With the leaves on the trees beginning to turn a crisp golden brown, and the cool morning chill which has been creeping up on us now day by day, I think it's safe to say that this wonderfully warm British summer is now coming to an end. Over the past few months I have been on many trips, and enjoyed some wonderful experiences, all of which have made this the perfect summer.
One of my local wine stores, Hennings Wine Merchants of Chichester often holds wine tastings on Friday evenings. Each evening is usually themed on a specific wine region or wine. A couple of weeks ago they held a Croatian wine evening, and after having been to Croatia a few times and enjoyed the local wines, I decided to book to go with some friends and experience more of what Croatia has to offer the wine world.
One of my favourite foods in a Gdansk is Pierogi. Pierogi are a small polish dumpling, which visually are a cross between Japanese gyoza and a small Cornish pasty. Pierogi can have many different fillings, and the texture and look of the Pierogi can vary massively. On my most recent trip to Gdansk I set out to find the best Pierogi in Gdansk.
The next three months are going to be an exciting time for me. I have five city breaks planned over the next three months, I will be returning to a couple of my favourite European cities which I have visited over the past couple of years. I also plan to visit a few places for the very first time. Here are my next five city breaks which I have planned, and some of the things I plan to do.
The latte and smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagel we grabbed at St Pancras somewhat compensated for the rude awakening at 05:00 on Saturday morning. Getting on the first train to Victoria, then the London Underground to St Pancras allowed us to board the 08:58 Eurostar service to Brussels. After a quick journey through the garden of England, and under the English Channel, we were soon flying through stunning French and Belgian countryside, whilst sipping champagne and enjoying a snack of saucisson. We arrived at Brussels Midi station just two hours later, a few minutes after midday.
Over the past two years I have visited Gdansk in Poland three times, and during each visit I fall in love with Poland a little more. I love the city of Gdansk and the cuisine. My three trips have inspired me to explore more of Poland, so when some friends asked me to join them on a Krakow city break I didn’t hesitate at all.
I love nothing better than taking a couple of days out to explore one of Europe's beautiful cities. Last summer I enjoyed my first city break to Portugal; I spent an amazing few days in the capital city, Lisbon. From getting lost in the picturesque district of Alfama, to sampling some local cuisine in Bairro Alto, to just relaxing with an ice cold drink at one of the cities many miradouros whilst taking in the breath-taking views. I had enjoyed Lisbon so much that after only being home a matter of days, I had already booked another trip to Portugal, but this time to the city of Porto. Porto is located on the banks of the River Douro, to the north of the country, and is most famous for being the home of Port.
For the first of my Autumn 2016 trips I decided to visit Bergen, in Norway. Bergen is located on the west coast of Norway, and is the gateway to the famous Norwegian Fjords. Bergen is also famous for its picturesque harbour, with its colourful wooden-cladded buildings lining the water front. I have always wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords so this was at the top of my to do list on my Bergen City break.
Anyone who knows me will know that my main passions in life are travelling, food and fine wine. I do have another guilty pleasure though, and that is Gin, so when I was asked by friends if I would like to go to a Gin cocktail masterclass at the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Laverstoke I jumped at the chance.
I stumbled across flights to Corfu whilst on the British Airways website looking for reward flight availability for a short summer getaway. Up until this point I didn't even know British Airways flew there, and when I looked into it I found out that it is one of their new routes that started in May. The 3 hr 15 min flight departs Heathrow Terminal 5, four times a week direct to Corfu.
We arrived at Carr Taylor Wines on a warm Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, with hardly a cloud in the sky. After checking in for our vineyard tour and wine tasting at their cellar door we were shown to a sun-kissed terrace, where a handful of other people were sat around wooden picnic tables (the kind you would find in a traditional pub garden) happily chatting while waiting for the rest of the guests so the tour could commence. The terrace area was absolutely beautiful, an old rustic farm house to the side, the cellar door in front of us, and just fields of vines as far as the eye could see.
My previous trips to Belgium have only taken me to Brussels, so when an opportunity arose for an impromptu trip to Brugge I just couldn't resist. It was a Friday morning when I was asked if I fancied tagging along on a road trip to Europe which would involve an evening stop in Brugge. Brugge has always been somewhere which I had wanted to visit, so I agreed without hesitation, and that evening I headed off for my Wonderful Evening in Brugge.
Bilbao, known as the capital of the Basque Country, is a port city located on Spain's northern coast. Surrounded by rolling green hills, Bilbao is located in a valley on the banks of the River Nervión, and is the 5th largest urbanisation in Spain. Bilbao city centre is a mix of modern skyscrapers as well as many traditional buildings in the old town. Some say Bilbao is the home of authentic Spanish cuisine, and this was something that I wanted to find out for myself on my recent Bilbao city break.
The last stop on this years trip to Spain was to spend a few days at the family home, near Marbella in Andalusia. Most people who visit Andalusia head for the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol, but I wanted to spend my time here exploring some of the less touristy places.
I try and visit at least one Christmas market each year, and this year along with a group of friends we decided to visit Luxembourg. This was my first trip to Luxembourg, so as well as enjoying the various Christmas markets, I also discovered some of this picturesque continental city. Luxembourg is completely land-locked between France, Belgium and Germany and has subtle influences from all its neighbours.