The Pink City

The early risers view of the Pink City.

Jaipur, the capital of one of India's most colourful state, boasts the beautiful and thriving Pink City. Built in 1727, it was the first planned city in India and is a must see if you're in Rajasthan. In 1876, every wall was painted pink - the traditional colour of hospitality to welcome Queen Victoria - and so 'The Pink City' was born.

Today, the old city is a busy trading hub. Famous for its palaces and impressive array of goods, it's easy to spend hours wandering the streets and getting lost in the many bazaars. If shopping doesn't appeal to you, perhaps setting your alarm for a mildly early 3:30am does.

Reach Sanganeri Gate by 4am and it'll be just you, a couple of stray dogs and the odd cow for company. Stroll through the deserted streets of Johari Bazaar to Hawa Mahal (The Palace of the Winds), take a left towards Chandpol Bazaar and by 5am you'll be able to admire the first traders laying out their marigolds ready for the day ahead. Grab a chai from a chai wallah and enjoy the sunrise over the stunning skyline before heading off to start your day. 

Squeeze this into your morning and see the Pink City come alive.

Maltby Street Market

Beautiful food and drink in the heart of Bermondsey.

This bustling market in Bermondsey is something of a pilgrimage for food lovers. Under the railway arches and spanning the length of the street, you’ve got a great mix of gastronomical treats, savoury and sweet.

Maltby Street hits your senses immediately, with the mass of people and the different smells in the air. Distracting as it is, there’s one stall that stands out with its queue stretching through the crowds.

The Beefsteaks team grill delicious rare steak to be served with chips or as part of a sandwich. The sandwich is a work of art made up of soft baguette, watercress, onion jam and your choice of peppercorn, chimichurri or béarnaise sauce.  The Beefsteaks use the onglet cut for thin slices of beef that melt in your mouth.

Steak isn’t the only think that will tempt you at Maltby Street, with soft salted caramel brownies from Bad Brownie and crisp Gin and Tonic from Little Bird Gin, Maltby Street is the perfect place to spend a Sunday.

www.maltby.st

LASSCO Ropewalk, 41 Maltby Street, London SE1 3FF

 

Williamstown

A bayside suburb offering views of Melbourne from a different perspective.

Only 15km from Melbourne's central business district, Williamstown is a great spot if you want some time away from the city. Established in 1837 as Melbourne's first port, Williamstown and its sheltered harbour played an important role in the early settlement of Victoria. Delve into the rich maritime history of this quaint little suburb, soak up some local life and admire the city skyline from the other side.

The best way to get to Williamstown is by jumping on a ferry – see how the city meets the seaside as you cruise along the Yarra River through the waterfront hub of Southbank, past colourful corrugated cargo in the Docklands, and into Hobson's Bay before arriving on the other side. 

A walk along the waterfront provides you with an insight into life in Williamstown, way back when and present. Originally built in 1867 to protect Melbourne from invading ships, Two Sir William Armstrong Rifled Muzzle Loading Fortress Guns (or cannons, to the rest of us) bring to life the town's history. Nowadays, you’ll see an abundance of boats bobbing up and down in the water in an almost rhythmic pattern. Get even closer to the action by taking to one of the many piers. At the end of Ferguson Street Pier, local fishermen dangle their feet over the edge as they wait for the catch of the day.  

Over winter, you'll find the Steve Irwin Sea Shepherd ship docked at Gem Pier. Sea Shepherd, the non-profit ocean conservation organisation provides free tours of the vessel every Sunday (while it's docked) from 10am-4pm, with crew members onboard giving you the latest info on current and recent campaigns. 

After taking in all of that ocean air, while away the rest of the afternoon at Crowded House cafe and enjoy some good ol' coffee.

Williamstown, you cute.
 

www.visitwilliamstown.com.au

Williamstown, Victoria, 3016

 

Columbia Road Flower Market

London's brightest and boldest market by far. 

Undoubtedly the capital’s brightest and most colourful market, Columbia Road has plants, flowers and succulents in every colour, shape and size imaginable.

The market is a ten-minute walk from Hoxton Overground and brightens up the area every Sunday from 8am until about 3pm. The popularity of the market means you’re guaranteed big crowds, particularly towards the end of the day, but this is also prime time for bargain bunches of flowers.

