Welcome to Reality and Beyond

Lucy Abel Smith and Harriet Landseer specialise in tailor-made tours to all parts of Central and Eastern Europe, to countries we have explored and enjoyed for many years. Our philosophy is to bring out the richness and diversity of these, often neglected, regions where against all odds, strong artistic and intellectual traditions remain.

Reality and Beyond – back to ‘Eastern’ Europe

Reality & Beyond has had a diverse 2015. Both Lucy Abel Smith and Harriet Landseer have unusually been ‘at home’ for two tours. Lucy planned a tour to the great gardens of the South West, which covered Cornwall and Gloucestershire, while Harriet Landseer led the Members of Winterthur Museum though some of the great houses, gardens and collections of Ireland, both north and south.

In ‘Eastern Europe’ Lucy took a group to explore Transylvania from Alba Iulia eastwards to Sibiu, and she also travelled with a group of Dutch connoisseurs from Cluj to Sibiu. The Fresh Air sculpture show prevented any summer travels, but the late-September tour, around the life of the statesman and writer, Miklos Banffy, was wonderful – filled with private visits and access to archives, travelling through Budapest, Cluj and Targu Mures before finally staying in the manor at Malancrav, Transylvania, run by the Mihai Eminescu Trust. Read all about the tour on our blog

Harriet guided the Friends of the Maltese Patrimonio through Prague and to nearby country houses, including many private visits and delicious meals. The British Sporting Art Trust came for the Pardubicka steeplechase in October and had a dedicated programme designed for them, which included great highlights at the various Kinsky houses. She was also in Trieste with two groups from the Irish Georgian Society.

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2016 is an exciting prospect after Lucy’s recce to Bosnia and Herzegovina proved so fascinating (see the blog); therefore a tour is planned for October 2016 after the second Transylvanian Book Festival 8-11 September. Lucy will also take a tour to Trieste in November 2016.

Meanwhile Harriet is currently planning a short tour to Prague (24-27 February 2016) to take advantage of the off-season and the excellent winter opera, and we may also plan another visit to Prague later in the year for the Charles IV anniversary, so let us know if you are interested in the latter.