Touring Wine Country in Tuscany

When my husband asked me if I would like to go on a wine tour with him, I thought he was talking about one of the vineyards close to our home in California. I had no idea that he meant in Tuscany, so I was really excited when I found out that is where he wanted us to be for the tour. He showed me the website that detailed everything we would do so I would not have any surprises once we got there. I am normally not the type of person who likes to be surprised, so I was glad that I was able to look at our itinerary even before landing.

We arrived on a Saturday, where we were picked up and taken to a home in Tuscany. We had a wonderful meal made by a local family waiting for us, and the home itself was perfect. It truly was the perfect start to a magnificent week.

Read Me Leave comment

The English Pub

http://www.scorp.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/English1.jpg

Hotel chains have their place in the scheme of things, but nothing beats the service and hospitality that you will receive when you book a stay in an English pub.

A Great British Tradition

The French have a reputation for their cafe culture, while the Americans are renowned for their ‘fast food joints’, but for the English the pub is the social hub of a community, where people come to relax, unwind and share food and drink with friends and family.

The word ‘pub’ is short for the phrase ‘public house’, whose meaning is clear. This is a place for the people, by the people, where everyone is welcome to stop and refresh themselves for a while. And if the pub has rooms attached, so much the better! Now you can stay for longer and take time to enjoy the local scenery, meet the locals and learn a little about the local history of where you are staying. It’s a much more immersive experience than a stay in a corporate room in a chain hotel, where there is no real connection to the part of the country that you are staying in.

The Role of the Coaching Inn

Long before the internal combustion had even been dreamed of, horses were the only means of transport through the English countryside. Stagecoaches allowed people to undertake long journeys, pulled by teams of horses as they traversed the length and breadth of the British Isles, but it was impossible for a team of horses to travel indefinitely without stopping for food, water and rest.

Coaching inns developed to deal with the problem. Horses could be stabled overnight or exchanged for a fresh team, while the weary travellers made use of the opportunity to refresh themselves, have a meal and spend a few hours relaxing and catching up on much-needed sleep.

Today the stagecoaches and horses no longer roll up to the coaching inns dotted throughout the towns and countryside, but many of the old inns still remain, only now they are catering for a different sort of traveller. Whether you are undertaking a long journey or spending some time exploring the best that Britain has to offer, you will still find a friendly welcome, great food, plenty of refreshments and a comfortable bed for the night.

Many former coaching inns and ancient hostelries are now owned by private individuals who are consumed by a passion to provide excellent service to their customers. Unlike the big hotel chains, where individuality is cast aside in favour of a corporate identity, these pub owners can plough their own furrows, creating warm and welcoming places where you are guaranteed a level of individual service that hotels can never achieve.

Every English Pub Is Unique

When you book an overnight stay at an English pub, you can be assured of the warmest welcome, often with a blazing log fire burning in the hearth, while you relax in comfort, sipping a drink as you make your selection from a carefully crafted menu. With no corporate branding to worry about, innkeepers are free to make their own decisions about the drinks and food they serve, often working to ensure that local produce features on their menus.

Just check out georgeanddragon.com to see how the chefs create daily menus based on locally sourced produce. Hotel chains simply don’t have that kind of flexibility. Nor can they provide all the little touches that add real value to an overnight stay, such as fresh flowers in the bedrooms and an ability to cope with unusual dietary requirements.

The owners of traditional English pubs understand only too well that they need to work hard to attract and retain customers. They can’t move sideways within an organisation to sidestep issues – they have to step up to the plate to ensure that every single customer is treated like a King (or Queen). Individually styled bedrooms, often decorated with items made locally, give your holiday or short break that unique feeling that you simply won’t achieve staying in a standard hotel.

