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A Week In Madeira – 12. A Walk In Jurassic Park


The Laurisilva or the 15,000ha Primary Laurel Forest in the 27,000ha of Parque Natural da Madeira is an outstanding relict of a previously widespread laurel forest, which covered much of Southern Europe 15-40 million years ago. The laurels are ‘vascular plants’ which have specialised tissues for conducting water and minerals throughout the plant and are…

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Sunday Roast & IPA


“The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober” – William Butler Yeats   You have a lot to live up to if you name your pub after a great poet and a pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments. Many say that W. B. Yeats in Finsbury Park…

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Alvarinho & Custard Tarts


“Taberna do Mercado in London’s Old Spitalfields Market is a joint effort between chefs Nuno Mendes and Antonio Galapito to capture and reinterpret Portuguese food & flavours whilst championing specially sourced Portuguese ingredients”     Yesterday, we had lunch at Taberna do Mercado. It is a modest place right at the entrance to Old Spitalfields…

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A Week In Madeira – 11. Dinner At Reid’s


With a reputation of excellence, William Restaurant reflects the glamour of Belmond Reid’s Palace   The view of the Atlantic from the terrace was magnificent. The undulating garden down to the ocean was a delight. Inside, the glamour and opulence was breathtaking. And the welcome at the restaurant was comforting. The place oozed subdued elegance. The…

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A Week In Madeira – 10. Pico de Arieiro


One sunny morning we drove to Pico de Arieiro. At 5965 feet, it is the second highest mountain in Madeira and yes, you can drive almost to the top of it! The road clung to the side of the mountain and twisted and turned as it climbed. The view of the mist clad blue mountains and…

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Pol Roger At Hotel du Vin


  “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best” – Sir Winston Churchill   The taxi dropped us at the green front door of Hotel du Vin. It was a cold November evening in Harrogate and at six thirty, it has been dark already for well over an hour. Inside, it was warm and…