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Florence view from piazzale Michelangelo

One day in Florence

0800 Wake up and open the shutters.  The apartment we’ve rented has beautiful high ceilings and faintly bonkers full-wall prints of artworks which somehow look great.  We have tea for breakfast as we’re still trying to recover from yesterday’s food…

la scala Milan

How to choose the best seats at La Scala (Milan)

La Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world, and very popular among both visitors and well- heeled Milanese.  The main hall is an almost impossible confection of plush upholstery and chandeliers, where ladies in furs…

A food lover’s guide to Florence

Many travellers who end up in Florence are there for the art, the Duomo and the city’s heritage as the epicentre of the renaissance. However, as you wander the streets of the Tuscan capital, you begin to notice quite another kind…

Venice Canals

Our top 10 of 2017

Goodbye 2017!  It’s been a blast.  We found a burning, black-toothed passion for Venetian food.  We did a chilled out weekend in Cadaques.  We took a stroll around a silent city.  Here are our best bits from the past year….

El Jardi, Barcelona

A lazy Sunday in Barcelona

8am A beautiful blue-sky day.  Autumn in Barcelona tends to be pleasant, especially for those of us used to cooler weather.  From December through to Spring, however, things can get distinctly chilly. We enjoy a cup of tea in the…

Urban Suites, Barcelona: Urban, sweet!

It’s beginning to feel as though the ‘real’ Barcelona is being squeezed out of the city centre by the rising tide of lookalike hotels, restaurants and ‘tiendas de cositas’. One area that has – so far at least – escaped…

Bar Roberto San Sebastián

Bar Roberto, San Sebastian: Vermouth On Up!

Our friends from San Sebastián tell us that it’s getting harder to go out for a proper drink in old Donosti.  Pintxos have become fashionable, hence many bars are now focusing more on nibbles than on drinks. The good news is twofold. …

Retrome hotel Barcelona recepcion

Retrome sweet home – a vintage hotel in Barcelona

Barcelona is booming.  Recent years have seen countless new bars, restaurants and hotels opening in areas which were previously almost entirely residential.  As well as the detrimental effect this is having on residents, another, aesthetic problem is arising.  All of…

algarve islands armona 2

Portugal’s desert islands

While the western Algarve is known for its white-sand beaches, nestled below spectacular sandstone cliffs, the eastern Algarve has a few seaside secrets of its own. A string of sandy islands fringes the coast from Faro to Cacela Velha, and…

Dead Chic – a walk around Montparnasse Cemetery

If you want to really get under the skin of a place, visit the cemetery.  Only in the cemetery do rich and poor rub shoulders in quite the same way.  History is written in names, dates and sometimes photographs.  You…