While we understand the importance of a family holiday, we know that there is something truly sacred about an adult-only adventure, for both those with and without children.
If a good dose of serenity isn’t enough to inspire a booking, prices dropping from eye-watering school holiday levels as well as thrumming hotel bars certainly should be! Whether it’s a romantic weekend in Paris, a much-deserved ski and spa break in the Dolomites or a full-throttle 4×4 adventure across Oman, here’s our autumn/winter inspiration for seriously grown-up getaways.
Paris, with its achingly romantic rooftop vistas, bohemian bistros and stellar exhibitions is, as Audrey Hepburn would attest, always a good idea. The Haussmann labyrinth comes into its own in the cooler months, with theatre productions, cafes lined in chic coats and a string of galleries and museums turning up the volume for the cultural pilgrims. The Picasso Museum’s Daughter of Pablo exhibition has already had rave reviews, as has the digital art marvel, Cezanna at Atelier Lumière, while trendy foodie spots like Early June on Canal Saint Martin are preserving the city’s gastronomic edge. For a surprisingly affordable stay right in the heart of the city, Hotel des Grands Boulevards is a kitsch and cosy boutique hotel with a buzzing, rooftop bar frequented by locals. Equally affordable, Le Grand Pigalle sits in a trendy, bohemian pocket of the city, with velvet and leopard print trimmings an irreverent nod to its risqué past.
Taste of the Dolomites
Dramatic scenery, clean, spanking-fresh air and cockle-warming lunches whipped up from heirloom recipes (not to mention the skiing), the Dolomites are pure, unbridled joy. We are particular fans of Alta Badia in South Tyrol, the go-to resort for ski foodies with its abundance of Michelin star restaurants and those perfectly simple ones with scribbled menus and roaring fires. The fairytale resort is running ‘A Taste For Skiing’ series which features a full roster of experiences such as Tyrolean wine sampling between runs, gourmet skifaris – a clever way of tapping into local culture while staying on the piste. Dolomiti grande dame, Rosa Alpina in film set-worthy San Cassiano is a hit with the Milanese as well as a discrete European ski set, who come here for the 3 Michelin-starred St Hubertus, the top-notch spa treatments and 1200km of piste to explore.
Off-grid adventure in Oman
Oman’s mix of rich cultural heritage and staggeringly wild, hair-raising landscapes make it a magical Middle Eastern country to explore on four wheels, particularly for the winter-sun chasers. Our new 7-night self-drive itinerary is an assiduously curated grown-up adventure, veering (quite literally) off the beaten track via extraordinary forts and palaces, vast, eerily beautiful deserts and unspoilt beaches where rock appears to tumble into an azure expanse. The Fish&Pips team will handpick our tried-and-tested Oman hotels along the way for explorers to lay their heads after days spent browsing souks, navigating the dramatic Al Hajar mountains or stewing in the hot springs on the fringes of timewarp villages.
Siren call of the Scottish Highlands
There are few places more beautiful on earth than the Scotland Highlands in autumn. The air is crisp, the light sharp, and the rolling wilderness steps into its trademark tweed jacket for the stalking set to blend into. The weather is untamed and capricious, particularly as winter sets in, but that’s part of Scotland’s charm – where fireside whiskeys are well-earned and piping hot peaty baths await fishing parties roaming a silent loch.
For a stylish Hauser and Wirth take on classic Caledonian interiors, book into The Fife Arms in Braemar. Not only is this beguiling hotel on the fringes of Cairngorms National Park, where walking trails wind through ancient pine forests before abruptly opening to extraordinary valley views, it is also running a series of experiences worth crossing the border for. These include whisky distillery hopping in the Cairngorms, getting acquainted with a reindeer herd introduced from Sweden and hiking one of the 40 Munros that are within (somewhat) easy reach from Braemar, from Ben MacDui to Beinn Bhreac.
Epicurean education in the Douro Valley
Upskilling remains a prevalent theme of 2022 travel, where workshops and classes rooted in artisanal rhythms and locality lure in those tired of the banal resort escape or the fly-and-flop formula. All this though with time-off to snooze by the pool or consolidate your learning over a glass of red in a bar festooned in bougainvillaea. Douro Valley couldn’t be a better spot for it, particularly for the epicureans keen to learn about the wine culture and traditional Portuguese cooking. The rambling hilltop Six Senses Douro Valley has curated an enticing list of experiences, tapping into local know-how and the region’s wine-making heritage with everything from Duoro Quintas tours to traditional tile painting workshops.
Start planning your Grown-up getaway, speak to our team of friendly experts at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 1306 264005. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @fishandpipstravel for your dose of travel inspiration. Alternatively, you can…