Category Archives: travel

European Summer Destinations 2018

So, where are you headed this summer?

Here are some very cool offerings —- including Tallinn for new Nordic cuisine.

Err … I did not see Tartu on the list. Not yet!


Still Can’t Get Beyond Bourdain’s Passing

At first, I thought it was just me. I thought I was one of a small number of fans who felt a personal connection to Tony Bourdain, even though we did not know him. Perhaps it was because we are of the same generation. Or perhaps it was because of the central place food culture had in shaping his values.

Whatever. I was greatly saddened by his death. More so because he took his own life, leaving behind a young daughter. How could that have happened?

We will probably never know the answer to that question. We can only speculate that whatever demons Tony had inside him, on that particular night, they overwhelmed him. The better angels of his nature lost out.

So it goes. But the surprising thing is that Tony’s passing has brought out a lot more tributes than I would have expected.

Here is an example – from a younger chef whom he mentored.

And here, Carolina Miranda writes for LA Times that Tony’s work was not just about the food.

That last idea came through for me last night when I watched Tony’s portrait of Manila and the Philippines from Parts Unknown. It was not Tony’s first trip to the Philippines. But in this trip, you sense some sadness about how difficult life is for average people. They are good people, but the goodness and kindness does not translate into shared prosperity.

Venturing Beyond the Rue do Bretagne

There is nothing wrong with the Rue de Bretagne. To the contrary, it makes lots of  folks very happy.

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It is in the Marais, which is very chic.

And that is the crux of the matter. Because when chic is the measure of appeal, there is always something more chic. And those seeking that  more chic than chic feel, venture beyond the Rue do Bretagne into the haut Maris.

You might stay, for example, at the Hotel du Petit Moulin, which has 17 rooms all decorated by Lacrioix. Here is one

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Of course, you will want to stop at Merci, the shop that started it all in the haut marais

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And then? How about this

… continue north along Rue Charlot and discovered the wonderful food stalls at the Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’s oldest food market, with its fresh produce, fish, beef, and flowers. You can also sample an international array of prepared foods—sushi, tagines, pasta, crêpes—at outdoor tables. In typical French fashion, a store called Première Pression Provence sells an astonishing array of olive oil and olive-oil-based products, including Méli-Mélo Provençal, with artichokes, red peppers, and basil.

Hmmm … an astonishing array of olive oils? Count me in!

Writing for the Independent, Kasia Dietz has this to say

A neighbourhood of artisanal shops, the Haut Marais reveals the essence of Parisian craftsmanship within a community of international creators sharing a passion for art and design. It’s just one of the many reasons I’m proud to call this talent-stuffed treasure trove my home.


To Do in London: Lunch at The Marksman Pub

From Jay Rayner writing for the Guardian

If there’s a better lunch to be had in Britain right now than the beef and barley buns with horseradish, the kid goat curry with the fried potatoes and the brown butter and honey tart served at the Marksman pub on the Hackney Road, I want to know about it.

Marksman was also raved by Bon Appetit

When you walk into this 150-year-old East London every-pub, you’ll swear you’re in the wrong spot. Head upstairs into the dining room that Italian designer Martino Gamper designed with signature wit (you’ll never see linoleum the same way again), and join the interesting crowd here for Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram’s food. It all goes down quite well with a pint.

From the outside

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Image result for Marksman Pub

And, as BBC notes, there is that Pub of the Year award from Michelin. Just thought you might like to know.  They offer a nice before and after the make over contrast photo

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When You Get to Lake Como …

There are lots of things you can do in Lombardy. Here is a plan.

Here is an image

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And here is one of those things

Just an hour out of Milan, accomplished chef and impeccable hostess Signora Lodovica invites her guests to take a gastronomic journey through Como’s culinary history. In her tavern kitchen you will learn how to make a number of dishes, including gnocchi and fresh-off-the-hook fish straight from the lake.

Go for it!