December 2012 free sample

So where would my role models go for romance?

Vardhan Kondvikar – Editor

That poses a problem, because my role models, in no real order, are James Bond, Hannibal Lecter and Batman. And while adults shake their heads at this, I believe many men of my generation would agree – if you have to do something grown up like wining and dining, you might as well do it in a place where you can pretend you’re actually making things explode.

First up is a James Bond special – Italy’s Amalfi coast. The area around Sorrento, Amalfi Positano, and the island of Capri, seems made for Bond: you can burble past the cliffs in your Aston Martin (or rental Alfa Romeo, no problem), you can stalk villains or your paramour along steep, cobbled streets, leave a lazy wake in blue water on a boat ride to Capri, and end the day with limoncello on a beautiful terrace. And we’ve lined up great ideas for you, from renting a classic car, to walking the beautifully named Path of the Gods,to making your own gelato, to taking a boat out and feeling a bit of a god yourself. Next up, for the man of, um, refined taste, Dr Lecter. For such a connoisseur of classical music and art, Salzburg in Austria would make for a perfect break, even if it isn’t during concert season. The city is historic and elegant, with reminders everywhere that you’re in the birthplace of Mozart, and stunning architecture and vistas all round. You can attend concerts at dinner, go to a bunch of fantastic museums, or just stroll along, soaking up the atmosphere, politely rubbing shoulders with people in lederhosen and dirndls. And while Dr Lecter might turn his nose up at The Sound Of Music, you don’t have to – this is the hometown of the von Trapp family – and even the food here is good enough to make the good doctor take his teeth off his dining companion.

Oooh, Batman! In The Dark Knight Rises, he emerges from his prison just outside Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, which leads us straight to ever-evocative Rajasthan. We haven’t gone to Jodhpur, but the rather unexplored bits of Rajasthan that we’re taking you to will warm the cockles of his rubber-clad heart. Udaipur will appeal perfectly to his Bruce Wayne avatar, all glamour and gorgeous (and romantic) views of palaces across the lake, but it’s in places like Dungarpur and Bundi that he’ll really come alive: hills and twisted corridors enough for a thousand ambushes, and a perfect, softly-lit ambience for when he and Catwoman feel like snuggling up. Plenty of tales too – and Batman definitely loves his mysterious origin stories, so I believe he’ll like this place.

We have a whole list of other lovely ideas in this issue as well: great hotels,activities and destinations to spice up your love life – we’re even on hand if you want to rent an entire island, so you can thank us later.

Yes, at some point, it’ll be time to grow up, but until then, do enjoy this issue – and make good use of it! Trust me, you will thank us later, even if we don’t make things explode.