Friday 25 March 2016

March Skiing in the Monterosa region's Three Valleys, Italy

Aside from public holidays and weekends, Italy's low key Three Valleys ski area can be fairly deserted. Even on sunny March days, you may get much of the 180 km of piste to yourself. But the resorts of Champoluc, Gressony and Alagna can fill up fast on Good Friday with Tironese and members of local ski clubs. Still, the Three Valleys are well served by nifty chair lifts and gondolas. The only bottlenecks tend to be the chair lift up from Frachey and the cable cars linking Alagna and Gressony to the slopes. Champoluc is a 90 minute ride from Turin airport and the scenery is spectacular, with expansive views of 4,000 metre mountains, including the Matterhorn. The quiet pistes linking Frachey and Champoluc, which criss-cross craggy valleys dotted with pine trees, feel particularly remote and wild.  8/10

Friday 11 March 2016

The Lamp Posts of London's South Bank

The distinctive "dolphin" lamp posts on London's Southbank, so-called because of the nautical scupltures at their base, light the way towards St. Paul's Cathedral

Thursday 3 March 2016

Brunswick Park, Camberwell, south London

A modest, but tranquil, green space, Brunswick Park is tucked into a residential corner of Camberwell and surrounded by a clutch of handsome historic buildings. It boasts well-kept tennis courts and a playground, as well as some distinguished trees and shrubs.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Ask for Janice, Long Lane, central London

A stripped back trendy cafe near Smithfield market, Ask for Janice is an uncomfortable, pretentious and expensive place to hang out. Most of the seats have no backs to them and it is all waitress service, so popping in for caffeine becomes unnecessarily convoluted. Although the coffee is good, and it is accompanied by tap water, the cups are small and you won't want to tarry. 5/10