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  • Food Guide to Galicia Spain: The Essential Dishes to Discover

    Every year I find myself in the sleepy, unknown village of Rianxo, located just south of Santiago de...

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  • Notting Hill Carnival: Music, Dancing and a Celebration of Cultural Unity

    As one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the London social calendar, the Notting Hill Carniv...

    Read More
  • Things to Do & See in Recoleta Buenos Aires

    Exploring Recoleta, Buenos Aires Recoleta in Buenos Aires is one of the most fashionable, upscale ba...

    Read More
  • Delamore Lodge and its Reign Over Waiheke Island Hotels

    A Tale of Love, Privacy, Exclusivity and Luxury at Delamore Lodge I am always surprised and inspired...

    Read More
Food Guide to Galicia Spain: The Essential Dishes to Discover
Every year I find myself in the sleepy, unknown vi...

Where to Eat in Galicia Spain

Every year I find myself in the sleepy, unknown village of Rianxo, located just south of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia Spain. The landscape of Galicia is traditionally lush green, and dense fog usually hangs over the mountains that dot the horizon like donut holes. On any given morning, I tend to go for a run along the muelle. On this particular morning, the sky is gray, and there is a misty rain that seems to linger in the air before hitting the ground and my skin.

The local people call this rain orvallo — an affectionate name for this trademark moisture that leaves all Galician locals complaining during summer months. However, to me, the rain is no bother. Instead, I am reminded of the fertility of the land here and the way in which the rain helps enhance the flavour of everything that comes from this Northern Spanish region.

The fruits of the sea

It may come as no surprise that the locals of Rianxo are quite passionate about their food. Galicia Spain is well known for its cuisine and while I am no stranger to the fame of Spanish gastronomy, one cannot help but be enchanted by the less glamorous 'food of the people' as seen on the café tables and storefronts around town. But before Michelin stars and critic reviews, the inspiration for eating well has always come from terra madre.

Seafood cuisine of Galicia Spain

My mother-in-law is a woman of the sea. Mercedes, a native Galician, can always be found swimming at the beach instead of tanning (a brave act, given the famously frigid Atlantic waters). She also always has a refrigerator full of fresh fish and mariscos. In Galicia, you must indulge in the fruits of the sea. Curiously enough, as with any seaside community, crustaceans were once considered the poor man’s meal, as this type of food was essentially free. However, through the years this perspective has changed, and there is no place where the quality and demand for marine life is more prevalent than in Galicia Spain. Parcebes — a type of barnacle and a delicacy of the local area — can go for up to 100 Euros per plate. Parcebes have built up a strong reputation, famous in recent years for their high price tag and purity of flavour. The scary price is due to the dangerous way in which they are collected as they live on rocks in rough in far-reaching corners of the sea. For something lighter on the wallet, zamboriñas are a must. They are scallops unique to the region with an explosive flavour. Berberechos, small water clams, are another good option and are most enjoyed stuffed into an empanada. The seafood from Galicia is considered some of the best in the world, which is why it is essential for any traveller to be open to indulging in what the ocean has to offer.

The trademark rainy weather in Galicia Spain also helps enhance the flavour of the beef and vegetables of the region. The beef here is considered the best in Spain and many restaurants around the country make note of this on their menus as a mark of quality. Lastly, no trip to Galicia would be complete without a slice of Almond Cake (Tarta de Almendra) usually presented with a powdery shape of the cross of the Order of Santiago as décor. This delicious and sweet, lemon and nutty confection is the perfect way to end any meal — paired with a small shot of coffee liquor, of course.

Hotel A Quinta da Auga in Galicia Spain

As we move off the streets and into the world of fine dining, there are many exciting experiences to be enjoyed. In my culinary voyage, I had the pleasure of eating at one of the finest restaurants in Galicia, Filigrana. Headed by Chef Federico Lopez Arcay, the restaurant is situated within the enchanting hotel of A Quinta da Auga. Filigrana, just a short distance outside Santiago de Compostela, seems decades away from any city. The scenery outside the restaurant is lush and secretive as if you’ve stumbled upon a forgotten garden waiting to be discovered.

