Straddling between breakfast and lunch time, brunch has become the hottest trend these days… our favorite leisure break! It’s story was framed in the late 1800s by English and its’ fame was escalated after 130 years in the U.S. However, the word itself was first appeared in Hunter’s Weekly content when Guy Beringer asked the public to have only light meals before going to church on Sunday afternoon. He said that brunch gives you a more jaunty temper and you are instantly like an upbeat ‘’looney kid’’. He even suggested the local restaurants and pubs serving beer with a nice plate of delicacies instead of the typical English tea or coffee. However, there was a short mention on the Punch magazine in 1876 saying that when you eat at times which are a bit closer to breakfast, this is brunch… Read More
Christmas is coming and along with all the cosiness there is also the dreaded Christmas shop. Give something different this year and give yourself a present at the same time. Why not head off on your travels and stock up on traditional European goods from a foreign christmas market and soak up the incredible atmosphere.
Vienna’s Christkindlmaerkt is one of the most famous, and long running in Europe and Vienna makes the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. A lot of effort goes into the magical decorations and atmosphere and it attracts people from all over the world. Held in front of the town hall, visitors flock to Vienna to grab photos with the famous Christmas decorations, listen to the seasonal music, pick up traditional gifts and of course overindulge on sweet chestnuts. The city also offers the chance to see the glorious Schonbrunn and Imperial palaces and to stuff yourself silly with all the great cakes at the coffee houses.
Open: November 17th – December 24th
Image via: @tttaaaooo
Treat him or her to a fantastic Valentine’s holiday with Purple Travel. We’ve got 10 of Europe’s most romantic cities for all types of couples. If It’s history that you’re mad about, incredible hotel rooms that you won’t leave for days on end or a sunshine getaway where you can relax hand in hand on a secluded beach, you’ll love our list of Europe’s most romantic cities. We threw the question out on Google + and Facebook and got some great responses. As always, anything we’ve missed, let us know in comment and already decided where you want to go on your next city break? Call Purple Travel on 02079939228 for low cost flights and hotels Europe’s Most Romantic Cities…
#1 Dazzlingly beautiful Italy’s Liguria Coast is filled with cost tucked-away romantic guesthouses and hotels. Sometimes known as the Bay of fairy tales the ancient ruins and old castles provide a stunning backdrop to sunset dinners on a terrace and balmy evenings walking hand in hand. Choose from ocean view hotels with high ceilings and don’t forget to visit the cocktail bars.
#2 Paris is perfect for traditional romantics. An obvious choice but that’s because it’s so good! We’re talking freshly baked croissants for breakfast in bread, the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and long meals accompanied by the best red wine. Paris is filled with amazing hotels so you can treat him or her to a Valentine’s they’ll never forget.
#3 Just a couple of hours away, Rome is a hot choice for history and art lovers for couples who want to discover the Sistine Chapel or the Coliseum together. Stay in the The wide streets and incredible selection of restaurants make this one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
#4 It might not be the first city that pops into your head, but Copenhagen in Denmark makes a gorgeous romantic weekend away. The city renowned for its links to fairy tale writer Hans Chrsitan Andersen is a jusst 90 minutes from the UK. Stop for hot chocolates and a heart shaped cake in one of the city’s famous cafes after a visit to the Winter Garden, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. In the evening cinema is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen and it’s easy to see why. Cinemas like the Empire and Falkoner have specially made seats just for two. Copenhagen image via @ Visit Denmark
#5 One of the most popular cities in Europe right now the Portuguese capital has it all. Lively Lisbon is all cobblestone streets, cosy cafes and bars and incredible hotels. All of those overlooked by an ancient castle. It’s hard to top Lisbon for most romantic cities. Lisbon image via @ Luca Sartoni
#6 The magical kingdoms in Game of Thrones might be familiar when you set foot in Dubrovnik. The hazy sun soaked pottery tiled roofs and shiny flagstoned streets are not only beautiful, but world-famous now too thanks to the filming of the George RR Martin books. The city’s old walls doubles as Kings Landing and the view from the top shows off Blackwater Bay. Dubrovnik is top of the romance charts as far as we are concerned. Dubrovnik via @ Branimal!
#7 Venice. A long established romantic hot spot, Barbara Hopley on our Google + page shared her thoughts about her favourite romantic city in Europe: “Venice definitely, a nice dinner then a Gondola ride – perfect! Highly recommend, I love Venice.”
