Ten reasons why you must never leave Munich without visiting the English Garden

Not many places can boast an urban space twice the size of Central Park, New York. Yet, Munich’s famous Englischer Garten or English Garden dwarfs both Central Park and Hyde Park, London in size. It occupies an area of 1.4 square miles from mid-town to city limits.

English Garden gets its name from the informal garden landscape style that was popular in Britain around the mid 18th – 19th century. It’s easy to see why on a summer’s day over 100 000 people flock to the park; woodland and meadows, a network of wide paths, plenty of places to picnic and an ice cold stream running through it makes it an easy choice for city-dwellers to relax and unwind. I spent a day here taking in the scenery, getting lost and generally being an absolute tourist. I highly recommend it. Here are ten reasons why you must never leave Munich without visiting the English Garden.

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1. You can ride an artificial wave

There’s an artificial wave where surfers can line up along the bank and wait their turn. You need to be an expert or skilled surfer as the current can be strong and there are metal poles under the stream.

2. Go with the tide on the Eisbach

The Eisbach or ice brook is a man-made river which flows through the park. Although swimming in the brook is not allowed it’s not a rule that’s enforced strictly. On any day swimmers brave the chilly water and let the natural tide carry them along the brook. It’s a pretty cool thing to do on a summer’s day in particular and you will see hordes of teenagers gliding along the brook.

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3. Almost everyone rides a bike and there are plenty of spaces to park one

One of the most noticeable things in Munich is that almost everyone rides a bike. So there are bike stops everywhere. If you’re peckish and want to stop for lunch you can park your bike next to your table and relax.

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4. There’s a rose garden

English Garden has a rose garden and it’s as beautiful as it sounds. As well as perfectly manicured flower beds there is an arched pavilion with seats, right in the middle, for eating your lunch surrounded by roses.

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5. Goldene Bar serves up a mean grapefruit lemonade

The Goldene Bar is a super cool cafe and restaurant which sits behind Haus der Kunst. It has a terrace overlooking the park. They serve a mean cold grapefruit lemonade and a fabulous cup of coffee with cake.

6. You can drink tea in a Japanese tea house

The Japanese tea house inside the park was built in 1972 to celebrate the Olympics in Munich that year. A traditional Japanese tea ceremony takes place here regularly. However, you will need to check opening hours outside summer months as it was closed when I was there.

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7. Eat local at Seehaus Restaurant

Seehaus restaurant inside the park is set in the most idyllic setting with views across the lake. It’s cosy and gorgeous and has outdoor seating as well as more formal dining inside. The menu is pretty incredible and suited for celebrating a special occasion. I had the charred Bavarian salmon in elderflower oil. Delicious!

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8. There’s a five-storey Chinese Tower

The Chinesischer Turm, or Chinese Tower, inspired by the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens, London was first constructed in 1789 to 1790 . It has five storeys and a beer garden with 7000 seats. It’s still only the second largest beer garden in Munich. Come here during summer and it’s Oktoberfest in the sun.

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9. There’s an old toilet converted into an ice cream shop

Fraulein Grüneis is, wait for it…a public toilet converted into a quaint ice cream shop. It’s become one of the most popular meeting places in the park and all of Munich. You can buy anything from pretzels to penny sweets here.

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10. There’s a Greek style temple on a mount

Monopteros or Apollo Temple is a 16 meter high Greek style temple built in 1832 on a small hill within the park. It was designed by Leo von Klenze and is complete with polychrome stone paintings. As much as its historic value the elevated position offers a stunning view of the sunset over Munich. Rumour has it that it’s a favourite with lovers.

 

 

 

 

English Garden: 

 

 

 

How PGA Catalunya resort offers you more than a round of golf

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Catalunya, Spain is acclaimed for many things. Arguably, it’s home to one of the most famous cities in the world; Barcelona. Bordered by France, Andorra and the Mediterranean Sea it would be fair to say that the region is abundantly blessed. A naturally rugged coastline, hot Mediterranean climate and the Pyrenees valleys have given rise to a region conducive to good living and superior cuisine.

