All posts tagged: Travel

A Postcard from Stellenbosch, South Africa

Greetings from Toronto. My fast paced life is a little too full on at the minute, and while I am tired, I love it so I am not going to complain. However, after two long haul economy flights (from Capetown via Jo’burg to London, and London to Toronto), I was thrilled to wake up in a bed this morning. An actual bed! On the ground! Before I get stuck in here, for I have a busy week ahead, I wanted to share a little bit about Stellenbosch with you. I tried last night but fell asleep next to my laptop. I need to set some work / life boundaries. So, Stellenbosch. All I knew was that they produced a lot of good wine, and that the surroundings were pretty stellar. Yes, that was all true, but there was so much more. Terrific restaurants, stunning views, the light, and the lovely warm generous people. Within a few days I was already starting to plan my second visit to the area, there is so much more to explore. 

A Postcard from the Overberg, South Africa

Greetings from Stellenbosch, in South Africa. Although I am not going to share photos from there with you today. Today, I am starting with the Overberg, where I spent my first couple of days. There is only one hour time difference between here and the UK and so no jet lag (that beast), so we got started straight away. The Overberg is to the east of Capetown in the Southern tip of South Africa. Roughly an 11 hour direct flight from London. I left in Spring and landed in Autumn to turning falling leaves and gorgeous sunsets. Wildlife and eco tourism is a focus, and wine is made here and lovely olive oils too. The Overberg, with it’s gentle pace and laid back approach to life, was a perfect place to start, relax and soak all that beauty in. We started with a chilled day at The Marine, capped off with a lovely tasting menu matched with local wines at The Pavilion. We went on a boat to see seals and other wildlife and went on a …

A Postcard from Brunei – Starting in Bandar Seri Begawan (Traditional Foods, Night Market, Monkeys, the Water Village and a Croc!)

Greetings from a very sleepy corner of the universe. I thought that travelling back west from Melbourne would be easy peasy, but it turns out that, well, it is a bit tricky. Perhaps only if you get up at 4am to climb 850 steps into the Brunei jungle, when what you normally do is busy but not all that active. For whatever reason, my legs hate me and sleep is evasive. Terrified by my clear lack of fitness, I now think of the gym. But then swiftly of making marshmallows. Ahem. Or is that Amen? We stopped off at Brunei on the way back from Melbourne. Brunei is one of the worlds smallest and also wealthiest countries, tucked away on the north coast of Borneo. Brunei is surrounded by Malaysia and has a similar food culture, with its own unique twists. Food and wine lovers, take note: Brunei is a dry country. You are allowed to bring in two bottles of wine (and must declare them, excess will be confiscated and I should know, it …

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A Postcard from Lima, Peru

I am coming to the end of a brief trip to Peru. Deeply sleepy, quite full, and getting ready to go back to London, I am reflecting on a most inspiring 4 days. I have had 4 tasting menus in 4 of Latin America’s best restaurants in Lima, eaten at a superb home restaurant, eaten at an Amazonian restaurant, had lots of wonderful ceviche and acquainted myself with the magic of the Peruvian potato (so varied and incredibly delicious). I attended Latin America’s 50 best restaurants, met some really inspiring chefs and food writers, attended the Chowzter Latin America’s Tastiest Fast Feasts and ate my way around Mistura. I ate guinea pig (twice) and alpaca – both traditional Peruvian meats. I am ready to come home and I feel so inspired to cook. The food is so vibrant and characterful, full of colour and flavour. I will definitely be back for longer and to explore more of Peru – particularly the Andes. I have so much to write about. But lets start with a postcard, …

A Postcard from Newfoundland & Labrador

I say Newfoundland & Labrador, on this trip I just went to Newfoundland, but lets say the whole thing, if only so I can say that that this is where the labrador dog comes from (they were originally the St. John’s water dog) and also, there is a Newfoundland dog too. And it has webbed feet. Webbed feet! Not just that but a water resistant coat. I saw fantastic over the top puffins, with their crazy orange lipstick. A MOOSE!, some eagles but no whales or icebergs so I will be back. Not just for the wildlife, I loved it there. It is like a quirky mirror of Ireland on the other side of the Atlantic, but everything is much bigger (N&L is almost the size of Japan but with a population approximately 248 times smaller), and the people there are some of the calmest and most laid back that I have ever met. This is the place to go and detox from the big city. This isn’t a wildlife blog though, so what of …

New Zealand: A Day in Wanaka Cooking with Annabel Langbein

One of the problems with doing what you love and writing about it – and believe me there are a few – is that sometimes you are so consumed doing things, it is difficult to find the time to write about it. Take my trip to New Zealand this time last year. Only 8 days, too brief, but packed with brilliant and inspiring things. So many, that while I was there, I was so busy *doing* that there was very little time to write. I did manage two postcards, here and here, before moving on to Hong Kong (and doing so much doing there too, that I have yet to write about that also, which is ridiculous, as I booked a stopover in Hong Kong so that I could relax and slow down for a bit). I was watching Saturday Kitchen this morning through jet lag goggles, when I spied lovely Annabel Langbein cooking, and was immediately transported to cooking with her in her kitchen in Wanaka, New Zealand, last year. Annabel Langbein is a …

A Postcard from Tokyo

And now on to the final leg of my Japan trip, Tokyo. It makes me sad to type that. I still manage to get lost near constantly. That is part of the Japan experience though. One restaurant that I really liked and that I want to recommend is down one of many tiny winding side alleys off a street. I asked for the street name and got the reply “there isn’t any!”. So, that is one of the challenges. Kappabashi is a must visit for passionate cooks, shops full of kitchenware line the streets and excellent knife shops. There are even a few shops that sell the plastic food you see in all restaurants here detailing the menu. I have been moving around and staying in different parts to get a feel for the city. Starting with Shinjuku: buzzy, blurry, bright and intense, this was where Lost in Translation was set. It is enormous and there is so much there including Omoide Yokocho, a network of small narrow alleys groaning with yakitori bars, it is …