TRAVEL: THE TIEPOLO BALL VENICE

AS THE COVID CRISIS FINALE IS HOPEFULLY IN SIGHT IT IS TIME TO AT LEAST START PLANNING TRAVEL . I AM SURE WE HAVE COME THROUGH THIS AND REALISED THAT SHARED EXPERIENCES WITH OUR LOVED ONES HAVE BECOME A PRIORITY. SO I HAVE REPUBLISHED THIS ARTICLE FROM MY VERY SPECIAL TRIP THIS TIME LAST YEAR, ONE THAT I WISH I HAD DONE SOONER. TRULY SPECIAL THE TIEPOLO BALL IN VENICE…….PERFECT VALENTINES GIFT….. BOOK IT NOW FOR 2023 AND START PLANNING THOSE BALLGOWNS !

Many people think these sort of events are not open to them . That they are exclusive and you have to be invited by someone ‘on the list’, but these days nearly all events are accessible. I was lucky enough to be invited to this ball but I discovered that these tickets can be bought through many travel and event Companies either as packages or just the ticket alone. Not too expensive either for a truly magical experience. Unfortunately the carnival was halted for the final two days due to the spread of Coronavirus in Italy.

THE VENICE CARNEVALE

An annual carnival held for two weeks in February ending on shrove Tuesday. It initially began in 1162 but really became official and firmly established as a part of Venetian life in the 17th and 18th centuries but was outlawed in 1797 and really did not return in full force until 1979 ! Elaborate masks and full venetian dress are the order of the day not just for the ball but to parade around St Marks Square. But be prepared to have thousands of photographs taken and your lunch continually interrupted. Now I know how Lady Gaga feels.

Sampling the Rossinis

THE TIEPOLO BALL

Held at the world famous Palazzo Pisani Moretta this is considered one of the most anticipated events of the carnival. In one of the most beautiful palaces with ceiling frescos and masterpieces adorning the walls. Chandeliers lit by candlelight, grand staircases and situated right on the Grand Canal. Arriving by water taxi to be greeted by handsome footmen adorned in their finery is a memory to be cherished.

Following prosecco and canapes we sit down to a four course meal prepared by a Michelin chef whilst a renaissance quintet play, magicians and opera singers follow. A full entertainment programme throughout dinner. After dinner a Master of Ceramonies leads us through some traditional dances, a word of warning you are seperated from your partner most of the evening as you are required to dance with several partners.

The evening culminates with a chocolate fountain and very naughty pastries, coffee, hot chocolate and copious amounts of prosecco !

At the Palazzo Pisani Moretta
The Tiepolo Ball

TICKETS

Tickets for the Tiepolo ball vary from £500-£750 depending on if you want to be seated in the main hall or side hall. Venetoinside.com or Veniceoperatickets.com. Or you many operators include special packages to the Venice balls . Take a look at the following Companies to tailor yours weekendalacarte.co.uk or Italien-short-breaks.co.uk. Many of the package Companies pre book water taxis and Ateliers for your costumes.

COSTUMES

I would totally recommend La Venexiana Atelier, Frezzaria, San Marco 1135. (tel 041/5286888) . We sent our measurements ahead for them to tailor our outfits. I have to say I do think our costumes were the best that we saw. Beware though wigs are £100 extra. They are just for hire but at least you don’t have to pay excess baggage to get them home. Although I have just checked on Amazon and they do have stunning Venetian Ballgowns for £30! So this works too. Although this was part of the special experience visiting the Atelier by the Rialto Bridge with lots of Italien seamstresses fussing over you.

Definately buy your ornate masks whilst in Venice. Usually handmade in Venice and beautiful masks from 20 euros are a lovely keepsake. Although I went all out with a Swarovski crystal mask for 180 euros…….I got carried away ! The ‘bodyguard’ went for a large beaked mask which seemed to have a rather exciting effect on all the ladeeeez !

Me And The Bodyguard

FLIGHTS AND HOTELS

Easyjet and BA flights start at a very reasonable £45 round trip for a 2 hour flight. Prices are excellent at this time of year and do not seem to get hiked up like other festivals. But bear in mind if you are not on a package a private water taxi transfer can be about 150 euros. Although the vaporetti is cheaper at 15 euros but instead of 20 mins will take twice as long.

Travelling around venice on the vaporetti is cheap 7.50 euros for a single trip one direction (valid for 75 minutes) .

