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  • Amsterdam

    Canal Canal

    This was our first time in Amsterdam. We had booked into an Air BnB and although the streets may be flat, the plentiful internal staircases are not! This is because houses used to be taxed on width, not height. The door opened to our abode straight on to, what seemed to us, two neck breaking sets of stairs which were spiral as well. We immediately enlisted the help of our young greeter and his friend to get our luggage up to the apartment. I'd recommend looking for a ground floor place to anyone heading that way with heavy bags. Continue reading

  • London's Calling

    Rolling Stones Rolling Stones

    The Queen turned 90, Obama visited to tell the Brits to stay in the EU and play with Prince George - and we flew in to check out the state of play in the food industry. A busy few days for London!


    Continue reading

  • Off We Go...

    Some how the art of packing quickly and lightly seems to have passed me by...

    I must endeavor to embrace, rather than distantly admire, the habits of people who use dedicated pouches for each type of clothing, who create five any-climate outfits from three carefully chosen items of clothing and have it all pristinely packed a week prior to take-off. Continue reading

  • Jerez - Home to Sherry Vinegar

    CapireteJerez de la Frontera: home to our traditional sherry vinegar maker. Capirete is also the maker of our very appreciated Romulo. They are a company of just 6, all family, headed by the oldest proud brother Pedro Paez Lobato, who 'rear' rather than produce their liquid gold. The first evening we headed down to one of the quite attractive squares as the pleasant guy on the front desk at our hotel had drawn a large circle around that area. It was Sunday, well before the normal local eating time of around 10pm, so not a lot seemed open. Continue reading

  • Have Mother, will travel

    GaudiWell, as I begin what one of my young professional friends described as my 'new nomadic life' I take my law degree and business degree in hand and ... go to Barcelona to study Spanish of course!

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  • Travelling Again

    sashimi]I don't know if any of you find actually getting away the most stressful part of the trip, but I do!

    Life has been almost too busy with births, deaths, and also farewells to some staff moving overseas and then welcoming new people, plus house purchasing. Our lovely Spaniard, May, from our showroom, now has little Pablo, who rolled over by himself the other day! Hattie who started as a student 7 years ago has moved to London with her fiancé Nick, and we certainly have had enough funeral practice in the last few months with the deaths of Johnnie from our showroom, Phil's father, and then Bettina just before I left, who 7 years ago started in our showroom, but most recently did in-store tastings for our retailers. Our very best wishes go to her and Johnnie's families. Continue reading

  • Be Aware: Travel Warnings

    planeAt this point we will just unload a few salient points about airports and airlines thus far during this trip...



    If you are going out of Rome, then allow at least an hour for security as the two occasions we passed through, we waited in a long, long queue as only one xray machine was ever open, despite 3 being available. The staff also took their time, and did not bother to send the blue trays down the lines with any regularity, as obviously it was not a job assigned to any of them! Pity anyone in a hurry - and some were. Continue reading

  • Sunday in Barcelona

    figuresWe arrived at 8am on a crisp Sunday morning. No queues, taxis galore and virtually no traffic made us think the trip to the hotel would be extra simple, as we did not know about the marathon.

    'The roads are closed around your hotel, so I will drop you nearby and give you directions,' said the taxi driver. Great. Just what we needed after 30 hours getting there. Continue reading

  • The trip: getting there

    airportToo suddenly, it seems, the time to leave for Europe has arrived. The breathless pace of the year so far (is it really almost Easter already!?!) has barely allowed pause for thought, but ready or not - it's time to pack those suitcases, jump on the plane and disappear for nigh on two months.

    Passports - yes, tickets - yes. Daughter in charge of house and cat (claws freshly trimmed to stop the cat ripping up the carpet and furniture while we're not there to pander to his every tabby need) Continue reading

  • When in Rome

    romeSurprisingly Rome, though a beautiful city with a history lesson at every step, has been slow to expose its culinary gems. Many seasoned travellers agree that it is a challenge to find somewhere good to eat here and the place is chockablock full of restaurants so there is no lack of material to experiment with.

    This trip we finally made progress! Continue reading

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