Culture

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Style
From romantic European escapes to spellbinding family adventures, whatever type of celebration you’re seeking this New Year’s Eve, welcome 2018 in style with these unforgettable festivities.
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RT @Design_Holidays: It's almost Christmas @Design_Holidays as the lovely @Fortnums #champagne arrived this am. Thanks @Verdura_Resort @RF_…
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A room with a view at Amigos. Get away in style this weekend and relax overlooking our grand city. https://t.co/kWc0KPy5D9
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48 Hours in Rome: A Christmas Shopping Itinerary
With endless luxury stores and beautiful independent boutiques, there are few better locations for a Christmas shopping spree than stylish Rome. Why not combine your Christmas shopping with an alluring escape to the Eternal City, staying at the enchanting Hotel de Russie?
Rome
Perfect Party Dressing with Victoria Beckham
In the heart of fashionable Mayfair, Brown’s Hotel is perfectly positioned to access London’s most glamorous boutiques. From Christian Dior to Cartier, you’ll discover the finest clothing, jewellery, art and antiques in this exquisite corner of the capital. White-hot fashion label, Victoria Beckham has a boutique neighbouring Brown’s. Follow the brand’s style and beauty highlights for the winter season below, so you can truly dress to impress this Christmas.
London
What to Buy the Discerning Gentleman this Christmas
Whatever the interests of the gentleman in your life, we’ve curated an exceptional Christmas gift guide from the best European boutiques. From stylish, covetable accessories to exhilarating experiences, we’ve got Christmas wrapped.
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Kodomo’s Cass Chapman on Travelling with a Baby
After having her daughter in 2011, luxury lifestyle journalist Cass Chapman launched Kodomo; a travel authority for parents travelling with babies and children. A seasoned globetrotter herself, Cass clocked up plenty of air miles with her two newborns in tow. Here, she reveals the joys of journeying with a baby.
London Rome
Exciting Tours for Teens
From bird’s-eye-view helicopter rides to thrilling Halloween activities, keep teenage boredom at bay on your next European getaway with one of these exciting city tours. Whichever destination you decide to visit, our knowledgeable concierges can give your family the keys to the city by effortlessly organising your chosen tour or activity.
10 Things You Never Knew About London Fashion Week
Featuring catwalk shows from the finest designers, glittering parties and exciting new trends, London Fashion Week is the ultimate fashion event in the capital. To give you the insider lowdown, here are 10 interesting facts you might not know about London Fashion Week.
London
The Best Autumn Events in Germany
This autumn, Germany will be welcoming millions of international visitors for two of the country’s most anticipated annual events: Munich’s world-famous beer festival, Oktoberfest, and Berlin’s glittering Festival of Lights.
Berlin Munich
The Highest Towers in Florence for an Amazing View
While Florence is beautiful from the ground, it’s even more captivating with a bird’s eye view. From above, historical buildings tower above a sea of red roofs, stretching out towards the Tuscan countryside. Arguably the best views of the city can be found at the top of the many historic towers in Florence, so put on your walking shoes and climb up to the top for a fresh perspective of the city and surrounding region.
Florence
Happiness in St Petersburg by Irada Vovnenko
Deputy Director of the iconic St Isaac’s Cathedral and celebrated Russian writer, Irada Vovnenko, shares her happy St Petersburg.
St Petersburg
Wonderful Wedding Gift Packages
Sometimes it’s so difficult to know what to get someone special for their wedding day. Wedding lists are so impersonal, so why not give them an experience they will always remember. From pampering spa treatments for two to delightful afternoon tea, these extremely spoiling gift package ideas will make every happy couple feel truly blessed.
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Five Unforgettable Experiences in London for Children
At Rocco Forte Hotels, our little guests as just are important as our big ones. We are delighted to present a selection of endlessly entertaining, bespoke experiences in London for children. Expertly curated by our Fun-Makers-in-Residence at Brown’s, these five adventures are magical moments your family will never forget.
London
Passion and luxury by Christina Zeller
Passionate fashionista, Christina Zeller, knows all about fine luxury in her position with iconic Brussels’ leather brand, Delvaux. Enjoy as she dives deep into her own fashionable bag of Belgium’s best.
