Tag Archives: spectacular

Visit the UK's most spectacular isle-based hotels

Holidays: Expert on possibility of travel for vaccinated Brits

From here, the loch and the Cuillin Mountains sit before you. Behind the doors of this majestic property you’ll find contemporary, yet hugely relaxing surroundings with subtle colour palettes, wooden floors and wood burning stoves. It has 34 superb rooms with thick carpets to sink your feet into, Nespresso machines, Highland Soap smellies and Bose sound systems. Beds are dressed luxuriously with 300 thread count, 100% linen. Dining is exceptional at the Chargrill restaurant. As the name suggests, its speciality is steak and seafood. Nearby the Aros Centre charts Skye’s history and the pretty harbour is a hive of activity with fishing trawlers landing their catch and pleasure boats picking up visitors.


Isle of Skye boasts beautiful views from its characterful hotels (Image: Getty)


Feel the ghosts of sleuths past at this magnificent hotel. Burgh Island just off the coast of Devon is an Art Deco masterpiece. Shaped like a giant white ship, it sits proudly on its own little tidal island reached by sea-tractor at low tide. Since 1929, Burgh Island has been welcoming famous and infamous guests who relive the glory days of the glamorous 1930s. 25 rooms are a nod to some of its favourite guests such as Agatha Christie and Noel Coward.

Art Deco features remain – from the old Bakelite phones to lovely wall lamps; curved bedheads and club chairs. In the bar, is a collection of vintage cocktail shakers.

Best of all, Black Tie and Evening Dress are required for dining in the Grand Ballroom where you’ll dine on superb food. More relaxed alternatives include The Nettlefold for fabulous seafood and views and cocktails and cream teas in The Palm Court, crowned by a glass dome roof. By night it becomes a 1930s cocktail bar which has hosted the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Wallis Simpson (not together!).

There are fishing trips, island walks and a natural seawater bathing pool.

burgh island

Burgh Island hotel is an Art Deco masterpiece (Image: Victoria Gibbs)


Long-term favourite the Isle of Wight ticks all the boxes for a classic seaside holiday. Base yourself in Yarmouth at The George Hotel and Beach Club – a grand Victorian pile right on the waterfront.

This lovely re-purposed 17th century townhouse has gorgeous individual rooms with fabulous portraits, thick printed curtains and massive beds.

The grand entrance hall has a sweeping wooden staircase. Food is served in the brasserie which sits in the conservatory. Gaze out over the Solent as you dine on fabulous locally sourced dishes such as fish pie and rib-eye steak.

The chalky Needles are nearby, as is the Newtown Nature Reserve.


The Isle of Wight ticks all the boxes of a classic seaside holiday (Image: Mirror)


Jersey may feel like it belongs in another era, yet that’s what makes the Channel Island so enchanting. The minute you arrive, an overwhelming sense of calm descends. Particularly at Longueville Manor, St Helier, a superbly restored Jersey manor house which has been in operation since 1949.

Each of the 30 individually-decorated rooms overlook the grounds. Longueville has an incredible wine cellar with 5,000 bottles in temperature and humidity controlled rooms.

A relaxing lounge with massive fireplace and oversized sofas is the place for pre-dinner cocktails, or if the weather’s fine, kick off the evening around the outdoor pool. Dinner is a culinary journey and showcases Jersey’s finest produce under the guidance of Andrew Baird.

It is served in the atmospheric 15th century Oak Room with its historic oak panelling, or the adjoining Garden Room. Of course, let’s not forget Jersey’s incredible beaches, imposing castles and fascinating war tunnels.


Relax in the opulent grounds of Longueville Manor (Image: Mirror)


These dramatic rugged islands are for those who want to convene with nature. The 25-room Hell Bay Hotel sits in a little secluded bay facing the Atlantic Ocean on Bryher island’s western edge. Rooms have their own balconies and feature nautical and summer tones such as sherbet lemon and pale blue, with big windows overlooking the ocean.

The relaxed beach house vibe extends to the communal areas, where rattan furniture and colourful, locally-produced artworks are nice touches.

The restaurant has three AA Rosettes and there’s also the more relaxed Crab Shack.

Be pampered in the Treatment Shed, stretch out in the yoga studio or dive into the heated pool. Outside, there are rocky coves galore, empty sandy beaches and granite hills. Pick up local produce from tiny stalls dotted along the tracks.

hell bay

Hell Bay faces the wild Atlantic Ocean (Image: Mirror)


If total seclusion is what you crave, you can’t beat Eilean Shona which sits in tidal Loch Moidart. The whole island is part-owned by Richard Branson’s sister, Vanessa Branson.

The main house is a grand Scottish manor where nine individually furnished bedrooms sleep up to 12.

The drawing room comes complete with grand piano and is adorned with works from international artists. Outside, exploring can be done by rib boat, kayak or on foot. Your in-house chef is exceptional and meals are served at a massive table which seats up to 20.

Five nights house rental from £1,700pp, all inclusive.

