Postcards from Old Palma, Mallorca

I don’t know how I’d never made it to Palma before now. Wonderful tales of Mallorcan life have been reaching my ears for years, many imparted with passion by people who return year after year for just a bit more of what this picturesque Mediterranean isle has to offer. On this, my first visit, three generations…

My Favourite City – at MetroMarks

My New Best Friend on the other side of The Pond is Adam Zettler of MetroMarks. He’s recently launched a regular feature called My Favourite City on the MetroMarks website, where you can find all sorts of insider info about an ever-growing number of cities around the world. They kicked off My Favourite City with a post about Toronto,…

A Bellini with a View at the Centurion Palace, Venice

A long time ago, in happy-go-lucky, freewheeling times, I lived in Venice. It wasn’t a long-term thing; just a summer internship over the course of a few months, but it was long enough for me to fall head over my Supergas in love with the place. When I returned to London, there remained some Venetian experiences on  my Bucket List that…

Sardinian Free Range Pork

Driving from Cagliari to Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda gives the option of two main routes: one zig-zags you up the island on an efficient, wide autostrada (the SS131); the other snakes precariously around the sheer cliff faces of the east (the SS125). Never again do I want to travel the second way. At various junctures along this serpentine route signs…

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…

Porto Rotondo, Sardinia

In early May, the Sardinian summer season is slowly kicking off. The atmosphere’s halcyon, the sky cerulean, the waters clear and flowers exploding with colour everywhere you look, yet the tourist hordes have yet to land. It’s paradise.  One typically fine morning, Monsieur and I drove to Porto Rotondo, a village with impressive marina just south of the…

Parlez-vous anglais?

Last summer, Monsieur took me to visit his family hometown in Brittany. We stayed with an aunt and uncle in a charming, old family home, with a view of the sea and the pink and blue hues of hydrangeas visible in all directions. The town was villagey, small, Breton in the truest of fashions, but not averse…

Monet’s Giverny –

Think of some of the world’s record-breaking works of art at point of sale, and paintings from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series will no doubt feature on the list. Ever since I first saw a Monet in the flesh in the eighties, during a touring exhibition that actually made it the extra xxxx miles to far-flung…

Drive By ‘Shooting’ – MAUI

For my friend, Pat Coakley, of Singleforareason For those of you who haven’t yet come across Pat or her photography and philosophy blog, Singleforareason, you should visit it right NOW. If I ever finish writing my foodie memoir, I’d love Pat to illustrate it – her photos of plants and fruit and vegetables and other…

Aloha, It’s Friday!

The totally filthy Ka’anapali Beach in Maui. (That’s surfer speak, Brah.) The most enjoyable part of planning a wedding has to be arranging the honeymoon, at least, that’s how it was for this particular bride. Approve invitations – check, order confetti – check, revise RSVPs – check, book hotel for San Francisco and luau tickets in Maui? Yippedeedoodah!…

Tinnura, Sardinia – Where the walls don’t only have ears…

Sardinia is an island of secrets and quiet beauty, the most precious delights of which are likely to be tucked away from tour bus routes. Driving into the island’s hinterland on a warm May day, Monsieur and I rounded a bend on a country highway to discover one such unexpected treasure: the painted village of Tinnura. Tinnura’s church lies…