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Zoe could not have been more helpful here and abroad..
A very professional approach. Highly reliable and giving me the options I required.
Matilda and the team are first class and go beyond to provide a 5 star service.
Roy is always professional and tries to help.
I look forward to flying again with Virgin Atlantic
Many years of complete satisfaction
Very disappointed with British Airways - staff on plane very helpful but the service very poor
Recommended flying Air Canada for my trip and have to say one of the best airlines I've flown with!
Excellent service by Isla as always
Excellent and efficient service as ever - Danny never lets us down
Kept up to date with any changes. Called prior to trip offering advice and allowed for any concerns or questions on our part. Very approachable.
Fantastic service as always
Lloyd is always helpful and we recommend him and his team to all our friends.
Flights and rental all went well. Simply the best
Tara has arranged two trips for me to USA. She has been amazing as have other colleagues I have dealt with.
Always get what we expect and often more
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Always an efficient, informed and reliable response from DialAFlight with a touch of flair.
Thanks Kylie and Robert - the trip was amazing! We loved the car. Hotel Esme Beach superb. I’ll be back in touch to book something later on in the year
Everything went well
Reece was a great help. Great hotel recommendation. We’ll definitely be back!
DialAFlight (Elizabeth) has delivered again and been a great help with making our travel stress free.
I received very helpful advice from you, given in a very friendly and non judgemental way over my hesitancy with IT.
The staff were excellent
The fact that I could speak to a person was key! Not everyone can master the complexities of a fully automated system, me included! The help and support received was excellent and no question was irrelevant. When I next wish to fly I will be returning to use a service that's professional, supportive and is there for you!
Wonderful service, thank you so much. We've already recommended to friends and colleagues.
Your service is excellent - I am always kept updated
The booking was handled in a competent manner and Kennedy's team were very helpful.
Sitting on San Francisco's famous Pier 39, sauce-stained children slurp huge bowls of clam chowder. In the background, Alcatraz's forbidding, mist-shrouded silhouette rises from the ocean.
The nearby gift shop is doing a roaring trade, churning out striped underpants and replica prison-issue toiletries bearing the tag line, 'don't drop the soap', all to a soundtrack of the pier's famous blubbery, barking sea lions.
WHERE TO FIRST
But the waterfront – with its many fresh crab restaurants – will soon look very different. The green-fingered team behind New York's urban High Line has now turned its attention to the Presidio – a beautiful, sprawling park overlooking the bay.
The tunnels burrowing through it will soon form the base of a spectacular, 14-acre park known as Tunnel Tops. When it opens in 2019, there will be beautiful views of the bay and meadows filled with fragrant wildflowers.
During 1967's Summer of Love, pier workers fought their way through crowds of garland-waving hippies who gathered here to shout about the Vietnam War.
THEN AND NOW
Now, more than 50 years on, hipsters have replaced hippies in Haight-Ashbury. A handful of psychedelic shops filled with tie-dye are squeezed between boutiques and organic cafes.
The closest encounter I have with a possible hippy is when I crouch down to take a picture of an enormous rainbow-themed piece of street art and accidentally disturb a dreadlocked local dozing in a doorway.
At Pork Store Cafe, a 40-year-old Haight Street institution famous for its huge breakfasts, I meet Amanda, a local, who tells me how the area's beautiful, Victorian, pastel-hued houses are being snapped up (and lovingly refurbished) by dotcom billionaires. She complains that prices have rocketed.
As I cycle towards the city centre, a smiling skateboarder shouts his encouragement and speeds past me – uphill. I realise his skateboard is battery-powered. I recall my chat with Amanda and wonder if it's Mark Zuckerberg or someone similar.
On the recommendation of a friend, I stop by Hotel Zetta in downtown San Francisco. Since last spring, it's been home to the world's first hotel-based virtual reality room. It's free to try – those in need of a moment of escapism (without the mind-altering drugs) can simply walk off the street into the padded room and slip on the headset.
I do so and find myself standing atop a shipwreck, one of several colourful worlds to be explored.
Neon fish swarm around me and when I turn around, I'm face-to-face with a huge, blinking whale. The next moment, I'm in a mountainous valley (apparently it's modelled on the landscape of Washington State).
Despite being just metres away from the rumbling trams, I can wander to a cliff edge and peer into a valley so deep that my stomach flips.
On my final night, I check out China Live, one of the city's newest restaurants. The walls are lined with hand-painted tiles showing local landmarks, such as the Transamerica Pyramid.
I sit at one of the communal tables and try jellyfish for the first time (it's salty, rubbery and delicious) with a potent, dragon fruit tea-infused cocktail.
Chinatown borders North Beach, a bay-side neighbourhood with a huge Italian community. I cycle home past Italian flags painted on lamp posts and delis blaring opera music.
In a nearby park, Chinese women perform perfectly choreographed tai chi routines near students making the most of California's decision to legalise marijuana. Suddenly, that Summer of Love doesn't seem quite so far away.
First published in the Daily Mail - May 2018
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