velvet | cultural holidays

A marriage of Strambotic art and gastronomy

Art on a plate that tastes as good as it looks. For those of us who appreciate fine dining, the presentation of the dish is just as important as its taste and the aromas emanating from it. A recent dining experience opened my eyes to yet a different dimension: art on a plate that not […]

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The ultimate Liverpool pub crawl

A guest post by Andrea Kirkby. I recently visited Liverpool and The Beatles (though I love their music) were the last thing on my mind. I started by checking out some of the city’s startlingly good museums, including the Walker Collection. It was packed with interesting exhibits but one little Toby Jug caught my eye […]

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Cook, taste Catalonia

Barcelona is one of those amazing cities that can easily whisk you off your feet, enthrall you and before you know it, you’re on your way home, breathless and consumed by a whirlwind of impressions and vague memories. There’s so much to see and do in the city that you’ll soon find yourself zooming from […]

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Taj Mahal (image courtesy of Rachel)

Ten alternative things to do in India

India. The name conjures images of ancient temples and palaces, aromatic markets, colourful saris, curries and oh yes, the Taj Mahal. Dig deeper and one will quickly discover that India has much more to offer to visitors. With its amazing breadth and depth of attractions and experiences, it’s very easy to visit India and only […]

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Impressions of Abruzzo

I knew very little about Abruzzo other than that it’s a region to the east of Rome, on the other side of the Apennine mountains, and that it’s home to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a sublime red wine that instantly makes you daydream of rolling hills bathed in sunshine and fragrant herbs – well, that’s the effect […]

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Temple of the Tooth (image courtesy of Terry Feuerborn)

Temple-hopping in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of the Indian sub-continent. Shaped like a tear-drop, Sri Lanka is most famous amongst visitors for its sandy, palm-fringed beaches; colonial architecture; its mountainous core with lush forests and picturesque tea plantations; and its many fascinating Buddhist temples. In this […]

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Medieval towns in Costa Brava

The name Costa Brava literally means ‘rugged coast’, a reference to the spectacular cliffs and hundreds of coves that line the coast. While the coast is a perennial favourite amongst many Europeans looking for sun, sand and sangria, there’s a lot more to discover starting just a few miles inland in the Baix Empordá region […]

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Eclectic styles, Skanderberg Square (image courtsey of net_effekt)

Inside Albania

Albania is for many a relatively unknown destination. Located in southeast Europe, bordering Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, Albania has a long and often tempestuous history. Today, the remnants of this history as well as the country’s natural beauty make Albania a fascinating destination that is still very much off-the-beaten path. Here are a […]

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Shifting capitals

As a kid, I would spend hours studying my geographic encyclopedias. I memorised all the data I could find, like the size of each country, its population and its capital city and used this to challenge my friends at school to a game of “Name The Capital”. There was one guy at school, Raymond, whom […]

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Image courtesy of El Tito

History and art on the Sunshine Coast

Málaga is in Andalusia, on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, a ferry’s journey north of Morocco. Owing to its location, it has a warm climate and some of the warmest winters in Europe. For those intending to visit Málaga, consider booking between April and November when the average daily temperature is above 20 […]

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