The International Coffee Organisation in London has dedicated the 2018 #InternationalCoffeeDay to Women in Coffee. The day will be celebrated in coffee shops and cafes around the world.
If you travel to Malta you can enjoy live music, fun and coffee at Coffee Circus. Alternatively get 50% off and lots of other specials at Bay Street.
Celebrating in Australia? Get down to Sprolo in Perth for specials and competitions. Learn to be a barista at Paradox in Surfers Paradise. Try something new at Pomeroys in Queensland.
For Greek travellers and locals why not buy one and get one free at Coffeeway in Athens. Or head down to a Coffee Island for a tasting of their limited edition El Salvador Pacamara Natural coffee. Join the “Introduction to Coffee” seminar & watch the documentary about Sasa Sestic the "Coffee Man" for free at SCAE Hellas.
Staying in London? Belgravia will see a week long coffee celebration at chic Motcomb Street. Join the "Coffee Bake-Off" at Pact in honour of the much loved Great British Bake Off TV show. Learn more about choosing great coffee at Second Chance Cafe where they help the homeless as well as serve up great coffee.
Let's empower women involved in coffee production and join in the celebrations wherever you are by checking out the ICO's website.
If you want to be immersed in coffee history speak to our bespoke tour experts about incorporating a hands-on coffee experience into your next holiday. Prefer the latest travel offers delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.
Thousands of years ago, Greeks were well acquainted with the health benefits and pleasure of hot springs, seawater rich in salts and iodine and of herbal and flower essence therapies. They massaged with oil, took medicinal diets, played healing music, and exercised for health.
Today the spa tradition is carried on in smart hotels and holistic resorts all over Greece. Here are some of our favourites.
Anazoe Spa, The Romanos Hotel Costa Navarino, Peleponnese
The Anazoe Spa offers a serene sanctuary in one of the most luxurious resorts in the Peleponnese. Treatments here are based on ancient Greek health and beauty practices, utilizing the region's exclusive natural ingredients and unique products. Their signature treatments are based on the teachings of Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. Try Thalassotherapy or Oleotherapy or any of the holistic and healing treatments offered by this exclusive retreat. Treatments are accompanied by soothing music and may be administered outdoors in the lush Messinian countryside. The name Anazoe comes from the Greek word for rejuvenation. After a visit here you will certainly be rejuvenated and will be "a healthy mind in a healthy body" as the ancient Greek saying goes.
Myrthia Spa at the Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort
Set on the outstandingly lovely Kassandra peninsula of the Halkidiki region of Greece, the Miraggio is home to the Myrthia Thermal Spa. Benefitting from geothermal water sourced from natural springs of the area, the Myrthia includes 5 pools. One of the pools is a Thalasso with heated sea water and the others are thermal pools heated to different temperatures, one of which extends to the outdoors as an infinity pool. Treatments range from massage to detox programmes and couples rituals. This award winning spa won't disappoint.
Kinsterna Hotel Spa
The Kinsterna is a restored Byzantine mansion set on the Monemvasia peninsula of the Peleponnese. With a view of the famous castle rock, the 5* hotel has a peaceful setting in gardens full of ancient olive trees and the famous Monemvasia orange trees. Nature has blessed the Kinsterna spa as it has natural spa waters as well as essential oils and seeds from the hotel's own vineyard grapes and oranges, as well as pure mountain honey from nearby Mount Parnonas. The spa boasts indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a Rasul bath, an ice fountain, a hammam, private suites and relaxation areas, a water jet zone, as well as a hair salon. Visit the Kinsterna spa to commune with nature and go home fully refreshed.
Pomegranate Wellness Spa
Just 30 minutes from Thessaloniki airport at the top of the Kassandra peninsula lies the Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel. The spa is elegantly designed and has views over the coast. Featuring a Byzantine hammam where you can treat yourself to a vanilla, brown sugar and honey exfoliation to stimulate your senses. Other unusual features are the reflexology pebble bath and the Himalayan salt bath, amongst a host of facilities and treatments. I was lucky enough to be shown around the spa on a recent visit to Halkidiki and I loved the private curtained booths around the indoor pool. Guests can take their healthy refreshments there and relax and unwind either alone or with their friends. The colour scheme is restful and your visit will certainly revive you.
