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Travel quotes



The rich take life one financial year at a time. The poor take life one meal at a time. ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana


The Chinese say that there is no scenery in your home town. They’re right. Being in another place heightens the senses, allows you to see more, enjoy more, take delight in small things; it makes life richer. You feel more alive, less cocooned. ― Jane Wilson-Howarth, A Glimpse of Eternal Snows: A Journey of Love and Loss in the Himalayas

National Day of ...

Turkey 29 October (Republic Day (Cumhuriyet Bayram), republican constitution 1923)


See all National Days for NOVEMBER.



Food related events....

NOVEMBER 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!


Proving there's more to Bora Bora than sand and palm trees.

Find out what....



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.....





Mangoes are coming into season now and are as healthy as they are delicious!

More about mangoes....




Did you know potato blossoms were once fashionable?

Find out other strange potato facts.....





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.

Read more.....



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

Discover them here....



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.

Find out more....


Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!



Ever wondered what makes Melbourne so special?

This book will show you....


The Big Apple has some huge and hidden surprises.

Discover more...

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.

An engaging read...

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...

Craving a burger? Live in Victoria - or visiting?

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 Shanghai

In downtown Shanghai I am stopped by two teenaged Chinese girls. They stand in front of me, arms linked, boosting each other's confidence.

"Where you from?" they ask. "You like Shanghai?"

Their questions are carefully framed. School lesson format. They are language students, eager to test their pronunciation. We chat, they giggle, and then they offer, shyly, an amazing observation.

"You look ex-otic," they say, then duck their heads and giggle.

I have to be sure I've heard right. I make them repeat it, for this is a first for me. But they're for real. Obviously, blonde-red hair - curly too - is  a rarity in this straight black-bobbed world they inhabit and so, in their eyes, I am somehow 'exotic'. Hmmm!

Yet, hairstyles are one of the few things not on the move in modern Shanghai where the cityscape - most of it constructed in the past decade or so - seems straight off a futuristic sketchpad. 

Parts of it belong to the ballpoint pen school of architecture - tall, cylindrical, with a conical top and pointed tip. A good way to enjoy the skyline is to take a sunset cruise on the Huangpu river. Shanghai is about 10 kilometres from the mouth of the river at the  delta.

Others could have come straight from the set of Star Wars, their bobbles and flying saucer shapes glowing pink and silver, frosty blue and amber, linked by impossibly thin towers. 


Like most Asian cities, though, a few steps will take you to parts where the locals live and work and, most importantly, eat. This is where you will find the real Shanghainese food: silken dumplings, fried breads, cakes, stirfries and deep bowls of soup.

It's the place where you'll see families gathered, enjoying the sunshine and a snack.

For a change of pace, even if you have only a few minutes, take a mind-blowing there-and-back ride to the airport on Shanghai’s superfast train, the Maglev (magnetic levitation) which for several seconds reaches 430 kph. It spends the rest of the seven-minute trip either getting up to speed and slowing down again, and is a truly a ‘mouth open in amazement’ experience, yet remarkably smooth and quiet.

But if you are more in need of some quiet respite, it's waiting for you in Old Shanghai, an enclave of lovingly restored Ming dynasty (14th-17th century) buildings. It is like slipping back in  time with tea houses built over carp-filled pools.

Here you can sit for hours with some yum cha and endless pots of green tea...

.... and watch as people come and go. It is hard to believe that within sight are the tall buildings of one of the busiest cities on earth.

Nearby there are shops and of course, always more food. 

Places like this dumpling restaurant are an ideal spot  for a quick meal.

Today's Shanghai is buzzing, the financial capital of China and, some predict, the city that will one day dominate the world's banking and economy.

With a population of over 14 million, it has the formula, you would imagine, for shocking traffic snarls, pollution and poverty. But Shanghai's public face is smiling. The shops are smart and business seems to be booming, while traffic is generally 'polite'. 

"Look for the private cars," our guide encourages us. "See, there are none - nobody drives here." And it is true. Buses, motor scooters and taxis stream along the multi-laned multi-level freeways in an orderly mass, but the rare private vehicles are noteworthy. I asked a city entrepreneur whether he drove in Shanghai. After all, he had lived here for decades, but he grimaced and shrugged. "I use a taxi," he answered dismissively, and later when I took a half hour cab ride for just as few yuan, I could see why. 

