The favourite places of Doug and Sanj

The favourite places of Doug and Sanj

Bastiaan Ellen

Doug and Sanj are a gay couple from England.  They met back in 2009 at Manchester Pride and haven’t looked back since. Doug is from the Lake District, and Sanj grew up in London. They talk to Mr Hudson about some of their favourite places.

Tell us about yourself 

We’re Doug and Sanj.  We are a couple that has been together eight years since we met in Manchester in the UK but now live in London.  We have a passion for travelling and seeing new places and have been all over the world arm in arm.  We decided earlier this year to start sharing our experiences and travel tips with people through our Instagram page and our blog.  We love connecting with other people, and the online gay travel community has been an incredible place to discover.

Congrats on getting engaged! Where do you plan to spend your honeymoon? 

Thanks so much!  Doug was really surprised when Sanj popped the question in Santorini!  We’ve both always dreamed of going to the Maldives, so we’ve saved it for our honeymoon as a special trip to do together.

What destination has lived up to the hype?

Costa Rica! We went earlier this year and had heard how beautiful it was, and we weren’t disappointed.  So much nature – waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, the lot.

What destination hasn’t? 

We generally believe that every destination is special in its own way.  I don’t think we’ve ever been to anywhere we’ve disliked or not happy with.  If you do your research, then there is beauty to be found everywhere.

What is your favourite place in the world?

India has to be up there!  We are currently planning a bit trip to India in January to see as much of the country as possible. Sanj is half Indian, so we are looking forward to getting back to its roots.  There is so much beauty and culture, and the food is incredible.  It’s such a diverse country full of charm and wonderful people.  So colourful as well!

What is it about travel that you enjoy most?

The exploration!  We love finding out about a country, seeing everything that it has to offer and creating experiences together.  When we are old, we will be able to look back and remember all of the amazing times we have had seeing the world together.

What is the best hotel you’ve stayed at? 

The Andromeda Villas in Santorini where we got engaged!  It was beautiful with the most incredible view overlooking the crater with a hot tub on the balcony.

What does your ideal trip look like?

A good mixture of great food and things to do.  We aren’t ones for lying on the beach doing nothing; we constantly need to be kept busy and see new things.  Somewhere where we can jump in a car and drive around and see what the country has to offer.

What are your favourite places in London that people need to know about?

Brixton market gives you a real feel of the multi-cultural society of London.  Brick Lane for fab Indian food and the nearby trendy Shoreditch for cocktails – there’s also a great Indian restaurant there called Gunpowder.   If you want an amazing view of the city head to The Shard – don’t bother paying for the viewing platform there though, dress up nicely and go to the bar at the Shangri La, sit down, relax and take in the sights.

What is your best-kept travel secret?

We are always surprised how many people don’t know that you can book airport lounges, they aren’t just for first class passengers.  Go online and see if you can book one before a trip.  Food and drink are free once you pay the entrance fee, and it usually works out cheaper than paying for them in a bar at the airport.  Plus it’s a much nicer place to sit and relax before getting on a long flight.

Any recommendations for gay travellers? 

Mykonos is a beautiful place to go but make sure you get the ferry over to Santorini while you are there, even only for a day trip.  Also, LA Pride in West Hollywood is one of our favourite times of the year. If you are going somewhere less gay-friendly do your research.  We should be ourselves but be safe at the same time.  Check out gay bloggers, too, as so many of the great recommendations we have come across have come from blogs!

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