Learning Swahili from the Locals

2018-11-26T11:00:53+07:00By |

Learning Swahili from the locals in the Masai Mara was part of the Kenya experience. Every person we met made an effort to teach us a word or two. Imagine how much better we'd all communicate if that enthusiasm for sharing language was global. “Jambo! (hello!),” the security guy cheerfully calls out to us as …

The Art of African Beading

2018-05-03T13:23:44+07:00By |

“Beading has always been a part of Xhosa tradition and culture,” our guide Sabelo says on the way to our first stop on our African Beading Workshop with Cape Town tour company Andulela. Learning has been an important part of our grand tour this year and I knew as soon as we arrived in Cape …

Cooking in Cape Town – A Cape Malay Cooking Lesson

2018-05-08T18:36:25+07:00By |

Cape Town's Bo-Kaap neighbourhood is beloved for its picture-postcard streetscapes with their candy coloured terrace houses, cobblestones and quaint mosques. However, the real attractions for us are the aromas that waft from its kitchens and the chance to do some cooking in Cape Town – Cape Malay style. The locals of this historic quarter have stuck firmly …

Argentine Wine 101 – Yes, There is More Than Malbec!

2018-05-03T18:07:06+07:00By |

Ask a wine expert in Buenos Aires who the best person is to talk to about Argentine wine and they’ll probably recommend an Englishman! We generally seek out locals when we want to learn something that is inherently ‘local’ in a place, but in Buenos Aires one name kept popping up, that of wine consultant, …

James M White, the Man Behind The Broken Spoke, Austin

2017-11-08T22:26:27+07:00By |

When we first met James M White, the owner of The Broken Spoke in Austin, we knew we had to interview the guy. James is just as much of a legend as his legendary honky tonk dance hall. Not only is The Broken Spoke the oldest and most famous honky tonk joint still in operation, …

Learning the Texas Two Step at an Austin Honky Tonk

2018-05-13T12:06:09+07:00By |

We didn’t need much encouragement to get us to The Broken Spoke, Austin’s famous honky tonk country dance hall. Getting me on the dance floor for some Texas Two Step, however, was another thing, and involved a bit of trickery on the part of Rusty Irons, who had brought us here. It’s not that I …

Gamelan Lessons in Bali — Getting Giddy with the Gamelan in Ubud

2018-12-17T17:49:03+07:00By |

The gamelan and its music had always intrigued me as a musician. I've always found the Indonesian ensemble of metallophones, xylophones, gongs, and various other instruments wonderful to listen to, but I had little idea as to how the hell they made that enchanting noise. Was there a score that the gamelan orchestra followed, I wondered. Were there …

We’re all going on a Grand Tour!

2018-11-26T11:01:06+07:00By |

There’s no denying the Grand Tour was partly a summer holiday, the grand tourists leaving England, and later America, to travel to The Continent, invariably crossing the Alps to spend some months in the sunshine in Italy – under a parasol of course. But the Grand Tour was about so much more than lazing among …