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Virtuoso Travel Week 2014

Virtuoso Travel Week 2014 took place in Las Vegas and saw 4,420 people attend from 92 countries: and our Susan Huxter was one of them.

LV4

The annual travel event is one of the biggest networking programmes in the industry. Travel agents, hoteliers, experts, media and more came out to talk, mingle and promote their destinations.

LV

We caught up Susan to find out more about her trip.

How was your flight up – we hear you tried out business class, anything to report?
I did happen to go first class Emirates! It’s the way travel should be; from the service to the caviar to the comfort, as well as the shower on-board! We were allowed five minutes per shower, I thought it would be a bit strange  if there was any turbulence! The treatment continues on arrival too: with  an airport bus that had leather armchairs to the first class lounge in Dubai—all very special. I feel spoilt for life!

What travel insights have you brought home?
Travel from the USA is booming: people want experiences—and not just hotels. They are excited by new destinations and South Africa is right up there on the to-do list.

The strangest thing you saw in Vegas?
So many things… The brides at the slot machines in their white dresses, Elvis impersonators, and every vehicle you can imagine has been made into a stretch limo…

LV3

What was the highlight of the trip?
The Cirque du Soleil show featuring Michael Jackson music—it’s incredible, the most amazing special effects, dancing and acrobatics.

And did you get to try Gordon Ramsay’s burger restaurant?
Great burgers, lots of beers on tap, décor not so great…

Anything else you’d like to add?
It was exhausting, exhilarating and intriguing. If aliens landed in Las Vegas they would be so scared and horrified at the sights, sounds and people—I think they would take off again immediately!

Posted by: Le Quartier Français
Posted in: Le Quartier Français, Travel,
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Margot Janse explores tasty Tanzania

Recently our executive chef, Margot Janse went on a culinary field trip to Tanzania with two small farm cooperatives supported by a Dutch bank. Margot explored Tanzania’s cooking culture with visits to a dairy farm, picking coffee with the local experts, bike rides through endless fields and she even joined in on a rural Tanzanian cooking class followed by lunch – all this and so much more. Here are some snapshots from the trip.

margot 1

margot 4

margot 3

margot 5

margot 2

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, Travel,
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Virtuoso Travel Week 2014

What happens in Vegas? Our formidable, Susan Huxter shows the travel world our #LoveLQF style is what.  Virtuoso Travel Week 2014 is being held in Las Vegas at Bellagio Hotel & Resort from August 9-15.

What is it? Travel specialists—brands, agencies, suppliers and so on—from  all over the globe flock to the city that never sleeps to ‘attend the luxury travel event of the year’.

Here’s a sneak peek of our presentation for the show

V1

Virtuoso

Posted by: Le Quartier Français
Posted in: Le Quartier Français, Travel,
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Margot Janse heads to CHEFstock 2014 in London this September

“Four star chefs, three unique dinners, one stylish setting – Alyn Williams presents CHEFstock 2014”

chef stock

“We’re cooking with sour figs, baobab, marula nuts and fynbos,” says Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room. “We’re introducing Africa to London! I haven’t cooked with Chef Alyn Williams before—and I’m very excited to do so.”

How does CHEFstock work? For three Tuesdays in September, Chef Alyn Williams will pair up with an internationally renowned chef (or chef duo) in his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant at The Westbury ‘to create an extraordinary one-night-only dining experience’.

Margot will be joining Alyn in his kitchen on 9 September 2014 and has been billed as ‘The Queen of South African Cuisine’.

Also on the culinary line-up are: Chef Paul Ainsworth hailing from the U.K as well as brothers , Chefs Peter and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias from Bristol.

Guests will arrive to a champagne reception paired with canapés crafted by both chefs on the night, and then be seated in the rosewood-accented dining room for eight courses from the one-off collaborative tasting menu – four courses from each chef, with ‘a few surprises along the way!’

Alyn Williams said: “I’m very proud to once again be hosting such a spectacular line-up of chefs this September. I admire every one of these chefs and it’s very humbling that they are coming to cook with me in my kitchen. When it comes to the menus there are no rules, the guest chefs are in charge and each tasting menu will take its own shape with our different yet harmonious dishes.”

