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Some say the anticipation of a trip away can be almost as enjoyable as going on the trip itself – the excitement of discovery, exploring new cultures and creating memories provides us with an instant happiness boost!

Whether you’re a sun-seeker, culture vulture or adventurer, stroll over to Stanfords on Mercer Walk where you can pick up your favourite travel books to start planning for your next voyage. Here’s our round-up of destinations to consider (and where to enjoy a taster before you go!)…

Mexico

DK Eyewitness Mexico, £15.99, Stanfords 

Whether you want to sample sizzling street food in Mexico City, swim in the Yucatan’s crystal-clear cenotes or marvel at towering Maya pyramids, your DK Eyewitness travel guide makes sure you experience all that Mexico has to offer. A treat for the senses, Mexico’s urban areas are buzzing with vibrant markets, tantalising cuisine and exuberant festivals, whilst its natural landscape encompasses dusty deserts, tropical jungles and plunging canyons. Urban or rural, this country is endlessly enticing. 

If you can’t wait to get there, then head to Café Pacifico at The Yards, the UK’s oldest Mexican restaurant, bringing the fresh, authentic flavours of Mexico to London. Enjoy dishes including tacos, fajitas and nachos in a warm and vibrant cantina-style atmosphere that makes you feel at home.

Italy

Experience Italy, £16.99, Stanfords 

Lonely Planet’s Experience Italy is your guide to unforgettable experiences and local surprises. Learn to voga in Venice, explore the palaces of Turin, and discover hidden beaches and lush islands on the Amalfi Coast – all guided by local experts with fresh perspectives.  

Get a true taste of Italy at The Yards before you travel with a visit to Miscusi, the restaurant bringing you the authentic love, good vibes and great tasting food from its hometown Milan. Just next door, you can also find Italian wine bar and restaurant Dalla Terra, offering a wine list covering around 600 wines from Italy and around the world, as well as fresh, seasonal, homemade Italian dishes.  

Fancy something sweet? Each Thursday in May between 5.30pm – 6.30pm, ice cream connoisseurs Badiani will be serving up complimentary cups of their award-winning Italian gelato, all part of the ‘Joyful Moments’ at The Yards. Quote “Here’s to joy at The Yards” at the counter to claim a free small pot of gelato.

Pineapple studios illuminated sign
Pineapple studios illuminated sign

Spain

Lonely Planet Spain and Portugal’s Best Trips, £15.99, Stanfords 

Discover the freedom and joy of open roads while touring Spain and Portugal with Lonely Planet Spain and Portugal’s Best Trips, your passport to up-to-date advice and insider tips on uniquely encountering Spain and Portugal via el auto. Featuring 32 amazing road trips, from 2-day escapes to 2-week adventures, you can explore the route of Don Quixote and journey through the Duoro Valley Vineyards.  

To get you in the mood, shimmy over to Pineapple Dance Studios at The Yards for a fun-filled dance lesson in authentic Latin rhythms. From Flamenco, Tango, Samba and Salsa, there are 250 classes a week to pick from. 

Myanmar

The Rough Guide to Myanmar, £16.99, Stanfords 

Those looking to escape the everyday and travel further afield may wish to consider Myanmar, a country with breath-taking natural beauty. Check out The Rough Guide to Myanmar from Stanfords for inspirational itineraries, covering everything from ancient temples to bustling markets to stunning beaches and nature-filled treks. 

You can sample the delights of Myanmar at Lahpet, located at The Yards, one of London’s only restaurants to specialise in authentic Burmese cooking. Aiming to shine a light on this relatively untapped cuisine, Lahpet has been popularising the flavours of Myanmar with regional specialities and Burmese staple dishes with a hint of refinement and contemporary flair.  

This spring we’re celebrating moments that bring us joy at The Yards and to help us do this, illustrator Lizzie King has created artworks of the things that make us happy. Be sure to stop by, snap and share your moments of joy at The Yards using #FindJoyAtTheYards and by tagging @theyardscoventgarden.  

 

We will also be giving you the chance to win a number of prizes – including meals for two, a night’s stay at a local hotel, shopping sprees and much more! Stay tuned via our Instagram to find out how to enter the competitions throughout May. 

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