Category: Travel


Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting an exciting exhibition of ground-breaking work by American artist, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of our time. ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons will be the first time Koons’ work has been shown in East Anglia and is the only chance to see Koons’ work in the UK in 2015.

Representing one of the best Koons collections in the world, the exhibition features key pieces from each of the major series of work that have made him the most expensive living artist on the planet. Throughout his career Koons has pioneered new and imaginative ways of using everyday objects in his work. By combining popular culture with art historical references, and deploying hand crafted techniques with industrial manufacturing, he has tested what an artist can be within a time of ubiquitous celebrity culture. Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp are obvious antecedents to Koons’ artistic practice, but his frank and unashamedly iconic works are distinctively his own, tackling head on the vital questions of art.

This landmark exhibition will showcase Koons’ remarkable career from 1981 – 2003 and will include significant examples from each of the series created during this period: The New, Equilibrium, Banality, Made in Heaven, Easyfun and Popeye. Among the works featured are his breakthrough pieces with vacuum cleaners and basketballs from The New and Equilibrium; Winters Bears (1988) and Art Magazine Ads (1988) from Banality – the series which made Koons the art superstar he is today; a marble portrait bust of Koons and his former wife and adult film star Illona Staller, also known as la Cicciolina, from Made in Heaven, mirrored animal silhouettes from Easyfun as well as his more recent explorations with inflatables cast from aluminium created for his Popeye series.

Together these remarkable works explore many of the key themes of Koons’ career – commerce, class, celebrity and the concept of value. The exhibition will be a highlight of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival (8 - 24 May) – a world class festival of music, visual art, theatre, performance, and literature – and offers a rare opportunity for UK audiences to engage with his work as William Galinsky, Artistic Director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, explains: "This will be the biggest Jeff Koons exhibition in Britain for a decade and an unmissable opportunity for visitors to see the work of such an important, influential and fun artist,"

The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2015. The tour is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of the Art Fund.

Information on both the ARTIST ROOMS collection and the touring programme can be found at For further information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit and

blue cheese car - c InstantForever

On the 11th April, La Cave à Fromage, purveyor of the finest cheeses, will host the annual Cheese Makers Market in Old Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire - just 45 minutes from London.

Visitors to the Cheese Makers Market will be able to taste, buy and learn about nearly 300 of the UK and Europe’s most delicious cheeses, created by artisan makers and producers from the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

La Cave à Fromage will be just one of the exhibitors showing and selling their produce, with highlights including a rare selection of award-winning matured cheeses, ripened by expert staff at their South Kensington, Notting Hill and Hove shops.

With so much cheese to peruse, peckish punters will be able to enjoy cheese platters and toasted cheese sandwiches from 10am until 5pm, with matching wines by the glass or bottle chosen by La Cave’s knowledgeable team, at the pop-up Market Bistro. There will also be the opportunity to learn about pairing different kinds of cheese and wine, with two sessions over the course of the day: The Best of British Modern Cheeses and French Wines; and A Balanced Cheese Board and Wines.

“The Cheese Makers Market is unique in being the only place in the UK to meet so many fantastic artisan cheese makers and producers face-to-face, allowing guests to learn about what they are trying and buying. This year is going to be the biggest yet – and we can’t wait to meet over 2,000 people who love cheese as much as we do!” says La Cave’s resident cheese expert, David Deaves.

The Cheese Makers Market: Saturday 11th of April

Opening hours: 9am – 5pm


The Market Place

Old Beaconsfield



Normans Easter 2014 - photo credit Tolga Akmen.jpgNorman Knights will descend on Arundel Castle in West Sussex for a thrilling three day Easter weekend. The oldest part of the Castle will host the portrayal of the end of the Norman period and the transition into the Middle Ages.

Visitors will be catapulted back to the beginning of the 13th Century; King John had fallen out with the Barons of England and arrived at Arundel seeking support from William de Albini, Earl of Arundel. As this year marks the 800th year anniversary of the Magna Carta signing, attendees can expect an air of rebellion as the baron’s rise up to force King John to sign the legendary charter.

Set within a historical tented encampment, the Raven Tor Living History Group will recreate spectacular combat displays and provide demonstrations of beautiful falconry. Visitors will be able to find out what it was like to be a knight and listen to the tales from the Yarnsmith of Norwich storyteller. 

As with all Raven Tor Living History group events, the skilled performers will stay true to the costumes, methods and materials used in the 12th and 13th centuries, down to the finest detail.

