Traveldesk: Egypt alert; Canadian baggage costs; Branson’s winery; Noma’s rivals in Copenhagen


Following three deadly bomb blasts in Egypt in the space of a week, the Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Irish citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt, including the popular Sinai resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Red Sea resorts away from Sinai, such as Hurghada, are still considered safe – but only if visitors fly directly into them and strictly avoid leaving the resort. Also excepted are Luxor and Aswan (pictured above) – as well as cruises between them – but visitors are advised to arrive by air and exercise caution.

The heightened security warning comes after a bomb in Cairo went off shortly after two suicide bombers struck almost simultaneously in Sinai, killing three people.



One of Lanzarote’s most popular resorts has discovered the restorative effects of paleotraining. The five-star Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel is offering classes in this new technique – based on the 15 basic movements of humans – in its gym. Guests can also use a personal trainer. Each hour of personal training costs €50. A seven-day package to the Princesa Yaiza costs about €999 for two adults, including flights. See

The Canadian Transport Agency has announced that, from October 1st, passengers on international flights through Canada will be subject to just one set of rules governing baggage fees and allowances, even if they use a number of carriers. This means that passengers transiting from a long-haul, full-fare carrier (with, say, a free 20kg baggage allowance) to a short-hop, low-fares airline that charges for a 15kg allowance will not have to pay any baggage charges or be penalised for carrying more than 15kg, so long as it’s stipulated on the itinerary or e-ticket. The CTA said the new rules will create a “seamless and transparent baggage regime for passengers” and a “harmonised and practical regime for the industry”.

Richard Branson plans to add Mont Rochelle wine estate in Franschhoek in the Western Cape to his portfolio of ultimate hotels, Virgin Limited Edition ( The South African property, in the Klein Dassenberg mountains with sensational views of some of South Africa’s most expensive real estate, includes a 100-acre vineyard and a 22-room boutique hotel set in a 17th-century lodge. Room rates range from €165 to €680 per night. The hotel will close for a tidy-up and reopen in August.

The tastiest in-flight alcoholic beverage? A Bloody Mary, at least according to a study by CenSes, the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London. And it’s all because tomatoes are full of savoury umami, the “fifth taste” (after salt, sweet, sour and bitter). According to Prof Barry Smith, the flavour of umami – found in mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes – isn’t dulled by distracting background noises the way salt and sweet are, and the dash of Worcestershire sauce acts as a taste-bud stimulant.

MICRO-GUIDE: BEIJING - Your 60-second city guide


Stay DùGé (Dùgé Sìhéyuàn Jiudiàn; 26 Qianyuan Ensi Hutong;; rooms from ¥2,000). Stunning boutique hotel that was once a Qing-dynasty minister’s home.
Eat Lìqún Roast Duck Restaurant (Lìqún Kaoyadiàn; 11 Beixiangfeng Hutong; roast duck for two ¥260). Chaotic and shabby, this restaurant might serve the best roast duck in the city.
See The Great Wall, but avoid Badaling for the beautiful and serene Simatai, 120km northeast of Beijing (taxi with driver costs ¥300).

The Danish capital is hosting the Eurovision tonight, and its best-known restaurant was once again voted the best in the world. Here are five more to show that there are gourmet skills beyond Noma.

David Fischer earned his stripes working in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome; he’s brought his skills to bear on the largely Italian cuisine in this lovely local spot. Great value. Victor Borges Plads 12;; mains 129-235 kr

Giving Noma a run for its money is Rasmus Kofoed’s (pictured left) superb, Bocuse d’Or-winning modern Danish cuisine, on the eighth floor of the Parken football stadium; book well ahead. Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, Østerbro;; tasting menus from 850 kr

Kødbyens Fiskebar
Scandinavian cool (lots of concrete, a giant aquarium) in this converted factory has translated into a top-class seafood restaurant worthy of Michelin attention. Flæsketorvet 100, Kødbyen;; mains 195-255 kr

Ex-Noma chef Christian Puglisi is in charge at this stripped-back bistro. The vegetarian four-course menu is terrific. Jægersborggade 41, Nørrebro;; 4-course menu 385 kr

You can’t visit Copenhagen without eating smørrebrød, Denmark’s national dish. This place has the best in town. Hauser Plads 16;; smørrebrød 70-160 kr



Lanzarote: Seven nights half-board in Lanzarote Princess Hotel, Playa Blanca, two people sharing; departs June 12th. See


Cruise: Seven nights in eastern Caribbean, also one night in Miami. Includes flights from Dublin, taxes and charges. Departs September; book before May 31st for complimentary strawberries and Champagne. See

10 nights – three in Bangkok, seven in Phuket, in four-star accommodation, including flights. Offer based on two people sharing and up to June 22nd if booked before May 16th. See