velvet | cultural holidays

Tuscany’s gifts to the world

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Tuscany, or Italy for that matter! My love affair with Tuscany began more than two decades ago. I think it started the moment I had my first meal at a cosy trattoria in Florence. The food was absolutely divine. Simple, fresh and cooked with a passion […]

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Unravelling the mysteries of theatrical Covent Garden

A guest post by Andrea Kirkby. Covent Garden wasn’t quite in at the start of London’s theatrical tradition – Shakespeare’s Globe for instance was south of the river and other early playhouses clustered in the East End – but it’s been the centre of London’s theatreland since the time of Charles II. Nell Gwyn acted […]

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Explore the temples of London

A guest post by Andrea Kirkby. Sometimes you know when you step into a place that it is holy. You feel the weight of the years, the atmosphere charged with silence and veneration; the air seems colder and thinner than in the street outside and there’s a sense of something invisible being there. I never […]

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Ten things to do in Petra

You may have seen images of Petra – or its most famous structure, the Treasury – in magazines, documentaries, movies (‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ is a good example) or even this blog – but it’s not till you’re there that you begin to feel a real sense of awe for the place. Imagine […]

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Relax in the hammock

Mas Perafita: a lovely retreat in the Cap de Creus

The Cap de Creus is a rugged wind-swept peninsula in the far northeastern corner of Catalonia, not far from the border with France. A large part of the peninsula is a designated national park and is famous for its nature trails and secluded coves and inlets. There is also a variety of picturesque fishing villages […]

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Enchantment and romance in Petra

The moon shone brightly, illuminating the façade of the Treasury – the most famous of the monuments in Petra, an ancient city in southern Jordan. In the square directly in front of the Treasury, hundreds of candles cast a warm glow on the faces of the people who had come to experience Petra by night […]

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A relaxing holiday at Hotel Aigua Blava

The road from the town of Begur to Llafranc winds past some of the most beautiful villas on the Costa Brava. After several miles, a left turn in the direction of Fornells leads visitors to arguably one of the most charming hotels along the coast: Hotel Aigua Blava. Situated on a promontory, this family-run hotel […]

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Experiencing Jordan

Jordan – the name itself conjures images of breathtaking desert landscapes, ancient cities and Biblical scenes. Located in the heart of the Middle East, this desert kingdom has a history that dates back to the times when the prophets walked the earth, and ancient empires ruled vast swathes of Asia, Europe and northern Africa. Present-day […]

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Antigua_Volcan Agua

My velvet escape travel tip: Antigua, Guatemala

  My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown or favourite place of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience. Today’s […]

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Captivating Cancun

Ever since it first appeared on the map of Mexico in the late 70s – a sun-kissed location in the north-east corner of the Yucatan Peninsula ideal for development as the country sought to grow its tourism industry – Cancun has been known as a classic beach break kind of place. The majority of the […]

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