Something To Declare: Portmeirion; measles; race around Reims; Antigua for May Day
Saturday 16 April 2011
Destination of the week: Portmeirion
The "home for fallen buildings" that Sir Clough Williams Ellis created – an Italianate village on the waterside in north-west Wales – includes a top-class hotel. To stimulate business in a spectacular but isolated location that has few walk-up bookings, there is usually a special on offer.
Book at 01766 772324 or through portmeirion-village.com, for a one-night stay up to 2 May, and £220 buys a room, dinner and breakfast for two, plus a bottle of wine waiting in your room.
Warning of the week: Measles
"Anyone born after 1963 who has not already been vaccinated against measles should be," says the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. "This recommendation also applies to those who have not already had medically confirmed measles."
Increases in cases have also been reported in Bulgaria, France, Germany and Italy. Dr Graham Bickler, of the Health Protection Agency South East, said: "It is not too late to be vaccinated. Anyone who has not previously had two doses of the MMR vaccine should arrange it now through their family doctor."
Tip of the week: Race around Reims
The streets of the champagne capital of Reims will become much more colourful and accessible with the formal opening today of a new 11.2km light rail line, writes Anthony Lambert.
The north-south line will be operated by trams in eight distinctive colours inside and out, including pink, with the ends shaped like champagne flutes – a design chosen by the people of Reims.
Serving 23 stops, the trams will help visitors arriving at either the central main station or the TGV station at Bezannes to reach the shopping district of Avenue de Laon, as well as the city centre.
Trams will operate over two routes with a shared central section, between Neufchâtel and Hôpital and between Gare Centre and Gare TGV, both calling at Langlet and Opera stops in the city centre. Normal services begin on Monday.
Besides the reception cellars at champagne houses, the city has a 13th-century cathedral adorned with more than 2,300 statues and a World Heritage Site, the 17th-century archbishop's palace, the Roman triumphal arch of Porte de Mars and one of France's best provincial art collections in the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Bargain of the week: Antigua for May Day
The Royal Wedding ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11am on Friday 29 April. At that stage, Virgin Atlantic flight 33 should be somewhere south-west of Ireland, en route to Antigua, pictured. The air fare alone is £674, but through Trailfinders (0845 050 5892; trailfinders.com) you can get the same flights plus eight nights at the four-star The Verandah Resort & Spa for £949 per person – so the accommodation is a real bargain at less than £60 a night for a couple.
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