In Photos: Brunei’s Beautiful Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Asia, Brunei, Competitions, Photo Journeys

Brunei's Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Brunei’s Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque has some gorgeous tiling

On a day trip to the Brunei capital I was wowed by a selection of Bandar Seri Begawan’s highlights, from mosques and floating villages to food markets and museums.

But the country’s largest mosquewhich was built by the current Sultan was undoubtedly the most impressive thing I saw during my short visit to the tiny state.

In fact the Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings I’ve seen anywhere in the world…

Weekend Shortcut: A Weekend Of Culture & Consumerism In Cardiff

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Cardiff, Continents, Europe, Opinion, Shopping, UK Staycation, United Kingdom, Wales, Weekend Shortcut

Cardiff

Cardiff has a burgeoning street art scene

Weekend Shortcuts are complete guides to weekends away, written to help you enjoy a perfect short break without needing to do any additional research. 

If a weekend in Wales isn’t for you, gorge yourself on my weekend guide to Devon for foodies or slope off to read Cortina, Italy for non-skiers – or simply scroll down for a in-depth weekend guide to shopping and culture in the Welsh Capital.

This is an easy 2-night itinerary filled with art, museums, boutiques and of course tasty treats (hello Welsh cakes!) around Cardiff city and the bay area, all of which can be reached on foot….

Calling All Carat Collectors: 3 Diamond Destinations For Geezers & Gals

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Italy, London, Roman Artisans, United Kingdom, Worldwide Vacation

diamond destinations: Rome

Diamond destination: Jewellery In Rome

They’re a girl’s best friend, they’re forever, and they’re timeless. You find diamonds appearing everywhere in our language as well as our jewellery boxes; they’re ‘in the rough’ as well as on the soles of your shoes.

They’re the only precious stones which have had world famous slogans invented about them and to which countless well-known terms and phrases lead back through history.

The world has always been fascinated with diamonds – but if you’re fascinated with the world, here are 3 diamond destinations to which you should travel to see jewels shine bright.

Weekend Shortcut: A Weekend In Devon For Foodies

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Devon, England, Europe, UK Staycation, Weekend Shortcut

Weekend in Devon

A Weekend in Devon; the view from Orestone Manor

Weekend Shortcuts are posts written to help you put together a perfect weekend away without tearing your hair out during the research phase.

This weekend shortcut covers everything you need to know for a food-filled 2- day break in Devon, a truly delightful part of South West England that’s simultaneously easily accessible yet somehow feels unhurried and remote, making it a great candidate for a stress free little trip to recharge your batteries.

Read on to learn how to replicate this delicious weekend in Devon without doing any extra research – leaving you more time to eat, drink and relax with stunning English sea views.

Travel To The Home Of The First Christmas Card

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Christmas Travel, Continents, Devon, England, Europe, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

The First Christmas card

The first Christmas card was born at Orestone Manor, Devon, England

Christmas crackers, the Queen’s speech, mince pies, Boxing Day, Christmas pudding England has plenty of festive traditions which are regarded with complete puzzlement by the rest of the world.

England also has an even bigger Christmas claim to fame – one that is somewhat of a secret.

The first Christmas card was invented right here, conceived and designed in the English county of Devon.

The manor house where the ultimate Christmas tradition was born is now a luxury countryside hotel; so what better place to eat, drink and be merry and get into the spirit of Christmas than the original home of Christmas greetings

Find Your Sea Legs With These 4 Marvellous Maritime Museums

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Italy, Opinion, Sweden, USA, Worldwide Vacation

Boat in Genoa's Porto Antico

A boat in Genoa’s old port

Let’s face it the idea of visiting maritime museums on your travels could make you feel a little bit sea sick.

I love all kinds of museums and galleries, and have been to plenty with nautical themes, but I have to admit that while some are leagues ahead of the competition and give you a fantastic insight into travel by boat others make you want to bail when you find your interest levels sinking fast.

So while I’m no more of a salty sea dog than the average traveller, I find life on – and under – the ocean strangely fascinating.

So if you’re into sailing and want to fit some mu-SEA-ums into your travels (sorry!) here are some ideas…

3 Things I Learned On A Luxury London Dessert Tour

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Europe, Food, London, News, Opinion, Shopping, United Kingdom

London dessert tour

Fortnum & Mason on my Urban Adventures London dessert tour

I turn tourist for the day and try out one of Urban Adventures’ London day tours.

And despite covering some well-trodden West End ground, I learn 3 things that even as a native Londoner I had NO idea about – until now – all while munching on lovely Ladurée macaroons along the way.

Read on to see if you’ll learn something new too…

Pretty Ballerinas Make Girls Holidays To Menorca A Shoe-In

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Balearic Islands, Continents, Europe, Menorca, Shopping, Spain, Worldwide Vacation

Pretty Ballerinas

Pretty Ballerinas on sale at the factory outlet in Menorca

The very first thing I spy after landing in Menorca, and exiting those double-doors that spit you out of security and into your holiday destination, is a tall pink leaflet dispenser advertising Pretty Ballerinas shoes.

Of course like any self-respecting girl, the idea of shoe shopping while on holiday – possibly at a discount – has my interest piqued immediately.

But as I’m with a group  – consisting mainly of men – I decide to leave it until later to work out if my hunch is right that the high-end ballet pumps which are beloved of celebs must be manufactured on this very island