Archive For June 2015

Bayeux – A stitch in time – travel review

Bayeux – A stitch in time – travel review

It’s inevitable that the first thing people think of when you mention Bayeux is the tapestry. Though it’s not actually a tapestry but a very fine embroidery. The Bayeux Tapestry is now on permanent display in a bespoke museum in the city of Bayeux in Normandy, France. It’s unique and huge and merits a home…

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Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris – travel review

Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris – travel review

Valentina Harris is perhaps our most celebrated and prolific Italian food writer, TV presenter and chef. Yes, the lady truly is Italian, although one could be fooled into thinking she is an authentically British blue-blood. Valentina Harris doesn’t have many free moments but I cornered her on a return flight from a culinary tour of…

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London for Foodies, Gourmets and Gluttons by David Hampshire – review

London for Foodies, Gourmets and Gluttons by David Hampshire – review

This thick, square tome is a veritable guide to all things delicious in the capital. We are truly spoilt for choice so it’s handy to have some pointers. Yes, it’s all a matter of taste but authors David Hampshire and Graeme Chesters have presented a comprehensive cross-section of suggestions. There are chapters devoted to restaurants…

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Iconic Kettner’s of Soho – restaurant review

Iconic Kettner’s of Soho – restaurant review

 [This restaurant is now closed] Kettner’s, I used to feel, seemed somewhat out of place in this corner of the great metropolis. It’s a genteel establishment and that’s not for which this corner of town had once been noted. This old Soho had evolved from a bolt-hole for religious-refugee Huguenots to the haunt of far…

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Gouda – a cheese for all seasons – travel review

Gouda – a cheese for all seasons – travel review

We have many cheese choices in specialist shops and even our local supermarket. Gouda can easily be overlooked. It seems to have been with us forever and we don’t even notice it anymore. The first mention of this cheese dates from 1184, making it one of the oldest recorded cheeses in the world still being…

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Fontenay Abbey – travel review

Fontenay Abbey – travel review

Late spring in Burgundy. The banks of the canal were festooned with the colours of wild flowers: the blue of cornflowers, the blood red of poppies and the yellow of other blooms which were unknown to this horticulturally-challenged city girl. That’s the beauty of barge travel – it relaxes the mind and makes space for…

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Jim De Jong – Say it with flowers …and cheese – travel review

Jim De Jong – Say it with flowers …and cheese  – travel review

Rotterdam is fast becoming known for food. It’s the Netherlands and it might be a bit of a cliché, but, yes there is cheese. Chef Jim De Jong was challenged to make a menu composed of Holland’s most iconic staple, and his creations were stunning. Jim has his culinary focus on seasonality, freshness, and vegetables,…

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Waddesdon Bequest – arts review

Waddesdon Bequest – arts review

The British Museum in London is famed the world over for its displays of artefacts and curios. Granted, there are some that feel many of these objets d’art should be returned to their place of origin, while others feel that they are safer where they are. That conundrum is best left to wiser heads than…

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Reims – Tasteful Souvenirs – travel review

Reims – Tasteful Souvenirs – travel review

Reims is a beautiful and historic city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. It is only 130 km from Paris with easy access by train. Excursions to nearby Chalons are a must and there will be not only the delightfully ubiquitous champagne to taste but also the champagne truffles which are so celebrated here. The…

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The Sparkle of Vilmart & Cie – travel review

The Sparkle of Vilmart & Cie – travel review

The Champagne house Vilmart & Cie was founded in 1890 by Désiré Vilmart and is considered by many an authority to be perhaps the leading producer of quality Champagne in the region of Northern France which bears the same name as this celebratory beverage. It’s an area of many fine bottles but some consider Vilmart…

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Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright by Gwyn Lloyd Jones – review

Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright by Gwyn Lloyd Jones – review

This is a volume for any student of architecture who is interested in that phrase ‘form follows function’ with regard to the inspiring and revolutionary architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Gwyn Lloyd Jones retraced Frank Lloyd Wright’s steps on journeys he made outside the USA. This volume considers the man along with his buildings. It’s…

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Around Gouda – travel review

Around Gouda – travel review

Gouda is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland. It’s an historic town which was granted city status in 1272 by Floris V, Count of Holland. Most tourists will know Gouda cheese but might not even realise that there really is a town of the same name, which has more to offer…

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La Belle Epoque – 5-star floating through Burgundy – travel review

La Belle Epoque – 5-star floating through Burgundy – travel review

What a grand title for a barge! Luckily the lady lived up to her name and our expectations, which she did actually exceed in every way. A barge, even a big one, presents the very real prospect of tight accommodations, iffy facilities and, still worse, the likelihood of mediocre food cooked by a well-meaning hobbyist…

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A Citrus History of Sicily – travel review

A Citrus History of Sicily – travel review

Sicily is a large island just off mainland Italy. It has a variety of landscapes and the imposing Mount Etna which has donated volcanic soil to the fertile tapestry. It boasts long and unspoilt beaches that are deserted even in the pleasantly hot months of April and May, and if one is lucky one can…

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