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Favourite Food

&

Travel quotes

 

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. – James Beard

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You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours. – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

 


 

National days.....

 

Kenya 12 December  (Independence Day, from the United Kingdom 1963; Republic Day, (Jamhuri Day), 1964)

The food of Kenya...

Trivia: Kenya’s Embu tribe is famous for dancing on stilts by men wearing black coats and white masks. More…

 


 

Thailand December 10.  Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.

Thai cuisine.....

Trivia: Bangkok has the longest city name in the world: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit. More facts.....

 


 

Tanzania 9 December  (Independence Day 1962)

On Tanzanian tables.....

Trivia: Over 120 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most of these are Bantu languages, a category of over 535 languages and dialects that are spoken throughout Africa. More facts....

 


 

Romania 8 December (1991). See Holidays in Romania.

Romanian cuisine...

Trivia: People that enjoy a good coffee will be surprised to know that Francesco Illy, the founder of Illycaffè was born in Timisoara, Romania in1892. He also invented the first automatic steam espresso coffee machine.

 


 

Uzbekistan 8 December  (1992). Constitution day of Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzbek cuisine....

Trivia: In Uzbekistan, handshakes are only acceptable if it is between two men. The way to greet an Uzbek woman is by bowing to her with your right hand placed over your heart.

 


 

SpainDecember 6 (1978). See Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Eating in Spain....

Trivia: The Puerta del Sol (“Gate of the Sun”) plaza in Madrid is the physical center of the country. It is marked as Km 0 for the Spanish radial road network.

 


 

Finland 6 December  (Independence Day, declaration of independence from Russia 1917)

On the Finnish table...

Trivia: The Finnish language (Suomi) is an non Indo-European language belonging to the Uralic family, along with Estonian and Hungarian.

 


 

Thailand 5 December (birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej)

Thai cuisine.....

Trivia: Thailand’s name in the Thai language is Prathet Thai, which means “Land of the Free.” It is the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonized by a European nation.

 


 

Laos 2 December  (National Day, people's republic declared 1975)

On the Laotian table...

Trivia: Since December 1975, the official name of Laos has actually been “Lao People’s Democratic Republic” – but to this day, everyone still calls it Laos.

 


 

United Arab Emirates 2 December  (National Day, formation of federation of seven emirates and independence from the United Kingdom 1971)

Food in the UAE.....

Trivia: Emiratis are outnumbered 11 to 1 by the expatriates, who make up a whopping 91% of the population.

 

 

Central African Republic 1 December  (autonomous territory within the French Community 1958)

Eating here...

Trivia: French and Sangho are the two main languages of the CAR.

 


 

Myanmar 1st December  (for 2010) (Beginning of student-led protests against British colonial government in 1920. Follows lunar calendar)

The food of Myanmar....

Trivia: Myanmar is one of only three countries in the world that has not adopted the metric system of measurement. The others are Liberia and USA.

 


 

Romania 1 December  (Union Day, unification with Transylvania 1918)

Romanian cuisine...

Trivia: Romania is the ninth largest wine producer in the world.

 


 

Food related events....

US food festivals in DECEMBER 2017

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Food festivals WORLDWIDE in DECEMBER

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Food related events on this date in history!

 


 

Food history

oldfoodie

...visit The Old Foodie.

 


See where we have been...

24 percent of the world's countries!

 



 

 SMART TRAVELLING

 

How SAFE is my destination?

Australian travellers can find out here......

 



Australian travellers - do you need a visa?

Check the visa requirements by country...

Read more....

 


Packing tips

What you may and may not be allowed to carry onboard an aircraft, or pack in checked baggage.

Find out here....

 


Will you need an umbrella?

 

What will the weather be like where you are going?

Or where you are right now?

Find out here...


 

Check the TIME

Don't miss that flight! Never be late again when travelling.

Use the world clock to find out the local time....

 


 

WORLD CURRENCIES

Which currency will you need in the countries you plan to visit.

See them all here...

&

Check out the current exchange rate..... 

 


Airport codes

Baffled by those codes on your intinerary? Don't know where you will be landing?

Check this site....


 

Drivers! You need to know this about drinking and driving overseas.

Learn more...


 

HELP!

How to get urgent assistance  when you need it!

World emergency numbers....