The land of Pulpo

Dishes served in Filigrana restaurant in Galicia Spain

We began our meal with Pulpo a la Plancha: grilled Galician octopus with sautéed potatoes and San Simón cheese. Octopus is a must while in Northen Spain, and the grilled pulpo at Filigrana was tender and succulent. Next, my new favorite dish, Zamboriñas: bay scallops in their shell with garlic and parsley oil. These did not disappoint and were the sweetest and delicate I had ever tasted. Lastly, Empanada Gallega, with local greens and white fish. The greens were slightly bitter but offered a good balance to the sweetness of the fish and flaky crust.

For the entrée, we enjoyed Galician Squid with black rice and fresh lemon. The colour of the rice is given by the ink of the squid used to prepare the dish. The taste is creamy and light. Next, Galician Monkfish with prawns and rice which were perfectly cooked and accompanied by a sweet and savoury sauce that balanced the flavours. Lastly, Beef Entrecote with laminated potato and homemade mustards that were so juicy and flavourful the meat almost tasted caramelised.

Food from Filigrana restaurant in Galicia Spain

To close the journey, we enjoyed a local favorite, Fiolla. This is a type of crepe very common in Galicia and is usually made at home. Here, we experienced Chef Federico’s version that was caramelised with creamy rice pudding filling. The caramelisation gave a pleasant crunch, and the pudding was so creamy and sweet I quickly gave up on sharing. It was an all around exquisite experience.

From the streets and local restaurants to the five-star dining experiences, it is no secret that one eats well in Galicia Spain. I highly recommend trying both sides of the spectrum, you will not be disappointed.

Notting Hill Carnival: Music, Dancing and a Celebration of Cultural Unity
As one of the most eagerly anticipated events in t...
Dancer performs at Notting Hill Festival

As one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the London social calendar, the Notting Hill Carnival has been entertaining crowds in the capital every August Bank Holiday since 1965. Yet the origins of this festival are much more complicated than many of us might think.

While today the Carnival is a colourful, noisy and fun-filled event attended by thousands of revellers, it began life with a much more serious tone. The first event took place in 1959 amid rising tensions due to negative race relations in the capital. Migrant communities were suffering from a low employment rate, inadequate housing and a general struggle to fit into London life. After increasing hostilities culminated in the Notting Hill Race Riots in the late summer of 1959, the first Notting Hill Carnival was organised by members of the Trinidadian migrant community. Political activist Claudia Jones played a significant role in this first event, which was designed as a response to the tension and a way for minority communities to express themselves and their cultural traditions.

Caribbean vibes

Performers at Notting Hill Carnival London

Photo credits: Kalexander2010

Notting Hill Carnival was popular from the very beginning and an extremely significant event for members of the West London migrant community. Its success reached new heights in 1966 when it was held outdoors for the first time. It was around this time that the hippie movement became involved in the event, too, adding another dimension with a laid-back, chilled-out vibe that naturally fused with the distinctive Caribbean identity that has remained within the heart, soul and spirit of the festival from the beginning.

The festival is so unique as it is a way for West Indian migrant communities to bring their Caribbean energy into the streets of London and pay tribute to the traditional carnivals of the early 19th century, which celebrated the abolition of slavery and the discovery of newfound freedom. To this day, some festival-goers whiten their faces with flour or wear masks to mimic the faces of their former masters. This is a tongue-in-cheek addition to a festival that plays a significant role in the promotion of cultural unity in London.

Let’s face the music… and dance!

