Archive For The “Travel” Category

A Spectacular Museum in Jura

A Spectacular Museum in Jura

In the beautiful Jura mountains of Eastern France, in the small town of Morez, there is a big museum. It’s dedicated to a rarely-seen industry that’s staring you in the face, and whose products change our view of the world. Spectacles, of course! Metal-working trades began to develop in the 16th century along the banks…

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There’s no smoke without … a Saint-Claude pipe

There’s no smoke without … a Saint-Claude pipe

You, dear reader, will be unusual to say the least if you own one; your father probably didn’t have one, either; more likely your grandfather might have had one … or two or three. Take a look in your old family photo album and chances are there will be someone smoking a pipe and looking…

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Bonnet Jujurieux Silk Factory Museum

Bonnet Jujurieux Silk Factory Museum

This is a charming museum, and it seems to encompass most of the original Bonnet silk factory in Jujurieux, a small town in the department of Ain. The hub of the silk-production industry was Lyon. C J Bonnet founded a company in that city in 1810 and established this factory at Jujurieux in 1835. The…

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The PNY Family Car Charger

The PNY Family Car Charger

PNY, a company celebrated for its small technology innovations, presents The Family Car Charger. This could be the solution to LONG rides punctuated by frequent enquiries of ‘Are we there yet?’. This nifty gadget will be welcomed by the whole family, including those in the front. This neat device has four universal USB ports and…

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PNY Smartphone Lens Kit

PNY Smartphone Lens Kit

I think that we all agree by now that smartphone cameras can offer remarkably good picture quality. There has always been, and it’s remarked upon by traditional camera users, one limitation and that is their fixed lenses. Yes, the images can be great, but they are limited in their field of view. The PNY Smartphone…

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Absinthe – Green Hills & Green Fairies of Jura

Absinthe – Green Hills & Green Fairies of Jura

Originally produced in the Val-de-Travers region in Switzerland and in Pontarlier, France, Absinthe is a distilled anise-flavoured spirit made from herbs including the flowers and leaves of the plant Artemisia Absinthium, also called Wormwood. It’s the same botanical as used in Vermouth. Although it is sometimes termed a liqueur, absinthe has no added sugar and…

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The Bells, The Bells of Jura

The Bells, The Bells of Jura

When you wake in your hotel room in the beautiful green mountains of the Jura, in Eastern France, you may hear, for the first time, the iconic sound of bells – cow bells, tinkling across the valleys as the brown-and-white ladies stroll to the milking parlour (or return to the pasture, if you’re a late…

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Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall

Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall

What better setting for a classic court-room drama than this chamber at the beautiful, iconic and historic County Hall in London! The audience have the sense that they are in a real law-court as they watch the murder case unfold in Witness for the Prosecution. The venue is small, accommodating just a couple of hundred…

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Hayman’s Distillery Tour with Sam and Old Tom – review

Hayman’s Distillery Tour with Sam and Old Tom – review

Balham isn’t the first neighbourhood in which one might think to find a distillery. But here it is on a small industrial estate, and looking thoroughly contemporary with white walls and crisp painted logo. The first impression is of, perhaps, a drinks warehouse, but this building houses heritage, history and a distilling revival. This is…

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The PNY Outdoor Charger – travel accessory review

The PNY Outdoor Charger – travel accessory review

A charger seems a simple thing, but a charger is an indispensable part of any traveller’s kit. In fact, even an office worker with only a short commute will be glad of a power pack, and in particular the PNY Outdoor Charger. This is actually the most robust and practical charger I have found so…

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Mosquito Repellent & Beach Accessories from THEYE – travel accessories review

Mosquito Repellent & Beach Accessories from THEYE – travel accessories review

It’s that time of year again. Summer holidays are being planned, or there might be some early spring vacations on the horizon. Either way we need to be mindful of both the pleasures and hazards of that contemplated trip. We need Mosquito Repellent and Beach Accessories from THEYE. Malaria is much in the news. Most…

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Qatar Airways is the Business – travel review

Qatar Airways is the Business – travel review

Now, let us not pretend that this is an everyday event. Travelling Business Class is a privilege and it’s a lovely experience, and especially if it’s Business Class with Qatar Airways. They are arguably one of the best carriers and it’s easy to see why they have gained that enviable and deserved reputation. The spacious…

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Rubenshuis in Antwerp – travel review

Rubenshuis in Antwerp – travel review

Antwerp is often overlooked, visitors to north-west Europe gravitating to its more celebrated cousins of Paris and Amsterdam. It is, however, a treasure-trove of history, classic Flemish architecture and art, and all in a relatively small area; Antwerp is an ideal walking city. It was, for much of his life, the home of Peter Paul…

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Qatar International Food Festival 2018

Qatar International Food Festival 2018

Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2018 opened on 15 March and continues for 11 deliciously fun-filled days in the heart of Doha at Hotel Park. Even if you have attended this event before, there will still be much that’s new to see and do. The number of food stalls and attractions has grown by more…

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Jan Steen Exhibition at Mauritshuis The Hague – review

Jan Steen Exhibition at Mauritshuis The Hague – review

The Mauritshuis is home to some of the most famous Dutch paintings of the Golden Age. The gallery is a perfectly formed and fitting contemporary venue for its much-loved collections. It has a beautiful and leafy location in the heart of The Hague and it houses masterpieces such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring…

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Antwerp for a Belgian Break – Things to do! – travel review

Antwerp for a Belgian Break – Things to do! – travel review

Antwerp is the capital of the Belgian province of Flanders. It is one of the most populous cities in Belgium, although the old city centre gives the impression of a much smaller and more intimate town. It is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, and only 15 kilometres from the border with The Netherlands. The…

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Port, Wine and the Douro – travel review

Port, Wine and the Douro – travel review

Ah, beautiful Portugal! Striking architecture in iconic Lisbon. History and character in Porto …and then there is the Douro Valley, which is stunning and will entice any visitor. This area is known for its natural beauty and also for its wines and, in particular, Port. No, it isn’t made in Porto although it’s that city…

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A Dog of Flanders in Antwerp – travel review

A Dog of Flanders in Antwerp – travel review

‘A Dog of Flanders’ is a novel by English-French author Marie Louise de la Ramée and was published under her pseudonym “Ouida” in 1872. It is about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog Patrasche, and is set in Antwerp, where there are numerous reminders of this popular literary work. I confess that I…

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In Nuenen with Vincent van Gogh – travel review

In Nuenen with Vincent van Gogh – travel review

Vincent van Gogh’s Nuenen is documented in charming fashion at the Vincentre Who is this ‘Vincent’ and where is Nuenen? We are exploring the life of THE Vincent. That’s Vincent van Gogh. Yes, he of the Potato Eaters and Starry, Starry Night fame. Nuenen, a beautiful small town in the region of Brabant in The…

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Loving Vincent …and Tim – exhibition review

Loving Vincent …and Tim – exhibition review

The ‘Loving Vincent’ Exhibition of the Animated Film The Loving Vincent Exhibition is now open at the Noord Brabant’s Museum in Den Bosch. This beautiful town is just one hour from Amsterdam by train, too. The exhibition runs until 28th January 2018 and displays 120 of the paintings from the film. The exhibition shows how…

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