#8 A stunningly well-preserved city, Prague is made for walking around hand in hand with the one you love. A sea of spires and statues awaits you by day, while at night, the famous Prague nightlife is sure to impress any party-loving couple. Sunset dinner in Prague via @ MadebyMark
#9 Holidays in Marrakech are made up of a couple of essentials: discovering the sights and sounds of the Medina, testing out your shisha smoking skills, eating incredible local food and maybe a bit of sunbathing thrown in. Marrakech couples city breaks are all about adventure and who better to share that with than your other half.
#10 Santorini has all the elements for the perfect couple’s holiday. Those incredible sunsets, the winding white washed streets where it feels like it’s just the two of you alone in the world. Book a room with a sea view and your own private swimming pool, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave.
Have something special in mind for Valentine’s Day? Call the expert travel team at Purple Travel on 02079939228 and surprise the one you love this year.
Image via @ Dave_b
Prague, Czech Republic – Couples Christmas Markets
Two of the most popular Christmas Markets in Prague are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Both markets are just five minutes’ walk from each other, creating a magnificent festive atmosphere around the city centre. In both markets you’ll find the usual traditional sweet treats, like Trdelník, a hot sugar coated pastry, lots of local beers, such as the famous Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar, and warm drinks including the infamous Glühwein. If you’re hungry, there’s plenty to feast on from large spit roasted hogs to tasty BBQs sausages. The Prague Christmas market includes lots of stalls selling cute handicrafts and decorations and real animals in the crib scene.
Opening times: 30 November 2013 – 12 January 2014. The Prague Christmas markets are open daily, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
From the weirdest to the most wonderful hotels around the world, we find the best unusual hotels around the world for your delectation. Stay in a hamster hotel or an igloo and enjoy a night less ordinary. This week we take a peak inside the Hotel Fox in Copenhagen.
Image via @ Pinterest
What’s the gimmick? Designers, grafiti artists, illustrators and artists from all over the world have gathered to make a truly creative hotel experience in Copenhagen. 21 artists were given free reign to put together every single detail of the rooms in Hotel Fox.
Why stay? At Hotel Fox you become the work of art, or at least part of it. Maybe you want to be a princess, visit Japan, or become a king for a night in this quirky, kitschy hotel. Plus it’s one of the best value stays in Copenhagen despite its stellar reputation.
The WOW Factor? Each of the rooms is visually striking, you can stay many times over and still not get all the nuances that are on offer.
Prices for the Hotel Fox starte from £78 B&B.
10 WTF weird theme parks that you’ll either love or want to avoid forever.
- Harmonyland, Japan If hanging out with a whole bunch of life size versions of Hello Kitty is your idea of a good time, then read on! There are Hello Kitty live shows, a “rhythmic rollercoaster” the Kitty Castle and something called the Hello Kitty Black Wonder. We think this definitely deserves a place the weird theme parks list.
- Grutas Park, Lithuania You won’t find any rollercoasters, or even a swing ride, but you will find a gulag experience and lots of Soviet era sculptures. It even has its own zoo, complete with ostriches, while every April 1st there’s an annual comedy festival with impersonations of Communist party bigwigs. Grutas Park’s founder built the park to remind people of past oppressions.
- Loveland, South Korea If adults only is your way of thinking, then this park is for you, it’s completely based around “enjoying a harmonious sex life.” It’s easy to see why it’s becoming more and more popular with honeymooners. Prudish types need not apply as this park takes the hands on approach, with attractions like Breast Mountain; huge intimate works of art and ahem, DIY exhibitions.
- BonBon Land, Denmark A few miles south of the Danish capital you’ll find this park, which is home to some delightful amusements like the Farting Dog rollercoaster and the Skid Mark. Not only that but dotted throughout the park you’ll find lovely cartoons characters like giant rats, half naked cows, hungover turtles and seagulls pooping on alligators. So, that’s nice.
- Tayto Park, Ireland (Disclaimer!) We Irish are known for some mad cap ideas, but how about a theme park dedicated to crisps? Tayto are synonymous with the potatoey-tasty treat and the company has set up its own crisp theme park. In the wilds of county Meath you’ll find a factory tour to see how the crisps are made, visit the animals (which may or may not be fed on crisps) or have a go on a Tayto jumper or Mr Tayto’s Wacky Rodeo.
- Shijingshan Amusement Park, China It might look a bit like Disney, it feels a bit like Disney but it’s definitely not Disney. The park blatantly rips off some of Walt’s greatest creations with the odd change here and there. So watch out for an extra tall Snow White or a strange looking Mickey Mouse.
- Hacienda Napoles, Colombia At the entrance to the Hacienda Napoles, you’ll find an area decorated with an old plane. But, it’s not just any old plane; it is actually the one that transported the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar’s first batch of cocaine to the USA. The whole park is found in the grounds of the former drug baron’s ranch. Before he was shot and killed in 1993, Escobar filled his home with life size dinosaurs, old cars and a bunch of hippos. A group of businessmen came together to turn it into a tourist attraction and it draws around 50,000 visitors per year.
