Visitors to the Middle East often wander through spice markets with curious noses and dawdle their way through meals wondering, “What is that flavour?” Food in Dubai is reminiscent of the flavours and aromas of the spice market.
When searching out a good restaurant to sample some of the dishes and flavours mentioned here, find Dubai hotels or restaurants that are well reviewed and ask for the waiters’ recommendations. Read on for a description of some of the spices commonly used in Emirati cuisine and some of the favourite dishes of Dubai cooks. Read more
I’m Alecia Caine and I’ve had a passion for France ever since I’m a little girl when I first heard the French language spoken. I fell in love with this beautiful language and that’s when my love affair with France and all things French began. I guess you could say France is my soul mate. If a place can actually be a soul mate. Read Alecia’s Blog and find out about her tours for women in France
Shopping in London? Don’t!
Not unless you know exactly where to go, or unless you love being pushed around, jostled, ignored, exhausted and poor.
I hate shopping at the best of times, and on familiar territory. To even consider shopping in London is the worst of times – it makes me put my travel agent’s number deep down in my desk. Read more
Rosann hits the shops!
The lovely Rosann Connolly escorted the Vietnam Delights May 2012 tour group – and wow boy did she hit the shops in Hoi An. Here she lets us in on some shoppers tips:
Only the rich and famous have personal tailors right? Not so in Vietnam!
Chic upmarket fashion, elegant evening wear, sophisticated business attire, exquisite leather footwear. You could be forgiven for thinking I’m describing the streets of fashion mecca’s Milan or Paris but in fact this is precisely what you can make to order in many of the fabulous tailors of Hoi An.
Within the beauty of Vietnam’s central region lies the ancient town of Hoi An. An adopted “vehicle free zone” infrastructure allows you to wander freely through the streets and alleyways amongst the French inspired architecture. Famed for its many tailors and inexpensive creations I was curious in what a “tailoring experience” involved and I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled with the outcome.
As anywhere there are masters of trade and “those to be avoided” so reputable tailors with high recommendations are advised, for that reason I highly recommend Yaly Couture for professional service, timely turn around and excellent quality. Located just right of the famed local market along Nguyen Thai Hoc, Yaly is the place to venture into your very own tailoring experience. Read More
Rosemary tries the Family Clothes Shop
On my trip to Vietnam with Venus AdventuresI also had a fabulous time in Hoi An and came home with some fabulous clothes. Some of our group when to Yaly, but I found them a little ‘glam’ and over the top, so a bit disappointed, I left the others to it, and went and had a lovely cold beer by the river.
Not to be put off, I tried again and went in search of The Family Clothes Shop, where I discovered Tran Khue, and he was fabulous. Not hords of people, no website just Tran working largely alone (and outsourcing to others in Hoi An). He was amazing, I tentatively ordered one thing, but kept coming back for more. My favourite was a tailored red silk jacket.
Look out for Tran Khue at The Family Clothes Shop email only
Born and raised in Florence, Chiara Sernesi has worked in marketing and planning corporate events for most of her career. her partner Francesco was born and raised in a small village of the Tuscan countryside, close to Florence, Francesco Fantini has a passion for Tuscan traditions & literature. Read more
To see or not to see the Long Neck Karen
- that is the tourist’s dilemma.
‘Go and see if you want,’ said our local hosts. ‘We don’t support the Long Neck Village. It is just a tourist venture, which exploits these people.’. Read more
Scratching my legs and getting hives in Thailand
‘Uh huh’, I remembered from once before, ‘Hives’.
Was it the heat, was it something I ate in this country of delicious spicy food? Whatever it was, the itching was driving me crazy.
The rash came on while I was at a two day silent retreat in a Buddhist monastery. It spread to my inner arms and chest. All the areas I use sunblock on, all the areas of my skin exposed to the sun and air.
AS soon as we returned to Chiang Mai city I asked the pharmacist at the nearby University Pharmacy. She looked at my ugly red legs with kindness.
“We get a lot of that here, with farang (foreigners) . It’s the pollution, gives you an allergy.’
From my internet research , I had learned that hives, or urticaria, can be caused by food allergies, environmental allergy or excessive heat. All were likely in Thailand. All can respond to antihistamine and to a steroid ointment. So I was confident to take her advice- to rub on Beprogel, a topical solution to reduce the swelling and itchiness, and to swallow Zyrtec, an antihistamine tablet.
Along the road, a herbal pharmacist offered me a lovely cooling green aloe vera lotion to relieve the itch, and also a detox teabag- take three times a day. I checked it out on the internet- thunbergia laurelfolia- can be used as anti inflammatory. She advised cutting out all seafood and fish sauce. This was hard as I had to learn to say, ‘No fish, no oyster sauce’ in Thai.
After four days of trying not to scratch, the swelling was reduced, the itching lessened and things were looking up. But one night, I unthinkingly had the most delicious fish and salad, and within minutes was scratching the new red welts.
Do your research first - There are Two Sides to the Story!
We heard a sorry story, in a vegetarian restaurant in Chiang Mai. She was an older woman, well dressed, but holding her mouth and looking ill at ease. Her story was a sad one. Read more
It has undergone a real revolution, which, in the space of a few short years, has put Spain at the forefront of international gastronomy. With traditional styles as the basis, a modern, innovative cuisine has developed, identified by the use of quality products and by the creativity of its chefs. Read more
Ceridwyn Parr writes: Not trim but skinny * – some cafes in Tasmania
This Cafe is part of the astonishing and exhausting Museum of Old and New Art, a picturesque 30 minute drive or boat /bike ride up the Derwent River.
Just arriving at the complex, set deep into the ancient rock, is worth the journey. We spent the first hour in the café, trying to get our artistic bearings by reading the guide book written by the brilliant owner of the museum, David Walsh .
The good coffee, artful food, and water views balanced out the risqué text. Both alarmed and intrigued, we ventured three storeys underground and were captivated by the whole experience. 5 hours was more than enough of visual overload and creative edge pushing. The lucky Tasmanian locals can go as often as they like, as David Walsh offers them free entry. The top place to visit.
Retro Café, Salamanca Square, Hobart
This is a great spot to meet people. It is crowded, noisy but full of energy. Staff work hard providing table service, the coffee was good on a couple of cold winter’s day.
Mushrooms were sublime. Seats outside to watch the crowds at the famously eclectic outdoor craft and food market on a Saturday morning – the second most important thing to do in Hobart.