Category: Journalism

Cannes Film Festival and Riviera for Telegraph Travel

Cannes. It’s getting to be a habit.

I’ve been three times on assignment in the past year and recently returned from another and very timely sojourn.

The reason? The Cannes International Film Festival opens tomorrow — May 17. This year marks 70 years of cinema heritage [mural pictured above].

I was there to report back on preparations for a feature in this weekend’s Telegraph Travel.

But, joining an escorted tour for a few days, I was also trying to put the glamour of the Riviera into context.

I explored some of the reports, spanning the French-Italian border, frequented by the British gentry long before the likes of Brigitte Bardot [pictured below] arrived with photographers in hot pursuit.

Casino Royale 

Here’s an extract from my first draft, based around a visit to Monte Carlo Casino. 

I’m not a natural high roller.

If I was Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, then I’d be sporting a freshly pressed tuxedo, sipping a martini, shaken not stirred of course, and nonchalantly placing all my chips on black 17.

In reality I’m budget Bond: a Ben Sherman shirt, sipping an espresso and observing the oligarchs at play from a safe distance.

Still, at least I can still admire the Belle Époque ceiling and renaissance frescos in the Europa gaming room of Monte Carlo Casino.

After all, I have paid 17 Euros just to walk inside.

Read more in Telegraph Travel this Saturday.

 

Into the woods: Family activity breaks for Telegraph Travel

Easter holidays then.

Our assignment — should we choose to accept it — was to test drive two new family activity holidays in the UK, based at holiday parks, for Telegraph Travel.

They both are, if you like, alternatives to Centre Parcs, aiming to open up the family activity break with different prices and facilities.

First up was Kingswood Camps and a visit to their facility in North Wales. The Colomendy Camp is located in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

We’re just back from a weekend of caving, archery and woodland laser quest [pictured above]. That and, despite the rain, some family bonding on the night walk.

Next we’re off to try out the new park in the Peak District from the Dutch-owned Landal GreenParks group.

It’s one of two new parks in the UK — the other located in Northumberland.

Will two weekends away bring out our inner Bear Grylls? Read the full feature in May in Telegraph Travel to find out.

The golden age of cruise travel with P&O Heritage

A peek behind closed doors last week.

I was at the London Victoria  offices of DP World, the global logistics company that now owns the lion’s share of P&O (minus the cruises).

It’s also home to the P&O Heritage Division with its extensive collection of ephemera — paintings, model ships, silverware and more.

Some of the most colourful items were the printed menus and postcards from the 1930s [pictured above].

I was there to interview the Senior Curator, Susie Cox, as the company celebrates its 180th year in 2017.

It was amazing to see items rarely accessible to the public that take us back to another age. It’s like Susie told me:

“There’s a huge romance around ocean liners and the aesthetics, the posters, the fashion, the visuals, are all fantastic. That’s why it’s the golden age of cruise.”

Read the full feature in a forthcoming Telegraph Cruise.

Move into the top gear at Cars and Coffee Chester

An early start last Sunday then.

It was the first Cars and Coffee Cheshire meeting of the season and I had been dispatched by the city’s new independent magazine, Tortoise.

Now I’m no petrolhead. In fact, I’ve never seen a single episode of The Grand Tour and I love the Italian job for the scenery — not the cars. But the Chester meeting was surprisingly inclusive with families and onlookers amongst the crowd.

I even had a spin around the Castle Car Park in a souped-up moped courtesy of the ladies from Deva Tuk Tuk [pictured above] and Ronnie the tub tuk dog.

Intrigued? Here’s a preview of my story:

The regal statue of Queen Victoria eyes the eclectic crowd with arch curiosity: petrolheads and boys racers mix with family groups.

There are serious tyre thumpers, blasting techno from behind their darkened windows, a proud owner posing for selfies next to a rare example of an Alfa Romeo 155 and classic car owners taking torque next to the caffeine-buzzing coffee cart.

It’s like an event at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, without the tweed, pencil moustaches and copies of the Daily Telegraph.

Look out for the full article in the next issue of Tortoise magazine.