Brussels
Discover Lydia Forte’s Brown’s Hotel Instagram Diary
Bar and Restaurant Development Manager for Rocco Forte Hotels and daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, Lydia Forte has her hands on Brown’s Hotel’s Instagram account for an exciting three-day takeover. Here, she grants an exclusive peek into her London diary, revealing what she got up to over the course of three captivating days.
London
A Tale of Two Cities: Berlin vs Munich
Two cities. Both equally alluring. Berlin, with its award-winning gastronomy and cutting-edge culture, and Munich, with its wild natural scenery, beer and bratwurst. Really, it seems a shame to choose between the two.
Berlin Munich
Fabulous Florence by Laudomia Pucci
Florentine fashion royalty, Laudomia Pucci, measures up a city of majestic museums, fabulous fashion and floral magic.
Inside the World of Tintin in Brussels
The Belgians take their tradition of comic strip writing seriously, even giving it its own name, the ‘ninth art’. Their greatest artist is Hergé, creator of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ and country’s most famous fictional detective. The unforgettable character of Tintin has left an indelible mark on Brussels and everywhere you turn, glimpses of him and his comrades light up the capital, from murals on walls and train stations, to museums, shops and even in the suites of Hotel Amigo. Delve into the story of Tintin in Brussels with this comic lover’s guide to the city.
Brussels
Let’s go cookie by Heinz Gindullis
In the past there used to be a lot of illegal parties, music, alcohol and drugs today it is about secret pop up restaurants, green smoothies and vegan burgers. From Cookies to Crackers, let legendary club owner turned iconic restaurateur Heinz Gindullis, aka Cookie, take you on a whirlwind culinary tour of Berlin.
Berlin
Insider: The right kind of look by David Gandy
Insiders by Rocco Forte Hotels gives guests the unique opportunity to discover some of our cities’ best-kept secrets, as told by locals. Our guest editors range from world-famous actors and respected authors to the masterminds of a city’s cultural scene.
London
A Trip to Jeddah: Inside the Middle East’s Most Surprising Tourist Destination
Jeddah, the Gateway to Makkah (Mecca), is an ancient city that has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. With a long corniche cooled by the breeze of the Red Sea and myriad sites and attractions to explore, the city has long been popular with regional and religious tourists, but the opening of the Assila Hotel is creating a new destination for Western visitors in Saudi Arabia. Combining Middle Eastern hospitality, opulent facilities and spectacular views, this landmark hotel in the heart of Jeddah is a new world of luxury and comfort. Ahead of your trip to Jeddah, we lift the lid on life in the Arabian city and unveil the top things for visitors to see and do.
Jeddah
Choosing the Right Savile Row Tailors
A bespoke suit is a wardrobe essential and in London there’s no better place to commission one than Savile Row. The heart of men’s tailoring in the capital, the street has long been an enviable postcode, with many of the best Savile Row tailors sitting side by side, offering bespoke, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear suits and clothing. Faced with so many excellent options, it’s best to approach a shopping trip with a style in mind. Whether you prefer traditional, country, contemporary or classic designs, follow this guide to find the tailor that best suits you.
London
The Most Romantic Places to Propose in Europe
A proposal is an unforgettable moment in a couple’s life together, so make it count by heading to your favourite city for an experience to remember. Whether you prefer historic sights, charming settings or dramatic views, Europe is full of locations providing an incredible backdrop for an engagement. Follow this guide to the most romantic places to propose in Europe and celebrate with Rocco Forte Hotels.
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Five Ways to Get Active this New Year in Sicily
“New year, new me” – it’s a sentiment followed by millions of people each January. However, in most cases, resolutions to start afresh are easier said than done. This new year, kick-start your fitness regime in Sicily, where beautiful natural landscapes, fresh Mediterranean air and exciting outdoor sports, such as rock climbing, hiking, golf and skiing, make it easy to keep promises. If you’re planning a trip, get active while sightseeing with this fitness guide to Sicily, with no gym in sight.
Sicily
Where to Buy Artisan Leather in Florence
True Italian leather is to fashion what a Michelin star is to a restaurant, a sign of unbeatable quality and excellence. While produced around the world, nowhere makes leather quite like Italy. The historic city of Florence has long been associated with this highly prized export, but there’s more to the city than shops and markets peddling handmade goods. From the tanneries of Tuscany to the fascinating workshops in city’s back streets, discover the age-old art of Italian craftsmanship with this guide to the best places to buy leather in Florence.
