THESE FAIR SHORES. MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME Exclusive rental properties that you won t want to leave EASTERN AIRWAYS IN-FLIGHT.

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1 EASTERN AIRWAYS IN-FLIGHT 39 Spring 2012 THESE FAIR SHORES We take a look at the South Downs from Hampshire to the Sussex coast ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: LOST IN TRANSLATION A LESSON IN CREATIVE WRITING DESTINATION ALL-ENERGY SUPPLEMENT MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME Exclusive rental properties that you won t want to leave ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: LORRAINE PASCALE A GREAT BRITISH PUB OFFSHORE OPPORTUNITIES This is is your complimentary in-flight magazine, to to read now or or to to take home

2 Exciting career opportunities with Bureau Veritas If you re an industry professional with aspirations to further your career path in a more dynamic, yet highly rewarding environment or a graduate looking to make that first important step in your career, talk to Bureau Veritas about our range of career opportunities. Bureau Veritas is a leading offshore and onshore Verification, Testing, Inspection and Certification professional services company. We have a global network of 52,000 employees in 140 countries and we re constantly striving to expand and invest in our workforce in the following areas: E&I Engineers / Technicians Mechanical Engineers / Technicians Structural Engineers Pipeline Engineers Technical Safety Engineers QHSE and Process Safety Auditors RBI Engineers Operations and Maintenance Technicians Maintenance Supervisors Commissioning Engineers If you re a motivated individual and believe we can meet your career aspirations, please send your CV to: uk.bureauveritas.com scan me

3 WELCOME Welcome to the Eastern Airways Magazine yours to take home and pass round your friends and family! With winter now behind us, we aim to lift your horizons by enticing you to visit a national park, representing the very best of our protected landscapes. Besides the round-up in our Essential Guide, we ve more in-depth coverage of an old favourite, the Yorkshire Dales, and a visit to the South Downs, our newest national park. We ve teamed up with the Bolton Abbey Estate and our partner Europcar to offer another great competition prize of a two night spa break at the Devonshire Arms or Devonshire Fell, in the Yorkshire Dales (see page 49) and, for those who fancy a slightly sterner challenge, why not try our puzzle page for a chance to win a bottle of awardwinning English whisky. Talking about whisky, we re happy to tell you about a cooperation between a fine Scottish distillery and Aberdeen s most celebrated author, the crime writer Stuart MacBride. Still on the subject of crime, we chat with Brenda Blethyn, who plays sleuth Vera Stanhope in the ITV adaptation of Anne Cleeves s detective novels. Eastern Airways news includes the return of our Southampton to Brussels route, while our relationship with Azerbaijan Airlines has been strengthened, making it even easier to book travel to oil-rich Baku or take a more unusual holiday in this fascinating and beautiful country on the Caspian Sea. Other news this issue includes the launch of our new charter service, following Eastern Airways naming as Best Charter Airline at the prestigious Baltic Air Charter Association Excellence Awards. As part of a quality, reliable service to our scheduled passengers, we hope our magazine will also keep you amused on your short journey and we hope to see you again soon. THE EASTERN TEAM FÀILTE CROESO BIENVENUE WELKOM VELKOMMEN Tha Eastern Airways a cur fàilte air ar luchd-cleachdaidh gu lèir bho Bhreatainn agus an Roinn Eòrp. Tha Eastern Airways am measg prìomh lànsheirbheisean adhair clàraichte na RA. Tha sinn an dòchas gum meas sibh ar seirbheis, an dà chuid, cùramach agus beagan eadar-dhealaichte tha sinn an-còmhnaidh toilichte ur beachdan mun t-seirbheis againn, is mu ar n-iris, a chluinntinn. Sgioba Eastern Croeso gan Eastern Airways magazine, i bob un o n cwsmeriaid ym mhob rhan o Brydain Fawr ac Ewrop. Mae Eastern Airways ymhlith y prif gwmnïau awyrennau yn y DU sy n cynnig amserlen lawn o wasanaethau. Gobeithio y gwelwch chi fod ein gwasanaeth yn un gofalus ac ychydig bach yn wahanol rydyn ni bob amser yn falch o gael eich sylwadau am ein gwasanaeth ac am ein cylchgrawn. Tîm Eastern Bienvenue à tous nos clients de Grande-Bretagne et d Europe de la part de Eastern Airways magazine. Eastern Airways figure parmi les principales compagnies aériennes britan niques offrant un service de vols réguliers. Nous espérons que vous nous trouverez attentifs à vos besoins, avec ce petit plus qui fait la différence, et sommes toujours heureux de recevoir vos comment aires sur notre service et notre magazine. L équipe Eastern Eastern Airways magazine heet onze klanten uit alle regio s in Groot-Brittannië en het Europese vasteland van harte welkom. Eastern Airways is één van de leidende luchtvaart maatschappijen in het VK met volledige service en regelmatige verbindingen. Wij hopen dat u onze service zowel als attent en een weinig verschillend zult ervaren wij kijken er altijd op uit uw opmer kingen te horen over onze service en ons magazine. Het Eastern team Eastern Airways magasinet ønsker våre kunder i Storbritannia og Europa velkommen. Eastern Airways er et av Storbritannias ledende ruteflyselskap. Vi håper at du vil være fornøyd med servicen vår og at den tilbyr deg det lille ekstra som er prikken over i-en. Vi setter alltid pris på å motta dine kommentarer om både servicen og magasinet. Eastern-teamet

