Day 23; T stands for Trädhotellet – to be one with the nature “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Kahlil Gibran Most people knows about our fantastic Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi– the first of it’s kind, … Continue reading
Dorsia Hotel & Restaurant Trädgårdsgatan 6 SE-411 08 Gothenburg, Sweden Phone, 0046-31-790 10 00 38 rooms; small classic to premium large; $375 – $682/€288-524/£245-445, breakfast included. The restaurants serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner plus it has an very … Continue reading
Boo! Now I’m going to tell you about when I met a ghost – twice. It happen in Belfast, while I still looking for somewhere to live, stayed at little beautiful designer hotel … not able to give out the name, … Continue reading
“EXECUTIVE HOTEL VINTAGE PARK” 1379 Howe Street Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2R5 Toll Free: 1-800-570-EXEC(3932) Other Enquiries: (604) 688-7678 4 stars – 126 rooms + luxury apartments When choosing hotel for Vancouver for this July visit – I first booked “The … Continue reading
22 years ago I really enjoyed staying here – don’t know what happen. It felt like the hotel had been in a time capsule. Maybe it’s me that have changed. “Warwick Seattle Hotel” 401 Lenora Street, Seattle, Washington 98121 Phone; + … Continue reading
…. and I didn’t bother them – this a post about Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. “Hyatt Regency Chicago” 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, USA 60601 Phone: (312) 565 1234 4 stars – 1900 rooms & 119 suites It … Continue reading
Everything went very smooth – the crossing was beautiful – and problem free, with the Clipper. Had a turkey croissant for US$5.50/€4.45/£3.50 aboard – not worth writing about and served ice cold – had to take for it for what … Continue reading
“Here is a simple but powerful rule – always give people more than what they expect to get.” NELSON BOSWELL # 15 – on my gem list That is what it’s all about when working in the hospitality trade – … Continue reading
Please, join me …. Promise you the most … the amazing 47 min you spent for a long time …. the building of our famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi – built in less then 6 weeks and rebuilt year after year, since 1990. … Continue reading
Have now found … a funny and exciting blogging sister, House Poulette , that married a French man and trying to be the perfect wife *smile Personal have always have a soft spot for the French man – there is something … Continue reading
Paris !!!! Couldn’t say how many times I been in Paris total – mostly through my former director and friend + 2 times privately … and we still don’t agree! Our director he always took us to Paris for our … Continue reading
#9 – on my gems list - Brigthon & Hove With a population of 256,600 – is Brighton & Hove a true gem, in the summer of course it nearly doubles. Has about 8 million visitors per year – 2nd most … Continue reading
“Even the air in New Orleans has calories” Anonymous New Orleans, 2nd part. When it comes to food – New Orleans know it’s food. Fantastic, it didn’t matter where or what I was eating it was tasty and cooked with … Continue reading
#11 – on my gems list - Bath
The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”) by the Romans in AD 43, and were abandoned when the Romans left Britain at the beginning of the 5th century.
It was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590, and was made a county borough in 1889 which gave it administrative independence from its county, Somerset.
Today there lives about 84.000 people in this stunning city – where no estate agency’s signs or cars are allowed in the city center. I have been there in the summer and autumn – and the same breathtaking beauty by River Avon.
Lived in Brighton when visiting Bath – direct train – a 3 hrs journey through stunning scenery (2 hrs from London, Paddington Station) … the destination station is called Bath SPA. Price for a ticket from London anything between £9.50-£84.00/€11.35-100/$15.00-132.00 (single) – The Train Line, cheap online train tickets.
The main attraction in the city is The Roman Baths had 1,037,518 visitors during 2009. The water which bubbles up from the ground at Bath fell as rain on the nearby Mendip Hills and reach 46 °C (114.8 °F) at the bath.
The Roman Bath – you have to visit – It’s a MUST – very interesting and beautiful
Adults £11.00/€13.00/$17.50 (July &August £11.50/€13.80/$18.50)
Senior Citizens & Full time Students – £9.50/€11.50/$15.15
Child (6yrs to 16yrs) £7.20/€8.60/$11.40
Family tickets – 2 Adults +4 children £32.00/€38.50/$51.00
The Grand Pump House – completed in 1799 – after couple of builders had resigned, 10 years it took to finish the building and in their The Pump Room restaurant … they serve a great afternoon tea: Pump Room Champagne Tea for £24.50/€29.45/$39.00 for 1 – £48.00/€57.70/$76.45 for 2. Well worth the money – not least because of the smoked salmon and cucumber blinis. You can also buy a glass of spring water from The Kings Spring for £0.50 – when I was there.