Florence
The Most Stylish Places to go Shopping in Frankfurt
High-end brands, independent designers, trendy concept stores – Frankfurt has all this and more. While the city may not necessarily be known as the sleekest of style capitals, in recent years its fashion offering has grown more dramatically than Alexander McQueen’s heels. From the city’s premium Fifth Avenue-style retail street to its vogueish boutique district, Brückenstraße, discover trend-setting shopping in Frankfurt with this guide to the malls, shops and labels upping Germany’s style stakes.
Frankfurt
A Festive Gift Guide to Artisan Shopping in Rome
At Christmas time, Rome’s shopping streets are filled with Italian fashion brands tempting passers-by with beautiful displays and opulently dressed windows. However, while fresh-off-the-runway items from designer labels make excellent gifts, they’re rarely unique. This festive season, why not treat your loved ones to a more personal, bespoke creation with a one-off piece of jewellery, clothing or an accessory that’s been handmade by Rome’s best artisans. Discover a world of Italian craftsmanship with this guide to shopping in Rome.
Rome
5 Reasons why St Petersburg is the Ballet Capital of the World
Ever since St Petersburg set the stage for the original Nutcracker, ballet has found a warm welcome in Russia.Considered by many to be the ballet capital of the world, the city is home to many of the greatest ballet companies, academies, dancers and theatres on Earth. Here, we explore the city’s relationship with ballet, from its first dance company in the 1740s to contemporary stars of Russian ballet and where to see them perform.
St Petersburg
An Alternative Guide to Christmas in London
The festive period is one of the best times of the year to visit London. Colourful decorations light up the streets, the city explodes with exciting events and an infectious festive buzz fills the air right up until the New Year. With so many people heading to the capital to enjoy a holiday break or do some Christmas shopping, London can get extremely busy. Avoid the crowds and discover a different side to the capital with this alternative guide to Christmas in London.
London
Discover Rome with Pablo Picasso and Hotel de Russie
Brilliant, original, and revolutionary, Pablo Picasso is widely considered one of the most influential artists of all time. Revered for his boundary-pushing and often surrealist artworks, the Spanish artist left an impression everywhere he visited. During a sabbatical in Rome in 1917, however, the tables turned as career and love became intertwined and his life was changed forever. As Hotel de Russie commemorates 100 years since Picasso’s visit with special anniversary celebrations, we look back at his time in the Eternal City and discover how art enthusiasts can experience Rome through his eyes.
Rome
A Book Lover’s Guide to Edinburgh
Edinburgh has been a muse to many of Britain’s greatest writers. With beautiful vistas, historic buildings and a rich, engrained culture, it’s easy to see why. From celebrated poet Robert Burns to ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling (whose screenwriting debut ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ enters cinemas this month), the city has provided writers with the inspiration needed to produce great works of literature for many decades. If you’re a book lover, follow this literary guide to Edinburgh and explore the places that have influenced, or appeared in, many famous novels and poems.
Edinburgh
An Essential Guide to the Munich Art Scene
For many travellers, Munich is synonymous with beer, Bavarian food and castles, but among its historic buildings and lively beer halls there’s a burgeoning art world to discover. Put down the beer stein and head into the city’s best art institutes to uncover a creative industry that’s sure to intrigue and inspire. From historical collections at leading museums to modern works at the city's best contemporary art galleries, follow this essential guide to the Munich art scene. Located right in the museum quarter, The Charles Hotel is the perfect location to start your tour.
Munich
The Best Places to Shop for Antiques in Brussels
When thinking of Brussels, chocolate often springs to mind, but another local industry garnering worldwide attention is that of antiques dealing. Whether looking to spruce up your home with unique furnishings or surprise a loved one with a thoughtful gift, antiques make wonderful purchases. There’s no shortage of places to shop for ancient treasures and antiques in Brussels. As Christmas approaches, Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairman and Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels, and Hotel Amigo take us on a tour of the best antiques stores, dealers and markets to visit in Brussels.