Alternatively, book into one of the nine cottages. Kitchens are well-equipped and outside there’s a fire pit. You reach Eilean Shona by ferry and are escorted to your cottage while your luggage comes separately.

  • From £950 per week, sleeps two.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Moto3 racer Takuma Matsuyama gets airborne in spectacular crash in Italian GP qualifying

Japanese Moto3 racer Takuma Matsuyama gave a spectacular reminder of just how close to the edge the world’s top riders are when he suffered a huge crash during qualifying for the Moto3 race at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Matsuyama was drafted in as a replacement for fellow countryman Yuki Kunii at Honda Team Asia after Kunii sustained a broken collarbone at the French Grand Prix earlier this season.

And Matsuyama can consider himself incredibly lucky to have walked away unscathed after a massive high-side crash during the first qualifying session of the day at Mugello.

The Japanese racer applied the throttle a fraction of a second too early as he attempted to get the power down on his way out of a tight left-hander.

The back tyre then started to lose traction before suddenly gaining grip and catapulting the Matsuyama up and over the handlebars at high speed as he crashed down into the tarmac.

“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed BT Sport commentator Gavin Emmett as he talked viewers through the replay of the incident.

“That could have been horrific there.

“He almost flies into the path of Adrian Fernandez. 

“It’s a horrible, horrible crash for Matsuyama.

“But, d’you know what? He’s lucky!”

The crash happened in the first qualifying session of the day, as the riders from the three Grand Prix classes – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 – took their turns on track to qualify as high on their respective starting grids as possible for Sunday’s race.

The Mugello circuit is renowned as one of the fastest, most spectacular circuits on the calendar, and is a firm favourite with the riders.

Friday’s practice sessions also saw Ducati MotoGP ace Francesco Bagnaia break the all-time MotoGP lap record for the circuit.

And South Africa’s Red Bull KTM racer Brad Binder equalled another record as he clocked a spine-tingling 362.4km/h (225.2mph) through the speed trap to join Johann Zarco as co-owner of the fastest recorded speed on a MotoGP bike during a race weekend.

The Moto3 session was eventually red-flagged for a second, more distressing incident after Ayumu Sasaki and Jason Dupasquier were involved in a crash on the exit of Turn 9.

Swiss rider Dupasquier crashed and Sasaki, who was close behind, ended up thrown into the air.

Medics swiftly attended the scene as Sasaki was led away, while Dupasquier received lengthy treatment as an Air Ambulance arrived at the circuit to transport him to hospital in Florence for further treatment.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Royal Ballet review: Latest show includes one of the most spectacular pieces ever staged

Christopher Wheeldon’s glittering Within The Golden Hour opens a dynamic mixed bill. Flawlessly danced, it pays beautifully intricate homage to the glorious age of classical choreography. The entire piece is a feast for the senses. Against glowing montone backdrops in vibrant orange through to the azurest of blues, the dancers are clad in semi-sheer Jasper Conran costumes strategically scattered with sequins. Wheeldon’s mastery of elegant lines shines as much in the fluid group formations as it does in some of the solo and partner work. Francesca Heywood is a dream, gliding through a pas de deux with Valentino Zucchetti. In a night that is often as much about the silhouettes as the movement, this is the lightest and loveliest work.

The other three pieces are all new to the company, starting with the Kyle Abraham’s newly commissioned Optional Family: A Divertissement. Before the curtain rises, it opens to much mirth around the audience with a painfully amusing recording of a couple confessing everything they hate about each other. 

Royal Ballet superstars Marcelino Sambe and Natalia Ospiva combine their larger than life presences with their explosive technique as they come together and whirl apart (Ospiva wilder than ever in dizzying spins).

The piece really comes alive, though, with the entrance of a third dancer. Stanisław Węgrzyn is a revelation, making a spectacular leap from the corps de ballet and more than holding his own as his character tangles with both of them. Suddenly the piece become darkly and slightly menacingly sexy – and all the more interesting for it.

The absolute stand out of the night for me, though, is Crystal Pite’s The Statement. Commissioned in 2016 for Nederlands Dans Theater it is already well-established as a ground-breaking sensation but it is new to The Royal Ballet.

Set to the spoken word soundtrack of a shady corporate power play, every single syllable is embodied on stage in almost cartoon extremes of body-locking and contortions by four dancers gathered around a conference table. Joseph Sissens, Kristen McNally, Calvin Richardson and Ashley Dean are all extraordinarily good, creating almost impossible angles to match the moral contortions in the script.

Believe me, however much the premise really doesn’t sound like a dance lover’s dream, it is breath-taking and thoroughly deserving of the roaring approval from a spellbound audience. Quite simply, it is one of the most marvellous things I have ever seen.

The night wraps up with another Pite classic, Solo Echo. Set to Brahms against a black backdrop with an endlessly gently cascading waterfall of tiny lights, it shows another side of the Canadian choreographer’s flair for exploring shaping.

It is inspired by Mark Strand’s poem, Lines For Winter (check it out, it is chillingly beautiful). The seven dancers mass in an urgent struggle against the dark, bleak depth of winter. They spin apart and then reconfigure in a dizzying array of formations. It is powerfully danced by the company but, at times, I felt the choreography was packed with almost too many striking tableux whirling past a little too quickly to catch.