Where else can you spend time in front of a roaring fire, soaking up the local history and learning about local customs? Before you know it, you’ll be chatting with the locals, discovering off-the-beaten-track places to visit that no guide book could ever hope to discover and learning about your surroundings and how to make the most of your time exploring them. At the end of a hard day’s sightseeing, hiking, biking or just pottering through the countryside, you know that you can relax in total comfort, where the host’s sole aim is your happiness and contentment. You can enjoy a drink with your meal before climbing the stairs to stretch out in your comfortable bed, ready for what the next day will bring.

Read Me Leave comment

Manor Houses For The Wedding

Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable of your entire life. A chance to gather family and friends together while you confirm and pledge your undying love to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, a wedding is a special event which you naturally want to be perfect in every way. Although planning a wedding involves choosing and organising many different aspects, one of the most important choices you have to make is where to hold and celebrate the occasion. Finding a wedding venue which suits all your varying requirements – from the number of guests through the catering options to the facilities it offers – can often be a daunting task.

http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Rust-Manor-House-Wedding-14.jpg

There are so many things to think about. Is your venue in the right place? In other words, will guests be able to get there easily enough? Does it offer rooms where people can stay – and are these available at a discount as part of the wedding package? Will the venue be able to provide the right catering for your needs, and is it of a high enough quality? All of these questions, and more, will need to be asked before you decide on your venue.

Manor Houses

One of the most popular choices these days for weddings is a country or manor house – and it’s not hard to see why. Manor houses are large venues in their own grounds, usually located in the countryside, and very often with long and fascinating histories. You will probably find a surprisingly high number of manor houses within your chosen search area – most of Britain, and especially England, has a good number, many dating back hundreds of years. If you are thinking about hiring a manor house for weddings, there are plenty of factors to think about. These days plenty of manor houses are licensed wedding venues, so in many cases you will be able to get married and hold your reception in the same attractive venue. This has several advantages over getting married in a separate place – there’s no travelling to and from venues, for a start, making for a more relaxed vibe all round. The best way to choose a manor house – indeed, any venue – is through word of mouth. Having someone recommend the place to you is a good idea, although of course you probably won’t want to get married in the same venue as your best friend!

Once you have a few in mind, make a shortlist and go and visit them all. Only by seeing the venue for yourself can you get an idea of what it’d be like to get married there. Take a list of questions you want to ask so you don’t miss anything important, and make sure to be flexible on dates so you can have the most extensive choice.

Why a Manor House?

You may be wondering why a manor house is a good choice of wedding venue. Well, there are several reasons a country or manor house makes the ideal place in which to get married. One of the most obvious is that most manor houses are highly attractive buildings with impressive facades and extensive grounds. Aside from the pleasure you and your guests will derive from being in such a beautiful place, think of the potential for photography. Being able to create the right wedding photos is an important consideration to most happy couples – after all, photos and video recordings will be your only true reminder of the big day – and having an historic building with pretty well-kept gardens and maybe even sprawling countryside as a backdrop is a bonus not to be sniffed at.

And inside, too, a manor house is often perfect for those wedding photographs. Country houses usually have plenty of attractive period features, such as high ceilings, grand fireplaces and elegant sweeping staircases. There will be plenty of rooms where you and your new spouse can pose to your heart’s content, looking like the lord and lady of the manor. And as for facilities, most manor houses have been turned into efficient venues which can cater for your every need. Whether it’s rooms for your guests, a beautiful bridal suite, large dining rooms, a choice of catering options or even the whole wedding package, the venue will be able to provide it all.

In addition, most manor or country houses give you the choice of hiring the entire venue for the whole day – meaning you and your guests can be the only ones in the house, enabling you to be the centre of attention for an entire 24 hours, taking you back to an era of splendour and elegance where your every whim is attended to. Why would you choose anywhere else?

Read Me Leave comment

Airfare

Airfare

Between tulip fields, sky, cloud, mountains, earth…

Posted by Lu.Yen.Vi on 2013-03-03 00:44:10

Tagged:

Read Me Leave comment

American Airways

American Airlines

Posted by bravo457 on 2012-03-03 00:03:07

Tagged: , American Airways , LAX

Read Me Leave comment