Located in the trendy DUMBO (down under the Manhattan bridge overpass) neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York is One Main Street; a 126-unit loft conversion by David Walentas (creator of the DUMBO neighbourhood) in 1998. The former cardboard box factory was originally built in 1915 and features a beautiful clock tower.
Walentas renamed it the Clocktower Building with the pièce de résistance being a 3-floor penthouse spanning over 6,813 square feet (633 sq. m) and defined by four 14-ft glass clocks on every wall. The three bedroom, 3.5 bathroom penthouse offers 360-degree views, soaring 16-50 ft ceilings, a glass-enclosed private elevator and a skyroof cabana and open deck.
The property was first listed in 2009 for a cool $25 million but has remained unsold on the market, unable to find a buyer willing to purchase what would be the most expensive property ever bought in Brooklyn. In 2011 the property was re-listed for $23.5 million and was also offered as a $50,000/month rental.
In 2012 the list price was again dropped to $19 million but no suitors were found. This year, Corcoran Group Real Estate is handling the listing with an asking price of $18 million. If you or anyone you know might be interested, feel free to contact them direct.
[via Business Insider]
Are you tired of the big city life? Hey, it’s not for everybody. Not only is it expensive, but you’ll be cramped in a small place with thousands of other people. Luckily, there is a solution for you.
There are houses that exist all over the world that are energy efficient, beautiful and (best of all): secluded. These incredible houses were built right into nature. Check out these sweet houses built into the sides of mountains:
1.) Have dinner near the creek.
2.) Let’s hope there are never any big waves here.
3.) Imagine the view from here.
4.) Any house with a pool is awesome.
5.) This looks more alien-like.
6.) The grass is always greener.
7.) Why climb a mountain? I’ll just live in one.
8.) This house is soooo underground.
9.) Can’t forget that satellite TV.
10.) How do you even get here?
11.) When it snows, you can sled right from your window.
12.) Nice and shady.
13.) Better hope that foundation holds up.
14.) A whole mountain neighborhood!
15.) Slide on down to your home!
Yea, I want that. All of that. If you want to escape the big city shuffle, share this post and get back to your roots, by living in one of these awesome mountain houses.
Read more: http://viralnova.com/mountain-houses/
Imagine rocking up to a party in a flying car. That’d be the dream. The idea has been around for a while now and we’ve been teased with futuristic designs many times, but it seemed unlikely that we’d be cruising around in our own batmobiles any time soon. But a Slovakia-based company is now tantalizingly close to making our childhood dreams a reality, having developed a fully functional prototype.
AeroMobil unveiled their car/plane hybrid, AeroMobil 3.0, at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna on October 29. They boasted that their swanky flying roadster only took 10 months to produce, which is pretty impressive to say the least.
Like a transformer, the limousine-sized vehicle can morph from plane to car with the touch of a button, in just two minutes. When the wings are folded, it could easily fit into existing road infrastructure. What’s more, it runs on gasoline instead of kerosene, so owners can fill them up at regular gas stations.
In car form, it can reach speeds of 160 km/h, and as a plane it can travel at 200 km/h. To be used as a plane, all that is required is 250 meters of runway or grass for takeoff, and 50 meters for landing. It’s small enough to be stored in a garage, too, so no need for a hangar. Because it’s so annoying when you have to store your private jet away from home, of course.
Unfortunately, a normal driver’s license isn’t enough to be able to drive this thing. It’s the equivalent of a light-sport aircraft, so you’d need to get a sport pilot license.
Pilots have been testing out the vehicle since October this year, but it still needs some tinkering. Although it’s very close to the final product, which will be made using the same materials, the team won’t give us any ideas on when it will likely arrive on the market.
“There’s a lot of things before us,” AeroMobil CCO Stefan Vadocz told Motherboard, “but we will be working hard to do those as efficiently as possible to bring the vehicle to the market.”
We know that a lot of you like to read our articles while you’re at work (naughty, naughty pandas), so we’ve created a virtual vacation trip with amazing hotels around the world that you’d rather be sitting in right now.
