Kibbutz Ein Gev is beautifully located on the sea of Galilee. While it does have its own hotel, many young travellers go there to work as Kibbutz volunteers. It has a strong agricultural sector, growing bananas, mangoes, dates and catching the famous St Peters fish in the depths of Lake Kinneret. Volunteers can particpate in all these endeavours. While kibbutz volunteers work hard the beauty of Ein Gev pays for itself were you can climb mount Sussita or swim in the lake and get drunk in the Kibbutz pub.
A bus usually leaves twice a day from Tiberias on the opposite side of the lake from Ein Gev. A 20 minute ride along Lake Kinnert and you are there
On a sunny spring afternoon while driving around Tuscany, we became lost and were desperate to find somewhere to stay. Just when we were about to give up and opt for a Motel, we came across "Agriturismo da Domenico" near the lovely town of Cortona.
As we parked our car, we were greeted by Domenico's family (including Granny) who welcomed us as if we were some lost relatives.
The rooms were rustic and beautifully decorated and the farmhouse something out of this world.
The evening came and we were served a wonderful dinner, full of locally grown ingredients including veal and veg accompanied by local wine and spirits.
We didn't only found a great place to stay, but we experienced the real Italy and made friends!
General festival tips
1. Music can be better appreciated from a great height. Make friends with tall men next to you in the crowd (girls and guys) so they can put you on their shoulders.
2. Try and drink spirits rather than beer if you are deadly keen on getting a decent spot in front of your favourite band. There’s nothing worse than having to leave to pee right before they make their entrance.
3. Construct a timetable of all the bands and acts you want to see before leaving home.
4. Use Spotify to check out and listen to every band playing at the festival. Chances are you’ll be madly in love with at least one band you haven’t already heard of this time next year.
I always used to take far too much food to Glastonbury. This was heavy to carry the long distance from the car park to the campsites, and only lasted a day or so. My advice is to take only enough food for the first day and then sample the fab food on offer all around. If you do need to take lots of food and drink, invest in a wheelbarrow or small trolley to help cart it from car to tent.
Finally my festival essetials: very good walking boots (they keep your feet dry, and are better than wellies), wet wipes, and a couple of bottles of water to glug after a heavy cider/Perry session at the Brothers bar. A hat and sunscreen are good to have. And don't forget to have a warm jacket, as the nights can get chilly.
all uk festivals
If you're travelling through North Devon or staying in the area, the Stag Inn is a great gastropub to stop at for dinner. It's just off the A361 and difficult to miss as it's painted egg yolk yellow with the traditional Devon thatch.
The owners have refurbished it to make it more stylish while keeping the roaring fire and ancient wooden bar and made a new dining area at the back.
The meat and veg comes from the organic farm of the owner's family and the menu is seasonal while offering all the favourites of sausage and mash, steak and chips and fish and chips.
Not the cheapest pub food but very tasty and a cut above in terms of style and atmosphere.
Stag Inn, Rackenford, Devon, EX16 8DT
I recommend taking a portable or throwaway barbeque with you to a festival. It is a great way to cook your own food outside your camp in the evening, you can choose what you eat, but - best of all - you have your own mini camp fire to sit around as it gets dark. You can have burgers or sausage in a bun at a fraction of the cost and the children love toasting marshmallows as dessert.
Any decent supermarket sells cheap portable BBQs during the Summer months. Pack a few firelighters and a box of matches.
Depending on the weather, arrive with a thermos of chilled liquid. Whenever boiling water is available, fill the thermos. Use for instant soups, noodles and other such nourishment. I can usually find some extra energy after a green tea (best made with off-boiling water anyway) and a cereal bar.
The home of craft beer in Nelson. The Free House serves ales from many local brewers (Mussel Inn, Founders, Renaissance, Twisted Hop, Monkey Wizard) in cosy and welcoming surroundings. Give the sweet fizzy stuff a rest and come and try some real beers. Food available.
95 Collingwood Street, Nelson
You've already spent around £150 on the ticket, but you can expect to easily double that by the end of the festival. Here are some tips I have picked up from experience to help you save some money:
1) Before you go, go shopping with friends, buy biscuits, crisps etc, you won't want to eat big meals and food there is always extortionate (but good, so maybe try one!) And drink, check out good deals, but again, sharing is key!
2) To get there and back, check on the festival website for coach tickets that are often cheap to encourage less carbon emissions. Or if driving, make sure every seat in the car is filled and agree to split the petrol cost equally.
3) At most festivals, there is a refundable charge for cups. Late into the night, cups can be found all over the place, pick these up and claim the refund.
4) Be extra organised, always carry toilet paper, toothpaste with you then if someone is caught short, ask for a donation.
5) Use cash - take more than you will need, or set a limit and stick to it but don't take money out on a card machine as the charges are usually high.
6) Check, double and triple check you have everything you'll need so you don't have to buy anything when you get there.
7) Befriend the neighbours- again, sharing can help save a lot of money.
