Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Thanks Unique Honeymoon Ideas

Well I was pretty tickled pink when Wanderlust ran my article on Hoi An and now they have also featured it on their sister website

Honeymoons are obviously made from dreams with powder soft sand, blue skies, rolling mountains or green lands but no matter what you choose the food also needs to stand out. That first meal over candlelight, or moonlight should tickle those tastebuds and those who choose Vietnam and indeed Hoi An will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Thank you Wanderlust

It all started with a shot in the dark email and ended today with the publication of my article on the Wanderlust website. 

After winning a small travel writing competition a few months back I thought I would contact Wanderlust magazine again and ask if they could help me with Our Travelling Cookbook in any way possible and to my delight it worked. Today saw my article, '5 mouth watering moments in Hoi An', published on their website homepage followed by a brief write up of myself along with Our Travelling Cookbook and a link to this blog. Check out to read more. 

It's things like this that really make a difference and make me believe that just maybe this concept has got legs and will, eventually, work.

Over to you guys

I must admit it did come as a slight shock when I found out how much it costs to send 6 A4 hardback books around the world. Needs must though and as I lovingly sealed the jiffy bags down and placed them on the scales I hoped that just someone out there would take them on the journey of their lives.

Now you may wonder why I have only mentioned 6, well the remaining 2 for Zanzibar and Goa have had a minor delay as I was waiting on their addresses. Zanzibar will depart this Thursday and Goa hopefully next week and then that's it, their fate is in your hands.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Food Chain

It’s that feeling when you step from a plane and the unknown places a friendly hand on your shoulder guiding you on your way. Sitting on a bus, in a car, on a train, looking out of the window at the newness that surrounds. The people, their smiles, their looks, their houses, their friends, their food, their hearts. 

From that first night when you set foot outside to find your first taste to the last night when the menu is familiar and the highlights tried and tested, food brings together all who travel. Whether your mates turn their noses up at the mere sight of something different or embrace everything from fried beetles to bird spit pie, food will always create conversations, forge friendships and divide opinion. So with all this in mind and with an inspiring array of flavours out there let’s share it, why not? 

A travelling diary of food, from Bangkok back alleys to Melbourne meze’s, let’s write about it, in our words, and then tell the world what we think.

I need people on board for this to work, I need people who understand the concept, are excited by it and will, most importantly, look after my precious books as they wing their way to wherever they are taken.

On Thursday 6th September I shall be sending the 8 blank books out to the 8 hotels that have agreed to take part. These travelling cookbooks will be displayed by the hotels in their reception and talked about with all who pass by. The idea is that after a while someone will be inspired to pick it up and take it with them on their journey. From then on the story of Our Travelling Cookbook is unknown and exciting. Whoever has it needs to write their food stories down, the local recipes they’ve tried, the things they’ve loved, the things they’ve hated and then once they’ve finished they need to pass it on to someone else, anyone else, the only requirement is a love of food and travel, the rest is up to them. Doodles and spillages are welcome as they add character after all!

To start the cookbook on it's journey all hotels have agreed to add a recipe of their own on the first page and then it’s over to you guys. All who take part are encouraged to follow Our Travelling Cookbook on and, as well as this blog, that way I can keep track of where it is and how you’re all getting on. Every contributor will be acknowledged if and when this book makes it onto the shelves of a bookshop near you!

Whoever has it last, you are possibly the most important link of all in this food chain as it's the journey home to me in London that's the vital connection. Wherever you are in the world though I would arrange postage for this.

So, all that's left to say is watch this space and hopefully Our Travelling Cookbook will unveil itself before our very eyes!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Papaya Playa, Tulum comes up trumps.....

I was beginning to think the America's would never jump on board after my final attempt at 'earth to Salvador' fell on deaf ears, but fear not, we have a breakthrough! After a week of wondering whether Papaya Playa in Tulum would be interested I received an email and a very enthusiastic one at that. Having visited Tulum a few years back and experienced the Mexican hospitality, great restaurants and amazing streetfood I really did feel like it was here I wanted to send the final 8th book and it really has made my day now I've heard back from them. Hopefully this book will get lovingly picked up by someone who will then go and enjoy seafood taco's and a cold corona whilst watching the Gulf of Mexico crash against the powder sand shores.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Calling on Salvador

It seemed relatively easy to entice Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia on board therefore I am stumped as to why I have hit a stumbling block with the Americas. Firstly there was San Francisco, a laid back culinary city whose love of clam chowder and sourdough had me licking my lips from the moment I stepped off the plane, but nothing. After persevering I moved onto LA, slightly more tricky with choices seemingly reserved for either high end chain hotels or budget motels, still nothing though. Ah ha, I shall move further south and into tropical climes I thought, Mexico and Tulum was to be my next attempt. Once again nothing as was the case with Lima and Cusco. Now I am hanging my hopes on the carnival town of Salvador in the north of Brazil. There's still time for one of the above to come back to me, afterall maybe the hot tropical heat has sent them delirious or they have been temporarily abducted by aliens. Surely it can't be because they don't want to be a part of it.....could it?

