The Travel Diaries

10/12/2021

Magical Kenya - Bonus Episode

Season 5
Today, we’re embarking on a journey to the east of Africa, to a country of spectacular wild and natural landscapes, where the wildlife is abundant, the famous Big 5 roaming free. A country of great plains, mountains, lush forest, and white sand beaches. It has captivated and travellers adventurers the world over. It is of course, Kenya.On today’s episode, we’ll be hearing first from some of my previous podcast guests who have chosen parts of Kenya in their travel diaries, wildlife cameraman Gavin Thurston returns to the podcast to share his experiences having spent so much of his career travelling around and working in Kenya, and we’ll hear from one of my guests coming up on Season 6, too.We’ll be heading on a tour of the country, starting in its capital Nairobi and ending in Samburu National Park in the north. It’s in Samburu that my final guest, Saba Douglas-Hamilton, has lived for the last 6 years. Saba is a conservationist and award-winning TV presenter. Born and raised in Kenya, you might recognise Saba as the presenter of the BBC’s hugely successful Big Cat Diaries, The Secret Life of Elephants and This Wild Life.She’ll be joining us later to reflect on our tour of Kenya, sharing her tales of living and working in the country and her own Kenyan travel diaries.Kenya is now on the travel green list for UK travellers, so I hope this episode inspires you to think about a bucket list experience like travelling to Kenya and experiencing all that it has to offer.Destination Recap: *No hotels or safari camps paid to be part of this destination special.Giles Coren:Giraffe Manor, Nairobi Diani Beach, MombasaJessica Nabongo:Lamu, Lamu IslandGavin Thurston:Tsavo East National ParkMaasai Mara National ReserveGovernor’s Camp, Masai Mara National ReserveLewa DownsWilderness Camp, Lewa DownsSamburu National ParkElephant Watch Camp, Samburu National ReserveGeoffrey Kent:Masai Mara National ReserveAberdare HighlandsMalindi BeachLucy Williams:Sasaab, Samburu National ReserveSaba Douglas-HamiltonNairobiElephant Watch Camp, SamburuMount KenyaLewaKalepo Camp, SamburulandMike's Camp, Kiwahu IslandIf you would like to read more about Kenya or get some more inspiration about where you should go and what you can do there head towww.magicalkenya.com or follow them on social media, or check out the websites of your favourite travel magazines, who normally offer compressive guides.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 or to “follow” the podcast if you’re using Apple Podcasts.To find out who’s joining me on Season 6, 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 five seasons to catch up on, with guests from Sir Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.
9/28/2021

Completely Caribbean - Bonus Episode

Season 5
We're going Completely Caribbean here on The Travel Diaries this week. On today's bonus destination special, we’ll be heading on a sun-soaked tour of the Caribbean islands, in partnership with the British Airways American Express Credit Card.Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most popular destinations to be picked each week on the pod, and in today’s episode lots of my lovely guests from the last five seasons will be recounting their favourite Caribbean travel memories - the islands they love - of course the islands are so diverse, each with their own distinct history, culture and landscape - as well as the best hotels, places to visit and hidden gems, taking us on a tour from the north to the south of the Caribbean.And later we’ll be joined by Caribbean destination expert Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon aka Jet Set Sarah. Sarah is a Caribbean travel expert, award-winning travel journalist, and self-described “Carivangelist”, having visited and written about nearly all of the Caribbean islands. She'll take us through the destinations chosen by my guests, as well as sharing her own Caribbean travel diaries.Destination Recap:David Loftus: The BahamasJamie Laing and Jo Malone: Turks & CaicosFred Sirieix: JamaicaJacqui Gifford: AnguillaAinsley Harriott: DominicaRichard Branson and Ella Eyre: Necker Island, BVIsJet Set Sarah's Destination RecapTurks & Caicos: Parrot Cay, Providenciales, Andros, Long IslandBahamas: Harbour IslandDominicaAnguillaJamaica: Kingston, Trench House, Devon House, Negril, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Port Antonio, KFC Montego Bay!BequiaPetit St VincentGrand CaymanBelizeBonaireMustiqueThank you so much tothe British Airways American Express Credit Card for supporting today's episode.Search BA Amex for more details and check out the world. Representative 24.5% APR Variable,Applicants must be 18 years old or older,Subject to approval-Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.All information including Representative APR is correct as at 14th September 2021.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 future episodes, 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 five seasons to catch up on, with guests from Michael Palin and Heston Blumenthal, to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Hugh Bonneville.
8/24/2021

