Tag Archives: Travel

Austria: Mayr and More Health Centre

mayr and more

When I returned from my recent stay in the Mayr & More Health Centre my brain sifted through various ways to describe the place. The best I could come up with was that it’s a clinical crossroads, where they offer a cure (detox), and where evidence based medicine intersects with alternative methods with a heavy leaning, on the scale of that tower in Pisa, towards different and holistic ways of healing.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Travel

To Kilkenny City via Jerpoint Abbey

jerpoint kilkenny

What with a soft blue sky filled with sportive fluffy white clouds which were backlit by sunshine and some real warmth in the air, last Saturday felt like the end of the current glacial age had finally arrived. The meteorological deities had, for once, come up trumps as last Saturday was also the day I planned to make a return trip to Kilkenny. It’s less than two months since I was last there so I wouldn’t normally have returned so soon except that I needed to collect a ceramic tree I bought, on my recent trip, at the Future Beauty exhibition in the National Craft Gallery.

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Filed under Ireland, Travel

Trip to Kilkenny

Kilkenny castle

I am back. Back blogging that is. I am also back from Kilkenny a lovely and vibrant inland city in the south-east of Ireland. And no, I was not sequestered in Kilkenny for the duration of my blogging break, just for a few days last weekend.

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Filed under Craft, Ireland, Travel

Coffee in Milan: Peck

coffee at peck milan

It is a few years since I was last in Milan and then only for a short stay so I only remembered, and just in a gossamer-fine way, some of the city’s most famous set pieces: The Duomo, La Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle. As I was unsure of how to negotiate the city’s labyrinth of streets and as I was heading into Milan for just a day from my base on the shores of scenic Lake Como I thought that it was best to decide in advance exactly where I was going so I could make the optimum use of my time and to avoid ambulating around the city like an aimlessly spinning top.

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Filed under Coffee, Food/Wine, Restaurants/Cafés, Travel

Postcard from Lake Como

lake como

I arrived at Milan’s Linate airport yesterday morning and at my hotel in the village of Cadenabbia on the shore of Lake Como around lunchtime. It was a painless journey; the only downside was that I had to get up at the ungodly hour of four am to get to the airport on time. It’s not the four am start per se that’s the pits but getting up to catch an early flight is always proceeded by a fitfully sundered night’s sleep as I worry that the alarm on my phone which functions perfectly well every other day of the year might fail to go off.

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Filed under Travel

Back to the Past: Islington


Like a runaway horse heading in one direction only, the unstoppable temporal train gallops forward carrying us ever onwards towards our unforetold futures. There are no return trips and as we are not time travellers we cannot go back to yesteryear. Of course, our minds can wing us back to remembered and half remembered days gone by and besides if curiosity gets the better of us it is usually possible to revisit places where we have been at an earlier time in the arc of our lives.

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Filed under London, Musings, Travel

London: Abbott and Holder

Abbot and Holder

If you are visiting London and have even a passing interest in art you might like to hop on a bus, leap onto a skateboard or jump on a magic carpet and whizz on down to picture sellers Abbott and Holder. You will find Abbott and Holder in a charming four storey period townhouse in Bloomsbury a stone’s throw away from the British Museum.

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Filed under Artists, Interiors, London, Travel

Coffee in London: Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi exterior

Ottolenghi is by now a bit of a culinary cliché. I don’t mean that in any bad way – just that it has been so talked and written about that it seems as familiar as soft falling rain. In case you haven’t heard of it, the phenomena that is Ottolenghi is a set of four food shops in central London run by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. The shops are in Islington, Belgravia, Notting Hill and Kensington; the Islington branch is also a full restaurant, the Belgravia and Notting Hill branches have small communal eating-in areas at the back of the shops and Kensington which is the smallest shop serves take-out food only.

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Filed under Coffee, Food/Wine, London, Restaurants/Cafés, Travel

Cambridge Lunch: Hôtel du Vin

hotel du vin, hotel du vin cambridge,  cambridge

The Hôtel du Vin on Cambridge’s Trumpington Street is a stone’s throw from the Fitzwilliam Museum and from the city’s many dizzingly magnificent college buildings. As you may know the Hôtel du Vin is a small boutique hotel chain with hotels in twelve other UK cities (Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Henley-on-Thames, Newcastle, Poole, Tunbridge Wells, Winchester and York)

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Filed under Food/Wine, Hotels, Restaurants/Cafés, Travel


Cambridge, River Cam, Punting

I was in Cambridge briefly earlier this week. Very briefly. It is so long since I was last there that time had misted my memories of the city. So it was nice, this visit, to be reminded of the beauty and elegance of the place. The night before I travelled when I was safely ensconced indoors listening to heavy rain hopping off my windows I half expected, so heavy was the downpour, to see a later day Noah scooting down the street gathering up a cacophonous collection of animals. Thankfully I checked the online weather forecast as otherwise I would have arrived in a sun drenched Cambridge, which was overhung by a cheering bright blue sky, muffled in a rain mac and toting a large umbrella.

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Filed under Travel