Travel Talk

Things about hotels which drive us crazy

August 28, 2019 Jack 0

We far prefer smaller, more personal hotels to chains, but on occasion we find ourselves pondering whether some owners ever stay in other hotels and then compare their stay to the experience guests might have in their own hotels. […]

Europe

In a valley on La Gomera

August 27, 2019 Jack 0

Jo will be gutted when I tell her Benedict Allen almost chose La Gomera as a place to lay his dusty, old wide-brimmed hat for a while. She’ll be furious when I tell her why. […]

Europe

Beauty or a blight? Urban art in Lisbon

August 22, 2019 Jack 0

Where they see squalor and a depressed urban landscape in some raggedy streets and obscure alleys, I see a raw, gritty, honest beauty – a down to earth yin to the yang of the city’s grand architecture. This Jekyll and Hyde character partly makes Lisbon the compelling city it is. […]

Alentejo

It is simply Alentejo, not the new Tuscany

August 15, 2019 Jack 0

Driving through an endless savanna where mounds rather than hills rolled lazily toward infinity, a travel article I’d read in The Guardian a couple of years ago popped into my head. It was called ‘A foodie tour of Portugal’s Alentejo’ and claimed that Portugal’s largest region was being touted as the new Tuscany. […]

Europe

Being James Bond in Siena, Tuscany

August 11, 2019 Andy 0

Tables, chairs and parasols line narrow streets and fill small piazzas, their occupants enjoying fat-crusted pizzas whose slices reluctantly pull apart in a cat’s cradle of melted cheese, and plates of pasta topped with rich sauce and drizzled in aromatic olive oil. […]

Europe

What is the couvert in Portugal?

July 29, 2019 Jack 0

The first time we encountered a couvert was in Porto when it a waiter brought a tray of small dishes to our table. We weren’t sure if they were a complimentary amuse-bouche or we’d have to pay. […]