Prince Sven I of Brauweiler at Karneval - ©Stephan Wendler/flickr

Notable February Events: Semper Opernball, White Turf, Gourmet Abu Dhabi

By Andrew Harper

The Harper Way | January 1, 2013

February 1: Dresden’s gloriously restored opera house is at its most glamorous during the annual Semper Opernball, when the famed performance venue transforms into a glittering ballroom. Leading opera stars provide entertainment.


February 3, 10 and 17: St. Moritz’s exclusive White Turf is surely one of the world’s most exciting races, with horses kicking up snow on the frozen surface of the lake, backdropped by Alpine peaks. Jockeys race horses in the traditional manner, but the real highlight is the skijoring, in which horses tow jockeys on skis.

February 5-20: Although it’s not necessarily famous for its culinary contributions, the United Arab Emirates will host some of the world’s finest chefs during Gourmet Abu Dhabi. Notable guests include Michel Rostang, Rachel Allen and Khulood Atiq, the UAE’s first female national chef. In addition to the usual workshops and culinary demonstrations, the “Chateau Dinners,” hosted by companies such as Vega-Sicilia and Château Mouton Rothschild, are not to be missed.

February 12: The days (and even weeks) leading up to Mardi Gras are always rich with festivities, most famously in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro and Venice. But countless cities around the world celebrate the day with colorful parades, concerts and parties. Check out these alternatives:

Feb. 1-10: Carnavales in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Feb. 7-12: Karneval in Cologne, Germany

Feb. 8-12: Carnival in Nadur, Gozo, Malta

Feb. 9-12: Carnival in Paraty, Brazil

Feb. 15-March 6: Carnaval in Nice, France

February 14: Many hotels and resorts offer special Valentine’s Day packages sure to impress a loved one.

February 16-17: Boston boasts the United States’ largest consumer wine expo, held each year at the Seaport World Trade Center. More than 185 wineries from around the world offer samples of their products, as do an array of top restaurants. VIP tickets, allowing “immediate access to the show floor,” are available, as are tickets to the Grand Cru Wine Lounge, which serves “rare and expensive vintages.”

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Andrew Harper Photo Andrew Harper is the editor of The Hideaway Report, a luxury travel newsletter that first appeared in 1979. He travels anonymously and pays his own expenses in pursuit of unique properties that offer unusually high levels of personal service. Hotels have no idea who he is, so he is treated exactly as you might be.


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