Movable Feast East of the Adriatic – eating and drinking in Croatia’s next hot spot

Article appeared in Taste & Travel International Spring 2013 Edition  – We nervously keep our distance as the cellar master at Stari Puntijar Restaurant in Zagreb demonstrates how to open a champagne bottle using an antique sabre – a preprandial flourish I’ll likely not pull out at my next dinner party. He removes the foil, … Read more

The Caribbean’s Little Italy

At Los Roques, off Venezuela, you can have an island all to yourself Article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen When Spanish explorers arrived at Lake Maracaibo in what is now Venezuela, the natives were living in huts on stilts and using boats shaped like gondolas, which reminded the Spaniards of Venice. They promptly called the … Read more

No etiquette in Seville’s oldest tapas bar

Article appeared in the Toronto Star  Dishes, glasses and menus fly past my head as I try to hold on to my corner spot at the El Rinconcillo bar in Seville, Spain. One man slices jamon, or ham with olympian dexterity, while another chops bread with equal precision. The waiter spins the glasses he has … Read more

Get lost in Eastern Ontario’s most eclectic store

Rideau Antiques is a great place to hunt for hidden treasures Article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen ‘Better not leave your bike in there, you’ll never find it again,” a man warns me as I dismount outside Rideau Antiques, in Eastern Ontario’s Rideau Lakes District. The store’s sign is almost completely obscured by rusted bric-a-brac, … Read more

Not home for the holidays

LISBON — It was the beginning of Christmas week, and I was alone in Lisbon. I had come to the Portuguese capital to avoid looking at the same lights and living rooms as the year before. I hadn’t chosen Lisbon because of the weather, but the rain became an intrinsic part of the experience. The showers were warm, gentle, silky, ethereal — I found myself gliding through them, like a canoe on a rainy lake where sky, skin and water merge. By the time Christmas was over, I had memorized the Portuguese … Read more

Grand tour on a bicycle built for two

Perfect portrait of the rural past Quaint pubs dot quiet backroads. A Big Mac is unknown in a country pub where one old farmer comments, “I don’t think my dog would like it.”  BALLYDEHOB, IRELAND – The farmer, leaning hard on his worn cane, a tweed cap shadowing his brow and an oversized wool jacket … Read more

Spending time on the road at Christmas

Holiday season in Honduras means fireworks and Fanta. Article appeared in the Toronto Star LA ENTRADA, HONDURAS – “Feliz Navidad!” cried the 5-year-old girl in the white party dress, cackling with delight each time a firecracker went off. “Buena, muchacha!” her parents praised her as they handed her another firecracker, beaming proudly. We arrived in … Read more

Unexpected hospitality on Patagonian Route 66

My friend and I hadn’t seen a person, restaurante, bar, fruit stand, farm, or even a tree for 100 km. No jeering-cheering locals packed 10 to a pick-up truck for company here. No weeds, no insects, only dust devils. The birds flew so high they were barely visible; they had no reason to stop. The … Read more