Knives are out for sushi in the lobby
VISITORS to Jerusalem who are sushi lovers should head for the new — and glatt kosher — Sushi Mania, in the lobby of the Jerusalem Plaza hotel, opposite the Great Synagogue. The hotel manager Yossi Sudri and the celebrated chef, Shalom Kadosh ( below left), have taken a deep breath and brought to Israel sushi master, Oyamada Yasuto ( right), whose flashing knives and pin-perfect presentation are now on display every day except Shabbat, to the great delight of Jerusalem sushi fans. Serving the freshest of local fish and salmon flown in daily from Norway, Sushi Mania is proving a real hit. A New Yorker with a large family liked the restaurant so much that in a three-day stay at the hotel he had managed to spend $1,500 on sushi. Regular sushi fans will get away with considerably less.... Sushi Mania, Jerusalem Plaza Hotel (http:// sheraton.co.il; 00972 2 629 8620).
THE more chilled among you who may be heading for Tel Aviv any time soon my wish to visit the website www.tourist2night. co.il, which has been set up by a local graduate who seems to know that under-30s will want to visit nightclubs and drink cocktails. The site lists — and more important claims to get you reservations at — the coolest bars and the hottest nightclubs and restaurants (www.tourist2night.co.il).
JET2.COM, the airline which flies to Tel Aviv from Manchester, is offering free bag check-in and security fast track on flights to the Israeli city this winter. Holidaymakers who book a Tel Aviv flight departing between December 3 and March 11 next year will be able to take a 22kg bag for free as well as being fast-tracked through security. Flights during the period are from £99.99 one way with taxes. To get the free baggage allowance, enter the promotional code BAGTLV when booking return flights (www.Jet2. com/promotions).
THE Chester Grosvenor and Spa is offering an appealing weekend break for fashionistas in the elegant Cheshire town. The Style Trai offers VIP shopping experiences and discounts combined with a two-night package at the hotel, which is just a Louboutin-shod stroll from the 700-year-old Medieval Rows, featuring designer boutiques to high-street names. There are cut-price designer labels at nearby Cheshire Oaks, Europe’s largest outlet village. The ‘package costs £275, per person (based on two sharing a deluxe room) for the two-night break, including breakfast and dinner on one evening in the hotel’s Michelinstarred restaurant (01244 324024 ; www.chestergrosvenor.com).
KOSHER cooking programmes are again on offer in Italy and France with New York-based travel operator, Ralph Slone. The programmes, in Tuscany ( above), Emilia Romagna, and Provence, combine kosher cooking lessons, shopping, sightseeing and the experience of being a guest rather than a tourist. Participants can meet members of the Jewish communities and programmes are under regional kosher supervision. The cost is $3,500 (£2,148) per person, including accommodation, breakfast, some meals, classes (in English), and wine with meals but not flights. Provence is April 19-26 and Italy May 3-10, June 28 to July 5 and July 5-12 (www.cookeuro.com; 001 212 794 1400).