Jeremy Vine

Season 5
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 atwordery.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.
8/17/2021

Inspiring Ireland with Annie Mac

Season 5
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 RECAPAnnie Mac’s Destinations:Dublin, Rep. of IrelandRasharkin, Co. Antrim, Northern IrelandBelfast, Northern IrelandRoundstone, Co. Galway, Rep. of IrelandWild Atlantic Way, IrelandThe Burren, Co. Clare, Rep. of IrelandThe Gaeltacht, Co. Galway, Rep. of IrelandDog’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 IrelandCounty Donegal, Rep. of IrelandInishmore, Rep. of IrelandAoife O’Riordan’s DestinationsWest 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. GalwayPaddy Bawn Brosnans Bar, Dingle, Co. KerryBally Bia, Co. CorkGreat Western Greenway, Co. MayoThe Royal Canal GreenwayThe Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, Co. GalwayInis Meáin, Restaurant & Suites, Co. GalwayThanks 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.
8/10/2021

Fiona Duncan, Hotel Critic

Season 5
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 husbandThe Charming Small Hotels Guides back in the 1980s.In the late 90s she was asked to write about hotels for theTelegraph, which she continues to this day, with a weekly hotel column in theSunday 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 VeniceLe Sirenuse, Positano, ItalySeaview, Isle of Wight, EnglandMallorca, SpainAntigua and the CaribbeanFormentera, SpainGecko Beach, Formentera, SpainHambleton Hall, Rutland, EnglandGravetye Manor, West Sussex, EnglandLangar Hall, Nottinghamshire, EnglandThe Lamb at Shipton-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, EnglandGlebe House, Devon, EnglandThe Goring Hotel, London, EnglandHowtown Hotel, Ullswater, EnglandSanta Catarina, Amalfi Coast, ItalyLocanda Cipriani, Venice, ItalyLimewood, New Forest, EnglandLake Nagin, Kashmir, IndiaGulmarg, IndiaVilla Mahal, Kalkan, TurkeyThe Fish Shack, Kalkan, TurkeyKathmandu, NepalTiger Tops, NepalMexicoRavenna, ItalyGeorgiaTransylvaniaKoufonisia, GreeceAmorgos, GreeceThank 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.
8/3/2021

Gordon Buchanan, Wildlife Presenter and Cameraman

Season 5
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, ScotlandEllesmere Ireland, Canadian ArcticSierra LeoneSanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, IndiaGreat Bear Rainforest, BC, CanadaRiver Kelvin, Glasgow, ScotlandLoch Lomond, ScotlandMt Bosavi, Papua New GuineaRussiaYala National Park, Sri LankaAntarcticaGordon 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 bytheEuropean 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.
7/27/2021

David Loftus, Travel & Food Photographer

Season 5
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, AustriaLake Toplitzee, AustriaThe Orkney Islands, UKOld Man of Hoy, Orkney, UKLofoten Islands, NorwayParos, GreeceWindermere, The BahamasKefalonia, GreeceIthaca, GreeceFivizanno, Tuscany, ItalyNorth West AustraliaNew Orleans, USAJapanDavid’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.
7/20/2021

John Simpson

Season 5
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, MoroccoBelfast, N. IrelandAngolaParis, FranceRue de Rivoli, Paris, FranceBaghdad, IraqAfghanistanTehran, IranIsfahan, IranPersepolis, IranBukhara, UzbekistanKhiva, UzbekistanQatarBuenos Aires, ArgentinaAnd I spoke about:Bruton, Somerset, EnglandNumber One Bruton, Somerset, EnglandOsip, Bruton, Somerset, EnglandHauser & Wirth, Somerset, EnglandAt the Chapel, Somerset, EnglandJohn’s novelOur Friends in Beijingis 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.
7/13/2021

John Torode

Season 5
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 RecapAustraliaSingapore 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, AustraliaThe Great Wall of China, ChinaBuenos Aires, ArgentinaBombay (Mumbai), IndiaThe Taj Hotel, Mumbai, IndiaPanang and Langkawi, MalaysiaTasmania, AustraliaMarrakech, MoroccoChinaMongoliaTransiberia ExpressMallorca, SpainNorwegian Arctic circleAlaska, USAAnd 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 ITV1Thank 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.