Category Archives: Phil Rake

By @ 01/28/16 in Gay travel, Phil Rake, Travel, Venice
A dashing gondolier in Venice and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

A dashing gondolier


It’s easy to fall in love with Venice (and possibly even fall in love in Venice). The city’s splendour is beguiling and intoxicating – the moment you spy the gondoliers navigating the Grand Canal, you will be hooked and you won’t want to leave. This Venice update is brought to us by ManAboutWorld correspondent  Phil Rake.

Built up around clusters of tiny islands, connected only by an array of bridges, Venice is so cleverly and beautifully crafted, it looks and feels as if it’s floating on water. This illusion of ‘floating’ is part of what makes the city so alluring – the waters of the Adriatic are always in sight, lapping against the walkways and buildings, waiting to encroach.

But it’s what’s above the surface that will truly enthral you. The city has some of the most grand architectural structures you will ever see, like the Byzantine inspired Basilica di San Marco and the Venetian-Gothic Doge’s Palace – products of its affluence and of a time when Venice was the principle trading hub between Europe and Asia. The city is also renowned for its art and culture, with the legacies of famous Venetians like Vivaldi, Tintoretto, Titian and Andrea Palladio living on in and around, not only Venice, but also the world at large. Whether your a fan of classical music, opera, history, art or cuisine, you won’t be short of things to see or do in Venice.

The Grand Canal in Venice and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The Grand Canal

But the most thrilling way to experience Venice, is to wander the different sestieri (or neighbourhoods) and allow yourself to get lost amongst the narrow thoroughfares and maze-like alleyways. Secret courtyards decked in marble, hidden gardens that overlook the canal, and secluded passageways that lead to stunning vistas – you’ll be amazed at what you can discover. 

Venice is exceptionally pretty, so there is never a bad time to visit. In the Spring and Summer, the sun infuses the city with a warmth and glow, lighting up the buildings like radiant treasures. However, like the French Riviera, Venice in the high season gets unbelievably busy, so prepare yourself for the crowds. If you aren’t put off by the drop in temperature, then you should definitely visit in the colder months, as there is a haunting beauty to Venice at this time of year, especially when it’s misty. There is also a greater chance of experiencing the fabled acqua alta or high tides, which flood parts of the city (thereby creating opportunities for some potentially amazing photos).

View of the Chiesa di San Geremia from the Grand Canal in Venice and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

View of the Chiesa di San Geremia from the Grand Canal

Regardless of when you visit, Venice is one of those places you can’t help falling in love with. Like a kiss from a handsome Gondolier, this city will take your breath away and you won’t be able to resist its charm.

ManAboutWorld has plenty more info on Venice and many more destinations around the world! Download our very cool digital gay travel magazine for destinations around the globe. Find the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!



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By @ 10/16/15 in Budapest, Daily Dose, Gay travel, Phil Rake, Photo du jour, Travel
A hunky street performer showing off his dance skills and strength  in Budapest, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

A hunky street performer showing off his dance skills and strength

This report on Dreamy Budapest is brought to us by ManAboutWorld correspondent, Phil Rake.

The beauty of Budapest is like no other. A place so picturesque, it’s as if it were conjured in a poet’s dream. This beauty — the product of a rich and diverse history — pervades every aspect of the city, from the art and culture to the people and, of course, the amazing architecture. Influenced by a variety of styles (including Roman, Ottoman, Gothic, Baroque, Romantic, Art Nouveau), Budapest is home to some of the world’s most exquisite buildings, bridges, parks and sculptures. The past is very much alive in the architecture and the city is brimming with elegance and splendour. If you’re a traveller who loves to explore, then this Budapest is definitely for you. 

Budapest is also renowned for its spas and thermal springs, the waters of which are said to have healing properties. Some of the spas, like

Budapest skyline, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Budapest skyline

the Széchenyi Bath are truly stunning and offer visitors the chance to experience a tradition that dates back to Roman times. 

