Provençal markets take the cake

I get excited about Provençal markets the way other people get excited about Louboutin and Chanel. While they gasp over the perfect jacket or shoes with a shiny red-lacquered sole, I swoon at the sight of pumpkins, sheep cheese and cabbage plants. I’m missing out on haute couture and they’re missing nature’s bounty while our fragile planetContinue reading “Provençal markets take the cake”

Wild about cooking mushrooms in Barcelona

Each autumn and winter beautifully varied fungi are available in abundance in Barcelona. I see them in shops and at the fresh produce markets – Mercat de l’Abaceria Central, at Travessera de Gràcia 186, and La Boqueria Market downtown at Las Ramblas. Foraging for wild mushrooms is an age-old tradition in Catalonia. Once you taste them, you’ll neverContinue reading “Wild about cooking mushrooms in Barcelona”

Devour Barcelona

If you want to get to know the real Barcelona, then you must come to Gràcia and eat. I’m staying two minutes from this lovely square (pictured above) in the area, where sunlight is dappled on a cold morning. Terracotta, russet and greens dominate the late autumn palette. People linger at cafes over coffee andContinue reading “Devour Barcelona”

I’m an Athenian

I’m an Athenian. I first came here in 1980. No other city has ever challenged me so much. It’s richly cultural yet abrasive and tumultuous. I’ve had my fair share of love-hate with the ancient Greek capital. My Athenian-born children spent most of their childhoods in Australia. But I keep coming back. So do they. Many visitorsContinue reading “I’m an Athenian”

Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market

Welcome to the Athens Flea Market where ancient, Byzantine and modern glories are all packed into one gloriously overcrowded mishmash. The entrance is on Monastiraki Square, opposite the Tzistarakis Mosque, built in 1759, which now houses the Kyriazopoulos  pottery collection. You might want to start with a freddo cappuccino and get some fruit to snackContinue reading “Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market”