4 You have the stressful task of flying in Company Directors from all over the world for a meeting in Aberdeen. Relax, Lynsey can take care of it for you. It s good to know that all it takes to sort all your travel arrangements is just one phone call to Lynsey and her team. You can then sit back safe in the knowledge that we ll find you the very best deals. And no matter what you require, we ll save you both time and money, finding great rates not just in the UK, but worldwide too. So get in touch and see how Clyde Travel Management can reduce your stress levels and help you with your business travel. Aberdeen Glasgow Southampton Kintyre House, 209 Govan Road, Glasgow G51 1HJ Tel: Fax: The Professionals Choice for Business, Marine and Offshore Travel

5 Eastern Airways In-flight Magazine New Year 2012 A SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED FOR EASTERN AIRWAYS IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALL-ENERGY 2012 Fly easternairways.com MAY 2012, ABERDEEN, UK i CONTENTS CONTENTS 14 GLASGOW 18 VERA 28 JURA REGULARS 07 EASTERN AIRWAYS NEWS Everything that s happening around the Eastern Airways network right now 13 LATEST GADGETS Great gifts and advanced apps for people on the move 17 BITTER EXPERIENCE Alastair Gilmour champions the great British pub 32 EXPLORATION EXPRESS: WENSLEYDALE There s more than cheese in them thar hills and dales 36 BARE ESSENTIALS Eastern Airways network map, passenger information and destination guides 46 ESSENTIAL GUIDE: NATIONAL PARKS All within easy reach of our destinations 50 THE LAST WORD Fish are not as wet as one might think, says Harry Pearson COMPETITIONS 31 PUZZLE PAGE Solve the puzzle and you could win a bottle of English whisky 49 DEVONSHIRE HOTELS Win a luxury two-night break in the Yorkshire Dales SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT Destination All-Energy 2012 DESTINATION ALL-ENERGY RENEWABLES LOW-DOWN ON THE MUST-ATTEND EVENT FEATURES 14 CITY OF CULTURE Glasgow s reputation as a cultural giant is as impressive as ever 18 BRENDA BLETHYN TV detective admires Miss Marple BAKU Eurovision hits the Caspian city 22 SOUTH DOWNS The low-down on Britain s newest National Park 26 REVIEWS Books really do mean big business for one Australian publisher 28 MYSTERY LOCATION The island of Jura and its whisky get the creative juices flowing for crime novelist Stuart MacBride 34 BAD LANGUAGE Translation s loss is humour s gain Front cover by Founded. Eastern Airways in-flight magazine is published for Eastern Airways by Gravity Magazines, Abbey Business Centre, Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham, DH1 5JZ Telephone: +44 (0) Publisher: Stan Abbott Design: Barbara Allen Advertising: Liz Reekie Telephone: +44 (0) Print: Buxton Press March All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced by any means, without prior written permission of the copyright owners. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this magazine, neither the publisher, nor Eastern Airways can accept any liability for errors or omissions. ISSN: Previously known as e-magazine, ISSN Eastern Airways, Schiphol House, Humberside International Airport, Kirmington, North Lincolnshire DN39 6YH Communications Manager: Darren Roberts Telephone: + 44 (0) Reservations: + 44 (0) For magazine comments: 5

