After an idyllic afternoon spend windsurfing, sun-worshipping and admiring the beach goddesses and gods at Ftelia Beach in Mykonos, a bite to eat, a bit of music to start your evening and cocktails that’ll keep you cool in the 40-degree sun is the island way to pass the time. Read the rest of this entry »
If you find yourself wanting to visit one of Europe’s intimate cities this summer, but dreading the swarms at the Venice Biennale and Art Basel, consider the Styriarte festival from the 24th of June to the 24th of July. Anyone who loves old-world style winding streets, intimate courtyards, and the flair of Southern Europe is always thrilled by the stunning location.
More than just a celebration of classical musical, Styriarte is also a philosophical exploration of the world around us. Past themes have ranged from traditional, focusing on Mozart, Beethoven or Bach, to thought provoking, for example in 1998 when the theme was “Paradise Lost?” or in 2009 when the dignity of mankind was explored. 2011 will take a look at “The Difficult Easy” or to be more precise, why is it that some people are able to take the most difficult tasks and make them seem easy? Or in music, why are the most light and delicate scores often the ones that require the most technical skill?
The star of the show is often the conductor and founder of Styriarte, Berlin-born Nikolaus Harnoncourt. His name is internationally synonymous with progressive methods of conducting and the reworking of long-lost scores. A highlight for classical music lovers is not only the brilliant performers, but also their approach to Early Music.
Experience all the cultural charm Graz has to offer and simply check out our privately owned place, White Line Hotels edit Schlossberghotel. Over looking the city of Graz, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the hotel is a cultural centre in and of itself. Every room boasts original art works, hand selected antiques and state of the art technology. With one of the best breakfasts in the city and plenty of local Styrian wines on the menu, what’s not to love?
Cities like Stockholm don’t need a reason to be visited. Summer begins when cherry trees are in bloom and cafés and restaurants are (finally!) putting their furniture outside, and it only gets better from there. Locals flood the parks for mid-summer’s eve on the 21st of June to celebrate the unbelievable 20+ hours of daylight. It’s not uncommon to take a dip in the water after a long day of work, and there are plenty of exhibitions to keep pass the hours, although vintage shopping in Östermalm can be just as inspiring.
Boat rides, soaking up the sun, and the light tastes of the season are a big part of the Stockholm summer experience. Operakällaren in Stockholm’s Royal Opera House will treat epicureans to a royal culinary experience by recreating the regional and seasonal menu of Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding. Operakällaren the caterer for dinners and banquets in the Royal castle since 1961, along with head chef Stefano Catenacci created the menu. Although Chef Catenacci and Operakällaren create award-winning menus year after year, they’ve got 5 red couvert symbols in the Michelin Guide, the cuisine and wine pairings speaks for themselves.
The menu starts with west coast Langoustine tail, served with truffle caviar, lemon marinated cod in flowers with cucumber jelly and cold green pea soup. Following dishes include “Landö” char, Swedish fillet of veal, and strawberry mousse, making your taste buds sing with delight.
Keep your cultural exploration going by staying at White Line Hotels edit Hotel Skeppsholmen Stockholm. Guests and critics rave about the ambiance, it’s currently a nominee for Sweden’s Leading Boutique Hotel, and was named one of the hot 100 Best Hotels in Europe by the Sunday Times, no small achievements.
Photo by: Joel Wåreus
In the 30’s and 40’s Jean “Django” Reinhardt was a living legend in French gypsy culture. He was a virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer creating an upbeat, swing gypsy-jazz fusion that, even by today’s standards, makes your feet move. Born in Belgium, and later living outside of Paris, Django started with a violin but soon moved onto a banjo guitar and turned to straight guitar in the early 30’s. His influences were wide and he sited Louis Armstrong in particular. He later went on to accompany the greats – Duke Ellington, Maury Deutsch and his “brother” Louis Armstrong. After years of eccentric behaviours, Django retired to Samois-sur-Seine in 1951, returning occasionally to Paris to play sold out shows.
His life in Samois-sur-Seine is celebrated yearly with the Django Reinhardt Festival. This year it’s from the 22nd to the 26th of June and the names are big. Performances by Django’s son, David Reinhardt, and influential double bassist Avishai Cohen are highlights on the schedule, but the night that’ll have people coming from Paris in droves is Thursday the 23rd when legendary jazzman George Benson takes the stage. He’s going to rock Barbizon and will definitely be giving you the night.
A long June weekend on the outskirts of Paris is absolute heaven. Indulge your senses in a region that inspired paintings from Deschamps, Millet and Rousseau. Make it happen by booking the weekend at Hotel les Pléiades, as chosen by the White Line Hotels crew. The great artists of the region have all spent time at les Pléiades, inspired by the surrounding forests and nature to create some of their greatest works. What will a little timeout in Barbizon do for you?
Photo of Reinhardt by William P. Gottlieb
It’s not that I really think that you need to be convinced to go to the Croatian island of Korčula, surely you’ve been hearing about just how amazing Croatia is for years. Crystal clear water, a laid-back Adriatic atmosphere and food, wine and music that those beach spots on the other side of Italy can’t compete with.
You can start planning your trip now to get a taste of old Korčula when they celebrate the 15th Marco Polo Fest at the end of July. Officially called the “International Marco Polo Festival of Song and Wine” the celebrations will welcome you as an honorary Korčulian for the weekend. Recognized as the only festival of traditional, international and local music in Croatia, it also takes place on what is acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful of Croatia’s 1000 islands. The event being celebrated is supposedly the return of Marco Polo to the island 700 years before, but really it just seems like a good reason to spill into the streets, singing, dancing and soaking up local culture.
Korčula is where the Greeks came to relax over 2,000 years ago, pretty impressive considering the beauty of Mykonos, Skiathos and Santorini. Whether you’re escaping to the charming medieval town for the wine, weather or cuisine, White Line Hotels can’t say enough about our edit Lešić Dimitri Palace. The beautifully restored 18th century Bishops palace is just steps from the sea, so very truly local you’ll feel like you’re at home.
Photos from www.korculainfo.com