Also worth it’s money is Pulteney Cruisers – from the Pulteney Bridge along the River Avon – 60 min around tour.
Fares: £8.00/€9.60/$12.75 adult – £4.00/€4.80/$6.35 children (under 16) – children under 5 free
Senior & students; £6.00/€7.20/$9.55
Done the tour twice and both times I saw Kingfishers along the river bank – beautiful small bird. Only that is worth the ride.
They there is so much to see of old buildings, culture, events and parks – The City of Bath - you need a couple of days or come back for more.
Shopping – everything from the big high street names to small local exclusive boutiques: fashion, antiques, jewels, books, food … you name it – they have it and all in a picturesque setting.
So where should you have your pillows – have stayed once on hotel just opposite the railway station and on B&B’s that I can’t recall the names on – nothing outstanding, but the city itself does that. Today there is some boutique hotels and luxury with SPA, if that’s what you’re after. The Bath Priory Hotel, luxury a bit outside the city centre – but they have the Breakfast award and 2* Michelin Restaurant. Also member of Relais & Chateaux , but don’t sell itself cheap – £300/€360/$478 for standard double. Never been there – not even for a cup of coffee. Have a look on their website – quite a place and I’m sure that I would have liked it very much. Now back to reality!!!!
Friends of mine stayed not long ago at The Henry Guesthouse – and where very pleased – so I give details for that plus the hotel I stayed.
6 Henry Street,
Bath BA1 1JT, UK
Tel +44 (0)1225 424052
Double/twin room £90-120/€108-145/$143-191 – 7 rooms – breakfast incl.
2 bedroom apartment ‘Below Stairs’: sleeps 8 – self catering – breakfast avalible for £5.00/€6,00/$7.90p.p. at the hotel – £240.00/€287/$379
The Henry Guesthouse, Bath
The Royal Hotel
Bath BA1 1JP, UK
Tel: + 44 (0)1225 442931
Double/Twin: £120-165/€145-98/$191-263 – breakfast incl.
The Royal Hotel, Bath
A bit old fashion, otherwise nothing wrong with it – fantastic location – great service – good breakfast and medium size rooms. Some has 4-poster beds.
Then we come to interesting bit of Bath – the food.
Loads of restaurants & pubs with great food.
My favourite is:
Hole in The Wall
16 -17 George Street
Bath BA1 2EN, UK
+44 (0)1225 425242
The Hole in The Wall
Always served me high class food – great wines and a fantastic interior with open fire place. A very cosy and romantic restaurant. Not over pricey – 3 course set menu £29.95/€36.00/$47.50
Make a reservation.
1 York Buildings
BA1 2EB, UK
Great concept restaurant that I visit many times in London – now spreading globally. Asian food – and very good. You can’t go wrong – often the restaurants are quite big and service excellent. Great prices. Just drop in!
10 Milsom Place
Bath, BA1 1BZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1225 432 340
UK’s young TV-chef, Jamie Oliver’s place in Bath – never been there, but my friends went there and they said it was like eating in Italy. Very casual – but book. Can’t believe it – he has wallpaper with blue roses !!!!!!!
A little more about Bath in Somerset.
1. “Bath in Bloom” In the summer months – Bath is full of flowers every where, called “Bath in Bloom” – non profitable organization – an award – where the residents and companies in the city can compete about the best looking gardens. The whole city is eye candy.
2. The Royal Crescent – the most photographed building/buildings is Bath. You need a good wide angle lens.
3. Fashion Museum - Fashion Museum – you need a good 2-3 hours and get the audio guide.
4. Jane Auston Centre – The Jane Austen Centre - Bath’s most famous resident, the centre has a lovely tearoom too.
5. Hugh Grant & Elizabeth Hurley – lived in Bath for many years, before the scandal, that made them sell their house. Some useless information !!!!!!!
Bath is so beautiful – and it’s like taking a step back in time – and if you can avoid July & August when it’s cramped, you will get a very relaxed visit. A very regal city – it’s like you can imaging the horse carriages, the ladies in their pretty dresses with umbrellas walking on the cobblestone streets – and elegant men in top hats with walking sticks. Please, give the city good time when you go there.
A city very hard to give justice in the written word –
it has to be seen !!! So just go !!!
“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more”
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#1 – on my gems list - Biarritz, France
Biarritz and I met in September 1977 – and it was love at first sight. Have returned 8 times in total through the years – most during my years in UK and Ireland, with low cost airlines with Biarritz as one of their destinations. More difficult to get there with scheduled flights – have to change in Paris.
Biarritz is really the place I would have love to retire in, wish that I bought something in 1977 – today a closet cost close to 1 million Euros. If I win enough money – will I go and knock on a very special penthouse apartment and ask how much they want for it.
