October 1, 2012
Why don’t you take a week off work this month and go to Greece?
Relax and unwind with a seven night yoga break at the Pavezzo Country Retreat, a collection of beautifully renovated 19th century maisonettes nestled in the green hills of Lefkada.
Temperatures on Lefkada can reach 24 or 25 degrees well into October and aside from space to practice yoga whenever you wish throughout the week the island is home to some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches especially on the western side of the island where cliffs plunge down to stunning coves and bays. Inland the hills are dotted with olive groves, vineyards, natural and historical sites and quaint traditional villages and Lefkada is known as a photographer’s paradise for its wonderful landscapes and countryside.
The seven night £470 package is available for groups of 10 – 15 people at a time and includes accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, fruit picnic basket, a vegetarian dinner each evening, a nature and culture island tour and transportation to the island’s beaches. All accommodations are individually furnished with local antiques and set in magnificent gardens. We like Maisonette Agioklima with it’s indoor pool build into the rock (pictured). Each villa has the use of a shared swimming pool, veranda and garden and there is also a hammam, jacuzzi and gym for guest use.
Neon recommends taking Easy Jet flight to Athens and hiring a car, driving just over 4 hours to Pavezzo through the Greek Countryside. For direct flights to Preveza (30 mins from Pavezzo) try charter flights from Thompson and Thomas Cook.
August 10, 2012
Cloudy Bay has a tradition of hosting weekends in New Zealand where edible ingredients from a local environment are paired with their wines. Over four dates the winery is bringing this concept to the UK by partnering with Cornwall’s Driftwood Hotel to host their Cloudy Bay Foraging Weekend.
The 15 bedroom Driftwood hotel is located near the South Cornwall village of Portscatho and is the base for both land and sea foraging due to it’s position in the South Westerly corner of Gerrans Bay on the Roseland Peninsula, both an active fishing port and sheltered stretch of beach.
The weekend begins with a morning of foraging with a local expert where guests can expect to find wild ingredients such as mushrooms, berries, nettles, sea beet, sorrell and marsh samphire. This is followed by a woodland picnic provided by Driftwood Hotel and Cloudy Bay. After lunch guests will be taken out to sea with local fishermen to learn about the variety of local fish and the different techniques to reel them in.
Armed with bounty from land and sea guests will then be taken back to the Driftwood Hotel to enjoy a cooking class with the hotel’s Michelin starred chef Chris Eden to create a meal paired with Cloudy Bay wine.
When: Available from mid-August to mid-September
Where: Driftwood Hotel, Rosevine, Portscatho, Cornwall, TR2 5EW. Tel: 01872 580644
Cost: £870 (2 persons for 2 nights full board including all activities)
February 10, 2012
It’s raining outside, cold inside and there might be more snow. What could be better than closing your eyes and thinking of summer. Summer in Formentera in fact.
The island where everyone is so laid back most don’t bother with clothes and you feel a million miles away from platform 3 at Liverpool Street Station.
Es Ram is nestled in a pine grove and is a wash of white and cream punctuated by brightly coloured gardens and the piercing blue sea. The resort is made up of ‘living spaces’; an 8 bedroom main house, a 2 bedroom and shared bathroom villa, and three double occupancy independent villas.
Potter around, borrow a Fiat Panda for some tootling, take a déshabillé dip from the private beach, relax on double loungers scattered among the boulders and saunter over to the main house for some al fresco Italian seafood under the stars.
Daydream here, rates from around £800 p/p per week including breakfast.
December 12, 2011
The home of exuberant decadence has launched The Ultimate Fitness Retreat in partnership with PTX Performance Training. The programme, devised to be physically and mentally challenging, involves a four day three night stay of hospitality and high impact ‘performance’ (they don’t mention the e-word).
In this short space of time guests will be led through ‘a dynamic and exhilarating journey of personal discovery designed to renew,rejuvenate and inspire individuals to embrace and sustain a positive change in their lives’.
In the spirit of the Burj guests will benefit from daily 45 minute massages, sunrise yoga, food demonstrations from incredible Chefs who also provide a full board of meals, snacks and drinks.
If any quick fix is going to work then this is it. Sign us up!
About £2,250 single or £3,000 double occupancy
Four day all-inclusive package excluding flights
November 16, 2011
It is always a struggle to find a Christmas present for parents but we don’t think you could do much better than this if your budget is around £150 per parent – the ‘Auberge Package’ from Michelin starred Auberge du Lac.