6 Descaling. Decontamination. Delivered like never before. April 2012 sees the opening of the most advanced NORM descaling and decontamination facility in the UK. Based in Aberdeen, NORM Solutions is a collaboration between Enviroco Limited and John Lawrie Group, purpose -built to support the UK s exploration, production and decommissioning activities. This new, fully enclosed, multi-million pound facility incorporates cutting edge process equipment for the safe and efficient removal of NORM scale from your tubulars and other equipment, with everything being carried out within the secure confines of this major new facility. Uniquely, we are also able to handle your NORM contaminated sludges and sands. Call NORM Solutions on to find out more. We re sure it ll change the way you view your descaling options. Bringing together the unique skills of and

7 NEWS FROM EASTERN AIRWAYS DESTINATIONS EASTERN AIRWAYS NEWS Pictured unveiling Eastern Airways new charter uniform at the airline s new charter product launch are, from left, Eastern Airways cabin crew Joanne Lodge, Craig Brett and Kate Goodson. EASTERN AIRWAYS NEW CHARTER PRODUCT AT YOUR SERVICE Private charter specialist, Eastern Airways, has introduced a new enhanced charter product aimed at corporate customers, international companies, blue chip organisations, sports teams, the music industry and private clients. The UK s second largest regional airline, which was recently named Best Passenger Charter Airline at the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) excellence awards, is further developing its high-quality offering to deliver the best possible charter service in the seat market. ANNIVERSARY Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Eastern Airways launched its range of bespoke charter products to charter brokers at TAG Farnborough Airport. The new service meets individual client requirements, including its premier level Platinum service, as well as Gold and Silver. Cabin crew have been specifically trained in the hospitality sector to deliver the Platinum and Gold onboard services, tailored to suit each client s needs and also in a variety of languages, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Polish. A new cabin crew uniform, specifically introduced for charter services, has also been unveiled to differentiate the private charter service from Eastern Airways scheduled services. Kay Ryan, Eastern Airways Commercial Director, said: We have significantly grown our charter business over the last two years and the launch of our new charter product further demonstrates our attention to detail and customised levels of service to meet the requirements of our clients. The bespoke charter services we offer will appeal to a whole host of existing and potential customers. The event in Farnborough was the ideal opportunity for us to showcase our latest charter offering to the charter industry s leading brokers. Eastern Airways also offers flexible and convenient corporate shuttles and has specialised in serving oil and gas companies heading to site locations or connecting with offshore helicopters. Not only does it support the energy sector but also other industries with adaptable services that can not be matched by scheduled operators. IN DEMAND There are three fast Embraer jets in the airline s fleet, which are heavily in demand, while the 50-seater Saab 2000 aircraft can operate to restricted short runways and flies at speeds similar to that of a jet. n Eastern Airways is offering additional services between Newcastle and Cardiff and Aberdeen and Cardiff on Thursdays, traditionally the busiest day on the routes. The new service leaves Newcastle at 1250, arriving It returns at 1500, arriving in Newcastle at The new service from Aberdeen to Cardiff departs at 1125, arriving in Cardiff at The Newcastle-Cardiff service offers business travelers two flights a day Monday to Friday (three on Thursday) and one flight on Sundays. Services from Aberdeen operate daily (two on Thursday), expect Saturday. 7