First time I arrived in an Audi with my German finance, Hans Joachim. Don’t remember why we chosen Biarritz for a longer stop over (5 nights) on our drive around France holiday. Both of us are big lovers of France, but not Paris. Will come to that another time.
Now to a little of this stunning town nearly on the Spanish border by the very much alive – Atlantic ocean. Build on sand and black rocks. Biarritz was born in 1170 as Bearriz – and Biarritz in 1249. But didn’t become really renowned until 1854 when Napoleon built a beautiful palace just on the for his Empress Eugenie – now a luxury hotel and apartments, The Hôtel du Palais. Loads of European royalty and film stars has had Biarritz as their playground through the years.
Once a whaling village – today there lives about 30.000 people and of course a lot more during summer month. A surfer’s paradise and there is loads of them – a good thing because it keeps the prices down on restaurants and bars. Officially surfing came to Biarritz in 1957. It’s a very upmarket and elegant town – with and for rich and famous, but not expensive. Le Casino Barriere is right on the Grand Plage.
19th November 1996 – during a heavy storm – did “Franz Hals” a freighter vessel with 154 passangers and crew stranded on the Grand Plage only meters away from Hôtel du Palais – it took 25 days to get the vessel of the beach. Atlantic Ocean is a powerful ocean.
Biarritz has 4 beaches – the Grand Plage in the middle of the town centre, very popular with a nice promenade along with cafes to sit and watch the surfers and well-dressed French families on their Sunday promenade (the whole families match) – the more sheltered one, (excellent if you have kids) Port Vieux, Côte des Basques – surfers and surfer schools and the Miramar Beach where no surfers allowed and strong currents – all beaches are provided with life guards – if you don’t follow the flagged warning system they use – they sort you out very quickly.
The most amazing thing about Biarritz is the high waves – that happens once a month when it’s full moon. Don’t really know what causes those massive waves. The whole seafront of the town is soaking wet and all beaches disappear – no swimming is allowed and no surfing. Has nothing to do with ebb or tide. It can be little brezzy and sunny – still it happens. People come from all around the area to enjoy the “show” – they know excatly when it’s going to happen. So difficult to explain … have to be seen.
Biarritz are also famous for their rugby team, best in France most of the years – their horse racing track; l’Hippodrome des Fleur. Golf is a big sport too with some big tournaments.
Small notes about Biarritz;
1. Grand Plage buildings have a 1920’s architecture.
2. The Hôtel du Palais – has a salt water pool that’s worth visiting on a wooden deck hanging above the beach.
3. The town has been famous for it’s Thalassotherapy SPA’s for nearly 30 years .Athletes from all over the world comes for treatments.
4. It’s full of Hortensia – striking view in all their shades of blue, white, pink and purple.
5. “Le Rocher De La Vierge” (Virgin on the Rocks) is the most visit place in Biarritz – The statue of Madonna, set up to keep local fishermen safe, is over a bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel, of tower fames.
6. La Villa Belza – the story tells that once built by Stravinsky in the late 1890 for his mistress – it just sit there on the rock. Have both been a hotel and apartments through the year. Magnificent view. Been scenery for a couple of movies.
Biarritz are now building something called, CITE DE L’OCEAN ET DU SURF - exhibition area, auditorium, restaurant, cafeteria and offices – designed by Steven Holl. An amazing building, it looks like a massive wave – a museum intends to raise awareness of oceanic issues and explore educational and scientific aspects of the surf and sea and their role upon our leisure, science, and ecology – will open this summer.
Two museum to visit in the meantime;
Musee de la Mer – aquarium
Biarritz Musee de la Mer
Planète Musée du Chocolat – chocolate museum
14 Avenue Beau Rivage
Biarritz Planète Musée du Chocolat
Shopping – for fresh fish & seafood, vegetables, cheese and meat it’s Les Halles – well worth a visit even if not buying any fresh products. 5 min walk from Place Clemenceau, main square – where also Magasins Galerie Lafayette is. There is loads of beautiful small fashion shops, beautiful handbags and shoes, perfumes, jewellery- very chic and upmarket, there are some exclusive shops that sells the big designer names like Chanel, Dior & Armani – and there is the most beautiful bridal shop Gloria Mariage, so if I ever will get married I will buy my dress in Biarritz – doubt very much that will happen!!! … but there is also a monthly street market – the whole town centre and you can buy anything, loads of Spanish people comes and sell their goods, like very nice under wears. Can say exactly what day of the month it’s. Can’t find the information anywhere on the net.
