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EmmaG@BarrheadTravel

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About EmmaG@BarrheadTravel

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  1. New Year's Eve in Sydney

    As one of the first places to ring in the New Year around the world, the celebrations in Sydney are iconic and broadcast live across the world every year. Nicknamed ‘The New Year’s Capital of the World’, there are over a million spectators enjoying the festivities on the harbour alone, and over 1 billion people will watch the televised fireworks displays at midnight. Are you heading down under to Sydney for your Hogmanay celebrations? Here are 5 unmissable events that are going on around the city. The ‘Welcome to Country’ Ceremony The ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony is one of the most unique aspects of New Year’s Eve in Sydney. This show recognises the heritage of Australia’s aboriginal people, and includes special lighting effects, traditional music and dance. Eucalyptus smoke is released over Sydney harbour to cleanse the city of any bad spirits before the beginning of the new year. A fitting tribute to Australia’s indigenous people, this is an unmissable part of the celebrations. NYE in the Park If you are looking for the hottest party in the city, head to Victoria Park for the ‘NYE in the Park’ event. World class bands and DJs will be performing live from the afternoon until late in the evening, so this is the place to go if you want to start the party early. There are also gourmet food vans, cocktail bars and the park even has its very own fireworks display. Harbour of Light parade An amazing spectacle for all ages, the Harbour of Light parade runs from 9.15-11.30pm each year. Watch illuminated boats glide across Sydney harbour from Goat Island to Cockatoo Island. Outlined in white rope, the sight of these ghostly ships needs to be seen to be believed. For an experience you will never forget, be a part of the spectacle yourself by booking your place on one of these vessels. If you want one of the most unique vantage points of the festivities around the harbour, this is the perfect option for you. Family NYE at the National Maritime Museum While there are countless incredible parties going on across the city, head to the National Maritime Museum for a fun-filled family night to remember. With magicians, bubble art and face-painting along with after-hours exhibit visits and a BBQ dinner, both parents and their little ones will have a ball. Not only this, but enjoy premium views of the 9pm fireworks for young children (and mum and dad) who won’t make it until midnight. The museum has an exclusive viewing platform to witness the spectacular display – without having to beat the crowds. The Midnight Fireworks The most anticipated event of the evening, this 12-minute firework display begins as the stroke of midnight. With displays at Sydney harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails of the opera house, there are dozens of viewing location around the city. The best viewpoints are the Sydney Opera house, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, which hosts four different parties throughout the night. If you want to see in the New Year from one of these iconic locations, make sure you book in advance as tickets sell out every year, and arrive early to ensure you have the best view in the house when the clock strikes 12. Which of these events would you love to attend on New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments below!
  2. Christmas Movies Set in New York City

    Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to snuggle up on the sofa, hot chocolate in hand, to watch your favourite festive films. There are so many incredible movies to get you in the mood for Christmas. One thing that many of them have in common is that they are set in New York City. This concrete jungle comes alive in the winter, with elaborate lights, beautiful trees and awe-inspiring holiday windows turning it into a winter wonderland. Here’s a list of our favourite movies set in the Big Apple that are bound to get you into the festive spirit. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Miracle on 34th Street has been beloved by fans for 70 years. It’s hard not to feel full of Christmas spirit when watching Kris Kringle bring the joy of Santa Claus to New York. This movie has won four Oscars and even inspired a Broadway play over the years! Location Spotting: Beginning during the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, this movie is set in Manhattan, and is specifically set on West 34th Street. Macy’s Department Store is still situated there to this day – allowing for the perfect photo op for fans of the film! Elf (2003) This movie may only have come out in 2003, but it has become a Christmas classic in that time. It is hard not to appreciate the beauty of New York during the holidays as you witness Buddy – raised by elves in the North Pole – discover the joy of Christmas in the city. Location Spotting: Dozens of exterior shots of NYC were used in the filming of Elf, but one of the most memorable is of Bethesda Fountain – which Santa’s sleigh narrowly misses when it crashes in Central Park. