First For Bridge

  • News from the Bridge Room in the French Chateau 2017

    Host report by Pauline and Nigel Durie:

    This beautiful chateau is situated on the edge of the Rhone Alps in the Savoie region of France and provides spectacular views from all directions. Accommodation is in three chateau buildings and all rooms are different. All are close to dining and bridge facilities. The bridge room itself is bright and air conditioned. The weather was beautiful, after a cloudy first few days, and afternoon bridge provided a cool relief for some. We were treated to exceptional service and gourmet food on the terrace with wine provided by the host from the chateau’s cellars. The owner of the chateau hosted a wine tasting with several very palatable wines to sample and a range of canapes to accompany them.

    The chateau grounds invite you to sit and enjoy the scenery (including the occasional bride!) and the pool was well used by many. A wonderful place to simply relax, swim, read a good book, discuss bridge hands and to generally enjoy the warm sunshine. A short walk into Challes Les Eau offered the opportunity to visit the shops or stroll around the lake by the small airfield. Some guests were delighted to have the chance to try gliding whilst others ventured further afield to enjoy a couple of rounds of golf.

    The included tours to Chambery, to visit the chateau and the market, and to Aix Les Bains were enjoyed by most guests. The bells of the chateau ring twice a month and we were fortunate that we were there to hear the music whilst sitting in the warm sunshine. Our tour guides were very keen to share the history of the region which really brought the area to life. The boat trip on Lac du Bourg (the second largest in France) at Aix Les Bains culminated in a visit to the very impressive Abbaye de Hautecombe – home to a growing community of young people and to some beautiful works of art.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Lake Bled 2017

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    Host report by Rob Richardson:

    Slovenia is a small country in the Alps. It was part of Yugoslavia, and earlier the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is the world's first officially recognised green country. The Hotel Park overlooks both Lake Bled and the castle, which sits atop a very high rock on the opposite side of the lake. The area is noted for scenery, rowing and Bled cake (flaky pastry, custard and whipped cream) . As there appeared to be no interest in rowing amongst our guests, and the scenery spoke for itself, the bridge staff concluded that we ought to research the best place for our guests to sample the Bled cake. This onerous task was performed diligently in the Brown Bear most lunchtimes.

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Austria

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    Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts:

    Seefeld has played host to the Olympic Nordic disciplines no fewer than three times – in 1964, 1976 and 2012 and the Olympiaregion Seefeld has been selected as the venue for the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2019. It is clear that the region is incredibly proud to be able to host the prestigious Nordic sporting event once more and there is already much evidence that preparations are in hand.

    Seefeld sits on a plateau 4000ft above sea level and roughly 2000ft above the Innsbruck valley. The surrounding mountains rise another 2,500ft and many of their slopes are ideal for skiing. The town enjoys sunshine for much of the year including the winter; a major factor in its popularity as a ski resort.

    In the Summer the area takes on a new beauty of it’s own. The surrounding mountains, still etched with residual snow fields above the tree-line, provide a dramatic backdrop to every viewpoint. The sun shines almost every day so the alpine slopes are lit a vivid green and alpine flowers abound. The ski lifts are open and the ski slopes are used for a range of Summer sports such as hiking, running biking and extreme golf!

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Menorca 2017

    Host report by Toby Mace:

    This 2 week holiday is a well-known First For Bridge fixture. The first week is spent in the 5 star La Quinta Hotel on the Western side of the island. This offered chances to visit the old capital and very scenic town Ciutadella. You can navigate by bus or hire car to plentiful unspoilt sandy beaches in the area ripe for a quick swim. The water at this time of year is perfect in the hotel outdoor pool or the sea (with only a smattering of jelly fish to watch out for, but thankfully none in the pool!).

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  • News from the Bridge Room in Sicily

    Host report by Pauline Durie:

    Sicily is a beautiful island of rolling green hills interspersed with a few vast plains growing oranges and lemons amongst others. Agriculture is the way of life here and the food reflects this. Apparently some of the cattle seen grazing on the hillside are world famous for producing the best beef. As you drive from the airport to the resort you are already enamoured by the scenery and then arrive at a hotel that surely has one of the most beautiful settings on the island. Flowers of all colours and species are the highlight in the spacious gardens and strolling around these was popular. The large pool complex with its islands of trees and flowers was probably the most popular feature. The beach was a few metres from the pool and several guests enjoyed swimming in the sea.

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