Budapest: Coffee House Hunting

Here’s a question for you: given the choice between the carefully crafted, historically imbued and Viennese-style elegance of Café Gerbeaud and the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, Mad Max, punk rock-style demeanor of Szimpla Kertmozi Café, in which one would you choose to nurse a coffee while either gazing into the distance, avoiding eye contact, reading a magazine or … Read more Budapest: Coffee House Hunting

City Break: San Francisco

  Back in 1776, when Spanish conquistadors established a mission on the West Coast of California – naming it after St Francis of Assisi – little did they know what they were founding. It took quite a while for people to discover the place, anyway – early explorers sailed up and down the length of … Read more City Break: San Francisco

48 Hours In: Sicily

It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to discover that Sicily has always been coveted by those who know a good thing when they see it. That fact that it’s the largest island in the Mediterranean certainly made it noticed; more significantly, perhaps, was its central Mediterranean position, which strategically made it a … Read more 48 Hours In: Sicily

City Break: Perpignan

For no good reason that I can think of, Perpignan hasn’t been on the list of people’s must-see destinations. True, it doesn’t readily spring to mind when you tick off places in France you might want to visit, yet after spending a few days here in early April (raining in Dublin; 20-degree plus in Perpignan), … Read more City Break: Perpignan

Hotel: Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland

What’s it all about? Well, Ashford Castle is all about history, service, attention to detail and being made to feel like royalty, that’s what it’s all about. This majestic pile dates back to 1228, from whence it changed hands and appearance many times (it has gone from being, initially, a defensive castle stronghold to French … Read more Hotel: Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland

Hotel: Aghadoe Heights, Kerry, Ireland

There are many reasons to recommend Aghadoe Heights, but the one thing that always springs to mind whenever this luxury Irish spa hotel comes up in conversation (which is more often than you might think, especially when you’re stuck at home either nursing a cold, or looking outside and wishing you were anywhere else but … Read more Hotel: Aghadoe Heights, Kerry, Ireland

Hotel: Parknasilla, Kerry, Ireland

There are various crucial reasons why anyone pays good money to spend a leisure weekend (or longer) in a hotel: they want to base themselves in a city destination and simply use the hotel room for sleeping in; they want to base themselves in a relatively remote location, amble through the local area and enjoy … Read more Hotel: Parknasilla, Kerry, Ireland