Movie Review: Youth

Youth_04120_picture by Gianni Fiorito

Something about director Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film Youth reminded me of taking the time to watch a sunset: an exalted if everyday occurrence that’s slow paced but ends too soon.

To be released 29 January in UK cinemas, Youth sees old pals Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Harvey Keitel) hanging out on holiday at an upscale spa hotel in the Swiss Alps. Both are nearing 80 and grappling with the fact that the best of their lives is behind them. There’s a calm charm to this movie about life’s golden years that’s beguiling and poignant, but it’s marked too often by cumbersome attempts to get its message across.
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That Time I Met David Bowie


He told us not to blow it ‘cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

Sorry I’m late to the commemoration of one of the most influential musicians of my lifetime. I was in Namibia cruising down a desert road miles from any living soul when I heard the news of David Bowie’s death come on the radio.

Or at least I assumed that was what the report was about. The station was all-German (a legacy of Namibia’s colonial past) and the broadcast went something like this to my ears:

German German German David Bowie German German German Iggy Pop German German German Berlin German German GermanGerman German German

But, from the somber tone of the announcer and not being able to figure out why else there’d be a news update about Bowie, I surmised the worst must be true.

I looked around – nothingness everywhere – and had something of a Major Tom moment.
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Experience a Full Spectrum of Flavours at the Malaysian Home Cooking Supper Club

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Home cooking. It’s a most wonderful thing when done with passion and pride. And if the proud and passionate cook’s original home happens to Malaysian, then those folks lucky enough to enjoy the flavoursome fare are in for an especially delicious treat. One such fortunate foodie was me last time round at Vi Vian Woo’s Malaysian Home Cooking supper club.

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Vi brings to her table a chef’s background. She even co-owned her own Malaysian restaurant in Spain for five years with her husband (which she believes to have been the only Malaysian restaurant in the country at that time). Now living in London, she opens her home (a “characterful warehouse conversion” in central-ish east London) and occasionally other venues to the public for regular supper clubs featuring a range of dishes that celebrate the “gastronomic diversity” and “true fusion” of Malaysian cuisine.
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Your Ultimate Guide to Delicious Dallas (Miles Away)

Don't Mess with Texas BBQ

Dallas is a dynamic place, and if you’re in town and seeking a bite of something tasty, you’ll have a run of delicious options catering to all palates and budgets – from food trucks to luxury hotels. And Dallas isn’t just a culinary hub for the great state of Texas, it’s also one of the best and most diverse dining scenes in all of America! Yum.

Want to know where you should eat next time you visit Dallas? We’ve got you covered. Bon appétit, y’all!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Actress Zoe Richards Introduces Us To Mr. Selfridge Season 4’s Vaudeville Royalty, Jenny Dolly

Zoe Richards

Maddie Salters interviews Zoe Richards about her role as Jenny Dolly in Mr Selfridge Season 4.

Wealth, sensuality, shopping, and scandal: ITV’s Mr Selfridge has been gripping British viewers for three seasons now, and on Friday, January 8th at 9pm, the series’ fourth and final season will premier. The period drama has been a roller coaster ride through war and romance, following the rise and fall of its titular character, the London retail magnate Harry Selfridge (played by Jeremy Piven).

Season 4 will feature what the Season 3 finale teased at: the arrival of the infamous Dolly Sisters, a pair of identical twin dancers who lit up the hearts and stages of Europe in the vaudeville days. Starring in the role of Jenny Dolly, a tragic and romantic figure that shapes the destiny of Mr. Selfridge and his brand, is Zoe Richards. The up-and-coming actress has tackled roles on the big screen from How to Become a Criminal Mastermind to Get Him to the Greek. For her dynamic return to television for this whirlwind part, I interviewed Zoe to discuss life on set, the rigours of acting as a career, and how she prepared for bringing Jenny Dolly’s rich and sensational story to life for millions of viewers.