 


 

Have you had your travel shots?

Make sure you are covered for serious diseases in other countries....

 

 

traveltipstop

Find it difficult to unwind on your holidays? Booking.com has some expert tips for how you can chill out more easily.

Here's how....

 

 


food_of_week_02

A latte that can help your health!

Find out how....

 


triviatop

ciaos

 
BEFORE you travel here are some hints about what to read and watch.

 

 

 

A Swiss first! A climate-neutral ship.

Meet this eco-friendly way to cruise.... 


 

 

books

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


 

This challenging book, from a gifted entrepreneurial French-born chef, will inspire everyone, not only food lovers.

Find out more here.....

 



Cooks and travellers!

Love Mexican food?

or French cuisine? Now you can have both now with authentic recipes.

Read more....

 


 

Hardcore meatlovers, this is for YOU!

Meat dishes you could never have dreamed of...

 



Let's head for LA and its best food!

Cult recipes discovered by an expert....

 


Good hearty food at any time - plenty to get your teeth into.

Ross Dobson does it again....

 


 

No time to cook? Here's a lifeline.

Find the answers you need....

 


 

Good carbs, bad carbs is there a difference?

Everything you ever need to know about carbs...

 


 

Everyone loves secrets - especially about favourite places.

  

These will be invaluable....

 


 

One of the most unusual books you will read - a memoir of sorts. The journey is through life and discovering its answers - or even more questions.

Read more....

 


 

Take a food trail every weekend of the year - that's the offer from Lonely Planet...

...going global with the world's tastiest destinations.

 


 

Now you can cook meals like a cafe-chef pro. All day every day!

Read more...

 


 

Lucio does it again with co-author David Dale as this time they explore the coast of three countries.

Find out more....

 


 

For those keen to know about the food of the Adriatic Coast, this is the ideal book.

See more here.....

 


 

Reprinted 2017

Don't think you know enough French to travel in France?

This book might give you confidence......

 


 

Start planning for Tokyo 2020 Olympics or go earlier.

This guide is what you need....

 


 

Did you think salads were only for summer?

Think again!....

 


 

Always wanted to visit Turkey? You've been, and loved the food?

This book is for you....

 


 

One of Australia's top chefs, shares good and tasty dishes for home cooks.

Read more here...

 


 

It's that 'sweet spot' of the year when some sugary treats are even more welcome.

Sweeten up your life....

 


 

Trivia buffs - this book is for you.

Especially if you love to travel...

 


Just in time for the holiday season.

Check your favourite wineries....

 


 

Three cities full of secrets.

     

Learn where they are.....

 


 

Take a trip to stylish Amsterdam!

It will be worth the trip....

 


 

The world's BIGGEST bread cookbook.

See for yourself...

 


 

A true story of survival of a family and the cuisine of their homeland.

A must-read....

 


If you love a bit of mystery and wackiness with your travel, this book is for you.

Find out all about it....

 


 

There is much more to Rio de Janeiro than meets the eye.

Discover its secrets....

 


 

Do you need some travel ideas? Here are 1001 historic sites to visit.

Start planning now...

 


 

Ah, Chocolate! Here presented by 'the queen of chocolate'!

Find out more....

 


 

If you always thought cooking Indian was too difficult....

... think again and see how easy it can be.

 


 

Find out what Edinburgh has been hiding.

Read more here.....

 


 

Need somewhere to rest during a busy day in London?

Here are about a hundred ideas....

 


 

Do you love Paris? Would you like to really know your way around?

This book will show you how...

 


 

Favourite cookery book writer Anneke Manning, opens her BakeClub files.

See what she is sharing...

 


 

What's for dinner? Now you kn ow with the help of this expert.

Nadia's book has the answers....

 


 

Is there such a thing as a quiet spot in Los Angeles?

This book shares 120 of them....

 


 

Sydney has many precincts and now you may explore them.

See what you may have been missing out on....

 


 

Have you been to Berlin? This book will make you want to visit.

Read more....

 


 

Something for every day of the year from famous writers and speakers through the ages.

Read more.....

 


 

Now you can cook all your favourite foods from Japan's capital.

Find out about it...

 


 

Spend some time with Australia's 'Queen of Nyona'.

Learn her history and Asian cooking secrets....

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia in 2016? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more...