These locations will take you from the icy forests of Finland to the jungles of Bali and from the streets of Paris to the turquoise Mediterranean waters of Greece. As diverse as they are, there’s one thing tying them together – each location is perfectly suited for you to take a breather and relax. [Read more…]
1. Äscher Cliff, Switzerland
2. Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
3. Ladera Resort, St. Lucia
4. The Manta Resort, Zanzibar
Image credits: Genberg Underwater Hotels
5. Rayavadee Krabi, Thailand
6. Shangri La, Paris
7. Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese Polignano a Mare, Italy
8. Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
9. Panchoran Retreat, Bali
10. Hotel Ubud Hanging Gardens, Indonesia
11. Attrap Reves Hotel, France
12. Katikies Hotel-Oia, Greece
13. Hotel Le Sirenuse, Amalfi Coast, Italy
14. Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
15. The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden, Switzerland
16. Dedon Island Resort
17. Homestead Resort and Spa, Utah, USA
18. Villa Escudero, Philippines
19. Hotel-Restaurant Öschinensee, Switzerland
20. Astarte Suits Hotel, Greece
21. Hotel Le Moulin du Roc, France
22. Juvet Landscape Resort, Norway
23. Montana Magica Lodge, Chile
24. Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Your next car is going to be something incredible.
1. Built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots for always staying connected on the road.
Why It’s Cool: A growing number of manufacturers like Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet are including built-in 4G LTE hotspots in their cars, allowing drivers to use their phones, tablets, and laptops without having to use their expensive data or pull over to the nearest Starbucks. Just don’t try to use your tech while driving, please.
2. Cameras that see everything around your car, not just behind it.
Why It’s Cool: While more cars nowadays are coming with rear-view cameras, companies like Ford and Infiniti are including cameras that allow drivers to see everything else around their car when driving. In fact, these futuristic cameras also come with sensors to actually inform you when you’re about to hit something, saving you the confrontation and guilt.
4. Windows that clean themselves and deflect liquid automatically.
Why It’s Cool: Kia and other car makers are actively featuring “hydrophobic” windows for its 2015 and 2016 car models, which is coated glass that stops stuff like rain, dirt, and other debris from even touching your precious windows. It’s like built-in Rain-X for your ride, without the need to apply it yourself.
5. A built-in vacuum for spontaneous spills and cleaning spells.
Why It’s Cool: Car lovers are definitely familiar with Shop-Vac, which makes efficient vacuums for any vehicle out there. The 2014 and 2015 Honda Odyssey capitalizes on that love and actually includes a built-in vacuum with a long range hose for people who are interested in keeping everything clean all the time.
6. NASA-approved car seats that prevent fatigue on long drives.
Why It’s Cool: Road trip-inflicted sore butts can make the best of us cranky. To counter this tragedy, the surprising duo of Nissan and NASA teamed up to develop “zero gravity” seats that keep you in a natural posture, while comforting your muscles and spines with cushioning. That’s true space-age technology.
8. Lighter cars, thanks to the use of military-grade aluminum.
Why It’s Cool: These days, the concept of a “light car” doesn’t just apply to those cute little smart vehicles you see roaming around the mall. Take a truck like the 2015 Ford F-150, which is 700 pounds lighter, or even Honda’s already light Fit hatchback which is 57 pounds lighter. This is thanks to the use of next-generation aluminum, which make cars more durable, more gas efficient, and easier to control.
9. Brakes and cameras that automatically keep you in the center of the lane.
Why It’s Cool: Everyone sometimes finds themself getting a bit too close to that yellow line. Thankfully, new versions of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Prius, and Lincoln MKZ have a feature called “lane centering,” which uses onboard cameras and the brakes to gently nudge your car into the center of a lane.
10. Cars that recognize traffic light changes and count down until the next green light.
Why It’s Cool: We spend at least 38 hours a year stuck in traffic, and that usually involves a lot of time looking at stoplights. Throughout the next few years, Audi is going to roll out a traffic light information system which will tell drivers how long until the next green light and also tell you fast or slow they should go to get to the next green light, all in one system.
11. Heated wiper blades that melt ice and snow to keep everything clear.
Why It’s Cool: Winter drivers know the pain and agony of having to deal with the snow messing their vision up. It’s not a fun thing, but companies like Everblade and Thermalblade make affordable wiper blades that make quick work of ice and snow to make sure you never have to break out the squeegee yourself.
12. Way more gas-efficient engines and motors.
Why It’s Cool: While the price of gas might be going down recently, most of us agree that the less we have to fill up, the better life is. Cars like the 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan and the 2015 Honda Fit are starting to go beyond 30 miles per gallon, while even more beast-y vehicles like the 2015 Ford F-150 have more efficient cylinders to save drivers from heading to the pump too often.