Brussels
Where to See Incredible Greek and Roman Ruins in Sicily
The island of Sicily at the toe of Italy’s boot has an incredible history. Over its lifetime, it has been governed by many great civilizations, from the Romans and the Greeks to the Byzantine empire. Each culture has left its mark in some way or another, the Greeks and Romans through striking architecture. Take a tour of these beautiful preserved ruins in Sicily to step back in time and discover the multicultural heritage of the island.
Sicily
The Art of Scottish Tartan Weaving
Tartan is Scotland's most famous fabric. Originally the cloth of Scottish warrior clans, tartan patterns tell tales of heritage and ancestry. The checked fabric is a recognised symbol of Scotland and has a long and storied history that stretches back many centuries. As The Balmoral unveils its new tartan uniform, designed in partnership with Kinloch Anderson, we take a look at the art of Scottish tartan making and discover the meaning behind hotel’s bespoke fabric.
Edinburgh
Six of the Most Romantic Gardens in Rome
With its crumbling ruins, historic bridges, pretty parks, and dimly lit trattorias, Rome is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most romantic cities. And when the sun is shining, how better to soak up the city’s amorous atmosphere than with a leisurely walk through one of its many beautiful gardens? From havens of tranquillity in the centre of the city to sprawling green spaces, here are six of the most beautiful gardens in Rome to explore on your next romantic break.
Rome
Six of the Best Annual Festivals in Berlin
Berlin is one of the most exciting cities in Europe when it comes to culture, nightlife and the arts, and true to its reputation, everything in the city is celebrated in style. The annual events calendar offers visitors plenty of opportunity to experience Berlin’s cultural diversity through a busy schedule of festivals dedicated to everything from classical music and jazz to film and dance. Plan your next trip around this selection of exciting annual festivals in Berlin, and you might find yourself making repeat visits.
Berlin
Five Incredible Bavarian Castles to visit on a Trip to Munich
Germany’s palaces are like something out of a fairy tale. Whether rising out of the forests or sprawling across luscious meadows, they’re architecturally impressive and breathtakingly beautiful. Drive a short distance out of Munich and you’ll find some of the finest Bavarian castles in the country, like Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig II. Take a day trip from the city to explore our pick of the most captivating castles in Bavaria.
Munich
Five Places to Discover Art in Edinburgh
Scotland may not be considered primarily for its arts, preferring to associate itself with things like whisky, haggis and golf, but in the capital there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge your inner artist. As performing arts festival The Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes over the city throughout August, we look at the busy theatres and quiet galleries pioneering the city’s burgeoning art scene. Join us as we explore the best places to find fine and contemporary art in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh
Five Beautiful Parks in London for a Picnic
London is at its most beautiful when the sun is shining. The city buzzes as people make the most of the good weather and indulge in one of England’s greatest summer pastimes: a picnic. From deer-watching at Richmond Park to live theatre at Regent’s Park, there’s plenty to entertain while tucking into a feast at one of the many beautiful parks in London. When the sun comes out, follow this guide to the best green spaces to throw down your picnic blanket this summer.
London
Five of the Best Art Galleries in Auguststrasse
Auguststrasse may only be half a mile long, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in artistic value. The micro-neighbourhood, nestled within Berlin’s Mitte district, is a burgeoning creative hub that is fast becoming the premier place to go to explore avant-garde contemporary art. Follow us into Auguststrasse and discover a captivating array of art galleries taking residence along the narrow street.
Berlin
Five Great Places to See Modern Art in Rome
As the former seat of the Roman Empire, Rome is one of the most historic cities in the world. But there’s more to this city than ancient culture and crumbling ruins. As the capital modernises, an air of change blows through the city, influencing everything from architecture and art to dining and leisure. The art scene, in particular, has welcomed a wealth of contemporary offerings, from internationally acclaimed museums like MAXXI to collective art hubs and creative spaces. On your next visit, make time to see these five great places for modern art in Rome.
Rome
An Insider’s Guide to Mayfair Art Galleries
London’s West End is the artistic heart of the city. While Soho is synonymous with theatre, art is the lifeline of Mayfair. From iconic Cork Street to stylish Albermale Street, home to Brown’s Hotel, this prestigious district is filled with art galleries and showrooms displaying traditional and contemporary works. Whether you’re a collector, an artist, a gallery owner, or simply partial to some window shopping, follow this guide to the best Mayfair art galleries, and find out how to join exclusive tours hosted by Brown’s Hotel.