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) The second film in the ‘Home Alone’ series, this movie shows New York from the eyes of 10-year old Kevin. It’s no wonder we feel a child-like excitement for Christmas when we watch it! Even though the focus of the movie is on Kevin outsmarting and out-pranking the Wet Bandits once again, some of the scenic shots of the Big Apple will take your breath away. Location Spotting: The heart-warming reunion between Kevin and his mother at the end of the movie takes place at the Rockefeller Centre. Would you like to make a Christmas wish there like Kevin does? Scrooged (1988) Did you know that ‘Scrooged’ is a modern adaption of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’? Bill Murray’s much-loved comedy is all about teaching inconsiderate Frank the true meaning of Christmas, with an ending that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Location Spotting: If you want to visit the spot where Dickens’ tale came to life, head to Park Avenue. It may look like many other office blocks in New York, but this is where Frank’s Christmas story began to unfold! When Harry Met Sally (1989) This hugely successful romcom is the ultimate ‘will they, won’t they’ love story. Whilst not strictly a Christmas movie, it’s hard not to feel festive when you see Harry and Sally carrying a Christmas tree together through New York. This is the perfect movie to watch with your other half on these longer, darker nights. Location Spotting: Get dropped off at Washington Square Park and walk through the arch, luggage in hand, to mimic Harry in the movie. Don’t forget to bring your favourite travel buddy so they can capture the perfect shot! Have these films got you feeling festive? Let us know which location you would like to visit first in the comments below!
  3. Hi Rachel, tell us a little about yourself and your role at Barrhead Travel! Hi! My name is Rachel Connor and I am 18 years old. I am currently completing a Modern Apprenticeship with Barrhead Travel in the Recruitment Department. What was it about the Barrhead Modern Apprenticeship scheme that appealed to you? The Apprenticeship scheme really appealed to me because HR/recruitment has always been a career interest of mine. When I saw that there was an opportunity in recruitment – as well as being able to gain a qualification whilst learning on the job - I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. What was the application process like? How did you find your interview? The application process went really smoothly! I sent in my application online, then I had a telephone interview a few days later before being invited along for an interview in person. The interview was formal and professional, and the questions were about getting to know me, my work experience and my interests, so it really helped put me at ease. What does your average day look like? A normal day in the office for me can involve answering telephone calls and e-mails and setting up interviews for potential Travel Consultants and Modern Apprentices. I also help organise and plan recruitment events (such as our Recruitment Evenings) and look after general recruitment administration. What qualification are you working towards? I am currently working towards a Business Administration Level 2 qualification. I meet with my assessor every two weeks and they support me with my coursework and ensure I am making good progress. At the end of the apprenticeship – when I achieve my qualification – I will be qualified to start a full-time position within the Recruitment Department. What has been your favourite thing that you have learned so far? My favourite thing that I have learned so far is that I can now go through a telephone interview and get to know a candidate, and can help with the decision process on whether they are the right fit for the company or not. Is there anything you have found challenging so far? When I first started my coursework, I did find it a little challenging. I However, with the help and the support of my assessor, my manager and my amazing team, I now have no problems with submitting any coursework! Finally, what is the best thing about working at Barrhead Travel? Definitely the people I work with. I have good relationships with the people in my team and also people who work in other areas of the business. Are you aged 16-19 and passionate about all things travel? Our programme will help you jump start your career in the most exciting industry there is. Contact our team on 0141 223 6655 or email recruitment@barrheadtravel.co.uk for more information.
