Author Archive for Michael Edwards

10 reasons to visit Switzerland's Poschiavo

10 reasons to visit Switzerland’s Poschiavo

With a beautiful valley, serene lake and small-town charm Poschiavo is some package. The North – South valley, a finger of Switzerland, is surrounded by Italian mountains. Italian language, a love of pasta and risotto make Poschiavo seem a part of Italy but the people are proud of their Swiss efficiency. When the trains, running from Italy’s […]

London's secret village: Seven Dials

London’s secret village: Seven Dials

Creating an elite village in the heart of London was Sir Thomas Neale’s ambition when King William lll gave him a generous plot of land, near Covent Garden, back in 1690. Only recently has Seven Dials justified this 17th century Property Developer’s confidence. Now it is a quirky mix of 95 premises: including independent cafes, eateries […]

8 reasons why you should visit Cordoba

8 reasons why you should visit Cordoba

One thousand years ago, Cordoba was Medieval Europe’s powerhouse, its cultural leader. And the tolerant Islamic caliphate was surprisingly modern: architects recycled Roman ruins for the Mezquita, liberal thinking Caliphs had both men and women in their harems. Whilst Western European peasants worried that their wattle-and-daub might not see out the winter the Cordoba folk were […]

7 reasons to visit Geneva's free art party

7 reasons to visit Geneva’s free art party

It is one of the world’s great free arts events: a rare chance for artist and audience to meet face to face. Geneva’s Quartier des Bains, once mundanely named as its public baths were the most noteworthy feature, is now Switzerland’s stylish response to New York’s arty SoHo. Three times a year in March, May […]

8 reasons to visit Augrabies Fall National Park in South Africa

8 reasons to visit Augrabies Fall National Park in South Africa

Don’t worry about lions, hippos, rhino and scorpions. This is one National Park where you can clamber down from the bakkie and explore independently, giving you’re the opportunity to bike and hike amongst the 54,000 hectares of this diverse National Park that borders Namibia. Augrabies is 800 km from both Capetown and Johannesburg. More conveniently […]

Meerkats aren’t such nice guys... and 12 other Kalahari facts

Meerkats aren’t such nice guys… and 12 other Kalahari facts

First of all, the Kalahari isn’t all sand-dunes-and-camels desert. Much of the world’s biggest nature reserve, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, that takes in huge chunks of South Africa and Botswana, is arid scrub, officially semi-desert. It’s a vast red-sand expanse of Lion King sunrises, bigger than Wales. Meerkats love burrowing in this huge dry terrain […]

London: Capital of the World?

London: Capital of the World?

Ask the well-travelled, over a late-night drink, for their nomination for the world’s favourite city and you’ll be surprised how many back London. After another drink, some even start promoting dynamic London as The Capital of the World. It’s easy to put together an ABC claim for London: Adele, Boris bikes, Carnaby Street boutiques, Dickensian […]

9 reasons to visit Valletta, European Capital of Culture, in 2018

9 reasons to visit Valletta, European Capital of Culture, in 2018

Malta’s tiny capital, Europe’s smallest, takes you back to the 1570s. Built on a rocky peninsula – as the ultimate bastion-and-fire-power defence against a Turkish empire rampaging through the Mediterranean – Valletta was the first planned city in Europe. European Capital of Culture 2018, with hundreds of cultural events planned, is the best of times […]

Austrian mountains’ Summer paradise: cut price luxury and adrenaline adventures

Austrian mountains’ Summer paradise: cut price luxury and adrenaline adventures

Ultimate luxury at bargain prices. Temperatures breaking 30 Centigrade. Dare-devil thrills for adrenaline junkies. Hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails. So, why do the herds head for the Med in summer? No queues at the ski-lifts, no jostling crowds at the bar, no battling for restaurant tables with a view. Civilised airports, lower […]

Where did Lady Gaga go in India?

Where did Lady Gaga go in India?

Almost as soon as she had landed in India’s capital, Lady Gaga made for Dilli Haat. When Hillary Clinton visited Delhi, she too visited this open-air market. For Dilli Haat is India’s showroom, a magnet for artists and traders from as far north as Himalaya to the far south of Goa: India united. It is a intensely […]

St Malo: rock around the rocks

St Malo: rock around the rocks

St Malo is France in an oyster-shell. A Francophile’s dream – art galleries, beaches, café society, casino, crepes, haute couture, macaroons, patisserie, shellfish and wine.  Stylish Bretons treat it as a Parisian cat-walk in front of a dramatic Gothic backdrop. French gastronomy with an invigorating sea breeze.  St Malo is the very essence of France. […]

The world's greatest theme park - Xcaret?

The world’s greatest theme park – Xcaret?

Imagine a rip-roaring Indiana Jones’ day-out. Swimming along a subterranean river, walking rope bridges high in a steamy jungle of touchwood trees, swimming with sharks and perilously hanging onto a rope across the ocean. Slammin’ down Tequila shots if you choose. If you’ve taken the chaotic horn-blaring road south from Cancun for 35 miles, you will have […]

10 reasons why Oman is more luxurious than Dubai

10 reasons why Oman is more luxurious than Dubai

Oman is more Arabia than Armani, more Lawrence of Arabia than Levi jeans, more Sultanate than Starbucks: a dreamy destination increasingly on discerning travellers’ wish-lists. South of brash and glitzy Dubai, Oman is the quiet good-living neighbour. Sultan Qaboos, the Mr Nice Guy of the world’s absolute rulers, who deposed his father in a coup […]

Extreme Christmas shopping: 7 luxurious shops in Carouge, Geneva

Extreme Christmas shopping: 7 luxurious shops in Carouge, Geneva

An original Superman cartoon? A hand-crafted dress? A Swiss clock with a 35,000 Swiss Francs price tag? Bespoke millinery? Pink pepper chocolates? How original will your gifts be this Christmas? And how deep are you pockets when it comes to stocking-fillers for your nearest and dearest? Strike off mundane items on your Christmas shopping list […]

10 reasons why Occitanie may be the new Provence

10 reasons why Occitanie may be the new Provence

Looking out from Toulouse the map looks invitingly blank. For Occitanie is the “other South of France”, intensely French, a sun-warmed countryside where livestock outnumber people. Occitanie? It’s the administrative replacement for Languedoc-Rousillion and Midi-Pyrenees bureaucratically butchered at midnight on 31st January 2015. As Provence’s country sister, Occitanie does decadence in its own bucolic way – enjoying […]