A music road trip through America’s Deep South

GQ magazine, Australia – October 2012 Of all the great highway journeys, one has been elevated to pilgrimage status by music fans. It starts in the jazz halls of New Orleans, sweeps through the cotton-rich blues joints of the Mississippi Delta and finishes in the honky-tonks of Nashville. It’s a 1000km slice of musical history;Continue reading “A music road trip through America’s Deep South”

The blues in Clarksdale, Mississippi

  The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Sep 22, 2012 The legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil at a deserted crossroads in Mississippi is perhaps the most famous in blues music folklore. The story goes that after several lacklustre performances, the guitarist disappeared on the Mississippi Delta. One night he foundContinue reading “The blues in Clarksdale, Mississippi”

Live music in Austin, Texas

Open Road magazine, Australia – September 2012 “We’re like a blueberry in a sea of tomato soup,” remarks one Austinite with a wry smile. It’s a statement that explains a lot about this endearing little city. While most of Texas is Republican and conservative, Austin is a democratic enclave – a laidback, liberal speck onContinue reading “Live music in Austin, Texas”

Chatwal Hotel, New York

  The Sun-Herald, Australia – Aug 26, 2012 Precisely 134 steps from the consumer carnage of New York’s Times Square is the first of two discreet entrances on West 44th Street. Cloaked in black awnings and manned by immaculately dressed doormen, they lead without fanfare to one of the city’s most elegant five-star hotels. TheContinue reading “Chatwal Hotel, New York”

Searching for jazz in New Orleans

  The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Aug 18, 2012 It’s a typical Tuesday night on Bourbon Street. Young people clutching dangerously strong daiquiris roam the narrow, neon-lit strip, past a gaudy parade of bars, strip clubs and tattoo parlours. Competing spruikers try to lure people inside with the promise of cheap drinks, while upContinue reading “Searching for jazz in New Orleans”

The World’s Best Cocktail Bar – Employees Only, New York

The Sun-Herald, Australia – May 6, 2012 Close your eyes and imagine the world’s best cocktail bar. Perhaps it’s perched on the edge of a cliff on a Greek island. Or on the rooftop of a Bangkok skyscraper. Either way it’s probably filled with a social-pages crowd of white-suited George Clooney lookalikes and statuesque supermodels.Continue reading “The World’s Best Cocktail Bar – Employees Only, New York”

Taste of the high life in New York

  The Sun-Herald, Australia – Feb 19, 2012 In October The New York Times awarded Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant its highest accolade of four stars, saying, “no restaurant in New York City does a better job than Per Se of making personal and revelatory the process of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars onContinue reading “Taste of the high life in New York”

Dream Downtown Hotel, New York

  The Sun-Herald, Australia – Dec 12, 2011 As I’m checking into Dream Downtown, a dozen beautiful, gazelle-like models sit clustered in the lobby, idly flicking through their portfolios. Sadly, despite sprinting to and from my room, I never see them again but it sets the tone for the sort of fashionable crowd you canContinue reading “Dream Downtown Hotel, New York”

Las Vegas Update

KiaOra (Air New Zealand’s inflight magazine), NZ – July 2011 Las Vegas offers much more than blackjack tables, roulette wheels and slot machines. Visitors can also enjoy wonderful restaurants, shopping and shows or even hiking and biking amid stunning desert scenery. If you’re planning a visit to the city that bills itself The Entertainment CapitalContinue reading “Las Vegas Update”

The wonders of Washington DC

Escape travel section, Australia – June 5, 2011 For the next two hours I will be Colin Walker, an 18-year-old British art student visiting Turkey on holiday. My assignment is to meet another undercover agent in Ankara and exchange classified information. Unfortunately, I’m rumbled at immigration. When the officer asks me where I was born,Continue reading “The wonders of Washington DC”

Grand dames of the South

The Sun-Herald, Australia – May 1, 2011 America’s south – loosely defined as the eastern states below Pennsylvania – is often overlooked by visitors in favour of the sun-kissed beaches of California or the urban excitement of cities such as Las Vegas and New York. But this is where many of the country’s most pivotalContinue reading “Grand dames of the South”

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

The Sun-Herald, Australia – Apr 17, 2011 It’s not often you feel like an eco-warrior when you check in to a resort but since arriving at Post Ranch Inn, I’ve been feeling positively virtuous. After a welcoming glass of Taittinger, my car is whisked away and I’m ferried to my room in an eerily quietContinue reading “Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California”