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

10 Cool Things To Do In Menorca Beyond The Beach

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

Menorca

Recognise these? Traditional Menorcan sandals are wardrobe staples around the world.

The island of Menorca is sleepier and more tranquil than its big hitting Balearic neighbours, with a reputation for impeccable unspoiled coastlines and eco tourism which is a world away from the hedonistic holidays and resorts often associated with neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca.

Best known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and Caribbean-worthy coves (known as calas in Spanish) Menorca is the chosen destination for many nature-loving families seeking a low key beach break within easy reach of the UK – yet the small island is packed with its own history and culture offering unique shopping, outdoor adventure and farm-to-table cuisine at every turn.

Here are my 10 favourite things to do in Menorca

In Photos: Queen Of Fallas For A Day

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Photo Journeys, Spain, Valencia, Women of the world

Queen of Fallas for a day

That time I was the Queen of Fallas for a day – complete with traditional Valencian costume

This isn’t exactly a news flash, but we girls like getting dressed up.

And from the moment I arrived in Valencia I was determined to do one thing (besides eat paella): dress up in the famous Fallas festival costume, and become a Spanish Queen for the day.

And here’s another thing about girls; we already think we’re royalty, and we usually get what we want

Hide Your face With Spanish Lace: The Story Of The Valencia Fan

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Photo Journeys, Spain, Valencia, Worldwide Vacation

Valencia fan

Valencia fan: There are some colourful fans on display in the city’s shop windows

Despite the Brits’ well-documented love affair with the Spanish coast, I never went on a family holiday to Spain as a child.

Yet one of my most treasured possessions as a little girl was a delicate handheld Spanish lace fan. 

So when I was given the opportunity to meet a traditional Valencia fan maker in the city which is packed with these ornate hand-made and hand-painted souvenirs, I was filled with a childhood sense of wonderment – and couldn’t wait to learn about the process of producing these gorgeous – and girlie – wearable works of art.