Tuesday, May 24, 2011


An unorthodox look at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz Fest.

My best mate, Scotty, lives in New York.

I've known him since we were kids, we were flatmates for a while, and we took the best part of a round-the-world trip together way back when. He is many things. Clever, amusing, successful MBA grad, senior executive, husband, dad and all-round positive spirit.

And when it comes to food, he has an adventurous streak.

I've seen him select some dreadful things from perfectly good menus all over the world. A bowl of raw, unfamiliar shellfish over grilled salmon in Southern Chile. A selection of offal over a mixed grill of the finest cuts in Argentina. Oyster patties in New Orleans (keep reading). Even The Spotted Pig's Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese, over, well, just about everything else on the menu there.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Like most people, I watched the story of the final moments of Osama bin Laden unfold with total fascination. For days, I couldn’t take my eyes and ears from the information, descriptions and conspiracy theories streaming endlessly from mainstream and new media. It was, and will be for some time yet, a big story.

Even before the dust had settled, all I could think about was getting myself to Abbottabad. I justified this travel urge to myself by praising the city’s quirky British heritage, fine, temperate climate and stunning views from the surrounding Sarban Hills. But the reality is, I’d just love to take a look around the bin Laden digs and smell this dramatic, violent moment in history.

And if reports are correct, it appears that local hoteliers have every expectation that the end of bin Laden will be the start of something big for Abbottabad.

All of this has got me wondering…