Restaurant review: Bombay Palace, Connaught Village, London W2

Indian food comes in various guises. Sweet, even sour and often very hot. Punjabi cuisine is not known for its hot dishes. It’s more about bbq’d food flavoured with generous doses of herbs, tandoori dishes and sometimes creamy marinades. And I was about to find out if Bombay Palace restaurant in a hidden corner of central London, was testament to that.

Bombay Place has quite an interesting heritage being part of an international chain that stretches from New York and Beverley Hills to Kuala Lumpur and Hyderabad.

Yet this branch is tucked away. Yes, it’s in Marble Arch in central London but it is hidden in a triangle of streets called Connaught Village, and further secreted away beneath a block of flats in Connaught Street.

The brand was started by a former fighter pilot Sant Singh Chatwal in 1920. Chatwal hailed from the Indian half of the Punjab region that divides India and Pakistan and the menu reflects that region.

The entrance is pretty unremarkable and I almost missed it. So when I walked in I was quite overwhelmed with its expansive size and plush furnishings in hues of red and gold creamy walls, polished cream tiled floors and pretty contemporary style chandeliers.

There’s lots of daylight too and I got a table by the large windows. This is a spacious restaurant and happily there’s plenty of space between them, so no eavesdropping. The ambience was one of decorum and professionalism with just the right amount of service intervention.

The Chef is Harjeet Singh, a tall man who trained at Bukhara in New Delhi. He then created the dishes at the Bombay Palace in Kuala Lumpur for some eight years. His latest stint at Connaught Street has lasted some 17 years and if his smile is anything to go by, he will remain there for some time yet. This is good tidings, because the food here is very good.

I started with a variety of three breads: onion nan stuffed with chopped red onions, tandoori nan, a flatbread brushed with butter and Roomali Roti, a paper thin bread which I ate with my forthcoming kebab.

These came with Tarka Dal, a lentil dish tempered with cumin, chopped onion, ginger and garlic and Paak Paner – cottage cheese cooked with creamed spinach, cumin seeds and garlic.

Then came three dishes: Dahi Batata Puri, a plate of gorgeous lentil puffs that had a tangy mix of bean sprouts, coriander with yoghurt, mint and tamarind chutney.

The second was Jaipuri Bhindi with shredded okra marinated in flour batter and fried to a crisp. The third, a kebab platter with barbecued lamb and chicken. Yes, this is as mouthwatering and flavoursome as it sounds.

Walking the Alpe-Adria Trail

The Alpe-Adria Trail is Europe’s newest long distance hiking route and runs for 750km from the foot of the Grossglockner (at 3,798m Austria’s highest mountain), into Slovenia and ends in Italy, near Trieste on the Adriatic coast.
Alpe Adria – Signpost at the Pasterze Glacier, Austria (c) Rupert Parker

It’s divided into 37 daily stages, each around 20 km, although it’s possible to do the whole lot in a month it is better to do it in sections – Austria has 22 stages, Slovenia has five and the last ten mix Slovenia and Italy. There’s also a Circular Route which connects Austria, Italy and Slovenia in seven days.

I’ve only got eight days, so decide to sample the most interesting bits. I start at the beginning in Carinthia, Austria and catch the post bus from Heiligenblut up to Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, a short 30 minute journey. There had been thunderstorms overnight and dusted the Grossglockner with a covering of snow.

Pasterze Glacier, Austria

Pasterze Glacier, Austria (c) Rupert Parker

The Pasterze Glacier, the longest in the Eastern Alps, gleams in the morning sunlight and my first steps on the trail are down a steep path to the Sandersee, filled with meltwater. The path is well marked and, after crossing another lake, the Margaritze Stausee, I’m back in the valley approaching Heiligenblut, my starting point. It’s taken me around five hours and has been a pleasant morning’s walk.

I’m now transferred by taxi to Mallnitz from where I tackle Stage 7 next day.

Groppensteinschlucht gorge, Austria

Rabischschlucht Gorge Waterfall, Austria (c) Rupert Parker

The trail follows the Mallnitzbach stream as it plunges through the Rabischschlucht gorge in a series of waterfalls. It’s pleasant underfoot and I have the trail all to myself. That changes as I enter the adjacent Groppensteinschlucht gorge, a popular route for day trippers. There’s an entrance fee, and I’m going in the opposite direction to most people. They’re certainly not friendly and don’t return my greetings. One person even tries to tell me it’s one way only.

