This week… conkers, coffee and Christmas lights

Autumn seems to have arrived in all her glory with chilly mornings, cool evenings and stunning sunsets. Despite the focus this time of year on hibernation in the natural world, it’s a season of magnificant abundance and colour. This is a time to enjoy nature, to ‘bank’ the remaining sunny days and the splendour of nature while we can. We need all the positive experiences we can muster to carry us through the long winter months to come.

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This week… Tarzan, treehouses, and traceability

News of a new luxury treehouse resort drops into my inbox this week. The Treeful Treehouse Eco Resort is set to open next spring in rural Nago, on the north side of Okinawa Island in Japan, one of the world’s Blue Zone Regions. Think secluded private rooms with air conditioning, nestled amongst the jungle canopy. Tarzan never had it this good.

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Interview: Honey Master Sommelier

The quality of the food we eat is critical to our health and wellbeing and supporting independent growers, farmers and producers is essential for sustainable living. This month I asked Gruffydd Rees, a beefarmer since 2010, why single-origin honey is so important, and what makes it taste so good.


Food fraud is big business. Generally, it’s the foods that we pay the most for that are most at risk of fraudulent practices. Foods such as coffee, olive oil, wine, and honey. While single-estate wines are not new there has also been a rise in independent specialist coffee roasters, offering beans from single-estate growers. Traceability is important, not only with regard to quality but to ensure fair prices and best practices, and blended products don’t offer that reassurance.

So when it comes to the honey you drizzle over your breakfast porridge, you want one that’s not only full of taste but is produced sustainably from a reputable source.

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Interview: Tom Savano

Are you sitting comfortably? It’s story-telling time.

Tom Savano had time on his hands. As a business entrepreneur, he enjoyed the good things in life that he had worked hard to achieve. But, in time, Savano tended to avoid places where the affluent set gathered to party in summer, or rendezvous in winter.

Travelling for its own sake wasn’t part of his natural character. Living for experiences rather than to accumulate trappings he began to seek out new and authentic cultures.

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This week… bags, birds and The Beatles

I filed copy on two features this week, the first on wine and the second on coffee. Both were fun to do (sitting around tasting wine and coffee, what’s not to like!). Also, delving deep into a subject is right up my street. I like to tell myself it’s my natural journalistic skills but it’s probably more a case of being just plain nosey.

I’ve become fascinated by terroir, the magical combination of temperature, climate, soil composition and production methods, that impacts on wine, food and, yes, coffee. Fresh authentic seasonal food, produced sustainably and prepared simply.

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