No Pizza in Tivissa

A perilously narrow road wraps its way tightly round steep mountain curves. Our car breathes with relief at every turn taken, then we brace ourselves for the next one. Higher and deeper inland we go, into the countryside behind Catalunya’s Costa Daurada. It’s a beautiful drive on this hot summer’s day. But it’s (Spanish) lunchtime … More No Pizza in Tivissa

Olhão Fish

Olhão is the Algarve’s biggest fishing port, and it has a fish market to match. Its abundant stalls provide a schooling in sea food, and its Portuguese terminology. Hard-working stall holders make art with their freshly-caught fish, and at the end of the morning they scrub the place spotlessly clean. If you dislike fish (and … More Olhão Fish

Vai e Volta, Olhão

Half-way through our meal, No. 4 realises something: “We didn’t order anything, but they brought us everything.” The perfect kind of place where the “menu” is for information only. No decisions, no scope for arguments, just platefuls of deliciously simple food squeezed onto our table. Fresh fish chosen at Olhão’s morning market, grilled in the … More Vai e Volta, Olhão

Music in Málaga

This was not my small child, but every passerby was charmed by her (and the music). She refused to leave the busker, who played beautifully and almost tenderly for his new biggest fan. Soon they both had an audience. Her parents beckoned her onwards in vain – so eventually her father returned to grab her hand, tugging it … More Music in Málaga

Bis gleich, Berlin

Crikey, today we go. Time to make a plan. Three nights in Berlin with two (too cool for school) 15 year old boys (men?) and my brother. There is much ground to cover – Berlin is a big city (population 3.5m) with a complicated, turbulent history (not just 20th century), and a 21st century reputation for creativity and innovation. David Bowie … More Bis gleich, Berlin

24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

By the time we reach the River Thames, No. 2 has taught me everything I need (or want) to know about sharks (we’ve been travelling for just 35 minutes). A chill wind whips up, so I tug my scarf tighter. My son stands at the river’s edge, moving breezily on to the subject of the seals which (apparently) splash in the murky dark depths below us. So start … More 24 hours in London – chat, clues and comedy

The Google Maps Game

Cons: it can be noisy, and causes occasional cries of outrage. Pros: it’s super simple – a global travelling adventure from the comfort of your own home (or office). Born from yet another session of me scolding my kids for being addicted to their screens, they outwitted me by devising a game of which I would approve. The Rules Two … More The Google Maps Game

No Paella in Valencia

It’s not all about paella in Valencia – arroz (rice) can be rustled up a hundred different ways. And Paella Valenciana will be adapted to suit the season and region – and kitchen. But we eat none of it, much to our surprise. Because we stop in these places instead: Bodega Casa Montaña (for the ultimate classic tapas) Ubik Café (for a bit of … More No Paella in Valencia

Café Sant Jaume

It’s a good feeling when you stumble upon a travel gem without even trying. Café Sant Jaume is our small find in the old quarter of El Carmen – only later do I read of its enviable reputation as one of Valencia’s best bars. On the café terrace in the late winter evening, people sip cocktails, cervezas and wine. We step … More Café Sant Jaume