The walls of this gorge are much steeper than the previous one and a system of walkways has been grafted onto the rock so you’re suspended in mid-air for most of the journey. You don’t really need a head for heights but two old men tell me at the top that it’s too dangerous to proceed. I think they’re rather over estimating the danger and there are stunning views of the various waterfalls.

Rail adventure in North Wales

The hills are alive in North Wales with the cranky rhythm of chugging wheels and the whistle of coal powered trains as a stream of steam is funnelled out through their chimney.

It’s a mode of transport that hails from the early 19th century that all too soon came to the end of the line.

Rail enthusiasts have set in motion a revival of the Welsh Highland Railways and Ffestiniog Railway bringing the steamy affair of vintage travel by railway through this amazing landscape, right back on track.

I book my carriage.

My base: Llandudno

Llandudno war memorial on the seafront

The seaside town of Llandudno is my base, a pretty town with a mish mash of elegant Victorian and Edwardian architecture and pleasant scenery. It stretches out from the foot of the Great Orme, a huge chunk of limestone that curves around the town. It surges up from the sea and towards the seafront and its wide ribbon of sandy beach and an even wider promenade with a war memorial obelisk as its landmark.

Caernarfon to Beddgeert – Welsh Highland Railway

My first rail adventure starts in Caernarfon where I alight the delightful narrow gauge Welsh Highland Railway train. The line was built in 1923 but economically it was derailed soon after. After 70 years in the sidings, it was pulled back into service by a group of railway enthusiasts.

The locomotive is engine 87 and as I watch the steam funnel out it leaves a dreamy nostalgia in its wake. So it’s surprising that the vintage styled wood-decked carriages are in fact no more than 20 years old, and some just a couple of months old. A modern kitchen serves sandwiches and of course Welsh rarebit (a version of cheese on toast) and a tea trolley does the rounds.

The journey passes through Caernafon Bay and the Lley Peninsuala, the old slate quarries and once at Bryn Gloch the Snowdonia National Park unfolds beyond. The valley narrows dramatically as we pass between mountains Moel Eilio and Mynydd Mawr.

Now it’s all alpine views and tumbling waterfalls towards Rhyd Ddu. Soon we climb to the summit of the line at Pitts Head and soon after the train begins its descent zig-zagging all the way down the hillside to Beddgelert. The top speed is 25mph so there’s time savour and digest what my eyes are devouring.

The entire length of the line is 25 miles all the way to Porthmadog, but I was disembarking at Beddgeert to make my way to Portmeirion.

Portmeiron Village

Those of a certain age will remember the cult series The Prisoner. Actor Patrick Mcgoohan, aka No. 6, was regularly chased (there were 17 episodes) by a balloon each time he tried to escape.

The 70-acre Italianate Portmeiron Village was created out of the fantastical imagination of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Anything that caught his fancy on his travels ended up here. Even the odd relic from film sets.

No-one lives at the holiday complex; it’s all hotels, eateries, a beach and 19 miles of footpaths through lush greenery. It took him 50 years to complete yet this unusual man never spent a night here – he was simply showing off his skills.

BlindSpot Speakeasy Cocktail Tea reviewed, St Martins Lane, London

So, it was 7pm one heady summer evening. The sun was still out and seemed to shine down on our mission. We were heading towards St Martin’s Lane to take what we knew was no ordinary tea.

First we had to find the joint. We sauntered into St Martins Lane Hotel but there was nothing to say “hidden speakeasy this way”. After quick stake-out and we uncovered a gold hand that jutted out of a white wall.

Naturally I reached for it and hey presto I opened a door. It was a sudden change of scene leaving the bright light of the reception for the dark, dimly lit demeanour that unfolded as we descended into the cellar. I loved the feeling of subterfuge that eked out of brown walls, low lighting, brown upholstered chairs and banquettes – it’s classic art deco and so so swanky.

It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust and indeed to get comfortable on the hard chairs but there was chatter in the air mixed with a jazzy style music and the outer world was a million miles a way. I began to believe that we really were in a speakeasy joint that harked back to the 20s during prohibition in the US.

The Speakeasy tea, was not in any way, a traditional tea. There was no jam and scones and certainly no bone china.

