Lovin’ Dublin Live 2014

Niall Harbison struts his stuff Niall Harbison is an Irish entrepreneur with the sort of history that someone will probably find to be good film fodder. In spite of being self-admittedly difficult to teach he worked as a chef for a Michelin-starred restaurant before touring the world as private chef to the super-rich, the likes of whom chopper in to Cannes to…

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…

Nossy Be, La Baule

Following a rough pregnancy and even rougher ‘special delivery’ of our small person this summer, I seriously doubted I was up for a trip to France. Two months into parenthood, still feeling battered and bloated and somewhat embarrassed to be seen in public, I somehow lost the family holiday debate to the ever-persuasive Monsieur and…

Hotel La Coupe d’Or, Lisieux

Monsieur, the Crevette and I were driving south through Normandy when Lisieux, the pilgrimage town where Sainte Thérèse of Lisieux lived, popped up before us, just in time for lunch. We had a pleasant arrival in the small, sloped town, circumnavigating pretty roundabouts, one with a giant Norman apple as its centrepiece, and being the…

Art and Hospitality at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

On a UK Monopoly Board, Piccadilly is the sixth most expensive property at a whopping £280.00 and bears the colour yellow. To build a Monopoly hotel on the site will set you back £1,200.00. In reality, Piccadilly is a busy, multi-lane thoroughfare in London’s West End, running from Hyde Park Corner past Green Park to Piccadilly Circus….

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,…

This Little Piggy Went to Market – in La Rochelle

Doing the daily shop, French-style. These aubergines are shinier than a militia man’s boots. The lobster tank was looking a bit empty. I suspect there’d been a rush on lobster for cooling summer seafood platters. This little piggy went to market, to hang out next to his brothers who are now a pair of delicious dried sausages….

Les Fleurs du Thym restaurant, Les Sables d’Olonne

It’s hot, the heat has fried any sort of decision-making mechanism that Monsieur and I might once have possessed, and we’re hungry. The afternoon has been spent squeezed onto a beach with hundreds and thousands of French holidaymakers at Les Sables d’Olonne in the Bay of Biscay and we’d prefer not to spend the evening looking out at…

Les Sables d’Olonne

Monsieur and I recently found ourselves in the searing hot Vendée region of France. On arrival it was forty degrees in the shade and the land was baking. The beach beckoned, so off we set for the coast for a swim. As it was still holiday season, we knew it would be busy, but the scene that…

A Taste of Tavolara

It’s hard to imagine an island of 5 square kilometers becoming a kingdom on the whim of a royal visitor, yet that’s exactly what happened to tiny Tavolara, off the east coast of Sardinia. When King Charles Albert of Sardinia visited Tavolara in 1836, he bestowed independent royal status upon it and decreed that resident…

I’m in an Ape (ah-pay) State of Mind

Check out the cutest little car in the world: the limited edition Ape (pronounced ah-pay) Calessino, manufactured by the Vespa kings – Piaggio. I’m doing a good job of breaking the tenth commandment this week… It’s a far cry from the little Ape workhorses to be found chugging along Italy’s country roads or delivering a…