Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tasting India With Christine Manfield 2-17 February 2015

Christine Manfield's got a few secrets.

And she's spilling them all on her Tasting India with Christine Manfield tour this upcoming February.
This renowned Australian author and chef is leading an intimate group of up to 10 intrepid travellers on a journey through the captivating regions of Central and West India, including the vibrant Rajasthan and serving up a fusion of culinary hedonism and cultural immersion along the way.

And who better to lead this tour than a person who has enjoyed a passionate love affair with the country (for 20 years in fact!), is well connected and respected for her craft in India and who is the author of the multiple award-winning book, Tasting India.

“I've now designed and led seven culinary journeys to India with Epicurious Travel, with the 2015 one being my eighth. These tours are a fantastic way to be introduced to or re-acquainted with India – to her cultural sights, to her friendly people and her culinary masterpieces, without compromising on luxury,” she says.

Christine's little black book of secret addresses are what set this sojourn apart from the rest. She's handpicked the best experiences and is serving them up on a silver platter just for your pleasure.

Her long-standing friendships with chefs at India's most illustrious restaurants will see you dining at these fine establishments and swapping recipes with the esteemed chefs there. You'll feast on menus specially crafted for you by the collaborative culinary venture between Christine and the chefs.

Included restaurants are the eminent Masala Library in Mumbai, who fuse traditional Indian food with progressive molecular gastronomy, the seductive Pali Bhavan, the award-winning Swati Snacks and the premier threesixty at the Oberoi.

In Mumbai she'll accompany you through the plush suburb of Bandra, guiding you through the chic stores, quaint cafes and Bollywood mansions. As the heady aromatic spices lace and waft through the air in Ahmedabad, her keen sense of smell will direct you to the very best street food.
At the picturesque site of Mandu, she'll stand with you in awe at the impressive Afghan architecture and revel at the greatness that is the World Heritage Listed Kumbhalgarh fort, labelled the second largest wall in the world after The Great Wall of China.

“No matter how many times I visit these sites, I'm always blown away by their majesty. There's a spirit at these places that is very life affirming,” she says of the historical sites visited on the tour.

She'll track leopards with you on two wilderness game drives in Jawai. Then you'll luxuriate in opulent tents in the untrammelled wilderness of Rajasthan.

She'll share with you the locations of the last remaining families in Patan still practicing the ancient art of weaving the Patola – the double ikat sari.

As Christine is a proponent of giving back to local communities, she'll also take you to the REHWA Society and the Women Weave Charitable Trust, both of which produce exquisite handcrafted accessories and textiles that you can take back to loved ones. Travel need not be destructive.

“India isn't a country you can simply see, it's a country you feel. It clings to your clothes, your skin and your heart. Once it's in your blood, you're hooked for life. I invite foodies and anyone interested in India to come join me on this journey of discovery. The extraordinary is waiting. Let's explore the possibilities together.”

For further information or to book, please visit or contact Epicurious Travel on or (03) 9486 5409/ 0407 261 510

Cost per person twin share is $US 15,980 / Single supplement US$ 3,175

End your Year with a blast in the Philippines with Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific Air (PSE:CEB), the Philippines' largest national flag carrier, has launched a four-day seat sale starting today, offering unbeatable fares starting from S$35 for flights from Singapore to 
Cebu Pacific Aircraft (Credit - Cebu Pacific Air)Manila, Clark,Cebu and Iloilo.

Valid for travel from September 15 to December 31, 2014, this seat sale is ideal for those looking for an affordable escape that will allow them to unwind and spend quality time with their loved ones before the year ends.
Cebu Pacific has the best domestic connections in the Philippines and travellers can take advantage of their extensive network to explore more of the country’s beautiful islands through a domestic seat sale happening during the same period. Whether you crave adventure, exotic culture or simply a relaxing beach getaway, holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice in the Philippines which has something for all tastes and budgets.

Shop for a good cause in Manila
Travellers can uncover great deals while raising money for worthy causes at the World Bazaar Festival from 5 – 21 December 2014. The longest running charity bazaar in the Philippines there will be hundreds of booths for visitors to explore. A perfect place to find gifts for loved ones while indulging in guilt free shopping; this is just one of Manila’s great shopping secrets. Known for its festive spirit during the holiday season, travelers will be sure to score some great end of year shopping bargains. 

