The joys of 2015: the experiences that made my year

Travel adventures abounded for me in 2015. Yes, I know how fortunate I am. It was a year full of amazing journeys, discovering new countries and revisiting old ones on three continents. Here are some of my favourite bits.

March

My Blue Train odyssey

It’s always been my dream to experience one of the world’s great train journeys. And this trip from Cape Town to Pretoria lived up to every expectation. Top quality service, amazing food, the comfiest of cabins and of course the ever-changing scenery on a journey through the majesty of South Africa. 27-hours of pure magic.

Find out more about The Blue Train by clicking here.

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The stylish Blue Train leaves the Mother City, heading north

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The Blue Train has arguably the best breakfast menu in the world…and also the best eggs Benedict

June

A spontaneous short break to Barcelona

One of my favourite cities in the world, Barcelona has everything going for it. Amazing architecture, friendly people, great shopping, a huge beach, endless bars and restaurants serving amazing food and wine. And this trip was even better as it was a last-minute booking, an escape from a chilly grey London to the energy and blueness of a fabulous Spanish city.

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Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the most stunning unfinished building in the world

And of course there’s the Boqueria, probably the best food market in the world – I know I should calm down with the superlatives. I reckon I could spend a whole holiday in here alone, with the mission of tasting something from every stall – a challenge I’d embrace whole heartedly.

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One of the tempting tapas bars in La Boqueria

July

I embarked on a cruise around Northern Europe with my brother Ray, nephew Zak and niece Maxi. And our mascot Sigmund (the toy baboon, reflecting our African roots) who we took everywhere with us. It was a real adventure, visiting new countries like Estonia and Finland and starting off in wonderful Copenhagen where we spent a few days. There were three real standout experiences in a wonderful fortnight where we made new friends and discovered new lands.

Discovering the beauty of Copenhagen

This charming Scandinavian city was a revelation. Truly fabulous restaurants – we devoured course after course at the Michelin-starred Studio. We also shopped up a storm, caught up with old friends, ambled around picturesque Nyhaven and took in all the tourist sights. And the cherry on the top was that Elton John was playing in the world-famous Tivoli Gardens – and we got tickets. What more can I say?

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One of many amazing and delicious courses we tucked into at Studio

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The very little mermaid (she’s very beautiful, too), with our travelling companion Sigmund

Marvelling at St Petersburg

I hate the phrase bucket list – maybe it’s because (if I had one) I’m sure it would go on forever and be way too intimidating to tackle. Having said that I think St Petersburg should on everyone’s…from the grandeur of the Hermitage, the sheer scale and amazing design of the city, the majestic buildings and the somewhat brutal history. Oh and the caviar. When in Russia!

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The Church on the Spilled Blood has to be the most stunning church I’ve ever visited

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Sampling caviar with Zak and Maxine, and Sigmund of course

Sailing down the Thames through Tower Bridge

The cruise ended in London, I mean right in the centre of London – we sailed down the Thames with the city’s landmarks getting closer and closer until Tower Bridge opened up to let us through. I’ve lived in London most of my life and truly love the place. When the crowds lining the river cheered us through I had tears in my eyes. We spent our final night on the river overlooking Tower Bridge, The Shard and the Tower of London. Just perfect.

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The unique view of London’s landmarks from the River Thames

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The beautiful lights of Tower Bridge at night seen from our ship

August

Loving the beachlife (and everything else) in sun-drenched Spain.

I visit La Manga in Spain every year and explore more and more of this versatile region each time. It seems there’s always something new to discover. The markets with their fabulous fresh produce and bargainous clothes, bags, shoes and jewellery, the many beaches lined with restaurants and bars serving delicious Spanish fare, the welcoming people and the sunshine and blue skies, how I love those Spanish skies.

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Early morning on the beach in Cabo de Palos, heavenly!

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A break from sun worshipping and swimming for a chilled Rose

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The purple light of a summer night in Spain

September

At the end of September I embarked on another cruise. This time starting in Rhodes in Greece and sailing around the island of Symi before heading into Turkey. Our eight-berth Turkish gulet, the Muhtesem A was a joy to live on for a week in harmony with nature with endless seas and skies of blue. There were two highlights in a week of chilled-out happiness.