Dancers and musicians perform at Notting Hill Carnival

Photo credits: Kalexander2010

The Notting Hill Carnival procession also had its defining movement during these years, when a steel pan band took to the streets of London to play their music — the first event of its kind in the UK and an action that unified all members of the community, bringing previously alienated minority populations into the mainstream in truly energetic style. Things continued to go from strength to strength, and by 1976 there were more than 150,000 people flocking to Notting Hill for the annual event in comparison to the 500 attendees at the inaugural carnival.

Today, Notting Hill Carnival retains a seemingly endless energy, which bubbles its way to the surface of Notting Hill in a wild celebration of colour, music and cultural diversity. The modern-day procession starts out from Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance — a park in the W10 postcode area — and makes its way through the Notting Hill neighbourhood. There is a very firm nod to the festival’s origins, with the steel pan bands out in force, adorning floats and accompanied by dancers and revellers dressed in brightly coloured costumes.

Exotic sounds

Revellers at Notting Hill Carnival

Photo credits: D B Young

Today, Carnival (as it is commonly known) is the second largest street festival in the world (after the Rio Carnival) and an event that is renowned for its cultural significance and pure, unadulterated fun. While some past events have been marred by tensions between the local community and the police, relations today have calmed significantly and Carnival is a relatively trouble-free event with many families, young children and tourists coming to join the party.

Notting Hill welcomes around one and a half million people across the two-day festivities, as well as more than seven thousand performers who bring the sounds of the Caribbean to the streets of West London with soca, dub, reggae, jazz and calypso tunes.

There’s also plentiful opportunity to enjoy the taste of the West Indies, with Carnival’s 300-plus food stalls offering such authentic foodstuffs as jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, deep-fried plantains, rice and peas. There’s also fresh mango and coconut while past events have seen around 25,000 bottles of rum consumed.

Sequins and body paint

Dancers and bands play at Notting Hill Carnival

Photo credits: Kalexander2010

It’s easy to see why the festival has such a wide and diverse appeal. Welcoming people from all walks of life who come for the delicious food, great music and brilliant dance party, where they can let their hair down while celebrating the multiculturalism and social solidarity of the UK capital. ·

The costumes also deserve a special mention, for their colours and intricate detail bring something extra special and that real ‘wow’ factor to the celebrations. The performers will be decked out in lavish outfits with more than 30 million sequins and 15,000 feather plumes for decoration, and around 30 litres of body paints used for some truly outlandish sights.

This year, Britain’s biggest street party will kick off with the Carnival Bands at 9 am on Sunday 30th August and the same time on Monday 31st. The procession will last until around 8.30 pm and involve more than 60 bands.

Party time

We’ve just got one final tip. Don’t even think about driving to Carnival, as the streets will be packed. Take the tube either to Notting Hill Gate or Latimer Road Underground stations, or take the short walk from High Street Kensington or Holland Park.

All that’s left to say now is… let the party begin!

Where to stay

La Suite West Hotel Bedroom

The best hotel from which to enjoy all the colours and sounds of Notting Hill Carnival is La Suite West. Located in Bayswater, within close proximity to Kensington and Notting Hill, the hotel features a beautiful, minimalist design with a touch of Japanese chic, while the peaceful gardens are a welcoming haven from the bustle of the Carnival.

Things to Do & See in Recoleta Buenos Aires
Recoleta in Buenos Aires is one of the most fashio...

Exploring Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Architecture in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Recoleta in Buenos Aires is one of the most fashionable, upscale barrios in the city. Famed for beautiful, French-style architecture and beautiful plazas and parks, Recoleta Buenos Aires is a peaceful and charming neighborhood within the bustling this city. You’re never far from a good cafe, a great live show, and an excellent museum in this beautiful neighborhood. Keep reading to see the best highlights and things to do for a day when exploring some different to experience in Recoleta Buenos Aires.

