In 2017 I set about changing my life. It's been a hell of a big year for travel, food, going to gigs, starting this blog, starting to work freelance, and lots more besides. Here's pics of just some of the highlights.
Last month I had my fantastic first trip to Vietnam. I've got so much I want to share about this fascinating country and its food and culture, and I'll be writing several themed posts over the coming months. But just for now, these are extracts adapted from my journal, written while I was in Hanoi, and some of which I published on Facebook and Instagram at the time. They are not comprehensive at all, but just scratch the surface of all I did and saw, highlighting one stand-out experience from each day, in the same style as the journal I've already posted from my time in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon.
I've just got back from my fantastic first trip to Vietnam. Expect to hear lots more from me on that once I've got my tired head around all the amazing things I experienced in this complex, multilayered country. For now, these are extracts from my journal, written while I was in Ho Chi Minh City. They just scratch the surface of all I did and saw, highlighting one stand-out experience from each day.
The fourth Folkestone Triennial contemporary art festival runs until 5 November 2017. Two weeks ago I downloaded a copy of the Triennial map and spent a happy day exploring this arty, bohemian, regenerating British seaside town while searching for the contemporary art installed all around it. Here's pictures of some of the installations, to whet your appetite in case you fancy doing the same, or in case you can't get there in person.
I spent a gloriously foodie weekend 15th - 17th September 2017 at Abergavenny Food Festival - 'the Glastonbury of food festivals' in Wales, UK. Foodies came from far and wide to hear, and mingle with, chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers. All were there to enjoy, celebrate, revel in, and learn about food. There was so much to do at AFF that I couldn't manage even half of what I wanted to. But here's just a snapshot of all my favourite bits of AFF 2017 as I experienced it.
So August has ended, the kids have dragged their feet back to school, commuter trains are once again standing room only, and people are beginning to post 'jokes' about how many sleeps it is 'til Christmas. But let's not give in so easily - if it's only early September and it's 19° outside, then it's still a British summer, right?! So my Travel in Pictures Summer Season is extended for a couple of weeks longer, and today invites you for a stroll along the promenade to take in Brighton (UK) beach and seafront, and the wonderfully iconic, mesmerising and desolately beautiful West Pier. There's just no doubt that Brighton seafront is one of the top 10 reasons to visit Brighton. And arguably, one of the top 10 reasons to visit England!
The next stop-offs in my Travel in Pictures Brighton 'Summer Season' are two fabulous areas for wandering, hanging out day or night, and shopping - next to each other, but with quite different characters. First we're losing ourselves in the twisting maze of Harry-Potter-Diagon-Alley-esque, centuries-old, historic Lanes. And then we're treating ourselves to a bit of funky bohemia in the North Laine.
It's Brighton Summer Season throughout August here at Santé Bon Viveur, and one of my top 10 reasons to visit is Brighton Pier. It conjures up and offers everything that a traditional day at the British seaside used to be - fish and chips, a pint of beer, a stick of rock, deck chairs, the helter skelter, ice cream, fairground rides and the amusement arcade. The most visited tourist attraction outside London, I hope these pictures will give you at least a tiny glimpse of why Brighton Pier remains so popular....