Our beautiful boat in the blues of Greece

Our beautiful boat in the blues of Greece

Absorbing the delights of  dreamlike Symi Harbour

My love affair with Greece continues. On the island of Symi you inhale the wild herbs at every step and the panoramas are endless. A hike to the top of the hill at sunset finished with my first taste of Retsina, a trip to the local herb man to stock up (of course) and a feeling of joy at this picturesque town.

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Our boat berthed in Symi Harbour, picture perfect

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I couldn’t leave Symi without buying plenty of herbs from the charming Stavros

Sleeping under the Turkish stars.

Our idyllic days began with yoga and continued with absorbing the ever-changing landscapes, swimming in the crystal clear sea and eating delicious local food. They turned into starlit nights where I clambered on top of the boat, wrapped in a fluffy blanket and slept tight under the stars, waking to the sunrise, the bleating goats on shore and the early morning bread delivery by boat. A once-in-a-lifetime experience – one I hope to repeat!

You can find out more about Mediterranean Fitness Voyages by clicking here.

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Perfect pinks and blues get the day off to the best start

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The bread man turns up just after dawn with freshly baked goods

October

Living the beach life Thai-style in Koh Samui

Another of my favourite places, the islands of Thailand call me back again and again – well I am a beach baby, after all. The Land of Smiles is the ultimate place to re-energise with warm, crystal-clear waters, laid back shopping days, beautiful scenery wherever you look, the myriad of fruit shakes and cocktails and all those tasty Thai dishes…I ate seafood every day in many different styles and it’s all such great value. Thailand rocks.

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Welcome to Koh Samui with a cocktail on the beach

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My favourite Thai salad – spicy green papaya with prawns. Yum!

Well, what a year. Happy new year to you all, wishing you lots of adventures in 2016. As one of my favourite sayings goes: “Travel is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer.” How true is that?

Where is the best place you went in 2015? Where should I go next? I’d love you to inspire me with your travelling tales.

Palma in pictures

Palma is the capital of the Balearic island of Majorca (Mallorca) and sits on the south coast. Almost half of the population of this beautiful island lives in Palma which is a stylish, sophisticated, fun, friendly and happening city. The perfect place for a city break. Palma offers fabulous shopping, lovely and varied food, plenty of history and, of course, sunshine and sea.

As you drive in from the airport the stunning Gothic cathedral welcomes you, rising out of the city walls that once marked the edge of the sea. Behind it is the old Arab’s quarter with its maze of narrow, winding streets hiding all sorts of delights. The perfect place to wander and discover.

Palma's beautiful cathedral welcomes you to the city

Beautiful Palma cathedral welcomes you into the city

The tree-lined promenades of La Rambla and Passeig Born were built in the nineteenth century on the dried up river bed. Born is home to shops aplenty, like Zara, Massimo Dutti and H&M and the streets radiating out from it offer a shopping experience full of choices. There’s even a C&A, filled with British tourists wrapped in nostalgia.

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The tree-lined promenade of Passeig Born

Once you’re in Born, the Old Town is on your doorstep. This truly magical network of streets is meant for lazy days roaming, exploring, shopping, eating and drinking. Born is a great starting point, as no matter which way you turn off it, food shops abound, there are plenty of potential coffee stops and tapas bars to test out. And loads of shops selling pretty much anything you could want. Around every corner there’s a photo opportunity, here are some of the sights I captured.

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One of many confectionary shops, baked goods are plentiful and delectable

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A beautifully colourful bar and restaurant

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Even the signage in Palma is pretty

These wine-shaped blackboards are at the entrance of a fabulous bar/restaurant called Wineing (Apuntadores, 24). The walls are lined with bottles of wine attached to dispensers, there are 48 wines you can taste by the glass. A really clever system where you buy a card and get about tasting to your heart’s content. They also do a lovely selection of tapas.

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Time for some serious wineing

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Once you’re a bit more off the beaten track you can mingle with locals and enjoy local prices (marvellous). This was the spot where we had the best coffee we had all trip.

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When in Palma, eat with the locals

Restaurants have boards outside announcing their Menu del Dia (menu of the day). A wonderfully inexpensive way to indulge in some traditional, seasonal food.

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The joy of the great-value Menu del Dia

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A fridge full of cheeses to sample

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A cosy bar that’s a tiny hole in the wall…you can see the kitchen upstairs

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Another Menu del Dia, pretty in pink

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Or how about a plate of tapas in the Old Town?

