How to avoid holiday weight gain

We all like to enjoy a holiday from time to time, especially in the summer holiday season. Whether it’s a trip overseas, a weekend away, or spending time with family and friends at home. Taking a break from our normal routine is essential for our mental wellbeing.

However, it can seem difficult to keep up healthy habits during the break and be challenging to get back into the swing of things when you return. Delicious cuisines to taste, beaches to lay on, and cocktails to sample make it difficult to stick to a weight loss plan.

This guide, from OurPath, the first online programme to be used by the NHS to support long-term weightloss, provides tips to avoid holiday weight gain and, more importantly, successfully return to a healthy routine once you get back from the break.

1. Start the day with a balanced breakfast
If you’re not preparing your own meals while you’re away and enjoying a hotel buffet, for example, it can be easy to overeat past the point of feeling full.

However, nourishing your body well in the morning with a balanced breakfast can mean you’re more likely to stay on track for the rest of the day.

Opt for higher protein options, to keep you fuller for longer. Some good examples include:

Scrambled eggs, mushrooms and a small spoon of baked beans
Natural yoghurt with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds and a small portion of fruit
Omelette with vegetables
Boiled eggs with some cured meats/cheeses

2. Stick to three main meals a day
To avoid overindulging at one meal or having sugary snacks, try to stick to 3 main meals a day. The goal should be to include a form of protein, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and a small amount of fat in each meal.

If you have a carb-heavy meal, such as pasta, then consider choosing a protein and vegetable-heavy dish for your next meal, such as fish with spinach or broccoli.

Do not be afraid to ask for meals to be adapted to your preferences, like substituting potatoes for green vegetables or leaving the dressing off a salad and opting for olive oil instead.

If your accommodation facilitates it, picking local produce from a market and cooking for yourself can be a fun way to stick to your 3 meals a day. Plus this is a good opportunity to explore new foods and flavours, while eating something healthy, especially if you are away for longer periods. Fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables often taste better too!

3. Stay hydrated
Our brain often confuses feelings of thirst for hunger. By keeping hydrated, we can avoid snacking unnecessarily. Especially when travelling to a warmer destination, sweating and swimming increase the chances of dehydration.

Whether you are relaxing by the pool or exploring towns and cities, try to keep a bottle of water with you at all times, preferably in the shade! On top of this, aim to have a glass of water with each meal. Sparkling water with ice and fresh lime can be a refreshing alternative to plain water in warm weather.

4. Indulge in moderation
Holidays are a great opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself, but the key is to try and not overdo it too frequently on your trip. It’s not necessary to completely avoid alcohol and there is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine with your evening meal. However, overindulging in alcohol affects weight gain both directly and indirectly.

If you are going out to a bar, for example, try alternating alcoholic drinks with sparkling water, or have a glass of water beside you to help stay hydrated too.

Choosing long drinks is a good way to reduce the alcohol concentration of your drink and make it last longer (e.g. white wine and soda water spritzer or a single vodka and soda in a tall glass). You’ll thank yourself for it the next day too!

5. Pre-prepare
If you have a long journey to your destination try not to rely on finding suitable snacks at train stations, petrol stations, or airports. Preparing healthy snacks in advance means you’ll have something to satisfy your hunger and not be stuck with unhealthy options in cafes or shops.

Nutritious snacks that travel well include unsalted nuts, vegetable sticks, plain popcorn, or fruit. Not only is this way much healthier but also much less expensive. Having satisfying and balanced main meals will also help to eliminate the need to snack excessively.

When you know you will be eating out at a restaurant, try to scope out the menu ahead of time online. This will give you an idea of what is on offer and give you the opportunity to think about the most nutritious options. This will also prevent any last-minute decisions under pressure or influence from other peoples’ choices.

6. Keep active
You may actually find that you have more time for physical activity whilst on holiday. Trying a new activity, like kayaking or swimming, can be a good way to have fun and stay active. Going for beach walks, hikes, or strolling around local towns is a great way to explore and keep moving.

On the other hand, if you’re travelling for work, you may find yourself short on time or limited in what is available. Remember that any activity is better than no activity. Try starting your day with a brisk walk or jog around the local area, a few laps in a pool (or sea!), or even a quick online yoga class in the comfort of your own accommodation.

How to get back on track after your holiday
It can be difficult to find the motivation to get back on track after a holiday. Following these steps will help you to slowly readjust to a healthy routine.

1) Revisit your goals
Sometimes we come home feeling refreshed and ready to restart our healthy habits straight away. Other times, we feel a bit flat and struggle to get going again. In these instances, it helps to think about our goals. For example, you might be focused on increasing your energy or feeling more confident in clothes.

Start by identifying your values, obstacles, and unwanted actions, then determine your goals from here. Don’t forget to write these down and put them somewhere you can see them every day, such as a post-it on your bathroom mirror. Setting goals is an important step to help you focus.

2) Rebuild habits by starting small
Now that you have reminded yourself of your goals, think about the practices you need to put in place to achieve these. It could be healthy habits you were doing before your break that you’d like to restart or new habits you think are important to set up.

