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Mercado de San Miguel

One big happy Mercado

“Crisis? In Mercado de San Miguel, the crisis is far, far away”. I smiled. I knew exactly what she meant. I stood there, at the seafood tapas bar with my new friends, two Madrileñas. We clutched glasses of vino in our hands and we’d emptied two plates of spicy mussels. I looked around and she […]

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The wines of Nova Scotia

“Wines of Nova Scotia?!?!… There’s a wine industry in Nova Scotia?” Those were my exact words when I was told about Nova Scotia’s numerous wineries. I was very surprised. However, as I explored the province, there were many factors that made the idea of a wine industry in Nova Scotia, in Canada‘s far eastern corner, […]

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A passion for NOSH

For as long as she can remember, Judith Sakata has had just one dream: to one day be the proud owner of a restaurant. She went to night school to learn pastry-making when her kids were asleep, and worked at a bakery and later at a restaurant when the kids were at school. She earned […]

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Culinary Journey: Samhoud Places in Amsterdam

What: Fine-dining at & Samhoud Places Where: Oosterdokskade 5, Amsterdam Notes: I still don’t quite get the name but Amsterdam’s latest fine-dining establishment, just a stone’s throw away from the Central Station and the Mövenpick Hotel, is already making waves in the city’s gastronomic scene. Headed by Chef Moshik, it’s clear that Samhoud Places has […]

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Traditional high tea (image courtesy of Adam Burt)

The High Teas of London

Tea is the quintessential British meal, so much so that other languages don’t even have a word for it. And there can be few better places to enjoy a proper high tea than London, although you could perhaps make a case for Yorkshire or Cornwall. It can be as much a part of the experience […]

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A marriage of Strambotic art and gastronomy

Art on a plate that tastes as good as it looks. For those of us who appreciate fine dining, the presentation of the dish is just as important as its taste and the aromas emanating from it. A recent dining experience opened my eyes to yet a different dimension: art on a plate that not […]

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How to eat a fresh lobster

I never really knew how to eat fresh lobster even though I love the taste of it. My way was to hammer it to pieces and dig out the meat with my fingers and whatever instrument I could find on the table – certainly not a pretty sight. All that changed when I visited the […]

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Cook, taste Catalonia

Barcelona is one of those amazing cities that can easily whisk you off your feet, enthrall you and before you know it, you’re on your way home, breathless and consumed by a whirlwind of impressions and vague memories. There’s so much to see and do in the city that you’ll soon find yourself zooming from […]

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Velvet moments: travel photo – fine-dining in Kuala Lumpur

The Velvet Moments travel photo series is a collection of photographic moments that define a Velvet Escape travel experience. Launched in January 2010, the series houses many of my favourite photos taken around the world. I decided to take this series a step further by inviting some of my favourite travel bloggers to contribute a […]

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Velvet moments: travel photo – wine station in Abruzzo

I came across this Italian version of a petrol/gas station at the Illuminati winery in Controguerra, northern Abruzzo. It basically is a wine station, where locals and visitors bring their empty wine barrels and fill them up with cheaply-priced quality red, white or rosé wine – the wines, called ‘vino sfuso’, are priced by the […]

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