13. Push button shifting for easy adjustments while on the road.
Why It’s Cool: We’ve all been wowed by the push button ignition that has made its way to a number of cars in the past few years, but the 2015 Acura TLX and 2016 Honda Pilot add to the automatic ingenuity by having different buttons for different gears. This frees up more space in the center console, and even allows for different shifting modes for more efficient driving.
14. GPS that automatically analyzes traffic and finds the best way around it.
Why It’s Cool: We can all agree that traffic sucks. Acura’s futuristic Real-Time Traffic feature on the 2016 MDX works with the built-in GPS system to find the best way to get around traffic, while spotting accidents, weather events, and construction on the road. It’s a lot less of a hassle (and safer) than pulling out your phone.
15. A sunfroof that automatically blocks light and lets you see what you want to.
Why It’s Cool: We’ve evolved past the point where sunroofs are only for looking cool and sticking your head out. Mercedes-Benz’s newer SLK models include a new “Magic Sky” sunroof that can be darkened to block out sunroof and UV rays, or lightened to see more of that big, beautiful clear sky.
16. Sensors that learn your driving style and can detect when you’re too tired to drive.
Why It’s Cool: After a long, tiring night, one of the worst decisions you can make is to drive and risk getting into a serious accident. To solve this, car companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have developed sensors and systems that learn how you drive and alert you to pull over and take a rest when you start swaying or being reckless.
17. An alternator that recycles energy for your car and saves gas.
Why It’s Cool: Renewable energy is awesome, especially when it comes to cars. The 2014 Mazada6 has a technology called i-ELOOP, which stores kinetic energy every time it breaks, converts that energy to electricity, and uses that energy to power headlights, AC systems, and even car audio. That’s less fuel used for a happier you.
18. Access to your Android or iPhone without having to grab them while driving.
Why It’s Cool: Everyone (your dad, your local police officer, Demi Lovato) has told you to never, ever use your phone while driving. However, Google and Apple have recognized that people need to see information on their phones while driving, and created Android Auto and CarPlay for easy, safe access. Both are being built-in by a ton of car makers into a number of dashboards, but you can also buy a hybrid navigation system with both if you so desire.
19. Built-in night vision and radar detection for avoiding objects and wilderness.
Why It’s Cool: We’ve all experienced night drives when even your high beams aren’t enough to make you feel secure. But since we live in the future, car manufacturers like BMW and Audi have taken it upon themselves to develop actual night vision dashboard systems that work with sensors and allow you to see wildlife like deer or objects like trash cans in the complete dark.
20. Interfaces that recognize and automatically respond to your voice.
Why It’s Cool: While we’re not quite there in terms of a fully talkative car like KITT from Knight Rider, the likes of Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and more have implemented UConnect voice recognition systems in their 2015 models that respond to your voice for a number of tasks. Asking your car things like “Where is the nearest gas station?” or “How do I get home?” are finally possible and very convenient.
21. Car systems that alert you and automatically brake before a potential accident.
Why It’s Cool: Safety has always been the main focus for all car makers with each new technology that comes out. In the present day, some cars like the 2015 Honda Accord automatically vibrate your seat or steering wheel when you’re about to hit something from the front, while others like the 2015 Subaru Outback even take it further and automatically brake to stop a collision.
22. Speakers that provide actual surround sound.
Why It’s Cool: The one thing that drivers can always count on to keep them sane is their music and speakers, but it seems that there’s a never ending chase to have the best sounds and the deepest bass for the sickest drops. More cars are coming with standard speakers that bring the concert to your ride, with an example being the Land Rover’s Meridian sound system with a whopping 13 speakers, 12 channels, and multiple modes to get all your tunes right.
23. Automatic stop and start engines to save gas during those traffic jams.
Why It’s Cool: Your car goes through a lot of fuel when it’s not moving in traffic, and some people even go through the measure of stopping their car when things come to a halt. The 2015 Chevy Malibu gets rid of all the guesswork and automatically stops a car if your foot is on the brake pedal during a jam, and restarts the car when your foot is off, saving your gas and saving the environment.
