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Mertola and the Mina de Sao Domingos

One of the many joys of exploring the Alentejo region of Portugal is the unsung discoveries which you can so easily stumble across. On the two occasions I’ve hired a car in the Alentejo I’ve found villages for which there’s precious little in the way of tourist information,

January 2016 – Moqueca (Brazilian Seafood Casserole)

Originally from the state of Bahia in the northeast of the country. The dish evolved during the Colonial times when the Portuguese brought coconuts to the country. They planted the coconut trees along the coast to replace the wood that was taken. The African slaves also introduced

Celebrating Carnival in South America

Looking at the extravagant parades and customs on show at the Rio carnival, it’s easy to forget that the tradition of celebrating this annual feast is even vaguely related to religion. The best clue as to its roots is in its moveable date, timed as it is according to

The Michelin Star of the North

The 48 members of Pride of Britain Hotels represent the very best in the country’s boutique hotels, but not all have a Michelin Star, have featured on BBC’s Masterchef Professional and have held the said star for 19 years. The picturesque Ribble Valley in Lancashire, officially the

Floating Piers on Lake Iseo

From June 18 to July 3, 2016, the Bulgarian-born artist Christo will create a shimmering walkway of yellow light across Italy’s Lake Iseo. The Floating Piers project, the latest in a series of giant installations by the 80-year-old artist, will involve 70,000 square meters of yellow fabric, carried by

Exploring the west coast of Sweden

If you’ve ever found yourself in a sparsely populated place, surrounded by wild landscapes, big skies and clean air, you’ll no doubt agree that the effort of travelling to such splendid isolation is more than compensated for by the rewards on arrival. When that place is as easy to

To Scandinavia in search of crime

  In recent years there has been a glut of Scandinavian crime dramas appearing on British TV. They’re hopelessly easy to get hooked on, and despite the need to concentrate on the subtitles (for those of us who aren’t blessed with an understanding of Swedish or Danish),

Holidays in the shadow of Mount Etna

It would hard to pick a favourite spot on Sicily, given that our two weeks on the island produced so many highlights. But for world-class views, fabulous food and a laid-back place in which to unwind, it would be hard to beat our time at Feudo Vagliasindi,

December 2015 – Kourabiedes (Almond Cookies)

Kourabiedes are enjoyed throughout the year in Greece and Cyprus, but are arguably most prominent at Christmas time. The name actually derives from the Turkish word “Kurabiye”. In some regions of Greece , the Kourabiedes are decorated at Christmas with a whole clove on the top to

Rio’s giant floating Christmas tree

Rio de Janeiro isn’t a city known for doing things on a small scale, and the Christmas tree in the Lago Rodrigo de Freitas is no exception. Not content with having a tree measuring around 85 metres in height and weighing close to 500 tonnes, the Bradesco Seguros Christmas