Dear planning shy travellers,
Cologne in Germany is the perfect destination for a long weekend city break.
(Nb: I write Cologne, Germany to ensure that the whole London/Tower Bridge confusion doesn’t happen – years and years ago an American millionaire thought he’d bought the beautiful Tower Bridge, but actually bought the rather more plain London Bridge and transported every stone all the way to the desert in the US…)
Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time. Whenever we slip there for a day trip from London or a cheeky overnighter – or once for lunch – we’re always struck by just how beautiful it is.
The ‘city of dreaming spires’ simply glows. The beautiful stone that makes up the majority of buildings almost emanates the years of learning that has gone on behind them, or am I just being fanciful?
Every time that I’ve written about Hutong at the Shard, I’ve always started off with the amazing views of the London skyline, and actually, that isn’t fair. There are so many restaurants that bank so much on their views that they let their menu quality slip, but Hutong (part of the Aqua group) isn’t like that.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Hutong at the Shard,
but my palette and misuse of ancient Chinese proverbs are all very much my own.
I feel like I’ve said it before: breathtaking London views, incredible flavours from Northern China, elegantly arrayed surrounds and a beautiful Wishing Tree – every branch perpetually hung with lucky red wishing cards.
Have you ever fancied 48 hours in Bristol? Over a decade ago when I explored the streets of Bristol on a weekend, the streets were slick with rain and it was long before we had Google maps guided our footsteps. A rain-drenched Kiwi wandered through the twirling lanes, with an England Lonely Planet guide in one hand and the other hand tucked in her pocket.
Whilst I wandered all those years ago I still managed to fit in a few of the city highlights before I left on my train back to London, but I knew that I hadn’t quite captured the zeitgeist of this city.
Bran Castle. AKA the home of Dracula (or is it?), the origin of every Vampire movie, novel, book and a national monument and landmark in Romania. When Mr Kiwi and I were scouring the internet for unique holiday destinations, we jokingly mentioned going to Romania to visit Dracula’s Castle – but it turns out that both of us were quite interested, and within an evening we had shaped a holiday around it.
We spent the first couple of days based in Bucharest – we stayed in the lovely and very central Bucharest Grand Hotel, we explored the city centre of the Romanian capital and on the way north to stay for 48 hours in Brasov, we stopped in the beautiful Peles Castle before we reached our intended destination – the home of Dracula.