Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gavin Manerowski | Exploring the Cuisine of Bali

The name Bali conjures up images of golden sands and azure blue seas, and with good reason – this pretty Indonesian island lies just 8 degrees south of the equator, and is part of an area known as the Coral Triangle, that which hosts the richest diversity of marine species in the world. As an island province of neighbouring Indonesia, Bali has its own distinct identity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its cuisine.

Seasoned travellers such as Gavin Manerowski know that some of the most authentic local dishes in Bali are to be found at the street-side snack bars and mobile cafes.  Typically catering for the locals, these vendors offer cheap, fresh-cookeGavin Manerowskid meals prepared using traditional methods, and are often strikingly different from the tourist fare served in restaurants and hotels. Local Balinese palates demand a more authentic taste than the typical Indonesian and Chinese dishes favoured by the standard traveller.

Bali is not a rich nation, and everyday eating is a functional affair; the meals are simple, wholesome and nutritious, and flavoured with spicy condiments. It is during festivals that the Balinese flair for food really comes into its own. Festival dishes are painstakingly prepared, and are often elaborate and beautifully presented – suckling pig is a favourite Balinese festival dish.

Bumbu Bali is one restaurant on the island that stands out from the crowd. In a delightfully authentic setting, guests are treated to the only menu on the island that lists traditional Balinese foods, prepared using ancient methods. As the majority of islanders are Hindu, beef is rarely eaten in Bali, with pork and chicken being favoured as the meat alternatives. Basa gede is a spicy paste that forms the basis for the flavour of many traditional Balinese dishes, along with basa genep, another popular spice blend. Other common flavours in Balinese cuisine derive from tabia lala manis, a soy sauce rich with chillies.

Lawar is blend of chicken or park meat and blood, with chopped garlic coconut and chilli, and is very popular in Bali, as are sate lilit, formed by skewering pressed spiced mince onto a stick. Nasi Campur Bali is the traditional mixed rice found on the island, and refers to a dish of rice adorned with a range of nuts, eggs, meat and vegetables. For travellers like Gavin Manerowski, sampling the traditional foods of their travel destinations is one of the delights of travel, and with dishes such as these on offer in Bali, it is easy to see why.

The Five Great Lakes of North America

Canada is home to no fewer than 30,000 freshwater lakes. Littering the landscape these glittering pools offer not only outstanding natural beauty, but are also a great source of food and water for the country, and offer numerous Gavin Manerowski opportunities for recreational pursuits. Yet for travellers such as Gavin Manerowski, it is the five Great Lakes that hold the biggest allure. Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior and Michigan lie landlocked along the Canadian and US border, and collectively comprise the single largest body of freshwater on the planet. Their 6 quadrillion gallons of water accounts for one fifth of all the fresh water on Earth.

Lake Michigan

The name of this lake offers a clue as to its immense proportions, as ‘Michigan’ derives from the word ‘mishigami’, the Ojibwa Indian word for large lake. In fact it is only the third largest of the Great Lakes by surface area, but nevertheless spans an impressive 22,300 sqm. It is also the only one of the five Great Lakes that is situated entirely within US borders.

Lake Huron

Beating Lake Michigan on surface area by just 700 extra square miles, Lake Huron is the second largest of the Great Lakes. Dotted with numerous small islands, Lake Huron boasts the longest shoreline of all the lakes, at 3,827 miles. It is named after the Hurons, also known as the Wyandot Indians, who used to live along its shores.

Lake Erie

This long narrow lake is the shallowest of the five and the one which holds the least water. It is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes by surface area. Its name means ‘Long Tail’ in Iroquoian, a term that accurately describes its shape.

Lake Ontario

The smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario has a surface area of 7,340 square miles. Its surface dimensions are comparable with those of Lake Erie, but it is exceptionally deep and consequently plays host to around four times the amount of water. Lake Ontario is situated at the base of Niagara Falls, and takes its name from the Huron word that means Lake of Shining Water.

Lake Superior

As its name suggests, Lake Superior is the most expansive of the Great Lakes by quite a large margin, and holds the largest volume of water. In fact, the name ‘Superior’ derived from the French ‘Lac Superior’, which simply means ‘upper lake’, and reflects its location north of Lake Huron.

There is no doubt that these glacially carved lakes have a magical quality that will continue to draw travellers like Gavin Manerowski to their shores. They have an enduring appeal, and form an integral part of the lives of the people who live beside them.

Gavin Manerowski | Best Tennis Holidays in Europe

For anyone who enjoys the thrill and challenge of a good game of tennis, combining this favorite sport with a holiday can be an appealing option. Those in search of tennis holidays have traditionally headed for Florida, which is Gavin Manerowski Tennishome to more tennis resorts than the whole of Europe combined. Enticing, but nevertheless a long haul destination, Florida is just not as convenient as Europe.

In recognition of this, short-haul tennis offerings have been increasing in number in recent years.  This offers UK-based tennis-lovers like Gavin Manerowski plenty of options to maximize their time on court, and keep their time in the air to a minimum. Here are three of the best tennis-orientated resorts and hotels available closer to home.

1: Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

This quality tennis academy boasts four championship standard courts where guests can play against a backdrop of stunning Mediterranean views. The academy offers group lessons, individual tuition and even a partner-matching service for guests who wish to extend their time on court beyond the training sessions. For non-playing partners the resort has a tempting spa, and an immaculate golf course, and there is a choice of accommodation in the form of luxury apartments and villas, or a five-star hotel.

2: Abama, Tenerife

Tenerife has long labored under the misconception that it is a down-market resort, but appears to be deep in a period of reinvention. The luxurious resort at Abama offers and exclusive tennis club and golfing facilities, along with a sumptuous spa;  set on 395 acres and nestled between the mountains and the sea, the Abama resort is perfectly placed to offer guests the best of everything Tenerife has to offer. Daily tennis coaching in groups is available on a pick-and-mix option that can deliver up to six hours of guided court time each day, plus one-on-one lessons if desired.

3: La Manga, Murcia

The scale of this Spanish tennis heaven is quite staggering – with 28 courts there is no shortage of play time, and with the number of players on site it is easy to find opponents of a similar playing standard. After a nail-biting assessment on day one, course attendees are divided into groups of similar expertise for two-hourly coaching sessions each weekday morning. The rest of the time is dedicated to free play, or as much rest and relaxation as guests choose, perfect for travelers like Gavin Manerowski who enjoy exploring their holiday destination as well as indulging their love of the sport. This resort offers accommodation for a range of budgets, and also caters for children, with junior training sessions, and a handy crèche for the tiniest guests.