I’m excited about 2016 and all that’s in store, especially on the weekend break side (my favourite).
Here are my trips planned for the first half of 2016:
January – Rome, Italy
My favourite city. Despite having lived there, visiting this city never gets old. This year I’m going with my father and sisters, and we’re staying at this lovely new Airbnb behind Piazza Navona. Incredible location and the perfect base. I will be checking out boutique hotel JK Place, as have been hearing a lot of good things about it. F&B wise, I want to go for a cocktail at speakeasy the Jerry Project (my Dad agrees to come along as you can smoke inside). Apart from that I will most likely be visiting La Quercia for lunch (an old favourite of ours) as well as the wine bar La Vi, trying out Marzepane for dinner, and going bar hopping in Trastevere of course. For more tips of Rome check out my Italy page (and Rome tab).
February – Prague, Czech Republic
While I did a day trip to Prague when I was about 12, I have not been back since and this time I want to do a proper weekend break there. I will be staying at the wonderful Mandarin Oriental, which is just across the river on the South side, and walking distance to all the sights. It looks so beautiful, I’m excited! Here, apart from visiting all my main highlights (the castle etc), I’ll be checking out the Mucha museum (as the friend coming with me is an artist). I still need to do a lot of research into where we’re going to eat and drink, so any tips are welcome!
End of March/April – The Keukenhof, The Netherlands
I’m Dutch and while I’ve of course driven past the phenomenon that is the Keukenhof before, I’ve never properly visited. So that’s what we’re doing. For those who have not heard of it, the Keukenhof is where you can find hundreds of thousands of tulips, beautifully laid out. They tend to bloom in March and April (though who knows what will happen this year). It is a real sight to behold.
First Bank Holiday May – Bologna, Italy
An Italian city I have never been to, but which has been on my list for so long. I can’t wait to explore the beautiful city of Bologna, in the province of Emilia Romagna. Known for the oldest university in the world, it’s stunning red tiled roofs and home to spaghetti bolognese, I look forward to this foodie and carb-heavy weekend.
Second Bank Holiday May – Istanbul, Turkey
The minute Soho House Istanbul (the photo below is theirs) opened I knew I’d found my excuse to return to Istanbul for the fourth time. Soho House is the perfect base to explore the city, and the weather should be good by the end of May (I’m hoping the Bosphorus outdoor clubs will have opened by then too)! I’m going with some Turkish friends so I hope they’ll take me to some off the beaten track places. Apparently the best place for a proper authentic kebab is Sehsade Erzurum Cag Kebabi, and I’ll definitely be going back to my favourite bar 360 for a cocktail at sunset with fantastic views.
June – Hvar, Croatia
One of my best friends is getting married here, so I couldn’t say no to returning to Hvar for the second time. I loved it the first time (7 years ago now!) so can’t wait for my return, and revisiting old haunts like Carpe Diem, Hula Hula bar and the super affordable but delicious Marinero restaurant . Here’s the blog I wrote about it in 2012, I’m wondering how much has changed. We’re all staying at the raved about Amfora, so it should be a really fun few days, and a magical place for a wedding!
July – Sicily
Every year we do a family holiday to Italy, last year was our highly successful trip to Puglia (highly recommended), which will be hard to beat. While we spent some time in the north east of Sicily a few years ago, and visited towns like Taormina, this year we’ll be exploring the South East, relatively tourist-free and filled with incredibly beautiful Baroque towns like Ragusa (photo below fromwww.permesola.com), Modica, Noto and Scicli. We’ve rented the beautiful Villa Carcara and I’ll be starting my research soon! If you want to be inspired, Conde Nast Traveller wrote a beautiful article about the area in their January issue, or read about the cuisine here.
Apart from that I’ll be returning to Paris for a weekend, and staying at the beautiful Westminster Hotel off Place Vendome. And who knows what else 2016 has in store!