Arriving By Water Taxi

There are hotels to suit ANY budget in Venice and hundred to choose from. There are the big grand ones like The Cipriani and The Gritti Palace. Medium level The Danieli and The Monaco. But even the smaller ones on the canal can give you more of a traditional Italien flavour with Gondoliers passing by the window singing. This one is over to you and your own personal taste and budget. Stay close to St Marks Square/Rialto Bridge, if it is your first visit . Easy to get lost in the winding back streets of venice.

THINGS TO DO

If you are staying longer some places I love in Venice:

  • Morning coffee and croissants at The Florian in St Marks Square
  • Guggenheim Museum (vaporetti stop ‘Salute”) view the Jackson Pollock collection.
  • La Terrazza Restaurant by the Rialto
  • A gondolier ride (approx 80 euros for 30 mins). More expensive at night.
  • A Bellini at Harrys Bar
  • A Rossini at The Gritti Palace made with fresh strawberries.
  • Lunch at Hotel Monaco
  • People watching at The Londres on the terrace.
  • St Marks Basilica for culture but pre book skip the line tickets.
  • Get away from the crowds for a romantic meal and great pasta cross to the other side of the canal (Salute stop) . Ristorante Cantinone Storico is my secret place sssssshhhhh dont tell anyone ……please.
  • Oh and at Carnevale time PARADE PARADE PARADE ! Such fun to be immersed in the whole experience.

So get planning Stylistas for 2022 for one of the most stylish events of the year. YOU SHALL GO TO THE BALL CINDERS. Have fun !

JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: I HAVE VISITED VENICE SEVERAL TIMES BUT I HAVE TO SAY I ENJOY IT FAR MORE IN THE WINTER MONTHS THAN THE SUMMER WHEN IT IS AT ITS MIST HAUNTING AND ROMANTIC……AND LESS CROWDED. BEAUTIFUL SUNNY CRISP WINTER DAYS.

MWAH MWAH

JOJO XXXXXXX

48 HOURS IN JERSEY-A CULINARY TOUR

****NOTE***** As many of us are dreaming of a quick getaway it may actually happen in the not so distant future so I have decided to republish some of my travel articles for you to stop dreaming and start planning(although I would not book yet). I thought I would start with my Jersey experience especially with the recent REAL HOUSEWIVES OF JERSEY making a recent splash on our screens.

I am a regular visitor to Jersey in the Channel Islands mainly because my parents live there. Perfect for a long weekend away and frequently overlooked as a travel destination. A 40 minute flight away and you can be on some of the best beaches in the world, temperatures typically 5 degrees hotter than the mainland and a whole host of Michelin star restaurants. All this in 9 x 5 miles of island. With all the fresh local produce that Jersey has to offer from the freshest seafood, the creamiest dairy and not forgetting the new potatoes this surely is a foodies dream. So as I have tried and tested most of the restaurants not the island over the years I decided to take my Knightsbridge based foodie friend for a culinary tour of Jersey for 48 hours of the finest food so come along with us !!!

FRIDAY 16.00

Leave from Gatwick. Unfortunately at the time of publishing Jersey still do not fly from Heathrow however this is due to change. But we make it in time for dinner! After settling in at my parents we head out to Mark Jordan On The Beach just a short walk away. We sat outside on the terrace on a warm evening with unparalleled views of the sea and the sun setting across the bay. This restaurant has a Bib Gourmand and was featured in the Tatler Best Restaurant Guide. I always feel if you are close to the sea then you really have to order seafood the saltiness in the air bring out the flavours. All the fish is local and the freshest I have tasted anywhere. I order the Brill with a crab tortellini on a lobster bisque while my guest ordered the whole grilled Plaice with a caper,prawn and cockle butter. Both dishes were outstanding and amazing value at £23 and £27 respectively. I left it up to my dinner guest to order a dessert to share a simply perfect raspberry souffle . Could not fault the food and service here and certainly could not find fault with the view. 10/10

SATURDAY 10.00

After our morning yoga , green juice and copious black coffee . We decide not to ruin our culinary lunch today by having breakfast so we head to nearby Noirmont Point for a brisk bracing walk along the cliffs. It always seems to be windy here so take a sweater. On the south coast of Jersey withfabulous views across the bay and along the coastline. Steeped in history still has several German bunkers and a Martello tower. It is possible to have a local guide give you a tour of the area which is preserved in perpetuity to the men and women of jersey who died in World War 2.

