InterContinental Returns to Moscow

Intercontinental Moscow Tverskaya

While at International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes last week, I was invited to dine with the InterContinental team. At lunch I met Alexey, General Manager of the InterContinental Tverskaya which opened on Monday 5th December and marked a return of the hotel group to Russia after a decade away. The hotel is built on the site of the Soviet-era Hotel Minsk and it tries to combine contemporary chic style with a distinct Muscovite residential feel. The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from most of Moscow’s key landmarks including the Kremlin and Red Square. Despite what may be going on in Russia in terms of elections and protests at the moment, I believe Russia will continue to grow (I for one am visiting in April) and this hotel will no doubt prove popular among leisure and business travellers alike.

Intercontinental Moscow TverskayaThe 184 en-suite rooms have all the usual mod cons but it was the properties spectacular 19 suites, including three Penthouse suites which caught my eye. There’s also a superb ballroom which seats up to 250 guests for your very own Russian banquet (if you so please). While for a bit of a chill out, there’s a spa by Elemis (personally one of my preferred beauty brands – the quartz facial remains in my book unchallenged).

Intercontinental Moscow TverskayaWe all know I love to eat, so on to the restaurant. There’s the 126-seat Chekhonte restaurant which offers a contemporary take on traditional Russian dishes. I’m interested to see how this plays out. However, perhaps what intrigues me most is the Chocolate by day, martinis by night lobby lounge and bar P-Square. I suspect it will be particularly bling, but then who could blame them, isn’t that part of the Russian charm? I’ll just have to visit to find out!

InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya

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Russian Standard Vodka at Taste of London

Bloody MashaAt this year’s Taste of London Festival in Regent’s Park (16th to 19th June) you can discover the delights of Russian vodka at the Russian Standard Cocktail Bar.

Eager gourmands are invited to explore Russian Standard’s House of Vodka with two mixology master classes each day, run by leading mixologist Glen Hooper who has over 10 years experience in the heart of London’s cocktail culture. Glen has travelled the world and brings with him a wealth of mixology expertise to share with the attendees. The sessions will explain how to truly taste and enjoy premium vodka; educating participants about the key differences between Russian Standard Vodka, Russian Standard Gold and Russian Standard Platinum.

In each class, Glen will elaborate on the history and heritage of Russian Standard Vodka, including an explanation of Dmitri Mendeleev’s original vodka formula created for the Tsars in 1894. True foodies will also be able to learn about Russian zakuski, small plates served on the arrival of guests alongside vodka and a bubbling samovar.

For thirsty visitors keen to kick back with a cocktail, a choice of five refreshing Russian Standard Vodka drinks will be on offer to purchase by the glass or pitcher. These include the Bolshoi Basil, a unique and refreshing tall drink, and the Appleflower, a summery cocktail featuring delicate elderflower and apple flavours. Sunday festival goers will also be able to treat themselves to a Classic Russian Bloody Mary, the perfect way to ease into a sunny day spent sampling the festival’s premium food and drink.

The Russian Standard Vodka bar will be at stand S5, which is near the main entrance to Taste of London.

Advance tickets for Taste of London start from £23.50, while tickets on the day start from £26. Visit to secure your ticket today.

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Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel Refurbishment Complete

Hilton has completed its refurbishment of the Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel located 20 minutes from the airport and 7 minutes by metro from the city centre.  The hotel has 367 rooms and guests can enjoy Austrian and international dishes made from local ingredients at its Waterfront Restaurant.

Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel

The hotel has a spacious terrace and the Pier 269 Bar & Lounge.  There is also a new Hilton Fitness by Precor, sauna and outdoor pool.

For more information visit Hilton Vienna Danube Hotel.

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Croatia’s 58th Pula Film Festival in July 2011

The International Programme of the 58th Pula Film Festival will open at Kastel on 9th and finish on 23rd July 2011 with evening open-air screenings daily at 9.30 pm.  During the first part of the festival (until 15th July), films from the International Programme will be presented at the Valli Cinema during the festival.  While during the second part of the Festival (from the 16th to the 23rd of July), films from the PoPular Programme can be  watched in the Arena.


The festival was first held in 1954 and is the oldest and most popular Croatian film festival with an impressive 73,000 visitors last year.  This year’s programme is anticipated to include, Lead and Daria by Branko Ivanda, Kotlovina by Tomislav Radic, Koko and the Ghosts by Daniel Kusan, The Little Gypsy Witch by Tomislav Zaja and The Translator by Biljana Cakic-Veselic.  Several other independent productions will also be screened.