8 NEWS FROM EASTERN AIRWAYS DESTINATIONS Darren gets on his bike to help fight Alzheimer s As an airline manager, Darren Roberts could get from John O Groats to Lands End in around two hours. But he s set himself an extremely tough challenge at a much slower pace on a bicycle. From May 3, Darren, Eastern Airways Communications Manager, is making the trip the hard way cycling 1,000 miles in ten days in aid of the Alzheimer s Society. Darren formed Team Forget Me Not in memory of his mum, Jean Roberts, who died in 2011 after seven years suffering from the condition. The team consists of four riders, who will have to show stamina and endurance to complete this epic ride. Alzheimer s is a progressive disease and type of dementia resulting in a loss of brain function. It can hit anyone at any time and there is still no cure, said Darren. We are raising awareness of this terrible illness and raising funds by setting one of the toughest challenges we ll ever do in a lifetime. My mum would have been extremely proud of us forming the team and also with the enormous goal we ve set. This is a truly worthwhile cause and any donation no matter how small is greatly appreciated. To sponsor or find out more about Team Forget Me Not, visit weebly.com or go to if you wish to donate. EASTERN AIRWAYS FLIES AGAIN TO BRUSSELS 8 SUCCESSFUL START FOR BAKU SERVICE Eastern Airways is developing its strategic alliance with Azerbaijan Airlines following a successful first six months of a twice-weekly service from Aberdeen to Baku, capital of the oilrich Caucasus nation. A codeshare agreement between the two airlines enables travel agents to book flights to Baku as though it were a destination on the Eastern Airways network, as well as connecting flights to Aberdeen from within the UK and Norway. A ticketing agreement is also in place to enable seamless bookings from Baku and onward to Eastern Airways destinations across the UK and Norway. Onward travel with Azerbaijan Airlines from Baku to a number of other destinations across the Cacasus and Middle East is also available. Nick Easen visits Baku, page 21. Marcel Vanhulst Eastern Airways has stepped in to secure the future of Southampton s air link with Brussels. The airline is reintroducing services to the EU capital from Monday April 16 after a gap of four years, following the withdrawal of Flybe from the route at the end of February. Flights will operate daily, except Saturdays, with weekday flights leaving Southampton at 1110 on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1300 on Wednesdays, and 1055 on Thursdays and Fridays. From Brussels, weekday flights depart at 1355 on Mondays and Tuesdays, 1545 on Wednesdays and 1340 on Thursdays and Fridays (all times local). On Sundays, departure from Southampton is at 1655 and return services leave Brussels at Eastern Airways previously operated the niche Southampton-Brussels route for more than two years until April Kay Ryan, Eastern Airways Commercial Director, said: The continuation of the Southampton- Brussels route is great news for business and leisure travellers on the south coast of England as there have been strong trade and tourism links between the two regions for many years. Dave Lees, Southampton Airport s Managing Director, said: We re delighted that Eastern Airways has enabled the continuation of this service to Brussels from Southampton. European Parliament, Brussels

