And speaking of Paris ….

Paris fascinates me – I have been there only once, for a few days in 2007, when we stopped off on our way to cycle in Provence, and it captivated me – utterly and completely. Since that first visit, I have longed to return and finally my dream will come true in May. I have been consumed over the last few years with reading about … Continue reading And speaking of Paris ….

In praise of bookshops, dear reader….

This morning,  on a crisp walk in the winter sun with my grandson, I called into a local cafe to grab a quick latte, and went outside to wait for it. Directly beside the cafe is a lovely little bookshop, Dear Reader by name, which I have often felt drawn to as I walked by, so today, for the first time, I gave in to temptation and ventured inside – it … Continue reading In praise of bookshops, dear reader….

Longing for France ….

Today is Waitangi Day, a public holiday in New Zealand, to celebrate our history, and the signing of our founding document, The Treaty of Waitangi. It is the most magnifient of summer days – blue skies,with a light and balmy breeze to take the sting out of the hot sun. Idyllic really, so why then am I sitting on our deck, in the beautiful leafy … Continue reading Longing for France ….

And not forgetting Venice…

Books about Venice abound – at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying Marlena de Blasi’s A Thousand Days in Venice, well written, light, but informative, and it has me back in Venice with every page I turn! Of course, it has the added attraction of chronicling a whirlwind romance, but it also gives some fascinating insights into the Venetian way of life. Her account of the psyche of Venetian tradesmen is enlightening! But … Continue reading And not forgetting Venice…

French longings….

While I am deeply engrossed in When in Rome which I am thoroughly enjoying, I realised over the weekend that I have allowed beautiful Italy to seduce me somewhat, and to entice me away from my first love – France. On Saturday morning, while having my usual coffee with a group of gym friends, one of them mentioned a local supplier of beautiful French products, French Country Collections, and … Continue reading French longings….

Speaking of Italian cookbooks …..

Look what Nigella has come up with – Nigellissima! Thanks once again to Bookman Beattie for alerting me to this new book – so timely considering my previous post. I think I will have go for this one before I head off to buy Two Greedy Italians. I love Nigella’s cookbooks and her various TV series, and I am rather attracted by the subtitle of … Continue reading Speaking of Italian cookbooks …..

Masterchef Australia takes me back to Italy…..

I have just spent the last few hours viewing some of last week’s episodes from Masterchef Australia, where the lucky top ten contestants have been in Italy…. nice for some!  It is brilliant to be able to watch the programme in my own time, on this blustery, showery, yet sometimes sunny Sunday afternoon. And what  treat it has been! – I have to been to Rome and Florence again, and seen the … Continue reading Masterchef Australia takes me back to Italy…..

Bookman Beattie finds nostalgia in When in Rome…

Hot on the heels of my previous posting, my favourite book blogger, Bookman Beattie, reviews When in Rome for readers… I lent my copy of the book to a friend as soon as I bought it, as she was in need of lift due to a stressful family illness, and after all, I was just finishing The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. Take … Continue reading Bookman Beattie finds nostalgia in When in Rome…

Now for some vintage fiction set in Rome…….

It’s finally here! I have eagerly awaiting the release of Nicky Pellegrino‘s new book When in Rome, set in that city in the 1950’s.  I have so enjoyed all of her previous novels set in Italy – she writes with authority, being the daughter of an Italian father, and she researches her novels in Italy, giving them authenticity. I fell in love with the cover of When in Rome when … Continue reading Now for some vintage fiction set in Rome…….