Simply Tunisian

A glut-gift of turnips together with a Tunisian tip: slice them thinly, coat with harissa, and enjoy raw. My friend promises me that her old Aunt’s method is authentic and good. Turnips are not my top choice of root veg, but they have a strong track record for having sustained people through the ages. Once upon … More Simply Tunisian

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

Olhão Azulejos

Our trail through the sun-baked lanes of Olhão in the Eastern Algarve is coloured by the azulejos which cover many a wall. No two designs are the same, some are crumbling but all are still beautiful. They decorate houses, shops, corners, churches, and surround windows and grates. In the market, they tell the story of how … More Olhão Azulejos

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

Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine

Wine Tourism Spain’s brief: to explore the possible relationship between wine and extraterrestrial life. How would aliens react to wine? Would wine play a role in the way that aliens perceive Earth?  It’s tricky, a little off-piste for me (with a 500 word limit), but here you go … Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine Two aliens observe the Salamanca scene – … More Aliens Take on (Spanish) Wine

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

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