If you need to travel between the West End and Canary Wharf then using the Thames Clipper boat is a great way to travel and do some sightseeing en route. Regular services run from Embankment and Waterloo among others to Docklands and Canary Wharf.
For a great dining experience on the Thames in East London, not far from the City, try visiting the Shad Thames area and Pont de la Tour. Great seafood, wine and atmosphere overlooking Tower Bridge. They have both a relaxed bistro and a more formal dining room for business dinners.
The Butlers Wharf Building
36d Shad Thames
London SE1 2YE
Tel: 020 7403 8403
It is very romantic for couples, also a great treat for the family. The four-course meal is fantastic, also you get to see all the Paris sights as you take your time eating dinner and drinking wine and listening to the sounds of the piano. A great way to spend lunch or dinner.
Go to Sacre Coeur for the best view of Paris. Take a walk up to it and you can visit the small shops and cafes on the way up. It is the highest point in Paris, also a visit to the church inside is absolutely beautiful. Bonus: no need to queue for hours to see Paris and it is free! You can also take your pets up as well.
If you are visiting le Marche and fancy a real adrenaline rush and the most incredible views of the region, then head up to the Scoula di Volo (flying school) above Sarnano. They teach hangliding and parascending and launch from a wonderful meadow at about 1500metres. You can fly tandem with an instructor for €60. One of our crowd experienced a flight over a golden eagle exploiting the same thermal below them and didn't even have to pay extra! For stylish accommodation in the area try www.villasanraffaello.com
Near San Liberato Monastery 5km from Sarnano, Macerata, Marche
For dining, Caprice is a sure-fire winner. The chef here is Vincent Thierry who used to run the famous Le Cinq in Paris and the food is always excellent. You also have pretty harbour views. It’s quite formal so is a good place to go with clients, but if you want somewhere a bit more laid-back, then try Di Vino on Wyndham Street, which also has an excellent wine list.
Dim sum is to Hong Kong as fish and chips (or perhaps a chicken korma) is to the UK. However, with countless restaurants in Hong Kong, where you do start? My recommendation would be at the dim sum restaurant (Lung King Heen) at the Four Seasons, Hong Kong. The dim sum served is of a different standard, each with its own twist on traditional classics. This delicous food is complimented with outstanding views of the harbour and impeccable service.
Situated on the first floor of the Four Seasons hotel. Make a reservation beforehand. Ask for a window view.
The Cumbria Way is a long distance walk through the heart of the Lake District from Ulverston to Carlisle. Highlights include Lake Coniston and Derwent Water. The walk is comprised of five stages, each taking a day to complete.
It's a small boat operator in Lisbon with intimate boats carrying up to 7 people and very cheap. Lovely music on board and superb service by the skipper.
We tried a Old Lisbon tour and it was very nice. Then the guy suggested us to have dinner in the Atira-te ao Rio restaurant in the south side of Lisbon near the bridge and we went on the boat and had a great meal and came back on the boat to Alcantara. If you don't take the tour, you should try the restaurant and you can go by boat as well.
www.marlinboattours.com, +351 919275509. Departures from Alcantara Docs and Belem, but better to call first.
A bar in Kowloon to enjoy a drink after work and watch the skyscraper light show on Hong Kong. The bar also owns an old style junk called Aqualuna which takes you through the harbour and is a top place to view the cityscape.
Aqua Spirit at top of 1 Peking Road
Stay at the YMCA in Salisbury Rd, Kowloon. The harbour view rooms are very comfortable with fabulous views of Victoria Harbour and the stunning Hong Kong skyline. The YMCA building is exactly next to The Peninsula Hotel, the oldest and possibly the most stylish hotel in Hong Kong. The great advantage is that the cost of your room at the YMCA will be a fraction of that at The Peninsula Hotel. The money you save on accomodation can go towards impressing your clients in the exclusive Stark restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel next door. You might even meet in the Felix bar with its superb view or simply take a traditional afternoon tea in the lobby. All the time that you are wining and dining, your clients will surely believe you are staying at one of the most exclusive hotels in Hong Kong.