  4. Abu Dhabi is known as a place of unparalleled luxury. As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, it is often called “The Arabian Jewel”, and for good reason. This former desert strip is known for its year-round blazing sunshine, and is now a glittering metropolis of opulent buildings, lush green parks and diverse multiculturalism. Abu Dhabi really is a must-visit destination for people who want an extraordinary holiday, and is home to a host of unique travel experiences that will make you want to return again and again. Here are our top five extraordinary things to do in in Abu Dhabi: Marvel at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque As one of the largest in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque really is an architectural masterpiece. With a capacity of 41,000 worshippers, its beautiful white and gold exterior is enhanced by the sun and it is also home to one of the largest chandeliers in the world. Visiting this mosque is a travel bucket-list experience and it is open daily for visitors, with both entry and guided tours being free of charge. If you book an Abu Dhabi City Tour with Barrhead Travel, you will not only have the chance to visit this stunning mosque, but many other interesting stops along the way. Top Tip: Escape the afternoon heat by taking the 5pm ‘Sunset Tour’ and enjoy a cool breeze while you take photos of this exceptional work of art, transformed by nightfall and its unique lighting system. Get your adrenaline rush at the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix The prestigious Formula One championship is back for its ninth year from the 24th-26th November, returning to the famous Yas Marina Circuit. The Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi is the only hotel to span the track, and the only hotel in the world that does this! There is even a driving centre and school for aspiring racing drivers. The Grand Prix is one of the most important events to hit Abu Dhabi each year, and with acts like Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris and Pink announced for the race-day concerts, it is set to be an extraordinary event. Soak up the rays on Saadiyat Beach Set on the pristine shoreline of Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Beach is perfect for anyone looking for some quiet solitude away from the bustling city streets. Relax on a lounger and keep an eye out for dolphins or Hawksbill turtles in the crystal-clear water. This beach is kept perfect by a Dune Protection Zone, protecting the sandy white stretch and the wildlife that it holds so dear. Top Tip: Take part in the yoga classes offered on Saadiyat Beach for the ultimate relaxation retreat. If you would like an activity that will get your blood pumping, take part in the eco-friendly windsurfing and sailing options on offer. Participate in a once-in-a-lifetime Desert Safari If you want to go beyond the sparkling city lights of Abu Dhabi in search of some thrills, then a Desert Safari is perfect for you. Your trip into the unknown can include dune-bashing, sand-boarding, camel trekking (all under the watch of an expert guide) and even an overnight stay for the ultimate desert adventure experience. Top Tip: Take your trip into the desert in the evening and witness a spectacular sunset followed by a barbecue dinner around a campfire under the stars. This is one opportunity that you cannot have at home. Cool off with a splash at Yas Waterworld Yas Waterworld is not your average water park and has something for everyone, from thrill-seekers to families. Experience the Dawwama, an exhilarating six-person Tornado raft ride or see the park from the skies on the Bandit Bomber, featuring water and laser effects in an interactive adventure. With 43 incredible rides, you really are spoiled for choice! Top Tip: Stay until 10pm each Friday for DJs, lights and a Hydrojet show that needs to be seen to be believed. Which one of these incredible attractions would you love to visit first? Book now with Barrhead Travel and discover Abu Dhabi.
  5. A foodie's guide to Antigua

    Antigua is known for being something of a tropical heaven, full of lush forestry, friendly locals and 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. But did you also know that this slice of Caribbean paradise is also a foodie’s haven? As an island built on sugar plantations and rum distilleries, it comes as no surprise that Antigua is full of culinary delights. The unique cuisine of Antigua is Caribbean fare with a European / American twist, and there are so many options to tickle your taste buds. Here are just a few of our top picks of the cuisine you need to try. Saltfish Traditionally eaten at home with your family at the weekend, this salt-cured white fish is normally eaten with onions, peppers, avocado and eggs. This can also include fungi, a cornmeal dish that is an Antiguan staple. Pairing well with the strongly-seasoned fish, this meal is the perfect way to start your day. TRY IT YOURSELF: ‘Suga Beez’ in St. Johns is known for its home-style Antiguan cuisine and a friendly welcome. With veggie options available, the locals are certainly living up to their welcoming reputation. Conch You can’t go to the Caribbean without experiencing the phenomenal seafood! If you are relaxing on an Antiguan beach and spot some spiral shells washed up on the shire, you have discovered conch. Similar to clams, conch meat is used in curries, chowder and many other delights. TRY IT YOURSELF: Hemmingway’s Caribbean Café, St Johns is raved about by visitors. Try the conch fritters for a true Antiguan foodie experience. Ducana The perfect side dish. Ducana consists of sweet potato and coconut. Wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed into a dumpling, ducana really is a flawless balance of spicy and sweet. TRY IT YOURSELF: Locals rave about The Quay, St Johns. While this is close to where the cruise ships docks, don’t write this place off as a tourist trap – their ducana is raved about as the best on the island. Jerk Chicken Although not strictly Antiguan, you cannot visit the Carribbean without sampling some of this classic comfort food. This Jamaican import is coated in spice and slow cooked over a fire for optimum flavour. Sample it yourself to discover just why it is so popular with the locals. TRY IT YOURSELF: Indulge your senses at Dennis Cocktail Bar and Restaurant. Eat this delicacy on the beach as the sun goes down for an Antiguan experience like no other. Which of these Antiguan cuisines would you like to try first? Let us know in the comments below!
