Travel Tuesday: The Cocktail Edition

They say that smell is the strongest sense for recalling memories, but for me, a flavour can send me back to a time or place and bring memories flooding back. When I taste macadamias, I feel like I’m back in Australia in the summertime. A sip of Amarula transports me to the wilderness of South Africa and a bite of garlicky saucisson takes me to warm days driving through the French countryside.

Cocktails-1

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A day on a South African self drive safari

As I sip red wine under the enormous mounted head of a buffalo, I glance at the shattered window in the corner of our lodge’s lounge room. The spidery cracks that spread across the glass serve as a reminder that we are in a truly wild place. Franz, who has been caretaker of Masinda Lodge for 30 years, tells us the story of a guest who left the front door open as they went for a morning drive. The baboon that they discovered when they returned panicked and tried to escape, shattering this and another window in the roomy lodge.

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I’m Dreaming of a Ski Holiday

When I first moved to London one of the things I was most looking forward to was playing in the snow all winter. Locals would laugh at me when I talked about my love of snow, but I just thought it was because they were bored by it, or hated the inconvenience. I’m pretty sure there are a number of other antipodeans out there who thought the same thing as I did, and who were equally disappointed when the cold only produced freezing rain, with no sign of the white, fluffy powder we were dreaming about.

Dreaming of a Ski Holiday
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Cape Town’s Big Five

Cape Town's Big Five

A holiday to South Africa is usually all about safari. It’s an experience that most people want to have at least once in their life, and for good reason. There’s something both thrilling and calming about waking up early for dawn drives followed by a heavy dose of relaxation until sunset, when you venture out once more in the hope that you’ll spot the Big Five. Lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo and leopards all feature on this list, and a safari without seeing at least a few of these magnificent creatures is a disappointing safari indeed.
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In Cape Town: Climbing Table Mountain & Lion’s Head

If you have any plans to visit Cape Town, make sure you pack your workout gear. Climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town

Table Mountain is the icon of Cape Town. It looms above the South African city as if to protect it, and from everywhere in and around the city you’ll find it peeking out from behind a building here or majestically rising above the skyline there; ever present, ever spectacular. From the top of the mountain the views across the city and over the ocean to Robben Island and beyond are breathtaking. Hundreds of thousands of visitors take the cable car to the top each year, and although it’s definitely an experience to add to your bucket list, the most rewarding way to get to the top of Table Mountain is to climb.

When I was in Cape Town recently I finally mustered the courage, after taking the cable car on countless occasions, to embark on the daunting climb up Platteklip Gorge…and then went on to hike up neighbouring Lion’s Head a couple of days later. I filmed both climbs, which you can see here – and below I’ve written in more detail how you can climb Table Mountain and Lion’s Head on your visit to Cape Town.

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Travel Tuesday: Bonfire Night Edition

Hello November! The cold weather hasn’t quite hit us here in London yet (which, trust me, I am not complaining about) but the wintery festivities are almost upon us – the Oxford Street lights get switched on this week, which signals the unofficial start of the Christmas season and this week also marks Guy Fawkes Night, sometimes called Bonfire Night. It’s a chance to drink mulled wine, watch fireworks and hang out with friends.

What to wear on Bonfire Night

Even though it’s warm for this time of year, the nights are still chilly so it’s best to be a little snug. Gloves, a hat and a woolly jumper are just what you’ll need…for Bonfire Night and pretty much the rest of the season!

Travel Tuesday Fireworks Night
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Discover the Hidden Gems of Venice

Venice. It’s a city for lovers. The perfect place to stroll around with far too much time on your hands. So what do you do when you only have a day and you’re exploring the city solo? The answer is: discover the hidden gems of Venice!

I filmed a video while I was there which you can watch below, and then read on to learn more about each of these discoveries (as well as a couple of extras)!


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