More offbeat holidays from Concorde Travel include taking part in a cattle drive in the Aussie Outback, a six-day vintage steam train journey around South Africa's Cape province and seven-night luxury cruises under sail from Dubai. On the doorstep, Concorde is offering 20-minute scenic helicopter flights over Victoria Harbour, Tsing Ma Bridge and the Big Buddha on Lantau from $950. For details, call 2526 3391 or fax 2845 0485. Foliage, a new restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, has been voted Hotel Restaurant of the Year 2000 by the trade publication Hotel and Restaurant Magazine. Foliage only opened a few months ago. The restaurant's interior has been designed to highlight the views over the park. After dark, glass panels containing 24,000 silk leaves light up to create an illusion of greenery. Meanwhile, the Oriental in Bangkok has taken the top spot in the New York-based Institutional Investor's 20th annual World's Best Hotels survey. Travellers can now start their vacation or business trip with a mobile phone and a personal telephone number when renting cars from Avis or Hertz. Avis Europe provides international customers with global roaming mobile phones free of charge for 21 days, though the customer must pay for calls. A phone is sent to a home or office along with personal business cards listing the phone number, plus a spare battery. Call (800) 331-1084. Until December 31, Hertz's international customers renting mobile phones for a week or more will receive the first three days free. Phone (800) 654-3001. Some flight attendants and passengers have complained about the state of the air on the state-of-the-art Boeing 777, and United and British Airways have been investigating. Experts say among the possible reasons for stale air are the high altitude at which the 777 flies, which can mean less oxygen, and an air-conditioning system that can make some parts of the plane hotter than others, causing nausea in some cases. Hong Kong has been named the world's third-best city for business travel after New York and London by WCITIES, which provides content for wireless carriers, portals and Web pages, based on page requests during September. Osaka, Shanghai and Jakarta have joined Tokyo, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in the Top 20. The girls from Ipanema are getting angry with the authorities in Rio de Janeiro. So are the residents of that other famous beach, Copacabana. Sun, sea and sand, say the holiday brochures, but perhaps they should add the word 'smell'. Mounting pollution has at times led health officials to declare the two beaches unfit for swimming and, with the summer season approaching, they have promised to tackle the problem. Last summer the Rio coastline was blighted by raw sewage, an oil spill, poisoned fish and even body parts of murder victims.