NewsFlash

We round-up the most notable cultural experiences and unmissable festivals happening around the world in the coming months, including MEADOWS IN THE MOUNTAINS in Bulgaria’s beautiful Rhodope mountains; China’s annual DUANWU JIÉ dragon boat festival; the bizarre WORLD WIFE-CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIPS in Finland; the RED BULL SOAPBOX RACE held at London’s Alexandra Palace, and South Korea’s annual BORYEONG MUD FESTIVAL.

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Prize Draw

Designed by celebrated French architect Jean Nouvel, SO/ VIENNA is undoubtedly the Austrian capital’s most stylish hospitality address. Win a three‑night stay in a SO Lofty suite for two in the heart of the beautiful Austrian capital, including daily breakfasts, welcome cocktails at BAR/Terre and a chef’s tasting dinner for two at Michelin‑starred Das LOFT restaurant with paired wines.

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Rest Your Head

The Cultured Traveller checks into THE MIDDLE HOUSE in Shanghai; Campbell Gray Hotels’ latest offering, THE MERCHANT HOUSE in Manama; a new Crest Suite on the 64th floor of I.M.Pei-designed SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD in Singapore; the new W KUALA LUMPUR in the shadow of the Petronas Towers; uber-cool BRANCO boutique hotel on Mykonos, and super luxe MOMBO CAMP on the northern tip of Chief’s Island in Botswana.

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City Focus

For centuries, Brazil was the crown jewel in the Portuguese colonial empire and for more than two hundred years until 1763 SALVADOR DE BAHIA was its first city. Alex Benasuli discovers that Brazil’s original capital beats to its own drum whilst embodying the fundamental elements of the nation’s heart and soul that make South America’s largest country such a seductive tourist destination.

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Suite Envy

Perched on a hill that rises high above the Bosphorus, RAFFLES ISTANBUL is a modern-day palace; a regal address where art, gastronomy and Turkish culture are interwoven. At the top of this 21st century eyrie, Joe Mortimer drinks in magnificent intercontinental vistas from the sumptuous surrounds of the CONTINENTS SUITE: the pinnacle of a luxury hotel from which sultans and CEOs can survey their city.

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Boarding Pass

Flying from its hub in Manama for almost seventy years, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain was the first commercial airline to be established in the Middle East, many decades before the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways. Nicholas Chrisostomou road tests GULF AIR’s new FALCON GOLD class, aboard one of the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners bound for Heathrow.

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No Shoes Required

Known as the “Village of Islands” as well as the “Sport-Fishing Capital of the World”, ISLAMORADA spans fifteen miles and encompasses five different islands in the Florida Keys, at the most south easterly extremity of the United States. Alex Benasuli picks up the Overseas Highway, drives for ninety minutes south of Miami and finds himself in this exotic tropical island paradise.

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Spotlight

Greece’s picturesque islands and islets form an inherent part of the nation’s culture and traditions, and every well-to-do Athenian makes for them during the summer months. Addicted to the wildness and beauty of the western Cycladic island of SERIFOS in the Aegean Sea, Nicholas Chrisostomou explains why he just can’t get enough of this Grecian gem.

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Traveller Lowdown

Famed ANGKOR WAT draws more than two million visitors every year and is almost certainly Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. But mobbed by thousands every day of the year can make visiting the revered 12th century Buddhist monument hard work. So, Nicholas Chrisostomou takes a different approach to tackling the world’s largest temple complex, on an Italian scooter no less!

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Taste and Sip

From the coast of the Mediterranean to the plains and mountains of Anatolia, Turkish cuisine draws from an abundance of regional influences and thousands of years of history. Where East meets West in the city of Istanbul, a cauldron of bubbling culinary creativity, Joe Mortimer discovers that one particular restaurant is giving traditional Turkish dining a modern makeover.

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Music and Night Life

She’s been worshipped, mocked and vilified. She has delighted in causing controversy from the moment she became famous. She’s been written off more times than she’s changed her hair colour yet has outlasted most of her contemporaries, making records and breaking records. There’s a new MADONNA album on the way and opinion is divided. Paul Burston pays homage to a true pop survivor.

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Stylish Globetrotter

Christian Dior is not only a giant of modern fashion but has an incredibly rich history. Since his first show in February 1947, the French fashion house has continued to impose its vision through elegant, architectural and endlessly feminine lines. Tracing the narrative and impact of the celebrated couturier, Adrian Gibson gives us a tour of the V&A’s sell‑out exhibition, CHRISTIAN DIOR: DESIGNER OF DREAMS.

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