  6. Top 5 American cities to visit for Thanksgiving

    Did you know that more Americans celebrate Thanksgiving every year than Christmas? A national holiday since 1864, Thanksgiving is a day full of food, family and most importantly, giving thanks for all the positive things in your life. While it is traditional to celebrate the holiday at home with your loved ones, you can experience countless different traditions by travelling around the United States. Here’s our top choices for where to spend your Thanksgiving break – from the traditional, to the historical, to the down-right wacky! Waikiki, Hawaii For a tranquil getaway, opt for some sun and take off to Hawaii. While the rest of America is wearing jumpers and scarves, you will be having a ball in Waikiki resting on a hot beach, paddling in crystal clear waters and enjoying the gentle ocean breeze. If you don’t want to miss out on the traditional meal, head to one of the beachfront restaurants for an incredible Thanksgiving buffet with your loved ones. AFTER THE FEAST: Burn off those extra calories by taking part in Waikiki’s ‘Turkey Trot’, a 10km fun run with over 4000 participants each year. Alternatively, show off your artistic talents by taking part in one of the many Christmas themed sand-sculpture competition. New York City, New York New York is probably the most well-known place that you can celebrate the holiday in a traditional sense. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is one of the most famous and is broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving morning every year, featuring marching bands, novelty balloons and a giant turkey float. After your front-row view of the parade, take the pressure off cooking a huge meal and dine out at one of The Big Apple’s thousands of restaurants – although some fixed-price menus will be pricy, the quality of the cuisine will always be sublime. AFTER THE FEAST: Every shop in New York will primed and ready for Black Friday the next day, so celebrate the end of the holiday in style and shop til’ you drop. Plymouth, Massachusetts Although a small coastal town rather than a city, Plymouth is where the Thanksgiving tradition began. After watching the annual parade, spend your day at the incomparable Plimoth Plantation. Once a colonist’s village and now a living history museum, interact with Pilgrim actors and Native interpreters to learn the fascinating history of America’s biggest holiday. Join others from around the world to indulge in a traditional New England dinner, featuring native turkey, and giblet gravy. This is a once-in-a lifetime event, and tickets sell fast every year. AFTER THE FEAST: Experience everything America’s hometown has to offer. Enjoy concerts celebrating America’s military history and rich history, or – if you have any room left – sample yet more delicious delights at the Harvest Market and New England Food Festival. San Francisco, California Thanksgiving is the perfect time to discover The City by the Bay. Many tourist attractions remain open over the holiday, but if you want to celebrate like a local, spend the day on the water. Our recommendation? Take in a sunset cruise around the California coastline after your meal. For an incredible alternative activity, join the ‘Indigenous People's Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz’ in the early hours of the morning, featuring traditional dancing, singing and other performances. AFTER THE FEAST: Make sure you stick around for the unmissable Macy’s ‘Annual Tree Lighting Festival’ in Union Square the next day. Choir performances and a special visit from Santa make for the perfect family day out. New Orleans, Louisiana For all-American festivities with a twist, head to the Deep South. New Orleans enjoy their own parade in the form of the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade - the most alternative part of your Thanksgiving will be the cuisine. Try some New Orleans classics including deep-fried turkey and the aptly-named ‘Turducken’. Consisting of a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey, this delicacy is a meat-lover’s paradise. AFTER THE FEAST: Hang around in New Orleans to experience the spectacular ‘Celebration of the Oaks’ the next day. Join 165,000 others in City Park for breath-taking light displays throughout the 25-acre grounds. Where would you love to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Let us know in the comments below!
