Episodes

  • On today’s Season 5 Finale, I’m joined by one of the UK’s leading broadcasters and most recognisable voices, Jeremy Vine.


    Jeremy began his journalism career as a BBC reporter for the Today show before becoming the BBC’s political correspondent at Westminster, and the BBC’s Africa correspondent based out of Johannesburg.


    He worked alongside Jeremy Paxman as a presenter on Newsnight and back in 2015 he donned his dancing shoes becoming a hugely popular contestant on Strictly Come Dancing - although his first dance with partner Karen Clifton was scored a ‘2’ by judge Craig Revel-Horwood.


    These days, Jeremy’s based back in the UK, and along with his eponymous daily topical programme on Ch5, his daily BBC radio 2 programme is the most listened to news show on UK radio. He’s also an accomplished author and tells us about his latest novel, which is set in Spain. 


    Given his day job involves chatting to anyone and everyone, it’s no surprise that Jeremy had no shortage of conversation today and we have a great time dashing around the world today with his travel diaries, from the Channel Islands to an island off Canada, Siberia to Oman. This is a fun one, I really hope you enjoy it. So, Let’s get started. 


    Destination Recap:


    - Jersey, England

    - Alderney, England

    - The Blonde Hedgehog, Alderney, England 

    - Johannesburg, South Africa

    - Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

    - Siberia, Russia

    - Oman

    - Appledore, Devon, England 

    - Glasgow, Scotland

    - Dali Museum, Figueres, Spain -

    Cadaques, Spain

    - Sitges, Spain

    - Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada


    Jeremy’s novel The Diver and The Lover is out now in paperback - a great read for a summer holiday. 


    A huge thank you to today’s sponsors, DK Eyewitness and The Thinking Traveller.


    September sees the launch of DK Eyewitness’s new series Like A Local, travel guides to the world’s biggest cities featuring the best local hangout spots, hidden haunts and independent businesses. Listeners to The Travel Diaries can now get 10% off the books over at wordery.com. Simply enter the code 'LIKEALOCAL' at the checkout to receive your discount. 


    To book your dream villa holiday visit The Thinking Traveller. The Thinking Traveller's collection of luxury villas across Italy, The Greek Islands, Corsica and Mallorca are some of the best properties out there for a villa holiday and come in all sizes, whether you're travelling as a couple or for a big family reunion.


    And with that, it’s a wrap for Season 5. Thank you so much to all my lovely guests for transporting us all around the world. And most importantly, thank you, my incredible listeners, for tuning in each week, for taking the podcast over one and a half million downloads, across 160 countries - what a dream come true. If you’re enjoying the podcast, leaving a review or five star rating is the best way to show your support, on your podcast app of choice. All the destinations mentioned by my guests are always included in the episode show notes, on my website thetraveldiariespodcast.com and also on my Instagram page @hollyrubenstein where I publish and save weekly guest guides, which plot out all the locations that have been discussed. 


    And it’s not long until I’m back - we’ve got a couple of wonderful destination specials coming up, the first in a couple of weeks celebrating all things Caribbean, so keep an eye out for that. I’m off to Cornwall, again, and then to Provence in France. You can follow my travels on social media and as ever I’d love to hear from you. 


    Season 6 will return in the autumn. Have a wonderful rest of your summer, and I’ll be back soon. 


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Welcome to this Inspiring Ireland Destination Special where, alongside legendary Irish DJ and broadcaster Annie Mac, we celebrate all things island of Ireland. 


    Annie’s been in the news a bit recently, because after 17 years as one of BBC Radio 1’s most loved DJs, she has left the station, and the video of her playing her final song went viral online, I think simply because she is such a legend in the industry, and a big part of the lives of so many music lovers, so this farewell was a huge deal. We talk about how she became a DJ and presenter, and her illustrious career and what that involved - and then her travel diaries chapters are all focussed on destinations across Ireland - the place where she grew up, travels back to as much as she can, and knows so well. 


    And then later, I’m joined by travel writer and Ireland expert, Aoife O’Riordain who shares some really brilliant tips, in particular some amazing foodie recommendations and a hotel that I’d never heard, on an Irish island that I’d also never heard of, of that has gone straight to the top of my hotel wish list. Oh and Aoife’s husband was actually the producer of Normal People (you know the show we all watched last summer) so she gives us a little insight into the making of that too!


