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Archive for the ‘Europe’ category

INNSBRUCK URBAN SKIING IN TIROL

December 31st, 2015

Ski Jumping hill Bersigel by Zaha HadidInnsbruckOn the skis in the morning, in the afternoon some serious shopping and when evening comes, relaxing with a Spritz or Hugo in a cosmopolitan bar. Why stay in a boring and artificial resort if you can be in Innsbruck, the urban ski mekka of the European Alps? Every visit to Innsbruck really should start (and end) in the 360° bar. Order one of the favourite cocktails of this region, the Italian Venetziano (aka Spritz) made with Aperol and prosecco and enjoy the view over the city surrounded by snowy mountaintops. (more…)

LICENSE TO TRAVEL

October 29th, 2015

Ice Q, a three-storey glass building at the top of the 3,048m summit of Gaislachkogl.Ice Q, a three-storey glass building at the top of the 3,048m summit of Gaislachkogl. The mountain scenery spread out before me was among the finest I had ever seen: more than 250 meringue-like peaks folding into the distance. Yet my gaze was fixed elsewhere. Ice Q, a striking, three-storey glass building that gleamed in the sun like a melting ice cube (hence the name) presided at the top of the windblown 3,048m summit of Gaislachkogl. And I wasn’t the only one to be so captivated by it. (more…)

TO SKI HEAVEN AND BACK

November 10th, 2014

Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, Austriathe cow symbol on top of Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaCheck into the enigmatic and historic 800 year old Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg-Stolberg and discover Kühtai, a tranquil skiing village high in the mountains of Austrian Tyrol. When Franz Joseph I, the former Austrian Emperor and husband of the captivating empress Sisi, came here to hunt deer and chamois, he had no idea that his beloved Kühtai would one day be one of the most charming ski resorts in the Alps. Nevertheless, until now Kühtai has remained a closely guarded secret. (more…)

THREE INNS IN SALZBURGER LAND

September 20th, 2014

Wiesergut - Salzburgerland, Austria
Salzburgerland, AustriaWhat was once a family-run guesthouse hidden in a simple building has three years ago been transformed into one of the most talked about design hotels in the Alps. Standing in front of Hotel Wiesergut it seems almost inconceivable that a 14th century building is hidden inside the tightly modern architecture. It’s also hard to believe that the stylish owners, Martina and Sepp Kröll, were once farmers, and actually still are. Sepp still has his cows alongside the alm high up on the mountain. (more…)

Santo StefanoSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteIs the fate of many unique, virtually abandoned villages in the unknown corner of Abruzzo sealed? Not if Swedish-Italian millionaire Daniele Kihlgren can help it. In 1999, a solitary motorbike trip proved to be a revelation for this modern-day idealist. By chance, he stumbled upon the almost-deserted hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park in the Apennines. He was struck speechless, not only by the outstanding beauty of the setting, but also because almost everything was untouched. (more…)

DINING WITH MISTER SLOW FOOD

August 7th, 2013

vito pugliavito pugliaVito Puglio PerbaccoVito Puglio Perbacco
Slow Food is above all linked with its charismatic founder, Carlo Petrini, but from the very beginning, Vito Puglia equally pulled his weight. Twenty years on, this true pioneer doesn’t reside in a busy head office in northern Italy, but under an olive tree at his exceptional restaurant Perbacco in southern Italy. Only ‘noses’ and insiders know where it is. This restaurant is the playground of Vito Puglia, born and raised in Cilento, a little known region of southern Italy. Vito grew up to become one of the first pioneers and founders of the Slow Food movement. (more…)

home food italyhome food italyhome food italyhome food italyWhy go to an ordinary restaurant if you can taste the real Italian cuisine presented by a proper Mamma at her home? Thanks to the Home Food project every traveller to the land of la dolce vita can now experience a real, Italian evening in the company of a real, Italian famiglia. You can do just like us and pick any location in Italy, whether it is a town or even on the countryside and see if there is a mamma, a cesarina, willing to cook for you. Our Home Food experience is with Leda di Timoteo and her husband in the charming town of Sulmona in the hinterland of Abruzzo. (more…)

