Chasing the last light of summer, I escaped for a weekend to the hills of Tuscany to celebrate my birthday with a few friends. We stayed in the breathtaking Vita Nova Casa Vacanze, chilled by the pool and ate way too many platters of Tuscan antipasto misto. We also participated in a truffle hunt with Pedro the Lagotto Romagnolo – organised by Mugello & Tuscany – along with a pasta masterclass to cook with our haul.
Disclosure: I was invited on this trip by Eurostar.
What kind of traveller are you? Do you like to research meticulously, create extensive lists of unmissable things, and book everything months ahead? I am definitely not in this category, choosing instead to go with the flow and plan as few itinerary details as possible. Who cares what everyone else is doing or seeing? My favourite travel memories are those moments reached by spontaneous decisions and serendipity. These values align perfectly with Interludes, a new concept launched by Eurostar.
When we stepped on board the train, we were handed an envelope that revealed: the hotel we would be staying at, the museum exhibit we were given a pass to, and (most exciting) the chef whose home we would be dining in that evening. Breakfast was served by a collaboration between the chefs at Honey & Co in London and Mokonuts in Paris. After checking into our hotel, the day was spent exploring and getting lost by foot around the beautiful streets of 3ème and 4ème arrondissements.
The best part of our Interludes adventure was dinner at the home of chef Taku Sekine for conversations over an unforgettable feast. As the wine flowed, we got to know Taku a little on a personal level as we chatted of politics, happiness and more. Even in his third language, Taku managed to convey such deep and wise thoughts… I really wished I could speak Japanese so we could talk even more!
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I don’t know what I was expecting as I made my way to Grosvenor Square. The air was biting cold and the sky was icy blue to match. I knew the Women’s March, a rally led by women but welcoming all participants, would be big… In fact, big didn’t quite cover it.
Women, men and children quickly filled the square in front of the US Embassy. Despite the numerous (and witty) digs at Trump’s many failings, the overall atmosphere was positive, and the movement was clearly about much more than just him. People wanted to show they would fight for the rights they felt were under threat – reproductive rights, immigration, gender equality, LGBTQ rights… hell, just basic human rights.