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Our A to Z of London

The story of London really is a tale of two cities. To the east of the centre, there is the City of London (aka The Square Mile or The City). Butting against The City is its younger sister, the City of Westminster. Surrounding them is the mass of areas that make up London as a whole.

The city has always welcomed visitors & people from many cultures have made it their home. Our A to Z of London will help guide you through your stay.

Our A to Z of Wales

When most people think of Wales, they think of it as the “land of song”. While that’s true, there is so much more to the country than music. Wales has 2,205 km of coastline, three national parks, more mountains than you can shake a stick at, its own language & a big heap of history.

With so much on offer, it can be difficult to know what to do first. We’ve put together our A to Z of Wales to inspire you on your holiday in Wales.

Our A to Z of Andalucía

The region of Andalucía is the southernmost autonomous community in Spain and is the closest point in the country to North Africa. Many of the things we think of as being typically Spanish, such as Flamenco and Bullfighting, started their life in Andalucia.

Our A to Z shows some of the fantastic highlights the region has to offer. (Which is no mean feat in country that doesn’t have a ‘K’ its alphabet).

A gin bar, table service & a warm welcome at the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

A gin bar, table service & a warm welcome at the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3

Since November 2017, travellers flying on a Oneworld carrier out of London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3, business class travellers & Oneworld frequent flier elite members have had another lounge to choose from with the opening of the Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow.

With two fabulous bars serving bespoke cocktails, with an exclusive menu designed by mixologists from Australia’s famous Rockpool Bar & Grill – a great start to your flight!

Christmas in London; wonderful windows, marvellous markets & twinkling trimmings

Christmas in London; wonderful windows, marvellous markets & twinkling trimmings

Christmas comes but once a year and London really makes the most of the festive season when it arrives. (Which is in mid-October in some cases). With Christmas markets, ice rinks and a load of lights & windows to view, Christmas in London is a great time for the city.

Whether you live in London or are just visiting, there’s bound to be something for you. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite bits that Christmas in London has to offer.

‘Tis the season to indulge in some mulled wine at the London Christmas markets

'Tis the season to indulge in some mulled wine at the London Christmas markets

Christmas is coming, so we thought that we’d try out some of the London Christmas markets. With wooden huts galore and plenty of opportunities to shop, eat and enjoy some seasonal tipples, they’re worth checking out.

London may not have been an early adopter for Christmas markets, but it certainly has caught up. With such diversity of styles, the London Christmas markets all offer something different.

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família: Gaudí’s breathtaking gift to God

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família: Gaudí's breathtaking gift to God

It’s almost impossible to visit Barcelona without coming across Antoni Gaudí’s work. Perhaps his most famous though is the one that is still being built. The Sagrada Família has divided critics since Gaudí revealed his plans but remains Barcelona’s most visited attraction.

The detail in this cathedral is mind blowing… every single element leaves your jaw hanging. It’s safe to say we have witnessed a work of art in the making!

Celebrating World Tapas Day 2017 with Turismo de Granada and Turismo de Jaén

Celebrating World Tapas Day 2017 with Turismo de Granada and Turismo de Jaén

In a country that has a verb tapear, for eating tapas, tapas are more than just a snack. Spain celebrates the tapa with World Tapas Day and we joined Turismo de Granada & Turismo de Jaén for una Fiesta de Tapas to celebrate Tapas Day & enjoy tapas from the regions.

The third Thursday in June is World Tapas Day, a celebration of the great Spanish food. We were lucky to be invited to Visit Spain’s 2017 UK Tapas Day party.

Discovering pintxos, txakoli and the Basque Country at Taste of London

Discovering pintxos, txakoli and the Basque Country at Taste of London

When is tapas not tapas? When it’s a pintxo!! We were lucky enough to be invited to a pintxo making demo from chefs at Iberica London, hosted by Basque Country tourism at Taste of London. The evening was a great way to learn about the Basque area and its gastronomy.

The Basque Country has its own take on the bar snack – the pintxo. Small in size but packed with flavour, pintxos are best enjoyed with a glass of txakoli!

