velvet | Cuisine
vreeland-bridge-photo

A culinary getaway from Amsterdam

Vreeland (map) is a small village about a 20-minute drive southeast of Amsterdam. Situated on both banks of the Vecht River (a branch of the Rhine River), the village is picture-perfect, quintessential Dutch, with a scattering of grand manors and rows of quaint houses with their typical Dutch gables. The Vecht River is, in my […]

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mausoleum-graz-photo

Ten things to do in Graz

If you’re asked to think of places in Austria for a holiday or city break, chances are (like me) you’ll think of Vienna, Salzburg or the Tirolean Alps. Well, please allow me to introduce you to GRAZ! Located in south Austria near the border with Slovenia (map), Graz is Austria’s second-largest city, and until recently, […]

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bologna-street-photo

What you must do in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna is a region in Italy located between Florence and Milan. Emilia Romagna is a diverse region boasting beautiful sandy beaches on its Adriatic coast, historic cities like Bologna, Ravenna and Modena, and expansive plains lined by low mountains. Add to that a delectable array of food and wines, a state-of-the-art automotive industry (think […]

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stellenbosch-wine-scenery-photo

Ten things to do in Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch (map) is an historic town in South Africa, situated about a 45-minute drive from Cape Town. Most tourists visit this vibrant university town as part of a day-trip from Cape Town but I highly recommend spending a few days there to truly appreciate the sights and attractions in and around the town. The town […]

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euro-food-trip-photo

The ultimate Euro food trip!

Costa Brava (Catalonia, Spain) and Emilia Romagna (Italy) are two of my favourite regions in Europe as they offer all the elements of a perfect Velvet Escape – think romantic medieval towns, gorgeous hotels, colourful markets, beautiful nature, history, art, beaches and last but certainly not least, some of the most divine food and wines […]

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wolfgang-maitz-vineyard-scenery-photo

Discovering the South Styrian Wine Road

South Styria. To be honest, I’d never heard of this region before until my recent trip to Austria. Situated about a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna and less than an hour from Graz, South Styria is a gorgeous region with green rolling hills, mile after mile of vineyards, picturesque villages, wine taverns and lovely, family-owned […]

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puente-san-martin-bridge-toledo-photo

Five reasons to visit Castilla-La Mancha

Mention ‘Toledo, Spain’ to anyone you know and you might get a response. Mention ‘Castilla-La Mancha‘ and chances are, you’ll receive a blank look and a shrug of the shoulders. At least, that was my response when I first saw the name. Hehe! I’d been to Toledo before; an unforgettable road trip from Barcelona to […]

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church-grins-mountains-photo

A schnaps adventure in Tirol

I have to admit… I’ve never been a big fan of schnaps. This clear brandy distilled from fermented fruits has a high alcohol content and the varieties I tasted in the past were simply mind-blowing, throat-burning strong with little flavour. That perception was radically altered after an extraordinary schnaps tour in Tirol, Austria! A fun-filled […]

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moscato-di-scanzo-photo

The Moscato di Scanzo meditation wine

I swirled the wine in the glass and marvelled at its silky texture and rich ruby-red colour. Despite its dark appearance, I noticed a wondrous clarity in the liquid. I lifted the glass to my nose and in an instant, my nose was filled with aromas of plums and cherries, and a whiff of rosehip […]

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malpaga-castle-photo

Cook, eat and dress up! A fun tour of Malpaga Castle

We stood in front of the imposing Malpaga Castle, a 14th century castle located a short drive from the city of Bergamo in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. Surrounded by a broad moat and characterised by impressive towers, the Malpaga Castle differs from its peers in the sense that it wasn’t built on a […]

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