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Reviews

Review: Trulli amazing accommodation

Review: Trulli amazing accommodation

It is not often that you get to eat, sleep and cook in a UNESCO World Heritage listed building. You can in the Puglian town of Alberobello and your stay helps with the upkeep of at least some of this amazing  place. What is a Trullo? Before I review Trulli Holiday a word about the trulli and the town of Alberobello. A trullo (the singular form of trulli) is a a simple structure of thick limestone walls topped by a conical shaped roof. Traditionally the whole structure was built without mortar or binding of any kind but over the last few centuries mortar was added. Trulli are a common sight in this part of Puglia and in its most basic form are used as barns or sheds on small farms or in the many olive groves. Alborobello is an urban collection of trulli…

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Kit Review: The i-Stay Strap

Kit Review: The i-Stay Strap

When I am travelling I often have a laptop or iPad bag hanging off one shoulder possibly a camera bag on the other. Add to that my ticket/passport/book/newspaper/other documents in one hand and a coffee in the other. It’s at that point that the laptop bag invariably starts to slide off my shoulder. I then have a choice let it continue to slide and eventually hit the floor with the resulting damage or hoist it up with a gigantic shrug of the shoulder. The latter action resulting in a fountain of coffee all over the clothes I will be spending the next eight hours travelling in. Sound familiar? Even if it hasn’t happened to you you probably know someone who has suffered in a similar way To keep everything from sliding I find I am constantly forcing my shoulder up and…

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Grind Coffee Barista Experience

Grind Coffee Barista Experience

I was introduced to Grind Coffee in Putney when it had only just opened. The coffee was like no other and the flat white has yet to be beaten in my opinion. Certainly the likes of Ronan Keating, Nick Clegg and various members of England’s rowing and rugby teams think so too along with an average of 1000 customers a day. The owner, originally a drummer opened a drum shop in Putney and begn selling good coffee alongside the drum kits. He soon discovered he was selling more coffee than drums so got rid of the kits to indulge his passion for coffee. When I first discovered Grind it was a tiny little place with customers spilling out onto pavement. Now it has expanded into the adjoining building but still keeps that special coffee bar ambience. Now there are couple…

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Travel Unpacked: The Year in Review

Travel Unpacked: The Year in Review

2014 has come to an end and 2015 has arrived. The first week of January is a time to look back over the preceding year and look forward to the next. I spend time browsing this websites statistics and the social media channels associated with it in effort to see what is working for me and my readers and where I can make improvements. It is also a time to reminisce on my travels and to plan ahead to next year (I will return to that in a future post). According to the stats for the Travel Unpacked website the most popular posts are reviews. Be it kit, accommodation, airlines or places to eat or drink they are popular with visitors to the blog. Top of the list is a review of the Cabin Max Lyon, a convertible wheeled rucsac-cum-cabin…

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Two London coffee bars

Two London coffee bars

I recently travelled to London on business and arrived with plenty of time to spare so decided to investigate the two coffee bars I knew were within walking distance of Grosvenor Square. Workshop Marylebone I almost missed this little gem. It does not announce itself other than with a small font on the shop front and a wooden A-frame sign on the pavement. It doesn’t need to be in your face as it’s reputation is excellent and those seeking it will find it and locals and regulars will know where it is. Inside it is neither cluttered nor minimalist but a happy compromise. The walls are a restful sage green with floors that are bare boards. There is a bar and stools along the window and along the wall opposite the counter. They use a coffee roasted by their own…

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Review: The View

Review: The View

The View have a policy of contacting their guests on the day of arrival to remind them what time sunset is. They want their guests to enjoy the view across the valley as the sun sets behind the the Al Hajar mountains of Oman. The View is perched on the side of the Jabel Sham massif overlooking the town of al Hamra, the expanse of the flood plain and the Al Hajar mountains beyond. Each lodge  or pod as they are called is built on a framework of steel embedded in the mountain slope. As you walk into the room and see the view through the floor to ceiling windows you get a real sense of hanging over the edge of a precipitous slope. When you step out onto the balcony it feels like you are hanging over the valley…

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Airline Review: Oman Air

Airline Review: Oman Air

Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, serves destinations in Europe and the Far East from its Muscat hub. The airline has won numerous awards including the World Travel Awards Best Business Class Airline Middle East 2014 and Best Economy Class Airline Middle East 2013 and 2014. Flight: London Heathrow to Muscat (overnight). Aircraft – Airbus A330-300 Purchasing the ticket. This was done by an agent so I cannot comment on the process. Check-in This can be done on line at www.omanair.com 24 hours prior to departure. However when I tried to do this it would not recognise the name and booking reference as being on their system. The agent had used my second middle name as the surname. Arriving later than I usually do because of an accident on the M3 I was feeling a little stressed. The Oman Air…

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Airline Review: Ryanair

Airline Review: Ryanair

Ryanair were one of the first budget, no-frills airlines. They have, unfortunately, earned themselves a reputation for poor service, misleading advertising and charging for everything. My own experience of flying with them has been appalling. On my recent trip to Bydgoszcz they were the only option for direct flights from the UK so I did not have a choice but to fly with them. I wondered whether, based on past encounters, you could ever have a good experience flying Ryanair.

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