  7. Top 5 winter warmer escapes

    We all love the beginning of the winter season – nights in by a crackling fire, cosy knitwear and mug after mug of hot chocolate. However, there comes a time when we are all crying out for some well needed sunshine. Luckily, there are plenty of locations around the world that offer opportunities to soak up the rays and starve off the winter blues. Here’s our top picks of places to jet off to for a winter sun escape. Dubai Dubai is a popular destination all year round. Beat the 41-degree summer heat to enjoy more comfortable temperatures in the winter months. Dubai is home to luxurious hotels, the largest shopping mall in the world, waterparks and incredible international cuisine. With countless activities for all ages, Dubai really does have something for all ages. Malta Malta is the perfect destination for a last minute sunny break, located just three hours by plane from the frosty UK. Enjoy this volcanic island’s famous year-round sunshine, without having to share it with hundreds of other tourists. It’s time to ditch the woolly jumpers and pack your bathing suit to spend a few days absorbing Malta’s history, indulging in freshly caught seafood and of course, soaking up some well-earned Vitamin D. Florida Florida is an ideal haven from the chilly winter weather – it is nicknamed the Sunshine State after all. With over 1000 miles of coastline and temperatures lower than thirty degrees, heading to Florida in the winter provides the perfect weather for exploring. Plus, the temperature of the sea will still be around 25 degrees, so go and take a dip! Theme parks, sandy beaches and vibrant cities will complete your trip – Florida really does have something for everyone. Turkey Turkey is a great choice for winter sun – take advantage of the fact that attractions will be much quieter than in the summer months, leaving you with the best views for all your photo ops. Not to mention the fact that Turkey offers incredible value for money, so you can browse markets and bazaars for unique Christmas presents without breaking the bank. With some incredible all-inclusive offers available, you really are spoilt for choice. St Lucia Treat your special someone to the trip of a lifetime and jet off to St. Lucia. Chase away the winter blues in this Caribbean paradise. With tropical scenery, endless sandy stretches and the most phenomenal sunsets, St. Lucia is perfect for any couple looking for some quality time in the sun. How could you resist? Where would you like to go on your winter sun escape? Let us know in the comments below!
  8. Top 5 surprising vegan-friendly cities

    Since 1994, International Vegan Month has been celebrated each November and demonstrates how much the plant-based movement has progressed. There are some major cities - such as Berlin and Melbourne - that have had a stellar reputation for vegan food for years. However, demand has resulted in more and more locations around the globe embracing the diet - including some that you wouldn’t expect. Here are just a few of the alternative locations around the world where you can indulge in plant-based delights. Cruelty-free cuisine has never tasted so good. Los Angeles, USA Los Angeles has the most vegan listings of any US city, and its cruelty- conscious inhabitants are leading the way with plant-based cuisine. LA has everything from high-end eateries frequented by the stars to the famous LA juice bars on every street corner. There really is something for everyone – even your meat loving friends. Where to Eat: For the ultimate guilty pleasure, visit Donut Friend. With a huge selection of mouth-watering unique doughnuts, you will be spoiled for choice. Taipei, Taiwan With around 10% of the population opting for a meat-free diet due to their Buddhist practises, Taipei is one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in Asia. Chefs are reinterpreting traditional Taiwanese cuisine with fresh, local ingredients to create the vegan fare of your wildest dreams. From pop-up eateries to gourmet cuisine, you will be spoiled for choice. Where to Eat: Buffets are normally out of the question for vegans, but opt to visit Fruitful Food to fuel up during your trip for plant-based internationally inspired cuisine. (Note: some of the products will include dairy, but the majority of options are vegan!) Warsaw, Poland Although the eruption of vegan restaurants in Warsaw may have looked like just a food fad, their popularity means they are now a permanent feature of the city. With over 30 entirely vegan eateries, you can now sample reinterpretations of traditional Polish cuisine – all cruelty free. The vegan fare in Poland is so good that many meat eaters also frequent the establishments. Where to Eat: Mango Vegan Street Food is situated in the heart of the city, and so is the perfect stop amongst your sightseeing. Don’t forget to try their speciality, mango sticky rice. Chennai, India India is actually considered to be the birthplace of vegetarianism! Around half of India’s population follow a meat-free diet, and the rest of the country has the lowest meat consumption per head in the world. Chennai is seen to be the country’s trailblazer for cruelty-free cuisine, with local delights including rice, pulses and coconut milk. Where to Eat: For a culinary experience to remember, dine in The Royal Vega, one of India’s first vegetarian and vegan-friendly fine dining establishments. London, England For a foodie break slightly closer to home, there is no better option than heading to the capital. London has over 100 plant-based establishments, so you have plenty of choice during this city adventure. London has created vegan versions of some of your favourite comfort food, from fried chicken to doner kebabs! What will you try first? Where to Eat: Itadaki Zan is the first vegan and organic Japanese restaurant in Europe, and has been making waves on the jam-packed foodie scene. Try the tofu spring rolls and ‘kakiage’ tempura for the ultimate treat. Have you ever tried the cuisine in any of these alternative vegan-friendly cities? Let us know in the comments below!