Have to recommend “Para Gabia“ on 18 rue Mazagran – is a very special shop … espadrilles in the rainbows all colors and many styles – customised with ribbons and laces while you wait. Prices starts from €10
I have stayed on hotels and in vacations apartments – all with ocean view of course. Doesn’t really matter where you stay – the beach is only a couple of minutes away. There is walking distance to everything in town.
Last time I was there was over my 60th birthday (now 3 years ago) and we rent a fantastic little apartment on top of rock with view for miles over the mountains and ocean. Become very good friend with the owner. A nice lady by name Valerie – that really took good care of us .. picked us up at the airport and showed us where to shop groceries, she even drove us there. Can call us sisters in our illness, we both where diagnosed with cancer only months apart. Have checked the website where she had her apartment and it’s removed.
Where to put down the head ???? Will recommend one hotel and a holiday rental website.
3 Place Sainte-Eugénie
64200 Biarritz, France
Phone; 05 59 24 01 76
Hotel Flordia, Biarritz
3-star; 48 rooms & 11 suites
Seaview rooms; €140-230 /$187-308/£118-195
A gem to hotel – small and friendly with an excellent location with walking distance to everything.
Great food and outdoor seating. Breakfast is like all French breakfast – not much to write home about. Always went next door to a brasserie and had my “café au lait et baguette au jambo et formage” every morning. Try to get a sea view room high up so you get the view of the lighthouse.
Home and Away rentals, is the website I would go for – has everything from loft to luxury villas and easy to use. Make sure you rent a property with terrace or balcony with ocean view – because it’s priceless and the sound from the ocean will rock you to sleep.
Eating, load of places – will recommend the ones that is a must for me every time I go back.
1. Chez Albert – 1 Class Seafood restaurant that has been busy since 1977. The owner Albert was killed about 18 years ago riding his motor bike. His finance has been running the place since, situated in the little fishing harbor in the town center – necessary booking. English spoken.
allée Port des Pêcheurs – 64200 Biarritz
Phone: (05) 59 24 43 84
2. Le Clos Basque – a very small restaurant during the cold months – in the summer they expand with having a beautiful terrace. Runned by husband and wife. Lovely food in relaxed atmosphere – booking necessary and speak very little to – no English. Modern French cuisine.
Le Clos Basque
12 r. L.-Barthou F
Phone (05) 59 24 24 96
3. La Roulle – restaurant of Hotel Marbella, big dining room plus a massive terraces, witch is packed in the summer. Really good food, nice service and not pricey. Fish and seafood, do great lamb too. Just to turn up. By the old beach – Port Vieux. Everybody speaks English.
11 rue du Port Vieux
Phone, (05) 59 24 04 06
4. Le Café de Paris – lovely food in art décor brasserie style – in the middle of town center in a small luxury hotel with the same name – all rooms with seaview. Great ocean view – little pricey. Modern cuisine and everybody speaks English. During summer months they have outdoor dining with ocean view.
Le Café de Paris
5, place Bellevue
Tel.: (05) 59 24 19 53
Le Café de Paris
What to visit nearby Biarritz;
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, trashed in 1177 by Richard Lionhearted troupes – up in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques – famous to being one of the stops along “Routes of Santiago de Compostela” in France also the scenery in the movie “The Walk” with Martin Sheen, 2011 – took the train from Bayonne the first time. Fantastic train ride up through the forests, along River Nive up into the mountains. Very picturesque. Took the bus from Biarritz to Bayonne, 30 min journey.
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (only in French)
Bayonne – with it’s old towns – great shopping and a very special tearoom;
27 rue Thiers
St Jean de Luz – small fishing town with the best grilled sardines in the world.
Great small shops, great beach, very pretty and loads of tourists. Bus from Biarritz about 40minutes
San Sebastian, Spain – we went by car (90 min). Very pretty with everything a sea resort should have. Exclusive shops, cafes and restaurant’s. Beaches in the middle of the city, lays in a bay – very busy and mad traffic. Once a dump, but have got a fantastic facelift.
Bilbao, Spain – (1hr40min with car) not a very pretty or friendly city … but it has The Guggenheim Museum – only reason why we went there. Fantastic building inside and out .. but exhibitions was a real disappointment
Have been in Biarritz in February over Valentine and it was +22C and we – have been there in January with grey evil looking ocean and sky, very windy – but still pleasant. My favourite month is September, warm and nice … sun tan weather and all French tourists gone. Biarritz are never too hot or too cold.
1977 I got my first Campari with grapefruit juice in Biarritz and that’s what I drink every day before and after dinner with sea view - when I’m down there, very seldom anywhere else.
All this is Biarritz for me – it gives me loads of pleasure and I never feel any guilt.
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