Making the most of every minute

A few hours to spare in LA, HK or San Sebástian? Here’s activities to maximise your time in transit.

It so often happens that you wind up with four or five hours left before leaving a city. Whether you’re waiting for an afternoon flight or taking an overnight train, there is a collective desire to wrap it up with something memorable. But what to do?

Here are a handful of hot summer destinations to travel to this winter and some great ideas for making the most of your last few hours.

Los Angeles

Ahh the golden warmth of a Californian summer – there’s nothing quite like it. Whether you’re down for a spot of surfing in Malibu, hiking in Runyon canyon or revelling in the yoga-obsessed, macrobiotic-infused world of healthy LA, there’s plenty to float your boat in the city of dreams. So once you’ve covered all that and are on the way out, what’s a good way to go in style?

A tour of Stahl House

One of the most celebrated homes in America, Stahl House is a midcentury modern masterpiece that is a world away from the sprawling celebrity homes you might see splashed over the pages of NW. Completed in 1959 by Pierre Koenig for graphic designer Buck Stahl and his wife Carlotta, it was part of a Case Study Program aimed at introducing modernist principles into residential architecture. A night shot of the home captured by architectural photographer Julius Shulman drew the world’s eye to this progressive design of glass and steel, and its iconic status was cast.

The Stahl family runs regular afternoon and evening tours of this spectacular property tucked high in the Hollywood Hills, and to visit is to get a taste of California’s modernist history. The sweeping views across the city from the living room make you feel as though you can reach out and take LA by the hand.

Hong Kong

Summer in Hong Kong is a dazzling destination of festivals, concerts, shopping and eating. With so much to see and do while in town, a short cooking class is a great way to squeeze out the last of your time in the city and learn something delicious to take home with you.

A Chinese cooking class

Sampling the local fare from the bustling restaurants and street vendors in Hong Kong will leave you itching to discover how to take some of that away. Steaming dim sum, thick congees and luscious egg tarts, your travels in the city can easily and delightfully revolve entirely around meals.

Continuing the gastronomic adventure, a half-day cooking class is a wonderful way to see out your trip and Martha Sherpa’s North Point cookery school is the place to do it. Half-day classes run mornings or afternoons and you’ll master two dishes while visiting a local market. Take home the secrets of Shui Jiao, boiled pork and vegetable dumplings, perfect the art of sticky rice and learn what fires up a real deal Kung Pao chicken.

San Sebástian

Long days, deliciously warm nights and that feeling of absolute relaxation that radiates through the cities… Europe in summer is a beautiful place to be. Nowhere is this more apparent than the coastal Spanish city of San Sebástian, where the sun shines day after day on its perfect beaches buzzing with a fiesta atmosphere. While parting is the sweetest sorrow, make it a little easier by warming into it over the French border.

Skip over the border

While it’s hard to tear yourself away from this Spanish paradise, holidays do have to come to an end and starting the process with a scoot over to Biarritz, France can help you get used to the idea. Only a 45-minute drive from San Sebástian, it makes for an easy day trip that will see you back in town a few hours later.

While in Biarritz, stick to the seaside and walk along the magnificent coast, passing the Casino Barriere, Museum of the Sea and Rock of the Virgin. Wander through the main street, past artisan cheese shops, grocers and confectionary stores and if time permits, pop into the town’s chocolate museum. Take a slice of the local Basque Cake, filled with sweet black cherries, to enjoy on the trip back.

Insure your health when you travel with Medibank travel insurance

Recommended reading - Tasty vegetarian recipes

Recipes

Green pasta recipe

Break away from traditional pasta recipes with this green pasta meal with pesto, basil and peas.

Read more
Recipes

No-bake pumpkin pie recipe

Love a no-bake dessert with naturally sweet ingredients? This pumpkin pie is the perfect recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Mushroom ragu pasta recipe

The flavours of garlic and olive oil will win you over in this mushroom ragu pasta recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Corsican pie with courgette flowers recipe

This corsican pie with courgette flowers is sure to impress your dinner guests!

Read more
Recipes

Easy cheesy quiche recipe

Love a dish that makes great leftovers? Try this easy cheesy quiche!

Read more
Recipes

Aubergine with black garlic recipe

For a succulent veggie dish, try aubergine with black garlic

Read more
Recipes

Mexican baked eggy tortilla cups recipe

For a Mexican recipe that's a little different, try baked eggy tortilla cups

Read more
Recipes

Spring quinoa risotto recipe

Full of the goodness of seasonal greens, this dish is a light and flavoursome refresh of a classic.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Greek bean medley recipe

Fresh cherry tomatoes and a touch of chilli bring a zesty mix of flavours to this spring salad

Read more
Recipes

Kale, feta and pumpkin pie recipe

This nourishing pie is the perfect weeknight trick to have up your sleeve

Read more
Recipes

Shakshuka baked eggs recipe

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this invigorating, spice-infused dish is a warming feast

Read more
Recipes

Potato and turnip gratin recipe

A creamy, comforting way to savour those wintery root vegetables

Read more
Recipes

Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds recipe

A comforting winter salad, with an invigorating blend of textures and flavours

Read more
Recipes

Porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto recipe

A creamy, comforting risotto, full of the flavoursome goodness of mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Vegetarian laksa recipe

Fill up on colourful winter veggies in a light, creamy laksa

Read more
Recipes

Breakfast tacos with chipotle sweet potato and trumpet mushroom recipe

Put a fresh, Mexican-inspired twist on your morning with these colourful tacos from My New Roots

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and chickpea salad recipe

A filling and flavoursome Turkish-inspired salad by Sevtap Yuce

Read more
Recipes

Beetroot and kale risotto with feta cheese recipe

This risotto dish by Rena Patten is bright with with the super-goodness of kale

Read more
Recipes

Egg, green olive and dukkah salad recipe

Fill up on the rich and tasty flavours of this dish by salad genius Matt Wilkinson.

