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I am a better person when I have less on my plate.― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


Travel far enough, you meet yourself.― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas


National Day of ...

Equatorial Guinea 12 October (Independence from Spain 1968)

What do people eat here?


Spain 12 October (Fiesta Nacional de España, Columbus discovery of America 1492)

The cuisine of Spain...


See all National Days for October.



Food related events....

OCTOBER 2014, food-related events.



Food related events on this date in history!



Want even more food history?


...visit The Old Foodie.



See where we have been...

24 percent of the world's countries!


Would YOU fancy a night in a Swiss igloo?

Find out more...



Is this the world's most dangerous road??

See what you think...



Bangkok is a bustling fascinating city with friendly people.



Which part of the UK is said to be the 'world castle capital'?

Find out here...



How would you like to holiday in a palace?

How about this one?


 Wonderful Agra - romantic ...and more.

Find it here.....


African touring just gets more do-able!

See what we mean?



Or maybe you can spend some time in Greece?

Here's how....



Picton on a perfect day....what could be better?

Find out more about New Zealand's hidden gem....


The butcher-shop that's open only ONE day a week.

Find out where (and why)....



Peru is a fun place for food...

... and they love a good festival!



The French love wine, but they consume another drink even more!

Learn where to find it at its source!


Not all art belongs in a gallery.

See these outdoor sculptures....


Outer-space artists??

Where is this....?



If you missed seeing our story about Kashmir, and meeting Ali Baba .... it is now.



Did you know that France covers more time-zones than any other country?

Find out why...


Spice travel with Herbie!

Learn more here....


We caught a whale!

...on camera



Stay in a Royal Pavilion in the desert...

Where, where?



Lovely Kerala has more than elephants to experience...

.... but the elephants are pretty special!










Ever wished you could fold up that way-too-big SUP (stand up paddleboard)?

Now you can.....





Right in season now and packed with goodness. Use them in a variety of ways.

Find out more....




What else is there to know about Bangkok?

Ten more things......





Now you can earn a prestigious wine diploma - and cruise the Med at the same time!

See how.....




.............and Apps and DVDs


Lovers of Venetian food will be thrilled with this insiders' guide to the city and its food.

Read more.....


Whether you are a wine expert or just want to be, this book is for you.

Find more here...



If you can't get to Scandinavia - you can at least bake its cakes and breads.

Here's how....


If you are a reader of food blogs, this behind the scenes peep at the real story, will captivate.

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Yes, the City of Light has still more secrets to disclose!

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Thai Royal Cuisine is now within your reach with these authentic recipes, edited by a descendant of Prince Chakrabongse.

....enjoy preparing them yourself.


Love cycling? Live in Melbourne or visit often?

You need this book!


Is there a budding chef in your family? This eBook will help them master more dishes.

Here it is.....

America-bound travellers, take note! 

The fully revised edition is now  available....


If you'd like a food-loving guide to show you around Paris, Jane is the person to do this.

Read her book....


Want to eat the world? Here 39 cuisines have been explored and explained.

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Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!



Ever wondered what makes Melbourne so special?

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The Big Apple has some huge and hidden surprises.

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Now you can bake like Phillippa!

Get ready for the compliments!

Got friends coming for a party - this is the book for you!

Find some new recipes....

One of the stars of MasterChef share his take on healthy food.

Good and good for you!

Are you ready for a fashionable shopping spree in Paris?

You need this book!

If you have small children and live in Sydney or Melbourne, these cute but very helpful guides are for you!


The world's greatest maritime explorer - and real person.

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Would you like to cook like an Italian nonna?

Silvia can show you how....

Sneak a peek at the tried, true, and prize-winning recipes of CWA Judge, Merle Parrish.

...learn to cook like she does


Burma is a mystery to many people. Its food is even more obscure.

Read this and be delighted...

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This book is a must to read...

Finally Sydney has its own Gault & Millau restaurant guide...

....but do you know how to pronounce it?

The biggest and most beautiful book of Italian food.

Read about it here....

Coffee seems to be the fluid which fuels most of us in this beautiful book

Learn about who grows it, roasts it and makes it.


If you think you may be the only person 'that everything happens to' when travelling - read this!



and laugh out loud....

Give this book and you give even more. 



find out how.......





Window on Bora Bora, French Polynesia

In Australia there is a town called Wagga Wagga, and the locals boast that it's such a good place, they had  to name it twice.

That could explain why Bora Bora - a drop of France in the Pacific – is so-named. Once a kingdom, now a tourist’s playground and romantic destination, it draws thousands of visitors (around half of all who visit French Polynesia) annually.

Having previously only half-glanced at tourist brochure maps for this paradise (well, I also thought it was honeymoon-central, and I was past all that) I somehow thought that Bora Bora was simply just a tropical atoll, a ring of sand and coral beaches built up with five-star resorts and populated by sunseeking couples. I was half right. 

