Posts Tagged “history”

The Netherlands – A Liberating Interlude – travel review

The Netherlands – A Liberating Interlude – travel review

I am, as regular readers will have noticed, an unapologetic supporter of The Netherlands. It’s a small country that not only welcomes the British tourist but embraces them. There are few language problems, yes the water is safe to drink, the little-known food is delicious, and there is history and landscape aplenty. 2014 is a…

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The Tomb of the Unknown Uncle – Flowering of Liberation – travel review

The Tomb of the Unknown Uncle – Flowering of Liberation – travel review

2014 is a special year and after my recent visit to the Netherlands I am reminded that every year should be special. This year we remember the Liberation of parts of Europe, towards the end of the Second World War, and the heroism not only of servicemen but of civilians. This was a bitter-sweet trip….

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The War of Jan Loos – interview

The War of Jan Loos – interview

The last year of World War II offered the hope of an end to hostilities, but they were, in fact, a long way from being over. France and Belgium were liberated and The Netherlands was the logical next step. The terrain is divided by waterways running from east to west but Allied forces would be…

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Valencia, Spain – travel review

Valencia, Spain – travel review

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the largest on the Mediterranean, and is these days something of a work in progress. For those lucky enough to arrive by ship the impression is of a sprawling building…

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The Hague – Staying and Eating – Contemporary and Historic – travel review

The Hague – Staying and Eating – Contemporary and Historic – travel review

The Hague is indeed a ‘Royal’ city. You might even come across one of the ‘Oranges’, as they are considered perhaps the most accessible royal family in Europe. The Hague has been home to the House of Orange for more than four hundred years; first they were Stadholders and later gained the title of monarchs….

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200 Years of The Netherlands and Prince William – travel review

200 Years of The Netherlands and Prince William – travel review

Our links with The Netherlands have been long-standing. We shared a monarch in the guise of William III of England, known as William II in Scotland. He might be better known, to all but the most historically inclined, as the William of ‘William and Mary’ fame. The blood connection isn’t as strong now as then…

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The Nuns and Tarts of Alentejo, Portugal – travel review

The Nuns and Tarts of Alentejo, Portugal – travel review

Portugal is on the very edge of Europe and often overlooked in favour of its more vocal neighbour, Spain. But this country has so much to offer to the visitor. Striking landscapes of Alentejo flatter the eye, generous hospitality warms the soul, and gastronomy seems to be a well-exercised hobby practised by all. The Alentejo…

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Four Emperors and an Architect – history review

Four Emperors and an Architect – history review

This book is bound to appeal to anyone with a love of what they assume to be, and indeed what has become, classic English architecture. We’re talking about Robert Adam’s buildings so they couldn’t be anything other than quintessentially English, could they? Well, yes and no. Four Emperors and an Architect has the story. Four…

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Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée by Thomas J. Craughwell – review

Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée by Thomas J. Craughwell – review

We all know the name and his impeccable political credentials (he was an American Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence; he was the third President of the United States). But Thomas Jefferson lived a full life of controversy outside the political arena. Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris…

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Hanggang sa Muli – book review

Hanggang sa Muli – book review

Homecoming stories for the Filipino soul Filipino and English are the official languages of the Philippines. Filipino is a de facto version of Tagalog, spoken mainly in Manila and other urban areas where the phrase Hanggang sa Muli might be heard. In English “Until we meet again” is a collection of essays, poems and stories…

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Taylor’s Port and Fladgate Hospitality – travel review

Taylor’s Port and Fladgate Hospitality – travel review

Port is enjoying something of a revival with the addition of both white and pink varieties to its classic styles. It’s a wine with a unique history that has almost as much to do with politics as grapes. Taylor’s Port is at the centre of the story. With the exception of Port, Portuguese wine has…

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Vigo – crab, clams and continuity – travel review

Vigo – crab, clams and continuity – travel review

For those of you living in the south of England, you will already know about Vigo. You will swear that it is a parish formed in 2000, and a modern rural village built in the mid-20th century. The village lies on top of the North Downs and its name comes from the pub on the…

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Galicia – deliciously diverse – travel review

Galicia – deliciously diverse – travel review

We all have prejudices. We don’t think that we do but that is in itself the nature of a prejudice. I was anxious that this region might be another version of a Costa-something, and I was not quite sure what a visit to northern Spain might hold in store. I have spent some time in…

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Langtry’s Restaurant, Sloane Street – review

Langtry’s Restaurant, Sloane Street – review

[ Langtry’s Restaurant is now closed. ] The Cadogan Hotel in Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, was built in 1887. The name commemorates the Earls Cadogan, who, through their company Cadogan Estates have owned Sloane Street and the surrounding area for generations. This marvellously appointed Victorian luxury hotel was, soon after its opening, to play host to…

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Maharaja – The Spectacular Heritage of Princely India – review

Maharaja – The Spectacular Heritage of Princely India – review

Thames and Hudson are famed for their high-quality books and this is another fine example of the style of book we have come to expect. It’s large format, full colour and stunning but more than that, it’s an archive of a disappearing world. India is a confident country with high expectations. It is growing and…

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A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat – review

A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat – review

This book should be republished and retitled THE History of Food. It’s probably the most remarkable book on the subject I have ever had the pleasure of reading. A History of Food is huge in size and comprehensive in depth and breadth of subject. The author, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, is a celebrated historian, journalist and writer…

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The Historic Shops and Restaurants of New York by Ellen Williams – review

The Historic Shops and Restaurants of New York by Ellen Williams – review

I have spent long months in New York City and was very happy to do so. It’s one of my favourite spots, although I had not ever considered it to be overly historic. I am a Londoner and so tend to take history a bit for granted. I also have American friends who think that…

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Food in England by Dorothy Hartley – review

Food in England by Dorothy Hartley – review

The cynical might suppose that this is a pamphlet or at best a very small volume, being light on both pages and interest. You, my misguided reader, are in for a surprise. The full and rather grandiose title is Food in England – A complete guide to the food that makes us who we are….

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Historic Colorado by Claude Wiatrowski – review

Historic Colorado by Claude Wiatrowski – review

Claude Wiatrowski has an evident passion for Colorado and another, equal in depth, for trains. He has three degrees in sensible technical and engineering subjects but he also plays drums for a brace of big bands, a gospel quartet and a polka band. A well-rounded character, I’d say. I had never considered a vacation in…

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Gentleman’s Relish – A Compendium of English Culinary Oddities – review

Gentleman’s Relish – A Compendium of English Culinary Oddities – review

This small chunky book is a treat. It lists and describes just about all of those quirky and well-loved foodstuffs that we hold dear. Yes, we consider them to be English but a remarkable number of them have either foreign origins or foreign originators. Gentleman’s Relish is a mine of information that will charm any…

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