The Spa at Danai Beach Resort & Villas
The exclusive Danai resort is set around a bay on the Aegean on the middle finger of Halkidiki's three peninsulas. Lush mediterranean gardens run down to the steep rocky slopes fringing the beach. In these idyllic surroundings the hotel and villas nestle and integral to this is the Spa. Having visited the resort, to me the spa has a really cosy feel to it. There are massage rooms, a nail spa, an indoor pool and relaxing room with heated stone relaxing benches and reflexology bed. Massages of various styles are available, Ayurvedic, Thai and Shiatsu. Beauty treatments complete the services and ensure that the whole experience is fabulous.
To book a spa break at any of these fabulous hotels just ask us to call you with more info.
The theme for your destination wedding should be something very personal to the bride and groom. The most successful themes are those which draw on the surroundings of the bridal couple, as well as things you like, or that are meaningful to the two of you. On a destination wedding this may seem a more difficult thing to arrange so here is some inspiration to help.
This on trend theme is really easy to create for a destination wedding. Garlands and wooden chairs will make your rustic wedding theme fabulous. Add some colourful flowers, a wooden arch, lanterns and candles and the theme can be reproduced at any destination. Mediterranean destinations provide endless opportunities to bring the rustic theme to your wedding. Olive branches look great as centrepieces or why not get married in an olive grove. Vine canopies covering the seating area is a winner too and can be found in very many venues, from high end hotels to characterful tavernas. Mix your greenery with wooden signs, sacking or other rustic touches for the perfect country wedding wherever you are in the world.
A Touch of Glamour
Glamour never goes out of style. There is so much choice if you choose a glamorous theme for your special day. So many options for décor and accessories: ornate candelabras, lush invitations, rich colours like purple or deep blue and white linen. Go all out on luxurious touches like gold table runners or a cake with metallic touches. Destination weddings don't just offer simple ceremonies on the beach, there are lots of grand venues: palaces, villas and 5 star hotels. Even in the humblest of venues you can always create a sense of glamour with fabulous styling.
Vintage means lots of different things to different people, which makes it a really broad theme with endless possibilities. Perhaps you will dedicate your wedding day to your favourite era, 30s deco or the hippie 70s, or you may mix and match for a general vintage theme. Add a period feel with vintage vehicles, retro cakes and sweets, lace and pearl details on your stationery and roses, lilies and chrysanthemums. A destination wedding offers even more scope as you can introduce some local history into your vintage theme. Use stone urn, pottery amphoras and statues to get an antique feel or hire a horse and cart. Vintage never goes out of style!
Geometric angles are growing in popularity along with rose gold metallics. You can incorporate geo details into so many aspects of your wedding. Instead of a traditional arch, try a geometric backdrop for your photos. Centerpiece holders and terrariums, lamps, wedding signs and cakes can all be treated to geometric styling. This is one of the easiest inspirations to bring to a big day abroad as metallic accessories are available everywhere. Incorporate geo touches with any theme but match it with an industrial venue and you have a winning combination. In Australia this is a hot trend and the range of venues available is growing.
Hold the ceremony after dark for the ultimate in romance. You’ll have the starry sky above you and the moon adding a silvery glow to a heavenly special day. Have the guests hold sparklers and make sure there are lots of candles, rope lights or lanterns for spectacular photos. Make sure you wear a dress which has crystals to catch the light and wear sparkly jewellery. Sky lanterns add a dramatic touch if your wedding party let them off into the night sky. For the ultimate in romance start your wedding on the beach as the sun goes down then light up the waves with plenty of lanterns or a bonfire on the sand. A destination wedding is the perfect choice for this type of ceremony.
You can introduce British seaside touches to any destination wedding but without the risk of rain! Have your wedding on the beach and the sea makes a beautiful and ever changing backdrop. There will be no need to wear shoes but Boho brides can keep their feet gorgeous with foot jewellery and sparkly toe rings. Use distressed wooden signs to add that seaside touch to your big day. Flowers can be whatever colour your heart desires but azure blue is a great choice for the table decor and accessories. Don't forget to add seashells to your theme, you could even put them on the cake. A seaside setting allows for plenty of romantic photo opportunities, from walking hand in hand along the beach, to sunset shots and even shadow photos.
Whatever theme you choose you can be sure you can bring this to your destination wedding. Keep it in tune with the local area and you'll have a fabulous day.
Travelling in comfort is so important in these days of bustling airports and high security. This is especially true for the over 50s when travel comfort is a greater consideration than budget. If, like me, you suffer from back problems, the thought of sitting on a plane for hours and struggling through airports with heavy luggage does not fill you with joy! Here are our top tips for getting the most relaxing holiday ever.
