Tag Archives: amsterdam

Pre-Autumn Getaway

Not done with summer travel just yet? Have a few extra days and want to get away for one last easy going trip? Here are some ideas…


Ostuni and the Valle d’Itria Puglia with its whitewashed houses and blue Adriatic coastline holds onto summer well into September. Ostuni is one of a handful of idyllic villages in the Valle d’Itria which include Locorotondo and Martina Franca. A long weekend here of quiet exploration combined with good local wine and cuisine offer a sun kissed cultural holiday.


Amsterdam That time between summer and full blown autumn with lukewarm breezy days and cooler nights are best suited for the charming streets and bright canals of Amsterdam. The city has a great way of mixing the trendy with the traditional and offers the best of European lifestyle in many of its cute cafes and diverse museums. And now with Eurostar train service between London or Brussels to Amsterdam it has become that much easier to get there.


Normandy Calvados and Camembert among other gastronomic delights can be enjoyed in many of the towns in Normandy. Picturesque villages of Honfleur and Bayeux mix charm with history still very much present in the landscape of this area. Lesser known but worth doing is La Route des Moulin or the Windmill route. Countryside mill houses are dotted around the area not far from Bayeux and make for cozy views into authentic country living. Last but not least is not to be missed Mont St. Michele which is church and village in one.



Where to go next in 2018

New Year and all the new travel possibilities…

Every year there is a buzz about new ‘in’ places to go. Unfortunately by the time they are on the radar they are already ‘discovered’ by hoards of tourists. So this year on my wish list of destinations I’ve picked places often passed over to go somewhere else more popular. Yet all these places are exciting in their own right and will definitely entice travelers in the near future for they are gorgeous destinations with loads to offer. Get there first…


BolognaMany times one goes through Bologna by train on the way to Venice or Rome, yet Bologna offers as much history, charm, and most importantly food! as its more famous neighbours. Medieval streets and historical sights in a town almost free of tourists and crushing crowds. Want to taste the real Italy, this is it, from its locals only atmosphere to some of the best food in the world. They don’t call this region of Italy the “Belly of Italy” for nothing, some of the best produce comes from this region along with a legacy of top notch producers keeping the Slow Food movement alive and well. A must see destination for foodies and historians alike.

AmsterdamIs having a moment, a very trendy moment. And wait too long to go and you will get there when it has already become the hipster destination in every Instagram post. It already has the coffee houses. But Amsterdam possesses romance and magic, canals and delightful architecture that win everyone over with its easy appeal. 

Boston – The first proper North American city, Boston is as American as it comes. From Paul Revere, the Freedom Trail, and the Boston Tea Party, the birth of a nation began here. And it is fun and easy to access in this handsome city.  Often passed over for the Big Apple, Boston while smaller, can boast of its own culinary place with choice restaurants and first class cuisine, much of it local seafood. Some great museums makes Boston a cultural city as well, and the continual variety of events means there is lots to do no matter what you fancy.

Antwerp – Yes Brugges is a gem, but Antwerp too is a jewel of its own. While Brugges has  charisma, Antwerp has elegance and sophistication. Astonishing architecture, the city shows off gilded details of its past while incorporating new and exciting design forward modernity. Definitely a destination for designers.

Milos – The allure of the beauty of Mykonos but on a smaller, less traveled, less partied island of Milos is near heaven on earth for those looking for a quieter Greek holiday. Breathtaking views, all turquoise and white, picturesque stone streets covered with cascading branches and vines is the place of dreams.

Puebla – Two hours outside of the massive Mexico City is a much smaller colonial city of Puebla. The historic center is the essence of Mexico and visions of what most people conjure up when they think of this country. Known for its majolica tiles Puebla is stunningly pretty and a region of over 365 churches, one for every day of the year, most covered in these decorated tiles. Streets are brilliantly colourful from the painted houses to the balloon sellers walking along bustling in clouds of shiny bubbles. It is Mexico like you want it to be.

Sorrento –  Most people forgo Sorrento for the more celebrated destinations such as Positano and Ravello. And you are missing out. Granted Sorrento is a bit more town than village, but it has real charm and character. Also this is where the Italians go when they want to spend time on the Amalfi Coast. So, if its good enough for them…




Destinations 2016

A new year means new places! And familiar haunts that are worthy of a fresh and renewed visit. Here’s what’s on my radar for 2016…

Venice, Italy – La Serinissima in winter specifically, is high on my list this coming year. I always love Venice, and its wonderful anytime of year, but Wintertime is when it belongs to the Venetians, has less tourists, and is filled with mood and mystery.

Provence, France – While Tuscany and rural undiscovered Italian countryside has been taking most of the travel spotlight of late, the always elegant and glamorous South of France is calling once again. Towns like Gordes, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon are breathtakingly beautiful with their yellow sunshine and purple lavender fragrance.

Copenhagen, Denmark – Scandinavia has always been uber cool, stylish and design forward. Charming Copenhagen is a bit like a fairy tale while embodying Scandinavian cutting edge design. Great for a sophisticated weekend away.

Mexico City, Mexico – Old World meets the very Ancient World in Mexico City. An exciting blend of indigenous monuments with Baroque Spanish architecture make Mexico a living museum of cultures. Besides the rich history, the city is very hip and trendy with artsy and one of a kind boutiques popping up in the Roma Norte and Condesa neighbourhoods. If all that is not enough, great restaurants, delicious food, and learning about Mezcal make it a foodie’s paradise. Don’t forget to check out the markets which hit the senses on every level.

Amsterdam, Netherlands – At first quaint and pretty, Amsterdam gives way to the vibrant and new. While always a bit of a college weekend choice, Amsterdam is now becoming the cultured choice for a quick couple of days away. Romantic canals and charming architecture makes for a tranquil walking atmosphere perfect for exploring.

Noto Valley, Sicily – Sicily is bubbling on the radar more and more every year. A mix of many cultures, tastes and histories, Sicily has elegance in its worn streets. And none more so than in the Noto valley of Southeast Sicily. Baroque palaces and decorative architectural details can be enjoyed at small yet regal towns of Noto and up the road at Ragusa and Modica. This area’s appeal as a must see travel destination is getting hotter by the minute.

Happy and safe travels in 2016!