9 NEWS FROM EASTERN AIRWAYS DESTINATIONS ROOMS WITH A PERFECT VIEW Shetland is best in Scotland Shetland has edged out Aberdeenshire as the best place to live in Scotland. In a survey carried out by Bank of Scotland, Shetland had the best health and employment rates and one of Scotland s lowest crime rates. Many Shetlanders enjoy above-average weekly earnings of 605 and some 84 per cent of the population is in work the highest in the country. Aberdeenshire is close behind, with 81 per cent in work and average weekly earnings of 642. Bristol gets the curry buzz with Za Za Bazaar Mega-restaurant Za Za Bazaar has opened in the heart of Bristol, boasting a remarkable 1,000 covers over 30,000 sq ft. Planned as the first location for the new national brand, Za Za offers a rich variety of global cuisine at a fixed price in a buzzing oriental night market environment. Adventure and live cooking are at the heart of the restaurant concept, which sets cuisine from India, China, Japan, the Far East, South America and Europe against vivid backdrops, reflecting the cultures from which it originates. Also on offer are 35 cocktails inspired by European, Asian, American and Arctic cuisines, as well as beers from ten countries, including China, India, Portugal and Brazil. Executive Chef Nitin Bhatnagar says: What is important to us is not the size of the restaurant, but the quality, freshness and variety of the food that we are serving. The new restaurant is located on a landmark site on the city s popular Harbourside waterfront. Free Europcar app now available to download Eastern Airways partner Europcar is bringing customers a new level of access and convenience with the launch of the free Europcar app for iphone. Now busy customers can make reservations and search for details on any Europcar location worldwide, at the touch of a button. view details on rates and promotional offers, to ensure they get the best possible deal for their car hire. They can also book any extras they might need, such as Sat Nav or child seats. Plus, travellers can change or cancel a reservation, bringing a new level of control to the palm of their hands. Shetlanders live longer, with an average life expectancy of 77 and young people do better at school in Shetland, with 91 per cent scoring five SCQF level fours, compared with a national average of 78 per cent. An analysis of the survey figures suggests it is the price of housing in Aberdeenshire that has cost it top spot, as the house price-to-earnings ratio of 5.7 is one of the highest in Scotland. Sandy Cluness, Convener of Shetland Islands Council, said: This comes as no surprise. Many Shetlanders have travelled widely and know how much we have to appreciate in Shetland. We are delighted to share our way of life too, with tourists and those who like to come here to live permanently. Troswickness Loch, Shetland In the modern age of smartphone technology and tablet computers, consumers demand products and services that they can access wherever they are, said Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar Group UK. With the launch of the Europcar app for iphone it s easier than ever for our customers to book the car of their choice, even when they are out and about. iphone users can reserve vehicles or search for details on any of Europcar s 5,300 stations across 150 countries worldwide The Europcar iphone app can be downloaded free from the itunes store. The app also allows customers to 9

10 NEWS FROM EASTERN AIRWAYS DESTINATIONS IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN The town s football team may have been teetering on the brink, but Rockliffe Hall Hotel, near Darlington, is very much in the Premier League, having been voted the second best luxury hotel in Britain by users of the TripAdvisor website. Only London s Dorchester Hotel finished higher in the Travellers Choice awards, which also named the five-star golf resort the fifth most luxurious venue in Europe and a stunning ninth among the world s most luxurious hotel destinations. Rockliffe Hall Managing Director Nick Holmes said: It is really pleasing that our guests have placed us above some of the most iconic luxury hotels in the UK. It s even more incredible to see our name above other worldrenowned destinations, such as Sandy Lane in Barbados and the St Regis Resort in Bali. The 50 million resort, created by Middlesbrough FC owner Steve Gibson, boasts a championship golf course, award-winning spa, and three restaurants, including the three AA rosette Orangery restaurant headed by celebrated chef Kenny Atkinson. Mr Atkinson said: Rockliffe Hall is a northern gem, and to know that we are sourcing local ingredients for our food and employing local people, and putting the North on the map as a luxury resort is superb. In the awards section for ordinary hotels, there were a number of successes near Eastern Airways airports: the Hillside, at Ventnor, Isle of Wight and reviewed in a previous issue of this magazine, placed second; third was Rudding Park, Harrogate, fourth Beechwood, North Walsham; seventh, Chambers, Park Place, Leeds; eighth, Shelley s, Lynmouth; ninth, Number Four at Stow, Stow-onthe-Wold; and tenth, Bath House Hotel, Chard. TravelersChoice-Hotels-cLuxury n One of Aberdeenshire s most famous hotel owners, Margaret Jaffrey, has handed over the keys to her successors at Banchory Lodge. Mrs Jaffray has retired after 45 years service as owner of the well landmark hotel on the banks of the River Dee. The new owners represent a consortium of local hoteliers who have been successfully operating in Scotland for 20 years. Since Mrs Jaffray bought the hotel with her late husband, Dugald, in 1966, she has strived to preserve and enhance the fabric of the historic Georgian mansion and develop it tastefully into the highly respected hotel it is today. New co-owner Carol Fowler, said: Banchory Lodge will continue to be used as a truly special venue for weddings, celebrations, and other gatherings and we want to continue to build on the solid reputation that Mrs Jaffray and her dedicated team have built up over the last 45 years. n Saab car owners finding it hard to get hold of spares may or may not be interested to know that an 11th-hour bid from the Swedish city of Trollhätten has saved the Saab motor museum collection, including James Bond s personal vehicle, the 1981 Saab 900 Turbo. More than 100 vehicles charting the brand s entire history had been put up for sale by the company s liquidators struggling to cover Saab s huge debts. The city, with former parent company Saab AB and the Wallenberg Foundation, is reported to have paid 2.6 million to keep the collection in place. n Eastern Airways passengers travelling through Aberdeen now enjoy free WiFi access in the dedicated Eastern Airways airside lounge. 10 l CONGRATULATIONS! The winner of a one-night retreat for six at Ackergill Tower Beach House (Eastern Airways Magazine 38) was Dale Randle, of Aberdeen. Winners of a bottle of awardwinning English Whisky in our Puzzle Page were Tammy Conner and Jason Usher.

