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The Best Beaches Of The Biggest Cities

Big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world. You just have to know the right city…

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     There is nothing quite like hitting the beach. Some of our big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world… you really just need to be in the know. Without further ado, put on that sunscreen (we recommend Doc Block), grab your largest sun hat, comfiest beach towel, and plenty of water to enjoy a day (or night) at these big-city beaches.

Miami Beach, Miami
     This is an obvious first choice for the list. Miami is one of the few cities where you consider the beach before you think about the rest of the place. No matter what you’re looking for you can find it at the beautiful Miami Beach. You can party amongst your peers or enjoy a beach that is buzzing with energy. Or you can head up to the north side where you can really stretch your legs out and have some more space to yourself. Miami Beach is iconic – once you see it you’ll understand why. Miami is definitely a special city.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
     Honolulu is a big city… but this beach happens to be in Hawaii. The beach here is known as Waikiki and it brings in tourists from all around the world. You can surf, paddleboard, or just relax on the sand all up and down this marvelous coast. Hanging out can tend to get a bit crowded since this beach is so popular but it is so magnificent. You will hardly notice all the people. Honolulu is a super fun city as well, but again, don’t forget to stop by Waikiki.

Santa Monica State Beach, Los Angeles
     Everyone knows this beach because of the remarkable Santa Monica Pier. The Ferris Wheel is iconic… there’s no question about it. Nothing compares. Tourists and locals alike flock to Santa Monica State Beach to enjoy the waves and all the fun family games located on the pier. If you get bored on the beach then you’re only a short walk away from awesome shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade.

Revere Beach, Boston
     Named after Paul Revere, the Revere Beach has a history to match the great American icon. This sandy spot is the oldest public beach in the country, so maybe this is where Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and friends would hang-ten. This beach is not usually over-crowded so you can really enjoy the Atlantic here as well as exploring the history. Bring a metal detector and who knows, you might find one of Benjamin Franklin’s beer steins. 


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Destinations

How to Choose the Best Italian Restaurant

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In a recent survey, Italian food was crowned the world’s favorite cuisine.

But how do you find the best Italian restaurant when you get that craving? It’s not just about pizza and pasta anymore. Italian food has so much more to give.

So if you’re feeling hungry, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best of the best.

If you’re serious about Italian food, it’s important to do some research before visiting a new restaurant. A few key questions you will want to answer are:

  1. Who are the owners?
  2. Is the food authentic?
  3. Is the restaurant self-service or table service?
  4. Do they serve other cuisines?
  5. How are the reviews?

Ideally, you will be able to find the answers on the restaurant’s website. However, in some cases, you may need to look further, such as on social media. 

Who Are the Owners?

Great food comes from passionate Chefs. When trying to decide how to choose a restaurant, the owner should play a part in your decision.

Finding an Italian restaurant run by an Italian is a great start. Chances are the food is more authentic, having been passed down through the family. 

However, it is possible to find authentic and delicious food made by a non-native. The key is to avoid franchise restaurants with generic menus that are the same at all locations. 

Is the Food Authentic?

A few keys things to take into account when checking out an Italian menu are:

  • Italian food is usually seasonal
  • The dishes shouldn’t be covered in cheese and sauce
  • It’s so much more than just pasta

Great Italian food changes with the weather and highlights quality ingredients. They use lots of fresh vegetables, and rarely will you see a bowl full of pasta drowning in sauce. 

Is the Restaurant Self-Service or Table Service?

Typically, a self-service restaurant is thought of as a lower class of dining experience than table service, and in some cases that is accurate. 

On the other hand, when you learn more about it, you can see why many restaurants are changing their business models – especially in the current climate. By removing the servers, the restaurant has the opportunity to focus more on the kitchen and the quality of food. 

Do They Serve Other Cuisines?

Although you should be looking for a variety of dishes, a kitchen that serves up a variety of cuisines might not be the best option when it comes to quality. 

A restaurant that is trying to cater to everyone is less likely to be the best option if you want real Italian food. Their focus is more on getting tables booked than what they are serving. 

How Are the Reviews?

Checking reviews is a must. Any great meal can be spoiled by a rude server or an unappealing atmosphere. 

Search for local Italian restaurants and see what people have to say. In many larger cities and towns, you should be able to find reviews left by tourists. Look for those by visitors from Italy to get the most trustworthy information. 

It’s Ok to Order Pizza

Italy is the home of pizza, after all, so don’t be ashamed to order one when you find the right Italian restaurant for you.

By doing a little research beforehand, you should be able to find a place that will offer you some authentic local cuisine, along with the familiar favorites. The difference will be the quality of the ingredients which you will no doubt be able to taste. 

Check out our food section for more help with finding your next great meal. 

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6 Vegan Fall Recipes for a Warm and Cozy October

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Are you one of those people who ends up eating more the colder it gets? Studies have shown that many of us are guilty of eating more in the winter months. That’s why eating healthily during this period is more important than ever.

You’ll need some vegan fall recipes to keep you warm and healthy! 

Read on to find out the scoop on the best vegan comfort food which is delicious and full of vitamins.

1. Pumpkin Soup With Toasted Pine Nuts

Perfect for the spooky season! You will need:

  • 4 cups of roasted pumpkin
  • 1 can of coconut milk 
  • 1 cup of onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth 
  • 1 cup of pine nuts 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

1) Sweat your onions in a large pan for 10 minutes until golden.

2) Toast your pine nuts in an oven whilst the onions sweat.

3) Add in your roasted pumpkin, garlic, coconut milk, and salt and pepper to the pan.

4) Boil for five minutes. Blitz with a blender until a chunky consistency.