The Recoleta Cemetery

Cemetery in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Photo credits: Matito | Wally Gobetz

Across the street from the Village Recoleta is a giant, eerie cemetery that holds the final resting place for many prolific Argentine families and aristocrats. The cemetery in Recoleta Buenos Aires is considered an extensive cultural center and a meaningful tourist destination. The famous tomb of Eva Peron is somewhat subtle in comparison to some grandiose mausoleums in the cemetery, but you won’t miss it if you follow the map to the tomb covered with flowers. It is open every day, and tours are also offered in English so that you can delve deeper into the pasts of both the crumbling and lavish tombs.


Museums in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Just a few minutes from the cemetery you will find the Museo Nacional de Bella Artes, which houses the largest collection of public art. There are pieces from Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and rooms dedicated entirely to Argentine artists. Other museums in Recoleta Buenos Aires include Museo Roca promoting Argentine history, Museo Participativo de Ciencias for interactive science, and Museo del Holocausto where you can see the stories of survivors that rebuilt their lives in Argentina.

Plaza Francia

Markets in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Every weekend, the Plaza Francia hosts a lively fair and market called Feria de Artesanos where you can find hip artisan crafts and shops, tango dancers, live shows and food stalls. Enjoy the commotion, or relax below a massive ombú tree in the green parks. The Hippie Fair at the plaza is certainly a fun place to spend an afternoon on the weekends.

 Where to eat

Restaurants in Recoleta Buenos Aires

In a beautiful area such as Recoleta, there are many charming cafés and first-class restaurants and shops.

For a sweet snack, try the helado (ice cream) or sweet chocolates at Un’ Altra Volta. For the best restaurants, consider Tarquino restaurant, which is the perfect spot for a cozy dinner; warm wood accents surround an intimate atmosphere with excellent food. If you’re looking for a great place to have drink, try the Milion or the Gran Bar Danzón

Spending a full day in Recoleta gives you a chance to appreciate the neighbourhood rather than just seeing the big sights and moving on. However you choose to see Recoleta, whether it’s lounging away in a park or spending time in the lively tourist spots, you’re sure to understand why this beautiful and relaxing neighborhood is one of the best to visit in all of Buenos Aires.

Where to stay

Hotel in Buenos Aires

After a hard day exploring all of these wonderful sights, there is no chicer hotspot to retire to than Hub Porteño. This former mansion is as stylish and intimate as Recoleta, with a concierge service renowned for providing guests with the most authentic and personalised Argentine experiences. The hotel is also home to Tarquino restaurant and a riveting, and hugely valuable, art collection that add to the allure of the Hub.

Delamore Lodge and its Reign Over Waiheke Island Hotels
I am constantly surprised and inspired by the dive...


A Tale of Love, Privacy, Exclusivity and Luxury at Delamore Lodge

I am always surprised and inspired by the diversity, innovation and personality within the luxury hotel market today, and the story of the Delamore Lodge is up there with the best of all the Waiheke island hotels. This chic resort is located on New Zealand’s Waiheke Island — the most beautiful island that you’ve never heard of.

Founder and owner of the resort, Roselyn Barnett Storey, is a powerful businesswoman whose previous career and day-to-day life was markedly different to the one she knows today. Yet this former CEO and head of large, multi-national corporations has never forgotten her other ambitions along the way.

'My background has been corporate, in the people industry… Another passion was building and renovating. Both came together, perfectly aligning to bring about Delamore Lodge.'


Roselyn is an ambitious woman whose dreams, it seemed, were destined to come to fruition.

'I always had in mind that, once my corporate life was completed, I would create an exciting luxury property that would become a journey of discovery… something special.'

The entire world is yours alone

Indeed, the Delamore Lodge is an exceptional place to stay and one of the most exclusive of all the Waiheke island hotels. Entirely private and intimate, with just four guest suites and one two-bedroom apartment, it takes in charming outdoor areas studded with hidden-away grottos, wild gardens, and locally inspired design detail. Sweeping views over the bay, ocean panoramas and the sheer abundance of space evoke the wonderfully surreal feeling that the entire world is yours and yours alone. There’s no doubt that the resort’s setting on beautiful Waiheke Island, just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, is one of its unique qualities.


