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Two Temple Place

Cotton to Gold

26th March 2015
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March 2015 From time to time, the charitable foundation, the Bulldog Trust, opens the charming Two Temple Place for excellent exhibitions. This one is no exception. ‘Cotton to Gold’ brings together some of the extraordinary collections of wealthy philanthropists who made their fortunes in the Industrial North West. The collections were generously loaned by the…

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Cremona

14th March 2015
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Cremona was home to three of the most important violin-making families: Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati. The recently opened Museo del Violino tells their story, and offers an insight into five centuries of violin-making.

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Chiara Vigo, Bisso

Chiara Vigo, Maestro di Bisso

7th March 2015
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A recent story about tiny sea snail teeth that were stronger than titanium reminded me of the time I met a Sardinian woman who harvested ‘bisso’, strong silk-like fibres secreted by a marine bivalve mollusc, known as pinna nobilis or ‘fan mussel’. Chiara Vigo is an interesting woman; a descendant of 30 generations of bisso-weavers,…

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Pebblebed Vineyards, Devon

Delights of Devon

3rd March 2015
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I was invited by Visit Devon to discover its food and drink delights, which included first-class wine and champagne, the freshest fish, and all manner of blueberry products. You can read about it in my article for Foodtripper.  Some of the places visited: Yelverton’s Wildflower restaurant in the Moorland Garden Hotel Commodore in Instow Le…

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Tunisian mother & girls copy

Tunisia

8th February 2015
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Tataouine, in southern Tunisia, is famous for the trogolodyte buildings of the native Berber* population. It’s so other-worldly, that director George Lucas used it as a backdrop for one of his Star Wars films. The buildings are actually ancient grain stores, or ksour, and you can read more in my Time Out article here.

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Venice

Venice

8th February 2015
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Venice was once a water-logged destination for those escaping the plague on mainland Italy. It became one of the most powerful Italian republics, a great maritime power, and centre for the world’s finest art and music. Today the city seems to be drowning under the weight of its success. Each year it’s invaded by tourists…

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Devon

8th February 2015
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On my latest visit to Devon I discovered a vibrant craft scene that includes ceramics, blacksmithing, and glass-blowing, along with an incredible range of food and drinks. Read about Devon’s quality wine, beer and gin, organic edible flowers, jams, fresh fish and chilli, in my article for Discovering Devonshire Delights for Foodtripper.   Some of…

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Morocco

8th February 2015
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Casablanca  Or Dar El Beida in Arabic, means  ‘white house’ – a reference to the low-rise white-painted buildings that cover the landscape. But it’s a much-changed landscape today. The biggest city in Morocco is the busiest port in North Africa, a techno city decorated with hoardings advertising Samsung, Galaxy, Zara and Uniqlo… Markets in Morocco…

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Duomo Milan

Milan

8th February 2015
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Milan’s EXPO Set to be the biggest ever, the theme is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. With 140 participating countries, it will be the biggest event on nutrition in the world. Here are some facts: 1 million square metres: the site will be equivalent in size to the 8th largest city in Italy 250,000:…

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soane-collections-model-room-research

Sir John Soane Museum

24th August 2014
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A neo-classical architect married an heiress, bought a house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, then another, and another. He knocked them all through and filled every inch of space with his extensive collection of architectural fragments, sculptures and paintings. He lost three of his sons, fell out with the last one, and left the lot to…

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