    DESTINATION RECAP


    Annie Mac’s Destinations:

    Dublin, Rep. of IrelandRasharkin, Co. Antrim, Northern IrelandBelfast, Northern Ireland Roundstone, Co. Galway, Rep. of Ireland Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland The Burren, Co. Clare, Rep. of IrelandThe Gaeltacht, Co. Galway, Rep. of Ireland Dog’s Bay, Co. Galway, Rep. of IrelandDingle, Co. Kerry, Rep. of IrelandDingle Benners Hotel, Co. Kerry, Rep. of IrelandThe Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry, Rep. of IrelandLoch Na Fooey, Co. Galway, Rep. of Ireland County Donegal, Rep. of IrelandInishmore, Rep. of Ireland

    Aoife O’Riordan’s Destinations

    West Cork, Co. Kerry and Coastal Donegal parts of Wild Atlantic Way driveDublinDublin and Wicklow MountainsGlendalough, Co. WicklowSandycove, DublinForty foot, DublinBray, County WicklowThe DART commuter trainCo. KerryRing of Kerry driving routeDede at the Custom’s House, West Cork, Co. CorkMisunderstood Heron, Leenaun, Co. Galway Paddy Bawn Brosnans Bar, Dingle, Co. KerryBally Bia, Co. CorkGreat Western Greenway, Co. Mayo The Royal Canal GreenwayThe Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, Co. GalwayInis Meáin, Restaurant & Suites, Co. Galway

    Thanks so much for listening today. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, leaving a review or five star rating is the best way to show your support, on your podcast app of choice. And to find out who is on next week’s episode, the Season 5 finale, come and find me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubensten and as ever, I’d love to hear from you. 


    To find out more about visiting the island of Ireland, head to ireland.com and check out the travel pages of your favourite newspapers and travel magazines which are always great resources for the latest travel news, new openings and must see spots. 


    Have a great week and I’ll be back on Tuesday.  


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Missing episodes?

    Click here to refresh the feed.

  • Today I’m joined by the UK’s leading hotel critic, Fiona Duncan. Fiona has been writing about and reviewing hotels for 35 years. She began her career writing travel guides before launching her own book series with her husband The Charming Small Hotels Guides back in the 1980s.


    In the late 90s she was asked to write about hotels for the Telegraph, which she continues to this day, with a weekly hotel column in the Sunday Telegraph. They call her the Hotel Guru, Country & Town House Magazine call her the Hotel Wizard, for which she is also travel editor and the editor of their great British hotels guide.


    I spoke to Fiona last week in London, and it was so lovely to reconnect with her - Fiona has been a real mentor to me as a travel writer, which has been life changing to be honest, and I’ve learnt so much from her, so this episode means a lot to me. It also means a lot to finally have a female guest on this season, I wanted to have a completely gender balanced season this time, and just the way things have panned out annoyingly with people’s availability and covid, that just hasn’t been possible. But next week also we have fantastic female guest joining us which I’m really looking forward to as well. 


    This is an episode for hotel lovers, Fiona has visited well over 600 of them just for her column alone, and if you’re looking for recommendations here in the UK and in Europe, she has some great tips to share, and ones that won’t break the bank too.


    DESTINATION RECAP:

    Orient Express to Venice Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy Seaview, Isle of Wight, EnglandMallorca, SpainAntigua and the CaribbeanFormentera, SpainGecko Beach, Formentera, SpainHambleton Hall, Rutland, EnglandGravetye Manor, West Sussex, EnglandLangar Hall, Nottinghamshire, England The Lamb at Shipton-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, EnglandGlebe House, Devon, EnglandThe Goring Hotel, London, England Howtown Hotel, Ullswater, England Santa Catarina, Amalfi Coast, ItalyLocanda Cipriani, Venice, Italy Limewood, New Forest, England Lake Nagin, Kashmir, IndiaGulmarg, IndiaVilla Mahal, Kalkan, Turkey The Fish Shack, Kalkan, TurkeyKathmandu, NepalTiger Tops, NepalMexicoRavenna, Italy GeorgiaTransylvaniaKoufonisia, GreeceAmorgos, Greece 

    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    A big thank you to DK Eyewitness for their support of today’s episode. Visit DK.com to discover their new series of books, Like a Local. And check out DK Eyewitness’ own brilliant podcast Where to Go - where hosts James and Lucy visit a different destination each week in the company of an expert local guide. Find that on all good podcasting platforms. 


    Another big thank you to the British Airways American Express Card for their support of today’s episode. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • One of the world's most prominent wildlife filmmakers and presenters, Gordon Buchanan has been filming wild and wonderful creatures in remote areas of the planet for over 30 years, capturing film across every continent apart from Antarctica. His numerous captivating and award-winning wildlife documentaries, from The Cheetah Family and Me and Snow cats and me, to Animals with Cameras and Into the Wild, are ubiquitous on our TV screens, here in the UK. 


    I spoke to Gordon last week, the sound is a little bit echoey - we joked he could say he was talking to us from a cave somewhere in the wilderness but he was actually in his home in Glasgow!