1. Arrive at the airport in style
Be chauffeur driven to the airport in a luxury executive vehicle or use the airport's valet parking service. You will arrive at the airport relaxed and stress-free.
2. Send your luggage ahead
Use a service to handle your baggage so you don't have to lug it around at the airport. For example Airportr can pick up your luggage from home so you can pick it up on arrival at your destination.
3. Upgrade your flight
Treat yourself to a more luxurious flight experience. With more legroom, complimentary drinks, seats that turn into flat beds and many other services, a flight upgrade is well worth splashing the cash for. Better still, make sure you are a member of an airline loyalty club, like the award winning American Airlines Advantage club. Business and first class cabins tend to be quieter than economy too, improving the chances of getting some restful sleep. Arrive more rested and refreshed with a flight upgrade - you know you're worth it!
4. Stay in quality accommodation
To ensure a relaxing stay it is important to book top class hotels, villas and guesthouses. Properties should be a blend of comfort, style, great service and value for money. Be sure to do your research on review sites, or have your travel consultant recommend the very best for your budget. Sometimes it can be worth splashing out for the best but it is always worth getting personal recommendations.
5. Use a concierge service
This could be provided by your travel consultant, your hotels, airlines, or a specialist supplier. Find out more about the services provided in this Travel Weekly article. The services offered vary wildly from obtaining tickets for shows, excursions, ferries, etc, to access to exclusive members-only events and services, such as cocktail parties and private yachts. They can even arrange to have your luggage unpacked/packed. Using a concierge can certainly take your holiday experience up a notch.
6. Visit a spa
For total relaxation you can do no better than visit a spa. If staying at a hotel with a spa it is likely that access to the facilities is included in your room price. Treatments will always be additional unless you have pre-booked it as part of your travel package. Spas come in many guises but they all have one thing in common, after a visit you feel fabulous. Should your accommodation not incorporate spa facilities then the reception desk can usually furnish you with details of a local spa. Alternatively your concierge service can certainly book a visit for you.
7. Try a yoga retreat
If you are looking to completely switch off from the hustle and bustle of daily life, check yourself into a yoga retreat. Escapes are from as little as a day and offer a truly holistic experience. Most retreats offer other activities that complement yoga, such as swimming, massage, walking and getting in tune with the surrounding nature. After your peaceful retreat you are sure to come back to everyday life with renewed vigour and optimism.
8. Book a private guide
Unless you are on a group tour with a tour manager to arrange the logistics of your holiday, you may wish to hire a private guide. Not only do you get local expertise as you travel around but it can give you peace of mind in an unfamiliar country. This takes the strain of planning your journey from your shoulders as your guide will take care of all the details to ensure you have an excellent trip.
9. Eat great food
On holiday you want to experience the local culture of your destination. This includes trying the cuisine of the region. Don't just stay in the hotel restaurant, no matter how good the food is, you will miss out on one of the reasons you travel! Ask the hotel reception for recommendations or do some research on the internet to find out the best local eateries. You can even enroll on a cooking class to learn how to make your favourite local delicacies to enjoy at home. If this doesn't appeal you could always take a food tour instead.
10. Wear comfortable clothing
It sounds obvious but it really is important to wear comfy clothes on holiday, especially for travelling. On planes particularly you should wear loose clothing and shoes (ideally wear slippers or socks during the flight so your feet are not constricted). Scheduled airlines, especially if you have upgraded, will generally provide socks, blankets, eye masks and so on to add to your onboard comfort. Otherwise don't forget to pack these essentials. When in your destination be sure to dress appropriately for the climate and local customs.
Don't forget, if you have any mobility difficulties you can book airport assistance in advance. This can be done via your travel agent or direct with the airport (check out their website for details). For inbound journeys you cannot book in advance so will need to arrange this with the airline prior to your homeward journey. If you are on a Tasteful Travel tour you will be able to do this via your tour manager.
Sign up to this Blog for news, tips and inspiration and ask one of our experts to call you with further information to book a tour. And remember, comfort is king!
Greece has everything the traveller needs. Awe inspiring sightseeing, miles of beaches of every kind, hundreds of islands to visit and great weather for two thirds of the year. What it also has is fabulous gastronomy. The country still suffers from a terrible reputation for poor food gained from the sub-standard fare served to tourists in mass market hotels, the ubiquitous giros, and the limited menu on offer in Greek restaurants around the world. But Greece's cuisine today is actually fresh and fabulous. Today top chefs are developing a fusion of the traditional with a modern style. This rediscovery of Greek food heritage is winning acclaim and makes Greece a real foodie destination.
