Granger & Co

There’s an exuberant air at Granger & Co in Kings Cross. They don’t take reservations, so people queue expectantly amid the buzz of the square, which makes the wait easier. The shape of the place is striking. Loosely based on an Italian railway station bar, it is beautifully set up with long glass walls, outer … Continued

Anyone for Venice?

When Venice’s only female gondolier, Alex Hai, rows through the meandering canals, she says she feels the buildings are moving away to give her space, everything is fluid and magic can happen at any moment. After 30 years of being on the water in her sleek black gondola, she describes Venice as divided between boat … Continued

Rome with a view

The allure of Rome has cast a spell through the ages for its narrow streets, church domes, plundered treasures, and golden light. I was mesmerised, magically restored. My hotel of choice is the grand neo-Renaissance Regina Baglioni on the tree-lined Via Veneto, the glorious main drag of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. It has that special … Continued

Cape Expectations

Cape Town’s natural setting never stops changing and making its impact on mesmerised visitors as clouds sweep down the granite face of Table Mountain, Atlantic breakers crash on to soft beaches and the blazing African sun ignites towering palms and vivid hibiscus. Cape Town has soul. Africa’s most passionately creative city has become a playground … Continued

Ember Yard

Ember Yard isn’t a yard or even an outside space. But the name evokes a dusty, faraway location with exotic overtones. It’s a secret gem in Soho, immediately atmospheric, drawing you into its dimly lit, romantic ambience. I went with a painter who looks at things more carefully. She liked the earthy, rustic décor, low … Continued

Taormina

Perched on a clifftop, Taormina dominates all around, valleys of almond, olive and cypress trees that sink into the dancing Ionian Sea. On clear days, the view is to Italy’s tip, the peninsula of Calabria, and behind, the looming smoky presence of the majestic volcano, Etna. There you stand with a truly momentous feeling between … Continued

Isis ‘We Fear Israel’

ISRAEL IS the one country in the world Islamic State fears, according to the only Western journalist allowed entry into territory controlled by the terror group. The claim from German reporter Jürgen Todenhöfer, a former member of the German Parliament, came after he spent 10 extraordinary days behind enemy lines in Iraq and Syria, accompanied … Continued