We are just back from the sunny, windy and ridiculously pretty Île de Ré. This is a gorgeous spot on France’s Atlantic coast with long sandy beaches, sparkling seas, picturesque villages and blue shuttered houses framed with colourful, feathery holyhocks.
We are feeling really rather pleased with ourselves for our recent trip to Minorca, Menorca. This oft-overlooked island has lost out in the past to its neighbours, glitzy Ibiza and glam Mallorca but those in search of spectacular beaches take note – Menorca has not only more than both the other two islands combined – but also a ridiculously lovely discreet-chic, laid-back and sleepy vibe. Plus with only 30 miles between the furthest two points, a fairly gentle landscape and no big motorways the island packs in turquoise coves, pristine beaches, coastal paths and cycle routes a-plenty.
We packed a lot into our 3 days, and here are our top tips to a blissful Menorcan trip…..
After last year’s mid winter escape in search of sun, which was only partly successful, we decided to stay closer to home this year and head south as far as the bottom tip of the Algarve. Our research showed that this is a land of wild, windswept beaches, dramatic cliff top walks and fabulous local cuisine. “Let’s go” the family cheered. And we were not disappointed. If anything, we found out of season to be a spectacular time to visit. We found a rugged land where the wind blows wild, where surfers brave the sometimes ferocious waves, where fishermen dangle their lines down huge vertiginous cliffs. We loved it!
Here are some of our highlights:
First stop the lighthouse. Obviously at a cliff edge, being a lighthouse. But until we saw this, we didn’t realise quite how close to the edge! Continue reading
It’s true that Koh Samui is no longer a sleepy backwater known only to intrepid backpackers but nevertheless, despite commercialization Samui has retained a sense of island-chic style. There are luxury hotels and spas, designer boutiques, ocean shacks with superlative cocktails, street stalls of steaming hot and spicy food and just off the beaten track, a palm tree covered tropical island with picture-perfect white sandy beaches and lush tropical forests to be discovered.
Here are some of the places we found and loved! Continue reading
Where else can you get a gelato frozen with liquid nitrogen and literally churned while you watch, eat officially the World’s Best gelato or wrap your tongue around fresh pear gelato with home-poached spiced rhubarb? Why Sydney of course.
And where else has the humble coffee bean now the status of fine art? Continue reading
We’ve just found a new favourite place – Puglia, and we cannot stop talking about it. Here’s our pick of the places we’ve been….
This is the land of the trulli and Alberobello is home to literally a thousand of them creating a landscape the likes of which you’ll not see anywhere else – clusters of hobbit-like, whitewashed, dome-roofed houses, origins prehistoric and largely unknown but the design effectively keeps the summer heat and winter cold out. Continue reading
Some cities have old quarters, and then there are some cities that make you feel like you are in a living museum wherever you happen to stand… and Toledo is one of those. In just a 30-minute train ride from Madrid you can be wandering the city’s winding streets, strolling along in the evening paseo or sitting over a drink and munching on tapas in one of the many bars and cafés. Continue reading