Archive For The “European Travel” Category

Mercado dos Lavradores, Madeira

Mercado dos Lavradores, Madeira

It is perhaps one of the highlights of any vacation: a trip to an exotic and thoroughly Instagrammable market is hard to beat for local colour and atmosphere. Madeira has a gem of a covered market in the middle of Funchal and it’s well worth a visit. It’s a celebrated and popular landmark in the…

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John Burton-Race on AmaWaterways Rhône Cruise

John Burton-Race on AmaWaterways Rhône Cruise

John Burton-Race Floats New Menu on AmaWaterways Rhône Cruise Two Michelin star celebrity chef, John Burton-Race, is to set sail aboard a luxury river cruise ship as guest chef for an exclusive group this September. Burton-Race is to partner with Go Cruise and AmaWaterways to provide his amazing flair and cooking skills to 20 exclusive…

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Madeira’s Most Genteel Factory – Bordal Embroidery

Madeira’s Most Genteel Factory – Bordal Embroidery

Madeira is said to have been discovered by the Portuguese in 1419, though there are stories from intrepid sailors of much earlier times, that tell of two verdant islands far off the African shore. Settlers arrived just a few years later; they found this paradise to be perfect for developing first the sugar cane industry…

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The Jewels of the High Jura

The Jewels of the High Jura

La Taillerie – the Gemstone Shop Although precious stones are not found naturally anywhere in the Jura mountains, the cutting and polishing of imported stones played a significant role in the economy of this region for three centuries. There are still traces of those traditional skills to be found if you look for them. Start…

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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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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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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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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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Portugal – A world of flavours – travel review

Portugal – A world of flavours – travel review

It’s true that many British tourists are regulars on the beaches of the Algarve and they will say they love the country. Yes, they enjoy that little corner of this amazing land; but far fewer visitors travel away from the resorts to discover the real personality of Portugal. The Portuguese are the product of a…

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Porto – Harry Potter was born here – travel review

Porto – Harry Potter was born here – travel review

Yes, it’s true, dear reader! The boy with the lightning scar was conceived and born in Porto. This city is also known as Oporto and is the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. In 2014 and 2017, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency. It is an ideal city…

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Port, Porto and culinary culture – travel review

Port, Porto and culinary culture – travel review

You might have visited Porto in Portugal before but it’s worth another look, and perhaps with food and drink in mind this time. There has been more investment lately in this vibrant town, which exudes character and charm. During the 15th and 16th centuries Portugal was a leading European power, ranking with England, France and…

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Esterházy Torta on the Danube – travel review

Esterházy Torta on the Danube – travel review

Floating Viennese Patisserie The French tell us that they have the best food in the world. The Italians say the French learnt from them. The Germans have, in my opinion, some totally underestimated dishes; and we all remember the delights of paella in sunny Spain. But when it comes to cake-and-café culture then you can’t…

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