Foremost exponents of the reconstruction of well-known Greek dishes are Georgianna Chiliadaki & Nikos Roussos. Owners of Funky Gourmet in Athens, they have been awarded two Michelin stars for their avant guard twist on classics such as Pastitsio (macaroni with mince) and Horiatiki (Greek salad).
Fresh local ingredients are now being celebrated by renowned chefs such as Alexandros Kardasis and Sotiris Evangelou. No mention of top Greek chefs would be complete without Michelin starred Ettore Botrini. His restaurants in Corfu, Athens and now Rhodes set the bar high. Botrini can be seen on the Greek version of 'Kitchen Nightmares' and has published many recipe books. All of these chefs and many more are ensuring that Greek's culinary tradition is preserved but also taken to another level of excellence.
Greece has always produced top quality olive oil, fruit and vegetables and of course seafood. What many people don't know is that the more mountainous regions produce a vast range of cheeses - it's not just all about feta! The meat is some of the most succulent I have ever eaten, despite the preference for serving well done in most tavernas, even today. Instead of taking these great ingredients for granted, Greek chefs are now celebrating them.
Crete has been at the forefront in the revival of traditional Greek cooking since the 1990s. Its produce is excellent due to the long growing season and the Cretan people's connection to the land. Along with other notable regions and islands, Santorini with its fertile volcanic soil, the Peleponnese and Halkidiki with their world famous olives, there is so much variety in produce and cuisine to try in Greece.
All over Greece there are now opportunities for the foodie tourist to experience this first hand. Cookery classes, olive oil tastings, bakery demonstrations and all manner of meals are on offer. From the rustic to the very grand, you can find it all in Greece.
Celebrate the great culinary come back on a Tasteful Travel Greece tour. Get in touch to find out more.
Avid travellers like to understand more about the culture and history of all the places they travel to. If you are one such traveller, better your travel experience through a themed gastro tour.
1. Eat Like a Local
Avoid the tourist traps with their expensive and often poor quality offerings. Be shown those hidden gems where the locals eat and dine well. Experience authentic.
2. Experience Local
Immerse yourself in the country or region you are travelling through by meeting local producers and trying their wares. Get hands-on with baking or foraging, or fancy trying chocolate making? Whatever a region offers you can be sure you'll discover the cuisine and culture of it on a food tour.
3. Small Groups
To get the best experience on a food tour a small group is essential. No more struggling to hear the guide or waiting in line to be fed. Groups of 10-15 allow you to get the most our of the foodie experience and it's a great number to get round a table or two.
4. Expert Gourmet Guides
Learn about the history and culture surrounding the cuisine of the region from an expert. They may be local guides or well travelled tour managers but all have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to you. Try new ingredients or ways of cooking in a relaxed and fun environment.
The beauty of travelling on a food tour is that you don't have to worry about a thing. All the planning has been done for you. Visits to producers and restaurants have all be pre-booked and you'll be taken there in comfort. Your tour manager will make sure that all runs smoothly. You just have to enjoy!
6. Carefully Selected Tastings & Eateries
A gourmet tour is lovingly put together to ensure that you get the most authentic culinary experience of the region. From fine dining to cream teas, farmers markets to vineyard visits, you can be sure that only the best of the local venues are chosen.
7. Local Stories
Food history isn't boring. It forms such a fundamental part of local life and culture that it is a fascinating subject to find out about. Stories around the dinner table have been part of human life since the dawn of time. Be part of a foodie group and have fun while you learn.
8. Delicious Food
You can be sure that on a gourmet tour you'll be taken on a food adventure. It is absolutely certain that you will eat really tasty food on the way. From tasting menus to tasting platters, fresh oysters to local cheeses, whatever you try it will delight your pallet.
9. All Inclusive Food Experience
All of the tasting experiences and meals are included in the price of a gourmet tour so no unexpected bills to pay. Even the gratuities are paid. Your guide or tour manager will take care of all payments. But if you want to take some produce home with you, don't leave your wallet behind!
10. Delight Your Senses
Food tours will bring all your senses to life. Hear the buzz of the neighbourhood, see and feel new produce, smell the wonderful aromas, taste the delicious food. On a gourmet tour you will: See. Taste. Learn.
Book your next food adventure with Tasteful Travel.