Singles, spas and Sex and The City specials
JEWISH SINGLES Club, a Europe-wide singles organisation, is holding its annual summer trip for 35 to 55-year-olds in Le Diablerets, Switzerland. The trip, from July 27 to August 3, is based at a four-star hotel with pool, sauna and breathtaking mountain scenery and offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The cost is 840 Swiss Francs (£423), which includes accommodation with breakfast and dinner (vegetarian or permitted fish), but not flights (00 41 44317 17 40; email@example.com).
With the movie Sex and The City opening next month, anyone inspired to visit New York to sample the SATC lifestyle, can do so with a Sex and the City Celebration Package at the city’s Mandarin Oriental. It costs a Mr Bigstyle $2,000 (£1,000) but includes a night in a river-view room, a limo tour of SATC hotspots, a $200 gift card for Henri Bendel — a favourite store of SATC stylist Patricia Field — a Cosabella gift bag, cocktails in the hotel’s ubercool bar and a SATC trivia game. Valid until December 31 (001 212 805 8800; firstname.lastname@example.org).
And while in the city, you can take in some Jewish culture, at the superb Jewish Museum on Fifth Avenue, where an exhibition entitled Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976 opens on May 4. Continuing until September 21, it examines abstract expressionism and the movements that followed, featuring works by 31 artists viewed from the perspectives of influential, rival art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg. While there, don’t miss Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, until August 3 (www.thejewishmuseum.org; 001 212.423.3200).
American actor, singer and one-time teen idol Frankie Avalon is to headline Crystal Cruises annual President’s Cruise (Athens to Rome, from August 24). The “Isles of Antiquity” voyage aboard glamorous Crystal Serenity also features an evening gala cocktail party at the Ephesus archeological site. Avalon, who had 31 singles in the US charts and appeared in Grease, will give several performances during the 12- night fly-cruise. The cost is from £3,625 per person based on two sharing (020 7287 9040; www.crystalcruises.co.uk).
And cruise fans will welcome the new alfresco Sanctuary spas on three Princess Cruises ships — Island Princess, Grand Princess and Star Princess. The creation of the outdoor spas follows the success of new spas on Crown Princess and Emerald Princess (www. princess.com; 0845 3 555 800).
Young fans of Disney’s High School Musical can star in their own version of the show on a new summer camp from Camp Beaumont. The holiday, on the edge of the Peak District National Park, in South Yorkshire, also features 60 other activities including abseiling, archery, zip-wires, circus skills and quad-biking, plus games, It’s a Knockout challenge and camp-fire and firework parties, for ages seven to 11. One week between July 19 and August 30 cost £498 (01603-660333; www.campbeaumont.co.uk).
And if last week’s travel feature on Beijing and Shanghai has whetted your appetite for a visit, China Direct has a 14-day trip from October 29. Priced at £2,395 per person (based on two sharing), it also includes Xi’an and Guilin and is based in five-star hotels and kosher or vegetarian meals (020 7538 2840; www.chinadirect-travel.co.uk)
Fans of that most deliciously decadent of meals, afternoon tea, will lap up the new guide to Britain’s best tea rooms written by Susan Cohen. North-West London-based Cohen has updated her five-year-old first edition of Where to Take Tea and, as well as a fascinating history of afternoon tea, it features 23 tea rooms in London, from the very grand to the less formal. It also includes tea-rooms in some 25 towns and cities around the rest of Britain (New Holland, £7.99)
Culture vultures should head to the Cornish town of Fowey for the annual Du Maurier Festival, which takes place from May 8 to 17. The charming and historic town (once home to the novelist) will host a diverse group of guests, including Lord Owen, Martin Bell, George Alagiah; Marc Almond and Brian Sewell, and for anyone visiting, CTC has a number of cottages in Fowey and nearby villages from £316 per week for weeks commencing May 3 or May 10 (01208 821 666; www.corncott.com; www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk).
If the Amalfi Coast is on your wish list this spring, Kirker Holidays is offering reductions of £34 per person per night at the deluxe five-star Hotel Palazzo Sasso in Ravello, A three-night break, with flights and B&B costs from £760 until May 11 (www.kirkerholidays. com; 020 7593 2288).
And if In Bruges, the newly released film starring Colin Farrell — JC film critic Gerald Aaron awarded it four stars — has inspired you to visit Belgium’s picturesque mediaeval city, VFB Holidays is offering two-night breaks from £134 per person, based on two sharing and including accommodation with breakfast and Eurostar or Eurotunnel travel (01452 716 831; www.vfbholidays.co.uk).
New York: the city’s Mandarin Oriental is offering a Sex and The City package to celebrate the movie
Peak of perfection: Switzerland in summer. Visit with Jewish Singles Club