11 SPONSORED EDITORIAL / NEWS FROM EASTERN AIRWAYS DESTINATIONS ON THE RIGHT TRACK by Murray Burnett When the unexpected happens be it an isolated incident on an offshore installation, political unrest in the Middle East or a volcanic ash cloud in Iceland being informed and able to quickly locate and assist employees caught up the ensuing travel disruption is now a key priority for companies in the UK oil and gas sector. Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007, employers are directly responsible for the health and safety of travelling employees and must take all reasonable measures to ensure their wellbeing. Organisations are increasingly looking to Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to help them fulfil their duty of care and corporate responsibility obligations. While each business has differing requirements, TMCs work with a company s own risk assessment and crisis plans to provide a tailored solution to ensure the safety and security of its travellers in the event of a crisis. themselves to make informed decisions about their safety. alerts can be sent to advise clients of incidents or developments worldwide that may significantly impact on traveller arrangements. Increasingly TMCs are also designing their own tracking systems available 24/7 to locate travellers who might be caught up in an incident. These systems exist alongside third party traveller tracking systems that integrate with TMC reservation systems to enable authorised client personnel to view the location of all their travellers and assist them in the event of an emergency. As more and more organisations seek to expand their business in a global marketplace, their employees are increasingly likely to come across travel disruptions caused by factors outwith their control, be they natural or man-made, which may be a threat to their safety and security a fact no employer can afford to ignore. It can be problematic in an emergency pinpointing the whereabouts of employees who have made their own travel arrangements. Systems are available to provide pre-trip destination information before departure on health or security threats to enable the travellers Murray Burnett is managing partner of Munro s Travel Group and has worked with a number of corporate clients in the energy industry to provide a tailored solution in relation to traveller safety and security. MORE SEATS TO DUBAI Eastern Airways partner, Emirates, is upping capacity on its daily Newcastle-Dubai service by 54 per cent in a major vote of confidence in the service, now five years old.services will be operated by a 428-seat Boeing 777 from September, replacing the Airbus A330. Eastern Airways and Emirates offer the shortest end-to-end journey between Aberdeen and Dubai, via Newcastle, Monday to Friday. Newcastle Airport Chief Executive David Laws said the new aircraft could mean more than 300 new jobs in the airport and its supply chain.

