Escape the Election! 10 Destinations to Help Avoid the Onslaught of Political News (Miles Away)

2j architecture / Shutterstock2j architecture / Shutterstock

There are fewer than 100 days to go until America votes for a new president. And while Trump vs. Clinton is THE hot topic, not only in the US but also around the world, you likely need a break from the rancor and a timeout from the attack of never-ending news (and non-news) coverage, right?

… preempting conversations about the election or avoiding them all together is going to be easier to do in some places than in others. With that in mind, here are 10 suggestions for trips near and far to get you off the campaign trail.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Cane to Cocktail: Master Blender Joy Spence

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The highlight of my Cane to Cocktail tour of Jamaica was the opportunity to experience a slice of island living with Appleton Estate Master Blender, Joy Spence, and to savour the rums she created with her there to discuss the science and the craft that goes into making them.

So, my visit to distillery (as mentioned in the preceding post of this series) wasn’t all that special. I don’t get me wrong; I loved it. I’m just saying it’s something that’s open to the public and one of the top attractions in Jamaica. What made my time distillery so extraordinary was having Master Blender Joy Spence as guide. Continue reading

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Voyage de Fromage: Consider Comté

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Consider Comté: an unpasteurised, cow’s milk cheese made by traditional methods at farmer cooperatives to exacting standards in one of the most beautiful corners of rural France, to the delight of gourmands across the globe.

Please join me as I recount my early summer Voyage de Fromage to the Jura Mountains of Eastern France in a brief series of posts about Comté, the bucolic wonderland where it’s produced, and the fascinating factors contributing to its irresistibly unique flavour. Continue reading

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4 Secrets to a Cheaper European Summer Vacation (Going Places)

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With August just around the corner, you may be thinking that you’re missing out on yet another summer to see Europe in all her glory and will have to drop some serious coin if you want to get there before fall. But don’t despair: there are ways to get the most out of your budget and limit the pain in your pocketbook while hitting the continent in the summertime.

So if you’re gearing up for a last minute trip (or thinking about next year’s travel plans), have a look at this quartet of tips on how to make the most of a summer vacation in Europe…while spending the least amount of money.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Little Galicia at Tapas Revolution Shoreditch

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Tapas Revolution has teamed up with Estrella Galicia beer for a series of “Little Galicia” events this summer to bring a taste of Northern Spain to Shoreditch.

Little Galicia will be held over six weeks with events taking place every Tuesday night with themes ranging from beer and food pairing to Galician steak nights to encompass the beer culture, gastronomy and quality associated with Estrella Galicia. Continue reading

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The Langham Children’s Afternoon Tea with Hamleys

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Mia – a tikichris contributor, Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef, and mother of a toddler – visits The Langham London with her three-year old son for the launch of its new Children’s Tea with Hamleys – and gives it “triple whammy WOW!!” approval, from a pastry chef’s point of view, from a mum’s point of view, from a kid’s point of view.

The Pastry Chef

Being a Cordon Bleu trained Pastry Chef resulted in me being terribly high maintenance when it comes to all sugary creations. The Langham did not disappoint. I mean, Cherish Finden is the Executive Pastry Chef. The lady with the ruler on GBBO ‘Crème de la Crème”? Do I need to say more?? It was delicious, beautiful and very, very special. Continue reading

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Review: Magic & Mixology at The Vaults

Review: Magic & Mixology at The Vaults

So yeah, maybe I was a cocktail or two into my evening. Still, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and even the most sober of eyes would not be able to work out the illusions and tricks presented up close and in front of small audiences during the hour set of Magic & Mixology at The Vaults.

An hour of close-up magic presented to small groups by three ace magicians in rotation – Friday night’s Magic & Mixology was excellent entertainment. Continue reading

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Good & Proper Tea Co, Leather Lane

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Does the above photo make you green with envy? It should because it’s a picture of a delicious breakfast – a good and proper breakfast actually – enjoyed recently at Good & Proper Tea Co’s new location on Leather Lane. If you haven’t had a smartly selected G&P tea with a homemade crumpet you’re missing out and should be so jealous.

About half a year ago I was glad to have discovered Good & Proper’s tiny tea bar at The Bower off of Old Street. Today I’m just as pleased to shout about its new, and not so tiny, café on Leather Lane. Continue reading

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Cane to Cocktail: At the Source

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Produced only in Jamaica on one single estate in a small, circumscribed geographic area, Appleton Estate rum is one of the world’s few rums with a terroir. The core event of my Cane to Cocktail tour was a visit to the estate to discover what sets it apart from other rums and gives it such deep flavour.