Bryan McDonald, Castle Manager, commented: “Come and experience what life was like for the Normans at the beginning of the 13th Century and witness breath-taking combat on our American lawn.

“As the event falls during the Easter weekend, we look forward to welcoming all the family for what is sure to be a great day out.”

Visitors can take pleasure from the 40 acres of grounds and stunning gardens, with the beginnings of the spring blooms. The Tulip Festival will be in full flower from mid-April with an explosion of colour. 

McDonald continues: “Don’t miss the Castle’s perfectly preserved rooms. Inside every room is a showcase of exquisite historical craftsmanship, enhanced by a rich and eclectic collection of furniture, paintings, tapestries and priceless artefacts.”

Further information on the Castle and its 2015 event calendar can be found at

Usually our regular hotel/holiday slot is titled leaving London however we feel that sometimes a change is as good as a holiday and if you can see London through the eyes of an early adopter rather than the drudge of the workers in the city then perfect.

Number Sixteen will allow you to do just that. So wether you're reading this planning a trip to London (as we know many of you do) or reading it thinking you just need a break from your poky flat, then read on!

No16 Bedroom 101 HR

Number Sixteen is part of the Firmdale Group and offers wonderfully designed rooms and even a garden in the heart of South Kensington, London.

As we mentioned - if you are one of the many few that lives in London sharing a flat with no outside space to speak of then this will be your personal slice of living heaven for you stay.

The interior design which you simply can't miss throughout has been created by owner, Kit Kemp. If you get home and feel that your house is a little lack lustre after bathing in a wash of colours during your Number Sixteen stay then not to worry, you can buy some of the Kit Kemp collections used throughout the hotel yourself - or her book and gather some inspiration for your own little pad.

NO16 Library MR C

If you are concerned about leaving canine friends at home then don't be - the hotel allows small dogs in the rooms which is a great bonus to anyone the knows the trials and tribulations of finding doggy cover.

No16 Garden MR R

So with any concerns put aside you can get on with enjoying a stay in some of the most colourful sumptuousness we have come across in our hotel travels.

You have the choice to sit tranquil and quiet in the courtyard garden behind the hotel - making full use of the wonderful afternoon tea on the hotel menu or wonder out the front of the hotel to the more bustling but still relaxing South Kensington Streets. There are bars, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs a plenty in the vicinity and you are a stones through away from Hyde Park and the Natural History Museum. Both brilliant days out.

NO16 Drawing Room NEW MR

If you just want to lounge around the hotel - which you may do seeing as it is so beautiful then there are beauty treatments available in for form of Soholistic. There are no special treatment rooms at Number Sixteen - rather you have your chosen treatments in the comfort of your own room - wonderful!

Firmdale Hotels partner with Temple Spa to provide a unisex range of highly advanced products and treatments created to combat the stresses and strains of everyday life, perfect for renewing your London living love. At Number Sixteen you will get the very best in anti-ageing skin care, aromatherapy and anti-oxidants without leaving your room.

There are two great offers on at the hotel currently - one - a Sunday Stay-over and another ready for Valentines.

Take Monday off or leave from a wonderfully comfortable bed and rested night by taking up the offer to stay at Number Sixteen over Sunday night.

Included in your stay:
Chilled glass of Champagne
Welcome gift
Continental breakfast

Superior Room from £252
Luxury Room from £282
Deluxe Room from £324

Alternatively plan your Valentines now and really get those brownie points from your other half. Even though you would have done all the hard booking work you can still relax and enjoy your gift to your  significant and much loved other. Number Sixteen will lay out chocolates and a chilled bottle of Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier Champagne ready for your arrival and wake you up with a Continental breakfast for two in the morning.

Superior Room from £372
Luxury Room from £414
Deluxe Room from £456

Valid 13-15 February

For reservations, please book online above. For more information, please contact the hotel directly on T: 020 7589 5232 or CLICK HERE to email.

A stay at Number Sixteen doesn't need to be a special occasion though - we fully recommend it for some rest and recuperation if you are a Londoner or a luxurious break to sample city life if you come from out of town.

16 Sumner Place

T: +44 (0)20 7589 5232

yoga retreat - get out of London

Why not go one beyond dry January and healthy cocktails and food in London? Why not go all out and organise a trip to a Yoga Retreat?

Francis Ford Coppola's Palazzo Margherita, will be hosting their first ever Yoga Retreat this May, featuring daily classes in the idyllic setting by instructor Laurel Attanasio, alongside a whole host of luxury and authentic Italian experiences. The exquistely restored Palazzo in Bernalda offers a once in a lifetime wellness break, off of the tourist track, amongst the small mountain villages of Basilicata's sculpted hills. 