12 NEWS FFEATURE ROOMS AT THE TOP North East England has seen a number of hotel openings and refurbishments 12 Newcastle Airport is celebrating the arrival of a brand new DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel the first of this brand to be located at an airport in the UK. The much anticipated four-star accommodation offers 179 bedrooms, as well as 11 conference rooms, and business and fitness centres. Rob Palleschi, Global Head of DoubleTree by Hilton, said: DoubleTree by Hilton is a fast-growing, global hotel brand that currently welcomes the world s travellers to more than 35 locations at international gateway airports. With more than 250 hotels and resorts around the world, including eight across the UK, we are delighted to continue expanding our UK presence into North East England by creating a rewarding experience with our warm and welcoming style of hospitality at the DoubleTree by Hilton Newcastle International Airport. FAMILY BUSINESS The hotel was acquired by Newcastlebased Cairn Hotels Group in 2011 and Director Aran Handa said: As a family business based in Newcastle we have watched this very well located hotel coming out of the ground for the last few years. We are now absolutely delighted to have acquired it, finished it off and finally got it open to the public. Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle Airport, said: The prestige of DoubleTree by Hilton operating onsite will be hugely popular with our customers. The company s reputation for exceptional service fits perfectly with our focus on putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. The Cairn Hotels Group is also behind a 3 million makeover of the famous Scotch Corner Hotel, near Darlington, which has reopened as the snappily named four-star Holiday Inn Darlington A1 Scotch Corner, with 91 executive and standard en suite rooms. A new spa and pool is under development. Both Cairn hotels feature Fratello s Italian restaurants, the group s own brand. Also now open in Newcastle is the Sandman Signature Hotel, in the former Newcastle Brewery offices, opposite Newcastle United Football Club. It is the first venture into the UK for the Sandman chain, which has about 40 hotels and resorts in its Canadian homeland. The four-star Newcastle hotel boasts 175 bedrooms and the Shark Club Gastro Bar on the lobby level, providing 24-hour room service for hotel residents. Director of the Sandman Hotel Group in the UK, Mitchell Gaglardi, said: Sandman Signature is delighted to choose Newcastle for its first hotel in the UK. Not only is its hospitality to visitors legendary the world over, but it also benefits from superb transport links and, being the foremost city in the North of England, it is inevitably a big draw for businesses and tourists alike. IN THE PIPELINE Continuing buoyancy in Newcastle hotel occupancy rates means further developments are in the pipeline, including a Ramada Encore on Gateshead Quays, near the recently opened second Jurys Inn in Newcastle and Gateshead, and three further large hotels are in line for central Newcastle. In Durham, the County Marriott Hotel has just opened its brand new Spa Tranquility. NOW OPEN DoubleTree by Hilton at Newcastle Airport

13 LATEST GADGETS CHARMING GIFTS TO SEND THEM PACKING Scarlett Jewellery has introduced a new gift for adventurers and gap year travellers. A contemporary St Christopher, the Traveller Charm is designed to appeal to those looking for an unusual present for all modernday explorers. Made from hallmarked sterling silver, the Traveller Charm retails for 55. It can be worn on a bracelet or necklace or fit onto the drawstring inside a rucksack and features four engraved symbols. The fifth side can be custom engraved. Brighton-based Scarlett designer Sarah Fenton says she has seen a surge of customers requesting a precious gift for those embarking on overseas adventures. ALL OF SCOTLAND IN YOUR HAND Welcome to Scotland claims to be the most technologically advanced tourism app in Europe and is based on Landmark Press s successful website of the same name. The new app uses augmented reality, pointing technology, GPS and interactive maps to deliver detailed information on just about anything the visitor might want to know. Launching the app, Fergus Ewing, Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, pictured right, said: This app is an excellent way of getting the most up to date and relevant information to visitors, helping them make the most of their time in Scotland. Available from ITunes and Android Market. GET UP AND GO Must-have gadgets and apps for people on the go ALL CLANS GATHERED IN ONE SMALL PLACE ScotClans has launched The Scottish Clans app, a comprehensive guide to the history of more than 350 clans and dubbed a little piece of Scotland in your pocket. Read your clan history, see your clan tartan and crest and find out your clan s ancestral homeland. Using the built-in registration function, the app will be able to build up a picture of Scottish migration around the world, in an ambitious attempt to map the Scottish diaspora and show the worldwide influence of Scotland s great clans. Available for iphones and ipads via the ITunes store. n Vyke, the UK-based voice-overthe-internet provider, has launched a new version of its Vyke app for smartphones to simplify the reduction or avoidance of roaming charges when users are away from home. Available free from m.vyke. com and Android Market. ABS FAB TO GO The AB MXR, by Joanna Kabbani, claims to be the quick way to perfect abs for those who travel regularly and want to work out while on the go. The 1kg model is light enough to fit into your suitcase and just five minutes every day for five weeks will lead to definition as well as protecting your back and neck. n The 12N app is a nifty travelling companion that enables you to translate numbers and currencies on your iphone, ipad or Android and practise writing, hearing, understanding and speaking numbers in 120 languages. Available through itunes and Android stores.

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