A Northern Ireland Chocolate Quest

When you’re asked by the Academy of Chocolate to attend and speak at the Finnebrougue Fine Food Fair in Killyleagh Castle, Northern Ireland, courtesy of Food NI 2016 – the obvious answer to this request is ‘yes’.

The trip was all planned out by Food NI, and after an exhilaratingly turbulent 55 minute flight from Gatwick, I touched down in Belfast City Airport, greeted at the airport by Sharon Machala of Food NI – my chauffeur for the next 28 hours (this was very much a flying visit).

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City Sights by Day and Night

After a chocolate-fueled adventurous morning it was now time to explore what Reykjavik had to offer. But first a quick pit stop in Bajarni Fel sports bar to warm up wit ha glass of Viking beer while I waited for the rest of the crew.

Viking Beer
Viking Beer

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Chocolate, Laughter and Haggis

Friday had arrived at last, and armed with a comprehensive list of acts and shows to see, with a light sprinkling of pubs, restaurants and chocolate shops in need of visiting, I crammed onto an Edinburgh bound train from London Waterloo with what seemed like half of London’s sweaty, tired commuters kicking off the August Bank Holiday early!

London Waterloo crowds - why do we do this to ourselves?
London Waterloo crowds – why do we do this to ourselves?

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Koln Karneval

It’s cold, very cold, and I’m on the 5am train to Heathrow airport heading for Cologne Bonn, Germany. This all sounds perfectly normal for a Friday morning, aside from the fact I’m in a traditional German dirndl, dressed as a pirate with a fake parrot strapped to my shoulder. I’m going to Koln Karneval, to celebrate yet another traditional German festival, like a true native. Continue reading “Koln Karneval”

Scandals in Sandals

After a couple of days we had begun to really settle in and relax in this bubble of opportunity, having spent another full day exploring the different beaches and malls of Dubai, we were ready for Armani Club and dressed to the nines. First tho, was dinner at Tomo as we were in the mood for sushi!

Jump for the sky
Jump for the sky

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Die Oktoberfest am Wiesen

Do you want to partake in one of the worlds best drinking festivals, in true style? You’d better meet some Germans then, these Fraulines and Junges sure know how to party!

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Below the Radar

Somehow a whole year’s managed to fly by and it’s festival season again, already? How? That was fast, but this year’s a goodun with SGP on the list again, along with a whole list of other festivals, great and small.

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I Need You at Secret Garden Party

Imagine if Glastonbury Festival on Worthy Farm and Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada had a baby festival…well, actually they did, and that is exactly what SGI is

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From the Diné

Kelly is my course buddy, this awesome, bubbly Navajo girl in Native Language and Community class held by lecturer Christine Simms, a member of the Acoma tribe and resident of Acoma Pueblo (Sky City).

She told me of a smaller, less commercial pow wow (compared tot he Gathering of Nations) – Nizhoni Days at UNM, right on the field outside my apartment.

Eagle feathers are held in extremely high regard in Native American culture
Eagle feathers are held in extremely high regard in Native American culture

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Red, Green or Christmas?

If you’ve got a delicate palette, or stomach…or both, then this festival is not for you! Pretty much all the BBQ sauces and salsa have some degree of heat. For those of you who are after an unusual stamina (or stupidity) challenge, then get yourselves down to the New Mexico Fiery Food and BBQ Festival and try some of the hottest chilies on earth!

New Mexico Fiery Foods Festival
What’s your (fiery) poison?

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