  9. Staff Diaries: Sandals Barbados

    Hi Holly, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Barrhead Travel. I have worked for Barrhead Travel for almost two years now and work within the Marketing Department. This is my first job in the travel industry and it is one of the most exciting industries to work in. What was it about Sandals Barbados that made you choose it for your own holiday? I have always dreamed of holidaying in the Caribbean. We wanted to visit somewhere where we could relax and completely switch off, but also experience the local culture - Barbados provides just that. What was your initial thought when you got there? What caught your eye first? When we arrived at the resort after the long journey from Scotland, we were greeted by singing hotel staff and were handed a glass of chilled champagne; from this moment I knew that this was going to be the perfect holiday. We were accompanied to our room with a walk through beautiful well-kept gardens. Our room was everything we could have possibly wished for – and more! I also spotted the French Patisserie right outside our room – fresh coffee and pastries in the morning was the best way to start the day. You were staying in a Caribbean Village Deluxe room - what did you think? What was your favourite part of the room? The room was the perfect size! There was the comfiest four–poster bed, a spacious and stylish bathroom and not to mention some of my favourite products from the Red Lane® Spa. We also had doors which opened fully onto the beautiful tropical gardens. It was great to chill out here before dinner, watching the sun set. Sandals is known for its All-Inclusive water sports and activities – what did you get up to while you were there? We love water-sports so we made sure we booked some trips as soon as we got there. We went on the snorkelling tour to Carlisle Bay twice. I have never snorkelled before and was a little unsure at first, however the divers made me feel completely at ease and ensured I had a fantastic experience. We swam over six ship wrecks and learned about their history. Then it was time for the best part and probably one of the highlights of the holiday - we swam with turtles. There was several of them swimming around us and the water was so clear – definitely a must-do experience! Tell us about the resort and your holiday highlights. The resort was just the right size, as I don’t really like huge, sprawling resorts. We went between two pools; for the first half of the week we were in the main pool looking onto the beach. Here, there is a swim-up bar which was incredible and served premium spirits and delicious cocktails. There’s games and pool volleyball on throughout the afternoon which is great for getting to know other guests. We went between the pool and the beautiful white sand beach laying in the hammocks. The other pool is very chilled-out and is situated next to the spa. And the food? The resort has 11 restaurants. Which one was your favourite? Ok this is a really hard decision as I fell in love with every restaurant. The restaurants all served different food but I have got to say that Butch’s Chophouse was one of the best steak restaurants I have ever visited. Schooners served the tastiest seafood and I still can’t believe there was no supplement for lobster which there usually is. I am a huge sushi lover and ate in the best sushi restaurant and it was even better that I could order as much as I wanted. What did you think of the wider island? Did you wander outside the resort? We planned to get out and about but loved spending time in the dreamy resort so much that we only went out on the Friday night. The place to go on a Friday is Oistins Fish Fry. It is very casual and has a great atmosphere. The place is packed with the island’s chefs cooking delicious fresh fish. You probably will stand in a queue for a while but grab a beer and listen to some of the live music playing. The flying fish was delicious and after dinner, you can wander round and experience Barbados like the locals. What kind of people were on holiday there? Who would you recommend it to? There were couples from all over the UK and America, but particularly a lot of Honeymooners. There was a few weddings on the beach and they looked so beautiful with a stunning back drop. If you are planning a destination wedding I would highly recommend Sandals Barbados. Even better, your Wedding is always free. It is also very romantic so perfect for newlyweds or couples looking for the perfect romantic getaway. Don’t worry though if you do find yourself wanting a little ‘me time’ as there’s plenty of things to do. I took some time to visit the Red Lane® Spa, I had a massage and pedicure and while there treated myself to some of their amazing products. There’s perfectly placed hammocks on the beach to read a good book and soak up the Caribbean sunshine, with a cocktail of course!
