my favourite things: CASCO VIEJO, PANAMA CITY

view from old city to newCASCO VIEJO, where elegant mansions rub shoulders with dilapidated ruins in the oldest most vibrant part of Panama City. Originally the home turf of Panama’s elite, the second half of the 20th century was not kind to this old quarter. Rapidly re-gentrifying, it is once again the place to be. James Bond himself, well, actually Daniel Craig, was a local during the filming of Quantum of Solace.

american trade hotelStay: The American Trade Hotel. This once abandoned 1930’s apartment building is now the must stay luxury boutique hotel of the city. High ceilings, big rooms with no expense spared decor and an in house jazz club make it the epitome of equatorial chic.

www,americantradehotel.com

casa nurettiDrink: Casa Nuratti. The who’s who say they come here for the breathtaking sunsets and four directional forever views. But it may actually be to admire the stunning mini-clad servers. Regardless, they stay for the cocktails. The pina coladas are worth every calorie!

http://www.casanuratti.com

the street sign for calliopeEat: Caliope. Ring the bell and wait to be led into this hip new dinner destination. Named after the leader of the Greek muses and lover to both Apollo and Ares, Caliope offers innovative, oh so tasty dishes. Chef Martino Pace is committed to the best ingredients and sticks to local whenever possible. Favourites include the slow cooked forever, melt in the mouth short ribs and the lighter almost raw, perfectly seasoned tuna tatami. No one should lead without indulging in the chocolate sphere, heaven in a bowl!

http://www.calioperestaurant.comthe amazing tuna tataki

 

my favourite things: BOGOTA

welcome to bogotaold town churchBOGOTA is where I want to die. Colombia is my new favourite country and Bogota is its capital. This city has it all. Fascinating history, over the top culture, bad traffic and lots of edge. Great food is endless: restaurants creating haute cuisine, cafes pouring hot wine (odd but true) and stalls serving delicious empanadas. People are friendly; the weather is perfect; women are stunning. It a great hub for exploring the rest of the country. I felt safe everywhere; have never even been offered a single drug. I can’t wait to get back. Continue reading

my favourite things: LYON

lions of lyonIt is every blogger’s joy to get enthusiastic feedback and I am no different.   Whether this feedback is posted in the Reply section or, as is more often the case, shared in conversation and accompanied by a glass of excellent wine, I always happy to expound.  

 “I’d love to go there!” is the usual opening, followed by a litany of requests. These questions are always welcomed and often amusing:  Favorite table? Preferred hotel? Optimal bar-stool? Secret shoe store? Recommended masseur? And so forth.  Fortunately, I have many opinions and have never been shy to share them.  Continue reading