Adventure calls in Clark
Perfect for active families and nature lovers, Clark is the destination of choice for those looking for an active escape from the city. Visitors will be astounded by the beauty of the active Pinatubo volcano and thrill-seekers can climb its slopes to enjoy a panoramic view of the area. The Fontana Leisure Park is a sure hit amongst families looking for activities for young children, and lush picnic grounds around Clark are the ideal place to end the day with a shared meal amongst the people you love. 

Soak up the sun in romantic Cebu
Nothing sets the scene for romance like watching the sun set over the white beaches of Cebu. Take a relaxing stroll across the sand and take your pick of the numerous oceanfront restaurants for an intimate dining experience with the best local cuisine. Ideal for any couple looking to get away for the daily grind, travelers can rent a jet-ski or go helmet diving and explore the wonders of the ocean. Cebu will captivate travelers with its easygoing feel and beautiful island charm.

Explore the rich heritage of Iloilo
Iloilo rewards travelers who venture off the beaten path with the hidden beauty of its colonial past. A historic Spanish outpost, visitors can glimpse into a time gone by at the local museums that are rich with the culture of the area and travelers can also walk inside many of the old churches that reflect the mixture of the areas colonial past and Filipino identity. Immerse yourself in the unique local culture of the area for a trip that you’ll never forget.

CEB flies from Singapore to Manila 25 times weekly. It also operates daily flights to both Cebu and Clark, as well as twice weekly flights to Iloilo. For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit or call +65-3158-0808.

The latest seat sales and promos can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. Travellers can also sign up to be a CEB Club member through the Cebu Pacific website, for seat sale alerts, easy management of flights and travel funds, and a faster booking process

Get More Out of Your Melbourne Weekend With Mercure

There's never been a better time for weekend warriors to cure their curiosity for Melbourne and get more out of their mini-break when staying at a Mercure hotel.
Five Mercure hotels, located conveniently within easy reach of Melbourne's famous attractions and landmarks, are offering travellers more bang for their weekend buck with a special 'Mercure Weekends' package.
Guests looking to stay 2 nights in Melbourne, arriving between Thursday and Sunday can enjoy full complimentary buffet breakfast, late check-out and a $50 food & beverage voucher which can be spent on great food, coffee or specially selected Australian wines from Mercure's Flavours from the Cellar wine selection*.
The Mercure Weekends package starts from just $159 per night at Mercure Welcome Melbourne, located in the heart of Melbourne on Little Bourke Street. The hotel is surrounded by Melbourne's popular shopping precincts, theatres, galleries, bars and restaurants. Or the $50 food & beverage voucher can be put to good use at Mercure Welcome Melbourne's own chic and cosy Cocoon Bar, Soul Café or The Louden Kitchen & Grill.
Travellers can also take advantage of everything Melbourne has to offer with the Mercure Weekends package at Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens, Mercure North Melbourne, Mercure Melbourne Albert Park and Mercure Melbourne Therry Street. To book visit  
If discovering the laneway cafes, boutique shops, dining out or catching a footy game is order of the weekend short-stay, then Melbourne won't disappoint with the city really coming alive during spring. There's something for musical lovers too who will be carried away by the award-wining and not-to-be-missed stage performances of WICKED and Les Miserables.
The Mercure Weekends package is also available at participating Mercure hotels located across Victoria and the rest of Australia.
For more, visit
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Experience Spain like a Diva with 'A Taste of Andalucia' tour

EXPERIENCE the art, music, dance and culinary delights of Southern Spain's Andalucia with Travelling Divas' new Spanish Soiree: A Taste of Andalucia tour.

Brisbane-based boutique women's travel company Travelling Divas has upgraded one of its most popular signature tours with new destinations and experiences.

Tour participants can expect a 13-day escape to Spain full of sumptuous food and wine, vibrant culture and the best Andalucia has to offer, says Travelling Divas founder Andrea Powis.

"The Spanish Soiree: A Taste of Andalucia tour is incredibly exciting, and really spoils our guests with the most beautiful experiences, from high tea at the Ritz Hotel, to a private guided shopping tour of Madrid, and then being whisked away on an evening to a Michelin Starred restaurant," says Andrea.