CHEFstock 2014 tickets cost £200 per person and includes all food, wine and Champagne. Book early to avoid disappointment, contact reservations on 020 7183 6426 or email  alynwilliams@westburymayfair.com

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, Travel,
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Eating at Pitt Cue Co

Our Susan Huxter has been travelling in The Big Smoke, and she stumbled on a delicious slice of British Americana, Pitt Cue Co.

pitt cue co

The limited menu is packed full of pig, served on metals trays in an intimate location just off London’s Carnaby Street. There are only a couple of things to order, but they have focused on doing them really well.

pitt cue

“They don’t take reservations and there are only 30 seats, so you have to queue,” says Susan. “The food is real, real and delicious. The night I went I had pulled pork and 25-month cured sirloin, cooked medium rare.”

Pitt Cue Co Ribs

Upstairs there’s also a cocktail bar with a focus on heavily-laced bourbon cocktails with bowls of pork scratchings to help soak them up.

Posted by: Le Quartier Français
Posted in: London, Travel, Trends,
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Edible Cinema

In London or planning a trip? Then make sure to check out Edible Cinema where you ‘See the film, taste the film’.

We’re all well indoctrinated to the taste of salty popcorn followed by a slurp of soda at the movies—Edible Cinema has turned this usual fare on its head, by offering cinema buffs the ‘a unique way to experience a film through aroma, texture and taste’.

Edible-Cinema

Before the movie begins each participant is supplied with a tray of numbered mystery boxes containing a bite-sized tasting menu which are said to be tailored to specific moments in the film.

For example at a screening of the 1981 classic An American Werewolf in London, there is a scene where the werewolf is about to much on some hapless tramps—the accompaniment was a “tramp’s finger” made from cola-smoked quail, complete with charcoal nail.

See the line-up of screenings here: www.ediblecinema.co.uk

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Food, London, Travel, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The pocket lifesaver

The pocket lifesaver
This amazing new smartphone app can literally save lives. Echo112 is a free app that sends your location to local emergency services, worldwide. The ultimate safety net for travellers, not matter where you are on the globe—as long as there’s cellphone reception.
How does it work?
In case of emergency, you activate the app by pressing the SOS button echo112 will know which country you are in and will select and call the correct emergency number. Your position is transmitted to the emergency operator who will be able to see where you are

This amazing new smartphone app can literally save lives. Echo112 is a free app that sends your location to local emergency services, worldwide. The ultimate safety net for travellers, not matter where you are on the globe—as long as there’s cellphone reception.

iphone5

How does it work?
In case of emergency, you activate the app by pressing the SOS button echo112 will know which country you are in and will select and call the correct emergency number. Your position is transmitted to the emergency operator who will be able to see where you are.

Download it here, or go to your app store.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Travel,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Would you bunk up with a stranger?

Would you bunk up with a stranger?
You’ve heard of couch surfing right? Easynest, a new website, is taking this concept to a whole new level, where you can share a hotel suite with a stranger to save on costs.
How it works:
You’re going on a trip, alone, so you log onto the website, create a profile, and offer to split your hotel room down the middle. Purely platonic of course. Of course.
Then, someone looking for a place to crash, can check your profile, and make you an offer.
The big question is – would you ever do this?

You’ve heard of couch surfing right? Easynest, a new website, is taking this concept to a whole new level, where you can share a hotel suite with a stranger to save on costs.

easy nest

How it works:
You’re going on a trip, alone, so you log onto the website, create a profile, and offer to split your hotel room down the middle. Purely platonic of course. Of course.

Then, someone looking for a place to crash, can check your profile, and make you an offer. Is it a clever way for you to enjoy a more premium hotel experience, or a great way to make your holiday awkward?

The big question is – would you ever do this?

easynest

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Hotel, Travel, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The next big trends in hotels

The Next Big Trends in Hotels
Condé Nast Traveller has gathered information of the hottest new trends in hotels from influential people in the business that will be setting the tone for interior design, food, architecture and wellness in 2014.
Francis Ford Coppola, hotelier and owner of the Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Basilicata, Italy gave insight into:
WHAT’S NEXT IN HOTELS
In with intimacy “Super-high-end travelers (especially those with families) are looking for luxury on a smaller scale now, almost akin to a yacht. When I was in South America, I noticed how some of the guests regarded with disdain all the suitcases and crowds of people who were checking in and out, and I realized how many travelers want more privacy and intimacy. It’s not good for a hotel to be too big. The highest level of the luxury market will even prefer a hotel small enough to be taken over by one or two families.”
Big-league bathrooms “One rule I have for my hotels is the bathrooms have to be better than what you have at home. There needs to be some practicality in design (like having enough space to keep products in the shower, for example, and not tripping over them on the floor). The next wave of bathrooms will be larger. In fact, many guests now want their own private bathrooms when traveling as a couple, so the next trend will be room configurations with two bathrooms for every room.”
While Andrew Tarlow, restaurateur and owner of Wythe Hotel’s Reynard in Brooklyn shared his thoughts on:
WHAT’S NEXT IN HOTEL FOOD
Community building “Hotels and their restaurants will become more seamless with the surrounding area. We’ll see less of a distinction between a hotel restaurant and a neighborhood hangout, with locals—not just hotel guests—spending time there. The hotel itself will become a community.”
Away with formality “We’ll continue to see hotel restaurants that are basically fine dining in terms of the quality of food and service but without the attributes we traditionally consider staples of ‘fine dining,’ like a sommelier, white tablecloths, multiple captains in the dining room, etc. All of this is becoming much less relevant, which is redefining what good service means. Our increasing desire to know where our food and wine come from is putting the focus on the quality and origin of the ingredients rather than on the formality of the room and service.”
For the rest of the trend predictions head on over to Condé Nast Traveller.