Remember, when starting a new habit (or restarting an old one), it’s best to begin with small changes first, to help your brain learn and focus on this new process. For example, if you were previously going to the gym for an hour, 4 days a week before your holiday, think about a small action you can start to rebuild this routine. It might be going to the gym for 20 minutes, 4 days a week. It might be going to the gym for 10 minutes, five days a week. As you get back into this pattern and restore your fitness, you’ll find you can gradually increase your workout times back to usual.

You may have slipped out of the habit of cooking at home while you were away, and would like to get back into the process of meal planning and preparation. Instead of cooking a new recipe each night, you could choose meals that are simple and quick to make, such as a wholegrain wrap with ham and salad for lunch, or an omelette for dinner. Once you’re feeling confident with this, start to choose more advanced recipes and experiment with new ingredients.

At first, it may take a little more time and effort to reset your habits after a break. But once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll start to notice this healthy way of living becomes your ‘default’ mode, and it’s much easier to get back on track. The key is repetition, and knowing that big things come from small beginnings.

3) Moving forwards
Finally, try not to get too disheartened if you’ve gained weight, decreased your fitness, or reverted to old habits while you were away. Living a healthy life is all about balance. While we can endeavour to maintain our healthy choices when on holiday, it’s also a time to enjoy ourselves, relax, and indulge a little.

Yes, you may have gained some weight on the scales, but this will come back down once you’re eating balanced meals and exercising regularly. Instead of getting caught up in the numbers, try to turn the focus back to your intrinsic motivations for making changes. You can also take advantage of the mental energy and clarity that often comes from a holiday to set yourself new challenges.

Take home message
Aiming to stick to 3 balanced, satisfying meals a day reduces the chances of slipups and sugary snacks.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is incredibly important, especially in hot weather.
There is no need to completely avoid alcohol on holiday, but try to indulge in moderation, such as having a glass of wine with your meal.
Pe-prepare healthy snacks for when you are going to be out for a while and plan ahead when you are eating out by reading the menu ahead of time.
Use your holiday as a chance to try exercising in a new way, such as hiking or walking around a new town.
When you return from the break revisit your health goals, start small, and try not to harbour any guilt for enjoying yourself.
Once you start eating balanced meals and exercising regularly, your healthy routine will become automatic once again.

About OurPath

OurPath is an app-based 12-week programme which helps people to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. It was the first online programme to be used by the NHS to support long-term weight loss.

As part of the programme, you are provided with your own personal health coach (a registered dietician or nutritionist) who guides you through the educational materials and is there for daily support and guidance.

The main thing that makes the OnePath approach different is that there is not an emphasis on calorie counting or strict meal plans. Though this can work short-term, ultimately normal life gets in the way and the weight comes back on again. Instead the plan tries to look at building healthy habits that are easy to stick to, taking learnings from mindfulness and CBT to address some of the root causes of things such as binge or stress eating.

There are two different packages offered – the first is the NoTech package, which includes the 12-week programme with full support as well as a physical copy of the recipe book and handbook. The Tech package has the addition of smart scales and an activity tracker.

Do you need a holiday visa – check here?

A signature facial from QMS Medicosmetics that is one of the very best

At Elixir we get bombarded with offers of free skincare and treatments.  The majority of the time we are too busy to take up these kind offers but to be brutally frank many of these treatments do not have a uniqueness in terms of what they can do to help skin look better.

So it was a delight to get an invite from a new medi-skincare range – new that is to Liberty’s in London – QMS Medicosmetics – to try out the signature facial.

The science behind the range has been developed by the experience of trauma and cosmetic surgeon, Erich Schultz, who saw the future of skincare as being interlinked with the development of modern technologies used to transport the ingredients deep into the epidermal layer. His mantra is powerful, intelligent skincare formulations based on scientific logic not “alleged” miracles.

So I visit QMS Medicosmetics new treatment room at Liberty London where I meet the lovely Rowan Hall-Farrise, the Head Facialist at QMS  and  receive a thorough consultation.

The comprehensive offering features four signature facials unique to Liberty, or the opportunity to choose a completely bespoke treatment. For those looking to breathe new life into tired complexions, the O2 Collagen Rejuvenation Treatment, lasting 80 minutes, combines customized Oxygen Energy Application using 95% pure oxygen to channel the brand’s signature collagens into the skin for the ultimate skin boost.

The improved oxygen supply encourages circulation and stimulates the regenerative process for firmer, smoother and more radiant skin. Alternatively, bespoke treatments are available for those wanting a completely customised facial designed around their individual needs.

Following my skin assessment and my own particular concerns, Rowan recommends an 80 minute treatment to revitalise and rebalance my skin – the Collagen Rejuvenation Facial which costs £150.

I know, I know…its expensive…but all I can say is that when I left without a shred of makeup on my skin – to walk around the West End – I looked radiant! My skin had somehow blossomed and volumed. I also felt alive and radiant and not sleepy.

The products themselves are mainly serum based and are not scented but rely on the quality of the ingredients for their aroma.

