I had the pleasure of previewing some unique concoctions in preparation for Cinco De Mayo at The Peninsula. Spicy, sour and sweet, they were all deliciously strong, needless to say I know where I'll be on May 5th! Peninsula.com/NewYork
Straight from the boat to your plate, it doesn't get any better than this. Fleur Sullivan's fantastic restaurant on the water in tiny Moeraki Village on the coast of North Otago (near Dunedin) is truly a destination restaurant. Plan your trip around it!
They call it The Sea Baron, but ironically it's as cozy as you could wish for. This tiny restaurant is one of the oldest on Reykjavík's harbor, and serves the world's best lobster soup. Stay and rub elbows with fellow seafood lovers at the communal tables, seated on plastic kegs, or take it to go, and slurp the steaming rich stew, filled generously with chunks of local lobster while watching the Icelandic sunset.
Cochin also called kochi is a bustling town with lots of places to sit back and enjoy. Take a boat ride at sunset and see the scenic fishing nets that line the shore.
At the foot of the Jura mountains, with a view of the Alps across its vineyard-ringed lake, is the university-town of Neuchâtel. Its distinctive sandstone architecture led the writer Alexandre Dumas to describe this French-speaking city as ressembling 'an immense toy-city carved out of butter.'
It felt like a great place to call home during the month I spent there: ten p.m. twilights, breezes off the lake, nursing an espresso (or a glass of the local white wine) in the shade of Renaissance façades.
The University attracts students from all over during its summer language programs; my classmates came from Italy, Poland, the Canary Islands, Canada, and the German-speaking regions of Switzerland.
Hourly trains run to Neuchâtel ('Neuenburg' in German) from both Geneva and Zürich--the trip lasts about an hour and a half. Lausanne and Bern are only 40 minutes away by train. And yes, you can...
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day-trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries.
The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square miles of protected land for hiking, biking, and horseback-riding...all surrounding the magnificent Château de Fontainebleau. Although a castle has been here since the 1100's, most of the current construction dates from the Renaissance. Site of Napoléon I's abdication in 1814, this château is much less crowded than Versailles.
When I lived in Paris, this was the closest 'wilderness' available. If you want a break from the hectic urbanity of Paris, come to Fontainebleau mid-week; you'll feel as if you have a forest and château to yourself.
Cappadocia. Is amazing!! If you are going to Turkey don't miss this area!! There are many cave hotels. Ours was dreamy.
Picture of me crossing a river in the Altai Mountains in western Mongolia during a 2-week horse trek. The experience was incredible! As this is one of several journeys to Mongolia.
After a delicious dinner at Gus O'Connor's Pub in remote Doolin, Ireland we stayed to enjoy a Trad music session which held us in rapt attention. The Guinness was flowing and the craic was truly mighty; the gifted local musicians sang and played into the wee hours. Tapping feet gave way to full-on dancing, including an impromptu performance by a young employee who grabbed up a broom from behind the bar and began a rousing step routine!
The Antarctic weather was unpredictable and often inhospitable throughout our 1-week expedition cruise. Dramamine came in really handy the last day as we sailed the Gerlach Straight. I popped them like candy before cautiously eating dinner. Just a third of our 42 shipmates were at the tables; most took just one bite of their delicious Argentine steak before calling it an early night.
But just the day before, the sun was beaming, water was glassy smooth, and I comfortably shed my upper layers down to a tank top during a hike to a viewpoint over Paradise Bay. Our captain joined us and mentioned that it was the most beautiful day he’d seen in at least 10 years. It was a beauty so vast and still, that the exuberant sense of joy of that moment felt deeply imprinted within me.