    And this episode is one of my very favourites - I’m often asked who is the nicest person I’ve interviewed for the podcast and to be honest all my guests have been truly lovely but Gordon is just so delightful, I’m his new biggest fan. His travel diaries take us from his childhood, growing up on the remote Scottish island of Mull, to his first job in Sierra Leone; close encounters with wolves in the arctic and discovering a new species of giant rat in Papua New Guinea. That and so much more, coming up.


    Destination Recap:

    Isle of Mull, ScotlandIsle of Lunga, Treshnish Isles, Scotland Ellesmere Ireland, Canadian Arctic Sierra LeoneSanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, IndiaGreat Bear Rainforest, BC, CanadaRiver Kelvin, Glasgow, ScotlandLoch Lomond, Scotland Mt Bosavi, Papua New GuineaRussiaYala National Park, Sri LankaAntarctica

    Gordon will be on tour in January and February 2022. Buy tickets for “Gordon Buchanan - 30 years in the wild - The Anniversary Tour” here.


    A big thank you to Visit Estonia for their support of today’s episode. This ad is in co-operation with Visit Estonia and funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund. To find out more about head to Visit Estonia.


    Another big thank you to the British Airways American Express Card for their support of today’s episode. 


    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by one of the most influential photographers of all time, David Loftus. I first got to know David’s work through reading Conde Nast Traveller magazine, for which he has shot numerous breathtaking travel editorials, taking him all around the globe. But he’s perhaps best known for bringing food to life for millions of people, photographing for the books of Gennaro Contaldo, Nathan Outlaw, previous podcast guest Rachel Khoo and his long time collaborator, and close friend, Jamie Oliver. His work with Jamie alone has resulted in international book sales in excess of 30 million copies, and not only has he now photographed over 100 books, David is also a published author himself, with books like Around the World in 80 Dishes and more recently his memoir, Diary of a Lone Twin, an account of love and grief following the untimely death of his identical twin, something which frames a lot of our conversation today.


    I spoke to David in his beautiful London home last week on the hottest day of the year, in a room full of memories from his extensive travels. And as well as bringing to life some of the incredible destinations in which he’s worked and travelled - looking through the destination recap there’s a strong theme of islands, David says he loves to be surrounded by water - we also benefit from David’s expertise with some brilliant tips for taking the best photos on our phones while we travel. 


    So from Paros to The Bahamas, the Lofoten Islands to the Orkneys, let’s get started. 


    Destination Recap:

    Lake Grundlsee, Austria Lake Toplitzee, AustriaThe Orkney Islands, UKOld Man of Hoy, Orkney, UKLofoten Islands, NorwayParos, Greece Windermere, The Bahamas Kefalonia, GreeceIthaca, Greece Fivizanno, Tuscany, ItalyNorth West AustraliaNew Orleans, USAJapan

    David’s memoir, Diary of a Lone Twin, is out now. 


    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    A big thank you to Citalia for their support of today’s episode. Discover the real Italy with Citalia, the UK’s leading Italian holiday specialists.


    And thank you to the British Airways American Express Card for their support too.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I feel very privileged to be joined by a legend of the broadcasting world. John Simpson has been reporting for the BBC for 51 years, and its World Affairs Editor since 1982, covering in person more major world events than many of us could recount, from the Iranian Revolution and Tianamen Square massacre in Beijing, to the Kosovo War, and the US led invasion of Afghanistan, interviewing the majority of the world’s leaders along the way.


    Having broadcast from the front line in over 30 war zones, today’s episode features so many tales of courage, and if you read up on John’s career, really we are only scratching the surface.

    We’ll hear about what it was like being smuggled into Afghanistan dressed as a woman, the time he was physically assaulted by a British Prime Minister and his very close shave with the IRA. It’s clear that John also adores travelling and I love that he’s picked really unusual destinations that weren’t necessarily on my radar before, and he’s totally sold me on them.


    So from Paris to Iran, Uzbekistan to Argentina, let’s get started. 


    Destination Recap:

    Suffolk, EnglandCasablanca, Morocco Belfast, N. IrelandAngolaParis, France Rue de Rivoli, Paris, France Baghdad, IraqAfghanistanTehran, IranIsfahan, Iran Persepolis, Iran Bukhara, Uzbekistan Khiva, Uzbekistan QatarBuenos Aires, Argentina

    And I spoke about:

    Bruton, Somerset, EnglandNumber One Bruton, Somerset, England Osip, Bruton, Somerset, EnglandHauser & Wirth, Somerset, EnglandAt the Chapel, Somerset, England 

    John’s novel Our Friends in Beijing is a great read. It’s published by John Murray and is out on Thursday July 22.


    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    A big thank you to the British Airways American Express Card for their support of today’s episode. 