QMS Medicosmetics 02 Collagen Rejuvenation Facial (£150 / 80 minutes) QMS Medicosmetics Urban Repair Facial (£110 / 50 minutes) QMS Medicosmetics 02 Boost and Recharge Facial (£80 / 45 minutes) QMS Medicosmetics Educational Facial (£60 / 30 minutes) QMS Medicosmetics Bespoke Facial (£120 / 50 minutes, £160 / 80 minutes)

QMS Medicosmetics facial treatments start at £60 for 30 minutes, with packages also available to optimise skin progress and value for money. Bookings can be made by emailing or calling 020 7734 1234 ext. 2796.

Following the assessment of my skin Rowan recommended the following products:

1. Active Exfoliant 7% Sensitive £73 for 30ml

2.Day Collagen Sensitive £73 for 30ml

3.Density Structure Night Serum £173 for 30ml

4. Night Collagen Sensitive £73 for 30ml

5.50+ Cellular Shield £69 for 30ml


Explore the countryside and get fit – Ribbles bike sale

Ribble Cycles is one of the longest established bicycle retailers in the world. Founded in Lancashire in 1897, Ribble Cycles continues to grow through online retailing and via show rooms in Preston and Birmingham. Some models have £500 off.


The company prides itself on providing industry leading road, cyclocross, time trial, triathlon, track, adventure, touring and hybrid bikes. In addition, we offer a range of carefully selected components, accessories and clothing at competitive prices. This combined with our exceptional customer service has led to us having a strong following of customers all over the world and attracting new ones on a daily basis.

Bikes designed, tested & perfected in England

A new generation of Ribble professional cyclists and triathletes feed back into the development of the award-winning bikes created by our highly experienced UK design team.

BikeBuilder offers almost unlimited customisation on the unrivalled, high-quality bikes. This unique feature is accompanied perfectly by the rest of our website, where we provide everything a cyclist could possibly want and need, resulting in customers always partaking the perfect shopping experience.

Recently the company launched a range of new bikes including our first electric road bike and hybrid bikes, along with a brand-new range of road, cyclocross and adventure bikes.

Where a stiff drink can make a real difference to our political views!

Theresa and Jeremy by political cartoonist David Lewis

There is not much to laugh about in UK politics today.  Its a mess.  Our leaders so called are in disarray or not up to the job.

So maybe a cocktail or two might give us a better perspective on what is going on.  Or at least help us to find something a tad amusing about the current mess the UK’s politics is in.

Boris and Diane by political cartoonist David Lewis

So those ingenious mixologists at the Conrad London St. James’ Blue Boar Bar have come with a new drinks menu based on our politicians with  illustrations by political cartoonist David Lewis.

I make my claim on a Boris on the Rocks and a Maygarita.  Then I may be intoxicated enough to try Jeremy’s Punch!

These are just some of new cocktails:  ‘No Big Deal’,  ‘Maygarita’ and ‘Spiced Figrage’. Perhaps the ‘Jeremy’s Punch’ or ‘Dark n Tory’ will have your vote, but beware of ‘Boris on the Rocks’, who knows what’s in store for you there. Nestled in the heart of St James, with the Houses of Parliament just a stone‘s throw away, Conrad London St. James, and particularly the Blue Boar Bar is a regular haunt for politicians looking to mull the political situation over with a stiff drink.

Sit back over a nightcap taking in the Westminster scene and listen out for the occasional sound of the House of Commons Division Bell, rung eight minutes before every parliamentary vote to give any politicians lingering over a pint enough time to get back to cast their vote!

New thriller sets the scene on murder at a holiday let

It’s no wonder the hotel industry is in a panic, with millions of people instead opting to spend their short trips and even extended days living in other people’s homes. This “ONLINE  BOOKING culture” has become the modern hotel, with all the comforts of home.

But step back for a minute – these owners literally hand their keys to people they’ve never met, disclose their bank information for payment and often never even meet the kaleidoscope of interesting characters. In Sue Raphael’s new novel, the darker side of this culture checks in for a long, long stay.

‘The Holiday Let’ is unlike any other novel on the market, fusing its topical theme with all the hallmarks of intrigue and thrillers that readers crave.


Even in Paradise, nothing is perfect.

Greg and Lily Hampton are a handsome and engaging London based couple . Lily is effervescent and intuitive, while Greg is steady and level-headed. They frequently rent out their ocean fronted apartment in Andalucía. When they find a girl’s ripped and bloodied tee shirt in the apartment, it sets Lily’s mind racing like a bloodhound. Is it foul play or just her imagination kicking in! Is her natural intuition sensing something? Husband Greg initially thinks his wife is sensationalising what could be a household accident. But Lily is on a mission.

The labyrinthine quest and final solving of the blood stained tee shirt and the intrigue in other people’s lives entwine together to make ‘The Holiday Let’ a fast paced, gripping and unexpected narrative with more red herrings than a Norwegian fjord .

“So many people turn the keys over to their home without even questioning the people staying there,” explains the author. “And it stands for so much more; they’re literally sharing a piece of their lives with strangers they’ve never met. The narrative explores this heavily, as well as the internet’s role in this phenomenon and how it may be sharing too much about us with nefarious individuals…”

Continuing, “The story is also underwritten by a truly traditional intrigue and thriller narrative, that contains everything readers expect along with very modern twists. Please buy a copy, because you’ll never think the same way again when either clicking “book”, or when accepting that next booking yourself.”

