Food & drink

Unpackaged

16th December 2012
Posted in

Saturday, December 15, 2012 It was a shame that Unpackaged had to leave its little premises in the Old Dairy in Islington, but here in Hackney, we’re delighted – on so many counts. The Unpackaged ‘mission’ is to reduce the crazy amounts of packaging in the world, and it does exactly what it says on…

Read More

The 10 best things to do on the island of Capri

13th November 2012
Posted in

Capri is a mere half-hour’s ferry or hydrofoil ride away from Naples. This beautiful island is synonymous with stars, style and impossible glamour but, away from the central Piazzetta, it’s also a place of stunning natural beauty and calm. Charles Dickens once wrote ‘In no place on earth are there so many opportunities for delicious…

Read More
Doorways Porto

Ten things to do in Porto

24th September 2012
Posted in

Portugal’s second city offers endless possibilities. Here for a weekend break? Check out my top ten things to do in Porto. 1. Hostel or hotel? Budget usually dictates whether you choose a hotel or a hostel, but if you’d never considered ‘roughing it’, you might think about it in Porto. Some of the hostels here…

Read More

Rimini

10th September 2012
Posted in

  On 31 October 2013, Rimini celebrated the anniversary of the death of one of its most famous sons, Federico Fellini. Film director Fellini created such masterpieces as La Dolce Vita (winner of the Palme d’Or in 1960), and 8½ (listed by Sight & Sound as the 10th-greatest film of all time). In 2012 I visited Rimini…

Read More

A trip around East Asia, for £20

4th August 2012
Posted in

TeaSmith’s trip around the world… Book afternoon tea at Spitalfields’ TeaSmith in London and you’re in for a brisk trip around the world – or at least the tea world. As well as a quick lesson in the art of tea-making, you’ll taste teas from a host of Asian countries and be treated to some…

Read More
La Rondinaia, Ravello

Gore Vidal’s Ravello

2nd August 2012
Posted in

August 2012 Gore Vidal died on Tuesday at the grand old age of 86. And what a life he lived. Author, screenwriter and sometime actor, Vidal never shied away from a hot topic – homosexuality, mental illness, transgender politics, all made it into his books and plays – and he wasn’t short of a good…

Read More
Mille Miglia, Bologna

Mille Miglia

29th July 2012
Posted in

In 2012 I visited Bologna as part of the Blogville Project. The idea, developed by the Tourist Board, was to give bloggers a base from which to explore Emilia Romagna. I visited the Ducati Museum, made pasta with the Casa Artusi mariette in Forlimpopoli. I even took part in the world-famous Mille Miglia vintage car race. My…

Read More
Federico Fellini, Rimini

La Dolce Vita

21st July 2012
Posted in

Cool hotels, stylish bars and endless beaches, Rimini just got its mojo back. Film director, Federico Fellini, and his iconic films, such as Amarcord, La Strada, 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita, are shorthand for cool and sexy, but his birthplace of Rimini was once considered a little down-at-heel; harsher critics described it as the ‘Southend…

Read More
Ice Cream, Rimini

Rimini remembered

18th June 2012
Posted in

June 2012 I’m looking forward to going back to Rimini. The last visit was back in 1970, on a ’round Europe’ caravanning holiday with my parents and three sisters.  I was nine years old. Needless to say, with four girls ranging in age from seven to seventeen, there were tensions. The eldest, going through a Garbo…

Read More
Bologna

The Luddite’s tale

14th May 2012
Posted in

I’m a bit of a luddite to be honest. These days, the term ‘ luddite’ describes one who is opposed to new technology. According to Wiki, the Luddites ‘were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes that they saw as dangerous and likely to change…

Read More