When a man is tired of London he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford — Samuel Johnson.
London is no one trick pony. There really is something for everyone and here is your guide to the many places to see and things to do in the city of London.
I love cycling. But I really, really love eating fine food. In fact it’s quite possible that the only reason I love cycling is just to burn off calories so I can eat more tasty morsels! In an ideal world, or perhaps more realistically a world in which I didn’t have to work for a living, I would spend months on end – or quite possibly a lifetime – cycling around Europe eating the local delicacies in every single town, village, city and region.
But coming back to reality, and I decided a more attainable target would be to cycle around France, which, as the home of both modern gastronomy and cycling’s most prestigious and well known event, Le Tour, seemed a pretty fine place to start. Of course on learning that France is roughly two and a half times larger than the UK, I had to once again downscale my ambitions and decided to pick the country off one or two regions at a time.
Given that Provence is home to some of my favourite, classic French dishes I decided to start there and, rather handily, both Nice and Marseilles are easily accessed by flight from the UK. Marseilles is such a wonderful, vibrant city. A little rough around the edges with a melting pot of cultures, peoples and cuisines it is the home of bouillabaisse, my ultimate, all-time, absolute number one French dish. This fine seafood stew has such a depth of flavour thanks to its variety of fish and shellfish that simply its smell is enough to transport me to a sunny day in Provence; but sampling the dish while already in the south of France saves the imagination and allows you to savour the surroundings which befit this quintessential cuisine.
From Marseilles we cheated somewhat and took the train inland to Le Thoronet before our cycling properly began. We headed to Carces, a medium-sized village with a fine Saturday market and a pleasant lake a few miles outside. Here we found a small yet delightful local restaurant serving another of my favourite dishes, ratatouille. Although this is really from Nice, here we devoured a superb version – simple yet spectacular with the flavours of the sun ingrained into the vegetables.
Another couple of days’ cycling took us to Bauduen, replete with artisanal food and craft shops and endless cafes serving more delightful food, including another speciality of Nice, the pissaladiere. This Provencal pizza (sans tomato) is fine cycling fuel given depth of flavour by the fish used to make the topping.
Plenty of stunning Provencal vistas later, including the stunning forests around Tourtour and no end of medieval towns and peaceful hamlets and we were heading back towards Le Thoronet; though not before we had seen wonderful Gothic churches and fine chateaux, had enjoyed the scents and colour of fields of lavender and cycled through olive groves and vineyards aplenty. Provence – eat, cycle, then eat some more! With a few glasses of fine, fine wine to wash it all down of course.
Our next trip is already booked and this time we’ll be heading to the Dordogne. This area is perhaps even better endowed with fabulous foods to enjoy and with ancient woodlands home to the sensational Perigord truffles it truly is a gastronomic delight. The delicate perfume of the truffles lends anything a luxurious feel and with awe-inspiring scenery making the miles fly by on the bike we intend to indulge to our heart’s content. Champagne is only a mere 700km away – I think I might be planning the trip after next already!
Tokyo is one of the biggest and most visited metropolitan cities in the world, the rival of those like New York, London or Hong Kong. This city has something for everyone and many unique experiences. Here are 5 of the most popular and accessible attractions and sights to see and visit.
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