Custom safari specialist Extraordinary Journeys is wrapping a South African safari with a culinary exploration of the country. The epicurean adventure itinerary includes tours of a variety of wineries and vineyards; meals and taste menus at noted restaurants; hiking, cycling or horseback riding through the Franschhoek Valley; followed by a safari at Singita Ebony lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The itinerary also includes a day visiting Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve with a return to Constantia in the late afternoon via helicopter.
The nine-day trip is priced from $9,700 per person double occupancy, including accommodations, game-viewing drives, domestic airfare, meals and drinks and activities per the itinerary. The price is $500 less for bookings before April 15. Extraordinary Journeys provides custom safaris for honeymooners, families and individual travelers to Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Congo.
Marriott Caribbean & Latin America Resorts is offering a new Breakfast at the Beach Event featuring 20 to 30 percent off the company’s “Stay for Breakfast” rates at nine resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America. The package includes accommodations and daily breakfast for two adults, with children 12 and under dining free. Bookings must be made by June 30, 2013 for travel between June 15, 2013 and Oct. 31, 2013. A minimum two-night stay required.
Participating properties offering 30 percent off include the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino; CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa; Los Suenos Marriott Resort and JW Marriott Panama Resort. Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort is offering 25 percent off and properties offering 20 percent off include CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort; Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino; Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort; JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa.
EatWith, a new program that connects food-focused travelers with local host families, is now available for visitors to Israel. EatWith offers unique dining experiences in private homes and visits to dairy and produce farms across Israel.
The 60th anniversary of the Coronation at Westminster Abbey
June – September 2013
The Coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on June 2nd 1953, nearly eighteen months after Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI. Westminster Abbey is to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation in 2013 with a series of special events this summer, including a service of celebration attended by HM The Queen (June 4), a new exhibition, CORONATION! There will also be a Coronation anniversary concert (June 13) performed by the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The program will include some of the finest examples of coronation music throughout the ages including masterpieces by Handel, Parry and Walton. For more information, please click here.
Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace
Opens July 4, 2013
This summer, Historic Royal Palaces will present a glamorous exhibition with a new take on the story of the monarchy in the late twentieth century. Featuring rare and exquisite dresses from HM Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales, this colourful and exuberant exhibition will provide a feast for the eyes and a nostalgic glance back at recent decades. Elegant dress displays will explore how these royal figures were representative of the spirit of each decade, reflecting and inspiring everyday fashions. For more information, please click here.
Summer Opening of the Houses of Parliament
July 31 – August 31 and September 17 – October 5, 2013
Tickets for one of London’s most popular summer activities, Summer Opening of the Houses of Parliament, are now available to book online or by phone. The 75 minute ‘Blue Badge’ guided tours enable visitors to discover the fascinating blend of history, politics, art and architecture within one of the most instantly recognizable buildings in the world. Other highlights include the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery, Central Lobby, Members’ Lobby, the ‘No’ Lobby, St Stephen’s Hall and 900 year old Westminster Hall. For more information, please click here.
The London Anniversary Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
July 26 – 28, 2013
The London Anniversary Games will span three days of athletics, on the anniversary of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. There will be athletics action on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, featuring the return of many Olympic champions, with a third day of action on the Sunday dedicated to showcasing the Paralympic champions of 2012. As the last major international athletics event before the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, many of the world’s best athletes will use the London Anniversary Games as their final pre-championship preparation.
THEATER, MUSIC, NIGHTLIFE
Timber! at Southbank Centre
July 10 – 31, 2013
Timber! is a circus show featuring a family from the remote forests of Québec, who juggle axes and perform daring aerial acrobatics and stunts with lumberjack saws, alongside clog-dancing, tight-rope walking, cooking, vegetable chopping and story-telling. Timber! is set to traditional music, with fiddles, banjos, a jaw harp and rowdy singing as the live accompaniment to this daredevil, heart-warming show. For more information, please click here.
Dirty Dancing at Piccadilly Theatre
From July 13, 2013
Record-breaking hit show, Dirty Dancing will return to London’s West End this summer. This follows a hugely successful multi-record breaking nationwide tour across the UK and Ireland, which has been seen by over one million people since it launched in 2011. Dirty Dancing opened at the Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record- breaking advance of £15 million – making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history. For more information, please click here.