For £295 parents will stay in a double room in Melbourne Lodge, formerly the Brocket Hall stable-block that has been transformed into 16 bedrooms.
Dinner is three courses from the à la carte menu (or £20 extra for the six course tasting menu) at Auberge du Lac which is a pretty stroll from Melbourne Lodge.
Under the guidance of executive chef Phil Thompson this former hunting lodge has gained a reputation as one of the most interesting out-of-London restaurants; current menu dishes include ‘roast ribeye of Dedham Vale beef, Guinness & treacle cured fore rib, braised snail, salsify & parsley root‘ and ‘warm bitter chocolate fondant, milk chocolate & vanilla salt, pistachio & pear‘.
The following morning they will receive the morning papers and a full English breakfast at the Golf Club with it’s amazing view of the lake and Brocket Hall. A round of golf can be added to the package.
July 5, 2011
Has Wimbledon consumed your life? Are backhands, serves and volleys bouncing around in your brain? Try a professional tennis week with Jeremy Bates, once pro player and now coach whose career highlights include wins over Becker, McEnroe, Agassi and Sampras. There will be no threat of being rained off in Carlisle Bay where the eight cushioned hard courts and one artificial grass court are surrounded by the backdrop of Antiguan rainforests.
Five days of tennis coaching, welcome drinks by Jeremy, end of week competition and prize giving dinner, full board accommodation and return flights and transfers cost £2,995 per person.
June 30, 2011
Will a smaller more intimate affair than the London counterpart mean more food for less crowns? Let’s hope so!
Neon are especially excited about Vincaffe, Ondine and Restaurant Martin Wishart after delicious dinners and equally interested to see what Cucina at Hotel Missoni and Plumed Horse will cook up after disappointing visits.
Tickets are on sale online and by telephone
£12 for adults and £6 for children
The Meadows, Edinburgh
April 13, 2011
The weather is off and on here in the UK but in Ibiza it is lovely and warm and quiet. Countryside retreat Atzaró is hidden in orange groves north of the island, once an old farmhouse it is now styled in typical Ibizan African/Arabic/Asian fusion with lots of white and daybeds by the pool.
The restaurant serves modern food with similar influences as the decor; terrine of foie mi-cuit with caramelized mash medlar and violet jam and chocolate couland with passion fruit cream and mint ice-cream.
As well as a spa with a sauna and hammam there is a lap pool, swimming pool, exercise room and yoga space to keep your cholesterol zen.
A ‘Gastronomic Getaway’ package offers 2 nights accommodation in a superior room with a la carte breakfast, fruit and champagne on arrival, full use of spa facilities, one gastronomic dinner with tasting menu and one a la Carte dinner. £412 for 2 persons.
For more offers and hotels in Ibiza take a look at White Ibiza
June 28, 2010
Thanks to the Tapas Fantasticas event last weekend neon found A Taste of Spain, a Spanish company that organises culinary tours and a great resource for any trip planning.
The website is split into the 5 areas of breaks; Tours, Cooking Classes, Tapas Sessions, Gourmet Tastings and Customised Services. Here are neon’s favourites:
A guided tour of Barcelona’s Santa Caterina food market followed by a tutored olive oil tasting where an olive oil expert will take you through different varieties of extra virgin olive oils. The tasting is followed by a full lunch illustrating different varietals and uses of olive oil.
A weekend tour of La Mancha to lend a hand in the harvest of saffron with the local women learning the peeling, toasting, drying and packaging of the saffron flowers, all accompanied by various meals of local saffron recipes.
For more hands-on try vegan cooking classes in a private kitchen in Madrid, learn to cook an authentic Paella in Valencia, test your skills with Nueva Cocina in San Sebastian, chomp your way through the land of Ibérico Ham or take a private visit to a bodega followed by a boozy lunch.
October 7, 2009
Neon loves Madrid and Madrid loves Neon, we can say that because this amazing city loves everyone, Madrilleno or not. We may have this view because circa 2003 more time was spent hopping from club to club than strolling around the Retiro or marvelling art at the Prado, pues nada, the place rocks. A recent office debate decided that it was cheaper to leave London for the weekend than stay in it. I cannot think of a better weekend jaunt than Madrid.
Easyjet flights from Luton (£70 return) + double room in the cool De Las Letras hotel right on the Gran Via (from £75) = weekend spend £220.