Learning about classic Spanish snacks at a tapas making class in Barcelona

Learning about classic Spanish snacks at a tapas making class in Barcelona

In Spanish culture, food is more than just about fuelling the body. A meal with family or friends is an event to be enjoyed.

No trip to Spain is complete without eating tapas. After the fun we had making paella in Valencia, we decided to take a tapas making class while we were in Barcelona to learn how to make them. It turned out to be a fun way to spend an evening.

The Palau de la Música Catalana: A temple of light and sound

The Palau de la Música Catalana: A temple of light and sound

Barcelona has plenty of fantastic examples of modernist architecture, but perhaps one of the most beautiful is the Palau de la Música Catalana. Lavishly decorated with sculpture, mosaic and glass, the fabulous Palau has been the home of the Orfeó Català for nearly 100 years.

From the moment we saw the façade of the Palau de la Música Catalana, we knew that we had to explore the place and find out more about it!

Light, bright decor & great runway views in the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick

Light, bright decor & great runway views in the British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick

When BA’s flights moved to the South Terminal at London Gatwick Airport, the airline could upgrade the tired lounge of the old terminal. The result is the new British Airways Club Lounge at Gatwick, which is 40% bigger & a stylish space to hang out as you wait for your flight.

The lounge is nice and is without question an improvement – I like the way it is split into small areas, each having a slightly different personality.

Doubletree Tower of London: Comfy beds & great views from the roof top bar!

Great views from the roof top bar and comfy beds make the Doubletree by Hilton, Tower of London a great place to stay

Whether you want a holiday hotel or just a place to rest your head on a business trip, the Doubletree by Hilton Tower of London offers plenty. It’s right next to the Tower of London, it’s a stone’s throw from transport connections & there are fab views from the SkyLounge.

In my opinion, the Doubletree by Hilton, Tower of London offers good value for money given the standard of the facilities.

A private sauna and runway views for a stopover at the Hilton Helsinki Airport

A private sauna and runway views for a stopover at the Hilton Helsinki Airport

Located just a few minutes’ walk from the terminal, the Hilton Helsinki Airport is an ideal place to stay for an overnight stopover between flights. It caters perfectly for flyers, with breakfast from 3 a.m., a flight check-in machine in the lobby & saunas to relax in between flights.

If you’re taking a flight via Helsinki and have an overnight stop, then it’s worth giving it try. We’ll stay there again next time we have a stopover in Helsinki.

Tallinn Airport Business Lounge: a little gem with runway views and an outdoor terrace

Tallinn Airport Business Lounge: a little gem with runway views and an outdoor terrace

Getting to the airport early our flight to Helsinki, we popped up to the Tallinn Airport Business Lounge to while away the time. We were really impressed by this lovely little lounge, that offers a nice choice of food, space to relax & a fab runway view.

We didn’t expect much from the Tallinn Airport Business Lounge, however, it turned out to be a little gem. We certainly enjoyed our time there.

With so much to see and do, two days in Tallinn wasn’t nearly long enough time

With so much to see and do, 2 days in Tallinn wasn't nearly long enough time in the wonderful city

Of all the places we had planned to visit, Tallinn didn’t rank highly on the list. However, when a we visited the city, we were pleasantly surprised. From the beautiful architecture of the Old Town to the great places to eat, Tallinn has plenty to offer visitors.

We spent a short weekend there that left us wanting to come back – we could well make a repeat trip in the summer.

Fabulous service, glamorous surroundings and stunning views at the Hilton Tallinn Park

Fabulous service, glamorous surroundings and stunning views across the city at the Hilton Tallinn Park

We like a bit of “wow” factor when we visit a hotel & the Hilton Tallinn Park certainly didn’t disappoint on that front. From the fantastic welcome to the consistently great service, the hotel has the standards you should expect from a good hotel & we had a wonderful stay there.

When we next make it back to Tallinn, we’ll definitely choose to stay at the Hilton Tallinn Park again.