24. High beams that automatically adjust to not blind everyone else on the road.
Why It’s Cool: Your high beams are necessary when driving in the dark, but you’ve probably made a few people angry by having them on while they drive by in the other lane. BMW and Audi’s laser-powered high beam systems crank the brightness up high when there’s no one in front of you and dim themselves when there’s cars. Now there’s no possible way you can piss someone off with your headlights.
25. Automatic parallel and perpendicular parking systems.
Why It’s Cool: If you live in a big city or an urban area in general, finding parking can get tough and usually leads you to the hassle of having to parallel park. Now, however, every company from Toyota to Lexus and Ford to Volvo includes parking assists which find a space and perform a near perfect parallel park maneuver without screwing up anyone’s bumper. This year, car maker Bosch is even gearing up to allow drivers to get out of a car and have vehicles park themselves with the help of an app.
26. Crash detection sensors that get you the help you need, fast.
Why It’s Cool: A car crash is among the scariest things anyone will go through, and if you’ve ever been in one, trying to signal for help becomes one of the hardest things to do. In the modern age, companies like Ford and GM use cellular connectivity and sensors to dial 911 and send help to where you are. Every second counts.
27. Cars that drive themselves.
Why It’s Cool: The holy grail of futuristic car technology is having cars that drive themselves, and the newest version of Tesla’s Model S is right about there with its Autopilot feature. The system uses a camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to control speed, change lanes, turns, and park automatically. Self-driving cars are going to be among the hottest things in the automotive industry over the next few years, with GM and even Apple rumored to get in on the action.
1. Mardan Palace, Turkey
This stunning pool is located at the Mardan Palace hotel in Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey.
2. Alila Villas, Bali
The Alila Villas Uluwatu resort includes a gorgeous infinity pool and an overhanging cliff-side platform with dramatic views over the Indian Ocean.
3. San Alfonso del Mar, Chile
San Alfonso holds the current Guinness record as the world’s largest crystalline water pool, with an extension of more than one kilometer in length, eight hectares and 250 million liters of water.
4. Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort, Greece
Styled after the sprawling palaces of the Minoan kings and Venetian nobles who once ruled Crete, Amirandes has the easy elegance of true European Luxury.
5. Springs Resort & Spa, Costa Rica
Las Lagunas offers twelve pools, eight of which are fed directly by water pumped from their Hot Mineral Springs.
6. The Cambrian Hotel, Switzerland
The Cambrian is among the Top 20 Swiss wellness hotels and includes a breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps.
7. Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena, Spain
This Ibizan finca style resort is suspended at 180 meters high at the top of a cliff with panoramic sea views, located in the heart of a preserved natural park.
8. The Grand Mauritian Resort & Spa, Mauritius
This tropical destination is located in Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
9. Ubud Hanging Gardens, Indonesia
Ubud’s infinity-edge swimming pool stands on two levels, perched over the spectacular rain forest.
10. Hotel Caruso, Italy
Found at the highest point of Ravello, this elliptically shaped pool borders a gorgeous view of the sea and mountains.
11. Golden Triangle Resort, Thailand
Located in Chiang Rai, this infinity pool offers a unique design and an incredible view.
12. Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
At Jade Mountain, each suite includes an infinity pool overlooking the mountains of St. Lucia.
13. Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
As the only crocodile dive in Australia, Crocosaurus Cove invites thrill-seekers and adventurists to experience the Cage of Death.
14. Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
The Huvafen Fushi hotel is located in Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The infinity pools have fiber optic lighting for a truly magical swimming experience.
15. Marina Bay Sands Resort, Singapore
The Sands SkyPark infinity pool is 57 stories high and overlooks the Singapore skyline.
16. The Sarojin, Thailand
The luxurious swimming pool at The Sarojin has an infinity edge, jacuzzi lounge area and three drape-shaded pool island pavilions.
17. Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites, Greece
This award-winning luxury villa in Crete, Greece offers a variety of spa pools for a secluded vacationing experience.
18. Capella Pedregal Resort, Mexico
Capella Pedregal, the premier spa resort in Cabo San Lucas, sits on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
19. Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls
A naturally formed pool known as the Devil’s Pool is located at Victoria Falls in southern Africa. It peers at the edge of the 355 ft waterfall and is most often visited during the months of September to December.
20. Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado
The water in Glenwood’s pools have fifteen minerals that help sooth and restore the body of their guests.
21. Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
The Tank at the Golden Nugget provides an exhilarating swimming experience with a secure water slide that tours underwater sea life.