 

 

 

 

World's best selfie spots

The world is full of fantastic places, but it's much more fun if you can prove you have been there too.

Of course we have been to many places too, but usually we're behind the cameras. However click on the pics and you can read plenty more (and see even more pictures!). The two pictures (above) are at Bangkok's glittering over-the-top Grand Palace, rich with gold and gems and ornate architecture that begs you to take 'just one more selfie'.

 

In the past few years, selfies have become almost the rule in any scenic place. We all want to see ourselves with a scenic backdrop, so this week we thought we'd provide a few for your to visit and try.

It seems that the Kowloon side of Hong Kong Harbour has become Selfie-Central as everyone wants to see themselves with Hong Kong's mountain and highrise behind. Come back in the evening when the 8pm laser show begins, for yet another angle, or hop on a Star Ferry and take some as you cross the harbour.

 

Hope you're not afraid of heights! You'll need to travel to Argentina to see this steep spiral staircase in the Alvear Palace HotelBuenos Aires. You will fall in love instantly with this hotel, so stand to one side for your selfie shot so that your friends can also enjoy seeing it.

 

Or perhaps you want tour family to envy you  as you relax under waving palms with a front row view of tropical waters in Queensland's beautiful Whitsundays, on the coast at Airlie Beach. Make sure you have a tall cold drink in your other hand as you take this one!

 

Talking of the cold.... you'll need to put your fingerless gloves on to take your shot here!

Wear red, if you can too, for a great contrast. Penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere, so this is a no-brainer as to where it is, but click on the pic to find out more.

 

It's OK to brag about things when you travel. After all you've spent a bit and it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Position yourself in the frame and hint that this was your hotel. Chances are it wasn't, as this is the newly refurbed Hotel de Crillon in Paris, where rooms come price-tagged upwards from a thousand Euros - a night!

But you can always dream - and take a selfie – for free.

 

Maybe wildlife is your thing and Africa is too far away. This 'heeland koo' as the locals call it, might let you pose with him - at a polite distance!

 

Stunning  localities often come at the price of queuing and waiting for your turn to take a selfie. Not here! Lucky Bay is a long way from any landmark, and its isolation and sparkling pure-white sands, teamed with that water, wins it accolades as one of the world's finest beaches.

 

Guess you can see where you would stand for this one in Trani, a tranquil fishing port in Pugliasouthern Italy.

 

Water makes a great selfie-background, but sometimes you want to cosy up with someone else - even if you are travelling solo. This little fellow gazing out to Stevenson's Island won't mind being included.

Cruising offers great selfie opportunities. The height of the deck, and the ship's distance from the central city area, as well as the time of day when you depart (often at the end of a day's sightseeing), all work together. Have you guess this is Honolulu? Give this city a thumb and little-fingered shaka as you pose!

 

Begging for your face to appear here is Hidden Beach one of the most interesting beaches in the world. Located just an hour-long boat ride from Puerto Vallarta on the Islas Marietas, the only way to reach the golden sand at Hidden Beach is to jump off a boat and swim or kayak through a tunnel to shore. FlightNetwork ranked it #9 of the World's 50 Best Beaches.

 

If you prefer a wildlife and statue combo to pose beside, then how about these golden beauties on a roundabout in Sihanouk, Cambodia? Get the angle right and it might look as if the lion is about to chomp your finger. This a popular evening hangout for the locals, particularly teens, so you may find some enthusiastic locals to pose with you. 

 

Elevation makes for more interesting photographs and you can squeeze a panorama in more easily. But add water and the mix becomes magic. Here on the rooftop of the one-of-a-kind Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the sign says it all.

Can't place this hotel? You will have seen photos of it even if you have never visited Singapore. It looks like three towers with a boat on top!

 

As I said, we are usually too busy with cameras to do a selfie, but our guide had this idea - and of course you can tell immediately where I am.

 

Plenty options here of where (and when) to stand with this long jetty behind you. But where is it?  Not many people get to this remote spot of Ceduna, South Australia on the Southern Ocean. One weekend a year, there is a festival celebrating the area's famous seafood. This town has another claim to fame. Click on the picture (above).

 

Everyone loves a selfie!

These young ladies are having a day out in Kyoto, Japan, and may well have hired these outfits for the day, but they don't want to forget a moment of it.