- Dollywood, USA Yes, the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton has her own theme park and what else would it be called? A proper extravagance, you can ride Dolly’s Demolition Derby, meet wild eagles, go on the Barnstormer or visit a replica schoolhouse from the 1890s. Even Dolly herself says her theme park is “one of the greatest dreams she’s ever had come true.”
- Dig This, Las Vegas Ok, Dig This is not really a theme park, more of a huge sandbox, where you can live out your Bob the Builder fantasies. Once you get in there, you can choose between hulking bulldozers or excavators, you get an introduction to how to use it and you’re off. The park centres around challenging you in cab, so you’ll get to indulge in a little Excavator Basketball or Bulldozer Teeter-Totter.
- Zero Gravity, USA For around $30 you can have a go on a ride so scary, that it’s been used by scientists to simulate near death experiences. The ride goes up 16 stories, then you’re dropped, with no tie lines, completely unattached for a 130 foot free fall. Lucky for you a huge net is there to stop you from going splat.
Kate Power is community manager for Purple Travel.
If you’re interested in a beach holiday, but you want a little something on the side then why not go for a city beach break. We reckon it’s a great way to combine some sunshine with a bit of sight seeing, the bar and food choices of a city, with the loungers and sunshine of the coast. Here are our top choices for city beaches – if you’ve got others we’d love to hear them…
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona: We think Barceloneta is a definite winner. Just at the end of the Ramblas, it’s got a buzzing atmosphere, loads of foodie jaunts and you can even get yourself a massage if you’re feeling really lazy.
Ipanema, Rio: the sexiest beach in the world or what? A place for some serious beautiful people watching, locals flock here every weekend, so it can be crowded, but with miles and miles of white sand and under the Two Brother’s mountains it offers a great mix of stunning scenery and epic views.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: The city is right on the sea, so it’s perfect for a little sun soaking. A word of warning though, most are pebble beaches, but don’t let it put you off. You can relax in the beach bars, grab a kayak and go explore or just totally unwind under a beach umbrella on your own stretch of paradise.
Miami Beach, Florida: Quite possibly the most famous city beach in the world, Miami is where the bold and the beautiful, the old and young come to top up their tans, sip on a cocktail or just soak up the atmosphere. The beach has even got its own workout equipment right there – just in case you feel the need to soup
Copenhagen, Denmark: The Danish city might not be your first choice for a beach break, but it’s got a lot going for it. Choose from not one, but two beaches nearby that you can easily get to by just hopping on the local train. The water’s crystal clear, the white sand is a sight for sore eyes, and the sea temperatures are a refreshing 20 degrees or so. Definitely worth a try.
Venice, Italy: There’s more to Venice than stunning views, gondola rides on the canal and the glorious history that makes this city famous. It’s also home to one of Italy’s best kept secret beaches, Venice Lido. Just minutes from St. Mark’s Square, it’s an island that’ll give you the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous under the gorgeous Italian sunshine.
Venice Beach, California: Another Venice, but this one is a little different! Famous the world over thanks to Pamela Anderson and that red swimsuit, there are actually over 20 beaches to choose from in Los Angeles. Venice is filled with fortune tellers, artists and was home to some of the early beach poets. Now you might be lucky to rub shoulders with some Hollywood elite applying their suncream.
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai: Dubai is a city of true contrast, from the stunning, eye-wateringly tall Burj Al Arab 7 Star hotel, to the exquisite sandy beaches, it’s got something for everyone. Jumeirah is about 25 minutes from the city centre, it’s usually pretty quiet and is ideal for children as it’s shallow and quite safe. The water is crystal clear and the sandy beach is just perfect. What more could you ask for?
Still struggling with ideas for a family getaway this summer, or even for next? Surely every child’s (and we’re sure some grownup’s) dream holiday is to a theme park. Whether it’s Mickey or Minnie Mouse, a space adventure, more water slides than you can shake a stick at, or becoming a giant for a day, we’ve put together our top choices for this year. As always, if we’ve missed some great theme parks for kids, let us know in the comments below and for more information or to book great family holidays, visit our Purple Travel cheap holidays website.
#1 Were you a fan of Asterix and Obelix when you were a nipper? Now you can introduce the kids to the same fun, at France’s Parc Asterix. Found just outside Paris, you can travel through six worlds of wonder, including ancient Greece and Egypt. The piece de resistance must be the Ozlris; an inverted rollercoaster that will leave your little ones shouting for more!
Image via @ Milst1