Jerez and its sherry

Mr Gonzalez, with the cathedral in the background

Jerez is a city built on the riches of sherry. And ‘sherry’ is a corruption of Jerez. This delicious fortified wine was our main reason for visiting and throughout our short stay we’d taken the chance to enjoy a tipple. Back in Britain it may be regarded as the drink of grannies and Christmas but […]

Jerez: A palacio, archaeology and Flamenco

Tabanco el Pasaje

Sunday in Jerez means religion for many locals but for us it meant visits to the Count of the Andes’ palace, a flea market and a museum. But only after breakfast in Plaza Plateros, where we watched those religious types promenading past on their to one or other of the city’s many historic churches. Their […]

Jerez and its Alcazar

Plaza Rafael Rivero

Jerez and Seville are two of Andalucia’s great cities, and they have much in common. Both were born out of civilisations that were at times pagan, Islamic and Christian and those cultures are written all over the streets and the architecture, and reflected in the way locals live their lives. It’s a fascinating muddle. Jerez […]

Valletta: A city in transition

Malta's new Parliament

I look forward to returning to Valletta one day. And perhaps then it will be finished… Because our trip coincided with a huge building and restoration programme, being carried out in preparation for the city’s role as European Capital of Culture in 2018. Quite a few of its popular tourist destinations, such as St John’s […]

Exploring Singapore’s Chinatown

The busy and colourful streets of Chinatown

I’ve been to good museums and bad, but among the best have been the ones that reveal what life was like for the poorest of the poor back when the Georgian and Victorian rich were living the high life. There’s the excellent Tenement Museum in New York, for example, which offers a compelling account of how poor […]

Exploring Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore   

One of the smaller butterflies on Bukit Timah

There’s something ridiculous about going for a walk in a hilly Singapore nature reserve when the weather is so hot and humid. But we were never going to find out much about the country jumping from one air-conditioned building to another. So visiting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve stayed on our list of things to do. However, our planned trip to […]

First class to Singapore and Little India   

The view to Marina Bay from our hotel

As upgrades go, it couldn’t be better. Arriving at Heathrow for our business class flights to Singapore, we were told by the check-in assistant that we were going to be enjoying the 13-hour flight in First instead. I could hardly believe our luck! With better food, better champagne and a better bed, it was going to […]

Copenhagen’s crown jewels   

The grounds of the botanical gardens

There’s much to see and do in Copenhagen but somehow we managed to go overboard on the royal attractions. Take our last day in town. We chose to spend much of it enjoying the treasures of Rosenborg Palace, including the state’s Crown Jewels, before tearing ourselves away for something rather more egalitarian at the Botanical Gardens. With our flight leaving […]

Copenhagen: From a palace to a commune

Colourful Nyhavn

Copenhagen has much in common with London – drunks, litter, too many homeless people, and old men who don’t think twice about peeing up against a wall in front of passers-by. But it’s also a relaxed, vibrant and welcoming city. It’s easily walkable, is packed with history and has some fine modern architecture as a contrast […]