‘The Holiday Let’, from Austin Macauley publishers, is due for release on July 31st, 2019.

About the Author:

The author worked in Home Search in London for many years, relocating executives and employees for large companies.

She has been both a renter and a landlord.She lives in the UK with her husband and also spends time in Spain and India.

Tramp nightclub celebrates 50th year with limited edition champagne and ‘gold’ burger

Iconic Mayfair member’s club, Tramp is celebrating its 50th year with a series of high-profile events, that focus on its legacy at the epicentre of cultural revolutions and the galaxy of stars who helped turn the legendary basement of bacchanalia into a nightlife institution, since it first opened its 40 Jermyn Street doors in the last fortnight of the Sixties.

A few of the stars who partied at Tramp

The motto “what happens in Tramp, stays in Tramp” is still true to this day, but if the grand walls of arguably London’s most exclusive and legendary club could talk about the past five decades, they would tell a dazzling story about a decadent home-from-home for the rock ’n’ roll elite, that defined and defines generations, connecting legends who would never have met. And Elixir’s motto is partying keeps you young…

Some of these moments have fondly been shared ahead of its 50th anniversary, as the roll call of eminent names look back: Keith Moon was thrown out for swinging from a 17th Century chandelier and tearing it from the ceiling. Frank Sinatra would sit at a table by the ladies’ bathroom, so that members would notice him as they descended the staircase. A cleaner was shocked one morning to discover Mamma Cass, who habitually fell asleep on one of the banquettes and was locked in, following a big night. Marlon Brando was another who couldn’t bring himself to leave, opting for a plate of pasta for breakfast with the staff, in true Godfather style.

It has welcomed a range of Princes from The Artist Formerly Known As…, to Prince Naseem and Princes William, Harry and Andrew. Princess Margaret would charge to its dancefloor with Lord Snowdon and Peter Sellers. And Dodi Fayed would party with Princess Diana, whose friend Freddie Mercury often clambered onto the DJ stand to direct the dancing glitterati.

It is such a superstar mecca, that three Bonds – Sir Roger Moore, Sir Sean Connery and George Lazenby – bumped into each other and ended up having dinner together in the club’s Zodiac restaurant. Indeed, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were once found on their hands and knees in the club, fixing a flood, to the tune of Singin’ in the Rain. Sir Michael Caine even met his wife at Tramp, saving himself the trouble of a planned trip to Brazil to seek out the actress he had fallen in love with, after seeing her in a coffee advert. It was this romantic and glamorous reputation which inspired Jackie Collins’ bestselling book, The Stud, based on Tramp, and turned into the hit movie of the same name starring her sister.

Two, limited edition champagnes have been created to celebrate the 50th – a Blanc de Blanc and a Rose – were created in partnership with Eminent Wines The Blanc de Blanc uses grapes from the Montagne de Reims region and has notes of peach, brioche, vanilla and gingerbread.

It is a beautifully fresh, delicate wine, perfect for pairing with white meat or fish. It’s priced at £70 when buying through the Tramp website or to take home and £110 in the club. The Rosé – costing £80 for home and online orders or £120 to enjoy in the club – combines grapes from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and offers delicious, raspberry and pink biscuit flavours with hints of vanilla and floral touches. It is a complex, structured and elegant champagne that will perfectly accompany white meat, fish or desserts.

In addition, a Tramp Brut Cuvee will also be available for purchase at £55 at retail price and £95 in the club. All champagnes are available to preorder from the club’s website before their 19 July launch.

Tramp manager, David Fleming says: “Over the years, Tramp has served thousands of bottles of champagne to its glamorous clientele including rock stars, Hollywood royalty and actual royalty and our 50th anniversary seemed like the perfect time to offer that same experience to members of the public.

“We’re excited about giving people the chance to taste a little bit of this magical club when they drink Tramp champagne.”

The club has also launched an opulent, 24k gold burger. When Tramp launched in December 1969, the owners took their lead from the grand, hand-carved ceiling – formerly part of a Freemasons Lodge – that depicted the twelve signs of the Zodiac, by offering twelve Zodiac Burgers on their menu in their 17th Century, wood-paneled Zodiac Restaurant.

The Gold Burger

Tramp Limited Edition 50th anniversary champagne

These have now been perfected into a single dish, known as the Tramp burger – and it boasts a secret sauce known only to the club’s head chef, which has been carefully passed down through five decades. Its 50th Anniversary upgrade will see the regular Tramp burger topped with truffle, while the patty will be given an extra special makeover for its Golden Year, with a 24k gold leaf coating. The burger will be added to Tramp’s menu from July 19. Fleming says: “The burger has been a stalwart of Tramp’s menu for 50 years and we are marking our golden year by giving our signature dish a golden makeover.

“A burger and fries with foie gras and 24k gold perfectly sums up Tramp: Glamorous and luxurious on the outside, but still down to earth and fun once you get inside.”

Champagne break for two from only £89pp

Britannia Hotels’ champagne break offers guests the perfect opportunity to feel fancy whilst enjoy a weekend of leisure. Each package includes two nights’ accommodation with bed and breakfast, as well as a complimentary bottle of champagne and room upgrade! See all the bargains on their website here

10% of everything at Chemist Direct

12% discount at trendy 4* Park Grand London Hotels

Chic, stylish and unique, Park Grand London Hotels is a collection of trendy 4 star properties renowned for their individuality and the quality of the guest experience.

