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Month: April 2016

48 Hours In Oahu, Hawaii

48 Hours In Oahu, Hawaii

Maui is loved by all and especially Westerners but Oahu is it’s big brother and started the tourism in Hawaii. Not only that but it sits right in the middle of a reinvention where it escapes the typical stereotypes of high rise buildings and instead promotes a high end hot spot for sun, surfing and shopping.

The Modern Honolulu is a breathtaking hotel with a sparkling clean white lobby with a custom scent that delightfully reminds you that you are on holiday.

Day 1

surfingFor the keen and experienced surfer then head out to the north shore of the island where the serious surfers hang out. For the beginner surfer, Waikiki Beach is a good training ground to learn the basics and a lesson at the Hans Hedemann Surf School is definitely worthwhile.

Catch the waves all afternoon and then come evening, trade your wetsuit for your dressier attire and indulge into a four course tasting menu at Chef Mavro run by the jolly George Mavrothalassitis, a Marseilles-born, James Beard award-winning cook with a penchant for the fresh island ingredients of his adopted home. If you want to continue on into the night then head on down to the La Mariana Sailing Club for a drink with a hit of tiki chic.

Day 2

Leonard’s Bakery is famous for their portuguese doughnuts that are dusted in sugar and are packed full of creamy custard. Once you have overeaten on these sweet delights prepare for your exploration at Kalakaua Avenue’s Luxury Row and Royal Hawaiian Center, which is a boulevard that is edged with palm trees and high end shops. If you just want to window shop then perhaps you can treat yourself to a trip at the Mandara Spa at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and have a heavenly bamboo massage. Bamboo shoots are soaked in essential oils and rolled along your back to smoothly melt your troubles away.

You can then take to Diamond Head and get actively involved in the unequipped lookeloos or take the road less travelled for a more unique experience. Bike Hawaii hosts Bike and Hike treks on private trails which are filled with beautiful scenic views and a splendid waterfall at the end of your trip.

Enjoy your evening meal at Iron Chef Morimoto where the tables are uniquely dressed in moss and oversized coral. The restaurant is a favourite with the Obama family when they are in town and it is no surprise as the menu is stunning. Finish the night off at the Study of Modern and enjoy a drink or two.

Day 3

honolulu skylineThe best way to appreciate the scenic views of Hawaii is to grab a rental car and head north to the most spectacular shores. Keep your eyes out for those skillful surfers attempting those magnificent huge waves. You can stop off for lunch at Romy’s Kahuku Prawns and Shrimp and savour a plate that is piled high with luscious shrimp smothered in plenty of lemon and garlic.

One last thing you must do before your trip comes to an end and that is to swim with dolphins which is an absolutely amazing experience. You can follow a wild pod through the deep blue seas and snorkel to get a sense of this truly fabulous adventure.

48 hours in Newquay, Cornwall

48 hours in Newquay, Cornwall

NewquayNewquay is renowned as a town for the younger generation as well as place to come to for a stag and hen do. However this vibrant town has so much more to offer and for all ages. Newquay is a perfect choice for a family as there is plenty to offer to keep everyone entertained. Beautiful, sandy beaches stretch for miles on either side of the town which is why it is so popular for the keen surfer as the waves here are some of the best in the country. If you want to venture out then you can choose from parks, a zoo, aquarium, golf courses, swimming pools, historical sites and scenic train rides, you certainly have to agree you would struggle to get this all done within 48 hours !!

If you prefer to stay in a hotel then there are a few that have spectacular views these include, The Headland Hotel which has a lot of history involving the royal patronage, The Atlantic Hotel was used by the Beatles whilst they filmed the Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. Other hotels include Hotel Victoria, The Esplanade, Carnmarth Hotel which overlook Fistral beach.

Smaller hotels and guesthouses might meet your criteria and Newquay has plenty of these as well, some of the better ones include, Three Beaches, St Breca and Lynton House. If you are travelling as a couple then you could always treat yourself to a one bedroom apartment which are located with some stunning views. If you are travelling on a budget then pitch up a tent or your caravan in the Watergate Bay touring park.

sconesAs well as the many surf shops, cafes and amusement arcades there are quirky little gift shops and galleries on offer too. Each little road or alley that you venture down, you will soon be greeted by the blue sea and sky. You will notice that there are plenty of churches and chapels scattered everywhere giving the town its character.

You notice that many of the tourist attractions have been built ancient sites, for example the aquarium used to be the old steam laundry site and you can still see the history when visiting the aquarium.

If you are looking for something a little more peaceful, Trenance Gardens and Boating Lake is a tranquil place to visit. It also gives you a chance to appreciate the natural wildlife and well-kept flowerbeds. Pedalos and rowing boats can be hired for the lake which is most enjoyable.

If you are staying in a larger hotel then you will find that most of these will have their own restaurant which host some spectacular views the sea.

There are of course a wealth of different restaurants in town and a trip to Cornwall would not be complete without sampling the local seafood. Ye Olde Dolphin Restaurant offers a fabulous menu of steak and seafood. Another great place to eat is Senor Dicks which is an American/Mexican theme serving spicy food such as nachos and enchiladas and your meal would not be complete without having a margarita.

boatsNewquay has some of the best beaches in Cornwall and in the UK so you have to take a trip to the beach at least once during your stay. Towan Beach is location next to the town and has its own little island with a solitary house on top, linked to the mainland by a bridge. Porth Beach is sheltered, whereas Fistral, Crantock and Holywell beaches are huge stretches of golden sands. Harbour Beach is a suntrap where you can watch the fishing boats arrive and there are rock pools and caves to explore at Porth Joke.

Boat trips are available from the harbour, where you can go sharking, wreck and reef fishing, or enjoy a pleasure trip around Newquay Bay.