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Afternoon tea in London: Harvey Nichols 5th Floor

Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Restaurant 109-125 Knightsbridge, Belgravia, London SW1X 7RJ     The menu for afternoon tea at Harvey Nicks features a woman’s perfectly manicured hand: “Pinkies up” it entreats. Tea here though is less a prim and proper affair and more about being in the midst of the fun and buzzy environment of a temple of fashion and commerce. Sitting amid the unadorned wooden...

Best bars in London: Swans Bar, Maison Assouline

I love, perhaps a little too much, discovering great places to drink. My latest discovery came to light via my friend Mark. After months of trying, we finally got together for a sneaky afternoon drink — girding ourselves for our separate, taxing evenings to come. He suggested Swans Bar, right smack on Piccadilly. I’d never heard of it and was intrigued — I walk down this street several times a...

Cool, insider places to shop in Reims

This city of 200,000 – the capital of the Champagne Ardenne region – is a great place to visit. It has beautiful, harmonious but varied 18th century architecture, a cathedral that rivals Paris’s Notre Dame, and easy access to the Champagne houses of the region. On my recent weekend in Reims I also learned there are some great little shops where you find special souvenirs too (particularly the kind you eat and...

Best bars in London: Gillray’s Bar at the Marriott County Hall

  “It’s performance art meets bottle,” says one patron sitting at Gillray’s Bar, at the London Marriott County Hall on London’s South Bank. Forget the image of the run-of-the-mill hotel bar, with bland staff dispensing pallid lager and overpriced vodka tonics. At Gillray’s Bar, drinks are served with inspiring flavours, elan and a little bit of theatre. New ideas spill from...

Dining at the new Le George, Four Seasons Paris

For years I’ve wanted to visit the Four Seasons George V in Paris. It’s long been one of the swishest hotels in fashionable Paris and a glamorous place to stay since it opened in 1928. In 1999 the Four Seasons group took it over and built a reputation on excellence, hosting the Madonnas and Mick Jaggers of the world, with Michelin-starred dining and world-renown floral arrangements by creative director Jeff...

Tips for eating at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas

In our ongoing quest for delicious barbecue and out-of-the-ordinary experiences, we drove to the small town of Lexington, Texas, to eat barbecue for breakfast. It had to be done, so we did it. Also because my stepson made us. It ended up being a fantastic morning (read my post about it here). Here are some tips for fellow barbecue enthusiasts who fancy a hot smoked adventure in Lexington at Snow’s BBQ....

Best Texas barbecue: Eating at Snow’s, Lexington

God bless the little children, or at least the strong-willed teens. It was because of our 16-year-old’s determination that we have another “special” barbecue experience (something to contend with our half day stakeout attempting to eat at Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin) that the day after we travelled 13 hours from Taos, New Mexico, to Austin, we rose at 7am to drive an hour to eat barbecue. For breakfast....

Texas: The best ice pops in Fort Worth

When we visited Fort Worth last August we went to some great places to eat. One of the most whimsical was Steel City Pops, which makes gourmet popsicles. Gourmet popsicles, right?  Sounds a little precious — until you look at the list of flavours: Blackberry, Cranberry Orange, Hibiscus, Mango, Peanut Butter, Blueberry Cream, Avocado, Vanilla Bean, Pistachio…. I wanted to eat every one of them. Steel...

Summer in London: Wahaca on the Southbank

  There are those moments when I’m reminded how much I love living in cities and how much I love living in London. Tonight was a glorious summer evening on the Southbank, the Summer of Love festival is going on, people were drinking and relaxing on the terrace and I met Selena from Oh, the Places We Will Go at the Wahaca Southbank Experience. Wahaca really is one of the best places to get — we...

Cotswolds: Delicious food at the Upton Smokery

  One of the delights of the English countryside is farm shops. Countless times we’ve followed modest signs pointing to discover gustatorial Aladdin’s caves, full of luscious cheeses, tempting meats, fruits so beguiling they’re a little bit obscene. Often I’ll also pick up some bowls or interesting kitchen knickknack as a gift. When we visited the Uptom Smokery (@Uptonsmokery), I wanted...

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