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One of many inviting bars to while away the time

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A break for croquetta y ensalada russa

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Another colourful restaurant with character

And don’t forget the fabulous Olivar Market overflowing with an abundance of Spanish produce – see earlier post.

Glorious fruit and vegetables as far as the eye can see

Glorious fruit and vegetables as far as the eye can see

I totally fell in love with Palma, it’s my kind of town!  I’d go as far to say I could live there happily. But if that doesn’t happen, it’s less than two hours flight from London for a wonderful escape into some of the best that Spain has to offer.

Again, thanks to our lovely friends Dave and Sue who showed us the town. Local knowledge rules!

 

Intoxicated by Taormina

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

How’s that for a profound statement? I love travelling! Visting new places, meeting new people, tasting new flavours. It increases my hunger to know more, see more and go more places. I’m fortunate enough travel a fair bit (not nearly enough, obviously) and I’m sure there are a lot of people who think I’m constantly on holiday! I’ll forgive them, because even if I’m travelling for something work-related, it’s a fun thing to be doing. I’ve been to some wonderful places, and it’s only fair that I share the experiences with you. Some destinations to consider when you’re planning your next trip, maybe?

First up, a spectacular Sicilian town that really captured my heart.

The beauty of Taormina

Do you believe in love at first sight? Does it take your breath away and capture your heart in an instant? That’s what happened to me in Taormina. And no, not with a person. I fell in love at first sight with an amazingly beautiful medieval town.

Sitting on the hill of Monte Tauro on the Italian island of Sicily, Taormina is 250 metres above the azure sea with sweeping views over two stunning bays and majestic Mount Etna in the distance.

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The intensity of the colours is dazzling, a real feast for the eyes

It was founded in 392BC and through history a long list of peoples came, saw, conquered and left, including the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish. Why they departed is a mystery to me!

During the Second World War Ernest Hemingway convalesced here and was inspired to write his first short story. No surprise there; as inspirational places go, there can be few more spectacular. Nowadays the invaders are travellers like me, marvelling at this fairy-tale town.

The main thoroughfare, the Corso Umberto, is lined with beautiful medieval buildings which now house fabulous shops, bars and restaurants. You’ll also find grand piazzas, perfect for a coffee break and if churches are your thing, don’t miss the Fortress Duomo (and its dramatic fountain) and the picturesque Church of St Josephs.

There's always time to stop for a coffee and some people watching

There’s always time to stop for a coffee and some people watching

Flowers spill out of window boxes, bougainvillea tumbles over balconies and staircases are festooned with blossoms in bright, tropical colours. Breathe in the perfumed air and take in the history, the views and the wonderful welcome.

We were hustled (in a friendly way) out of an art shop by the owner who insisted that before we did any shopping (even in his shop!) we had to visit the Teatro Greco – the most important monument in the town, he said. This magnificent amphitheatre was built in the 3rd century BC. Set on top of the cliff, its scale is mind-blowing as, again, are the views. During the summer they still hold concerts and theatre performances. Now that must be a spectacle to behold.

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Yes this is a real place…the Greek theatre, azure sea and magnificent Mount Etna

The town gardens are also worth a visit, perfect for a romantic amble down a shady avenue and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets. And from high up in the centre of Taormina, a cable car can take you down to some of the most famous beaches in Italy in just two minutes.

If all that’s not enough, Taormina is pure food heaven. Ingredients native to Sicily include lemons, olives, capers, pine nuts, anchovies, aubergines, artichokes, sardines, octopus and other seafood. The restaurants offer a stunning array of local dishes like Vitello alla Marsala and other veal dishes, seafood, salads, pastas…and the sweets! I’m not calling them desserts as it seems you eat them pretty much whenever the fancy takes.

If you’ve seen The Godfather (partly set in Sicily, though not in Taormina), you’ll know what cannoli is – delightful little (or huge in some cases) tubes filled with ricotta and sugar. And then there’s the ice cream and granita! Legend has it that in ancient Greek or Roman days, runners brought snow down from Mount Etna to Taormina to be flavoured with nuts, berries or honey as a treat for aristocrats. Who knows the true story – all I know is you’ll never taste better ice cream anywhere – and thankfully now anyone can have some.

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The deliciousness that is Cannoli

After a day in Taormina you totally run out of adjectives (or repeat yourself a lot). There’s nothing for it but to accept you’ve discovered a wonderland, so surrender to your senses (and the superlatives) and savour every second.

