(Guido Reni – Saint Philip Contemplating the Virgin in the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella) Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, also known as the Congregation of Fillippinis after his forename, Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) was often referred to as the joyful saint because of his cheerful...
Archive for category: History
According to legend, Athena and Poseidon were unable to agree on which of them was to rule Attica. Zeus, the father of the gods, was summoned to arbitrate. He told the squabbling pair that he would declare the victor whichever of them could show him the most beneficial discovery...
(Perugino, The vision of St. Bernard, c. 1490/91) The history of Bernard of Clairvaux illustrates the power of a single wise man to bring about radical change in the fortunes of a city and an entire region. It was the year 1134, and Bernard, soon to be declared a...
Dionysus was not part of the Homeric panetheon of Mount Olympus and in fact Dionysian worship did not become widespread in Greece until the 6th century BCE, which was precisely the same period in which wine emerged as a common beverage, something that was no longer reserved for society’s...
(Venetian cutlery of the 16th century) Here is an interesting little piece written by the Elizabethan traveller Thomas Coryat of the use of the fork in 1590s Italy….. “Here I will mention a thing…that is not used in any other country that I saw in my travels, neither doe I...
Last night my husband and I were discussing colours and the colour chartreuse was mentioned. I should mention that my husband is colour-blind so we do have some interesting conversations about colour! Anyway, that got me thinking and I went to the liqueur cabinet and sure enough, two bottles...
One of my many loved books in my library is a translated copy of The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570) subtitled The Art and Craft of a Master Cook. Who was Bartolomeo Scappi and why does he hold my fascination. Here is a little insight. Bartolomeo Scappi is thought to have been born...
The unusual Cos D’Estournel lies just north of the Château Lafite-Rothschild in the famous Médoc district of Bordeaux, and in its own right produces arguably the finest grapes grown in the Saint Estèphe commune. However, it is not the quality of the wine or the grapes that is the...
Francesco Liberati wrote his Il perfetto maestro di casa in 1670 within which details the hierarchical structure of an affluent household and provides details of the clearly delineated responsibilities of the serving members of that household. Little is known of Liberati but he did serve a number of cardinals, including Cardinal Bichi of...
Here is a little historical story for you…. The magnificent Château de Vaux Le Vicomte in Maincy France is the largest private château in France today owned by the Sommier family, who purchased the estate in 1875. It is now a dazzling site to see and for garden lovers it is...
Welcome to my love affair with the food, wine, history and culture of the Mediterranean, past and present. Here you will find not only recipes, drinks and fabulous products, but the history of the food and culture of the Mediterranean.
My purpose is to get you to explore and experience new tastes and along the way to immerse yourself in the wonderful history of this diverse and wonderful region – from Venice to Istanbul, Rome to Dubrovnik, Athens to Crete and all places in between and in the surrounds. Be prepared to be surprised, delighted and enthralled as you take this trip with me.
- The Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Ever Broken??
- The Leaf
- Paklenica National Park, Croatia – rock-climbers paradise
- A wonderful Greek chicken dish to share – Kotopoulo Tiganito
- Risnjak National Park, Croatia
- The Siege – Arturo Perez-Reverte
- The architecturally beautiful dovecotes of Tínos
- Coniglio in agrodolce – Sweet & Sour Braised Rabbit
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