How to have the perfect lunch: Sweden’s Daniel Berlin Krog

In Sweden’s southernmost agricultural heartland, about an hour from Copenhagen’s airport, lies Daniel Berlin’s dining experience, outside the town of Tomelilla. To call it a restaurant doesn’t do justice to the careful preparation and exquisite presentation of a bounty of local food, in the hands of a team who respect the palate’s  power to delight, nurture, comfort and celebrate.

Paired with 5 wines hailing from France, Germany, and Spain – from dry whites to a sweeter Muscadelle that foreshadowed the close of the meal – the lunch tasting menu was a taste bud explosion. Over 12 courses, all ingredients are grown on site or sourced locally, excepting the dessert’s Tanzanian chocolate. On a brilliant autumn afternoon, here are some highlights. You’ll be booking a table, I promise. Continue reading “How to have the perfect lunch: Sweden’s Daniel Berlin Krog”

A New York City Must: City Wine Tours

What better way to spend a weekend afternoon than sipping – and learning about – wine? City Wine Tours makes it happen with small groups, a friendly, knowledgeable guide and select venues in hip neighborhoods, in both  New York and Boston. A must for visitors and locals alike.

An “experience” rather than a “thing,” it’s a great holiday gift, perfect for anyone with even the slight interest in wine, from millennials to boomers. Believe me, they’ll  toast you with the first pour. Nothing wrong with gifting yourself, either (and this post offers a discount coupon). 

I wouldn’t recommend anything I hadn’t tried, so here’s how my tour went:
Continue reading “A New York City Must: City Wine Tours”

Why this is a spa for your soul: Sweden’s amazing Nyrups Naturhotell

If you yearn for the different, the soulful, a stay at Nyrups Naturhotell is the answer. Deep in the birch and beech forests of Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province, near the town of Höör, this experience brings the essence of living in communion with nature to the post-modern, complicated world. No glitzy fanfare, no need to travel to remote corners or to bring anything special beyond an open mind. The secret sauce is the simple power of nature.  As it turns out, that’s pretty potent.

Continue reading “Why this is a spa for your soul: Sweden’s amazing Nyrups Naturhotell”

Nordic Noir goes to the spa: Sweden’s Ystad Saltsjobad

It was Inspector Kurt Wallander, the fictional lead of the eponymous “Nordic noir” PBS/Masterpiece series, that interested me in Ystad in the first place.  Coastal, windswept, with a rich history dating back a millennium, it seemed an appropriate setting not only for crime stories but also as a place to launch a 5-day road trip through Skane, Sweden’s southernmost province.  I was determined to start with a spa. The venerable Ystad Saltsjöbad, with various packages and ad hoc services, was the perfect fit. The seaside location was a strong plus; to my mind, nothing is more restorative.  An easy reach by car from Copenhagen’s airport.  It was an inspired choice; I knew I would regret that my schedule allowed for only an overnight stay.  Continue reading “Nordic Noir goes to the spa: Sweden’s Ystad Saltsjobad”

At the Wrong Departing Airport? 5 Tips to Manage the Crisis

You’re packed, organized for departure, with plenty of time for the pre-boarding ritual we know all too well. The trip to the airport is smooth, fueling excitement for the travel adventure ahead.

Until. You realize you’re at the WRONG airport. Woops. Supposed to be at  La Guardia, but you’re at Newark.  Supposed to be at London City, but you’re at Gatwick. You were SO sure, you didn’t bother to check as you left home.  It happens to (most) everyone sooner or later.

Here are some tips to manage the crisis… Continue reading “At the Wrong Departing Airport? 5 Tips to Manage the Crisis”

How to stay informed on the road: every traveler needs this app

National Public Radio (NPR) is, for many, the sine qua non of the well-informed.  Now savvy travelers –  globe-trotters to road warriors – can stay current with NPR’s new phone app,  NPR One. It’s a treasure trove of real-time local and national news and analysis plus an array of NPR-produced podcasts.  Available free on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Sure, live streaming of public radio has been going on for some time – but this new on-demand app combines NPR’s flagship programming, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, with the latest updates of national and local newscasts. Further, from a choice of podcasts offered, the listener can curate a very personalized list, augmented by recommendations by NPR One.

Their tagline, “It’s public radio made personal” is right, and it is the app every traveler needs to stay in-the-know.

Continue reading “How to stay informed on the road: every traveler needs this app”

UPDATE: 7 Podcasts I Think You’ll Love

microphone and podcast image

NOTE: This is an updated post from the original publication date of April 6, 2016. 

I’m a big fan of podcasts. They are chock-full of interesting backstories behind the headlines; they provide a brief but deep look at topics I wouldn’t take the time to read about. Podcasts provide great fodder for dinner party conversation; they are helpful in working through mindless chores at home, and in the car on road trips when reading or watching videos don’t mix well with driving. 

The following podcasts are my favorites and speak to an array of interests.  In various formats, they explore that intersection where the profound meets our frail and imperfect humanity. I’ve updated this list to reflect two new entries: Hidden Brain and RadioLab.  Enjoy! Continue reading “UPDATE: 7 Podcasts I Think You’ll Love”

Five things I learned from birdwatching in Down East Maine


During a recent trip to Down East Maine, birdwatching per se was not top of mind. I set out to experience and get in tune with the natural splendor of the of the place,  Acadia National Park in particular.

As so often happens, the most enlightening travel experiences come from unexpected quarters. My renewed appreciation of the region’s vast ecosystem came through birdwatching, with a pro, Michael Good, MS.

Oh, I recognize common “backyard” birds: brilliant male cardinals, squawky blue jays, blackbirds with flashy red trim (not a scientific term). I’ve got a bead on swans, geese, various ducks. In summer, I can spot a neon yellow finch, dazzling hummingbirds. Shorebirds, beyond majestic blue herons or elegant egrets, get lumped into one of two categories: “gulls” or “smaller-birds-that-live -at-the-beach.”

Beyond that, I am an ornithological black hole. But here’s what I learned….

Michael grounded this field trip in biology by sharing  the Latin name, gender and approximate age for each bird, and weaving the geography and biodiversity of Mt. Desert Island into the bird narrative.  His knowledge made it interesting; his passion made it fun.

Continue reading “Five things I learned from birdwatching in Down East Maine”

Attention travelers: 7 Days with Carry-on? Here’s how to make it work

Can a solo woman traveler, fussy about style, travel with only carry-on luggage for a week? Is the carry-on manageable on/off airplanes without incurring  arm/shoulder injury or the mortification of asking for help? The answer is yes.

I had held a near-religious conviction that a 7-day, fashion-conscious travel wardrobe required a bag exceeding carry-on size restrictions. Awkwardly wrestling with a large two-wheeled bag, I was always relieved to relinquish custody to the airline and watch the thing slip away into the netherworld of baggage handling.

The moment of truth came when a bag didn’t make the plane to Florence. While there are worse places than Italy to buy fill-in clothes, I knew I had to take a second look at carry-on travel.

The upshot is that carry-on only does work for me, for 7 days. No upper body trauma, and little stress.  Here’s what I found…. Continue reading “Attention travelers: 7 Days with Carry-on? Here’s how to make it work”

UPDATED: Travel Planning Checklist – 5 Steps Toward Less Stress

No matter how often you travel, good preparation is still key. We’ve updated our checklist and added two brand-new suggestions at the top.  No need to scroll through searching for fresh content.  So let’s get to it: even seasoned travelers (you) can benefit from reminders to help make your trip angst-free and a rich cultural experience. Isn’t that what travel is about?  Continue reading “UPDATED: Travel Planning Checklist – 5 Steps Toward Less Stress”