Time to Connect at Four Seasons With 20% Off

In what is very clearly a slow news year for what we love doing and writing about, it is good to see when venues adjust their offerings to cater for our current times. Recently announced, the Four Seasons chain is offering 20% off on advanced bookings that also include full flexibility should your plans need to change. Presumably this is if there’s new lockdown or travel restrictions implemented to or from your destination. They call this offer Time To Connect.

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Where to get the perfect spa facial: the UK or the continent?

As we are headed towards winter, my thoughts meander more and more towards places where I can get some heat and feel cosy. Given it’s not always possible to escape to the tropics, a pampering spa day or weekend is the next best thing in my book. As we like to explore luxury value for money at Aspiring Snob, I thought a comparison of some of my favourite European spas would be perfect for this time of year.

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VIP Weekend – by Aspiring Snob

At Aspiring Snob, we have a few fundamental beliefs. They include luxury that is value for money (as opposed to alleged luxury for cheap) and education on some of the finer things in life. Having had the good fortune of experiencing some amazing places, as well as those to avoid, we have put together a programme that combines these two fundamental beliefs that is ideal for the aspiring snob in all of us.

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Agriturismos – Farm Stays in the Italian Countryside

Italy. Hearing the name of the country evokes a number of thoughts and sensations. From history to food. From stunning scenery to warm hospitality. From hectic bustling metropolises to laid back easy-going villages. Italy offers something for everyone.

From observation and experience, most people who travel to Italy stay in the major cities at hotels and B&Bs. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and if it was most other countries this is the ideal choice. Italy is blessed with having any number of excellent hotels that are worth checking out. However there is another form of accommodation that while not unique to Italy, Italians have definitely seized upon the concept and made it their own.

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Airport Convenience

Arriving at the airport after a long-haul flight is the final hurdle you need to jump in any journey. Airports, especially the big hub airports like London Heathrow, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York’s JFK, can be large confusing affairs that can take time to navigate through with lots of walking and, more often than not, lots of queueing.

It is not uncommon to spend upwards of three hours upon arriving at the gate to leaving due to the terminal layout and queueing for immigration. That’s three hours less towards your business meeting, holiday or spending time with family and friends. In this day and age of common long-haul travel we’ve come to accept these delays as being part of the journey. A journey that turns a seven hour flight into a 10 hour trip.

So how can we avoid this? Surely there are options out there to make our lives easier? As it turns out, there are.

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Following the Oyster Trail

Discomfort Zone on a Plate

For years, oysters to me were in too much of a discomfort zone for my palate to actually try them with an open mind. It was not only their slimy appearance but also the largely misunderstood way of eating them. I believed that you were supposed to slurp them down without chewing. I used to think, “What was the point?” I like my taste buds to enjoy the intricacies of my food, of the memories that taste evokes. I love learning about new flavours and experiencing new combinations of heat, acid, salt and fat. Slurping without chewing oysters offered none of that. To me, it was just a strange experience with a weird texture sliding down my throat. No, thank you!

And it’s not like I hadn’t given oysters a chance before. I had ordered them, or had them part of a tasting menu in decent restaurants around the world. What turned out to be red flags was that these restaurants only ever had one kind of oyster, and far from specialised in them.

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