The location offers an experience of life untouched by tourism, the perfect setting to relax and unwind. The intimate resort has seven large suites and two garden rooms and each is a work of art with fresco ceilings and sumptuous bathrooms and amenities; including luxurious linens, fresh flowers and state-of-the-art technology, ushering guests into a private world of palatial comfort, surrounded by gardens, courtyards and a swimming pool. 

Indulge in the bounty of food, wine, (if you have given up on the detox by then), historical sites and vistas that the idyllic setting of Palazzo Margherita provides, while practicing yoga, with daily classes from instructor Laurel Attanasio at the exquisitely restored retreat. The package encompasses a five night stay with daily yoga classes, access to bicycles for leisurely rides, a hands-on pasta making experience, a hands-on pizza making class, an excursion to the UNESCO world heritage site of Matera and more. 

Palazzo Margherita sits amongst the small mountain villages dot Basilicata's sculpted hills, offering an experience of life untouched by tourism, setting them apart from other Italy luxury hotels. Just 40 minutes from Bernalda is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera, where ancient cave dwellings, known as Sassi, have been reclaimed as picturesque churches, homes, museums and restaurants.

Situated in the charming town of Bernalda, the birthplace of Francis’s grandfather Agostino Coppola, the authentic 19th century palazzo has been completely renovated in partnership with acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange. The Palazzo offers a luxurious yet authentic Italian experience where guests can enjoy palatial comfort just steps from an exciting town in which the visitor feels like a friend or neighbour rather than a tourist. The intimate resort has seven large suites and two garden rooms. Each is a work of art with fresco ceilings and features a palatial bathroom and amenities including luxurious linens, fresh flowers and state-of-the-art technology. Many of the rooms feature a large terrace and/or a Juliette Balcony and face the charming gardens within the Palazzo walls.

For a truly unique experience, stay in Suite Nine, Francis’s own room - which integrates subtle elements of Tunisian design, with a fully-furnished terrace overlooking the garden and courtyard. The style is intended to honour Francis’s Tunisian born grandmother, Maria Zasa, making it a really unique property. A striking tiled fireplace and an anteroom with a large writing desk add to the regal splendour of this suite. A luxurious bathroom includes a clawfoot bathtub. Walls and high ceilings feature beautifully restored painting and frescos. The room features a full backlog of Francis Ford Coppola’s films.



Daily Yoga Classes taught by Laurel Attanasio

Yoga mats provided for classes

Personalized seasonal welcome drink

A welcome event including a rich Southern Italian Aperitivo

A farewell event including an Arrivederci Dinner

Pasta lesson, which will include a light meal of tasting what was made

Continental and local breakfast which includes home-made patisserie, fresh local cheeses, Lucanian cold cuts as well as seasonal fruits and juices

Bicycles for use around town; Tours can be arranged, upon request.

Excursion to Matera with professional guided tour + time to shop and dine on your own.

Excursion to Rionero with professional guided tour and wine tasting and light lunch with yoga at Monticchio Lakes.

Beautiful & comfortable accommodations at the Palazzo.

Complimentary Santa Maria Novella Bath Product Gift Package

Outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a pleasantly scented hedge of jasmine.

Historical Garden protected by the Italian Cultural Heritage Department

Beautiful Salon where you can enjoy classical Italian movies personally selected by Mr. FF Coppola.

Two private bars (Pool Bar and Family Bar) and one Bar Bistro'.

Amazing Kitchen where guests can dine in 'family style' and live the preparation of the meals in very close contact with the Chef Tommaso and his staff.

Wi-Fi available in the whole property

Apple TV

In-room beverages stocked daily: Still and sparkling water, Coke, Nastro Azzurro beer, San Pellegrino orange juice, Ace juice, Peach Juice.

International newspapers


To reserve your room, simply and include May Yoga Retreat in the subject line. A non-refundable 20% deposit is required to secure your spot. The remaining balance will be due March 18, 2015. For inquiries regarding airport transportation guests can contact us,

Francis Ford Coppola Resorts comprises five highly unique properties, which draw inspiration from Francis Ford Coppola’s film career and travels across the globe. Each resort combines adventure, serenity and a dramatic backdrop, while at the same time providing guests with first-class service and eco-friendly exploration, making them the perfect place to discover the natural wonders of the world.