Category: Europe

Ghent

Ghent: Alterpieces, Dragons and Veggie Burgers

Ghent Around a thousand years ago Ghent was the second largest city in Europe, second only to Paris. Its wealth built on textiles. It thrived for centuries until it rebelled against Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, over taxes, despite being born in the city he...

Bruges

Bruges in the Rain

Bruges in the Rain, Belgium. Board the Eurostar at St Pancras, London and in less than four hours you can be wandering the picture-perfect streets of Bruges. It’s a simple platform change at Brussels: a smooth, roomy Belgian train will transport you for the last hour across the...

The Poppies at the Tower of London

The Poppies at the Tower of London Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for every British military fatality in World War I. When you first see the sea of red blooms you are overwhelmed by the vivid beauty, the extraordinary sight....

Kew Gardens in Autumn

Kew Gardens in Autumn

Kew Gardens in Autumn The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are a blissful, verdant escape from hectic London. The majestic trees and stunning Victorian hot houses are a heavenly experience as the year turns to vibrant Autumn. The gardens are a celebration of plant life and...

Cheat Almond Pastries

These simple pastries are shamelessly inspired by Jésuite Amandes, a triangular puff pastry filled with frangipane, that’s shaped like a Jesuit three-cornered hat. I devoured a number of them on a recent brief trip to France for a friend’s wedding. These Cheat Almond Pastries are not Jésuite Amandes. I’ve...

24 hours in Vilnius, Lithuania

After a lovely couple of days exploring Warsaw we had a fiendishly early start to make our way to the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. It also saw the unravelling of my plan to get all the way from the UK to Ho Chi Minh City...

Baking {out of my comfort zone} at Malham Show

Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to experience new, exciting things. I received a tweet a fortnight ago asking if I would like to do a baking demonstration at one of the agricultural shows up in North Yorkshire. I was staying...

Lincoln, Just Wow!

Lincoln is an attractive Cathedral city in the eastern midlands of England. We found ourselves over there at the weekend on our drive back up north. Always wanting to visit new places, this turned out to be a perfect destination. Mr VB had been here...

Batsford Arboretum; Trees, Bees and Grandeur

Batsford Arboretum is hidden up a lane off the ancient {yet still a main road} roman Fosse Way near Moreton in Marsh. This pretty Cotswold market town is not far from Stratford upon Avon and Oxford making it an easy day trip. Tuesdays are the...

Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, Heavenly Wales

So I’ll pick up from where I left off in the last post, from Tywyn we headed south, towards Aberystwyth. We crossed the Dyfi Estuary and spent the day at Ynys Hir  an RSPB nature reserve. Fans of the BBC’s Springwatch programme will know it....