudecca Island, the restaurant is just a short spectacular boat ride from St. Marks Square. With it’s calm atmosphere and sense of seclusion, the service is attentive and the food is some of the worlds best. The wine menu is somewhat overwhelming and replicates a catalogue, but with a sommelier on hand to help choose your wines, you’ll be sipping away on fine wines to match your food in no time. With a cocktail giving a nod to some of George Clooney’s favourites, make time before dinner to sit by their saltwater pool and sip on fizz with fresh fruit purees and a Moscow Mule that leaves you wanting more.
Our flights threw our first few hours in Italy into limbo, and our first afternoon was a bit of a blur spent mostly catching up on the days sleep that we'd lost. The following morning, we open then balcony doors, and we're in Tuscan paradise, nothing but the rolling green hills of Italy and the villa used as Maximus's home in Ridley Scott's Gladiator in the far distance. The prospect of spending 4 days doing nothing more than relaxing in our soft robes, provided by Adler, slippers and swimwear is pretty welcoming...
With free golf lessons and etiquette golf classes for guests under the age of 12, this is the sophisticated Swiss destination for the whole family.
The hotel’s desire to encourage young golfers stems from a long association with golf: the Engadine, where the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is located, is known as “The Golf Centre of the Alps” thanks, in part, to the creation of the hotel’s own 9-hole golf course in 1891, making it one of the oldest golf courses in Switzerland - and one of the highest in Europe at an altitude of almost 2000 metres...
I have vague memories of a family holiday to the island before I’d even hit 10, we’d stayed in an all-inclusive, and I remember very little than being grumpy over sunburn and being forced into a children’s club that was 5 years below my age. 20 or so years later, I find myself laid on a bed somewhere in Sant Jose drinking champagne under the sun with friends celebrating their consecutive 30th’s after a night in Space. From club hopping and parties on the beach, through to hunting for jewels in Ibiza Old Town and yoga retreats dotted in the hills, this Island with a name for itself has to be hands down my favourite.
Sitting along Barbados’ west coast, lie some of the island’s most beautiful and luxurious hotels.
An island full of versatility, comprising of the east coast’s surf-ready waves, the west coast’s tranquil white beaches, super friendly locals and the capital, Bridgetown, boasting the romantic, sun-filled island’s heritage. While away hours in the Caribbean sun with a cocktail in hand, or in the pool at one of the most idyllic locations on Barbados’ renowned Platinum West Coast, Crystal Cove - an all-inclusive resort nestled on a beautiful beach front cliff. A natural haven with lush gardens of Frangipani and Bougainvillea, it’s the perfect neighbour to the resort’s crystal clear waters.
Whether city breaks or hot beaches are you thing, here's a quick-fire list of just some of the spots perfect for last minute bookings and flights in June. June is the perfect time to cut your flight time short and head to more local destinations, enjoying the mid 20's heat and pre-summer holiday rush...
May has to be one of the best months to visit Peru, the rain season has ended but the land is still green and lush, with main holiday-goers not arriving until June and July. Tackling the Inca Trail is the best way to see the Lost City of the Incas, but make sure you plan ahead and book your trail as permits are needed a month in advance! Tours and Hikes cover 26 miles over 4 days. Leave your tent and sleeping bag for an hour or two's hike up Machu Picchu in the darkness for an unforgettable misty sunrise...
There’s nothing more deflating than heading back to work after the build up to a jam packed festive season and long Christmas break, so this month, we’re visiting the top places to beat the New Year blues. Whether you’re looking for a weekend European break, a week on a hot beach, a mountain to skii down or a swanky New York shopping spree we’ve got it covered thanks to Secret Escapes.
Become your own travel agent
Get to know your booking.com and onthebeach.co.uk as going to the travel agent to book your holiday is so ‘2016’. With the advancement of technology and the likes of google launching its Google Trips app, booking your own holiday from the comfort of your own home is the best way to plan your holiday. Shop around, but always have in mind what you’re looking for and how much you’re looking to spend...
Wear your thickest clothes on the plane
Aeroplane’s are notoriously cool, so don’t be afraid to layer up and save on that all-essential space and weight limited in your case. Although it’s a bit of a nightmare going through the scanners at the airport and having to remove most items, if you’re an over packer and have plenty of time to kill in the airport, it’s worth the extra space you’ll save!