Cava Cocktails

Fun, festivities and FIZZ – recipes for Cava cocktails

There’s nothing like a glass of bubbly in the garden on a sunny day, but try these Cava cocktails to add a bit more sparkle and fun to your festivities. They’re cool concoctions.

Grape fresco

As an alternative to Cava, try the same mixes for champagne cocktails, sparkling wine cocktails, and prosecco cocktails:

* One part Limoncello (that scrumptious Italian lemon liqueur) to three parts Cava. Decorate with half slice of lemon, half slice of lime

* Add one part Aperol (an Italian aperitif) to two parts Cava. Garnish with orange slice

* Blend quarter of peach with splash of peach liqueur and dash of peach bitters. Pour into glass, add Cava, garnish with slice of peach or peach ball

* Shot of vodka, shot of raspberry liqueur. Add squeeze of lime, then Cava

* Half-shot of gin, half shot of passion fruit juice, top up with Cava

* Add raspberry liqueur to Cava and a few fresh raspberries to garnish

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BRITAIN IS BLOOMING

Spring just has to be the best time of the year to be in good old Blighty doesn’t it?

Don’t be too busy to notice. The snowdrops might have gone but now is the time to take in the splendour of forsythia, its branches covered in electric yellow flowers, and to relish the last days of country banks of primroses and fields of daffodils.

A host of golden daffodils...

Wonder at the intricacy of hyacinths; the delicacy of saxifrage, and the vibrant blue of aubrietia.

Sit beneath a cherry tree festooned in pastel pink petals and, very soon, tiptoe carefully through shaded woodland areas thickly carpeted with bluebells.

Fragrant Wisteria

A Haze of lilac

The massive wisteria draped over the house is about to come on stage dressed glamorously in a haze of lilac, and the jasmine is cascading from conservatory roof to floor adorned in psychedelic white splashes of heavily-scented flowers.

Time to open up shop

Trees and hedges are tinged a bright fresh green, rhododendrons and azaleas are building up their strength to burst open, probably about the same time the sheltered clematis decides to open up shop.

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Body Bliss in Thailand – The Barai, Hua Hin

Spa wow-factor hits roof

The Barai - high wow factor

The Barai - exotic & tranquil

We all know travel writers are lucky enough to stay in some fantastic hotels and resorts. This is one hotel in Thailand where chaining yourself to the bed warrants serious consideration.

Architecturally stunning, The Barai is an exclusive eight suite hotel and spa attached to the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin.

Set in lush tropical gardens with panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand, the spa has 18 exotic treatment rooms. It’s a tranquil and luxurious hotel to stay in, ideally located beside the long sandy beach in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Bed big enough for six

My ground floor beautifully furnished suite has a private outdoor plunge pool. The suite is spacious, the bed big enough for six.

There’s an oversize bathtub and a relaxing massage platform in the bathroom. Mmm… and a private butler too. Makes me want to move in permanently. Read more »

Dolphins for breakfast

Unusual, but true

It’s not often that I have dolphins for breakfast. They weren’t on the menu. But, after all, what chef in their right mind would blatantly include dolphins on the menu when supply can’t be guaranteed?

Crinan Harbour

Crinan

The restaurant overlooks the vast loch. There are fantastic views across the water to the hills beyond.

I sat by the huge window, menu open on the table.

I wondered what I should have for breakfast. Some local bacon and sausages maybe; Loch Fyne kippers, freshly smoked haddock or… dolphins?… WHAT on earth were dolphins doing there? Read more »

Girls… leave those glamorous stilettos at home

Snowmobiling in Canada, it’s a good laugh

This was real fun. We stripped down to our long-johns in a communal changing room. Glamorous… NOT! Our outdoor clothing made us look like black Michelin men, and our boots like bovver-boys. There was some comfort in that, once balaclava on and goggled up, no-one could possibly identify us.

After a 45-minute driving lesson across a frozen lake, up hills, through forests and down dale, we ‘qualified’ to drive our own black beast of a Skidoo (snowmobile) to a log cabin – a two hour drive through Quebec’s white wilderness.

Skidoo-ing in Quebec

A mean machine... the skidoo, not me!

Mean machine

Controlling this fast motorbike on skis was not as easy as anticipated. It was a mean machine, powerful and with a nasty kick if you didn’t keep your eyes firmly on the narrow trail.

Bronco-busting

I tried very hard to hold back a stomach-full of giggles when a woman in front of me shot up the hill fighting her snowmobile as if bronco-busting.

When she ‘mogul-jumped’ uncontrollably down the bank off-piste, that was it. My stomach muscles gave in and my giggles exploded.

Buried in snow

Was that cruel? I don’t think she heard me – snow makes for good sound suppression.

Snowmobiling in Quebec >>

Caribbean calling

So near yet so far away

Caribbean flora

Caribbean Orchids

Here am I champing at the bit.

I’m on the verge of leaving on a three-month stint in the Caribbean and some unpronounceable volcano has to go and spit rotten ash everywhere.

I very nearly had my foot on the first rung of the plane’s ladder today, then it was whipped out from beneath me.

But let’s look at the positives…

… I’ve now got an additional week to heave that kitchen sink out of my suitcase and repack a small hand basin instead.

Watch this space for news of what I’m getting up to during the next few months in Jamaica, Nassau, the Exumas, and the Turks & Caicos islands.

Caribbean Tourist Organization >>

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