Postcard from Europe


My friend Susie and I on a very steep cable car with an ascent of 1613 metres to the Datji Mountain with a view over the Albanian capital, Tirane.

Welcome back,

I realise it has been a few weeks since I have written, but I have been on the road again. First to London, then on a tour of Albania and then London again which is when I started writing this. However, I then flew to Istanbul for a fabulous couple of days and now on a cruise from Istanbul to Rome over 2 weeks with some fantastic landings.

I did have time for an impromptu visit as a walk-in at the new St John in Marylebone, Fergus Henderson’s restaurant. A surprising array of vegetables on the blackboard menu as well as the type of food (like potted pork) for which he is known. All delicious and wonderful service.

I thought it would be good to send a quick update with some of my discoveries before I find too many more.

Below you will find final details of my hosted Moroccan tour April 27 – May 8, 2024 for your consideration.

I try to keep up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating and drinking – Lyndey x

L: Mussels, Cucumber and Dill and R: Potted Pork with Smoked Cod’s Roe behind at St John, Marylebone

Recipes of the week



Spice up your next comforting chicken soup for something different.

A lovely end-of-week cake using my favourite, Pink Lady apples.

In the Kitchen with Lyndey


Spiced Orange Cakes – gluten-free!

Watch the short video or read the recipe here  If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine,  subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

Discovering Albania

Beautiful Berat “the city of a thousand windows” showing the Ottoman-style houses

Last year I travelled with a friend in Greece. It was so lovely and easy that when she said, why don’t you come on a Classical Tour of Albania I jumped at the chance not to travel solo. I knew very little about the country and thought this would be a good way to learn. When I first went to Europe and the Eastern block in 1977 Albania was a closed country under a Communist Dictatorship.

Though it prospered in Roman times Albania has had a sad history of frequent invasion and wars over centuries and interference from adjoining countries. Gaining independence from Ottoman Empire in 1912. With more skirmishes,  they ended up with their own self-proclaimed King Zogu in 1928 who had previously been Interior Minister then Prime Minister. He was Dictator until 1939 when with the start of the Second World War.  Albania was invaded by Italy and Mussolini installed a puppet government. There was a partisan anit-Fascist movement. In November 1941 a Communist Party was formed with Enver Hoxha (1908-1985) as its secretary. From the summer of 1942, the Communists fought the Italians but when Italy surrendered in 1943 the Germans stepped in and occupied Albania.The Communists formed a provisional government in May 1944. In October 1944 the Germans began to withdraw from Albania.

With alliances first with Russia, then with China this led to a horrible, violent  and destructive 20 year dictatorship. Hoxha died in 1985 but the tyrannical regime continued until 1990. Gradually stability returned to Albania. Since 1998 the Albanian economy has grown although Albania remains a poor country. Today the government is trying to improve infrastructure which is much needed. Meanwhile, in 2009, Albania joined NATO.

This sad past is evident as you travel through this naturally beautiful country with dramatic mountains and a green landscape. There is a scramble for tourism but I fear in some places this is at the cost of the stunning shoreline.

We flew to Tirana, met our group and drove Kruja, the former capital when Skanderbeg (1405 – 1468) led the resistance movement against the Turks, keeping them at bay for 25 years. 

Next day we saw the Skanderbeg Museum, within Kruja Castle, before travelling to the 15,000-seat amphitheatre of Durrës and Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage town, renowned for its 16th-century mosques and tiers of multi-windowed Ottoman houses. 

A rocky hilltop is the setting for Berat’s 13th-century citadel, filled in its heyday with housing for most of the medieval city’s inhabitants. Below it are 16th-century mosques and tiers of multi-windowed Ottoman houses and across the Osumi River are the Byzantine churches and atmospheric streets of the charming Gorica quarter. A seven-arch stone bridge crosses the river and the centuries, linking the dual cultures of this friendly, photogenic and charming town.

L: the lovely woman, 4th of the 5 generations living in the house, offering us a traditional sweet and R: the view of the church from the well-laid out Apollonia Museum

The following day began with a visit to the Onufri Museum – a celebrated 16th-century artist, Onufri’s work includes the interiors of many of Albania’s Orthodox churches. We also had a fun visit to a local home for Turkish coffee, traditional sweets and raki.

The ancient ruins of Roman Appolonia were well worth the steep uphill climb, visiting the site’s old Orthodox monastery, now the museum.

L the charming guard at the Al Pasha fort, treating us to a spontaneous Albanian polyphony singing and R a simple, delicious bowl of mussels in Sarande

We drove along the scenic Albanian Riviera, crossing the Llogara Pass en route to Porto Palermo’s Ali Pasha fort, staying in coastal Saranda for two nights.

Scenic shores on the Ionian Sea look out to Corfu though this resort town is threatened with so much development, not all beautiful. Nearby in the forest, UNESCO-listed Butrint, is an  ancient city nestled in the forest.

The medieval ‘Museum City’ of Gjirokastra, has stone-paved roads and six hundred examples of Ottoman architecture on a hillside overlooking the Drino Valley. With the modern sector on the lower slopes, the UNESCO-listed old town, known as the ‘city of stone’, crowns the hill with a huge historic castle, part museum/part ruins; the 18th-19th century Old Bazaar, still serving as the social hub; steep streets of distinctive tower-houses; the St Sofira Church and the Gjirokastra Mosque.

With broad boulevards of Ottoman, Italian and communist/utilitarian architecture; mosques, Orthodox and Catholic churches; brightly painted houses and a modernist museum hemming the hub of the city, Skanderbeg Square; the capital Tirana is a chaotic, colourful capital with daunting traffic, some funky cafes, good restaurants and boutiques.

We made an interesting visit to the World Headquarters of the Bektashi liberal sect of Islam which is accepting of all religions and and a chilling visit to Bunk’Art, an extensive anti-nuclear bunker created during the Communist dictatorship. It is dreadful to see what cruelty mankind can inflict. A dramatic cable-car ascent of the (1,613m) Dajti Mountain for spectacular views of the city was a welcome relief for lunch with a view. After a visit to the National History Museum, like all the Albanian Museums incredibly well laid out, we farewelled our fellow travellers and went on to Durres for a few days relaxing on the coast.

The food served in cafes and restaurants in Albania is inexpensive and very generous. Not always appealing but when you take the trouble to nose out simple places or those from personal recommendation, you can be delightfully surprised.

L: Beautifully presented hummous in Tirana and R: Barbounia (red mullet), salad and wine costing $13 – note the fishing boat in the background, the fish were caught in this!

Moroccan Food Tour – New Dates!

I’m thrilled to share with you, that I have confirmed dates for my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.


  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
Download the full itinerary HERE or email me or with any questions.

Puglia Food Tour – May 2024

Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.