Where’s your favourite place to travel to? Where do you still dream of going? What are your plans for the year? Do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Chocolate delight from Beech’s

Easter may be over for another year but does that mean you must step away from the chocolate? Surely not? Well, here’s your perfect excuse to tuck back into it. Something new and chocolatey with a difference.

Beech’s have been making traditional chocolate in Britain since 1920 . New to their range for 2014 are these tasty bars. Dark chocolate lime and chilli; Dark chocolate ginger and Milk chocolate Anglesey sea salt. As I recently had guests for dinner I shared the treat of tasting them.

The clear favourite of the night was the Milk with Anglesey sea salt, beautifully creamy with a subtle salty after taste that didn’t offend even the most salt-averse of people, my husband.

The lime and chilli had an amazing limey aroma as soon as I opened the packaging, and the chilli flavour came through at the end. Certainly a different type of chocolate experience.

Again the ginger aromas were fab, though the flavours were very subtle, maybe too much so for my ginger-loving taste.

If you like dark chocolate (which I do think is something of an acquired taste), these bars should certainly become part of your repertoire. If not, stock up on the milk…you can’t go wrong.

Find out more at www.beechsfinechocolates.com

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Here are some fascinating Easter facts to mull over while you savour your chocolate.

Easter Day falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon in March but it’s some sort of theoretical moon that doesn’t quite match the one we can see. How confusing is that?

Anyway, all you need to know is that Easter Sunday may fall on any date between March 22 and April 25, making this year’s Easter almost as late as it can be.

According to www.bakewithstork.com the UK ate 38 million hot cross buns this Easter, which means the average person ate 0.6 of a bun. I felt very ashamed on reading this as am personally responsible for polishing off at least 4 (that I’m admitting to)…I LOVE hot cross buns.

We give eggs at Easter because they symbolise joy and celebration and life returning in spring.

Ten per cent of the annual spending on chocolate in the UK takes place over Easter. Is it me or does that seem low?

In the US where jelly beans are clearly an Easter favourite, it is estimated that 16 billion of them are eaten at Easter.

76% of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first, well, seems a logical place to start.

Happy chocolate eating, whatever the season!

Reunion lunch at Avontuur and thoughts afterwards

I know it makes me sound ancient, but when I grew up there were:

No mobile phones

No internet

Therefore no email

And actually, when I think about it, no credit cards!

All that adds up to: No get-out clauses…you’re on your own and make the most of it!

So when I headed off to university, aged 17, I embarked on (in retrospect) a great adventure. From the farm in Zim, where I grew up, it was a couple of hours to Harare and the airport, then two flights and another long drive at the other side to Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

It was 1980, in the depths of apartheid and I had been accepted to study journalism. My father’s last words to me at the airport were: “If you end up on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela, I’m not coming to fetch you.” In other words, behave yourself!

Then I ended up in  a totally unfamiliar environment, with very little opportunity to get in touch with my familiar environment.  I think  I spent hours every day writing letters to my family and friends (all positive) though I was scared most of the time. Sounds pathetic, but that’s the way it was.

My three years at university were educational, mind expanding and….well, mild.  I was the one who photocopied their notes to give to the cool people who partied all night and therefore couldn’t make the lectures. I think I had maybe 20 alcoholic drinks in three years. People who know me now don’t believe it.

Anyway, I did also make some really good friends in that time. But because of all the above reasons and others, I totally lost touch with most of them, especially as, since then,  Zimbabweans of my generation tended to  scatter across the globe, often far from family and friends.

Then came facebook. I was a little sceptical at first about revealing aspects of my life but hey, it is all in your control (pretty much), what you post and who you allow to read it, so I took the leap, a while ago now. And it’s been so much fun finding people spread far and wide and reconnecting. Of course, not everyone’s on facebook, like my friend Adi who I went to university with.

As luck would have it, her cousin is married to someone else we went to university with. Nikki  is a friend of mine on facebook, met up with Adi at Christmas and sent me her phone number. Fortuitously Adi lives near Stellenbosch, which is close to Cape Town, so we arranged our reunion over lunch at Avontuur.

Avontuur describes itself as the “home of fine wine and fast horses”. As well as a winery, it’s a stud farm, nestling on the southwestern slops of the Helderberg mountains. A beautifully peaceful setting.