Read more
Recipes

Pasta with zucchini, basil and lemon sauce recipe

This light, fragrant sauce goes well with thin pasta like spaghetti, angel hair or linguine

Read more
Recipes

Sunflower seed falafel balls with tahini dipping sauce recipe

Savour the goodness of these light, sunflower-and-cashew filled vegetarian bites.

Read more
Community

Vegetable samosas recipe

These tasty, veggie-filled parcels from Stephanie Alexander are always a lunchbox winner.

Read more
Recipes

Spinach, avocado and mushroom stack recipe

Create a deceptively simple feast with this spinach, avocado and mushroom stack recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Veggie fritters recipe

Veggies galore! Try delicious veggie fritters for a meal that can be be prepared in advance.

Read more
Recipes

Coconut and lime cheesecake recipe

Enjoy irresistable no-bake coconut cheesecake with zesty lime.

Read more
Recipes

Coconut quinoa with kale and pesto recipe

Nourish your body with this superfood salad of coconut quinoa, kale and pesto.

Read more
Recipes

Cherry tomato and mozzarella salad recipe

A fresh, Italian salad like this cherry tomato and mozzarella salad is ideal for everyday enjoyment.

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa sushi bowl recipe

Love sushi? Try this unwrapped quinoa sushi bowl recipe for an interesting variation.

Read more
Recipes

Nutrition bowl with beetroot hummus and guacamole recipe

Boost your energy at any time of the day with a fresh, healthy and wholesome nutrition bowl.

Read more
Recipes

Spiced tempeh recipe

Need an interesting vegetarian idea? This spiced tempeh recipe will surprise with its versatility.

Read more
Recipes

Eggplant and sweet potato pizza recipe

For a healthy and interesting take on an old favourite, try this eggplant and sweet potato pizza.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy pumpkin and lentil soup recipe

Spice up your soup ideas this winter with a pumpkin and lentil soup inspired by Indian flavours.

Read more
Recipes

Corn fritters with tangy tomato salsa recipe

These cajun-flavoured corn fritters with tomato salsa will freshen up your weeknight routine.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and sweet potato vegetable slice recipe

This zucchini and sweet potato vegetable slice will keep the family happy and well-fed.

Read more
Recipes

Raw mint chocolate mousse recipe

Feel like a healthy dessert? Try this raw chocolate mousse recipe with surprising fruits and herbs.

Read more
Recipes

Sweet potato rice paper rolls recipe

Try this delicious combination of vegies parcelled in rice paper rolls.

Read more
Recipes

Fresh vermicelli salad bowl recipe

Looking for a salad with a difference? Try a salad with vermicelli noodles.

Read more
Recipes

Light pumpkin soup recipe

Looking for a lighter alternative to traditionally creamy pumpkin soup?

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini noodle and coriander salad recipe

Try zucchini noodles with pineapple chilli dressing for a salad with a difference.

Read more
Recipes

Roast veggie medley with chickpeas recipe

Looking for a new vegetarian favourite? Try this roast veggie medley with chickpeas recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Trio of dips recipe

Try this beautiful and fresh homemade trio of dips for an alternative to supermarket dips.

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa sushi hand rolls recipe

A recipe to master the art of sushi at home!

Read more
Recipes

Fennel with goat’s curd recipe

If you're looking for a tasy side or light meal, Maggie Beer has the recipe for you

Read more
Recipes

Pumpkin fritters recipe

These pumpkin fritters are so simple, yet so delicious

Read more
Recipes

Mexican party cups recipe

Brighten up any fiesta with these spice-infused, protein-rich, deliciously flavoursome parcels.

Read more
Recipes

Spring asparagus and egg recipe

Nothing says spring better than fresh, deliciously sautéed greens

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and avocado fritters with lemon coconut yoghurt recipe

Deliciously fresh and light, these fritters make the perfect brunch

Read more
Recipes

Spiced tofu and beetroot salad recipe

The gluten free, vegan spiced tofu in this dish is packed with intense flavours.

Read more
Recipes

Butternut pumpkin and parsnip soup recipe

A rich and creamy pumpkin soup, infused with a blend of cumin, paprika and chives.

Read more
Recipes

Ultimate roasted vegetables recipe

Roast those root veggies with the perfect infusion of herbs and spices

Read more
Recipes

Mushroom pâté with crispy bread sticks recipe

This pâté is high in fibre, potassium and iron – and it's pretty delicious, too!

Read more
Recipes

Curried cauliflower soup with toasted chickpeas recipe

The nutty goodness of chickpeas takes this creamy soup to delicious new levels

Read more
Recipes

Healthy vegetarian nachos recipe

Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food shares a mouthwatering vegetarian recipe from her new book

Read more
Recipes

Lentil soup recipe

Lentil-based dishes like this red lentil soup are not only delicious but are packed with goodness.

Read more
Recipes

Bruschetta with asparagus and cherry tomatoes recipe

Try this satisfying recipe for rustic Italian bruschetta with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

Read more
Recipes

Vietnamese salad recipe

A fresh, healthy summer salad that’s perfect for lunches.

Read more
Recipes

Tomato, pumpkin and beetroot frittata recipe

Love vegies? Try a tomato, pumpkin and beetroot frittata for a delicious and visually-tempting meal.

Read more
Recipes

Green veggie slice recipe

Zucchini goodness with a nutty twist, perfect served warm or sliced up cool for leftovers.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.