These innate characteristics and strategic location were not lost on the creators of the luxury golf escape PGA Catalunya Resort. Armed with the region’s natural blessings the resort has set about graciously adding value to its offering. Their recent developments pledge more than an exceptional round of golf.

Golf with a bite

At the heart of the resort of course, are its two world-renowned golf courses. The Stadium Course has been named the best in Spain, third in Continental Europe and is in the top 100 courses in the world. Not a bad round of golf at all. Furthermore, the club house sets new standards for exclusive members’ clubs. Celebrated interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, a master of light and space, has created a fresh and modern departure from traditional golf clubhouses. The building is in perfect harmony with its natural setting and offers undisturbed views across the Stadium Course. A lavish bistro menu at The Club Café includes fried oysters, kale and beetroot or an Angus beef burger. Local Cava and Champagne compliments the wine and beer list making it the perfect place for a light lunch after a round.

LAVIDA Hotel

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Swimming Pool at Sunset – Hotel LAVIDA – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

The most alluring recent expansion however, is LAVIDA Hotel. If golf isn’t your thing this gateway hotel on the resort offers everything else you could possibly want from an unforgettable holiday.  Located just ten minutes from Gerona and an hour from Barcelona it’s the perfect compromise for friends and family who enjoy different things. With cycling, hiking, trekking, horse-riding and boat trips in and around Gerona it’s enough to tempt you away from the golf courses. All this and I’ve barely mentioned the backdrop of the Pyrenees mountains which dominates the view. LAVIDA Hotel’s 50 rooms, with sweeping views of the golf courses, provides a luxurious shelter for outdoor enthusiasts on the resort.

A second hotel, Hotel Camiral, also located on the resort is the home of 1477 Restaurant headed by Executive Chef Francisco Hernandez. A menu sourced from local artisan produce cooked with a distinctly Catalan twist, with wines from its cellar, provides an exquisite gastronomical experience.

Own a piece of heavenly Catalunya

Once you visit the resort and enjoy its rugged tranquility, five star cuisine, exquisite wines and unparalleled hospitality you’d be forgiven for not wanting to leave. So how fortunate for us that one no longer has to. PGA Catalunya offers a  development of 50 new three-bedroom luxury villas for sale. Designed by Barcelona-based Lagula Architects each villa is distributed across two floors and placed to benefit from its celestial surroundings. The first release becomes available in 2019. With such generous value added luxury there is little doubt that we shall all be flocking to Catalunya very soon.

 

 

For more information visit: www.pgacatalunya.com

11 pictures to prove that Paris is the undisputed city of love.

What can be said of Paris that hasn’t been said a thousand times? Of it’s beauty, food, fashion, culture? A city immortalised by the murmur of a thousand words.

On this, my 11th visit to Paris, what can be said that is not an echo of words past? What’s to ”see” in Paris? As I breathe, move, talk, laugh, eat and smile…I wonder. How many words will I need to express a feeling? Paris is infectious, like love.  As love travels through your being,  as you would surrender, so you do to Paris. Some things cannot be seen or heard. They can only be felt from the heart.

 11 pictures to prove that Paris is the undisputed city of love:

  1. This icon of eternity.
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Meet me here.

 

2. These love locks on Pont d’lena (Jena Bridge).

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Be mine.

 

3. This beaming bride on Pont d’lena.

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You make me so very happy 🙂

 

4. The Seine and The Marne.

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The Yin and Yang.

 

5. These beautiful ones slaying it in the park.

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Adore me.

 

6. This rainbow bubble in Jardin des Tuileries.

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Rainbows and bubbles.

 

7. This invitation of love.

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Call me.

 

8. This place to meet.

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Talk to me.

 

9. This blushing rose.

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You make me blush.

 

10. This place you cannot miss.

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I will wait for you forever.

 

11. This utterly beautiful Parisian sunset.

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Kiss me in Paris.