22. The Joule Dallas, Texas
Located in Dallas, Texas, The Joule has a rooftop pool that extends over the building, providing a fun view of the city.
23. NEMO33, Belgium
NEMO33 is the deepest indoor swimming pool in the world, with a maximum depth of 113 feet.
24. Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Greece
Blue Palace in Greece features 142 private pools, most of which are infinity style.
Have you ever been out for dinner and been confused by the number of knives and forks? Don’t know what to do with that napkin? This is a list of the top 10 tips to help you get by if you are invited to a fine dining experience. The rules may vary from place to place but this should serve as a good guide.
1. Knives and Forks
This is one of the most common problems for people that are used to flatware (knives and forks) being brought to the table with each course. On a properly set table you usually see a series of forks on the left side of your plate, and a series of spoons and knives on your right (the table is always set for right handed people). The very simple rule is to always work from the outside in; the cutlery farthest away from your plate is for the first course. If you are still unsure what to do, wait and follow your hostess or host.
Always take small portions of food at a time and put your cutlery down between each mouthful. When you put your cutlery down, place it on the plate (never back on the table and do not rest it half on and half off the plate); cross the tips of the two pieces (if there are two) or angle it if there is just one. This tells the server that you are not finished. When you are finished, place your knife and fork together in the centre of the plate vertically. The tines of the fork should point up and the blade of the knife should point to the centre towards the fork.
You should always hold both your knife and fork – you should not cut your food up at the start and then use your fork only (this is an American tradition and is generally fine in America, but not in Europe). The tines of your fork should always point down toward the plate – for difficult foods like peas, you should use your knife to squash them onto the tip of the fork. The fork is not a scoop, do not use it like one.
Do not pick up any cutlery that you drop to the floor. It will be replaced by the server.
2. Soup and Pudding
Soup spoons generally come in two shapes – one is shaped like a round bowl, and the other is shaped like an egg. When eating soup the soup bowl must stay on the table. It is never acceptable to drink your soup from the bowl. To eat your soup, push your spoon away from you starting at the centre of the bowl to the farthest edge. Bring the spoon to your mouth and drink the soup from the edge – do not put the whole spoon in to your mouth. Do not slurp.
Pudding is not to be confused with dessert – they are two entirely separate courses though one can take the place of the other. Pudding is a sweet course, whereas dessert is usually fruit or cheese. To eat pudding you are usually given both a fork and a spoon. The pudding spoon is held in the same way as your knife, with the bowl of the spoon facing inwards, and (for right handed people) is held in the right hand. The pudding fork is used as a pusher only. You do not put a pudding fork in to your mouth. Using the fork, push a small portion of your pudding on to the angled spoon. As you lift the spoon to your mouth, tilt it a little so the bowl is now facing upwards. When you have finished eating, the same rules apply here for placing your cutlery back on the plate.
Occasionally the pudding fork and spoon will be found directly above your plate, rather than in the cutlery at the side.
A napkin is used for one thing only – dabbing the mouth. Never wipe your mouth with a napkin, you should always dab. Your napkin should be unfolded and placed on your knees. It is never acceptable to tuck your napkin in to the front of your shirt or dress. In ancient times this was normal, nowadays it is the height of vulgarity.
If, for some urgent reason, you must leave the table before you have finished, you should place your napkin on your seat (after you have asked your hostess to excuse you). This tells the server that you plan to return. When you are ready to sit down again, simply replace the napkin upon your knee.
If your napkin drops to the floor, it is acceptable for you to pick it up unless the house has a butler or servants near the table. In those cases they will remove the fallen napkin and replace it with a fresh one. Never place anything in your napkin (especially not food).
When you have finished eating, the napkin should be placed tidily (but not refolded) to the left side of your plate (but not on your plate).
4. Glasses and Wine
Normally you will have two or more glasses at the table. Your glasses are on the right upper side of your plate. You can have up to four glasses. They are usually arranged in a diagonal or roughly square pattern. The top left glass is for red wine. It will usually have a fairly large bowl. Directly below that you will find the white wine glass, that will be smaller. At the top right you will find a champagne glass or perhaps a smaller glass for dessert wines or port. on the bottom right is your water glass.
If someone offers a toast to you, you remain seated while the others may stand. Never raise a glass to yourself. You should never touch glasses with other guests when toasting – it is enough to raise the glass in their direction. Keep eye contact when toasting. If you wish to raise a toast, never tap the side of your glass with a utensil, it is the height of rudeness and you could damage very expensive glassware. It is sufficient to clear your throat.