"We have visited Spain with Travelling Divas for the past four years and I'm thrilled to introduce new adventures this season, including a private hiking experience in the amazingly picturesque Alpujarras and guided tours of the Prado Museum and Royal Palace.

"We've also added a city tour of Granada and its magnificent Alhambra palace and fortress complex, as well as a private Flamenco and music performance, lots of opportunities for a little retail therapy, plus a few extra surprises."

Guests can explore the region to their heart's content, with daily private guided tours from tapas tours of Seville and Vejer to postcard-perfect royal gardens and the imposing gothic Cathedral in Seville, the third-largest church in the world.

Experience a traditional and invigorating Hammam spa treatment to wind down after a day of shopping and learn the secrets of Spanish cooking at Annie B's, a favourite experience of Travelling Divas who've taken the tour previously.

All overnight stays are in luxury and boutique hotels, making the Spanish Soiree experience fit for any Travelling Diva's at heart.

Travelling Divas' Spanish Soiree: A Taste of Andalucia tour departs 18 September 2015. Tours are $8499 per person twin share for 13 nights. Visit

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Breakfast dining extravaganza at Emirates Grand Hotel

Emirates Grand Hotel is delighted to announce a number of offers and promotions taking place across its dining outlets around this summer.

The big wave of summer breakfast package that officially starts on 10th August and ends on 30th September 2014 is available at the Panorama and Pastry Counter at Emirates Lounge restaurants.
Spend a memorable summer holiday with Emirates Grand Hotel and enjoy a wide range of incredible privileges at its dining outlets. The Pastry Counter in Emirates Lounge offers an exclusive mini breakfast featuring wide selection of tea or coffee, doughnut & Danish with quick bites of hot dog, cheese or tuna sandwich at price ranging from AED 24 to AED 40.

Enjoy a full English breakfast buffet at The Panorama restaurant at Dhs80. The dining outlet also offers 10% discount on private party on above booking of 50 people.

Emirates Lounge & Garden Resraurant
Panorama Restaurant 2

*The prices are inclusive of beverages
*Children between 6 and 12 years get 50% discount, FREE for 5 years below 

For more information, please call +971 4 323 0000 or visit the hotel’s website at

‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ Polar Express™ Tickets To The North Pole On The Grand Canyon Railway Are Now On Sale

The mercury may be hitting 100, but those in the know are already booking their reserved tickets on the Polar Express™ presented by the Grand Canyon Railway.

From November 7 through January 3, the Railway will run special trains from Williams, Ariz., to the North Pole. Polar Express reservations can be made by calling 1-888-848-3511 or by visiting

The Polar Express is a holiday-themed excursion that follows the storyline of the children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg. 

Trains depart Williams at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for the holiday experience. Prices for most departures are $25 for kids ages 2 to 15 and $39 for adults. Matinee tickets are also offered on select dates at 3:30 p.m. ($20 for children and $34 for adults). The Christmas Eve Limited on December 24 is priced at $69 for adults and $49 for children and includes special mementos.

A family favorite, the experience this year will begin with a new light show at the historic Williams Depot. 

The magical journey travels through the starlit countryside to the North Pole and features a special reading of “The Polar Express” while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. The North Pole twinkles with enhanced lighting and showcases storefronts, mailboxes and other structures to give the village a permanent, three-dimensional look and feel.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers are welcomed by Santa Claus and Elf Bernard. Santa then boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams, making his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift – a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus.

The Grand Canyon Railway also offers a Polar Express “overnight package,” including the round-trip train excursion, a one-night stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and breakfast and dinner at the Grand Depot Café. The starting package price for two adults and two children is $379 and does not include taxes.

Polar Express passengers also receive a 50 percent discount on a regular every-day future train trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon valid 60-days from their Polar Express experience and train ride.

See Floriade in Full Bloom With Peppers and Mantra

Peppers Gallery Hotel and Mantra on Northbourne have created 'blooming marvellous' packages for one of Canberra's iconic events – Floriade. 