  10. Desserts Around The World

    No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone knows about The Great British Bake Off. We love the show because each week, we are introduced us to some of the most incredible pastries and desserts from all over the world, which always leaves us drooling over our TV screens. Think of yourself as a bit of a pudding connoisseur? Inspired by the show, here are some of the countries you should tick off your dessert bucket list. Who knows, maybe after trying all of these, it could be you battling it out in the white tent next… Custard Tarts, Portugal Custard Tarts have been tried and tested on Bake Off. This dessert consists of a pastry crust that is filled with an egg custard and baked, and is one of Portugal’s most popular sweet treats. TRY THEM YOURSELF: The best custard tarts in Lisbon come from ‘Antiga Confeitaria de Belem’. The recipe is almost 200 years old and with 16,000 tarts being made each day, these are a reason to go to Portugal in themselves. Sfogliatelle, Italy Often nicknamed ‘Lobster Tail’ in English, this shell-shaped pastry is made up of small layers that resemble stacked leaves, traditionally filled with orange-flavoured ricotta, almond paste and citron peel. These delicate pastries could be the ultimate technical challenge on Bake Off. TRY IT YOURSELF: ‘Antico Forno delle Sfogliatelle Calde Fratelli Attanasio’ is seen by travellers to be the best bakery in Naples, and is a must for any visitor to the city. Serving hot Sfogliatelle all day, this is the perfect first stop after you touch down at the airport. Nanaimo Bar, Canada This could be the bakers’ chance to go all-out Canadian, by making the Canada’s favourite no-bake dessert. With layers of buttery wafer crumb, a custard-flavoured butter icing and melted chocolate, this treat is low-fuss in the best way possible. TRY IT YOURSELF: To get the best of this iconic Canadian dessert, you have to go to its home, Nanaimo itself. Take their self-guided dessert trail around the city – why try one when you can try them all? Brigadeiro, Brazil This chocolate truffle will make you want to pack your bags and head to Brazil immediately. Since its conception, it has been made from condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter, coated in chocolate sprinkles. With over 50 flavours existing in gourmet shops across Brazil, there is definitely room for the bakers to experiment with flavours. TRY IT YOURSELF: If you can’t make it to Brazil, ‘Maya’s Brigadeiro Brazilian Sweets’ in Los Angeles is seen to be as close to the original as you can get. Head here at the end of your stateside trip to ensure you’re a hit with all your friends at home. Baklava, Turkey Yet another tricky dish that could serve as a technical challenge, Baklava is a rich, sweet delight made with layers of filo pastry, with chopped nuts and either syrup and honey. Said to have been around since the 15th Century, Balkava can be served hot or cold – why not try it both ways? TRY IT YOURSELF: ‘Karakoy Gulluoglu’ is seen to serve the best Baklava in Istanbul, and even provide an educational video on the history and production of their desserts. Be sure to add this as a stop on your next Turkish city break. Which of these desserts is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
  11. The Ultimate Pre-Holiday Checklist

    Are you jetting off on a fantastic getaway soon? In the excitement leading up to a holiday, it can be easy to forget the little things. However, to make sure you have the most relaxing trip possible, there are some key things you should do in the run up to your break away. Here is our ultimate pre-holiday checklist to ensure you have all bases covered before you even arrive at the airport. 1) Check your Passport Don’t forget to check if your passport is in date. Some countries, such as the UAE, require a minimum of six months to be left before the expiry date. Also, it is easy to misplace your passport in the middle of packing. Make sure you leave it somewhere safe and secure so it is easy to find before you head off. Top Tip: Get ahead of the crowd and bring a photocopy of your passport to carry around with you to ensure you are always covered! 2) Pack your Travel Documents Always keep all important documents e.g. boarding passes, hotel confirmations and travel insurance details with you while you’re away. It is also a good idea to leave a copy of all documentation at home with someone you trust. Top Tip: Keep all documents safe and secure for the duration of your trip. Pack them in the order you need them and invest in a document wallet to keep everything together. 