San Luis Obispo, California: America’s happy valley

A few years ago my husband and I rented a bungalow in the Californian mission town of San Luis Obispo. We lived next to a firefighter and an octogenarian cowboy named Webb. There were annual block parties, potluck suppers, a coveted tomato growing prize (the champion donning a flowing silk cape, parading around our cul-de-sac). […]

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10 of the best seaside cafes and restaurants in the UK: readers’ tips

Winning tip: Dolphins and cake, near Inverness The Rosemarkie Beach Cafe is run by community volunteers and set on the beachfront looking over the Moray Firth towards Fort George, not far from Inverness. It’s dog-friendly and serves good strong tea, homemade cakes, and the best sausage and black pudding sandwiches. It’s also a good place […]

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A local’s guide to Brussels: 10 top tips

Parc d’Egmont Veer sharply left by the Chanel store on Boulevard de Waterloo and you’ll find yourself in a tiny oasis among Brussels’ busiest shopping streets. The gardens of the elegant Egmont Palace (now the home of Belgium’s foreign ministry) are a public park, one of the most secret in Brussels. It’s home to a […]

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Holiday guide to Basilicata, Italy: what to see plus the best restaurants and hotels

Imagine a region that has miles of white sand beaches on one coast, picturesque rocky bays on the other, two mountainous national parks, and one of the world’s oldest cities. Add lots of warm sunshine plus fine food and wine and you might expect the area to be a tourist mecca, busy with hotels and […]

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