Ideally located near Paddington, Hyde Park, Kensington, Oxford Street and within easy reach to Heathrow, Park Grand London Hotels are the perfect choice for leisure and business travellers.

Rooms are stylishly decorated and highly appointed with comfortable beds, complimentary Broadband and Wi-Fi, Plasma TV, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers and en-suite rain showers. Our unique speciality offerings of Club and Suite rooms offer an extended experience of pampering comfort packed with exciting complimentary extras for an indulging stay.

Over the last couple of years, Park Grand London Hotels has gone from strength to strength and still seeking to grow the brand with the acquisition of further hotels in prime Central London locations.

Exquisite Locations, Exceptional stays, Exclusive experiences… Park Grand London Hotels create a new level of guest experience!

Available at:
Park Grand London Paddington
Park Grand Lancaster Gate
Park Grand Paddington Court
Park Grand Kensington
Park Grand Heathrow
Park Grand London Hyde Park.

Package includes:

Minimum 3 night stay
Complimentary broadband internet access
Terms and Conditions:

Book now until 8th September 2019 for travel dates between 15th July 2019 to 8th September 2019.
This voucher code is valid when you book for a minimum of three night stay directly through our official website here on the Best Available Rate.

This voucher code PROMOTION CODE- OFF12 can be availed at the time of booking only, subject to availability, black-out dates apply. Advance booking required.
This voucher code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Only one voucher code can be used per booking.
Voucher codes may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. This voucher is cancellable 24 hours prior check in. Unused services cannot be exchanged for cash.
Hotels reserves the right to decline to accept bookings where, in its opinion, a promotion code is invalid for the booking being placed.
Hotels reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time

Malmaison Hotels – experience the best, pay less

Malmaison hotels offer charm, character and effortless style in ultimately unique surroundings, from the converted prison in Oxford, pictured below,  to the Episcopal Church in Glasgow.

Malmaison dares to be different and has achieved this again and again with each of its15 distinguished charming boutique hotels.

With a vast variety of amenities including heavenly suites, luxurious spas and excellent in house restaurants, Malmaison Hotels are the perfect choice for all occasions from business trips, weekends away, weddings and celebrations and meetings and events.

Child sunburn warning as new heatwave is due to hit UK next week

With a heatwave expected next week and temperatures forecast to soar to 30 degrees centigrade children will be at risk from sunburn, according to a news story on the BBC.

So timely then that Boots own suncare range Soltan has recently launched a campaign to educate UK primary school youngsters about the dangers of too much sun and how to protect delicate skin. So far, the campaign has reached over half a million children.

Boots Soltan also recently produced research via the University of Manchester which aimed to calculate the risks of sun exposure for children playing outside across 13 of the UK’s biggest cities:

  • 1 in 6 parents don’t routinely apply sun protection to children’s skin during the summer
  • 1/3 of children play in the park without sun protection
  • 3 in 10 parents don’t even bother to put sunscreen on when their youngsters play on the beach

Clare O’Connor, Boots Soltan Suncare scientist says: “Children’s skin is more vulnerable than adults so they need protection specifically for them.”

Soltan Kids Once is a range with specific skin care ingredients for youngers and includes a spray and a stick.

Boots is also offering customers who purchase any two of these Soltan Kids products a free gift and there are also 3 for 2 offers.

Soltan Kids Once 8 hour Play Spray £10

We love Gucci’s new hat

I am not a fan of designer logo-ed fashion – not only is most of it made of plastic but they should be paying us to wear their logos! And those LV bags no one knows what is real and what isn’t and I hate them!

But I exceptionally did buy after getting a bonus while working the City a pair of Gucci sandals – I still have them more than 13 years later and they still look good and wish I had bought 2 pairs because they have kitten heels and are super comfortable.

But I love this new cute hat from Gucci and is only a mere £300 which is on sale at the Cruise website. It looks a bit battered and I think its anti-ageing! Please leave one for me!



Wildlife spectacular: Humpback Whale migration while staying at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort


The islands that speckle Mozambique’s coastline are a welcome vision of paradise for every guest. Seamlessly blending in with the natural beauty that surrounds them, Bazaruto Island is an ideal destination for marine adventurers. Equally as breath taking as the stunning ocean views offered along the 2,500km of Mozambique’s coastline are the extraordinary sights that lie just below the surface.

Nature at its most spectacular – a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this breathtaking event

Falling within the protective border of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is a private island resort that offers extraordinary oceanic adventures in pristine, unspoilt waters. Now that Mozambique’s whale-watching season is here, wildlife lovers can enjoy front row seats for the annual migration from the island resort. Every winter, pods of whales embark on their annual migration from Antarctica to Africa, one of the longest migrations in the world. They can be seen passing through the waters of Mozambique between June and December.

Gentle giants beneath the waves

The whale-watching season offers an exciting opportunity to witness these majestic creatures during their migration, as well as a chance to explore the turquoise Indian Ocean waters, spot dolphins and whales, and swim with sea turtles too. The most common whale species spotted are humpback and southern right. The whales migrate to cold waters in high latitudes for feeding, before moving on to warmer waters for mating and giving birth.

