December 29, 2018

We agreed that if we spent Christmas in Tassie this year we wouldn't do gifts at all. No tree, no bonbons, no gifts, no pre-cooking. A low-key Christmas without all the material hoo-hah and none of the pressure.

Steely resolution turned to marshmallow once we arrived. A...

December 23, 2018

O'Possum Bay is a sleepy village forty minutes drive from Hobart, yet it's light years away. Fifties weatherboard cottages snuggle low into the slope above the narrow beach, the peeling boat houses and old concrete ramps. Corrugated rainwater tanks balance on rickety w...

December 19, 2018


In the south-east of Tasmania on a 200-acre peninsula surrounded by the chilly waters of Esperance Bay and the d'Entrecasteaux Channel, there's an isolated water-front cottage called the Boat House.

It looks across the bay at the sleepy little fishing village of Dove...

December 16, 2018

Hobart is really buzzing. There's a sophistication born of knowing who you are and what you're good at. A quiet confidence that Tassie can hold its own with the best in the world. Excellence, professionalism.

Plus an honesty and a down-to-earth realism too about a port...

October 4, 2018

This morning at the hotel I sat in my preferred breakfast seat in front of the servery. The two tables there are outside the dining room proper. It's fun watching the chefs and kitchen hands assembling the dishes, pushing completed plates to the front edge of the bench...

September 27, 2018

​'When you buy or commission the work of a craftsman you buy more than just an item or service. You buy hundreds of hours of experimentation. You buy days, weeks and months of frustration and also moments of pure joy. You’re not buying an object, you’re buying someone’...

September 25, 2018

I loved seeing the very sophisticated Petersham Nurseries shop at Covent Garden - I tried to walk in before it even opened! But I was just as eager to see the one in Richmond yesterday. It's casually rustic with a dinky-di nursery and a glass house restaurant. 


September 24, 2018

That's the gist of what Samuel Johnson said way back in 1777. I couldn't agree more! So when I woke on Saturday to grey skies and drizzle, I grabbed my brolly and swept up Park Lane as if I owned it.

As soon as I saw the Dorchester I knew I had to call in.  Many years a...

September 23, 2018

Picture a chef standing in front of you shucking ice-cold Mersea Island oysters as fast as you can eat them. That was Thursday night, although if I have to be strictly truthful, I wasn't the only patron. Youngs Brewery owns this pub The Coach and Horses, and the compan...

September 19, 2018

I've been looking forward to searching the archives at Kew for so long I could hardly believe that the day had finally arrived. I was so nervous that I took a wrong turn twice and was only saved by directions from friendly natives.

​It's only a 10-15 minute stroll from...

September 17, 2018

The weather in Cork was just brilliant the whole time I was there but today it dawned drizzly, windy and foggy!

It wasn't a pea souper though - before takeoff I could see trees in the distance.

I was hoping for a nice foggy shot from the window on takeoff. This is it.


September 16, 2018

If you've been following my research travels, you'll know there's been magic happening.

When I told a man sitting next to me on a plane that I needed sailing knowledge of the Mediterranean, he turned out to be a ship's captain who knows that sea like the back of his han...

September 13, 2018

'I think Europcar is the best rental car company in the world,' I said seriously.

'That wasn't always the case,' said my helper at Cork Airport.

'Really?' I asked.

'No, it wasn't', he said, 'not until they hired me.'

That made me laugh.

'Please make sure that there is n...

September 12, 2018

Get ready. This post's a marathon.

I told you about my mate Tom on the aeroplane. The next Corkonian I met was the taxi-driver - I asked him if he'd always been a taxi driver.

Well, he began, When I was a boy, me father was after buying a pub.....  which turned into a s...

September 11, 2018

On the way over in the plane, I was sitting in the window seat 1A, and in aisle seat 1C was a darling old fellow who said he was 87 but I think he might have been fibbing or possibly just mistaken. He looked in his late nineties, and I was surprised he was travelling a...

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"I never travel without my diary.  

One should always have something

sensational to read on the train."  

                                - OSCAR WILDE

shelley dark 

© 2017 Shelley Dark  


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