Travel Theme: Flavour

One of the great things about travel is trying out local food, local beer and wine, going to restaurants, scouring the markets, sampling street food. I’ll never forget the ambrosia on my tongue from the creamy liqueur I found on the Isle of Iona in Scotland, called Columba Cream. Heaven! Chocolate from Belgium melts in the mouth. I tried Guinness in a hotel after-hours residents’ bar in Dublin, the city where it’s made, and I became a believer. ¬†Scottish haggis, anyone? Pancakes in Amsterdam make a filling meal.

I haven’t been anywhere really exotic (yet) but I have perused some interesting spice markets in the Chinatown neighbourhoods of Vancouver and Toronto. There’s usually food kiosks from a lot of different countries at Farmers’ and Christmas markets anywhere you go. That gives you a little taste of travel without leaving home.

Here’s a few photos of tastes and flavours from places I’ve been:

Testing the grape

Domaine de Grand Pre winery, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Bruges chocolate shop

Chocolate in Bruges

Camden Lock food vendor

Camden Lock, London


Fudge in the Manchester Christmas Markets


More flavours from Where’s My Backpack

A Photo A Week Challenge: Chocolate

There are a number of countries that will put forth the claim that they make the best chocolate in the world. Canada and the United States really aren’t two of them unless you go to the small, independent chocolatiers and you will find them here but they aren’t as numerous as in Europe (and other places as well). Mass produced chocolate here in Canada isn’t too bad. I find it less creamy and more sugary if it’s made in the US. It’s all very subjective, mind you. Mass produced chocolate in the UK is better than ours and that’s not even getting into the specialist product.

On continental Europe, however, you’ll really find the chocolate wars heat up. The best known names for the title of the best are the Swiss and the Belgian. My experience with Swiss chocolate is pretty much limited to Toblerone bars. My experience with chocolate from Germany, Holland, France, Denmark and Italy is also limited. They do make nice chocolate, I’m not debating that. I have bought Belgian chocolate in one of the cities where there are chocolatiers littered all over the place – Bruges. It is, to use east coast Canada slang, “right some good!”.

There’s a new chocolatier shop in Halifax on Spring Garden Road. I’ve been resisting temptation but I might not be able to hold out much longer.

Here’s a few photos from my travels.

Chocolate shoes!!!

Dark and white chocolate shoes, in a shop in Keswick, the Lake District, England

Dumon choccies

Dumon Chocolates in Bruges, one of the top chocolate makers there

Prestige cakes

Prestige chocolate shop and cafe, Bruges.

Harrods chocolates

Display at Harrods, at Easter.

Harrod's Easter chocolate eggs

More Easter chocolate in Harrods

For Nancy Merril’s Weekly Challenge.

WordPress Challenge – Fresh

WordPress this week. Something Fresh.

Seaport Market, Halifax

Gelato in Rome

Fortnum and Mason’s food hall, London

Freshly Baked. Spitalfields Market, London

Norreport Stn. Market, Copenhagen

Chinatown. Toronto

Weekly Photo Challenge – Good Morning

WordPress’s weekly challenge wants us to show you “Morning”.

Morning comes first with the sunrise.

Sunrise over Halifax Harbour

Then, most of us have a meal or a bite to eat to get us going for the rest of the day. My usual breakfast is not that photo-worthy, usually a bagel or a bowl of cereal. When we travel, breakfast can be hit or miss. Some hotels give you the basics, some give you a full cooked breakfast or buffet if you want. Sometimes we go out to eat if the hotel rate didn’t include breakfast. Bed and Breakfasts are wonderful! They usually go well beyond expectations and produce something like this…

Breakfast at a B&B in Annapolis Royal.

In Paris, our hotel didn’t serve breakfast so we wandered down the road, found a little bar that was open and ordered omelettes!

Breakfast in Paris. More than a croissant and a coffee

And then, for a lot of us, we need that injection of caffeine to give that vroom vroom to the metabolism that breakfast kick started.



Food Photos: UK

I’ve been looking at some of the photos on WordPress that accompany recipes and I’m reminded of my own food photos. I like to take photos of some of the food I order when I go out, especially when I’m traveling. They don’t always turn out due to poor lighting conditions in some of the restaurants but I try.

Do you take photos of food and restaurants on your travels? I also belong to a few review type websites where you can submit your own tips for things like hotels and restaurants so that’s another reason I take photos of where and what I eat. And sometimes the food is so nicely presented that it’s a work of art in itself!

Here’s a few I’ve taken over various trips to the UK.

Classic British food: Fish, chips and mushy peas From a local chippie in Salford

Asian food vendor, Camden Lock market, London

Jams, preserves and honey
Keswick, Lake District

Dessert, pre-theatre. Restaurant: Salieri. London

Spitalfields Market bread stall, London

Dessert buffet
Red Hot World Buffet, Manchester

More cheese, Grommit?
Bury Market, Greater Manchester

Breakfast in Paris

Breakfast in Paris

Breakfast in Paris

Breakfast didn’t come with the hotel room. We found a cafe on nearby Rue de Buci that did a lovely omelette with lots of onion, mushroom and cheese in it. Sliced baguette and a bit of salad and even a cup of tea and we were ready for the day.

It’s hard to believe we were in Paris just over 5 years ago, in November 2007.¬† Aside from London, and a weekend wedding in Ireland, that was the first “big” place we went together. Since then we’ve been to Amsterdam, Brussels, Brugges, Copenhagen, Rome, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. And London a couple times as well but since he lives in Salford (near Manchester) it’s easy to get the train to London for a few days from there.

This spring we’ll visit New York City and in the fall, a road trip around Scotland and we hope to get a night or two in London again, perhaps at the back end before I go home.