Feast on a collection to inspire
Widen your horizons with one of these great European experiences – whether climbing in France, learning to cook in Spain or staying in a windmill in Greece Cultural experiences
Delve deeper into the corners of Europe that helped to inspire writers, musicians, artists and Vikings. 1 The latest fado in Lisbon Take a Portuguese guitar, a soulful singer and a generous dollop of tender, world-weary melancholy and you have fado: the music that has been the soundtrack to Lisbon life for centuries. For a fado weekend, navigate the winding streets of the Alfama district, the spiritual home of the genre, to find the best venues. Senhor Vinho restaurant hosts first-class performances amidst ceramic tiled walls and knotty beamed ceilings, accompanied by a seafood-heavy menu (srvinho.com). Nearby, the Museu do Fado offers an authoritative introduction to fado folklore. Stay: Story Guesthouse is a B&Bwith eclectic decor, (lisbonstoryguesthouse.com) 2Aweekend homage to Catalonia George Orwell wasn’t always especially polite about Barcelona, describing the city’s most famous landmark, the Sagrada Familia, as one of the most hideous buildings in the world. Nonetheless, his masterly 1938 account of the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia, means his name has long been enshrined in city folklore. Iberianature offers regular Spanish Civil War day tours of Barcelona, covering various locations associated with Orwell’s time here.
Casting the city’s most familiar streets in a new light, tours revisit the scenes of gunfights and bomb blasts around La Rambla and the Barri Gotic, as well as offices where Orwell and his Marxist comrades were headquartered (iberianature.com).
For some R&R, head to the seaside town of Tarragona, a 90-minute train journey south (renfe.com).
Orwell spent time in the city recovering from injuries during the civil war. Stay: Hotel Banys Orientals is a popular boutique hotel in