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News & Advice

Travel Agenda: Royal revival, Cuba caution, Thai up, Festival of lights, Dine out, Palin pictured, Ski Bavaria, 18

Where to go and what to know

Royal revival

On Wednesday, the Café Royal on Regent Street is to reopen as a hotel. The London landmark, which opened as a restaurant in 1865, served the likes of Oscar Wilde, Brigitte Bardot and Mick Jagger before calling last orders in 2008. It now has 159 elegant guestrooms, two restaurants, bar, a members’ club and spa (hotelcaferoyal.com).

Cuba caution

The Foreign Office warns of a risk of cholera in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: “Take precautions regarding water, food and hygiene” (fco.gov.uk).

Thai up

The W opens its latest outpost on Friday on Embassy Row in Bangkok’s Silom district. Housed in a shimmering skyscraper and an old heritage mansion that was formerly the Russian Embassy, it has 407  rooms in typical W style, two restaurants and a bar. The spa will open  in February  (whotelbangkok.com).

Festival of lights

From 6-9 Dec, the Fête des Lumières takes place in Lyon, with candles, light displays and lanterns in the streets (fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr).

Dine out

From 6-8 December, the EatMeUp street food event takes  on a festive glow on Old Street in east London. As well as stalls selling Indian pancakes from Dosa Deli, American burgers from Bleecker St and Italian suckling pig from Gurmetti, there will be Christmas gifts, live music and street-art workshops (hitmeup.co/eatmeup).

Palin pictured

Photographs from Michael Palin’s collection of eight BBC series – from Around the World in 80 Days to his latest, Brazil – go on show at the Royal Geographical Society in London from Monday (until 25 January). The Travels with Michael Palin exhibit features the work of photographer Basil Pao, who has documented BBC broadcasters and writers for 25 years (rgs.org).

Ski Bavaria

Winter-sports holidays in Germany are difficult to find, but Cosmos  has launched a new programme based on its flights to Munich.  Six nights at the AlpenClub Schliersee costs £369pp, departing on 19 January with flights from Luton to Munich and breakfast  (cosmos.co.uk).


The number of new destinations from  Gatwick next summer by Scandinavian  airline, Norwegian. From April, fly north to  Aalborg, Alesund and Tromso, or head south to Barcelona and Nice (norwegian.no).