Austin is fast becoming one of the hottest places to be right now, and with British Airways offering direct flights from London, it's a whole lot easier to reach a vibrant city with music at its heart.


The legendary South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is technically more of an industry conference than the type of festival we're familiar with in the UK, but with over 2,000 performers playing across more than 100 venues, it's just a bigger, cooler and drier Glasto.

Stay: Hotel St Cecilia, 112 Academy Drive

We're suckers for a gaudy, flickering neon sign. Which is why we like Hotel Saint Cecilia – it's uber-colourful without verging on the garish. Think striped floors, furniture in primary colours and a giant neon sign spelling out 'soul' over the pool (see above). Set in a quiet estate in Austin's trendy Congress district, it's the ideal place to keep both your mojo and your eardrums post-SXSW happy.

Eat: Qui, 1600 E 6th Street

Qui, which opened last year, has garnered itself plenty of publicity thanks to its star chef Paul Qui. It's mostly no reservations, but the menu changes regularly with treats such as 'rabbit seven ways', 'broken arrow venison' and a cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich, so is worth the long wait at the weekend.