For more information visit

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Transilvania International Film Festival 2011

Transilvania International Film Festival

Founded in 2002, the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) was the first international feature film festival to take place in Romania.  Over the last nine years, TIFF has become a well-known brand in Romania, not only due to the outstanding films screened every year, but also for the effective organization, sparkling atmosphere and density of events, from seminars, workshops and panels, to fabulous concerts and crazy night-long parties.

Transilvania International Film Festival 2011

This year’s festival will take place between 3rd and 12th of June 2011 in Cluj and 15th to 19th of June in Sibiu.

The programme is yet to be announced but visit for more information.

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2011 Fringe Festival in Prague

Edinburgh isn’t the only city to host a Fringe Festival dedicated to comedy, theatre, music and dance.  Praha (Prague) also holds a nine-day Fringe Festival which this year will start on 27th May and finish on 4th June 2011.  Events will take place in nine venues in the beautiful Mala Strana area of the city.

Over the past 10 years Fringe Festival Praha has hosted works by local, national and many international companies who fly in annually for the event.  Most shows are very visual, some are in English, some in Czech, most last for an hour, and all are designed to entertain, delight and, at times, even challenge.

For more information visit Fringe Festival Praha.

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The Garden Festival 2011 Line-Up

That’s right, one of the most talked about festivals is back this summer!  The sixth annual Garden Festival will be held between the 6th and 13th of July.  A variety of acts have confirmed and include: Larry Heard, Art Department, Robert Owens, Soul Clap, Motor City Drum Ensemble with Sir Norman Jay, Tensnake and Greg Wilson, Crazy P, Mark E, Future Disco and PBR Streetgang.  We’re eagerly anticipating further line-up announcements.

The Garden Festival

Plus, don’t forget the Argonaughty boat parties which this year will include acts such as, Futureboogie, Resident Advisor, Hang the DJ vs PBR Streetgang feat. Tensnake, El Diablos vs Crazy P, Faith, The Pool Boat feat. Matty J, Ben Terry and Greg Wilson!

The Garden Festival

The countdown to beats on the waves at a certain sun-kissed and pine-shaded Croatian peninsular has begun!

For more information visit

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Vinistra 2011 – Wine Exhibition in Croatia


Who doesn’t love a glass or two of wine?  Over the years I’ve enjoyed some fabulous bottles from Croatia – particularly dingač and teran.  Croatia’s Malvasia region has a rich wine-making history.  This history, as well as Croatia’s contemporary wine-making practices, are celebrated annually at the Vinistra festival held in Poreč.


The main objective of Vinistra is the promotion of Istrian wines, on domestic and international markets, and the education of wine consumers.  This event has become internationally renowned with visitors to the exhibition sharing two loves – wine and gastronomy.  Aside from wine, Vinistra also showcases the region’s fabulous olive oils and brandies.  This year’s exhibition, the 18th of its kind, will be held between the 13th and 15th of May.

For more information visit Vinistra 2011.


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Moscow’s Chekhov International Festival Returns to UK

This April Moscow’s Chekhov International Festival returns to the UK with a  new production of The Tempest.  Cheek by Jowl’s Russian sister company brings to life this disturbing masque of power, control and illusion. With powerhouse performances and innovative interpretations of classic texts, Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek By Jowl continues to inspire audiences season after season at its London home in Silk Street Theatre.  Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s internationally renowned Russian ensemble were previously seen at the Barbican in Twelfth Night, Three Sisters and Boris Godunov.

The Tempest Cheek by Jowl Chekhov International Festival at The Barbican

7th to 16th April 2011

Performance Time: 19:15 (also 14:00 on 9th and 16th April)

Performed in Russian with English surtitles

Tickets from £21

For more information visit

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20th Viennese Spring Festival in Austria

From 26th March to 17th May the 20th Viennese Spring Festival will take place including 70 concerts in Musikverein.  The highlight will be the opening concert with the unveiling of a new organ built by Rieger, the fourth organ for the Golden Hall.


During the festival there will be eight organ concerts with top casts such as, Vienna Philharmonic and Dame Gillian Weir, ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Vienna Boys’ Choir, Michael Schade and Robert Holl.  Star tenor, Thomas Hampson will perform with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.  Violinist Gidon Kremer and the Saxony Staatskapelle will be conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.  Finally, Rudolf Buchbinder will play and conduct five Beethoven piano concertos.  Finally, the Vienna Symphonic will perform Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and other works.

20th Viennese Spring Festival
26 March – 17 May 2011
Bösendorferstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Tel. (+43 1) 505 81 90

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