Finnair Non-Schengen Lounge: Cool, contemporary Finnish design and a steaming hot sauna

Finnair Non-Schengen Lounge: Cool, contemporary Finnish design and a steaming hot sauna

When you have a connecting flight, passing the time in a lounge makes the experience that much better. We had four hours to kill at Helsinki Airport and we spent the time relaxing and indulging in some lovely cakes in the cool contemporary surroundings of the Finnair Lounge.

The Non-Schengen Finnair Lounge at Helsinki Airport is a haven for relaxation, combining cool Finnish design with the unique addition of a sauna.

An exciting brief encounter flying Finnair A350 Business Class from London Heathrow to Helsinki

An exciting brief encounter with Airbus' latest baby flying Finnair A350 Business Class from London Heathrow to Helsinki

Finnair was the first European carrier to fly the Airbus A350, a plane that’s revolutionising the flying experience. Mainly used for long-haul flights, Finnair is using it on some Heathrow to Helsinki flights and we took one of these to experience the Finnair A350 Business Class.

With a fantastic network of destinations and shorter travel times, flying on the Finnair A350 is a fantastic way to get to Asia.

Sweet-treats and sightseeing on the B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Sweet-treats and sightseeing on the B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

What happens when you mix classic afternoon tea with an iconic red Routemaster bus? You get the fabulous B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour! To celebrate Valentine’s Day we took the tour for a fab afternoon nibbling teatime treats & viewing some great London sights.

We had a fantastic time on the B Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. It was great treat for Valentine’s Day, though I think it would be fabulous any day.

Hilton Vienna Plaza – Heritage hotel with Art Deco, Golden Era design on the famous Ringstrasse

Hilton Vienna Plaza - Heritage hotel with Art Deco, Golden Era design on the famous Ringstrasse

The Hilton Vienna Plaza has been our favourite Viennese hotel since we first stayed there in 2000. Located on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, it is in easy walking distance of the historic city centre. For us, it makes a great base from which to visit Vienna’s amazing Christmas markets.

It is a lovely hotel and for us, it is in the perfect location. For these reasons, the Hilton Vienna Plaza is The Jetset Boyz hotel of choice for our trips to Vienna.

Getting into the Christmas spirit on a British Airways Club Europe flight from Heathrow to Vienna

Getting into the Christmas spirit on a British Airways Club Europe flight from Heathrow to Vienna

Our Christmas trip to Vienna couldn’t happen without a flight. For the last few years, our airline of choice for the trip has been British Airways. We always make the trip in Club Europe and in December 2016 we were flying on a reward ticket, using OnBusiness points.

Somehow flying in Club Europe seems so much better when you’ve only paid £80.81 (the tax) for the ticket.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge LHR T3: Signature cocktails, a noodle bar & stylish spaces to relax

Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3: Signature cocktails, a noodle bar & stylish spaces to relax

OneWord partner Cathay Pacific closed their lounges at Heathrow Terminal 3 for over a year for a full make-over. We visited the Business Class Lounge just a few weeks after it re-opened in December 2016 and were suitably impressed by what it had to offer!

Cathay Pacific lounges are known for signature cocktails & fab food. We visited the refurbished Business Class Lounge at Heathrow & were blown away by it.

Hilton Garden Inn LHR: Sweet dreams & a lie-in at a hotel that’s only minutes away from the airport

Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport: Sweet dreams & a lie-in at a hotel that's only minutes away from the airport

If you’re on a morning flight and, like us, don’t like a horrendously early start, a stay at an airport hotel is a great way of having longer in bed. Some ‘airport hotels’ are a schlep form the airport; the Hilton Garden Inn, London Heathrow is just minutes from the terminals.

Morning flight from Heathrow? Staying at the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport the night before makes the trip experience a more relaxed experience.

Paella lessons in Valencia; learning our saffron from our socarrat

Paella lessons in Valencia; learning our saffron from our socarrat

One joy of travelling is trying new food & regional specialities. Paella originates in the Valencia region, so where better to learn to make it than in a Valencian paella school? We spent a fun half day with a Paella Master learning the secrets of authentic Paella Valenciana.

It was an experience that really is specific to Valencia. The time spent at La Escuela de Arroces y Paellas is one of best memories of our Valencia trip.