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When A Sweet Tooth Travels Around North America

We spoke with our colleagues and compiled a list of three of our favorite cities that are chock full of sweets.

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     So, you have a crazy sweet tooth but no one nearby has quite the ideal selection to satisfy your sugar-addicted palette. What are you to do? You might be able to find poor/cheap knock-offs on Amazon or another online candy conglomerate, but we both know your true feelings. You won’t be sweetly satisfied until the real-deal sweetness touches your tongue – sending your dopamines into a frenzy. When the cravings hit, there’s no turning back. 

We talked to our colleagues and compiled a list of our favorite cities that are chock full of sweets so you can satisfy your sweet tooth while on a lovely vacation. I mean really, why can’t you have both?

OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY

     Ocean City is known for its historic boardwalk. There are a variety of specialized shops that sell all the sweets you can imagine. From ice cream to fudge to taffy, you will find it all at the Ocean City boardwalk. Bakeries, candy shops, and ice cream parlors will leave you foaming at the mouth and you’ll be in a sugar coma in no time. But don’t worry, if you need to get your salt levels up then just hop in the ocean and take a few swallows. Now your salt and sugar levels are balanced out. Is that how it works? We have no idea, we’re not scientists. Whatever your plans are, Ocean City has you covered when it comes to your east coast needs. 

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA

     If you love donuts, then St. Catharines is the place you’ve got to check out. This place has a huge selection of donuts, so bring a big appetite and some waist-expanding pants. You can put down dozen after dozen of donuts and never eat the same one twice. One store alone offers up to 20 different donuts each day. So, expand your donut horizons while stuffing your face. Donuts are heavenly and so is St. Catharines.

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

     The home of Snoop Dogg is also home to the ice cream capital of the US. Residents in this city eat more ice cream than any other city in the country. Now that’s a lot of ice cream! You can find the regular flavors everywhere, or you can experiment with new ones like goat cheese, whiskey fig ice cream, or salted caramel fudge. No matter what kind of ice cream you want, you’ll find mounds of it in the LBC. Now that’s what I call sublime.

Remember, your hometown surely has a secret treat that you’re not really aware of but remember, a vacation can bring you much more than just some R&R. Let it bring with it the sweets of your dreams. 


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Saving the World by Doing Regenerative Travel

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Regenerative travel may help halt the rapid degradation of tourist destinations all over the world–and eventually slow down climate change. 

Earlier this year, an article pointed out the beneficial effects of regenerative travel, a mode of travelling that posits helping the world regenerate itself, adopt less social crowding, and acquire an environmentally conscious mindset.

Prior to the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak, tourism was one of the largest industries all over the world. In 2018, total tourism revenue was $5 billion per day, according to a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report.

Tourism earnings helped various countries boost their economies. However, the same tourism activities ultimately affected—and degraded—the environment. Hence, the said industry caused major impacts on the local communities that were frequently visited by travelers worldwide.

Several areas in different European cities, for instance, were metamorphosing into unlivable locations while the exponential rise in various rentals also exacerbated the problem. Beaches in Thailand, for example, were increasingly filling up with plastic residue coming from various hotels and tourist boats in the country.

The necessity of adopting sustainable travel became a popular outcry as mass tourism became the norm. Before the advent of the term, regenerative travel, advocates began asking travelers to minimize travel impact in the different places they visited. Initiatives including the minimized usage of plastic and the reduction of waste were encouraged.

Regenerative travel, however, takes the advocacy a step further. Whereas sustainable travel merely aims to eradicate the effects of tourism in specific locations, regenerative travel calls for the improvement of the particular locations that visitors go to.

Jonathon Day, an assistant professor at Purdue University, stresses that “[tourism] is sort of a low bar. At the end of the day, it’s not just making a mess of the place. Regenerative tourism says, let’s make it better for future generations.”

Regenerative travel does not merely postulate buying local stuff or decreasing your carbon footprint. Regenerative travel stresses the necessity of executing actual, measurable, and concrete change. Hence, tourists are encouraged to provide meaningful improvements to the places they visit. This can be initiated by joining restoration groups or even supporting a local business school for the area’s indigenous women. In a sense, regenerative tourism means leaving the place a better one than when you first stepped into it.

Various travel companies are now starting to support the regenerative travel campaign. The preference for quality over quantity is stressed. With the help of various groups and organizations like the ConsciousTravel, a service that provides guidance to tour and destination operators regarding positive change, more and more travel agencies are now advertising the need to create more meaningful, environment-based changes to each tourist destination in their lists.

As visitors to these tourist hotspots, it is essential to be a major player in the creation of environmental improvements. International travelers must be aware of the destructive impacts of tourism and help promote regenerative travel. The present pandemic has been a huge eye-opener as we see the ill effects of pollution to the world. Climate change is a major issue that will ultimately affect everyone if we do not begin saving our environment now.

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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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London’s Connaught Bar top the Best Bar’s List of 2020

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The Connaught Bar wins the Best Bar of 2020 title despite the unstable condition of the times. Nevertheless, it was forced to close its doors again.

The Connaught Bar has been named the Best Bar of 2020. This comes after England had to declare a 4-week lockdown to halt the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country. Thus, the exclusive bar had to close its doors to awaiting customers even when it merely reopened in mid-September.

Picking the best bar of the year was altered, as well. Last year’s event was a stand-up gig at London’s famous Roadhouse. Journalists and the industry’s known personalities gathered for the celebration, complete with typical soiree of sorts. 2020’s version, however, was completely different as everyone who had a say had to make do with today’s new normal meeting place, Zoom.

In spite of the hugely diminished revelry, Connaught’s Agostino Perrone and the whole bar’s team of employees are extremely pleased with their victory.  “It’s the achievement we’ve been looking for,” gushes Perrone.

Already considered a Mayfair institution, the Connaught Hotel opened its doors to the public way back in 1815 with the former name, Prince of Saxe Coburg Hotel. Its 1920s-style bar is also an impressive experience.

The Connaught bar has been a consistent feature in the past 11 year’s Best Bars lists, although it is only this year that it was able to get the most yearned for topmost title. Maura Milia, the bar’s assistant manager shares that consistency and quality have been the guiding principles of the establishment. These could be deciphered when ordering the best bar’s iconic martini—a drink that can still be ordered via takeaway.

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the hospitality industry this year. All over the world, various bars and hotels needed to close particularly during the early months of the crisis. Due to the need to stop the exponential spread of the disease, physical distancing and quarantine procedures were put in place. For months, bars and other similar businesses had to shift to takeaway service and crowds were discouraged from mingling about.

Giorgio Bargiani, the best bar’s senior mixologist praises the Connaught Hotel for its unrelenting support as employees and customers had to connect via the internet, replacing the age-old routine of in-house service. Perrone looks forward to next year as he hopes that the gradual easing of lockdowns will permit them to reopen once more. “Recognition is always an injection of energy, an injection of creativity,” he asserts.

The World’s Best Bar Academy is populated by 540 bar experts coming from all over the world. They are equally halved by gender, as well. Judging occurred between January 2019 until March 2020, abruptly curtailed by the unprecedented onset of the pandemic. Voting happened earlier in July.

The Best Bar title was fought over by New York and London, although Asia had its representatives with 4 of Singapore’s bars appearing in the top 15 list. “We’re looking at a whole lot of options, because we think that 50 Best has an important role to play in promoting the hospitality sector in what are very challenging times. The precise way we do that is going to keep evolving,” posits William Drew, 50 Best’s director of content explains.

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