London
The Most Beautiful Art Nouveau Architecture in Brussels
Brussels is commonly considered the capital of Art Nouveau. A walk through the city centre offers a history lesson in architecture as beautifully preserved Art Nouveau buildings from the late 19th to early 20th centuries stand shoulder-to-shoulder with historical Gothic structures. Explore the incredible Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels and discover the works of Victor Horta, the Belgian patron of Art Nouveau, as well as the homes of notable talents such as Paul Cauchie and Paul Saintenoy.
Brussels
An Insider’s Guide to St Petersburg with Lidia Leontyeva
A trip to St Petersburg is a magical experience, especially during the snowy winter season. With so much history and culture on your doorstep, there’s an amazing amount to see and do, from live Russian ballet to tours of grand imperial palaces. The best way to see the city like a local is to get an insider’s guide to St Petersburg from a lifelong resident. Lidia Leontyeva, Director of Guest Relations at Hotel Astoria, takes us on a journey through her hometown, from the city’s most fascinating secret spots to the best of Russian hospitality.
St Petersburg
Behind the Scenes at Rocco Forte Hotels with Olga Polizzi
Finding a harmonious balance between comfort, character and creativity is an interior designer’s greatest challenge. Aiming to inspire and appease its guests, Rocco Forte Hotels puts a lot of thought into design to ensure that every element of every room is considered. Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairman and Director of Design, keeps her finger firmly on the pulse of design trends while carefully considering the history and culture of the city where each hotel is based. Enjoy a behind the scenes glimpse of the design process as we speak to Olga about her passion for interiors and the stunning new suites.
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Celebrating 10 Years at Villa Kennedy
In its lifetime, Villa Kennedy has worn many hats – family home, research institute and five-star hotel. While much has changed over the decades, the Frankfurt villa has maintained a characteristic charm reminiscent of its stately beginnings. As the modern-day hotel approaches its 10-year anniversary, take a look back at the villa’s storied history and discover how to get involved with the upcoming celebrations.
Frankfurt
War and Peace Filming Locations in St Petersburg
Arguably the most iconic Russian novel of all time, War and Peace offers a fascinating insight into life in Russia during a dramatic period in the county’s past. Set in the early 19th century, the story follows the interwoven lives of five aristocratic Russian families during the Napoleonic Wars. The BBC’s recent adaptation takes viewers on a journey through love, loss, passion and power, where St Petersburg provides a magical backdrop. With its grand imperial palaces and striking colourful architecture, the city sets the scene for many of the television show’s most memorable moments. Following the finale, we travel to St Petersburg to explore the most iconic War and Peace filming locations to visit next time you’re in Russia.
St Petersburg
A Guide to Sicily For Families
With its pristine, beaches, stunning coastline and rocky mountain ranges, Sicily is an enchanting place to enjoy a family holiday. Whether you want to relax, get active or explore, there’s plenty to entertain all age groups. Making it even easier for families to enjoy a seamless, unforgettable journey, Verdura Resort introduces a new kids’ club, Verdùland. Launching in May 2016, the complimentary club will feature exciting programmes and facilities tailored to younger guests. If you’re planning a holiday, follow our guide to Sicily for families to get the most out of your Italian escape with Rocco Forte Hotels.
Sicily
A Tour of Frankfurt Architecture
Frankfurt’s skyline is a beautiful contradiction. Striking gothic and medieval buildings sit alongside contemporary skyscrapers as the past and present jostle for the limelight in the city centre. While the modern constructions are beautiful, it’s the ancient buildings that fascinate and inspire the most. From the gothic charm of Old Nikolai Church to the medieval Eschenheimer Turm watchtower, there’s plenty to discover on a tour of Frankfurt architecture. Join us as we journey through the ages by virtue of the city’s most striking buildings.
Frankfurt
An Insider's Guide to Secret Rome
Rome is one of the most historically and culturally rich cities in the world, but try to get close to its major attractions and you’ll meet hundreds of others who share the same belief. Avoid the crowds at the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica and the Spanish Steps and discover the city’s lesser known, but equally charming, sights. From covert art collections to ancient underground tombs, here’s our guide to secret Rome.
Rome

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