A black mini shelving unit arrived. The selection had some savoury morsels such as quiche Lorraine, spinach and feta feuilleté, crayfish and mango brioche bun with coriander and lime which were decent enough to keep the taste buds entertained.

But it was the sweet stuff that were the stars of of this show: mini chocolates baileys cakes with coffee creams, a selection of chocolate and passion fruit macaroons, and a velvety dulce panna cotta with blackberry compote. Take a few moments to mentally savour that.

And top billing was the flight of three tea-infused cocktails.

The cocktails had amusing names: “Giggle Water” made with Bombay sapphire gin, English summer tea, rosé champagne, peach syrup. The second, “Have the Bee’”, had an unexpected kick. It was a blend of bacardi carta d’oro rum, pineapple spicy mix, and darjeeling syrup.  The third, the erroneously named “Teatotaller”, was a fizzy number which came with chamomile-infused grey goose vodka, lemon sherbet and a white vermouth syrup.

 

Festival Review: Sziget, Budapest

I was excited to return to Óbuda Island in Budapest for the third year running to attend the Sziget (9-16 August 2017) for seven days of sunshine and spectacle.

As well as more than 10 music stages, Sziget promised a varied programme including theatre, dance, traditional Hungarian craft workshops and even an interactive games area focusing on helping people with disabilities.

Who goes to Sziget Festival?

Diversity is the heart and soul of Sziget Festival, with over 100 countries represented on the island. As well as Hungarians, who tend to purchase day tickets, the festival attracts hoards of ‘Szitizens’ from the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and beyond. There were more than 1,000 Australians at Sziget this year: quite a journey to make for a festival!

Accommodation

I opted to avoid camping at the festival and instead rented an apartment with a group of friends. This allowed me the opportunity to return home each night for a shower and a decent night’s sleep, and also meant I could catch the Sziget boat to the island each morning: a truly lovely way to start the festival each day.

The simplest way to rent an apartment in Budapest is through Airbnb, and if you book enough in advance you should be able to rent a lovely, air-conditioned apartment for peanuts. Our base was only a 10-minute walk from Sziget boat and housed 14 people, at the cost of £15 a night – bargain!

You can also book an inexpensive hostel in the ‘Pest’ side of the city. If you go down this route, make sure you check there is air conditioning in the bedrooms.

You can, of course, camp at the festival and there are plenty of shady spots to pitch your tent. There is also a VIP camping option, but if you’re willing to spend the extra cash I recommend you book an apartment or hostel in the city instead.

Food and Drink

During my previous trips to Sziget, the food was disappointing. There wasn’t that much variety and what was there was greasy and salty. This year there was a definite improvement, especially in the area near to the Hungarikum Village. I sampled some delicious Goulash Soup as well as a Russian dish called pelmeni: mixed pasta stuffed with beef and pork with sour cream and vinegar. The food options around the main stage were fairly uninspiring so I recommend branching out from the centre of the festival when you get peckish.

You can’t take in your own alcohol to Sziget. A beer or plastic cup of wine costs less than £3 while one of the festival’s signature cocktails is around £5.50. As with previous years, Sziget’s alcohol policy allows for a very jolly atmosphere without creating too many alcohol-related casualties.

At Sziget you don’t use cash to buy food and drink. Instead, you pre-load money onto a Festipay card and this can be used to pay for everything at the festival. There are several booths dotted around Sziget where you can top-up, and you can protect your money by downloading the Sziget App and registering your card. If you lose it, you can cancel the card and reimburse the money on a new card. Very nifty.

What’s the music like at the Sziget Festival?

We arrived at the main stage on the first day mid-way through a fun and energetic performance by Bosnian group, Dubioza Kolektiv. Taking inspiration from reggae, ska, alternative rock and Bosnian folklore, the band whipped the crowd into a joyful frenzy. This is what makes Sziget so special: the opportunity to discover bands from across the globe who would otherwise never enter one’s consciousness.

The music line-up was, admittedly, a mixed bag. The seven headliners absorbed over half of the festival’s €20m budget, yet they weren’t the big hitters of rock and pop that I’d become accustomed to.

I really enjoyed P!nk’s fun and fiery performance on the first night, but confess I was less thrilled by the prospect of Kasabian, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Major Lazer. Tamás Kádár, CEO of Sziget Cultural Management, admitted to us that the line-up was weaker than usual, in part because some of the acts are asking for 50-60 per cent more money than the previous year.

