Review – Stein Eriksen Lodge ; Park City, Utah

Welcome to Park City Park City is a hidden gem – this charming little ski town in Utah has a lot to recommend it. It is known for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics as well as the largest festival in the United States – the Sundance Film Festival. It’s an incredibly wealthy town and unsurprisingly, … Continue Reading

Review – Northern Lights at Lyngen Lodge, Norway

Welcome to Sørkjosen – in search of the Northern Lights Ladies and gentlemen I bring you this post from the deepest darkest reaches of the Arctic Circle. A land of duality – a place where the midnight suns of summer burn in dazzling contrast with the permanent night of Winter – a time when the sun … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Havana Cuba

I have just devoured platefuls of plane food. Lukewarm perspiring chicken plonked in greasy matrimony with something green broiled beyond recognition. Every soggy mouthful a deliverance (context later). Serge and I are recovering from the first leg of the trip celebrating our marriage. So as I enjoyed the uniquely pungent cocktail that microwaved food and … Continue Reading

Review: The Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

By nature, I am not prone to harbouring grudges. However, this is not borne of some saintly forbearance on my part; but like any mercurial person it takes me all of 5 seconds to simmer down. Yet, for the past week there’s been a candle to my wick and it’s finally caught; so please excuse … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Baku

What is Baku Like? Baku – it doesn’t look like much beneath the wing of the plane. A sand coloured shrubless land and a low pale sky, not exactly tourist board porn, if anything it looks like a biblical landscape, old testament. It’s been 18 months and I’ve truly missed it. Sometimes initial impressions belie … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Macau: A Gambling Odyssey

I’m sitting in the Super Class of the TurboJet feeling slightly seasick as I try to figure out why the first class compartment smells like an onion bhaji and how much more lurching my rickety sea legs can withstand before my keyboard plays host to last night’s dim sum. As I’m cruising through the South … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – St Petersburg

St Petersburg – “Beauty built on bones, classical facades that cradled revolution, summers that lie in the cup of winter” (Helen Dunmore, The Siege). I read this as a 16 year old, quickly scribbled the quote in the back of my history folder promising myself that I would go. It’s been a long wait… But … Continue Reading

Review: Grand Hotel Europe St Petersburg, Russia

 Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to have stayed in a lot of spectacular hotels, from back to basics hostels in breath-taking locations to full-on shrines to luxury. But like a first love, there’s always been that one ultimate hotel before which all others hobble like knights in rusty armor. Yet affections can be uncertain things for there’s … Continue Reading

Review – Grand Hyatt Tokyo: Lost in Translation

  I love Bill Murray’s weary maladroit character in Lost in Translation and how he’s seduced by Scarlett’s subdued bosomy softness, against the minimalistic oriental backdrop of grey Tokyo skies and his melancholy loneliness. So it was Lost in Translation that bought me to Japan. And it was Lost in Translation made me stay at … Continue Reading

Hidden Gems – Hot Teeny Bikinis on Brighton Beach, New York

As far as ethnic enclaves go, New York is a mosaic of communities that represent a variegated montage of nationalities from every conceivablecorner of the globe. Mexicans in Jackson Heights, Koreans in Fresh Meadows, Hispanics in the Bronx, Italians in Nolita, Haitians in Flat Bush… I’m running out of breath here. My love for ethnic enclaves began in junior … Continue Reading