In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…

“Listen, our guns have stopped.” “Maybe the war is over. Maybe it’s peace.” “Oh hurray! The big knobs have got around the table and yanked the iron out of the fire.” This exchange from the last few minutes of the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth is what I think about while visiting Flanders Fields […]

A Tale of Two Villas

30 kilometres from Rome, you’ll find two villas. Two very different villas. In fact, the only thing they have in common is being on UNESCOs list of properties worthy of special protection for the future. The bus from Rome (from the station Ponte Mammolo on Metro line B) takes me to Tivoli in the hills […]

Chasing shadows in Czechia

I’m a paranormal investigator. For the night. Well, no, I am not. Not really. I cannot even call myself a believer. But Victoria can. I’ve just met this blonde, fresh-faced Brit – from somewhere just north of London. She tells me she has degrees in psychology and forensic psychology and has made Prague her home […]

World at a Glance: Defenestration of Prague

‘Defenestration,’ he said, the stranger who came up to me as I leaned out the castle window. Or snuck up on me, rather. Silent as a panther he was. A tuxedo-clad panther, with grey eyes. Steel. Eerily magnetic. View from Prague Castle I must have looked as confused as I felt. ‘An ominous word for […]

The Four Seasons Hotel in Baku: Graceful and luxurious

I arrive at the Four Seasons Baku on a scorching day in early July. It is so hot, entering the Beaux-Arts lobby is a relief in itself. Not only is it deliciously cool. It’s also beautiful, with marble floors, glittering chandeliers and a sweeping, grandiose staircase with wrought-iron railings. Comfortable chairs and sofas are scattered […]

The Waterhead: A Boutique Hotel in the English Lake District

Do you keep up with World Heritage? If so, you will have noticed that the English Lake District was just added to the list this month. And deservedly so, in my not-so-humble opinion. We arrive in Ambleside on a lovely April day. I simply plugged Waterhead into the GPS, and after leaving Manchester airport behind, we […]

Whimsical Giethoorn – a photo essay

Do you play Monopoly? Then, amongst the likes of Amsterdam, London and New York, you may have noticed Giethoorn. The tiny Dutch village managed to capture enough votes to win a place on the international edition of this most capitalist of board games. Idyllic little Giethoorn is known as the Venice of Northern Europe. Not […]

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