World-travel

Best Places In The World To Have A Glass Of Champagne

In case you haven’t heard, it’s time to celebrate. No, not just because it’s Friday but it just so happens to be Global Champagne Day – as if we need another excuse to pop the cork this weekend! To commemorate such an important day, we’ve hit up some of the best travel companies to see where they think would be the best place in the world to indulge in flute of bubbly.

Insight Vacations, Champagne

Go straight to the source and enjoy a glass of bubbles in the magnificent Champagne region. With sprawling mountainous views, medieval buildings shaped like champagne corks, and champagne houses like Moët, Veuve and Dom Pérignon, the region has been attracting thirsty guests for centuries. Back in 1804 Napolean was wined and dined by Moët and become one of their largest fans – the champagne house later dedicated its Brut Imperial to the emperor. Insight Vacations’ 16-day Country Roads of France visits Troyes the capital of the region and includes a wine tasting with an expert.

Insight Vacations, Champagne

Trafalgar, New York

Bring in the New Year in New York and celebrate with Trafalgar’s special 11-day Christmas Magic and New York New Year guided holiday that’ll see you spend 25 December in Connecticut indulging in a champagne brunch by the warmth of a fireplace. From the sweet seasonal aromas of baked goods wafting through Manhattan to the sounds of carollers on Broadway, you and your loved ones will experience the personality of the Big Apple and its surrounds which shine even brighter at this time of year during Trafalgar’s winter wonderland adventure. As celebrations commence around the world marking 2015, join your fellow travel companions and ring in the New Year with a special Highlight Dinner before getting the opportunity to head to Times Square to watch the famous ball drop www.trafalgar.com.

AAT Kings, Uluru

For a unique, open-air dining experience, head to the heart of Australia to witness the changing colours of Uluru at sunset. Here you’ll dine under the stars during an exclusive AAT Kings Uluru Sunset tour and Aussie BBQ Dinner, the only evening dining experience inside Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. In the afterglow of an Uluru sunset, you’ll feast on delicious seafood, succulent meats, fresh salads and decadent desserts while sipping on your drink of choice. Pull up a chair next to your travel companions and listen to fascinating stories told by your charming yet knowledgeable Driver Guide as you toast to new friendships and recount stories of your Red Centre adventures www.aatkings.com.

AAT KIngs, Uluru

Creative Holidays, San Francisco

California has its fair share of wine regions though champagne enthusiasts will love the aptly named Bubble Lounge in San Francisco. Get cosy as the elegant downtown bar has 300 champagnes and sparkling wines on the menu including some of the world’s best available by the glass. For those who find choosing between champagnes far too hard there are ‘Bubbly Flights’ which each have three tasting glasses. Creative Holidays has a range of accommodation and sightseeing options in San Francisco.

Creative Holidays, San Franscisco

Adventure World, Peru

Whichever way you tackle it, the legendary Inca trail is an extraordinary feat. So why not enjoy luxury facilities along the way and plenty of opportunities to pop a cork at your incredible accomplishments with the Luxury Inca Trail from soft-adventure specialists Adventure World. Experience the spectacular beauty as well as grand pampering Peruvian style with the added comfort of luxury tented accommodation while you traverse the famed trail, a professional masseuse to caress away any cramps, expert guides and porters to take care of all the equipment and of course exotic cuisine and champagne to cheers your achievements.

Adventure World, Inca

Bushmans Kloof, South Africa

Nestled in the foothills of South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains lies Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat which offers an array of luxury dining occasions – the kind that dreams are made of. For a unique outdoor dining experience, wander through the reserve and pull up at your picnic spot of choice whether that be along the banks of a sparkling river, at a rocky overhang near a crystal-clear waterfall or amongst the spring flowers. Here you’ll dine on a gourmet spread of mouth-watering delights and delicious treats washing it down with a glass of bubbles, as you immerse yourself in South Africa’s picturesque bushland www.bushmanskloof.co.za/dining/extraordinary-dining.

Red Carnation, Bushmans Kloof

Contiki, Isle of Capri

The rocky caves, the stunning coastline, the cuisine best enjoyed al fresco dining – the glamorous Isle of Capri is just begging to be enjoyed with bubbles. You’ll definitely want to pop a cork and cheers to ‘La Dolce Vita’ on Contiki’s 12-day Simply Italy which takes in an excursion to this incredibly picturesque place. No fizzer, this trip also takes a number of incredible experiences across Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice, Milan and the Italian Riviera that a worthy of imbibing in bubbles (no one needs to know if it’s only Prosecco).