Condé Nast Traveller has gathered the hottest new trends in hotels that will be setting the tone for interior design, food, architecture and wellness in 2014 from influential people in the business

Francis Ford Coppola, hotelier and owner of the Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Basilicata, Italy gave insight into:

WHAT’S NEXT IN HOTELS
In with intimacy
“Super-high-end travelers (especially those with families) are looking for luxury on a smaller scale now, almost akin to a yacht. When I was in South America, I noticed how some of the guests regarded with disdain all the suitcases and crowds of people who were checking in and out, and I realized how many travelers want more privacy and intimacy. It’s not good for a hotel to be too big. The highest level of the luxury market will even prefer a hotel small enough to be taken over by one or two families.”

Big-league bathrooms “One rule I have for my hotels is the bathrooms have to be better than what you have at home. There needs to be some practicality in design (like having enough space to keep products in the shower, for example, and not tripping over them on the floor). The next wave of bathrooms will be larger. In fact, many guests now want their own private bathrooms when traveling as a couple, so the next trend will be room configurations with two bathrooms for every room.”

One of our many private and intimate suites

One of our many private and intimate suites

While Andrew Tarlow, restaurateur and owner of Wythe Hotel’s Reynard in Brooklyn shared his thoughts on:

WHAT’S NEXT IN HOTEL FOOD
Community building
“Hotels and their restaurants will become more seamless with the surrounding area. We’ll see less of a distinction between a hotel restaurant and a neighborhood hangout, with locals—not just hotel guests—spending time there. The hotel itself will become a community.”

Away with formality “We’ll continue to see hotel restaurants that are basically fine dining in terms of the quality of food and service but without the attributes we traditionally consider staples of ‘fine dining,’ like a sommelier, white tablecloths, multiple captains in the dining room, etc. All of this is becoming much less relevant, which is redefining what good service means. Our increasing desire to know where our food and wine come from is putting the focus on the quality and origin of the ingredients rather than on the formality of the room and service.”

We did away with our tablecloths a long time ago!

We did away with our tablecloths a long time ago!

For the rest of the trend predictions head on over to Condé Nast Traveller.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Hotel, Travel, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Jimmy Choo High Tea

Jimmy Choo High Tea
Choo can’t be serious… Order a high tea at the Landmark Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, and you may just be given the boot, well, stiletto in this case.
The hotel is serving up a fashionista’s dream until May and the package includes: “afternoon tea for two at the MO Bar of cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, the Mandarin’s famous ginger scones and clotted cream, and macaroons in a multitude of flavours, but it is all meticulously handcrafted in exquisite shoe and handbag shapes. Jimmy Choo, of course. And after the tea, you can check into the Mandarin 9200 square-foot L900 Suite for a night and select a pair from Jimmy Choo’s new 24:7 capsule collection. Price tag for the splurge? Approximately $1,500 US.”

Choo can’t be serious… Order a high tea at the Landmark Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, and you may just be given the boot, well, stiletto in this case.

jchoo1

The hotel is serving up a fashionista’s dream until May and the package includes: “afternoon tea for two at the MO Bar of cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, the Mandarin’s famous ginger scones and clotted cream, and macaroons in a multitude of flavours, but it is all meticulously handcrafted in exquisite shoe and handbag shapes. Jimmy Choo, of course.

And after the tea, you can check into the Mandarin 9200 square-foot L900 Suite for a night and select a pair from Jimmy Choo’s new 24:7 capsule collection. Price tag for the splurge? Approximately $1,500 US.”

Source: The Cool Hunter

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Travel, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


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