3) Purchase Travel Insurance With the excitement of holiday-planning at the forefront of your mind, it can be easy to forget about travel insurance. Taking out travel insurance will protect you against a whole host of things that could happen while you are away, from unexpected illness to lost luggage and delayed flights. Top Tip: Always carefully read the terms and conditions of the policy you are thinking of purchasing to make sure it covers all of your needs. The cheapest option won’t always be the most suited to you! (Hyperlink Barrhead Insurance page) 4) Get your Foreign Currency Although it may seem more convenient, buying your currency on arrival can be costly. Always purchase your currency before you get to the airport, as the conversions there tend to be high. Did you know you can pre-order foreign currency at 0% commission with Barrhead Travel? Top Tip: Always look up the conversion rates of your currency and research the cost of activities in your destination. This will give you the clearest idea of how much money you will need to enjoy your trip away! 5) Book your excursions We’ve all been there: you arrive at your destination to visit the attraction that’s been top of your list, only to find endless lines of people or a total sell-out. Book your excursions early to beat the queues and have the best experience – not to mention potential discounts for being ahead of the game. Top Tip: Book tours and excursions with Barrhead travel when booking your holiday to ensure you get the best value deal on the market. You can add on attractions to your booking any time before you travel. 6) Organise your Transfers Whether you are hiring a car or simply need a lift from the airport to your destination, booking your travel in advance can save a lot of money and time when you arrive at your destination – which means more time sightseeing! Waiting until you arrive at the airport could result in there being no cars available or a very expensive taxi ride. Top Tip: Always make sure you have a credit card for the payment of your car hire. Very few countries will accept debit cards, and those who do will add on huge insurance costs. 7) Research Visas Some holiday destinations will require a pre-arranged visa upon entry. These can take several weeks to process, so applying for this in advance can remove any last-minute worries before your departure. Top Tip: Reckon you’ll be travelling to the same destination more than once in a short time? Purchase a longer-lasting visa to save money and time before your next departure. 8) Get any vaccinations If you are heading away on an exotic adventure, there may be some vaccinations you need to get before you jet off. Visit your doctor a few months before departure as some vaccinations need to be administered a couple of weeks before arrival. Top Tip: Carry your vaccination records with your other travel documentation in that trusty plastic folder. This means you will always be prepared if someone needs to see them! 9) Check your luggage allowance This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but all airlines have differing luggage policies, so research who you are travelling with before you fly so you aren’t caught out. The last thing you want in the excitement of going on holiday is a fee for an overweight or oversized bag! Top Tip: Get yourself some digital luggage scales so you are clued up on exactly what your bags weigh – before you even get to the airport. These are cost-friendly and portable – what’s not to love? 10) Make a Packing List It can be very easy to either over or under-pack if you leave it until the night before. This means that when you arrive at your destination you could find yourself missing that perfect outfit – or worse still, your power adapter. Making a list in advance removes this worry and ensures you have everything you need for your perfect holiday. Top Tip: There are lots of sample packing lists online that can act as your guide. No matter what type of holiday you are going on, help will be available to ensure you don’t miss anything! Are you dreaming of jetting away on an unforgettable trip? Book with Barrhead Travel for your best holiday yet.
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