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I’m joined by one of the food world’s most recognisable faces, John Torode. John grew up in Melbourne, Australia, embarking on his culinary career when he was 16 years old, having learnt to cook from his grandmother, who raised him after his mother passed away. After apprenticeships at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants he moved to the UK, quickly making a name for himself as one of the finest chefs out there, opening restaurants like Smiths of Smithfield and The Luxe. It wasn’t long before he also caught the attention of the TV world, and since 2005 he became a household name as the co-host of Masterchef which is soon to enter its 18th season, as well as hosting Celebrity Masterchef too. He’s written numerous best-selling cook books and made lots of TV shows about culinary road trips in destinations with vibrant food cultures like Malaysia, Argentina and Korea.


    From the streets of Thailand to the markets of Mumbai, the islands of Malaysia and the wilderness of Australia, I predict you might be adding some places to your travel wish list after this.


    Destination Recap

    AustraliaSingapore to Bangkok via Penang Orient ExpressGrand Canyon, Nevada, USASan Francisco, California, USABangkok, ThailandThe Thai House, ThailandThe Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok, ThailandThe Kimberley, AustraliaThe Bungle Bungles, The Kimberley, Australia The Great Wall of China, China Buenos Aires, Argentina Bombay (Mumbai), IndiaThe Taj Hotel, Mumbai, IndiaPanang and Langkawi, MalaysiaTasmania, Australia Marrakech, MoroccoChinaMongoliaTransiberia ExpressMallorca, SpainNorwegian Arctic circleAlaska, USA

    And I chatted about Watergate Bay Hotel and Watergate Bay in Cornwall.


    Celebrity Masterchef is back this summer on BBC1 for its 16th series. John continues to present Masterchef on BBC1 and John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen on ITV1


    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would be wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    A big thank you to the British Airways American Express Card and Western Australia for their support of today’s episode. 


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Welcome to Season 5! Today’s guest was on the original Travel Diaries dream guest wish list. He’s a broadcasting legend and has presented some of my favourite travel series. It is, of course, Sir Trevor McDonald. 


    Sir Trevor was born and raised in the West Indies, on the island of Trinidad and so the Caribbean is of course a big feature in his Travel Diaries today. He began his ascent to journalistic stardom over there, working as a radio reporter and news presenter, before moving to London in the late 1960s to work for the BBC. He went on to join ITN and became a household name as the first sole presenter of the News at Ten and the first black news anchor in the UK. 


    Now at 81 years old, he tells us about interviewing some of modern history’s most revered and reviled figures, from the pressure of being the first person to interview Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison, to travelling to Baghdad to grill Saddam Hussein in his palatial home. It’s no surprise that Trevor became the most accoladed news broadcaster in British history.


    We’re heading today on a journey across North America, Australia, The Middle East, Europe and Africa. 


    Destination Recap:

    TrinidadGrenadaSydney, AustraliaBelfast, Northern Ireland, UKSouth AfricaShutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, California, USABaghdad, IraqMadeiraBarbadosAntiguaSt LuciaLas Vegas to Grand Canyon plane ride, USANapa Valley, California, USACarmel Valley, California, USA

    And I chatted about my stay at The Cary Arms in Babbacombe, Devon.


    Thank you so much for listening today. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode please subscribe on your podcast app, it’s very easy to do that, although on Apple they’ve changed it so that you “follow” now rather than subscribe by pressing the plus sign in the top right of the app. I would also be so grateful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really helps other people to discover the podcast, which in turn allows me to keep making more.


    Don’t forget all the destinations mentioned each week across all five seasons are included in the episode show notes. 


    Follow me on Instagram @hollyrubenstein to find out who is joining me next Tuesday. I’d love to hear from you. And if you can’t wait until then, there’s all of Season 4 to listen to. 


    Thank you to the wonderful Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi for their support of today’s episode. Follow them on Instagram here.


    And a big thank you to The Kensington Hotel for hosting today’s episode recording. 


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • It’s July 1 which means it’s Canada Day and we are going to be celebrating Canada with this bonus destination special episode. Canada has been mentioned so many times as a favourite destination on the podcast by everyone from Ben Fogle and Dan Snow to Nadiya Hussain and Ella Eyre, and today, in celebration of Canada Day, I thought it would be a great opportunity to shine a light on a region of Canada that has historically been somewhat overlooked by tourists but is now gaining a real hype with in the know travellers, and that is the region of Atlantic Canada.


    Today I’m joined by writer and adventurer Hugh Francis Anderson, who has written extensively about Atlantic Canada, and he’s here to share his travel diaries from the region.


    Destination Recap

    The Alexander Murray Hiking Trail, Newfoundland & LabradorCabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova ScotiaBar Kismet, HalifaxKouchibouguac National Park, New BrunswickThe Inn at Bay Fortune, Prince Edward IslandGros Morne National Park

    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review on your podcast app - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. And to hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe.

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.


