Armchair Travels: You Virtual Weekend Guide

Everything is closed. You’re working from home. Your spring vacation is cancelled. You’ve just about exhausted Netflix. You’ve attempted the fanciest sourdough recipes. And you’re going absolutely stir crazy.

Shops, cultural institutions, restaurants, hotels, and bars have all shuttered their doors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But plenty of businesses and sites have taken their offerings online to continue to provide services (and a welcome escape) to the sequestered populations of the world. From virtual tours to interactive websites, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your wanderlust from the comfort of home. Below we’ve rounded up our favourite recommendations for a luxurious virtual weekend adventure.

Explore Buckingham Palace  

The Royal family has been in the news plenty lately, from Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from royal duties to Olivia Coleman’s turn as Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of The Crown to Prince Charles’ brief bout with the coronavirus. Whatever the headlines, the public has an enduring interest in the British monarchy, a family that has faced all manner of trials and tribulations since the abdication of Edward VIII.

Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the reigning monarch. For those who have never visited the Palace in person, the Royal website features a virtual tour of its Throne Room, Grand Staircase, and White Drawing Room. Through interactive information buttons, virtual visitors can explore these ornate rooms and learn more about their historic relevance and the grand items they house. Visitors will even discover some intrigue here as the White Drawing Room features a secret door for members of the Royal family to use when slipping discreetly away to their own private quarters. See if you can find it.

Design Your Dream Tesla

Fantasizing about your next luxury ride? EV juggernaut Tesla features an interactive online platform that allows users to design their dream model. Determine your purchase price and desired range (standard is 402 km) and proceed to the fun stuff. Select your preferred colour from options like a Pearl White Multi-Coat or a Midnight Silver Metallic. Opt for dark, Batmobile-like Aero wheels or flashy sport wheels. Customize your interior with premium all-black or black-and-white seat materials and trim. Determine your Self-Driving capabilities. (Autopilot is included.) And don’t forget to drool over the standard specs, like the power folding heated side mirrors, immersive audio sound, 12-way power adjustable heated front seats, and more.

If you’re ready to take the final plunge and turn this design fantasy into an actual order, you’ll be driving out of self-isolation in one of the most innovative vehicles on the market.

Tour the Glenturret Distillery

These next two experiences go hand in hand. And while they can’t be enjoyed together in the real world thanks to their geographical locations, they make for the perfect online pairing.

The Glenturret Distillery is located in Perthshire, Scotland, on the scenic banks of the Turret River. In operation since the 1700s, it was taken over by Thomas Stewart in 1875 and given its current name. Today the Glenturret Distillery produces single malt scotch whisky from high quality malt (sourced near the Scottish borders) and the pure waters of Loch Turret, located a short distance from the Distillery.

Now you can take a virtual tour of the Distillery from home. Pour a glass of whatever scotch you have on hand and settle in to explore this fascinating place where tradition meets modernity. See where the milling process happens; see where the hand mashing is done (Glenturret maintains this practice, whereas many modern producers have moved away from it); see where the casks are filled.

Finished your drink? Pour another for this next experience:

Enjoy a Show Via the Metropolitan Opera House

Who would have thought that in 2020, we’d all be hungry for a little opera? Opera houses and symphonies around the world have been moving their shows online, and the famous Metropolitan Opera House, which has cancelled the remainder of its 2019–2020 season, has joined the ranks. The Met Opera is now providing a wide range of streamed productions. Airing each evening, this series — called Nightly Opera Streams — will provide what the Met describes as a variety of “musical and theatrical flavours,” from comedies like Rossini’s classic Il Barbiere di Siviglia to sweeping dramas like Verdi’s Don Carlo.

Supplement your daily opera dose with supplementary articles, podcasts, videos, and more.

From our homes to yours, have a great weekend!