The marvel of nature – Humpback Whales just offshore

“From vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, to some of the world’s largest populations of dolphins, whales, sharks, turtles and dugong, it is these remarkable ecosystems and the surrounding crystal-clear waters that make Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort a premier whale watching destination”, says Fernando Costa, Activities Manager at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort.

Sunset at Bazaruto Island Resort, Mozambique

Southern right whales are best seen close to shore in the southern part of the Mozambique Channel from June to December, close to Anantara Bazaruto. Between July and October, the humpback whales showcase their acrobatic skills in the waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago. These creatures can propel their upper bodies as high as ten metres above the surface. Their friendly and curious personalities allow them to approach whale-watching boats or spend a few minutes within close range of the boats. They often swim peacefully alongside passing boats, arch gracefully over the waves and expel air from their blowholes, thrilling guests with a truly magical experience.

Guests at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort set off in the morning on their whale watching expedition on a 36 ft GulfCraft Tourer, with a choice of two trips: a three-hour excursion or a half-day tour in search of whales and snorkelling amongst spectacular vibrant coral reefs and bountiful marine at Two Mile Reef. A half day tour is followed by a picnic lunch at Pansy Island. The picnic offers a tailored menu of barbeque delights and salad with beverages, served by a personal waiter and chef at a shady table on the beach.

The whale watching trips are guided by Anantara’s expert guides who are knowledgeable about marine life and Mozambique’s ocean. Whale watching can be combined with dolphin watching, which is possible all year round. An excellent alternative to diving, dolphin watching gives guests the opportunity to go on an ocean safari and get up close with the dolphins in their natural element, not to mention other marine life, such as whale sharks and turtles.

The Journey of the Whales experience at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is available from USD 1,259 per night and includes:

• Accommodation for two people in a Beach Villa
• Three-hour whale watching excursion
• A picnic lunch at Pansy Island with a snorkelling experience
• Complimentary non-motorised water sports
• Daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner for every night stayed
• Complimentary in-room minibar
• One dhow cruise per stay
• Return boat transfers between Vilanculos and Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort

About Anatara Hotels

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 35 stunning hotel and properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Portugal, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa and South America. The brand’s premier vacation ownership programme, Anantara Vacation Club, extends the opportunity to own a share in the Anantara experience with a portfolio of 8 luxurious Club Resorts as well as travel privileges at partner resorts and hotels worldwide.


At last a non-alcoholic drink that tastes great!

At a press event to publicise the new offerings coming up at health food stores, Holland & Barrett I meet Danish entprener Morten Sorensen who is promoting a new kind of social drinking with his own unique and very special brand of “non-alcoholic” spirit-brand called Ish.

Ginish and Rumish

I reluctantly put down my champagne glass to try the Ginish….and I was totally blown away.  I can honestly say it really did taste like gin, and not one of the cheaper ones but was more akin to the spicy Orphir.

Ish does have 0.5% alcohol which allows the process of extracting the botanicals in the gin to release their full flavour – juniper berries and coriander seeds in Finish – so that you get the warm kick in the throat that you would get with full alcohol gin.  It also has zero sugar and as a result of calorie content of 6 kcal per 100ml. But its still classed as non-alcohol and will soon be on sale at Holland & Barrett.

Rumish has Madagascan Vanilla and Indonesian Nutmeg and was similarly a great-tastings drink.

Morten Sorensen explains that he  went on to create his brand after a 100-day alcohol-free challenge when he got his “light bulb moment”:  “I realised there was an absolute need to turn the tables on the social norms of drinking.  I wanted to provide an alcohol-free option for those who don’t always have the desire to drink alcohol, but appreciate the social aspects of enjoying a cocktail.

He adds:  “It’s for those to want to tear up the dance floor sober.”

I know exactly how he feels.  A while back I gave up alcohol for several months.  It also coincided with a visit to Cannes – a press trip to investigate shopping.  That involved popping into all the designer shops on the Croisette for a glass of champagne.  I surprised myself by resisting and even danced my socks off completely sober one evening.  But I am afraid my will slumped to all time allow at a lunch on the beach on the final day of the trip. It was one of those glorious days with a blue sky and sun….and as we watched a modelling show I could see  a silver wine cooler on our table contained a bottle of rose wine glistening with moisture, beckoning me towards it.

Ish is being imported into the UK by and its currently on offer for £24.99 and their shop here


Luxury international Spa break bargains

With over 600 spas in the UK and Worldwide, can create the perfect package for you. Whether you are looking to treat someone special, relax yourself or you are searching for that ideal gift has something for everyone.

Here is a selection of great priced discount breaks at many of the top international spas.

Vakkaru Maldives unveils new fitness package

World-renowned fitness expert Yasmin Karachiwala is bringing her ‘Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body’ retreat to Vakkaru Maldives from 9th – 13th August 2019. Awarded the ‘Best Fitness Instructor’ by VOGUE, Yasmin Karachiwala and her team have created a bespoke programme to help guests rev up their daily routine.

