Monthly Archives: March 2013
Great article 1st Choice!
Never off duty – the Mr Fixit of the hospitality world.
He wears a secret-service-style earpiece and a dark suit. He has contacts all over London and he’ll go to extreme lengths to spend your money, should you wish. There’s something rather cloak and dagger about the job of a hotel concierge.
Ben Malpass admits it’s tough trying to meet the demands of guests at the 268-room Savoy. “We are given the task to just get it done. Don’t break the law, obviously, but the priority is to keep the guest happy. We will go to extraordinary lengthsto get guest requests satisfied.”
The term concierge derives from the Latin conservus, meaning “fellow slave”, and indeed a concierge’s function is to serve guests free of charge (if you don’t count the room rate and tips). The concierge will facilitate whatever a guest wants – and in the luxury market that…
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Distinctively British fun…………….
Up Helly Aa, Shetland, Scotland
Up Helly Aa is the largest fire festival in Europe. As if the torchlight processions weren’t spectacular enough, local residents dress up in full Viking regalia — winged helmets, armour, you get the idea — and the evening culminates with the burning of a Viking longship. A traditional celebration of the end of winter and the coming of spring, it’s a truly memorable occasion.
Learn more about Up Helly Aa
Maldon Mud Race, Essex, England
Ink black mud, 250 competitors, and a mad dash for the finish line. It’s not going to be pretty, and we advise against hugging the winner afterwards. Race through the mire of the Blackwater Estuary in Essex if you feel up to the challenge, or stand back and watch if you prefer to keep dry. Either way it’s a lot of fun.
Learn more about the Maldon Mud Race
Man vs. Horse Race, Powys, Wales
In Britain, discussions over a pint can lead to many things. One such discussion in Powys led to the Man vs. Horse Race being dreamt up by the then landlord of the Neuadd Arms, Gordon Green. The 22 mile race over hills and rough terrain pits man against horse, and believe it or not, the horse doesn’t always win. In 2004, Huw Lobb crossed the finish line first, a full two minutes ahead of his four-legged adversary.
Learn more about the Man vs. Horse Race
World Pea Shooting Championships, Cambridgeshire, England
Pea-shooting involves propelling a pea through a tube with a quick burst of air from the lips. And in Witcham it’s evolved into an annual tournament that draws participants and crowds from across the globe. It’s pretty riveting stuff – watch the marksmen compete for the title of World Champion, and enjoy a bit of local cuisine at the village fete while you’re at it.
Learn more about the Pea Shooting Championships
International Worthing Birdman, West Sussex, England
As if jumping off a pier into the sea wasn’t enough fun, The Worthing Birdman combines the thrill of falling with spectacular fancy dress and even a bit of engineering. Part of the fun involves eager jumpers donning home-made flying machines and trying to ‘fly’ the furthest in the hopes of bagging a £30,000 prize. The other part of the fun is simply watching people in silly costumes jumping in the sea while you enjoy an ice-cream from a safe distance.
Learn more about the Worthing Birdman
World Hen Racing Championships, Derbyshire, England
Who has the fastest hen? It’s an important question that’s given rise to an annual event in Derbyshire. Head to the Barley Mow pub in Bonsall to discover the year’s speediest fowl as they’re put through their paces over a 30 feet track. You can enjoy gorgeous views of the Peak District and some good local ale while you do.
Learn more about hen racing
Race the Train, Tywyn, Wales
Man takes on machine in Tywyn’s annual Race the Train event. Competitors run alongside the Talyllyn Railway on its route to Abergynolwyn and back, fighting their way through all kinds of terrain, from quiet lanes to farmland and rough pasture. In a fun twist, the train is often carrying plenty of the runner’s supporters, so he or she can hear the cheers whenever he’s near his ‘opponent’.
Learn more about race the train
World Bog Snorkelling Championships, Powys, Wales
Every August, competitors from around the world flock to Waen Rhydd peat bog on the outskirts of the smallest town in Britain, Llanwrtyd Wells. This is where one of Wales’ most famous races takes place, the 115 metre World Bog Snorkelling Championship. It’s murky, it’s muddy, and you probably won’t see it anywhere else.
Learn more about bog snorkelling
The Porthcawl Elvis Festival, Porthcawl, Wales
When it comes to unusual spectacles, the Porthcawl Elvis Festival probably wins some kind of award. Thousands upon thousands of Elvis fans, many of them dressed as The King himself, descend upon the seaside town of Porthcawl to watch Elvis tribute acts and over 100 Elvis-related shows. Weird, wonderful, and definitely lots of fun.
Learn more about the Elvis festival
World Stone Skimming Championships, Argyll, Scotland
Skimming stones is probably one of the most fun things you can do with stones. In Argyll they couldn’t agree more, and hold the World Stone Skimming Championships each year. They do it properly too – with selected Easdale slate skimming stones, and with a minimum of three bounces required for a throw to count.
Learn more about the World Stone Skimming Championships
Best Value UK Tours
St Patrick’s Day is on 17 March but you’ll find special events taking place in London throughout the week.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade takes place every year in London. It involves marching bands, floats, street theatre and more. All 32 Irish counties are represented, dressed in their traditional county colours. Other parade participants include members of London’s Irish community and other Londoners.
This year’s parade takes place on 17 March, beginning at 12 noon in Piccadilly. It then proceeds to Trafalgar Square, where you can enjoy the free St Patrick’s Day Festival until 6pm. Look out for The Puca, a giant inflatable dragon, winding its way through the streets during the parade.
The Trafalgar Square festival celebrates Ireland’s culture, including a wide range of traditional and contemporary dancing; a comedy tent hosted by the London Irish Comedy Festival; a film tent showing film shorts by Irish filmmakers; and a food market with the chance to sample produce from the Emerald Isle.
Other St Patrick’s Day Events in London
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated across the capital, with parties in many London pubs and bars. Expect green decor, traditional Irish drinks and lots of fun!
You might also find a special menu or two at London’s restaurants.
More About St Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick is one of the patron Saints of Ireland and the day is traditionally celebrated with a feast. St Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland.
St Patrick’s Day is also celebrated all over the world, by people of both Irish and non-Irish descent
Sightseeing Tours of Ireland departing from London or Dublin: http://bestvaluetours.co.uk/ireland-tours
Besy Value Tours