6 places to stop overnight on your way through France
Every summer we used to drive down to our house in Languedoc in the south of France stopping off a couple of nights on the way. This post on our favourite hotels and chambres d’hotes was written back in 2014 so some of the prices will be out of date.
How to get the best last minute hotel deal on New Year’s Eve - or any other night
Is it ever worth leaving your hotel booking until the very last minute? Here's how i fared a couple of years ago trying to bag a bargain for New Year's Eve.
Where - and what - Bristol chefs eat
As there was so much interest in the post on where my fellow food writers eat out in Bristol I thought I'd do a follow-up with chefs.
Where Bristol foodies eat
Bristol has more than its fair share of cookery writers (including yours truly) so who better to ask where to eat in the city - and what to order? (Well, local chefs, maybe, but I’ll come on to that …)
5 ways to eat cheaply - and well - in Paris
Having recently had a whole week in Paris during which we ate out every day we obviously had to watch what we spent. Had we gone to one of the three star temples of gastronomy we could have easily blown our budget in a night.
Why driving over the Andes is an experience to add to your bucket list
Crossing the Andes by road puts all those words we use so freely into their proper context. Awesome, amazing, breathtaking - it is all those things and more.
5 new restaurants to try in Bordeaux
If you're planning to visit Bordeaux this summer these are the hot restaurants according to local wine industry insider 'La Bordelaise'. But which are worth going to? Read on . . .
A week’s eating in Paris
Spending a whole week in Paris is any foodie’s idea of heaven but how do you choose from the vast amount of restaurants on offer without breaking the bank? If you’ve read about how we planned our recent Paris trip I thought you might like to know where we ended up eating . . .
Magnum and Le Tire Bouchon: two wine bars to discover in Toulouse
When I knew I was going to spend 24 hours in Toulouse recently I asked my followers on Twitter - as you do - what restaurants and wine bars they would recommend. Unusually they all suggested different places which didn’t help that much so I ended up trawling around online.
Wine lovers' New York: Where to drink well in the Big Apple
So where are the best places in New York for a wine lover to hang out? And what should you drink there? Blogger and winelover Zeren Wilson of Bitten & Written sets out a game plan.
4 good restaurants in Oxford
Oxford is a place that doesn’t have a great reputation for food but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the restaurants we ate in last weekend.
Chez Miton and Au Fil de L’Aigronne: two Loire bargains
Instead of hurtling down south on the motorway as we used to do with the kids to minimise family squabbling, we’ve taken to a stately three day progression with frequent stop-offs to visit winemakers, eat or simply drive through France’s beautiful unspoilt countryside and blissfully traffic-free back roads.
The Swan at Lavenham
We Londoners are spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend breaks. A lot of people are drawn west to the Cotswolds or south to Sussex, Hampshire and the New Forest. For me, though, East Anglia takes some beating.
The charming eccentricity of Rye Bay Scallop Week
One of the more endearing aspects of the current British food scene is the number of festivals devoted to a single food. I’d heard of oyster festivals, crab festivals and cheese festivals but I’d never come across a scallop festival before.
An insider's guide to the fish restaurants of Marseille and Cassis
Travel writer Philip Sweeney hobnobs with the locals, checks out the best places to eat and discovers why fishing for bouillabaisse isn't as easy as it once was . . .
Magdalen Chapter, Exeter: a night in the operating room
So many institutions are being converted into hotels these days that one should feel no great surprise at staying at a former eye hospital. But I must confess to feeling a shade queasy at spending a night in the operating room* at the Magdalen Chapter in Exeter - particularly when I spotted the drain in the floor down which many unspeakable fluids must have been sluiced . . .
How to eat like the Veronese
As you walk through the door of Al Pompiere in Verona you could easily be back in the '70s. A timbered ceiling, checked table cloths, walls lined with pictures of guests through the ages, it’s every inch the traditional trat. In one corner where hams line the shelves and hang from the ceiling an elderly chef in a toque is slicing ham and other salumi to order with a large, impressively flashy machine. If you think it’s old-fashioned though take a look at their website - the retro feel is deliberate but they’re linked to all the social media.
Two classic meals in Chablis
I came across this article the other day which I wrote 4 years ago after a visit to Chablis. We attended two great dinners organised by Daniel Defaix and Herv Tucki of La Chablisienne which were an object lesson in how to pair Chablis with food. I thought it deserved a re-run.
Vive les guingettes!
An admirable website, Matching Food and Wine, but a bit short on singalongs. Could we begin by joining in lustily, therefore, altogether now...
Gorgeous green Oregon
If I had to live anywhere in the US it would be Oregon. Admittedly the last couple of days have been unbelievably beautiful but I think it’s more that it’s comfortingly familiar - with green rolling hills and woods and flower-strewn hedgerows. Very much like Burgundy, the spiritual home of most Oregonian winemakers.