Category Archives: high life

If You Love Me, Take Me to Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio

Why? Well, first, it is just the name. It takes a few minutes to get your mouth around all of those syllables! And there is more where that comes from.

It was built by

the head of a Venetian noble family, Zuane Francesco Barbarigo

Try saying that three times very quickly. More important, this is paradise on earth if you  love gardens.

Image result for Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio

Want more?

Image result for Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio

Myra Robinson can tell you much more.


Food Porn Alert! America’s 50 Best Restaurants … and More!

If you have some spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, here is a list that might solve your problem. The fifty so called best restaurants in the US. None of them are cheap!

Go for it! And if you don’t bring your wife, you probably should not tell her about it either. That is the theme of this wonderfule episode of “The Good Life”, one of the best TV sitcomes of all time. It is the story of two neighboring couples living in a London suburb. One couple is committed to “sustainable living”. The other couple are social climbers.  And yes, a restaurant does play a role in this episdoe in the wonderful ending. Enjoy!

Welcome to Bergen! Are you Neo-Fjordic yet?

We have become used to the New Nordic cuisine by now. Aggresively local. and sustainable. But if you were a young and ambitious chef situated in northen Norway, how would you “one up” the new nordics?

Yes, it is neo-fjordic. And it is not a PR stunt. Christopher Haatuft is making this work. NYT offers an in-depth review.

Time to make reservations at Lysverket?

Image result for Lysverket

And btw, it is not all that the lovely town of Bergen has to offer!  Beyond its Leprosy Museum, Bergen is the gateway to Norway’s fjords. And it was a major Hanseatic League trading center.

Worth a trip? Yes! Count me in!


Books: Forgotten Paradise

I was truly delighted yesterday when I received word that two Folio books had arrived in`TArtu via the post. One is “Cider with Rosie” by Laurie Lee.  The second is an illustrated version of the Hobbit. We all know who wrote that one.

Cider with Rosie is the firstt book of a trilogy about what village life in the Cotswolds was like before the motor car. The last chapter starts off this way

The last days of my childhood were also the last days of the village. I belonged to that generation wich saw, by chance, the end of a thousand years’ life. The change came late to our Cotswold valley, didn’t really show itself till the 1920’s; I was twelve by then, but during that handful of years I witnessed the whole thing happen.

That period  captures my imagination. Not because I would personally like to go back and actually live in those times. But because  the stories that I can enjoy from the period are so different than our own.

BTW, as I was walking thruogh the food store with my books in hand, my mobile phone rang. It was the central office of a different food store. The nice lady said that I had won a prize for shopping there – a free bicycle. Would I drive over over to pick it  up? Of course!

You see what I mean? A sort of magical day!

Finding the Best Pho in Hanoi

It is, apparently, what you do in Hanoi. Our story begins

The search for the best pho in Hanoi leads me to a nondescript alleyway, as does the search for the best of most things in this ancient, labyrinthine city, where poking one’s head behind a storefront and detouring up rickety stairs more often than not yields the reward of discovery.

The rewards of discovery? If you want to learn more, here is the link to Dan Q. Dao’s nice article in Saveur! I do like their travel pieces!


Perfect ice Cubes — Again?

`I have to agree with Max Falkowitz.

The perfect little things in life make the crappy big things in life less of a bother. And that means, finding the perfect ice cube maker is worth our attention, if just for a moment.

I do have a set of these for single huge round ice cubes. They are delightful for keeping a cocktail cool. But ice cube trays? I am deficient in ice cube trays! I admit it!

Max has the solution from Oxo. Now where is my credit card …