The Armchair Traveller reveals how to explore the world from home: Relive your surfing summer and discover the UK’s best spas
- Californian surfer Chris del Moro returns to his Italian roots in Bella Vita
- Check out The 12 Spas We Can’t Wait To Revisit list at goodspaguide.co.uk
- Hotel-lovers can immerse themselves in their histories in two tell-all books
From secret surf and sparkling spas to the history of hotels, Neil Simpson reveals how to explore the world from home.
Desperate to return to the hot days and long, lazy nights of a classic Italian summer? Then take a look at the little-known 2013 documentary Bella Vita.
It follows Californian surfer Chris del Moro as he returns to his Italian roots after decades living in America.
Californian surfer Chris del Moro returns to his Italian roots in Bella Vita. Pictured are surfers in the Ligurian Sea
Watch it and you’ll be transported to beautiful Italian coastline in a 90-minute love letter to la dolce vita and ‘secret’ surf spots.
And don’t be put off if surfing’s not your thing, because glorious scenes of Italian cooking, wine-making and alfresco eating feature just as much as the waves.
Closer to home, you can find more sparkling water at the UK’s best spas. The Best of British feature in The 12 Spas We Can’t Wait To Revisit list at goodspaguide.co.uk.
The researchers – using a ‘bubble rating’ to rank the places – give descriptions and photographs of British gems, such as five-bubble Lucknam Park in Wiltshire, with its 500-acre grounds, sunset yoga and sparkling outdoor pool. Hotel-lovers, meanwhile, can immerse themselves in their histories in two tell-all books.
The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death And Betrayal At The Hotel Ritz In Paris runs through 100 years of history with a focus on the Second World War, when guests such as Coco Chanel were led to a fur-carpeted bomb shelter at night.
Relaxing in the spa at Lucknam Park hotel
Alternatively, get Hollywood gossip in The Castle On Sunset, which reveals what guests get up to at the celebrity magnet Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
If you fancy writing your own history of travel, turn to Stanfords, London’s oldest (and newly reopened) travel bookshop.
The gifts and stationery section at stanfords.co.uk has dozens of notebooks and journals with evocative covers. It even has waterproof notebooks, in case you plan to write in the spa.
Other travel bargains are popping up as our high streets return to life. If you want new luggage for a post-lockdown trip, take advice from cabin crew: they’re big fans of British brand Tripp.
Debenhams has knocked at least 50 per cent off prices on Tripp’s super-tough, four-wheel Escape and Absolute Lite cases.
You can jazz them up (and spot them more easily at baggage reclaim) with new banana-coloured luggage straps and name tags.