Electric Daisy Carnival London at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
July 20, 2013
Electric Daisy Carnival, the world-famous electronic music event, heads to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 20th July 2013 for its first international event outside the USA. Promising to be one of the biggest UK shows of the summer, Electric Daisy Carnival London features some of electronic music’s biggest and most globally recognized talent across one main stage and three arenas. The fresh acts joining the line-up for this extravaganza are Burns, Chris Lake, Dirty South, Flux Pavilion and many more. For more information, please click here.
East at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
July 27 – 28, 2013
The north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be filled with the sights, sounds and flavours of east London at a celebratory weekend to mark the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games. Working in partnership with the Barbican and east London arts venture Create London, the Park will be hosting East – a weekend of music, food, art and theatre inspired by east London. The weekend-long celebration will include live international music, the Real Food Festival, and The House of Fairy Tales will present a Mini-Travelling Art Circus featuring theatre, magic, music and games. For more information, please click here.
FOOD, HOTELS AND OPENINGS
Reopening of DoubleTree by Hilton London – Hyde Park
The hotel’s refurbishment has created a spacious 24-hour fitness center, as well as 12 new guest rooms on the first floor, taking the total number of guest rooms to 228. In September 2013, the hotel will launch a standalone restaurant with an emphasis on ‘farm to fork’ dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. The restaurant will be an all-day dining restaurant with a bakery for eat-in or take-away dining. Diners will enjoy daily, freshly prepared dishes in a casual atmosphere, with seating available on an outside terrace overlooking Hyde Park. For more information, please click here.
Ludlow Food and Drink Festival at InterContinental London Park Lane
July 9 – 12, 2013
Hosted in the hotel’s Cookbook Cafe, the festival will welcome top independent food and drink producers from Ludlow. Executive Chef Paul Bates will create a daily-changing lunch and dinner menu that celebrates key suppliers. The Cookbook Cafe Market Table will be brimming with Ludlow produce, local charcuterie and cheeses, and along with daily changing desserts. In the evenings, family-style dishes will be accompanied by demonstrations, tastings, and talks from local producers. During lunch Cookbook Cafe’s interactive cooking station will be transformed into a Ludlow deli, serving bespoke sandwiches and rustic soups.
Grand Hyatt Hotel Istanbul is introducing Restaurant 34. Restaurant 34 offers a wide culinary variation and features both regional Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine as well as authentic cooking methods. 34 uses animated show kitchens and offers a combination of five different concepts.
Guests can join the chef directly at the Chef’s Table or have a range of marinated grill or slow-cooked items with accompanying sauces in the Smoke House. There are also more than 30 cheese varieties, charcuterie and mezze served in the Charcuterie & Cheese Room. Stunning pastries and desserts are served in the Patisserie and guests can enjoy freshly baked products in the Bakery.
The restaurant is decorated in a modern interpretation of traditional Turkish settings. Marble, glass and natural materials such as exotic oak wood dominate the contemporary architecture. The modern design and warm décor features high ceilings and comfortable atmosphere, has a 198-person capacity.
Star Clippers will offer culinary-themed voyages led by European chefs and sommeliers this summer and fall. The select sailings will include complimentary cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and culinary lectures. Each theme will reflect the region in which the ship is sailing. So while in the Mediterranean, for example, guests can learn about cooking with lemons, capers and olives. Baltic sailings might include instruction on German tapas or a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord.
Among the culinary sailings, Chef Christian Loisl and Champagne Cattier’s Sommelier Philippe Bienvenu will host lectures about Champagne during Star Flyer’s seven-night Aug. 18 Travemünde-to-Hamburg cruise. Mama Lazzari, head chef at La Casa Lazzari in Lazio, Italy, will conduct cooking demonstrations on Ligurian cuisine during Star Clipper’s five-night Civitavecchia-to-Monaco voyage departing Oct. 14. Chef Volker Drkosch from the Michelin-starred Victorian Restaurant in Düsseldorf, Germany, will demonstrate how to cook with olives and olive oil during Star Clipper’s seven-night sailing from Monaco to Barcelona, departing Oct. 19.
Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys completed the first phase of a $1 million culinary update, including the opening of two restaurants on-property, as well as two smaller food and beverage outlets for cocktails and coffee. Guests seeking a buffet breakfast, a la carte lunch or Mediterranean-inspired dinner may now dine at Ocean, the resort’s new main dining room. Adjacent to the pool, Ocean features a stone slab pizza oven.
Tio’s Cantina is a new dockside eatery located at the resort’s marina for Mexico cuisine with a Florida Keys’ twist. Also included in the first phase of the renovation was the addition of the Tiki Bar and Island Time for drinks and entertainment.
The second phase of the resort’s upgrade will enhance the experience of the adults-only area.
Celebrity Cruises has increased the service fees at most of its specialty restaurants by $5 fleet-wide. The change went into effect on March 1. Norwegian Cruise Line is raising the cover charge at its Cagney’s steakhouses from $25 to $30, starting on Norwegian Epic on April 13 and then rolling out to the rest of the fleet. The line said it is making the change because it is “in the process of making enhancements to the menu at Cagney’s.”
At Celebrity, the dining charge increased at every specialty restaurant except for the Lawn Club Grill on Celebrity Silhouette and Reflection, which remains $40, and The Porch and Bistro on Five, which are still $5.
The fee is now $45 at Murano, a French continental restaurant on Century, Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette, Solstice and Reflection. At Qsine, the whimsical eatery with menus on iPads, the cover charge was raised to $45. Qsine is found on Eclipse, Infinity, Silhouette, Summit, Millennium and Reflection.
The charge is now $45 at the French continental specialty restaurants on Celebrity Constellation (Ocean Liners Restaurant), Millennium (Olympic Restaurant), Summit (Normandie Restaurant) and Infinity (SS United States Restaurant).
The service charge is now $35 at the Tuscan Grille steakhouse on Constellation, Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette, Solstice and Reflection. Silk Harvest, an Asian restaurant, now has a cover charge of $30.
The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that seven of Cancun’s hotels and restaurants received prestigious AAA Five Diamond Awards. With three restaurants and four hotels ranked as AAA Five Diamond Award winners for consecutive years, Cancun obtains the most awards this year out of any other Mexican destination.
AAA Diamond award winning hotels included The Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and Le Blanc Spa Resort. Restaurant winners included The Club Grill at The Ritz-Carlton; Fantino also at The Ritz-Carlton; and Le Basilic at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa.
Azamara Club Cruises is promoting several of its cruises that appeal to gourmands. Many of the European itineraries stop at ports known for food and wine. Plus, AzAmazing Evenings, complimentary events held once on each voyage, might include a tapas and flamenco show at Spain’s famous cava producer Cordoniu Cellars.
Azamara Quest’s Aug. 16 “Route of the Wine Traders” voyage will visit ports along Europe’s Atlantic coast, from Southhampton, U.K., to Seville, Spain. The cruise starts at St. Peter Port, a Channel Island, known for dairy products made from Guernsey cows. Next, the Azamara Quest docks in the city’s center for two full days in Bordeaux, France. From here, guests can visit vineyards in the Bordeaux countryside, such as St. Emilion, Margaux, Haut-Medoc and Pauillac. Next call is at St. Jean-de-Luz in the Basque region, home to cider houses, and an excursion to Bayonne, France, home to fine chocolates and cured ham seasoned with regional peppers.
The voyage continues at Bilbao in northern Spain, known for Rioja wines and the Frank Gehry Winery at El Ciego. Also found in the region are Lisbon’s Green Wines and rich Port wines.
Azamara also promotes several cruises for wine aficionados, such as the Azamara Quest’s Oct. 16 “Principality to the Vatican” voyage and the November 2 “Vatican to the Alcazar” voyage. The Aug. 28 “Alcazar & Alhambra” includes an AzAmazing Evenings event at the Cordoniu Cellars, which has made sparkling cava wine since the 16th Century.
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