Palmacathedral

Weekend in Palma, Mallorca: article for the Times

I am often asked where I would live if I could live anywhere.

If we’re talking outside the UK (because, honestly, the answer is London!) then it has to be Palma.

Mallorca’s capital city is a stunner. And on my most recent visit I got to see her from a new angle – from the top of her world renowned Gothic cathedral.

I also gazed out over her rooftops from my rooftop infinity pool at the Hotel Nakar, a wonderful hotel, and got to know her a little better on a tapas crawl through Sa Gerreria.

You can read more about what I got up to on my weekend in Palma in my article in the Times.

CabreraMallorca

Balearic bliss: article on Cabrera for the Times

I have long loved Mallorca, but it was only recently that I discovered a new reason to love the largest Balearic island – it is also the jumping off point for Cabrera, the smallest of the (inhabited) Balearics.

I visited for a few days in April and found deserted walking tracks, secluded beaches and calm, clear waters home to plenty of fish and even the odd octopus. Sure, the accommodation here is basic (actually it’s so basic you need to bring your own bedding) but I found that that was part of the fun – and that it meant I had the island more or less to myself once the day boats left.

Check out my article for the Times on Cabrera here.

panoramic-view

50 best holidays in Spain: lead feature for the Times

The first country I ever visited was Spain, on a school trip in the 1990s. Little did I know then that this was the beginning of a love affair, with the country as well as with telling people about my very favourite secret spots there.

I travel to Spain multiple times each year and always find something new. I am still discovering new quiet corners and new stories to tell, so I was delighted to be asked to compile my top 50 holidays to Spain for 2017 for the Times.

Find out what made the cut here, and feel free to get in touch with any of your favourites – I’m always on the lookout for new angles on my favourite European country.

Madeira

Modern Madeira: article for Sunday Times Travel magazine

Madeira has a terrible reputation. Cruise ships, coach parties and, well, plenty of visitors of a certain age.

But there is so much more to this tropical island marooned in the Atlantic. There’s excellent walking for a start, along levadas (precipitous aqueducts) and up volcanoes, not to mention delicious fresh seafood, a burgeoning arts scene and some of the tallest cliffs in Europe.

Check out my guide to the island for Sunday Times Travel magazine to find out why you should head to Madeira this year.

Akaroa New Zealand

French Connection: Akaroa article for Journey magazine

New Zealand is a gorgeous country. It’s a country of marching glaciers, soaring white peaks and plunging green valleys. But it’s also a country of quieter scenic pleasures, such as Akaroa.

This small coastal town on the south island is like a little piece of France on the other side of the world. Here you can sit over breakfast baguettes or a bowl of snails in the cafes and walk along rues to distinctly French looking cottages. But you can also explore a distant volcano, a watery inlet home to dozens of dolphins – and one very weird “giant’s” house.

Check out my article in Journey magazine to find out more.

 

 

lanzarotefincamalvasia2

Too Hot to Handle: Canaries feature for Conde Nast Traveller

I’ve been banging on for years about how unfairly maligned the Canary Islands are, and so I was delighted to be asked to write about my favourite spots for Conde Nast Traveller’s December issue.

Conde Nast Traveller have shot some truly gorgeous photography for this feature, which does plenty of the hard work for me. But do read my feature – and let me convince you of the appeal of macronesia with a hip rooftop cocktail bar in Las Palmas, a whitewashed cantina serving ridiculously good local tapas in Lanzarote’s ancient interior and a literally star-studded festival on Tenerife.

Melbournestreetart

Sydney v Melbourne: article for Rough Guides

Few questions elicit quite the response Down Under as this one – which is better, Sydney or Melbourne?

No Sydneysider would even entertain the idea that Melbourne might have anything at all to offer besides the latest hipster joke, while Melburnians tend to think they’re, well, just a cut above the Sydney scene.

But visitors needn’t get embroiled in which city is best – both make for great city breaks, with fantastic restaurants, beaches nearby, culture aplenty and a variety of day trips on the doorstep.

I weighed in on the great debate recently for Rough Guides. So, which do you think I picked?

Travel writer, editor and broadcaster