The menu focuses on local, seasonal food and has a real feel of summer about it at this time of year (obviously I guess!). My Oratorio platter was a cornucopia of delights with smoked salmon trout, marinated onion rings, prawns, horseradish, coleslaw, potato salad and oven roast vegetables. It looked and tasted beautiful and was just the perfect dish for a sunny lunch on the terrace.

My beautifully bright and tasty platter

My beautifully bright and tasty platter

Adi went for one of their quiches of the day, tasty chicken, served with an array of salad.

Homemade quiche of the day

Homemade quiche of the day

My lovely mother, who also lives in the area, made up our threesome for lunch. She tucked into this beautiful fillet of beef served with brown mushrooms, rosemary and Madagascan green peppercorn butter. Predictable choice, Mom (sorry, she nearly always orders steaks in restaurants)!

Luscious, saucy steak

Luscious, saucy steak

Here’s the view as you drive up to the gate.

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It was so lovely to see Adi again, we didn’t stop talking and laughing. And Avontuur was the perfect place – lovely, friendy but unobtrusive service, tasty food made with the best of ingredients and a chilled, beautifully scenic setting.

Within 10 minutes of getting there my Mom said: “It’s obvious you two are good friends.”. And we hadn’t seen each other for over 30 years.

Thank you facebook (and Nikki) for getting us back in touch. And for bringing back all those memories

Avontuur is just off the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch (close to Somerset West).

My top-10 dishes from this year’s travels

2013’s been a great year for travel adventures. I went on my first-ever cruise around the Mediterranean, visiting Italy, Sicily, Greece and Turkey; spent three weeks in Spain at La Manga and jetted off to Thailand for an autumn break. And of course there’s also  my winter sojourn in Cape Town.

So that’s a lot of different cuisines to explore. Choosing 10 dishes wasn’t easy, I’ve eaten so much good food this year. Possibly my most over-used words of the year are “the best ever”, got to be a sign of a good year!

Here are 10 delectable dishes for you to delight in.

Feasting in the Fairest Cape

The restaurants in Cape Town are truly wonderful and plentiful. I’ve chosen dishes from four of my favourites – one of which, sadly, closed at the end of November.

First up is Bistro Sixteen82 which is set in the Steenberg Wine Estate at the foothills of the Steenberg Mountains. It’s named after the year Steenberg was established and is a lovely modern space with beautiful views and a genius chef. I’ve been to Sixteen82 many, many times and plan to go many more. The biggest challenge for me always used to be not to order the beef tataki every time – it’s just the perfect lunchtime dish. Amazingly tender meat, light and rare with a fabulous dressing. And it looks so beautiful, too. Sadly, it’s no longer on their menu which will force me to be a bit more adventurous with future choices. Gotta look at the positive side.

The most wonderful beef tataki

The most wonderful beef tataki at Bistro 1682 in Steenberg

Some of the best food in Cape Town, and at remarkable value is at La Mouette in Sea Point. Another genius chef who produces a wonderful seasonal tasting menu that changes regularly. Pick a warm, wind-free night and sit in their lovely courtyard next to the fountain – the situation and the food are just heavenly. I had this fantastically tasty and pretty main course of Franschhoek trout fillet with lightly smoked potato salad, pea puree and mint. I limited myself to my top-10 dishes in this post, but feel the La Mouette signature dish has to get a mention  – their truffle croquettes are sublime and always elicit gasps of delight.

Fresh trout fillet in a beautiful foam of green

Fresh trout fillet in a beautiful foam of green

Bistrot Biserca is also another favourite. Recently relocated to Heritage Square in the centre of Cape Town, it’s run by a husband and wife team and the menu has a strong French influence. There are just six dishes permanently on the menu and then there’s the daily blackboard menu. Seasonal ingredients have a big influence on dishes. This was my starter: Organic tomato salad, marinated bocconcino, gazpacho sorbet and ginger dressing. Quite simply tomato heaven with heaps of tomatoes, both raw and cooked, velvety soft cheese, a tomato sorbet and wonderfully zesty dressing.