This has become a serious issue for festival organisers around the globe. Fortunately there were some excellent performances by lesser known artists on the main stage including a feisty set by The Kills and a beautifully sweet performance by English rose, Birdy. The closing act on the main stage, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, was also a surprising sensation.

There was also plenty to see away from the main stage. My personal highlights included DJ Shadow and Crystal Fighters at the indoor OTP Bank Stage by A38. USA born DJ Shadow put on an exceptional show with the best backing video I have ever seen. Striking images of wildlife, landscapes and abstract shapes burst on the screen in perfect timing to the music. The bass was so intense it made my shoes vibrate and my nose tingle. Crystal Fighters put on a jubilant performance inspired by the Basque heritage of one of its members, Laura Stockley. This band really should have had a prime spot on the main stage and I think Sziget missed a trick here.

The World Music Stage hosted a brilliant set by Orkestra Mendoza, who made it totally impossible not to get up and dance. This performance was particularly memorable as the final song coincided with Sziget’s 25th birthday party. Sziget staff members ran around the festival presenting a random selection of Szitizens with birthday cakes and party hats. My friend, Hannah, was one of the lucky recipients and her pure joy at being presented with a cake was one of my happiest memories of the festival.

What else is going on?

My advice for Sziget is to make sure you don’t just stick to the main stage and really make time to explore every area of the festival. There is much to discover, from Sziget beach to the Luminarium: an 800minflatable sculpture with a labyrinth of rooms to explore. There is also the travelling funfair, cardboardia tent, Sziget comedy tent and Magic Mirror which hosts a colourful array of cabaret, drag shows and talks by the LGBT community.

Celebrate National Dog Day

August 26 is National Dog Day, so what better way to show your four-legged friend how much you love them than by treating them to a break. Your furry friend will love these places:

1Doggie treats at Tewkesbury Park, Gloucester

At Tewkesbury Park dog-friendly rooms are kitted out with memory foam mattresses and have patio doors that lead straight onto grassy areas. Waiting in your room will be a welcome pack with doggie treats and suggested walks, a luxury Hunt & Wilson dog bed, food and water bowls.

There’s treats for you too – a traditional afternoon tea for two, £25 spa gift voucher (per room), three-course dinner in the Piano Lounge (with a “Dog’s Dinner” for your pooch, of course), overnight accommodation with full use of leisure facilities, English breakfast and a sausage or two for your furry friend. Priced at £199 per room, per night.

2Treehouse comfort at Chewton Glen, The New Forest

At the luxurious, five-star, Chewton Glen near New Milton, dogs can stay in the Treehouses and they receive a special Welcome Pack which includes a bowl, dog-friendly treats and dog popcorn, a small dog bed and an organic meal menu. There are lots of dog-friendly Estate walks to enjoy and the beach is just a short stroll away. For owners enjoying al fresco dining at The Kitchen at Chewton Glen, their four-legged friends can also join them for lunch or dinner. Treehouse Loft Suites from £1250 per night B&B (sleeps four people). Dogs cost £35 per night.

3Doggy Divine in Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray

Stapleford Park has commissioned bespoke luxury dog beds designers to come up with uniquely designed dog beds to complement the style and character of four suites at the 55-room country house hotel. Each bed contains hypo-allergenic materials.

Doggy menus iclude delicious treats like Pawpato treats and character creams. There’s even a Stapleford Park has also introduced a new Doggy Afternoon tea menu, offering a doggy biscuits and Pawsecco (herbal doggy drink) to sit alongside its traditional and very popular afternoon tea for human guests.

Doggy Divine includes an overnight stay for two in a choice of four state rooms on a B&B basis, afternoon tea for two, a bespoke handcrafted doggy bed, a new doggy menu, doggy afternoon tea, a selection of doggy toys, doggy walking trails within the hotel’s extensive grounds and dinner dog sitting. The package is available from £475 per room, based on two people and a dog sharing. A special doggy gift bag is available for all bookings made over National Doggy Day on 26 August.

4Seaside antics at South Sands hotel in Salcombe

Salcombe’s boutique South Sands hotel situated right on the beach in Salcombe’s stunning estuary welcomes dogs and humans alike into its classy, understated beachside décor. A dog friendly hotel with dog walking opportunities along the beach just beyond their door. There is a gastronomic restaurant with a doggie area – but you have to bring your own dog food. Doubles cost from £170.