    For more information and inspiration to plan your holiday to Canada or Atlantic Canada visit here and here.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Welcome to this Awesome Australia Destination Special. Together with much loved guests including Rick Stein, John Torode and Dynamo, we’ll be heading on an Australian adventure across the country, revealing favourite spots, hidden gems and top tips. It’s wanderlust, guaranteed! 


    It’s June 2021 right now, and unfortunately that means that for most of us travel is currently extremely restricted. So now’s the time to plan your next big bucket list trip - and for me, Australia is top of the list. From the wilderness of The Kimberley, to the red rock of Uluru, Kangaroo Island, Sydney, Melbourne and more, I hope this episode inspires you to visit when we are all able to travel easily again. 


    Destination Recap:

    The Kimberley, WAThe King George Falls, The Kimberley, WAAdelaide, SACoober Pedy, SAAlice Springs, NTTorres Strait Islands, QLDSydney, NSWWolgan Valley, The Blue Mountains, NSWMelbourne Lane Ways, VICFederation Square, Melbourne, VICQueensland Coast, QLDWestern Australian wildlife trifecta, WANingaloo Reef, WAKangaroo Island, SAUluru, NT

    Thank you to John Torode, Rick Stein, Rachel Khoo, Peter Grunert, Tony Wheeler, Dynamo and Phoebe Smith for being a part of today’s episode. 


    For more information about planning your own trip to Australia head to australia.com


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 


    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 


    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first four seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I'm joined by one of the most famous and successful chefs in the world and in history - Heston Blumenthal. 

    It was an unforgettable travel experience that inspired Heston to become a chef. He’s entirely self taught, and was working other odd jobs all the way until his late twenties, when he bought a small pub in Bray in Berkshire. He called it The Fat Duck, and it went on to be award three Michelin stars and to be named The World’s Best Restaurant. 

    A food pioneer, he’s been dubbed the Willy Wonka of cuisine, fascinated by the science behind the cooking. He’s become the king of experimental cuisine which has led to world famous dishes like snail porridge, parsnip cereal, and bacon and eggs ice cream. Oh, and did you know it was Heston who invented one of my favourite things to eat - the triple cooked chip.

    This is definitely an unusual episode. Yes we cover travel, it’s a fundamental part of Heston’s food, and it was so fun to hear about some of the weird and wonderful things he’s eaten on his travels - not all of them happy memories, I should add! But honestly, I really felt like I was speaking to a true genius in this chat, it’s hard to find another way to describe it, and so we also cover off the meaning of life and philosophy, quantum physics and scientific theory. He is determined to push himself and others to think beyond the confines of our small minds, when it comes to both food and life. 

    I really hope you enjoy it.


    Destination Recap:

    Praa Sands, Cornwall, EnglandRegent’s Snack Bar, Edgware Road, London, EnglandBaumanière, Hôtel Restaurant, Les Baux-de-Provence, FranceLes Alpilles, FranceMonastery Epiphany, Les Baux-de-Provence, FranceTurkeySiberia, RussiaIcelandGalapagos Islands, Ecuador KoreaThe AmazonPeruIndonesiaPolynesia

    Tune in to Heston’s own podcast, Heston’s Journey to the Centre of Food which is available on all podcast apps and is great fun, it’s a must for foodies.


    Well, that’s a wrap for Season 4, thank you all for joining me along the way, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for spreading the word about the podcast, sharing your favourite episode on your social media, telling your friends, leaving lovely reviews and sending me the most amazing messages, it has been amazing, especially to feel so connected and part of our little travel diaries community, that you’ve all created, during a time where we often otherwise feel quite disconnected. 


    If you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast, remember to press subscribe on your podcast app, it’s free, and you’ll then get notified when Season 5 begins in the summer.


    In the meantime, do stay in touch, I’m @hollyrubenstein on Instagram and Twitter.


    Remember there’s all four seasons to keep you going until then, from Rick Stein and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, to Jo Malone and Raymond Blanc.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • On today’s episode, I’m joined by the multi-Grammy winning singer, Gregory Porter. Gregory’s was originally set to become an American football player, and it wasn’t until he turned 40 that his rich jazz baritone caught the attention of industry bigwigs and subsequently, jazz heads around the world. His major label debut Liquid Spirit went on to become the most streamed jazz album of all time. He's played Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, sung for the Queen and prior to Covid was travelling over 200 days a year, playing to his adoring fans around the world. So with all that travel and all those miles covered, it’s no surprise that today’s episode is a long haul, feature length episode. 


    Gregory joins me from his home in California, and this is a really touching, personal, evocative episode. Gregory says it’s like therapy - he remembers his travels so vividly, and each destination is full of emotion as he describes it to us. We’ll go on a journey from the West to the East coast of the United States, across Russia on the Transiberian Express and to a secret French island that I’d never heard of, which is now firmly added to my travel wish list. Oh and he serenades us not once but twice on this episode, so prepared to be soothed by that velvety voice!


