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Showing posts from April, 2012

Top 5..Places for a Beer - NUMBER 1

At Number 1 . . . Aloha Beach Life The Hawaiian Islands combine stunning scenery, a relaxed atmosphere and some fantastic beers, and there’s nowhere better to sample the most famous local brew than at the Kona Brewing Company’s brewery and pub, in the relaxed town of Kailua-Kona , on Hawaii’s Big Island . The company’s range of beers are found throughout the islands (not yet available in the UK , unfortunately), and really do live up to their ‘liquid Aloha’ tag. Longboard Lager is perhaps the best known – a favourite with the characters of Hawaii Five-0 – but our choice is Fire Rock Pale Ale, named after the active volcanoes of Big Island , just a short distance from the brewery itself.   Kailua-Kona hosts the Ironman World Championship every year, the ultimate sporting test of endurance, when up to 2000 of the world’s toughest athletes undertake a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full marathon, all one after the other – and all in the heat of Hawaii . The sheer

Top 5..Places for a Beer - NUMBER 2

At Number 2 . . . Getting Close to Nature The bar at the Sopa Lodge, in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park , looks out over the vast plains of one of Africa ’s most renowned game reserves – that’s a bar with our name on it! After spending a few hours in the park on a game drive, getting up close with everything you could imagine from a safari holiday from big cats to elephants, hippo and more, there’s nothing better than a bottle of beer – Serengeti Beer, of course!   The Sopa Lodge has a superb setting, slightly elevated and located towards the southwest of the park, with fabulous views from the rooms, the pool and the bar – take your drinks outside on to the terrace by the pool for an uninterrupted view across the Serengeti plains . You’re likely to see a great deal of wildlife while enjoying your drinks, with smaller creatures such as gazelle and zebra coming close to the lodge while elephants, giraffe, wildebeest and a host of other game can be seen in the distance. D

Top 5..Places for a Beer - NUMBER 3

At Number 3...... Sightseeing Beer We love a spot of sightseeing when we’re on holiday, but we also like a beer or two, and we’d hate for one to get in the way of the other. On a Nile cruise , you can enjoy a cold Stella or Sakara beer while gently cruising down the Nile and seeing the sights as you go – the best of both worlds! The beauty of a Nile cruise is that it’s packed with interest yet is very relaxing – OK, there are some early starts and you’ll take in an incredible amount of history, but there’s plenty of time to chill out and relax on board, and with most boats having a sundeck and swimming pool, you’ll come away as relaxed – and tanned – as you would on a beach holiday.   Over the years we’ve visited Egypt more times than we can remember, and we’ve narrowed our beer of choice down to two – Stella (nothing to do with the Belgian brand) and Sakara. Stella has been around for well over 100 years while Sakara is far newer - unlike the pyramids it’s named after! In the Eg

Top 5..Places for a Beer - NUMBER 4

At Number 4...... Bargain Beer For a small town, Hoi An in Central Vietnam has an amazing array of beers available, and is quite possibly the cheapest place for a beer you’re likely to find – that’s ignoring the town’s incredible history and beautifully restored UNESCO-listed Old Town, of course – it’s not all about the beer, you know! Hoi An is one of our favourite parts of the Far East , rammed with historical interest but with great beaches, a relaxed atmosphere and some superb dining and drinking options. A few days here is highly recommended on any Vietnamitinerary . Throughout Vietnam it’s easy to get a beer for around 12,000 Dong - a mere 40p! In many local bars (and for local read tourist bars, but outside of the larger hotels), a bottle of local beer such as Saigon or Larue will cost 12,000 to 15,000 (40p - 50p), or up to a whopping 30,000 Dong (£1) in a pricier venue. That’s for a large 450ml bottle of very pleasant beer indeed! Central Vietnam also has a number of lo

Top 5..Places for a Beer - NUMBER 5

At Number 5..... A Beer With A View For a beer with a view, head to the 51st floor of the  Banyan Tree Bangkok , to the Latitude Bar, where a cool Singha beer (our tipple of choice in  Thailand !) comes with perhaps the most spectacular view of Bangkok available. The Latitude Bar isn’t quite at the top of the hotel - that honour goes to Vertigo Restaurant, on the roof a few floors higher up - but the open sided bar cuts right through the building from one side to the other, giving stunning views in both directions. If, like Mark in our office, you don’t have a head for heights then avoid the table close to the edge, as the sheer drop to the street below will make you wobbly.   The view to the north side of the bar takes in the bright lights of lively Patpong just beneath you, with Bangkok’s older Ratanakosin district in the distance – this area is home to some of Bangkok’s most interesting sites including the Grand Palace and Wat Po, home to the 43 metre long reclining Buddha. To t

NEWS - Airlines urge review as UK air passenger duty rises by 8%

AIR PASSENGER DUTY (APD) has risen by 8%, as announced by the government in the Autumn Statement last year. For short-haul flights, the tax has increased from £12 to £13. For long-haul flights of more than 4,000 miles, it has gone up from £85 to £92. In light of the increase, airlines called on the Treasury to review the impact on "hard working families". A Treasury minister said the majority of passengers will only pay an extra £1 as a result of the rise. The changes in APD will also see it extended to private business jets for the first time. 'Tax review' In a joint statement the bosses of Easyjet, British Airways owner IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic said the increase would "hit millions of hard-working families and damage the wider economy". "We urge [Chancellor] George Osborne to make APD the first tax to be examined under the Treasury's new review of the wider impacts of taxation on the economy," they said. They added t