Travel

WESTERN EUROPE THROUGH MY EYES

Written by AAlpe

LONDON

At the end of Regent Street, around the corner from Oxford Street lies a beautiful hotel placed on the corner. The Langham hotel is home to a 5-star experience with the perfect bar and the perfect rooms. The rooms are filled with king size beds; regent street views and bathrooms that will make you feel like redecorating your own bathrooms. The staff are there at your every need, if it were booking a reservation at the botanist for lunch or a couple of front row seats at the Lion King.

Speaking of The Botanist, it is a must visit spot in London if you want a quick but fancy lunch on your adventures. Or an upmarket dinner and drinks with friends. Serving amazing Sunday roasts with the must have Yorkshire pudding, and the unusual dad meal of pheasant which sometimes makes an appearance on the specials menu. Or if you’re looking for a more casual and naughty option look no further than Burger and Lobster and go all out with the burger and lobster duo.

If your looking for some where to go for a drink before a 7pm show, go no further than next door to the Lyceum Theatre, at the Be At One bar where at happy hour you get two specially crafted cocktails for the price off one, I highly recommend the ‘Irish Disco Biscuit’ cocktail which is a magical creation of baileys, green crème de menthe, Oreos, half and half, and vanilla ice cream.

HAMPSHIRE

If the city of London is not for you get on a train for 45min and head to the four seasons in Hampshire where you will find a new meaning for the word relaxed. Wake up late, jump on a bike and go explore the English country estate. Spend the afternoon having a swim in the outdoor jacuzzi or having a massage at the spa. If you don’t like to sit still for to long Hampshire hotel is great offering the opportunity to go horseback riding around the grounds or on the high ropes course which is great for adults and kids and many more.

But there is only one reason that makes me go back every year and that is the Sunday Farmers’ Market Lunch, serving up an incredible buffet. To start you have the option of fresh mouth-watering oysters, salads and cold meats, next you have the roasts of Beef, Pork, Lamb, Fish and lots of sides and sauces to accompany each meat you choose, if it is mint sauce with the lamb or gravy with the beef . Then comes the best part, dessert…. Where you have the option of any sweat thing you like including, chocolate, tiramisu, cheesecake and pancakes and lollies for the kids and a cheese cart that will blow your mind.

ROME

At the top of the Spanish Steps, Hotel Hassler Roma sits, a hotel that has personality and impeccable service. The team at the concierge will guide you to any restaurant you desire and direct you to Rome’s historic high–end, shopping district Piazza di Spagna, at the bottom of the stairs. The rooms have charming vintage touch with the wooden furniture and antiques.

Ristorante Tullio is an upmarket restaurant just off the Piazza Barberini, serving up traditional Tuscan classic dishes. Their homemade pappardelle al cinghiale is to travel miles for. For any wine connoisseur they will love the giant wine menu that specialises in large Tuscan reds if you have the heart to try them.

If you are looking for a more casual and late night option, there is no place for the young crowd like The Yellow Bar on Vila Palestro, it has been voted number one hostel in Rome and for good reason. The bar has music that will keep you dancing all night long, and atmosphere that keeps you coming back for more.

VENICE

Venice, an always must place to visit when over in Italy. Staying off the island at Belmond Hotel Cipriani, offering you a Venice experience just a short boat ride away from the adventures. The hotel itself is one to talk about for days, with its delicious restaurants and beautiful pool. The rooms are traditional; yet modern with beds that will make you think you are sleeping on a cloud. The concierge might be one of the best in the world, go to them with whatever food you are craving and within seconds you will be at the doors of some incredible restaurant serving up your craving in delicious fashion. If you are a George Clooney lover there is only one restaurant for you and that is the small and intimate Ristorante Da Ivo serving up Bellini’s to start and then an astounding truffle pasta that some would say is over priced at 70 euros but it will be the best pasta of your life.

When going to Venice you can explore the streets and little alleyways throughout the morning and then choose one of the many restaurants to slide into for a much-needed lunch. After lunch it is time to get some shopping done walking around you can wonder into the little boutiques and find some hidden wonders to take home, or if you are on a mission the high-end stores, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Saint Laurent are ready for you to fall in love with.

PORTO ECOLE

This was my first time visiting Hotel Ill Pelicano in Porto Ecole and the hotel was so amazing that we didn’t get a chance to leave it and explore the Italian town. The resort had us under a spell with its own private beach, where we spent every day sipping on mojitos and swimming in the crystal clear blue water. The hotel provided floating devices so you could lie out on the flat water for days. Other than the beautiful water the hotel was the most remarkable hotel I have ever stayed at.

It is part of the leading hotels in the world with its romantic and exclusive feel with only six villas and some of the rooms in the main building, having only 50 rooms all together. The Michelin star restaurant offers dishes that test your pallet with flavours that will blow your mind, and the complimentary chocolate cart is outstanding, the waiters cut fresh homemade chocolate at your table. This hotel made it onto the leading hotels in the world list for good reason.

SEA DREAM YACHT – CROATIA

The Sea Dream Yacht is an experience that everyone should put on their bucket list, the yacht is home to 100 gusts at a time with cruises going from 7 nights to 14 to months to years. The yacht itself has wonderful facilities, with a great gym which well let you run for miles on the treadmill, connected to the marvellous spa with girls that will give you a five star massage setting you straight into holiday mode. The hair salon will keep your color and cut in shape, so that you are always looking your best on the trip. Their are two restaurants on the boat, you can choose to dress up for formal night and go into the dinning room down stairs where you will be escorted to your table by one of the amazing waiters then served a mind-blowing 4 or 5 course meal. Or to ask for a table on the outdoor area where you have a sunset backdrop with dinner.

One of the best things about this cruise experience is once you have paid the bill there is no need to open your wallet. With all food and drinks being completely complementary, that is unless you want to splurge on a fancier wine with dinner than offered. Then there are the extras, stopping at a new town every day there are many activities that you can splurge on in the cities, including buggy rides in Korcula and game of thrones tours in Dubrovnik. When the boat is aloud by the town they will open up the back where you can do all sorts of complementary water activities like wake boarding, donuting, swimming, snorkelling, jet skis and stand up paddle boards, when the back of the boat is open I recommend you explore the town in the morning then return back to the boat for some sun and fun in the water. If you are younger and worried it will be an older crowd don’t worry, the staff on the boat is the reason that I have been 3 times. The staff are amazing, getting to know you and creating a personal relationship with you, some days if they are on their days off you can walk the towns with them and they will give you their own personal tour.

The bar is open till you are ready to go to bed; the boat is your world for the 7 days. Each tour is completely different with their own highlights;
Hvar in Croatia is worth writing home about, with its seafood and culture, the small city is full of life and Australians, and every voice you hear will be a group of Australian travellers. If you are young and want to experience the nightlife there is one simple itinerary for you to follow. Dinner at Gariful on the water admiring all the beautiful boats coming in for the night and watching the people walk past, while enjoying fresh seafood. Then next stop is to the Kiva bar where you will feel like you are back in Australia, this bar is the place to start any big night with its vibrant atmosphere, squeezing as many people as possible out the front and playing great songs inside for you to dance to. If you are still not ready to go home yet there is only one place to go next and that is a short boat ride away to Carpe Diem Beach where the fun really starts, this beach club is huge with great music and great location, the crowds are beneath the trees with pools and bars surrounding. And if you don’t want to be on the dance floor with everyone, the VIP area will place just on the edge of the crazy with a little of your own crazy, offering bottles of spirits and shisha bongs for you to enjoy your self with a more intimate group.

 

Photo credits: Ali Alpe

To see more photos- Instagram- 20_hours_away

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AAlpe