Conde Nast Travel Specialists: Trufflepig’s Magnificent 7

Last week Conde Nast Traveler released its annual Travel Specialists list, kind of like the Oscars of the travel world. And with another record-breaking 7 Trufflepig planners with their names in lights (again), we feel more than usually justified in describing ourselves as the Tiny Company with the Great Big Nose. We are of course […]

Taliban Cheese from Corsican Hill Country

When Conde Nast wanted to call Michael to congratulate him for making their global list of Travel Specialists (again), they found his telephone curiously out of range (again). And that’s because Michael’s a man who jumps at an opportunity, as his travels during this Covid year have shown us. While the rest of us responded […]

In the Name of Nebbiolo

Remember dinner parties? The ever-gracious host. The ebullient storyteller who commandeers the conversation. The witty chap in a blazer – a date on his arm and a quip on his lips. The elegant lady in a well-tailored dress which flatters but doesn’t reveal. Her kid sister with a contagious laugh and plummeting neckline. Sigh. It’s […]

La Tournée des Grands Ducs

La Tournée des Grands Ducs (literally, The Tour of the Grand Dukes) is a common saying in France to refer to painting the town red, Dionysian style, or rather … Russian. The term has it roots in the habits of two Grand Dukes of Russia – Vladimir and Alexei –  the mischievous sons of Emperor […]

Get Back – 15 ways my heart aches for Andalucia

Something’s afoot in Andalucía, Spain’s deep south.  First it started with the discovery of an Almohad-era Muslim Hammam in one of Sevilla’s most iconic tapas bars.  Then, just last week in the nearby town of Utrera, reports came in that archeologists had unearthed one of the largest and best preserved medieval Jewish synagogues in the […]

Cider: Asturias’ Stream of Consciousness

I’m at heart a wine nerd, but you don’t need to twist my arm to sample other brews and libations, particularly if partaking will gain me deeper insights to a place or a people.  When I travel, my first quest is always to find out what the locals drink and, at times, how they’re supposed […]

The Man with the Donkey

Last November between lockdowns, I made it down to Turkey for a glorious trip accentuated by a moment of pure serendipity. Making my way down the Aegean coast, I was in touch with a friend back home, and let him know I was headed to the Troy/Gallipoli area, known as Çanakkale – a place I’d […]

Cosmic Venice

Swish, swoosh — the oar smoothly fends the water. Quite the statement, the Venetian way of rowing: proudly standing up, and facing forward, eyes into the future.  Swish swoosh, the roar rhythmically breaks the green surface of the lagoon. The pungent smell of salt and shallow marshes. An island here, another there, and more as […]

Favourites allowed

After spending a good part of two decades hunting for small (and charming) hotels in Greece, it’s the question I get most often: “Which hotel is your favourite?” It’s not an easy one to answer. It so depends on the circumstances. What the mood is. Who is coming along. The season. The budget. Ask me […]

ISO Piccante

I laughed a little too hard recently when reading Anne Lamott’s words, “By the end I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards”. I cannot be the only human whose covid days, home-cooked meals and masked conversations have become excruciatingly banal.  We’re all yearning for discovery, spice and a rollicking time anywhere but […]

Asleep at the wheel: the France trip I’m dreaming of

Comfortably ensconced on my sofa at home in the small Provençal village of Mouriès, I am enjoying the warmth of both my fireplace and a glass of local red wine. I am listening to the radio announcing that the fight against Covid is possibly taking a turn with the discovery of a vaccine. The future […]

Swinos in Lockdown: Cocktail Recipes from the Pigs

Holidays are lurking and with it, more Coronavirus cases and renewed lockdowns. It’s all been enough for anyone to reach for the bottle. As we hunker down for the winter, we asked around our planning team to see who’s got the bartending chops in the Trufflepig farm.  Below are some road-tested recipes that came back […]

The Original Influencer

Twenty something, rebellious, and by all accounts, “randy”. A young English poet named George Gordon Byron (“Lord” to all but those who knew him well) swept through the small enclave of Sintra in 1809, penned a few lines of what would become Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and sent letters home to friends declaring Sintra the most […]

Londontown in Lockdown

One of the main pleasures in my life is jumping on my bike (she’s called “Joyce”) and exploring my beloved London. I am lucky enough to pretend that part of this is for work: I am seeking out cool stuff for our clients to see when they come to the Big Smoke. It’s true that […]

Italy’s Boundless Zest for Citrus

Italy’s food culture is a constellation of countless regional specialties, so place-peculiar that dishes can vary significantly in the span of just a few hundred meters. Such is the case of some mountain valleys, for instance, where the natural landscape has helped keep the local from spreading further. But one aspect that unites all these […]

Unostentatious Comporta is a Frame of Mind

As we move through the last official days of summer, my thoughts turn to the beach, or rather, the beach vacations I didn’t take this year. I’m actually not much of a beach person. Or to be more specific, lying on a beach and a swim among the waves isn’t so much my thing as simply the […]