Do not gulp your wine. It is impolite to become drunk in front of the other guests or your hosts. Sip quietly and occasionally. The purpose of the wine at dinner is to complement your food, not to help you along to way to drunkenness. If your server is refilling your glass, you should never place your hand over or near the glass to indicate when you have enough. You should simply tell the server that you have sufficient or tell him prior to pouring that you do not wish to have any more. Never hold the glass for the server to pour your wine.
5. Body and seating
There will usually be a seating plan near the door of the dining room, or place cards on the table. If neither exist, wait to be seated by your hostess. There are strict rules as to whom sits where at the table and it would be extremely embarrassing if you had to be asked to move, both for you and your hostess. Remember, the hostess governs the table, not the host. The host will sit at the head of the table (this is normally the seat farthest away from doors or commotion. To his right sits the wife of the guest of honour and to his left sits the wife of the next gentleman in order of importance. The hostess will have the guest of honour on her right, and the second most important gentleman on her left. The remainder of the seating plan can often be arbitrary but will always alternate based on gender.
When you are seated at the table your feet should be firmly planted on the floor in front of you. Do not cross your legs, do not lean back on your chair, and do not shake your feet. Your elbows should be at your side at all times. Sit upright and do not lean over your plate when you are eating; bring your food to your mouth.
In England, the correct behaviour is to keep your hands on your lap when you are not using them. In France the rule is to keep your hands above the table at all times. You may place them on the edge of the table but you must never put your elbows on the table.
6. Food in General
You must not start eating until everyone has been served. If there are a large number of guests, the hostess may indicate that you may begin before everyone is served. If this is the case, you should begin. If you take a mouthful which contains something you cannot swallow, you should excuse yourself and remove it in privacy. Absolutely do not do so at the table table and never place it in your napkin or on your plate for all to see.
If you are eating something that has stones or pips in it, you may use your forefinger and thumb to remove them from your mouth. Place them on the side of your plate. You must never use a toothpick at the table, nor should you blow your nose. If you have something stuck in your teeth that you must remove, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to remove it. It is also acceptable to remove bones with your fingers.
Do not salt your meal before you have tasted it; it is an insult to your hostess. If you do need salt, use the tip of a clean knife (if a salt spoon is not provided in the salt dish) to transfer some salt to the side of your plate which you can use for dipping.
Small pre-dinner snacks must always touch your plate before being put in the mouth. Do not take it from the serving tray and put it straight in your mouth.
If you are having bread with your meal there will usually be a small side plate on the left hand side (or above your left left hand cutlery) of your place setting; if so, use it. If not, it is perfectly acceptable to place your bread directly on the table to the left of your plate. You should not put the bread on your plate directly.
Bread should never be cut. When you wish to eat it, tear a bite sized piece off with your fingers. Don’t worry about crumbs if there are no side plates – the servers will sweep each setting between courses if needs be. Normally there should never be butter served at a dinner table, but these days it is seen from time to time. If there is butter, use your butter knife (found either on the bread plate or to the extreme right of your setting) and transfer sufficient butter for your bread in one go. Place it on the side of your side plate. If there is no side plate your hostess should ensure that you have your own individual butter dish. You should butter each piece of bread as you eat it, rather than buttering it all up front.
Unless you know every guest at the table very well, you should not discuss politics, religion, or sex at the table. You should also avoid any controversial subjects that may fall outside of the scope of those three topics. Dinner is meant to be enjoyed, not to be a forum for debate.
You should give equal time to the person sitting on your left and your right. It can be difficult to talk easily with strangers but it is absolutely imperative that you do so that everyone can join in on the conversation. This is such a strict rule that I know of a lady of high standing who was seated next to her greatest enemy. In order to comply with the rule, she simply recited the alphabet to him the whole time. Having said that, I would not recommend this behaviour at all as it implies another kind of rudeness.
Do not yell to the ends of the table. You should speak in low tones but you do not have to act like you are in Church or a Public Library – dinner is meant to be enjoyed and the conversation is a fundamental part of that. If you are not very confident with speaking to others, a good rule of thumb is to ask the person questions about themselves (never personal questions). Everyone loves to speak about himself and this will also make you appear to be a good listener.