12.00pm

We head to St Brelades bay one of the most beautiful wide beaches on the Island. I could be forgiven for thinking I was in the Caribbean but with its huge empty beach with white sands …..it is better. But before we change into our beachwear we head to our next planned restaurant the infamous OYSTER BOX overlooking the Ocean. Always a “must do” in every Jersey/good food article. Super chic and minimalist interior.The menu could be written for me with lots of tartare, carpaccio, oysters and seafood and a good wine list too. I opted for one of the specials Hake with artichokes and cauliflower gremolata , my guest chose the scallops and pancetta with a pea and mint puree. All paired with a bottle of my favourite rose Chateau Minuty £38 very reasonable. We passed on dessert although the dessert menu was very tempting. But I AM planning on donning the bikini right after lunch. Once again , outstanding. Family owned since 1954 they also own the Crab Shack next door if you want more casual dining. 10/10

Outside the Oyster Box

2.30pm

Hire a couple of sunbeds for £5 each (£35 each in Cannes !!) and sleep off lunch in the warm September sunshine .

4.00pm

Before organising our transport home we head to L’Horizon to the terrace bar for gin and tonics. A lovely spot overlooking the beach with glass panels to protect you from the wind whilst not spoiling the incredible views. Very cordial here and they ALSO have a great menu for lunch.

L’Horizon Terrace

7.00pm

We opt for a very healthy clean light supper at my friends fabulous restaurant NUDE FOOD . One based in St Helier but we headed close by to the newly opened NUDE BEACH to check it out. right on the beach at St Aubins the restaurant is as light and clean as the menu. The menus is “light clean and uncomplicated” just how I like it !! We found it kind of refreshing to move away from the Michelin style foods and just have a simple healthy supper. No alcohol is served here. I opted for an Immune Boost (apple,carrot,ginger,turmeric and lemon) to drink £4.20. The Asian Poke bowl full off wonderful asian vegetables and brown rice £9.50, I topped with some grilled halloumi unconventional, I know, but there are no rules. As a clean eater I have always loved their food in St Helier but this new setting by the beach was off the scale ! The closest thing to heaven . Don’t be put off by the Nude Beach sign though you do get to keep your clothes on!!!!

Strolling back along the beach to home without feeling too heavy was great.

SUNDAY 10.00am

Our last day and I decided I wanted my foodie guest to sample another Beach Cafe . So we decide to power walk to the beach at St Peter ( well we have to keep working these calories off). Lovely and quiet and no one on the beach. This is basically a beach shack with a very extensive menu and the best full English Breakfast on the island. As we had another gastronomic lunch to look forward to we had two giant cups of coffee and a Portuguese bacon roll to share.

Morning Coffee

We board Le Petit Train Jerseys very own little train that accommodate up to 60 people to travel along the coast from Liberation Square St Helier to St Aubins. A 35 minute journey and for £8.50 a great way to see this part of Jersey.

Le Petit train

1.00pm

I have two Michelin options for lunch today we opted for Oceans restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel, St Brelade . But a quick mention for Samphire in St Helier formerly known as Ormers. The chef Sean Rankin has since parted ways but already Samphire have earned their Michelin status back. Remains one of my favourites with stunning decor, exceptional food and service and a great Saturday brunch menu until 2 pm. If you are here for longer I would not hesitate to recommend.

Samphire St Helier

Oceans restaurant is located within The Atlantic, listed status as a small luxury Hotel of the world.The sole one in Jersey. Overlooking a beautiful unoccupied swimming pool with further views extending across St Ouens bay. The hotel is up high so makes the views even more impressive. This elegant calm dining room is quiet. We opt for the set menu 2 course for £22.50 and 3 courses for £27.50. Starters of scorched and tartare Mackerel followed by pan fried salmon on a bed of smoked haddock and vegetables was divine. Only the desserts let the meal down with a take on ‘arctic roll’ which did not compete with the £1 one from all good and (otherwise ) supermarkets. Surprising from such an esteemed award winning restaurant.

We continued our exceptional bottle of Gavi down by the pool and as we had brought along our swimwear we lazed the afternoon away in the exceptional surroundings and absorbed the view. A few champagnes later we headed back home to get ready for our flight back to the mainland………. and a week of fasting !

HOTELS

There are a number of great “Luxury” Hotels to stay in Jersey. As I am not sure my parents can accommodate you all …….but you can ask !!

Here are a few good ones

  • THE ROYAL YACHT ST HELIER
  • HOTEL DE FRANCE ST HELIER
  • ST BRELADES BAY HOTEL
  • THE ATLANTIC HOTEL ST BRELADE
  • L’HORIZON ST BRELADE
  • LONGUEVILLE MANOR ST SAVIOUR

JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: EVEN BETTER IF YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR 48 HOURS MIDWEEK TO MAKE THE MOST OF CHEAP FLIGHTS AND EMPTY BEACHES. EASYJET FLIGHTS FROM £40 PP.

