United Kingdom Travel Guide
A pair of foodies is looking to improve the airport eating experience, as they’re being set on the loose over at London-Heathrow airport. John Torode and Gregg Wallace from the BBC show Masterchef are taking on a six-month culinary challenge at the airport, and when they’re done the plan is to make the airside offerings just a little bit better.
It sounds as if the pair has wrangled an all-access pass to the airport when it comes to checking out the dining establishments, from the kitchens, and prep areas to the dining rooms and everything in between for the 70 spots spread across LHR.
Flying through Glasgow? Like Whisky? You're in luck! Thanks to a match-made-in-heaven partnership between British Airways and Pernod Ricard, some travelers passing through Glasgow International Airport who prefer a scotch on the rocks (or served any other way) will be treated to special Whisky Bar and Snug.
Located in BA's Executive Lounge, passengers lucky enough to gain entry to the lounge can settle back with a stiff one in the special section devoted to the national drink of Scotland. The Glenlivet Whisky Bar is just part of the $1.2 million the airline forked over to refurbish the lounge.
Let's face it, sometimes we all feel a little out of place at art galleries. Some are stuffy, the free ones are crawling with kids (literally), and others feel more like convenience stores with the gift shops pushing touristy trinkets which have nothing to do with the art hanging on the walls.
While we can all appreciate the masters, sometimes we need to be inspired by fresh, new artists injecting their techniques and talent into vector graphics, sculpture and good old brush and canvas. The best place to see this type of work is at Pick Me Up London.
Pick Me Up London is the UK's original graphic arts festival, held annually at Somerset House in London. The 11-day festival focuses on contemporary graphic art, design and illustration. It consists of two floors of paintings, colorful giclée prints, zines, lectures and demonstrations, and a chance to meet some of the artists behind it all.
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Yang Guang limbers up
Maybe Edinburgh is that kinda town, because it wasn’t just Richard Branson getting frisky in Scotland last week; bumping Little Red’s arrival down the news agenda were the two pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, whose slow and steady journey to mating season has been vicariously lapped up by the British press.
Not because they’re creeps, see; but because a panda pregnancy will be a feat against all the oddsthe female is in season for just 48 hours. Also, the couple have only known each other for just over a year, so although it’s not quite celebrity speed, it’s pretty quick. Last year, they tried to breed unsuccessfully. This year, we were told when we visited last week, Tian Tian has been calling to Yang Guang with “much more urgency,” making the scientists think they might just hit the jackpot.
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Little Red's check-in desks at Edinburgh Airport
Little Red flies three routes: from London-Heathrow to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester, all intended as feeder destinations to get locals to Heathrow for Virgin Atlantic's long-haul flights. There are 26 flights a day in totalsix each way on the Edinburgh route, three for Aberdeen and four for Manchester. All are perfectly timed to connect with the rest of VA's network.
There’s a launch sale on right now that means you only pay the taxes. Unfortunately, since this is the UK, that means you’re not getting a bargain; it ends up £98 for a return flight between London and Scotland, and £103 return from Manchester.
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Sundance London kicks off on April 25 at The O2 where film fans and music fans can enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Sundance Institute has curated a selection of film and panel programming that will not only present new work by independent filmmakers, but will also explore the interplay between independent film and music.
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Yesterday we brought you coverage of the fanfare upon the Edinburgh arrival of Little Red, Virgin Atlantic’s new domestic UK service, flying from London-Heathrow to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester. Today, it’s time for a photo dump...but also some thoughts on the interior and the overall LHR-EDI flight experience.
Was it as well planned as Branson’s kilt-flashing incident?
The short answer: yes, pretty much.
In a city already bursting at the seems with thousands of cafes and coffee shops, opening a new one might not seem like the best business decision. Unless you're Monocle. With a cafe already in Tokyo, the always-busy team at Monocle is about to open the doors to the newest member of their growing empire: Monocle Cafe London.
Set to officially open April 15th, we were lucky enough to see the cafe during its "soft open" phase.
The cafe sits on a sleepy road with other small businesses and is a short, six-minute walk to Marylebone High Street where you'll find Daunt Books and other distinctly London shops (and a Starbucks, of course). The cafe is hard to miss with its prominent black and white canopy providing shade over the few outdoor stools and one round communal table.
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There’s nothing about Concorde that we don’t like, except the fact that it no longer flies high in the supersonic skies. From trip reports, photographs, and even souvenirs we’re all about the world’s greatest commercial airliner, so of course we’d be all about a museum dedicated to Concorde this and Concorde that. Unfortunately it seems like not everyone is down with scoring some t-shirts at the gift shop.
The Save Concorde Group put the original plan forth for a museum, because just like us they thought a £2 million Concorde home was a pretty sweet idea. They were going to construct something in Filton, UK but unfortunately British Airways isn’t cool with the purposed plan.
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Remember a couple of years back when Richard Branson lost a bet with Air Asia’s CEO Tony Fernandes, which meant he was going to have to dress up as a female flight attendant? That may not have come to fruitionalthough, according to Fernandes, the time is nighbut he went one step
better worse further early this morning at Scotland's Edinburgh Airport.
Launching Little Red, Virgin Atlantic’s domestic UK service and a major step for the airline, Branson donned a kilt and then dressed down by flashing us.
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How many of London's airports can you name? There's Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, uhhh Luton and....City! It's that last one that's often forgotten because it's the smallest of the bunch and nearest to downtown, though the most innovative (and not just because they offer free WiFi).
We just flew through London-City for the first time and came out of the experience a little more hopeful for the future of air travel. It's true they have some freedom to experiment because the airport is tiny, the passengers are mostly frequent flying professionals, and the flights are mostly limited to Europe, but that's all the more reason to detour away from the mega airports to try City's particularly civilized "boutique" airport experience.
Here's what LCY has got going on that makes it so...so fly:
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Just as Italians love their carbohydrates and Americans their right to bear arms, Great Britons adore their tea. Not that you’d have realized from the brew served on British Airways until recently; it was just as undrinkable as tea on any other airline.
Being the UK flag carrier, BA decided last year that its shoddy tea situation simply wasn’t good enough. And so, in a process that’s lasted nearly a year, they commissioned posh tea brand Twinings to make a new blend, especially for their planes. After much leaf-tinkering and several test flights (long and shorthaul), the blend is now arrived, and is being served everywhere in the plane (yes, even Economy).
You’d think there wasn’t much to it, but a couple of months back, BA invited us on its final test flight (between New York and London, natch) to sample the contenders. And it was there, as Twinings’ senior buyer Mike Wright talked us through what he was looking for in the teas, that we realized tea, especially in the air, is a really complicated thing.