A DATE WITH A HUSKY

February 10th, 2013

dog sledding in Laplanddog sledding in Lapland Our expedition leader Johan Väisänen has the looks of a Viking with the vigour of Ben Hur. The latter also refers to the sled on which he skilfully balances while zipping through a cold and silent, white landscape. Johan is a modern charioteer, with the only difference that the carriage is a wooden sleigh pulled forward by six hyperkinetic husky dogs. (more…)

SOMETHING NEW SOMETHING BLUE

October 23rd, 2012

Amanzo'e Beach Club Wally OneAmanzo'e Beach Club Wally One After two years of building, Amanzo’e opened in August 2012 on a huge plot of land along the eastern coast of the Peloponnese. It is near the coastal town of Porto Heli and only a boat ride away from the jet set islands of Spetses and Hydra. When in 2006 Adrian Zecha was taken to this spot, the hilltop of Aghios Panteleimonas, he said, “This is an Aman site.”  (more…)

traboccoTrabocco Punta Cavalluccio - main courseTrabocco Punta Cavalluccio

In the old days they were smartly build wooden fishing installations battling with the fierce sea along the coast of Abruzzo. Nowadays these trabocchi are the most charming seafood restaurants in Italy. They look a bit alien with the silhouette of a giant crab walking on its thin, fragile stilts along the shores of the Adriatic coast. Most tourists in a hurry will barely notice them. Others travel from far away just to come and eat here. Tell any Italian that you plan to have some frutti di mare on a trabocco, and you are guaranteed to get many wide smiles. (more…)

FIT FOR THE OLYMPICS

April 3rd, 2012

Espa Life Corinthia LondonEspa Life Corinthia LondonLondon likes to keep fit, well rested and in shape these days. In anticipation of the 2012 Olympics, new hotels and spas are popping up all over the UK capital. 2011 saw the opening of the Corinthia hotel in Whitehall and it’s impressive four-floor Espa Life spa and gym. This grand old building was previously the Ministry of Defence HQ and has now been revamped by GA Design. The spa is sumptuously kitted out with calacatta and black marble, tiled hammam-style steam rooms and a curious swimming pool – the lighting around it works so that movement in the water is reflected on the ceiling. (more…)

PRESERVING THE ROOTS AT FAVIKEN

February 17th, 2012

faviken magasinet magnus nilssonfaviken magasinet magnus nilssonThe most promising chef in Europe might have Viking blood and long hair but he is nothing but a sheep in wolf’s clothing. To demonstrate, the 28-year old Magnus Nilsson of restaurant Faviken puts on his furry wolf’s coat before he heads out in the freezing cold of North-Sweden. Temperatures of minus 30C won’t stop this young chef or his kitchen team to go out foraging. Underneath meters of thick snow they look for fresh juniper branches, still green and aromatic and burried under the icy landscape of Jamtland. We’re talking mid-winter when the sun barely is seen above the horizon and subzero temperatures that make you quickly head for a warm place, preferably next to a roaring fire. (more…)

suite 606 Radisson Blu Royal Arne Jacobsensuite 606 Radisson Blu Royal Arne JacobsenAlthough the apartment hotel STAY is still our number one in Copenhagen – think afordable huge, lofty rooms with lots of space and smart, Danish design – we have to mention the first design hotel in the world. To be specific, it’s room 606 of the Radisson Blu Royal in Copenhagen that drew our attention. Forget Schrager and Starck as the pioneers of design hotels. It was good old Arne Jacobsen who created in 1960 the first design hotel avant la lettre. The hotel was integrated in the SAS House, built for the Scandinavian Airlines System. Only the full name of SAS makes you think back to those glamorous days of being stylishly up in the air. (more…)