Come on the Americas, you're my only missing link!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Coffee Daze

A balmy summer's afternoon in Melbourne with coffee, cake, sushi and steak at every turn. In a city so diverse it's no surprise that around every corner the scent of freshly cooked food and ground coffee beans wrap their arms around you and draw you in. Fast forward a few hours and you're tumbling back out, smiling, content and heading for the nearest cold beer and an evening of fun!

The Nunnery in Melbourne is just one of the hotels taking part in Our Travelling Cookbook and they are perfectly positioned in Fitzroy to explore the many bars and restauants down Brunswick Street and Lygon. 

So, do you know of anyone who wants to add a delight from Down Under to the book? 

Waiting on America

So Villa Rivercat in Goa and Paje by Night in Zanzibar are the latest 2 hotels to join forces with Our Travelling Cookbook, all I need now is the USA and South Amercia who are both proving rather elusive! I'm still grafting away though and hopefully my determination will pay off and they'll give in!

Initially I'd said the 10th August was going to be the official launch date, however with the above delay in contacting the America's and the later season in Goa meaning Villa Rivercat won't be open for business until September I'm going to postpone the launch. Early September it will be so keep your eyes peeled. There's a couple of other things up my sleeve too which may very well increase this blogs viewing numbers and hopefully make the Cookbook more of a success.

So, sit back, wait for the next update and spread the word my Cookbookers!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The slow ball is definitely rolling!

My patience has paid off and 4 out of the 8 hotels have now replied. I'd like to take this opportunity to give the following Cookbookers a big tasty shout out......

Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore - your enthusiasm has been great, along with your retweets!

Room at Bangkok - and now Room at Bali too!

Clink78, London - I had to get a reply from my hometown!

The Nunnery, Melbourne - congrats on being the first to return my mail!

It's slowly but surely coming together and with each tweet, each Facebook 'like' and each blog update I feel that maybe, just maybe, this might work!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Patience is a virtue

Ok, so checking my inbox every 10 minutes doesn’t necessarily mean an email will miraculously appear. Note to self: need to work on patience. I really would like to receive one reply from a hotel though, so I’m giving myself until Sunday before sending a little friendly reminder.

In order for this project to work I need hotels that are willing to receive the initial blank books. They can add the first food idea if they want, or words of worldly gastronomic wisdom, or failing that just sit back and wait for someone to come and take it off their hands. If it’s on display and people see and read about it then hopefully it will be taken and its journey can begin. I’ve selected 8 of the best that seem to capture creativity, fun and imagination therefore hopefully they will also see this reflected in my idea and help propel it onwards. Until these hotels agree though, I will have to rest on my laurels and patiently wait.

Right, now let me just go and check my inbox once more…….

Monday, 9 July 2012


8 empty books, sent to 8 destinations, poised to create the world story of food told by its travellers.  

Have you stumbled across a foodie find, a revealing restaurant, a back alley banquet? Or maybe you've tucked into something you wish you hadn’t. It all tells a story. It’s your story and your world. We need people like you to pick up a book, write about the local recipes you’ve tried, the ingredients you’ve seen, the cooking methods that have inspired and the flavours you’ve loved. Doodles, stickers and spillages all add to the authenticity of the book so don’t be scared, pick it up and give it a whirl. Imagine what could be possible.

Will you be near London, Melbourne, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Singapore or Goa in August? Are you interested in being a part of this project and ultimately being recognised as a contributor to the world’s first truly travelling cookbook? I need people on board who are genuinely inspired by the Our Travelling Cookbook concept and can understand the potential for this exciting project. Once you have had your say you would then be responsible for passing it on. This could be to friends you meet along the way, travellers who read about the concept through this blog or on our Facebook and Twitter pages or failing that it can be dropped off at one of many participating hostels.

Some may say this is ambitious, unreliable and unmanageable whereas I say it’s inspiring, original and exciting. As well as food being at the heart of this project so is the travelling world out there. The success of Our Travelling Cookbook relies on the individuals that hop on board and create a page or 2 from their world. They need to pass it on and spread the word. It may stall, it may vanish for a while but hopefully with some good will, some inspired and enquiring minds and a healthy dose of tasty food, the travelling world out there will help it on its way and eventually home to me.

Be inspired
Pick it up
Take it with you
Add some words
......and maybe a doodle
Add you name & nationality
Pass it on
Keep in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages
Watch it's progress
Celebrate the outcome of what you have created