 

This wonderful mix of arches - architectural and atmospheric - was a gift one evening in Newcastle upon Tyne in England's north-east. In rainy or stormy conditions selfie-ists should always be rainbow-ready!

 

Here's that height-thing again. This time we were overlooking Dubrovnik in southern Croatia. Of course there was a fence between the 'official' lookout and that drop, but many had chosen to squeeze though a hole and get a closer aspect.

 

Truly amazing, these Hakka Houses in southern China require a coach trip from Xiamen but a well worth the journey. You can have fun seeing if any of your friends can place where you are!

 

And, yes, while not a true selfie, this one is too good to miss. Take note of the speed! This is the fastest I have ever travelled on land. It's the MagLev (magnetic levitation) train between Pudong and Shanghai airport. After the success of this prototype, understandably China has plans for more trains, and longer trips.

 

Returning to what many people say is the world's most romantic place, India's Taj Mahal in Agra, this deserves a couples-shot. Romance aside, the architecture is so perfectly balanced, it demands being positioned central to it.

 

Anse Lazio, in the Seychelles, was ranked #3 of FlightNetwork's World's 50 Best Beaches. Can you see why? The only improvement would be for your footprints to be in that pristine sand!

 

Victoria Peak on Hong Kong island rises more than 500 metres above the city, and the viewing decks have been built so that photographers can capture the panorama below. Most times around half of them face away from it, using that stunning view as a backdrop to their selfie.

 

Then there are the unique opportunities, begging for you to pose in front of. This one explains everything except where it is. It is a very long way from anywhere, on the Nullarbor plain, on the Eyre Highway which crosses Australia. It's remote - but there is a golf course (click on the pic).

 

Another romantic photo-op. These turn up in every city, beside every bridge, and are irresistible for lovers' selfies. This one is outside The Bell Tower on the Swan River foreshore in Perth, Western Australia.

 

It's not difficult to see where you can stand for this selfie. What might be confusing is why does this bear appear to be scrambling over the wall at the ruined Cardiff Castle in Wales?  Click on the pic and find the whole story.

 

Position yourself correctly and it may appear you have a new hat - or a halo! After doing that do take time to browse the cavernous interior and be amazed at the colour and talent displayed here. Morocco is like that - surprises everywhere.

 

Is this a set-up to tempt Australians? Especially Australians with mobile phones or selfie sticks? It certainly made us do a double-take when strolling through Vienna this year.

 

Back to Morocco, but this time it is an alley in Fez. Stand in the centre for your shot, and see yourself surrounded by colourful heaps of woven fabrics and rugs, with locals going about their daily life in picturesque centuries-old surroundings. 

 

Selfies are loved all round the world. Here on the ramparts of the fortress in Belgrade, Serbia, everyone seems to want to capture themselves with the famous Danube behind them.

 

Catch a ferry, or board a cruise ship to get distant views of a harbour scene. This is lovely Auckland, New Zealand, just as the sun dips away. It's begging for two index fingers and thumbs to shape into a heart over the city centre. Someone else will have to click the shutter though.

 

Australia loves to have big sculptures to underline an area's local produce. Big bananas, big oysters, and then there is Larry the Lobster in Kingston SE in south-eastern South Australia. Plenty of options here. And Larry is for sale! Click the pic to find out about this new development.

 

Northumberland's Angel of the North does not need to advertise for people to come and snap themselves beside it. The difficult thing is being able to get it all in the frame! It is massive - 20 metres high with a 54-metre wingspan.

 

Why put a fork in a lake?? Click on the pic to find out there story behind it, or just gaze (as we did) in awe of the beauty of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Those lovers have the best seat in the house.

 

No need to say where this is, but sometimes it's difficult to get a new angle on famous places, but there is plenty of room here to get a mug-shot that is bit unusual. It just requires a little athleticism!

 

Postcard-worth, Slovenia's jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Bled and its island church really doesn't need anything else to make it sensational. But you may want to add a personal touch. Just saying...

 

This captivating village was so enchanting it became the cover for my book Just a Little Italian. Picture yourself there - literally. FYI it is Castelmezzano in Basilicata, southern Italy.

 

We all know where this is!

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NOW it is YOUR turn - what is your favourite travel backdrop to a selfie?

