Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What I ate in London

I'm a huge fan of the Grub Street Diet posts from New York Magazine. Each Friday at 2pm, I log on to see who's been featured, and what they've spent the week eating. Usually, it gives me extreme New York based food envy - whether it's sandwich cookies from Jenny Slate, two Thanksgivings with Jessica Seinfeld or Chrissy Teigen's Starbuck's cup of red wine.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hotel Review: Posada del Organista in Santallana del Mer, Spain

There's something to be said for staying in a tiny, family style B&B. There's all the quirks that you'd expect if you were, say, staying with an eccentric aunt somewhere in the countryside. There's the one stair that creaks, the rooster crowing at dawn, and the food that you would give your arm to have made for you every day. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014 Blog Awards 2014

Well, how about that? Travel Pennies has been shortlisted for the Best Travel Blog in the Image Blog Awards 2014, and I'm thrilled! I'm in good company too, there are some fabulous blogs in the travel section. 

If you like reading the blog (or owe me a favour) do go and give me a wee vote. You just need to click on the link below, click for me under the travel category, and you're done. You don't have to vote in all of the categories if you don't want to. 

Thanks a mil!

The Fuente Dé cable car and climbing Picos de Europa in Cantabria

There's something so exciting about mountain air in the morning. I think it's because it feels like you're about to do something - you're hiking, or you're cycling, or you're skiing. It feels like the start of a day when you're going to accomplish something.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Making cheese in Switzerland

Can I admit something? I'm not super into cheese. I mean, I like it when it's melted, and oozing out of a grilled sandwich or a fondue pot. But when I'm just faced with a cheese platter? Eh, I'm left cold. And I will never, ever understand getting cheese as dessert. NEVER.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Memory Dish: Baked Garlic Camembert, inspired by France

There's no lunch I love more than a proper French affair. Crusty, warm baguettes picked out from the bakery that morning. Slabs of cheese on a wooden board, free for everyone to rip chunks from. Salami, jamon, chorizo and saussicon, all waiting to be torn up and smooshed together with a bit of mustard, sea salted butter and as much bread as you can manage. 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

My dream summer: the perfect French villa

There's been a lot in the press recently about Magaluf, hasn't there? The strip where mistakes are made by young folk chugging back luminous drinks in micro-shorts. The other night, I caught a few minutes of one of those "Let's Watch Teens go MENTAL in Kavos" type programmes, and it got me thinking to the holiday I took when I was 18. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A French country market in Monpazier, Dordogne

Nothing beats a stroll around a French market. Everywhere you look there are stalls and tables heaped with fresh, local produce, which is frequently passed over to you on little bits of bread for you to have a nibble. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Afternoon tea at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin


There are some meals which are more about the ritual than anything else. The kind that take hours to work your way through, as plate after plate of delicate little treats are brought out to you. Afternoon tea is one of those experiences. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Santillana del Mar, the Spanish town which time forgot

The town of Santillana del Mar is, to be quite blunt, a bit of a liar. It's neither a saint, nor flat (illana) nor by the sea. What it is, is really quite stunning. A protected little village where only local cars can drive the cobbled streets, dotted with cider and chocolate shops. It's small, apparently rammed with tourists in the morning or high season, and popular with American visitors, who feel as though they're in a film set.


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