Travel Stories

Around the world in… a life time! Stories from my various travels, mostly edible.

In 2009, hubby and I embarked on a trip of a lifetime, visiting 26 cities in 6 months. I’ve posted a lot of our adventures, but there are still so many in the archives plus more trips to come!

Where to get a meal cooked by a real Italian Nonna in Rome

Posted on October 5, 2009

Alfredo & Ada's Rome: Homemade Wine

Go to Alfredo e Ada’s of course!

After our posh drink and snacks at Hotel Raphael we walked through the cobble-stoned and picturesque streets of Rome to Alfredo e Ada’s.

I need to quickly brag that I read the map and got us there. I’m bragging because I’m extremely bad at reading maps and usually give up half way through in tears. But this time I persevered and got it right. A proud occasion for me!

Our mate Douglas told us to ask for the red wine as soon as we sat down because it’s home made and better than the white wine they serve. He was right, it was delicious. I love the way it’s served in a carafe with little tumblers rather than wine glasses. (more…)

Where in the world is Christie?

Posted on September 27, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts! I’m now in London for another week or so.

My birthday

Last week it was my birthday and I celebrated with some of my family at St John Bread & Wine. It was delicious! I took some photos so expect them up soon.

Today I’m off to Borough to have lunch with a work friend I haven’t seen for more than 5 years! We used to work in a cafe together and I’d cook him yummy breakfasts with smoked salmon and eggs (he’s Swedish!) and he’d make me some very delicious coffee, although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, good coffee is one of my relatively new foodie-loves.

(more…)

Where to get the best view of Rome at sunset (free entry!)

Posted on September 14, 2009

Hotel Raphael Rome, Italy

Simply have a drink at Hotel Raphael‘s gorgeous terrace bar.

You can make a reservation if you like, but we didn’t. It’s a super posh hotel so dress up nicely and waltz on through the lobby and up to the terrace bar.

You’ll be absolutely stunned at the the incredible view and you didn’t have to queue up or pay an entrance fee. If you’ve been to Rome, then you’ll know that’s quite a feat and definitely something to brag about.

Sure the drinks are expensive but they come with complimentary snacks. Yummy ones. Click ‘read more’ to see pictures of them. (more…)

In Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice

Posted on September 7, 2009

Alfredo & Ada's Rome: Pasta

We made it to Italy!

We were in Rome for 4 nights which was absolutely wonderful and made even better by the insider tips we got from our mate Douglas from Icon Tours. (more…)

Roan Kikunoi Kyoto: Kaiseki meal

Posted on August 24, 2009

Roan Kikunoi Seafood

Get ready to witness the best meal of my life.

Warning! There’s a photo overload in this post, but I couldn’t leave out a single course, you’ll see why.

The word Kaiseki has a history. The Japanese kanji characters that make up the word literally mean ‘stone to the bosom’. This refers to the warm stones that monks-in-training held inside their robes to stave off hunger, but it eventually became known to refer to the elaborate degustation-style multiple course meal served at formal tea ceremonies.

These days Kaiseki is an art form that balances the taste, texture, appearance and colours of the dishes served. Kaiseki chefs will only ever use fresh seasonal or local ingredients and pay very close attention to presentation. The most interesting part for me, is that the dishes are served on carefully selected plates and bowls chosen to enhance the appearance and seasonal theme of the meal.

Roan Kikunoi restaurant in Kyoto is famous for three generations of owners. The current owner, Yoshihiro Murata, is extremely loved in Japan and has written several successful cookbooks. He has two Kaiseki restaurants in Kyoto and one in Tokyo. On the day I went to Roan Kikunoi in Kyoto he was there, which I was pretty pleased about.

We sat at the bar and watched some of the 8 courses get prepared. Our chef described most ingredients but I couldn’t quite catch it all – I didn’t want to look nerdy with a notebook! Sorry if I can’t tell you what everything is, please just enjoy the mystery.

OK, let’s get onto the food!

First Course, pictured above. There’s so many little parts to this dish but they all worked together beautifully as a seafood theme. The grilled prawns were tiny and crispy. I ate them whole, head and all, delicious. (more…)

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