8) Keep your money safe - when drunk, dirty and tired, it is so easy to lose notes - (I kept a very small bag, big enough for phone, camera and money under my jumper and didn't take it off all weekend)
9) Wait until the end, all the merchandise looks so tempting on the first day, but don't rush in. Wait until the last morning when they are trying to shift stock so will have either reduced prices or are willing to knock off a couple of pounds.
10) Check the internet for a timetable or running order before you go - you will need to know when and where your favourite bands are playing, but will end up paying £8 for a programme when you arrive if not.
The key things to remember are share, plan ahead and keep money safe.
Hope this helps and have a fantastic, festival-filled summer!
Leave a cool box of food and drink treats in the boot of your car.
Suggested contents: bottle of rose wine/beer/cider, a selection of west country cheeses & biscuits, quince paste,
cherries, avocado, pittas, fresh fruit juice, chocolate digestives, other more toxic treats.
Why: On Sunday afternoon you can return some of your camping load to the car so you'll have one light and easy trip on leaving on the Monday. The treats are an incentive and a quick decadent foray out of a festival near the end makes you want to return and party harder than ever before.
Bestival is a fab fancy dress festival where people are laid back and it isn't too big. Yes last year was a complete wash-out, but overall because Bestival is in early September it has a brilliant sunshine record, which really helps with the party spirit.
We all know to take loo rool and wet wipes, but some less obvious tips for festival goers are:
- Take dry shampoo, or specifically Batiste Tropical. It's an amazing conditioning spray that takes away any greasiness and makes your hair full bodied and shiny. It's usually used by old ladies but don't let that put you off
- Take wine in a box and once finished, use the bag inside as an inflatable pillow to sleep on
- If you can carry them, fold away chairs are a god-send at festivals
- Dig out your sparkly sequin bolero or jacket: great for the cooler UK evenings but keeps you looking like you've made a festival effort
- Always bring a bikini, you never know when the sunshine will come out, but also useful for the festivals that have saunas. A good sweat in a sauna will cleanse you for the next night of partying
- Pitching your tent in the quiet zone can be great if you need a good night's sleep and to be fresh for work on Monday
- Take a small over the shoulder handbag so you can put all your valuables in there, sling it across your body and dance the night away!
- Choose a festival that has the right party vibe for you. It doesn't have to have the major headlining bands and you never know, at a smaller festival you may get to see the next big thing
Bestival is at Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
We had the most amazing day, meeting the hunters in lovely bar belli in Amandola and then driving to nearby woodland with a small trained spaniel- an extensive truffle hunt uncovered two large black truffles and a smaller one that the dog devoured! April is not the best time for this activity and the hunters expect larger yields in summer and then late autumn when the rarer, headier white truffle abounds.
After the hunt we returned to an agriturismo where we sampled home made salamis, home made oven cooked Olive Ascolana (giant bread crumb coated olives stuffed with rabbit, chicken, turkey and spices), then came the truffle pasta which we watched being prepared and was fantastic, Vincisgrassi (a local marche form of Lasagne), big organic Pork steaks, roast veg and potatoes and collapsing chocolate souffle, coffee.
We were also treated to olive oil tasting and a tour de force wine tasting, with many made from smaller local grapes, such as Pecorino wine (named because the sheep like eating the vines) which are real treasures and little known outside Le Marche.
All in all a superb day out and great value at €90- we didnt need to eat for days!
We stayed in a funky apartment at lovely www.villasanraffaello.com
A fantastic curry house just off Long Street. Authentic, regional curries that make the most of Cape Town sea food. About R170 for two courses. Can't recommend it highly enough.
33 Church Street (upstairs on the first floor)
Fab takeaway pizzas from this little shop on Calle Mondo Nuovo in Castello. I'm not a great fan of the food in Venice - pretty overpiced and not really very good - apart from a little fish restaurant I know ...
But Cip Ciap is great if you want a quick bite on the run. You can buy by the slice or a whole pizza. I totally recommend the calzone con prosciutto.
Calle Mondo Nuovo, just off Piazza Santa Maria Formosa
I went with some friends to Zero Zero lounge next to Rio’s planetarium. I thought it was a bit expensive when compared to other clubs I had been to, but the ambience was pretty hipster and sophisticated. They have a huge open-air lounge area with many couches, Indian wooden benches and the ambiance is candlelit, the décor surely adds a sexy, romantic feel to the place. The gorgeous trendy locals cruise around in fashion clothes and fancy drinks. This place is definitely worth a check.
This is this the only pub on the east coast where you can watch the sun set over the sea. Enjoy a glass of Adnams or Speckled Hen after a clifftop stroll to the green at the centre of this town known to locals as Sunny Hunny. Do try the fish pie or any of the value meals in this building once the Railway Refreshment Rooms. On a clear day gaze over the Wash to Boston stump or Skegness on the Lincolshire coast.
Next to the beach by the pier head and green.
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