Keep Calm and Drink Champagne

This Champagne route from Reims to Chalons means conjuring up black magic with a red mullet so is not a classic wine and food tour. But as Champagne acts as a bizarre barometer of French health and happiness, these bubbles are always about far more than fizz.
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Tallinn's Charm Offensive

Wallowing in wintry Tallinn reveals a city on the cusp of change. Come for moody medieval battlements and Baltic charm. Stay for the contemporary buzz, the eccentric museums and Modern Estonian eateries, along with the Soviet throwbacks and hipster hangouts.
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Geneva – the big city versus the bumpkins

How Swiss is Geneva? This sophisticated, French-speaking city seems at odds with much of Swiss-German Switzerland. Geneva has French brasseries aplenty and shuns country bumpkins. Is the city too earnest for its own good or is there a subversive streak in there somewhere?
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Burlesque London - Welcome to the Cabaret

London’s burlesque scene is divinely decadent. From Soho to Mayfair, the tease is being put back into striptease. Don't forget your bedroom eyes or chainmail basque.
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The World's Best Airports

Picking favourite airports is subjective. Security and speed-of-escape can be more crucial than sleep pods. Even so, the top terminals are truly surprising, tempting world-weary travellers with tranquil Zen gardens or even a brewery.
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Britannia versus Brussels: Stuck in the Middle with EU

Forgive me for straying from my travel brief but Britain’s role in Europe is far more important than cheap flights and boutique beds – even if tourism will be affected by any decision to leave the EU. Let me nail my colours to the European mast. The EU may be flawed but it’s more than a marriage of convenience. Grab a glass of Euro fizz and get ready to disagree with my musings.
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Where (Not) to Go in 2016

How valid are the annual travel hotlists? “Where to Go” cool lists seek to frame the travel year and shape our plans but are they arbitrary or authoritative? Shouldn’t there be more caveats?
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Truths in Travel Writing

This is a travel rant, teasing out issues of truth in travel, and focusing on the centrality of storytelling and strong voices in contemporary travel journalism. It’s polemical, following on from Travelandia, my first blog.
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Cruise Passengers from Heaven and Hell

A cruise ship is both a floating city and showbiz at sea. In this comedy, perfect passengers (ourselves) face passengers from heaven and hell. All play their parts to perfection, from the cruise bore to the complainer, the clown to the Old Colonial.
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