BON VOYAGE

JOJO xxxxxxxxxxxxx

TRAVEL:GET ON BOARD PLANE ETIQUETTE

Bad behaviour always becomes more pronounced when you are crammed into a confined area when there is no escape ! Having just returned from another long haul trip it never fails to surprise me how inconsiderate some people can be of others. This can occur in First , business or economy class it is not limited. So to prevent situations escalating higher than the 36 000 feet you are flying at and your blood pressure reaching a higher temperature than your destination let me highlight some situations where your own behaviour may need to be checked in with your baggage !

Following my recent article on the downfall of manners many of you contacted me about manners on aeroplanes so I have consolidated your gripes into the following list. So lets work together to bring back the joy to travel !!

  • I have never quite understood passengers that travel with quite so much hand luggage to save them 20 minutes at the other end. Lugging it all around the lounge when it could be easily checked in to ensure you have a far more relaxing and enjoyable time. BUT there is nothing more infuriating than all this hand luggage clogging up the queues at security while all these cases are unpacked and repacked. Make everyones jobs easier and waiting times quicker and CHECK IT IN !!!!
  • When boarding an aircraft WITH ALL YOUR HAND LUGGAGE move out of the gangway as soon as possible so boarding can take place as quick as possible. I have seen passengers leisurely unpacking in the aisle totally oblivious to the 400 people waiting to pass by.
  • Recently travelling in Business class on a £7000 air fare to enable me to sleep before a meeting that I was heading to I was mortified to find I was seated next to a baby that literally cried ALL night. Message to parents its all in the title BUSINESS class for business people who need to work on the run. Even if you all travelled Business and First all your life you have to adjust when you have a baby please consider other passengers. I would never have booked my baby into a business cabin I promise you we went everywhere by coach class. Message to airlines PLEASE make Business and First cabins child free until at least the age of 12 when they can actually appreciate it and WE can appreciate them. Remember people are paying thousands of pounds (and other currencies) JUST to avoid babies and badly behaved children.
  • On the subject of children . Parents please stay in control. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD KICK THE BACK OF THE SEAT IN FRONT FOR 11 CONSECUTIVE HOURS ! It is entirely up to you to keep them occupied.
  • Reclining seats are a feature on all airlines in all classes let the person behind know that you are reclining the seat beforehand ensuring they don’t have any drinks/food on the tray behind. ALWAYS put your seat upright at meal times out of courtesy for the person seated behind to give them room to enjoy their meal. We know how cramped it can be to dine on a plane.
  • What ever personal habits you have developed in your own personal space leave them there. A plane is NOT your own personal space. Do not subject your fellow travellers to nose picking, throat clearing, feet picking , wind breaking, sniffing, cutting nails (yes it really happens). Remember other people have THEIR own personal space too. Respect it.
  • Please I beg you, NO BARE FEET. Of course you want to remove outdoor footwear on a long haul flight I get it, replace these with flight socks or flight slippers. Don’t put your feet on the arms of the seats in front or on the top of the seat or ON THE FOOD TRAY. A flurry of you tube videos have been posted recently showing just this.
  • Check the volume of your headphones. Sitting next to someone with constant tinny noise of music that you don’t like and even if you do like it is so annoying after the first 3 hours.
  • Toilet time. OMG how long does it take ? What are you people doing in there ????? When there is approx one restroom between 100 passengers please be aware that there will probably be 10 people waiting with crossed legs outside. Do what you have to do quickly and efficiently then leave. Oh after you have tidied up your mess on the seat , on the floor and in the sink and sanitised the entire area . I avoid these dreadful cubicles if I possibly can so when I need to go I need to go so GET OUT OF THERE !
  • Finally please treat cabin crew with respect and courtesy. do not demand and say please and thank you. They have a difficult job and a limited time to do it in. Stay in your seat while they are serving from the trolley , although I have it on good authority the Captain always creates some turbulence during these times and the seatbelt sign just must go on…..

There will be points here that we all recognise and there may be some we are guilty of ourselves if this is you. STOP. THINK. Let us make air travel a more beautiful experience like it used to be.

JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: WE LIVE IN A SELFISH WORLD. TO CREATE STYLE AND BEAUTY AROUND US RELIES ON OTHER PEOPLE HAVING THE SAME VALUES. LET US START THINKING ABOUT OUR BEHAVIOUR AND THE AFFECT IT HAS ON OTHER PEOPLE. I HAVE FAITH WE ALL ULTIMATELY WANT. THE SAME OUTCOME.

MWAH MWAH

JOJO XXXXXXXX