Contiki, Isle Of Capri

Busabout, Croatia

At some point during a week-long cruise down Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, a celebratory champagne is called for. It could be post-dip in the balmy Adriatic, accompanying fresh seafood while dining al fresco on the island of Hvar or watching the sunset from the city walls of Dubrovnik. You’ll never be short of toast-worthy moments on Busabout’s 8-day Island Hopper as it cruises the crystal clear waters to Split, Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Islands.

Busabout, Croatia

Uniworld, France

Coco Chanel said ‘I only drink Champagne on two occasions, when I’m in love and when I’m not’. We’re sure she’d be happy to add ‘when I’m on a luxury river cruise in France’. Uniworld’s 8-day Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux sails the Bordeaux region in southwest France so guests can sip Champagne on the Sun Deck while sailing past pretty villages, rolling vineyards and picturesque Chateaux. C’est la vie!

Uniworld, Blaye

5 Of The World’s Most Beautiful Airports

It’s hard to love an airport. We appreciate it, sure. We are happy they exist, yet it’s a challenge for any architect to design an airport that people will love for its unique design as well as its functionality. Most of us generally just see them as hubs to facilitate us getting from Point A to Point B – minus the taxi queue. Below are 5 of the most beautifully designed airports in the world, collated by Jonathan Glancey, who would love for the rest of us to take some time to appreciate the sheer brilliance of these megastructures and the beauty of the quaint aerodomes.

Courchevel Airport, France

Courchevel Heliport airport in mountains  Trois Vallees Three Valleys ski region of French Alps France Europe eu

Opened in 1961 to boost the fortunes of this top-end French Alpine ski-resort, Courchevel is the most demanding for pilots. They have to negotiate deep mountain valleys and a notoriously short runway, set into the mountainside and sloping at an angle of 18.5 degrees. This slows landing aircraft very quickly and the view through the cockpit is somewhat daunting. Takeoffs are downhill, allowing aircraft to scramble into the mountain air in record time. Pilots require a special certificate to fly here. James Bond was possibly an exception: you can see his exploits at Courchevel in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies.

Queen Tamar Airport, Mestia, Georgia

Georgia

Mestia is a small ski town, 1,500m up in the Caucasus mountains in northwest Georgia and its churches and forts form a Unesco World Heritage site. The bizarre new airport terminal – in the guise of an extruded square steel and glass section bent into three improbable directions – is the work of the German artist and architect Jurgen Mayer-Hermann. The black and white structure has been designed to attract the curious and to help put Mestia on the map of the modern world. 

Dammam King Fahd International Airport, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Dammam architecture of of the airport

Dammam is one of the most oil-rich cities on earth. Its airport is possibly the world’s largest, although this claim is based on the land it occupies: countless acres of desert sands yielding to the Persian Gulf. Planned by the Japanese architects Yamasaki and Associates starting in 1976, the airport was opened for full commercial operation in 1999. During the first Gulf War, it had served as a military base. It sits 50kms from Dammam and reached by a road though a desert of camels, Bedouin tents and other scenes from traditional Arabian life. A lavish royal terminal here is rarely used and, on the whole, this enormous airport seems remarkably quiet.

Hajj Terminal, King Abdul Aziz Airport, Jeddah

Jeddah Saudi Arabia Airport Hajj Terminal Saudia 747 Architects - Skidmore Owings & Merrill

Formed by an array of gigantic tents aligned in the most orderly fashion, this is one the most unexpected, and mesmerising, airport terminals. What makes it so different is that it is only used during six weeks of each year, for a million or so Muslims flying into Jeddah on their way to Mecca during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The Bangladeshi engineer Fazlur Rahman Kahn and the American architects SOM came up with a brilliant plan: a gigantic and naturally ventilated grid of tents, although the fabric of the 210 “tents” that form one giant structure are made of modern Teflon-coated fibreglass supported by tapering 45m steel poles. The sides of the “tents” are open to the elements. Serving as a giant sunshade, the roofs of the terminal keep pilgrims comfortable as they wait to be transferred, by road, to Mecca, 70km away. They can also cook their own food, creating an atmosphere more like a souk than an airport terminal.

Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong International), Terminal 1, Hong Kong

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This huge, airy and elegant airport was built to coincide with the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, although the opening took place the following year. The vast Terminal 1, designed to look like a giant airliner by Foster and Partners, sits on top of a landfill extension of Hong Kong. Chep Lap Kok is characterised by lightweight steel and glass roofs, clear passenger routes, carefully modulated daylight, commanding views out to the aircraft and a vast central “market square”.

This article originally appeared on the BBC by Jonathan Glancey.

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