How to drink Greece’s on-trend tsipouro

Tsipouro

Tsipouro is the tipple du jour in Greece with boutique brands helping take the traditional firewater to a new level of sophistication. It’s a clear, potent Greek liquor of distilled grape skins, after the wine has been made. At least 43% proof and packing a massive fiery flavour punch. Tsipouro used to be more often drunk in […]

New Greek food at Athens’ oldest restaurant

Mille feuille

WHAT: Vassilenas claims to be Athens’ oldest restaurant opening its doors in 1920 and introducing a degustation menu as early as 1928. Serving traditional Greek food, seafood and no meat, it comprised only three tables in 1920, owned by Istanbul-born Thanasis Vassilenas. It quickly morphed into an established taverna. Among the rich and famous to […]

15 tips for cheap flights 2015

Qantas Airways

The Australian dollar’s steep decline makes us much more budget conscious about travel. We’re likely to be more thoughtful about if and where we go and how we’ll get there in 2015. We want our bucks to matter more. My 15 tips for cheap flights 2015 What’s it to be? A no-frills airline or bells and […]

Hot chocolate in Athens at Le Petite Fleur

Le Petit Fleur

A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine Wintery weather in Athens demands hot chocolate on a Sunday. But not any old hot chocolate will do. We’re at the elegant Le Petite Fleur in the upper crust suburb of Kifissia. The tiny interior is pink, white and pastel girly chic, with splashes of pillar […]

Field of flowers, sea of tears

Sydney Siege

It’s the fragrance of mourning blooms that brings me to tears. Inhaling the delicate, pure floral perfume of thousands of bouquets is something I’ll never forget, long after the horror of the Sydney siege fades. Many bunches of flowers have notes and cards attached – an outpouring of love, sympathy and sorrow for the dead, […]

Wild about cooking mushrooms in Barcelona

Mushroom season in Spain

Each autumn and winter these beautifully varied fungi are available in abundance in Barcelona. I see them in shops and at the fresh produce markets – Mercat de l’Abaceria Central, at Travessera de Gràcia 186, and La Boqueria Market downtown at La Rambla. Foraging for wild mushrooms is an age-old tradition in Catalonia. Once you taste them, you’ll […]

Devour Barcelona

Pickled peppers, Gracia, Barcelona

If you want to get to know the real Barcelona, then you must come to Gràcia and eat. I’m staying two minutes from this lovely square (pictured above) in the area, where sunlight is dappled on a cold morning. Terracotta, russet and greens dominate the late autumn palette. People linger at cafes over coffee and […]

My iPhone’s solo globe-trotting adventure

Mai tai

Departing Greece bound for Australia, I left my iPhone in a friend’s car when I was dropped off at the airport. I went into a clammy iPhoneless panic. As you do when you and your mobile are inseparable travelling companions (pictured above enjoying freddo cappuccino together on Mykonos) and suddenly realise you’ve lost each other. […]

The Art of Traditional Italian

The Art of Traditional Italian

The Art of Traditional Italian Rich with culinary wisdom Deliciously designed Packed with perfect recipes WHAT:  In The Art of Traditional Italian, Lucio Galletto celebrates La Cucina Italiana: the flavours, history and techniques of Italian cuisine, perfected over centuries. I like deconstructed updated cuisines as much as anybody, but when tradition is already perfect, why mess […]