Autumnal Dublin – Halloween, Bram Stoker and More

Dublin Temple Bar

Dublin – A City of Contrast. The short flight from London to Dublin scarcely takes longer than the journey to and from the airports.  And yet, despite a common language, despite a similar climate and despite, in part, a shared history, Ireland and Dublin in particular is another world. The Dublin I remember from my […]

Mad about Margate

Margate Haeckels interior

A Day at the Seaside – Mad about Margate: It may not have been entirely wise to take myself off to Margate on a press trip with Visit England the day I got back from cruising the Mediterranean.  Apart from the fact that I didn’t get home till the wee small hours of the morning, there […]

Cruising the Mediterranean with MDFV

MDFV Simi panoramic

A Turkish Gulet Sailing Trip with MDFV – Health and Fitness on the Mediterranean: It’s ‘goolet’ not ‘gullet’  said Ali, our guide for a week-long health and fitness cruise around the Mediterranean.  However it should be pronounced, cruising in a traditional Turkish sailing vessel seemed like a particularly appealing way to spend the first week of […]

Bourbon, Beer, Brisket and Hot Browns in Kentucky (Part 1)

Bourbon - Town Branch Distillery Stills

From Lexington to Louisville – topping and tailing the Bourbon Trail: Kentucky, perhaps best known for horse racing and breeding, is also the heart of American bourbon.  As much an influence on food in the region as wine in France, with a heritage that goes back to early immigrants from Ireland and Scotland, I was […]

Live and Let Rye – A Day Out in 1066 Country

Rye Mermaid Inn

Rye, East Sussex – A Day Out in 1066 Country: I’ve been to Rye a couple of times but never really felt that I had enough time to explore properly, so it was great to be invited for a day out by the 1066 Country office, with my teenage son was coming along to give […]

San Blas, Mexico – Quick Tour Part 2

Mexico San Blas Garza Canela

Driving through San Blas, Mexico: San Blas, Mexico, is about 2 hours drive North from Puerto Vallarta, on the Riviera Nayarit coast in the Bahia De Matanchen area. It is a provincial town of about 10,000 people, and although packed with historical significance, thriving coastal activities and a National Park, you will hardly see a […]

South Carolina Food Fest in Charleston

Charleston at Night

Gracious Living, Fine Dining and More in Charleston, South Carolina: My knowledge of USA geography is shockingly vague.  If I were to try to draw a map, there would be a blob on the East Coast for New York City, a similar blob on the West Coast for San Francisco and then an attempt to […]

Terroir in 1066 Country – Sedlescombe Organic Wines and More

Sedlescombe horn

Organic and Biodynamic Wines in Sussex – Sedlescombe Vineyard and Winery: A visit to Sussex these days isn’t complete without a vineyard tour.  Sedlescombe, though, is something special as the UK’s oldest organic vineyard.  Now it is also operated under biodynamic principles.   The entrance from the road to the vineyard, a large gravelled car park,  is […]

Kingston Upon Thames and Hampton Court

Hampton Court Palace 2

Not Quite a Staycation – (Just) out of Town in Kingston Upon Thames: A few miles outside central London, the idea of an overnight stay in Kingston Upon Thames seems a little strange at first.  It’s somewhere I visit anyway, mostly because there’s a good shopping centre with plenty of parking.  And, of course I […]

Conquests and Castles – 1066 Country

Bodiam Castle Distance

A Day Trip to 1066 Country – Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey: Remember when you were five or six years old and you wanted to live in a castle.  Perhaps like me, you wrote stories about being a princess and illustrated them.  The castle that you drew probably looked something like Bodiam.  Even from a […]