Finding F. Scott Fitzgerald at the Hotel Belles Rives

“With our being back in a nice villa on my beloved Riviera (between Cannes and Nice) I’m happier than I’ve been for years. It’s one of those strange, precious and all too transitory moments when everything in one’s live seems to be going well.” So reads the quotation engraved in marble in the lobby of the Hotel Belles Rives in the Riviera town of Juan-Les-Pins. Its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, rented the hotel when it was still a private villa in the summer of 1925. His time in this part of France served as inspiration for both my favourite novel…

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How to make the most of a 23-hour Hong Kong stopover

The primary reason I booked my flights to Australia in December with Cathay Pacific was that I had unfinished business in Hong Kong, the airline’s hub. I flew to Hong Kong when I travelled to Shenzhen and Shanghai last year for work, but the moment I landed I was scooped up by a people carrier and escorted across the border into mainland China. With my nose pressed against the window I watched as the towers and bridges and unfamiliar geography passed me by. I’ve always been fascinated by Hong Kong because at one point my parents were going to move there — it…

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My Montreal top 5: jet boating, bars and the Basilica

Here are the top five things that I loved about the city of Montreal. 1.) Notre-Dame Basilica If you see one thing in Montreal, make it the Notre-Dame Basilica in the old town. I honestly had no idea that churches that looked like this existed outside of Europe. Built in the gothic revival style, the church was originally erected in 1672 in stone, but eventually became too small, so was rebuilt. Rather than depicting religious tales, the stained glass windows show important events from Montreal’s history, which is no surprise given that the building plays such a central role in…

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Birthday at The Pig, Brockenhurst

The Pig is nothing if not built for maximum comfort. At every turn there is something soft and squishy to throw yourself onto.

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