Australia's biggest celebration of Spring showcasing one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra's Commonwealth Park, Floriade is a free event now in its 27th year and runs for 30 days from 13 September to 12 October, including a spectacular Nightfest from 24-28 September. 
Peppers Gallery Hotel – the newest addition to the Peppers hotel network - has a special offer including accommodation in a Deluxe Room, a cheese tasting platter on arrival, breakfast for two, late checkout to 12 midday and packet of seeds for inspiration at home from $239* per night.  Visit phone 1300 987 600 for bookings.
Peppers Gallery Hotel Canberra is an award-winning 80 room boutique hotel with the renowned onsite Bicicletta Italian restaurant a favourite amongst Canberra's emerging dining scene.  As the name suggests, the hotel boasts an elegant interior design showcasing an eclectic gallery of emerging and established artworks.
Mantra on Northbourne is also offering a special package from $179* per night (valid Thursday-Monday) including a bottle of wine and chocolates on arrival, buffet breakfast for two and late checkout of 12 midday. or phone 13 15 17 for bookings.
Located just one block from the CBD, Mantra on Northbourne is a short stroll from major attractions such as Parliament House, the War Memorial and the National Gallery, and only a few metres from the city's thriving dining precinct.
*Conditions apply, subject to availability. Valid for sale until 12/10/14. Valid for travel from 12/09/14 until 13/10/14. Block out dates, minimum stay and surcharges may apply. Mantra on Northbourne offer valid Thursday-Monday only.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Yummy Mummy Home Made Cup Cake – Deli Swiss

An excellent starts to the month of August with the incredible taste in a cup and get ready to surprise your mother on Mother’s day or throughout this month at Deli SwissSwissôtel Le Concorde Bangkok.

Check out Yummy Mummy Homemade cup cakes including Oreo Chocolate Cup Cake, Thai Tea Cup Cake, Pandan Cup Cake, Banana Cup Cake, Strawberry Cup Cake and Taro Cup Cake. Start priced from THB 50 only.

For more information, please call +662 694 2222 ext 1550.

Hours of operation: 07.00 am – 22.00 pm.

Deli Swiss located on the ground floor of Swissôtel Le Concorde Bangkok.


The Sanchaya Bintan Announces Promotional Rates Available From 1 September To 31 October 2014

Guests will be able to relive the romance of colonial elegance of a by-gone era with The Sanchaya’s unique 
The Sanchaya -  The Great House Suite - Bedroom (2)collection of  21 bespoke villas and 9 suites, whether a couple, family, or a group of friends travelling together. 

The Sanchaya, a luxurious new beachfront estate idyllically located on the Indonesian island of Bintan is positioned on one of the most spectacular beaches in the region.
The Sanchaya Estate will offer guests an extraordinary experience with highly personalized service and absolute attention to detail.  Each villa and suite will have its own unique style, reflecting the rich culture, history and art of the region.
The “Discover Sanchaya” package is valid from 1 September to 31 October, 2014.  All rates are in US Dollars and are subject to applicable service charge and government taxes.  

ROOM TYPEWeekday ratesUSDWeekend ratesUSD
The Great House Junior Suite Garden View$430$435
The Great House Junior Suite Sea View$ 490$ 557
1 Bedroom Villa at Lawan Village$ 490$ 557
The Great House Veranda Suite Sea View$ 610$ 809
1 Bedroom Villa Sea View$ 630$ 942
2 Bedroom Villa Sea View$ 960$ 1,404
Leelawadee (3 Bedroom Villa) with private pool$ 1,230$ 1,803
Vanda Villa (4 Bedroom Villa) with private pool$ 4,550$ 6,916

 The “Discover Sanchaya” package includes:
  • The Sanchaya Lawan Village - Bedroom (2)Luxurious accommodation in the villa or suite category of your choice
  • Express immigration upon arrival and departure at The Sanchaya’s dedicated Lounge in Bintan
  • Complimentary shuttle service between Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal and The Sanchaya
  • A refreshing welcome drink on arrival
  • A sumptuous a la carte breakfast in your villa or suite, or at The Dining Room in the Great House, overlooking the pool and Beach
  • Complimentary fresh fruit replenished daily
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the Estate
  • Daily turndown
  • Butler Service (trained by British Butler Institute)
  • Complimentary Maxi bar (snacks, beer and soft drinks) replenished daily
  • Free local calls
  • Espresso machine and a selection of fine teas in your villa or suite
Stunning views of the beach and shimmering Indian Ocean can be admired from the nine suites located on the upper floor of The Great House.These suitesare filled with art and luxurious furnishings sourced from across South East Asia, reflecting the romantic colonial style of the residence, as well as giving a true sense of the region. Each suite has a collection of The Sanchaya fine art and design.
A taste of Thailand is reflected in the Lawan Village’s seven villas built around a beautiful man-made lagoon.  The décor reflects Thai influences throughout, using elegant furnishings accented with dark wood, soft neutral tones and high vaulted ceilings which create the serene ambiance of a private residence.  With romantic canopied beds and freestanding bath tubs overlooking private gardens, Lawan Villas are the perfect place to de-stress and unwind.