9. Difficult Foods
Some foods can be difficult to eat. This is how you should do so:
Artichokes: using your fingers break of one leaf at a time. Holding the spiny end, dip the base in your dish of melted butter or sauce and suck out the fleshy interior with your teeth. Place the remains on your place. Once you reach the soft centre called the heart, use a knife and fork to eat it as you would a steak.
Asparagus: Pick up each stem with your left hand and dip the tip in the butter or sauce. Eat it one bite at a time, never put the whole stalk in your mouth. If you are left with a hard base, you may discard it on your plate. The thick white variety sometimes seen in Europe should always be eaten with a knife and fork, never with your fingers.
Cheese: Small round cheese must always be cut in small pie-shaped wedges. Larger cheeses that have already been cut into a large should be cut from the pointy end first (this is called the nose).
Escargots: These snails are usually served with a special gripping tool and a small fork. Grip the snail shell with the gripper and use the fork to turn the meat out.
Fruit: If a dessert course is served, you will probably have a dessert fork and knife. You should use these on larger pieces of fruit.
10. General Dont’s
Don’t make a fuss. If you don’t like something, leave it.
Don’t blow on hot food to cool it down. Wait for it to cool itself.
Don’t smoke at the table unless invited to by the hostess.
Don’t photograph the table, it looks desperate.
Don’t move your plate after your meal has been served.
Don’t treat the servers badly. It makes you look common.
Don’t eat chicken or chops with your fingers.
Don’t point with your cutlery.
Don’t hold your fork while you drink your wine.
Don’t overstay your welcome
Finally, be sure to say thank you to your host before leaving and send a letter of thanks the next day (if you are lucky you will be invited back).
Once you get over driving on the opposite side of the road, driving in Europe isn’t that different from driving in the UK….. There’s plenty of great road trips to take around Europe, here’s a few!
ATS Euromaster / Via atseuromaster.co.uk
2. Col De La Bonette… South East France
When most people think of the South of France they think of St Tropez, not the Col de la Bonette. Don’t miss out on this gorgeous drive around the Alps… if you take a wrong turn you might even end up in Italy!
3. Sintra to Cabo da Roca…. Portugal
A World Heritage site, Sintra has some gorgeous views and buildings that can make you feel like you’re lost in a fairy tale. If you drive through to Cascais on the Cabo da Roca, you’re not too far away from Lisbon… which I can vouch has some great shops!
4. The Amalfi Coast….. Italy
Another World Heritage site, the Amalfi Coast is a beautiful stretch of Southern Italy… full of quaint towns and expensive shopping. Beyonce fact: the Amalfi Coast is referenced in Upgrade U.
5. North to South…. Croatia
Croatia is the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world and this drive will show you exactly why…. with gorgeous views and great local delicacies to try. Adriatic Fact: The Adriatic Sea coast has more than a 1,000 islands!
6. Monte Carlo… Central Monaco
Monte Carlo is well known for its casino and grandness, but it’s actually a place of great beauty too. The hotel de Paris is one of the most luxurious hotels in Monte Carlo, with 106 rooms that will cost you a small fortune to stay in! Plenty of films have used Monte Carlo as a back drop including 3 Bond movies, Iron Man 2, Cars 2, Madagascar 3 and a film called Monte Carlo (I hadn’t heard of it either..).
7. Know The Laws…
Some European countries have different laws than the UK regarding what you need to carry in your car. Do your research before you go as the last thing you want is a fine to ruin your holiday!
ATS Euromaster / Via atseuromaster.co.uk
When Schopfer Yachts envisioned the Infinitas they quite literally decided to create a beast. With a hull design based on the skull of an animal, this mega yacht comes fully equipped with a helipad, elevator, and semi-enclosed swimming pool.
As probably the strangest looking entry on our list, this luxury yacht created by Hyun-Seok Kim is named after the Voronoi lattice pattern that covers its deck. Being designed to entertain, it comes with numerous hot tubs, a pool, and even a golfing green on its deck.
10. Paper Boat
Built by a trio of young Italian designers, this paper boat concept definitely wins in the creativity department. It’s deceptively spacious, however, with two cabins, a bar, and “seagull wing” walls than open up to the ocean.
Named and designed to resemble a trilobite, the extinct marine animal, this partially submerged house yacht has an underwater viewing deck that sits 3 meters beneath the waves.