5Five star pampering at The Arch, London

The Arch a contemporary-cum-English Heritage styled boutique hotel near London’s Hyde Park has opened its doors to all canines big and small treating them to luxurious dog beds, feeding bowls, treats and delicious pet food cooked to order.

Dog walking services are also available, so you can relax while your pooch explores the 350 acres of nearby Hyde Park. There’s also a pampering session opportunity in Chelsea’s luxurious Pet Day Spa, a calm relaxing and safe haven in which pets can be groomed, indulged and revitalised. And when you need some time out, you can ask or the dog-sitting service.

The Bottomless Brunch at Eneko London

I had heard that Michelin Starred chef Eneko Atxa had opened a restaurant called “Eneko at One Aldwych” – One Aldwych hotel. So, when I booked a table I was expecting nothing less than fine dining or more specifically fine Basque Country based bottomless brunching from Eneko.

Here’s why: the Basque Country is in the North of Spain near the Bay of Biscay and in South Western France. Grains and grapes are grown easily and the area has developed a rich culinary heritage. In fact, within this one region there are almost 40 Michelin starred restaurants. Eneko Atxa has one of them, the Azurmendi Restaurant in the town of Larrabetzu, and he has brought his culinary expertise to London.

So, it was 12.30pm, a perfect time for brunch, and I was seated on comfy red leather upholstered seating, pleasant ambient jazzy music in the background and before me lay a menu of five courses.

Mineral water was served immediately and drink orders were taken – Cava and red wine were our choices and we could have as much as we wanted for two hours.

Then came the food entertainment. I use that word deliberately because the visuals were indeed entertaining.

The first was Eneko’s take on the Traditional Talo. It was by any standards, a beautiful work of art served on a wooden board.

Corn flour bread is a staple of Basque cuisine, but here it was flash fried and served as a crispy base to a melange of heritage tomatoes with basil emulsion and decorated with summer flowers. I swear I could actually taste the sunshine that ripened the tomatoes.

The second was the Cerdito Callente. The menu describes it as a “hot dog” but it looks more like burger. The meat is Iberico ham with mushroom durrelle served in a Basque muffin.

It was served with a huge sense of humour in a pig head shaped wooden box. In any case there was nothing funny about the flavour; juicy melt-in-the-mouth meat tinged with mushroom and a curl of mushroom puree to dip it into. Quite delicious.

Then the Egg Yolk Tempura arrived. Deep friend battered eggs yolks are served on a bed of velvety creamed potato. An unusual combo made sweeter by the confit of vegetables.

For the main course you get to choose something from the Asador (A Spanish word meaning barbecue, grill or spit) charcoal-style grill. I chose the monkfish cooked with garlic and parsley and my co-bruncher chose the duck breast with the sweetest Gernia peppers.

The best places to see Britain’s Autumn colours

Summer may be loosing its bloom but as it does so Autumn brings it’s own natural palette to Britain’s forests, arboretums, parks and gardens.

From late September and throughout October it’s all abut fiery reds, golden yellows and rich burgundies of turning leaves. Here are ten places to relax and enjoy Britain’s autumnal beauty at its best.

1Faskally Wood, Perthshire, Scotland

Lake in Faskally Wood

Perthshire is known as big tree country, with around 25 species of tree including Scots pine, silver birch, hazel, ash and oak. While it’s a beautiful place to visit year-round, Faskally Wood really delivers the goods when it comes to autumnal displays.

Created as a “model forest” in the 19th century, it’s full of beautiful specimens which are pointed out on the guided trail-blaze walk in October. As night falls, the wood transforms into the Enchanted Forest with a shimmering lightand music show.

2Lime Avenue at Marbury Country Park, Cheshire, north-west England

Lime Avenue

Instagram at the ready! Capture the blonde autumn tints of magnificently symmetrical Lime Avenue – a legacy of Marbury Country Park‘s former grand estate days. The park is in the heart of Northwich Community Woodlands, which is part of the Mersey Forest.

3New Forest, Hampshire, southern England

New Forest National Park’s ancient woodlands cover more than 50 square miles. Discover mighty redwoods planted in the late 1850s, as well as alder, beech, sweet chestnut and other varieties. Take the tall trees trail under majestic conifers on Rhinefield Ornamental Drive – it’s one of the best places to experience the vivid array of autumnal hues, which arrive in time for New Forest Walking Festival in October.