At 400 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains more than 2,000 feet above sea level and spread across 4,600 hectares (11,400 acres) of the verdant Nassau Valley with its rich soil and distinctively hot and sticky microclimate – Appleton Estate grows its sugarcane and produces its rums in an area of the island known as Cockpit Country. It’s been doing just that right there for more than 265 years, making it Jamaica’s oldest sugar estate and distillery in continuous production. Continue reading

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7 Underrated Destinations You Must See (Going Places)

Earl D. Walker / ShutterstockEarl D. Walker / Shutterstock

With summer in full swing, you might be looking for the ideal destination. However, in your quest for the perfect summer getaway, don’t forget that there are so many places that are a bit under the radar, but still have a lot to offer.

Here’s a quick scan of seven underrated destinations worth keeping in mind as you plan your vacations, weekend breaks, and impromptu excursions.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Win a Case of Free Beer | Alhambra Reserva 1925

Win a Case of Free Beer from Alhambra Reserva 1925

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

Alhambra Reserva 1925 is the star of beers in the Cervezas Alhambra range. To produce this refreshingly crisp handcrafted lager, the small Spanish brewery draws on nearly a century of tradition and a commitment to source the finest of ingredients. I’ve teamed up with Alhambra to offer two tikichris readers the chance to win a case each of this exceptional Spanish craft beer.

Despite the emergence of modern brewing methods, Cervezas Alhambra maintains its artisanal heritage, to create its Alhambra Reserva 1925 the same way as when it was first brewed in 1925. Continue reading

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Bidvine: A Safe Bet for Hiring the Right Pro

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Bidvine is an app-based and online local services marketplace that dubs itself as “the easiest way to find and hire local professionals.” The folks at Bidvine recently got in touch to see if I’d like to browse their site and see about giving one of the services a go. I took ‘em up on it. My house has never been cleaner.

The idea behind Bidvine is that they “do the legwork to find you the right pro for your project.” Here’s how it works: Continue reading

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Little Feast, Shepherd’s Bush

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Go for big street food flavours in West London at Little Feast in Shepherd’s Bush.

Little Feast street market has been going strong for almost two months now with about another month to go. I just managed to swing by for the first time last week. It’s a pleasant setting for a fun night of nosh with plenty of (covered) outdoor seating, a friendly vibe and a convenient location just across the street from Goldhawk Road Station. Continue reading

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Preview: Walthamstow International Film Festival

Still from Ruby Moore’s The Lost BearStill from Ruby Moore’s The Lost Bear

Fans of short film and lovers of the ‘Stow get a WIFF of this!

The 2016 Walthamstow International Film Festival runs tomorrow (Sunday 24 July 2016) at Vestry House from 11am to 5pm.

WIFF screens “innovative short films from around the world and around the borough.” Categories include Drama, Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Young People and Silent. All films run 5 minutes or less in duration and are suitable for family viewing. The festive is competitive and prizes are awarded for overall winner, best in each category, and audience vote. Continue reading

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Cane to Cocktail: Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay

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In my last post about my time in Jamaica, it might have seemed like I was pooh-poohing the idea of lounging around at a resort. Perish the thought! I only meant to say there’s so much to see and do that isolating yourself to the confines of some closed-off retreat would keep you from enjoyed many of the things that make Jamaica such a fascination destination. Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little rarefied rest and relaxation now and again. And I’m glad I got to do just that in fine Caribbean style for a few nights of my Cane to Cocktail tour at the splendorous Half Moon resort in Montego Bay.

Set along a two-mile stretch of pristine Montego Bay coastline, Half Moon luxury resort is within easy reach of Sangster International Airport but feels as removed from it – or any concept of hustle and bustle – as can be. Continue reading

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Recipe: Golden Champion Ale Brined Wings | #WingingIt

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Beer and chicken wings are a match made in heaven, especially when you combine the two for one great recipe. Try this easy recipe for beer brined wings made with Badger Ale’s Golden Champion, a crisp and fruity golden ale, for wings with a lot flavour.

I must admit my inspiration for this recipe came during a recent Badger Ales tasting I attended in London. Continue reading

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Genuine Pizza at Zia Lucia, Holloway Road

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Holloway Road warriors, listen up! There’s tasty pizza to be had at newly opened Zia Lucia.

