Travel writing & the art of writing about Food


“we counted fourteen separate hors d’oeuvres – artichoke hearts, tiny sardines fried in batter, perfumed tabouleh, creamed salt cod, marinated mushrooms, baby calamari, tapenade, small onions in a fresh tomato sauce, celery and chick-peas, radishes and cherry tomatoes, cold mussels. Balanced on top of the loaded tray were thick slices of pate and gherkins, saucers of olives and cold peppers. The bread had a fine crisp crust. There was white wine in the ice bucket, and a bottle of Chateauneauf-du-Pape left to breathe in the shade”

” The main course arrived – rosy slices of lamb cooked with whole cloves of garlic, young green beans and a golden potato-and-onion galette

“The cheese was from Banon, moist in its wrapping of vine leaves, then came the triple flavours and textures of the desserts – lemon sorbet, chocolate tart, and creme angalise all sharing a plate. A coffee. A glass of marc from Gigondas. A sigh of contentment.”

Peter Mayle can be irritating. Here I had just finished what most observers would call a sumptuous Sunday lunch and settled down to read his “A year in Provence” and before you know it, I am panting for more food. I must say this for the man. He can bring food alive . Continue reading


Music in the Paris Metro

(The haunting notes of a flute – World Music in the Paris Metro)

Paris is an awesome city, what with its riverside walks, its pavement artists, its cafes, the sight of matrons wheeling trolleys filled with early morning bread and all the elegantly dressed people. But to me, nothing so personifies the idea of Paris as the street musicians down in the Metro. I found out recently that the riches of music down under is no accident. Apparently the Paris metro goes through regular auditions and only those selected by a jury gets the certificate to perform – there are over 100 places on the metro network where these musicians are allowed to strut their stuff.

If you want to know a bit more of the street music scene in Paris, here is an article.