Pure tomato heaven

Pure tomato heaven

My next dish comes from the now (sadly) closed Constantia Uitsig. I spent my birthday lunch there this year on a perfect, sunny day, sitting in the garden overlooking the vineyards. My fish carpaccio starter was spectacular, with an Asian-style dressing and a little mound of sushi rice to mop up all the delicious flavours. We managed to pay one final visit before our old favourite was taken away from us and recently dined at Uitsig on the last night it was open. A bittersweet experience – the food was as stunning as ever.

Melt-in-the-mouth fish carpaccio in dappled sunglight

Melt-in-the-mouth fish carpaccio in dappled sunglight

When in Spain eat pork

I do have some Spanish genes in the mix (hence my name) and love visiting the country of my forefathers. The Murcia region produces amazing ingredients which makes eating out (and cooking) there a delight. The Spanish certainly know how to raise pigs as well as cure and cook them. From the melt-in-the-mouth jamons, to juicy tasty pork chops, you’re sure to tuck into the tastiest plate of meat you’ll find. At Maribel on the La Manga estate I enjoyed the most perfect plate of lusciously sweet and soft jamon, freshly carved in front of me. A simple dish that I don’t think can be beaten.

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Arguably the best restaurant in the Murcia region is Jose Maria Los Churrascos in the little town of El Algar. It’s been open for over 30 years and serves “classic cuisine adapted slowly to the new times with imagination” to quote from their website. The stunning simplicity of griddled, tender, local pork chops served with crispy, deliciously salty chips. Spanish potatoes are also packed with flavour – this is a dish I would order every time.

The simplicity of the perfect pork chop

The perfection of the simple pork chop

Everything’s stunning in Santorini

I’d never visited the Greek Islands before I went on this year’s cruise. I’m  now obsessed with going back as I totally fell in love with Santorini. The magical town of Fira is reached by a winding path up a cliff face that you can walk up or climb on the back of a donkey, or there’s a scary (for me with a slight touch of vertigo) cable car ride. Once on top the views are truly spectacular with blue sky and sea and brightly white buildings creating a place of such extraordinary beauty it doesn’t seem real. And as if that’s all not enough, the food is wonderful too. For our lunch on high we tucked into a range of delicacies and voted this amazing lamb dish the winner. Amazing lamb sausages served with crispy potatoes and a delicious yogurt dip. Juicy and tender with the most incredible flavour. They say food tastes better with a view…and it certainly tasted wonderful. Santorini, I’ll be back!

An amazing lamb dish on high in Santorini

An amazing lamb dish on high in Santorini

Classic Italian in Sorento

So we started our cruise in Italy and as big fans of the Caprese salad we took it upon ourselves to test out several, so we could state with authority that we’d discovered the best Caprese ever. This beautiful tower of the freshest mozzarella, juiciest tomato and aromatic basil was swerved up with a drizzle of olive oil and swirls of pesto. Tomatoes in Italy  taste like how I imagine sunshine would taste and this combination of perfect ingredients and different textures is simply irresistible.

The best Caprese ever in beautiful Sorrento

The best Caprese ever in beautiful Sorrento

Surrender to your senses in Sicily

The Sicilian gem of Taormina is perched high on a hill with sweeping views over two stunning bays and majestic Mount Etna in the distance. The medieval town takes your breath away it’s so beautiful, and with its upmarket shops, abundant coffee shops and wide range of quality restaurants it’s a real paradise.We settled in to a restaurant with the most incredible view over bouganvillias and other tropical blooms towards the sea, excited to try the Sicilian food and wine. My main course was delectable. Thin slices of veal rolled around the delicious combo of parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil and fried. This is a dish I am going to have to create. Sicily produces such a wide range of amazing ingredients it’s no wonder their food is so spectacular. Oh, and the wine’s delicious, too.

Veal rolls in Taormina were a revelation

Veal rolls in Taormina were a revelation

Asian flavours in beautiful Thailand

And finally, a dish from my visit to Krabi in Thailand. I’ve visited many parts of Thailand and found the food in Krabi to be more westernised than other places. Having said that, these fishcakes were authentic, and possibly the best I’ve ever had. They were super-light and slightly crispy with the most amazing lemongrass flavours coming through and came with two tasty dips.

Thai fishcakes packing a punch of lemongrass and ginger

Thai fishcakes packing a punch of lemongrass and ginger

So how’s that for a bit of a feasting journey around the world? You can read more about all these dishes, restaurants and destinations under the Travel section of my blog.

What’s your favourite holiday dish of the year? Do you have any that beat this? Do let me know.