Top 5 Country Pubs

Top 5Country Pubs Pubs are a great part of Australian culture, egalitarian spaces where tradies and CEOs drink side-by-side and everyone feels at home. In the old days there was a public bar for the blokes and a ladies’ lounge for the gals, with no cross-pollination. Today’s public bars welcome anyone who enjoys gaming and […]

Top 5 French Markets

I love French markets – not just for the fresh produce, though there’s always something new to discover, but also the traditional baked goods, distinctive charcuterie and local cheeses that give an insight into the regional cuisine. There’s also the voyeuristic pleasure of watching locals go about their daily business and the chance to find […]

Top 5 Jerez (Sherry Wine)

  Let’s take a quick vicarious holiday to the town of Jerez de la Frontera and its surrounds, a fascinating part of southern Spain. I visited a few years ago to learn about my favourite wine style, Sherry, and discovered there’s so much more to this very special spot just over an hour’s drive from […]

Top 5 Brittany (regional guide)

One of France’s most remote and intriguing regions, Brittany (Bretagne in French), is the rugged north-western tip of France jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Prehistoric standing stones attest to its ancient past, while its local dialect, Breton (closely related to Cornish and Welsh), and its very name are a reminder that it was an outpost […]

Top 5 Quirky Shops in Paris

Paris is a wonderful city to stroll around. It’s full of gardens, monuments and beautiful shops – galleries, boutiques, perfumeries, bookshops, antiques, bric a brac and some really quirky stores. Wandering aimlessly in a city this size can seem a bit daunting though, so on my last visit I created a DIY walking tour centred […]

Top 5 Southern Ireland (Kerry & Cork regional guide)

Counties Kerry and Cork, in the very south of Ireland, are routinely listed as the most beautiful parts of a country famous for magnificent scenery. There’s great produce too, from delicious raw milk cheeses to great fruit and veg and some special craft beers. The highlight of this region is the five southern peninsulas: beautiful […]

Top 5 Canton Bern

Keen to see more of Switzerland? ~ Top 5 Switzerland (country guide) ~ Top 5 Bern (city guide) ~ Top 5 Swiss Hotels Here’s an authentic taste of Switzerland: ~ Swiss Barley Soup (Gerstensuppe) ~ Cheese Fondue ~ Swiss Vermicelles (Mont Blanc) ~ Kaffee Fertig Top 5 Canton Bern (regional guide) The Canton of Bern […]

Top 5 Wales (country guide)

“Why on earth would you go to Wales on holiday?” a British friend scoffed. He was even more shocked when I said it was as much for the thriving food culture as the gorgeous scenery. How often we overlook what’s in our own back yard! Despite our high expectations, this tiny bilingual corner of Europe […]

Top 5 Rennes (city guide)

Brittany’s capital city is a charming university town just 2 hours from Paris by TGV. There’s much to recommend it as a short break destination, from cobbled streets of beautiful half-timbered houses to art-deco buildings covered in glistening mosaic tiles, a huge Saturday market that spans several streets and covered halls, and food ranging from […]

Top 5 Ireland’s Cliff Coast (Clare regional guide)

Keen to see more of Ireland? Here are my guides to Ireland’s Ancient East and Southern Ireland (Kerry & Cork) Top 5 Ireland’s Cliff Coast (Clare regional guide) The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500km driving route along half of Ireland’s coastline; it’s far too much to tackle in one go, so is divided into […]