    Destination Recap:

    Bakersfield, California, USAYosemite National Park, California, USASanta Monica, California, USASan Diego, California, USABrooklyn, New York, USAHarlem, New York, USASiberia, Russia Tokyo, JapanKanazawa, JapanPorquerolles, FranceUkraineIstanbul, TurkeyTel Aviv, IsraelJakarta, Indonesia South Africa Sierra LeoneGhana

    Gregory Porter’s album All Rise is out now.


    Thank you so much for listening today. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 


    To hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe on your podcast app of choice. 


    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 

     


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I’m joined by one of the most well travelled people I have ever spoken to. Geoffrey Kent is the founder, chairman and CEO of the luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent, and a titan of the travel industry. Before researching and recording this episode, I didn’t know that much about Geoffrey himself, and now, here in this intro, it’s hard to convey what an extraordinary life he’s led, but I’ll give it a go. 

    Raised in rural Kenya, Geoffrey’s said that his whole childhood was like a safari. He tells us about living among leopards and elephants and riding horses when he’d barely even learnt to walk. And from there, during a military career where he served in Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Cyprus, Libya and Malta, he founded Abercrombie & kent - a travel company best known for inventing the photographic safari, changing wildlife travel forever with the ethos “shoot with a camera, not with a gun”. 


    A born explorer, he’s credited with pioneering “experiential travel” so along with telling us about some of the 156 countries he’s already visited, Geoffrey brings to life the experiences that he’s had along the way, and how we can best enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful countries. We don’t really touch on the fact that he’s also a world renowned polo player, he was the Captain of Windsor Park’s polo team which he played on with Prince Charles; or that he took Prince Harry to Botswana after the death of Princess Diana and sparked Prince Harry’s love of Africa. Even so, this is still a long haul feature length episode, there was so much to cover, it’s a love letter to Africa, and one that I hope you’ll really enjoy. So, here’s Geoffrey Kent. 


    Destination Recap: 

    MonacoFlorianópolis, BrazilZambiaKenyaNairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, South Africa motorcycle trip Masai Mara, KenyaThe Aberdare Highlands, Kenya Malindi, Kenya Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, EnglandSouth PoleBotswana Mauritius Chief's Camp, Okavango Delta, BotswanaBazaruto Channel, Mozambique One & Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius Gorilla trekking, UgandaDiving in Palau, PhilippinesHelicopter to Base Camp, Mt EverestMadagascarGreenlandAntarcticaFinlandHelicopter tour of EthiopiaCocos Islands, Costa RicaJuba, Southern SudanNorth West Passage Cruise 

    You can follow Geoffrey on Instagram here.


    Thank you so much for listening today. 

    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

    To hear future episodes as soon as they’re released don’t forget to hit subscribe on your podcast app of choice. 

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 

    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today I’m joined by one of the most established names in British luxury - the designer and businesswoman, Anya Hindmarch. Anya started her accessories business as a teenager, inspired by the leather bags she saw on her travels in Italy. Within a few short years, her designs were stocked by some of the most prestigious fashion outlets around the world. 

    She is known for using fashion as a force for good. Back in 2004, her £5 white tote bags, with the slogan “I’m not a plastic bag” written on them, graced the shoulders of A-listers around the world, sparking a global frenzy with queues of over 80,000 people outside Sainsbury’s shops, trying to get their hands on the canvas bags. 

    More recently, during the pandemic, she’s worked with University College London to design a special holster for frontline NHS workers to wear, along with thousands of PPE gowns. 

    Just as fashion takes inspiration from cultures and destinations all around the world, so too does Anya, whose travel diaries take us from Morocco and Myanmar to Japan, Italy and glamorous Mustique.


    Destination recap:

    Marrakech, Morocco El Fenn, MoroccoKasbah Beldi, Morocco Cap Ferrat, France Florence, Italy Mustique Park Hyatt, Tokyo, JapanTokyo, JapanPatagoniaEthiopiaBeirutEgyptIndia Inle Lake, Myanmar 

    This episode is in memory of my beloved uncle, Anthony Lean. 


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 


    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 


    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 


    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 


    Thank you to ancestry.co.uk for their support for today’s episode. 


    And thank you also to Fujifilm. Book in your free trial with the Fujifilm X-S10 here. 


    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today's guest is one who is sure to put you in a good mood. His infectious enthusiasm most recently led him to the Strictly Come Dancing final. He’s a chart-topping podcaster himself, and the star of the reality TV show Made in Chelsea. And he’s a businessman, the founder of the sweetie empire Candy Kittens. It is of course, Jamie Laing. With a father who runs a travel agent, and family all around the world, it’s no wonder that Jamie has an insatiable appetite for travel. So much so that this is a long haul, feature length episode. 

