The wild Mauritius coast: a real taste of paradise

The wild Mauritius coast: a real taste of paradise

Forget the all-inclusive resorts, a stay at a new eco-camp reveals what Mauritius is really about: mountains, forests and wildlife Some views are worth travelling for, and the one from my terrace at Otentic Mountain, a new eco-retreat overlooking Mauritius’ sleepy south-east coast, is among them. By day, white-tailed tropicbirds soar over the forest canopy, macaque monkeys screech from the guava trees (which also shelter shy wild boar) and, in the distance, the occasional yacht drifts across the limpid turquoise sea. As night falls, tawny Mauritian fruit bats swoop to…

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Hamburg in harmony: the ebb and flow of an artistic city

Hamburg in harmony: the ebb and flow of an artistic city

Its latest landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, dominates the waterfront but throughout this port city there is captivating art, architecture and music I made my Hamburg discovery in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. After a happy hour spent gazing at the cabinets of ceramics, glass and decorative treasures dating back to dynastic Egypt, I turned a corner and there it was: a vision of Austin-Powers grooviness. This was Danish designer Verner Panton’s canteen for Der Spiegel, lifted from the magazine’s Hamburg headquarters and transplanted, intact, to the museum of decorative arts….

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Cosy UK country cottages for a great New Year getaway

Cosy UK country cottages for a great New Year getaway

There’s still time to book a bolthole to see in 2019 – some with hefty discounts. We pick hideaways from the Highlands to the West Country Tresillian is a spacious, dog-friendly farmhouse with sea views, great walks and a good local pub. Beamed ceilings, an inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove create a cosy feel, and the four bedrooms share two bathrooms. Nearby Sandpipers, sleeping two, can be rented, too.• Sleeps eight, week from 28 December, £1,614 (15% discount), coolstays.com Continue reading… Read the full story

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Six of the best UK New Year’s Eve parties

Six of the best UK New Year’s Eve parties

See in 2019 amid pyrotechnics, Vikings and beach frolics – then crash in a hotel after the party Why go Those with young children will welcome Newcastle’s earlier, family-friendly celebrations. Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, is holding interactive sessions on traditions around the world on New Year’s Eve (£5pp, 11.30am and 2pm). Then the fun starts outside the Civic Centre, with a DJ at 5.30pm and fireworks set to music at 6pm. Adults can go on to one of the area’s many parties, from Sage Gateshead’s evening…

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New Year’s Eve: 10 last-minute city breaks in Europe

New Year’s Eve: 10 last-minute city breaks in Europe

Ditch Auld Lang Syne and greet 2019 in a new setting: concerts and walks in Madeira, markets in Vienna, skating in Budapest … and fireworks everywhere Why go Hungary’s capital sparkles in winter and likes to party, so it’s a great place to see in the new year. There’s festive cheer on tap, with fairylight-strewn streets, chestnut sellers and ice-skating in City Park (the largest rink in Europe), to a backdrop of Vajdahunyad Castle. The Christmas markets on Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica run until 1 January, with concerts,…

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