Andrew and Myuran don’t deserve to die

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

Australians may boycott travel to Indonesia if convicted drug couriers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, our Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has warned. Authorities in Indonesia are finalising plans to move them from Bali to a place of execution on a prison island off Java. We know it will be very soon. I struggle to […]

How fly in fly out messes with your life

Fly in fly out

WHO: Aussie born, Scotland based Georgina Penney has written about the hazards of the peripatetic FIFO lifestyle in her newly-published novel Fly in Fly out. It’s also about growing up to eventually become better people, if we choose. THE PLOT: After months working on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, engineer Jo Blaine can’t wait to […]

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 […]