Overall, this new programme, plus the announcements last week of a raft of promotions for rising stars in the company, is an emphatic statement that The Royal Ballet has its eyes firmly and confidently fixed on the future.

THE ROYAL BALLET: 21ST CENTURY CHOREOGRAPHERS: At The Royal Opera House to May 30, live stream on May 28 and then on demand to June 27

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

West Side Story trailer: Steven Spielberg musical with Ansel Elgort looks spectacular

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

One of the greatest directors of all time has taken on one of the greatest musicals of all time. The 1961 film version won ten Oscars, inclusing Best Picture, and has long been regarded as untouchable. Until now. Spielberg finally revealed the first look at his hugely anticipated first-ever musical, based on the original 1957 Broadway musical. Incredibly, his new version also stars Rita Moreno, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Anita back in 1962 and is also a producer this time around. 

Spielberg’s new film stars Ansel Elgort as Tony, a young man in 1950’s New York who falls in love with Maria, the sister of a rival gang leader.

Elgort, 27, is best known for starring roles in The Fault In Our Stars and the Divergent series, but he really showed his moves dancing his way through the cult classic Baby Driver.

Newcomer Rachel Zegler plays Maria and won the part after sending in an audition video aged just 16 when Spielberg put out an open casting call in January 2018. She beat over 30,000 applicants for the covetted role.

READ MORE: Ringo Starr remembers John Lennon ‘My brave, beautiful friend’ 

The story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The feuding aristocratic Montagues and Capulets are replaced by Polish and Puerto Rican street gangs, the Jets and Sharks.

Tony and Maria’s tragic love story plays out against a city seething with social and racial tensions.

The story is primarily seen through the latino Sharks, with David Alvarez as gang leader (and Anita’s brother) Bernardo, and Broadway’s Hamilton star Ariana DeBose as his firecracker girlfriend Anita.

Anita headlines one of the musicals many famous numbers, America, a sharp-edged riff on the dreams of immigrants coming into the US.

Other famous songs from the legendary soundtrack by Leonard Bernstein (with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) include Tonight, Maria, I Feel Pretty and Somewhere.

Despite the vogue for updating classic stories, Spielberg has chosen to keep the 1950s setting but the powerful and spine-tingling trailer makes it clear that the themes of passionate young love battling against intolerance and prejudice remain as potent as ever. 


‘Manipulative and blind’: Ronaldo’s sister goes on spectacular rant to defend Portugal star after strop over disallowed goal

Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister Katia Aveiro has attacked Portugal’s media in the fallout from Saturday’s goal-line World Cup qualifier scandal.

The Juventus star thought he had scored a late goal against Serbia, which shockingly wasn’t given. 

With replay footage showing the ball to have been a good distance in the back of the net, the incident has become a national scandal with the lack of goal-line technology and VAR blasted by fans and pundits.

READ MORE: Emotional Cristiano Ronaldo says ‘entire nation has been wronged’ by shocking goal decision as Portugal boss claims ref apologized

As always with controversies involving her brother, Katia Aveiro has jumped to CR7’s defense after some analysts remarked on his attitude. 

Disgusted by the officials’ poor judgement, he threw the captain’s armband on the floor and stormed off – something Aveiro addressed in a lengthy Instagram rant on Sunday. 

Reminding her followers that Ronaldo has always fought “tooth and nail” for their country, she moved on to the TV “analysts” – in mock quotes – who “dare to criticize Cristiano’s attitude.”

She called Portugal a “Sad Country”, “which continues to have a manipulative and blind media where some will be allowed [to do what they want] and others… [for them] nothing is allowed!”

Going off on a tangent on Portuguese history, Aveiro finished by saying “Congratulations Cristiano for yesterday’s indignation in the defense of Portugal! Continue, [people who wish to make] comments”

Aveiro’s outburst is undoubtedly a response to the likes of former Portugal forward Fernando Meira, who told national broadcaster Record, “It’s clearly a goal, but Ronaldo can’t throw the armband on the ground like that.

Cristiano’s reaction is natural, but it’s not acceptable from the national team captain. You can’t throw the armbandon the ground and head into the dressing room while the game is still going on,” he added.
Also on rt.com Portugal and Serbia could have AVOIDED disallowed goal drama with raging Ronaldo, says UEFA
“It’s not acceptable behavior for a player of his stature. I understand his frustration and I agree with him because his goal should have counted, but the referees need to make a decision without VAR and he has to set an example. The example he set last night wasn’t good enough.”

But this is not the first time Katia has flown off the handle to fight her little brother’s corner. 

Recently trolling Lionel Messi, when Juventus thumped Barcelona in the Champions League back in December, Aveiro has also branded the football legend’s positive coronavirus test and the pandemic the “biggest fraud” she’s ever seen. 
Also on rt.com ‘Biggest fraud I’ve seen’: Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister says Covid-19 pandemic is FAKE in rant after star tests positive


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