The resorts are there all right, but the reef is only semi-circular, shielding the north and west of an inner, central island of Bora Bora. It is connected to the resorts by ferries and private boats. It was this island, Bora Bora, that we explored on a recent shore trip from our cruise ship. It is here the local residents (as opposed to the transient tourist population) live and work and worship. When the London Missionary Society arrived here in 1820 the members converted many locals and later founded a Protestant church in 1890. It was they who taught the Tahitian women and  girls to wear the concealing and voluminous wearing Mother Hubbard dress, still in use today.



The Tahitian pāreu (or pareo) are among the most colourful in the Pacific region. Originally flower patterns, now many feature fish or butterflies or traditional tapa patterns. They are printed in bright dyes on a cotton sheet and worn, draped and tied, in a variety of ways. Watch this video to get the idea....

The sheets are then hung out to dry. We discovered this colourful washing line at the roadside in a small village opposite the shoreline. Almost every home on the main island of Bora Bora has water views as there is only one road that circles the island, and a nother one that heads inland, up the mountain. The round-island bus trip we took, complete with a local guide-commentator, kept close to the coast.

Pora Pora was the ancient name, meaning 'first born', as legend had it that this was the first island to rise when Taaroa, 
the supreme god, fished it out of the waters after the mythical creation of Havai'i, now known as Raiatea. Interestingly B does not exist in the Tahitian language, but Captain Cook the P a B and named it accordingly.

When Cook came across what he named the Leeward Islands, they were already inhabited by the descendants of Polynesian settlers who arrived around the 4th century AD.

The first European sighting of Bora Bora was made by Jakob Roggeveen in 1722 while James Cook sighted and landed on the island in 1770. The islands would not have looked much different even then. Cobalt waters, turning turquoise in the shallows, crystalline sands, and leaning coconut palms, heavy with the fruit that the explorers had begun to learn was a lifesaving source of both food and water.

The local island warriors did not want European colonisation and resisted strongly. Finally it was conquered by France in 1888, then in 1946, Polynesia, including these islands of the Society archipelago, became a TOM (an overseas territory of France), becominging  officially French Polynesia in 1958. 

Gettin g around the island is fairly simple. There is the tourist bus such as we took, but you can also use Le Truck (above), taxis, rental car, helicopter, boat or canoe. If you have time and you're energetic, you can walk to many places. The island is only 32 kilometres around so it is easy to cycle around it in a day, or hire a scooter for the trip. But take plenty of water and use sunscreen, especially from November to April when the days are very hot and tropical.


Before the tourists came and told all their friends and relations about this tiny island paradise,there were the artists, writers and navigators who visited the island. American writer Herman Melville wrote several stories about Polynesian life in 1846 and 1847, and later, in the 1890s, the French artist Paul Gauguin published Noa Noa, retelling the Polynesian legend of Areori who lived on Bora Bora, and Noa (fragrance), the first miracle of the gods.

Gauguin had been captivated by the scent of the local tiare flower, a sort of gardenia worn by the Tahitian women, by whom he was also captivated.

In World War II the United States chose Bora Bora as a South Pacific military supply base, and a military infrastructure was put in place: oil depot, airstrip, seaplane base, and defensive fortifications. Known as Operation Bobcat there were ships, equipment and personnel and seven artillery guns were set up strategically at points around the island.

As it nhappened, the war played out in other parts of the Pacific and the base was officially closed in 1946. There were advantages for Botrra Bora though. The troops stationed here built the coastal road and the first airport on Motu Mute. This airstrip was French Polynesia's only international airport until Faa'a International Airport was opened in Papeete, Tahiti, in 1960. 

Many visitors to Bora Bora have enjoyed a very welcome pitstop at this thatched roof bar. In the latter half of the 1970s, a genuine Polish noble, the Baron Jerzy Hubert Edward von Dangel (“Call me George”) arrived on the idland. His vivid imagination and his ability as a slyly humorous showman resulted in this establishment that has become a Bora Bora icon, the justly famed seafood specialty restaurant, Bloody Mary’s. When 'George' decided to sell the bar in  1961, his choice of a buyer was a Los Angeles businessman, Mr. Dexter Hewett, a former guest. 

Its location across from a mooring point and small jetty, and also near to the town of Matira, makes it also ideal for visitors who come by water.

Of course it's much more than just a bar.....

.......and each evening, the sublimely fresh and local seafood on the menu is explained in seven languages. The fish are named, their habitats identified, and perhaps a preparation is recommended.

If you visit, do be prepared for a bit of celeb-spotting as this has long been popular with celebrities from around the globe who have stayed in Bora Bora and made the stroll to Bloody Mary’s. There's a roll-call of famous personalities at the entrance to the building, and the owners are delighted that many become dedicated return guests, and in some cases, offered impromptu demonstrations of their exceptional talents for other guests. See who you might know here.....

