Food & drink

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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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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Federico Fellini, Rimini

Living La Dolce Vita

15th October 2013
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A day in Rimini, with Federico Fellini  15 October 2013                 With over 15 kilometres of sandy beach, it’s little wonder that Rimini is one of the most popular resorts in Europe. From June to September much of the beach is covered by serried ranks of coloured umbrellas…

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Sorrento – Land of the Sirens

11th October 2013
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Look beyond the package tours (and there are plenty of them), and Sorrento really has something to offer the modern traveller. You just need to know where to find it… Grand (hotel) tourism Once the leaping off point for every 19th-century traveller’s Grand Tour, Sorrento was as glamorous a destination as any along the Amalfi…

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Courgette flowers

Courgette capers…

8th August 2013
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8 August 2013 My sister Marian, who has lived in Italy for over 30 years, has adopted many Italian ways, not least the dedication to preparing and cooking exquisite food. She thinks nothing of spending an afternoon shredding basil leaves and pounding them, with a pestle and mortar, together with pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino…

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Estense Castle, Ferrara

Ferrara

21st April 2013
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The exquisite UNESCO World Heritage site, once home to the d’Este family, is rich with Renaissance art and architecture. And it’s also very easy to walk/cycle around, and there’s plenty more to capture the imagination: ‘In Italy in the 16th century, food was considered as much an art form as music or theatre’. So writes…

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Bees

6th April 2013
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This is my first hive and it’s been a real roller-coaster of a year. On the first decent day we’ve had in months, the bees came out to collect pollen. Following a terrible winter, then a cold and wet spring, I wasn’t sure they’d survived. I’ve had a few bee ‘anxiety’ dreams since I got…

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