LITTLE BLACK BOOK
RUTH Mackenzie is director of London’s 2012 Festival, a 12-week Britain-wide cultural celebration timed to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and featuring leading artists from across the world. In 1995 she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre. More: festival.london2012.com. Memorable holiday moment: Visit Tino Sehgal from Berlin as he creates his largest artistic commission to date at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall from July 24 to October 28. Favourite shopping haunt: I like Borough Market, near the River Thames in southeast London, or my local Islington Farmers DEALS OF THE WEEK Tales of Turkey: Sail the Aegean coast from Bodrum for a leisurely week aboard a traditional gulet; from $433 a person twin-share (in a cabin with private facilities), plus Greek and Turkish meals. Weekly departures May 5 to October 21. More: holidaystoeurope. com.au/specials. Market, held every Sunday morning (for great food and clever gifts). Must revisit experience: The British Museum, where many world treasures are displayed in one building. It’s free, of course, like all London’s national museums. Jubilee jaunt: Book a seven-day Insight Vacations London Week tour, which covers leading city sights such as Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament; from $925 a person twin-share including accommodation, breakfasts and sightseeing. Flights extra. Departures until March 2013. More: insightvacations.com.au. Ultimate indulgence: Laduree, next to the Royal Academy on Piccadilly, is an extravagant pastry brand fresh from Paris. Don’t miss its melt-in-your mouth macarons. Stand-out bar experience: Try the bar at the East End’s gorgeous Hackney Empire theatre. Better still, enjoy a show here — the auditorium is even lovelier than the bar. Inviting place to dine: St John Bread and Wine at Spitalfields in London serves tapas-style dishes. Expect modern British food and a great atmosphere. Best-spent holiday dollars: Buy an Oyster Card for simple and affordable access to London’s public transport. Asian adventure: Book before March 31 for free return flights on a 23-day June or August Vietnam and Cambodia Explorer holiday with Travel Associates. Explore Hanoi, Hoi An and Angkor, and cruise the Mekong for seven nights; from $8795 a person twin-share, including meals and hotels. More: travel-associates.com.au.