Stay in Laura Ashley's first self-branded hotel
The British fashion and homewares store Laura Ashley has opened its own branded hotel called The Manor in Elstree, Hertfordshire. The mock-Tudor property, which opened last week, has 49 bedrooms and it is designed, like other fashion-branded hotels, as a showcase for the company's products (there are catalogues in every room and interiors feature Laura Ashley's signature floral prints) as well as somewhere to stay. A spokeswoman says she expects the property to be popular with guests from overseas, as the company operates in 28 countries. Prices range from £150 (Dh841) for a standard room to £500 (Dh2,804) for the most expensive suite, per night including taxes (www.lauraashleyhotels.com; 0044 20 8953 8227).
Tee off in Scotland with a heli-golf package
Experience Scotland at its best from now until September 30 with a heli-golf package with Nira Caledonia, a boutique hotel in Edinburgh. A three-night package includes a return Bentley transfer from the hotel to Edinburgh Airport, from where you can take an Execair helicopter ride to Kingsbarn Golf Links, where nearly every hole offers spectacular views of the North Sea. Tee off in the afternoon at Gleneagles, Perthshire, famous for its three championship golf courses, and fly back to Edinburgh for an organic dinner at the newly opened Blackwood's Bar & Grill. Edinburgh has over 100 golf courses within an hour's drive; when not playing, enjoy an event at the Edinburgh Festival, the world's largest arts festival. The heli-golf package costs £1,699 per person (Dh9,783) based on two double rooms and four golfers or £2,499 (Dh14,263) that includes three nights' accommodation with breakfast, but not international flights. Room only, the hotel costs £245 (Dh1,410) per night including taxes and breakfast (www.niracaledonia.com).
Visit an art exhibition to change your world view
It's easy to forget how big the world is when you live in a city, and, viewing Sebastiao Salgado's latest exhibition, Genesis, at the Waterhouse Gallery at London's Natural History Museum, the viewer is forced to wonder why humans choose to live in such crowded habitats. Under four headings: Planet South - Antarctica & Papua; Africa; Northern Spaces; and Amazonia & Pantanal, the Brazilian photographer presents large-format black and white images of landscapes and animals, from a close-up of the metallic, scaly arm of an iguana, complete with five fingers and fingernails, to the explosive rawness of Patagonia and the volcanoes of Russia. The exhibition runs until September 8 and costs £10 (Dh56) for adults (www.nhm.ac.uk).
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