"Don't go near the taxi drivers!" screamed the guidebook, "they're rude and aggressive". Not so, our non-Uber Uber driver, who thought that a popular Barbara Streisand ballad on maximum decibels, would set the scene for our girls weekend away. What strikes you first when heading along the Promenade des Anglais into the Old Town of … Continue reading A beautiful beach, birds and tolling bells
The weight of history is upon Jon Tyler’s broad shoulders as one of the last producers of watercress in the Chilterns. Located in the beautiful Chess Valley that links Chesham in the Chilterns with Rickmansworth just inside the M25, E. Tyler & Son’s Crestyl Watercress farm is something of a novelty; in a high tech … Continue reading Tools of the Trade
We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.
Meet the vintner who reaches deep into the South African soil and history, who like a good wine, has blended ancient rocks, sunlight, the smell and memories the soil holds, Cape honey bees, Cornish tin miners and black magic. All of which have cast a spell over me! The hot summer night air was conducive … Continue reading The Vintner with Rocks in his Pockets
Forget M&S orchids, manicured to within an inch of their pampered lives and head instead to the nearest Chilterns summer meadow. The footpath glistens underfoot as it cuts through the drooping wild grasses, my wet boots and trouser legs a magnet for seed dispersal. The daisy petals are splayed under the relentless June rain, which … Continue reading Simple Orchids. Simply Beautiful
On a recent visit to Belgium, I was both challenged and surprised with what I experienced; a restored heritage village whose retail offer was just a bread vending machine, enjoyed gourmet food, drank Leffe abbey beer, visited a castle haunted by a KKK look-alike ghost, had breakfast with pensioners visiting the many scenes from the famous … Continue reading The great Brexit debate
Forget the Taj Mahal, Tutankhamen's Tomb or even Tower Bridge: all grand in their own right, statements of wealth, status, conquest and achievement of the privileged elite and their contribution to society. Head instead to a place that is the ultimate leveller, a place where death insists the great and good spend eternity lying cheek by jowl with the infamous, … Continue reading When a man is tired of London, he should head to Highgate Cemetery
Part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, Avebury is the more intriguing spectacle; a mishmash of the quaint, medieval, neolithic monuments, ditches, hedgehogs and druids. Thousands of years of chalk dust, stirred up by the tread of leather along the Ridgeway and around the ancient stones and mysterious monuments that dot the Wiltshire … Continue reading Who knew Hedgehogs could dominate the landscape?
Like Nuffield Place, Wormsley Estate is also typical of the Chilterns: slightly bonkers, intriguing and tucked away in a beautiful place you have probably only cycled past along the boundary-hugging Bridleway. The home of cricket and opera, not two pastimes I would associate with the same venue, but hey, that’s the Chilterns for you. I should … Continue reading Wormsley Estate, home to cricket and opera
This blog post is an unashamed excuse to celebrate one of the finest wilderness areas in the world. The Cederberg runs through my veins and I welcome any opportunity to celebrate it. Located a few hours drive north of Cape Town, it’s the place to go to really get away from it all. It's the … Continue reading Mills of the Cederberg