    So from Peru to Japan, and Turkey to Turks & Caicos, let’s hear Jamie's travel diaries. 


    Destination Recap:

    Turks & CaicosTurkeyNew York, USADylan’s Candy Bar, New York, USASouth America travelling - Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina Cape Town, South Africa JapanSix Senses Laamu, Maldives Paraty (?) Northern PeruBiarritz, France Notting Hill, London, EnglandIsle of Mull, Scotland Eilat, Israel Tel Aviv, Israel The Grand Canyon, USANew Zealand

    Jamie's podcast Private Parts is available wherever you get your podcasts.

    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 

    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 


    And thank you to Fujifilm for their support too. Book in your free trial with the Fujifilm X-S10 here. 


    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I’m joined by the much loved actor and comedian, Sanjeev Bhaskar. Following a late arrival into comedy, Sanjeev was catapulted to stardom in the comedy series Goodness Gracious Me, and later The Kumars at No. 42, both bringing the British Asian experience to the masses to international acclaim. 

    This success, which has led to decades of movie and TV roles, has taken Sanjeev all over the world. India, of course, is a big feature today - Sanjeev has filmed documentaries and written books about the country, where some of his family still live. From Delhi and Rajasthan to Shimla and Darjeeling, Sanjeev paints a wonderful picture of such a diverse and exciting country. 

    He transports us to the American city he first fell in love with, his European all time favourite and we chat about the new season of his hit ITV show Unforgotten, which is back for its fourth season.


    Destination Recap:

    Delhi, IndiaKarnal, IndiaNew York, USAAmalfi, ItalyRajasthan, India Shimla, India Darjeeling, India Ellora, India Vesuvius, ItalyPompei, ItalyRome, ItalyAustralia Paris, France New Zealand

    Unforgotten Season 4 airs on Monday nights on ITV at 9pm. 

    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 

    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week.


    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • He’s the star of Downton Abbey, Paddington, Viceroy’s House and W1A. Today, I’m joined by one of Britain’s best loved actors - and part-time vaccine volunteer - Hugh Bonneville. 

    Hugh stars in a new film called To Olivia where he plays the celebrated author Roald Dahl. We talk about that later on in the interview - and he was just so lovely to chat to on a very rainy gloomy lockdown day. I’ve interviewed Hugh a few times in the past and he never fails to make me laugh. He’s travelled so extensively both through his work and through being a really keen traveller himself, so we cover a lot of ground. 

    He transports us to the deserts of Utah and to pockets of serenity among the chaos of India. We visit the pristine coves of the Costa Brava and the campsites of France. And he reveals what is on the cards for Downton Abbey and Paddington, if you’re a fan of either (or both like me) you’ll be very happy with what Hugh has to say!


    Destination Recap:

    France Tamariu, Costa Brava, SpainAigua Xelida, SpainAigua Blava, Spain Sherbourne, Dorset, England Road trip through Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and KenyaNile River Boat, SudanJuba, SudanIndiaFour Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, MaldivesAmangiri, Utah, USAMihir Garh, Jodphur, IndiaGrand Canyon, Arizona, USASouth America

    To Olivia, a Sky Original film, is out on Sky Cinema and NOW TV right now. 

    If you’re enjoying the podcast, don’t forget to hit subscribe on your podcast app so that you’re updated with a new episode each week. And if you can't wait til next week, remember there's the first three seasons to catch up on from Michael Palin and Rick Stein to Dev Patel, Richard Branson and Poppy Delevingne. 

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. Share your own travel diaries using the hashtag #thetraveldiaries I’ll be re-sharing your own hidden gems, recommendations and all time faves on my Instagram and here on the podcast. 

    Thank you to Fujifilm for their support for today’s episode. Book in your free trial with the Fujifilm X-S10 here.

    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 

    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Today, I'm joined by the nation’s favourite maitre d’ and TV personality, Fred Sirieix. Having worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in both France and the UK, Fred rose to fame back in 2013 on Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning matchmaking show First Dates, greeting nervous daters with his warmth, charm and philosophical musings (of which you’ll hear many coming up), putting them at ease before they sit down to eat in the First Dates restaurant. Now, he’s become known for his TV globetrotting too, as the presenter of Remarkable Places to Eat on the BBC, and spending months at a time travelling with his pals Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo on ITV’s Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip series.


    Fred’s travel diaries take us from Italy to Monaco, and Paris to Peru. He reminisces about life growing up in Limoges, France and how he became the ultimate Anglophile. He reveals which Caribbean island he escapes to every year, what it felt like plunging into an ice well in Lapland, and he uncovers what goes on behind the scenes with the making of First Dates - how do they match these couples so perfectly? I really wanted to know. All that and more coming up on The Travel Diaries. 