'Waiheke represents New Zealand as a whole within one island,' Roselyn explains. 'It is called the jewel of Auckland for that reason. It’s a stunning island with spectacular beaches, glorious award winning vineyards, an adventure playground overlooking stunning scenery of the Hauraki Gulf and outer islands.'

Roselyn’s previous career in recruitment took her around the world, and she took great inspiration from her global travels, after which she chose to set-up a hotel in Waiheke.

'The creative process was a living project. I had help from a fabulous local architect and a creative builder that both listened and gave ideas that we all worked through together. The main inspiration were the views; it was important not to go wild with a clutter of ideas and always to know that the views needed be the hero!'


As for the vision: 'I wanted timeless, understated elegance, romantic, protective, and exclusive.'

Exclusive living

It is credit to Roselyn that she fulfilled this vision, with the lodge today representing an exclusive destination that embodies warmth, originality, and exclusivity. The clientele is diverse, comprised of honeymooners, international and national holidaymakers who come to explore the island. There are even some celebrities on the guest list. This is the place to come to be truly spoilt and make the most of life’s luxuries, and the staff is clearly set on fulfilling every aspect of the resort’s philosophy.


'To delight all of our guests with first class service, excite with our unique property, to pamper with our world class spa, to relax by our award winning infinity pool, ending the day with mouthwatering cuisine. A total body and mind, holistic experience.'

Indeed, the luxury appears to know no bounds, with gourmet breakfasts tailored to individual taste, a heated infinity pool with stunning vistas over the bay and a cave-like Jacuzzi and sauna.

Design dreams

So, I wonder, how you would even begin to create a destination hotel within such incredible surroundings?

'The design concept was inspired by the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and indigenous New Zealand. The architecture is designed from the traditional Maori fish hook, which curves and folds giving privacy and protection and a feeling of security to the guests.'


The interiors and exteriors showcase the local influence, with a traditional Maori ‘Wharenui’ (meeting pavilion) and sprawling gardens that take in indigenous flora and fauna, as well as artworks by local artists. Around every corner, there appears another beautiful sight, with perhaps the most breathtaking being the courtyard, which opens into an outdoor, sculpted dining area framed by a huge, Italian-style fireplace.

'Delamore is a story from the driveway right through the lodge,” says Roselyn. “From theme gardens, art, hidden areas, olive and citrus groves — Delamore breathes. The story is love, exclusivity, privacy and luxury.'

The jewel of New Zealand

While the Delamore has its own story, wider Waiheke is also full of surprises. I ask Roselyn about the bests way to experience the island off the typical tourist trail; it turns out that the combined wine, island and art tours are a great way to discover Waiheke’s unique identity.

'You can explore the island while enjoying the local vineyards and olive oil tasting is a highlight. Our walking tracks are a joy to walkers and runners alike, speculator views while giving your body a great work out. Connells Sculpture Park is one of the world’s best and a must to book if you want to explore. Go eco-zip flying through the native bush or on a guided bush walk learning about the flora.'


Photo credits: Daniel Pietzsch | Andym5855 | gpparker

Roselyn also recommends the Stony Batter Gunnery tunnel, a local historical reserve, completing the incredibly diverse must-see list. And no visit to New Zealand would be complete without a trip to the award winning vineyard restaurants and vineyards, where you can sample some of the world’s best wines.

With top-quality wine, five-star accommodations, breathtaking views and unparalleled luxury in one destination, now seems like a good a time as any to head to the Southern Hemisphere and discover all that is wonderful about Waiheke, courtesy of the Delamore Lodge.


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Wandrlist insiders sharing their travel savvy!

Food Guide to Galicia Spain: The Essential Dishes to Discover
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Notting Hill Carnival: Music, Dancing and a Celebration of Cultural Unity
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Things to Do &...
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Delamore Lodge and its...
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