Trends, Travel, History and Books

August 16, 2012



Sun, Sand & Speedboats! Celebrate The Golden Anniversary Of James Bond

Source:  Cision

Calling all aspiring James Bonds and Bond girls: to celebrate 50 years since Ursula Andress sauntered out of the tropical sea in that white bikini, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives has marked the golden anniversary of the iconic film franchise with some exclusive, 007-inspired activities.  What’s more, actress Naomie Harris, who played Miss Moneypenny in the soon-to-be-released Skyfall stayed at Olhuveli after filming, so it’s certainly got the James Bond seal of approval!

Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort offers a vista of stunning beaches, abundant sandbanks and cloudless blue skies, providing all the credentials of a Bond film set – it’s even accessed by speedboat!   Whether guests fancy a romantic tryst in the sugar-white sand or a cool Martini cocktail as the sun sets over the ocean, the resort has everything a secret agent would wish for. In addition, it offers a host of thrill-seeking activities, including shark safaris, scuba diving and kite surfing.

In fact, the only extravagance James Bond himself would miss on this gorgeous piece of paradise is a fast car!  Almost half a century after the first James Bond film, why not book a trip at this luxury beach resort to experience the James Bond lifestyle, and enjoy the following:

  • An exhilarating speedboat transfer to and from Malé for all guests
  • An exclusive, limited-edition Miss Moneypenny cocktail – ‘Licence To Chill’, consisting of watermelon juice, Limoncello and Champagne
  • Push a snorkelling excursion one stroke further with an exhilarating shark safari in the deep waters off the island – if you dare! Special Bond girl inspired spa treatments in the resort’s Sun Spa such as:
  • A Royal Javanese Lulur body scrub – infused with turmeric it leaves the skin with a sun-kissed golden glow
  • A Goldfinger Sun manicure for ultra glossy nails
  • Learn the art of massage with a choice of couples’ massages – for that ubiquitous Bond love scene!

Thomson is offering seven nights all-inclusive at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort 

from £1,628 per person (saving up to £287 per person), based on two adults sharing. Available for selected departures in October, the price includes return flights from Gatwick, accommodation in a deluxe room overlooking the beach, speedboat transfers, taxes and surcharges. The resort offers two pools, an award-winning beach and huge lagoon, a choice of restaurants and bars, a luxury spa, five-star PADI dive centre, lots of watersports activities and one of the only registered kite-surfing schools in the Maldives.

Skyfall, the 23rd instalment of the Bond series, opens in October.


Source:  Cision

Bespoke menus tailor-made for any occasion and exciting people with food – that is the vision of Paul Newton, newly appointed Head Chef at The Old Palace hotel in Lincoln.  Paul, 42, has brought with him 24 years of experience in the culinary world, 16 of which he has spent working as a head chef. He believes starting from grass roots to develop menus and interacting more with guests will help him deliver the wow factor.

He explained: “Unlike most chefs who spend all their time in the kitchen, I am keen to get more involved with customers by sitting down with them to discuss their requirements and create unique menus, offering different options to give clients something special.”

Before taking up the position at The Old Palace hotel in May, Paul was Head Chef at the White Hart Hotel in the Bailgate for five years, and more recently at The Lawn where he was Head Chef for four years.  He has been cooked for a number of celebrities including Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen, Ron Howard and Princess Anne and he describes his food as classical but with a modern twist.

Originally from Matlock in Derbyshire, Paul went straight from school to catering college where he gained his City and Guilds 7061, City and Guilds 705 and Advanced Food Hygiene qualifications. He then completed an apprenticeship in Basingstoke before moving to Lincoln 13 years ago.

Speaking of his new job, he said: “Work here is very varied and there is a wonderful atmosphere and good teamwork.   It’s on a smaller scale than what I was doing before when I was cooking for up to 400 people but at The Old Palace I can focus more on detail and technique as opposed to cooking on a mass scale.”

As well as creating new function and room service menus, Paul aims to put an emphasis on ingredients by using local suppliers and by being sympathetic to the taste and textures of produce.  He added: “The veg suppliers in Lincolnshire are brilliant. We use Fresh from the Fields’ produce and work with the seasons to ensure that our guests enjoy the food we serve when it’s at its best in terms of quality and flavor.

“All our suppliers are from the Lincolnshire area. We use locally reared meat from Fosters Butchers on Monks Road in Lincoln and cheeses such as Lincolnshire Poacher, Cote Hill Blue and Dambusters.  We also support fair trade produce by using Fair Trade teas and have our own blend Fair Trade coffee.”