    Destination Recap

    Lapland Limoges, FranceEymoutiers, France Massif-Central, France Monte Carlo, MonacoMacchu Pichu, PeruSandals, Negril, JamaicaParis, France Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy Chez Black, Positano, italy Hilton, DubaiAustraliaThailand 

    Teen First Dates starts on 22nd Feb 10pm on E4.


    Thank you Fujifilm for their support for today’s episode. Book in your free trial with the Fujifilm X-S10 here. 

    And thank you to Lanserhof at The Arts Club for their support for today’s episode. Find out more about that, and the rest of Lanserhof’s fantastic hotels here.


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 


    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. Share your own stories using the hashtag #thetraveldiaries - I’ll be re-sharing your own hidden gems and all time faves on my Instagram and here on the podcast. 


    And there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Raymond Blanc, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Rick Stein. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 


    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • This week, I’m so excited to say that business mogul and perfumer Jo Malone makes a return to the podcast, transporting us to the Middle East in this Dubai Destination Special. For avid listeners you might remember that back in Season 2 when Jo joined me as a guest, she talked about Dubai with such love, picking it as one of her all time favourites, she spends about a month each year out there, so I could think of no one better to join us today as we uncover her Dubai travel diaries, her favourite spots, hidden gems and recommendations as someone who knows the city so well. 


    And later, we’ll be joined Dubai-based travel journalist Sarah Hedley-Hymers, who has her finger on the pulse of everything that is worth knowing about Dubai, and together they both really evoke the sights, the scents, and vibrancy of this Emirati city, and really get under its skin - beyond its glamorous and shiny first impressions, they really reveal its heart and heritage too.


    It’s February 2021 right now, and unfortunately that means that for most of us travel is currently extremely restricted, which is especially disappointing as Dubai is such a wonderful spot for some winter sun. But I hope this episode inspires you to visit when we are all able to travel easily again. 


    So, from desert nights under the stars to the heady aromas of the spice market, abra boat rides across the historic Dubai creek to its beaches and luxury hotels, let’s head to Dubai. 


    Destination Recap: 


    Jo Malone

    Dubai desertSatwaDubai CreekSpice MarketThe One & Only The Residence Fish Beach Taverna, Le Meridien W HotelMusandam Peninsula, Oman Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

    Sarah Hedley-Hymers 

    Perfume HouseAbra rides at Dubai CreekDubai Fountain Burj KhalifaDubai Mall AquariumThe Pointe Fountain Food District, The PointeJumeriah Beach Residence Jumeriah Lake TowersStreetery, Dubai Vietnamese Foodies, Dubai Pitfire Pizza, Dubai Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Al Maha Desert Resort Sonara Camp

    For more information and inspiration to plan your holiday to Dubai visit www.visitdubai.com or follow them on Instagram

  • Today, I’m joined by the chef, broadcaster, food writer and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. We first got to know Hugh through his much loved River Cottage TV series and books, filmed at his River Cottage Estate on the Devon-Dorset border. His uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and his concern for the environment, inspired a vast and loyal fanbase.

    Alongside more than 20 cookery shows, he’s also tackled powerful issues in his documentary campaigns, like obesity, illegal wildlife trade, fishing and the war on plastic. He’s the author of numerous best-selling cookbooks and he’s back with a new one - Eat Better Forever. 

    We talk about that, his life-changing trip to Africa which shaped his food philosophy; what it was like travelling around India for 4 months with his young family; how a close shave while filming nearly left him in a Vietnamese jail, the power of wild swimming throughout the freezing winter months, and his favourite staycation spots . All that and more coming up on the travel diaries. 


    Destination Recap:

    Aegina, GreecePort Quin, Cornwall, England Epphaven Cove, Cornwall, England Southern AfricaGloucestershire, England IndiaBharatpur bird sanctuary, Rajasthan, IndiaWest End Hotel, Mumbai, India River Cottage, Devon, EnglandThe Bull Inn, Totnes, England Vietnam

    Hugh’s new book Eat Better Forever is out now. 


    Thank you Fujifilm for their support for today’s episode. Book in your free trial with the Fujifilm X-S10 here. 


    And thank you to Lanserhof at The Arts Club. Find out more about that, and the rest of Lanserhof’s fantastic offerings here.


    If you’re enjoying the podcast, then it would wonderful if you could leave a rating or a review - it really makes a big difference because it helps other people to discover the podcast. 

    To hear future episodes as soon as they are released just search for The Travel Diaries on your podcast app of choice, and hit subscribe. 

    To find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode, come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. 

    If you can’t wait until then, there’s always the first three seasons to catch up on, from Michael Palin to Rick Stein, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Dev Patel. 


    Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week. 


    Today’s episode was recorded during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. It was produced by Holly Rubenstein.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.