The katana-wielding, poetry-writing actress dove right in, showing just much spirit and energy as Jenny herself.
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Crete Eats: Round Up of Posts

Crete Eats

Here’s a round up of all of Maddie Salters’ posts about her recent agro adventure in Crete.

To help you browse Maddie’s Crete Eats posts, here’s a list with links to all of them:

Crete Eats

A Grecian Agro-Adventure
Fantastic Mastic!
In The Olive Grove
Cheesemaking at a High-Altitude Goat Farm
A Michelin Day In The Kitchen
Agro-Adventuring – Is It For You?
Round Up of Posts 

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Crete Eats: Agro-Adventuring – Is It For You?

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Maddie Salters makes the case for having an agro-adventure in Greece.

Let me take a moment to describe what the landscape of Greece is like. Mountains topped with sun-spattered clouds, expanding towards the shining armor of the sea, dotted with greenery, with villages nestled into each crest and valley. I could understand why the ancients believed in Zeus and Hera: never had I be somewhere that looked more like an impressionist painting. A truly majestic spot, especially for lovers of ancient history.
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Crete Eats: A Michelin Day In The Kitchen

Chef Dimitris Mavrakis

Maddie Salters has a Michelin day in a Cretan kitchen.

On my final day in Crete, I was transported from the field to the inside of a kitchen at restaurant Kritamon in the Archanes village with Michelin starred Chef Dimitris Mavrakis.

This is where my days of farming took root in culture and found some finesse. I learned that Cretan food of the type I’d been digging up and dining on all week is so healthy that it had been proven to help solve cardiac problems. I’d readily believe it, if the number of people over the age of seventy I saw jauntily climbing up mountains were any proof.

It’s the combination of olive oil, beans, and greens, greens, greens that really does it.
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Crete Eats: Cheesemaking at a High-Altitude Goat Farm

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Maddie Salters continues her agro-adventure on the island of Crete.

In the high-altitude village of Krana in Mylopotamos, the baying of goats is a common sound. They are a shepherding people, in this part of Crete, and I had the honour and pleasure to meet Father Andreas Kokkinos, one such shepherd who would show me the ropes.
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Crete Eats: In The Olive Grove

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Maddie Salters finds her visit to a Cretan olive grove to be both exhausting and meditative.

Welcomed with warm Greek hospitality by the locals in the small Cretan village I’d be living in for five days, I admit, I was spoiled right off the bat. After a welcome meal of fava beans, sour beet root, lime fried mushrooms, tzatziki sauce and bread, dakos, and more (much, much more: the Greek way is all about small mezze taster dishes), I was left daydreaming about which was my favourite. Little did I know that olive oil would be the victor.
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Crete Eats: Fantastic Mastic!

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Maddie Salters discovers fantastic mastic!

It is often said you are what you eat. So there’s reason enough to focus on healthy foods.
In Crete, land of dittany, that is precisely what they do – taking the effort almost to an extreme, and producing their own medicines even. We were treated to a traditional medicine-making class, to learn how Greeks; both of yore and of right now; make cough syrups and throat drops that clear congestion and fight coughs.
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Crete Eats: A Grecian Agro-Adventure

Maddie Salters in Crete

Join Maddie Salters on an agricultural adventure on the island of Crete.

With winter tightening its chilly grip over the UK, I escaped to sunny Crete for an Agro-Adventure.
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Best Travel + Food and Drink Blog | Vote for Me? #UKBA16

Travel with tikichris?

Should this blog win an award? I dunno. But 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of tikichris, and some sort of ‘official’ acknowledgement sure would feel good. This year’s UK Blog Awards are now open for public voting. I would appreciate your vote.

My blog is up for public voting in two categories: Travel and Food and Drink. There’s a ton of entries. I don’t think stand a chance. But, ya never know.

To vote for tikichris …

Click here:
http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2016/my-entry/tikchris#votenow

You’ll see a drop down menu with these options:
– Travel + Food and Drink
– Travel
– Food and Drink

I would appreciate it most if you could vote for that first Travel + Food and Drink option.

