Alice eats England, camping kids, and learning to love London: Takeoff travel news



KIDS: Colourful cubby
Let your kids take their imagination on holiday beneath this colorful range of teepees. Available in eight designs including Cowboys, Montana and the multi-stripe, they are made from durable cotton canvas with a window and tie-down door. The teepees are 155cm high and come with five metal poles that are easy to assemble, even for the DIY-shy. Cost $99.95. See mocka.com.au.

FOOD: Alice eats England
There’s something deliciously simplistic about this new food tour with Masterchef 2012 contestant Alice Zaslavsky: eat Stilton in Stilton, Bakewell tarts in Bakewell, eels in Ely. The tour goes back to the heart of rural Britain’s great food traditions, and includes lunch in The Orchard Restaurant at HRH Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate. Even London yields, offering British produce at Borough Markets and a Bengali dinner in Brick Lane. There’s also cider in Somerset, pie and mash in Walthamstow and Melton Mowbray’s famed pork pies, in between visits to Stonehenge, 16th-century coaching inns and a light shop at Fortnum & Mason department store. The tour runs on September 4-11, 2015 and costs $3999 a person, twin share, including seven nights in four-star hotels. Excludes flights. Phone 1300 836 764, see mastercheftravel.com.

SAILING: Island hopping made easy
Greek island hopping just got a whole lot simpler with the introduction of the new Attica Pass from Eurail. The pass allows two international ferry trips between Greece and Italy and four sailings within Greece – including Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos – on the Superafast, Blue Star and Anek lines. All travel must be started within six months of its purchase date, and be completed within one month. The new pass will be available through Melbourne-based International Rail from January 1, 2015 and must be bought in Australia beforehand. The Attica Pass costs from $195. Phone 1300 387 245, see internationalrail.com.au.

BOOK: Hidden London
Discover hidden London, from tiny cafes to unique boutiques with London local Saskia Graville. Graville, who writes for Traveller, pounded the pavements to bring us the London Style Guide. Forget the city’s big guns, she’ll send to you to the upcoming contemporary art scene in the East End’s Bethnal Green, the foodie haunts of Bermondsey  and tiny antique dealers cum tea gardens in the A-listers’ Primrose Hill. The hand-picked list is complemented with the favourite finds of a list of London lights, including interior designers, chefs, boutique hotel owners and even tattoo artists – albeit, those who have collaborated with Damien Hirst. Available from January 1, 2015. RRP $39.99 (hardback), see murdochbooks.com.au.

GEAR: Smart
It’s time to face the fact that your luggage may actually be smarter than you. The Bluesmart carry-on suitcase is Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to track its progress via an iOs or Android app. If you and your beloved bag are separated, it will lock automatically and send you updates of its location. It also contains a battery charger that will charge your smartphone up to six times, has built-in scales in the handle to prevent costly surprises on check-in as well as waterproof zippers, four wheels and a padded laptop compartment at the front of the suitcase for the quick security grab. If it sounds too good to be true, the suitcase, which is being developed via crowdsourced funding, can be pre-ordered now, with expected delivery of August 2015. Available in Graphite Black only. Expect to pay around $300. See bluesmart.com/indiegogo.

TOUR: Tigers and other treasures
Travellers looking ahead of the pack should have Bangladesh in their sights, says Peregrine Adventures, which is taking tours to the country for the first time in 2015. 

“Bangladesh is about to be discovered,” states Peregrine’s Ryan Turner. Highlights include spotting Bengal tigers Sundarbans National Park, negotiating the 18 million-strong population of Dhaka and exploring the recently discovered mosques in the archeological site of Bara Bazar. 

The 12-day tour will have four departures in 2015 and costs from $3090 a person.  See peregrineadventures.com/india.

Edited by Belinda Jackson, Takeoff is published in the Sun-Herald's Traveller section every Sunday.

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