Florida is growing out of its reputation as a low-rent destination for families and retirees. It is sprouting exclusive luxury resorts. Its cities are growing more sophisticated and European and nestled among its inlets and islands there are hidden oases with quiet beaches and small, discreet hotels. [Read more…] about Things to do in Florida
Weightlessness isn’t just for spacemen any more. It’s become the latest extreme sport. For years NASA, the European Space Agency and the Russians have used converted airliners to simulate microgravity but the experience was only available to scientists and astronauts. Now, thanks to a few pioneering space entrepreneurs, anyone can do it. [Read more…] about Zero-G flying
The Jumbo Hostel at Stockholm airport is a real 747 converted into a hotel. How cool is that? I want to fly to Stockholm just to stay there. There are even two beds in the cockpit. (Hat tip and more photos: Inhabit.)
The hotel has 25 rooms with three bunk beds in each one. There is also a lounge. All the rooms have views out over the airport so it’s excellent for plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts.
There’s another disused 747 at Lelystad Aviodrome museum but you can only walk through it, not sleep in it. (See Lelystad Aerodrome review).
Oustau de Baumanière is one of the finest restaurants I have ever eaten in. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Marseilles in a high, hilly country area of Provence. My wife and I visited in October so the lovely-looking outdoor terrace was closed and we ate in the imposing stone walled dining room. [Read more…] about Oustau de Baumanière
Stuart Ungar, ModernPilot.com’s own gastronaut flies into Exeter to check on John Burton Race’s New Angel in Dartmouth. Is the TV celebrity chef as flamboyant on the plate as he is on the screen?
I confess I would fly hundreds of miles for a great meal. The reviews on this website are evidence of this passion to savour delicious tastes. However, as I get older my desires have leaned away from complicated dishes with exotic sauces and more towards simpler dishes, well prepared from excellent ingredients. As a dedicated hedonist that special effort to travel a great distance to ‘live off the land’ makes the occasion more special than going to that same restaurant if it were a short distance from home. Consequently on these focused expeditions the chef has much more work to do to impress me than he might do if I were grazing on my home patch. Having said all this a 150 mile journey to The New Angel was undoubtedly worth the trouble.
John Burton Race’s latest venture, The New Angel, in Dartmouth, Devon is housed in a half-timbered building right on the quay. The natural beauty of Devon, and especially the spectacular setting on the River Dart, is a wonderful environment to enjoy a leisurely lunch. The sunlight reflecting off the water a few yards away from my table lit the unfussy dining room and gave it a brilliant, very alive feel.
I have followed John Burton Race since he managed The Petit Blanc in Oxford in the early 1980s. When he opened L’Ortolan, near Reading, in 1986 he gained two Michelin stars, and then moved onto The Landmark Hotel in London. In each of these establishments I found his food was superb. The New Angel has a very different motif from his previous restaurants, which were more in the grand style. The New Angel is buzzy and has a relatively unadorned dining room without any tablecloths, or carpet. Half one wall is replaced by a bar top, which leads across into the kitchen so that all the delicious looking dishes appearing one after another are on full view to the hungry multitude. I was bowled over by the seeming simplicity of the fresh tasting dishes. As an accomplished chef John Burton Race framed the superlative fresh flavours of the locally sourced ingredients in a simple way, done with great sensitivity, so that they were enhanced, not masked. The menu is heavily weighted towards seafood, which is sourced from Devon’s day-boats.
Due to a late start we arrived an hour late for our booking, but the staff was very gracious even though the kitchen was beginning to close. They accommodated us with great charm, the young French waitress quickly exploring with the kitchen what could be provided for a pair of hungry (by this time ravenous) aviators. For whatever reason meat dishes were not possible for us, but who cared because seafood was their speciality. I must say neither of us were disappointed. The kitchen rapidly came alive again when we put in our order. Matthew started with a grilled beetroot and fig tart covered with melted cheese. The dish was absolutely
delicious as was my starter of a freshly grilled mackerel surrounded by baby pickled mushrooms and grapes in a very light and gentle marinade. Again superb. Matthew’s celeriac open lasagne was both unusual, and delicate, melting in the mouth and seemed to disappear very rapidly leaving him with a Cheshire-cat like grin. When I had the last mouthful of my dish of John Dory in a light cream and vegetable sauce my facial expression mirrored Mathew’s. We just sat back and smiled at each other contently. Perhaps I was more content than Matthew as I had flown down to Exeter and Matthew was flying back. Consequently I had been able to down a few glasses of a fruity, fresh white Cote du Rhone, from the Domaine de la Janasse – excellent value at £21 per bottle.
John Burton Race sent me away delighted I had taken the trouble to fly from Denham. He had passed his unwitting exam with flying colours. As far as we were concerned he richly deserved his Michelin star.
PS John Burton-Race has moved on from The New Angel since this review was written, but the restaurant is still there.
Perranporth Golf Club (PGC) is a short drive along the dramatic Atlantic coastline from Newquay Airport. Depending on the route you take you may pass Watergate Bay, and Jamie Oliver’s famous Fifteen restaurant.
It is an absolute gem of a championship links course, the true beauty of which is embodied in the iconic views across the dramatic rocky shoreline, leading down to the expanse of golden sands out to the ever changing Atlantic.
Perranporth is a cliff top links course at its absolute best. Meandering through the dune landscape, it is definitely picturesque. Few courses offer such stunning scenery which seems to change every time you play due to the quality of light and prevailing weather conditions.
The charming club house, welcoming non-pretentious staff and members make it a course you will want to return to play time and time again. Should you wish to stay for longer than 18 holes, the club offers twelve luxury static caravans, nestled in one of the dunes on the course, which are available on a stay and play basis.
It is also extremely affordable with green fees ranging from £20 – £45 for 18 holes, which is pretty good going for the standard of course and the sheer beauty of the place.
Secretaries’ office: 01872 572454
Bar: 01872 572454
Pro shop: 01872 572454
Email: [email protected]