Lifestyle

Oversized martinis to the tallest fountain in the world

DALLAS: It all started for me in the ’80s when, like millions, I tuned in to the bustle of the Ewings weekly on the US soap named after the Texas city.

I sat with a Coke and pretended it was JR’s drink—Bourbon and Branch—and gaped at the Stetsons, which were as tall as the shoulder pads.

You get more for your money in Dallas

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You get more for your money in DallasPhoto credit: Getty

And ever since I visited the city before my 40th birthday about 12 years ago, I’ve been eating out with my Dallas fix.

Whether you like your food fancy or finger-licking, it’s always good to smack your lips in the Lone Star state — and boy, are you getting more bang for your buck.

The ladies (and boys) eating lunch can be seen gulping oversized martinis at midday.

And you don’t have to be a Kuhpoke to sip an ice-cold beer at spit-and-sawdust joints that serve up a banging barbecue.

Dallas bars will always make you drool.

I stayed at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, where the Dallas cast lived in their heyday—a prime treat for a TV geek like me—but there’s no shortage of hotels to suit all budgets.

For new beds to put your boots under, head to the recently opened JW Marriott in the heart of downtown Dallas’ art district with a spa, pool deck and rooftop bar.

For another pool with a view, look out for the upcoming Harwood Hotel later this year

Or try the Plush Suites, soon to open in North Dallas, which promise affordable rooms.

The new Virgin Hotel is also worth a visit – or check in.

But it was at the fabled mansion, the original home of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, that I had a drink with Linda “Sue Ellen” Gray, a passionate ambassador for the city.

In the late 1970s, Linda tells me, it was there on the loo when she met a woman who was putting a gun in her purse.

“Is that a gun?” Linda asked, to which the lady replied, “Sure honey, that’s Texas!”

And so the character of Sue Ellen was born.

Where Dallas and Texans really shoot from the hip is their good old-fashioned southern charm and hospitality.

Just ask the filly I was riding after a day riding at Southfork Ranch, the Ewing homestead-turned-tourist attraction.

Around 44 years later, fans from all over the world visit every day.

I once asked Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby, what his screen brother Larry “JR” Hagman would have thought of all this. “He would have accused her!” he quipped.

Los: Dallas

GET THERE: British Airways offers return flights from London to Dallas Fort Worth from £731 per person.

See www.britishairways.com.

STAY THERE: Seven nights, room only, at the 4H Sheraton Dallas by the Galleria is from £1,201 per person, including flights departing Heathrow on 11 June.

See www.britishairways.com.

MORE INFO: See visitdallas.com.

But in a city recently named one of the cheapest places to visit in 2022, any staggering amount is easy to dodge.

Delicious restaurants abound. Saddle up and park your saddle at Monarch for cocktails, fine fodder and stalls with a view.

Souffles and soups at Rise No1 are a must for a lunchtime snack and for the spice of life look no further than Joe Leo Fine Tex Mex Restaurant.

Brighten up the weekend with a Sunday funday full of Sinatra swank and old Hollywood vibes at Drakes.

I woke up dustier than a rancher on the range, but it was worth it.

Of course, Dallas has much more to offer, whether you’re looking for an extra long weekend or as part of a larger tour of Texas.

The world-class arboretum – “the lungs of Dallas” – casts shadows over the best botanical gardens in the world and is worth a visit for seasonal events, come pumpkins or Christmas.

Hot on its heels will be the newly expanded Fair Park, which hosts the annual State Fair of Texas, which usually begins on the last Friday of September.

Music lovers will never find a duff note in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, the birthplace of Texas blues.

For tacos, beers, and barbecues, try Food Tours of America for the Deep Ellum Taste of Texas Tour.

Just 20 minutes outside of Dallas, at AT&T Stadium you can watch the world famous Dallas Cowboys or at least take a selfie with the famous star of the field.

Plan a visit to ‘the world’s tallest interactive fountain’, opening this year at Klyde Warren Park.

It will shoot jets of water high into the air and each evening it will come alive with torrents of shimmering water shooting up into the sky.

But enough of my raving. I’ve already booked my Dallas trip for this year after heading to the US border last November as soon as they opened up the states so I could visit my home away from home.

As my Good Morning Britain friends know only too well (and at the risk of sounding like the human oil slick JR himself), getting between me and my annual line dance and “Margarita-Thon” is a mistake to make you only do it once.

Dallas has so much to offer whether you're looking for an extra long weekend or are part of a larger tour of Texas

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Dallas has so much to offer whether you’re looking for an extra long weekend or are part of a larger tour of TexasCredit: Brand USA
The pool at the legendary mansion of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

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The pool at the legendary mansion of Rosewood Hotels and ResortsCredit: Brand USA
Richard, center, with Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray

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Richard, center, with Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray
For tacos, beers, and barbecues, try Food Tours of America for the Deep Ellum Taste of Texas Tour

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For tacos, beers, and barbecues, try Food Tours of America for the Deep Ellum Taste of Texas TourPhoto credit: Getty

https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8598588/dallas-martinis-fountain-richard-arnold/ Oversized martinis to the tallest fountain in the world

Fry Electronics Team

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