Vaitape is located on the western side of the main island of Bora Bora and has a view of Bora Boras tallest mountain, Mont Otemanu. Here you will find shops selling the mandatory souvenirs - pareos, ululeles, tiki, tapa cloth, and black pearls which are not really black. They have a green, blue or purple sheen and come from the giant black-lipped oyster.

There is a pearl farm off Matira where you can actually dive - the ultimate lucky dip - and hope to select an oyster which, when opened, contains a true Tahitian cultured pearl.

Another fun activity is to feed sharks and rays. This originated on Bora Bora. All you do is put on snorkeling mask and float in the shallow lagoon waters behind a secure rope. The docile sharks arrive in schools and are hand-fed by your guide just a few feet away. Later in the same tour, you'll stand in shallow waters as graceful rays circle the group with ballet-like movements.

Visit Bora Bora on a Sunday and you can choose to join the locals in worship if you wish. Polynesian singing is some of the most harmonious and beautiful you will hear anywhere, and the friendly people in the congregation might just invite you home for Sunday lunch, which is probably baking away in an earth oven while they are in church singing and praying.

Useful facts to know:

•Climate: Moderate tropical

•Best times to visit: May to October

•Currency: Pacific Franc (XPF)

•Language: French and Tahitian

•Need to know: nonos are midges which can cause an itchy bite. Wear insect repellant.

Of course the locals are just as fond of fast food as anyone in the rest of the world, but they have added their own speciality. Huge scoops of Tahitian shave ice, heaped into a cone-like dish and doused in brilliantly coloured syrups is a great and chillingly enjoyable treat after a day in the sun.

But despite evrything else on  offer, it is the mountains that people talk about and take pictures of. Bora Bora's tallest mountain is Mount Otemanu at 727 metres, while Mount Pahia (above) overlooking Vaitape, is 661 metres. While not very high in world terms, their location so close to sea level renders them incredibly beautiful.

Bora Bora's economy is driven almost solely by tourism. Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, over-water bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts.

The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious and expensive places to stay, and most of the tourist destinations are aqua-centric. Air Tahiti has five or six flights daily to the Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mute from Tahiti (as well as from other islands). 

Motu is the Polynesian word for islets which are thrust up from the coral reefs surrounding Pacific atolls. Bora Bora has many, several with resorts. The reefs protect the still and tranquil waters within them from the ocean, and are called lagoons.

Leaving any place is difficult. When it is as relaxed and friendly – and stunningly beautiful – as Bora Bora, the parting is made even more difficult.

More information.......

- by Sally Hammond, video by Gordon Hammond


News Feed

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Do you know....

See how well you know  your food.

Test yourself......




Sydney Good Food Month, Sydney, NSW, October

Fair Food Week, many places in Australia, October 10-19

Taste of Melbourne, 13-16 November

Margaret River Gourmet Escape, WA, November 21-23




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Make this in five minutes...


DISCOVER the WINNERS in this year's ABC.delicious Fine Food Awards.


Drum are the results




You need a snack - BUT everything is too sweet, too rich in fat??

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Maille mustard has been a leader worldwide since 1747. Now it is in Australia!

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New blog on the block!

World Baking where Sally shares breads of a country on its own National Day.



SBS's Feast magazine is out again, full of stunning recipes.

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330 of Sydney's BEST cafes in this HUGELY POPULAR iPhone and iPad app!

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NOW ALSO available on Android

 visit the blog and hear the good news! 

Hear a podcast


True North - set the compass to find where comfort food central is!

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OCTOBER food-related events worldwide.



Magical, mystical Morocco with Nadine Abensur, an expert who knows and loves the local food!

Be quick for this one!


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Ever dreamed of having your own place in France.

This may make it easier....



Let's go WHALE spotting in Sydney!


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NSW's Central West has TEN great Food and Wine experiences for the cooler months.

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food and wine tour in one of France's most beautiful regions.

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Now you can travel and pick up some artistic skills - and enjoy Italian cuisine.

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Here is the answer for food and wine lovers travelling around Australia.

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Find out about the (sometimes colourful) past of  Australia's first city:

slhlogoiPhone and iPad App packed with information and pics. what has made Sydney the great city it is.

BUY IT NOW on iTunes here

or for Android  here!


A year of fabulous food festivals is ahead in 2014 for Britain!

Find out when and where....


What's happening in Rome this month....

Check it out here...




Contributes to:


Sally, and Gordon Hammond also operate the Australian Regional Food Guide Web site. This comprehensive directory is a great resource for everything that is happening in the regional food scene in Australia. Make sure you visit and bookmark this site. Please Follow on Twitter or Like on Facebook.