 But it’s not just about beautiful buildings and bathhouses. There is also music and opera, shopping, great cuisine, and a wealth of trendy bars, clubs and galleries. Budapest even has a small but thriving gay scene and the allure of the city has helped it to become one of the most fashionable European destinations for gay and lesbian travellers.

 A tip for our ManAboutWorld travellers: If you really want to experience the beauty of Budapest, then take a trip up to Fisherman’s Bastion at sunset. There is a moment just before dusk, when the sun begins to slip away behind the Buda Hills, setting the sky ablaze in hues of amber, pearl and pink. In the distance, the Hungarian Parliament Building glistens like a jewel whilst its radiant reflection dances on the mighty Danube. This is a spectacle that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

 DDTI* is your Daily Dose Of Travel Inspiration.

DOWNLOAD MANABOUTWORLD: Check out our digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorld App on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, what are you waiting for!



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By @ 09/04/15 in Daily Dose, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Phil Rake, Travel
Phil in the South of France reporting for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Phil in the South of France

Story and photos by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Phil Rake reporting from the South of France.

Dreaming up your next holiday? If you are fond nature or naturism, then you’ve just found your perfect escape… Just beyond the medieval village of Montclus (in the south of France) lies the Lotus Tree, an idyllic guesthouse where clothing is optional and the guests are all gay. Although nestled on a hillside with breathtaking views of the Cèze Valley, the grounds are secluded, veiled by the surrounding woodland, grasses and wild flowers. So there is total privacy and you are free to spend your entire day in the nude, sunbathing by the pool or lazing around the beautiful gardens.

In addition to being picture-perfect, The Lotus Tree is also one of the most welcoming places you will ever visit. From the moment you arrive you will be made to feel right at home, especially when you are greeted by Jake, the resident Labrador.

For the more active travellers, there are miles and miles of countryside to explore as well the nearby villages of Lotus Tree, France in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineBarjac and Goudargues (both a short drive away). You can also go skinny-dipping in the River Cèze, which is within walking distance from the guesthouse. There is a gay section on the riverbank which is popular with locals and visitors – but it gets very busy in the afternoons so it’s best to arrive a little early in order to secure the best spot.

Whether you are after a romantic getaway, a new adventure or just a place to unwind and escape, then The Lotus Tree is just right for you!

DOWNLOAD MANABOUTWORLD: Please check our unique digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Dare to bare it all!



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By @ 08/19/15 in Daily Dose, French Riviera, Gay travel, Nice, Phil Rake, Travel
Handsome lifeguard on the beach in the French Riviera in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Lifeguard making it even hotter on the beach!

The beauty and splendour of the French Riviera is truly something to behold, especially in summer: Lush hillsides speckled with colorful mansions, glistening bays peppered with super yachts, and sun-drenched beaches lined with lounge-chairs, parasols and bronzing bodies.

Regardless of the time of year, the French Riviera is always worth a visit, with lots to see and do, even in winter. However, if you are chasing the sun, then May to September is definitely the best time to go but be prepared for the crowds because as soon as the temperature rises, so too do the visitor levels. But don’t let its popularity discourage you, the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is a pleasure-seeker’s paradise, and the masses and mixes of people only adds to the allure.

Think of it as more candy for the eye. The tanned and toned life guards or ‘les sauveteurs en mer‘ who patrol the shores are a particular highlight. (See the photo above.) You’ll also find a warm, gay-friendly welcome in the French Riviera, including in the vibrant seaside city of Nice.

From the flashiness of St-Tropez, Cannes and Nice to the charms of smaller coastal towns like Villefranche or Theoule, when it comes to seaside resorts, you are spoiled for choice in the French Riviera. But don’t worry, all the beaches are gorgeous, whichever you choose. Just make sure to keep yourself hydrated as it can get pretty hot; and we’re not only talking about the weather!

The beautiful French Riviera in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

So inviting

Story and photos by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Phil Rake reporting from the French Riviera.

DOWNLOAD MANABOUTWORLD: Please check our unique digital gay travel magazine for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Jump in!

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