There is no shortage of hotels in Shanghai. The Langham Xintiadi is walking distance to The Bund and shopping districts. The Xintiadi district is worth exploring too. With its cobbled streets and antique walls, there are still sophisticated galleries, stylish bars, smart cafes and boutiques and is at the heart of Shanghai’s entertainment scene.

The hotel's breakfast buffet would have to be one of the most luxurious in town .....

.... and the decor is quirkily-avant garde....

....while reminders of the trademark Langham style are always apparent.

From the Bund - everybody's favourite promenade spot, and backed by staid bank-solid colonial buildings, hotels, luxury watch headquarters, investment brokers - those on the other side of the sedate Huangpu River glow in a Manhattan-like clump.

On the right, the Shanghai International Convention Centre flanked by twin globes, complements the avant garde Orient Pearl TV Tower building which, at 468 metres, is the tallest of its kind in Asia, and third-tallest in the world.

Behind them again, stands the magic silver wire structure of the 88-storey Grand Hyatt plunging skyward. Late one evening we take a little train - a funfair-meets-space-age creation that dives under the river from the Bund through a tunnel blazing with psychedelic neon hoops and lights and fairy spangles. When we emerge, less than five minutes later, the incandescent glow of the Grand Hyatt still seems distant, and lures us the last few blocks like some glowing mirage. 

Inside is the dizzying lobby on the 54th floor with its shimmering marble expanse that visitors cross to take the whisper-soft lift to the 85th floor before changing for yet another one that transports them, quite literally, to Cloud 9, the hotel's darkly atmospheric bar overlooking the sparkling sprawl that is Shanghai by night.

From here you can see it all: the river looping through the city, the areas that once housed opium dens, French colonial quarters, stately British mansions and homes of Chinese merchants. It was of this cosmopolitan and raunchy city that a missionary once said: "If God lets Shanghai endure, he owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah." You could see why someone once called it "the city par excellence of two things, money and the fear of losing it."

On the riverside promenade at the Bund one morning we come across these youngsters performing in front of their adoring parents - the same as it would be anywhere in the world.

Except, although very young, they were absolutely serious about their performance - maybe because of the watchful eye behind them.

A wall of floweing plants makes the ideal spot for tourists and locals alike to pause for a photograph nearby. It's a reminder this massive city has seen it all, yet is still providing something for everyone. Business people, traders, children, and of course tourists, are welcome to enjoy this major city, but on its own terms. 

Shanghai has been around for a long time, and, like its skyline, the only way it plans to go is up.



Promenade on the Bund, especially by night, and enjoy the view across the river.

Take the train under the river to the far bank.

Visit Cloud 9, the bar on the 85th floor of the Grand Hyatt.

Visit the People's Square, the Shanghai Museum, the Yu Garden maze, or the Jade Buddha Temple.

Take a river cruise.

Spend an evening at an acrobatic show or the Chinese Opera.


Bustling Nanjing Road is Shanghai's acknowledged shopping street. A few blocks up from the well-known Peace Hotel, a wide pedestrian mall offers limited safety (bikes and motor scooters are not prohibited, and need to be alertly considered) and several department stores flank the space.

Browse the Old Street for antiques, scouring local markets, or a few hours at one of the international standard Friendship Shopping Centres.


- Sally Hammond.


News Feed

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Do you know....

See how well you know  your food.

Test yourself......




Taste of Melbourne, 13-16 November

Margaret River Gourmet Escape, WA, November 21-23





Here's a new take on an old Russian favourite.

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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??

Try these guilt-free options...



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.

Learn more...


Need a coffee????


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

... read more

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!

See where it is....








NOVEMBER food-related events worldwide.



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

Be quick for this one!


Queensland has whales too...

....and they are helping research!



Ever dreamed of having your own place in France.

This may make it easier....



Let's go WHALE spotting in Sydney!


They're migrating NOW!




Tour the world in a luxury private jet .....

But wait, there's more.....


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

Check these out!


Where better to take a French cookery course.....

...than in Paris?

Taste Miami with someone who knows.

See how to do it...

Shopping in Paris is great fun - but you might need some help...

...and not just with carrying your purchases!

Find out more.....



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

Learn more about it...


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

...find out where

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

Read more....



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.