Find the YMCA at 41 Salisbury Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The nearest tube station is Tsim Cha Tsui.
Partake of this for €25 at the Villa Leonhardi – a superb Italian restaurant in an old villa just outside the old city; and once a month they do a seasonal tasting menu for €80‚ which is well worth making the journey for.
A great place to see the locals - especially the more senior citizens - enjoy themselves at the weekend exercising, dancing, doing taiqi and doing calligraphy with water-filled brushes on the paving stones near the east entrance.
North 3rd Ring Road neat intersection with Chaoyang Bei Lu
Beautiful hotel located on Sheikh Zayed Road. Stayed here on my first visit a few years back and have been there ever since. You get stunning views over the star wars part of the city from the higher rooms (and the top floors are there executive rooms complete with nice lounge and food all day). The pool is small enough to seem private yet busy enough not to seem like a loner, there are no screaming kids around and the staff seem to go out of their way to help you. They also have those curtains that open and close with a button so you can feel like James Bond.
Sheikh Zayed Road
This restaurant situated on the Chicago River serves great sushi and modern Japanese cuisine. It’s very smart and tends to attract a rather beautiful crowd. You can choose between the red room or the green room, depending on what mood you’re in; or there’s also a wonderful river-front patio.
Country house previously owned by artist John Ruskin. Near to Lake Coniston, so, if it's a nice day, combine with a walk along the lakeshore or even up nearby fell Coniston Old Man.
Cushchine Cottage is a small, family-friendly, beautiful, self-catering rental set within an animal farm park. It's ideal as a base for all of Kaikoura's attractions (about a mile from the town centre) and includes free access to the Farm Park, and you can help out with their early morning feeding.
The cottage has two bedrooms (sleeps up to seven), an equipped kitchen, lounge with wood burner, sofas and TV, free use of a gas barbecue and fabulous views of Mt Fyffe. Towels and bedding are included, and it only costs $100-180 a night (depends on numbers and time of year).
We spent two nights in a more expensive motel, before staying an extra night in the rental cottage. We enjoyed it so much, we chose cottages for the rest of our NZ trip!
Ask them about a lovely walk to a nearby river, less than a mile away, with two huge natural swimming pools - it's a local secret!
12 Kowhai Ford Road (about 1 mile from Kaikoura town centre)
03 319 5033
A superb family-oriented farm park run by a lovely english couple. They've a wide range of farm animals (wallabies, llamas, ponies, lambs, donkeys, rabbits, ducks, horses, peacocks, chickens and chicks, guinea pigs, chinchillas... the list is practically endless!).
The aminals are super-friendly, and come right up to you. They offer free pony cart rides, and you can help bottle feed their younger animals. It's a cute, small, personal kind of place, with magnificent views of snow-topped Mt Fyffe.
We ended up there when our Whale Watch trip was cancelled and, to be honest, our kids are still talking about it, and have long forgotten the whale trip which they didn't appreciate at all (amazing when you consider the whale trip was about ten times the price!). It's not as 'flash' as another park we visited in the UK, but the hands on experience was truly memorable, and became one of the highlights of our NZ holiday. They've also got a small beautiful self-catering rental cottage - we loved the place so much, we stayed an extra night in their cottage and benefited from free access to early morning feeding and free farm park entry. The kids loved it - shame we didn't know about it before we arrived.
12 Kowhai Ford Road (about 1 mile from Kaikoura town centre and railway station)
03 319 5033
As a former student of the local university, I had been many times to the cathedral but being up on the roof showed me a lot of things I didn't know about the cathedral.
They will take you to the cathedral stone roofs (don't wear high heels!), where you get great views of the old city.
€10 for 30-45 minutes, everyday 10am to 2 pm, 4pm-8pm. Booking recommended (especially in summer), entry via Pazo de Xelmirez, Praza do Obraodiro.
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