Voting for the 2016 UK Blog Awards is open from Monday 4 to Monday 25 January 2016 at 9pm.

To vote you’ll need to enter your name and email address. I hope that’s okay!
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Was My Match Met at TGI Friday’s, Leicester Square?

TGI Friday's Warrior Burger - DSC_1846

Despite feeling as though I knew exactly what to expect from a visit to the recently opened flagship TGI Friday’s at Leicester Square, I actually never had been to a TGI Friday’s and couldn’t recollect ever having tried its food or drink. Still, my presumptions proved largely correct when I took up the restaurant on its invitation to swing round to check out its shiny new mega huge digs and have a go at some new menu items.

The invite paired well with my need to be in that part of town on an upcoming date and turned out to be a good chance to meet with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Plus, I was curious to see if the place would be as I had imagined.

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Win a Bottle of R&B Distillers’ Raasay While We Wait Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Raasay While We Wait

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Happy New Year! I hope your Hogmanay was a merry one. Now that 2015 has come to an end and 2016 has commenced, it’s time to get ready for one of the best festivities on the British calendar: Burns Night.

And what better way to celebrate the life and works of Scottish poet Robert Burns than with a toast of single malt Scotch whisky? I’ve got a bottle of R&B Distillers’ Raasay While We Wait put aside for one lucky reader that’s sure to be the hit of any Burns Supper.
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2016 Resolutions

LDP 2015.05.27 - Self Portrait in Sections

A year ago, I resolved to ‘strive for bigger, better and ever more meaningful opportunities to tell stories through my words and images and relate amazing experiences with a broader and more closely connected audience.’ This year? I want to have at that all over again.

The difference is though, for 2016, I hope to hone my year-old resolution not only to continue trying for the chance to tell compelling stories, but also to realise more fully my voice in that process.
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London Daily Photo: Last One

LDP 2015.12.31 - Last Day

Today’s London Daily Photo is the last one I will publish. Thanks to all of you for the kind words about my shots, for the exciting opportunities that arose from running the series, and of course for choosing to include my photography as part of your daily routine for nearly a decade.

I’ve been publishing a London Daily Photo since the summer of 2006, the year I moved back to London. It’s been a fun way to chronicle my adventures in and observations of this amazing city. The series helped hone my skills as a photographer (and a blogger), while serving as an outlet for my creative expression. However, putting the series to rest has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while.
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London Daily Photo: Shelf

LDP 2015.12.30 - Shelf

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Good Stuff #49

Balblair Vintage 1999

Okay let’s see if I can squeeze out one more quick post of good stuff before the year ends.

Enjoy this list of fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve come across recently and thought were worth sharing with you.
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London Daily Photo: Moolah

LDP 2015.12.29 - Moolah

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Best of the Best of 2015

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2015? For me? It was an especially ace year! I hope it was for you too.

I also hope that in some small way my 2015 blogging helped you have more fun, discover something amazing, save some money or otherwise make more of your time than you might have otherwise.

Over the past several days, I’ve been recapping the year with a series of posts highlighting some of my favourite places and experiences from the past 12 months.
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London Daily Photo: Ends

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Best Beer of 2015

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There is so much good beer being brewed across the globe these days. Halleluiah! Here’s a look at my faves from 2015.

This list of best beers of 2015 is in alphabetical order and – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new beers available on the market.
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London Daily Photo: Silent Night

LDP 2015.12.27 - Silent Night

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Our Top 10 Posts of 2015: The Best of OneTravel (OneTravel)

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2015 turned out to be another great year for travel as can be seen by browsing through all of the amazing OneTravel blog stories from the past 12 months.

Here’s a look at our top 10 posts—offering perennial tips and inspiration to prepare you for your 2016 adventures.

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: Calm

LDP 2015.12.26 - Calm

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Best Hotels of 2015

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve - Earth Lodge

I spent a lot of nights away from London in 2015, mostly in comfy digs. Here’s a look at the most comfy ones I had the good fortune to call my home-away-from-home this year.