Good pizza – it’s not too much of an ask, is it? To be sure, pizza options are considerably better and more plentiful than when I first moved to London back from the States back in 2001, but there’s still a long way to go.

Just a stroll stroll from Highbury Corner, newbie pizzeria Zia Lucia offers diners a menu of Neapolitan style pizzas baked in wood-fired oven alongside a variety of other southern Italian faves. And if my recent lunch there is any indication, it’s a welcome addition to the London pizza scene! Continue reading

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Excited about the Olympics? Learn How to Get to Rio and What to Do When You Arrive (Miles Away)

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The Olympics are almost ready to take over Brazil! The Games kick off Friday, August 5th with a calendar of amazing athletic events running until Sunday, August 21st. Can you imagine how samba-licious that Opening Ceremony is going to be or how hot the competition is going to get? Rio 2016 promises to be one of the Games’ most sizzling and sensational editions yet.

Read on to learn how to have the best experience in Rio this summer – from booking to flying back home, we’ve got you covered …

Read my complete article at Miles Away.

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The World’s End Market (Again)

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It’s a good feeling when you revisit a place you already like a lot to find it’s even better than you remembered. That was the case when I recently paid a repeat visit to The World’s End Market in Chelsea.

The menu’s still great. I loved my starter course of charred Octopus, eggplant puree, chorizo oil, and creamy feta cheese (£9.50), while sharing the cote de boeuf for two served medium rare with salad, choice of fries or mash and choice of sauce (I liked the Bearnaise) was a indulgent treat (around £65, but check to see if it’s still available. I don’t see it on the most recent online menu). Continue reading

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Good Stuff #58

Picasso: The Artist and His Muses

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip, savour and more – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy.

Continue reading

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Most Affordable Places to Visit Each Month of the Year (Miles Away)

Radoslaw Lecyk / ShutterstockRadoslaw Lecyk / Shutterstock

Need a break that doesn’t bloat your budget? Have a look at our list of most affordable places to fly to each month of the year.

From January to December, we’ve got your travel destinations covered. A few of these recommendations may actually surprise you!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Preview: London Festival of Close-Up Magic

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I was delightfully bewildered witnessing the slight of hand and uncanny trickery of magician Tony Middleton (aka Sonic) when I caught his Magic Hour back in March. Now Tony’s back with a full-on Festival of Close-Up Magic and I can’t wait to see what surprises lay in store.

The very first London Festival of Close-Up Magic will run from Friday 22 to Sunday 31 July 2016, launching with Magic and Mixology featuring Middleton and two other magicians wowing their audiences in the atmospheric surroundings of The Vaults. After that, the festival will continue with a series of performances by award-winning magicians in the plush surroundings of the Grand Royale Hyde Park hotel. Continue reading

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More Fizz, Fewer Bottles with SodaStream

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SodaStream invited me to take the Plastic Bottle Challenge and use one of its automatic sparkling water makers in an effort to cut back on buying bottle water. The results so far have been a sparkling success!

I grew up drinking lots of fizzy drinks. I’ve pretty much dropped that habit. I might still have a soda here and there throughout the year – but seriously just a very few, like less than once a month. I still crave the fizz though. Continue reading

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Win a Range of Chika’s West African Inspired Snacks

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

Craving a taste of the exotic? Well, have I got the competition for you! Keep reading to find out how you can win a range of flavourful West African inspired snacks from Chika’s.

Prize includes the following snacks: Continue reading

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Recipe: Coconut Oil, Chipotle and Sesame Wings | #WingingIt

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Here’s an easy to follow recipe for deeply flavoursome, coconut-y wings – a great dish for BBQs, snacks or starters.

This recipe is totally about big flavour indulgence, but there’s an argument to categorise these wings as health food. Nutritious coconut oil is so much better for you than most other oils while superfood sesame seeds are an excellent source for manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fibre.

These directions are for cooking the wings in the oven. However, I had delicious success grilling them outside on Webber Mastertouch. The smokiness from the grill worked exceptionally well with the coconut and chipotle notes. Continue reading

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The Top 10 Motorcycle Road Trips in the US (Going Places)

Jill Lang : ShutterstockJill Lang / Shutterstock

Anybody who rides will tell you that few experiences can compare to cruising a perfect ribbon of road or conquering the curves of a winding mountain pass.

Are you hoping to hit the highway this summer for a motorcycle road trip? Consider one of these 10 rides.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Putting the Lad in Salad with Haywards Pickles

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In an effort to “put the lad in salad, Haywards Pickles hosted a recent event sharing easy to make recipes with a focus on getting men to eat more healthily and take more initiative in the kitchen.

I tagged along to the happening. I really enjoyed myself too. Continue reading

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Tasty Pacific Treats at Tombo Poké and Matcha Bar, Soho

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New D’Arblay Street eatery – Tombo Poké and Matcha Bar – brings two of the Pacific’s most scrumptious treats to Soho.

That poké is now ‘a thing’ in London is weird one for me – and seems kinda random. There are at least three eateries (that I know of) now open in town with poké as the main menu item. It’s “the next ceviche” I’ve been told (more than a few times) when I mention that I think this trend is odd. Continue reading

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Häagen-Dazs Wimbledon Weekend at Selfridges Roof

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Catch the tennis and eat free ice cream on the roof at Selfridges all weekend long with Häagen-Dazs Wimbledon Weekend.

All live Wimbledon matches are being aired for free viewing on large screen TVs from 11.30am at the outdoor rooftop space at Forest on the Roof, including the Gentlemen’s Singles semi-finals on 8 July, the Ladies’ Singles final on the 9th and the Gentlemen’s Singles final on the 10th. Continue reading

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I’d Do It Again in a Heartbeat: An Interview with tikichris (Wexas)

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Chris Osburn is a London-based travel blogger and consultant. He writes an award-winning travel blog, tikichris, featuring a variety of photo-rich posts to highlight the best of London culture alongside food and drink and travel related stories and tips. In addition to blogging, Chris works as a freelance journalist, photographer, consultant and curator.

Chris recently went on a self-drive trip around Namibia with Wexas, and we were keen to hear a bit more about his trip and his other travel experiences …

Read the complete interview at Wexas.

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Win 2 Free Tix to #DeepSouthFarEast Pop-Up

Win 2 Free Tix to #DeepSouthFarEast Pop-Up

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

Exciting! Tickets to #DeepSouthFarEast – my pop-up team up with Malaysian Home Cooking chef Vi Vian Woo at the Ninth Ward bar in Clerkenwell – are selling fast. But check it out: The friendly folks at Tabl, have two tix set aside to give away for free.

Our dinner on the 20th of July will celebrate the 10th anniversary of my blog while inviting guests to go Deep South and Far East for a shiok-er of a one-off feast fusing the fiery sophistication of Malaysian cuisine with the indulgent traditions of the American South. Tickets cost £40 with only 27 seatings available – and we are expecting to sellout … soon. Continue reading

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Brunch at Daisy Green

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Brunch at Daisy Green? It’s among London’s tastiest I reckon or at least that’s how I recollect my yummy time dining there.

A total treat (and a treat I’ve craved more than once to eat again since my visit a couple of weeks ago) was the Fancy Bacon Roll. What makes this bad mama jama such a fancy feast? Continue reading

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Crowd Surf Ready Fitness Class with Stubhub and Gymbox

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I’d like to say I was ready for the Crowd Surf Ready Fitness Class at Gymbox in partnership wit Stubhub. But I was not. It kicked my ass. But in a good way – and I was glad to have signed up for a session.

StubHub and Gymbox have teamed up to offer the “ultimate festival fitness class” for summer. Using Gymbox’s fitness experts and unique outlook on gym routines, the class class focuses on maximising your energy and toning the muscles needed surf a crowd and support others doing so during a concert. Continue reading

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3 Days in London (Trainline)

LDP 2010.08.11 - Tower Bridge

Trainline invited me to share a three day itinerary for rail passengers arriving via Euston Station.

Here’s a snippet from my piece and a link to the full article:

Welcome to London! I love living here and am happy to share a few recs on making the most of your time in this amazing city. In particular, London’s food and drink scene is a definite draw for me and is highlighted prominently in my suggestions for your three-day trip. But there’s so much more to London than great places to eat and drink and there’s certainly plenty to do between each fabulous meal.

Read my complete post at the Trainline blog.

Trainline Big Summer Seat Sale

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Having a Tiki Time at Musée Quai Branly, Paris

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So I didn’t get to Paris in time for Musée Quai Branly’s anniversary weekend festivities held 25 and 26 June. But I did manage to make it over in time to check out its Matahoata Marquesas exhibition and take a quick look at its exhibition devoted museum founder, President Jacques Chirac.

Good news for you, both exhibitions are still on. Matahoata runs only until the 24th of this month while the Chirac exhibition is on until 9 October 2016. Continue reading

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