Don’t miss the huge 500 year-old Knightwood Oak on the Bolderwood Ornamental Drive near Lyndhurst, and look out for the park’s famous wild ponies, as well as pigs roaming the forest floor on the hunt for green acorns.

A new eco spiritual retreat in Kerala, India

Earlier this year a brand new eco retreat, Rasa Gurukul, opened its doors for the first time in the South Indian state of Kerala. Its mission is to teach the art of living well.

Its idyllic location on an organic farm amid coconut trees and spice groves is edged by the beautiful banks of the Chalakudy river – the place perfect to relax and to connect with the earth.

Visitors can learn to how to cook Keralan dishes, and muck in with the farming in the fields and orchards, learn yoga, enjoy various types of Ayurvedic massages, meditate, eat well and come home full of the joys of life.

This out-of-the way haven is the brainchild of Das Sreedharan. Das was born in a small village in Kerala where he would follow his mother around the vegetable plot and into the kitchen.

When he left for England, his passion for home cooked South Indian food went with him: he set up the Rasa chain of London restaurants, and every year he organises London’s annual Kerala Food Festival.

Yet, Das wanted to offer more. He wanted to offer a farm experience where guests can eat farm fresh produce grown without the chemical pesticides and fertilisers that mask their flavours. Rasa Gurukul was born.
Transfer is by bullock cart

Indian life is notoriously noisy and hectic but you won’t find motorised vehicles on the farm. When you arrive at the edge of the farm your final approach with your luggage is on the back of a bullock cart pulled sedately by a slow-going bullock through the scenic lanes.

As you notch down a gear or two, the surroundings come into focus and it’s tempting to stop along the way, to watch the potter at his wheel, or the jaggery (traditional cane suger) maker stirring vats of cane sugar.

Accommodation can be a cottage, single or double rooms, but all rooms have been created in typical Keralan style with wood floors, rustic constructs and all come with incredible river views.

At night it’s hard not to be awed by the sunrise and sunsets and the light as it falls over the water and the land.

Mornings on the farm start with energy raising yoga and meditation so you can tackle the challenges of the day. Everyone joins in including staff and students from the local village. You learn, quickly, that your mental and physical wellbeing are intimately entwined, and unless you can rest your mind and relax, sooner or later your body will suffer.

This concept is at the heart of what Keralans know as Ayruveda – a Sanskrit word made of two parts: life and science. Ayurveda is, therefore, the science of life itself. The knowledge is said to have been passed down from the gods.

Ayurveda has been used for at least 2,000 years, and the doctors at Rasa Gurukul are the fourth generation to practice this ancient form of healing. Key tenets are universal inter-connectedness, and the body’s five elements — space, air, water, fire, and earth — as when these fall out of balance, we fall sick. Restoring your balance requires the right food, the right physical treatments, and the right state of mind.

24 hours in Genoa, Italy

Often overlooked by sun-seeking tourists in a rush to get to picturesque Portofino and pastel-painted Cinque Terre, Genoa is one of Italy’s most underrated and historically significant cities

This former maritime power has much to boast about: birthplace of world navigator Christopher Columbus, home to the prison from which Marco Polo dictated accounts of his travels, Italy’s first football team, and inventors of pesto.

Genoa’s topography, nestled between mountains and sea, means that the city is blessed with temperate weather all year round and, with direct two hour flights from the UK, it’s the perfect escape for those in search of history, culture and hearty Italian fare, any time of the year.

This compact city is more than a gateway to the Italian Riviera, it’s a destination in its own right.

Must stay

Reacquaint yourself with the renaissance at Vecchia Genova, a Sixteenth Century palazzo located in the historic centre of Genoa, just 300m from San Lorenzo Cathedral.

Days begin with homemade brioche and organic jam breakfasts served on the terrace and end in blissful slumber in spacious, stucco-walled bedrooms.

For something a little more luxurious, treat yourself to the Grand Hotel Savoia, Genoa’s most opulent lodgings. This five star hotel was established in 1897 and has long been a favourite amongst old Italian aristocracy. Soothe your sightseeing-worn limbs in the hydro-pool on the terrace or at the on-site spa.