Oman is a charmer.  Unlike its neighbour Dubai, it hasn’t adopted a fast paced glitzy lifestyle.  Instead it has remained resiliently old school.  This means you can delight in a heady mix of rich history, traditional Arabian culture and also spectacular scenery.  What’s even better is that from 1st May, this wonderful country has now become that bit easier to get to from Manchester, with the introduction of the first ever direct flight to Oman’s capital, Muscat (operated by Oman Air).

Read more

{ 0 comments }

The hunt is on – a gourmet getaway in Provence

by Lesley-Ann on April 6, 2017

When I was asked what I was doing for the weekend, the response was “Wow, that sounds really fun…..I’m so jealous”.  Having done most of the usual weekend breaks – generally to to cities with a guilt inducing raft of sights to see – Julian and I were looking for something a bit different.  A weekend away where we could actually relax but that included two of our favourite things, food and wine!  So, one Late February weekend we headed off to Provence for a spot of truffle hunting. Read more

{ 0 comments }

Sabah, Dabah, Do!

by Lesley-Ann on March 2, 2017

For me Borneo has always had an air of mystery about it.  I remember watching a TV programme with David Attenborough roaming through the undergrowth in search of orangutans.  I had to get a map out to find exactly where this wild place was.

Sandwiched between mainland Malaysia and Indonesia, Borneo is the third largest island in the world and its land mass is shared between three sovereign nations: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

I recently had the chance to spend some time travelling through Sabah, one half of Malaysian Borneo (the other half belonging to Sarawak) to see what it offered, which turned out to be a huge variety of exciting things to see and do:  I found myself being mesmerised by the most stunning scenery, gawping in awe at towering peaks, laughing uncontrollably at a female orangutan getting the water from a coconut, donning rather unsexy leech socks to trek through the rainforest and cruising the Kinabantangan River in search of wildlife. Read more

{ 0 comments }

A Far-Flung Family Adventure

by Lesley-Ann on February 2, 2017

With your children getting older, is it time to start thinking of a more adventurous family holiday? Or after a long career is a sabbatical on the cards? Or maybe you would like to take advantage of the longer school summer holidays to do an extended family trip?

These were all considerations for one of my long standing clients who asked me to organise a four week trip last summer for him, his wife and three teenage sons.  But what were the main ingredients?  The family wanted guaranteed warm weather, a chance to relax on a beach or two, a mix of activities to keep mum, dad and kids entertained, amazing hotels and limited rain, which isn’t easy to find if you’re looking for an adventure in an exotic location in our summer months.

Read more

{ 0 comments }

After our amazing time getting up close and personal with wild animals in Kenya (read about that trip here), Julian and I flew to Zanzibar for a few days of culture before our beached out bliss.

Ever since I was young, the name Zanzibar has always sounded so exotic and conjured up images of streets filled with spice traders and intrepid adventurers arriving on dhows with billowing sails.  In reality, the traders and adventurers were actually on the hunt for gold and power and Zanzibar was, at one time, East Africa’s main slave-trading port.

Today there are no slaves but the waves of Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, and Chinese traders who passed through the island over the centuries have left their cultural mark.  This is most evident in Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, where elaborately carved doors, forts and ornate traders’ houses reflect layer upon layer of its past heritage, all weather beaten by the sea breeze. Read more

{ 0 comments }