Send us your picture, and the best one (or more) will be published on this page.

 


Text: ©Sally Hammond

Images: ©Sally & Gordon Hammond (unless otherwise credited)

 
 

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TEST YOURSELF!

How good is your food and travel knowledge?

Find out here.....


 

There's something charismatic about Croatia.

Find out what it is.....

 


 

Going OTBT in Australia. What's that?

Find out how much fun it is....

 


 

Catch up again with Sizzling Sicily!

Find it here....

 


 

Everyone loves a magical old city.

Which ones have you visited?

 


 

Discover Sydney's playground and food bowl, right at its back door.

Twenty ways to enjoy its charms....

 


 

Surprises everywhere in Serbia.

Surprising Serbia is now here...

 


 

It was cold in Canbrrrra for our visit, but it seemed just right for these beauties.

Find out what to do with them...

 


 

Tasty Austria has something for everyone but...see what it doesn't have!

Window on Austria is now here...

 


 

Best food destinations around the world....

Here they are according to Booking.com's research.

 


 

Geordie country is unique and beautiful.

Find out  where it is, and why you'll love it.

 


 

What ever happened to What's next....?

The recent roundup of upcoming features is here....

 


 

Fells and dales, gingerbread, shaggy sheep and weird standing stones.

But please don't call the lake a loch!

 


 

Glasgow is shaking off its grey reputation.....

... becoming colourful - and tasty!

 


 

Still find all the food and fun of Central Taiwan ....

...HERE

 


 

Lovely green Kerala has a friendly welcome for everyone.

Meet the locals here...

Listen to the podcast



 

Meet the courageous Japanese city that is embracing the future.

Learn where it is....

 


 

A cruise around south-east Asia uncovers some fascinating secrets.

Find out where...

 



 

So you thought throwing the wedding bouquet was strange....

See what happens in other countries!

 



 

 

tastethis

 

RECIPE TIME

Springtime means quiche-time, a lighter dish to go with salads.

Here is a good cheesy one....

 


 

Here's a healthy loaf that tastes as good as it looks.

See the recipe.....

 


 
A recent European trip took us to Bulgaria. I fell in love with this traditional cheesy pastry.
 
 
 

 

 MUST TASTE THIS

 

How many of these food trends have you seen this year?

Check them out...

 


 

If you love figs, mixing drinks, and  experimenting with new flavours, you have to try this NEW fig liqueur.

See more.....

 


 

Have you heard of oyster leaves?

Here they are.....

 


 

You mean they can make this from bananas?

Read more...

 


 

Design your own chocolates. It's not difficult.

Find out more....

 


 

A fruity beer? This Australian company likes a challenge.

Take a look...

 


scc

Need a coffee????

stay in touch on the FB page.

Taste_03

Hear a podcast

 
 
diningtop

What can be better than a restaurant with harbour views?

One that has an Italian chef like Chef Corsi.

 


 

A French restaurant in a hip dining enclave...

Bistrot Gavroche is one to watch.......

 


 

Top chef has found a new Abode at ParkRoyal Darling Harbour.

Food you have to taste...

 



 

Lot 1 near Wynyard, this one is worth knowing about too.

Find out more....

 

dining_bottom

 


 

takeabreak_top

TAKE A BREAK

++++++++++++++++

 

Find out what US food events are on in DECEMBER 2017

and what is coming up WORLDWIDE

 


 

Go glamping in Queensland - luxury in the rainforest.

The best of both worlds...

 


 

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

Learn more about it...

 


 

Meet Derek the wombat. What could be cuter?

Find him in Tasmania....

 


 

Add some craic to your Christmas!

To be sure, you'll love it....

 


 

Take a walk in Japan and feel refreshed.

See more...

 


 

A year of fabulous food festivals in 2017 for Britain!

Find out when and where....

 


 

Festivals throughout Australia too in 2017.

Check these out...

 


 

Scotland's Year of Food and Drink 2017....

...what's on?

 


Festivals in Korea, 2017

Here they are....

 


 

2017 Malaysia's Year of Festivals....

Find out when and where...

 


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

Check it out here...

 


 

Ever dreamed of having your own place in France.

This may make it easier....

 


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

...find out where

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia this year? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more..

 

 

 


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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.