My list of favourite hotels veers toward the luxury end of the spectrum, but budget friendly considerations are included. In large part, hospitality and appreciation won out over bling or lavish excess.

It’s worth noting I’m using the term “hotel” loosely to mean a broad range of accommodation. This short list includes an albergo, an inn, a hostel, and a safari lodge as well as a more traditionally conceived hotel.

This list is in alphabetical order and – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.
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London Daily Photo: Peace

LDP 2015.12.25 - Peace

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Best London Pop-Ups, Takeovers, Supper Clubs, etc in 2015

Doppiozero's Torta della Nonna - DSC_1365

Dining out – and even eating in – can mean so many different things these days. Some of my favourite London meals of 2015 didn’t occur at a traditional restaurant or via a kitchen with a permanent address.

In a way this list is for ‘everything else’ that I loved taking a bite of this year but didn’t fit neatly into any specific category. It’s worth noting, I tend not to gush about pop-ups, supper clubs and such. So, the four outfits listed here – a couple of kitchen takeovers (one at a pub the other at a wine bar), as well as a catering company, and a supper club hosted in a private home – all really impressed me.

This list is in alphabetical order and – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of long established and brand new businesses as well as ones that are somehow related to where work and play took me.

By their very nature these enterprises may be subject changes in location, dates, and services offered. Also, I might be mentioning only one aspect of what they do and where you can find them. Check for yourself with the links provided before venturing out to try any of them.
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London Daily Photo: Eve

LDP 2015.12.24 - Eve

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Best Cheap Eats in London of 2015

Seth's Spice Hut - Walthamstow IMG_8274

A good (or even mediocre) meal for £5 or under is becoming less and less likely these days – but it still can be found. Here’s a look at five of London’s tastiest cheap eats priced at or less than a fiver.

Some of London’s best meals are still its cheapest. This seems especially to apply in the east (Walthamstow!) more than the west. But even foraging for affordable food in the heart of the West End or passing through some of Central London’s hippest and most trafficked areas, grabbing a bargain bite that’s filling and flavoursome remains a possibility.

Please note, this list – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of long established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.
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London Daily Photo: Santa

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Best London Bars and Pubs of 2015

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London has been a great place to drink for many a year. This year, for me, it seemed even better than before. My favourite watering holes continued to please while a handful of bars and pubs new or otherwise previously unknown to me caught my attention with great service, comfy digs and – most importantly – quality quaffs.

My list of best London bars and pubs is in alphabetical order (bars first, then pubs) and – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.

Bottoms up!
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Is Coffee the Secret to Great BBQ? (espressoCrazy)

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I spent much of October in America working on a story about the best BBQ in the Southern states. I clocked more than 2,500 miles across six states (Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina) taking time to visit some of the most celebrated BBQ eateries along the way. Most awesome gig ever? It was certainly the meatiest I’ve ever had!

One reoccurring theme I hadn’t expected to encounter along the way was the mention of coffee as an ingredient to making the smoked meat taste so good. Not quite with the same frequency of mention as quality of meat, wood type, temperature, or cooking time, coffee still came up a number of times in my research and in conversation as an important component to making the best “low and slow” smoked meats.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

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Best Bars of 2015 (Excluding London)

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Hey globetrotters, who’s up for a drink? If you ever happen to find yourself thirsty in Barcelona, Rome, Atlanta, or even Bath or tiny Hillsborough, North Carolina here’s where to go for the best flow of drinks mixed with camaraderie.

Please note, I left out London bars as I intend to share my faves in my next ‘best of’ post. Also keep in mind that venues are listed in alphabetical order and that this list – as is the case with all my Best of 2015 lists – merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.

Cheers!
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Posted in Travel, Food, Drink, Italy, Hotels, Wine, Beer, pubs, Rome, Luxury, Barcelona, USA, Best of 2015, Bars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment