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Normandy, France


Staying at a château with a real Count and Countess to greet you ... it's every traveller's dream. But it's also the reality at this lovely château! Located in the peaceful Normandy countryside near Mont St. Michel, Le Château de Boucéel offers several beautiful rooms - including a rustic French cottage for four people on the estate. Breakfasts are hearty, served by a very talkative and informative Count. An experience you'll never forget!

L'Épi Dupin


Paris, France


This inventive cuisine opens your tastebuds to new experiences. Such delights as crayfish ravioli with a Jerusalem artichoke sauce, mussels with sweet potato and sesame, cauliflower with confit of ginger, tender scallops, beef with a mustard glaze and risotto à l'orange will introduce you to new flavour combinations as well as satisfy familiar cravings. Save room for dessert – true masterpieces in their own right (with homemade ice cream with exotic flavours featuring in many selections). Book well ahead as this place is popular!


Florence, Italy


This magnificent palazzo offers affordable luxury in the heart of Florence. Many rooms have frescoed ceilings or marble fireplaces. Some have astonishing city views. But all have comfort and style. Three spectacular rooms in the residenza offer true elegance and spaciousness beyond anything else you will find in this price range in Florence. Enjoy breakfast in their fine breakfast room, or take it on the loggia. Outstanding value and impeccable service in this intensely Renaissance city.


Florence, Italy


You can't go to Florence and NOT visit La Giostra. Everyone I introduce to the place ends up going back or sending others. Run by a Hapsburg prince and his identical twin sons, La Giostra is a foodie's heaven. A true culinary experience from the moment you arrive (with a complimentary glass of prosecco and a platter of handmade starters), you can't go wrong here. Toothsome and mouthwatering pastas are king (although the Flintstone-sized bistecca is a carnivore's feast). One of the best carbonaras I've ever had!


York, England


This cozy pub offers fine dining and award-winning rooms, in addition to the bar that serves local real ales. Guy Fawkes, one of the failed conspirators who planned the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and the King, was born on this spot in 1570 and the building that stands now maintains a rich history and gaslit ambience. Modern rooms and tasty cuisine make this accommodation much sought after in the heart of old York.


England (various locations)


Wagamama is one of my go-to places whenever I'm in the UK. Try a hearty bowl of ramen, slurp back a plate of noodles, or crunch your way through some tasty gyoza. There is something here for every palate. Some of my faves include the duck gyoza served with a spicy cherry hoisin dipping sauce, or the yaki udon in curry oil with chicken, prawns, egg, beansprouts, leeks, mushrooms and peppers. Whatever you order, you can be assured that it will be fast and made with the freshest ingredients.

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