+ Pedras Salgadas 008 | Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park  – Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal

Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park – Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal

The Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park feels something of an anachronism. A thermal spa dating from 19th-century Portugal.

All the original buildings restored by Pritzker award-winning architect, Alvaro Siza Vieira. The out of time vibe comes as Vieira kept it’s old-world romantic feel, while updating and adding.

Key to the update are 12 pre-fabricated eco-cabins, and 2 tree houses. Designed by architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade, winning him the Building of the Year award in 2012.

Pedras Salgadas 006 1 | Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park  – Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal
Pedras Salgadas 018 | Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park  – Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal
Pedras Salgadas 021 | Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park  – Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal
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+ Colazione2 e1584909687476 | Hotel Lupaia – Tuscany

Hotel Lupaia – Tuscany

Magic Magic Magic Magic!!!!!!

Tucked in the hills of Val d’Orcia, staring at the city of Montepulciano is the well hidden Tuscan hotel gem, Hotel Lupaia. Lupaia is everything you dream about when searching for a hotel in Tuscany. Nestled into the perfect 1600s Italian farmhouse, this charming Tuscan hotel has abundance flowing. The joy is easily found in the staff, rooms, views, location, grounds, everywhere you look – everything is what you wish it to be.

Lupaia Montepulciano 004 | Hotel Lupaia – Tuscany
Lupaia Hotel 001 | Hotel Lupaia – Tuscany
Reception e1584909631875 | Hotel Lupaia – Tuscany
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Service is extraordinary from the moment of booking. For instance, we promptly received a very informative email outlining the different routes and attractions for our drive through Tuscany. Their suggestions  were perfect for us, and as a result, we found several lovely spots along the way.

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+ Tenryu ji 006 2 | Tenryū-ji  – Kyōto

Tenryū-ji – Kyōto

Built in 1339 by the ruling shogun of the time, Ashikaga Takauji, Tenryū-ji temple Kyoto is another gem.

The famous garden was designed by Muso Soseki, who also created the fabulous garden of Kokedera (Moss Temple – which requires much advance planning and is on our bucket-list).

Tenryū-ji temple kyoto garden

As Tenryū-ji is a large complex network of temples and gardens, we have the following recommended itinerary:

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+ lepetit | Petit Comité  -  Barcelona

Petit Comité – Barcelona

When looking for a Michelin restaurant in Barcelona, consider a visit to the informal restaurant chef Nandu Jubany.  You can learn more about Jubany as he is a member of the “Science & Cooking” talks at Harvard University.

The restaurant itself is of modern design, with clean lines and a general air of significance.   A combination of formality and professionalism abound.

Our amuse bouche was a calamari salad and potato pillows.  They were quite elaborate via the effect of double frying at different temperatures.

Potato Pillows at Petit Comité Michelin restaurant in barcelona

Of course,  we had the Catalan staples of cocas con tomate (bread with tomato), and  escalibada,  (grilled vegetables) with anchovies and romesco sauce. (We would probably order a bowl of the Romesco if possible!)

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+ imperial palace in kyoto Japan

Kyōto Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace in Kyoto is an easy one. The majestic residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868. Immediately on their departure to Tokyo, began the Meiji Restoration in 1869.

From the massive front gates made of imperiously dark cypress wood, throughout the entire complex of the Imperial palace – you will find yourself awed. Which is a fairly common and continuous state of being in Kyoto.

Kyoto Imperial Palace 016 1 | Kyōto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace 018 | Kyōto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace 019 | Kyōto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace 025 | Kyōto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace 010 | Kyōto Imperial Palace
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