Friday, March 12, 2010

Food Network Competition at Sea Featuring Iron Chef Cat Cora

Engaging Culinary-Based Travel Programs
to Feature Food Network Stars and Shows

Lorraine Travel, as a member of Signature Travel Network, is now able to offer innovative and engaging Food Network travel programs. Food Network is the first and only cable channel dedicated to connecting viewers to the power and joy of food. Under this new partnership, clients booked through Lorraine Travel will have exclusive access to Food Network travel experiences.

Plans are underway to offer a range of exclusive Food Network travel programs in 2010, including: cruises with Food Network stars and based on Food Network shows; trips tied into specific Food Network culinary trends or topics; and weekend getaways to targeted locations such as Napa Valley, California.

Culinary-centric travel programs are growing enormously in popularity with “foodies.” Research indicates that 37 percent of leisure travelers find the opportunity to experience different and unusual cuisine on vacation highly desirable (Source: 2008 National Travel Monitor) and 23 percent of affluent travelers consider the ability to learn a new skill or activity on vacation highly desirable. (Source: Portrait of Affluent Travelers). Some 27 million travelers, or 17 percent of American leisure travelers, engaged in culinary or wine-related activities while traveling within the past three years. (Source: Travel Industry Association Survey 2007).

"We are excited about this extraordinary new opportunity with Food Network,” says Jack Guiteras, Owner of Lorraine Travel. “Our clients have shown a tremendous passion for food and wine over the years, and we now have a great new program to elevate culinary travel to the next level. We invite you to consider traveling on the first Food Network trip Food Network Competition at Sea featuring Iron Chef Cat Cora - just one trip we feel will make our clients’ culinary dreams a reality."

About Signature Travel Network:
Signature Travel Network is a member-owned, travel cooperative, headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California, with a regional office in New York City. The network was established in 1956 and today includes 190 member agencies with 330 retail locations throughout the USA. Collectively, Signature members generate over $4 billion in annual travel sales. For more information visit:

About Food Network:
FOOD NETWORK ( is a unique lifestyle network and Web site that strives to be way more than cooking. The network is committed to exploring new and different ways to approach food - through pop culture, competition, adventure, and travel - while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Food Network is distributed to more than 98 million U.S. households and averages more than 9 million unique Web site users monthly. Food Network programming is available internationally in more than 150 countries. Food Network is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Tenn. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates HGTV (, DIY Network (, Great American Country ( and Fine Living Network (, is the manager and general partner.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Lanesborough -Best Spot in London to Smoke a Cigar

The Lanesborough is the only hotel where serious cigar smokers should stay when visiting London. It has a multimillion dollar smoking lounge that is unique in the United Kingdom, and perhaps the world, making it a cigar mecca for visitors and locals alike in the capital city. And while the classic British hotel offers top-notch accomodations, you might not be sleeping much at The Lanesborough.

On the same day the British government banned smoking in public places on July 2007, the Lanesborough moved its famous Library cigar bar in the main building to a ground floor outdoor area in the back of the hotel called The Garden Room. It was first a Moroccan tent-like structure, but now resembles a plush library complete with heating, tiled floor, rare wood paneling, leather seats candles and fireplace. With its seating for about 45 people, it's hard to tell you're even outdoors as you relax with a cigar and single malt or something from the hotel's collection of fine Cognacs in hand.

The Garden Room is open from 4p.m. to midnight, although manager Guiseppe Ruo says that hotel guests can stay as long as they like. Ruo is a cigar legend in the city and travels regularly to Cuba. He keeps a well-stocked walk-in humidor with hundreds of boxes represnting 60 to 70 different brands and sizes. Most of the cigars are Cuban, with everything from a Montecristo No.4 for $22.50 to a Cohiba Behike for $2,500. Prices are per cigar and about 30 percent more than U.K. retail. Regulars have cigar lockers as well.

But guests are not obliged to buy cigars from the Lanesborough, Ruo says with a smile, adding that there's a $40 minimum per person clipping charge. Bar food is also available, from snacks to steaks to salads. I like to travel with my cigars myself, so I know how it is. Customers are welcome to bring thier own.

With the lounge, cigar selection and amazing offerings of spirits, Champagne, wines and Ports by the glass, cigar loving hotel guests might be induced to spend every waking hour there, Close to two dozen pre-1900 Cognacs are offered by the glass as well as 60 vintage-dated whiskeys, not to mention old rums, Calvados and Armagnacs. There's always a glass of 1970 Warre or 1963 Croft on pour as well.

But it would be a shame to not enjoy the comforts of the rest of the hotel with its sumptuously appointed rooms and superior dining. We at could not agree more BUT shame needs to be cast on Giuseppe Ruo for sotcking cigars from Cuba!

Do Massive Good! Book your Hotel Stay with Us!

Book a hotel, save a life. That’s the goal of MASSIVEGOOD, a new fund-raising initiative that allows travelers to make “micro-contributions” to global health causes when booking a plane, hotel or car.

For example, when on our site, guests can click the rainbow-colored MASSIVEGOOD logo and donate $2 to treat two children for malaria. MASSIVEGOOD is scheduled to go live this Thursday, on To mark the date, former President Bill Clinton will makes the first symbolic “click” at an inaugural event at the United Nations in New York. The event will also feature a short film by Spike Lee and an original song by, both created for the campaign.

Proceeds go to UNITAID, which was created by The Millennium Foundation for Innovative Finance for Health. The Millennium Foundation" is a Swiss not-for-profit organization created in 2008 whose mission is to create a sustainable source of needed additional funding to achieve the three health-related Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the United Nations in 2000: to treat and fight life-threatening diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; to reduce childhood mortality; and to improve maternal health. To achieve its mission, the Millennium Foundation aims to inspire and empower citizens to join a global movement of solidarity dedicated to reducing the glaring inequalities in access to health care between the rich and poor. The initial focus is the creation of MASSIVEGOOD, an innovative fund-raising solution that makes it easy for all those who travel to make micro-contributions aimed at saving lives by fighting life-threatening diseases among the world’s most vulnerable populations. For additional information, visit: www.millennium-foundation.orga Geneva-based organization that raises money to treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in low-income countries.