Hotel Pullman, Marseille Palm Beach

Marseille: an ancient city renowned for many things, among which number its huge commercial port, a small crime problem, the legendary Château d’If and fine bouillabaisse. The city lent its name to the French national anthem, la Marseillaise, pastis was born here and Marcel Pagnol took childhood walks in the lush Parc Borély. I suggest that we add to this hall of fame the Hotel Pullman Marseille Palm…

Burger and Lobster, London

I swear I must have been a mermaid (or merman) in a former life, because I absolutely love eating the spoils of the sea. In fact, perhaps I was Neptune himself, that’s how much I enjoy fish, seafood, crustaceans, urchins, even sea weed. Picture this: the day job is dull, filled with politics and I’ve…

Smoked Salmon at the Hotel Metropole, Hanoi

Smoked salmon is so easy to get wrong. Buy the over-farmed or rapid-cure variety and you may find yourself pulling bits of bland stringy stuff out of your teeth, wondering whatever happened to the true taste of the smoked salmon of yesteryear. Get it right, from a fine farmer of happy salmon and the situation flips on its head; silken folds…

A First Class First Taste of Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon seems to pop up everywhere these days, in all sorts of guises, but it wasn’t always the case. I had to reach the grand old age of twelve before relishing my first taste of this fine fish-lover’s fare. My mother and I had been upgraded to First Class (!!) on a transatlantic Pan Am flight, in…

Sunday Brunch at Petite Abeille, New York

There are four branches of Petite Abeille, or ‘Little Bee’ in New York City, each with Belgian charm and all proud of their reputation as being the providers of an excellent weekend brunch. Alas, house rules say no reservations are possible; you have to present yourself in person and be prepared to wait. Monsieur and…

Su Nuraghe, Sardinia

Picture the scene: it’s late morning at Sardinia’s Cagliari Elmas airport. Monsieur and I have been awake since dawn but haven’t had time for breakfast. The low-cost airline has high-cost sandwiches which we avoid, mostly because they already look curled and cardboardy, and the coffee looks like something that might spurt out of a long-disused farmhouse tap. Monsieur…

Pho Lights My Fire

If you’re Vietnamese and you don’t like Pho, there’s definitely something wrong with your genetic make up. Pronounced ‘FUH’, pho is Vietnam’s national dish and the thought of that single syllable makes my stomach grumble with longing. Pho’s concept is simple: make a fully-balanced meal fit into a single bowl. The main components are rice noodles, broth and…

Tasca da Se, Lisbon

Exploring Lisbon in the rain didn’t dampen our spirits, but unless we wanted to get well and truly squelchy, Monsieur and I were going to have to stop and dry off. So far that day, we’d smacked our lips after wonderfully oozy custard pastries with breakfast, had ventured onto one of the city’s bright yellow funiculars, explored the Castello,…

O Visconde – Funchal, Madeira

Last November, when London was cold and grey, Monsieur and I sunned ourselves at lunch in Funchal, Madeira. It was warm enough to take an outdoor table at O Visconde Restaurante, a complete find of an eatery, tucked away down a little alley near the centre of town but far from the cruise ship crowds. There…