With over 26 years in the industry and known as the pioneer of Pilates in India, Yasmin is India’s first ‘Balanced Body Master Pilates’ instructor and ‘Fletcher Pilates’ instructor. With numerous awards and accolades to her name, her elite client list reads like the cover of a fashion magazine. From India’s A-lister’s Katrina Kaif to Deepika Padukone, celebrities train with Yasmin to sculpt, tone and help look their ultimate best self.

Yasmin Karachiwala

Harnessing all her knowledge and experience, Yasmin invites guests to unplug and reset at Vakkaru Maldives. “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing my brand of fitness to the Maldives for the first time. I am looking forward to “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body” as I have created a holistic experience where guests will be able to take away a little bit of everything. My personal goal is to increase your knowledge on Pilates and to beat the common misconception that you need equipment to work out. I will also be joining forces with the culinary team at Vakkaru Maldives to curate my ultimate breakfast table every morning, spend an afternoon sharing my hacks on the best travel-friendly snacks and smoothie concoctions as meal replacements and share some of my well-kept secret recipes for desserts. At my masterclass, I want you to understand that the food you eat must not be a tedious diet that you have picked out of a magazine, but a variable routine that you look forward to each morning,”says Yasmin Karachiwala.

Nestled within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll in the Maldives, Vakkaru Maldives is the perfect setting to bask in the ultimate luxury of time and space where guests are invited to relax, reflect and refocus. General Manager Nicholas Mason says “We recognise that our guests are on a lifelong, personal and emotional quest towards a fulfilling health and wellness goal and we are dedicated to ensuring they have access to the best”.

Guests can book an all-inclusive retreat or a class-by-class session. The programme includes:

9 August 2019 – Day 1
8.30am – Morning Pilates at Main Pool Side Deck
6.30pm – Sunset Tabata at Vakku Beach

10 August 2019 – Day 2
8.30am – Beach Pilates Circuit Training at Isoletta Beach
6.30pm – Pilates with Props at Gym

11 August 2019 – Day 3
8.30am – 20-20-20 Pilates at Lagoon Bar
6.30pm – Vakku Beach Cardio with Tone-y Bands

12 August 2019 – Day 4

8.30am – HIIT at Isoletta Beach
6.30pm – Sunset Yoga at Merana Spa’s Wellness Area

13 August 2019 – Day 5
8.30am – Free-hand Pilates at Gym

Yasmin Karachiwala’s 5-Day “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body” is priced at:

  • Beach Pool Villa US$7954
  • Over-Water Villa US$6024

Inclusive of:

  • 5 nights’ in above mentioned villa category
  • Half Board Meal Plan ie; daily breakfast and dinner
  • Return transfers either via seaplane or domestic flight (subject to international arrival time, weather and availability)
  • 1x 60-minute body massage at Merana Spa
  • Access to Yasmin Karachiwala’s “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body”
  • Green taxes and other applicable taxes

Alternatively, guests may book individual classes at US$70+ per sessio

This 2019, complementing Vakkaru’s island offerings will be a collection of curated, ultra-immersive and cherishable guest experiences in collaboration with luxury guest experiences specialist, The Magnolia Creative Collaborations. From culinary greats to wellness mentors, from scent experts to fitness guru’s, from luxurious fashion collaborations to exquisite artisanal pop-ups, Vakkaru Maldives will be inspiring guests to create timeless memories, effortlessly.

For reservations and general information, please visit or contact

About Vakkaru Maldives

Vakkaru Maldives is a secluded tropical island resort located within the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Only 30 minutes north of Male International Airport by seaplane, Vakkaru – meaning coconut timber in Dhivehi – is an unforgettable paradise blessed with powder soft, brilliant white sand, crystal clear turquoise water, 360-degree uninterrupted views and sprawling coral reefs with unique marine biodiversity. Keeping the natural beauty of the island as unspoilt as possible – including retaining over 2,300 fully grown coconut trees – and drawing on the rich traditions of the locale, design elements are focused on Maldivian style fused with the finest natural resources and contemporary interior. Guests can revel in the choice of 125 beach and over water villas and suites, as well as four sensational restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar and an outstanding array of treatments in the over-the-water Merana Spa. Facilities also include Splash Dive and Water Sports, two tennis courts, a badminton court, the Parrotfish Club for children below 12 years, Coconut Club for teens and an overwater gymnasium with personal trainer.

Bargain discounted breaks at top UK Spas

With over 600 spas in the UK and Worldwide, can create the perfect package for you. Whether you are looking to treat someone special, relax yourself or you are searching for that ideal gift has something for everyone.

Here is a selection of great priced discount breaks at many of the UK’s top spas.

Radisson Blu opens new luxury hotel in Prague

Radisson Blu, the upper upscale hotel brand that delivers a positive and personalized service in stylish spaces, is proud to announce the opening of a new Radisson Blu Hotel in Prague – a city that is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 destinations in the world. The reopening of this modern hotel follows a remarkable transformation of an existing property, with major capital investment going into the project to upgrade and rebrand the former hotel.

The opening of the new hotel follows a remarkable transformation of an existing property, with major capital investment going into the project to upgrade and rebrand the former hotel.

