Kids, London life and the world beyond
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Hampshire: Exploring Hillier Gardens with kids

  There are few things more glorious than an English garden in fine weather. Before I moved to the UK I had no real understanding of how passionate the English are about gardening. They feel about gardening the way so many other people feel about food or sex or myriad other things-not-gardening. I would recommend any visitor to England makes an effort to visit one of the fabulous gardens, and now on my ...

Wales: Mountain biking in Afan Valley

The first inkling I had that mountain biking was unlike toodling around Battersea Park on my Pashley was from the lovely Louise, owner of the Afan Lodge mountaining biking base and organiser of our bicycles. In a call before our visit, she initially had mused that perhaps our mountain biking coach could take us to the top of the mountain so we could have a nice ride down. In our second call, she had reconsidered....

Should holidays be educational?

With news lately of parents being fined for taking children out of school during term time to go on holiday, and MPs debating high season holiday prices, it naturally follows to ask the question: Are holidays educational? And should they be? At base, the important thing is to spend time as a family — something difficult to do as we all get increasingly busy. But in my experience holidays — which involve exploring,...

Jewelry that tells your travel story

I’ve always liked the idea of charm bracelets — a piece of jewelry that tells a story. You add to it over time, each element significant in its own way. I begged my mother to buy me one when I was young, imagining the small icons that would rattle on my wrist. These days, a bracelet with little dangling Eiffel Towers or four-leaf clovers is no longer my style. But when I met up with Becki Backpacker at...

Milestone Hotel: Family luxury in Kensington

I’ve added a giveaway of some of The Milestone Hotel’s luxurious Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet travel toiletries (bath essence, body lotion, soap, shower gel, shampoo) and Fine Milk Chocolate. Read the post and leave a comment. It’s soooo easy. Go on, then. a Rafflecopter giveaway I’ve heard of dream hotels, but this is ridiculous. After visiting the sumptuous Milestone Hotel in...

The best museum in Istanbul

With all the drinking, eating and people-watching to do while travelling, sometimes — sometimes – I find the museum-going with travel to be a bit…obligatory. Some museums are life-changing for me, like the Reina Sofia in Madrid. Others are full of important and beautiful works that leave me feeling like I really *should* read more art history. If only I could pause journeying this forkful of local...

11 British gifts to give Americans

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the 8 British gifts to get Americans (that I would never give to a Brit). Whoa! People went crazy for this post. It was the Strictly Come Dancing, the hit record of posts. Styles and tastes move on, so this year I’ve updated my (modestly) blockbuster post. These days so many gifts are the same no matter where you are. Living in London, that means I’m exposed to...

Visiting Dealey Plaza & standing on the grassy knoll

Dallas’s role in the national tragedy of JFK’s shooting was something we learned a lot about while I was growing up in Texas. The city had a reputation of being a cold, money-oriented metropolis, miles away from the hippie vibe of Austin or the international oil reputation of Houston. We spent an entire section in my university American history course on Dallas, the city’s collective guilt about...

The top 10 worst people to fly with

We’re all familiar with the obvious people we want to avoid when we fly — the seat kicker, the crying baby. But there are the more subtle perpetrators who can make your time in the cabin that bit more pressurized. Here are my top 10. What are yours? The Elbow Nudger – For this flyer, the olecranon, radius and ulna are the foot soldiers in the quest to annex the armrest and claim it all. Instead of partaking...

Is Franklin Barbecue really the best in the world?

This weekend Meatopia is making its first appearance outside of the States. This flesh-eating food celebration in Tobacco Dock, Wapping features big-time chefs and hallowed meat-cooking halls such as Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue, St Johns, Shake Shack and more, all devoted to delicious meats. One of the featured guests is Aaron Franklin over from Austin. But I have to tell you, something seemed amiss to me when I read...

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