FOLLOW THE COMPASS NORTH

January 23rd, 2011

SpitsbergenSpitsbergenBarely eighty years ago Spitsbergen was the Arctic end of Europe where only the polar bear reigned supreme. A century later, he shares his icy empire with a town of seasoned Norwegians and the rare tourist who ventures this far north. The Svalbard archipelago, of which the largest island is Spitsbergen, lies midway between Norway and the North Pole. Any traveller looking for Arctic sensations will easily find them here (just one comfortable SAS flight away from Oslo or Tromsø). Everyone reaches 74° north, but you have to be a bit more intrepid to reach 81° latitude. (more…)

STAY WITH ME IN COPENHAGEN

January 22nd, 2011

Stay hotel CopenhagenStay hotel CopenhagenWhy stay in a small hotel room when you can have a spacious, serviced apartment or loft for the same price? Stay is a brand new hotel concept located on the Island Brygge, a fast developing residential area, just a five minutes drive from the centre of Copenhagen. And one a stone’s throw from the buzzy meat packing district. Stay offers a total of 193 apartments with 15 different layouts, ranging from a one bedroom 90 m2 to an Atelier XL of almost 150 m2. The design is Scandinavian minimalism with furniture from quality Danish brands. (more…)

FJORD SKIING IN NORWAY

January 20th, 2011

Lyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwayLyngen Lodge, NorwaySo you are bored of skiing in the Alps? Tired of pistes that are black of thousands kamikaze skiers populating them? You long for virgin snow and wild sceneries? Look no further than 70° North, where you can ski from summit to sea. All it takes is to book a room in the extremely cosy Lyngen Lodge owned by the Englishman Graham Austick and his Norwegian partner. Graham invites his guests to climb 1500-meter high mountains so they can ski down in extremely fluffy and pure snow. (more…)

SWEET FULFILLMENT

October 20th, 2010

Life can be sweet, especially if you live in Antwerp and you swing by restaurant Het Gebaar owned by top-patissier Roger Van Damme. To set the mood, the restaurant looks like a gingerbread house found in the small botanical garden in the city centre of Antwerp. Van Damme takes deserts and sweet dishes to a new level and got rewarded for this with a first Michelin star in November 2010. This young chef has also a soft spot for Japan. It all began when he first visited Tokyo for a culinary get-together with ex-El Bulli chefs from around the world. (more…)

Does the real Italian deal still exist? Si, si! You just need to pack your bags and head to the direction of unknown and Mafia reputated West-Sicily to board an aliscafo that will whisk you away from one charming island to another. Welcome to the Isole Egadi, three minuscule freckles in the sun-tanned face of the South of Italy. So far, only local Italians who fill up the island in July and August have discovered these three Mediterranean pearls. (more…)

STEALTH POWER

May 18th, 2009

WallyBoard now the most stylish, ultra-slick boat in the world. Maybe you don’t have the cash to buy one of these handcrafted and tailor-made beauties, but for a modest 5700 euro a day, you can rent a Wally in the Med. We must admit, it’s a hard choice between all those streamlined beauties. First there is the 106′ ” WALLY B”, sailing around the Western Mediterranean like Sardinia, Cote d’Azur, Corsica and Southern Italy. This beautiful sailing and motoryacht can host 6 guests and has a crew of 5 (skipper, deck hand, engineer, cook and stewardess). (more…)

“I am a sheep in wolf’s clothes”, says Vesa Junttila, artist, car lover and quaint habitue who hangs around in Panimo Barin Saariselkä, a small, snow-covered village in Finish Lapland. Besides skiing or sledging trough empty ice-landscapes, people travel here to dig gold and trade them in Panimo bar for beer, food and even lodging. Even the guys at Morgan Stanley think it’s great. Now, do I still hear someone complaining about not travelling because of recession? Just find some gold in the rivers of Finish Lapland and enjoy the Sami hospitality until you run out of gold. When you do, just dig some more. Dig it? (more…)

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