Archive for September, 2017

Why electric bikes are making France’s Vercors Massif even more fun

September 3, 2017

Mountain bikes with batteries may not look hip but they bring wondrous landscapes within reach of many, and this region next to Grenoble is a great place to try them I wanted gentler slopes and a serene alternative to the soaring, rugged landscape of the Alps. I found it in the Vercors Massif, less than […]

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Odessa’s new parks lead a blossoming of urban regeneration

September 3, 2017

Ukraine’s third city is home to sights including the Potemkin Steps. Now the port’s glorious past is taking centre stage with its Istanbul and Greek gardens Looking like a living Liberty print, Odessa’s new promenade park spills over with blossoming flower beds, picnics and couples waltzing in the shade. Tantalising slivers of the Black Sea […]

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‘Valencia’s cathedral is home to the holy grail’: novelist Jason Webster

September 3, 2017

Once the ugly sister of Spanish cities, Valencia has blossomed, with outstanding food and architecture. And for five days a year, it’s a city that doesn’t sleep Valencia is a jewel that foreigners are only beginning to discover. For years it was Spain’s unloved sister: in 1970, critic Kenneth Tynan dubbed it “the world capital […]

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Destination unknown: the new way to book a mystery holiday

September 3, 2017

Liz Boulter didn’t know she was off to Porto until she got to the airport. All part of Dutch company srprs.me’s new holiday concept ‘He’s picked out restaurants for us already – even knows what he’s going to order.” My friend was talking about an upcoming city break meticulously planned by her husband, and while […]

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Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Wiltshire: hotel review

September 3, 2017

The pioneering organic farmer has expanded her local pub’s offering to include a stylishly idiosyncratic B&B, with piggy treats top of the bill ‘Noise and smell – that’s what people expect of a pig farm,” says Tim. “But look!” There are hundreds of scampering piglets in the field, plus 15-20 huge saddleback sows, yet all […]

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Flea to France: shopping at Europe’s largest vintage market

September 3, 2017

The Provençal village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has the largest concentration of vintage stores outside Paris and also hosts a giant open-air flea market. The next is in August – so get ready for a bric-a-brac bargain For a small place, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue isn’t short of antiques shops. Filled with tiny, walkable quarters specialising in different types of […]

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‘Paris is where I learned, like Hemingway, to be poor and happy’

September 3, 2017

Vanessa Grall, author of Don’t be a Tourist in Paris, reveals her favourite out-of-the way museums, bistros and hotels I moved to Paris in 2011 and that summer I broke both of my elbows. With two full-arm casts, I couldn’t cook, so I ate lots of filled baguettes on a garden bench. I used to […]

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What a Shambles: a walk around York’s ancient walls and alleys

September 3, 2017

A grand railway station and one of Europe’s largest cathedrals contrast with tiny medieval lanes on this stroll through the ancient capital of England’s north There are ways, at least in theory, of stemming the tyranny of the motor car in the old cities of England, such as restricted zones and pedestrian precincts – and […]

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Lisbon city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

September 3, 2017

Portugal’s capital is bursting with culture and great places to eat, stay and party – and it’s the cheapest city break destination in western Europe Assemble a city-break destination from a wishlist of components and you get Lisbon: a wide glittering river, limpid skies, steep cobbled streets, palaces, churches (and a castle, of course), tiles […]

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The Sign of the Angel, Lacock, Wiltshire: hotel review

September 3, 2017

Known for period dramas and an ancient abbey, the village of Lacock has an equally quaint inn – but with up-to-the-minute food in its atmospheric restaurant Fans of period drama would recognise the old stone cottages and cobbled streets of Lacock: the picturesque Wiltshire village in the southern Cotswolds has been the filming location for […]

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