The attacks in Beirut, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Ankara…

It’s hard not to worry a little about the state of the world given all the brutal attacks these past six months, harming civilians going about their day-to-day lives. Late last year there were the attacks in Beirut and Paris, and since then there have also been attacks in Turkey as well as Belgium, just last week.… Read More The attacks in Beirut, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Ankara…

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Petersham Nurseries Cafe and other fine dining memories

I just read that Skye Gyngell’s new restaurant opens today at Somerset House in London. Whenever I think of that beautiful building, I think back to a moment in December 2005 when I stood in front of it, watching the ice skaters whizz by on the temporary outdoor skating rink installed for the winter. Skye Gyngell, by the way,… Read More Petersham Nurseries Cafe and other fine dining memories

Festival d’Avignon et le OFF, the biggest theatre in the world (‘Le plus grand théâtre du monde’)

To be perfectly honest I remember almost nothing about my long-ago visit to Avignon, a pretty but sleepy medieval town in the south of France. I never imagined I would return, let alone to attend the city’s major performing arts festival, Festival d’Avignon, and its fringe, ‘Le OFF‘. Although the festival is now in its… Read More Festival d’Avignon et le OFF, the biggest theatre in the world (‘Le plus grand théâtre du monde’)

Searching for Amélie in Montmartre

We stepped out of Lamarck-Caulaincourt metro station, where Amélie Poulain held the arm of a blind man and vividly described the street life around them: We wandered the streets of Montmartre, where she lived: Found Café des Deux Moulins, where she worked: Came across her favourite grocery store, where she shopped: And walked up the steps of the… Read More Searching for Amélie in Montmartre