Langoustines - keep it simple

In Spain, one of the most highly valued, and therefore most expensive, crustaceans on the menu is Cigalas. Cigala is variously translated in English as Dublin Bay Prawn (which you may have heard of), Norway Lobster (which sounds like rebranding but is actually a translation of the species name) scampi (which evokes images of breaded [...]

Spaghetti with clams

Spaghetti with clams

I love clams. Like mussels, clams are little stock making machines – the juice they produce is at least half the point. But if I had to choose, my desert island bivalve would be clams. Spaghetti with clams is a classic Italian dish. Like linguini with crab, in restaurants it’s easy to be shortchanged on the [...]

Keralan cooking

Keralan roast pork

The food of Kerala in Southern India is fascinating. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the region a couple of times and it’s a very beautiful, laid-back part of the world, with lots of tropical coastline and inland waterways. The area is cultural melting pot, having hosted Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities over the [...]

Joe’s: where to eat seafood in Las Vegas

The Flamingo and the Strip viewed from Caesar's Palace

Las Vegas Boulevard, aka The Strip, is essentially a series of mega-resorts which features 15 of the world’s 25 largest hotels. And of these, Caesar’s Palace, which opened in 1966, remains the most kitsch, camp and over the top of the lot. It’s been added to and renovated significantly over the years. Like Vegas itself, [...]

Where to eat steak in Las Vegas

The dry aged ribeye at Craftsteak

If you’re thinking about where to eat in Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind is steak. But with more than 60 steakhouses to choose from, where do you go? Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, located in the MGM Grand, came highly recommended. A quick look online seemed to back this up. In fact, the [...]

Postcard from … Girona

Girona panorama from the old city walls

Girona is a Spanish city in Catalunya, around an hour’s drive from France to the North. Despite being beseiged more than 20 times in its long history, Girona remains a bit off the radar, perhaps because it’s only 70 miles from Catalunya’s lively capital, Barcelona. But Girona is a relaxing, friendly town packed with history, [...]

Barcelona tapas tour: La Rambla to El Born via Barceloneta

setas a la plancha at kiosko universal barcelona

There are so many fabulous places to eat in Barcelona. The challenge for the greedy and time-poor visitor is to get to eat in as many of the good ones as possible. So, here’s a walking tour that takes in a diverse group of five of Barcelona’s best tapas bars which can be completed at [...]

Postcard from … Geneva

Halle de Rive market, Geneva

Geneva is a beautiful and well-run city. Where else do bus departures have a countdown clock in minutes and seconds? On the food front, though, Geneva has a reputation for frilly fine dining. It’s best summed up in a scene from the film The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), when Sabina (Lena Olin) and Franz (Derek de Lint) [...]

Eating out: Can Marquès, Girona

Interior, Can Marques, Girona

It’s great to live and eat out in London. The rich variety of cuisines available from all around the world. The range of restaurants, from the humble Turkish grill to the Michelin-starred gaff. And yet, after eating in Can Marquès, a fourth generation family run restaurant in the Catalunyan city of Girona, I wasn’t relishing [...]

Eating and drinking in L’Esquerra de L’Eixample, Barcelona

L'Eixample district in Barcelona

L’Eixample is a district of Barcelona that can be hard for the visitor to get a handle on, but it’s really worth the effort. L’Eixample means ‘the extension’ and was built as the city expanded in the late 19th Century. Its streets were designed in a grid pattern by the architect  Ildefons Cerdà. The grid pattern, [...]

Postcard from … Lyon

Cheeses at La Mere Richard, Halles de Lyon

It felt pretty good to be sitting at a table at lunchtime in the ‘Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse’ market with a couple of friends, wolfing down oysters, boiled crab with mayonnaise and crevettes grises washed down with lots of cold Muscadet. There was a nagging concern, though – had we left any room [...]

Postcard from … Venice


“Where can I eat in Venice that isn’t touristy?” The guy from Los Angeles was asking the barman at Do Mori, said to be the oldest bacaro, or wine bar, in the city. A lady from Finland sitting nearby looked very interested in his response. “Nowhere,” was the deadpan reply. Looking at the stats, it’s [...]


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