Eight One bedroom Sea View Villas reflect influences from Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam and Four Two Bedroom Sea View Villas reflect influences from Malaysia, The Philippines, Laos and Myanmar. These exquisite villas have private landscaped terraces and gardens which add to the overall feeling of space and tranquillity.

Leelawadee Villasare for those who wish to indulge in the luxury of having three spacious bedrooms, and are ideal for a family or a group of friends. The décor of the compound was inspired by Thai traditions and culture, with soothing lush garden views and private pool terraces, the three Leelawadee Villas provide a haven of subliminal tranquillity.

A stunning expression of Asian chic, the two-storey Vanda Villathe Estate’s Presidential Villaisinfluenced by the tropical beauty of Singapore and its striking black and white colonial houses. With a pure simplicity of white furnishings, the four bedroom Villa has a glorious sense of space and calmness which provides the ultimate setting for its magnificent ocean views.  The Vanda Villa has a private pool.

All suites and villas feature super king-sized beds and walk-in closets, and come complete with luxury amenities - from Ploh bed and bath linen and discreet modern touches such as Bang & Olufsen television and sound system, Apple TV, iPad minis and Wi-Fi.

Culinary Offerings
The Sanchaya’s restaurants include The Dining Room for all day dining and the poolside Tasanee Grill serving Bangkok street cuisine in a beach setting where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and learn about the special blends of tea available in the resort.

The Salon & Library is a tranquil lounge area overlooking the pool and beach, where guests can enjoy a casual meal or beverage from The Dining Room menu or just relax.  It also houses a very special wine and cheese tasting room called Decanter which has a curated wine list and a resident Sommelier on hand to assist with wine selection and pairings.

The Bar offers a menu of bespoke cocktails and beverages along with a selection of artisanal spirits and gourmet blends of fine leaf teas and custom blended coffees.

Leisure Facilities
In addition to the Tasanee pool and exquisite beachfront, The Sanchaya Spa allows guests to lose themselves in the divine sensation of rejuvenation and renewal.  The Gymnasium is open 24 hours and is fully equipped for a satisfying workout.  Guests can enjoy a traditional colonial game of croquet on the Estate’s exquisitely manicured croquet lawn.

Pearl Seas Cruises – Redifining Luxury Adventure One Passenger At A Time

Pearl Seas Cruises offers exceptional small ship voyages. Enjoy 7, 10, 11, or 14 night cruises through the Canadian Maritimes, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and Caribbean Islands aboard 210-passenger Pearl Mist.

The stunning new Pearl Mist delivers the intimacy of a private yacht, taking you to destinations many of which are not accessible by large ships. 

Pearl Mist
Pearl Seas Cruises offer personal service in a relaxed, friendly environment, large spacious staterooms – all with private balconies, fine cuisine served by acclaimed Master Chefs, luxury amenities including a spa & fitness centre as well as wireless internet, all meals and complimentary cocktail hour each evening with fellow like-minded passengers.

Experience a Great Lakes & Georgian Bay Cruise, from Toronto to Chicago, with 10 night cruises departing July 18 & August 8 2015. The Great Lakes form the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth, a melding natural wonder and majestic beauty. Cruise through four of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, & Lake Michigan) and Georgian Bay, and discover grand landscapes filled with indigenous wildlife. These 2 departures can also be combined with a Mississippi river cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. Please enquire for more details. The Great Lakes & Georgian Cruise is from USD$6,185 per person twin share including port charges. Early booking discounts available when booking 3 months in advance.

Call our friendly boutique voyage & cruise specialists at Cruise Traveller on 1800 507 777, 07 5575 8094, via email, or visit for further information.

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