5) Toss pine nuts over soup and serve!

2. Vegan Chilli 

Tasty and ideal for a crowd. You will need:

  • 1 cup of onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of carrots
  • 1 cup of squash 
  • 1 cup of peppers
  • 1 cup of mushroom
  • 1 can of chopped tomato
  • Paprika, cumin, chili, salt, and pepper 

1) Sweat the onions for 10 minutes.

2) Add the spices and garlic, stir for 2 minutes.

3) Add the vegetables and sweat for 10 minutes until they start to get soft.

4) Add in the chopped tomato and cook for 30 minutes. Top up with water if it gets dry.

5) Add a dollop of plant cream and serve!

If you fancy amazing vegetarian and vegan food akin to these recipes, check out True Food, a vegetarian food restaurant that has locations across the country. 

3. Vegan Mug Cake 

Perfect for a quick fix when you want a sweet treat. You will need:

  • 1/4 cup of dairy-free milk
  • 1/4 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1/8 cup of sunflower oil 
  • 1/8 cup of caster sugar 
  • a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • frozen fruit such as strawberries or raspberries

1) Combine all the ingredients in a mug.

2) Put the mixture into the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

3) Take out and eat!

4. Creamy Squash Pasta 

When you fancy something indulgent. You will need: 

  • One-pot of dairy-free cream
  • 2 cups of roasted squash
  • 1/2 cup of onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chilli flakes
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 3 cups of pasta 
  • Salt and pepper

1) Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes.

2) Sweat the onions and garlic in a pan.

3) Add the pasta to the onions pan and add the squash, chili, and lemon.

4) Pour on the cream and season. 

5) Warm up the pasta mixture in the pan and serve!

5) Stuffed Squash With Lemon and Sage Quinoa

If you want an impressive dinner party main, look no further! You will need:

  • 2 squashes, cut in half
  • 3 cups of quinoa 
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Fresh sage 
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

1) Roast your cut in half squashes in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

2) Boil your quinoa in the vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes until fluffy.

3) Add the juice of the lemon and sage to the quinoa and season well.

4) Remove squash from the oven and place the quinoa on top to serve.

6) Mushroom and Leek Gnocchi 

Something a bit special for the midweek dinner rotation. You will need:

  • 2 cups of porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup of leeks 
  • 1 cup of dairy-free cream or creme fraiche 
  • 3 cups of gnocchi 
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of nutritional yeast 

1) Boil the gnocchi in water for a couple of minutes until they rise to the surface.

2) Saute the leeks, garlic, and mushrooms in a big pan with some oil.

3) Add the cooked gnocchi and cream to the big pan and combine.

4) Sprinkle on the seasoning and nutritional yeast and serve.

Vegan Fall Recipes: What Next?

We hope you enjoyed these delicious vegan fall recipes that are perfect for those people who want to try out something new but not too challenging.

And if you enjoyed this article, check out our other blog posts!

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Destinations

World’s Best Hotel Pools

The hotel pool certainly has gone through some changes over the year and our current iterations are the most gaudy and fantastic yet.  Here is our list of the world’s Best Hotel Pools.

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The hotel pool certainly has gone through some changes over the year and our current iterations are the most gaudy and fantastic yet. Gone are the simple square pools, lame plastic lounge chairs and corny elevator music. Welcome the age of decadence and opulence at the finer hotels around the globe. If you are searching for the most outlandish and luxury hotel pools, you are in the right place.   Here is our list of the world’s Best Hotel Pools and Spas.

 

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit, Mexico

The Nayarit Riviera is a beautiful location for a vacation, located on the Western coast. Like most resorts nowadays the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort has multiple world-class pools to choose from. They range from a two level family friendly pool to two separate adult only options. The Beach club pool has an infinity edge and some of the tastiest cocktails in all of Mexico. We recommend ordering a “smoking Champagne”,” a surprising blends of spices, fruit and of course champagne. Pool butlers work off a handy phone app so even the laziest of vacationers can summon a bloody mary and lunch without lifting their heads.

 

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Los Cabos, Mexico

Baja Mexico is cranking out new top-notch resorts every few years and the Chileno Bay Resort & residences are the newest and shiniest one.   This all-inclusive mega resort offers up top shelf alcoholic beverages all day at the pool. Try one of their signatures frozen beverage s to cool you down poolside. A nice treat is their afternoon aloe vera ice cubes to help with any sunburn or to just chill you out.

 

 

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The world’s most luxurious hotel has to have a top 5 pool as well and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai does just that. They just unveiled their new 100,000 square–foot over water terrace with 32 lavish cabanas with A/C. These luxury cabanas surround two huge pools, one salt-water and the other fresh water.   It wouldn’t be Dubai if there weren’t a few opulent choices for the uber-rich. This resort offers eight “royal” cabanas with bathrooms and all the extras you could imagine. If you can afford it, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the most luxurious choice.

 

 

Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

The most instagram-able pool in all the world, the Oil Nut Bay in the British Virgin Islands has staff whose only job is to take shots of guests. These staff members don’t only snap pics they also provide fun props like giant inflatable flamingos and funny hats to make your pictures the best. The three-tiered pool is incredible and spacious; you will feel like you are all alone here.

 

 

 Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Florida

You know Miami would be on this list with Florida’s year round beach weather and the city’s opulent reputation. The luxurious Miami Beach resort has a first-class staff that does everything for the guests. You will seriously feel like royalty here. Complimentary snacks are passed around like a fancy pool party and they will even clean your sunglasses for you. This resort doesn’t want you to lift a finger and it shows.  

 

Find your pool paradise with or without our list, everyone’s preferences are different so figure out what your top five hotel pools are.

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