Featured stories

Walled villages and Tuscan hills

Finally leaving the city of Florence, we found the rolling, green hills of Tuscany, studded with the famous hill towns. They were all different, yet distinctly Tuscan,…

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Mosaics and myths

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep, Turkey, is the largest mosaic museum in the world, and a wonder even for those who (unlike me) are…

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Cats love ruins

It's no secret that I love ancient sites. While exploring them, I discovered some furry friends who share my interest.

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In the blog

Sacred spaces from Maori mythology

With high mountains, coloured lakes and huge Kauri forests, there are many natural wonders in New Zealand, all closely linked with the indigenous culture. The local Maori beliefs and myths reflect both the unstable nature of the local landscape and their underlying respect for nature, with mountains and rivers still considered sacred today. For those travelling through the North Island, many major tourist attractions and landmarks offer an opportunity to

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Dance Review: Nederlands Dans Theater performs in Auckland

A feeling of anticipation in the theatre before the performance starts. Three dancers stand on the stage outside the curtain, their backs to the audience. Everyone slowly falls silent, clearly expecting to see something remarkable over the next couple of hours. They aren’t disappointed. The production opens with Safe as Houses, choreographed by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, a work inspired by the I-Ching and the influence of changing spaces

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Dance Review: Artimus

Inspired by the Greek myth surrounding the goddess Artemis’s birth, Artimus is a high-energy, modern production signalling the direction of the relatively new dance company, Burning Man Productions. Building on the ancient story of Zeus’s affair with Leto and the subsequent rage of his wife Hera, Artimus has a modern flavour, with vintage-inspired costumes and a classic Broadway-style first act. The story is changed slightly, the supernatural aspects of the

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7 reasons to go fishing in New Zealand

World-renowned game fishing, beautiful scenery and the local outdoor culture make New Zealand a must for fishing enthusiasts. And while the country is known for the size of its fish, there are many other reasons why fishing in New Zealand is truly remarkable experience. 1. The diverse fishery caters for every experience Whether you prefer game fishing, fly fishing or just relaxing close to the city, there’s an option for

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Cape Town: visiting the Mother City

Driving along the coast, cliffs fell in sheer drops just outside my window, the open ocean spreading out below in sparkling blue. On the other side of the road towered black mountains, their sides gritty and sparse from the recent forest fires. As we climbed higher, the effect was stark: the dark mountains, blue seas and sky, white crescent beaches far in the distance… Many have said that Cape Town is

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A first-timer’s guide to South Africa

  South Africa offers a huge variety of experiences and it can be hard to know what to choose for your first visit. As a South African who has been living offshore for the last 15 years, here are my tips for your first trip, assuming you have around 2-3 weeks to spend in the country. First, a quick disclaimer: to really enjoy your time in this beautiful country, you

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Walled villages and Tuscan hills

Finally leaving the city of Florence, we found the rolling, green hills of Tuscany, studded with the famous hill towns. They were all different, yet distinctly Tuscan, their walls and fortresses still preserved after so many centuries, their restaurants serving Chianti drawn from barrels, with big platters of meat, cheese and hunks of bread. We visited the tiny walled village of Monteriggioni where Gladiator was filmed, still fortified after all these years alone

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Volunteer tourism: Who really benefits?

Image credit: Alex Proimos. Volunteering in a developing country has become an increasingly common option for many travellers who crave more from a holiday than just sun, sea and sand. With a plethora of volunteer tourism options available, it’s also very easy to organise, with many programmes including language and sightseeing elements as well as accommodation and placements. Yet many responsible travellers become so caught up in making a difference, they

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Chicken liver pâté with sage and brandy

My husband, Matthew Taylor, shares the recipe for his famous chicken liver pâté… To the offal cynic, the notion of eating chicken livers is generally met with repulsed sneers. But ask them if they want some sage and brandy pâté and they’re licking their hypocritical lips. If it sounds good to you too, read on – pâté is easier to make than you think. So what do you need? 700g chicken livers (mine

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