Sunday, October 20, 2013

Amalfi and Ravello: Two beautiful towns on the Amalfi coast || One week in the Amalfi Coast, Italy

I know there's been an avalanche of posts on my recent trip to Italy and when I look back, I can’t believe we saw so much in six days. It’s pretty incredible to say the least. But that was the purpose of our trip. My friend and I knew this was never going to be a trip where we were going to lie on a beach and chil. It was our first visit to this part of Italy and once we had a taste of how beautiful each little town and island was, we had to see as much of it as we could.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Candlestick Maker Supperclub by Ian Ballantyne in Dalston, Hackney

I’ve been keen to attend one of Ian Ballantyne’s a.k.a. ‘The Candlestick Maker’ supper clubs ever since I tried his gorgeously assembled Salmangudi, a salad made of vegetables, fruits, nuts and flowers at a Melba event. I finally got a chance this weekend to go to a dinner he was hosting at the Mouse & De Lotz CafĂ© in Dalston called ‘Celebrate Hackney’ and it was such an enjoyable experience despite the initial trek along Shacklewell Lane in the classic wet and windy London weather.

‘Celebrate Hackney’ is all about using the locally sourced products in and around Hackney. Ian partners up with a number of local producers and creates a dinner that showcases their products and his style of cooking. It’s a lovely experience to be able to support the small artisan businesses based in Hackney and even get a chance to meet the people behind all those great produce like Hugo from the Black Hand Food Group who specializes in curing and making his own pork products.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A visit to the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum || One week in the Amalfi Coast

In terms of cultural history, there's a huge amount to see at Pompeii and Herculaneum, the ancient Roman sites frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

A visit to each individual site cost 11 euros for admission but you can buy a ticket for 20 euros that gives you access to 5 different archaeological sites across 3 days that include Herculaeum and Pompeii. You can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples or Sorrento to the Ercolano station for Herculaneum or the Pompeii Scavi station for Pomepei.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Brick Lane & Shoreditch Street Art Tour by Alternative London

Artist: DALeast

Guided tours can be rather hit or miss at times. It's a bit stifling to be herded around in a big group but then on the other hand, if you get a great tour guide then you suddenly get an incredible opportunity to learn about things that you wouldn't ordinarily ever educate yourself on.

And that's what happened last weekend: I went on a Street Art Tour of Brick Lane and Shoreditch - an area I'm not terribly familiar with and I came back with an immense of interest and respect for street artists. What boggles my mind is how these artists share their work for free for everyone to view, knowing there is no longevity or permanence to their work - for it could be wiped out or drawn over the next day. Yet the fact that some of these stay and become famous icons and landmarks that have lasted on buildings and walls for years shows the strength of this art form and the support and appreciation from the community in the area.