Americas

A Taste of Florida

Miami. Photo by joiseyshowaa
Miami.  Photo by joiseyshowaa

3 places to add to your ‘to eat at’ list…..and if that isn’t a mouthful the following will be!

Victoria & Albert’s

This beautifully romantic restaurant is set within the Grand Floridian Hotel right in the middle of Disney World, Orlando.  You may never guess that such a grown up and opulent dining experience could be had at the home of Mickey Mouse but you’ll find just that here.

Whether it’s a 3, 7 or 10 course meal you intend to indulge in, you will be dazzled first by the delicate presentation and then by the waves of flavour; each dish is like a little shock wave for your tastebuds.  This paired with immaculate service, with a smile, and the grand setting will leave you wanting to return to your own slice of history all over again.

Vero Italian

Buona cucina italiana!  This little place in Miami serves up good wholesome Italian food with attitude.  Try the Linguine Nere (Squid­ Ink, Linguine (shrimp, calamari, arugula, chilli) or perhaps the Pizza VeroItalianDownTown (Italian­ fennel ­seed­ sausage, French ­goat ­cheese, Porcini­ mushroom, Black­ truffle ­oil) but finish off with its Must-have-Tiramisu.  From Milan to Miami, the owner has clearly wrapped every corner of this place in one big Italian bubble.  From the food to the warm and friendly service for every member of the family, you will leave feeling happy and still have some dollars to spend at Cubaocho on the way back to your hotel.

HaleLife Bakery

And to finish, it has to be something sweet! If you are in or around Clearwater and are looking for vegan sweet treats then look no further! Halelife Bakery was born in 2017 as a result of this mother and son team being diagnosed with Celiac disease. Having worked on various successful projects since their diagnoses the bakery was the next natural step and offers dedicated gluten-free, dairy, soy & egg free delicious treats for everyone to enjoy.

You may want to try the Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Sundae Cupcake or even the Cookie Monster Donut. The options are endless and if you are staying nearby and are celebrating a special occasion they also offer very reasonably priced celebration cakes.

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Americas

Not the usual Washington DC

washington dc
Washington DC. Photo by Nicolas Raymond

Baked goods heaven!  Please take me to Baked & Wired now.  I think the trip to Washington would be worth it for this array of cakes, slices, breads and fine selection of coffee (or tea!).  I have already added its babka, focaccia, kick me in the nuts and bee sting to my list of must haves (yes, I do want a bee sting!).  This is a fun place to take a break from whatever you have decided to do in DC but make sure it’s not at the end of the day as you’ll need to do a bit of walking later on to burn off the calories you consume here.

Ford’s Theatre is famous for being the location where Abraham Lincoln’s was assassinated. It reopened n 1968 and focuses on producing works of art which celebrate his legacy. Take an historical tour or watch a play or musical in the famous theatre.

If you like your museums, the Smithsonian collection is a good place to start.  If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Spy Museum, dedicated to all things spy.  See James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 which first appeared in Goldfinger, take a look at the Enigma Machine but don’t try the lipstick (a pistol used by the KGB in the Cold War)!

Where to rest your head?  Well, if you want an award winning boutique hotel look no further than The Jefferson.  For a terrific view of the White House during your stay, try The Hay-Adams and for absolute opulence, the Four Seasons will be hard to beat.  If you’re after something more quirky, you may want to find out a little more about The Mansion on O Street (it’s a crazy website but just bear with it).  100 rooms and 72 secret doors….how many will you find?  The hotel is like a museum with hidden treasures everywhere and even provides Gibson guitars to those guests wanting to strum a tune or two.

Americas

A few fun things to do in San Francisco

Alcatraz

A visit to Alcatraz is a must if you’re in San Francisco.  It is well known for being the prison island but you will also discover more about its history whilst enjoying terrific views.  You can order your tickets up to 90 days in advance and our advice is to make full use of this 90 day period as tickets sell out FAST!

See the real San Francisco

Head to Richmond District (north of Golden Gate Park) and take a walk on Clement Street between 2nd and 12th Avenue.  If you want to head South of Golden Gate Park try Sunset District and walk around 9th Avenue and Irving Street.  Don’t miss 16th Avenue Staircase – 163 steps of mosaic tiles.

Noe Valley isn’t far away and you can enjoy 24th Street and if you have a car, drive around Noe Valley to see some great Victorian architecture.  Also, here you’re not far away from Twin Peaks where you can get a great view of the city and don’t forget to try the Seward Street Slides!!

You may take a liking to Chestnut Street in the Marina District and then decide to take a walk along the Marina Green at Marina Boulevard; it’s an easy walk with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and hills.

Golden Gate Bridge

The 9th longest suspension bridge in the world opened in May 1937, connecting San Francisco to other Californian counties.  Contrary to belief, Golden Gate Bridge is not painted end to end each year but it is an on-going task to maintain it.  You can drive along the bride (toll payable), walk along it, cycle the bridge or admire it from a distance to try and emulate many a famous photo.  To cross the bridge and come back again it will take roughly 40 minutes at a reasonable pace without stopping often to take snaps.

Try one of the world’s weirdest restaurants

Tonga Room – complete with its own indoor hurricane!

Urban Putt – a combination of indoor mini golf with a bar and also a full restaurant

Radio Habana Social Club – a hidden gem packed with interesting décor and good honest food

Pier 39

Pier 39 is a bustling tourist hotspot full of entertainment for families and shops for those who like to take home a few souvenirs.  However, the real draw here is K-Dock: home to hundreds of sea lions.  It’s free to visit and you can catch them sunbathing at most points throughout the day.  The sea lions like to take a holiday too and so if you want to see a house full, visit from late July to early May.