Paul is currently training the existing staff but is looking to expand the team in the next 12 months.  The Old Palace was built next to the site of the Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace, which was the administrative centre of the largest diocese in medieval England, in three phases between 1720 and 1885.  Once home to the Bishop of Lincoln, The Old Palace is now a luxury hotel and conference centre offering 32 beautifully decorated rooms in the main building and in the adjacent Old Palace Lodge – a former Victorian church that has been newly converted  The ruins of the Medieval Bishops’ Palace are separate from The Old Palace itself and are managed by English Heritage.

Countryside captured with creative eye at the River & Rowing Museum in new exhibition

A new exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum captures Oxfordshire landscapes with a unique, vibrant expression that reflects the variety and beauty of the rolling countryside. From the Uffington White Horse to the famous hills of Wittenham Clumps; the Rollright Stones and Blewburton Hill, Oxfordshire, steeped in ancient history, is illustrated here through born-and-bred local artist Anna Dillon’s captivating landscapes.

The exhibition links with John Piper – The Gyselynck Collection in the Treasures Gallery at the River & Rowing Museum (Until 8 October) as Piper has been an inspiration to Dillon and similarities can be drawn between the two artists’ response to the British landscape.  Anna Dillon has been passionate about the English countryside all her life. As a painter she has developed a unique style, using strong and bold color to reflect the contours and the light of the land in an abstract manner. She paints primarily in oil and is influenced by many painters of the 20th century including John and Paul Nash, John Piper, Peter Lanyon and Graham Sutherland.


Her bold approach to landscape painting can also be likened to David Hockney’s abstract iPad landscapes recently exhibited at the Royal Academy. She is a member of Oxford Arts Society and an area coordinator of Oxford Artweeks.

Dillon trained as an illustrator at Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall and then worked as a graphic designer for 16 years in London and the Middle East before painting professionally.Suzie Tilbury, Curator of the Exhibition, said:

“Anna Dillon is an extremely talented contemporary landscape artist and her unique style captures the Oxfordshire Landscape with a bold finesse that evokes a wonderful pride in our surroundings. We are delighted to have the pleasure of exhibiting such fine contemporary work at the River & Rowing Museum”

Born in Wallingford (1972) Dillon has lived in the village of Aston Tirrold in South Oxfordshire for much of her life. Anna’s grandfather, Michael Page (1916-2012), was a Cambridge rower. His enthusiasm for the sport inspired Anna to exhibit at the River & Rowing Museum.

The River & Rowing Museum is one of the UK’s leading regional and sporting Museums, attracting over 116,000 visitors a year. The Museum, an independent charity, also has a purpose built education centre visited by over 20,000 children and adults a year. The Museum provides superb value for money – tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children and provide free return access for a year.

Designed by David Chipperfield and located on the banks of the River Thames in Henley on Thames, the The River & Rowing Museum celebrates and explores four core themes through a wide variety of exhibitions and events across four galleries and special exhibitions:

  1. Rivers: Using the Thames as a starting point, the Museum explores the environmental, ecological and social impacts of water and rivers across the world.
  2. The historic riverside community of Henley on Thames: This historic town, home to the Henley Royal Regatta and host to the Rowing competition in the 1908 and 1948Olympic Games, has a colourful history dating back to the stone age, all captured in a dedicated gallery explored through hugely popular temporary exhibitions.
  3. The international sport of rowing: One of the world’s most significant collections of rowing memorabilia, charting the sport from ancient beginnings to present day, is held at the Museum. The sport is also celebrated through temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
  4. The Wind in the Willows: hugely popular with children and families, this exhibition recreates the timeless E H Shepard illustrations from Kenneth Grahame’s famous novel, taking visitors on a journey through the world famous riverside tale of Mr Toad and his friends.

Since opening in August 1998 the Museum has received numerous awards including the National Heritage/NPI Museum of the Year award and the Sandford Award For Heritage Education.

Location, opening and ticket information

  • The River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1BF. Tel. 01491 415600.
  • The Museum, terrace café and shop are open every day from 10am – 5.30pm in summer and 10am – 5pm in the winter
  • Tickets give FREE admission for a whole year!
  • Admission is just £8 for adults, £6 for children aged four and over, FREE for children aged three and under and £6 for senior citizens and concessions
  • Free parking for visitors
  • Members of the British Armed Forces and their families receive discounted tickets.
  • The River & Rowing Museum is part of the Thames Valley Museums Group (TVMG) Family Friendly initiative – a scheme that brings together 29 Museums across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to promote their popular appeal to the whole family
  • Signatory to the Kids in Museums Manifesto
  • Art Fund members are entitled to free admission


Source:  Oprah Winfrey

Books to Love and Leave Behind (Except in Your Heart)
Toss these soul-stirring books into a bike basket, read them in the pool or leave them at the cottage for next year’s readers.

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