These flower stalls are run by proper East End geezers who love their flowers, giving the street a softness that you're unlikely to see anywhere else in London. Peonies, tulips and sunflowers seemed to be among the most popular choices at Columbia Road, but there were also a good number of people wobbling along nearby streets with tall pot plants. 

Having first opened almost 150 years ago, Columbia Road is a great slice of colour and history in the city. It’s also just a stone’s throw from Kingsland Road, so there are also loads of nearby bars and eateries to check out.

www.columbiaroad.info

Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG

peonies
Flower stall

Columbia Road Flower Stall
Flowers
Tulips
Columbia Road
 

Mauerpark

Karaoke in an amphitheatre whilst rummaging through a flea market? Only in Berlin.

Part of the Berlin Wall still trails along the top of this green space, so it’s no wonder that Mauerpark translates literally into ‘wall park’. Guaranteed to be teaming with Berliners and tourists, you can find this gem in Berlin’s North East district of Prenzlauer Berg.

Whether you’re after vintage jewellery, records or cameras, you’re guaranteed to pick up a few pieces at the flea market. But if you’re not in the mood for shopping, the street food here is incredible, with Japanese subs, waffles and baos just some of the delicacies on offer. If you’re feeling brave, you can join the hundreds of people in the amphitheatre for some karaoke.

If all of that sounds a bit too adventurous for you, check out the artists spraying painting the old bits of the wall, sit up on the swings and enjoy the view or just enjoy the buzz of Berlin in this beautiful park.

With the market and karaoke open from 9am until 6pm every Sunday from Spring until Autumn, Mauerpark is a must if you fancy a slow paced afternoon and getting a feel for the city.

www.flohmarktimmauerpark.de

Bernauer Strasse 63-64, 10437, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

 

Cape Schanck

Walk from clifftops to beaches in the Mornington Peninsula.

Mornington Peninsula is the perfect day trip when you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city life. Only an hour from the city, the region boasts a number of vineyards, farms, and outdoor activities. And with a plethora of picturesque coastal spots to choose from, you'll definitely have to go back more than once. 

Cape Schanck, the southernmost tip of the peninsula, is a great place to go if you want a leisurely stroll along a striking coast. Atop of the cliff stands the Cape Schanck Lighthouse showing off its 1859 architectural beauty. A timber boardwalk begins at the main car park, descending you from the clifftops through bush to rocky beaches. Along the way, there are several viewing platforms to take it all in.  The large jagged rock formation at the bottom, which seems as if someone has just plonked it there from out of the sky, is Pulpit Rock. Formed over millions of years, it is a remarkable coast line complete with ferocious waves and basalt rock pools.

If you're wanting more of a walk, the Bushranger's Bay Trail begins at Cape Schanck and ends at Main Creek. The 5km (return) path meanders through the Australian bush, next to farmland and along the rugged coast, with stairs heading down to the bay if you want to get close and personal with those wild waves.

Cape Schanck, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Victoria, 3939

Stone & Wood Brewery Tour

Brewery tour of Australia's most refreshing craft beer.

Stone & Wood Brewing Company produce some of the most refreshing beer we've ever tasted, and we say that with no hesitation. Brad, Jamie and Ross, the guys behind this great beer, grew tired of the corporate beer world and decided to take brewing back to basics. Using water from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, their aim was to create a refreshing beer that was your go-to when relaxing after a day of surfing, watching a gig or hanging out with friends.

So, in 2008, Stone & Wood was born. The heart of Stone & Wood lies in its original brewery in Byron Bay. Building the site here was a conscious decision by the founders. The Stone & Wood boys envisioned a business that would support the people who support them and in a small community like Byron Bay, that's what it's all about. 'Ingrained' became their official community-focused initiative providing support to local charities who are involved in sustaining the local area, both socially and environmentally.

The Stone & Wood Brewery Tour runs for about an hour and gives an interesting insight into the history, philosophy and brewing process of this delicious beer. For just $12, you receive a beer on arrival, a tour of where the magic happens, and a tasting paddle of all five beers (Pacific Ale, Green Coast Lager, Garden Ale, Jasper Ale, and Cloud Catcher) to finish. This brewery is also where a lot of experimental and seasonal brews are made, so be sure to check if any are on tap when you go.

In the words of Stone & Wood, 'take things slowly and keep it simple'.

www.stoneandwood.com.au

4 Boronia Place, Byron Bay, New South Wales, 2481