Today, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague features 160 luxurious guest rooms and suites, designed with modern conveniences that complement the building’s classical, Art Nouveau architecture. Leisure and business travelers alike have the opportunity to stay in one of Europe’s most popular destinations, with access to congress venues; a wide range of museums, theatres, galleries; and a blooming food scene.

Yilmaz Yildirimlar, Area Senior Vice President, Central & Southern Europe, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We’re excited to open this historic hotel in a prime location. It is our first leased property in Southeastern Europe and represents our confidence in the market. We see the Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague as the perfect business hub and a superb venue for the conferences, meetings and events sector. The hotel will complement our Park Inn Hotel Prague, and we´re proud of our well-positioned footprint in one of Europe’s most exciting cities.”

Lars Wenaas, Chairman of the property owner, Wenaasgruppen, said: “We are delighted to reopen this remarkable property in Prague as a Radisson Blu hotel after an extensive renovation. Wenaasgruppen now has 26 hotels in large European cities, with a total of 10,972 guestrooms.”

Set in an original Art Nouveau building from the 19th Century, the brand-new hotel preserves historic features while adding a modern finish to its interior. Located alongside Charles Square, between Prague’s Old Town and New Town, the hotel is the ideal starting point for holding business meetings, exploring the famous sights or heading on a shopping spree in the city center (which is within walking distance of the hotel). The hotel is also easily accessible, with Václav Havel International Airport Prague located 18km from the property.

When it comes to food and drinks, guests enjoy upscale gastronomic experiences at the chic surroundings of The Restaurant or visit The Bar with views of Prague’s lively streets. Guests will be tempted to post Instagram stories with views of Prague Castle from the seasonal rooftop terrace or their workout sessions in the fitness room.

The meeting and events facilities at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague feature eight meeting rooms for up to 150 delegates. They are an ideal choice for conferences, corporate events, elegant gala dinners and smaller brainstorming sessions. Most of the meeting rooms provide natural daylight, while delegates can enjoy trendy catering options, modern built-in AV technology and free high-speed Wi-Fi.


Tobias Krappen, General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague, said: “We’re proud to welcome our guests with the full Radisson Blu experience, including its personalized service and exquisite atmosphere. For leisure and business travelers, we are the perfect partner to help create the most memorable travel experiences in one of Europe’s most exciting cities.”

A one night stay at Radisson Blu Hotel, Prague starts from £118 on a bed and breakfast basis.

For more information, please visit:

Highlights of historic Prague:


Author’s inspirational novel has a message for women

In a novel exploring themes of motherhood, womanhood, blended families, career changes, and hypnotherapy, Nikki Vallance asks if it is nature, nurture, destiny, or decision-making that leads us to where we are right now?

And she does so through a book featuring a cast of strong and relatable female characters in their forties – which is often something missing in books. Nikki wanted to write something that she, women at a point of transition, and the writers she coaches can connect with.

Nikki says: ‘I do think, in the same way that the YA market has become established in recent years, there is definitely room for more books with relatable older characters, OA if you will. Often readers turn to books when life is in a state of flux and sometimes seeing yourself reflected in the characters can help steer you through.’

Pivotal looks at the multiple paths a life may take at the crossroads of each significant decision. The premise centres on the decisions we make in life and, the self-determination versus destiny debate. How many doors does one person open in a lifetime? When you pass through a door does your life change forever or do you have power over who you become by the choices you make?

It centres around a cast of four. Dulcie Braybrooke is breaking through as a celebrated ceramicist. Elizabeth is a lonely City head-hunter. Annie is a teacher who’s lost her verve. Liza is a lap dancer with a strong will and a tough life.

When a mysterious bequest throws each of the four into chaos, they seek support in the guise of hypnotherapist, Dr Kath O’Hannon. Through a process of self-discovery, their new-found knowledge weighs heavily, as they unpick four decades of life choices. They could accept the windfall, yet if they do, something entirely unexpected lies around the corner…

Each of them has a decision to make, based on where they have been – and where they are going.

Nikki’s favourite quote is from George Eliot – ‘It’s never too late to be who you might have been.’ She says: ‘I’ve been quoting it ever since I began coaching long before I started writing the novel. To me it perfectly sums up my philosophy, an inspirational phrase to encourage anyone who feels they might want to change direction. I do believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to regardless of the path you have previously chosen.’

Discounts on luxury hotels







Shop the Love Island Collection

Perfect for that romantic holiday getaway

This clothing range is well worth looking at even for us older ladies – these leggings, for example, are very flattering and can be worn under a sexy silky blouse!

The road to fitness starts here with cycling bargains

Everything from top of the range bikes and every conceivable accessory

New style bargains for your summer wardrobe

50% off

The Closet summer sale is now on and continues until 25 June.  Beautiful clothes at a 50% discount.

What’s hot in perfume now!

Never buy perfume in a department store again – as you will definitely be paying over the odds for it.

Here we have some examples of bargains available online at Fragrance Direct.

In addition on Monday17th from 9am until Tuesday 18th there is a flash sale of 10% off all orders over £20 with code FLASHTEN


10% off Burberry

10% off Joop!

10% off Paco Rabanne

10% off Stella MacCartney